More Underrated Movies From the 2000s That Are Worth Watching.

Seemingly forgotten about in the 10 years since its release, 25th Hour is not only one of the best performances of Edward Norton’s career, but one of the best films of Spike Lee’s. Norton is Monty, a former drug-dealer in New York who has one last day of freedom before he's sent to prison. The film takes in a whole range of themes, the nature of friendship, trust and mistakes, New York in the post 9/11 landscape, as well as condensing a difficult father-son relationship into what matters most, regret at missed chances, and an ultimate love for one another. It’s the pain and rage from Norton that ultimately gives way to what he loves the most, the city and those in it, which equals his freedom.

IMDb: 7,7
Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cKmx9URWXQ

More Underrated Movies From the 2000s That Are Worth Watching.

The Prestige might be Christopher Nolan’s best film. It might not be his most enjoyable, but in execution definitely his most accomplished. The flaws apparent in his post-Prestige work (woolly plotting, the visuals not quite matching the ideas) are all dealt with here. Based on Christopher Priest’s novel of the same name, Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman play magicians in Victorian times whose intense rivalry destroys both their lives. The Nolan brothers made significant changes to the book, all for the better in my mind, resulting in a clever and lean piece of filmmaking with a neat trick ending. This was the film which really sold me on Jackman as a bona-fide acting talent, and the addition of Bowie as Nikola Tesla is a masterstroke.

IMDb: 8,4
Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdHAsMO_IjU

More Underrated Movies From the 2000s That Are Worth Watching.

One simply cannot think of anything wrong with David Cronenberg’s powerful and punchy adaptation of John Wagner and John Locke’s 1997 graphic novel of the same name. Viggo Mortensen is Tom Stall, a small town restaurant owner who becomes a local celebrity after killing two robbers who threatened the life of one of his waitresses. The way he so easily killed them attracts the attention of Ed Harris’ gangster Carl Fogarty, who alleges that Tom is really Joey Cusack, a mobster hitman.

What follows is a narrative so precise and controlled that it makes you want to stand up and applaud. Mortensen sells both his role as family man and potential violent criminal, and the film doesn’t withhold any mystery unnecessarily, revealing the truth exactly when needed to for dramatic effect. It’s a film that makes you earn its beats and payoffs, while also getting you to reflect on just how violence makes you feel – both exhilarated and appalled at the same time.

IMDb: 7,5
Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74FdnDxptH4

More Underrated Movies From the 2000s That Are Worth Watching.

Taking on the rotoscoped animation process he first used in Waking Life, Richard Linklater applied it to Philip K Dick’s most personal novel, A Scanner Darkly, and made the most faithful and arguably successful adaptation yet of one of Dick’s books. In a tale of rampant drug addiction in the future, and high-tech surveillance, the animation technique works perfectly, allowing ideas such as the scramble suit to really come to life, as well as some of its more outlandish hallucinations.

The casting is pitch perfect, and while it may be a little unfair to say Keanu Reeves is great as an undercover cop so strung out he’s lost his personality, Reeves sells the desperation and heartbreak well. Providing comedic back-up of the dark kind is Robert Downey Jr. (who probably knows a thing or two about addiction), Woody Harrelson and the brilliant Rory Cochrane.

IMDb: 7,0
Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVnvilLFk2Y

More Underrated Movies From the 2000s That Are Worth Watching.

Considered as the ultimate ‘Dad’ film, it’s easy to forget just how masterful (excuse the pun) this film is. Not just a thrilling boy’s own adventure of chasing a French ship across the world during the Napoleonic Wars, but a brilliant character study and look into human nature and the depths of true friendship. It is this combination of the epic and the personal that makes Master & Commander a film to treasure and re-watch, rather than write off as just another empty spectacle. Russell Crowe turns in one of his great performances as Captain Aubrey, while Paul Bettany was born to play the role of Dr Maturin, the exasperated ship's doctor.

IMDb: 7,4
Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFeCVCKYo4Y

More Underrated Movies From the 2000s That Are Worth Watching.

A modern-day Princess Bride, Stardust has the potential to be a fantasy classic for the ages, and to be talked about fondly by future generations of movie fans, much like the classic Rob Reiner 80s film. Like that film, Stardust was adapted from a book, in this case Neil Gaiman’s dark fairytale. Made considerably lighter, the film charts the progress of Tristan (Charlie Cox) who must cross over to the magical kingdom of Stormhold to find and bring back a fallen star in order to prove his love for the spoilt Victoria (Sienna Miller). Except it turns out that the star is an actual living being, named Yvaine and played by the incredible Claire Danes. Stardust is captivating, exciting, adventurous, funny when needed, and yes, magical. It also has Ricky Gervais getting killed, so everyone’s a winner.

IMDB: 7,7
Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkHnumjuHL8

More Underrated Movies From the 2000s That Are Worth Watching.

Unhelpfully split up into its two separate components, Planet Terror and Death Proof, Grindhouse was shorn of much of its purpose and regarded as two misfiring and even misguided movies. However, when you actually watch it as the double-feature it was intended to be, complete with fake trailers, it’s an absolute blast, soaked with nostalgic nods to the past. While Death Proof may be a little slow, it still has some vintage Tarantino dialogue and action in it, while Planet Terror is all kinds of crazy. For those willing to make the effort and get a bunch of friends over, Grindhouse is some of best cinematic fun you can have.

IMDb: 7,7
Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3Gxqe0YQqk

More Underrated Movies From the 2000s That Are Worth Watching.

A quick-fire, hilarious pulp crime film from Shane Black, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang cemented his reputation as a master of dialogue, and re-established lead Robert Downey Jr as a truly formidable acting talent. Oh, and it’s easily Val Kilmer’s best ever performance too. Knowingly self-aware, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang tells how Downey Jr’s Harry gets mixed up in Hollywood murders, receiving assistance from Perry van Shrike (Kilmer). An absolute blast, you cannot fail to have fun while watching the film, as the leads bounce off each other with a joyful and easy chemistry only heightened by Black's excellent scripting. Both director and lead are clearly revelling working with each other, and if this is anything to go by, Iron Man 3 should be a joy – as witnessed by the Super Bowl ‘extended look’ for the film, which had more than a touch of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang about it.

IMDb: 7,7
Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9NC53irkyk

More Underrated Movies From the 2000s That Are Worth Watching.

Has there ever been a more slavish attempt to perfectly recreate a work of comic book fiction? I really don’t think so, and for all its faults, Watchmen is a work of dizzying spectacle and craftsmanship, and proved that director Zack Snyder deserved his place at the top table in Hollywood. While a near note-perfect adaptation of the seminal comic, it’s notable that Watchmen falls down when it veers away from the source material – the ending is muddled and nowhere near as iconic as the trans-dimensional squid, while Matthew Goode, as much as I love him, is totally off in his portrayal of Adrian Veidt. But the rest of the cast absolutely nail it (especially Jackie Earle Haley and Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and what was once considered an unfilmable comic is now something which at times is extraordinary.

IMDb: 7,6
Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FxYjS9t4u4

More Underrated Movies From the 2000s That Are Worth Watching.

Me Without You is essentially an anti chick-flick. Telling the decades long story of the intense friendship between Holly (Michelle Williams) and Marina (Anna Friel), it’s a warts-and-all portrayal of what can happen when two people become dependent on each other to the point of unhealthiness. Not always pretty, but often painfully truthful, Me Without You is the type of film which touches a nerve and remains with you for the rest of your life. Both brilliant in their roles (Williams in particular), the film excels at not always trying to make the two leads likeable, or selling the over-arching love story as something written in the stars. Instead, like the rest of the film and its characters, it’s unvarnished, and all the better for it.

IMDb: 6,6
Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUgqfNJHcmU

Read more: http://imgur.com/gallery/Ulw3z

Ethan Hawke’s Black Album playlist, and how it feels to pass The Beatles on to your child.

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IFC

Richard Linklater’s new movie Boyhood was shot over the course of 12 years and follows its protagonist, Mason Jr. (played by Ellar Coltrane), as he grows up.

Linklater recruited a team of young people to pick the songs that make up Boyhood’s ’00s-childhood-evoking soundtrack, which features Coldplay, Cobra Starship, and Vampire Weekend. But there’s one moment in the film dedicated to the kind of music that has no time stamp, always sounds good, and travels from one generation to another. In a scene celebrating Mason Jr.’s 15th birthday, he receives a mix CD from his father, Mason Sr., played by Ethan Hawke. Called The Black Album, it’s a compilation of the best of John, Paul, George, and Ringo’s solo work, post-Beatles.

Boyhood captures a family in chaotic real time, and as its actors aged over a decade-plus of filming, the movie absorbed some of their actual lives. The Black Album you see on screen originated IRL, as a real gift from Hawke to his oldest daughter Maya.

Hawke wrote the original version of these Black Album liner notes for his IRL daughter, then slightly retooled them while he was working on Boyhood. The result is a heart-wrenching reflection on the magic that can happen even after a family-type unit breaks up, and the special bond forged between parents and kids when the latter come to know, and respect, that the former are not perfect.

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Victor Tatum / BuzzFeed

Mason,

I wanted to give you something for your birthday that money couldn’t buy, something that only a father could give a son, like a family heirloom. This is the best I could do. Apologies in advance. I present to you: THE BEATLES’ BLACK ALBUM.

The only work I’ve ever been a part of that I feel any sense of pride for involves something born in a spirit of collaboration — not my idea or his or her idea, but some unforeseeable magic that happens in creativity when energies collide.This is the best of John, Paul, George, and Ringo’s solo work, post-BEATLES. Basically I’ve put the band back together for you. There’s this thing that happens when you listen to too much of the solo stuff separately — too much Lennon: suddenly there’s a little too much self-involvement in the room; too much Paul and it can become sentimental — let’s face it, borderline goofy; too much George: I mean, we all have our spiritual side but it’s only interesting for about six minutes, ya know? Ringo: He’s funny, irreverent, and cool, but he can’t sing — he had a bunch of hits in the ’70s (even more than Lennon) but you aren’t gonna go home and crank up a Ringo Starr album start to finish, you’re just not gonna do that. When you mix up their work, though, when you put them side by side and let them flow — they elevate each other, and you start to hear it: T H E B E A T L E S.

Just listen to the whole CD, OK?

I guess it was the fact that Lennon was shot and killed at 40 (one of Lennon’s last fully composed songs was “Life Begins at 40,” which he wrote for Ringo — I couldn’t bring myself to include it on the mix as the irony still does not make me laugh) and that I just turned 40 myself that conjured this BLACK ALBUM. I listen to this music and for some reason (maybe the ongoing, metamorphosing pain of my divorce from your mother) I am filled with sadness that John & Paul’s friendship turned so bitter. I know, I know, I know, it has nothing to do with me, but damn it, tell me again why love can’t last. Why do we give in to pettiness? Why did they? Why do we so often see gifts as threats? Differences as shortcomings? Why can we not see that our friction could be used to polish one another?

I read a little anecdote about when John’s mother died:

He was an angry teenager — a switchblade in his pocket, a cigarette in his lips, sex on his mind. At a memorial service for his “unstable” and suddenly dead mom (whom he’d just recently been getting close to), he — pissed off and drunk — punched a bandmate in the face and stormed out of the memorial reception. Paul, several years his junior — a young boy, really, who didn’t yet care about girls, who was clearly UNCOOL, and who was let into the band despite his lack of badass-ness and sexual prowess due to the fact that even at 14 he could play the shit out of the guitar — chased John out onto the street saying, “John, why are you being such a jerk?”

John said, “My mum’s fuckin’ dead!”Paul said, “You never even once asked me about my mum.”“What about her?”“…My mum’s dead too.”They hugged in the middle of the suburban street. John apparently said, “Can we please start a fucking rock ‘n’ roll band?”

This story answered a question that had lingered in my brain my whole music-listening life: If The Beatles were only together 10 years and the members of the band were so young that entire time, how did they manage to write “Help,” “Fool on the Hill,” “Eleanor Rigby,” “Yesterday,” “A Day in the Life”? They were just 25-year-old boys with a gaggle of babes outside their hotel room door and as much champagne as a young lad could stand. How did they set their minds to such substantive artistic goals?

They did it because they were in pain. They knew that love does not last. They knew it as extremely young men.

With the BLACK ALBUM, we get to hear the boys write on adult life: marriage, fatherhood, sobriety, spiritual yearning, the emptiness of material success — “Starting Over,” “Maybe I’m Amazed,” “Beautiful Boy,” “The No No Song,” “God” — and still they are keenly aware of this fact: Love does not last.

I don’t want it to be true. I want Lennon/McCartney to write beautifully together forever, but is that really the point? I mean if the point of a rose was to last forever, it would be made of stone, right? So how do we handle this idea with grace and maturity? If you’re a romantic like me, it’s hard not to long for some indication of healing between the two of them. All signs point that way.

When Paul went on SNL recently, he played almost all LENNON. And he did it with obvious joy.

Listen to McCartney’s “Here Today.”

Can you listen to “Two of Us” (the last song they wrote side by side) and not hurt a little? What were those two motherless boys who hugged in the middle of the road so long ago thinking as they wrote “The two of us have memories longer then the road that stretches out ahead”?

The dynamic of their breakup, like any divorce, is mysterious. Some say that Paul, the pupil, had surpassed John, the mentor, and they couldn’t reach a new balance. Some say Paul was a little snot who bought the publishing rights out from underneath the other three. Others say without Brian Epstein there was no mediator between their egos. Who knows.

I played Samantha “Hey Jude” the other day, and of course she listened to it over and over. I told her the song had been written by McCartney for Lennon’s son after Lennon’s divorce and she listened even more intently. George once said that “Hey Jude” was the beginning of the end for the Beatles. Brian Epstein had just died and John & Paul were left alone to run the brand-new Apple label. They recorded “Hey Jude” and “Revolution” as a single. Normally, Brian would decide which song was the A-side and which was the B-side, but now it was up to the boys. John thought “Revolution” was an important political rock song and that they needed to establish themselves as an adult band. Paul thought “Revolution” was brilliant but that The Beatles were primarily a pop band and so they should lead with “Hey Jude.” He knew it would be a monster hit and that the politics should come on a subversive B-side. They had a vote. “Hey Jude” won 3-1. George said that John felt Paul had pulled off a kind of coup d’etat. He wasn’t visibly upset but he began to withdraw. It was no longer his band.

The irony/punch line of this story is another story I once heard: When the “Hey Jude”/”Revolution” single was hot off the press, the boys had the mischievous idea of bringing their own new single to a Rolling Stones record-release listening party. Mick Jagger says that once the Fab Four arrived and let word of their new single slip — just as Side 1 of the Stones’ big new album was finishing — everyone clamored to hear it. Once The Beatles were on, they just kept flipping the single over and over. Side 2 of BEGGARS BANQUET never even found the needle. So no matter how mad John was, he wasn’t that mad… Once when John was asked whether he would ever play with Paul again, he answered: “It would always be about, ‘Play what?’ It’s about the music. We play well together — if he had an idea and needed me, I’d be interested.” I love that. Maybe the lesson is: Love doesn’t last, but the music love creates just might. Your mom and I couldn’t make love last, but you are the music, my man. “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love…” I love you. Happy birthday. Your Dad

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Listen to tracks from Hawke’s The Black Album compilation:

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And, for completion’s sake, the full Black Album tracklist:

Disc 1:1. Paul McCartney & Wings, “Band on the Run”2. George Harrison, “My Sweet Lord”3. John Lennon feat. The Flux Fiddlers & the Plastic Ono Band, “Jealous Guy”4. Ringo Starr, “Photograph”5. John Lennon, “How?”6. Paul McCartney, “Every Night”7. George Harrison, “Blow Away”8. Paul McCartney, “Maybe I’m Amazed”9. John Lennon, “Woman”10.Paul McCartney & Wings, “Jet”11. John Lennon, “Stand by Me”12. Ringo Starr, “No No Song”13. Paul McCartney, “Junk”14. John Lennon, “Love”15. Paul McCartney & Linda McCartney, “The Back Seat of My Car”16. John Lennon, “Watching the Wheels”17. John Lennon, “Mind Games”18. Paul McCartney & Wings, “Bluebird”19. John Lennon, “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)”20. George Harrison, “What Is Life”

Disc 2:1. John Lennon, “God”2. Wings, “Listen to What the Man Said”3. John Lennon, “Crippled Inside”4. Ringo Starr, “You’re Sixteen You’re Beautiful (And You’re Mine)”5. Paul McCartney & Wings, “Let Me Roll It”6. John Lennon & The Plastic Ono Band, “Power to the People”7. Paul McCartney, “Another Day”8. George Harrison, “If Not For You (2001 Digital Remaster)”9. John Lennon, “(Just Like) Starting Over”10. Wings, “Let ‘Em In”11. John Lennon, “Mother”12. Paul McCartney & Wings, “Helen Wheels”13. John Lennon, “I Found Out”14. Paul McCartney & Linda McCartney, “Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey”15. John Lennon, Yoko Ono & The Plastic Ono Band, “Instant Karma! (We All Shine On)”15. George Harrison, “Not Guilty (2004 Digital Remaster)”16. Paul McCartney & Linda McCartney, “Heart of the Country”17. John Lennon, “Oh Yoko!”18. Wings, “Mull of Kintyre”19. Ringo Starr, “It Don’t Come Easy”

Disc 3:1. John Lennon, “Grow Old With Me (2010 Remaster)”2. Wings, “Silly Love Songs”3. The Beatles, “Real Love”4. Paul McCartney & Wings, “My Love”5. John Lennon, “Oh My Love”6. George Harrison, “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)”7. Paul McCartney, “Pipes of Peace”8. John Lennon, “Imagine”9. Paul McCartney, “Here Today”10. George Harrison, “All Things Must Pass”11. Paul McCartney, “And I Love Her (Live on MTV Unplugged)”

LINK

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Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/ethanhawke/boyhood-the-black-album