Mutiny on the Bounty

  • Directors: Frank Lloyd
  • Producers: Irving Thalberg
  • Writers: Novel, Charles Nordhoff, James Norman Hall, Screenplay, Talbot Jennings, Jules Furthman, Carey Wilson
  • Genres: Adventure, Drama, History
  • Actors: Charles Laughton, Clark Gable, Franchot Tone, Movita, Mamo

The movie chronicles the real-life mutiny aboard the Bounty led by Fletcher Christian (Clark Gable) against the ship’s captain, William Bligh (Charles Laughton). Like the novel, it portrays Captain Bligh as an abusive villain whose cruelty towards the crew and most of the officers leads Christian to mutiny. When Bligh is cast on to a lifeboat with others that want to join him, Ensign Byam (Franchot Tone) tries to stop the mutiny, but fails. Byam and Christian, friends at the beginning of the movie are now not even speaking to each other. Christian leads the Bounty to [Tahiti] where the remaining crew live for many years. But Bligh has made it back to England and takes a ship to Tahiti. Byam sees the ship and decides to return to England while Christian with next to the whole crew sail with the natives and find another island to live on. When Byam goes on the ship (unaware Bligh is captain of the ship) is taken captive, for Bligh believes he had something to do with the mutiny.

Back in England Byam is tried and he is found guilty. Byam then tells of the cruelty in the ship. Christian has found an island that he can not land on. So he plans on ramming the Bounty into the island and then burning the Bounty. He lands on the island with the crew and burns the Bounty. Back in England Byam is found not guilty and is able to serve under Bligh again.

Battlefield Earth A Saga of the Year 3000

  • Directors: Roger Christian
  • Producers: Jonathan Krane, Elie Samaha, John Travolta
  • Writers: Screenplay, Corey Mandell, J D Shapiro, Novel, L Ron Hubbard
  • Genres: Action, Sci-Fi
  • Actors: John Travolta, Barry Pepper, Forest Whitaker

In the year 3000, Earth has been ruled for 1,000 years by the Psychlos, a brutal race of giant humanoid aliens. The remnants of humanity are either enslaved by the Psychlos and used for manual labor or survive in primitive tribes living in remote areas outside Psychlo control. Jonnie Goodboy Tyler (Barry Pepper), a member of one such tribe, leaves his home in the Rocky Mountains on a journey of exploration. He joins forces with Carlo (Kim Coates), a hunter, but both men are captured by a Psychlo raiding party and transported to a slave camp at the Psychlos’ main base on Earth, a giant dome built over the ruins of Denver, Colorado.

Terl (John Travolta), the Psychlo security chief on Earth, has been condemned by his superiors to remain indefinitely at his post on Earth as punishment for an unclear incident involving “the Senator’s daughter.” Aided by his deputy, Ker (Forest Whitaker), Terl devises a plan to buy his way off the planet by making a fortune using human slaves to mine gold in radioactive areas. Psychlos are unable to visit such areas due to the explosive interaction of the gas that they breathe with radionuclide particles. Terl selects Jonnie as his “foreman” for the project and gives him a Psychlo education using a rapid-learning machine. Terl gives Jonnie a party of slaves and a Psychlo flying shuttle and orders him to go out and find gold.

After a week of training, the rebels launch a mass uprising against the Psychlos using Harrier jump-jets and other weapons. Carlo sacrifices himself to destroy the dome over Denver, and the Psychlos inside suffocate in Earth’s atmosphere, which they are unable to breathe. Jonnie captures a Psychlo teleportation device and uses it to teleport an atomic bomb to the Psychlo home world. The ensuing detonation causes the entire Psychlo atmosphere to explode, wiping out the planet. Ker and Terl survive on Earth but face different fates: Ker sides with the victorious humans, while Terl is imprisoned as a hostage within a vault in Fort Knox. The film ends with the humans in control of Earth but facing an uncertain future.

Das Cabinet des Dr Caligari

  • Directors: Robert Wiene
  • Producers: Rudolf Meinert, Erich Pommer
  • Writers: Hans Janowitz, Carl Mayer
  • Genres: Horror, Thriller
  • Actors: Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Lil Dagover, Hans Twardowski

The deranged Dr. Caligari and his faithful sleepwalking Cesare are connected to a series of murders in a German mountain village, Holstenwall. Caligari presents an example of a motion picture “frame story” in which most of the plot is presented as a “flashback”, as told by Francis.

The narrator, Francis, and his friend Alan visit a carnival in the village where they see Dr. Caligari and the somnambulist Cesare, whom the doctor is displaying as an attraction. Caligari brags that Cesare can answer any question he is asked. When Alan asks Cesare how long he has to live, Cesare tells Alan that he will die before dawn tomorrow – a prophecy which is fulfilled.

Francis, along with his betrothed Jane, investigate Caligari and Cesare, which eventually results in Cesare kidnapping Jane. Caligari orders Cesare to kill Jane, but the hypnotized slave refuses after her beauty captivates him. He carries Jane out of her house, leading the townsfolk on a lengthy chase. Cesare falls to his death during the pursuit, and the townsfolk discover that Caligari had created a dummy of Cesare to distract Francis.

Francis discovers that “Caligari” is actually the director of the local insane asylum, and, with the help of his colleagues, discovers that he is obsessed with the story of a monk called Caligari, who, in 1093, in northern Italy used a somnambulist to murder people as a traveling act. After being confronted with the dead Cesare, Caligari reveals his mania and is imprisoned in his asylum.

A “twist ending” reveals that Francis’ flashback is actually his fantasy: he, Jane and Cesare are all inmates of the insane asylum, and the man he says is Caligari is his asylum doctor, who, after this revelation of the source of his patient’s delusion, says that now he will be able to cure Francis.

A Perfect World

  • Directors: Clint Eastwood
  • Producers: Mark Johnson, David Valdes
  • Writers: John Lee Hancock
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Kevin Costner, Clint Eastwood, Laura Dern

The film is set in Texas in the fall of 1963. Robert “Butch” Haynes (Kevin Costner) and Terry Pugh (Keith Szarabajka) are convicts who have just escaped from a Huntsville prison. Fleeing from the clutches of the law, the pair stumble into the kitchen of a house where eight-year old Phillip Perry (T. J. Lowther) lives with his devout Jehovah’s Witness mother and two sisters. Needing a hostage to aid their escape, Butch grabs the boy, who meekly accompanies them. The trio’s journey starts off on an unpleasant note as Butch is forced to shoot his fellow escapee with a stolen revolver, following the latter’s attempts at molesting the child. With his partner out of the way, the convict and his young victim take to the Texas highway in a bid to flee from the pursuing police.

Meanwhile, Texas Ranger Red Garnett (Clint Eastwood), riding in the Governor’s sleek airstream trailer, is in hot pursuit of the duo. With criminologist Sally Gerber (Laura Dern) and trigger-happy FBI sharpshooter Bobby Lee (Bradley Whitford) in tow, Ranger Garnett is determined to recover the criminal and the hostage before they cross the Texas border. The plot thus alternates between a manhunt unfolding on one level, and on the other, the blossoming of a tender bond between the convict and his “prisoner.”

The fact that Garnett is a disappointed man at the end (despite the fact that his mission of recovering the hostage has been a success) is indicative of the fact that he perhaps knew, from previous encounters with Butch Haynes, that he was essentially a good man at heart, driven by circumstances to become the cold-blooded killer he was perceived as.

Five Minutes of Heaven

  • Directors: Oliver Hirschbiegel
  • Producers: Eoin O Callaghan, Stephen Wright
  • Writers: Guy Hibbert
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Liam Neeson, James Nesbitt, Anamaria Marinca

Lurgan Northern Ireland, 1975. A low level civil war has been underway, with the Irish Republican Army targeting British loyalists and the loyalist Ulster Volunteer Force exacting revenge on Catholics they claim are militant republicans. Alistair Little, 16 is the leader of a UVF cell, eager to be blooded. He and his gang are given the go ahead to kill a young Catholic man, James Griffin, as a reprisal and a warning to others. When the hit is carried out, Joe Griffin – the 11-year old little brother of the target – watches in horror his brother is shot in the head. Thirty years later Joe Griffin and Alistair are to meet, on camera, with a view to reconciliation. Alistair has served his sentence, and peace may have been agreed to in N. Ireland, but Joe Griffin is not coming on the program for a handshake. Unbeknownst to the production team, he intends to stick a knife in his brother’s killer – live and on the air.

The first act depicts a reconstruction of the murder of 19-year-old Jim Griffin by 17-year-old Alistair Little (Mark Davison) on 29 October 1975. Jim’s 11-year-old brother Joe witnesses the killing. Little goes to prison for 12 years.

Little is speaking metaphorically, and means for Griffin to kill Little off in his head, in so doing they can both move on. Griffin very shakily lights up a cigarette as Little pulls himself up against a wall and limps down the road. The following day, Griffin attends a group sharing. He shares to the group that he wants to be a good father for his daughters and he cries. In the end, he calls Little to tell him, “We’re finished.”