wonder woman

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition: the best lead female action stars in movies you may have missed!)

Wonder Woman hits the big screen this week, and I’m happy to report that it’s quite good. It’s also the first modern solo effort for a female superhero, and while that’s fantastic news – albeit long overdue – it’s far from the first female-led action picture. Women have been kicking butts onscreen for decades, and they’ve headlined plenty of terrific action movies along the way including Aliens, Kill Bill, and The Long Kiss Goodnight just to name a few. There’s always room for more though, which is why it’s so damn great when a Rita Vrataski, Imperator Furiosa, or Wonder Woman comes along.

For every well-known female performer who lands a role as a strong, action-capable character in a big-budget blockbuster-to-be, there are a typically a few who slip under the radar in smaller, lower profile films. They get less attention, but truth be told, these lesser-known action stars (female or male) in lower-budgeted movies have to work harder to be noticed and often deliver far more memorable action sequences as a result. The trick is getting people to see them… and that’s where this week’s column comes in. Keep reading for a look at six bone-crunching action movies with female leads (doing the bone crunching) that you’ve probably missed.

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The Best Movie Monsters You’ve Never Seen

alien covenant

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition: some of the best movie monsters you may have missed!)

Ridley Scott has a new movie hitting theaters this week, and for those of us who love his 1979 sci-fi/horror classic Alien, that news is improved further by the knowledge that his latest is a new entry in the franchise. Of course, 2012’s Prometheus fit that very same bill, and we all know how that turned out. (Not terribly if you ask me, but let’s stay focused here.) Alien: Covenant may end up featuring equally stupid human characters, but judging by the trailers, it’s made at least one important improvement. It’s bringing back the fast-moving, wickedly dangerous, and endlessly terrifying xenomorphs (in some form or another) to wreak bloody havoc.

Through the franchise’s ups and downs the aliens themselves have remained some of the most beautifully nightmarish monsters to ever grace the screen, and if we’re being honest, few others come even close to comparing in the area of horrifyingly effective design. Still though, there’s no shortage of memorable movie monsters from the Graboids in Tremors and the river monster in The Host to the creepy subterranean killers in The Descent and the alien monstrosities of John Carpenter’s The Thing. These and others made the cut earlier this year right here on this very site.

But what of the frightening creatures in movies that maybe didn’t find a spot on that list or any other? The seven movies below aren’t nearly as well known, and they’re not all great necessarily (although I’d go to the mat for half of them), but the common thread between them is in the design and presentation of their monsters. Some are terrifying, some are fun, and others are darkly beautiful, but all of them deserve to be seen by more eyeballs.

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The Best Sci-Fi Comedies You’ve Never Seen

guardians of the galaxy 2

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition: some of the best sci-fi comedies you’ve never seen!)

A little movie called Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hits theaters this week, and while it’s a Marvel comic/superhero movie, it also looks to follow its predecessor in being a fairly funny comedy as well. The sci-fi/comedy sub-genre is one with a universe worth of material to have fun with, but it isn’t nearly as crowded as you might think. There are great ones (Back to the Future), bad ones (Morons from Outer Space), unintentional ones (Battlefield Earth), ones you think you love but haven’t actually seen recently enough to realize they’re actually terrible (The Ice Pirates), and, of course, the best one (Galaxy Quest).

You know what there aren’t a lot of though? Great ones that haven’t found the audience they deserve. So yes, this is probably the least collectively obscure of these columns so far, but hopefully there are at least a few on here you haven’t seen yet.

And with that it’s time to look at some lesser-known sci-fi comedies guaranteed to leave you laughing, giggling, or maybe just slightly smiling while you shake your head and wonder what the hell is wrong with this Hunter guy.

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best amnesia movies

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition: some of the best movies featuring amnesia or memory loss you’ve never seen… or may have just forgotten.)

A new movie called Unforgettable hits theaters this weekend starring Rosario Dawson and Katherine Heigl, and while it doesn’t appear to have anything to do with amnesia, audiences will probably be forgetting it as soon as they exit the theater. I kid. We love Rosario Dawson. 1996’s Unforgettable however, does involve ideas of memory. So now that we’ve established that incredibly tenuous connection for this week’s topic, let’s take a look at some great movies about memory loss!

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The 2012 Summer Olympics are in full swing and you know what that means: once again you are looking up the definition of the word “dressage.”

The sports film, when done right, can be one of the most exhilarating genres of all. And once you get past The Fighter, The Sandlot and Hoosiers you’ll find that there are more and more treasures out there. This list just scratches the surface of great, lesser-known movies out there whose subjects match events playing out in London over the next few weeks. Read More »

One time I inadvertently stole a Milky Way bar. I was at the Drug Fair and I wanted the candy but my mother said no. I got sad and started following her around and she said maybe. So I continued following her around and then next thing you know we were in the car and I had the candy bar but she hadn’t paid for it. Then she yelled at me and told me I could go to jail for that and I started to cry. After that – which happened to coincide with my 25th birthday – I never stole again.

If I was caught, however, I would know what to do, as I’ve seen plenty of movies about prisons. Here are eight that I think are somewhat obscure and deserve your attention. So grab your shiv and let’s go. Read More »

A great American city lays in waste. The odor of sweat, tears and Cheetoes still lingers, as do the crushed hopes of those who hit snooze one too many times instead of getting their butt on line. It will take one full year to recover.

That’s right friends – Comic-Con International, as no one calls it anymore, has just ended and your friends from SlashFilm were in San Diego in full force. We’re there every year, watching successes launch (yay Avengers) and witnessing disasters stumble (not-so-yay Terminator Salvation.)

Then there are other movies. Movies that coulda been a contender but, for whatever reason, just didn’t connect. Here are films that had a presence in San Diego that, we feel, should have been bigger hits. This week will be a little less obscure than usual, but we think it’ll still be fun. Read More »

We are in the heart of the heat of the summer and you are either crackin’ brews at the beach, cursing your life in a suit and tie wondering how the hell you got stuck in a soul-crushing corporate gig or loading the car with gas and snacks. Road trip!

As we close in on the 4th of July, my vacation of choice is always the open road – that most unique of American experiences. (Sure, they travel in other countries, but in Europe they go by commie international rail and/or by following bearded men with staffs into dark forests.) Before you rummage through your old wallet looking for that AAA card, here are some great road trip movies you probably haven’t seen. Read More »

“While Trixie’s distracting the guard, that’s just when I’ll be tunneling in from the fishmonger’s. Just be sure to drive by in the van at precisely the moment the clock strikes or we’ll all wind up in the hoosegow!”

Heist movies. I love ’em. And while they always remind us that crime doesn’t pay, there we are lining up to see another one. So grab your blueprints, safecracking gloves and false identities, here are some cinematic capers you may have missed.

PS – thanks to @MikeGarba for this week’s suggestion. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

This weekend brings us two opportunities to experience either joy or frustration, depending on what kind of life you lead. That’s My Boy comes out in theaters coinciding with Father’s Day. You can either laugh yourself silly and get the ol’ man a tie, or you can sublimate regret and remorse for another twelve months – it’s up to you.

I’m blessed enough to have a healthy relationship with my old man (and Adam Sandler) but, lucky for those of us who like a little drama, contentment isn’t always the case at the cinema. Therefore, this week we take a look at some of the more interesting (and somewhat obscure) takes of fatherhood on film. Read More »