Step Up

  • Directors: Anne Fletcher
  • Producers: Jennifer Gibgot, Adam Shankman, Patrick Wachsberger
  • Writers: Duane Adler, Melissa Rosenberg
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, Music, Romance
  • Actors: Channing Tatum, Jenna Dewan, Mario, Drew Sidora, Alyson Stoner, Rachel Griffiths

Following a party, Mac (Damaine Radcliff), Skinny Carter (De’Shawn Washington) and their friend Tyler Gage (Channing Tatum) break into the Maryland School of Arts and damage many of the props in the school’s theatre. When a security guard appears, Tyler helps the other two escape and accepts the blame. He is sentenced to 200 hours of community service, which he has to serve at the school. While working, he watches a dance class and meets Nora Clark (Jenna Dewan), a student preparing for her “senior showcase.” The performance could determine if she gets a job with a dance company. Later, Tyler mockingly shows his friends some of the dance moves he learned while watching the school’s ballet dancers, mixing them with break-dance and street dance moves.

Nora’s dance partner sprains his ankle, leaving Nora without a partner. After auditioning some other students, she doesn’t meet anyone who is good enough. Tyler offers to help, but she at first refuses. Eventually she changes her mind, having seen him dancing earlier, and convinces Director Gordon (Rachel Griffiths) to allow Tyler to rehearse with her. During their initial practice session, Tyler is antagonistic toward Nora as well as her boyfriend, both of whom respond with haughty attitudes. As they continue to rehearse, Nora and Tyler grow closer, each teaching the other about their respective styles of dance. Tyler also befriends a musician at the school named Miles, who has a crush on Nora’s friend Lucy.

Nora again loses her partner because he is not able to do the routine that Nora and Tyler came up with together. Nora finally decides to do her senior showcase solo. However, without a partner, the routine is not as good and she knows she will not be able to get accepted into any dance troupes. Before the showcase starts, Tyler arrives, and after making up they perform the showcase together. Nora is offered a place in a professional dance troupe, and Tyler is accepted into the Maryland School of Arts. After, they kiss and make up.

Okuribito

  • Directors:
  • Producers:
  • Writers: Kundo Koyama
  • Genres: Drama, Music
  • Actors: Masahiro Motoki, Ryoko Hirosue, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Kimiko Yo, Kazuko Yoshiyuki, Takashi Sasano

Daigo Kobayashi (Masahiro Motoki), a cellist in an orchestra in Tokyo, loses his job because of dissolution of the orchestra. After quitting as a professional cellist, he decides to sell his cello which he had recently purchased for 18 million yen, then deciding to move back to Sakata, Yamagata, his old hometown along with his wife to find a new job. One day, he finds a classified ad entitled “Assisting departures” for an “NK Agency”. He goes to the job interview thinking it is for a job at a travel agency. But at the interview, he discovers that NK is an abbreviation for “encoffinment” (納棺 ,nōkan?), and he is instead to assist the “departed”. Since the interviewer, the President of NK Agency, immediately decided to hire Daigo after confirming that Daigo is able to “work hard”. the salary is 500,000 yen per month with additional 20,000 yen bonus for interview, and with no other job prospects, Daigo decides to accept his offer. However, when he comes home to his wife he finds himself unable to admit of the type of work he will be doing, so he dissembles saying that he is to be employed in the ‘ceremonial occasions industry.’

Not long later however, Daigo’s wife returns announcing that she is pregnant and pleads with him once again to find a different source of income. At this moment the telephone rings with a new assignment. Yamashita’s mother, Tsuyako (Kazuko Yoshiyuki), who ran the local bath house on her own, has died. Thereupon, in front of Yamashita, his family and his own wife, Daigo prepares Tsuyako’s body for her wake and earns the respect and understanding of all present. Then one day, a telegram is delivered to Daigo’s mother, informing them of the death of Daigo’s estranged father. Daigo refuses to see his dead father, but Mika and Daigo’s co-worker convinces him to go. Once Daigo sees his father, he notices that he has left only a cardboard box, despite the fact that he lived 70-odd years. Funeral workers come to get Daigo’s father’s corpse, but Daigo decides to personally encoffin his father. As he encoffins him, Daigo finds a “stone-letter” he gave to his father when he was little; the stone-letter was grasped in his father’s hands. When Daigo is finished, he recognizes the father he remembered and cries. As his father is carried away in a coffin, Daigo presses the stone-letter to Mika’s pregnant belly.

The Soloist

  • Directors: Joe Wright
  • Producers: Gary Foster, Russ Krasnoff
  • Writers: Susannah Grant
  • Genres: Drama, Biography, Music
  • Actors: Jamie Foxx, Robert Downey Jr, Catherine Keener

The Soloist is based on the true story of Nathaniel Ayers (Jamie Foxx), a musical prodigy who developed schizophrenia during his second year at Juilliard School. Ayers becomes homeless in the streets of downtown Los Angeles, playing the violin and the cello.[2]

Hannah Montana The Movie

  • Directors: Peter Chelsom 1
  • Producers: David Blocker, Billy Ray Cyrus, Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, Steven Peterman, Michael Poryes
  • Writers: Dan Berendsen 1
  • Genres: Comedy, Family, Music
  • Actors: Miley Cyrus, Emily Osment, Mitchel Musso, Jason Earles, Billy Ray Cyrus, Moises Arias

Miley Stewart (Miley Cyrus) has become overwhelmed with her alter-ego’s Hannah Montana’s popularity. After having a catfight over a pair of shoes with Tyra Banks, missing saying goodbye to her brother because she was shopping, and coming late to Lilly’s sweet sixteen as Hannah, her father, Robby (Billy Ray Cyrus) tricks Miley into going back to her hometown, Crowley Corners, Tennessee, to reflect on the things that really matter in her life. When the dismayed Miley asks if her career as Hannah Montana is over, Robby says to ask again in two weeks’ time.

While in Crowley Corners, Miley spends time with her best friend Lilly (Emily Osment) but has a rough time adjusting to farm life. At Lilly’s birthday party, Miley is forced to attend as her alter-ego Hannah Montana, and performs the song “Let’s Get Crazy”, accompanied by Steve Rushton on the guitar.[12][13] This goes badly because people direct their attention at Hannah instead of Lilly.

In her hometown, Miley develops a deep connection with a childhood friend Travis Brody (Lucas Till). Robby also has a love interest, Lorelei, played by Melora Hardin. Trouble arises when a reporter named Oswald plans to find out Hannah’s secret identity and expose her. Miley starts to realize that she loves her life in Tennessee and questions whether she really does want to choose between two lives.

Amadeus

  • Directors:
  • Producers: Saul Zaentz
  • Writers: Peter Shaffer
  • Genres: Drama, Music
  • Actors: F Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge

The film begins in 1823 as Salieri, as an old man, attempts suicide by slitting his throat while loudly begging forgiveness for having killed a long-deceased Mozart. Placed in a lunatic asylum for the act, he is visited by a young priest who seeks to take his confession. Salieri is sullen and uninterested but eventually warms to the priest and launches into a long “confession” about the relationship between himself and Mozart. As the scenes later cut back to this dialog, it seems as if the telling of the story with the listening priest goes on through the night and into the next day.

Salieri reminisces about his youth, particularly about his devotion to God and his love for music and how he pledges to God to remain celibate as a sacrifice if he can somehow devote his life to music. He describes how his father’s plans for him were to go into business, but Salieri suggests that the sudden death of his father, who choked to death during a meal, was “a miracle” that allowed Salieri to pursue a career in music. In his narrative, he is suddenly an adult joining the 18th century cultural elite in Vienna, the “city of musicians.” Salieri begins his career as a devout, God-fearing man who believes his success and talent as a composer are God’s rewards for his piety. He is content as the court composer for Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II.

The film ends as Salieri finishes recounting his story to the visibly shaken young priest. Salieri concludes that God killed Mozart rather than allow Salieri to share in even an ounce of his glory, and that he is consigned to be the “patron saint of mediocrity.” Salieri absolves the priest of his own mediocrity and blesses his fellow patients as he is taken away in his wheelchair. The last sound heard before the credits roll is Mozart’s comical laughter.

Some Like It Hot

  • Directors: Billy Wilder
  • Producers: Billy Wilder
  • Writers: Story, Robert Thoeren, Michael Logan, Screenplay, Billy Wilder, I A L Diamond
  • Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Crime, Drama, Music, Romance, Thriller
  • Actors: Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, George Raft, Joe E Brown

Two struggling musicians, Joe and Jerry (Curtis and Lemmon), witness what looks like the Saint Valentine’s Day massacre of 1929. When the Chicago gangsters, led by ‘Spats’ Columbo (Raft) spot them, the duo flee for their lives. They escape and decide to leave town, only to find the sole out-of-town jobs available are in an all-girl band headed to Florida. The two disguise themselves as women, calling themselves Josephine and Geraldine (later Jerry changes his pseudonym to Daphne), join the band and board a train. Joe and Jerry both fall for “Sugar Kane” (Monroe), the band’s sexy vocalist and ukulele player, and fight for her affection while maintaining their disguises.

In Florida, Joe woos Sugar by assuming a second disguise as a millionaire named “Junior”, the heir to Shell Oil, while mimicking Cary Grant’s voice. An actual millionaire, Osgood Fielding III (Brown), falls for Jerry in his Daphne guise. One night Osgood asks Daphne out to his yacht. Joe convinces Daphne to keep Osgood ashore while he goes on the yacht with Sugar. That night Osgood proposes to Daphne who, in a state of excitement, accepts, believing he can finagle a large settlement from Osgood immediately following their wedding ceremony.

When the mobsters arrive at the same hotel for a conference honoring “Friends of Italian Opera”, Spats and his gang spot Joe and Jerry. After several humorous chases (and witnessing yet another mob murder), Jerry, Joe, Sugar, and Osgood escape to the millionaire’s yacht. Enroute, Sugar tells Joe that she’s in love with him and not with “Junior”. Jerry, for his part, tries to explain to Osgood that he cannot marry him, but Osgood is oblivious to all of Jerry’s objections and remains determined—to the very end—to go through with the marriage; finally, Jerry removes the wig and yells, “I’m a man!”, prompting Osgood to utter the movie’s memorable last line: “Well, nobody’s perfect.”

The Pianist

  • Directors: Roman Polanski
  • Producers: Roman Polanski, Robert Benmussa, Alain Sarde, Gene Gutowski
  • Writers: Ronald Harwood
  • Genres: Biography, Drama, Music, War
  • Actors: Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann

Wladyslaw Szpilman, a famous Polish Jewish pianist working for Warsaw Radio, sees his whole world collapse with the outbreak of World War II and the invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939. After the radio station is rocked by explosions from German bombing, Szpilman goes home and learns that Great Britain and France have declared war on Nazi Germany. He and his family rejoice, believing the war will end quickly.

When the Nazis’ armed SS organization occupies Warsaw after the regular army passes on, living conditions for the Jewish population gradually deteriorate as their rights are slowly eroded: first they are allowed only a limited amount of money per family, then they must wear armbands imprinted with the blue Star of David to identify themselves, and eventually, late in 1940, they are all forced into the squalid Warsaw Ghetto. There, they face hunger, persecution and humiliation from the SS and the ever present fear of death or torture. The Nazis became increasingly sadistic and the family experiences and/or witnesses many horrors inflicted on their neighbours.

Before long, the family, along with thousands of others, are rounded up for deportation by train to the extermination facility at Treblinka. Szpilman sees his brother reading from Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice. He asks him to read aloud, and he reads: “If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? If you wrong us, shall we not revenge?” Szpilman remarks that it is an appropriate play for their situation. His brother responds, “That’s why I brought it.” As the Jews are being forced onto cattle cars, Szpilman is saved at the last moment by one of the Jewish Ghetto Police, who happens to be a family friend.

As newly-freed prisoners of a concentration camp walk home, they pass a fenced-in enclosure of German prisoners of war, guarded by Soviet soldiers. A German prisoner, who turns out to be Hosenfeld, calls out to the passing ex-prisoners. Hosenfeld begs one of them, a violinist of Szpilman’s acquaintance, to contact Szpilman to free him. Szpilman, who has gone back to playing live on Warsaw Radio, arrives at the site too late; all the prisoners have been removed along with any trace of the stockade. In the film’s final scene, Szpilman triumphantly performs Chopin’s Grand Polonaise brillante in E flat major to a large audience in Warsaw. Title cards shown just before the end credits reveal that Szpilman continued to live in Warsaw and died in 2000, but that Hosenfeld died in 1952 in a Soviet prisoner-of-war camp.

Happy Endings

  • Directors: Don Roos
  • Producers: Michael Paseornek, Holly Wiersma
  • Writers: Don Roos
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Music, Thriller
  • Actors: Lisa Kudrow, Steve Coogan, Jesse Bradford, Bobby Cannavale, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jason Ritter, Tom Arnold

The film follows the lives of a diverse group of mostly middle-class Americans through the emotional ups and downs in their flawed yet very human lives, each loosely connected to each other through a restaurant.

The film follows three interconnected stories. In the first, a woman (Lisa Kudrow) reluctantly agrees to work with a would-be young filmmaker (Jesse Bradford) in order to locate the now grown son she secretly gave up for adoption after becoming pregnant from her stepbrother (Steve Coogan) (who is later found to be gay) 19 years earlier.

In the second story arc, her stepbrother and his domestic partner (David Sutcliffe) are deciding whether or not to confront their friends, a lesbian couple (Laura Dern and Sarah Clarke), regarding the paternity of their son.

And in the third, a young man (Jason Ritter) is involved with a band and trying to keep his father (Tom Arnold) from learning that he is gay, while also dealing with the seemingly gold-digging woman (Maggie Gyllenhaal) who inserts herself into their lives.