You may recall that we published a list of movies about movies not too long ago. It caused a bit of controversy due to the lack of a few entries. This list includes some of those omissions, plus a few films that are absolutely must-sees. Be sure to mention any that are missing from this, and the first list, in the comments.
Man bites dog
A camera crew follows a serial killer/thief around as he exercises his craft. He expounds on art, music, nature, society, and life as he offs mailmen, pensioners, and random people. Slowly he begins involving the camera crew in his activities and they begin wondering if what they’re doing is such a good idea, particularly when the killer kills a rival and the rival’s brother sends a threatening letter.
This is the only movie on this list that I have not yet seen and therefore cannot accurately give any rating but the review on IMDB stated that “Our killer’s absolute disregard for human life, other than a thick crew of visually stunning characters, is nothing short of a masterpiece.”
What just happened
A week in the life of Ben, a powerful Hollywood producer, as he juggles negotiations with a studio head so that his newest picture can open at Cannes in two weeks. Fighting with a high-strung director who must make edits to the film, with an actor and his agent because the star has arrived on the set of a new picture with a full beard, and with his most recent ex-wife, Kelly, who may have a lover. Can Ben keep it all together, get the green light from the studio to go to Cannes, move his new picture past the beard crisis, and maybe return to Kelly’s good graces?
What makes this movie interesting is that it views the life of a Hollywood producer who tries to keep his personal and professional life in check but it keeps getting screwed up by the people around him. This movie has a good story, likable characters and it’s funny.
(you might recognize some of the actors in this film: Robert De Niro, Sean Penn, Catherine Keener, Bruce Willis, John Turturro, Kristen Stewart)
Side note: Catherine Keener also stars in the #5 film on this list “Hamlet 2″
Be Kind Rewind
Jerry is a junkyard worker who attempts to sabotage a power plant he suspects of causing his headaches. But he inadvertently causes his brain to become magnetized, leading to the unintentional destruction of all the movies in his friend’s store. In order to keep the store’s one loyal customer, an elderly lady with a tenuous grasp on reality, the pair re-create a long line of films including The Lion King, Rush Hour, Ghostbusters, When We Were Kings, Driving Miss Daisy, and Robocop, putting themselves and their townspeople into it. They become the biggest stars in their neighborhood.
I really enjoyed this film, the story was original and well written, the actors were good and Jack Black works great with Mos Def.
Side note: Jack black also stars in the #9 film on the first “movies about movies” list “Tropic Thunder”
In the beginning of this film we meet a documentary team of three young men and a young woman. They are heading for the south-American jungle to search for real cannibals. After a while the crew is reported missing and a rescue team is sent from the US. This team gets in touch with an amazon tribe called the Tree-people. The tree-people gives them the only remains of the first crew – the film rolls containing the material this crew shot during their search for real cannibals. Back in the US we get to see these films. Now we know exactly what happened to the first crew.
Now in this film we get to see (real) animals being cut apart and a young girl getting skewered. If you liked “faces of death” you’ll really enjoy this movie. Good luck trying to find a (legal) copy, this film has been banned in 50 countries.
Dana Marschz is a failed actor and recovering alcoholic who’s moved to Tucson to teach high school drama where he’s plagued by bad reviews, student indifference, budget woes (he and his wife, who is trying to get pregnant, take in a boarder), and his own teaching limitations. Because the other electives are closed he finds himself with a large class of seeming gang-bangers, and the principal informs him that drama will be cut next trimester. On the advice of a student reviewer, Dana decides to stage his own play, a sequel to “Hamlet” in which the prince and Jesus, with the use of a time machine, try to save Gertrude and Ophelia. Can Dana for once pull something off?
This movie is ridiculous but funny.
Side Note: actress Melanie Diaz also stars in the #8 movie on this list “Be kind Rewind”
Behind the mask
The Rise of Leslie Vernon
The next great psycho horror slasher has given a documentary crew exclusive access to his life as he plans his reign of terror over the sleepy town of Glen Echo, all the while deconstructing the conventions and archetypes of the horror genre for them.
This movie is similar to “Man bites dog”; a serial killer takes a film crew around town and shows them how to be a proper murderer. What makes this movie good is that the killer explains some of the horror movie clichés and gives step by step instructions on how be a real killer.
Shadow of the Vampire
Max Schreck’s performance in the classic film Nosferatu has become legendary. What if the reason he was so good is that he really was a vampire? That’s the premise of this film, which features director F.W. Murnau, so enamored with creating the perfect vampire film that he seeks out an actual member of the undead to play the title role. But when Schreck starts taking more and more advantage of the opportunities to feed he suddenly has, can Murnau come to his senses and destroy him?
This was a good movie, the awkwardness of Max Schreck gives the film a humorous side and his loneliness a tragic side.
Zack and Miri make a Porno
Zack Brown and Miriam have been friends since high-school and share an apartment with many unpaid bills. In a reunion party, they find that the former high-school star is now a porn actor, and this inspires them to make a porn film to pay their bills. They cast the actors, actresses and crew, and Zack writes the screenplay.
Funny movie, perhaps not Seth Rogens best performance but nonetheless worth watching.
Blair witch project
Three film students travel to Maryland to make a student film about a local urban legend… The Blair Witch. The three went into the woods on a two day hike to find the Blair Witch, and never came back. One year later, the students film and video was found in the woods. The footage was compiled and made into a movie. The Blair Witch Project.
Really good movie, excellent acting and story, unfortunately if this movie was released today it would not get as much attention as it did back in 1999 because nowadays a horror movie needs a bunch of blood and shock effects to be valid which is truly sad.
Swimming with Sharks
This is not technically about the making of a movie, but rather about working on a screenplay and working for a big time producer. It is a must-see film and definitely deserves a place on this list. The synopsis: Buddy Ackerman (Kevin Spacey), a big time movie producer on the rise, hires young Guy (Frank Whaley) to be his assistant. Guy thinks he’s finally hit the big time. But Buddy has other ideas. He torments Guy with petty requests and daily reamings for bringing him Equal instead of Sweet-N-Low. Guy decides that he is fed up with Buddy’s torture and goes to Buddy’s house and ties him up and begins his revenge. Guy’s lover, a script writer who has “screwed” her way to the top, is dragged into this. You have to see this film – it is great.
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