Sunday, August 10, 2014

Movies by year: 1997

(Definite spoilers ahead, be warned!)

Another year with too many amazing movies to count. Some were big productions - The Saint, Men In Black, Contact, Event Horizon, Gattaca, Starship Troopers. Others were more intimate, squeaking under the mainstream - Jackie Brown, Grosse Pointe Blank, In & Out, The Edge, Wag The Dog. All worth seeing, for different reasons. My favourite was big but weird:

The Fifth Element

I don't even know where to start with this one, it's so gorgeous. First of all, it's written and directed by Luc Besson, so it's gorgeous and quirky. Quirky enough that you might think Terry Gilliam was involved.

The story is insane - basically, evil is coming but the Earth will be saved by The Fifth Element, the supreme being sent by the Mondoshawans to save us. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg is helping the evil (because money) and the supreme being is in fact a supermodel in tiny clothes and bright red hair named Leeloo. Enter Corbin Dallas, down-on-his-luck cabbie and ex-military superman, and Vito Corneilus, keeper of the Mondoshawan faith. Plus Ruby Rhodd, the most obnoxious radio host ever.

The cast is fantastic - Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovitch, Ian Holm, Chris Tucker, and Gary Oldman make this an utter delight. The Diva Plavalaguna is an interesting twist as the keeper of the four stones.

There are great fights, 'car' chases, exploding ships, oozing foreheads, face changes and fun minor characters - the President, the Pursor, the overbearing Mother, the inept robber. All worth it.

The guns Zorg sells to the Managalores show up again in Galaxy Quest a couple of years later, proving that recycling actually happens.

Did you see it? What did you think? Where do you rank it in Luc Besson's roster?

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