You're in a conversation with some friends and they start talking about two movies everyone's seen a billion times. Lets say they mention Shawshank Redemption and Forrest Gump, and you decide to throw it a lesser known or equally good film. What are some movies that are comparable to well known classics that you've recommended to people?
Case in point someone was trying to decide between Lost Boys and Interview with a Vampire, and I recommended Near Dark and Shadow of the Vampire. What are some examples you've used?
__________________ "Though flesh may fade and mountains may crumble, the lessons of the Jedi never grow old"-Obi Wan Kenobi
I always tell people to see the 95 Ghost in the Shell and/or Dark City if they like The Matrix, as Dark City preceded The Matrix's release by a year (98 to 99) and is very similar in premise (man is unsure of identity and greater purpose in a strange world) and genre (sci-fi neo noir). Of course, Ghost in the Shell was a primary inspiration for the Wachowskis to make the Matrix, and it was the example they used to get Joel Silver to produce the Matrix.
A lot of times, I discuss the best movie of a director, writer, or actor. For example, Denzel Washington's best movie? Most say Training Day or Malcolm X, maybe Flight from what I've gathered. I always recommend Man on Fire, as well as recommending it for director Tony Scott's best feature film.
I give Munich the nod over much of Spielberg's filmography; I'd tell someone to watch it if the conversation drifted towards Schindler's List (also very good).
Also by genre. Say for movies based on comics, I'll bring up A History of Violence, Sin City, 300, Watchmen, V for Vendetta, Dredd, Oldboy, The Crow, Road to Perdition, when someone asks me for a top 10 or top 5. They'll be in there all day with the likes of Batman 89, Superman 1, The Dark Knight, Winter Soldier, the GotG movies, etc.
EDIT: Added Sin City and 300 to the top comic movies list, b/c they're that great.
That reminds me: Deep Impact. Both it and Armageddon were the asteroids destroy earth movies in 1998, but it was multi-storyline long-game plot vs Armageddon's action-packed special effects summer blockbuster extravaganza.
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under the bed.
Lucky Number Slevin is perhaps not as well known as some of the big blockbusters but it's one of my all-time favourite movies. Close to a perfect 10, imo.
I also usually recommend anime, since anime is still relatively unknown in the West. Amazingly, loads of people either think they're kids cartoons or don't want to watch it with subtitles, while the dubbed versions suffer in comparison with the original.
Two films worth mentioning are:
- Sword of the Stranger (2007) which won the award for Best Animated Feature at Brazil's International Fantastic Film Festival and was nominated for the same categories at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards and 81st Academy Awards. It also won the 2009 "Menzione Speciale" recognition at Italy's Future Film Festival.
- The Boy and the Beast (2015), Japan's second highest-grossing domestic film of 2015. It won the Japan Academy Prize for Best Animated Feature, and was also nominated for an Annie Award in its independent category.