Six Little Known Film Gems

Tens of thousands of choices, and yet so often you feel like there’s just nothing to worth renting at the video store, right? Here are half a dozen excellent choices of which you might not be aware:

“A Gunfight” is a truly different Western, starring Johnny Cash, Kirk Douglass, Jane Alexander, Karen Black and look quickly for a young Keith Carradine. This PG rated 1971 film tells the story of two aging gunfighters who agree to face each other in the local bullring and sell tickets to the winner take all event. Don’t expect a shootout every few minutes, though. This is a quiet, fascinating study of an entire town full of colorful characters on the eve of violence.

“Body Count,” a 1998 film starring Ving Rhames, David Carruso, Donnie Wahlberg, John Leguizamo, Forest Whitaker and everybody’s favorite 90’s bad girl, Linda Fiorentino, this is a clever crime caper about an art heist gone wrong that will keep you guessing. Be aware ahead of time this is rated R for good reason. There is language and violence that’s not appropriate for children under 12 or so.

In that same genre, and sporting an R rating for the same reasons, “The Immortals” offers a clever script and solid performances by Eric Roberts, Joe Pantoliano (of “The Sopranos” fame), William Forsythe, Tia Carrere (of “Wayne’s World”), Chris Rock in a change of pace role, and Tony Curtis. It’s a very different kind of crime caper film and an enjoyable ride. The film is surprising almost from moment one, and there’s a lot underlying this tale of the rip-off of a crime boss.

“Head Over Heals” is a 2001 PG rated, light hearted action comedy romance, starring the underrated Monica Potter in her best film performance. Freddie Prinze Jr. – often the recipient of critical snarls – gives a winning performance as a seemingly perfect fashion exec who has a real interest in Miss Potter’s art restoration expert character. The only glitch? She may have witnessed him commit a murder. Overlooked at the box office, this is a charming and fun film, with some laugh out loud scenes.

“Hawks” is a 1988 PG rated comedy drama starring “ER’s” Anthony Edwards, and a very unBond-like Timothy Dalton as two terminally ill men who decide on one last fling at life with a wild, funny and touching road trip. If you’re expecting a “disease of the week” TV movie, think again. This is a legitimately fine film, filled with understated warmth rather than cloying manipulation and wisdom in place of platitudes.

“D.E.B.S.” is undoubtedly the best action comedy lesbian bubblegum romance film ever – and not just because it’s the only such film. Featuring clever direction and a high camp script by writer/director Angela Robinson, this 2005 film boasts a marvelous performance by the lovely Jordana Brewster as “badass super-villain” Lucy Diamond, who falls heavily for good girl/perfect spy Amy Bradshaw, leader of a squad of schoolgirl crime fighters. You’re definitely stepping into an alternative universe in this truly sweet and PG rated film.

Okay, grab your keys and head to the video store or click on over to your Netflix account. Now you can get through a weekend or two without having to worry about what to watch.

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