1997  1997
 
Title Grade Review
Absolute Power This is a thriller with some off my favourite male actors : Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Ed Harris and Scott Glenn. The performance they put up is brilliant as usual but the story is unfortunately not up to the same standard. It has a slow pace which is nice but when You don't really have anything to fill it with there is a problem. Go and see it for the best American actors available!
Air Force One Making modern thrillers cannot be an easy task. Air Force One is a foreseeable, patriotic and unbelievable making that has frightened a lot of critics to give it bad reviews. Probably they are right but I still was quite satisfied when I left the movie theatre. The reason for this is that you have to see it as a comedy. You will have a lot of fun and also enjoy the action if you do just that. Hollywood's comedies are rarely up to the standard European ones but sometimes they unintentionally succeed.
Bond:
Tomorrow never dies
This is a James Bond movie and could only be compared to other Bond-movies. It does everything it should and the 2 hour 5minute film feels rather short. I must admit that I liked the Timothy Dalton movies but Pierce Brosnan is no bad substitute. A really tough girl is introduced too : Michelle Yeoh. Well, well it is either a very good  3-grader or a poor 4-grader.
Bound A very sensual and theatrical thriller. The Wachowski Brothers is another pair of promising directors. We just have to hope that Hollywood doesn't destroy them. Itīs very close to get a lower grade but I like the style. 
Brassed Off Another English comedy/drama about the traumas off unemployment. Contrary to the rumours I liked "The full Monty" much more. This movie lacks the laughter and background feeling and the political message is rather childish. Tara Fitzgerald is absolutely lovely (again) and the brass band is marvellous.
Cité des enfants perdus, La An absurd film by Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet that is absolutely magnificent!!! It is impossible to try to explain the story, it has to be experienced. My first five star movie seen in 1997 was actually released in late 1995 but good films are often distributed in few copies.  
I last saw Ron Perlman in "The name of the rose", also five stars, and he is even better here. 
This is one of these movies when You leave the theatre with a great smile and You will survive reality for a little while longer.
Conspiracy Theory You can easily get paranoia watching this film. Mel Gibson is, as usual, brilliant as a crazy guy. Julia Robert is as pretty and credible as ever and Patrick Stewart is much better as a villain than a hero. But still this movie never reach the nerve of a good thriller. Its obvious that the story is the weakness of this movie, as it often is when they come from Hollywood. 
Contact Jodie Foster makes a solid performance as ever in this film based on a novel by Carl Sagan. The film tends to be of the same concept as Sagans TV shows: good craftsmanship, clinical and no real feeling. It is definitely worth seeing and perhaps a few new thoughts will appear in your head but it is really nothing special. A few sugar sweet scenes with the star and her father do not improve the case but rather the opposite. For me at least the only real kick was the first time they ever heard the sound from outer space. The noise is fantastic!! FONT>
Crimson Tide Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman makes this movie worthwhile by themselves. Its really a moral drama with a lot of thriller ingrediences. The plot is probably from a college class in philosophy, straight forward and simple with a moral dilemma without solution. This means that it is a lot better than most hollywood stories. A submarine is a perfect surrounding for a drama and photo and special effects are brilliant. Its good entertainment with a little thought but You wont remember it forever.
Devilīs own, The Here is a new thriller with two of Hollywood's largest male stars, Pitt & Ford. 
I must admit that my expectations where quite low but its alright. Pitt is a very trustworthy terrorist but Ford is perhaps an overkill as only a police sergeant. The director tries quite successfully to make the extremely violent terrorist to a human being and the government guys to ugly bastards which is probably politically correct in California (and Northern Ireland). 
As a somewhat different thriller it is worth while seeing but You will not remember it for long.
Donnie Brasco A very good craftsmanship with excellent actors Donni Brasco has only one deficiency : its a kind of documentary. As often the real thing is not exciting enough for a long film.
On TV it would be a masterpiece but on the wide screen its only good. However to see two such good actors together as Al Pacino and Johnny Depp is worth the money and when two other favorites of mine are casted its even better : Anne Heche and Michael Madsen.
This is a film that it is OK to see on the theater but You better wait till its on video or TV.
English patient,The An extremely beautiful film with excellent actors. It has been nominated for 12 Oscars and will probably win a few. Films like this always balance on the knife-edge. 75% of it is like a masterpiece and then You have parts that's almost pathetic. If they had cut out the crap it could have been a bulls eye!!
Face/Off With a lot of good critics perhaps my expectations were to high. The first hour is about the worst seen in an action movie. The story really stinks. Then the second hour is good with excellent performances by Travolta and Cage. But the ending is off course the same Hollywood teardropping end as usual and I am back i the lousy mood  as I was in the beginning.
Fair Game Most things are alright in this creation except for the story - its awful. Cindy Crawford is beautiful and probably OK as an actress if its in line with her own personality - but she is just not a tough lawyer on the run among thousands (or millions) of bullets. Director is Andrew Sipes and its probably his first and last production. The action scenes are amazing and photo is OK but they should have been saved to a better manuscript.
Fifth Element, The A film by my favourite director so my expectations where very high which is not a good start for a review. However this is one of the best films this year. As usual in Luc Bessonīs films everything is different. Jean-Paul Gaultierīs costumes is amazing and Milla Jovovich makes a fantastic debut as the fifth element. She is just as the star of Lucīs films should be. Gary Oldman and Bruce Willis are OK but I miss Jean Reno. 
This is the first time Besson has a giga budget and somehow I think that is the reason I cant give five stars to this film. It never creates the magic and nerve that Nikita and Leon did and I suspect that Besson sold 10% of his soul to get a 90 million dollar film. You can see it in the small bad jokes that is thrown around, that could be found in any thriller from California. 
Well don't care if its not a masterpiece - its still a very, very good waste of two hours.
Fargo This is one of the absolutely best movies this year!! (I should have seen it 1996). The Coen brothers has done it again and You must see it. This is a ultimate proof that reality beats the hell out off fiction. This is a fun, brutal, actionfilled movie with excellent actors. I was only a few inches from five stars but I have to admit that it is not a masterpiece.
The Game A brilliant thriller in the mood of "No way out" with Kevin Costner. This means that you don't know the real plot until the last minutes. In this way it is a very un-American movie. Sean Penn and Deborah Unger is very good and Michael Douglas is actually acting!!
Grosse Pointe Blank Another brilliant film in the spirit of Fargo, Desperado and Pulp Fiction. Lots of killing and gun fire but also massive laughter. I really start to wonder why I love these movies .... 
It will be a classic that You need to see again and again. John Cusack, Minnie Driver, Dan Aykroyd and Joan Cusack are great and it doesn't matter that some of the technical stuff is not up to million dollar Hollywood standard - a great script and good actors are worth so much more. The music (1980s) and the dancing makes my heart bleed...
Ice Storm Ice Storm has been a critic success from the start and I can see why. It is an absurd nostalgic trip to my youth with all crazy stuff occurring in the early 1970s. The low tempo, music and strange colouring is right up my alley. The grownup actors like Sigourney Weaver and Kevin Kline are among my favourites but the teenagers perform the good acting in this movie. This film has only one fault: it occasionally gets boring. Somewhere they lost the special feeling that has to be put in a movie with such a slow pace.
Jerry Maguire This is not a good film. But it is quite entertaining. It gets only two stars for most of the film but it gets better to the end. Its an awful superamerican ending but I hate to say it worked on me, at least to give it an extra star. Tom Cruise has a difficult time as he almost has to act but the rest of the crew saves him. 
Jurassic  Park : The lost world A quite good sequel.... 
The nerve is there and the dinos are even better. The story is much darker and a lot thinner but it survives -barely. If they will do a third film the dinos must win the battle otherwise the fans will be lost. 
LA Confidential What movie. What actors!!! This is how I wanted Mulholland Falls to be. There is no reason to discuss particulars because this is a real good work - almost a masterpiece. It has action, violence, laughter, romance and a pace that makes it necessary to keep up all the time - otherwise you are lost. The base is a moral dilemma and none of the "heroes" are completely nice guys - probably very close to reality. See it and it won't disappoint you - if you can keep up with the pace.
Liar, Liar Jim Carey, USA, father/son relation, hysterical jokes, deformed faces, the kind of comedy I usually hate!! - But I must confess that I laughed a lot.... 
It is nothing special but itīs quite funny when You need a couple of hours off work. Jim is overacting as usual but not as awful as in most films and not as good as in mask.
Lost Highway ĻWarning!! Do NOT try to understand this film. It would spoil the evening for You. David Lynch is as weird as ever and if You let him do his stuff without a deeper analysis perhaps You will grab something anyway. The music and photo is fantastic and if You just sit down You will get a different experience far from Hollywood. The plot contains a mix of sex and violence as well as time and identity jumps. Robert Blake (Baretta) makes a marvelous evil something. In the end its a special treatment for the patient viewer in the right mood (preferably intoxicated by a bottle of red wine). If You just wants a short time of entertainment after a hard days work - DON'T see this film!! 
Mars Attacks This a totally weird movie!!! 
I both love and hate at the same time but I was smiling when I left the theatre. Any keenest must see it - and there is probably no director that dares to make another science fiction - ever. All the Hollywood top brass is there and most of them die an extremely violent death - and the audience is laughing their head off.
Men In Black This is the absolute funniest movie so far this year!!! 
It has action, great actors and distance from the subject. 
I donīt care if they are doing what everyone does : a Sci-fi - this is the way it should be done. 
Will Smith impresses me more for every movie he does - he is even good in the bad ones. 
See this movie!!!
Michael The director Nora Ephron has earlier made Sleepless in Seattle (1993) and When Harry Met Sally... (1989) so expectations could be high. Mine were not though as critics had been mean. Ones again I was fooled because I think this film is OK. It is not at all close to Harry/Sally but it is OK. Thereīs lots of good actors : John Travolta, Andie MacDowell, William Hurt and Bob Hoskins,Robert Pastorelli. It is a nice bagatelle on a Saturday afternoon and You will feel good afterwards. (If You ever become an angel You would like to have the luck with women as Michael does)
My Best Friend's Wedding A low key romantic comedy with Julia Roberts, Dermot Mulroney and Cameron Diaz this a nice story. Unfortunately the story never gets to You and the laughs are scarce.
To make a comedy is always a risc even with theese actors and this is not a real success however it will probably make a lot of money as many young couples in love will be present in the theaters.
Nothing To Lose Tim Robbins is making a good performance as usual even if You have seen him doing the same thing several times before. I know that a lot of people will see this film because of Martin Lawrence(I) but he actually is its problem. A problem because he is no actor. He can be a good stand up comedy artist for five minutes but in a 2 hour film its fatal. The plot is probably OK but Lawrenceīs acting ability destroys the clear view. See it if You like him, otherwise save Your money.
The Peacemaker The first release of Dreamworks is a good product and promises more to come. The story and all basics are in accordance with formula 1A but the feeling and intensity is better than most action movies released lately. George Clooney has the character of a true hero star and we will hopefully see more of him on the silver screen than on television. As an actor I regard Nicole Kidman at least as high Clooney but she seems a little too young for the job she got (but perhaps it is iaw the Clinton regime).
Phenomenon John Travolta makes a good performance and the movie is nice, too nice, and You get bored. My judgement could be wrong however as I saw it on a west Indies cruise in the middle of the night with a Bloody Mary in my hand.
Ransom You have seen this movie a thousand times. Its a thriller and You know what's going to happen. The craftsmanship is very good, however, and that saves it. Mel Gibson and Rene Russo is alright but Gary Sinise steels the show.
Scream This is Wes Cravens salute to the B-film genre of scary movies. They have not appealed to me even when I was a teenager but this is a good craftsmanship and its made with love and the result is a good movie. The characters are played well with a little slack in the dialogue in the middle. Wes keeps the story up all the time and everyone has been a suspect before everything is revealed in the end. Go and see this movie with Your girlfriend if You want a close date.
Shooting fish This is absolutely the year of English comedies. This one is better than "Brassed Off" but not as hilarious as "The full Monty". Dan Futterman, Stuart Townsend and Kate Beckinsale are perfect in the cast and the plot is OK even if it smells old.
Sirens Great scenery, music and a good mood throughout this picture makes it a nice evening. It got lots of criticism because it showed a lot of beautiful women naked. I, however, have absolutely no problem with that. Tara Fitzgerald is very good and Hugh Grant is almost an actor too. The story about a priest and his wife visiting a liberal artist is solid and laughter is often present without a real joke being told. The feeling You get afterwards is rare and should be appreciated.
Smillaīs sense for snow I LIKE IT though I know itīs not correct to do it. For once I have refused to read the book before I saw the movie and as a film itīs just good. Julia Ormond has never been a favourite but here she fits. Gabriel Byrne is excellent as always. Bille August has made a thriller of the book and some people doesn't like it but who cares if the result creates a manuscript much better than 90% of most of them.
Speed 2 Cruise Control Speed was a very good thriller. 
Speed 2 Cruise Control is a very bad thriller. 
I really pisses me of that You waste a lot of money and even some good actors in such way!!! The photo is awfull with close pictures and everything jumping and moving around all the time. That technique can be used somethimes but for a whole movie its discusting. The story is weak (as often in thrillers) but it lines up impossibilities so You just get angry. 
Everyone responsible should get fired!!
Starwars 
Special edition
It is a boys dream.....and I still love it! 
Lots of things begin to feel old but the update makes it up. 
Heroes, evil and good forces and a beautiful princess...may the force be with You!
Starwars : The empire strikes back 
Special edition
The number two (actually no 5) in the thrilology is more serious and that is good. 
You can see that the is starting to get everything is order. It is only one thing that keep this movie out of the top brass and that is that it is a poor end - it is obvious that the last sequel must be seen just after a short pause because there is no real ending.
Svensson, svensson A Swedish comedy based on a famous tv-series. For being Swedish it is probably the most successful of them all - its fun.
The full Monty  It seems so simple - the English moviemakers keep up making formidable comedies one after another. There is probably not a joke in the entire movie but it is one of the best laughs this year. Just based on the real social reality and some determined middle-aged guy's desperate search for a job it creates just the right feeling and laughs that we need.
The People vs. Larry Flynt Woody Harrelson as Larry Flynt and Courtney Love as Althea Leasure makes amazing performances.  
(I hope that Courtney is acting) 
I really laughed a lot and the movie has a happy ending put it is not really entertainment - itīs a documentary. 
My recommendation is to everyone to see it but You will remember the actors not the film.
The Truth About Cats and Dogs Dionne Farris with "Once in my Life" (music during after text) and Janeane Garofalo (star) saves the extra star for this movie. Its a cute little bagatelle which You have seen hundreds of before and the story is clear for everyone after five minutes. Uma Thurman and Garfalo are trading places, to charm an English photographer, because Uma is so incredible good looking and Janeane supposed to be ugly. Unfortunately this doesnīt work as (at least to me) Garfalo is the lovely and Uma is a disaster as a stupid model (which is a compliment).
Volcano Volcano is a disaster movie with all the correct ingridiences. Tommy Lee Jones and especially Anne Heche does a terrific job. All the high tech needed to make the lava and all the other special effects look real is an extra thrill. It could have got an extra star if it wasnīt for the American ending and some political correct racial scenes out of context.

 

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