Che Part Two

  • Directors: Steven Soderbergh
  • Producers: Laura Bickford, Benicio del Toro
  • Writers: Peter Buchman, Benjamin A van der Veen
  • Genres: Biography, Drama, War
  • Actors: Benicio del Toro, Franka Potente, Catalina Sandino Moreno

In Havana 1964, Che Guevara is interviewed by Lisa Howard who asks him if reform throughout Latin America might not blunt the “message of the Cuban Revolution”. In 1955, at a gathering in Mexico City, Guevara first meets Fidel Castro. He listens to Castro’s plans and signs on as a member of the July 26th Movement. There is a return to 1964 for Guevara’s address before the United Nations General Assembly, where he makes an impassioned speech against American imperialism, and defends the executions his regime has committed declaring that “this is a battle to the death”.

March 1957, Guevara deals with debilitating bouts of asthma as his group of revolutionaries meet up with Castro’s group. Together, they attack an army barracks on May 28, 1957. On October 15, 1958, the guerrillas approach the town of Las Villas. The Battle of Santa Clara is depicted with Guevara demonstrating his tactical skill as the guerrillas engage in street-to-street fighting. Near the film’s end they are victorious. With the Cuban Revolution now over, Guevara heads to Havana, remarking “we won the war, the revolution starts now”.

The second part begins with Guevara arriving in Bolivia disguised as a middle-aged representative of the Organization of American States hailing from Uruguay, who subsequently drives into the mountains to meet his men. The film is organized by the days that he was in the country. On Day 26, there is solidarity among Guevara’s men despite his status as foreigner. By Day 67, Guevara has been set up for betrayal. He tries to recruit some peasants only to be mistaken for a cocaine smuggler. On Day 100, there is a shortage of food and Guevara exercises discipline to resolve conflicts between his Cuban and Bolivian followers.

Guevara grows sick and by Day 280 can barely breathe as a result of his acute asthma. On Day 302 Tania Bunke, Juan Acuña Ñunez, and several others in Che’s forces are massacred by the Bolivian Army as they attempt to cross the Vado del Yeso. By Day 340, Guevara is trapped by the Bolivian army and while wounded is surrounded and captured. The next day, a helicopter lands and a Cuban-American CIA agent Félix Rodríguez emerges. Guevara says, “I don’t talk to traitors.” Rodriguez responds, “You executed my uncle”. The Bolivian high command are then phoned and give approval for Guevara’s execution. He is killed on October 9, 1967, and his corpse lashed to the landing skids of a helicopter and flown out.

Blow

  • Directors: Ted Demme
  • Producers: Ted Demme, Denis Leary, Joel Stillerman
  • Writers: Nick Cassavetes, David McKenna
  • Genres: Biography, Crime, Drama
  • Actors: Johnny Depp, Ray Liotta, Paul Reubens, Franka Potente, Rachel Griffiths, Ethan Suplee, Cliff Curtis

The film opens to a young George and his parents Fred (Ray Liotta) and Ermine (Rachel Griffiths). George’s father never wanted to argue in front of the boy. The boy’s father supports his family in Weymouth, Massachusetts by running a small plumbing company. His mother is constantly complaining that the family has no money and badgers her husband, asking him what they are going to do. Finally, despite Fred’s relentless efforts to keep the family afloat, they eventually have to file for bankruptcy and lose everything. The boy decides then that he will not let the same fate befall him.

A grown-up George (Johnny Depp) moves to Southern California with his friend “Tuna” (Ethan Suplee) and they get a beachside apartment and make friends with all the locals. They don’t want to get real jobs so Tuna comes up with the idea of selling marijuana. George’s new girlfriend, Barbara Buckley (Franka Potente) sets them on the path to do just that by introducing them to her friend/entrepreneur Derek Foreal (Paul Reubens), who is the main dealer in the area. With Derek’s help, George and Tuna make a lot of money selling to all the people in the area. Their other friend, Kevin Dulli (Max Perlich) who is a college student back in Boston visits them while on vacation. He begins to tell George and Tuna about the shortage of quality pot and the enormous demand given all the colleges in that area. With the help of Barbara, an airline stewardess, they start bringing the drugs to Boston.

George promises his daughter Kristina that he will take her to California, as that is her dream vacation, and goes into one last deal to garner enough money for the trip. On the deal, he is set up by the FBI and DEA along with old accomplices, and sentenced to 60 years at Otisville State Prison in upstate New York. He explains in the end that the sentence did not bother him so much as the emotional damage he caused on those he loved and how his ambition exceeded his talent.

Lola rennt

  • Directors: Tom Tykwer
  • Producers: Stefan Arndt
  • Writers: Tom Tykwer
  • Genres: Thriller
  • Actors: Franka Potente, Moritz Bleibtreu

The film begins with Lola receiving a phone call from her boyfriend Manni. He works as a low-level courier for Ronnie, a local crime boss. Manni was supposed to bring 100,000 deutschmarks (the profits from some the ostensibly illicit sale of diamonds) to his boss. Lola fails to pick him up after the exchange due to her scooter being stolen that morning, so he had to take the subway. He panics when he sees some police officers on the subway and gets off of the train, accidentally leaving the bag with the 100,000 marks behind. The bag is picked up by a homeless person.

Manni has to deliver the 100,000 deutschmarks in 20 minutes or face the punishment of being killed by his boss. Manni reveals to Lola that he plans to rob a nearby supermarket to get the money. Lola urges him to wait and tells him she will get him the money. Lola slams down her phone and starts to think about who can possibly help her. She decides to ask her father.

As Lola flees from her apartment, a punk with a dog is shown on the staircase. The dog growls at her, causing her to scream and sprint faster. With little time and no vehicle, Lola runs through the streets of Berlin to get to her father’s bank, with the intention of asking him for the money. On her way, she distracts a man driving his car and he gets into an accident with a white BMW driven by some large bodybuilders. On the way, to her father’s bank, she runs past the homeless man carrying the bag with Manni’s money. As she is running, a man on a bicycle offers to sell his bicycle to her, which she declines. Lola’s father refuses to give her any money, and says that he feels unappreciated at home, and that he is leaving Lola and her mother for his mistress. He also announces that he is not Lola’s real father. Lola runs to where Manni is anyway, passing an ambulance that stops in front of a crew of workers carrying a window pane. She arrives at the street corner a few moments too late; Manni’s robbery is already in progress. Lola decides to help Manni rob the store. The two flee on foot afterwards but find themselves surrounded by police, and a nervous police officer accidentally shoots Lola in the chest after Manni throws the bag with its stolen money into the air. While Lola is dying, a sequence of her memory (or, possibly, her consciousness) is shown. In it, Lola and Manni are together talking in bed. Lola questions Manni about his love for her and remains unconvinced that it is genuine. The scene fades in a sea of red.

Although the three runs are presented as alternative realities, there are a number of incidents which only make sense if the three runs take place sequentially. For example, in the first reality, a nervous Lola is shown by Manni how to use a gun by removing the safety, whereas she does this as if remembered from a previous experience in the second reality. Lola’s encounters with Schuster also contain an air of the supernatural.

The Bourne Identity

  • Directors: Doug Liman
  • Producers: Robert Ludlum, Doug Liman, Frank Marshall
  • Writers: Novel, Robert Ludlum, Screenplay, Tony Gilroy, William Blake Herron
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Mystery, Thriller
  • Actors: Matt Damon, Franka Potente, Chris Cooper, Brian Cox, Julia Stiles, Clive Owen, Adewale Akinnuoye Agbaje, Anthony Green

During a stormy night, a group of Italian fishermen find a man floating in the Mediterranean off Marseille, with two gunshot wounds in his back and a device with the number of a Swiss safe deposit box embedded in his hip. Suffering from retrograde amnesia, he finds he is versed in several European languages and can perform uncommon tasks such as sea navigation and tying exotic knots in the ship’s ropes, but he cannot remember anything about himself including his name or why he was found in the ocean. When the ship docks, he sets off for Zürich to investigate the safe deposit box.

At CIA headquarters in Langley, Deputy Director Ward Abbot finds out about a failed assassination attempt on deposed African dictator Nykwana Wombosi.

Meanwhile in Zürich, the amnesiac is approached by two police officers who see him sleeping on a park bench. He, at first confused because the police speak in German, suddenly responds in German saying that he lost his identification papers. The officers attempt to arrest him, but he renders them both unconscious and disables their pistols in a matter of seconds; after doing this he surveys the scene in front of him with shock, realising that, even though he has amnesia, he is proficient at advanced hand to hand combat and at using firearms. He flees the park, discarding his distinctive red jacket so as not to be recognized.

Abbott, having decided that Treadstone should be closed down for good, has the last operative, Manheim, murder Conklin. Abbott then goes before an oversight committee and glibly explains Treadstone away as an ineffective assassin-training program, then immediately shifts the focus of the hearing to an idea for a new project codenamed “Blackbriar”. Sometime later, Jason finds Marie renting out scooters to tourists, and the two reunite.

The Bourne Supremacy

  • Directors: Paul Greengrass
  • Producers: Patrick Crowley, Frank Marshall, Paul L Sandberg, Doug Liman
  • Writers: Screenplay, Tony Gilroy, Brian Helgeland, Novel, Robert Ludlum
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Mystery, Thriller
  • Actors: Matt Damon, Franka Potente, Brian Cox, Julia Stiles, Karl Urban, Gabriel Mann, Joan Allen

Two years after the events in The Bourne Identity, Bourne and his girlfriend, Marie Kreutz, are living in Goa, India. Bourne is beginning to recover some of his memories, and he is troubled by disjointed flashbacks of an assassination he carried out in a Berlin hotel. Meanwhile, in Berlin, a CIA officer under Deputy Director Pamela Landy is trading $3 million for the “Neski Files”, documents about the theft of $20 million from the CIA seven years earlier. During the exchange, a Russian assassin named Kirill arrives to intercept the selling. He plants two bombs in the basement electrical circuit: one on the main and the other on a subline with Jason Bourne’s fingerprint. The bomb on the main line kills the power while Kirill kills the agent and the source, and steals the files and money, which he gives to Russian oil magnate Yuri Gretkov. Kirill then travels to Goa to kill Bourne, but Bourne flees with Marie. As Bourne and Marie are driving away, Kirill fires a sniper rifle at the car that kills Marie, and the car veers off the bridge they are on into a river. Kirill leaves, believing that he killed Bourne. Bourne manages to swim away undetected, leaving Marie dead in the river (after unsuccessful mouth-to-mouth resuscitation). He then burns all of Marie’s passports and pictures except for one picture showing both of them in an embrace. He also clears the house they lived in, taking all of the notes that Bourne used to dictate his dreams. Bourne travels to Italy to learn why he is again being targeted.

Out of respect for Marie’s belief in non-violence, Bourne spares Abbott’s life. After Zorn’s body is discovered, Landy confronts Abbott, who commits suicide. Landy later receives the tape Bourne recorded which implicates Abbott in the conspiracy. Bourne travels to Moscow, where he is shot and wounded by Kirill. After an extended car chase, Bourne forces Kirill’s car to crash into a concrete divider in a tunnel. Kirill is shown to be extensively injured and incapacitated, and presumably dies. (This is later confirmed in the next film, where Marie’s brother asks if Bourne killed him.) Gretkov is arrested by Russian police after Landy provides them with the evidence she got from Bourne. Bourne goes to the apartment of Vladimir Neski’s daughter so she won’t have to live thinking her mother killed her father. He admits that he killed them both on a mission gone wrong, and apologizes. The final scene (which actually takes place during the events of the next film “The Bourne Ultimatum” in which it is shown) jumps to New York City, where Bourne contacts Landy to ask why the CIA is still looking for him. After Landy thanks Bourne for supplying the tape, which the CIA has used to settle matters concerning his frame-up, she tells Bourne his real name (David Webb), birth date (April 15, 1971) and place of birth (Nixon, MO). Bourne declines Landy’s offer to come back to the CIA offices in person, and he fades into a crowded street scene.