Important Note: These are my older reviews. Reviews since mid-December of 2007 are at http://greatbutforgotten.blogspot.com.
I see a lot of movies. Some big hits, some not so. And in among them are a few gems that have either been forgotten by time, or were forgotten from the start. Everything is a crapshoot, and sometimes a very deserving film never quite catches on. I wanted to take a little time to commemorate the best I've seen.
I had originally conceived this as a one-shot article listing a few movie favorites. But as I look through my list of films, I realize the task is a lot bigger. It quickly became an ongoing series of capsule reviews of movies that deserve better than they got. I also started thinking about TV shows and musicians that deserve to be remembered. There are plenty of fine movies, TV, and CDs that have been overlooked, and I wanted to commemorate them.
All These Women — Slapstick comedy. By Ingemar Bergman. Really.
American Flagg! (Comic) — In a dystopian future, only Reuben Flagg can hold things together!
Best Boy — Heartwarming documentary about a retarded man learning to live life.
Black Moon — Louis Malle's mysterious film.
Bob (TV) — Bob Newhart as a mild mannered comic book artist, in a show killed by its network
Brassed Off — British comedy about music and coal mining.
Brewster McCloud — Robert Altman comedy about a man who tries to fly.
Brute Force — 40s prison break movie with Hume Cronyn as the sadistic guard.
The Body Snatcher — Boris Karloff as the title character, one of film's great performances.
The Carpet Makers — Truly great SF novel about the mysteries of a galactic empire.
Comfort and Joy — Quirky gang war comedy set in Glasgow, Scotland.
Cry Uncle! — The raunchiest sex comedy ever.
Cobb — Tommy Lee Jones as one of baseball's great psychotics.
The Court Jester — "The pellet with the poison's in the flagon with the dragon."
Days of Heaven — The most beautiful movie ever made.
Deathwatch — Harvey Keitel in the ultimate in reality TV
The Doberman Gang — Better Than It Has Any Right to Be film about robbing banks using dogs
The Duck Factory (TV) — Very young Jim Carrey in TV series about a cartoon studio.
East Side Story — Fun Documentary about Marxist movie musicals. Really.
Ella Enchanted — Delightful postmodern fairy tale with Anne Hathaway
Emitt Rhodes (music) — The American Paul McCartney
The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T — Live Action Dr. Seuss from the 50s.
Flower Drum Song — Not politically correct any more, but a fine musical.
Flying Blind (TV) — Romantic sitcom that made Tea Leoni into a star.
Force of Evil — Sophisticated 40s film noir about the numbers racket and organized crime.
God, the Devil, and Bob (TV) — James Garner as God in this animated treasure.
Hear My Song — Charming British comedy.
Hearts of the West — The wild west was not like in the movies.
The Heartbreak Kid (1972) — A man on his honeymoon has a change of plan.
The Heckler (comics) — Part superhero, part Bugs Bunny, one of the oddest comics ever.
Hoodwinked — Witty animated retelling of Red Riding Hood.
It Came from Outer Space — Science fiction classic in 3-D.
Jean de Florette/Manon of the Spring — Superb French tragedy.
The Last Waltz — Greatest rock concert film ever.
Little Voice — A shy girl with an amazing voice.
Lost in La Mancha — How a great movie doesn't get made.
Magic — A young Anthony Hopkins as a ventriloquist who isn't sure of his sanity.
Max — "What if" film about a Jewish art dealer who befriends a young Adolph Hitler.
Medium Cool — Politics, Protest, and the press in the 60s.
Million Dollar Legs — Wild, absurdist 30s movie comedy.
Movie Movie — Delightful pastiche of 30s movies -- and two movies in one!
Mother Night — Fine adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut novel
My Bodyguard — How to deal with a bully -- and look who's in it!
Neighbors — The neighbors from hell.
NBC Experiment in Television — Quality TV plays and documentaries, commercial free.
Once a Hero (TV) — A superhero for the Real World.
The Onion Field — Realistic police drama, with James Woods at his best.
Picking Up the Pieces — Woody Allen as Tex. Sharon Stone as his wife.
Putney Swope — "Rockin' the boat's a drag. You gotta sink the boat!"
Resurrection — Ellen Burstyn as a woman who can work miracles.
Return to Oz — Dark sort-of sequel of the classic -- and still pretty good.
Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles — Chinese film about fathers and sons.
Saboteur — Hitchcock classic that was a trial run for North by Northwest.
The Sandbaggers (TV) — British spy series that shows the less glamorous side of spying.
Scarface — The original classic gangster film by Howard Hawks.
Screen Door Jesus — Faith and humor in a Texas town.
The Smallest Show on Earth — Charming British comedy about running a movie theater.
Star Cops (TV) — Intelligent BBC hard science fiction/mystery series
Stevie — An intriguing look into the life of a smart woman poet.
Support Your Local Sheriff! — Terrific comedy western with James Garner.
The Stunt Man — Peter O'Toole as a mad film director in a great film about moviemaking.
The Tall Blond Man With One Black Shoe — Long title, very funny spy spoof.
Targets — Boris Karloff as an aging horror actor facing real horror.
The Tenant — The best horror film ever.
Truly Madly Deeply — A love story from beyond the grave -- done right.
200 Motels — Glorious mess from the mind of Frank Zappa.
VR.5 (TV) — Great science fiction TV series about virtual and not-so-virtual reality.
War with the Newts (book) — Great SF satire by an author better known for a much lesser work.
The Well — A film ahead of its time.
Wish You Were Here (TV) — TV comedy series about a man and his camcorder