Hidden Gems

Fresh off the live performance with the Chicago Sports Bums at the Weiner Circle, Yumper and Svo are back to let you on some Hidden Gem Movies you may have not known about!



Note Drop:

A Million To Juan (1994)

  • Directed by Paul Rodriguez
  • Starring Paul Rodriguez, Polly Draper, Gerado, Edward James Olmos, Victor Rivers, Tony Plana, and Pepe Serna.
  • 2 million Box office, Budget N/A
  • Trivia
    • Very few people know that this movie (along with the 1957 version and the 1946 version) are loosely based upon a short story by Mark Twain called “The Million Pound Bank Note”, published in 1893. The story line in the book, and the three movie versions, basically only share the theme of the “bank note” or “check” that cannot be cashed or spent.
    • Gerardo Mejia who plays Flaco is known as a one hit wonder for his 1991 hit song Rico Suave.

Danny Collins (2015)

  • Directed by Dan Fogelman
    • Life Itself
    • Wrote
      • Cars
      • Tangled
      • This is Us TV Show (Creator)
    • Starring Al Pacino, Annette Bening, Jennifer Garner, Bobby Cannavale, and Christopher Plummer
    • Box office of 10.8 million and Budget of 10 million
    • Trivia
      • Inspired by the story of singer Steve Tilston, who learned of the existence of a letter that John Lennon had written to him 34 years after the letter was written.
      • In November 2010, Steve Carell was attached to star in the film, then titled Imagine, as the rocker’s son, but he ultimately dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.
      • In June 2011, Al Pacino was in discussions to star in the film.[8] In October 2012, Jeremy Renner was announced as Carrell’s replacement and Julianne Moore also joined the film.
      • The “Danny Collins” concert footage at the beginning of the film was shot at a Los Angeles concert by the band Chicago.
      • The pictures on the wall of Collins’ house (around 10 mins in), are all pics from previous Pacino roles; The Godfather, Serpico etc.
      • Michael Caine was originally cast but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts and was replaced by Christopher Plummer.
      • Julianne Moore and Jeremy Renner were originally cast but after some financing problems the actors moved on and were replaced by Annette Bening and Bobby Cannavale.
      • Two of the film’s original songs, “Don’t Look Down” and “Hey Baby Doll”, were long-listed for the 2015 Academy Award for Best Original Song.


28 Days Later (2002)

  • Directed by Danny Boyle
    • 127 Hours
    • Slumdog Millionaire (Won Oscar for it)
  • Starring Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Christopher Eccelston, Brendan Gleeson, and Megan Burns.
  • Budget of 8 million and Box office of 85.7 million
  • Trivia
    • The film was shot almost entirely in sequence; only pickups and a few reshoots were shot out of sequence.
    • Athletes were cast as the Infected because of how important physicality is to them. Danny Boyle felt that since athletes can do things other people can’t, they would be interesting when translated into the movements of the Infected.
    • Alex Garland and Danny Boyle did a great deal of research into social unrest, drawing ideas from things that had happened in Rwanda and Sierra Leone (such as the piling of bodies inside churches), but drew the line at using any actual footage from such incidents in the opening montage. All footage featuring dead bodies/desecration of bodies was faked.
    • Ewan McGregor was the original choice to play Jim, but he and director Danny Boyle had a falling-out at the time over The Beach (2000), in which McGregor was supposed to play the lead until he was replaced by Leonardo DiCaprio (they have since reconciled). After that didn’t work out, the role was offered to Ryan Gosling, who had a scheduling conflict.

Overlord (2018)

  • Directed by Jules Avery
  • Starring Jovan Adepo, Wyatt Russell, Mathilde Ollivier, and Pilou Asbaek
  • Budget 38 million and Box of 41.7 million
  • Trivia
    • Overlord’s first sequence, which sees the soldiers jumping from a burning plane, was done by rigging a plane on a gimbal, actually blowing up the front, tilting it as if it were actually falling through the air, and sending stuntmen tumbling through real fire.
    • The “clickers” used by the squad after landing in France were called Crickets. Only the 101st Airborne Division was equipped with Crickets, and only the paratroopers of the division received it a few days before June 6, 1944.
    • The plaque on the wall of the lab says “Al Pascal Moreau,” which is an homage to famous scientists connected with the plot. “Al” most likely refers to Albert Einstein, the physicist who encouraged the US to develop the atom bomb during WWII. Blaise Pascal was a 17th-century French mathematician and scientist who invented the syringe. And Moreau is a fictional scientist from H.G. Wells’ novel “The Island of Doctor Moreau,” who uses vivisection to create horrifying hybrid creatures.
    • The scene where Chase’s neck snaps back so fast causing bones to stick out of his chest was done with old school puppetry and animatronics
    • Wyatt Russell (Corporal Ford) is the son of Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, the latter of whom starred in “The Thing (1982)”.
    • Operation Overlord was the code-name for the Allied operation for the Battle of Normandy, which launched the successful invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe. This, alongside Operation Neptune, would become known as D-Da

Renaissance Man (1994)

  • Directed by Penny Marshall
    • Starred in Laverne and Shirly
    • Directed
      • Big
      • A League of Their Own
      • Awakenings
    • Starring Danny Devito, Gregory Hines, James Remar, and Cliff Robertson
    • Budget of 40 million and Box Office of 24 million
    • Trivia
      • According to Penny Marshall’s memoir “My Mother Was Nuts”, the part of Sergeant Cass was originally offered to Ving Rhames. He turned it down, as a friend (Quentin Tarantino) had written a part for him specifically in Pulp Fiction. When he turned the role down, it was offered to Gregory Hines. Penny Marshall’s only concern was that Gregory Hines was too nice. Even when he was yelling at the troops, he came off as nice.
      • In the barracks, Lillo Brancato’s character reenacts a scene from Raging Bull (1980) starring Robert De Niro. Brancato’s impression of De Niro for a talent scout one year earlier landed him his breakthrough role in De Niro’s film A Bronx Tale (1993).
      • Debut of Mark Walhberg

My Best Friends Girl (2008)

  • Directed by Howard Duetch
    • Pretty in Pink
    • Some Kind of Wonderful
    • The Great Outdoors
    • Married to Lea Thompson
  • Starring Dane Cook, Kate Hudson, Jason Biggs, and Alec Baldwin
  • Budget of 20 million and Box office of 41.6 million
  • Trivia
    • For the scene in which Dane Cook grabs and squeezes Kate Hudson’s butt, a “stunt butt” was used.
    • Jason Biggs and Jenny Mollen met on set, and married in April 2008.
    • Dave Cook said in an interview in 2014 that Kate Hudson was his worst onscreen kiss.

Bodyguards and Assassins (2009)

  • Directed by Teddy Chan
    • Kung Fu Jungle
    • Producer of Black Mask
  • Starring Xuequi Wang, Tony Leung, Donnie Yen, Lian lai (lie) and Nicholas Tse (suh)
  • Box Office of 23 million and a gross of 6 million worldwide
  • Trivia
    • During the fight between Donnie Yen’s character against the henchman (played by Cung Le), the latter was killed by a sharp object cutting across his neck. In “Once Upon a Time in China II” (also starring Donnie Yen), Yen’s character was also killed by a sharp object cutting across his neck.
    • Based off Sun Yat-sen who served as the first provisional president of the Republic of China and the first leader of the Kuomintang (Nationalist Party of China). He is called the “Father of the Nation” in the Republic of China, and the “Forerunner of the Revolution” in the People’s Republic of China for his instrumental role in the overthrow of the Qing dynasty during the Xinhai Revolution. Sun is unique among 20th-century Chinese leaders for being widely revered by both the Communist Party in Mainland China and the Nationalist Party in Taiwan.

Friends with Benefits (2011)

  • Directed by Will Gluck
    • Easy A
    • Peter Rabbit
  • Starring Justin Timberlake, Mila Kunis, Patricia Clarkson and Jenna Elfman.
  • Budget 35 million and Box office of 149.5 million
  • Trivia
    • Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film three stars, and remarked about the film, “What not every rom-com has, however, is good dialogue, well-delivered at a fast clip.” He added, “Kunis fast-talks her way through the opening scenes as if she’s channeling Juno, and Timberlake easily keeps up. At some fundamental level, I simply enjoyed watching them.”
    • When Mila Kunis changes in the back seat of a taxi, the filmmakers felt the driver didn’t sound like an authentic New York City taxi driver. So they used Mila’s father Marko Kunis to dub his voice. Marko worked as a taxi driver when he first arrived in the United States and still has a Ukrainian accent.
    • When playing basketball, Woody Harrelson is shown dunking. This is a nod to one of the subplots of White Men Can’t Jump (1992).
    • Ashton Kutcher who is in the movie No Strings Attached (2011) has a baby with and married Mila Kunis who stars in this movie. They attempted to originally have a “no strings attached” relationship, but eventually fell in love. Both movies have a very similar theme. Additionally, Justin Timberlake made a song and album called “No Strings Attached” with fellow band mates, NSYNC.
    • This film grossed only $300,000 more than No Strings Attached.


Price of Glory (2000)

  • Directed by Carlos Avila
    • Directed Shows
      • Grimm
      • Cold Case
    • Documentary
      • Tales of Masked Men
    • Starring Jimmy Smits, Jon Seda, Maria Del Mar, Clifton Collins Jr, Ron Pearlman, and Paul Rodriguez.
    • Box office 3 million on a budget of 18 million
    • Trivia
      • Jon Seda is a one time Golden Gloves Welterweight



Boiler Room (2000)

  • Directed by Ben Younger
    • Prime
    • Bleed for This
  • Starring Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Deisel, Nia Long, Nicky Katt, Scott Caan, Ben Affleck.
  • Box office 28 million on a 7 million dollar budget
  • Trivia
    • The plot of the movie is loosely inspired in the life of Jordan Belfort, whose biography was later depicted by Martin Scorsese in The Wolf of Wall Street (2013).
    • In the scene where Chris (Vin Diesel) and Seth (Giovanni Ribisi) are waiting outside Greg’s (Nicky Katt’s) house, we never see the car move or get started. Before they shot the scene, Ben Affleck was sitting in the car, listening to music. He accidentally took the car keys home with him. They had to shoot the scene that night, and couldn’t find Ben. They shot the scene, with the car where it is, and lit up the house, so there wouldn’t be a reflection of the camera and crew.
    • Ben Affleck referred Matt Damon for the role of Seth Davis. Matt backed out to work on The Bourne Identity.
    • A different ending, in which Seth’s (Giovanni Ribisi’s) main victim, Harry (Taylor Nichols) goes to the Boiler Room armed with guns, and ostensibly seeking bloody revenge, was scrapped in favor of the F.B.I. bust ending. This alternate ending is found on the DVD.


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