Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Underrated '98 - Todd Liebenow ""

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Underrated '98 - Todd Liebenow

Todd writes about neglected cinema at his blog Forgotten Films, which I am a big fan of:
http://forgottenfilmcast.wordpress.com/
He also runs a great podcast about those kind of movies there too and I was a guest on the show (talking about MIDNIGHT MADNESS):
https://forgottenfilmcast.wordpress.com/2016/01/25/forgotten-filmcast-ep-65-midnight-madness/
Todd also has another podcast called "Walt Sent Me" all about Disney films:
http://waltsentmepodcast.podomatic.com/

Lastly, find him on twitter here:
https://twitter.com/ForgottenFilmz
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A Bug’s Life
It seems strange to consider a Pixar film as “underrated,” but somehow the studio’s second effort often gets overlooked when looking back at their movies. When watching this film it’s still thrilling to see the advances that Pixar made between Toy Story and this. Beyond the technical aspects, though, the film features a charming story full of wonderful characters brought to life by a stellar voice cast. It remains one of my favorite adaptations of the Seven Samurai plotline.
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The Gingerbread Man
An unusual entry in Robert Altman’s filmography. It’s based on a discarded manuscript by John Grisham, so it doesn’t get the same kind of love as some of the author’s other works. Though it has some hiccups (ie Kenneth Branagh not quite selling it as a southern-fried lawyer), the film certainly has a way of grabbing the viewer. Plus, I’m a sucker for anything having to do with Savannah, Georgia, and this film certainly captures the slightly eerie atmosphere of that city.
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Major League: Back to the Minors
Believe it or not, the third and final entry in the Major League series is not half bad. The connections to the first two films are slim, with only a few characters returning, but the rag-tag bunch of bush leaguers that make up the The Buzz do fine on their own. This includes Scott Bakula as the likable manager of the team, and an early role for Walton Goggins. It doesn’t knock it out of the park, but it’s a pleasant enough romp.
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Smoke Signals
An intriguing look at the lives of two young men growing up on the Coeur D’Alene Indian Reservation in Idaho. One, Thomas, is a happy-go-lucky, slightly quirky storyteller, while the other, Victor, is pretty much mad at the world. They go off on a road trip together to retrieve the ashes of Victor’s abusive and alcoholic father. It’s a look at the native american experience that we don’t often see. Plus, it introduced me to the concept of fry bread. So that’s a win.
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Overnight Delivery
Paul Rudd and Reese Witherspoon star in this road trip comedy that, though silly, is not without its charms. I’m sure my soft spot for cross-country films plays into my enjoyment of this flick. There’s also a certain novelty to seeing these two leads, who would eventually hit it big, in a film that was unceremoniously relegated to the realm of direct-to-video. Supposedly Kevin Smith worked on an early draft. Though he took his name off the credits, a bit of his style still comes through.
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