Films '96+

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Films of 1996

# Film Title Date Rating Frogs One Word Buy at Amazon.com
1 Casino ?-?-1996 75% **** Sharp Buy!
DeNiro and Sharon Stone in a cutting film with a fairly coherent plot and convincing acting. Some scenes are not for the faint hearted, but nonetheless, it is not gratuitously violent.
2 Heat ?-?-1996 90% ***** Brilliant Buy!
Classic DeNiro and classic Pacino... all in one film. What more can I say?
3 Get Shorty 15 March 1996 70% **** Fun Buy!
A very funny, light hearted film. A great cast with John Travolta in the perfect role for his cool personality, Danny DeVito giving a classic (at least partial-) performance as the stereotypical actor, and René Russo very good as the non-bimbo love interest.
4 Broken Arrow ?-?-1996 75% **** Cool Buy!
Christian Slater's very good as the good guy US fighter pilot, and Travolta cool as ice as until Slater's character ruins his carefully laid plans showing he can be a bad guy too.
5 The Birdcage 27 April 1996 80% ****+ Hilarious Buy!
As funny as Gene Hackman in a dress!
6 Executive Decision ?-?-1996 70% **** Entertaining Buy!
Kurt Russell, Steven Segal and Hale Berry in an entertaining thriller with a slightly improbable premise which, nonetheless, doesn't really impact on the enjoyability of the film unless you are an insufferable nitpicker.
7 Copycat ?-?-1996 85% ****+ Gripping Buy!
Sigourney Weaver, Holly Hunter and Harry Connick Jr. in a chilling thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat from the first few minutes to the climatic finale.
8 12 Monkeys ?-?-1996 75% **** Strange Buy!
Bruce Willis in a rather strange film by Terry Gilliam. It's worth seeing alright, but be prepared to see a different Bruce Willis to usual!
9 The Juror ?-?-1996 75% **** Intriguing Buy!
A film with a nice fairly clever if not amazingly inovative plot and good acting from Alec Baldwin and Demi Moore. An entertaining film.
10 The Rock ?-?-1996 85% ****+ Great Buy!
A film with a clever plot, some wonderful effects, very good direction, and brilliant acting from Sean Connery, Nicholas Cage, and Ed Harris!
11 Mission: Impossible 5 July 1996 50% *** Disappointing Buy!
Mission: Impossible was rather a disappointment. About the only film I've seen this year which didn't live up to my expectations. The trailers showed the best bits of the film, and although there were some nice effects, and it did make me smile a couple of times, it failed miserably to bring back nostalgia for the TV series. It seemed an attempt to pass off a fairly second-rate film on audiences who would go to see it because of the stars in it, and on the good faith of fans of the series.
12 The Cable Guy 21 July 1996 35% ** Silly Buy!
The Cable Guy was really just a vehicle for Jim Carey. It was very silly indeed, with some pretty funny moments almost lost in the lack of laughs of the rest of the film. If you're bored, it might bring a few laughs, but don't go in expecting anything much.
13 Twister 27 July 1996 95% ***** Breathtaking Buy!
The effects in this film are stunning. The tornados or twisters seem both so realistic, you could touch them, and to have a life of their own. "The director of Speed and the Producers of Jurassic Park" outdid themselves on this one. Despite a cast with no major stars, this film deservedly drew huge audiences.
14 Independence Day (ID4) 12 August 1996 97% ***** Wow... Buy!
ID4 certainly wasn't overhyped. I went in expecting a lot and was rewarded with much more. The effects were very good indeed in ID4, and the plot and acting from Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, and too many others to mention were great. For Star Trek fans, spot Brent Spiner! It was both moving and humourous, shocking and uplifting. A film for many audiences. So good I went to see it again in the same week! (15-8-96) It was at least as enjoyable the second time. I cannot fault ID4 on any front whatsoever. Well worth a visit is the ID4 web site!
15 Eraser 22 August 1996 65% ***+ Fun Buy!
Eraser was an enjoyable film with some funny moments, some good action sequences, and a decent enough plot. If you take things too seriously, you probably won't enjoy this film, but overall, I think it's definitely worth seeing. The most silly bit involved Arnie telling Vanessa Williams that who she was was inside, in her heart, not a bunch of credit cards, Social Services card, etc. Arnie just doesn't seem to fit the soothing, sensitive guy role! He was perfect for the role otherwise, mind you!
16 Phenomenon 30 August 1996 85% ****+ Enchanting Buy!
This is one of the best films this year. Again, Travolta proves himself more than able for another very different role. He gives a truly brilliant performance which carries this film much further than it could otherwise go. Phenomenon is a truly moving film. There are many moments of humour in a film which provides an emotional journey through elation, joy, happiness, and sorrow, pathos, sadness. This is a must-see for anyone who does not believe a film must involve guns and people being killed.
17 A Time to Kill 16 September 1996 75% **** Grishamesque Buy!
A Time To Kill was really a very good film. It often irritates me to no end when they warp, twist, and totally ignore the book that a film is supposedly based upon. On this occasion, I knew beforehand to expect this, seeing as even the trailers made it perfectly obvious that there had been some major changes. I decided to accept the film as an entity in itself, and not worry constantly about the changes, and it really was very good, and well worth seeing! It uses a lot of ideas from the book and takes whole scenes/storylines from it while still making some huge plot changes, and moving these book-based bits in different ways.
18 Last Man Standing 3 October 1996 70% **** Conscience Buy!
A slightly unusual film based in a small texan town during prohibition, run by and caused to be almost deserted by two rival gangs. The two gangs have a truce in place... until Bruce Willis arrives in town.
19 Courage Under Fire 4 October 1996 90% ***** Heroism Buy!
This was a moving film, full of pathos. A film full of acts of heroism, unfortunate acts of fate, fear, guilt, and self depreciation. It follows the investigation of an officer into the events surrounding the actions of a female rescue chopper pilot and her crew. She has been nominated for a medal of honour, and it is his job to determine the validity of the nomination. Nothing is ever as it seems at first, and the true events turn out to be heart wrenchingly unfortunate, and disturbingly unjust. This film must be seen.
20 Blood Simple 12 October 1996 70% **** Weirdness Buy!
Although I can't give a top rating to this film, it's well worth seeing if you can get to see it! Virgin Cinemas, Dublin, just decided to show it for some reason unknown to me, although it's a 1984 film, and nobody else showed it. Blood Simple is... strange. It may only get 70% overall, but it gets a 10/10 for weirdness. The acting was just ok, the soundtrack was slightly crackly/hissy, and I have to say, I would probably switch channels if I flicked past it on TV, however, the attention to the most minute details in this film was great, and the use of sound effects was inspired.
21 Dragonheart 18 October 1996 75% **** Draconic Buy!
Dragonheart was better than I expected. It was well worth seeing. The special effects were far above my expectations; far better than anything in Jurassic Park. Dennis Quaid and Dina Meyer were very good as the hero and heroine of the film, and Sean Connery's voice was perfection for Draco, the dragon.
22 Chain Reaction 1 November 1996 55% *** Fair Buy! (VHS)
The trailers made me say, "That, I have to see". The movie itself was... worthwhile seeing from my point of view, but I enjoy going to the cinema anyhow. The effects were very good in a couple of places, but overall, it was a little lacking in the plot department. Nothing dazzling, and so you really shouldn't worry if you miss this one.
23 Michael Collins 10 November 1996 75% **** Freedom Buy!
Michael Collins was a very good film about a man, funnily enough called Michael Collins, who was portrayed as the man who gained Ireland its freedom. Not being a historian, I can't say how historically accurate it was, however, as a film, it was very enjoyable, with good acting from such great Irish actors as Liam Neeson and Stephen Rea, with Alan Rickman putting on a brilliant performance as always as President Eamon De Valera, and Julia Roberts doing a surprisingly good Irish accent (although it did degrade a little in the second half of the film).
24 Star Trek: First Contact 17 December 1996 75% **** Borg! Buy!
First Contact was, by all means, a great Star Trek movie. It had everything I have come to expect from Star Trek, plus some interesting new twists. Finally, we have had a Star Trek: The Next Generation cast film, without trying to bridge two generations for increased audience. Where Star Trek: Generations was a huge disappointment, First Contact was refreshingly good. Why, then, do I not give it 80% or more? If you are a Star Trek fan, it should be 90%, however, this movie may not be of such interest to non-fans.
25 The Preacher's Wife 31 December 1996 80% ****+ Charming Buy!
This humerous tale casts Denzel Washington as an angel sent to help a preacher deal with his worries including a troubled marriage, and to do his job. Whitney Houston plays the preacher's wife of the title, and provides a great soundtrack. A definite worth-your-while-seeing, the film is a charming, upbeat romantic comedy.


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Films '96+ © Copyright Stephen Jacob, 1996-2008.