Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Underrated '97 - Sarah Jane ""

Friday, December 22, 2017

Underrated '97 - Sarah Jane

Over the years, Sarah Jane has seen over 5,200 movies. You can find her on Twitter at @fookthis. She writes three (count ‘em, three) columns over at, including Overlooked & Underseen, Saturday Afternoon Kaiju, and Sexcellent Sexploitation with Sarah Jane. You can also hear her giving recommendations on the Splathouse podcast. And, as always, she’s on Letterboxd as fookthis.

The Butcher Boy – Directed by Neil Jordan
Based on the novel The Butcher Boy by Patrick McCabe, this stars Stephen Rea and Eamonn Owens as fucked up father and son. Owens plays Francie Brady a 12 year old who dreams of the American West and also gets into a lot of trouble. He’s looked after by his trumpet playing Da, Benny. Da is too busy drinking and messing around to care what Frankie gets up to in town. Francie continues to spiral out of control until his brutality reaches a fever pitch. There’s even a little treat towards the end with a very special angel. It’s pretty dark so be warned.
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Donnie Brasco – Directed by Mike Newell
Based on a true story, Johnny Depp (yeah, I know but this movie is good, damnit!) stars as FBI Special Agent Joseph D. Pistone who goes undercover as “Donnie Brasco” to infiltrate the Bonanno crime family in the 1970s. Among the men he gets close to is Benjamin "Lefty" Ruggiero played by Al Pacino. Lefty begins to think of Brasco like a son and the two become close. Pistone begins to neglect his wife (Anne Heche) and children as he pulled in deeper and deeper into his “new” family. Pacino is absolutely fantastic in this as is Depp. Both are at the top of their game here, maybe for the last time. Michael Madsen, Bruno Kirby, and James Russo co-star. I’m not sure why this one seems to be forgotten but do yourself a favor and check it out.
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Selena – Directed by Gregory Nava
Oh my God, Selenas! I adore this movie. Whenever I would come across it on television, no matter where it was in its run time, I would watch it until the end. Jennifer Lopez embodies the super star Tejano singer, Selena Quintanilla-Perez, as we follow her life from childhood right up until she’s murdered by the president of her fan club, Yolanda Saldíva (Lupe Ontiveros). Really, it’s a great film and should be seen by everyone. Even if you’re not a fan of her music, you’ll be a fan of this movie.
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The Ice Storm – Directed by Ang Lee
Based on the Rick Moody book of the same name, The Ice Storm is about two kinda fucked up families, The Hoods and the Carvers, in Connecticut in 1973. The film takes place during Thanksgiving weekend. A parent from one family is having an affair with the other, the kids are playing “doctor” with each other, key parties are happening, it’s all one big dysfunctional mess. The stellar ensemble cast includes Sigourney Weaver, Kevin Kline, Tobey Maguire, Joan Allen, Christina Ricci, Elijah Wood, and Katie Holmes. This one, like Donnie Brasco, is a forgotten gem. And, as is most of the stuff on this list, it’s not a “feel good” movie so maybe not the best thing to show the family over the holidays. It’s definitely worth a watch, though.
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Nil by Mouth – Directed by Gary Oldman
What, you didn’t know Oldman was a director? Well, you do now. This bleak as fuck movie stars Ray Winstone in a brilliant performance as a working class husband with an extra violent temper. Kathy Burke plays Winston’s poor wife, who feels the brunt of all of his anger. Oldman’s own sister, Laila Morse co-stars. Whatever you do, don’t watch this if you’re already feeling down because this movie will just make you feel even worse.
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