Underrated Movie #312 ~ A Perfect Murder

A Perfect Murder
It’s murder most foul when cold-blooded hedge fund manager Steven Taylor (Michael Douglas) hires a hit man to “take care of” his philandering young wife, Emily (Gwyneth Paltrow). But the complexities are compounded when the assassin Steven hires is the man (Viggo Mortensen) having the affair with Emily. (Netflix) Directed by Andrew Davis (The Fugitive). My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars.
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I Watched It For You ~ Grand Piano

Grand Piano
A pianist returning to the stage five years after a public meltdown learns that a sniper will shoot him and his wife if he plays just one wrong note. My Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Stars. I’m a big fan of movie plots like this in which the main character(s) are trapped in some kind of outrageous circumstance and must figure out what to do in order to survive. Some of these movies already appear here on my Underrated Movies list — movies like Buried, Unknown, The Exam, The Last of Sheila. I do like the fact that Grand Piano takes a chance with this extraordinary premise. It was slickly done, with very good production values, but ultimately the whole “conversation on the cell phone” thing was too preposterous for me (and I can forgive a lot… if a movie hooks me first). Throw in some extraneous, annoying characters that really didn’t need to be included, and you have a mixed-bag. If you like these kinds of plots, you may want to take a chance on it (it’s on Netflix Instant right now), but I say you can skip it.
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I Watched It For You ~ Little Fish

The Immigrant
After years of trying to redeem herself in her mother’s eyes, former junkie Tracy Heart (Cate Blanchett) is going to do something for herself: start her own business. But that isn’t easy with the unexpected return of her ex-boyfriend (Dustin Nguyen). The criminal dreams of her brother (Martin Henderson) and the emotional troubles of a family friend (Hugo Weaving) don’t help, to say nothing of her dealings with a local crime boss (Sam Neill). My Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Stars. A couple of good scenes sprinkled into mostly watching people recovering from drug addiction. Try it if you like, but I say you can skip it.
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5 More “Near Misses” That You Might Like

These movies were close, but didn’t quite make it to this underrated/overlooked movies list. But I do give them a thumbs-up, and you may find them worth watching. Click on the title to read more about the movie on IMDB.com

Tortilla Soup — Drama/Comedy/Romance — Cast: Hector Elizondo, Jacqueline Obradors, Tamara Mello, Elizabeth Pena

Targets — Psychological Thriller/Crime — Cast: Boris Karloff, Tim O’Kelly, Arthur Peterson

Stevie — Documentary — Cast: Steve James, Stephen Fielding, Tonya Gregory — Director: Steve James (Hoop Dreams)

Drinking Buddies — Drama/Comedy/Romance — Cast: Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick

Cosi — Drama/Comedy — Cast: Ben Mendelsohn, Barry Otto, Toni Collette

Underrated Movie #311 ~ The Immigrant

The Immigrant
A Polish immigrant in New York who must provide for her ill sister soon falls under the thumb of a charming thug who forces her into prostitution. (Netflix) Every single one of direct James Gray’s excellent movies seems to go under the radar. This is his fourth movie to make it onto this list, the others being We Own the Night, The Yards, and Two Lovers. My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars.
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