Blood Diamond

  • Directors: Edward Zwick
  • Producers: Gillian Gorfil, Marshall Herskovitz, Graham King, Paula Weinstein, Edward Zwick
  • Writers: Charles Leavitt
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Djimon Hounsou, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Connelly, Michael Sheen, Arnold Vosloo

Set during the Sierra Leone Civil War in 1999, the film shows a country torn apart by the struggle between government soldiers and rebel forces.[1] The film portrays many of the atrocities of that war, including the rebels’ amputation of people’s hands to discourage them from voting in upcoming elections.

The film begins with the capture of Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou), a Mende fisherman, by the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels when they invade the small Sierra Leonian village of Shenge. Separated from his family, Solomon is enslaved to work in the diamond fields under the command of a Warlord called Captain Poison (David Harewood) while his son Dia is conscripted into the rebel forces, the brainwashing eventually turning him into a hardened killer. The RUF use the diamonds to fund their war effort, often trading them directly for arms. While working in the RUF diamond fields as a forced laborer, Solomon finds a large, pink diamond inside a big, broken pipe in the diamond fields. Claiming that he must go to the toilet, Solomon hides the diamond between his toes to try and sneak it away to bury it. However, moments before government troops launch an attack, Captain Poison sees Solomon hiding the diamond. Captain Poison is injured in an attack by government forces before he can get the stone, and both he and Solomon are taken to prison in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone.

Solomon travels to London and, with the help of Bowen, he trades the diamond to Simmons for £2,000,000 and the reunification of his family, making the exchange as Solomon’s wife and children arrive via a Lear Jet at a London airport. Bowen, who secretly photographs the deal, later publishes a magazine piece exposing the trade in “conflict” or “blood” diamonds. The film ends with Solomon smiling at the photograph Maddy took of Archer earlier, now published in her magazine along with the complete story of their journey, before addressing a conference on blood diamonds in Kimberley, South Africa, describing his experiences. This refers to an actual meeting that took place in Kimberley in 2000 and led to the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, which seeks to certify the origin of diamonds in order to curb the trade in conflict diamonds.

Linda Linda Linda

  • Directors: Nobuhiro Yamashita
  • Producers: Hiroyuki Negishi, Yuji Sadai
  • Writers: Wakako Miyashita, Nobuhiro Yamashita
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Music
  • Actors: Bae Doona, Aki Maeda, Yu Kashii, Shiori Sekine

Linda Linda Linda tells the story of a group of (eventually) four high school girls who decide to put together a band for Hiiragi-sai, their school cultural festival. Three days before they are to play the festival, the guitarist and singer quit the band. The remaining members, Kei Tachibana (立花恵, Tachibana Kei?), Kyoko Yamada (山田 響子, Yamada Kyōko?), and Nozomi Shirakawa (白河望, Shirakawa Nozomi?) must figure out what to do or risk cancelling. They decide to perform covers of The Blue Hearts songs, but all agree that they need to find a new member to be the singer. They ask the first girl that walks by – Son (ソン?), a Korean foreign exchange student. Son is not fluent in Japanese, and this leads to some difficulties and misunderstandings, but through sharing in the ins and outs of high school life, they are able to understand one another. The first day ends with all the girls working their hardest to begin to learn their parts, the most notable scenes here being Son trying to enter a karaoke parlor, and Kyoko talking with her crush, Kazuya Oe (大江一也, ÅŒe Kazuya?).

On the next day, they begin practicing early at school where Kei struggles to play the guitar. As school begins, they all break off to do their own thing, Kyoko is seen selling crepes alongside Oe. By mid afternoon, it’s time for the girls to regroup back at the music club room, but Kyoko ends up coming late and they miss their time slot. From there, Kei calls her ex-boyfriend and manages to get her group over to “Studio Q” to practice. They leave late at night to return to school, and continue practicing through the rest of the night.

On the final day, the band gets awakened by a group who began to take out instruments to set them up on stage. The band decides to head back to Studio Q and continue practicing. However, out of exhaustion they fall asleep and Kei dreams about being celebrated and performing for The Ramones at the Budokan. All this while, the stage managers begin to search for Kei’s band, but to no avail. To pass the time, the band’s friends Takako and Moe have impromptu performances. Kei only wakes up to the sound of Kyoko’s cell phone when Oe calls to ask where Kyoko is. The band then rushes back to school in a taxi where Oe and Kyoko finally meet while everyone else sets up with only ten minutes left. When Kyoko finally comes in, the band performs two of the three songs they had planned: “Rinda Rinda” (Linda Linda), and Owaranai Uta to an excited and pumped up crowd.

Dracula

  • Directors: Terence Fisher
  • Producers: Anthony Hinds
  • Writers: Novel, Bram Stoker, Screenplay, Jimmy Sangster
  • Genres: Horror, Thriller
  • Actors: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Michael Gough, Melissa Stribling, Carol Marsh

Jonathan Harker arrives at the castle of Count Dracula near Klausenberg, posing as a librarian. He is startled inside the castle by a young woman begging for help, claiming to be a prisoner. Dracula then greets Harker and guides him to his room, where he locks him in. Jonathan starts to write in his diary, and his true intentions are revealed: he has come to kill Dracula.

Freed sometime later, Harker again is confronted by the desperate woman. She begs him for help but then bites his neck. Just as she does, Dracula arrives and yanks her away. When he awakens in daylight, Harker finds the bite mark. He hides his journal in a Virgin Mary grotto outside the castle and descends into the crypts, where he finds Dracula and the unnamed woman in their coffins. Armed with a stake, he impales the woman. But when he turns to kill Dracula, the count has already awakened and is waiting for him.

Dr. Van Helsing then arrives in Klausenberg, looking for Harker. The frightened townsfolk give him Harker’s journal. When he arrives at the castle, it is deserted; a hearse carriage speeds by with a coffin in it. In the crypt, Van Helsing is horrified to discover Harker lying in a coffin as a vampire. Staking Harker, he leaves to deliver the veiled news of Harker’s death in person to a wary Arthur Holmwood and his wife Mina, brother and sister-in-law of Harker’s fiancée Lucy Holmwood. Lucy is ill, so the news is kept from her. But, when night falls, Lucy opens the doors to her terrace and lays bare her neck — already, it bares the mark of a vampire bite. And soon Dracula arrives and bites her again.

A chase then begins as Dracula rushes to return to his castle near Klausenberg before sunrise. He attempts to bury Mina alive outside the crypts but is caught by Van Helsing and Arthur. Inside the castle, Van Helsing and Dracula struggle. Van Helsing tears open the curtain to let in the sunlight and, forming a cross of candlesticks, he forces Dracula into it. Dracula crumbles into dust as Van Helsing watches in horror. Mina recovers, the cross-shaped scar fading from her hand as Dracula’s ashes blow away and leave only a ring behind.

Hardbodies

  • Directors: Mark Griffiths
  • Producers: Jeff Begun
  • Writers: Eric Alter, Steve Greene, Mark Griffiths
  • Genres: Comedy
  • Actors: Grant Cramer, Courtney Gains, Gary Wood, Darcy DeMoss, Sorrells Pickard, Kristi Somers, Michael Rapport, Teal Roberts, Roberta Collins

Scotty Palmer (Grant Cramer) is portrayed as a down on his luck con man who gets kicked out of his home. Scotty soon finds three older divorcees who have a lot of money, however they do not have a trait that Scotty possesses, moxie with women. They agree to let Scotty stay with them at their beach house, if he returns the favor by teaching them how to pick up women.

Scotty shows them how to “dialog” women by giving them a dose of the old BBD (Bigger and Better Deal). Along this journey, Scotty loses his playboy ways and falls in love with Kristi (played by Teal Roberts). Kristi, knowing Scotty’s playboy past, puts up with his ups and downs early on in the movie but later insists that he change his ways. Scotty recognizes that Kristi is ultimately more important than the empty life he has led up until now and changes his ways.

Valentine s Day

  • Directors: Garry Marshall
  • Producers: Samuel J Brown, Mike Karz, Wayne Allan Rice, Josie Rosen
  • Writers: Abby Kohn, Mark Silverstein, Katherine Fugate
  • Genres: Comedy, Romance
  • Actors: Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Ashton Kutcher, Alex Williams, Julia Roberts, Jamie Foxx, Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Garner, Patrick Dempsey, Eric Dane, Emma Roberts, Taylor Swift, Taylor Lautner, Queen Latifah, Topher Grace, Carter Jenkins, Shirley MacLaine, Hector Elizondo

10 stories of different people on Valentine’s Day in Los Angeles are all linked in some way. The story was written by Abby Kohn and Mark Silverstein.

Edge of Darkness

  • Directors: Martin Campbell
  • Producers: Graham King, Tim Headington, Michael Wearing
  • Writers: Screenplay, William Monahan, Andrew Bovell, Television series, Troy Kennedy Martin
  • Genres: Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Mel Gibson, Ray Winstone, Danny Huston, Bojana Novakovic

As homicide detective Thomas Craven (Mel Gibson) investigates the death of his activist daughter (Bojana Novakovic), he uncovers not only her secret life, but a corporate cover-up and government collusion that attracts an agent tasked with cleaning up the evidence…

Youth in Revolt

  • Directors: Miguel Arteta
  • Producers: David Permut
  • Writers: C D Payne, Gustin Nash
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
  • Actors: Michael Cera, Portia Doubleday, Jean Smart, Mary Kay Place, M Emmet Walsh, Zach Galifianakis, with Justin Long, special appearance by Fred Willard, and Ray Liotta, and Steve Buscemi

Nick Twisp (Michael Cera) is a cynical sex-obsessed 16-year-old who, while on vacation in a trailer park, meets Sheeni Saunders (Portia Doubleday), an intellectual. The only things really standing in his way are Sheeni’s poetry-writing ex-boyfriend Trent (Jonathan B. Wright), Nick’s temperamental divorced parents (Steve Buscemi and Jean Smart), and Nick’s mom’s boyfriends (Zach Galifianakis and Ray Liotta). When Nick realizes she is not interested, he comes up with an alter-ego, named Francois, who resembles Nick, but has blue eyes, a mustache, a deeper voice, and a player/bad boy attitude to help him with his pursuit of Sheeni. But when Francois ends up making Nick a wanted criminal, everything spins out of control.

The Last Kiss

  • Directors: Tony Goldwyn
  • Producers: Gary Lucchesi, Tom Rosenberg, Marcus Viscidi, Andre Lamal
  • Writers: Paul Haggis Zach Braff, Gabriele Muccino
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
  • Actors: Zach Braff, Jacinda Barrett, Rachel Bilson, Casey Affleck, Blythe Danner, Tom Wilkinson

Michael and his live-in girlfriend Jenna appear to be enjoying the perfect relationship: Jenna is pregnant prior to the opening of the film and her parents are pressuring the pair to get married. Jenna claims that Michael’s work pressures and her own dissertation rendered it an inopportune time for marriage. The real reason, unbeknownst to anyone, is that Michael feels trapped and scared. Although he considers Jenna an ideal companion, Michael is harboring second thoughts.

Upon a chance encounter at a wedding, Michael meets Kim, whom he confides in about his relationship. Kim guesses he is about to break up with Jenna and becomes flirtatious. While Michael becomes intrigued by Kim’s youthfulness, openness, and spirit, he does not succumb to temptation. The two part ways with Kim telling Michael where she attends school and where she usually hangs out.

Michael eventually seeks her out at the Memorial Union but tells Kim he was in the area only because of a client meeting. Kim senses his interest and, while Michael drives her home, invites him to a party. Michael accepts. Back in the office, Michael constructs an excuse to be away from Jenna on the night of the party. He asks Chris, his friend and co-worker, to cover for him in case Jenna calls. Chris suspects Michael has met another woman and wishes to avoid becoming involved, as Chris himself has just left his wife; he knows first hand how painful a breakup can be. Michael denies the existence of another woman and merely says he will ‘be with an old college friend.’

Michael follows her back and finds himself locked out. He stakes out on the front porch until Jenna agrees to talk. Both day and night, wet and dry, Michael remains at the front door with many neighbors taking notice and some even providing beverages to him. Stephen even proceeds to drive by in his car and notices Michael, who sees him. A proud smile develops on his face as he drives off, indicating that Michael has taken his advice seriously. Slowly but surely, she begins to relent, first tossing out a blanket during a cold evening, then dropping off a sandwich the next day. During the evening of what would have been his third night on the porch, Jenna breaks her silence and speaks to Michael through the closed door. She laments about mourning the loss of the relationship like the loss of someone’s life. Later that evening, Jenna opens the door and Michael goes inside.

Bottle Shock

  • Directors: Randall Miller
  • Producers: Jody Savin, Randall Miller, Brenda Lhormer, Marc Lhormer, J Todd Harris, Marc Toberoff
  • Writers: Jody Savin, Randall Miller, Ross Schwartz
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama
  • Actors: Alan Rickman, Chris Pine, Bill Pullman, Rachael Taylor, Freddy Rodriguez, Dennis Farina, Bradley Whitford, Miguel Sandoval, Eliza Dushku

Sommelier and wine shop owner Steven Spurrier, a British expatriate living in Paris, concocts a plan to hold a blind taste-test intended to introduce Parisians to the quality wines coming from elsewhere in the world (and save his business in the process). He travels to the not-yet-famous Napa Valley in search of contestants for his Judgment of Paris taste test, where a chance meeting introduces him to floundering vintner Jim Barrett of Chateau Montelena. Spurrier goes around Napa tasting chardonnays and leaving money for tasting. Through unfortunate circumstances, the chardonnay is lost and people go to throw it away. The local diner discovers it and buy it from them for Bo telling him to leave a crate as payment for the favor. Bo is picked to represent Chateau Montelena and travels to Paris where the taste test begins. While tallying the scores from the eight Parisian judges, Steven is shocked to find that Montelena has won. Each of the judges, choosing Montelena as their favorite continue to drink it as Steven tallies the scores and spit it out in shock at the news that it is, in fact, American. The report is featured in an article of Time and restaurants all around America are asked continually for the wine (Chateau Montelena Chardonnay 1973) and forced to state that they don’t have it. This twist of fate and the resultant oenological epiphany forever change their lives along with that of Barrett’s son, Bo, as well as the fortunes of Napa Valley wineries and the global wine industry as a whole. In the end, the futures of the characters are revealed to present day. Jim Barrett still makes wine at 81 at the time of this film’s release, Bo now runs the Chateau, a bottle of Montelena Chardonnay 1973 and the red wine, also from California, that had won the same competition were given a case at the Smithsonian Institute. Steven Spurrier hosted another contest, this time with full confidence that Parisian wine would win. California won again.[1]

Spawn

  • Directors:
  • Producers: Clint Goldman, Associate Producer, Terry Fitzgerald, Executive Producer, Todd McFarlane, Alan C Blomquist, Co Executive Producer, Adrianna Cohen, Brian Witten
  • Writers: Screenplay, Alan B McElroy, Story, Alan B McElroy, Comic Book, Todd McFarlane
  • Genres: Thriller, Action, Fantasy, Horror
  • Actors: John Leguizamo, Michael Jai White, Martin Sheen, Theresa Randle, Melinda Clarke, Miko Hughes, Sydni Beaudoin, with Nicol Williamson, and D B Sweeney

The premise of the movie is similar to the initial storyline of the original comics. Al Simmons, a military soldier/assassin, has been betrayed by a covert government agency head named Jason Wynn. Wynn orders his top assassin, Jessica Priest, to assassinate him. After Simmons dies, he is immediately transported to Hell, where Malebolgia, The Devil of the various realms, offers him a Faustian deal. If Simmons becomes his eternal servant and leader of his army in Armageddon, he will be able to return to Gazer to see his beloved fiancee, Wanda Blake. Simmons accepts the offer and is transformed into a Hellspawn, which is a servant of Malebolgia in a necroplasm suit that is not only a living, breathing creature, but is also his only protection in the world.

Once he returns to the land of the living, Simmons learns that five years had passed. Wanda is now remarried to his best friend Terry and living the life he had always longed for, including the daughter he never knew, Cyan. Along his journey in this new life, he encounters a strange clown-like demon called Violator, who acts as a guide to put “Crispy” (as Violator calls Spawn) on the path to evil, and a mysterious old man named Cogliostro, who, as a fellow Hellspawn, teaches Al how to control his energy, which is very sparse. Jason Wynn is now a high-class weapons dealer rather than a government bureaucrat. He is also the ultimate target of the Spawn.

Meanwhile, Terry has just finished an online communication with a fellow newsman that he has sent evidence that will expose Jason Wynn. After the transmission, Cyan enters the room with Jason right behind her. He destroys his computer and holds the family hostage as Clown arrives. When Spawn arrives, he ends up in a fight with Jason Wynn. Spawn doesn’t realize that by killing Jason, he will activate the signal that will launch Armageddon. After not killing Wynn and extracting the device, a final battle ensues between Spawn and a transformed Violator, ending with the villain going back to Hell and his reputation is ruined. Spawn’s identity is now known to Terry, Wanda, and Cyan. Jason Wynn ends up arrested, and Spawn dedicates himself to justice rather than vengeance.