Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect. 3 Arts Entertainment. 1997.

Before watching the movie:

I know pretty much nothing about this movie. I am informed that the premise involves the main character faking a fiance for apparent life stability to get promoted at work, which I hope gets a little more justified, because anywhere else will look at your job as the sign of how stable your life is. Interesting to note that this 90s boss wants a female employee to be engaged though, since only a few decades earlier marriage was seen as a career-ending move for women.

I will also note that the handwritten-style title, particularly when displayed in white, strongly reminds me of Friends, which I wouldn’t doubt was intentional, this being a late 90s movie starring a Friends alum.

Continue reading

Event Horizon

Event Horizon. Paramount Pictures 1997.
Event Horizon. Paramount Pictures 1997.

Before watching the movie:

I guess before just now I didn’t know anything but the title. So apparently a ship that was lost in a black hole has mysteriously come back, and the people who go investigate discover that it brought Something back with it. It seems to basically be a horror story with sci-fi trappings, so I wonder how much it’s indebted to Alien, when I was picturing something more like The Fifth Element or The Black Hole (three films I have yet to see as well). I suspect the main reason I have it connected to The Fifth Element in my head is because of similar looming heads posters and proximity of release dates, but also possibly they were stored close to each other in a friend’s collection. As a tense horror film, I don’t know how much to expect as far as visual and practical effects, and the only name I recognize among the top billing is Laurence Fishburne. So I don’t have much of any foundation for expectations here. Continue reading

Fathers’ Day

Fathers' Day. Silver Pictures 1997.
Fathers’ Day. Silver Pictures 1997.

Before watching the movie:

I grew up on AladdinFlubber , Jumanji, and Bicentennial Man all came out when I was the right age for them. I rediscovered Hook at a well-developed age between childhood and adulthood. Mork and Mindy may have been the first grown-up TV show I discovered on my own, but even if it wasn’t, it struck a chord with me the other possibilities didn’t. Robin Williams was the first person I did a search for in the library system and I pulled several movies from that search, a strategy I only applied so earnestly to two other actors. Having a blog focused on catching up with movies I haven’t seen led me to check off more of his filmography. So when news of his death came, I had some trouble finding a movie to review in his honor. It’s not so much that there are no movies left that I haven’t seen, but most of them are bleak dramas or too recent.

In the outpouring of love for the man I saw online in the last few weeks, Dead Poets’ Society seems to be very highly regarded, perhaps his most inspirational film. I indeed have not seen it and will certainly be getting to it soon, but I wanted to remember him with a proper comedy of the sort that there’s hardly anything left.

So here’s Father’s Day, a nearly forgotten movie about two men who have both been led to believe they’re the father of an ex-girlfriend’s runaway son, for the purpose of getting both of them to track him down. Sounds like a road movie with two giants of comedy at odds with each other. Let’s have some fun.

Continue reading

McHale’s Navy

McHale's Navy. Universal Pictures 1997.
McHale’s Navy. Universal Pictures 1997.

Before watching the movie: This looks way too similar to Down Periscope. Though that’s probably just because of the closeness of subject matter. And tropes of 90s poster design. Some months ago, when I learned of the existence of this movie and queued it, I knew I wouldn’t be able to appraise it well without a better appreciation of the TV show, so I recorded and watched a handful of episodes. I’m sure the rest of the boat was distinctly characterized if one paid attention over the course of the series, but really only four characters stood out to me. So I’m already not too bothered with the fact that they clearly seem to have changed that lineup to move with the times. However, that would just leave a shell of legacy over a story that would otherwise be its own thing. Continue reading

Good Will Hunting

Good Will Hunting. Miramax Films 1997.
Good Will Hunting. Miramax Films 1997.

Before watching the movie:

This movie is one I’ve been only vaguely aware of. I don’t know much more about the plot than “brilliant janitor”, and until I saw it categorized, I wasn’t fully sure it was a drama (I was just going by the rule I think was proposed by Family Guy: if Robin Williams is wearing a beard, he thinks it’s a serious role.

This has been sitting around my digital shelf for a while, but its pending expiration has pushed me to go ahead with it. Also it’s been on sale where I work for weeks, whispering to me.

Continue reading

Titanic

Titanic. Lightstorm Entertainment 1997.

Before watching the movie:

My impression of this movie is that in many respects, it got out of hand. The intent was to deliver a realistic example of what traveling on the Titanic would have been like, but the detail got out of hand. Also it’s impossible to get people to sit in the theater for over three hours of beauty passes over grand staircases, so a generic love story had to be dropped in, which also got out of hand.

Finally, Neil Degrasse Tyson got out of hand. I have a lot of respect for the docent astrophysicist, but even though I’ve heard the argument for fixing the sky to have accurate stars several times, I don’t buy it. Yes, there was a lot of detail lavished on the ship and costumes that would go overlooked by most people, but that detail has a lot more chance to impart valuable information about the setting than the positions of points of light in the sky. I like to be complete, but there’s a point where returns on detail diminish. Nobody was looking at the stars before Tyson complained.

Continue reading

Trial and Error

Trial and Error. New Line Cinema 1997.

Before watching the movie:

Michael Richards possibly trying to break (back) into film. Jeff Daniels, being Jeff Daniels. Courtroom comedy. I’m going in on the assumption that the main reason I never heard of this is the lack of starpower. The writing probably won’t be superb, but it ought to be fun for what it is.

Continue reading