Doomsday

  • Directors: Neil Marshall
  • Producers: Benedict Carver, Steven Paul
  • Writers: Neil Marshall
  • Genres: Action, Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Rhona Mitra, Bob Hoskins, Malcolm McDowell

In 2008, the Reaper virus infects Scotland, resulting in the country being walled off by the British government. A Scottish woman brings her little daughter, injured in one eye but otherwise healthy, to soldiers for rescue. The mother convinces them to airlift her daughter and gives her daughter an envelope. Years pass after the successful quarantine, with the contained population apparently dying off. Decades later, the virus, thought to be contained, reappears in London. Prime Minister Hatcher and his puppeteer Canaris share with domestic security chief Captain Nelson news of survivors in Scotland, believing a cure may have been found. They ask him to send a team into the walled-off area to find medical researcher Dr. Kane, who was last known to be working on a cure when Scotland was quarantined. Nelson chooses Major Eden Sinclair, the little girl now grown up with a cybernetic eye replacing her lost eye, to lead the team.

Inside the wall, while investigating Kane’s last known location, Sinclair and her team are ambushed by plague survivors. As some team members are killed, Sinclair and Dr. Talbot are captured while Sergeant Norton and Dr. Stirling manage to escape. Sinclair is interrogated and tortured by the leader of the survivors, Sol. Dr. Talbot is barbecued alive by the cannibalistic survivors. During the cookout, Sinclair escapes from her cell and comes across Kane’s daughter, Cally, also imprisoned. Freed by Sinclair, Cally leads her to a waiting train manned by her friend Joshua, and Norton and Stirling meet up with them to escape from Sol and his men. The train takes them to the mountains, where they take a shortcut through a hidden military facility to the castle where Kane dwells. They are surrounded by Kane’s medieval soldiers, Joshua is killed, and everyone else surrenders to Kane’s medieval men. Sinclair discovers from Kane that the survivors are naturally immune and that he has been warring with his son, Sol. There is no cure for the virus. Sinclair defeats Kane’s executioner, Telamon, in an open arena within the castle, and her teammates help her escape from the castle. They retreat to the facility and find a Bentley in storage to use as escape, though Norton is killed in the process.

In Scotland, Sinclair, Cally, and Stirling run into Sol’s men on the highway and lead them on a car chase. Sol attempts to hijack the Bentley, but while he is on the roof, Sinclair plows the car through a roadblocked bus, decapitating him. Using a GPS cell phone also taken from the facility, Sinclair summons a government gunship and hands over the cure to Canaris: the immune survivor Cally from whose blood a vaccine can be replicated. Canaris, who arrives with the gunship, shares his plan with Sinclair to withhold the cure for political reasons and invites her back to London. Sinclair chooses to stay and goes to find her old home located at the address on the envelope her mother had left her. Nelson, having been given the envelope by Sinclair before she left on the mission, finds her there. Sinclair provides Nelson a video of her conversation with Canaris, which she recorded with her cybernetic eye. Nelson takes the recording back to London and airs it publicly, exposing Canaris’ plan to hold back the cure. Sinclair returns to the location where she and her team were first attacked by the cannibalistic tribe and, presenting them with Sol’s severed head, is cheered as their new leader.

Hollywoodland

  • Directors: Allen Coulter
  • Producers: Glenn Williamson
  • Writers: Paul Bernbaum
  • Genres: Biography, Crime, Drama, History, Mystery, Thriller
  • Actors: Adrien Brody, Diane Lane, Ben Affleck, Bob Hoskins, Molly Parker, Robin Tunney, Caroline Dhavernas

The movie begins in Beverly Hills on June 16, 1959, at the home of TV star George Reeves with a police investigation underway and Reeves’ lifeless body on his bed. The police rule the death a suicide. The focus of the film then shifts to Louis Simo, a private investigator more interested in generating an income than in devotion to his clients. A man named Chester Sinclair is paying Simo to spy on his wife under the impression that she is cheating on him. Simo simply accepts his money and takes pictures outside of a building where she goes to from time to time. On a visit to see his son, Simo reacts to the boy’s lackluster demeanor and asks his ex-wife Laurie what is wrong. She tells him it’s because the actor who plays Superman has shot himself. Simo learns from a former colleague on the police force that the Reeves suicide has aspects that the cops don’t want to touch. Simo, sensing the potential for making a name for himself, begins investigating the case and notes several apparent conflicts with the official version of Reeves’ death. Simultaneously Simo bickers with Laurie over his failures as a father, particularly now when his son seems so troubled.

The story of Reeves’ quest for fame and success and Simo’s realization of how that quest is paralleled in his own existence causes the detective to reevaluate his life. Simo watches another home movie, this one of himself and Laurie and their son in happier days. The film ends with Simo coming to Laurie’s house wearing a suit and tie, and greeting his son hopefully.

Enemy at the Gates

  • Directors: Jean Jacques Annaud
  • Producers: Jean Jacques Annaud, John D Schofield
  • Writers: William Craig, Jean Jacques Annaud, Alain Godard
  • Genres: Drama, History, Thriller, War
  • Actors: Jude Law, Ed Harris, Rachel Weisz, Joseph Fiennes, Bob Hoskins, Gabriel Thompson

The story focuses on the exploits of Vassili Zaitsev (a character based on the real-life Vasily Zaytsev and played by Jude Law), a Ural peasant who was taught how to hunt and shoot by his grandfather, now fighting on the Eastern Front of World War II. A Red Army soldier, he is traveling in a train’s cattle truck along with other soldiers and civilians, where he notices a young woman (Rachel Weisz) before the train is converted into a military convoy headed for Stalingrad, a city that is now under attack by the German Army. Upon arriving on the city’s outskirts, the soldiers attempt to cross the Volga on unprotected river barges, bombarded by German Stuka dive bombers and artillery, resulting in many casualties. When the survivors disembark on the other side, only half of them are given Mosin-Nagant rifles; while the rest, among them Vassili, are given only a five round clip of ammunition. As their comrades are shot down, the men with the clips are to use the dead men’s rifles. In a hopeless charge against the well-armed Germans, the Red Army soldiers are massacred both by the enemy, and by several Soviet NKVD machine gunners who cut down anyone who attempts to retreat.

Two months later, it is revealed that Stalingrad is liberated and Zaitsev finds Tania in a field hospital, safely evacuated and recovering.

A Christmas Carol

  • Directors: Robert Zemeckis
  • Producers: Jack Rapke, Steve Starkey, Robert Zemeckis
  • Writers: Screenplay, Robert Zemeckis, Story, Charles Dickens
  • Genres: Animation, Drama, Family, Fantasy
  • Actors: Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman, Cary Elwes, Colin Firth, Bob Hoskins, Robin Wright Penn

A Christmas Carol is a Victorian morality tale of an old and bitter miser, Ebenezer Scrooge, who undergoes a profound experience of redemption over the course of one night. Mr. Scrooge is a financier/money-changer who has devoted his life to the accumulation of wealth. He holds anything other than money in contempt, including friendship, love and the Christmas season. But an encounter with the ghostly figure of Jacob Marley sets the stage for a mysterious and magical encounter with three phantasmic beings to help him realize the true magic of Christmas itself.

Brazil

  • Directors: Terry Gilliam
  • Producers: Arnon Milchan, Joseph P Grace
  • Writers: Terry Gilliam, Tom Stoppard, Charles McKeown
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
  • Actors: Jonathan Pryce, Kim Greist, Michael Palin, Robert De Niro, Katherine Helmond, Bob Hoskins, Ian Holm

Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) is a low-level government employee, often daydreaming of saving a beautiful maiden. One day he is assigned the task of trying to rectify an error created by a government mishap, causing the incarceration of a Mr. Harry Buttle instead of the suspected terrorist, Harry Tuttle. When Sam visits Mr. Buttle’s widow, he discovers Jill Layton (Kim Greist), the upstairs neighbor of the Buttles, is the same woman as in his dreams. Jill is trying to help Mrs. Buttle find out what happened to her husband, but has gotten sick of dealing with the bureaucracy. Unbeknownst to her, she is now considered a terrorist friend of Tuttle for trying to report the mistake of Buttle’s arrest in Tuttle’s place to bureaucrats that would not admit such a mistake. When Sam tries to approach her, she is very cautious and avoids giving Sam full details, worried the government will track her down. During this time, Sam comes in contact with the real Harry Tuttle (Robert De Niro), a renegade air conditioning specialist who once worked for the government but left due to the amount of paperwork. Tuttle helps Sam deal with two government workers who are taking their time fixing the broken air conditioning in Sam’s apartment.

However, it is quickly revealed this happy ending is all happening inside Sam’s head when in front of the idyllic scene, two faces come into view staring at the camera, that of Jack and of Mr. Helpmann (Peter Vaughan), who as Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Information is the system’s highest official we see in the film. What they are looking at, as they now realize, is Sam having become insane at Jack’s hands. Jack gives up trying to torture Sam, and Sam is left with a smile on his face, humming “Brazil” as Jack moves Mr. Helpmann in his wheelchair away from the scene.

Hook

  • Directors: Steven Spielberg
  • Producers: Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy, Gerald R Molen, James V Hart, Malia Scotch Marmo, Bruce Cohen
  • Writers: Screenplay, James V Hart, Malia Scotch Marmo, Screen Story, James V Hart, Nick Castle, Characters, J M Barrie
  • Genres: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
  • Actors: Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, Julia Roberts, Bob Hoskins, Charlie Korsmo, Amber Scott

Years ago, Peter Pan left Neverland and married Wendy Darling’s granddaughter Moira. As corporate lawyer Peter Banning, he has entirely forgotten his childhood as Peter Pan. He’s successful, but never has time for his wife Moira and children, Jack and Maggie. The family travels to London to visit Wendy, now very old and being honored for her work caring for orphans. Jack and Maggie are kidnapped by Captain Hook, who survived his run-in with the crocodile. Wendy tries to tell Peter of his past, but he does not believe her.

Tinker Bell visits Peter that night, taking him to Neverland. He wakes up among the pirates; then, observing Hook boasting of kidnapping Peter’s children to use as bait, Peter reveals himself. Hook is disgusted at his nemesis’ ineffectual condition. Hook’s henchman Smee concludes that being away from Neverland for so long has wiped his memory clean of the past. Hook is ready to have Peter and his children killed, but Tinker Bell convinces him into giving Peter three days to train for a duel. She takes Peter to the Lost Boys, led by Rufio, who initially do not believe he’s Peter Pan. Tinker Bell convinces them that he is Pan, and they re-train him. Peter is hampered by his inability to remember being a boy or how to fly. At the same time Hook decides to “teach” Peter’s children to love him as a means of demoralizing Peter when the day comes. Although Maggie does not fall for the ploy, the often-overlooked Jack listens, and with Hook cheering him on at a pirate baseball game (as his father had failed to do), he comes to accept Hook as a father figure.

With the help of Tinker Bell becoming human-sized and kissing him, Peter manages to find his flight-enabling “happy thought”: his love for Moira and becoming a father, the reasons he left Neverland. Peter leads the Lost Boys into battle with the pirates. Rufio takes on Hook while Peter rescues his son and daughter. Rufio dies, his last words telling Peter that he wishes he had a father like him. Jack is finally convinced that his father cares for him, and pleads to go home. Realizing that Hook will not stop and that he will return to threaten his family time and again, Peter resumes the duel. It ends when the giant crocodile falls down from his framework and swallows Hook. Peter passes on his sword and leadership to the biggest of the Lost Boys, Thud Butt, and flies back to London with his children. He awakens in his regular clothes at the famous statue of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, and sees Tinker Bell one last time. He assures her that he still believes in fairies, and she leaves. He returns to his family, finally remembering who he is, and appreciating them all as he should.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit

  • Directors: Robert Zemeckis
  • Producers: Steven Spielberg, Frank Marshall, Robert Watts, Kathleen Kennedy
  • Writers: Novel, Gary K Wolf, Screenplay, Jeffrey Price and Peter S Seaman
  • Genres: Animation, Comedy, Crime, Family, Fantasy, Mystery
  • Actors: Bob Hoskins, Charles Fleischer, Christopher Lloyd, Kathleen Turner, Joanna Cassidy

In 1947, Los Angeles, California, Toons commonly interact with the Hollywood studio system and live in a section of the city known as Toontown. Roger Rabbit is the star of “Maroon Cartoon” animated short subjects, but he has trouble following the director’s commands, delaying the production. Rumours are going about that Roger’s wife Jessica has a sugar daddy and studio head R.K. Maroon hires private investigator Eddie Valiant to look into the matter. Eddie, whose brother Teddy was killed by a Toon five years before, reluctantly takes the job. He discovers that the buxom Jessica is “cheating” on Roger by literally playing pattycake with Marvin Acme, owner of the Acme Corporation and Toontown. Eddie reveals photographic evidence to Roger, who sinks into depression. Marvin Acme is found murdered the next day, and Roger becomes the prime suspect.

At the crime scene, Eddie is met by Judge Doom of the Toontown District Superior Court and his Toon Patrol weasel henchmen. Doom is eager to use “The Dip”, a mixture of chemicals that can dissolve any Toon character on contact, on Roger once he can be found. Eddie encounters Baby Herman, Roger’s co-star, who swears that Roger is innocent and that Acme’s will, which would have left Toontown to the Toons, has gone missing; if the will is not found by midnight, Toontown could be sold at a public auction. Roger himself turns up at Eddie’s office and pleads his innocence. Eddie begins to investigate the case deeper with his on-off girlfriend Dolores and a Toon taxicab named Benny while trying to keep Roger hidden from the Toon Patrol. Eddie discovers that Jessica was forced by Maroon to get close to Acme or else he would have ruined Roger’s career. Maroon himself admits that he was forced into blackmail by another person, but before he can reveal who it was to Eddie, he is fatally shot by an unknown shooter.

Eddie and Doom then fight, using assorted Toon props found within the factory, until Eddie is able to run Doom over with a steamroller. The crushing does not kill Doom; instead, Doom reveals himself to be a Toon, the same one that killed Eddie’s brother. Eddie manages to open the drain on the Dip sprayer, showering Doom with the mixture and dissolving him. Eddie frees Roger and Jessica, their relationship having been mended, while the Dip sprayer harmlessly crashes through the warehouse wall into Toontown and immediately smashed by a Toon train. As numerous Toons enter the warehouse to see what the commotion is, Eddie discovers Acme’s will. It was an apparent blank piece of paper that Acme had given to Jessica that Roger later wrote a love poem to his wife on, but the will itself was written in disappearing/reappearing ink. With the will in hand, the Toons celebrate the ownership of Toontown and sing “Smile, Darn Ya, Smile” while Roger and Jessica as well as Eddie and Dolores rekindle their relationships.