Another month with a ton of movies to watch. In August 1987 twenty movies hit the screen, August 1992 there were twenty-one movies released. This month beat them both. There were twenty-five movies released in August 1997.
The number of movies had me wondering if other years were the same. So I went and looked at other years and August it looks the same in other years. I’ve concluded August is the dumping ground for movies.
Maybe the studios want to get them out before the Fall slowdown, maybe the fiscal year ends in September and they need the movies off the books? I don’t know the reason but August is a big release month.
We have a lot to choose from, Superheros, action, thrillers, comedy, sword and sorcery, there is something for everyone.
Let’s see what hit the theaters in August 1997.
Movies from August 1997
The Full Monty
Let’s kick it off with a goofy comedy out of the UK, The Full Monty.
I remember all the hype around this movie when it was released. Being a movie from the UK it was playing at a local ‘art house’ movie theater. Once word spread how good it was (or more likely how much money it was making) the movie was picked up by the big chains like United Artist and AMC Theaters.
With all the talk about the movie I had to go see it. I’m glad I did. It’s a great comedy. It’s definitely full of English humor but it’s easy to understand. Good humor is universal.
The movie is about laid-off steel workers who decided to create their own Chippendale’s type group. The comedy comes in because none of them are Chippendale material. Think Chris Farley in the infamous Saturday Night Live skit.
The men get their group together and add one twist to the show, they will go The Full Monty, British slang for going all the way, which in this case meant completely naked.
The Full Monty was nominated for four Academy Awards; Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Original Musical or Comedy Score. It won the Best Original Musical or Comedy Score Oscar. It’s a fantastic movie. If you get a chance, watch it.
I’m always up for a good conspiracy theory. Like North Korea is using Pokemon Go to spy on the U.S. or NASA faked the moon landing or there are secret tunnels under the Denver airport where the Reptilian race lives. Well, that one might be true, the Denver airport is weird.
Jerry (Mel Gibson) is a New York taxi driver and conspiracy theorist. He tells all his carzy theories to Alice (Julia Roberts) who humors him.
Jerry is a troubled man, he hallucinates, suffers flashbacks and has panic attacks. It turns out Jerry was part of the super secret CIA program MKUltra. Which is the source of all his trauma.
Conspiracy Theory is a good thriller. Gibson does a great job with the role of Jerry and is the best part of the movie.
If you see black helicopters following you or have multiple copies of “Catcher in the Rye” this is a movie for you.
You can watch Conspiracy Theory on Hulu.
Cop Land is a great movie and a departure for Sylvester Stallone. Normally, Stallone is the star with a bigger than life persona like Rocky or Rambo but in Cop Land he plays a soft spoken, almost timid sheriff.
This isn’t a big action movie like most Stallone movies. It’s more a slow burn drama. Stallone plays Sheriff Heflin, sheriff of a small New Jersey town. A number of NYPD officers live in the town and Heflin idolizes them.
Heflin’s one dream was to work on the NYPD but a medical condition disqualified him. He become sheriff and looks up to the men in his town. Slowly he realizes the cops aren’t as great as they seem and Heflin starts to uncover their corruption and crimes.
Cop Land also stars Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta, and Robert De Niro. With that cast how can it be a bad movie?
I think this is a must watch for all Stallone fans. De Nero, Keitel and Liotta are icing on the cake. Jason, Eric and I talked about Cop Land on the First Blood episode of the TRN Drive-In podcast.
You can watch Cop Land on HBO Max.
I don’t care what anyone says, I like this movie.
Demi Moore plays Lt. O’Neil, an intelligence analyst for the U.S. Navy. She is picked by a Senate committee as the first female to attempt special operations training.
As the first woman she is shunned by her male counterparts in training and is an outcast. All the while, the Senator who sponsored her made a back room deal and sold O’neil out.
There was a lot of talk about this movie. Mainly due to Demi Moore shaving her head. That’s all anyone talked about.
It’s a good action movie and director Ridley Scott does a great job showing the harshness of the training. Moore does a great job in the role and is incredibly fit and muscular. No CGI used in this one (I’m looking at you Thor: Love and Thunder). Viggo Mortenson plays the hard core Master Chief perfectly.
I’ve seen this movie numerous times and enjoy it. Give it a watch and let me know what you think.
You can watch G.I. Jane on Tubi TV.
I wasn’t planning on seeing this in the theater, or at all. I went with a friend who wanted to see it but didn’t want to go alone.
It’s not the best.
A group of astronauts are sent to recovery the spaceship Event Horizon, which went missing seven years earlier, after it appears in orbit around Neptune.
The astronauts searches the ship and discover the crew were all killed. As they continue to explore the ships systems turn on and strange events start to happen. They see family and friends they left on earth, they hallucinate about past events in their life.
Somehow the ship opened a portal to a hell like dimension and was causing the astronauts to slowl;y descend into madness.
It has a good premise but the movie couldn’t pull it off. There are better sci-fi horror movies out there. I thought Hellraiser: Bloodline, which has a similar premise, was better than this movie.
You can watch Event Horizon on Fubo TV.
Shaq was a big star back in the 90s. I guess he still is today, my kids know who he is and I’m not sure how.
Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neal is best known for his greatness on the basketball court. Drafted by the Orlando Magic in 1992 he help turn the franchise into a success. He didn’t win his first NBA championship until 2002 with the LA Lakers.
Being a Hall of Fame basketball player doesn’t carry over to acting. Steel is not a good movie. The character Steel is based on the DC Comics superhero. Steel was introduced into the DC Universe in 1993 during the Death of Superman arc.
In the movie Shaq plays John Henry Irons a weapons designer out to stop his weapons from falling into the wrong hands. Judd Nelson plays the bad guy trying to sell Irons’ weapons on the open market.
Things happen, stuff blows up and grandma gets a new restaurant.
Kenneth Johnson directed Steel. Johnson is the man who created and developed V, The Bionic Woman and The Incredible Hulk TV series. Maybe he’s more comfortable with TV than movies.
Read the Death of Superman arc instead of watching Steel. It’s a better use of your time.
You can watch Steel on HBO Max.
Another superhero movie and not from DC or Marvel. Spawn, the comic, is published by Image Comics a young startup back in the 90s. Image Comics was founded by a group of comic book artists who were unhappy with the policies at Marvel and DC.
In 1992 Todd McFarlane (Spider-Man), Jim Lee (X-Men), Rob Liefeld (X-Force), Marc Silvestri (Wolverine), Erik Larsen (The Amazing Spider-Man), Jim Valentino (Guardians of the Galaxy) and Whilce Portacio (Uncanny X-Men) left Marvel and formed Image comics.
Image Comics has published great comics over the years. One of the first and best is Spawn by Todd McFarlane. I was a huge fan of Spawn when it hit the shelves. I was excited when I heard about the movie and couldn’t wait to see it.
While Spawn is better than the previous superhero movie, Steel, it’s not great. Visually the movie is spectacular but the story is lacking. If you want to see a good adaptation of the Spawn comic watch the animated series Todd McFarlane’s Spawn. It ran for three season and is an excellent cartoon.
You can watch Spawn on Netflix.
Kull the Conqueror
I’m a big fan of the sword and sorcery genre and this one fits the bill. Originally this movie was titled Conan the Conqueror but Arnold Schwarzenegger didn’t want to play Conan again. You know what movie he did instead? He played Mr. Freeze in Batman & Robin. It would have been nice to see Schwarzenegger in a Conan trilogy.
Kevin Sorbo was offered the role but he turned it down, not wanting to step into the Conan role. The script was changed to Kull, another character created by Robert E. Howard and Sorbo accepted.
The movie is OK. It seems like the rewrites may have hurt the overall flow of the movie. Writer Charles Edward Pogue, who also wrote The Fly and Dragonheart, blamed studio meddling for ruining the script.
Kevin Sorbo was a good pick for the role. He was three seasons into the popular Hercules: The Legendary Journeys TV series and had good name recognition. Kull the Conqueror also stars Tia Carrere and Thomas Ian Griffith of Karate Kid and Cobra Kai fame.
As much as I like Kull, it doesn’t hold up as well as the other Conan movies.
Other movies released in August 1997
Here is the long list of other movies released in August 1997.
Mimic looks familiar but I don’t recall ever seeing it. Maybe I watched the trailer too many times. My daughter is a big dog nut. I’ve seen Air Bud but don’t remember anything about it. All the ‘Air Buddies’ movie blend together but the are fun to watch.
I never saw Picture Perfect but it is another movie with a star from Friends, Jennifer Aniston. Five of the six cast members starred in movies in 1997. All with different levels of success.
I liked the Leave It To Beaver TV series but the movie looked awful. I have no desire to watch it.
If you watched any of the movies below let me know in the comments, maybe I’ll add them to my list.
Another great month for movies. There were a lot to choose from too.
The Full Monty is a great comedy. I really wanted to like Spawn but it wasn’t a good adaptation of the comic. Neither was Steel for that matter.
Kull the Conqueror is a good movie, although it would have been nice to see a Conan trilogy. If you want to see Stallone in a different role give Cop Land a try. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.
What are your favorites from August 1997?
Next week we’ll look at September 1982.