(This article is part of our Best of the Decade series.)
What makes a movie underrated? In a literal sense, a good movie with overwhelming poor reviews is underrated. But there’s more to it than that. There can be movies that are fairly well received, and yet, they feel unloved; ignored; overlooked. So when it came time to compile a list of the most underrated movies of the decade, I decided not to just focus on the titles I felt deserved better reviews, but also films that deserved more love; more attention. Movies that were viewed by wide audiences, and yet were misunderstood. As the 2010s end, it’s time to give these movies their due. They’re presented below alphabetically.
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The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.
In this edition, watch a comparison of the storyboards for the Death Star trench run from Star Wars: A New Hope to the actual sequence in the film. Plus, a wildlife expert breaks down animal scenes from movies like Jaws, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Jumanji, and others. And finally, Tig Notaro tries to figure out who Tony Shalhoub is in a new edition of Under a Rock. Read More »
Thanks to Marvel Studios, fans have started to stick around more often after the credits, or at least a flashy closing credits sequence, to make sure there isn’t some secret scene to catch. But there have been plenty of post-credits scenes that played the big screen far before Iron Man ever teased the assemble of The Avengers back in 2008.
And now a new video takes a look back at 10 post-credits scenes that you may have never seen. For example, Bill Murray is a riot in Zombieland, but did you know there’s one more tidbit with the Ghostbusters star spouting off a classic line from Caddyshack at the end of the credits of the horror comedy? Check out that and nine other post-credits scenes you may have missed below, but beware of spoilers for the end of the movie in order to explain the context. Read More »
Read part one of our Joe Carnahan interview here, in which we primarily discussed Stretch and Death Wish.
Below is the second part of our interview with director Joe Carnahan. The director recently won the the Mendez Award at the Maryland International Film Festival-Hagerstown and took the occasion to offer both updates on his career and thoughts about the current state of Hollywood.
In this section, we talk about potential alternative distribution models for Stretch, what’s going on with his Mark Millar comic book adaptation Nemesis, his admiration for Steven Soderbergh, his hatred of the foreign sales model and the dark side of the Hollywood business model. Read More »
With the arrival of December, awards season is in full swing, and usually that just means limited releases of some big new films, to establish them as Oscar contenders. And so a film like Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty will open in New York and LA on December 21, but won’t go wide until January 11.
But we also see the occasional re-release, meant to remind Academy voters that films are worth considering for awards. And so December 7 sees two films re-opening, the better to angle for Oscar. Open Road is doing a nationwide re-release of David Ayer‘s End of Watch, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña as LA cops. And as the following tweet shows, Joe Carnahan‘s The Grey is getting a two-week run at two LA-area theaters:
Granted, Carnahan’s film, starring Liam Neeson as one of a team of roughnecks stranded in the Alaskan wilderness, has been on DVD for months; you can even stream it on Netflix right now. But it’s a solid film, and I’m happy to see it get a small shot at awards recognition.
This week, Dave, Devindra, and Adam chat about this year’s Oscar nominations and point out how Warner Brothers continues to try and screw over its customers.
You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. There won’t be any live broadcast next week on account of the Super Bowl, but we will be reviewing Chronicle.
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In another time, The Grey would have been considered a b-movie, but it would have been the best sort of b-movie: one made with a clever craftman’s skill, pulsing with an insistent tension and featuring familiar characters that grow beyond stock types as they reveal their true personalities.
The temptation now is to simply refer to The Grey as an action movie. The film is about a man named Ottway (Liam Neeson) who, with a crew of roughnecks on their way back to civilization from a remote oil field job, crash lands in the Alaskan wilderness, where a pack of wolves stalks the survivors to the last man.
As directed by Joe Carnahan, however, The Grey is also the antithesis of the action-movie template. Most action films exist explicitly to reject death — consider “death-defying stunts,” that clichéd huckster’s pitch — and in doing so define an existence in which reality and death are marginalized by the expression of a blind, inextinguishable will to live.
Carnahan’s last film, The A-Team, was very much cut from that broad action-movie mold. This one, however, could not be further removed from The A-Team‘s bluster and bravado. Here, Carnahan employs a fine-tuned instinct for revealing character through action, and directs with a feeling of stability atypical to most action movies. But amid this movie’s thrilling beats he places scenes characterized by serene compassion. The Grey is an exiting movie that captures the roughnecks’ walk through an icy valley of the shadow of death. It is also a film that accepts human fragility, and suggests that finding faith is a natural step in facing our inevitable end. Read More »
January movies are usually terrible. It’s a time studios generally reserve for films that are either not good enough to compete during awards seasons or not exciting enough to play during the summer. Every once in a while, though, a really great one slips through the cracks and that happens this month with Joe Carnahan‘s The Grey. In a way, though, it does fit the January mold though because it’s not quite an awards film, but too heady for the summer. Plus it’ll make you feel really cold.
The Grey follows Liam Neeson and a group of blue collar workers whose plane crashes over Alaska. They’re then forced to survive in the freezing wilderness along with a pack of vicious wolves. The film blends elements of action, horror, drama and even romance in an all-together satisfying and bad-ass package. I mean, did you not see the trailer with Neeson fighting wolves with broken bottles on his hands?
/Film spoke to the film’s writer/director Joe Carnahan about the origins of that scene (hint: Wolverine) as well as parallels between the film and Neeson’s real-life tragedy, working with a small, up and coming distributor and how online media is changing the way filmmakers make movies. Read about it all after the jump. Read More »
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Joe Carnahan‘s new film The Grey opens this week, and the movie is a return to the early promise of Carnahan’s movie Narc, which was released in 2004. The Grey is a solid little movie that combines familiar characters with tense action and survival situations, and it should do pretty well with audiences. And if the movie does click with the public, we might see it back in theaters late this year, the better to position it for possible awards. Read More »
Joe Carnahan‘s adventure/survival film The Grey opens this week, and a new red-band trailer has shown up to promote the movie in the final days before the movie hits. You probably know most of the basic info about the movie: Liam Neeson plays one of a group of roughnecks heading back to civilization from a remote Alaskan job who has to confront a hungry and vicious pack of wolves when a plane crash strands the men in the middle of nowhere.
The film became internet-famous for the teaser trailer’s shot of Liam Neeson taping broken bottles to his knuckles in preparation for a battle with one of the wolves, but there’s more to the movie than that. I liked The Grey quite a lot — it is a solid, satisfying B-movie that has just enough subtext to overcome the fact that the attacking wolves are, well, a little dodgy.
This red-band trailer will give you a taste of the film’s full spectrum of intensity and violence. Check it out below. Read More »