1997 was a huge year for our little TNU gang. That was the year we all graduated high school, and that fall some of us went straight to college. That was also the year one of us got hit by a car in downtown Boston, but that’s another story.
I spent my summer working at Blockbuster, hitting golf balls at the driving range, and hanging out with my friends. But I also spent a ton of time at the movies that summer. At that time, my go to place for the latest movies was the General Cinema in Braintree Ma. The theater was close to home, and with something like 10 screens, there were plenty of movies to choose from.
Take for instance a week like this one twenty years ago. Over the course of a few days after July 4th, I spent my hard-earned money and saw “Men in Black,” “Contact,” “Face/Off,” “Hercules,” and “My Best Friend’s Wedding.” That was a lot of movies for one week, but I knew if I didn’t go see them, I’d have to wait until they came out on video, and back then it took around 8 months for that to happen.
Anyways, out of all those movies I saw, I think my favorite (at the time at least), was “Face/Off.” All right, so the acting is way over the top, and the action sequences go on a bit too long. But when I first saw “Face/Off,” I had a really good time, and where else can you see Margaret Cho playing an FBI agent?
“Face/Off” was pure mindless pop corn fun, and it came at a time when I could really enjoy this sort of stuff. All these years later, I can still pop in the “Face/Off” Blu-ray and enjoy the madness by John Travolta and Nic Cage.
“Contact” and “My Best Friend’s Wedding” I saw on the same day with a friend from work. We weren’t dating or anything, this was just two friends hanging out one day. Once we decided to go to the movies, she got to pick one, and I got to choose the other movie. But come to think of it, I had to buy the snacks for both.
Out of “Contact” and “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” can you guess which movie my co-worker picked?
Yup, you guessed right, she picked the rom-com. It wasn’t all bad though. I have to admit I did laugh a couple of times during “My Best Friend’s Wedding.” My choice for the day was of course, “Contact” starring Jodie Foster, Matthew McConaughey, James Woods, Tom Skerritt, William Fichtner, John Hurt, Angela Bassett, Jake Busey, and David Morse.
If you haven’t seen “Contact,” you’re missing out. This is one of the strangest sci-fi movies out there, but it is also one of the most underrated sci-fi movies out there. With an excellent cast, and a cool premise, this is still one of my favorite movies of the 1990’s, and it still holds up today.
Out of all the movies I saw that weekend, my least favorites were “Men in Black,” and “Hercules.” I’m not entirely sure why I didn’t enjoy “Men in Black” in 1997. Maybe I was expecting something else, and not so much humor. Whatever the reason was, it took me another 5-6 years before I came around and realized that yeah, MIB is a good movie.
As for Disney’s “Hercules,” that was just a bad movie. I did however like the animation style, but as I sat in the theater watching the movie, it was clear that Disney’s hand drawn animated films were starting to lose steam already. Then again, after the likes of “Beauty and the Beast,” and “The Lion King,” something like “Hercules” can’t live up to the expectations.
As you can see a good chunk of my summer of ’97 revolved around movies days and night. I saw plenty of movies that summer, but this week stood out for me. Yet, it doesn’t seem like it’s been twenty years already. I guess this means we are getting old.