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.”

Office Space

  • Directors: Mike Judge
  • Producers: Daniel Rappaport, Michael Rotenberg
  • Writers: Mike Judge
  • Genres: Comedy, Crime, Romance
  • Actors: Ron Livingston, Jennifer Aniston, David Herman, Ajay Naidu, Diedrich Bader, Gary Cole, Stephen Root, John C McGinley

The film is centered on a group of software engineers working at Initech, a company plagued by excessive management. Much of the film’s plot involves everyday annoyances of office work in a cube farm setting evocative of the Dilbert comic strip.

Peter Gibbons is a disgruntled programmer at Initech. Peter spends his days “staring at his desk” instead of reprogramming bank software for the then-expected Y2K disaster. His co-workers include Samir Nagheenanajar, who is annoyed by the fact that nobody can pronounce his last name correctly; Michael Bolton, who loathes having the same name as the famous singer, whom he hates; and Milton Waddams, a meek, fixated collator who constantly mumbles to himself (most notably about his workmates borrowing his favorite red Swingline stapler). All four are repeatedly bullied and harassed by management, especially Initech’s callous vice president, Bill Lumbergh. The staff are further agitated by the arrival of two consultants, informally known as “The Bobs” since they share the same first name, who are brought in to help with cutting expenses, mainly through downsizing.

Peter is depressed, bored, and pushed around at work. He attends an occupational hypnotherapy session urged upon him by his girlfriend, Anne. The obese hypnotherapist, Dr. Swanson, suddenly dies of a heart attack before he can snap Peter out of a state of complete relaxation. The newly relaxed and still half-hypnotized Peter wakes up the next morning and ignores continued calls from Anne (who confesses to cheating and leaves him) and Lumbergh (who was expecting Peter to work over the weekend). Peter announces that he will simply not go to work anymore, instead pursuing his lifelong dream of “doing nothing,” and asks out Joanna, a waitress who shares Peter’s loathing of idiotic management and love of the television program Kung Fu. Joanna works at Chotchkie’s, a restaurant that plays on TGI Friday’s interior decoration and uniform standards (Joanna’s hatred for her occupation eventually culminates in an argument with her boss and her being fired after she gives him the finger).

The last scene of the movie shows that Milton has made his way to a resort in Mexico with the money Peter left in Lumbergh’s office.

Baby Geniuses

  • Directors: Bob Clark
  • Producers: Steven Paul
  • Writers: Steven Paul, Francisca Matos, Robert Grasmere
  • Genres: Comedy, Crime, Family, Sci-Fi
  • Actors: Kathleen Turner, Peter MacNicol, Kim Cattrall, Christopher Lloyd, Dom DeLuise, Ruby Dee, Kyle Howard, Colton Sherman, Garrett McIntosh, Alexander Pease, Nicholas Decker

Two scientists, Dr. Kinder (Kathleen Turner) and Dr. Heep (Christopher Lloyd) use genius baby studies to fund their Babyco theme park. At age two, the children are due to ‘cross over’, learn to talk, and forget their universal knowledge. One mischievous toddler, Sly, makes repeated attempts to escape the “Kinder” lab and one night, he actually succeeds. What Sly does not expect is to run into his twin, Whit, in a mall playground. Although Sly and Whit share a telepathic bond, they have no idea of each other’s existence. While the guards from the lab capture Whit, mistake him for Sly, and take him back to the Kinder lab, Sly is taken home by Whit’s adopted mother. After Dr. Kinder discovers the mix-up, she decides to do a cross evaluation on the twins. However, when she comes to Bobbin’s Place, she realizes that Dan Bobbin can understand babies. After the attempts to retrieve Sly fail, Dr. Kinder decides to move the labs to Lichtenstein. The babies at Bobbin’s Place hypnotize Lennie, the bus driver to drive to Kinder Labs. Once at the labs, Sly goes to the control room to set the robots from the theme park on the lab scientists. When the Bobbins return home, their natural daughter Carrie tells her father that the children are in the Kinder Labs. At the end of the fight Dr. Kinder captures Whit and takes him to the helicopter pad on the roof. Robin and Dan Bobbins chases them to the roof. Dr. Kinder gives Whit to a man on the helicopter. Dr. Kinder and Dan fight. Dan falls and hits his head. Robin fights Dr. Kinder. In the fight Dr. Kinder reveals that they are not related, but that Robin was adopted at age two. Just then police helicopters come. Sly and Whit come together on the roof to cross over. Some time later Dan awakens with his memory intact. He wants the secrets of life, but as the twins have crossed over they no longer know those secrets. Carrie, their sister, reveals that the secret of life is love.

Funny Games U S

  • Directors: Michael Haneke
  • Producers: Hamish McAlpine, Christian Baute, Chris Coen, Andro Steinborn
  • Writers: Michael Haneke
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, Horror, Thriller
  • Actors: Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, Michael Pitt, Brady Corbet, Devon Gearhart

The film begins with a well-to-do family – George, his wife Ann, his son Georgie and their dog – arriving at their lake house. Their next-door neighbor pays a visit, accompanied by two young men, Peter and Paul, whom he introduces as friends. The two men begin imposing themselves on the family’s courtesy, and in the process destroy their phone and ruin all their eggs. Eventually a frustrated Ann demands that the men leave, asking George to eject them from the premises. Peter breaks George’s leg with George’s golf club and the two men take the family hostage. They force the family to participate in a number of sadistic games in order to stay alive. When some of the family’s other neighbors arrive for a visit, Ann passes the men off as friends until the visitors leave.

Paul asks if the family wants to bet that they will be alive by 9:00 in the morning, though he doubts that they will win. Between playing their games, the two men keep up a constant patter, and Paul frequently ridicules Peter’s weight and lack of intelligence. He describes a number of contradicting stories of Peter’s past, though no definitive explanation is ever presented as to the men’s origins or motives. Georgie tries to escape and runs to the gate. He attempts to climb the locked gate but changes his mind and goes to the neighbors’ house passing through the water. Inside the house Georgie attempts to shoot Paul with a shotgun, but the gun fails to go off. Paul returns him to the living room, along with the gun. After a few more games, the men play a counting-out game between the family members on the basis that who ever gets counted out will be shot, but Georgie suddenly panics and makes a run for his life, which results in him getting shot dead, after which they both leave with Paul a little annoyed that Peter didn’t follow the rules to the letter.

George and Ann weep for their loss, but eventually resolve to survive. Ann flees the house while George, with a broken leg, tries to get help with the malfunctioning phone. Ann struggles to find help, but eventually Peter and Paul reappear, capture her, and return to the house. Stabbing George, the men attempt to force Ann to choose for her husband between a drawn out death with the knife or a quick death with the shotgun. The gagged and bound Ann, however, seizes the shotgun that is sitting on the table in front of her, as Paul explains the rules of the game, and kills Peter. After this, Paul is outraged, and confiscates the shotgun. He then begins to curse, and becomes frantic, and starts looking for the remote for the television. After finding it, he rewinds all the occurrences back to where Ann is about to grab the shotgun, breaking the fourth wall. On the ‘do over,’ Paul catches her arm, and says that she isn’t allowed to break the rules. They then kill George and take Ann out on the family’s boat early the next morning. Around eight o’clock, they nonchalantly throw the bound Ann into the water to drown, thus winning their bet. They dock at the house of the neighbors that had previously visited the family, and request some eggs, thereby restarting their cycle of murder.

Kiss Me Deadly

  • Directors: Robert Aldrich
  • Producers: Robert Aldrich
  • Writers: Story, Mickey Spillane, Screenplay, A I Bezzerides
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller
  • Actors: Ralph Meeker, Albert Dekker, Paul Stewart, Cloris Leachman

Ralph Meeker plays Mike Hammer, a tough Los Angeles private eye who is almost as brutal and corrupt as the crooks he chases. Mike, and his assistant/secretary/lover, Velda(Maxine Cooper), usually work on “penny-ante divorce cases”.

One evening on a lonely country road, Hammer gives a ride to Christina (Cloris Leachman), an attractive hitchhiker wearing nothing but a trench coat. She has escaped from a nearby mental institution. Thugs waylay them and force his car to crash. Hammer regains consciousness in some unknown location where he hears Christina screaming and being tortured to death. Hammer next awakens in a hospital with Velda by his bedside. He decides to pursue the case, both for vengeance and because, “She (Christina) must be connected with something big” behind it all.

The twisting plot takes Hammer to the apartment of Lily Carver (Gaby Rodgers), a sexy, waif-like blond who is posing as Christina’s ex-room mate. Lily tells Hammer she has gone into hiding and asks Hammer to protect her. It turns out that she is after a mysterious box that, she believes, has contents worth a fortune.

“The great whatsit”, as Velda calls it, at the center of Hammer’s quest is a small, mysterious valise that is hot to the touch and contains a dangerous, shining substance. It comes to represent the 1950s Cold War fear and nuclear paranoia about the atomic bomb that permeated American culture.

The original American release of the film shows Hammer and Velda escaping from the burning house at the end, running into the ocean as the words “The End” come over them on the screen. Sometime after its first release, the ending was crudely altered on the film’s original negative, removing over a minute’s worth of shots where Hammer and Velda escape and superimposing the words “The End” over the burning house. This implied that Hammer and Velda perished in the atomic blaze, and was often interpreted to represent the apocalypse. In 1997, the original conclusion was restored. The DVD release has the correct original ending, and offers the now-discredited truncated ending as an extra. The movie is described as “the definitive, apocalyptic, nihilistic, science-fiction film noir of all time – at the close of the classic noir period.”[2]

Brooklyn s Finest

  • Directors: Antoine Fuqua
  • Producers: Basil Iwanyk, John Langley, John Thompson, Elie Cohn
  • Writers: Michael C Martin
  • Genres: Action, Crime, Drama
  • Actors: Richard Gere, Don Cheadle, Ethan Hawke, and Wesley Snipes

The film takes place within the notoriously rough Brownsville section of Brooklyn and especially within the Van Dyke housing projects in the NYPD’s sixty-fifth precinct. Three policemen struggle with the sometimes fine line between right and wrong.

The opening scene shows two men sitting in a parked car having a conversation, the man in the drivers seat, Carlo (Vincent D’Onofrio) is then shot unexpectedly in the face by the passenger (revealed to be Sal) who then robs Carlo and runs off.

Detective Salvatore “Sal” Procida (Ethan Hawke), desperate for money to feed and house his rapidly growing family, has started pocketing the money left on the table during drug raids. Deeply religious, he finds that he’s in the bad place of trying to reconcile his misdeeds with his needs. The mold in the walls of his home is making his wife (Lili Taylor) ill and endangering the life of his unborn twins. And the down payment on his coveted new, bigger house is past due.

Officer Eddie Dugan (Richard Gere) is a week from retirement after twenty-two years of less-than-exemplary service to the force when he’s assigned to oversee rookies in the tough neighborhoods. His life in shambles, Eddie is barely hanging on, swilling whiskey in the morning to get out of bed. His only friend is the prostitute he frequents.

The closing scene shows Eddie having rescued the missing person, and an assortment of other women, and in the process having redeemed himself from the reputation he earned within the precinct of being a failure as an officer.

Point Break

  • Directors: Kathryn Bigelow
  • Producers: James Cameron, Peter Abrams, Robert L Levy
  • Writers: W Peter Iliff, James Cameron
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Crime, Drama, Sport, Thriller
  • Actors: Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves, Gary Busey, Lori Petty, John C McGinley, James LeGros

Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves), is a rookie FBI agent and former Ohio State quarterback who, with his partner Angelo Pappas (Gary Busey), is investigating a string of bank robberies by a gang of bank robbers known as the Ex-Presidents because they wear masks of former U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon, and Lyndon B. Johnson. Pursuing a theory of Pappas’ that the criminals are surfers, Utah goes undercover to infiltrate the surfing community. Knowing little of the sport and lifestyle, Utah persuades orphan surfer girl Tyler Endicott (Lori Petty) to teach him to surf.

In the process, Utah develops a complex relationship with Bodhi (Patrick Swayze), the charismatic leader of a gang of surfers, Roach (James LeGros), Grommet (Bojesse Christopher), and Nathaniel (John Philbin), who accept Utah into their midst as they realize he is a great athlete. As he masters the art of surfing, Utah finds himself increasingly attracted to the surfers’ adrenaline-charged lifestyle, Bodhi’s philosophies, and to Tyler.

Following a clue gotten by analyzing toxins found in the hair of one of the bank robbers, Utah and Pappas lead an FBI raid on another gang of surfers. While criminals, these surfers are not the Ex-Presidents and the raid inadvertently ruins a DEA undercover operation.

Utah eventually catches up with Bodhi two years later at Bells Beach in Australia where a record storm is producing huge, but lethal waves, an event Bodhi had talked about experiencing. After a brutal physical altercation on the surf, Utah manages to handcuff Bodhi to his own wrist, but through Bodhi’s persuasion, releases him to go ride the once-in-a-lifetime wave which will kill him. Utah walks away, throwing his FBI badge into the ocean.

Hollywoodland

  • Directors: Allen Coulter
  • Producers: Glenn Williamson
  • Writers: Paul Bernbaum
  • Genres: Biography, Crime, Drama, History, Mystery, Thriller
  • Actors: Adrien Brody, Diane Lane, Ben Affleck, Bob Hoskins, Molly Parker, Robin Tunney, Caroline Dhavernas

The movie begins in Beverly Hills on June 16, 1959, at the home of TV star George Reeves with a police investigation underway and Reeves’ lifeless body on his bed. The police rule the death a suicide. The focus of the film then shifts to Louis Simo, a private investigator more interested in generating an income than in devotion to his clients. A man named Chester Sinclair is paying Simo to spy on his wife under the impression that she is cheating on him. Simo simply accepts his money and takes pictures outside of a building where she goes to from time to time. On a visit to see his son, Simo reacts to the boy’s lackluster demeanor and asks his ex-wife Laurie what is wrong. She tells him it’s because the actor who plays Superman has shot himself. Simo learns from a former colleague on the police force that the Reeves suicide has aspects that the cops don’t want to touch. Simo, sensing the potential for making a name for himself, begins investigating the case and notes several apparent conflicts with the official version of Reeves’ death. Simultaneously Simo bickers with Laurie over his failures as a father, particularly now when his son seems so troubled.

The story of Reeves’ quest for fame and success and Simo’s realization of how that quest is paralleled in his own existence causes the detective to reevaluate his life. Simo watches another home movie, this one of himself and Laurie and their son in happier days. The film ends with Simo coming to Laurie’s house wearing a suit and tie, and greeting his son hopefully.

The Longest Yard

  • Directors: Robert Aldrich
  • Producers: Albert S Ruddy
  • Writers: Albert S Ruddy, Tracy Keenan Wynn
  • Genres: Comedy, Crime, Drama, Sport
  • Actors: Burt Reynolds, And Eddie Albert, Ed Lauter, Michael Conrad, James Hampton, Harry Caesar, John Steadman, Charles Tyner, Mike Henry, Jim Nicholson, And Bernadette Peters, as The Warden s Secretary, With Pervis Atkins, Tony Cacciotti, Anitra Ford, Michael Fox, Joe Kapp, Richard Kiel, Pepper Martin, Mort Marshall, Ray Nitschke

The protagonist is Paul “Wrecking” Crewe (Burt Reynolds), former star pro football quarterback living with his wealthy girlfriend (Anitra Ford) in Palm Beach, Florida. After a fight with her, he gets drunk and “steals” her expensive Citroen SM automobile. He is surprised when a fleet of police cars follow him. Briefly evading them, he exits the vehicle and sends it over an open drawbridge into a canal; he is caught and sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Crewe has difficulty getting along with the guards as well as with his fellow inmates. The convicts despise him because he was dismissed from the National Football League for point shaving. As his only friend, an inmate nicknamed Caretaker (James Hampton) put it, “Most of these boys have nothin’, never had anything to start with. But you, you had it all. You could have robbed banks, sold dope or stole your grandma’s pension checks and none of us would have minded. But shaving points off of a football game, man, that’s un-American!” (a similar line in the 2005 remake is spoken by the same character, this time played by Chris Rock). Moreover, the sadistic, power-hungry warden Rudolph Hazen (Eddie Albert), a football fanatic who manages a semi-pro team made up of the prison’s guards (most of whom are big and fast enough to play professional football), wants Crewe to help coach the team. Responding to pressure from the guard’s leader and coach, Captain Wilhelm Knauer (Ed Lauter), Crewe refuses. He is harassed by the guards and given backbreaking work as punishment. Following a scuffle with the guards, Crewe’s sentence is increased to 2–5 years.

As the prisoners and the crowd celebrate, Warden Hazen is furious. Crewe walks across the field in what appears to be an attempt to mingle with the crowd and escape. Hazen sees this and orders Knauer to shoot Crewe. Knauer calls out to Crewe several times as Hazen barks for him to shoot. At the last moment, Crewe picks up the game ball and walks back towards Hazen. Crewe then hands the ball to Hazen, telling him, “Stick this in your trophy case.”

Whiteout

  • Directors: Dominic Sena
  • Producers: Joel Silver, Susan Downey, David Gambino
  • Writers: Jon Hoeber, Erich Hoeber, Chad Hayes, Carey Hayes, Greg Rucka, Steve Lieber, title Whiteout Graphic novel
  • Genres: Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Kate Beckinsale, Gabriel Macht, Columbus Short, Tom Skerritt

U.S. Deputy Marshal Carrie Stetko (Kate Beckinsale) has been assigned to a base in Antarctica for two years. During the last three days of her assignment, a body is found encased in ice and Carrie is obliged to take part in the continent’s first-ever murder investigation. With the Antarctic winter drawing close, Carrie must work diligently to complete the investigation before the arrival of an incoming storm. Carrie is unaware that she is involved in a sixty year old murder that the killer would do anything to keep secret. While working on the case, Stetko crosses paths with a UN operative (Gabriel Macht), who has also been assigned to the case as an investigator. As Stetko chases down suspects, she finds evidence of more murders. Stetko is maliciously attacked by the killer and left for dead in the harsh Antarctic storm. Stetko must reveal the killer before he finds her again.