Extraordinary Measures

  • Directors: Tom Vaughan
  • Producers: Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher, Carla Santos Shamberg
  • Writers: Robert Nelson Jacobs
  • Genres: Drama
  • Actors: Brendan Fraser, Harrison Ford, Keri Russell

Brendan Fraser plays John Crowley, a biotechnology executive, whose two youngest children were afflicted with Pompe disease. Along with his wife, Aileen (Keri Russell), he raises money for research scientist Robert Stonehill (Harrison Ford) (most likely representing Dr. William Canfield), forming a company to develop a drug to save his children’s lives.

How to Be

  • Directors: Oliver Irving
  • Producers: Justin Kelly
  • Writers: Oliver Irving
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama
  • Actors: Robert Pattinson, Rebecca Pidgeon, Jeremy Hardy, Powell Jones

After a number of personal setbacks, including a struggling singer/song-writing career and a girlfriend who’s dumped him, Art (Robert Pattinson) moves back home with his cold and neglectful parents (played by Rebecca Pidgeon and Michael Irving). Art decides to use inheritance money to pay for Canadian therapist, Dr. Levi Ellington (Powell Jones) to come to his home in England and help Art “be more normal,” about which his parents are less than thrilled.

Despite his unsupportive parents, Art attempts with his new life coach and two slightly unbalanced friends Nikki (Mike Pearce) and Ronnie (Johnny White) to find a balance in his life and experience true happiness and a good relationship with his parents.

The film also stars Jeremy Hardy as Art’s boss at the care centre at which he volunteers.

Everybody s Fine

  • Directors: Kirk Jones
  • Producers: Gianni Nunnari, Ted Field, Vittorio Cecchi Gori, Glynis Murray
  • Writers: Kirk Jones
  • Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Drama
  • Actors: Robert De Niro, Drew Barrymore, Kate Beckinsale, Sam Rockwell, Katherine Moennig

After visiting his physician and being warned about his health, Frank Goode (Robert De Niro) takes a train to New York, where he sits on his son David’s doorstep. David never shows up, but Frank sees one of David’s paintings in a nearby art gallery window. He slips an envelope under David’s door.

Next visit is to daughter Amy (Kate Beckinsale), who says it’s a bad time to visit. Frank plays a little golf with grandson Jack, but dinner is uncomfortable with tension between Jack and his father. The next morning, Frank accompanies Amy to her fancy office and hears her agency’s pitch for a TV ad. She takes him to the bus station to visit Robert.

As Frank travels to each of his children’s homes, the film cuts to phone conversations between the siblings. David is in some type of trouble in Mexico, and Amy is going there to find out what is happening; the sisters and Robert (Sam Rockwell) agree to not tell their father about David until they know for sure.

Frank arrives in Denver expecting to see Robert conduct the orchestra. It turns out Robert is “only” a percussionist. He also says Frank’s visit is at a bad time, so within hours Frank takes a bus to Las Vegas to visit Rosie (Drew Barrymore). Frank is adamant that each visit is a surprise, but Robert calls Rosie to warn her.

Frank goes back to New York to buy David’s painting but it has already been sold; the gallery shows him another painting by David that is more appropriate to him — a landscape showing PVC-covered power lines (Frank made PVC-covered cable for years). He visits his wife’s grave and talks to her. The last scene shows the family at Christmas. Frank is cooking the turkey and remembers that he always forgot to tell his wife hers was overcooked. The film ends with him walking into the dining room, to his family.

Push Based on the Novel by Sapphire

  • Directors: Lee Daniels
  • Producers: Lee Daniels, Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, Sarah Siegel Magness, Gary Magness
  • Writers: Novel, Sapphire, Screenplay, Geoffrey Fletcher
  • Genres: Drama
  • Actors: Gabourey Sidibe, Mo Nique, Paula Patton, Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz

In 1987, obese, illiterate, black 16-year-old Claireece “Precious” Jones (Gabourey Sidibe) lives in the New York City neighborhood of Harlem with her dysfunctional family; she has been raped and impregnated twice by her father, Carl, and suffers constant physical, mental and sexual abuse from her unemployed mother, Mary (Mo’Nique). The family resides in a Section 8 tenement and subsists on welfare. Her first child, known only as “Mongo” (short for “Mongoloid”), has Down Syndrome and is being cared for by Precious’s grandmother. After Precious becomes pregnant for the second time, she is suspended from school. Her junior high school principal, Mrs. Lichtenstein (Nealla Gordon) arranges to have her attend an alternative school, which she hopes can help Precious change her life’s direction.[6]

Precious fights to find a way out of her traumatic daily existence through imagination and fantasy. While she is being raped by her father, she looks at the ceiling and imagines herself in a music video shoot; in the video, she is the superstar and the focus of attention. While looking in photo albums, she imagines the pictures talking to her. When she looks in the mirror, she sees a pretty, white, thin, blonde girl. In her mind there is another world, one in which, unlike her real one, she is loved and appreciated.

Inspired by her new teacher Miss Rain (Paula Patton), Precious begins learning to read. She gives birth to her second child and names him Abdul. After Precious’s mother deliberately drops three-day-old Abdul and hits Precious, Precious fights back long enough to get her son and flees her home permanently. She finds new confidence with the help of her teacher, Miss Rain, and begins raising her son in a half-way house while she continues to improve academically. Her mother comes back into her life to inform Precious that her father has died of AIDS. Later, Precious finds out that she is HIV positive, but Abdul is not. The film ends with Precious still resolved to improve for herself and for her children. She severs ties with her family and makes plans to complete a General Educational Development test.

The 4th Kind

  • Directors: Olatunde Osunsanmi
  • Producers: Paul Brooks, Joe Carnahan
  • Writers: Olatunde Osunsanmi
  • Genres: Thriller
  • Actors: Milla Jovovich, Elias Koteas, Will Patton

The film is supposedly based on actual events, and is set in Nome, Alaska, a town which (according to the movie) has a disproportionate number of reported missing people and alleged alien abductions over the last forty years. Milla Jovovich plays psychotherapist Dr. Abigail Tyler, who is allegedly based on a real psychologist who videotapes interviews with the abductees. The abductees all claim they see a strange looking owl at their window, before suffering strange psychological attacks. Recordings from videotapes reveal a distorted voice speaking in Sumerian, the oldest recorded language in Human history, and Tyler begins to suspect a government cover up.[2]

Troy

  • Directors: Wolfgang Petersen
  • Producers: Wolfgang Petersen, Diana Rathbun, Colin Wilson, Brad Pitt
  • Writers: David Benioff
  • Genres: Action, History, Romance
  • Actors: Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom, Brian Cox, Sean Bean, Peter O Toole, Diane Kruger

King Agamemnon (Brian Cox) of Mycenae is in Thessaly, Greece, with his army looking to expand territory and influence. On the battlefield, Agamemnon’s soldiers prepare to engage in combat against the army under the Thessalonian king, Triopas (Julian Glover). Rather than suffer great losses, Triopas agrees to Agamemnon’s proposal to settle the matter in the traditional way – through a decisive match between the best fighters of the opposing armies. Achilles (Brad Pitt) is summoned by Agamemnon, and after arriving, easily kills the Thessalonian champion Boagrius (Nathan Jones). Accepting defeat, Triopas presents Achilles with a scepter as a token for his king. But Achilles refuses, saying Agamemnon is not his king.

In Sparta, Prince Hector (Eric Bana) and his young brother Paris (Orlando Bloom) negotiate an end to the war between the outlying kingdom of Troy and Sparta. On the last day of a week-long peace festival, Paris manages to smuggle Helen (Diane Kruger), Menelaus’ (Brendan Gleeson) wife, back to Troy with him. Infuriated by Helen’s disappearance, Menelaus vows revenge. Meanwhile, Agamemnon (Menelaus’ brother), who had for years harbored plans for conquering Troy, decides to use his brother’s situation as a justification to invade Troy. He is advised by his general, Nestor (John Shrapnel), to call upon Achilles to fight for the Greeks, ensuring they can rally enough troops to the cause. Agamemnon relishes the prospect of gaining complete control over the Aegean Sea by conquering Troy.

After a last disorganized and futile attempt by surviving Trojan soldiers to repel the invaders, the battle ends and the Greeks storm the inner palace only to find that Achilles has died just a few moments earlier. Funeral rituals are performed for him the next morning. The movie ends with Odysseus delivering the final words: If they ever tell my story, let them say I walked with giants. Men rise and fall like the winter wheat, but these names will never die. Let them say I lived in the time of Hector, tamer of horses. Let them say I lived in the time of Achilles.