The Mask of Zorro

  • Directors: Martin Campbell
  • Producers: David Foster, Doug Claybourne, Executive Producers, Steven Spielberg, Walter F Parkes
  • Writers: Screenplay, John Eskow, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Story, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Randall Jahnson, Characters, Johnston McCulley
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Romance, Western
  • Actors: Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta Jones, Stuart Wilson, Matt Letscher

In 1821, the Mexican Army is on the verge of liberating its country from Spanish colonial rule. In Las Californias the ruthless Spanish Governor, Don Rafael Montero, is about to be overthrown. In a final effort to trap his nemesis, the masked swordsman Zorro (Anthony Hopkins), Montero prepares to execute three innocent townspeople. With assistance from two orphan brothers, Joaquin and Alejandro Murrieta, Zorro releases the prisoners. Zorro rewards the Murrieta brothers with a medallion he wears, and escapes on his horse, Toronado, after cutting a “Z” into Montero’s neck as a warning.

Montero deduces that Zorro is really Don Diego de la Vega, a Spanish nobleman married to Esperanza, the woman Montero loved. Attempting to arrest Diego, a fight ensues. Esperanza is killed while trying to protect Diego. Diego’s house is burned and his infant daughter, Eléna, is taken by Montero to be raised as his own. Diego is imprisoned.

Twenty years later Montero returns to California, looking for Diego in the old prison. Although de La Vega is there, Montero does not recognize him, while several prisoners claim to be Zorro. Diego escapes, intent on killing Montero at a public ceremony for Montero’s return. Diego restrains himself when he sees Eléna (Catherine Zeta-Jones), now a beautiful young lady. Eléna is presented with a bouquet of flowers – Romagnas, native to California – the scent of which she recognizes, although she believes she has never been to California.

The one moment that captured all the advertising and viewer’s attention: When Eléna (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is undressed by the slashing sword of Mexican thief Alejandro Murrieta/Zorro (Antonio Banderas); the view of her opened dress caused his sword blade to pop up, followed by his taking her for a sensuous kiss.[1][2] The scene has been called one of the most erotic film moments of the 1990s.[3][4] In fact, both Catherine Zeta-Jones and Antonio Banderas have admitted to sexual arousal during the filming of this scene,[5] Banderas being aroused by Zeta-Jones’s beauty,[5] and Zeta-Jones being aroused by the very fact that Banderas could strip her by using only his sword and not his hands.[5]

Ocean s Twelve

  • Directors: Steven Soderbergh
  • Producers: Jerry Weintraub
  • Writers: George Nolfi
  • Genres: Comedy, Crime, Thriller
  • Actors: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Julia Roberts, Catherine Zeta Jones, Bernie Mac, Don Cheadle, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Vincent Cassel, Eddie Jemison, Shaobo Qin, Carl Reiner, Elliott Gould

Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) rounds up the eleven members of Danny Ocean’s (George Clooney) gang, and threatens them in order to force them to pay back the $160 million that they stole from his Vegas casino from their previous heist, along with $38 million in interest, within two weeks. Collectively, the group is short by nearly half, and are forced to stage another heist to collect the funds. The group opts for a European target as they are too well recognized in the United States. For their first target, recommended by an informant named Matsui (Robbie Coltrane) the team goes after the world’s oldest stock certificate issued by the Dutch East India Company in 1602. Kept in a private home in Amsterdam, the value would not be enough to settle the debt, but sufficient to extend their deadline. While the group is able to breach the security of the house, including physically lifting the house to gain the correct line of sight to deactivate the security codes, they find they have been beaten by another master thief, François Toulour, also known as “The Night Fox” (Vincent Cassel). Toulour invites Danny to his home, and reveals that it was he that tipped off Terry on Danny’s casino heist, due to being upset that his mentor Gaspar LeMarc (Albert Finney) has believed Danny was the world’s best thief. Toulour challenges Danny to see who could first steal the Coronation Egg within the week, offering to pay off Terry’s debt if Danny should win.

LeMarc reveals in a meeting with Danny and Rusty that he had been playing a long con. LeMarc wanted to humiliate Toulour by taunting him into the bet with Danny, as well as to regain possession of the Egg that he had stolen himself long ago, only relinquishing it due to his wife’s nagging. More importantly, LeMarc wanted to be reunited with his daughter, revealed to be Lahiri, which could only be done after Danny’s crew was extradited. With Rusty’s help, Lahiri is flown in to an emotional meeting with her father. The group pays the money back to Terry, though under watch by Toulour, and then enjoy a private poker session, with Lahiri rejoining with Rusty.

The Rebound

  • Directors: Bart Freundlich
  • Producers:
  • Writers: Bart Freundlich
  • Genres: Comedy, Romance
  • Actors: Catherine Zeta Jones, Justin Bartha, Jordan Carlos, Kelly Gould, Art Garfunkel

25-year-old Aram Finklestein (Justin Bartha) is hired as babysitter by 40-year-old mother Sandy (Catherine Zeta-Jones) for her son Frank (Jake Cherry) and her daughter, Sadie (Kelly Gould). They start to love each other.

High Fidelity

  • Directors: Stephen Frears
  • Producers: Tim Bevan, Rudd Simmons
  • Writers: Nick Hornby, D V DeVincentis, Steve Pink, John Cusack, Scott Rosenberg
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Music, Romance
  • Actors: John Cusack, Iben Hjejle, Jack Black, Todd Louiso, Joan Cusack, Tim Robbins, Catherine Zeta Jones, Lisa Bonet, Joelle Carter, Sara Gilbert, Lili Taylor, Natasha Gregson Wagner

The plot of High Fidelity centers on Rob Gordon (John Cusack), a self-confessed audiophile whose flair for understanding women is less than par for the course. After getting dumped by his current girlfriend, Laura (Iben Hjejle), he decides to look up some of his old flames in an attempt to figure out what he keeps doing wrong in his relationships.

He spends his days at his record store, Championship Vinyl, where he holds court over the customers that drift through. Helping Rob in his task of musical elitism are Dick (Todd Louiso) and Barry (Jack Black), the “musical moron twins,” as he refers to them. Armed with an encyclopedic knowledge of all things musical, they compile “top five” lists for every conceivable occasion, openly mock the ignorance of their customers, and, every so often, actually sell a few records. Also there are some teenagers, Vince (Chris Rehmann) and Justin (Ben Carr), who skate near his store. In one busy day at the store, the teenagers try to steal some records and he chases them down, making his dislike for them bigger, until one day, he listens to a recording that they did and offers them a record deal, starting his own label called “Top 5 Records”. During his off hours, he pines for the lost girlfriend Laura and does his best to win her back.

The Terminal

  • Directors: Steven Spielberg
  • Producers: Steven Spielberg, Walter F Parkes, Laurie MacDonald, Andrew Niccol
  • Writers: Andrew Niccol, Sacha Gervasi, Jeff Nathanson
  • Genres: Drama, Romance, Comedy
  • Actors: Tom Hanks, Catherine Zeta Jones

Viktor Navorski (Tom Hanks), a man from the fictional country of Krakozhia, arrives at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, only to discover that during the flight his Eastern Bloc country’s government has been overthrown by rebels, invalidating his passport and thus leaving him stranded and stateless. Over the next nine months, Viktor is forced to live in the terminal building, unable either to set foot into the United States or to go home. He befriends the staff at the terminal, including flight attendant Amelia Warren (Catherine Zeta-Jones), while being under the watchful eye of Immigration Officer Frank Dixon (Stanley Tucci), who wants the “Navorski problem” removed from the airport.

One day, Viktor explains to Amelia that the purpose of his visit to New York City is to collect an autograph of the jazz tenor saxophonist Benny Golson. His late father was a jazz enthusiast. He had discovered the “Great Day in Harlem” photograph in a Hungarian newspaper in 1958, and vowed to get an autograph of all the 57 jazz musicians featured on the photograph. Over the next 40 years, he had managed to collect an autograph of all of them, except for one person: Benny Golson. Viktor wants to collect this last one to fulfill his father’s dream.

To make matters worse, Dixon needs to sign the form granting Viktor the right to remain in the United States, but refuses, instead deciding to deport him out of spite. Thanks to the timely interference of the friends Viktor has made during his stay in the terminal, he is allowed to leave the airport. As Viktor prepares to take a taxi to the Ramada Inn, 161 Lexington Avenue, in New York, where Benny Golson is performing, he observes Amelia exiting from a cab, where she gives him a wistful smile. He attends the show and collects the autograph, finally completing the collection. Afterwards, Viktor leaves and hails a taxi, telling the driver that he wants to go ‘home’.

Traffic

  • Directors: Steven Soderbergh
  • Producers: Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz, Laura Bickford
  • Writers: Stephen Gaghan
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Michael Douglas, Benicio del Toro, Don Cheadle, Catherine Zeta Jones, Dennis Quaid

The film begins in Mexico, where police officer Javier Rodriguez (Benicio Del Toro) and his partner, Manolo Sanchez (Jacob Vargas), stop a drug transport and arrest the couriers. Their arrest is interrupted by General Salazar (Tomás Milián), a high-ranking Mexican official, who decides to hire Rodriguez. Salazar instructs him to locate and apprehend Francisco Flores (Clifton Collins, Jr.), a notorious hit man for the Tijuana Cartel, headed by the Obregón brothers.

Meanwhile, Robert Wakefield (Douglas), a conservative Ohio judge, is appointed to head the President’s Office of National Drug Control, taking on the title drug czar. Wakefield is warned by his predecessor and several influential politicians that the War on Drugs is unwinnable. Unbeknownst to Wakefield, his honors student daughter, Caroline (Erika Christensen) has been using cocaine, and develops a drug addiction after her boyfriend Seth (Topher Grace) introduces her to freebase cocaine. Caroline and Seth are arrested when a fellow student overdoses on drugs at a party and they unsuccessfully try to dump him anonymously at a nearby hospital. Robert finds out that his wife Barbara (Amy Irving) has known about their daughter’s involvement with drugs for over six months.

A third story is set in San Diego, where an undercover Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) investigation led by Montel Gordon (Don Cheadle) and Ray Castro (Luis Guzmán) leads to arrest of Eduardo Ruiz (Miguel Ferrer), a high-stakes dealer posing as a fisherman. Ruiz, who is hospitalized as the result of a gunshot wound from the arrest, decides to risk the dangerous road to immunity by giving up his boss: drug lord Carlos Ayala (Steven Bauer), the biggest distributor for the Obregón brothers in the United States. Ayala is indicted by a tough prosecutor, hand-selected by Wakefield in an attempt to send a message to the Mexican drug organizations.

Some aspects of the plotline are based on real-life characters and events. The character General Arturo Salazar is closely modeled after Mexican General Jesús Gutiérrez Rebollo, who was secretly on the payroll of Amado Carrillo Fuentes, head of the Juarez Cartel. The character Porfilio Madrigal is modeled after Fuentes. The Obregón brothers are similarly modeled after the Arellano Félix brothers.[1][2][3]

Chicago

  • Directors: Rob Marshall
  • Producers: Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein, Craig Zadan, Martin Richards
  • Writers: Maurine Watkins, Bob Fosse, Fred Ebb, Bill Condon
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, Musical
  • Actors: Catherine Zeta Jones, Richard Gere, Queen Latifah, John C Reilly, Taye Diggs, Christine Baranski

The film takes place in Chicago, circa 1924. Naive Roxie Hart (Renée Zellweger) visits a nightclub where star Velma Kelly (Catherine Zeta-Jones) performs (“And All That Jazz”). Hart is having an affair with Fred Casely (Dominic West) in hopes that he will get her a gig as a vaudeville star. Velma is arrested after the show for murdering her adulterous husband and sister Veronica after finding them in bed together. After Roxie realizes that Fred will not help her break into show business, she kills him in a fit of rage and tries to make her simple-minded husband Amos (John C. Reilly) take the fall (“Funny Honey”). However, the police and Amos (realizing she has been unfaithful to him) see through her ruse and Roxie is arrested and sent to the Cook County Jail.

Once Roxie arrives and is booked, she is sent to Murderess’ Row to await trial, under the care of the corrupt Matron “Mama” Morton (Queen Latifah), who supplies her girls with cigarettes and other materials if she is paid well enough (“When You’re Good to Mama”). Roxie meets Velma in jail as the woman in charge, and learns the stories behind the other women in Murderess’ Row (“Cell Block Tango”). Roxie decides that she wants Velma’s lawyer Billy Flynn (Richard Gere) to get her off (“All I Care About”), and convinces her husband to talk to him. Billy decides to take Roxie’s case and get her off by making her a star.

With nothing left, Roxie once more sets off to find a stage career, with little success (“Nowadays”). However, she is soon approached by Velma, who is willing to revive a two-person act with Roxie. Roxie refuses at first, because of the hatred that they share for each other, but relents. The two murderesses, no longer facing jail time, finally become the enormous successes they have been longing to be (“Nowadays”/”Hot Honey Rag”).