Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Flashback: The 1997 Prigge's (Top 10 Films)

My immersion into "Titanic 3D" (fear not! I'm not writing another "Titanic" post! Wait, you DID want me to write another "Titanic" post? No? You didn't? Are you sure? Positive? Okay. Fine.) has taken me back, all the way back to the year 1997.

In retrospect, 1997 is absolutely stacked with fine films and fine performances and, thus, I thought it might be fun to hop in the old blogging time machine. So today I will retroactively name my Top 10 Films Of '97 and tomorrow I will name my Top 10 Performances Of '97. (Note: I don't much care for "As Good As It Gets." I didn't get the hoopla then and I sure as hell don't get it now. Give back Kate's Oscar, Hunt! GIVE IT BACK!!!)

My Completely Personal, Totally Subjective Top 10 Films Of 1997


1. The Myth Of Fingerprints. Is it the "best" film of '97. Heavens, no. Is it my Favorite film of '97. God, yes. I carry this bit of miraculousness with me like William Wallace carried the thistle with him.


2. Titanic. I've gone on at length about this movie many, many times so today let's quote William Goldman, shall we? (Italics his.) "If movies are story, and they are, then screenplays are structure. And what makes this movie the unique experience that it is, is not Cameron's ear for dialogue or his skill at camera placement or his brilliance with special effects. It's his storytelling, folks. If he doesn't deserve a nomination for screenplay, no one does."


3. Boogie Nights. I wrote about this brilliant trashy opera for my 1,000th Post and, yet, it only makes it to #3 on this list. That's how awesome 1997 was at the movies.


4. Wag the Dog. Detailing the elaborate attempt to manipulate a Presidential election, this is a piece of absolute comedic genius. I like it more every time I watch it.


5. Gattaca. Set in a futuristic world where genetic engineering is used to create perfect children, Andrew Niccol's eternally and unfairly underrated powerhouse directorial debut is as much a melodramatic epic as 50's-styled sci fi. And that is why I cherish it so.


6. Jackie Brown. Q.T., the ultimate fanboy, crafts not just a heist picture but an understated adult romance about the frustration and allure of starting over at any age.


7. A Life Less Ordinary. I.LOVE.THIS.MOVIE. Do you hear me, world?! I love it! And I don't care what anyone says!


8. L.A. Confidential. Reader: "Seriously? This jackass put 'L.A. Confidential' AFTER a 'A Life Less Ordinary?'" Yes. I did. Deal with it. "L.A. Confidential" is great and all (such a fine employment of Russell Crowe's talents) and has such an elegant look but how does everyone always forget about the utterly crap ending? Denial?


9. Starship Troopers. A subversive satire of the highest order. (See, Daryl?! It's on here! Don't worry, be happy!)


10. The Castle. Directed by Rob Stich, who directed my #1 movie of 2001 ("The Dish"), this hard-to-find (in America) Australian comedy is not just funny, but funny in a way that oozes absurdity and sincerity equally. Oh, how I wish Stich made more movies. He - to paraphrase Melanie Laurent in "Beginners" - is one of the people who believes in magic.

7 comments:

Andy Buckle said...

Very solid. I haven't seen your number #1 choice (though it is on my must-watch list now), or A Life Less Ordinary. Several of your choices would also make my list. L.A Confidential would top with Taste of Cherry, Funny Games, Boogie Nights and Princess Mononoke rounding out the Top 5.

Daryl said...

Just wanted to let you know that Jed from the STAA called to let me know that he's very excited to see you wisely included "Starship Troopers" in your list. He's disappointed to see it lower than some of your "artsy-fartsy movies," but you can't win 'em all.

Nick Prigge said...

Andy: "Taste of Cherry." Never heard of that one. I'll make sure to check it out. And while I love "Myth of Fingerprints" with all my heart, well, just be advised not everyone feels the same way.

Daryl: Now maybe Jed will stop leaving me messages to move "Starship Troopers" to my main video case. (But probably not.)

threeguys1movie.com said...

Sweet list, I have been jonesing for some Starship Troopers lately, I can't find it streaming anywhere. I may have to breakdown and purchase a used copy on Amazon to get my fix.

Nick Prigge said...

Thank you! "Starship Troopers" is great, isn't it? I don't have it on DVD either but luckily I can stop by my friend Daryl's place and see it any time. Daryl is, bar none, its greatest champion. You haven't lived until you've gone through the Dance Scene shot by shot with him. (Well, you have, but you catch my drift.)

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

Titanic aside (bless you), I'm loving this list LOVING this list for Gattaca. That movie just leaves me in a wreck, and it's the reason I came to love Ethan Hawke and Jude Law two fantastic actors who I tend to feel aren't given legitimate credit.

(A taste of Cherry is from Kiarostami who directed Certified Copy, Nick...which I'm still waiting for you to see.)

Also, you need to see The Wings of the Dove. Maybe you mightn't like it, but it's important for HBC's excellence in it.

Nick Prigge said...

Oh, "Gattaca." It's so wonderful. And making this list makes me realize I probably haven't seen it it 7, 8 years. I can't wait to rectify that soon.

"Certified Copy" comes out on Netflix here in May! Finally! I'm so excited! Perhaps I'll make it a double feature with "Taste of Cherry."

And you know, I remember you recommending "Wings of the Dove" some time ago and I put it in my Netflix queue but it got lost in the wilderness as so many movies do. I'll have to move back it up. I need to see that, especially considering how much I loved "The Heiress."