When I was kid (what you would call a tween now), 1996 was It.

It was the year I started frequently going to the movies, really consuming Hollywood. I was still growing up in Lima, Peru, and it was around that time that nice, new, modern como-en-Estados Unidos-like multiplexes-as-commercial anchors entertainment hubs began to pop up around the city. If memory serves, we got Blockbuster around then or we had very recently gotten it (I did rather well in this promotional Oscar pool they did the year they opened, when Mira Sorvino won for that movie by that guy). A trip to either the movies or Blockbuster often included gelato, so, yeah…not bad that 1996. The year the song of Hollywood began to amplify into the new millennium, yah, even without that good, that sweet Wi-Fi (my, how fast we’ve come so far).

Once I saw Tom Cruise do those spy things he did at that restaurant in Prague that was a restaurant and an aquarium (my, how far he’s come, from that subdued upstart and the elegant spy style of Brian De Palma, always thinking, always ready…in forward motion…to this domination of the blockbuster game on such a consistent global-event scale, y’ know). Vanessa Redgrave doing her Job. The drama that was Henry Czerny. And those classic, thrilling stunts (spy masks…on a train!). Once I heard Danny Elfman’s score, and those Lalo Schifrin notes that were and continue to be perfect, I was hooked.

It. Was. Independence Day.

And then there was Twister (that was an education on tornadoes and the Middle of the USA). And EraserStrip Tease? More like, Jingle All the Way, baby.

It was a fun year at the movies. The summer blockbuster was alive and well. Movie stars still had some o’ that glamour mystérieux. The Oscars were the show, not a show.

Many stars were born that year. Each in a week. Let’s go to the movies.

Romeo + Juliet > Evita > Mission: Impossible > Twister > Scream

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