In between directing the cult classics Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, Director Quentin Taratino wrote the screenplay for True Romance. It has just as much blood, maybe even more bullets than both. 90s Hollywood hotshots Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette lead a cast that includes Brad Pitt, Christopher Walken, Dennis Hopper (RIP), Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson and more.
In the realms of the surreal, dreams become reality. And for director David Lynch (Blue Velvet, Dune) surrealism is familiar territory. Follow actors Bill Pullman, Patricia Arquette, and Balthazar Getty into a strange montage of illusion, dread, and violence. Let’s not forget mystery, intrigue and psychedelia, too. This movie is tweaked but like all Lynch films, just let it wash over you like a dream and revel in the weirdness.
Another true and horrifying tale, Chopper is the shocking story of an Australian murderer, psycho and national hero, Mark “Chopper” Read. The petty criminal takes his quest for prison infamy to depraved and violent lows that in some unbelievable way are a bit humorous. Telling you that in one scene he cuts his own ears off with a razorblade won’t spoil it. That’s actually one of the flick’s milder moments.
The Game is a hell-ride of a flick by the director of Seven and featuring Michael Douglas & Sean Penn. These three facts alone make it a worthy choice for your movie queue. Douglas is a successful, but lonely, businessman lured into a unique “game” by his brother Sean Penn. But rather than fun and adventure, the game gets real weird, real fast, quickly turning into a chaotic fight for sanity and survival.
Director Danny Boyle is one-of-a-kind: 127 Hours, Slumdog Millionaire, remember Trainspotting? If you dig the frenetic, fast-paced style and sick humor, plus crave some bullets & blood, Shallow Grave will work for you. Of course it’s an action thriller and the tale involves roommates, a corpse & a bag of money. Hold on tight!
Despite warnings of “dog fighting scenes,” Amores Perros—which, roughly translated means “love’s a bitch”—won heaps of international film awards. This offbeat Spanish language film tells the stories of three disconnected characters in Mexico City who are linked only by a random incident. Exploring themes of loss, love & identity, viewers learn about the characters by seeing how each relates to dogs.
For a few minutes, you’ll almost take this movie seriously. But then Kurt Russell’s bungling character Jack Burton, a truck-driver turned cowboy/kung fu crime fighter gives it away. This 1986 semi sci-fi film by the director of Halloween is thrilling but not in the edge-of-your-seat way, it’s more wacky/stupid. Like, “is this a joke?” ironic funny. Jacki Chan style fight scenes, lots of bullets & swords. Follow it through its ridiculous twists & turns, while admiring the “talents” of 80s vamps Kim Cattrall & Suzee Pai.
From Taxi Driver to Little Fockers. DeNiro. How did it happen? By now, Robert DeNiro has officially shed every micron of self-respect he ever had as an actor. But, before he jumped the shark landing in the murky waters of Holiday blockbuster sequels, he made a few transition films. Ronin was one of them. In his character, there’s a glimmer of the old greatness. There are also some good shoot-outs and a car chase that by itself is worth the price of the rental.
The soccer is phenomenal and the acting isn’t bad, either. This flick has Pelé, the greatest soccer player of all time, and Michael Caine, the greatest British actor of all time, sharing the screen. This 1981 sports-adventure-war drama revolves around an unlikely soccer match between Allied prisoners of war and their German captors during WWII. Sylvester Stallone, five years after making the greatest boxing movie ever, made this, the greatest soccer movie ever.
Western movies often suffer from various cheap Hollywood clichés. It could be the Australian setting and/or the film’s writer, Nick Cave’s, outsider status that gives 2005’s The Proposition it’s fresh feel. It is a bleak and ruthless tale of three outlaw brothers turned against each other by a meddling lawman. But there’s no John Wayne schlock, just plenty of gunfire and vultures circling ominously overhead.