Did 1996 Suck in Film History?
First, a recap of the previous years.
1990-Bad Year (Sucked)
1991-Good Year (Excellent)
1992- Bad Year
1993-Good Year (Great)
1994- Bad Year
1995- Good Year
I have recently suggested that the 1990’s were the worst years in cinema history. Now I’m putting that theory to the test. Again, this is my personal view of 1996 and its movies. You are welcome to think otherwise. If you think I forgot that I really should watch, let me know. No, I don’t watch every movie in a year because that would be madness and I don’t have all the time in the world. I stick to the best and most popular.
Did 1996 Suck?
Masterpieces (2 Points)
Nope, I did not find any movie worthy of being called a masterpiece. I know some may disagree, but I tend to be rather selective in this area.
Great Movies (1 Point)
Sling Blade – My pick for best film of the year. Billy Bob Thornton is exceptional. Won an Oscar for Best Writing adapted for the screen. https://andrewthemovieguy714.wordpress.com/2015/09/23/rewind-1996-slingblade/
Fargo – A dark comedy by the Coen Brothers. (Another film I don’t get.) William H. Macy and Steve Buscemi provide excellent roles in this film. Again, many would argue that this is the best film of this year. The film won two Oscars. I have great respect for the quality of the film, but I don’t find it funny or interesting.
Trainspotting- Directed by Danny Boyle and starring Ewan McGregor. This is arguably the best film from 1996 (though not really one I enjoy). It dives in to the hard life of the drug culture in Edinburgh. Nominated for an Oscar (Best Writing)
Movie I love/Wish to Own or Already Do (2 Points)
The Birdcage– Features a great cast, plenty of laughs, and brings up some heavy concepts that needed to be explored in the 1990s about gay love and identity. https://andrewthemovieguy714.wordpress.com/2015/09/28/the-rewind-1990s-the-birdcage/
Happy Gilmore- I still consider one of Sandler’s best work. I wish he would return to making comedies like this. https://andrewthemovieguy714.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/the-rewind-1990s-happy-gilmore/
Good Movies I Enjoy, but Wouldn’t Own (I Point)
Black Sheep– Maybe not Chris Farely’s best, but it makes me laugh to this day and that’s something. https://andrewthemovieguy714.wordpress.com/2015/09/25/the-rewind-1990s-black-sheep/
Scream – Wes Craven briefly brings back the slasher horror film with this classic. It makes fun of old school slasher films while doing a good job standing on its own. It is creepy, violent, and humorous all rolled into one film. Nicely done.
The People vs Larry Flynt– Love the idea of someone standing up for the freedom of the press and freedom of speech. This film glorifies Larry Flynt as a defender of these values. I suppose it is true, but for many, he is just a smut dealer.https://andrewthemovieguy714.wordpress.com/2015/09/30/the-rewind-1996-the-people-vs-larry-flynt/
Hamlet– They often do movies inspired by Shakespeare’s work. Many of them fall short, but this one was excellent. Featuring the talents of Judi Dench, Billy Crystal, Kenneth Branagh (directing and acting), and Richard Attenborough.
That Thing You Do – Directed and written by Tom Hanks. About a small town band that strikes it big with a hit single in 1964. It carries them to fame, both good and bad. A pleasing movie, everything about it is enjoyable.
Jerry Maguire– A well acted movie about a sports agent that develops a conscience and the one athlete who decided to stick with him. Starring Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr, and Renee Zellweger.
Romeo and Juliet– A modernized version of Shakespeare’s classic tale. Purists will hate it, but many others including myself find it refreshing and creative.
Mission Impossible– Tom’s Cruise’s biggest movies have come in this franchise. This was the first and still one of the best. Great action, Tom Cruise works as Ethan Hunt. A fun film.
Independence Day – It is the perfect blockbuster film. Lots of action, explosions, and a big cast of stars. It may not be deep, but it is still wildly entertaining.https://andrewthemovieguy714.wordpress.com/2015/09/30/the-rewind-1990s-indenpendence-day/
Good Movies I Don’t Enjoy (1 Point)
From Dusk Til Dawn– I don’t like this movie. It shifts in tone very drastically. Sure, it has Quentin Tarantino and George Clooney, but that isn’t enough for me to deal with the changes in this film. (Another Robert Rodriguez miss for me.)
The Rock– Some say this is Michael Bay’s best film. I disagree (It’s Transformers (2007), this is an over the top film with ridiculous action. (Follows the way of Bay.) If you love Bay films, the this is for you, if not, stay away.
The English Patient- Nothing terrible about the film, but the flow is so sluggish. The film takes forever and there isn’t enough substance to satisfy you. At least not for me.
Sleepers – The movie has a great cast; Robert De Niro, Billy Crudup, Kevin Bacon, Dustin Hoffman, Minnie Driver, Brad Pitt, and Brad Renfro. Still, despite all of these great talents coming together, I do not like the film. It’s slow and the tension never sticks with me.
Star Trek: First Contact- I have great respect for Star Trek. However, both series and films take a great deal of dedication and knowledge. I couldn’t jump in midway through and embrace it. The concepts, the characters, the actors, all worthy of your attention, but sometimes a film doesn’t hit the note it needs to.
Waiting for Guffman- It’s a comedy (I guess) and I don’t get it. It is a Christopher Guest film (Best in Show/ A Mighty Wind). If you like that kind of humor, go and have a fun time. I’m sure it is delightful, but if not, you are left bewildered.
Big Night – About a failing Italian restaurant which tries one last epic chance to save their business. It has a good cast, but the humor can be quite dry.
Beautiful Girls– A struggling pianist returns home and encounters the struggles of family and friends.
Bottle Rocket– Owen and Luke Wilson debut in this offbeat comedy about two brothers who try to pull off an elaborate robbery. (Directed by Wes Anderson, so that gives you a sense of the style, tone, and comedy.)
The Frighteners– Creepy film, directed by Peter Jackson and starring Michael J. Fox (the man used to be everywhere). This film is thought provoking and creepy. It’s a good film and I respect a lot about it, but I don’t particularly enjoy it or want to watch it again.
Swingers– Probably one of the best Vince Vaughn movies you will ever see. If you don’t like Vaughn comedies, then you probably won’t enjoy this one much either.
Average Movies (0 Points)
Twister- I love the idea of a love story between two storm chasers as they track down some epic tornadoes. That’s awesome.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame– Disney is decline was in full swing with this one. To be fair, this film isn’t terrible. It has some great songs, a solid script, a wicked villain. The problem is the film is quite dark for a Disney movie. Still, something worthwhile about the film, but not one of Disney’s best of the 1990’s.
Space Jam– Michael Jordan was a basketball god when this film came out. It for a generation made young kids love basketball and the Looney Tunes. The film isn’t great, but it holds a special place in my childhood.
The Craft– It was a film made for gothic teens which is totally fine unless you outright sell out to the idea and this film did that. Not the worst film, but far from the best.
The Crucible– Based on the Arthur Miller play involving the Salem Witch trial which is really about McCarthyism. Starring Daniel Day Lewis, Winona Ryder, and Jeffery Jones.
Beavis and Butthead Do America – I personally find it incredibly stupid. I thought so as a teenager and it has only grown more evident.
James and the Giant Peach– A strange animated film about a boy with awful aunts who goes on an adventure inside a giant peach. It’s a “cute” animated film for kids.
Kingpin– Woody Harrelson, Randy Quaid, and Bill Murray (the trifecta of crazy) in this crazy Farrelly brothers comedy. (Think Judd Apatow style comedy except much stupider.) About a former bowler who lost his hand and now tries to recapture glory with an Amish bowling prodigy.
Tin Cup – An average at best rom com about a washed up golfer who tries to win the heart of his new love by qualifying for the U.S. Open.
Phenomenon– A Scientologists delight film. A bright light from the sky gives a man super intelligence and telekinesis. Starring John Travolta, Forest Whitaker and Robert Duvall.
Emma– a romcom featuring Gweneth Paltrow. That’s about all I can say. (shrugs).
Ransom-Directed by Ron Howard. Starring Mel Gibson, Gary Sinise, Rene Russo. A rich man’s son is kidnapped, he tries to stay within the law to get him back, but when that fails, he takes a very unique tactic.
Ghosts of Mississippi- Courtroom drama directed by Rob Reiner starring James Woods, Whoopi Goldberg, and Alec Baldwin. About the widow of Medger Evers and a district attorney who fight for justice against his murderer.
Everyone Says I Love You – A Woody Allen film featuring Goldie Hawn and Julia Roberts. A complex rom-com with music. Not Allen’s finest by far.
Muppet Treasure Island – maybe my favorite Muppet movie. I’m just not big into the Muppets.
Mulholland Falls– a special crime department of the LAPD investigates the death of a woman.
Evita– A movie featuring Madonna and Antonio Banderas. The life of Evita Duarte. My disinterest in biopics continues even today.
Courage Under Fire– Denzel Washington and Meg Ryan star in this action drama about a military officer cursed by a mistake from his past which cost someone their life. Well acted, but somewhat cliché.
The First Wives Club – Featuring Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler, and Diane Keaton, Maggie Smith, Sarah Jessica Parker. A group of divorced women conspire together for revenge against their former husbands.
Dragonheart– Sean Connery voices a dragon. Really, that is all I think is worth mentioning about this one. The dragon sounds cool and was decent FX for the time. Before Titanic (1997) blew everything out of the water.
The Long Kiss Goodnight – an action crime drama about an amnesiac woman who slowly recovers memories from her past. Starring Geena Davis and Samuel L. Jackson
Broken Arrow– The tone shift in this movie is crazy. The first and second half of the film feel as though directed by two different people. A very uneven film, but still worth a watch for Christian Slater and John Travolta.
Mars Attacks- Tim Burton still had some twisted magic left with this one. It is funny, with a star-studded cast, and a comedic ring to it. I enjoy this movie more than other people do, but I get that it is too strange for the mainstream audience.
27-0 in favor of good movies
Bad Movies (1 point)
Harriet the Spy– People want to tear apart this movie, but I personally enjoyed it as a kid.
Multiplicity- A neat idea that came out with the onset of cloning. A man has multiple clones and each having a distinctive personality. I enjoy this movie more than most I know I’d say.
Down Periscope– Kelsey Grammar was great in Frasier, someone got the idea he could make a great lead in a comedic movie. This film has a few laughs, but not nearly enough
The Nutty Professor- People bash it because it pales in comparison to the Jerry Lewis version. (Frankly, I’ll take Eddie Murphy’s A-game, over Jerry Lewis anyday.)
101 Dalmations – Disney’s attempt at a live-action version of their popular animated movie. The animated film is far superior even though I did like Glenn Close as Cruella De Vil
Jack– Robin Williams is the only reason to watch this film. Other than that, you can skip it.
Escape from L.A. – Certainly has its moments, but is falls way off the awesome original.
The Substitute-It would work better as a comedy. This film is not a comedy (at least not intentionally).
The Fan – Robert De Niro is a great actor and even he takes on a film that doesn’t always work. Proving that it happens to the best.
Jingle All the Way– Arnold Schwarzenegger vs Sinbad (the comedian) in a desperate search for the most popular toy on Christmas Eve. What could go wrong? (Totally a guilty pleasure film right here.)
Bulletproof – For a while, this was Adam Sandler’s worst film. Man, do I miss those days.
Thinner– Stephen King inspired movies have been much better. Leave this one alone the best you can.
D3: The Mighty Ducks– The first one was fine, the second had its moments, now they are just trying to squeeze a bit more cash out of this one.
Dunston Checks In– Something about the mid 1990s and monkeys. All these films with kids used them quite a lot. Hey, a monkey (chimpanzee), let’s watch!
Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco-The first one was touching and entertaining (Quite a good remake.) This one was basically to get a bit more money out of people.
Michael – John Travolta is the archangel Michael. He is living out in the middle of nowhere with a delightful old lady. The story writes itself right? This is one of those movies that can give you cheap thrills, but nothing exceptionally new or bright about it.
Joe’s Apartment-About talking cockroaches in a run down area of New York City. They happened to befriend the new tenant, Joe. Do I really need to say more? It’s fun for a little bit, but not for a full movie.
House Arrest- I like Jamie Lee Curtis, but I’m not a fan of this one.
Flipper- Whatever the show offered people, this film lacked. Which is the case most often about things like this.
High School High– It is ridiculous. Starring Jon Lovitz. Again, some good lines here and there, but not good in general.
SGT. Bilko -Steve Martin has his moments in this strange 1990’s comedy. However, the bulk of it isn’t all that good.
27-28 Good Movies in the Lead
Worst Movies Ever (2 Points)
Kazaam – Shaq was a a great basketball player, but his acting is the work of something unspeakable.
The Cable Guy– There was a time where Jim Carrey was on top of the world, but then this movie showed us all that he could indeed fail. (With quite a few failures to come afterwards.)
The Phantom-You can complain about the abundance of superhero films today, but be thankful that they aren’t like this one. Very thankful.
The Island of Dr. Moreau– Despite the film having Marlon Brando, it probably is the worst well-known film of that year. Just terrible.
I think that 1996 is very close going either way. However, because of movies like Slingblade and Independence Day, two movies I really like. Combined with movies like Fargo and Transpotting that I respect even though I don’t really care for the films. Since this is based on my personal taste, I have to go that 1996 sucked overall in movie history. Though I know for some it may fall a bit more favorable
1996- A bad year in film by a score of 28-27.