Tag Archive | underrated

The Underrated: Performance

Seeing as we have been so intellectual recently, I thought I’d kick off the first of my “difficult” Underrated reviews. Performance is a strange choice, in that it has reams and reams of critical praise, but at the same time, who apart from me has actually seen it? It’s described as seminal, a precursor to Lynch and an early and important work by Nicholas Roeg and Donald Cammell. Incidentally, Cammell was a seriously fucked up dude and the story goes that as he was dying he asked for someone to bring him a mirror so he could watch himself shuffle off the mortal coil. Weirdo.

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The Underrated: Donnie Brasco

Back when I started this series, a little more than a year ago, Donnie Brasco was one of the titles I had in mind. It’s a hard one to describe as underrated, as almost every review of it is seriously laudatory, and yet, if you ask people to name mafia films it’s never mentioned. It feels as if the film is being forgotten, and I don’t for a second think that is a remotely just fate for a film as good as this. I can’t really think of any good reason for this omission, perhaps it was released at the wrong time, or perhaps it just doesn’t resonate, but this really is a shame as Donnie Brasco is a genuinely truly fantastic film, and one that marks a career high for several of the cast, not to mention Mike Newell. Nevertheless, Donnie Brasco is being so overlooked that a brief search of WordPress (looking for pictures) finds not one hit on the words “Donnie Brasco”.

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The Underrated: The Chaser

It’s been an extremely long time since I’ve done one of these, and I’m actually thinking about renaming this section “the underexposed”. This time up, I’m once again delving back into Korean Cinema for a 2008 crime film that is both severely underexposed and truly excellent. I don’t really understand the West’s attitude to Japanese/ Korean cinema. Any blue filtered two-bit horror movie gets ridiculous levels of, to quote Droid, nut stroking, and yet the best films that I’ve seen from Korea recently are all crime films of some description. The tendency that still floats around amongst people to write off a whole culture as either boneheaded horror, stupid monster movies or chop-socky nonsense is astonishing, particularly when you consider how good films like The Vengeance Trilogy, Memories of Murder and now The Chaser actually are. The Chaser, incidentally, is being sold by Lovefilm as a horror movie. It most certainly is not. You can argue that it is a thriller, but it isn’t the serial killer gorefest that I was expecting. Read More…

The Underrated: Misfits

Own up- who actually watched this when it was on? I didn’t, and still wouldn’t have if I hadn’t accidentally blundered into a repeat of it the other night, but am I ever glad I did. Misfits is one of the most amusing new series that I’ve seen in a long time, a raucous referential take on comic books and the problems of having powers. Read More…

The Underrated: Eden Lake

This is a special bonus Underrated, as I watched this film last night and still feel a bit traumatised by it. When Eden Lake was released in the summer of 2008, I have to admit that I took one look at the Empire review (which is glowing) and one look at the plot synopsis and instantly thought “pass”. This was both a lucky escape and a stupid mistake. Lucky, because I don’t think that this would be an easy film to cope with on the big screen (and I’m really not joking about that), and stupid because Eden Lake is comfortably the second best British Horror film of the last decade. It doesn’t touch the Descent, which it owes a lot to, but it is a nasty, visceral little film that rooted me to my seat, but also manages to cram an impressive amount of social commentary into what is essentially a genre film. Read More…

The Underrated: I, Lucifer

I was going to hold off reviewing this book for a while. However, Mrs. Jarv in a wonderfully useless move that got me out of watching SATC2 managed to lose my copy (4th one I’ve bought now), so in sheer celebration I’m going to write this from memory. I know this book extremely well, so have no qualms about taking a gamble and writing it without it sitting in front of me. Read More…

The Underrated: Memories of Murder

 

Once again, for the underrated film of the week I’m picking one that nobody has seen, but I think is simply superb and is being overlooked unfairly. Joon-ho Bong is turning out consistently excellent work (he followed this with the simply superb The Host, and I’m told that his latest, Mother, is also of a high standard) and this is a fine early example. If I had to make a comparison, then the nearest parallel I can draw is Fincher’s excellent Zodiac, being as they both deal with police procedure, an unsolved serial murderer, and are both first-rate films. Read More…

The Underrated: The Last Seduction

The Last Seduction, if I were ever to do something as dumb as this for the 90’s(an infinitely better decade than 2000-2010), would be in my top 10. It’s got a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and it contains one of the definitive female performances of that decade. So, I suppose, technically it isn’t underrated. Except, and here’s the rub, that this is a film that revisionist clowns are now claiming is bad, and one that, even worse, seems to have dropped off the radar. I’m not joking with that- Mrs. Jarv (who tends to be quite knowledgeable about these sort of things had never even heard of it).

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The Underrated: Meet the Feebles

I’m going to hell for this one.

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The Underrated: Angel

This is a review that’s been a long time coming. I’ve really struggled with it, as this is not the easiest film that I’ve ever written about. As with Vice Squad, which was a thriller with a hefty dollop of street-level grit, Angel is also ostensibly a thriller mired in the sleaze of prostitution. Unfortunately, unlike with Vice Squad, the thriller sections of the film aren’t actually that successful. Sure, they’re watchable enough, but they pale in comparison to the other facets of the movie. Read More…