Thursday, April 10, 2008

the best movies that I can't possibly recommend to anyone I know

Piper lost some movies on a recent trip. Among them was a favorite here at 7dp, a wonderfully surreal Asian western called Tears of the Black Tiger. I told him:

Tears of the Black Tiger is a heart breaking loss. It's one of the most visually interesting and surreal movies I've seen in quite some time and I can't stop raving about it (even after seeing it for the first time 2 years ago). It quickly earned a spot among 'the best movies that I can't possibly recommend to anyone I know'

And that got me thinking about the phrase 'the best movies that I can't possibly recommend to anyone I know.' I think you know what I'm talking about. The kind of movie that you watch and think to yourself 'Wow, self, that was an f'n sweet movie.' and then, a couple days later someone says to you 'Hey, you, I saw this movie on the shelf at the video store last night and it looked kinda interesting.' So you say, 'Dude, that movie was realy f'n sweet.' And a couple days later, same dude comes in to your office and is all like 'WTF dude?!?!? That movie was f'n shit! I coulda rented Transformers again! I mean, COME ON! It had SUBTITLES! Good Luck Chuck didn't have subtitles! And it had Dane Cook! That dude is funny, yo!' And then a little part of you dies inside. We all know and work with people like that. I don't suppose there's anything wrong with it. I mean, ultimately it's their loss, isn't it.

Like I said though, it got me thinking, what are some of the movies that I really enjoyed but can't recommend to anyone?

-Tears of the Black TigerAnd I've tried! I've loaned my copy out to 4 different people and gotten 4 'Why did you make me watch that's. Everytime, it's the same thing. So, I've gotten to where I won't talk about it until someone else shows a real interest in it. It's a shame though. It's such a unique experience. Everything about it feels deliberate. Every choice be the director and actors only adds to the over the top feel of the movie.

I just watched this one the other night. Junkies, midgets in knight armor, preppy satanists, hippies and drug dealers. It's like someone thought to themselves 'You know, Trainspotting was great...but you know, it was missing something. It just wasn't WEIRD enough. Let's set it in Canada and see where that goes.' Don't get me wrong though, aside from the's nothing like Trainspotting.

A old school noir mystery set in a suburban high school. A movie that instantly feels like one of the great detective movies of the 30s and 40s while being uniquely modern. I loved this movie like I loved my hamster when I was 12. Except the movie didn't bite my finger.

-CashbackImagine you can stop time. Now, imagine that you work as a stock boy in grocery store. Now imagine that you use your powers to stop time and undress women in the aisles so that you can draw them. That's sort of the premise of the short film that grew up to become Cashback.

Those are some of mine. What say you, internet? Any movies that you like that you have trouble recommending to people? Let me know.


PIPER said...

This is a good post. Nay, a great post. A great subject to speak about and damn the internet if it doesn't respond in kind.

I have not seen any of these films but they all sound great. So I will rent them and then curse you for making me do so.

I recently got dinged for recommending Out Of Sight which is not a movie I would imagine would turn people off. The same with Michael Clayton.

But then there are movies I hesitate to recommend. Battle Royale at the tippy top. And then Old Boy. And a lot of Cronenberg. eXistenZ is probably the best movie made about video games but it's not a general admission kind of movie.

In short, you gotta know your audience. I always find myself speaking passionately about a movie, and then when I've got someone's interest, I pull back for fear they may not like. But screw it, just go with it.

Unknown said...

I've recommended Tears of the Black Tiger to people who generally like the same movies I like and they've watched it and looked at me funny for a while afterwards, so, you never know.

Oldboy and Battle Royale are movies, too, that are hard to recommend to people sometimes. Which is a shame, they're both excellent.

I'd understand it more if people were leary of me recommending Octopus 2: River of Fear or Raging Sharks.

Anil Usumezbas said...

Brick is a great movie, a solid genre exercise. I don't think it's that contraversial to like it. No idea about the others though (although I took them as recommendations :P)

Unknown said...

It's not controversial to LIKE Brick. Not at all. It's just a difficult movie to recommend to someone. It's easy for someone to get lost in the dialog. It's an easy movie to suggest to someone who you know likes a movie like that. It's a hard movie to stand around the water cooler and tell people about.