Wednesday, May 15, 2019

THE ENGLISH PATIENT (1996), WHEN WE WERE KINGS (1996)

1996
The English Patient

The English Patient is the Oscar winning film that features the story of a World War II romance told partly in the patient's makeshift sickbed and partly in flashbacks. The movie was one of the first movies I went to with my wife after I got married. To tell you the truth, I found it a bit long and kind of dull, I think I even dozed off during the screening. It was well made, though.

My recent viewing is the first time I've seen it since and I still think it's well made and the story interested more this time. The burned and dying Count/English patient (Ralph Fiennes) tended by his nurse (Juliet Binoche) juxtaposed over the romantic relationship of  the Count and his love, Katharine (Kristin ScottThomas) has some appeal. I guess the romantic in me still lives on here and there.

You may recall the episode of Seinfeld in which Elaine seems to be the only one in the world who doesn't love The English Patient ("Thought it would never end."). I did re-watch that episode and it's especially funny right after you've seen the movie.

Seinfeld (The English Patient)


Image result for when we were kings ali
When We Were Kings


The Oscar winner for Best Documentary for 1996 went to When We Were Kings, a film about the Muhammad Ali-George Foreman title fight in 1974. Even though in the Rocky films, the character of Apollo Creed is based on Ali, one has to remember that before the Ali-Foreman fight, it was Ali who was more like an underdog Rocky. Foreman was undefeated and seemingly unstoppable and Ali was trying to make one more run at the title at age 32. The film recreates all the moments: The Zaire setting, the delay before the match caused by a Foreman injury, the music of James Brown, Howard Cosell and of course the fight itself (Forever know as The Rumble in the Jungle). The usually dancing Ali just stood and took Foreman's blows (rope-a-dope) before Foreman punched himself out and Ali knocked an exhausted Foreman out in eighth round, and further cemented his legendary status as "The Greatest of All-Time!". 

The film serves as a great historical document of the fight and the time.

I definitely had this issue of SI

Here are some other films I have seen that were first released in 1996 that are not in the 1001 book.

Beavis and Butt-Head Do America
My wife says, "They seem like they'd be mostly funny to twelve year old boys."
I reply to her in a Butthead voice, "Huh Huh Huh"
Beavis and Butt-Head Do America

The Birdcage
Thoroughly entertaining adaptation of La Cage Aux Folles featuring Robin Williams in one of his best roles.
The Birdcage

The Chamber
I've listened to the audiobook and watched the movie, but I had to jog my memory to remember what this one was about. I did think it was one of Grisham's better books, now that my memory is properly jogged.
The Chamber



Diabolique
The original was memorably well done, even with its moments of being on the far-fetched side. From what I remember, the remake doesn't really cut it nearly as well. Might be worth another look, though.
Diabolique '96

Diabolique '55

Everyone Says I Love You
Kind of funny film that has stars who don't sing all that well but give it the 'ole college try. It may be worth it just to hear Julia Roberts warble.
Everyone Says I Love You

Evita
If you're interested in Andrew Lloyd Webber's long journey to get Evita on the big screen, check out his memoir Unmasked. Nothing against the 1996 version, but I would have liked to see the proposed version with Karl De Vito from the 80's made. So it goes.
Evita



The First Wives Club
I saw this at the theater with my wife the first year we were married. Don't tell her, but I'm not a big fan...
The First Wives Club

Ghosts of Mississippi
Would make a good double feature with Mississippi Burning. I think the latter is a better film, but Ghosts may a good candidate for a revisit.
Ghosts of Mississippi




Hamlet
The definitive film version of Hamlet, At least, if you want to see the whole bloody play on film!
Hamlet

The Hunchback of Notre Dame
This was one of the better Disney '90's animated features, but the 1923 Lon Chaney version will always be the one that haunts me.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame '96

The Hunchback of Notre Dame '23

Jack
You would have thought a Francis Coppola movie with Robin Williams reverse aging might be better than it was. Oh, Well. Watch on a double bill with Benjamin Button anyway.
Jack


The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

James and the Giant Peach
This one was sad, but well done.
James and the Giant Peach

Jerry McGuire
At this point, whenever I think of this movie, I think of the guys who opened up a video store in Los Angeles that have nothing but VHS copies of Jerry Maguire. I love those guys!
The Jerry Maguire Movie

The Jerry Maguire Store

Jingle All the Way
Arnold and Sinbad fight to get Turbo Man for Christmas. Why didn't they just call this movie Turboman? Or The Hunt for Turboman? Or Waiting for Turboman? Or Where's Turboman? You get my drift.
Jingle All the Way

Kingpin
Maybe my favorite of the Farrelly Brothers comedies. Stupid a lot of the time, but so funny!
Kingpin

The Long Kiss Goodnight
Speaking of stupid, this movie is far-fetched even by action movie standards. But you know what, it's damn entertaining.
The Long Kiss Goodnight

Looking for Richard
Famous actors like Al Pacino and Kevin Spacey work on putting on a version of Richard III. It's pretty interesting for theaterphiles. Watch as a double feature with Ian Mckellan's Richard III.
Looking for Richard

Richard III

Mars Attacks!
Tim Burton's comedic answer to Independence Day. Between the two, I'd certainly choose Mars Attacks!
Mars Attacks

Independence Day


Michael
The John Travolta as an alien movie is kind of "meh" for me.
Me

The Mirror Has Two Faces
One strange thing about this movie is that Barbara Streisand doesn't look that bad when she's supposed to be frumpy and not that great when she's supposed to be attractive.
The Mirror Had Two Faces

Mystery Science Theater 3000
The theatrical version of one of my favorite shows probably isn't the finest moment of MST3K.
 Mystery Science Theater 3000 '96: Mike and the Bots

 Mystery Science Theater 3000 '93: Joel and the Bots

The Nutty Professor
Eddie Murphy's funny re-imagining ot the Jerry Lewis classic. ("Mike Douglas used to make me moist!")
 The Nutty Professor "96

The Nutty Professor '63

One Fine Day
George Clooney and Michelle Pfeiffer are single. They both have kids. They try to date and...Okay, the memory on this one isn't good.
One Fine Day

The People vs.Larry Flynt
Woody Harrleson and Courtney Love are both good in this Milos Forman film about love, the law, Jerry Falwell and Hustler magazine.
The People vs. Larry Flynt

Phenomenon
An unknown force makes John Travolta smart. Definitely better than Michael.
Phenomenon

Primal Fear
Legal drama dominated by Edward Norton's schizophrenic performance.
Primal Fear

Ransom
I'm not paying your ransom for kidnapping my kid. I'm using this money to put out a hit on you!
That was the major selling point of this film remake of an episode of United States Steel Hour from 1954.
Ransom

Space Jam
The whole Warner Brothers cartoons, Michael Jordan and Bill Murray playing space aliens in basketball is really a strange brew, isn't it?
Space Jam

Spy Hard
The Weird Al Video at the beginning is really the main thing I remember from this one. Did I actually see the whole thing?
Spy Hard


Star Trek: First Contact
Probably the best of the Star Trek: Next Generation films. Beware the Borg!
Star Trek: First Contact

That Thing You Do!
Fun Tom Hanks film set in the early 60's featuring a one hit wonder band.
That Thing You Do!

Tin Cup
Pretty good Kevin Costner/Ron Shelton follow up to Bull Durham. Only it involves golf this time. I'd love to see a real golf tournament to end in a mental breakdown like Costner has at the end of this movie. Rare film that has supporting roles for Craig Stadler, Corey Pavin, Johnny Miller, Fred Couples, etc.
Tin Cup

The Truth About Cats and Dogs
Can we handle the truth about Cats and Dogs?
The Truth About Cats and Dogs

Twelfth Night
Trevor Nunn's vibrant, open space Twelfth Night would make a good double feature with Trevor Nunn's bare bones Macbeth from 1976.
Twelfth Night

Macbeth

Twister
Tornado hunters try to rekindle a romantic bond through some turbulent weather.
Twister

Up Close and Personal
Wasn't this supposed to be a movie based on the life of Jessica Savitch and it morphed into something a little more lightweight? At least that's the way I remember it.
Up Close and Personal