Tin Man

  • Directors: Nick Willing
  • Producers: Robert Halmi Jr, Robert Halmi Sr, Steven Long Mitchell, Matthew O Connor, Michael O Connor
  • Writers: Steven Long Mitchell, Craig Van Sickle
  • Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Western
  • Actors: Zooey Deschanel, Neal McDonough, Alan Cumming, Raoul Trujillo, Kathleen Robertson, Richard Dreyfuss

DG (Zooey Deschanel) is a small-town waitress who feels that she does not fit into her Kansas farm life and has visions of a lavender-eyed woman (Anna Galvin) warning her that a storm is coming. Her visions are realized when the sorceress Azkadellia (Kathleen Robertson), tyrannical ruler of the O.Z. (Outer Zone), sends her Longcoat soldiers through a “travel storm” to kill DG. DG escapes through the storm into the O.Z. and befriends several of its inhabitants: Glitch (Alan Cumming), who had half of his brain removed by Azkadellia; Wyatt Cain (Neal McDonough), a former “Tin Man” law enforcer who was locked in an iron suit for years as punishment for opposing Azkadellia; and Raw (Raoul Trujillo), a “viewer” whose people have been enslaved by Azkadellia. DG receives a magical symbol on her palm and learns that her Kansan parents are androids and that her real mother is the lavender-eyed woman of her visions. Visiting the Mystic Man (Richard Dreyfuss) in Central City and continuing on to the Northern Island, the group learns that Glitch was once the advisor to the Queen of the O.Z. and that DG and Azkadellia are actutally sisters and the daughters of the Queen. DG remembers that Azkadellia killed her using dark magic when they were children, but their mother revived her by light magic and gave her secret instructions on how to find the Emerald of the Eclipse, which Azkadellia now seeks. Azkadellia confronts the group with her Longcoats and mobats, capturing DG and Raw. Cain fights the Longcoat captain Zero (Callum Keith Rennie) and learns that his wife and son, whom he thought Zero had killed, are still alive. Zero shoots Cain, sending him falling into a lake of ice.

The party heads farther south in search of DG’s father Ahamo (Ted Whittall). Tutor’s treachery is discovered but he is allowed to stay with the group in his canine form. In the Realm of the Unwanted they are led into a trap: Glitch, Raw, and Cain are captured by Zero, but are freed by resistance fighters led by Cain’s son Jeb (Andrew Francis). Zero reveals the scope of Azkadellia’s plan, which is to use the Emerald of the Eclipse in combination with a machine called the Sun Seeder to lock the O.Z.’s two suns in place behind the moon during an upcoming eclipse, covering the land in permanent darkness. The Sun Seeder had been designed by Glitch during his time as the Queen’s advisor, and the removed portion of his brain is being used to control it. Meanwhile, DG meets Ahamo and the two travel by hot air balloon to the hidden mausoleum of the O.Z.’s royal line. DG learns that the Gray Gale is Dorothy Gale, her “greatest great-grandmother” and “the first slipper” to travel to the O.Z. from Earth. She enters Dorothy’s tomb, finding herself in a black-and-white representation of her Kansas farm and receiving the Emerald from Dorothy. Azkadellia arrives, capturing both Ahamo and the Emerald and leaving DG trapped in a sarcophagus. DG escapes using magic and is reunited with her friends, and together they infiltrate Azkadellia’s fortress as she locks the suns in place. DG clasps hands with Azkadellia, freeing her from the witch’s possession just as her companions reverse the Sun Seeder’s pulse, destroying the witch. DG and Azkadellia are reunited with their parents as the suns emerge from behind the moon, shedding their light on the O.Z.

Spy Kids

  • Directors: Robert Rodriguez
  • Producers: Elizabeth Avellan, Robert Rodriguez
  • Writers: Robert Rodriguez
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Sci-Fi
  • Actors: Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, Alan Cumming, Teri Hatcher, Cheech Marin, Danny Trejo, with Robert Patrick, and Tony Shalhoub, Alexa Vega, as Carmen, Daryl Sabara, as Juni, George Clooney

Carmen and Juni Cortez live with what they think are boring parents. One night, Carmen asks her mother Ingrid to tell her a story, and with Juni listening, Ingrid recounts the tale of two spies, who though they are on opposing sides and originally supposed to kill each other, end up falling in love and getting married instead. What Carmen and Juni don’t know is that this is the true story of their parents Gregorio and Ingrid. The newly married couple makes a big decision. They retire from the OSS (Official Strategic Service), the spy organization they were working for, to raise their family.

Ten years later, the family is facing some problems. Carmen enjoys tormenting her younger brother, who does not have many friends. In fact, the only enjoyment in his life comes from watching “Floop’s Fooglies”, a children’s TV show starring a man named Fegan Floop, his sidekick Alexander Minion, and strange, humanoid Fooglies that speak in gibberish. Ingrid longs to return to spy work, while Gregorio just wants everyone to be happy.

Trouble begins when Gregorio is called in on a mission to locate some OSS Agents that have gone missing. The latest disappearance was that of Donnagon Giggles, an old fellow agent. The next morning, as Juni watches Floop’s show, the strange host introduces a new Fooglie character- “Donnamight.” Gregorio and Ingrid become suspicious when they realize that the strange character resembles Donnagon. The camera reveals that Floop is actually working for a villain named Mr. Lisp, and was paid quite a lot of money to develop an army to take over the world. Lisp is unhappy with the Fooglies, and is prepared to cut all funding for the project. Floop and Minion quickly present their latest idea – the Spy Kids, child-sized robots that have the athletic prowess and intelligence of the world’s best spies. Unfortunately, the robots are currently brainless- but Floop does have a plan…

Floop realizes that the Third Brain has already been copied and ingrained into every Spy Kid’s head, and runs off to try to reverse the process before they can leave the castle. The Cortez’s team up in the main room and prepare to fight Lisp, Gradenko (with burnt hair from the last encounter with Juni and Carmen), and even Minion, who now has four heads and three hands on each arm. Minion summons the Spy Kids, and the family prepares to fight, even Machete, who appears at the last minute to provide support. Floop is suddenly struck with inspiration thanks to Juni’s words. The Spy Kids are programmed to do only evil deeds… so he changes their understanding of right and wrong. The newly happy robots play by tossing Minion, Lisp, and unfortunately Gradenko into the air, and, after watching, the whole family returns home. In the end, Floop uses the Carmen and Juni robots on his show, which prove to be just what it needs, and the chief of the OSS, Devlin (George Clooney in an obvious cameo), summons Carmen and Juni to another mission. The final quote of the story is “Spywork, that’s easy. Keeping a family together, that’s difficult. And that’s the mission worth fighting for.”

X2

  • Directors: Bryan Singer
  • Producers: Tom DeSanto, Avi Arad, Bryan Singer, Ralph Winter, Lauren Shuler Donner
  • Writers: Screenplay, Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris, David Hayter, Story, David Hayter, Bryan Singer, Zak Penn, Comic Book, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Famke Janssen, Brian Cox, Alan Cumming, Anna Paquin, Halle Berry, Shawn Ashmore, James Marsden

Nightcrawler, a teleporting mutant, attempts to assassinate the President in the White House, but he fails and escapes. Wolverine reappears after discovering nothing at Alkali Lake, while Storm and Jean find Nightcrawler with the help of Professor Xavier and Cerebro. Cyclops and Professor X visit Magneto in his plastic prison to see if he had any part in the attack on the President. Reading Magneto’s mind, Professor X discovers that a covert government operative, William Stryker, has been extracting information from Magneto. A trap is sprung and Cyclops and Professor X are captured by Stryker and his assistant Yuriko Oyama. A military raid of the X-Mansion begins, with the soldiers sedating every student they find; some escape, while Wolverine finds Stryker, but is unable to find anything about his past.

Impersonating Senator Robert Kelly and Yuriko, Mystique gains information about Magneto’s prison and provides a means for him to escape. Wolverine, along with Rogue, Iceman and Pyro, heads to Iceman’s home in Boston. After a 9-1-1 call by Bobby’s brother Ronnie, the police arrive just as the group is about to leave, ensuing into a dispute with Pyro. The X-Jet arrives to pick them all up, and the X-Men team with Magneto and Mystique. Magneto has learned Stryker orchestrated the attack on the President and has been experimenting on mutants, using a drug injected directly into the back of the neck to control them. Jean reads Nightcrawler’s mind and determines that Stryker’s base is located at Alkali Lake, inside the dam. He has also stolen enough equipment from Xavier’s own Cerebro unit to build a second Cerebro, with which he plans to kill all the world’s mutants.

Mystique, disguised as Stryker, uses Jason to convince Professor X to kill all humans. Magneto and Mystique use Stryker’s helicopter to escape Alkali Lake, chaining Stryker to concrete rubble, and are also joined by Pyro. Meanwhile, Nightcrawler teleports Storm inside of Cerebro, where she frees the Professor from his telepathic illusion. A malfunction aboard the X-Jet prevents it from taking off, and the dam finally bursts. The flood gets stronger, drowning Stryker. Jean leaves the jet and creates a telekinetic wall in order to stop the wave, and at the same time raises the jet above the flood waters; all the while surrounded by a corona of fire. Jean activates the X-Jet’s primary engines, before releasing the torrent of water down on herself. The X-Men are able to supply the President with files from Stryker’s private offices, and Professor X warns him that humans and mutants must work together to build peace, or they will destroy each other through war. The film ends with a voiceover by Jean Grey on the process of evolution (a speech originally made by Professor Xavier in the introduction of the first film). The camera floats over Alkali Lake, showing a vague shape of a Phoenix in the lake.