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Mar 04 2014

This Week’s Underappreciated Movies

Every Monday, each of us will suggest a film that we feel too few people have seen.

covergirl

Windy’s Pick of the Week: Cover Girl

Everybody’s seen Singin’ in the Rain, but this gem with Rita Hayworth gets overlooked. If all you know of Hayworth is her stop-a-bus sexuality, you might not know she was a helluva hoofer. Also, Gene showcases his inventiveness doing a dance number with his own reflection. Bonus points for the Xanadu connection: Gene Kelly’s character name in this is Danny McGuire.

EliteSquad2

Melissa’s Pick of the Week: The Bus 174 Trilogy (Bus 174, Elite Squad, and Elite Squad: The Enemy Within)

Okay, I’m not trying to cheat by bringing up an entire trilogy of films. I’m doing this because Jose Padilha directed these three amazing movies, and I feel like I need to clear his name in the wake of the fanboy grousing about the Robocop remake (which he also directed).

The Bus 174 trilogy is the only trilogy I know of that consists of both documentary and fictional films. Together, the three take a microscopic and kaleidoscopic look at systemic corruption in Rio de Janeiro. The three movies are also highly engrossing, packed with action, intrigue, and fascinating people.

Bus 174 is a documentary about an incident in Rio de Janeiro where a man took a city bus hostage; it investigates both what makes a person do such a thing, as well as how the city botched the response. Elite Squad takes the narrative into a fictionalized (but highly researched) study into how and why the cops in Rio de Janeiro behave as they do. The final film, Elite Squad: The Enemy Within, plunges into the political machine that keeps the whole corrupt system in place.

The L.A. Times likens the three films to Dog Day Afternoon, Dirty Harry, and Serpico, respectively. I can think of no better endorsement than that.

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