Me and Orson Welles

  • Directors: Richard Linklater
  • Producers: Ann Carli, Richard Linklater, Marc Samuelson
  • Writers: Screenplay, Holly Gent Palmo, Vincent Palmo Jr, Novel, Robert Kaplow
  • Genres: Drama
  • Actors: Zac Efron, Christian McKay, Claire Danes, Ben Chaplin

In New York in 1937, 17-year-old Richard Samuels (Efron) meets theatre director Orson Welles (McKay), whom he convinces to give him the role of Lucillus in Julius Caesar, Broadway’s first Shakespearean production. Welles, who is having an extramarital affair with the leading actress while his wife is pregnant, couples Richard with production assistant Sonja Jones (Danes) to rehearse. Welles decides the entire production crew would benefit from a coupling game, and Richard cheats to ensure he is paired with Sonja.[1]

The Messenger

  • Directors: Oren Moverman
  • Producers: Benjamin Goldhirsh, Mark Gordon, Lawrence Inglee, Zach Miller
  • Writers: Alessandro Camon, Oren Moverman
  • Genres: Drama, Romance, War
  • Actors: Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson, Samantha Morton, Jena Malone

A casualty notification officer for the United States Army enters an ethical dilemma when he gets involved with Olivia (Samantha Morton), the widow of a soldier.

Salt

  • Directors: Phillip Noyce
  • Producers: Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Sunil Perkash
  • Writers: Kurt Wimmer, Brian Helgeland
  • Genres: Action, Thriller
  • Actors: Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Daniel Olbrychski

Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) is a CIA officer who swore an oath to duty, honor, and country. When she is accused by a defector of being a Russian sleeper spy, Salt goes on the run to clear her name and ultimately prove she is a patriot. Using all her skills and years of experience as a covert operative, she must elude capture and protect her husband or the world’s most powerful forces will erase any trace of her existence.[1][2]

Alvin and the Chipmunks The Squeakquel

  • Directors: Betty Thomas
  • Producers: Ross Bagdasarian Jr, Janice Karman
  • Writers: Jonathan Aibel, Jon Vitti, Will McRobb, Chris Viscardi, Glenn Berger
  • Genres: Animation, Comedy, Family
  • Actors: Jason Lee, David Cross, Cameron Richardson, Zachary Levi, Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler, Jesse McCartney, Anna Faris, Christina Applegate, Amy Poehler

During the Chipmunks’ concert, David Seville (Jason Lee) suffers a severe injury and is rushed to the hospital. Although he survives, he must stay for a few days to recuperate. Prior to the event, he had made arrangements for Alvin (Justin Long), Simon (Matthew Gray Gubler), and Theodore (Jesse McCartney) to attend school. Little does he know, while in school, the Chipmunks feel like “Chipmunks Out of Water” on account of all the human students around. Meanwhile, Ian Hawke (David Cross) (after the departure of the Chipmunks dealt him a serious blow) searches the world for animals who can sing and dance. He happens upon Brittany (Anna Faris), Jeanette (Christina Applegate), and Eleanor (Amy Poehler), the Chipettes, and cannot wait to make them famous, and get his sworn revenge on the Chipmunks.[2]

The Princess and the Frog

  • Directors: Ron Clements, John Musker
  • Producers: Peter Del Vecho, John Lasseter
  • Writers: Ron Clements, John Musker, Rob Edwards
  • Genres: Animation, Family, Musical, Romance
  • Actors: Anika Noni Rose, Oprah Winfrey, Keith David, Jenifer Lewis, Jim Cummings, John Goodman, Bruno Campos, Michael Leon Wooley, Peter Bartlett, Terrence Howard

A press release describes the story as follows:

The official trailer reveals that once Tiana kisses the frog prince, she herself becomes a frog, and they must journey together to change themselves back to humans.[9]

Gracie

  • Directors: Davis Guggenheim
  • Producers: Davis Guggenheim, Andrew Shue, Elisabeth Shue, John Shue
  • Writers: Lisa Marie Petersen, Karen Janszen, Andrew Shue, Davis Guggenheim, Ken Himmelman
  • Genres: Drama, Sport
  • Actors: Elisabeth Shue, Carly Schroeder, Dermot Mulroney, Jesse Lee Soffer, Andrew Shue, Trevor Heins

It is 1978 and 15-year-old Gracie Bowen (Carly Schroeder), who lives in South Orange, New Jersey, is crazy about soccer, as are her three brothers, neighbor, and former soccer star father (Dermot Mulroney). Although Gracie wants to join her brothers and father in the nightly practices, she is discouraged by everyone except her elder brother, Johnny (Jesse Lee Soffer).

Tragedy unexpectedly strikes when Johnny, the star of the Columbia High School varsity soccer team, is killed in a car accident. Struggling with grief over her family’s loss, Gracie decides that she wants to replace her brother on the team. Her father does not believe that girls should play soccer and tells her that she is neither tough enough nor talented enough to play with the boys team. He devotes most of his time and energies to Gracie’s brothers, particularly Johnny. Her mother, Lindsey Bowen (Elisabeth Shue), is a nurse who lacks the competitive drive of the rest of her family and who fears for Gracie’s safety. Lindsey later confesses to Gracie, in discussing gender inequities, that she would have liked to become a surgeon but that option was not available to her.

Feeling rejected by her father and depressed over the fact that her desire to play soccer is not taken seriously, Gracie begins to rebel. She stops doing her schoolwork, is caught cheating on an exam, and experiments with wild and self-destructive behavior. This serves as a “wake-up call” for her parents, particularly her father. He quits his job to coach her in soccer. When the school board rejects her request to play boy’s soccer, it is revealed that he wanted her to play women’s field hockey. Gracie files an appeal with the school board. Citing the newly passed Title IX, Gracie argues that since a girl’s soccer team does not exist, she should be allowed to play on the boy’s varsity soccer team. The school board allows her to try out for the team. After very rough tryouts, she makes the junior varsity squad and has to decide if she is willing to play at that level.

Carriers

  • Directors: David Pastor
  • Producers: Ray Angelic, Anthony Bregman
  • Writers: David Pastor
  • Genres: Thriller, Drama, Horror
  • Actors: Chris Pine, Piper Perabo, Christopher Meloni

The horror starts with a pandemic virus that has already spread world-wide. Two brothers, Brian and Danny, along with Brian’s girlfriend Bobby and Danny’s friend Kate, are heading to a place where they believe they can wait for the viral pandemic to die out, along with the infected– namely a place called Turtle Beach, where Brian and Danny used to spend their holidays as children. They come across a van parked in the middle of the road, where a man stops them, looking for fuel for his car. They realise his daughter, who is in the backseat of the van is infected and they refuse to help, attempting to drive around the van which is blocking the road. The man attacks their car, and while trying to evade him, their car is irrevocably damaged. The four teenagers have no choice but to join the father and his infected daughter in order to use their fully functioning van, providing the gas from their own car, making a deal with the man that they will drive him to a school where it is rumoured that a serum has been developed that could help the infected, in order to help the little girl. Upon reaching the school however, they encounter a doctor with several infected children. The doctor explains the serum only slowed down the virus, prolonging the disease by three days, and that as a result he is planning on euthanizing the children, claiming that “living is sometimes a more painful way of dying”. Meanwhile in the car the little girl’s breathing becomes compromised and Bobby (who remained with her while the others went into the school) tries to help, taking off the child’s mask to help her breathe. However the little girl begins to cough, and coughs blood into Bobby’s face. Fearing that she may be infected, she doesn’t tell the others when they return, still in shock. The little girl asks to go to the bathroom, and her father reluctantly takes her, knowing the teenagers will take his car and leave them behind, but seeing no other choice. Before he walks away he tells Danny that he seems like a good man. The teenagers drive away, knowing they are leaving father and daughter to their deaths.

Later the car runs out of gas, and Brian, who has been oddly calm since abandoning his girlfriend at the gas station becomes increasingly more violent. Another car appears, driving towards them, and Brian accelerates aggressively, before blocking their progress along the road. Danny leaves the car and attempts to plead with the two ladies in the car for gas; however they are too frightened to help them. Brian takes out a gun and shoots at them, killing one of the ladies while the other one takes out a gun of her own and shoots him in the leg. He then shoots her. Danny is horrified and furiously demands to know why. Brian then reveals that he feels he has to take care of everything so Danny can have a conscience-free life, such as lying to their parents that they would “be back soon”, while intending on escaping. Danny is distressed, realising that Brian had lied, presumably telling him their infected parents were dead, while in fact they had abandoned them while they were still alive. When trying to dress the wound in Brian’s leg, Danny discovers that Brian is infected also. Kate convinces Danny they have to leave him behind. Danny takes the keys to the car but realizes that Brian, who is now awake, has the keys. Danny says his goodbyes and kills his brother. Together Danny and Kate reach their destination, Turtle Beach, the place which holds so many memories for Danny. He realises that without his brother, the place that had seemed so special to them as kids is now empty. The film ends, leaving their fate uncertain.

World s Greatest Dad

  • Directors: Bobcat Goldthwait
  • Producers: Howard Gertler, Ted Hamm, Richard Kelly, Sean McKittrick, Tim Perell, Sarah de Sa Rego, Jennifer Roth
  • Writers: Bobcat Goldthwait
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama
  • Actors: Robin Williams, Daryl Sabara, Alexie Gilmore

Lance Clayton (played by Robin Williams) is a single father, unpublished author, and high school English teacher who dreams of becoming a famous writer. He unsuccessfully tries to bond with his misanthropic, underachieving, sex-obsessed teenage son Kyle (played by Daryl Sabara).[2] Virtually friendless, Kyle is a student at the same school where Lance teaches an unpopular poetry class.

Because of Kyle’s poor academic performance, the school principal advises Lance that Kyle should transfer to a special needs school. One night, Kyle dies accidentally in an autoerotic asphyxiation accident in his bedroom. Overcome with grief, Lance avoids embarrassment by staging Kyle’s death scene as a suicide, hanging Kyle in the closet and leaving a false suicide note on the body.

Initially, most of the students and faculty at Lance’s school are uninterested in Kyle’s death, Kyle having been a very unpopular and unlikeable person. However, a classmate later obtains the suicide note from police records and publishes it in the school newspaper. The note strikes a chord with the students and faculty and many now claim to have been Kyle’s friend. Enjoying the attention his writing is finally receiving, Lance fabricates and publishes Kyle’s diary of his last days. Kyle becomes something of a post-mortem cult phenomenon at the school; students who had previously disliked him begin to claim that they had always been close to Kyle and Lance is regarded as a hero. A much younger teacher on staff, who has been dating Lance at her convenience, begins to give him her undivided attention.

The bogus journal also attracts the attention of book publishers now eager for Lance’s work, and Lance lands a TV appearance on nationally-broadcast talk show. Ironically, the school principal now wants to dedicate the school library to Kyle’s memory, in spite of Kyle’s terrible attitude and lack of interest in schoolwork during his life. Kyle’s only friend Andrew, asks Lance some penetrating questions, aware that Kyle was incapable of profound writing. Lance’s work, though published under false pretenses, earns him all the fame and appreciation he had dreamed of. At the library dedication, Lance’s guilt over his exploitation of Kyle’s death reaches a breaking point, leading him to confess everything, from Kyle’s real character and death to Lance’s authorship of Kyle’s “journals.” Lance is immediately despised by everyone except Andrew, who praises Kyle’s bogus journal and encourages Lance to continue writing. Lance, encouraged by Andrew’s statement, invites him to attend a zombie movie marathon at his house.

Dark Passage

  • Directors: Delmer Daves
  • Producers: Jerry Wald
  • Writers: Story, David Goodis, Screenplay, Delmer Daves
  • Genres: Film-Noir, Thriller
  • Actors: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Agnes Moorehead

Convicted murderer Vincent Parry escapes from San Quentin prison. He is picked up on the road and sheltered by Irene Jansen, an artist who has taken a personal interest in his case.

Helped by a friendly cabbie, Sam, the fugitive Parry gets a new face from a plastic surgeon, thereby enabling him to dodge the authorities and look for his wife’s real murderer.

He has difficulty staying hidden at Irene’s because of nosy Madge Rapf, a spiteful woman whose testimony sent him up to prison. Madge keeps stopping by Irene’s apartment, particularly after she fears Parry might come after her next.

Parry’s best friend is found murdered, so he becomes the logical prime suspect. A blackmailer named Baker also traps Parry and tries to extort money from Irene to keep from turning over Parry to the cops.

The story’s climax features the killer realizing the true identity of the man behind the new face.

Babes in Toyland

  • Directors: Gus Meins, Charley Rogers
  • Producers: Hal Roach
  • Writers: Frank Butler, Nick Grinde, Victor Herbert, Glen MacDonough, Hal Roach
  • Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Musical
  • Actors: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy

Although the 1934 film makes use of many of the characters in the original play, as well as several of the songs, the plot is almost entirely unlike that of the original stage production. The film’s story takes place in Toyland, which is inhabited by Mother Goose and other well known fairy tale characters. Stannie Dum and Ollie Dee (played by Laurel and Hardy, respectively), live in a shoe (as in the nursery rhyme There Was An Old Woman Who Lived In A Shoe), along with Mother Peep (the Old Woman), Little Bo Peep, a mouse resembling Mickey Mouse (and actually played by a live monkey in a costume), and many other children. The mortgage on the shoe is owned by the villainous Silas Barnaby, who is looking to marry Bo Peep. Stannie and Ollie set out to get the money for the mortgage from their boss, The Toymaker. But after the Toymaker finds that Stannie has mixed up an order from Santa Claus (building 100 wooden soldiers at six feet tall, instead of 600 soldiers at one foot tall) and one of the soldiers wrecks the toy shop, Stannie and Ollie are fired without getting the money.

The two then hatch a plan to sneak into Barnaby’s house and steal the mortgage, but are again foiled by their incompetence. Barnaby has them arrested on a burglary charge, and the two are sentenced to be dunked in the ducking stool and then banished to Bogeyland. But Barnaby agrees to drop the charges if Little Bo Peep will marry him. She reluctantly agrees, but not before Ollie suffers the humiliation of the dunking.

Ollie and Stan tell their story to Old King Cole (the King of Toyland) and the townspeople as two Bogeymen scale the wall and open the gate. The crowd flees in panic as the army of torch-wielding Bogeymen attack Toyland. Ollie and Stannie run and hide in the toy shop. There they discover boxes of darts and use them to fight off the Bogeymen. Stan and Ollie then empty an entire box of darts into a cannon, but as the two search for the last remaining darts, they realize instead that they should unleash the wooden soldiers. The “march” alluded to in the film’s title begins as the soldiers march out of the toy shop (filmed in a stop-motion animation sequence by Roy Seawright[2]). The scene changes to live action as the soldiers attack the Bogeymen with the bayonets of their rifles. Barnaby and the Bogeymen are defeated and driven back into Bogeyland, where alligators appear to feast on them, although this is never made clear. The kingdom of Toyland is saved. Stan and Ollie decide to give the Bogeymen a parting shot with the dart-filled cannon. As Stan aims the cannon and lights the fuse, and Ollie turns away to avoid the loud blast, the barrel of the cannon flips backwards and unleashes the barrage of darts on Ollie, covering his back with darts. The film ends with Stan pulling them out one by one as Ollie winces.