Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Underrated '96 - This Cinematic Life ""

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Underrated '96 - This Cinematic Life

'Becca'lise and Craig run the delightful site THIS CINEMATIC LIFE which you should absolutely check out and follow along with on Twitter(@Cinematic_Life) and Instagram (@thiscinematiclife)
Website is here:

'Becca'lise's 5

This French film is noteworthy for the exceptional performance by its four year old leading lady Victoire Thivisol. The prayer scene alone, completely out of context, reduces me to tears. 

Waiting for Guffman 
Endlessly quotable and ridiculously funny, this “mockumentary” by director Christopher Guest easily holds its own against his better known films Best in Show and A Mighty Wind. It has all the same familiar faces from his other films, as hilarious as ever.

The Eighth Day (Le huitième jour)
I haven’t seen this since high school, but this story of an unlikely friendship between a salesman and a man with Down Syndrome really stuck with me. The fantasy/dream-like  sequences in particular are really special. 

The Craft
Okay, this movie is kinda crazy and a little terrible. But it’s a fun escapist little film for those who like to revisit the 90s with teens a little less perky. Also worth watching for Fairuza Balk’s commitment to her crazy-eyes. 

James and the Giant Peach
I love children’s films that have a darkness to them, which is exactly what you get from Roald Dahl and director Henry Selick (whose credits include two of my favorite dark kid’s films: Coraline and The Nightmare Before Christmas). It’s weird, it has heart, and one heck of a cast; Joanna Lumley and Miriam Margolyes are especially fun as James’s sadistic aunts.

Craig's 5

A Time to Kill
While having a great cast and being based on compulsively readable source material is certainly an asset, it doesn't necessarily mean your movie is going to turn out great. Look how thoroughly Brett Ratner screwed up Red Dragon! People love to shit on Schumacher for Batman & Robin, but he's actually a capable filmmaker. Let us also not forget that this film gave us the immortal Sam Jackson line-reading of, "YES THEY DESERVED TO DIE, AND I HOPE THEY BURN IN HELL!"

Mars Attacks!
Saw this in a mall, by myself and laughed my ass off. I had just turned 13. Based on the film and the source material, I'm pretty certain that Tim Burton was channeling his inner tween when he made this. The general vibe here is that everyone sucks and very few people deserve to live. Perfect middle school punk. Just transgressive enough. 

Grace of My Heart
Allison Anders' love letter to female singer-songwriters isn't so much "underrated" as it is absolutely forgotten. I'm well aware that this industry is not kind to female filmmakers, but with Scorsese shepherding it, this film should have at least got some awards traction! Yet not even an Oscar nod for "God Give Me Strength" as Best Original Song! Also notable as one of the few non-Marty features to be edited by the great Thelma Schoonmaker. 

Some might call this film "masturbatory" and I think Steven Soderbergh would agree with them. In fact, this film features a few scenes of Soderbergh's character compulsively masturbating. I don't think it gets much plainer than that.

When you watch it, it makes total sense. When you try to describe it to someone you sound like a crazy person. The jury at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival had to invent an award for it. It's one of those films where you just have to get in and take the ride.

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