Me and Orson Welles

  • Directors: Richard Linklater
  • Producers: Ann Carli, Richard Linklater, Marc Samuelson
  • Writers: Screenplay, Holly Gent Palmo, Vincent Palmo Jr, Novel, Robert Kaplow
  • Genres: Drama
  • Actors: Zac Efron, Christian McKay, Claire Danes, Ben Chaplin

In New York in 1937, 17-year-old Richard Samuels (Efron) meets theatre director Orson Welles (McKay), whom he convinces to give him the role of Lucillus in Julius Caesar, Broadway’s first Shakespearean production. Welles, who is having an extramarital affair with the leading actress while his wife is pregnant, couples Richard with production assistant Sonja Jones (Danes) to rehearse. Welles decides the entire production crew would benefit from a coupling game, and Richard cheats to ensure he is paired with Sonja.[1]

Stardust

  • Directors: Matthew Vaughn
  • Producers:
  • Writers: Novel, Neil Gaiman, Screenplay, Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn
  • Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Romance
  • Actors: Claire Danes, Charlie Cox, Ricky Gervais, Rupert Everett, Jason Flemyng, David Walliams, Mark Strong, Special Appearance by, Peter O Toole, with Michelle Pfeiffer, and Robert De Niro

On April 17, 1839, in the village of Wall (so called because of the stone wall that is a border with another world), Dunstan Thorn (Ben Barnes) sneaks past the guard at a hole in the wall. On the other side he meets a witch’s slave (Kate Magowan) for one night. Nine months later the wall guard arrives at Dunstan’s door with a baby named Tristan.

Eighteen years later, Tristan (Charlie Cox) is infatuated with Victoria (Sienna Miller). He invites her to a night time picnic.

On the other side of the wall in Stormhold, the king (Peter O’Toole) is on his deathbed, in the company of his sons. The king throws the Power of Stormhold, a large ruby, into the night sky, declaring that “he of royal blood” who finds the ruby will succeed him. The stone collides with a star, which falls to Earth.

Tristan vows to bring Victoria the fallen star by her birthday, in exchange for her marrying him. After Tristan fails to slip past the guard at the wall, his father gives him a Babylon Candle his mother left him. Tristan lights the Babylon Candle to go to her, but accidentally thinks about the star and teleports to the star’s impact area in Stormhold. Tristan learns that the star is a beautiful woman named Yvaine (Claire Danes).

Tristan retrieves the jewel that Yvaine was wearing. Una explains that Tristan is the last male heir of Stormhold. Tristan becomes the new king with Yvaine as his queen. After eighty years of ruling Stormhold, they use a Babylon candle to ascend to the sky, where they become twin stars. Since Yvaine “gave her heart” to Tristan, the two will live forever in the sky.

Terminator 3 Rise of the Machines

  • Directors: Jonathan Mostow
  • Producers: Mario Kassar, Hal Lieberman, Joel B Michaels, Andrew G Vajna, Colin Wilson
  • Writers: Screenplay, John D Brancato, Story, John D Brancato, Tedi Sarafian, Characters, James Cameron, Gale Anne Hurd
  • Genres: Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nick Stahl, Claire Danes, Kristanna Loken

The events shown in the previous film Terminator 2, Judgment Day did not occur in 1997 as originally predicted, but John Connor (Nick Stahl), does not believe the prophesied war has been averted. He is living “off-the-grid” in Los Angeles, California with no permanent residence, credit cards, or mobile phone and is working freelance so that he cannot be tracked. Skynet sends another Terminator, the T-X (Kristanna Loken), back to July 24, 2004, Judgment Day, to kill the human resistance’s future lieutenants. The T-X, dubbed the “Terminatrix” by John Connor, is armed with a full arsenal of advanced weapons from the future, avoiding the restriction of non-living tissue by carrying them internally, including the ability to remotely control most machines.

As before, a reprogrammed Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger), similar to the Terminators from the previous films, has been sent back in time to protect John and his future wife, Katherine Brewster (Claire Danes). This particular Terminator is revealed to have killed John in 2032 before being reprogrammed and sent back in time by John’s wife. After rescuing them from an initial attack, the Terminator leads them to Sarah Connor’s coffin, which her friends had filled with weapons in the event that Judgment Day was not prevented. The T-X and the police arrive, but John, Katherine, and the Terminator escape in a hearse.

John and Kate discover that the base does not house Skynet’s core, but is a Cold War-era fallout shelter for government officers; General Brewster having sent his daughter and John there to protect them from the impending nuclear holocaust. It is then shown that Skynet is software in cyberspace, running on computers throughout the world, making it impossible to shut down. Skynet launches nuclear missiles, starting the war against humans. Foreshadowing John’s future leadership role, confused military forces from Montana Civil Defense and amateur radio operators ask for orders, whereupon he assumes command.

Igby Goes Down

  • Directors: Burr Steers
  • Producers: Lisa Tornell, Trish Hofmann, David Rubin
  • Writers: Burr Steers
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama
  • Actors: Kieran Culkin, Claire Danes, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Susan Sarandon

Kieran Culkin plays Jason “Igby” Slocumb, a sarcastic seventeen year old boy, rebelling against the oppressive world of his strict East Coast “old money” family. His father Jason (Bill Pullman) suffering from schizophrenia has been committed to an institution; Igby fears a mental breakdown like his father. His mother Mimi (Susan Sarandon) is self-absorbed and distant. Igby mockingly describes his ambitious older brother Ollie (Ryan Phillippe) as a facist or alternatively a Young Republican, and that he studies Neo-Fascism (Economics) at Columbia University.

Igby figures there must be a better life out there, and he sets out to find it, rebelling against his family at every opportunity. After happily flunking out of several prep schools, he ends up in a brutal military academy where he gets beaten by his fellow students. After escaping and spending time in a Chicago hotel courtesy of his mothers credit card Igby is sent to New York for the summer to his godfather D.H. Banes (Jeff Goldblum). While working construction for D.H. he first encounters Rachel (Amanda Peet) a “dancer who doesn’t dance”, his godfather’s heroin-addicted trophy mistress. Rather than return to school, he escapes into the bohemian underworld of Manhattan, hiding out with Rachel and her friend Russel (Jared Harris) “an artist who doesn’t paint”. He hooks up with terminally bored, part-time lover Sookie (Claire Danes), only for her to later leave him for his brother Ollie.

Director Burr Steers’ uncle Gore Vidal has a brief cameo as a Catholic priest.

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.