Star Wars Special Editions

Star Wars Special Edition

These classic movies were both loved and hated, and the reality was it had nothing to do with the story. Such is the fate of some iconic movies. Basically, George Lucas didn't have the effects he needed when episodes 4, 5 and 6 came to the movie theaters in the 1970s and 1980s. So he tinkered with them and in the 1990s we got these old films with new effects added. There were extra ships, added scenes with characters like Jabba the Hut, and a re-edit that shows how a guy named Greedo fired first (even if he didn't). 1997 is made an even more seminal year by these movies. They put Star Wars back in people's minds again. It got a whole new generation of kids ready for the prequel trilogy. And, who would've known that Disney would one day take this whole thing over and reboot the entire franchise into a wholly different galaxy far, far away?

Fifth Element

Fifth Element

Luc Besson's odd film is a perfect 1990s offering. It was one of the best movies of 1997, though, I don't think that many thought that at the time. It is a weird, visionary, bug budget mess. The story follows a cab driver (Bruce Willis) who ends up in a search for a weapon to stop some nefarious entities. Okay, does that seem oddball enough? Factor in that Gary Oldman plays one of the bad guys, Chris Tucker plays a flamboyant character who literally seems to be in this film to chew the scenery, and then there's Milla Jovovich who literally seems so gorgeous that nobody knows what to do with her. All of this is mixed together to great effect by the visionary filmmaker Luc Besson, and from it we get one of the classic movies of the 1990s. When you consider that this film went on to become a very important visual experience in the home theater world, and that it is also lauded on its 20th anniversary, that means something.

Starship Troopers

Straship Troopers

Okay, so Director Paul Verhoeven admits that this sci-fi opus was in fact (in part) inspired by the Nazi propaganda film Triumph of the Will. All I know is, it is good for Starship Troopers that it was released in 1997 and not 2017. Because if it had been and the director made those statements today, nobody would be talking about anything related to this film other than those comments. Starship Troopers is ultimately a classic movie about humans battling alien bugs in order to survive. A sci-fi tale cloaked in a history lesson about the vagaries of fascism. Verhoeven, despite what people want to say about him, is a very good filmmaker. Come on, the guy directed Robocop for crying out loud! Sure, he made Showgirls but he also made Basic Instinct and Total Recall. Also, Verhoeven just had Isabelle Huppert vie for the Academy Award in his film Elle. He is as vital today as his film Starship Troopers was 20 years ago.