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A 20th Century Fox Retrospective Scrapbook: 1996

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1996 opened with a primate in a hotel in the kiddie film Dunston Checks In. Yes, Faye Dunaway was one of the supporting players.

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John Travolta and Christian Slater starred in the bombastic Broken Arrow, not to be confused with the 1950 Western. It was a success in revenue, not with critics.

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Down Periscope starred Kelsey Grammer in a spoof of sub films.

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Girl 6 was a provocative effort from Spike Lee involving those notorious 900 numbers.

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Janeane Garofalo scored a big hit as the lead in the romantic comedy The Truth About Cats and Dogs.

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Samuel L. Jackson and Jeff Goldblum starred in The Great White Hype, a sports comedy

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Bernardo Bertolucci was back with the steamy Stealing Beauty with Liv Tyler and Jeremy Irons.

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Independence Day was the big hit of 1996, but it probably did lower the IQ of screen blockbusters to follow.

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Denzel Washington and Meg Ryan were the stars of the strongly received Courage Under Fire, which detailed the investigation looking to see if Ryan's character, killed in the first Gulf War, should posthumously receive the Medal of Honor.

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keanu Reeves, Morgan Freeman ,and Rachel Weisz starred in the thriller Chain Reaction.

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She's the One was from The Brothers McMullen team and had the law of diminishing returns, desite a bigger budget and some name players. John Mahoney had all the best moments.

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Tom Hanks directed for the first time with That Thing You Do, about a one-hit wonder band in the 1960s. Critics liked it.

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Al Pacino starred in Looking for Richard, a notable documentary of his attempts to stage Richard III.

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Shakespeare was then modernized in Romeo + Juliet, a flashy, popular teen film.

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Bob Hoskins, Patricia Arquette, Gerard Depardieu, Christian Bale, and Robin Williams then took a stab at joseph Conrad.

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The holiday toy mania was satirized in the manic Jingle All the Way.

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The Crucible should have been better than it was, but the whole thing was just too shrill. Paul Scofield was brilliant though as the judge presiding over the Salem Witch Trials, and Daniel Day-Lewis and Joan Allen underplayed nicely.

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The year closed with George Clooney and Michelle Pfeiffer in the pleasantly screwball One Fine Day, a modern set film but one with a 40s sensibility to it all. Cute.

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Looking for Richard is the only film directed by Al Pacino that I've seen.

Daniel Day-Lewis, Joan Allen, and Paul Scofield are the main reasons for me to watch The Crucible; Paul Scofield gives a solid, intelligent performance as Danforth, a tricky character to play.

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I thought THAT THING YOU DO was abysmal. Sleep inducing.

The ROMEO + JULIET film is probably my favorite from this batch. It's certainly one I've seen at least a half dozen times. The first time I saw it was in South Korea. When Leonardo came on screen, the Koreans went wild. They loved him.

JINGLE ALL THE WAY was renamed in Korea. They didn't get what "all the way" meant. So over there it was called JINGLE BELLS. And that's what I thought the original title was. Then when I returned to the U.S., I learned it was known over here as JINGLE ALL THE WAY. It doesn't matter. The film was a hit everywhere it played.

I still haven't seen ONE FINE DAY. And it looks like something I'd truly enjoy.

And I haven't seen COURAGE UNDER FIRE either.

INDEPENDENCE DAY was a huge-huge mega hit in Korea. But unfortunately I think they thought it was a real-life slice of how things are in America.

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My top picks:

  1. The Crucible
  2. Looking for Richard
  3. The Secret Agent
  4. Stealing Beauty
  5. Courage Under Fire

 

I've also seen Broken ArrowGirl 6The Truth About Cats & DogsThe Great White HypeIndependence DayChain ReactionThat Thing You Do!William Shakespeare's Romeo + JulietJingle All the Way, and One Fine Day.

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