January 23, 2010

Meg's Impromptu Movie List

My friend Sarah and I drove down to Denver together yesterday and talked about movies while we were bumming around at the Museum of Nature and Science.  I told her I'd send her a movie recommendation list when we got back. While I was typing it up I thought I'd throw it up here as well in case anyone else is looking for a good movie to watch.

The list is in no specific order, doesn't necessarily give a lot of detail, but these were all movies we'd rate pretty highly.
the movie we watched last night was very good (an academy award winner, apparently). it was called Departures.  it was about a cello player who changes professions and becomes a type of undertaken.

Kinamand was a good flick about a plumber who helps out a Chinese family.

The Dinner Game was a really twisted movie that you'd probably enjoy. They play a game in which the person who brings the stupidest guest wins. But the stupid guy finds out....

Chocolat was good. A little predictable, but still good.

The Children of Huang Shi was the one I told you about where the American guy helped move orphans to safety in China when the Japanese were attacking.

Kenny is hilarious! It's run like a documentary but I'm not sure that it is. It's about a guy that runs a port-a-potty business.

I Am David is about a 12 year old boy that escapes from a communist concentration camp. Might be a bit too much of the same old, but Rob recommended I add it to the list.  He liked it a lot.  (I did too, but it is sort of the WWII ethos carried forward a decade or so).

Be Kind Rewind was hilarious. They have to redo several big time movies on a low budget and it becomes a hit.

Son of Rambow was also hilarious. If I remember correctly it was kind of a coming of age movie. The movie making was fun. Touching ending.

The Lives of Others is the East German movie we talked about. But I think you said you'd seen that one?  Very good.

All Passion Spent was a film about an introvert trying to escape from her extroverted life after the death of her husband.

Spitfire Grill was an interesting movie about a gal trying to get her life back together after doing some prison time. Sad ending, though.

Bagdad Cafe is an older flick, but it was delightfully quirky. Rob didn't like it as much as I did.

Divided We Fall is one I mentioned about a couple that take in a former Jewish neighbor to protect him from the Nazis. A bit different than your average "save the jews from the nazis" kind of film both because the flick has more of a small town feel and because they throw in some communists for good measure. We both like this one.

Spring Forward is about two guys that work in the park system. It's not really a coming of age movie as much as it's a coming into maturity sort of movie.

If you've never watched Dear Frankie, that's one of our favorites. Heart breaking story with a nice ending.

Ones we watched with the kids:

The Ultimate Gift is one we watched as a family. It was a bit of a tearjerker but we all enjoyed it. 

October Sky was another good family movie (and included geeks who were being picked on but who turned out to be the heroes in the end).

Evelyn was another heartbreaking family movie. I think it unsettled the kids a little that the kids could be taken away. But the father's love was extraordinary and all the kids cheering at the end made the kids feel better.  Good flick. 

K-Pax is a classic.  I'm pretty sure we watched this with the kids. It's one of those sci-fi movies that kinda keeps you wondering.

Opal Dream was an interesting adventure tale in which the girl has two imaginary friends and you always kinda wonder in the back of your mind if they're real.


  1. wow, I didn't recognize most of those... I guess I am too mainstream. But there are a few I will look up...

  2. several are movies that i hadn't heard of either, but netflix recommended them based on how we've rated other movies. most of the time it's right on. we hit an east german flick about an angel falling in love with a mortal that was so drop dead boring we quit 1/4 of the way in, though. that was probably the only one that missed the bullseye.

  3. sarah's response in case you wanted even MORE movie suggestions: ;-)Thanks for your suggestions. I've seen some, have some of the others in my queue but many I haven't heard of. Let me try to return the favor:

    Best in Show Made by the same team who brought us "Spinal Tap" it's a pretend documentary about a dog show and their pooch-obsessed owners. Laught out loud funny.

    Air Guitar Nation another excruciatingly funny film. It really is an actual documentary, about the Air Guitar World Championships held in Finland (land where everyone wears black and blows cigarette smoke in great big puffs out their nostrils), during the year when the U.S. sends an especially strong contender who likes to ROCK OUT while wearing a Hello Kitty bathrobe. The best thing about this film, I've decided, is that although none of the competitors can actually play a guitar or sing, they don't really care or even (in extreme cases) seem to notice.

    Yi Yi a family drama in Taiwan; has some sad parts but very, very good

    Blood Simple the Coen Brothers' first film and my favorites of theirs (along with Raising Arizona) Film noir thriller set in Texas where everyone miscommunicates. Frances McDurmond in her first role.

    Hero One of my favorite martial arts films; conspiracies, love story, battles where one man fights off an entire army, and an anti-war message into the mix. Plus gorgeous choreogrpahy and colors. Oscar and Golden Globes nominations in 2002. Starring Jet Li.

    Repo Man If you haven't already heard of it...well, shame on you! Sci-fi collides with the LA punk rock scene of the early 1980's while a man-eating car prowls the freeways.

    Unstrung Heroes Who would have thought Andie McDowell could be so good playing a mother with terminal cancer? This could easily be a sloppy melodrama, told from point of view of her son, but it's not. Great family drama, based on a true story (boy grew up to be a sports writer)

    My Neighbors, the Yamadas Japanese animation, from the same studio that made Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke but more realistic. Especially watch for the power struggles between grandma and the mother, as well as the parents wailing and martyring over their son who doesn't do his homework, and what happens when you forget a kid at the mall and go home without her.

  4. i can't imagine rob liking it. maybe this will be one of my week night movies. i've been watching season 5 of Lost and it's increasingly depressing.

  5. i'm waiting till it gets to the cheap theater. it's expensive to drag 5 people to a first run flick.

  6. You have a cheap theater that's 3D?

  7. i don't know what version of 3D they'll use, but i'm pretty sure we saw a kids movie in 3D there. if not then oh well. i heard it was $15 a person to see it first run. i'm not up for paying $75 for a movie (not including food or drinks).

  8. JB added these to the list so I'm adding them here so I have the suggestions all in one place:"Couple of quirky but good ones . . .
    * Lars and the Real Girl
    * Henry Poole Is Here"

  9. The book of Chocolat is so much better than the film.

  10. We just started this one last night. I wasn't sure if I wanted to keep going, but if it made your list, I'll go back to it.

  11. it's rather slow moving, but i thought the story was sweet.

  12. I can't believe you girls didn't get Star Wars in there ;-)

    Seriously though, you missed out some real classics - how about Rear Window - (the original not that silly Christopher Reeve remake), Cinema Paradiso, or the Three Colours trilogy ?

  13. lol! the point isn't to pick the best of all time or the most popular. it's to find ones we've seen recently that the other might not have heard of. so star wars is out. (besides, eps 1 - 3 were Horrible. i almost didn't watch 3 at all, but my son made me do it. bleh. sooo not worth it. 4 - 6, of course, rock.)

    i haven't watched the original rear window in ages. don't know if i've ever seen cinema paradiso.

    you liked red, blue and white?!! (don't know if i've seen white. if i have, i've blocked it from my memory.) we went through a whole series of KieĊ›lowski films once, when a friend of ours was really into them. i found them all to be depressing. (which meant that rob mostly liked them.) you like depressing stuff, richard?

    the best mix for a movie that rob and i are going to watch together is depressing but funny. that way we both feel like we got something out of the flick. ;-)

  14. I have to say that I'm one of those rare fans of the original trilogy that actually likes the prequels. They get better after a second viewing (much like the original lot).

    i haven't watched the original rear window in ages. don't know if i've ever seen cinema paradiso.

    Rear Window is one of the few films I like watching on a regular basis. It's such a masterpiece, almost like a fine painting that needs close scrutiny to appreciate it fully. Cinema Paradiso is highly recommended - I think you woudl remember it if you'd seen it.

    you liked red, blue and white?!! (don't know if i've seen white. if i have, i've blocked it from my memory.)

    White is the one where the guy's wife divorces him and leaves him destitute and he has to claw his way back.

    i found them all to be depressing. (which meant that rob mostly liked them.) you like depressing stuff, richard?

    *You* found them depressing - not me. I don't like depressing things at all. I think of them (the 3 colours films) more as humanity without any gloss, with real people that you can really get your head around, a bit like the opposite of Disney.

  15. just found an old movie list i'd made. thought i'd throw these into the mix:

    ushpizen (israeli movie. even my mom liked it, which is really saying something.)
    everything is illuminated (not in the original list because sarah had said she already saw this one. very good movie.)
    the girl in the cafe i don't even really remember what this was about. but it's on the list so i'm including it here.
    to live excellent flick on china before, during and after the revolution. heart breaking.
    zhou zhou another chinese flick that will tear your insides out with sorrow. not for the faint hearted.


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