Fall is in full swing and Hollywood is releasing a lot of movies in September 1997 to get you in the theater. There are over twenty movies to choose from this month.
Some are worth seeing over and over, while some are barely worth watching once.
Grab some popcorn and let’s look at the movies from September 1997.
Movies from September 1997
Fire Down Below
Steven Seagal! You know I’m seeing this movie in the theater. Watching Seagal kick butt on the big screen is the best.
Fire Down Below isn’t one of his better movies but it does have some great fight scenes. Seagal plays an EPA agent investigating the death of a friend in the Appalachian region of Kentucky. While investigating the death he discovers a Coal baron is dumping toxic waste into an abandoned mine poisoning the water supply.
1997 was the twilight of Steven Seagal’s box office dominance. By no means was it the end of his movie career though. In the last twenty years he’s made over 40 movies, most are direct-to-video/streaming.
It’s a decent movie but not the best. Honestly some of Seagal’s direct-to-video movies are better. Watch the fight scenes on YouTube and then go watch Hard to Kill.
Another Michael Douglas movie. We’ve seen him at least three times before and we’ll see him a couple more times before the end of the year. He was huge in the 80s and 90s.
The Game, directed by David Fincher is the ultimate mind f***. Fincher directed Se7en before this movie and Fight Club after. If you’ve seen either of those two you can guess the direction of this movie.
Nicholas van Orton (Douglas) is given a strange birthsay gift by his brother Conrad (Sean Penn). The gift is a voucher for a game by a company called Consumer Recreation Services. Conrad’s insist Nicholas should call them as the company will make his life fun.
Begrudgingly Nicholas calls the company and sets up an appointment. To start the game he needs to go through a battery of physical and psychological examines. Nicholas gets annoyed at the tests and the time it takes and leaves. He is later informed his application for the game is rejected. Then his life starts falling apart.
He loses all his money, his house, gets drugged and wakes up in a Mexican cemetery only to return to San Francisco determined to find out who is ruining his life.
As his life and the plot unravels it turns out Nicholas’s close friends and family are involved.
I’ll end it there. If you haven’t seen the movie I don’t want to spoil it. If you have seen you know how it ends. Like most David Fincher movies the ending isn’t what you expect. This movie keeps you guessing throughout. It reminds me of Total Recall, you never know whats real and what isn’t.
This movie is for anyone who likes thrillers or David Fincher fans.
There was a huge marketing push for this movie. It was everywhere. It was publicized as the next great movie. It lived up to all the hype too.
It has a great cast with Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kim Basinger, James Cromwell and Danny DeVito.
The plot is a complicated story of love, crime, gossip and murder in 1950s Hollywood. Spacey, Crowe and Pearce are cops investigating the Nite Owl murders and get tangled into the underworld of Hollywood drugs and prostitution.
As complicated as the plot gets it’s never confusing. While you can’t guess what’s going to happen next you can easily follow without get lost.
The movie is well done, all the acting is fantastic, the cinematography is great and the score is engrossing. Cinematographer Dante Spinotti is fantastic with over 80 credits to his name including The Last of the Mohicans and Heat.
Composer Jerry Goldsmith is also fantastic. He has over 300 credits to his name working in film and TV. Multiple Star Trek movies, The Next Generation and Voyager, Chinatown, Total Recall, First Blood, Planet of the Apes, Patton, Hoosiers, the list goes on and on. He’s been nominated 18 times for the Best Original Score Academy Award. His only win was in 1977 for The Omen.
L.A. Confidential helped launch the careers of Russel Crowe and Guy Pearce. The movie was nominated for nine Academy Awards; Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress, Best Screenplay, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Original Dramatic Score and Best Sound.
It only won two, Best Screenplay and Kim Basinger won Best Support Actress, well deserved I might add. It lost the other seven nominates to the biggest movie of the year and of all time, Titanic.
L.A. Confidential is a good, engrossing movie that is worth watching. If you haven’t seen it add it to your list now.
You can watch L.A. Confidential on Starz.
A horror movie to get us ready for Halloween.
Wes Craven serves as executive producer and the movie used his name to draw in fans. Wishmaster was written by Peter Atkins, best known for writing four of the Hellraiser movies.
Wishmaster is about an evil genie who is released and seeks the soul of a woman so he can release the rest of his evil buddies and enslave the world.
In human form the genie sets out on his task and grants wished along the way. Only it’s never what the wisher intends. One woman wishes to be beautiful forever and the genie turns her into a mannequin. He turns a security guard into a stained glass window and sends a criminal on a shooting rampage inside a police department.
The effects are decent in the movie using both practical and CGI effects. It does include actors form the big horror movies of the 80s and 90s. Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger) plays an antique dealer, Kane Hodder (Jason Voorhees), Tony Todd (Candyman) and Ted Raimi (Evil Dead 2) have roles in the movie. Angus Scrimm, The Tall Man in Phantasm, narrates the opening of the movie.
Wishmaster was a critical failure but did OK at the box office. Wishmaster made over $15 million on a $5 million budget. It also spawned three sequels.
You can watch Wishmaster on Tubi TV.
The Edge is a good thriller with based in the wilds of Alaska, starring the Anthony Hopkins, Alec Baldwin and Elle Macpherson.
Hopkins is always great, Baldwin was still good and Macpherson is lovely.
Charles (Hopkins) is married to model Mickey (Macpherson) and they are on a photo shoot in Alaska with photographer Bob (Baldwin). While watching Mickey and Bob work together, Charles is suspicious they are having an affair.
As the two men are traveling to a new location, without Mickey, their plane crashes and they must survive the wilderness and make it back to civilization. They encounter what you’d expect in the Alaska wilderness, cold weather, snow and a bear.
The tension between the two men is good, you never really know if they are going to work together or if Bob is going to kill Charles.
The Edge is a good survival thriller that isn’t entirely predictable. Roger Ebert praised it giving it three stars.
Jerry Goldsmith composed the movie’s musical score. He also composed the score for L.A. Confidential. Busy guy in 1997.
Action thrillers are always on my list to watch. The Peacemaker was no different. With George Clooney and Nicole Kidman in the lead roles it was a no-brainer to see this in the theater.
The Peacemaker is a thriller dealing with stolen Russian nukes and the effort to secure them before they they are used. Kidman plays the nuke specialist Dr. Julia Kelly and Clooney is Army Lt. Col Devoe together they plan to take down the bad guys.
With the star power and plot this movie should be better than it is. The movie is OK, mostly a normal thriller filled with common tropes. The final scenes seemed to come from the How-to-make-an-action-movie handbook. There’s nothing new about the chase scene or the climactic ended, which is predictable.
The movie seems like a rejected James Bond script. Overall it’s predictable action thriller that doesn’t land.
The Peacemaker wasn’t a huge success in the States. It made $41 million on a $50 million budget. It made over $69 million in the foreign market.
You can watch The Peacemaker on Fubo TV.
Other movies released in September 1997
The list is long but nothing jumps out at me to watch. I might have seen Casper, most likely a rental for my son. If I did see it don’t remember anything about it.
I remember the talk around The Ice Storm, critics loved it but audiences didn’t.
If you watched any of the movies below let me know in the comments, maybe I’ll add them to my list.
This was a decent month for movies. A decent Steven Seagal movie, A decent horror movie, a couple of decent action movies and one great crime thriller in L.A. Confidential.
What are your favorites from September 1997?
Next week we’ll look at October 1982.