Great films are great for a number of reasons, one being originality.
There are many original films out there, but the question isn’t what makes a film great, the question is- what makes a film popular? It could be the actors in it, the quality of it, or simply the theme of the movie; so why didn’t these films get the credit they deserved? I Origins, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, and Donnie Darko are some of the most original, well-put together movies of the 21st century. Some of these you’ve likely never heard of, but here’s a description of three films that should’ve made it, but didn’t.
A.I. Artificial Intelligence (PG-13) is a Fantasy/Drama film that came out in 2001 directed by Steven Spielberg starring Haley Joel Osment as David; a “Mecha” robot capable of imitating thoughts and emotion. David is adopted by a man named Henry as a gift to his wife, Monica, while their son is in an induced coma. Monica mothers’ David during this time. David is given a robot named Teddy which he becomes friends with, Teddy takes it upon himself to watch over David. Soon their son Martin is healed and awoke from his induced a coma and comes back home. Through a series of unfortunate events, Monica leaves David in a forest instead of destroying him and David goes on a mission to become a “real boy,” like Pinocchio. He believes that if he becomes real that Monica will take him back and treat him as her son. Many events follow, with a bazar plot twist and you soon realize that David is real due to his ability to want and take it upon himself to do. His journey to becoming human is what this movie’s all about.
Donnie Darko (R) is an American science fiction drama film released on October 26th, 2001 directed by Richard Kelly. Staring Jake Gyllenhaal as Donnie; featuring Drew Barrymore, Seth Rogen, Patrick Swayze, Jack Salvatore Jr. (from iCarly,) Ashley Tisdale, and Jerry Trainor (otherwise known as “Crazy Steve” in Drake and Josh.) Donnie is a trouble teenager from Middlesex Virginia whom suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and “daylight hallucinations.” These hallucinations include a creepy rabbit named Frank that encourages Donnie to do bad things. Frank brings up the topic of time travel and Donnie gains an interest in the topic, all the while his girl friend Gretchen (a new student at Middlesex High) is almost as messed up as him, with severe family problems. Donnie begins to see these bubble objects coming out of the abdomen of people around him and soon realizes it’s telling them where to go and what to do before they do it. He looks more into the subject coming across a book called “The Philosophy of Time Travel,” and with Franks help, he comes to a conclusion.
This movie is very hard to explain if you have not seen it before, the entire movie is basically a trip. It has it’s funny moments and confusing ones too, but it does all tie together in the end. This movie is focused more on the idea that time is an illusion, and that everything is meant to happen for a reason.
I origins (R) Is another fantasy/drama film Directed by Mike Cahill released on January 18th, 2014. Michael Pitt stars as molecular biologist, Dr Ian Gray, studying the evolution of the eye from point zero up to the complex human eye. The main reason for his study is to disprove the religious belief that God, and only god is capable of that creation. As a matter of fact, he is so interested in eyes that he carries around a camera and photographs any eyes he finds beautiful and original. Meanwhile, he meets Astrid Bergès, who stars as Sofi, at a Halloween party. She is wearing a mask that shows only her eyes, and of course being as eye-crazed as he is, he photographs her minty yellow-brown eyes and eventually winds up finding her using these photographs. Come to find out, Sofi is very religious and believes whole-heartedly in reincarnation. She challenges Dr. Gray many times with her own personal theories; they begin to date. After finding the perfect species of worm with the gene for sight but no actual vision, Dr. Gray and his lab partner Karen successfully give the gift of sight to their test worms; proving that through evolution and science- even the eye can be made. Sofi takes this breakthrough offensive arguing that they were playing God, in one part she asks, “why are you working so hard to disprove God?” Gray replies, “Disprove? Who proved that God was there in the first place?”
Almost immediately after his breakthrough, Sofi dies.
He soon discovered a girl in India was born with her exact iris print 9 months after her death, he questions his belief and goes looking for this little girl, changing his outlook he hopes that the tests he has for her may link her soul to Sofis’. This is one of the very few movies that have successfully tied religion and science together without being biased. Ultimately, the movie leaves the ending up to the viewer and their beliefs.
These movies most likely won’t be recognized as great because people just aren’t interested in movies that have a real concept in them anymore. These are not movies made for kids or focused on a young audience; they’re for the people that want a legitimate story. None of the movies listed rain gumballs or feature a talking cat or even a character devoted only to comedic relief. These are real movies with real concepts and rounded people, significant and funny quotes are spread throughout the movie. These movies would be legendary if entertainment was also intelligent. Their originality cannot be matched.