Let‘s carry on with our discussion of movies which like William Friedkin‘s „Sorcerer“ were underappreciated during their initial run but are rediscovered decades later as masterpieces.
Feel free to add your choices here, especially considering films which still deserve reappraisal, and make your case!
I am probably going to shot in the street for this opinion, but Batman & Robin is an enjoyable film. No, it’s not Citizen Kane, The Godfather or the Batman films made by Tim Burton or Christopher Nolan, but it’s FAR better than it’s reputation says and better than it’s predecessor and what has been added after The Dark Knight Trilogy.
I’ll go outside and wait for my execution
Could never execute you, I think Spectre is a masterpiece so…
I’m going to kick off with Junior Bonner, it’s lost between the nihilism of Straw Dogs and the Nostalgia of The Wild Bunch.
I think McQueen gives one of his best performances and the movie has a real independent feel to it. Family, change, honour all grand themes worn lightly.
I won´t shoot either because I actually liked BATMAN AND ROBIN back then and preferred it to the extremely noisy BATMAN FOREVER (Carrey and Jones to the max, while Goldenthal´s score tries to scream over them).
I haven´t seen BATMAN AND ROBIN since then, I must confess, but I remember it as being much more fun and light-hearted than the narrative nowhere of its predecessor.
As for the Snyder-era: I had the strangest reaction to BATMAN V SUPERMAN - at first I loved it, but on second viewing I was bored and hated it. After his JUSTICE LEAGUE I rather don’t want to revisit either.
Although, that may be the point of this whole thread: with passing years opinions may change…
Oh, and THE BATMAN, actually, while having its weaknesses, is the Batman movie I would rank just below the Nolan films. And the first Burton film, okay. BATMAN RETURNS, well, I did love it back then - but rewatching it I only enjoyed the Keaton/Pfeiffer scenes and found deVito´s Penguin boringly one note.
I have grown fonder of SPECTRE with repeated viewing - but a masterpiece? I would like to read your arguments…
Haven’t seen this one - will check it out!
Please don’t yell at me, but…
Here’s what I love about it:
- It explores new vistas for the franchise: brain damage, losing all his money, stepping into a mentor role to train the next generation fighter, navigating a tense relationship with his son, and the street fight are all NEW to the franchise and continue to accentuate the franchise’s theme of “the triumph of the human spirit.” All of these breathed new energy into a franchise which was at risk of becoming stale.
- All of the above gave Rocky a stronger emotional arc than arguably either of the previous two films did.
- Great emotional core and drama between the characters.
- Overall the acting and new characters are very solid (particularly Duke and Tommy Gunn), with the possible exception of Rocky’s son (who honestly isn’t as dreadful as he is sometimes made out to be).
- It has perhaps the most emotionally resonant scene in the entire franchise: the flashback to Mickey giving Rocky the necklace. And the payoff at the end during the final fight (“a voice whispering in your ear”) is glorious.
- The return of Avildsen as director, along with many of the story choices, resulted in this film reclaiming the feel of the original two films, something which had been lacking in Rocky III and IV (as much as I really enjoy them too).
- When viewed in the context of the franchise as a whole, this was the perfect arc for Rocky at this time and serves as the perfect contrast to his subsequent mentorship of Adonis in the Creed films.
In fact, if one were to take a broad look at the entirety of the Rocky-verse, the real outlier of the franchise is Rocky IV, which sometimes feels like little more than a prolonged montage that is light on plot and character development (although I do have a lot of nostalgia for that film).
So it might be a stretch to claim masterpiece status, but I think Oliver Stone’s Alexander biopic got unfairly treated upon its release, coming as it did at the tale end of the brief Gladiator inspired swords and sandals revival. Yes, the Macedonians all speaking in Irish accents is a choice, but it takes on a tremendous story that is truly epic in its scope with real gusto and the battle scenes are imo some of the best ever filmed. The Final Cut further improves the experience and beautifully captures Alexander’s descent into paranoia and despair. A great way to spend 3 hours!
I have never seen it, after being a big fan of Stone in the 80‘s and 90‘s. I should close the gap of the last decades of his movies.
I really recommend it: a truly great story in the safe hands of a great director!
I should rewatch this, too. And I agree, the brain damage idea is exactly what made this entry interesting and more realistic. They really tried to bring this down to earth after „Moonraker“-like over the top part 4.
Second StB’s selection of Junior Bonner.
As SAF started with Friedkin’s Sorcerer, I’ll go with another of his with To Live and Die in LA. Too often derided as redo of The French Connection or thrown away as an exercise in empties 80s Michael Mann worship (Miami Vice, Manhunter) - Friedkin gets career making performances out of Dafoe, Peterson and Pankow in a film that continues to crackle with the honest energy that its “predecessor” had.
I suspect that if it had been made by a different director it might have had a wider reputation - instead it’s hurt that for many critics they felt it was the director ripping himself off.
… and that car chase! How could Friedkin achieve that? No CGI, folks.
It had a good script (you can watch V directly after the first one without a problem), but after III and IV the boxing scenes where not exciting enough…they where not as raw as in the first two and everything looked a bit cheap…
Clooney was the best Bruce Wayne by a mile…
Very good Neo-Western and what a great performance by Robert Preston (second best after Victor/Victoria)…
007 as a horror film, it’s structured like apocalypse now, has Craig’s most complete performance as Bond, riffs beautifully of Colonel Son in places and the opening sequence is one of the best the series had yet produced. It’s watchable repeatedly in a way that all great Bonds are. And it’s tropes are elevated by the quality of the acting. It has propulsion unlike it’s predecessor
One movie I have always found to be criminally underrated is George Clooney’s “The American.”
Its marketing campaign made it look like it was going to be a Bourne film, and when audiences got something very different, they reacted to it unfairly negatively.
Agreed. Definitely a film that didn’t find its audience. And knowing Clooney’s professed admiration for so much of 70s cinema (I think he was a producer on The American) the film clearly takes inspiration from the original adaptation of The Day of The Jackal (as an aside - the remake of that is definitely NOT a film that needs to be reevaluated… )