The Messenger

  • Directors: Oren Moverman
  • Producers: Benjamin Goldhirsh, Mark Gordon, Lawrence Inglee, Zach Miller
  • Writers: Alessandro Camon, Oren Moverman
  • Genres: Drama, Romance, War
  • Actors: Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson, Samantha Morton, Jena Malone

A casualty notification officer for the United States Army enters an ethical dilemma when he gets involved with Olivia (Samantha Morton), the widow of a soldier.

30 Days of Night

  • Directors: David Slade
  • Producers: Sam Raimi, Ted Adams, Rob Tapert
  • Writers: Steve Niles, Stuart Beattie
  • Genres: Horror, Thriller
  • Actors: Josh Hartnett, Melissa George, Danny Huston, Ben Foster, Mark Boone Junior, Mark Rendall

Barrow, Alaska, is preparing for its annual “30 Days of Night”, a period during the winter when the sun will not be seen for a month: some inhabitants leave for Fairbanks or other parts south. As the town gets ready, the Stranger (Ben Foster) rows ashore from a large ship and once in Barrow, he sets about sabotaging the town (stealing and burning cell phones, killing all the sled dogs) in the belief that the vampires will make him one of them if he helps them with their plans.

Barrow’s sheriff, Eben Oleson (Josh Hartnett) investigates these crimes. As he does so, he learns that his estranged wife, Stella Oleson (Melissa George), missed the last plane out of town and will have to spend the 30 day period in Barrow. Although they try to avoid one another, when Stella confronts the Stranger in the town diner, she helps subdue him and take him to the station house.

From the jail cell, the Stranger taunts Eben, Stella, Eben’s teenage brother, Jake (Mark Rendall) and grandmother, telling them that death is coming for them. Just then, vampires attack the local telecommunications center and power supply, rendering the town dark and cut off from the outside world. Eben goes to the telecommunications center and finds the operator’s head on a spike. He and Stella then go through town, warning all the residents to lock themselves indoors and load all weapons.

Eben and Stella watch the sunrise together. While Stella rests on Eben’s shoulder, they share one last kiss. Stella holds Eben tightly in her arms as the light of sun brightens. His body begins to burn and he lets out a bloodcurdling scream. Seconds later he dies, his body turned to ash. The end of the film is marked as Stella closes her eyes, cradling Eben’s ashen corpse.

3 10 to Yuma

  • Directors: James Mangold
  • Producers:
  • Writers: Screenplay, Halsted Welles, Michael Brandt, Derek Haas
  • Genres: Action, Crime, Drama, Western
  • Actors: Russell Crowe, Christian Bale, Logan Lerman, Peter Fonda, Ben Foster

Dan Evans (Christian Bale), an impoverished rancher and Civil War veteran, awakens to find his barn in flames, set ablaze by two men working for Glen Hollander, to whom Evans owes money. The next morning, as Evans and his two sons herd, they stumble upon outlaw Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) and his gang using Evans’ cattle as a road blockade to ambush an armored stagecoach. As he loots the stage, Wade discovers Evans and his two sons watching from the hills. Acknowledging that they pose no threat, Wade takes their horses telling Evans that he will leave them tied up on the road to Bisbee.

Wade travels with his gang to the town of Bisbee, Arizona to enjoy a celebratory drink at the local saloon. Meanwhile, the railroad guards find Evans and his sons with Byron McElroy (Peter Fonda), a Pinkerton agent and lone survivor of the ambush. Evans reveals Bisbee as Wade’s likely destination, where the guards immediately return, joined by Evans and McElroy. While Doc Potter (Alan Tudyk), the local medic/veterinarian, treats McElroy, Evans tries negotiating with Hollander, who reveals his intentions to sell the land to the railroad rather than grant water rights to Evans. Enraged at the loss of his livelihood, Evans tries confronting Hollander in the nearby saloon where he finds Wade, whom he distracts long enough for the railroad guards to ambush and arrest him.

Wade’s gang set up positions around the station as the train approaches. William, observing the events, stampedes a herd of cattle (echoing a similar act performed by Wade earlier in the film) that provides cover for Evans to push Wade onto the train. As Wade boards, he congratulates Evans. At that moment, Prince steps up and shoots Evans four times, despite Wade’s shouted order to stop. Wade steps off the train and catches the gun belt Prince tosses him. After a tense moment of silence, Wade abruptly executes Prince and the rest of his gang. William appears and draws his gun on Wade but finds he can’t kill him, instead turning to his dying father. Wade boards the train politely and surrenders his weapon. As the train pulls away, he whistles for his horse, who perks up his ears and immediately canters after the running train into the distance.

X Men The Last Stand

  • Directors: Brett Ratner
  • Producers: Lauren Shuler Donner, Ralph Winter, Avi Arad
  • Writers: Screenplay, Simon Kinberg, Zak Penn, Comic Book, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Famke Janssen, Anna Paquin, Kelsey Grammer, James Marsden, Rebecca Romijn, Shawn Ashmore, Aaron Stanford, Vinnie Jones, Ellen Page, Ben Foster

A pharmaceutical company called Worthington Labs announces that it has developed an inoculation to permanently suppress the X-gene that gives mutants their powers, offering the so-called “cure” to any mutant who wants it; the cure is derived from a mutant boy named Jimmy. While some mutants are interested in the cure, including the X-Men’s Rogue, many others are horrified by the announcement. In response to the news, the X-Men’s adversary Magneto begins to raise an army, warning his followers that, like his experiences in the Holocaust, the cure will be forcefully used to exterminate the mutant race.

Cyclops, still heartbroken about the loss of Jean Grey, returns to Alkali Lake, where Jean sacrificed herself to save the X-Men. He hears her voice and begs for it to stop, finally taking off his sunglasses and his eye beam shoots through the water. Jean then appears out of the water to Cyclops, and as the two kiss, Jean changes and appears to kill Cyclops. Sensing trouble, Professor Charles Xavier sends Wolverine and Storm to investigate. When they arrive, the two X-Men encounter telekinetically floating rocks, Cyclops’ glasses, and an unconscious Jean. Meanwhile Magneto ambushes a military transport and frees Juggernaut, Mystique and Multiple Man, during which Mystique blocks a shot of the mutant cure aimed at Magneto, only to be left behind because she is not “one of them” anymore.

Following the closing credits, Dr. Moira MacTaggert checks on a comatose patient who greets her with Xavier’s voice, implying that he has transferred his mind into this new body.

Pandorum

  • Directors: Christian Alvart
  • Producers: Paul W S Anderson, Jeremy Bolt, Robert Kulzer
  • Writers: Travis Milloy
  • Genres: Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Dennis Quaid, Ben Foster

According to Variety, “Pandorum… centers on two crewmen who awaken aboard their spacecraft unaware of their mission or identities and then make a discovery that threatens the survival of mankind.”[2]

Alpha Dog

  • Directors: Nick Cassavetes
  • Producers: Paul Ralph
  • Writers: Nick Cassavetes
  • Genres: Crime, Drama
  • Actors: Emile Hirsch, Justin Timberlake, Bruce Willis, Shawn Hatosy, Olivia Wilde, Sharon Stone, Ben Foster, Amanda Seyfried, Anton Yelchin

Set in November 1999, (but based on events that took place in 2000) Alpha Dog tells the story of Johnny Truelove (Emile Hirsch), a young drug dealer in Claremont, California and his circle of friends, including Frankie Ballenbacher (Justin Timberlake), Tiko “TKO” Martinez (Fernando Vargas) and Elvis Schmidt (Shawn Hatosy). Elvis does household chores for Johnny to pay off a debt and is constantly ridiculed by Johnny and Frankie for being spineless. Johnny’s father, Sonny Truelove (Bruce Willis), supplies his son with the marijuana from which he makes a fortune. Another associate of the gang is Jake Mazursky (Ben Foster), who owes Johnny an $800 drug debt.

After a series of incidents that become increasingly violent, Johnny and his crew drive to Jake’s apartment. After finding their intended target nowhere to be found they stumble upon his brother Zach (Anton Yelchin), and kidnap him. Zach idolizes his cool older brother and resents his overprotective parents, and thus makes very little effort to escape. The crew takes Zach to a number of different locations, including two parties, and he gradually becomes integrated into their circle. Frankie offers him numerous chances to escape, but Zach turns him down, and the two strike up an unlikely friendship. Johnny, however, is becoming increasingly paranoid. He eventually asks Elvis to kill Zach, and Elvis accepts, finally gaining the upper hand on Frankie, who has degraded him throughout the film.

The epilogue shows the after-effects of the crime. Zach’s mother Olivia (Sharon Stone) is interviewed; she talks candidly about her failed suicide attempts and the loss that she has experienced from her son’s murder. All of the gang members are currently serving time: Tiko serving 9 years for the kidnapping, Keith serving at a juvenile facility, until the age of 25, for digging Zach’s grave/2nd degree murder, Frankie serving a life sentence for the kidnapping and Elvis on death row for the kidnapping and murder. Johnny Truelove was the youngest person ever on America’s Most Wanted’s list for 5 years before he was arrested by Interpol in ParaguayAugust 8, 2005 and extradited to California for trial. In real life, Jesse James Hollywood was actually arrested in Brazil on March 8, 2005. If found guilty, he could face the death penalty.