Missed Long Shot the first time around? Watch it now.
Missed Long Shot the first time around? Watch it now.

Kooky, hilarious and forgotten movie

From two thrillers about bank robbers to an overlooked, hilarious rom-com, there are many gems for your home cinema this week.

LONG SHOT

 

Long Shot underperformed at the box office but only because it went up against Avengers: Endgame.
Long Shot underperformed at the box office but only because it went up against Avengers: Endgame.

This overlooked and jovial Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen rom-com didn't find much love at the box office, seeing it came out around the same time as movie juggernaut Avengers: Endgame. So now's your chance because it's kooky, hilarious and features a riotous scene of the pair on an ecstasy high.

Theron plays the accomplished and extremely well-dressed US Secretary of State Charlotte Field who as a teen used to babysit Rogen's alternative media journalist Fred Flarksy. When he quits his job after a conglomerate buys his newspaper, she hires him as a speechwriter. Unlikely romance blossoms.

Watch it: Amazon Prime Video/Foxtel Now

HELL OR HIGH WATER

 

A modern take on an old-school Western.
A modern take on an old-school Western.

 

There's a special place in cinema for the old-school heist Western, especially when the story is about bank robbers - we're often asked to be on the side of the outlaws with their backs turned on conventionality and social constrictions.

This 2016 film starring Ben Foster and Chris Pine is a highly accomplished, taut modern take, about two brothers liberating a few thousand dollars at a time from a string of small banks across West Texas, and the seasoned ranger (Jeff Bridges) on their tail. It's a movie full of moral ambiguity, bleak landscapes and humanity.

Watch it: Stan

BEFORE SUNRISE

 

The beginning of Celeste and Jesse’s decades-long relationship.
The beginning of Celeste and Jesse’s decades-long relationship.

 

A true modern romance for the ages, Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celeste (Julie Delpy) meet on a train to Vienna, striking up a conversation. With the clock ticking on their respective departures from Austria - him to the US, her to Paris - they decide to spend the few hours they have in the city together.

Walking around in deep conversation about life, love and their futures, Jesse and Celeste's spark was undeniable. The pair would later reunite in Before Sunset and Before Midnight, a trio of films with a smart perspective on the evolution of a relationship from the flush of youthful crush to the not always easy dynamics of enduring love.

Watch it: iTunes/Google Play

IDIOCRACY

 

Idiocracy is a terrifying portent into our future, but with electrolytes!
Idiocracy is a terrifying portent into our future, but with electrolytes!

 

It's got electrolytes! How many times a week do you wonder if we're actually veering towards an idiocracy? Those images of armed "protesters" in the US aren't helping to assuage any fears. Mike Judge's comedy feels even more prescient now than when it was first released in 2006.

If you haven't seen it before (!!!), it stars Luke Wilson as a super average guy who's put into suspended animation. When he wakes up 500 years later, he's the smartest person on the planet by a long mile thanks to centuries of dumb people having copious kids and smart people not. The world is a garbage pile.

Watch it: iTunes/Google Play

DOG DAY AFTERNOON

 

Essential viewing.
Essential viewing.

 

If you don't know what "Attica! Attica!" refers to then you haven't seen what is, arguably, Al Pacino's most riveting performance in the tense-as-a-violin-string Dog Day Afternoon, Sidney Lumet's neo-noir action crime thriller based on a real-life New York bank robbery.

Pacino plays Sonny Wortzik who with his two friends try to rob a bank, a plan that goes awry immediately, leading to an intense hostage stand-off. Pacino's agitated, anti-establishment antihero remains one of the most compelling characters in film history.

Watch it: iTunes/Google Play

UP IN THE AIR

 

Kendrick and Clooney were both Oscar-nominated for their roles.
Kendrick and Clooney were both Oscar-nominated for their roles.

 

It's kind of weird thinking about Up In The Air, a movie that came out of the GFC, now on the brink of another, more punishing global recession. But even within its wider social context, Jason Reitman's film is really about the individual characters' stories and finding peace with yourself.

Ryan (George Clooney) is a corporate consultant who specialises in laying people off on behalf of other companies, flying around the US and accumulating his precious airline points. When he takes on a new hire Natalie (Anna Kendrick's breakout role), the lone wolf is forced to confront some truths about his lonely, nomadic life.

Watch it: Netflix

A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD

 

National hero, just not our national hero.
National hero, just not our national hero.

 

Tom Hanks' performance as American children's TV icon Fred Rogers really is the movie equivalent of a bear hug - the best, most comforting hug, the kind you can't receive now from anyone you don't live with. And Hanks is so quiet, empathetic and restrained in his performance.

The story is centred on hardened investigative journalist Lloyd (Matthew Rhys) who is assigned a 400-word puff piece about Rogers in a series about American heroes. At first, Lloyd is sceptical but he forms a bond with Rogers that delves into the emotional state of men and their feelings - but not in a toxic way.

Watch it: iTunes/Google Play

Share your movies and TV obsessions | @wenleima

Originally published as Kooky, hilarious and forgotten movie


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