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10 Great Movies That Don’t Get The Recognition They Deserve

23 November 2017 | Features, Film Lists | by Pedro Morata

5. Starship Troopers (1997)

starship_troopers

Paul Verhoeven is a really interesting filmmaker who does not get enough recognition. While his name is not very well known, if you mention “Basic instinct,” “RoboCop,” “Total Recall” or “Black Book,” most likely someone will know those films and tell you how great they are. The film on the list turned out to be “Starship Troopers,” but it could have been easily “Showgirls,” “Black Book” or another one, because Verhoeven creates a very unique vision and style in his films, and are very often overlooked.

In a future society, students are harangued to join the Army and become citizens. Johnny Rico is ready to follow his girlfriend, but will end up participating in a bloody war against the insects of the planet Klendathu after the death of his parents, because of a meteor thrown by these insects against his hometown.

The message of the film is so simple, so obvious and so sincere that it was inevitable that many people did not understood the film, rather misinterpreting and massacring it. That entire absurd and tacky tone that has the movie – the cliché characters, the absurd discourse of the news, the Marines revelries – is intentional, staged to parody and amaze the open minds with a great and delirious show.

But this is Verhoeven. As in “RoboCop,” where Verhoeven already introduced ironic TV sequences, here he introduces “informative” satirical and corrosive sequences in a militaristic society, where to have rights you have to win them at the risk of your life. These interludes gives us a very fast and lively pace to the film, but also informs the viewer of the reality in which they live and they are very funny. Also the editing in general is magnificent, from the long initial flashback, to the vigorous scenes of action, shot with great skill.

In short, “Starship Troopers” is not a film to be taken seriously, because even the film does not take itself seriously. It is made to enjoy the joke, the entertainment, the crazy proposal, the criticism of everything that passes, and Verhoeven’s vision of science fiction cinema of the last decades.

 

4. Last Action Hero (1993)

The Last Action Hero - Arnold Schwarzenegger

“Last Action Hero” is one of those films that we mistakenly think should not be taken seriously, since it is a parody. In part, this is true, but it is also true that after all the jokes of explosions, brutal phrases, deaths by ice cream cones and other bestialities, there is a sincere tribute from John McTiernan to cinema, and not only to action cinema (a genre of which McTiernan is a well-known expert).

Danny Madigan is a fanciful young child, a fervent admirer of Jack Slater, the greatest hero of action movies. When his last film is released, the old usher of the cinema gives him a ticket to see it in the first place. Thanks to that ticket, which turns out to have magical powers, Danny manages to enter the screen and live exciting adventures with Jack.

For some people, this is a very beloved film, because Danny reminds us of ourselves. A total devotee of a character on the big screen, always waiting for the next adventure that will have more violence, more explosions, more gunfire and more heavy metal (those AC/DC and Megadeth songs are great). More than a character, we are always waiting for the new thing to come out from a director or a music group.

That unconditional love to cinema, knowing already what you are going to find, which makes you leave your hard life, your mediocre house, your mediocre family, your mediocre school for an hour and a half. Watching this movie is something special, because it makes us see clearly why we like cinema so much.

In addition, not all actors know how to laugh at themselves, and in this aspect, Arnold does it wonderfully. The movie is actually a parody of all the action movies of tough guys, but it is also a great action movie in itself.

The movie is a parody of the action heroes; it has a lot of phrases to remember, a lot of funny moments, great comical situations and within its genre it’s good, but you have to understand it.

It’s an unusual film where Arnie always acts as if he were in an action movie, and the child tries to explain reality, which creates a lot of comical situations, like the killer who is always hiding in the wardrobe, the bad guys portrayed with all the possible topics, and the macho phrases such as “how are you going to snap your fingers after I’ve ripped your thumbs off?” All the topics of action movies are shown to make fun of them, and they get it.

 

3. Godzilla (2014)

Gareth Edwards has managed to recover the essence of the most charismatic monster in the history of the big screen, and not only that, he has done so by being true to the origins of the creature, which is to be welcomed. Forgotten is that “dinosaur” of the late 90s that was not even capable of tearing down an entire building. You will enjoy contemplating this being, but especially because in the two hours of the film you will not find a bit of boredom, you’ll just enjoy some great and excellently achieved visual effects.

Many complain that Godzilla does not appear quite enough on screen. It appears enough. It is better to miss him than to get tired of his presence. It is better to wait nervously for his interruption than to stop being surprised by him because he’s on screen so much. The pacing of the film is very good, with a perfect introduction where everything is clear, although it is true that sometimes you can feel that the film cuts the action when something cool is about to occur. However, Edwards reserves that intensity that does not allow us to live 100 percent throughout the film until the end.

It is a film that is influenced by Spielberg in many ways (there are unparalleled “Jurassic Park” moments) and is also influenced from the Gojira monster in the original 1954 film. Remember that in Ishiro Honda’s classic, we did not see the creature destroying Tokyo until the end, until that moment the narration shows us only the havoc it has left behind. In the case of this last movie, the same thing happens; we only see the damage it causes and Edwards has no problem in showing the muto’s repeatedly revealing the king of the show little by little.

In general, this Godzilla film and this first entry to the monsterverse they are building alongside “Kong: Skull Island” is a solid and epic blockbuster that does justice to the king of the monsters.

 

2. Watchmen (2009)

The maneuver was risky: adapt the most acclaimed graphic novel of all time, compress it for the big screen, recover a now obsolete historical context, and all of this under the watchful and suspicious sector (that of the comic books) too accustomed of suffering disappointments. This stumbling block has undoubtedly been overcome with “Watchmen,” a movie that will give you something to talk about and that will undoubtedly convince the purists.

Set during the Cold War, on the verge of a nuclear confrontation with the USSR, a group of former superheroes, inactive by a government order, meet again after the murder of one of them. This event triggers a series of events in which the heroes will have to face ethical conflicts, fears, old quarrels, and will be aware of a mysterious conspiracy that seeks to discredit them.

Framed in an atmosphere close to the most classic noir cinema, “Watchmen” plunges us into the decadence of a group of superheroes who are victims of the most human of weaknesses. A film brimming with intrigue and drama without leaving aside the most spectacular action, all supported by a brilliant plot and an exceptional script, and not without strong political criticism.

From the beginning of the film you can see how faithful Zack Snyder wanted to keep with the original work, adapting it almost frame by frame with a huge visual impact. “Watchmen” is, overall, a brilliant and underrated film.

 

1. The Tree of Life (2011)

Tree of Life

A lot of people who have seen this movie believe that this film sucks; literally, they feel that it is a mockery in which they have been bored to death. This is to say that whoever is reading several opinions of the film, trying to decide whether to see it, one thing is clear: “normal” people do not like this film.

Terrence Malick has never been a tasteful dish for everyone, and this is more than clear when you see and analyze his filmography. There are those who adore him and are fascinated by his narrative and visual style, and then there are those who get easily bored with him and think that his films are empty, elongated with pedantic and pretentious narrations. What is clear is that Terrence Malick has done more for film history with fewer films than many other film directors with more films. He has created a unique visual and narrative style, full of poetry and preciousness.

“The Tree of Life” is an authorial, artistic exercise with pretensions. It is not a film to pass time with or to be entertained; for that there are other Hollywood products. It is a work that seeks to catch the viewer who needs or who knows how to appreciate other points of view.

In this, Malick divides his feature film into two sections and alternates them in time, telling a nonlinear story that looks face to face with other more spiritual and less rigid exercises. Alternate a family story with an authoritarian father, a somewhat withdrawn but gentle mother and children who are experiencing life, with a reconstruction of the universe that is an orgasm for the senses.

What is certain is that it is a very personal piece of work, non-transferable and a sophisticated exercise that will divide opinions irremediably. Which group you join will depend exclusively on you.

“The Tree of Life” is, overall, a unique piece of cinema and a visual feast for your eyes. It is a necessary film that reconciles you with humanity, because it shows you the beauty and the nature about life. “The Tree of Life” is a beautifully long visual poem.

Author Bio: Pedro Morata is an aspiring filmmaker, but above all things, he is just a normal guy who is very passionate about film. He enjoys Asian films, especially cinema from Hong Kong. His favorite films are Drive, Chungking Express and Taxi Driver. You can follow him on twitter: @PeterPayne9.

 

 

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  • Abhishek

    Agree with every option but I think Munich got the deserved love. Didn’t it?

    • Ricardo Correia

      By awards maybe, by the public no

      • Jasper Sapien.

        Didn’t really rock the arab world.

    • Yes

  • Mortimer

    A bit strange to see ‘The Tree of Life’ on the same list with ‘Godzilla’ and ‘Last Action Hero’.

    • colonelkurtz

      It seems the list took a brief lapse for a few movies. The top five choices are all fairly disappointing. They’re either bad movies or do get plenty of recognition, at least within the right circles.

  • Amor Asad

    What is there to recognize Star-ship Troopers for? Lots of Cringe?

  • David

    Silence (2016), Victoria (2015), 99 Homes (2015), The Age of Innocence (1993), and The Game (1997).

  • Kosta Jovanovic

    Enter the void?

  • Ricardo Correia

    Watchmen and Godzilla are stupid picks

    • sailor monsoon

      Do you come here just to bitch?

  • ‘Starship Troopers’, you’ve got to be kidding.

  • grootrm

    Good list of movies with a common attribute.

  • AmazingAmy

    Under the skin
    White Material
    I Am Love
    Code Unknown
    Mud
    The Immigrant ( every James Gray film tbh)
    Birth
    Fountain

    • Yes, except the critically lauded Under The Skin.
      Replace Mud with Take Shelter or Shotgun Stories (two superior Nichols flicks)

  • Movies on here I have issue with selecting:
    *Sunshine – is an underrated movie, yes, but it is good, and certainly not great
    *Starship Troopers – made over $120M upon release, and has gained a cult following 20 years later
    *Last Action Hero – c’mon
    *Tree Of Life – the same film that is mentioned on every third “great” film list (including ToC)?
    *Munich – $120M+ at box office, and from Wikipedia: “In 2017, the film was named the sixteenth ‘Best Film of the 21st Century So Far’ by The New York Times”

    • I write for a living and understand how difficult it can be to churn content out, and I am always fair and defensive of the writers on here (who I know don’t get paid much), but there IS an editor here and this list should have been better vetted.

      • Pedro Morata Rigueras

        Hi Brandon, i know what you mean and you put some valid points, but i should have clarified more why i chose the films on the list before naming them.

        Of course, on some moviegoer circles some of these films are loved, get recognition and have a cult following, but my main point is that the majority of the main audience rejects films like The Tree of Life and Starship Troopers, calling them either boring, empty and pretentious; or either silly, stupid and cringe worthy. Tree of Life for example is a much talked film over the past years, of course, and a lot of people love it; but I’m amazed at the amount of people I’ve shown this movie to and they’ve found it meaningless and boring. Or simply talking about Tree of Life in a conversation, and the only person to defend it is you. And take Last Action Hero for example. I love it, and i know some other people who love that movie and are beloved film fans. A lot of people on the comments section hate it, and yo dont like it either as i can see. One of the beautiful things of art and film in general is to see and discuss different points of view on something. If everyone liked the same things and there was no variety of opinions, all this would be too boring.

        I storngly belive that the only objective thing to say about a film is the runtime, aspect ratio, frames per second, format, etc etc. All the rest is totally subjective, although we try not to believe it.

        Thanks for commenting and sharing your opinion.

        • Vincenzo Politi

          I disagree. There are ways to find out which movies did not get the recognition they deserve “objectively”. You can look at the box office or at what critics said. Instead, it seems like you have written a list about “the movie that don’t get the recognition they deserve from my friends and the people I talk to”. The Tree of Life received the Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival: that is, the top prize in the most important film festival in the WORLD. How can you say that movie didn’t get the recognition it deserved???

          • Pedro Morata Rigueras

            Okay, when i talk about “recognition” in the article, i don’t talk about box office or awards, i mean mainly about the audience perception. I still remember when Tree of Life hit theatres on my country. Many people felt cheated. Literally, they wanted their money back, and many people still think that way when they watch that film. Yes, that film received the Palme d?Or at Cannes, but that doesn’t change how many people feel about the movie. And when i mentioned the fact of talking with friends or people in general about the film, i meant it simply as an anectode and a particular fact. And i dont mean just random people, but people that really love film that make a living working in film festivals or in the film industry in some way.

            One of my options for the list that didn’t made it was BvS. That movie crushed it at the box office and is one of the most highest grossing films of all time (rank 51 i think it made), and i still believe is somewhat misunderstood and didn’t recieve enough recognition (critically speaking). it didnt made the list because it is a recent movie and i didn’t want to start a war xD (with all the hate that BvS brings). But again, in the article i meant about subjetctive matters such as how people feel about those films, rather than awards and box office.

          • Vincenzo Politi

            I am one of those who utterly disliked The Tree of Life, but I can’t say it did not receive recognition from the public. Perhaps, European audiences are different from the USA audience, because all my friends actually love that movie.

          • Pedro Morata Rigueras

            Maybe. Just looking at film itself, Hollywood cinema is different in style from European cinema.
            I had a teacher in film school that liked to trash the film and told us that the only film that he wasnt able to finish was the tree of life. And all the friends who i showed the film to, either they fell asleep or they did not like it 🙁

          • Vincenzo Politi

            “Just looking at film itself, Hollywood cinema is different in style from European cinema” — by the way, the Tree of Life IS an American movie, not European. I don’t think there’s too much difference between many Hollywood and European movies: there are many comedies, dramas and romances which are very similar. There is a lot of ignorance of Americans toward anything produced outside the States, that’s true. Also, I must side with your teacher on the assessment of the Tree of Life, LOL. However, all my friends strangely loved that one.

  • Xeno

    I’m sorry, this website used to be a great resource for me years ago and I really am very grateful for all the great movies I discovered here. But I feel like tasteofcinema is turning into yet another generic, thoughtless movie-ranking website. Like, take this list for example. I don’t know about all of the movies mentioned, but:

    – Perfect Blue: One of the most famous anime movies of all time. It is also widely regarded as one of the best movies of it’s genre ever made.
    – Enter the Void: One of the best known movies of Gaspar Noe, who is himself an extremely well known director.
    – Munich: Did great at the box office. Maybe not Spielberg’s most famous movie, still incedibly popular.
    – Starship Troopers: Regarded as a cult movie by many, many fans of the genre.
    – Watchmen: Also very well known, even by people who absolutely hate the genre. (Like me)
    – Godzilla (2014): 500 million at box office.
    – The Tree of Life: There’s no way you haven’t heard about this movie if you’re even remotley interested in cinema. There are a ton of people who praise Malick as some kind of modern-cinema-messiah.

    I mean. Come on.