14 October 2011

Andy's Friday Five: 1997

Wow. Turns out that 1997/1998 are super busy years of movies that I love, so making the lists for this year and next have been the toughest thus far. Amped? You should, like, totally be.

Previous Entries:
1990 | 1995 | 2000

A pretty stellar year of movies it looks like, frankly. I feel slightly ashamed at the amount of flicks I haven't seen from 97, chief amongst them Starship Troopers. It's floating around Syfy here and there, so I catch glimpses, but I eagerly look forward to the day when I see the whole shebang from beginning to end.

Still in My Que
The Fifth Element
L.A. Confidential
Event Horizon
Starship Troopers
Speed 2: Cruise Control
Donnie Brasco

Nearly Made the List:
I Know What You Did Last Summer - A lot hate it, some love it; I fall into the loving category. There's something inherently fun and not too serious about this Scream-inspired slasher flick, and looking back at the movie all these years later and seeing recognizable names just makes me laugh. Freakin' Anne Heche is in this movie, man!

The Lost World: Jurassic Park - A pretty dyno-mite sequel, if I say so myself. The pacing is quite off, making this epic feel long as hell, but for the whole world I would never take back a T-Rex wrecking havoc in Los Angeles, or the gripping double Rex scene that causes the team's cars go overboard. A pretty damn good sequel, just not hugely enjoyable.

Chasing Amy - One of Smith's best, although it's oddly one I don't revisit often. I feel I should remedy that. And with a cheap Blu-Ray roaming around Best Buy, that's all but certain.

Kull the Conquerer - Blame it on my love for Kevin Sorbo in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, but Kull the Conquerer is all kinds of fun, and when I found it in the $5 Wal Mart bin, there wasn't a seconds hesitation. That baby was mine! So, years and years later, does the flick hold up? Oh God, yeah. The special effects are craptacular, mind you, but the fun, laid-back script and 'let's go bonkers!' performances is the type of crazy that should not be missed.

Liar, Liar - One of the very, very few Jim Carrey movies I love. Best line: "I'm kicking my own ass!"

Princess Mononoke - Confession: I very strongly dislike Anime. So, yeah, huge surprise when I quite in fact fell for this flick.

Good Burger - Included on the list more for nostalgia factors, as I had the pleasure of revisiting this film within the last few months, and it does not hold up. Wow this was bad. Can't believe I used to love, love, love, love Good Burger. I still miss Kenan & Kel.

Air Force One - "Get off my plane!" Harrison Ford as the President. Gary Oldman as bad guy. Heaven.

Andy's Favorite Five of 1997
5. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
Do I really have to name the reasons for loving this movie? Doctor Evil. Seth Green. Austin Powers. Easily escapable death trap. Liquid hot "magma". Seth Green. Elizabeth Hurley. Mike Meyers. Fat Bastard. Basal. The whole movie is one giant hilarious gag after another. I love the whole trilogy, and a small part of me wants to see the series continue, although I know that probably isn't a very good notion. But still, wow this movie was funny. One of my first true laugh-out-loud film experiences.

4. Good Will Hunting
Lots of hype surrounding this one, and it actually delivered, surprisingly enough. Everything about this flick is really, really well done, from the direction to the performances from, and especially, Damon and Williams. I think this is one of the few times I respected Robin Williams as a actor, and since I saw this film in a post-Bourne world, I guess I really just wanted to see Will to just stop pouting, say enough of this shit, and use his intelligence to create some spectacular fiction scenes. Anyone with me on that?

Um, anyway, what I love more then anything about this film is the script. There is that exquisite monologue Williams delivers, but the entirety of the movie is well structured, the characters are intricately given dimension, and in the end, although the flick isn't dealing with some big scale story like the Apocalypse or whathaveyou, Good Will Hunting felt like quite the experience. Oh hell, guess I'll have to go back and rewatch this one now. [searches for Blu-Ray...]

3. Hercules
The movies above didn't stand a chance: this Disney flick had a CGI hydra! And Hercules sliced their heads off, making more heads sprout up! At one point there was, like, a hundred Hydra heads! HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!?!!?


And Hades: now that was a fun interpretation of the character, and James Woods gives him such a wickedly awesome voice. It's perfect. Genuinely, 100% perfection. Perhaps my love for the Disney flick stems from cherishing the Kevin Sorbo Hercules series, but really, they're two entirely different universes. Not the least of which is the costume design - which, I wager, this would be more in line with something a Greek warrior would wear instead of Sorbo's lack of shirtiness. But this is beside the point - Hercules is gosh darn tootin' fun. My affection for monsters adds to the enjoyment factor, the script's funny, and there's even a stellar down-to-the-wire Underworld sequence (!). Hercules floats my fancy.

2. Titanic
At seven, when I first saw this four hour epic, all I really cared about was the pretty special effects of the final act. Everything involving the older Rose, and most of the Jack/Rose stuff, I just didn't care about. Over the years I've rewatched the movie in full only a handful of times, but chunks quite frequently. And the more and more I expose myself to Titanic, and block away the fact it's the highest grossing movie ever (next to Gone with the Wind) and is the most cherished and mocked film in cinema probably ever, I actually tend to like it more and more, sorta transforming into love. It may not be a perfect film, but damn to hell, it's a pretty impressive one. The Jack/Rose relationship is surprisingly very well defined and shown, and of course the last act remains ever impressive as a feat of digital accomplishments. I still don't care about the older Rose/Bill Paxton bit, but it's a necessary evil, a story device to get us to 1912. So all in all, against my seven year old self, turns out I actually quite like this flick.

1. Scream 2
This isn't a popular opinion, but this is one of those rare times I feel the sequel is superior to the original. Mind you, I'm not saying the original is a piece of garbage that can easily be dismissed; nay, kind friend. I love Scream, and that film is about as perfect as it comes, but I think Scream 2 comments on our culture better, boasts bigger scares and tense scenes, and is about the most unpredictable of the bunch (although I didn't see the reveals in Scream 4 coming). Regardless of the agree/disagree nature of this opinion, I do feel that Scream 2 should get wider recognition for all it does right instead of being simply disregarded as, 'it's good, but it's not the original'. Timothy Olypfantastic alone rivals the stellar performance of Matthew Lillard from the first one. Neve Campbell gives her best work in the series up to this year. This is just one of those sequels that don't feel like a letdown, where the tension remains the same, the characters are consistent but continue to grow, the scares and reveals are unpredictable, the music's strength still holds power, the editing is tight, etc. All those things Scream 2 has, and shows off in spades. Frak. Now I really wanna watch it again.


Dylan said...

I had to consult the old site to see if I had done this year. From looking at your list, I was going to disagree and say that this was a pretty bad year for flicks, but damn, that's only because we share hardly anything in common (1 of our top 5s).

I've got it as:

5. Good Will Hunting
4. Men in Black
3. Gattaca
2. Jackie Brown
1. Boogie Nights

Wow - Scream 2 at the top...quite a controversial take. I don't think I've seen it since the theater.

Your words on Princess Mono make me want to see it. I don't care much about anime, either.

Time Lord said...

I guess 97 appealed to my guilty pleasures more than anything. No other list, I think it's safe to say, will have HERCULES or AUSTIN POWERS.

Out of your Top 5, I haven't seen BOOGIE NIGHTS. Think I'd like it?

How often/much have you watched any/all the SCREAM films? I would definitely encourage revisiting SCREAM 2 in the near future. You might find a liking to it. But if you do and the answer is still 'nay', I'd be interested to know your reasonings for dislikement.

And yeah, definitely check out PRINCESS MONONOKE. Action. Deities. Demons. Blood. Pretty music. Tragedy. Appeals to my taste. :) I saw three other Miyazaki movies, and I didn't care for any of them. So PRINCESS MON is pretty special..