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Anaconda (1997)

Postby ctaulbee » Jul Sun 26, 2015 4:07 am

Anaconda (1997)
Adventure, Horror & Thriller  

A group of filmmakers looking for a lost native tribe instead find a man-eating monster in this thriller. Terri Flores (Jennifer Lopez) is a documentary filmmaker on assignment to make a film about the Shirishama Indians of the Amazon, a mysterious tribe known as "the People of the Mists." As Terri and her crew -- cameraman Danny Rich (Ice Cube), sound recordist Gary Dixon (Owen Wilson), anthropologist Steve Cale (Eric Stoltz), production manager Denise Kahlberg (Kari Wuhrer), and host Warren Westridge (Jonathan Hyde) -- head down the river, they discover a man whose boat has sunk and desperately needs rescue. Paul Sarone (Jon Voight), the mysterious stranger that they save from the waters, claims to know something of the Shirishama and says he will take the crew to them. Instead, he guides the group to the hiding place of the fearsome Anaconda, a gigantic snake that swallows a man whole, vomits him up, and eats him again (no small accomplishment, that). The snake is worth a fortune if captured, but can a creature so dangerous be captured at all?

Rated - PG-13
Run Time - 1 hr. 29 min.
Directed By Luis Llosa
Starring  Jon Voight, Jennifer Lopez, Eric Stoltz, Ice Cube, Owen Wilson, Kari Wuhrer


"Anaconda" Is a slick, scary, funny Creature Feature, beautifully photographed and splendidly acted in high adventure style, with the most dreaded predator in the Amazon.

Insights into anaconda lore come mostly from a character named Sarone, played by Jon Voight as a slimy river rat with a dangerous gleam in his eye. "This river can kill you in a thousand ways,'' he intones, and we get the feeling that he can, too. The propeller of his boat is broken, and he's rescued by a small expedition that hopes to make a documentary about the People of the Mist--a legendary lost Amazon tribe. "I know them,'' Sarone says. "They saved my life.'' And are probably still regretting it, he makes this film in so many ways.

The leader of the expedition is Terri Flores (Jennifer Lopez), Ice Cube plays Danny, her cinematographer. Eric Stoltz is Dr. Steven Cale, a scientist. The other members include Jonathan Hyde as their fastidious British narrator, Owen Wilson as the sound man, Vincent Castellanos as the sinister boat pilot, and Kari Wuhrer as a production assistant. If the cast seems large, reflect that some, perhaps many, of these characters are required so that they can be eaten by snakes as the movie unfolds.

A movie like "Anaconda'' can easily be dumb and goofy (see "Piranha''). Much depends on the skill of the filmmakers. Here one of the key players is the cinematographer, Bill Butler, who creates a seductive yet somehow sinister jungle atmosphere. The movie looks great, and the visuals and the convincing soundtrack and ominous music make the Amazon into a place with presence and personality: It's not a backdrop, it's an enveloping presence.

The acting is also crucial. Director Luis Llosa, gives the members of the expedition plausible backgrounds, and he allows Jon Voight to take some chances with his performance. Voight's river rat is always on the edge of overacting. He sneers, he frowns, he grimaces, he utters ominous pronouncements, he is in point of fact a serious actor, who isn't afraid to pull out the stops as a melodramatic villain, and his final scene, which he plays with a wink, will be remembered wherever great movie exits are treasured.

Now as for the snakes... Several kinds of snakes are used in the movie: Animated, animatronic and, for all I know, real. They are mostly convincing, many not so much but that makes the film that much more endearing too don't you think.

"Anaconda'' is an example of one of the hardest kinds of films to make well: a superior mass-audience entertainment. It has the effects and the thrills, but it also has big laughs, quirky dialogue, cheesy at times effects and a gruesome imagination.

Come on now--this is a film where a lustful couple sneaks out into the dangerous jungle at night and suddenly the guy whispers, "Wait--did you hear that? Silence!'' How cool is that?
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Re: Anaconda (1997)

Postby kylumi » Jul Sun 26, 2015 4:50 am

I cannot remember if I have seen this or not...The trailer rings no bells so I have to surmise that I have not :-O


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Re: Anaconda (1997)

Postby VincentLupo » Jul Sun 26, 2015 1:27 pm

I really enjoyed this one.  The sequels not so much.
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Re: Anaconda (1997)

Postby ctaulbee » Jul Sun 26, 2015 4:28 pm

kylumi wrote:I cannot remember if I have seen this or not...The trailer rings no bells so I have to surmise that I have not


You should, many of the snake effects are kind of cheesy by today's standards but that just adds to it's classic mystic I think.

:-)


VincentLupo wrote:I really enjoyed this one.  The sequels not so much.


I agree Vince, the second one had a good story idea and for a minute or two it seemed like it was going to be ok then it just went off the rails and never came back...

The last two were made for TV so you can imagine on a good day those would suck and they do, really bad.

:-<
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Re: Anaconda (1997)

Postby bankska22 » Jul Tue 28, 2015 12:22 am

The first one was ok. NWA's Ice Cube and J-Lo. :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)
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Re: Anaconda (1997)

Postby Fogdude » Jan Sun 03, 2016 12:47 pm

bankska22 wrote:The first one was ok. NWA's Ice Cube and J-Lo. :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)


J-Lo is OK, but I never liked Ice Cube. He has one expression, a scowl. Thinks it makes him look tough, gangsta, something. It just hits me wrong.
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Re: Anaconda (1997)

Postby bankska22 » Jan Sun 03, 2016 5:02 pm

Not a fan either bud. :-)
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Re: Anaconda (1997)

Postby Pico » Jan Sun 03, 2016 5:05 pm

No no and no :-O
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Re: Anaconda (1997)

Postby bankska22 » Jan Sun 03, 2016 10:57 pm

I did like XXX 2
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