Dinner for Schmucks

  • Directors: Jay Roach
  • Producers: Walter F Parkes, Laurie MacDonald, Jay Roach
  • Writers: David Guion, Michael Handelman, Source material, Francis Veber
  • Genres: Comedy
  • Actors: Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Jemaine Clement, Jeff Dunham, Bruce Greenwood, Ron Livingston

Tim (Rudd) is a rising executive who “succeeds” in finding the perfect guest, IRS employee Barry (Carell), for his boss’s monthly event, a so-called “dinner for idiots,” which offers certain advantages to the exec who shows up with the biggest buffoon.

The Core

  • Directors: Jon Amiel
  • Producers:
  • Writers: Cooper Layne, John Rogers
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Aaron Eckhart, Delroy Lindo, Hilary Swank, DJ Qualls, Bruce Greenwood, Stanley Tucci

Several worldwide events, such as pigeons losing their ability to navigate in Trafalgar Square, and the computers on the Space Shuttle Endeavour sending it far off course and forcing the pilots to land in the Los Angeles River basin, cause leading geology experts Drs. Josh Keyes (Aaron Eckhart), Serge Leveque (Tchéky Karyo), and Conrad Zimsky (Stanley Tucci) to surmise that that rotation of Earth’s molten core is slowing down, leading eventually to the collapse of the electromagnetic field which will expose the surface to the Sun’s lethal radiation. The three develop a top-secret plan with the United States government to bore into the Earth’s core and plant a series of nuclear charges at precise points to restart the core’s motion and restore the field. They design a multi-compartment, snake-like vessel called the Virgil with the help of Ed “Braz” Brazzelton (Delroy Lindo), who has developed both a means of quickly boring through rock using an array of powerful lasers, and a material called “unobtainium” for its hull that can withstand the high pressures within the core. Keyes develops a means of using MRI-like technology to help visualize their way through solid rock. Keyes also enlists the help of a young computer hacker, Theodore Donald “Rat” Finch (DJ Qualls), to help with communications between the vessel and the surface, as well as to keep any word of the potential global disaster off the Internet for fear of causing a worldwide panic.

Keyes and Childs continue to use the power from the ship’s hull to return to the surface, but break through the crust under water, where the unobtainium is unable to provide sufficient energy to power the ship or their communications, and believe themselves lost. However, the vessel is found by Finch and the others by tracking whalesong from a nearby pod circling the vessel. After their recovery, Keyes asks Finch to release full information of Project DESTINI and of their mission to the Internet, which reveals the truth to all, and ensures that Iverson, Leveque, Brazzelton and Zimsky are not forgotten, but rather lauded as heroes.

Deja Vu

  • Directors: Tony Scott
  • Producers: Jerry Bruckheimer
  • Writers: Bill Marsilii, Terry Rossio 1
  • Genres: Action, Romance, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Denzel Washington, Val Kilmer, Paula Patton, Bruce Greenwood, Adam Goldberg, Jim Caviezel

On Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras in New Orleans, a ferry (the “Sen. Alvin T. Stumpf”) is carrying several hundred U.S. Navy sailors and their families from the Algiers dock to a celebration, when it explodes and sinks into the river, killing at least 543 on board. Agent Doug Carlin (Denzel Washington) from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is sent to investigate the explosion and discovers evidence that the attack was by a domestic terrorist. He meets with the investigating police officers and FBI Agent Paul Pryzwarra (Val Kilmer), letting them know of his findings. Back at his office, Doug learns about a charred body pulled from the river, that of a Claire Kuchever (Paula Patton). However, unlike the other bodies found in the river, this one was discovered before the explosion.

After Pryzwarra is impressed with Doug’s detective expertise, he convinces him to join a newly formed government-funded detective unit whose first case is to investigate the explosion. With a team led by scientist Dr. Alexander Denny (Adam Goldberg), they investigate the events leading up to the explosion by using a new program called “Snow White”, which enables them to look into the past (4 days, 6 hours, 3 minutes, 45 seconds) in detail. The catch is, they can only see the events once – there is no fast forwarding or rewinding, although they can record what they see. Convinced that Claire is a vital link to the case, Doug persuades the team to focus on her. Sure enough, while investigating Claire’s past through “Snow White”, eventually the bomber calls her to try and purchase her car to use to blow up the ferry. Although he decides to not purchase her car, during the phone call, the “Snow White” team is able to discover an exact time and place where they know the terrorist will be.

After tending to a bullet wound at Claire’s house, Doug goes to the ferry where, with Claire’s help, he kills Carroll, but is unable to disarm the bomb. To save everyone on the ferry, Doug has Claire drive the SUV with the bomb off the ferry into the water just before it explodes. Claire is able to escape, but Doug is unable to get out before the bomb explodes and dies in the underwater explosion. As Claire mourns Doug’s death, she is approached by another Doug Carlin, the one from the present, who consoles her. As they drive off, the Beach Boys’ song, “Don’t Worry Baby”, which had played at the beginning of the film, plays on the radio.

Double Jeopardy

  • Directors: Bruce Beresford
  • Producers: Leonard Goldberg
  • Writers: David Weisberg, Douglas Cook
  • Genres: Thriller, Drama, Mystery, Crime
  • Actors: Tommy Lee Jones, Ashley Judd, Bruce Greenwood

Nick Parsons (Bruce Greenwood) and his wife Elizabeth (Ashley Judd), wealthy residents of Whidbey Island, borrow a friend’s yacht and set off sailing for the weekend. After becoming drunk, Libby falls asleep and wakes up to find her husband missing and blood all over her hands, clothes, and the boat’s floors. A Coast Guard vessel appears and Libby is spotted holding a bloody knife she found lying on the deck. She is apprehended, tried, and convicted for the murder of her husband.

Libby asks her best friend, Angela Green, to look after her son Matty for the duration of her prison sentence. When talking with Matty during a phone call from prison, she hears him exclaim “Daddy!” right before the line goes dead. Libby realizes that Nick could still be alive and living with their son and attempts to get some investigative help. Distraught by the futility of these attempts, she is consoled by a fellow inmate who suggests that she serve her sentence and wait for parole, upon which time she could track down and kill Nick without consequences due to the legal doctrine of double jeopardy.

Libby is paroled after six years and begins searching for Nick and Matty while living in a halfway house under the supervision of Travis Lehman (Tommy Lee Jones), a parole officer. Libby violates her curfew and is caught breaking into a building to try and get Angela’s records but manages to escape from Travis and continue her search. Recognizing an art work in a newspaper photo and tracing it through a dealer’s database leads her to New Orleans, where she finds Nick living under an assumed name. Libby confronts him during a party at his hotel and demands he return Matty to her in exchange for her silence about his real identity.

Nick agrees to bring Matty to a meeting in a cemetery. However, Nick uses a decoy boy to distract Libby, knocks her unconscious and locks her in a mausoleum. Libby wakes up and manages to escape. Meanwhile, Travis has become suspicious of Nick’s death and begins to believe Libby. The two team up to try and send Nick to prison and argue with him in his office. In the ensuing melee, Nick shoots Travis but is shot and killed by Libby. Travis promises to help Libby get fully pardoned, as he now has evidence that proves her innocence. Libby and Travis then travel to Matty’s boarding school and mother and son are reunited.

I Robot

  • Directors: Alex Proyas
  • Producers: John Davis, Topher Dow, Wyck Godfrey, Laurence Mark, Will Smith
  • Writers: Novel, Isaac Asimov, Screenplay, Jeff Vintar, Akiva Goldsman, Hillary Seitz
  • Genres: Action, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Will Smith, Bridget Moynahan, Bruce Greenwood, James Cromwell, Chi McBride, Alan Tudyk, Shia LaBeouf

In the year 2035, robots are commonplace, doing all forms of jobs from factory work to mail delivery. On the day before the release of the new Nestor Class 5 (NS-5) Chicago Homicide Detective Del Spooner receives a call that his old friend Doctor Alfred Lanning (James Cromwell), inventor of the Three Laws of Robotics and co-founder of U.S. Robotics (USR), had been found dead. Surveillance footage initially suggest Lanning’s death is a suicide. However, Spooner, who has an intense distrust of robots, believes Lanning was murdered. With the help of Doctor Susan Calvin, he searches Lanning’s office where he finds an NS-5 and captures it after it fails to obey Doctor Calvin’s commands. During interrogation, the robot, who calls himself Sonny (Alan Tudyk), tells Spooner that he was built by Doctor Lanning himself and insists, when accused by Spooner, that he didn’t kill Lanning, visibly angered. Sonny also tells Spooner that he is capable of sleep and having dreams, but before Spooner can get any more information, USR CEO Lawrence Robertson (Bruce Greenwood) arrives with his lawyers and takes custody of Sonny.

After Spooner’s Commanding Officer John Bergin (Chi McBride) insists that the death was a suicide and that Spooner is getting nowhere in his investigation, Spooner decides to search Lanning’s home. As Spooner searches the house, a demolition robot with a command to demolish the house the next morning activates and destroys the house with Spooner inside. He manages to get out, but is unable to convince Doctor Calvin of his suspicions. On his way home, Spooner is approached by two USR trucks and attacked by the NS-5s inside, causing an accident. Spooner fends off an NS-5 with his cybernetic left arm, but when the police arrive, the NS-5 destroys itself while other robots clean up the remains of the accident. Spooner is unable to convince Bergin of the truth and is relieved of duty.

After escaping Robertson’s office with Sonny’s help, Spooner decide to use nanites designed to decommission robots to destroy VIKI. Sonny is sent to get them, since his dense alloy can withstand the force field protecting the nanites. Meanwhile, Calvin’s attempt to open the hatch to VIKI’s mainframe is thwarted by more NS-5s. When Sonny arrives, Spooner orders Sonny to give him the nanites and rescue Doctor Calvin. Spooner successfully destroys VIKI, returning the NS-5s to normal. Concluding that Doctor Lanning ordered Sonny to kill him after designing Sonny as a safeguard against the coming rebellion, Spooner dismisses the charges against Sonny under the pretense that murder can only happen between two humans.