Cinema Sight / The Oscar Guy Turns 18

18 years ago today, I took my crazy notion for an Oscar-themed website and found a place on GeoCities where I started the website “The Oscar Guy”. For fourteen years, I operated as The Oscar Guy before the Academy finally noticed I was around and sent me a C&D letter. Since 2010, the site has been called Cinema Sight.

For 18 years, I have covered the Academy Awards in depth, hosted a site where like-minded people could come and discuss the Oscars (on the UAADB and on the site itself), and provided information about the Oscars that, at the time of founding, was hard to find anywhere on the internet.

In honor of our 18th Anniversary, we’re going to flash back to 1996 to remember what was great and what was awful about that year. There were far more films that released that year than I can logistically cover, but for the next 12 months, I will be attempting to catch up on everything I missed from 1996.

In making my list, I used three factors to determine what to put on it. First, the Oscar nominations. Every feature-length film nominated for the Oscars, excluding the Foreign Language Film and Documentary Feature categories, made it onto the list. I then pulled the films earning more than 80% aggregate on Rotten Tomatoes. Finally, I took any film that made more than $75 million at the U.S. box office (adjusted for inflation) and added those to the list.

That list has grown to more films than I expected, so it will be quite an undertaking. Hopefully, by the time our 19th anniversary comes along in 2015, I’ll have completely caught up with the best and most popular films of 1996 and will be able to provide a definitive list of the best films of that particular year. What I’ll do next year, I have no idea, but I’m open to suggestions.

Until you hear from me, below is the list of every film that I have and have not seen from 1996 along with “important” data about each (alphabetical in each section and by each star rating). Note that there are two films that were not available on Netflix, so I may have a hard time locating them: Angels & Insects and Jude. I’m also noting which films are currently enshrined on my Top Ten list, so when this project is over, we can see just how much my focus has changed since then.

Seen

Breaking the Waves (1 nominations / 86% Fresh) – 4 stars
The English Patient (12 nominations / 83% Fresh / $ 139,339,400) – 4 stars
Evita (5 nominations / $ 87,782,800) – 4 stars
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1 nominations / $ 182,379,600) – 4 stars
Mother (91% Fresh) – 4 stars
Secrets & Lies (5 nominations / 94% Fresh) – 4 stars
Star Trek: First Contact (1 nominations / 92% Fresh / $ 166,968,100) – 4 stars

The Birdcage (1 nominations / $ 225,947,400) – 3.5 stars
The Crucible (2 nominations) – 3.5 stars
Irma Vep (91% Fresh) – 3.5 stars
Jerry Maguire (5 nominations / 85% Fresh / $ 273,128,900) – 3.5 Stars
The People vs. Larry Flynt (2 nominations / 87% Fresh) – 3.5 stars
The Portrait of a Lady (2 nominations) – 3.5 stars
Ridicule – 3.5 stars
Scream (80% Fresh / $ 181,546,000) – 3.5 stars
Trainspotting (1 nominations / 89% Fresh) – 3.5 stars
The Truth About Cats & Dogs (84% Fresh / $ 63,492,700) – 3.5 stars
Welcome to the Dollhouse – 3.5 stars
William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet (1 nominations / $ 84,013,700) – 3.5 stars

101 Dalmatians ($ 245,105,300) – 3 stars
Courage Under Fire (85% Fresh / $ 107,511,300) – 3 stars
Dragonheart (1 nominations / $ 93,553,700) – 3 stars
The First Wives Club (1 nominations / $ 192,124,000) – 3 stars
Ghosts of Mississippi (2 nominations) – 3 stars
The Last Supper – 3 stars
Mars Attacks! ($ 67,644,400) – 3 stars
Marvin’s Room – 3 stars
Mission: Impossible ($ 329,616,300) – 3 stars
My Fellow Americans – 3 stars
Shine (7 nominations / 91% Fresh / $ 62,948,400) – 3 stars

Fargo (7 nominations / 94% Fresh) – 2.5 stars
The Rock (1 nominations / $ 244,176,400) – 2.5 stars
Twister (2 nominations / $ 440,239,400) – 2.5 stars

City Hall – 2 stars
Independence Day (2 nominations / $ 557,614,400) – 2 stars
Sleepers (1 nominations / $ 97,101,400) – 2 stars

The Associate – 1.5 stars
Jackie Chan’s First Strike – 1.5 stars
The Long Kiss Goodnight ($ 60,917,000) – 1.5 stars
Phenomenon ($ 190,570,800) – 1.5 stars

Eraser (1 nominations / $ 184,486,300) – 1 stars
Joe’s Apartment – 1 stars
Spy Hard – 1 stars

Vice Academy 5 – 0.5 stars

Seen, but Forgotten

Michael ($ 167,857,900) – Seen, but Forgotten

Not Available

Angels and Insects (1 nominations) – Not Available
Jude (81% Fresh) – Not Available

Not Seen

All Over Me (85% Fresh) – Not Seen
Beautiful Thing (90% Fresh) – Not Seen
Beavis and Butt-Head Do America ($ 112,782,900) – Not Seen
Big Night (96% Fresh) – Not Seen
Bottle Rocket (80% Fresh) – Not Seen
Bound (92% Fresh) – Not Seen
Broken Arrow ($ 128,891,300) – Not Seen
The Cable Guy ($ 109,713,700) – Not Seen
Career Girls (88% Fresh) – Not Seen
Children of the Revolution (80% Fresh) – Not Seen
Citizen Ruth (80% Fresh) – Not Seen
Cold Comfort Farm (84% Fresh) – Not Seen
Daylight (1 nominations / $ 59,419,500) – Not Seen
Emma (2 nominations / 83% Fresh) – Not Seen
Executive Decision ($ 103,027,600) – Not Seen
Flirting With Disaster (86% Fresh) – Not Seen
Fly Away Home (1 nominations / 85% Fresh) – Not Seen
Get on the Bus (88% Fresh) – Not Seen
The Ghost and the Darkness (1 nominations / $ 70,336,200) – Not Seen
Ghost in the Shell (94% Fresh) – Not Seen
Girls Town (88% Fresh) – Not Seen
Hamlet (4 nominations / 95% Fresh) – Not Seen
Hard Eight (82% Fresh) – Not Seen
The Island of Dr. Moreau ($ 50,383,500) – Not Seen
Jack ($ 106,764,400) – Not Seen
James and the Giant Peach (1 nominations / 93% Fresh / $ 52,718,600) – Not Seen
Jingle All the Way ($ 109,657,700) – Not Seen
Lone Star (1 nominations / 93% Fresh) – Not Seen
Matilda (90% Fresh / $ 60,938,500) – Not Seen
Michael Collins (2 nominations) – Not Seen
The Mirror Has Two Faces (2 nominations / $ 74,824,700) – Not Seen
The Nutty Professor (1 nominations / $ 234,604,700) – Not Seen
One Fine Day (1 nominations / $ 81,710,500) – Not Seen
The Preacher’s Wife (1 nominations / $ 85,752,500) – Not Seen
Primal Fear (1 nominations / $ 102,202,500) – Not Seen
Ransom ($ 247,609,300) – Not Seen
Sling Blade (2 nominations / 96% Fresh) – Not Seen
Space Jam ($ 163,960,300) – Not Seen
Swingers (87% Fresh) – Not Seen
That Thing You Do! (1 nominations / 93% Fresh) – Not Seen
A Time to Kill ($ 198,091,900) – Not Seen
Trees Lounge (81% Fresh) – Not Seen
Up Close and Personal (1 nominations / $ 93,046,200) – Not Seen
Walking and Talking (86% Fresh) – Not Seen

3 Comments

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  1. Happy Birthday.

    I’ve watched the oscars since I was 14 years old in 1992 (The Silence of the Lambs) and have recorded them in vhs until 2004.

    I Noticed your site in the year 1999 when you cover the 1998 oscars. I remember you loved The Green Mile and gave it 14 Oscar Hopeful nominations, I remember being angry it only got 4 nominations (picture, supporting actor, screenplay and sound), the academy crearly didn’t recognize it enough which is currently number 46 in the IMDB top 250.

    I’ve been a fan of your work ever since, and I hope to be able to comment on each years oscars until life permit us.

    1. To be honest, I didn’t love it. My initial predictions may have slotted it for 14 nominations, but I was largely unenthused by the film.

      I had read the book serial and found it fantastic and was sorely disappointed by how it turned out in film form.

      I’m glad you stuck around since then.

  2. Happy Birthday, Oscar Guy. Enjoyed your various sites nearly as long as they have been in existence. At least 6 films on your 1996 list to be seen, made my top 10 and honorable mention list for that year.

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