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Here are the Top Movies You Never Watched But Should, continued.
5. ‘Meet Joe Black’ (1998)
‘Meet Joe Black’ is a fantasy drama inspired by ‘Death Takes a Holiday’ (1934) about Death (Brad Pitt) inhabiting the body of a handsome man and shadowing a wealthy media mogul Bill Parish (Anthony Hopkins). Bill’s sixty-fifth birthday is coming up and he was scheduled to die, but Death, who is given the name Joe Black to blend in with other people, promises to let him live a few more days if he shows him what life is like as a human being. During his journey, Joe falls in love with Bill’s lovely youngest daughter Susan (Claire Forlani) and she falls in love with him, causing bad blood between Joe and Bill and complicating all of their lives even further.
The film showcases one of Brad Pitt’s best performances as Joe, struggles with understanding the simplest emotions and later the more complex ones, especially love. The love story sets up a beautiful, heartbreaking examination of each character and how they are affected by Joe’s sudden intervention in their lives, though only Bill knows his true identity. The phenomenal supporting cast populates the film with a great spread of characters and everything is set to a sweet yet haunting soundtrack.
4. ‘Batman: Mask of the Phantasm’ (1993)
‘Batman: Mask of the Phantasm’ is an animated film born from the award-winning cartoon ‘Batman: The Animated Series.’ It tells the tale of a mysterious entity called the Phantasm who appears in Gotham City and starts killing several crime bosses. Batman (Kevin Conroy), who is currently under fire from the new district attorney, starts investigating the murders and bumps into his first love, Andrea Beaumont (Dana Delany).
The two become entangled once again as he suspects her father is responsible for the murders. Things become even more complicated when one of the crime bosses who fears he is next to be killed hires the Joker to kill the Phantasm, creating even more danger for the Dark Knight and the city he protects.
‘Mask of the Phantasm’ is critically acclaimed and beloved by fans of Batman, but the general public has little exposure to the animated adventures of the Caped Crusader. While Christopher Nolan’s adaptation of the character is nothing short of genius, ‘Mask of the Phantasm’ deserves just as much praise for handling Bruce Wayne with such care. The film, like the cartoon series, deals with many mature subjects that appeal to adults while still being entertaining enough for younger audiences. Furthermore, it is beautifully animated and features a powerful soundtrack.
3. ‘Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas’ (2003)
‘Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas’ is an animated adventure film about a pirate, Sinbad (Brad Pitt) who wants to steal the Book of Peace, a magical book that wields untold power, a noble prince of Syracuse, Proteus (Joseph Fiennes), who wants to protect it, Proteus’ beautiful fiancée, Marina (Catherine Zeta Jones), and the evil goddess Eris, who also wants to steal the book to cause chaos among the kingdom.
Unfortunately, the film came out right around the time when most animated films were switching to 3D rather than the traditional 2D and so it did not perform well, but the box office does nothing to reflect the quality of the film.
Its strength comes from the talented voice work of Brad Pitt, Catherine Zeta Jones, and Joseph Fiennes, the thrilling adventures the characters undertake, and the fantastic script that switches from hilarious to heartwarming with relative ease. Fans of animated film ‘The Road to El Dorado’ (2000) will find immediate kinship with the movie as it has a similar tone and attention to detail with its animation and well-rounded characters.
2. ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’ (2005)
‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’ is a crime noir comedy about small time crook Harry Lockhart (Robert Downey Jr) who accidentally stumbles into a role as an actor and is flown off to Hollywood to consult with Perry van Shrike, aka “Gay Perry” (Val Kilmer), a snarky private investigator. While in LA, Harry bumps into his high school crush, Harmony Lane (Michelle Monaghan), whose sister is murdered and she asks for his help to solve the case. Harry agrees and the three become embroiled in two violent murder cases that are more related than they think.
The film is a dark comedy that pays tribute to the classic crime noir stereotypes but remains self-aware throughout, featuring wicked humor from Downey Jr. and Kilmer, as well as a fast paced, action heavy plot that keeps the audience guessing. The chemistry between Downey Jr. and Kilmer is its true selling point and the script is nothing short of brilliant.
1. ‘Lucky Number Slevin’ (2006)
‘Lucky Number Slevin’ is an action thriller about a down-on-his-luck guy named Slevin Kelevra (Josh Hartnett) who goes to visit his friend Nick Fisher and is mistaken for him by two warring crime bosses, The Boss (Morgan Freeman), and The Rabbi (Ben Kingsley). He is recruited by The Boss to kill The Rabbi’s son and then forced to come up with a huge amount of money by the Rabbi. The Boss and the Rabbi also hire an assassin named Mr. Goodkat (Bruce Willis) who suggested forcing Nick Fisher, whom they mistake Slevin for, to take each other out. Meanwhile, Slevin bumps into Nick’s sweet neighbor, Lindsey (Lucy Liu), and the two slowly fall for each other while Slevin tries to figure out how to stay alive in the middle of all the chaos.
‘Slevin’ is simply the kind of film that gets everything right. The casting, the action, the humor, the cinematography, and the dialogue are all sublime, perfect, and unforgettable. There is something here for everyone—comedy, action, adventure, mystery, and a truly sweet love story. Furthermore, its ending is by far one of the most amazing, unpredictable ways to finish a film in years.
Do yourself a favor: check these films out. You won’t regret it.