Friday Night Lights

  • Directors: Peter Berg
  • Producers: Brian Grazer
  • Writers: H G Bissinger, Peter Berg, David Aaron Cohen
  • Genres: Action, Drama, Sport
  • Actors: Billy Bob Thornton, Lucas Black, Garrett Hedlund, Derek Luke, Jay Hernandez, Tim McGraw

Bissinger followed the team for the entire 1988 season, which culminated in a loss in the State semi-finals against Carter High School from Dallas, who eventually went on to win the championship game but would have their title stripped for playing an ineligible player. However, the book also deals with — or alludes to — a number of secondary political and social issues existing in Odessa, all of which share ties to the Permian Panthers football team. These include socioeconomic disparity; racism; segregation (and desegregation); and poverty.

The coach, Gary Gaines (Billy Bob Thornton), is constantly on the hot seat. Tied into the successes and failure of the coach and the team in general are the conflicts the players struggle with on and off the gridiron. The coach overuses his star player, running back James “Boobie” Miles (Derek Luke), who gets seriously injured (Miles tore his ACL, missed the playoffs, and had a limp for the rest of his life). When this happens, sports radios are flooded with calls for his resignation. Miles’ once-arrogant attitude vanishes as he sees his once promising chance of playing big-time college football disappear and starts to question his future after he notices his not-so promising academic standing. Quarterback Mike Winchell (Lucas Black) struggles with being able to play consistently, and his inability to make decisions for himself. Fullback Don Billingsley (Garrett Hedlund) has a rocky relationship with his father (Tim McGraw), who won a state championship at Permian and carries on a feud with his son for not performing on the level he’d like to see, despite the fact that Don doesn’t do anything to light his father’s temper. Third-string running back Chris Comer (Lee Thompson Young), who takes the spot of Miles after his injury, attempts to get rid of his fear of being hit and getting injured, especially when the player who last occupied his spot suffered a season ending injury. His obsession with fame and recognition also comes at a high price that he is at first not ready to play. Safety Brian Chavez (Jay Hernandez) is easily the smartest player on the team, and the most confident in his future after high school football. One of the themes of the movie depicts the coach as a father-type figure for the players.

Coach Gaines triumphs and struggles with winning football games and connecting with his players a number of times during their tremulous season. His job depends on the Panthers making the playoffs, and his team is in a three-way tie with two other teams at the end of the regular season. Under Texas rules for ties, the tiebreaker is a coin-toss. In an effort to prevent a riot, the location of the coin-toss is kept under wraps. Permian gets a spot. They make it to the finals, where they narrowly lose to a powerhouse Dallas high school team.The movie ends with the coach removing the departing seniors from the depth chart on his wall. Notably, the depth chart has “Case” at quarterback. This refers to Permian’s real-life backup quarterback in 1988, Stoney Case, who would go on to lead Permian, along with Chris Comer, to the 5A state title the following year, and still later made it to the NFL. The final scene consists of Winchell throwing a football to a bunch of pee-wees playing pick-up football before leaving with Billingsley and Chavez.

Bad Santa

  • Directors: Terry Zwigoff
  • Producers: John Cameron, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein
  • Writers: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa, uncredited, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, Terry Zwigoff
  • Genres: Comedy, Crime, Drama
  • Actors: Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Cox, Brett Kelly, Lauren Graham, Lauren Tom, with John Ritter, and Bernie Mac

The film begins in a bar on a December night in Milwaukee, where the viewer is introduced to Willie Stokes (Billy Bob Thornton), a bitter, lonely alcoholic. Willie works the holiday seasons as a mall Santa along with his dwarf friend, Marcus (Tony Cox), who works as Santa’s elf. Every Christmas Eve, the two of them disable the security alarm after the mall closes and rob the mall safe; afterwards, Marcus returns to living with his wife (who Willie finds very ugly and annoying), Lois (Lauren Tom), while Willie goes to Miami and spends all his money on booze, a resort condo, and other purely hedonistic pursuits.

At the new mall they plan to steal from, Willie’s alcoholic rants arouse the suspicion of mall manager Bob Chipeska (John Ritter), who asks security chief Gin (Bernie Mac) to investigate. Meanwhile, Willie meets bartender Sue (Lauren Graham), and they begin a relationship. He also meets a pudgy, preteen boy, whom he nicknames the Kid (Brett Kelly), during their visit in the mall. When he leaves the bar and is confronted by a hostile man (Ajay Naidu), the Kid stops the man from beating up (or possibly raped due to the man turning him around) Willie after the guy falsely accuses Willie of being gay. A lonely, unpopular boy, the Kid lives with his senile grandmother (Cloris Leachman) who only says “Roger, you’re home! Let me fix you some sandwiches”; his mother is dead and his father is in prison for embezzlement. After taking the Kid home to the Kid’s father’s mansion, Willie breaks into the house safe, takes all the money, “borrows” his father’s BMW, and winds up spending the money on more booze.

In the final scene, Thurman wears a shirt that Willie sent him, which says on the back, “Shit happens when you party naked,” together with his original present. When Thurman goes out for a bike ride, the head bully appears and starts to taunt Thurman by threatening to steal his bike. But Thurman kicks him in the groin and rides off giving the bully the middle finger.

Sling Blade

  • Directors: Billy Bob Thornton
  • Producers: Larry Meistrich, David L Bushell, Brandon Rosser
  • Writers: Billy Bob Thornton
  • Genres: Drama
  • Actors: Billy Bob Thornton, Dwight Yoakam, J T Walsh, John Ritter, Lucas Black, Natalie Canerday

Karl Childers (Thornton) is a mentally challenged man who has been in the custody of the state mental hospital since the age of 12, having killed his mother and her lover.

Although thoroughly “institutionalized”, Karl is deemed fit to be released into a world “too big” for him. Prior to his release, he is interviewed by a local school newspaper reporter to whom he recalls in detail the brutal murder of his mother and her lover with a kaiser blade (noting “some folks call it a sling blade”). Karl claims to have killed the boy for supposedly raping his mother. When he found out his mother was a willing participant, he killed her too.

Having a knack for small engine repair, Karl eventually gets a job at a local lawnmower repair shop. Not long after, he befriends Frank (Lucas Black). Karl shares with Frank some of the details of his past, including the killings. Frank reveals that his father was killed, leaving him & his mother on their own (he later admits that he lied, and that his father committed suicide). Frank introduces Karl to his mother Linda (Natalie Canerday), as well as her gay friend Vaughan (John Ritter). Despite Vaughan’s concerns, Linda allows Karl to move into her garage. This does not sit well with Linda’s abusive boyfriend Doyle (Dwight Yoakam).

Doyle becomes increasingly abusive with Karl and Frank, leading to a drunken outburst and physical confrontation with Frank. Though Linda initially kicks Doyle out of the house, she later reconciles with him. After Doyle confronts Karl and Frank again, Karl begins to realize that he is the only one who can bring about a change and spare Frank and his mother a grim fate. In premeditated fashion, Karl tells Frank to spend that night at Vaughan’s, and asks Vaughan to pick up Linda. Later that evening, Karl returns to Linda’s house. After asking Doyle how to reach the police, he promptly kills him with a lawnmower blade, turns himself in, and is placed back in the state mental hospital.

Sling Blade

  • Directors: Billy Bob Thornton
  • Producers: Larry Meistrich, David L Bushell, Brandon Rosser
  • Writers: Billy Bob Thornton
  • Genres: Drama
  • Actors: Billy Bob Thornton, Dwight Yoakam, J T Walsh, John Ritter, Lucas Black, Natalie Canerday

Karl Childers (Thornton) is a mentally challenged man who has been in the custody of the state mental hospital since the age of 12, having killed his mother and her lover.

Although thoroughly “institutionalized”, Karl is deemed fit to be released into a world “too big” for him. Prior to his release, he is interviewed by a local school newspaper reporter to whom he recalls in detail the brutal murder of his mother and her lover with a kaiser blade (noting “some folks call it a sling blade”). Karl claims to have killed the boy for supposedly raping his mother. When he found out his mother was a willing participant, he killed her too.

Having a knack for small engine repair, Karl eventually gets a job at a local lawnmower repair shop. Not long after, he befriends Frank (Lucas Black). Karl shares with Frank some of the details of his past, including the killings. Frank reveals that his father was killed, leaving him & his mother on their own (he later admits that he lied, and that his father committed suicide). Frank introduces Karl to his mother Linda (Natalie Canerday), as well as her gay friend Vaughan (John Ritter). Despite Vaughan’s concerns, Linda allows Karl to move into her garage. This does not sit well with Linda’s abusive boyfriend Doyle (Dwight Yoakam).

Doyle becomes increasingly abusive with Karl and Frank, leading to a drunken outburst and physical confrontation with Frank. Though Linda initially kicks Doyle out of the house, she later reconciles with him. After Doyle confronts Karl and Frank again, Karl begins to realize that he is the only one who can bring about a change and spare Frank and his mother a grim fate. In premeditated fashion, Karl tells Frank to spend that night at Vaughan’s, and asks Vaughan to pick up Linda. Later that evening, Karl returns to Linda’s house. After asking Doyle how to reach the police, he promptly kills him with a lawnmower blade, turns himself in, and is placed back in the state mental hospital.

Eagle Eye

  • Directors: D J Caruso
  • Producers: Steven Spielberg, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Pat Crowley, Ed McDonnell
  • Writers: Dan McDermott, John Glenn, Travis Wright, Hillary Seitz
  • Genres: Action, Crime, Mystery, Thriller
  • Actors: Shia LaBeouf, Michelle Monaghan, Billy Bob Thornton, Rosario Dawson, Michael Chiklis

The United States armed forces have a lead on a suspected terrorist in the Middle East, but as the man is a recluse, getting a positive ID proves difficult, and the DOD’s computer system recommends that the mission be aborted. The Secretary of Defense (Michael Chiklis) agrees with the abort recommendation, but the President orders the mission be carried out anyway. This turns into a political backlash when all those killed turn out to be civilians, and retaliatory bombings are carried out in response.

Jerry Shaw (Shia LaBeouf) is a Stanford University dropout who lacks direction and faces financial difficulty. He finds out his twin brother Ethan, an Air Force lieutenant, is dead. Following the funeral in January 2009, he goes to withdraw some money from an ATM and is surprised to see that he has $751,000 in his account. When he returns home, he finds his apartment filled with a large amount of weapons, explosives, and forged documents. He receives a phone call from an unknown woman, who explains that the FBI is about to apprehend him in thirty seconds and that he must escape.

Not believing her, he is caught by the FBI, and is sent to an interrogation room where he meets Special Agent Thomas Morgan (Billy Bob Thornton). When Morgan leaves the room to meet with Air Force Office of Special Investigations Special Agent Zoe Perez (Rosario Dawson), the unknown woman arranges Jerry’s escape over a phone and has him join up with single mother Rachel Holloman (Michelle Monaghan). Rachel is being coerced by the unknown woman into assisting Jerry, by threatening to kill her son, Sam, a trumpet player on his way to Washington, D.C. from Chicago for a band recital.

In a hearing after the chaos Ariia caused, the Secretary of Defense urges that another supercomputer should not be built: “sometimes the very measures we put into place to safeguard our liberty become threats to liberty itself.” Ethan posthumously receives the Medal of Honor while Jerry, injured but alive and well, receives the Congressional Gold Medal. The film ends with Jerry attending Sam’s birthday party. Rachel thanks him for attending, which her ex-husband had never done, and kisses him on the cheek. She then tells Jerry that she’s glad he’s there. He then responds, “Me too.”

Armageddon

  • Directors: Michael Bay
  • Producers: Michael Bay, Jerry Bruckheimer, Gale Anne Hurd
  • Writers: Screenplay, Jonathan Hensleigh, J J Abrams, Story, Robert Roy Pool, Jonathan Hensleigh, Adaptation, Tony Gilroy, Shane Salerno
  • Genres: Action, Romance, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, Liv Tyler, Ben Affleck, Will Patton, Peter Stormare, Keith David, Owen Wilson, William Fichtner, Jessica Steen, Jason Isaacs, Ken Campbell, Grayson McCouch, Clark Brolly, Marshall R Teague, Chris Ellis, Eddie Griffin, John Mahon, Steve Buscemi, Michael Clarke Duncan

After several meteoroids destroy the Space Shuttle Atlantis and bombard New York City, NASA discovers that an asteroid the size of Texas is on a direct collision course with Earth and will likely wipe out all life on the Earth and destroy it. It is not publicly revealed that it will hit the Earth within 18 days. The scientists at NASA devise a plan to activate a nuclear bomb at a precise point under the asteroid’s surface which will split it in two and cause it to miss the Earth. NASA locates the best oil driller on the planet, Harry Stamper, to get advice. Harry and Grace, his daughter, are taken to NASA and Dan Truman, the head of NASA, informs him of the situation. Harry immediately recognizes that he and his crew must accompany the astronauts on the mission to ensure the job is done properly. After Harry’s crew is collected from across the country and NASA acquiesces to their demands, they are put through a training program and outfit a drilling rig with the proper equipment for the job.

When a meteorite strikes Shanghai, China, destroying the city and causing a tsunami, around 50,000 people die. At this point, the pending mission is revealed to the world. Two specially designed military shuttles, Freedom and Independence are launched simultaneously and shortly dock at a Russian space station (crewed by Lev Andropov) to refuel. AJ encounters a problem stopping the pumps after the ships tanks are full and the station explodes. The crews and Lev Andropov escape. The two shuttles perform a high G-force slingshot procedure around the Moon to land on the backside of the asteroid. However, as they enter the trailing debris of the asteroid, the Independence is struck and crash lands on the asteroid. The Freedom manages to land on the surface but misses the target landing zone. They land on an area of hard iron which will be difficult to drill through. The Freedom team try to drill but suffer several setbacks and losses due to the unexpected conditions. It is revealed that if the deadline is missed, Colonel Sharpe would activate the nuclear device on the surface. However, a surface explosion would not be sufficient to divert the asteroid from hitting the Earth. Harry is able to convince Colonel Sharpe to help them attempt to finish the job. During this time, another meteorite wipes out much of Paris, France.

All seems lost when their drilling machine is blasted off the asteroid by a gas vent, but the Freedom crew learns that the other team managed to survive the crash thanks to Lev Andropov and have driven the second drilling machine to the drilling site. Harry puts AJ in charge of finishing the drilling and they successfully drill to the necessary depth. The team lowers the bomb into the hole, but find that they can not detonate remotely after a rock storm damages the bomb’s trigger, as well as killing one of the crew members. Truman tells the team that someone is going to have to stay behind to activate the bomb to destroy the asteroid. AJ is picked to detonate the bomb remotely after drawing straws, but Harry disables his air supply and takes his place. As the shuttle prepares to depart, Harry sends a final message to his daughter and gives his full support for her to marry AJ. Harry manages to activate the bomb moments before the critical deadline, and the asteroid halves successfully miss the Earth. The remaining crew of the Freedom return to Earth as heroes, AJ reuniting tearfully with Grace while the others are met by their loved ones. Grace and AJ soon marry, while Harry and their lost crew members are memorialized.

The Informers

  • Directors: Gregor Jordan
  • Producers: Marco Weber
  • Writers: Bret Easton Ellis, Nicholas Jarecki, Novel, Bret Easton Ellis
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Billy Bob Thornton, Winona Ryder, Kim Basinger, Mickey Rourke, Brad Renfro, Amber Heard

An article published by Reuters described the story as “seven stories taking course during a week in the life of movie executives, rock stars, a vampire and other morally challenged characters”, set in 1980s Los Angeles.[2] The supernatural content will not be included in the final film, however.[3]

Mononoke-hime

  • Directors: Hayao Miyazaki
  • Producers: Toshio Suzuki
  • Writers: Hayao Miyazaki, Neil Gaiman
  • Genres: Animation, Action, Adventure, Fantasy
  • Actors: Yoji Matsuda, Yuriko Ishida, Kaoru Kobayashi, Billy Crudup, Claire Danes, Minnie Driver, Billy Bob Thornton

Set in feudal Japan, a time of upheaval of samurai and isolated villages, Princess Mononoke follows the journey of the last Emishi prince,[2] Ashitaka, and his attempts to make peace between the human settlement, Irontown (Tataraba in the original Japanese), and the creatures living in the forest that surrounds it.

The film begins with Ashitaka receiving a curse during a battle with a demonic giant boar called Nago which is threatening to destroy his village. During the fight, Ashitaka receives a wound on his right arm; the cursed wound will spread to the rest of his body and eventually kill him. Ashitaka resolves to journey to the boar’s origin, the lands to the West, and find a cure for the curse. He cuts his hair, signifying his permanent departure from his village,[3] and rides out with his steed Yakul, his loyal red elk. On his journey, Ashitaka passes by a village suffering a samurai attack. Some samurai attack him, and Ashitaka defeats them with the supernatural strength of his cursed arm. In a nearby town he meets Jigo, a wandering monk impressed by his feats of arm, who informs Ashitaka that the god of the forest in the mountains of the west may be able to help him.

In the ensuing battle, Irontown successfully sets a trap for the boars, devastating their army. Jigo’s hunters also succeed in corrupting Okkoto in the same way as Nago, and San becomes entangled in Okkoto’s demonic tentacles. Moro, also badly wounded, saves San, and then is killed, along with Okkoto, by the Forest Spirit, in mercy for their suffering. Eboshi then succeeds in shooting off the Forest Spirit’s head while it is transforming into the night-walker. Jigo collects the head while the body is transformed into a god of death covering the surrounding land with a lethal black ooze that completely destroys all life and turns the land barren. The hunters scatter before the ooze and the population of Irontown moves into the surrounding lake, leaving Irontown to destruction. Ashitaka and San manage to take the head from Jigo and return it to the Forest Spirit. It collapses into the lake and the land becomes green again. Ashitaka and San part, vowing to see each other occasionally while Ashitaka, finally freed of his curse, helps rebuild Irontown. Eboshi survives, albeit without an arm, and vows to rebuild Irontown along more harmonious lines. The film ends with a kodama appearing in the rejuvenated forest.