December 1997


Monthly Archives: December 1997

Titanic (1997)

DIRECTOR: James Cameron

CAST: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Gloria Stuart, David Warner, Bill Paxton, Kathy Bates, Frances Fisher, Victor Garber, Bernard Hill, Danny Nucci, Jonathan Hyde, Suzy Amis, Eric Braeden, Jenette Goldstein, Ioan Gruffudd


With sci-fi thrillers like The Terminator, Terminator 2, Aliens, and The Abyss, and the action-comedy True Lies under his belt, James Cameron turned his sights in a totally different direction for his next project….a romance set onboard the notorious ill-fated luxury ship the RMS Titanic. Nearly anyone knows the basics of the story of the 1912 disaster, with more than 1,500 of the 2,200-plus passengers, including many rich and famous of the day, perishing at sea when the “unsinkable” ship struck an iceberg on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City, but none among the many, many films to deal with Titanic had the means to bring the massive ship and its end to the screen with such visual splendor.  To draw crowds, Cameron centered his script around a star struck love story, cast with primed-to-explode heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio and soon-to-be Oscar nominee Kate Winslet.  Titanic clearly struck a chord with audiences, standing for twelve years as the highest-grossing film of all time, surpassed only by Cameron’s next film, 2009’s Avatar.  Unfortunately, it’s also overrated, and the story doesn’t equal the spectacular visuals surrounding it. Continue reading

Good Will Hunting (1997)

Classic American films: Good Will Hunting – the 10 best quotes from 1997  education drama | South China Morning Post

DIRECTOR: Gus Van Sant

CAST: Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Minnie Driver, Stellan Skarsgard, Ben Affleck, Casey Affleck, Cole Hauser


Good Will Hunting could be summed up as an ordinary story well-told, but that verges on an oversimplification of what a difference a strong script, strong direction, and a strong cast can make. On its most basic level, it’s a formulaic coming-of-age narrative about a self-destructive young man and the friends he makes along the way who pull him back from the edge and help him recognize his own potential, and could have easily become mawkish and saccharine. But Good Will Hunting uses an edge to avoid excessive sappiness (even if it’s ultimately a “feel good” experience) and an intelligently-written script (by co-stars Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, who took home Oscar gold for Best Screenplay), Gus Van Sant’s direction which culls genuine emotion from his actors, and a surfeit of strong performances (including one that gained Robin Williams an Oscar, and nominations for Damon and Minnie Driver) turns what could have been generic and formulaic into a powerful and affecting drama.

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