5 Great Un(der)-seen Movies for the Holiday Weekend


It’s the Labor Day weekend, and hopefully you have some end of summer outdoor BBQ plans with friends or family.  But what about those other days, or if the weather turns?  WHAT WILL YOU DO?

Fear not, because below are 5 great movies (and their availability – you’re welcome) for you to check out over the long weekend.

The Zero Effect (amazon instant)

Before Ben Stiller was a household name, he played many supporting roles in some smaller comedies in the 90’s.  My favorite of these is the little known detective comedy starring Bill Pullman (America’s greatest president) that suffered, like many on this list, from a difficulty in marketing.  The trailer will give you the gist of the story, but really doesn’t get anywhere close to the nuance of Daryl Zero or the great timing and performances from the cast.  If you’re looking for something light and amusing, definitely add it to your queue.

Four Lions (amazon instant)

This film is genius and should be required viewing for everyone, everywhere.  It tackles the subject of terrorism, from the terrorists’ perspective, through comedy.

I know.

But it works, and it is simultaneously heartfelt and hilarious, you grow to love these bumbling jihadis, and it even builds to a powerful, emotional climax.

The trailer does what it can, but your really have to start watching Four Lions to appreciate the tone and tempo.  If you’re looking to expand your world perspective AND laugh out loud (which you should always be doing) – this is a must.

Year of the Dragon (amazon instant)

As far as under-rated 80’s cop movies go, everyone talks about Black Rain with Michael Douglas (which is great), but this film, directed by Michael Cimino – who gave us Deer Hunter – is a sprawling underworld epic centered around Mickey Rourke at the height of his powers.

The fault of this movie is basically that it’s scope is so wide, and yet still tries to fit within 135 minutes.  The characters are rich, the sets and the cinematography stunning, and the Mandarin inspired score captivates.

If there is to be a third season of True Detective, they really ought to just use this film, it’s a world that would thrive in an 8 episode arc.

JCVD (amazon instant)

To know me is to know my love for this movie.  Not only is it a gorgeous, well crafted, and engaging thriller, but the improbability of its existence- having a major action star bare some of his deepest real-life shortcomings- makes this movie all the more a gem.

You do not have to know or even enjoy Jean Claude’s previous work to appreciate this movie, it is not an action film, but it does deliver some well placed moments of Van Damme-ery, whilst soaring to poetic moments that may never be repeated again… well, no, I take that back.  If anything, JCVD is the spiritual predecessor to Birdman.

Attack the Block (amazon instant)

Question: Did you like Shaun of the Dead?

Of course.  Me too.

Another question: Did you like The Goonies?

Right, I know, is a question with only one answer really a question…


As much as this trailer gives away, there is so much gold left in the film itself, and the score by the Basement Jaxx should have won an oscar.

And that’s it.  Truly, do yourself a favor and check at least one of these out, and have a great weekend!