City of Angels

  • Directors: Brad Silberling
  • Producers: Charles Roven, Dawn Steel, Charles Newirth
  • Writers: Wim Wenders, Peter Handke, Richard Reitinger, Dana Stevens
  • Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Thriller
  • Actors: Nicolas Cage, Meg Ryan, Andre Braugher, Dennis Franz, Colm Feore, Kim Murphy, Deirdre O Connell

In Los Angeles, Seth (Nicolas Cage) is one of many Angels who watch over humans and protect them in unseen ways. The movie portrays angels in a somewhat traditional role without referencing a specific faith. Seth’s main responsibility is to appear to those who are close to death and guide them to the next life. As part of this task, Seth and one of his fellow angels, Cassiel (Andre Braugher), like to ask people what their favorite thing in life was. But despite their daily encounters with humans and their ways, they appear to have trouble understanding human beings and their ways.

While waiting to escort to the other world a man who will not survive heart surgery, Seth is impressed by the vigorous efforts of the surgeon, Maggie Rice (Meg Ryan) to save the ill-fated man’s life and her sincere anguish at her failure to do so. (The man is in fact standing with Seth watching Maggie try to save him.) Seth soon becomes preoccupied with Maggie and decides to become visible to her despite his obvious inability to give her many convincing details about himself, such as what he does for a living or even his last name. Despite this, they develop a friendship which soon turns to mutual attraction, although Maggie is already involved with one of her colleagues (Colm Feore) at the hospital.

The final scene recalls an earlier one with Nathaniel. It shows Seth at the beach where the angels meet every day at dawn and at sunset to listen to the celestial music and commune with eternity. With Cassiel and the rest of the angels watching, Seth expresses his joy in being human and the fact that he has come to terms with his new life by running into the water and playing in the waves. In a rare moment of emotion, Cassiel is seen laughing joyfully for his old friend.

Twister

  • Directors: Jan de Bont
  • Producers: Ian Bryce, Michael Crichton, Kathleen Kennedy
  • Writers: Michael Crichton, Anne Marie Martin
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton, Jami Gertz, Cary Elwes, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Alan Ruck, Zach Grenier

In June 1969, a young Jo watches her father get sucked into a tornado after trying to hold a storm cellar door shut to keep his family safe. Decades later, meteorologists at the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) are discussing a building storm system over Oklahoma which could produce a record outbreak of tornadoes. Meanwhile, retired storm chaser Bill Harding (Bill Paxton) and his fiancée Dr. Melissa Reeves (Jami Gertz) are heading out to meet Bill’s former storm-chasing team to get the final divorce papers from Bill’s ex-wife, Dr. Jo Harding (Helen Hunt), who, since the day her father died, has sworn to hunt down as many tornadoes as possible, not wanting the same fate to happen to someone else. Besides Jo, the team consists of the eccentric Dusty Davis (Philip Seymour Hoffman), Robert “Rabbit” Nurick (Alan Ruck) navigator, Laurence (Jeremy Davies) photographer, Joey (Joey Slotnick), Alan Sanders (Sean Whalen) Rabbit’s driver, Tim “Beltzer” Lewis (Todd Field), Haynes (Wendle Jospeher) who rides with Beltzer, and Jason “Preacher” Rowe (Scott Thomson).

Jo, who is still in love with Bill, tries to stall because she does not want the marriage to end. Jo then tells Bill she wanted him out on the field because his idea for a tornado-analyzing device has been built. Called Dorothy, they will put it in the path of a tornado to measure it from inside. Four of the so-called “Dorothy” weather machines have been built. Haynes tells them of storm activity, and they head out. Bill’s rival team shows up, led by Dr. Jonas Miller (Cary Elwes) with his assistant Eddie (Zach Grenier). According to Bill, Jonas is in the storm-chasing business “for the money, not the science.” While Jonas’s team is passing Bill’s team on the road, one of Jonas’s team members runs Bill off the road. They head to a tire shop to get Bill’s flat tire fixed, and Bill sees Jonas giving an interview to some local reporters. Bill finds out that Jonas has stolen his idea for the Dorothy weather machine. Bill accuses him of stealing his idea, but Jonas says it was an “unrealized idea.” Everyone gets drinks at a local diner next door to the garage while Bill stays outside. Inside the diner, Melissa confronts Jo about her trying to keep together her failed marriage to Bill. Outside, Bill notices the sky is turning green, the sign of an approaching violent storm.

Haynes receives readings from Dorothy’s sensors that indicate the tornado will shift its track again. Bill and Jo, now without radios, are at first unaware, and start running towards a nearby farm as the F5 heads right at them. They first take cover in a barn, but it is filled with sharp metal tools. They run out the other side to find the tornado bearing down. It destroys the barn, and they dodge debris as they run to take cover in a small outbuilding. They find metal pipes inside this shelter, and tie themselves to the pipes with leather belts. The tornado destroys the structure, and they are pulled upside while anchored to the pipes. They manage to see the inside of the F5 tornado as it passes over them. It is filled with lighting and a smaller tornado in the core. Seconds later, the entire storm dissipates, and the family from the farm comes out of their underground storm shelter. Bill and Jo debate who will run the lab and who will analyze the new data while the rest of the team arrives.

Coyote Ugly

  • Directors: David McNally
  • Producers: Jerry Bruckheimer, Chad Oman
  • Writers: Gina Wendkos
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance, Music
  • Actors: Piper Perabo, Adam Garcia, Maria Bello, Tyra Banks, Izabella Miko, Bridget Moynahan, Melanie Lynskey, John Goodman

Violet Sanford (Piper Perabo) leaves her hometown of South Amboy, New Jersey, her father Bill (John Goodman), and best friend Gloria (Melanie Lynskey) to pursue her dreams in nearby New York City. When leaving town to become a songwriter, she signs an autograph which is pinned on the wall of the pizza place where she worked. The wall has many other autographs signed by the rest of the employees in South Amboy that left town hoping to make it big.

Violet tries unsuccessfully, dozens of times, to get her demo tape noticed by the recording studios. With only a few dollars left in her pocket after her apartment was robbed, she goes to an all-night diner and notices some girls flaunting the hundreds of dollars in tips they earned. After inquiring, she finds out that they work at a trendy bar named Coyote Ugly. She finds her way to the bar and convinces the bar owner Lil (Maria Bello) to hire her. Lil hires her and explains she did so because Violet looks like a kindergarten teacher who the childish bar patrons will come to see. She is reluctantly nicknamed ‘Jersey’. After starting her job, she quickly discovers she must learn the ropes of singing, dancing, and performing wild acts before a rowdy crowd.

One night, she tries to get herself noticed by a music industry scout. The bartender jokingly points out Kevin O’Donnell (Adam Garcia), making her believe that he is the bar owner. When the joke is discovered, Violet feels that Kevin was making a fool out of her. This event eventually brings them closer together. Kevin tries to help her in overcoming her shyness on the stage and they finally become lovers, in spite of his attempt to hide his past and departure from Australia. She finally lands a deal with a record label after a successful performance at an open mic night at the Bowery Ballroom which was attended by all of the ‘Coyotes’ from the Coyote Ugly saloon.

Major League

  • Directors: David S Ward
  • Producers: James G Robinson, Joe Roth, Mark Rosenberg, Chris Chesser, Irby Smith
  • Writers: David S Ward
  • Genres: Comedy, Sport
  • Actors: Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen, Corbin Bernsen, Rene Russo, Wesley Snipes, Chelcie Ross, Dennis Haysbert, Bob Uecker, James Gammon

Rachel Phelps, a former Las Vegas showgirl, has inherited the Cleveland Indians baseball team from her deceased husband. She wants to move the team to the warmer climate of Miami. In order to do this, she must reduce attendance at Municipal Stadium below a total of 800,000 ticket sales which will trigger an escape clause in the team’s lease with the city of Cleveland. After she moves the team, she would also be able to release all the current players and replace them with new ones. She instructs her new General Manager Charlie Donovan to hire the worst team possible from a list she has already prepared. The list includes veteran catcher Jake Taylor, who has problems with his knees, and was last playing in Mexico, incarcerated pitcher Rick Vaughn, the brash but speedy center fielder Willie “Mays” Hayes (who was not invited to camp), power hitting outfielder Pedro Cerrano, who practices voodoo to try to help him hit curve balls, veteran pitcher Eddie Harris, who lacks a strong throwing arm and is forced to doctor his pitches, and third baseman Roger Dorn, who is already under contract but is a high-priced prima donna. As manager, Phelps hires Lou Brown, a tire salesman who “has managed the Toledo Mud Hens for the last 30 years”.

With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Hayes manages to single to first and subsequently steals second. Taylor is next to bat, and after signaling back and forth with Brown, points to the bleachers, calling his shot. However, Taylor bunts instead, catching the Yankees infield off-guard. Despite his weak knees, Taylor get to the first base safely. Hayes, knowing that the infield is focused on catching Taylor at the first base, clears the third base and goes for the home, catching the Yankees off guard again. Hayes slides safe into home, giving the Indians the win. As the team celebrates, Dorn punches Vaughn in the face but then helps him up to continue the celebration, while Jake finds Lynn in the stands, who raises her left hand to show that she is no longer wearing an engagement ring, indicating that she wishes to be with him.

This Side of the Truth

  • Directors: Ricky Gervais, Matthew Robinson
  • Producers: Ricky Gervais, Dan Lin, Lynda Obst, Oly Obst
  • Writers: Ricky Gervais, Matthew Robinson
  • Genres: Comedy
  • Actors: Ricky Gervais, Jennifer Garner, Jonah Hill, Louis C K, Christopher Guest, Rob Lowe, Tina Fey

The film is set in an alternate reality in which there is no such thing as lying, and everything said is the absolute truth. In this world, people continually make very blunt and often cruel statements and remarks that people in the real world would normally keep to themselves. The concepts of fiction, imagination, and speculation do not exist, resulting in the movie industry being limited to lecture-style historical readings, television commercials being straightforward, and an absence of religion.

Mark Bellison is an unsuccessful lecture-film writer, who is cursed with writing for the 14th century, a “very boring” era to write about. One night, he goes out on a date with Anna McDoogles. She bluntly states to Mark that she is not attracted to him due to his looks and unsuccessful financial situation, but is going out with him to satisfy her extremely prejudicial mother. After the date, she admits that she had a better time than she thought she would.

The next day Mark is fired from his job and his landlord evicts him for being short on his $800 rent. Depressed, he goes to the bank to close his account and use his remaining money to move out of his apartment. The teller informs him that the computers are down, but since society is one of full disclosure, she asks Mark how much money he has in his account. Mark has an epiphany, and tells the world’s first lie, that he has $800 in his account. The computer comes back online and shows his balance is $300, but the teller gives him the full $800 anyway, assuming that the computer made a mistake.

Years later, Anna and Mark are married with a son, with another child on the way, and their son has inherited Mark’s ability to lie.

To Catch a Thief

  • Directors: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Producers: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Writers: John Michael Hayes, David F Dodge
  • Genres: Crime, Mystery, Romance, Thriller
  • Actors: Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Jessie Royce Landis, John Williams, Charles Vanel, Brigitte Auber

John Robie (Cary Grant) is a notorious but retired jewel thief or “cat burglar,” nicknamed “The Cat,” who now tends to his vineyards in the French Riviera. A series of robberies that closely resemble his in style leads the police to believe that the Cat is up to his old tricks again. They come to arrest him, and he adeptly gives them the slip.

He immediately seeks refuge with his old gang from his days in the French Resistance, a group of ex-cons whose patriotic work led to grants of parole that depend on them keeping their noses clean. Bertani, Foussard, and the others are all under a cloud while the Cat is at large, and they blame Robie. Still, when the police arrive at Bertani’s restaurant, Foussard’s daughter Danielle (Brigitte Auber) spirits her old flame to safety.

Robie enlists the aid of an insurance man of Bertani’s acquaintance, H. H. Hughson (John Williams), in order to prove his innocence. Robie’s plan is to catch the new cat burglar in the act. To do this, he obtains a list of the most expensive jewels on the Riviera from the reluctant Hughson. The first names on the list are Jessie Stevens (Jessie Royce Landis) and her daughter Francie (Grace Kelly). Robie strikes up acquaintance with them — something met with delight by Jessie, a pretense of modesty with Francie, and claws-baring jealousy from Danielle.

Robie speeds back to his vineyard and Francie races after to convince him that he does need her in his life. He agrees, but seems less than thrilled about including her mother.

The Man Who Would Be King

  • Directors: John Huston
  • Producers: John Foreman
  • Writers: Rudyard Kipling, John Huston, Gladys Hill
  • Genres: Action, Adventure
  • Actors: Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Christopher Plummer, Saeed Jaffrey

While working as a correspondent at the offices of the Northern Star newspaper, Kipling (Christopher Plummer) is approached by a ragged, seemingly crazed derelict, who reveals himself to be his old acquaintance Peachy Carnehan (Michael Caine). Peachy tells Kipling the story of how he and his comrade-in-arms Danny Dravot (Sean Connery) traveled to remote Kafiristan (in modern-day Afghanistan), became gods, and ultimately lost everything.

A few years earlier, the pair of rogues had met Kipling at his office. After signing a contract pledging mutual loyalty and forswearing drink and women until they achieved their grandiose aims, Peachy and Danny set off on an epic overland journey north beyond the Khyber Pass, “travelling by night and avoiding villages”, fighting off bandits, blizzards and avalanches, into the unknown land of Kafiristan (literally “Land of the (Non-Muslim) Infidels”).

They chance upon a Gurkha soldier who goes by the name Billy Fish (Saeed Jaffrey), the sole survivor of a mapping expedition several years before. Billy speaks English as well as the local tongue, and it is he, acting as translator and interpreter of the customs and manners, who smooths the path of Peachy and Danny as they begin their rise, first offering their services as military advisors, trainers, and war leaders to the chief of a much-raided village.

The angry natives pursue him and Peachy. Billy tries to buy time by courageously charging the mob singlehandedly, but the pair are soon captured. Danny is forced to walk to the middle of a rope bridge over a deep gorge; he apologises to Peachy before the ropes are cut. Peachy is crucified between two pine trees, but is cut down the next day when he miraculously survives the ordeal. Eventually, he escapes, though his mind has become unhinged by his sufferings. As Peachy finishes his story, he presents Kipling with Danny’s head, still wearing its crown, thereby proving the tale is true.

Baby Doll

  • Directors: Elia Kazan
  • Producers: Elia Kazan, Tennessee Williams
  • Writers: Tennessee Williams
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama
  • Actors: Karl Malden, Carroll Baker, Eli Wallach

In the Mississippi Delta, failing, bigoted, middle-aged cotton gin-owner Archie Lee Meighan (Karl Malden) has been married to pretty, empty-headed 19-year old virgin Baby Doll Meighan (Carroll Baker) for two years. Archie impatiently waits for Baby Doll’s 20th birthday just a few days away when, by prior agreement with Baby Doll’s dying father, the marriage can finally be consummated. In the meantime, Baby Doll still sleeps in a crib, wearing childish shorty-nightgowns and sucking her thumb, while Archie spies on her through a hole in a wall of their decrepit antebellum mansion, “Fox Tail”.

Archie’s competitor, Sicilian Silva Vacarro (Eli Wallach), who owns a newer and more modern cotton gin, has taken away all of Archie’s business, and Archie retaliates by burning down Vacarro’s gin. Suspecting Archie as the arsonist, Vacarro plans his revenge: he will pursue and seduce Baby Doll and terrorize her into signing an affadavit admitting her husband’s guilt.[4][5][6][2]

Spellbound

  • Directors: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Producers: David O Selznick
  • Writers: Story, Hilary Saint George Saunders, John Palmer, Screenplay, Angus MacPhail, Ben Hecht
  • Genres: Mystery, Romance, Thriller
  • Actors: Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck, Michael Chekhov, Leo G Carroll, Rhonda Fleming

But in Ourselves…

The film opens with Shakespeare’s proverb, and words on the screen announcing that its purpose is to highlight the virtues of psychoanalysis in banishing mental illness and restoring reason.

Dr. Constance Peterson (Ingrid Bergman) is a psychoanalyst at Green Manors, a mental hospital in Vermont, and is perceived by the other (male) doctors as detached and emotionless. The director of the hospital, Dr. Murchison (Leo G. Carroll), is being forced into retirement, shortly after returning from an absence due to nervous exhaustion. His replacement is the much younger Dr. Anthony Edwardes (Gregory Peck).

Dr. Peterson notices that there is something strange about Dr. Edwardes. He has a peculiar phobia about seeing sets of parallel lines against a white background, first displayed in an inappropriate reaction to seeing a diagram drawn with the tines of a fork on a tablecloth.

Dr. Peterson soon realizes, by comparing handwriting, that this man is an impostor and not the real Dr. Edwardes. He confides to her that he killed Dr. Edwardes and took his place. He suffers from massive amnesia and does not know who he is. Dr. Peterson believes that he is innocent and suffering from a guilt complex.

‘Dr. Edwardes’ disappears during the night, having left a note for Dr. Peterson that he is going to New York City.

A heartbroken Dr. Peterson returns to her position at the hospital, where Dr. Murchison is once again the director. After reconsidering her notes from the dream, she realizes that the ‘wheel’ was a revolver and that the man hiding behind the chimney and dropping the wheel was Dr. Murchison hiding behind a tree, shooting Dr. Edwardes and dropping the gun. She confronts Murchison with this and he confesses, but says that he didn’t drop the gun; he still has it. He pulls it out of his desk and threatens to shoot her. She walks away, the gun still pointed at her, and explains that while the first murder carried extenuating circumstances of his own mental state, murdering her as well surely would result in the electric chair. He allows her to leave and turns the gun on himself. Dr. Peterson is then reunited with Ballantyne.

Family Wedding

  • Directors: Rick Famuyiwa
  • Producers: Edward Saxon
  • Writers: Wayne Conley, Malcolm Spellman, Rick Famuyiwa
  • Genres: Comedy
  • Actors: Forest Whitaker, America Ferrera, Carlos Mencia, Regina King, Lance Gross

The film tells the story of two families, one African American and the other Mexican-American, that are forced to combine when Lucia (Ferrera) and Marcus (Gross) announce their engagement.