The Year In Film: 1996

Introduction By @TrueGodImmortal
-In the film world, there are many times where a year surprises you with the quality and quantity of releases it has. One of those years is definitely 1996. The year I consider to be the best year of hip hop is also one of the best years in film. Today, we gathered the team up to take a look at the films that made 1996 a successful year for movies and some of the releases that made that year so special. Let's take a look at the year 1996 in film.

@SpeedOnTheBeat I’m going to keep this one short...ish. 1996 was a year of Bugs Bunny dunking on fools, Eddie Murphy and Dave Chappelle appearing in the same movie, and a large showing of the money. Oh yeah, there were also classic films like Fargo and stuff that dropped that year too.

However, one film takes the cake as one of the best films of that year for me, although it’s admittedly for personal reasons. I was (maybe?) too young for it at the time but I became a huge fan of The Wayans family and their films. So, when I heard they were doing a spoof of Black “hood flicks,” my seven or eight year old self was like sign me the fuck up. I went to go see it with Mama Young and the main thing she said was “don’t let me catch you repeating nothing out this.” I was like “aight Mom” and we saw it. Bruh! I laughed my ass off at the absurdity of it all on a level I hadn’t even done for I’m Gonna Get You Sucka, probably because Juice and Menace II Society and shit was more fresh in my mind than Shaft and the other films. I was crineeee laughing at this joint, on a level that not even the (superior in terms of story) Nutty Professor could. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and see what The Wayans can do when they’re not hemmed up by trying to recreate a Bugs Bunny cartoon (I’m looking at you, Little Man).

But, speaking of The Nutty Professor and its superiority, I’ve got to admit. I’ve seen both editions of this film, the Jerry Lewis (may he RIP) and the Eddie version. I liked the Lewis version, but the Eddie version, for me, is better. Yes, it’s more crass, but it’s also more timely. It’s a film in 1996 that deals with fad diets, obesity in the Black community (that isn’t always played for laughs), and more than just “oh, Jerry Lewis is a nerd and now he’s cool and something something something Professor Frink triggering.” 

Folks, there’s a lot of gold in them 1996 hills outside of ID4 and shit like that. There were family comedies, spoofs, kids flicks that millennialist still hold as classic in an unironic sense, and a lot of great stuff. So, if you’ve got a weekend, check some of them out and support dope filmmaking in all its forms. 

1996 produced some pretty good movies. It’s hard to pinpoint just one but there are a lot of classics that to this day we still take time to sit back and watch it as if they just came out.

If you think about 1996, there’s one movie that sticks out in my mind and that is Space Jam. Yes, the movie with the Looney Tunes and Michael Jordan. However that wasn’t the only classic that released in 1996. Who could forget the famous line of “SHOW ME THE MONEY!!” that Tom Cruse yelled in Jerry McGuire. What about the Wayans Bros' Don’t Be A Menace in South Central. A movie that gave us a lot of laughs and an underrated comedy. Another comedy that released in 1996 was Adam Sandler’s Happy Gilmore. A movie that made us try to hit a golf ball like Happy Gilmore. Admit it.. you know you did it. Will Smith’s Independence Day also released in 1996. If you haven’t seen this but you saw the newest Independence Day movie then something needs to change.

1996 gave us some real classics. I’m sure there’s more that I haven’t listed including Twister, Scream, Set It Off, and The Nutty Professor. If you wanted to binge watch movies just based off that year, I know you will not be disappointed.

Looking back, it's really wild to me the amount of films I watched back in 1996. A lot of these films were turning points for me and even pop culture staples in certain genres. Scream was the very first horror film I had seen in the theaters. Me and a couple of my friends went to see something else but we snuck in Scream because we weren't old enough to buy Rated R tickets. The opening scene with Drew Barrymore on the phone playing the game of horror flick questions with the killer was gripping. The killers murdering her boyfriend while she's trapped in the house and just when you had a glimmer of hope they stab her in the throat so she can't scream, then hanging her from a tree with her guts hanging out was shocking. It was different from previous horror movies being that it was two funny faced masked killers who actually ran after you. This was Wes Craven's most memorable film IMO and it revitalized the genre as far as a box office goes which is why it spawned a bunch of imitators.

Independence Day is the movie that blew Will Smith's career up. We all know this film is about an alien threat that killed millions and the fighters try one last time to defend earth to save lives. The impact of this film is significant because it changed the summer blockbuster forever. It was the first time we'd seen important historical landmarks get devastated like the White House, the Empire State Building, big banks, major cities get destroyed like New York, D.C. & L.A. , innocent people die horribly, and the threat of the world at stake on the big screen this destructively. It left audiences speechless. The film made over 800 million and this was the turning point because afterwards came a lot of films that had major catastrophic scenes in them which became the thing to do since the public responded to it well.

Dunston Checks In was about 2 mischievous brothers playing jokes on hotel guests and employees. The youngest brother befriends a monkey that's forced to steal. The boy and the monkey cause all kinds of chaos. This was one of the last "bad kid" movies that I liked coming out of my era of adolescence. The movies we'd grown up on with the annoying kid getting into trouble causing havoc started to change in the late 90s. There was just something missing that it didn't seem authentic anymore. Maybe it was the writing. Fear was also a cool film. Reese Witherspoon's character was romanced by Mark Wahlbergs character. She's 16, he's in his 20s but he becomes possessive and murderous. The Craft was cool as well. A story about women practicing witchcraft that get too carried away with themselves and things get out of hand. 

Dont Be A Menace To South Central While Drinking Your Juice In The Hood was one of the Wayans' hilarious hood films that had its own storyline while spoofing other classic hood films like Menace To Society, South Central, Juice, Boyz N Tha Hood, Jungle Fever, New Jack City and more. High School High was another film with its own storyline spoofing the usual characteristics of films with teachers who come in and help the troubled teenagers like Lean On Me, Dangerous Minds, The Substitute, etc. Black Sheep was another hilarious movie. Once of Chris Farley's final performances before he passed.

Other movies I liked:
She's The One
Set It Off
A Thin Line Between Love And Hate
Poison Ivy 2
Space Jam
Harriet The Spy
Beavis and Butthead Do America
Sunset Park

Outro By @TrueGodImmortal -1996 was a great year for film. There are numerous films that I enjoyed during the year and while some of them don't hold up as well now, overall, the year was one of the most solid without a doubt. Whether you liked Fargo, Scream, Independence Day, Set It Off, A Thin Line Between Love And Hate, Mission Impossible, or even The Craft, there was something for everyone this year. My personal favorites from the year are The Nutty Professor and Don't Be A Menace, as those are two of my all time favorite comedies ever. Other gems on the year include A Time To Kill, which features an epic Samuel L. Jackson performance, Space Jam, the classic animated basketball film that showed Michael Jordan should never cross over into real acting, the underrated Denzel movie Courage Under Fire, Jim Carrey in The Cable Guy, Tom Cruise in two of his biggest roles with Jerry Maguire and Mission Impossible, and so much more. 1996 was one of those years that is fondly remember for having so many varying titles and great quality movies overall. It might be a top 3 year in modern film history.



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