After I pitched my Cinematical Seven about films that might've slipped under the radar so far this year -- to tie in with today's DVD/Blu-ray release of The Square, an Aussie noir that I really dug at SXSW '09 -- I grew a little worried that David Ehrlich's list of "The 5 Best Films You've (Probably) Missed This Year" would beat me to the punch. However, only his pick of the wonderfully off-kilter Dogtooth overlapped with my own selections, so without any further ado, here's seven (more) movies to keep an eye out for.
1. The Good, The Bad, The Weird (now on DVD/Blu-ray) - As I wrote elsewhere... "From the trio of spot-on lead performances to the prevalence of practical stunts, from the relentlessly lush color scheme and period details to the often sweeping cinematography, not to mention the constantly energetic soundtrack, every last aspect is dedicated to making the most of this heady showcase of glorious excess, the bastard child of The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly and Kung Fu Hustle."
2. Waking Sleeping Beauty (on DVD Nov. 30th) - As I wrote elsewhere... "Don Hahn [is] as qualified a witness as any to relay the tales of turmoil behind the Walt Disney Animation renaissance that spanned from 1984 to 1994. Between the rich archival footage and candid interviews, it turns out that most magical thing about some of the studio's classics is that they even got made at all."
3. Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work (DVD date TBD) - The famous (at times infamous) comedienne agrees to spend her 75th year on camera as Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg cover the ups and downs of her life and career in this remarkably intimate documentary.
4. Smash His Camera (on DVD Oct. 19th) - Ron Galella, meanwhile, has probably photographed Joan Rivers in his line of work as a papparazzo. He's better known for snapping shots of Jackie O and taking blows from Marlon Brando, and this documentary takes a brisk, infuriating and entertaining look at the lengths he's willing to go to get the perfect picture and the extent to which he's managed to stretch his First Amendment rights.
5. [Rec] 2 (currently on-demand) - If you enjoyed the fairly freaky [REC] or even its pretty good English-language remake, Quarantine, then you already know that rabid quasi-zombies await the next team to enter that apartment building. From there, though, directors Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza toy with the chronology of the first film in fun ways while sustaining its tension with the introduction of a multi-camera gimmick.
6. Micmacs (DVD date TBD) - When I wrote up the trailer here, I called Amelie director Jean-Pierre Jeunet's latest trifle "as close to a whimsical riff on The Sting or Ocean's Eleven as one ever might have hoped for." I couldn't have said it better, uh, myself.
7. The Secret in Their Eyes (on DVD/Blu-ray Sept. 21st) - Last year's surprise winner for the Best Foreign Language Oscar is a solid police procedural that jumps between generations and features one especially impressive tracking shot that runs from the sky above a soccer stadium into the stands and onto the field.