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GMD Social Poll: Top Ten Films of 1997

Discussion in 'GMD Social Forum' started by CiG, Mar 28, 2019.

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Rapists are worse than:

  1. A cockroach

    20.0%
  2. That white stuff that accumulates at the corner of your mouth when you're really thirsty

    40.0%
  3. Something somewhere between the two

    40.0%
  1. challenge_everything

    challenge_everything Active Member

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    Starship Troopers has nothing to say. Total Recall at least preserved Dick's warped ideas on reality and identity.
     
  2. CiG

    CiG Primordial Soup of Radioactive Sewage

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    I don't agree that it has nothing to say, or that Total Recall has so much to say by comparison, but Starship Troopers is way more entertaining, the action scenes are more convincing and the aesthetic isn't anywhere near as cheesy or aged as Total Recall. I guess Total Recall has the superior SFX though, plus Arnold's presence is in itself a massive plus.
     
  3. Terasophe

    Terasophe Into Valeria

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    1.) The Lost World
    2.) Chasing Amy
    3.) Mortal Kombat: Annihilation
    4.) Starship Troopers
    5.) Beverly Hills Ninja
    6.) Men in Black
    7.) Good Burger
    8.) Austin Powers - International Man of Mystery
    9.) Liar Liar
    10.) Gummo
     
  4. TechnicalBarbarity

    TechnicalBarbarity -TheNightsBane-

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    I've only seen Starship Troopers once and it was around the time it came out. I'll try to watch it again before this one wraps up. Face/Off for me tonight though.
     
  5. CiG

    CiG Primordial Soup of Radioactive Sewage

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    Awesome list, blasphemous ordering.
     
  6. dwellerINTHEdark

    dwellerINTHEdark Curator of the mausoleum

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    1. Titanic
    2. I Know What You Did Last Summer
    3. The Lost World: Jurassic Park
    4. Face/Off
    5. L.A. Confidential
    6. Good Will Hunting
    7. Event Horizon
    8. Dante's Peak
    9. Good Burger
    10. Con Air
     
    CiG and RadicalThrasher like this.
  7. Oblivious Maximus

    Oblivious Maximus I am the worm

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    Here goes nothing:

    1. Lost Highway (David Lynch) - What to say and not have this be as long as the unredacted Mueller report? Well, of course there were surreal films that came before this one that did away with traditional narrative, but never had it been done like this. Even for Lynch, this was a new way of toying with audiences. There have been innumerable interpretations of the film over the past 22 years, and while it's fun to sometimes try and decode complex works, putting something under a microscope too much can dilute the mystique. Embrace the mystery and go with it. As Lynch has said, people accept the fact that real life doesn't make sense, is full of abstractions and gives no easy answers so why can't they accept the same in art? Every single one of Lynch's individual talents is put into overdrive here. Leonard Maltin once said that he was jealous of people seeing Psycho (1960) for the first time. I'm the same way with this film. Even if whomever is seeing it for the first time ends up hating it and can't see that their watching something special, there's just something about that first time, though the film is every bit as exciting, mystifying and inspiring on each and every revisit. It's a film that, like so many of Hitchcock's masterworks, keeps revealing new, hidden things about it to admire the older it gets. David Lynch is the greatest creative mind of our time.

    2. Starship Troopers (Paul Verhoeven) - It's hard not to repeat the same thing I said about Total Recall (1990) in the 1990 rankings thread as the same thing applies here. Like all of Verhoeven's American films, this just works on a multitude of levels. The politics of the film have been debated ever since it's release so it's not worth rehashing, but nevertheless the film is a prime example of Verhoeven's knack for witty sociopolitical satire regardless if you agree with it or not. Even the casting of 90's heartthrobs like Casper Van Deen and Denise Richards feels like a somewhat subversive move on Verhoeven's part and the script is so brilliant even the more soap opera like bits of the plot are impossible not to engage with. As far as action/sci-fi blockbusters go, it doesn't get any better. Hilariously over-the-top and violent and it must be said that, aside from some of the larger scale digital effects, the bugs still look better than anything crapped out of Hollywood these days. Looking back, it's amazing that Verhoeven was able to subvert big-budget American filmmaking for as long as he did. An era that's sorely missed.

    3. The Blackout (Abel Ferrara) - The beginning of a new era for Ferrara being the first film after his partnership with his right hand man, writer Nicolas St. John, came to an end, though the theme of overwhelming guilt, a Ferrara staple, is ever present. Whereas so many films have tried and failed to visually recreate the effects of drunkenness or drugs, watching this film actually feels like wandering around in a stupor, something which Ferrara no doubt drew upon personal experience, especially around this time. Ferrara didn't really need drugs. He is drugs. Or was back in 1997. Only about 5% of what Dennis Hopper says throughout the film makes any sense and the narrative even goes into Lynchain/Robbe-Grillet territory near the end with its doubling and shifts in time. This more freewheeling style gives Ferrara license to really play around visually and the film is one of his most slick with some especially delirious and disorienting editing. It got fucked hard on the distribution front and it took years for it to actually see home video but do no sleep on this one. Top-tier Abel.

    4. Hot Blooded (David Blyth) - Had this been made about 20 years earlier it probably would have been a drive-in hit. Alas, being released straight to video and late night cable meant it got lost in the shuffle among the multitude of other DTV titles. It also didn't help that it was released in some territories as “Red Blooded American Girl II” or “Red Blooded” and marketed as a sequel to Blyth's excellent 1990 vampire film Red Blooded American Girl despite having nothing whatsoever to do with vampires. What it is, however, is a terrific road/revenge movie that starts off in the exploitation fashion the advertising promises before Blyth, a subversive master, flips the script and turns the film into a psychological profile of a severely damaged individual. Blyth has it both ways though, as the film does switch back and forth between exploitative fun and deadly seriousness, one particular moment stands out for being skin-crawlingly uncomfortable. Also the best DTV favorite Kari Wurher has ever been. She's got a fever of 103 and the only prescription is to watch this movie. Full review linked due to lack of trailer.

    5. Two Orphan Vampires (Jean Rollin) - This probably isn't the best place to start for anyone unfamiliar with Rollin as anyone unaccustomed with his surreal, fantastique style is bound to walk away bewildered but nonetheless, it's a wonderful and underrated work. Very much a back to his roots kind of film for Rollin, returning to the kind of phantasmagoric vampire film he made his name with in the 70's just with the eroticism toned down, understandable given the nature of the story. The pacing is languid even by Rollin standards but the leisurely pace couldn’t have been more suitable for the random nature of the film and the titular orphan vampires run-in’s with other fantastic creatures like a hunted she-wolf, a lonely, mournful ghoul and most memorably, the “Midnight Lady”, a powerful vampire-like creature sporting massive bat wings. Very beautiful film.

    6. Premutos: The Fallen Angel (Olaf Ittenbach) - AKA Lord of the Living Dead. If The Burning Moon (1992) didn't already solidify Ittenbach as the king of German splatter then the gore epic Premutos was his coronation. Four years in the making, the film is the definition of a labor of love, perhaps Ittenbach's magnum opus. Ittenbach's hands-on approach is ever present, the film having more ambition than a good number of mega-budgeted features, with a story that travels through a few different eras of history and of course, Ittenbach's outstanding gore effects, the sheer quantity and quality of which outright challenges Braindead (1992). Equally in abundance are laughs, with the film being a comedy of the blackest variety with a good number of the gags being hilariously disgusting. The English dub adds a surreal quality. Olaf über alles.

    7. Full Metal Yakuza (Takashi Miike) - Miike tipping his hat to his hero Verhoeven but Miike isn't the type to deliver a shallow copy and paste work and despite what a simple plot description might lead one to believe, the film is much more than an homage to RoboCop (1987). While both films are outstandingly violent sci-fi/action hybrids with wicked senses of humor, the style of humor is where the films differ. Unlike Verhoeven's sociopolitical satire, Miike's humor is more of an absurdist nature, with much of the laughs resulting from over-the-top ridiculous scenarios, including the films many sequences of arterial spray. It's not all frivolity though, with the yakuza angle giving the plot an added revenge angle and amazingly, Miike managed to include a potential love interest. Watch the film to find out how that ends. It hurts. Bad. Anyway. This would ultimately end up becoming a crucial title in Miike's oeuvre being that it was really his first attempt at pure genre material but also in the way it predicts his approach to Ichi the Killer (2001). A perfect film to showcase the quality of Miike's direct-to-video (V-Cinema) days.

    8. The Sweet Hereafter (Atom Egoyan) - A bridge film for Egoyan in some ways. While he ones again plays around with time, the film isn't as difficult or enigmatic as Calendar (1993) or Exotica (1994) and though the film exposes dark secrets hidden in small towns, the film is nowhere near as sinister as The Adjuster (1991). And it would also lead to more of Egyoan adapting the writings of others for future films. Thick with a natural atmosphere, a chill can be felt even when watching the film in mid-summer. Affecting performances from the entire cast but Ian Holm and Sarah Polley are another level of brilliant here. Polley even lends her haunting singing voice to the soundtrack. Keep the whiskey and anti-depressants nearby. This one lingers long after.

    9. Chasing Amy (Kevin Smith) - Smith has his cake and eats it, too with a script that critics could point to and say that Smith was “maturing” as a writer but still being unquestionably a Smith work with it being set in the comic book world and razor sharp dialogue that at times makes vulgarity a legitimate art form. Much like Clerks (1994), there is an everyman reliability to the film. Granted, many probably haven't had the exact kind of relationship as Holden and Alyssa, but the feelings of inadequacy and wondering how you compare to your partner's past is a thing too many people are familiar with, whether or not they're willing to admit it. One step closer to Smith's masterwork. 20+ years after the fact and the film becomes even more valuable within a popular culture context due to Smith's handling of gay themes triggering the life out of the culturally fascistic types.

    10. 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag (Tom Schuman) - The award for the most egregiously underrated film of 1997 goes to this. If any film has “cult appeal” written all over it, it's this. It's genuinely baffling how little seen it seems to be. The premise might be one joke stretched out to 95 minutes but who cares when the gags are this morbidly hilarious. Joe Pesci is so on-point it's absurd, turning his irritable and violent gangster persona up to 11 and having a field day. This remains writer/director Tom Schuman's lone feature which is too bad. He really had a good handle on this kind of black comedy and fun fact, he was a writer on Abel Ferrara's revenge themed TV-movie The Gladiator (1986).

    HM:

    The Psycho Sexuals
    Living on the Edge
    Wishmaster
    Romy and Michele's High School Reunion
    Mimic (Good year for Mira Sorvino)
    Slaves to the Underground
    Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist
     
    #27 Oblivious Maximus, Mar 30, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019
  8. no country for old wainds

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    fantastic list/write-ups as always. i'll definitely be seeing the blackout before the deadline, and i'll be looking into some of these others too.
     
  9. CiG

    CiG Primordial Soup of Radioactive Sewage

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    Hey @Oblivious Maximus I'm curious what you think of Rainy Dogs.

    Edit: just found The Blackout for $3 on Ebay lmao, grabbed it up.
     
    #29 CiG, Mar 30, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
  10. Oblivious Maximus

    Oblivious Maximus I am the worm

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    It's my favorite of the Black Society trilogy, though I've only seen each of those films one time. Long overdue for a revisit.

    It's surprising how little seen The Blackout still seems to be. Really an important film for Ferrara that sent him on the strange journey to where he's at now.
     
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  11. CiG

    CiG Primordial Soup of Radioactive Sewage

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    I haven't seen a single film in that trilogy unfortunately, but they all look/sound awesome. The whole trilogy was compiled together for a DVD/blu ray release, I really should shell out some money for it. Miike's stuff can be so hard to come across.

    At least one Miike film will be making my final list though, Young Thugs: Innocent Blood.

    Your description makes it sound pretty interesting and kinda nuts, curious to check it out. Just found a copy of Full Metal Yakuza on Ebay too, my lucky morning this morning, been eager as fuck to see that one since I saw your blog post about it.
     
  12. Oblivious Maximus

    Oblivious Maximus I am the worm

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    All three have their own individual strengths. Shinjuku Triad Society is the most Miike out of the three in that it's an early example of Miike delivering extreme imagery, though he gets weird at times in Ley Lines, the third film.
     
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  13. Oblivious Maximus

    Oblivious Maximus I am the worm

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    Something worth mentioning is that '97 was the year DVD made its greater worldwide debut. I remember during the formats infancy, longer movies still had to be split up on two sides like laserdiscs. You also had snap cases, and occasionally oversize jewel cases from some of the more budget conscious distributors.
     
  14. no country for old wainds

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    i don't think i had a dvd player 'til the '00s lol
     
  15. Oblivious Maximus

    Oblivious Maximus I am the worm

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    I remember 2001 is when I really started to take notice of all the swanky new 2-disc special editions that were flooding the market. Gimmick packaging was big, too like the Terminator 2 Ultimate Edition with the metal slipcover. Two of my most cherished discs are the Basic Instinct special edition that came in a case shaped like a block of ice and came with an ice pick pen and the Total Recall DVD that came in a tin made to look like Mars.
     
  16. Burkhard

    Burkhard Active Member

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    A rather short list, but better than none, and I really liked the first two a lot (I watched the no. 1 even twice at the cinema, which happens very rarely):

    1. Deconstructing Harry
    2. The Full Monty
    3. Knockin' on Heaven's Door
    4. Elles
    5. Addicted to Love
    6. Bandits
     
  17. jimmy101

    jimmy101 Active Member

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    Yeah, Tera being massively generous to MK:Annihilation there. I loved the first film and the SNES games but that sequel was absolutely shite. Hated how they portrayed Shao Khan in it.
     
  18. CiG

    CiG Primordial Soup of Radioactive Sewage

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    Yeah, even the first film is pretty... well, at least it's better and more faithful than the SF film.
     
  19. jimmy101

    jimmy101 Active Member

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    A couple of things that annoyed me about the SF was the way they portrayed two of my favourite characters. Blanka was hardly featured at all, really only a minor side plot, whilst Dal Sim (who was most notable for his elastic limbs) was kept in chains for the entire film!!

    Edit: But yeah, whilst I enjoyed the original MK film, it is pretty campy. Has really cool fighting scenes though (Scorpion vs Cage being a real stand out).
     
  20. CiG

    CiG Primordial Soup of Radioactive Sewage

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    Yeah it was horrendous. Ryu and Ken, the true protagonists, were portrayed by generic asian male and generic white american male. Meanwhile, blonde flattop American patriot Guile was portrayed by JCVD...
     
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