Bottle Shock

  • Directors: Randall Miller
  • Producers: Jody Savin, Randall Miller, Brenda Lhormer, Marc Lhormer, J Todd Harris, Marc Toberoff
  • Writers: Jody Savin, Randall Miller, Ross Schwartz
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama
  • Actors: Alan Rickman, Chris Pine, Bill Pullman, Rachael Taylor, Freddy Rodriguez, Dennis Farina, Bradley Whitford, Miguel Sandoval, Eliza Dushku

Sommelier and wine shop owner Steven Spurrier, a British expatriate living in Paris, concocts a plan to hold a blind taste-test intended to introduce Parisians to the quality wines coming from elsewhere in the world (and save his business in the process). He travels to the not-yet-famous Napa Valley in search of contestants for his Judgment of Paris taste test, where a chance meeting introduces him to floundering vintner Jim Barrett of Chateau Montelena. Spurrier goes around Napa tasting chardonnays and leaving money for tasting. Through unfortunate circumstances, the chardonnay is lost and people go to throw it away. The local diner discovers it and buy it from them for Bo telling him to leave a crate as payment for the favor. Bo is picked to represent Chateau Montelena and travels to Paris where the taste test begins. While tallying the scores from the eight Parisian judges, Steven is shocked to find that Montelena has won. Each of the judges, choosing Montelena as their favorite continue to drink it as Steven tallies the scores and spit it out in shock at the news that it is, in fact, American. The report is featured in an article of Time and restaurants all around America are asked continually for the wine (Chateau Montelena Chardonnay 1973) and forced to state that they don’t have it. This twist of fate and the resultant oenological epiphany forever change their lives along with that of Barrett’s son, Bo, as well as the fortunes of Napa Valley wineries and the global wine industry as a whole. In the end, the futures of the characters are revealed to present day. Jim Barrett still makes wine at 81 at the time of this film’s release, Bo now runs the Chateau, a bottle of Montelena Chardonnay 1973 and the red wine, also from California, that had won the same competition were given a case at the Smithsonian Institute. Steven Spurrier hosted another contest, this time with full confidence that Parisian wine would win. California won again.[1]

True Lies

  • Directors: James Cameron
  • Producers: James Cameron, Stephanie Austin
  • Writers: Claude Zidi, Didier Kaminka, James Cameron
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Romance, Thriller
  • Actors: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Arnold, Bill Paxton, Art Malik, Tia Carrere, Eliza Dushku

Harry (Schwarzenegger) attempts to lead a double life, performing dangerous covert missions for Omega Sector with his support team of Albert “Gib” Gibson (Arnold) and Faisil (Heslov) while hiding this work from his wife Helen (Curtis) and daughter Dana (Dushku) under the guise of corporate travel. During a mission in Switzerland, Harry encounters and becomes suspicious of antiques dealer Juno Skinner (Carrere). His suspicions are correct, as Juno is helping to smuggle nuclear warheads into the United States for a Palestinian terrorist faction, Crimson Jihad, led by Aziz (Malik). However, while attempting to tail Aziz through the Georgetown Park shopping mall and the Westin Bonaventure Hotel, Harry is late for his own birthday party, angering Helen.

The next day, Harry tries to surprise Helen at work during lunch but overhears her talking with a co-worker about a man named Simon (Paxton) that she believes is a spy. Harry uses Omega Sector’s resources to track down Simon, and comes to realize that he is just a used-car salesman trying to flirt with Helen. In order to win Helen back, Harry arranges for a SWAT team to take Helen while she is seeing Simon, and then interrogates her through a one-way mirror and voice distortion to learn that Helen never slept with Simon but was only craving adventure, something that Harry never provided her. Harry arranges a fake mission for Helen to undertake as an operative, and tells her to pose as a private dancer in order to plant a tracking bug on an arms’ dealer staying in a nearby hotel. Harry assumes the role of the dealer, using the darkened room to hide his face, and planning to reveal himself to her to reaffirm his love. As Helen strip-teases for Harry, Aziz’s men burst into the room, and both Harry and Helen are taken prisoner.

The forces shortly receive news that Aziz and his remaining allies have taken refuge in a Miami office skyscraper, with Aziz holding Dana hostage after kidnapping her once he learned who Harry was, and demanding a television crew so that he can make demands to the government. Harry borrows one of the Harrier jets to get to the building. Faisil poses as part of the requested television crew, and is able to kill a number of the terrorists; in the confusion, Dana steals the launch key for the warheads and escapes to the roof, chased by Aziz. Harry arrives and kills the remaining terrorists in the building with the jet’s guns, and then helps to save Dana while killing Aziz by launching him on an AIM-9 Sidewinder missile towards a helicopter with the last of Aziz’s forces. In the following year, Helen becomes Harry’s partner in Omega Sector, neither hiding their secret profession from Dana.

Bring It On

  • Directors: Peyton Reed
  • Producers: Marc Abraham, Thomas Bliss
  • Writers: Jessica Bendinger
  • Genres: Comedy, Sport
  • Actors: Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, Jesse Bradford, Gabrielle Union

The Rancho Carne High School cheerleading squad “The Toros” are aiming for their sixth consecutive national championship title. “Big Red” (Lindsay Sloane), their team captain, is graduating and Torrance Shipman (Kirsten Dunst) is elected to take her place.

The movie begins with Torrance Shipman entering a car with her boyfriend Aaron, who explains that the transition from high school to college is going to be a difficult one. Meanwhile, a new male student, Cliff Pantone (Jesse Bradford), joins Torrance’s class and takes a seat next to her. Although he is teased by two of the school’s football players, he stands up for himself and Torrance immediately takes a liking to him.

During an after school practice for the Regionals, a girl injures herself and is taken to the hospital, forcing the team to hold auditions for a new member. All the applicants turn out to be complete failures, some even turning out to sing and do ballet. Whitney is positive her younger sister Jamie would be perfect for the team as she is light and can be thrown easily. When Jamie auditions, Whitney and her friend Courtney are impressed, but the others are less so.

When the next applicant, Missy (Eliza Dushku), walks in, the girls don’t appear to like her from her appearance and quickly find reasons to get her out of the gym. They say that tattoos are strictly forbidden but Missy reveals that the tattoo on her arm was drawn on when she was bored during fourth period. Missy explains that she’s trying out because cheerleading is the closest thing she could find to gymnastics, since the school doesn’t have a gymnastics team. Whitney attempts to make her to leave by telling her to complete a series of complicated gymnastics moves and Missy successfully executes them, amazing the rest of the crew. Torrance is especially impressed, but Courtney calls her an “über-dyke” which Missy interprets as an insult and leaves angrily.

When Cliff walks up to Torrance and Missy, Missy leaves them alone and Torrance finally kisses Missy’s brother.