We could all use a few more movies in our lives, especially with everyone being trapped inside and all. But, sometimes our cable boxes and streaming services make it hard for us to branch out, with blockbusters advertised from top to bottom along every screen. Not to worry, we're here to help!
If You Like 'Parasite', Try 'Akira'
Before you even say anything, I know Parasite is Korean and Akira is Japanese. I am not saying Korean film and Japanese film are the same thing, they have deeply distinct cultures that both of these films reflect on screen. However, if you loved Parasite, that means two things. You enjoy thriller movies based on inequality, and, you can sit through an entire movie with subtitles.
Both of these lend you towards liking Akira. Akira is based less on class inequality and more on government-related paranoia in the wake of Hiroshima, but regardless, these are stories about those in the bottom rungs of their respective societies being pushed down and corrupted by those deemed above them, and both have horrible repercussions.
If you want a more detailed look at Akira, go check out my anime article, where I explain just how good this movie is. Also, I hate to be that guy, but please watch Akira in Japanese, the English dub just doesn't do it justice.
If You Love 'Reservoir Dogs', Try 'Twelve Angry Men'
Quentin Tarantino's first blockbuster of many, Reservoir Dogs, starring more famous people than I can list, is what many still consider to be his best film. Unlike Parasite and Akira, the similarities here are quite tangible. Both films are about a group of random strangers, put together by fate, trying to decide a monumental decision. Enclosed in this space, their true selves come out, their prejudices, their fears, their anxieties, their pasts.
Both come from brilliant directors, and both comment heavily on American society as a whole, delivering uncomfortable yet present truths.
If You Love 'Star Wars', Try 'The Great Gatsby'
First of all, if you don't love Star Wars, kindly direct yourself to another entertainment writer, because this is not a safe space for you. Second of all, yes, I am dead serious with this comparison. While these movies have almost nothing to do with each other, what you may not know is that both films follow a plot structure that dates back to Aristotle known as the tragic hero.
The tragic hero, to quickly summarize, is a character who begins virtuous and good, but contains a tragic flaw, which leads to them experiencing extreme suffering that evokes catharsis, or sympathy, from the audience, despite their now evil ways. In the end, the tragic hero dies, often in redemption, or at the very least experiences great suffering due to their tragic flaw.
Now, who does that sound like to you? Perhaps a certain Jedi Knight with arrogance and anger in his heart, struck down by his master, becoming a shell of himself and the definition of pure evil, only to redeem himself by finding the good in himself again? Or maybe it's a certain rich mogul who desires an unachievable fantasy, which leads him to grow more and more corrupt and flawed, which leads to his untimely death in defense of what he loves?
Spoiler alert, I guess, but don't get mad at me because you didn't pay attention in English class.
If You Like 'Wolf of Wall Street', Try 'Citizen Kane'
This isn't in hopes of shining more light on Citizen Kane, it gets plenty of that already. But these films are both about men who desire power and fame, achieve it, and ultimately become an example of the dangers of power itself. Both films are also massive warnings about the trappings of masculinity that have been deeply misunderstood by a vast majority of their audiences, so take from that what you will.
If you like watching movies that warn of what can happen to the soul when power and hubris is added to the mix, watch these movies.
If You Love 'Pretty Woman' try 'The Florida Project'
So the similarities here aren't keen to the eye, and that's because they aren't similar. I just think anyone who watches Pretty Woman should also watch The Florida Project. If, for no other reason than to dump a bucket of ice water on your fantasy world.
Pretty Woman is a beautiful love story about a high class prostitute falling in love with a rich businessman who gives her anything she could ever want. Not The Florida Project. That movie is about society really just kicking you while you're down. The story told from the point of view of two children with a prostitute mother, The Florida Project is the perfect movie to show you the realism of American poverty.
I understand that Pretty Woman is meant to be a love story, however, you shouldn't just watch movies just for idealistic scenarios, watch them for realism too. A lot of us, myself included, are very disconnected from the realities of poverty and prostitution. The Florida Project is a wonderful dose of realism, that shows us just how harmful treating people forced into situations as criminals really can be. Also, The Florida Project is one of the best shot movies I've ever seen, the saturation and camera work is gorgeous.
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