Annal: 1997 Saturn Award for Best Action/Adventure/Thriller Film

Results of the Saturn Award in the year 1997.

Film:Fargo

Fargo

Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Leave it to the wildly inventive Coen brothers (Joel directs, Ethan produces, they both write) to concoct a fiendishly clever kidnap caper that’s simultaneously a comedy of errors, a Midwestern satire, a taut suspense thriller, and a violent tale of criminal misfortune. It all begins when a hapless car salesman (played to perfection by William H. Macy) ineptly orchestrates the kidnapping of his own wife. The plan goes horribly awry in the hands of bumbling bad guys Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare (one of them being described by a local girl as “kinda funny…

Film:Bound

Bound

Larry Wachowski, Andy Wachowski

Destined for cult status, this provocative thriller offers a grab bag of genres (gangster movie, comedy, sexy romance, crime caper) and tops it all off with steamy passion between lesbian ex-con Corky (Gina Gershon) and a not-so-ditzy gun moll named Violet (Jennifer Tilly), who meets Corky and immediately tires of her mobster boyfriend (Joe Pantoliano). Desperate to break away from the Mob’s influence and live happily ever after, the daring dames hatch a plot to steal $2 million of Mafia money. Their scheme runs into a series of escalating complications, until…

Film:Mission Impossible

Mission Impossible

Brian De Palma

A flashy, splashy summer-movie blockbuster that’s fun and exciting without being mindless? That’s the impossible mission accomplished by director Brian De Palma, star-coproducer Tom Cruise, and the crack team of Mission: Impossible. Based on the ‘60s TV show and an almost impenetrably complex (but nonetheless thrilling) original story by David Koepp (Jurassic Park) and Steven Zaillian (Schindler’s List), with a screenplay by Koepp and Robert Towne (Chinatown, Shampoo), Mission: Impossible begins with veteran agent Jim…

Film:Ransom

Ransom

Ron Howard

When it comes to ramping up to vein-bursting levels of tormented anxiety, Mel Gibson has a kind of mainstream intensity that makes him perfect for his heroic-father role in director Ron Howard’s child-kidnapping thriller. When you think of Ransom, you automatically think of the scene in which Mel reaches his boiling point and yells, “Give me back my son!” to the kidnapper on the other end of several torturous phone calls. Trapped in the middle of any parent’s nightmare, Mel plays a self-made airline mogul whose son (played by Brawley Nolte, son of actor…

Film:The Rock

The Rock

Michael Bay

Between his high-octane debut, Bad Boys, and 1998’s wannabe blockbuster Armageddon, hotshot director Michael Bay forged his dubious reputation with this crowd-pleasing action extravaganza. In it a psychotically disgruntled war hero (Ed Harris) seizes the island prison of Alcatraz and threatens to wage chemical warfare against nearby San Francisco unless the government publicly recognizes the men who were killed under Harris’s top-secret command. Nicolas Cage plays the biochemist who teams up with the only man ever to have escaped from Alcatraz (Sean…

Film:Twister

Twister

Jan de Bont

Twister was a mega-million-dollar blockbuster—helmed by a director (Dutchman Jan de Bont) hot off another scorcher hit (Speed)—that flaunted state-of-the-art digital effects and featured a popular leading actress (Helen Hunt) who would win an Academy Award for her next film (As Good As It Gets). But ask anybody who’s seen it and they’ll tell you who the real star of Twister is: the cow. Not to give anything away, but the cow is one of those inspired little touches (like, say, Bronson Pinchot’s career-making cameo in …

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