Forgotten Gems – Edition #1

It’s not often that movies from the past pop up and spark conversation between yourself and your family or friends, but that’s exactly what happened recently when somebody happened to bring up one of the movies below. After discussing the film, that got me thinking about similar movies that were superb to watch at the time of their release, but somehow become forgettable in future times. By all means, these haven’t been completely forgotten about (I’m sure they’ll be time for an article on that in the future), but they are flicks that probably deserve more attention than they’ve received over the years. Here are the first in the series, with many more to come in the future.

1 – Black Mass (2015)

As many people know, Black Mass was the true story of Whitey Bulger, one of the most infamous and violent criminals in South Boston, who eventually became an FBI informant tasked on taking down a Mafia family that were invading his turf. This one had a huge amount of hype surrounding it upon release and people were expecting monumental things that on reflection, may have not quite delivered.

With that being said, something that stays in my memory regarding this one was the effectiveness of the trailer when it was first released – probably to this day one of the greatest trailers ever made (in my opinion).

To say the cast was strong would be an understatement. It starred Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Kevin Bacon, Jesse Plemons and Dakota Johnson – all of which did brilliantly throughout and make it one to watch.

2 – Lord of War (2005)

Lord of War sees the tale of two Ukranian immigrants, Yuri and Vitaly, who decide to get involved within the business of illegal international arms dealing, thus supplying weapons in troubled countries around the world, consequently causing the escalation of their problematic relations with other nations. With that being said, the pair become millionaires and use their money to their advantage, all while the secret service are on their back. Another thought-provoking tale that sees characters making morally questionable decisions throughout.

Nicolas Cage stars as Yuri, the older brother, while Jared Leto stars at the younger brother, Vitaly – both were outstanding from start to finish, one of the finer moments of their career. There’s also an appearance from Ethan Hawke who plays the determined agent tasked in taking the duo down.

2 – Out of the Furnace (2013)

Finally comes, Out of the Furnace. A terrific, yet bleak story of Russell Baze, whose life changes after his brother oddly disappears and law enforcement provide little to no assistance. The case then has to be taken into Russell’s own hands in a quest to seek justice. Another unbelievably strong cast that included Christian Bale, Woody Harrelson, Casey Affleck, Willem Dafoe, Forest Whitaker and Zoe Saldana, who all excel in their respective roles.

The movie is gritty and certainly takes the viewer through a variety of emotions. Set in a very rural part of present-day America, the cinematography captures a stunning country that is seemingly fading quickly under the weight of war and the crumbling economy. Some of the characters are extremely easy to become fond of, while some are easy to hate – but you’re invested in their story throughout. Without a doubt, a worthy thriller to sit down and enjoy.

More detailed reviews of all four movies will be available in the near future.

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