Recommended Smaller, Overlooked or Underrated Movies in the Redbox Kiosks
Neil Jordan’s ethereal tale of an Irish fisherman (Colin Farrell) and the mysterious woman he plucks from the sea (Alicja Bachleda) is one of those low-key films that slowly soaks in and then lingers with you for weeks afterwards. As I said in my review, it’s a “sensual, atmospheric fable for grown-ups” that “across achingly lovely coastlines and cozy, rustic homes, enraptures and entraps you in its spell.”
A warning–Zac Efron and Claire Danes’ romantic storyline does muddy up Richard Linklater’s tale of Orson Welles and his Mercury Theater’s ground-breaking 1937 production of Julius Ceasar. But get past that and you’ll be rewarded with a wonderfully irresistible tale of genius and ego, rich with theater history and electrified by Christian McKay’s note-perfect performance as the bold, brash, infuriating tyro Welles. (I’ve adopted his cry of “I am Orson Welles and every single one of you stands here as an adjunct to my vision!” as my new personal motto.)
Greenberg, starring Ben Stiller and the fantastic Greta Gerwig is a hard sell–it’s a prickly, sometimes off-putting “comedy” of human failings that laudably strips Stiller of his funny-man defenses. Still, for those viewers seeking an emotionally challenging (and rewarding) experience, Greenberg is “one of those painfully honest, cathartic films that gets right under your skin.”
When this rough and raw piece of three-chord punk came out last spring it was marketed on the popularity of stars Kristen Stewart (as Joan Jett) and Dakota Fanning (as Cheri Curry). Also tuning in were music lovers familiar with the Runaway’s rise, fame, and inevitable rock-n-roll fall in the ’70s. But if you have no problem with The Runaways‘ gritty, gleeful vulgarity, here’s a third good reason to check it out: Those discovering the greatness of Michael Shannon on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire this fall will love his no-sleaze-barred performance as manager-Svengali Kim Fowley.