Greetings, earthlings. You’ve caught me thinking about movies from my childhood – the glorious era of the late 1990s – and I just realised something pretty special. HOLY CRAP was 1997 an interesting and varied year for cinema. Honestly, that year, perhaps above all others, makes me regret the current cinematic environment. So many brilliant, but at the same time, God AWFUL movies in one year (but awful in the best ways). Just scanning through the list of some of the heavy hitters, I’m honestly jealous of 4 year old me… wishing that I was current, 23 year old me back then so I could get down to the cinema and enjoy some good, old fashioned entertainment. For a considerably lower fee, I might add. I mean, come on!! In 2006, just over ten years ago, the average price for an ADULT cinema ticket was £4.90 for cryin’ out loud! And Freddos cost 10p… by the way, they’re going up to 30p soon. Bloody outrageous. Cadburys is ruining lives right now. But enough of that!
So obviously I’m not going to sit here and jot down a list of EVERY movie released in 1997 – Only those movies that have proved significant in some way, for good or evil (or just plain wrong *Star Wars*?), for me or for cinema as a whole. Heck, I’ll even do them in order of release, you lucky bunch, you. And Awaaaaaaay we go:
Star Wars: A New Hope special edition (31/01/97); Dante’s Peak (07/02/97); Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back special edition (21/02/97); Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi special edition (14/03/97); Liar Liar (21/03/97); Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie (28/03/97); Anaconda (11/04/97); Volcano (25/04/97); Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (02/05/97); The Fifth Element (09/05/97); The Lost World: Jurassic Park (23/05/97); Con Air (06/06/97); Batman and Robin (20/06/97); My Best Friend’s Wedding (20/06/97); Disney’s Hercules (27/06/97); Face/Off (27/06/97); Men In Black (02/07/97); George of the Jungle (18/07/97); Air Force One (25/07/97); The Full Monty (13/08/97); Event Horizon (15/08/97); L.A Confidential (19/09/97); Starship Troopers (07/11/97); BEAN: The Ultimate Disaster Movie (07/11/97); The Man Who Knew Too Little (14/11/97); Anastasia (21/11/97); Alien: Resurrection (26/11/97); Flubber (26/11/97); Good Will Hunting (05/12/97); Titanic (19/12/97); Mousehunt (19/12/97); 007: Tomorrow Never Dies (19/12/97)
I mean LOOK AT THOSE. I Challenge you to read through that list and not find even ONE movie that isn’t amazing in that list. Look at that roster there. Most of these classics were made because they were good ideas, inventive and fun. Heck, even the god awful ones are just kinda fabulous in their own way. Batman and Robin is the epitome of SO BAD it’s good, despite the fact it was basically made solely to sell action figures. We’d never have the Bat Credit Card without it!
And look at the blockbusters: Nick Cage in Con Air, Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park 2, Harrison Ford in Air Force One… Men In Black, Starship Troopers, The Fifth Element, Face/Off!!! Sure they’re not all good, but they’re ALL better than ANOTHER Transformers movie or (as much as I like him) Chris Pratt just playing himself again. And some classic movies from my childhood are there too: George of the Jungle, Hercules, Power Rangers, Anastasia, Mousehunt, Tomorrow Never Dies and FLUBBER. When was the last time you saw Flubber? (RIP Mr. Williams) Sure, the Star Wars special editions probably shouldn’t have been made… but you can’t argue they weren’t important… Han shot first by the way. I’ll end the debate before it begins.
It seems like all we have to look forward to these days are regurgitations of the same tired splooge! You get SOME of the good stuff, like the Marvel movies (though by now they sure are getting TIRED and fast), but most of it just ends up being stuff that shouldn’t exist: Transformers: The Last Knight… fuck yourself. Smurfs: The Lost Village… because the last two were such HUGE successes they just had to make another, right? The Fate of the Furious… that’s 8 now, people. LET IT GO. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales… just STAHP.
Sure, I have a few movies that I’m looking forward to this year (Spiderman ftw). We all do, I’m sure… but they don’t make ‘em quite like they used to. Who am I kidding, you could counter this entire rant by saying that maybe I’m just looking at 1997 through rose-tinted glasses… but I’m sure that we can all agree on this: Hollywood needs to stop signing off on crappy horror movies, OSCAR-baity boring shit, endless sequels to franchises that weren’t even that good to begin with (Pixar…. CARS 3?????? WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO US????) and, perhaps most importantly, get Michael Bay tested… then at least we’ll know for sure there’s at least one robot in disguise.