Three completely underrated movies you should watch now
Sometimes the court of public opinion just is wrong. I’m not talking about Jupiter Ascending. No no… they were right on that particular decision. But I do think that there are a few movies that have come out lately that deserve a second look. I was very very surprised at how good all three of these movies were even though they got slaughtered at the box office. They are definitely deserving of a rental that is for sure.
Let’s begin with Will Smith’s Focus. The media has completely castigated Focus because it isn’t a very good Con Artist movie. And I actually agree. It really isn’t a great Con Artist movie. If you want to find a list of epic con jobs to watch, head over here for a few… but you won’t find anything here worth mentioning in that bucket. It has a few interesting twists, but as far as con-artist movies go, it isn’t stellar. As I write this, I can’t really remember the final twist. Which, by definition, means its a pretty poor Con Artist movie. Think of The Sting. Do you have trouble remembering that final con? No. No. Not at all.
But what Focus misses on the Con front you get back in spades elsewhere. For example, the clever dialogue and great story. I think many people diss the romance here, but maybe we are a little to stereotypical of what our romances should look like? Maybe? I’ll say no more on this topic. Where it was missing the killer hook, it had a number of great developments that I didn’t see coming. Where it was missing epic acting it had all kinds of style and vision. Man this movie looked good. And heck, throw Will a bone and give him some love after the last few bombs he’s had, unless you want Independence Day 17, just rent it. It really is worth a watch.
I’d score it as a very solid 7/10 on the brainless but clever fun scale.
This was an awesome movie. I have not seen a great submarine movie in years. Maybe since I saw Hunt For Red or Das Boot? But dang is Black Sea good. And while I think this movie should have actually been named Bleak Sea, actually isn’t a sub movie at all… its a thriller that happens to take place on the bottom of the ocean. More of a heist movie really than even Focus was. And where Focus was lacking the killer ending twist, Black Sea brings it.
The movie takes place at the end of the great submarining era. Many people were being let go from their underwater exploration work and this has everyone at a loss as to what to do next. So when a few guys allege they know where a German U-Boat that had hauled tons of gold from Russia to Germany that had been sunk its a race to see if they can get to the gold before anyone else finds it first.
The movie actually plays out like a horror movie in some aspects. People keep making really really dumb decisions to continue going after the gold when they should have given up long long before. They have invited the evil in. As the circumstances continue to pile up against them and the people continue dying Jude Law just keeps making dumber and dumber decisions… well, because… what else does he have at this point? But it was the ending that really had me hooked. I absolutely loved this ending.
I’d score it as a very solid 8/10 on the NO HE DI’NT scale.
Let me get this off my chest really quickly here… Blackhat is the greatest hacker movie ever. Well, unless you consider Pump Up The Volume. But that was a radio movie, so that can’t count. The problem with being the greatest hacker movie of all time is that its the greatest hacker movie of all time. If I think it it legitimate, and utilized viable methods, then dang does it have to be boring. Right? Partially. Michael Mann, the director decided to thrown in several gun fights and car chases and that is actually where I mark this movie lower. Every time a gun came out and there were hackers nearby my suspension of reality began taking hits below the waterline.
One particularly realistic scene showed a hacker phishing a middle manager at the NSA for his password via email. He had attached a trojan keylogger inside a PDF file included in the email. I adored this scene. This exact thing happened during a Pen-test (Penetration Test) recently in my real life day job. The Pen-tester was then able to take photos of the person he phished through the person’s laptop cameras and then gather data that allowed him to pivot and move deeper towards a real target we had tasked him with. It was about as real as it gets. Did it make good film? I don’t know. When you watch that scene you probably won’t give it much of a thought. But it was a level of detail you don’t normally see. (There was a scene in Focus when Will Smith says the phrase, without a hint of humor in his voice – “I embeded an remote keylogger in her necklace, she just needed to get close to him…” oh puh-lease. This is the flagrant crap that is so totally annoying.)
Blackhat was a fun movie. I shutdown mentally when Mann decided to make geeks into gun fighters. But otherwise I really actually quite enjoyed the movie. I’d score it as a very solid 8/10 on the he Hackers Be Hack’n scale.