Eugene Cho

i need your movie recommendations

le+grand+bleu

So, I’m getting over the “feeling sorry” for myself state and facing the reality of the recovery ahead for my ruptured Achilles. I’ll be in a cast for a minimum of 3 months and likely a soft walking cast for another 2-3 months after that. I’m hoping that after 9 months, I’ll be walking and jogging normally but may take at least one year.

I’ve been told by a few guys that I should take advantage of this time to build up my upper body.  I told them:

No need. I’m built already.🙂

Anyways, I thought it would be a great way to begin a new week by asking a question to get everyone involved. I’ll be working most of the week at home since I won’t (or shouldn’t) be driving.  While I will honor most of my travel arrangements and still have a bunch of work to do, I have a feeling I’ll have a lot more time for movies.

I’ve already asked for your list of movies that most influenced you and fav chick flicks. But today, I’d like you to contribute at least 3 films that are amongst your favorites that maybe the average folk may not know of (No Blockbusters or Award winners). So, your list of “Best Unknown (Lesser Known) Films”

Here’s a few of my recommendations for you:

  • The Big Blue ( or Le Grande Blue) – first American film by filmmaker Luc Besson about childhood friends that grow up to be rivals in the sport of Diving. This film nearly made me want to puruse Dolphin Training as a life calling.
  • The Prestige – Starring Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, and Michael Caine. About two rival magicians and the secrets of their tricks. One of those films I could see again and again and surpised how few people saw this film.
  • Dark City – Need to have a Sci-Fi nomination for you. I first saw Kiefer Sutherland in this film before he was known as the agent who shot everyone in sight. I can’t even describe the film but it’s good.

Okay, your turn.

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77 Responses

  1. Randall says:

    Three Seasons – can be hard to find but it’s a really beautiful movie filmed in Vietnam (you can borrow my copy). Only American star is Harvey Keitel.

    Can’t really think of any other obscure movies.

    Take care and you know, bicycling is a great, low-impact way to stay fit…

  2. ChristinaTinglof says:

    The Station Agent — about a guy (Peter Dinklage) who moves into an abandoned train conductor’s house and meets the local color (Bobby Cannavale and Patricia Clarkson)

    Real women have Curves — America Ferrera (in her first movie role) as a girl coming of age as a first generation Mexican American

    Millions — a young English boy who talks to saints comes upon a large sum of money and has to decide what to do with it. I preached one of my favorite sermons on this movie and Hebrews about (ch 12 — great cloud of witnesses)

  3. eliseanne says:

    Iron Jawed Angels – about the women’s suffrage movement in the US, their war-time protests, jail time, and the leaders’ personal sacrifices. some blockbusters have it some don’t.

  4. danielktaylor says:

    A canadian movie with Sandra Oh called Last Night.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_Night_%28film%29

  5. seonghuhn says:

    You’ve probably already seen it but there’s the documentary Crossing Heaven’s Borders.

    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/wideangle/episodes/crossing-heavens-border/video-full-episode/5076/

  6. your friend says:

    Places of hearts
    Lead role: Sally fields (and a black guy whose name I forgot)

    It is dealing with the racial conflict of the old times and portrays forgiveness surprisingly well.

    Amy
    About a girl who cannot hear and her mother’s struggle, both caught up in a bereavement, and how they find friends in unlikely places.

    Finding Forrester
    An unlikely friendship between a young black guy and a formerly famous/gifted, now hiding/quixotic old man.

    Spitfire grill
    Unlikely friendships and forgiveness.

    Marvins room
    About learning to love the and the beauty of ACCEPTING family with all their odds.

    Lorenzos oil
    How love can have great effects on a person whom some call

    And for your kids: Paulie
    About a bird that toches a foreigner’s heart (BUT there is one bad swear word, could you dubb that beforehand?)

  7. your friend says:

    CORRECTION:

    Marvins room
    About learning to love the terminal ill and the beauty of ACCEPTING family with all their odds.

    Lorenzos oil
    How love can have great effects on a person whom some call vegetable

  8. Sarah says:

    I second Three Seasons! Excellent Thai/American film!

    Also, some good Chinese movies:

    A World Without Thieves: a drama/comedy about petty thieves on a cross-country train. Includes Andy Lau

    Infernal Affairs: The original Hong Kong movie that Scorcese’s The Departed is based on. Andy Lau and Tony Leung

    From Beijing with Love: one of Stephen Chow’s first films – a 007 sendup (warning – lots of over the top violence a la Quentin Tarantino)

  9. Amy says:

    Rounders – Best poker movie ever

    Lars & the Real Girl – heart-warming movie…great picture of how a community comes together

    Kiss Kiss Bang Bang – mystery/comedy with some great dialogue/wit

  10. julia says:

    This is a beautiful Korean film I’ve wanted to add to my DVD collection for years.

    “Bom Yeoreum Gaeul Gyeoul Geurigo Gom” OR
    “Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring”

    Not the most succinct title, but an apt one. It’s not an action-packed flick by any stretch of the imagination, but beautifully done.

  11. Joel Mayward says:

    Once – Independent Irish film that won the Best Song Academy Award in 2008.

    Amelie – French film about a spirited young girl living in Paris. Lighthearted and fun.

    Secrets and Lies – A fascinating film about a diverse family, specifically focusing on a young adopted woman finding her birth mother.

    Rashomon – Classic Japanese cinema that dives deep into the concepts of truth, experience, and the brokenness of humanity.

    Three Colors Trilogy (Blue, White, Red) – Three interconnected films that deal with spiritual and moral issues, including death, family, community, and justice. Each is great on its own, but all three together are remarkable.

  12. Erick says:

    If you get tired of good movies, check out Innerspace (Martin Short, Dennis Quaid, Meg Ryan)…Dennis Quaid is miniturized and accidentally ends up in Martin Short’s body…great 80’s graphics, music, and unbelievable story line (obviously)

    Also, Meteor Man.

  13. blake says:

    “to end all wars” -A true story about four Allied POW’s who endure harsh treatment from their Japanese captors during World War II while being forced to build a railroad through the Burmese jungle. Ultimately they find true freedom by forgiving their enemies. Based on the true story of Ernest Gordon. (imdb)

    Ernest Gordon (1917 – 16 January 2002) was the former Presbyterian dean of the chapel at Princeton University. A native of Scotland, as an officer in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, Gordon spent three years in a Japanese prisoner of war camp during the Second World War. He chronicled his experiences on the Death Railway in his book Through the Valley of the Kwai. The book served as an inspiration to the film To End All Wars which opened in 2001. (wiki)

  14. Stephen says:

    Another vote for “Millions.”

    Also, I’d add “Hands on a Hard Body” if you’re into documentaries.

  15. Randall says:

    “Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring” – that’s an amazing movie. Very slow and meditative. Reminds me of the documentary Rivers and Tides.

    And if you’re looking for something you can watch with your kids, see The Iron Giant – a great film by the guy who went on to do The Incredibles and Ratatouille.

  16. Neil Schori says:

    I HIGHLY recommend Shattered with Gerard Butler & Pierce Brosnan. It details the consequences of adultery in a highly dramatic and challenging fashion.

  17. greg says:

    Diving Bell and The Butterfly
    true story based on french editor of Elle who experienced massive stroke wakens with shut in syndrome. He communicates with one eye as all of his body cant move.

    Things We Lost in the Fire
    Del Toro and H Berry, amazing film. I think one of the most overlooked films, talk about the power of presence.

    The Visitor
    A beautiful film the stranger becoming a neighbor and injustice.

  18. Eugene Cho says:

    Wow, some films I’ve never heard of…I guess that’s the point.

    I’m curious if any of my readers have seen any of my 3 recommendations…

  19. Randall says:

    Oh, and I almost forgot about The Red Violin – a movie that follows a legendary violin through time and place, driven by a mystery that propels the narrative to a dramatic climax.

    A fun movie.

  20. Al Shaw says:

    The Thief (Russian language film w/ subtitles 1997)

    To End All Wars (already cited above, I notice)

    The Gospel According to Saint Matthew (the film that started my conversion process)

    Kes (British gritty, blue collar classic)

    Oh! What a Lovely War (musical irony down on the trenches)

  21. Randall says:

    @PE

    I haven’t seen The Big Blue (but I have seen The Big Lebowski).

    I did see the other two.

    I keep getting The Prestige confused with the other dueling magician movie that was out at the time…The Illusionist. But they were both good.

    And I LOVE Dark City – “have you ever been to Shell Beach?” It’s kind of a proto-Matrix movie. The “brain battle” at the end would make a great Excedrin commercial.

  22. Robbin says:

    How about “I Am David”? I really liked this movie about a little boy’s escape from a forced labor camp in the post World War II era.

  23. Jen Walters says:

    ‘Life is Beautiful’ is one of my favorite , unknown movies of all time. Its a romantic comedy that won best picture of the year with Roberto Benigni . Its a foreign film so its in subtitles but well worth it. I do not recommend watching it dubbed in English, definitely not the same.Also My kids loved this movie. Its a must see. We will be praying quick healing for your Aquiles Tendon and energy for Minhee as I’m sure this will add some extra work for her. hee hee

  24. Pam says:

    Manon de Source
    The Scarlet Pimpernell
    Much Ado About Nothing (Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh are fabulous and at least the rest of the actors are so bad, that they are funny)

  25. Kacie says:

    Out of your recos I have seen The Prestige and liked it but haven’t heard of the others.

    Since you seem to like man movies, let me recommend Reign of Fire, which looks like the cheesiest movie ever because it’s about dragon fighting, but seriously, it’s great and it has Christian Bale and Matthew Macaunahay (sp?) before they both became Hollywood’s favorite poster boys.

    I LOVE love the movie God Grew Tired of Us, which is a documentary about some of the Lost Boys of Sudan entering the US as refugees. It was also on my most influential list.

    Also – The Namesake, which follows an Indian family from an arranged marriage to their immigration into the US, down into their son’s life as a second generation Indian in the US, and it plays a lot on the father-son relationship. It’s beautiful and cultural.

    Um… I’m cheating but I’m going to continue – Monsoon wedding is another fantastic Indian movie that is fun and serious at once. City of God is brutally violent but a fantastic true story from the slums of Brazil about gangs and slums.

  26. simplyintentional says:

    Cinema Paradiso – the beauty of how life and movies can be similar, different, and all together wonderful at the same time. A classic

    Amelie – beautifully shot, fun, and just a reminder that being different is refreshing.

    Stranger than Fiction – We all can relate to wanting something more in our lives, doing things we always wanted to, and learning that others deserve a chance to have that same sort of discovery. Plus its Will Farrell actually acting…

    Hope you have fun movie watching and hope you have a speedy recovery

  27. iy. says:

    yes, have seen and own :the big blue.” a beautiful film. (i’ve also seen “the prestige,” which i liked more than i thought i would. never seen the last one.)

    have you seen “babette’s feast”? you would like it. it’s beautiful. i also love some classic oldies like “bringing up baby” (a comedy with katherine hepburn and cary grant) and “stella dallas” (barbara stanwyck) and would second “cinema paradiso” and “the red violin.”

    i also liked “matchstick men,” with sam rockwell and nicolas cage. that’s kind of fun but touching, too.

  28. Daniel Azuma says:

    +1 for Dark City, Rashomon, and Babette’s Feast.

    I’ll throw in:

    Ikiru (also by Kurosawa, who did Rashomon, not to mention some of the more well-known films like Seven Samurai and Yojimbo). Ikiru is the story of a man dying of stomach cancer, a study of what constitutes worth in a person. You can’t really go wrong with a Kurosawa film, and there are a bunch that are not well-known. Some others I like that are lesser-known include Red Beard, Dodeskaden, and Kagemusha.

    The 39 Steps (an early Hitchcock thriller). Many of the elements that would make Hitch famous are prototyped in this film.

    The Arrival (a little-known 90s sci-fi). Lighter fare, not a Dark City type of thinking-person’s sci-fi, but an all-around good film that was underappreciated in its time. Don’t bother with the terrible direct-to-DVD sequel, though.

  29. bridget says:

    Saw “The Visitors” awhile back and loved it…you may have seen that one. “Bubble” was excellent- the actors were all untrained and taken directly from the tiny town in Ohio where the movie is filmed.

  30. ellen says:

    Ushpizen, Once, Changing Lanes, The Waitress, Millions, Lars and the Real Girl (excellent!) and if you can get out to the theater, see 500 Days of Summer🙂

  31. Liz says:

    Here’s my three recommendations of some films that you may not know about:

    Dead Calm with Nicole Kidman (1989 – thriller) – good thriller – couple on a long saling trip on their yacht – they rescue someone who turns out to be a killer – pretty intense!

    Lars and The Real Girl – Ryan Gosling is fantastic – it’s a goofy story that has a wonderful message about friendship, love and community.

    Point Break – FBI agent goes undercover to catch a gang of bank robbers (Keanu Reeves and Gary Busey aren’t my favs but I’ve seen the movie 6 or 7 times and it is really enjoyable – my hubby likes it too)

  32. Christy says:

    Smoke Signals – one of my favorite movies ever with a screenplay by one of my favorite authors, Sherman Alexie. 2 guys- Victor and Thomas – road trip from an Indian reservation to retrieve the ashes of Victor’s father, who he hasn’t seen since he was twelve. Really funny in parts, sad in others.

    Latter Days – A Mormon missionary deals with the fallout when he gets found out for being gay. Really interesting perspective – written & directed by an ex-Mormon. (NOT a kid-friendly movie.) Kind of intense.

    Los Lunes al Sol – Spanish movie that’s reminiscent of the Full Monty except there’s no stripping involved. Javier Bardem is fantastic in this one.

    The Sea Inside – also with Javier Bardem (who I love) starring as a quadriplegic who petitions the Spanish government to let someone help him die. Fantastic acting peformance, and a really interesting look at the whole assisted suicide debate.

    Goodbye, Lenin – In 1990, to protect his fragile mother from a fatal shock after a long coma; a young man must keep her from learning that her beloved nation of East Germany as she knew it has disappeared. Very funny, and interesting commentary on the changes in Germany.

    Hope you don’t mind subtitles….

  33. Nina Seong says:

    My new favorite: “Persepolis”

    It’s about a young girl growing up in Revolution-torn Iran who wanted to grow up to become a Prophet. She’s surrounded by great minds, revolutionaries, and protectors as a kid, and as a young woman she is searching to find herself.

    It’s goooood. 🙂

  34. Jason Douros says:

    Dark City is on of our all time favorite movies. I am surprised to see anyone else have ever seen it, much less put on a list :)Definitely proto-Matrix…and I think that there is a connection but I can’t think of it.

    Regarding Henry – Little known Harrison Ford movie. He is a hot shot lawyer that has a life changing accident. Funny and touching. One of the only Drama’s I’ll recommend…like ever.

    Doctor Horrible’s Sing a Long Blog – Now out on DVD. It is an episodic “movie” made by Joss Whedon completely out side of the Main Stream Hollywood world and originally shown on the Web. Funny in rightful and kind of Satementy. My favorite comedy like thing…also has Dougie Houser as a supervillan.

    Wonder Woman Animated Movie (2009): Excellent exploration of the original feminist vision of the Character. Well done, and also statementy…I know I know, animated, but still excellent.

    Being a Brown Coat, I also have to throw Serenity into the mix…kind of a bigger movie…but still not. Toss in the Firefly series and you have hours of Interstellar Cowboy goodness. No really it works very well together…seriously it does. “Oh, I’m going to the special hell”. Also the best Pastor character in an on going role I’ve ever seen.

    Others kinda fitting in: Down with Love, LA Story and The Crow (the first and only the first one…which is directed by the same guy as Dark City)

    and of course Battlefield Earth – Just kidding🙂

  35. Steve says:

    Recommendations for stories of children/youth/families in unfamiliar settings and lifestyles:

    “A Time for Drunken Horses” – Kurdish family living on the Iraq border

    “The Story of the Weeping Camel” and “The Cave of the Yellow Dog” – semi-nomadic Mongolian families

    “Whale Rider” (story and acting overshadow the metaphysical elements; first three are more realistic)

    Agree with “Millions” and “Amelie”

    Also:
    “House of Sand and Fog”

  36. Jason Douros says:

    Oh yes the Arrival, I completely forgot about that one…yeah that was an excellent one!

    Alien Nation and it’s accompanying FOX TV series is also top notch, and is an awesome exploration of race relations in America.

    Oh and who could forget They Live starring Roddy Pipper🙂

  37. Erick says:

    big fan of the prestige…better and better every time too.

  38. Grace says:

    1. Mostly Martha –

    a German film about a Martha, a workaholic chef, who’s sister dies and leaves Martha as guardian of her young daughter. Wikipedia calls it a romantic comedy, which I guess it is, but I found that it was more a movie about family and coming to the end of your abilities.

    (The American movie No Reservations with Caterine Zeta Jones is based off of this.)

    2. Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-Long-Blog

    I hope you’ve heard of this, but if you haven’t, how wonderful that you get to watch it for the first time!

    Joss Whedon (Firefly, Buffy)) made this “movie/musical” during the writer’s strike and released it exclusively online. It stars Neil Patrick Harris (from Doogie Howser) as Dr. Horrible who wants to enter the Evil League of Evil. It’s freaking hilarious. It’s available for free on Hulu and is only about 45 minutes long. http://www.hulu.com/watch/28343/dr-horribles-sing-along-blog

    3. Run Lola Run

    Also a German film. Lola has 20 minutes to get 100,000 Deutsche Marks to save her boyfriend’s life. It’s an action movie. The movie has these “what if” alternative scenarios that play out.

    It’s hard to only limit myself to 3 recs! I can’t resist, two more:

    4. Zathura – a kid’s movie. It’s like the movie Jumanji, except the kids play a space game where everything in it becomes real when they play. Jon Favreau (Iron Man) directed this and I was surprised at how much I liked it.

    5. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day – It’s a fish out of water tale that stars the awesome Frances McDormand as a destitute governess who scores a job interview for an American actress.

    (& I second “Stranger than Fiction”)

  39. Kristina says:

    Paradise Now- a foreign film about the lives of two young men chosen to be suicide bombers. Such an interesting perspective on Islam as well.

    Born Into Brothels- my favorite documentary about a female photograper who builds relationships with the children of the red light district in India. She uses photography to relate to the kids and attempt to better their circumstances.

    Chocolat- excellent film with spiritual messages about enjoying life.

    I also second Babette’s Feast, Once, The Visitor, Amelie, and Life is Beautiful.

  40. Brett says:

    There are a lot of movies listed already. I’ll give you a TV show that you should watch. Battlestar Galactica (the new series with Edward James Olmos, not the one with Lorne Greene). It is brilliant. Never got much pub but it is revered, critically. Might be the best TV show I’ve ever seen… and I’ve seen a lot of TV, I was a latch-key kid.

  41. Kay says:

    A few faves:

    The Lives of Others – a striking drama about life in East Germany… can’t really summarize, but if you have Netflix or a good video store, it’s definitely worth checking out.

    The Chorus – an uplifting movie about a children’s chorus, based on a true story

    To Live – heartbreaking and beautiful story that follows a Chinese family and how stuck together through the Nationalist government, Communist Revolution, the Cultural Revolution, etc…

  42. Marcy says:

    Elizabethtown – good stuff on how we as a culture deal with success, failure, grief, intimacy and interfamily relationships.

    A Fairy Tale – billed as a kid’s movie but the best stuff will fly over the kids’ heads. I appreciated it for its themes of faith and the human need for hope or the transcendant, and its questioning of how we separate reality from wishful thinking.

    Henry Poole is Here – Filed under romantic comedy but it’s not typical for the genre. Follows one man’s struggle with hopelessness and despair. Examines the way faith and skepticism, hurt and healing, despair and hope play out in the different characters.

  43. degeneral says:

    “dark city” was awesome.

    I haven’t seen “big blue”, but from the details, I’m guessing you have seen “the professional”, one of my all time favorites. also done by luc besson, starring jean reno.

    my rec – “the zero effect”. bill pullman is fabulous as an eccentric private eye, ben stiller plays it pretty straight as his assistant.

    “the visitor” was very good. it had some oscar buzz, but still probably fits lesser known.

  44. Amy says:

    stranger than fiction is an awesome dark comedy. i wasn’t expecting much when i saw it and it really surprised me!

    i second whoever said miss pettigrew lives for a day. very cute.

    i recently saw new in town and laughed so hard! the accents are awesome:) check it out if you need a laugh.

  45. Some of my favs that are surprisingly uknown:

    The Power of One – The story of a young English boy growing up in South Africa during the 30s and 40s as he collides with the injustice of apartheid and attempts to change his small little corner of the world. It’s an amazing, challenging story with some of the most incredible music…ever. (Even stars a young Daniel Craig as a Nazi)

    The Long Walk Home – Stars Whoopie Goldberg as a housekeeper/nanny Montgomery Alabama in 1955 and her struggle against prejudice as the civil rights movement is just getting started.

    The Tuskegee Airmen – Gotta have a WWII title in there somewhere since a list from me wouldn’t be complete without one. It’s the story of a WWII African American fighter squadron. Very moving story.

    Wow, just realized that all these favs are civil-rights oriented. Cool!

    But, just to change things up, there’s the always violent/awesome/hilarious/intense/somewhat-offensive Boondock Saints(Story of two vigilante Irish brothers in South Boston. Contains one of the funniest and most colorful uses of the F-word ever. [Should I be telling my pastor this? ;-)]).

    And for the SciFi if you like vamipire/zombie esque films you’d love Night Watch and its sequel Daywatch. Both are Russian made and though a few parts can be somewhat cheesy, I think the story (Culmination of the old-as-time battle between the forces of dark and light set in modern Moscow) is intriguing and pretty awesome.

    Cheers!

  46. Leah says:

    1) Defiance–I personally completely missed this one in the theaters a year or so ago (probably because I don’t watch TV or go to movies usually so I see very few commercials/previews)–got it on Netflix this past weekend it was AMAZING. Truly inspiring story of a group of Jewish brother who create a safe community for Jews in the Belarussian woods during WWII. REally makes you think about a lot of things.

    2) In America–again not too widely know, but a really powerful and moving movie about the experiences of an Irish immigrant family in New York City.

    3) Blue Planet/Planet Earth–I guess these are technically miniseries and not movies, but if you like nature films/National Geographic type stuff these are absolutely amazing, the best out there.

  47. 206up says:

    Ramin Bahrani’s films:

    Man Push Cart, Chop Shop, and Goodbye Solo. All three are terrific!

  48. Eugene Cho says:

    Amazed by the number of suggestions…

    but man, I thought I was well versed in films. Many of these I have never heard of.

  49. Scot says:

    How bout “The World’s Fastest Indian”?

    Y – loved Big Blue!

  50. Pam says:

    Definitely Babette’s Feast

  51. From opposite ends of the spectrum:

    Frisco Kid — an old Gene Wilder/Harrison Ford comedy about an innocent-hearted Polish rabbi making his way across the American frontier in the unlikely company of a bank robber. Ford is barely more than a stock character, but Wilder’s rabbi is my absolute favorite of all the roles he has acted. Language is pretty salty, but it’s an important (and very funny) part of the story.

    Wit — a made-for-HBO movie starring the incomparable Emma Thompson as a middle-aged literature professor dealing with Stage 4 ovarian cancer. (“There is no Stage 5,” she informs you in the opening scene.) This is a difficult, powerful, technically bold movie about the quest for meaning in both life and death. The scene in which Thompson’s character is comforted by an old academic mentor as she slips toward death may be one of the most simply and profoundly beautiful moments ever filmed. There would have been Oscars galore for this movie if it had been released in theaters. Thompson is flawless.

  52. mar says:

    indochine (french)

    motorcycle diaries (latin american)

    nowhere in africa (german)

  53. et says:

    you’d be tickled pink at this suggestion. i think u will enjoy the Korean version of Boys Over Flowers drama series. 25 episodes in all.

  54. Mike W says:

    Of your three, I saw the Prestige and enojoyed.

    I ditto the recommendation on World’s Fastest Indian and ditto to the Kurasawa movie suggestion.

    How about these, they’re not obscure, but mainline movies that didn’t get the recognition or hype of other movies.

    Tucker – true story about the man behind the Tucker automobile, an man ahead of his time.

    Shawshank Redemption was nominated for an academy award for best picture, but strangely many people have not seen it. Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman do a great job in this movie.

  55. Grace says:

    In America! I knew I forgot something. Thanks, Leah.

  56. Laura says:

    Great recommendations…I’m just going to second/third the following:

    Millions
    Henry Poole is Here
    Lars and the Real Girl
    Amelie
    Whale Rider
    God Grew Tired of Us
    Stranger than Fiction

    and a new one no one has mentioned…Happy Go Lucky (sort of a bright and clever chick flick)

  57. gar says:

    So many films… so little time! A few, listed by mood (mostly Asian)…

    (funny)
    Swing Girls (JPN)
    200 Pound Beauty (KOR)
    Spy Girl (KOR)
    Ping Pong Playa (Asian American)
    Finishing the Game (Asian American)

    (serious / drama)
    DEPARTURES (JPN)
    Crying Out Love In the Center of World (JPN)
    Floating Weeds (Ukikusa) (JPN)
    In the Mood for Love (CHN)
    2046 (CHN)
    American Pastime (US)
    Smoke Signals (US)
    7 Pounds (US)

    (crime)
    A Bittersweet Life (KOR)
    Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (KOR)
    Election I, II (CHN)
    The Mission (CHN)
    Exile (CHN)
    Snatch (British)
    Inside Man (US)

    (action / epic)
    Fist of Legend (CHN)
    A Battle of Wits (CHN)
    Red Cliff I, Red Cliff II (CHN)
    Shadowless Sword (KOR)
    VERSUS (JPN)
    Azumi (JPN)
    Lone Wolf & Cub series (JPN)

    (anime)
    Cowboy Bebop
    Samurai Champloo
    Trigun
    Death Note

    Most of the US films are pretty easy to get a hold of. If you’re looking for the Asian films, I recommend Amazon, YesAsia, eBay, or asking folks to borrow it (like me, haha).

  58. Tony Lin says:

    I like this 5 minute Greek movie. Watch it… really.

  59. gracex2 says:

    Water by Deepa Metha (part of her elements trilogy of Fire, Earth, and Water) One of the most moving pieces I’ve ever seen – about ashrams in India in 1938, the arrival of Gandhi and injustices toward widows – even a pre-teen widow who didn’t know she was betrothed and is now “sentenced” to live in an ashram. Gorgeous film and a profound story.

    In the Mood for Love – Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung. A Wong Kar-wai film. That should sum it up!

  60. Hmmm-

    Best coming of age story – Dancer, Texas Pop. 81

    Strange but fun – Six String Samurai

    Good drama – Smoke Signals

    And in the cheezy but fun realm, the Pierce Brosnan miniseries of Around the World in 80 Days

  61. Andy M says:

    I would suggest…a book. Sorry, couldn’t help myself. I love good movies, and there are many mentioned here that I’ve definately never heard of, but I find myself being more and more sick of electronic media these days. I’ve been trying to read some of those stacks of books I’ve been meaning to read for a few years.

    Enjoy those movies though, you should have a pretty comprehensive list now.

  62. Kacie says:

    gar cheated and listed off way too many. That means I get to mention two more. For your whole family, find a VHS (it’s not on DVD) of The War of the Buttons, which is an Irish movie about two little rival village gangs of boys (and one girl). SO FUNNY, the little boys competing fiercely with their hilarious accents. It’s a great one.

    And an oldie – On Golden Pond. It’s about an old couple who are nearing the end of their lives and grappling with that. They swear up a storm and give each other a hard time and so clearly love each other – also funny and great.

  63. Throneburg says:

    ‘Beautiful Girls’ – my favorite movie of all time…and i think one of the best commentaries on men’s inability to commit out there.

  64. barry says:

    I’ve seen The Prestige but I get it confused with another magician movie so I don’t remember the plot.

    I second The Power of One. Morgan Freeman is in it too. I’ve heard even better things about the book.

    Man On Wire: I have yet to hear a negative review of this documentary. Documentaries usually aren’t my thing but this film was beautiful. The guy’s passion for tight tope walking seeps through the screen.

    Dan in Real Life: Steve Carell. It’s a chick flick but it’s great. Everytime I watch it I feel happy afterwards.

  65. Li-yun C. Young says:

    Diving Bell and The Butterfly

    Der tunnel http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0251447/

    Hope you are feeling better, P. Eugene! You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers…

  66. What Things May Come- about death and the afterlife, paintings play a great part in the flick.

    Sorry about your injury.

  67. Eugene Cho says:

    @gar:

    dude, that’s a long list. but a good one.

    have you folks seen ‘searching for bobby fischer.’ i love this movie.

  68. Tommey says:

    Atanarjuat (Fast Runner)
    Dancer in the Dark
    Eat, Drink, Woman
    Nikita Le Femme

    Krzysztof Kreslowski’s Trilogy Blue, White and Red is realy nice.

  69. Tommey says:

    I saw Searching for Bobby Fischer…loved it. Greatest chess player ever =)

    Just realized my list of movies were on the heavy side..so some delightful films…

    Little Miss Sunshine
    Kung Fu Hustle
    Whats Eating Gilbert Grape
    Man on the Moon
    Billy Elliot
    Bend It Like Beckham

  70. I was going to suggest Searching for Bobby Fischer but figured you had already seen it. It ranks high on my list too. Such a good story, filmed with wonderful, artful care. (Have you ever noticed the film angles in the scene in the rain after Josh “throws” a chess match? Every time the dad is on camera, you’re looking at him through the bars of an iron fence. Powerful imagery!)

  71. Gordon says:

    definitely recommend Old School. I hear it’s a hit with the wives.

  72. Ian says:

    “Waking Ned Divine”
    “The Full Monty”
    my wife loved “Amelie”
    i’ve always loved “The Big Lebowski”, “The Sting”, and “Searching for Bobby Fischer”

  73. Eugene Cho says:

    @gordon: dude… my wife has not forgotten.

  74. C says:

    I agree with garrett, he took many of the movies I was going to mention… (I started reading your blog when you spoke at uw intervarsity several months ago) I do love childrens movies though, like The Little Princess and Hook. Unfortunately many of them have won awards. The Prestige is mainstream though…
    Anne of Green Gables
    Frank Herbert’s Dune (2000 mini series)
    Lost in Austen (well this is a chick flick)

  75. derek says:

    Brother from Another Planet: Earth is a stop on an alien underground railroad

    Local Hero: Real fun in a Scottish town with many memorable characters

    Adventures of Baron Munchhausen: Terry Gilliam’s inventive masterpiece. All done before CGI

  76. Maddie says:

    Rabbit Proof fence is a favourite of mine about the stolen generation in Australia, also ditto to Real Women have curves, Millions, Whale Rider, and In America.🙂

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One Day’s Wages

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First day of our daughter's college years at this great school. We love you. We're so proud of you.We believe in you. Go Huskies. Go Dawgs. And also, beat Stanford this Friday. As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it.

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