Ransom

  • Directors: Ron Howard
  • Producers: Brian Grazer, Kip Hagopian, Scott Rudin
  • Writers: Story, Cyril Hume, Richard Maibaum, Screenplay, Richard Price, Alexander Ignon
  • Genres: Action, Crime, Thriller
  • Actors: Mel Gibson, Rene Russo, Gary Sinise

While multimillionaire airline owner Tom Mullen (Mel Gibson) attends a science fair in Central Park that his wife Kate (Rene Russo) is judging, their son Sean (Brawley Nolte) is kidnapped. Sean is taken to an apartment by Maris Conner (Lili Taylor), who previously worked for Mullen as a caterer at a party, along with small-time criminal Cubby Barnes (Donnie Wahlberg), Cubby’s older brother Clark (Liev Schreiber) and high-tech criminal Miles Roberts (Evan Handler). Tom and Kate receive an untraceable email from the kidnappers, demanding $2 million as ransom. Tom calls the FBI, who set up a base of operations in his apartment.

Detective Jimmy Shaker (Gary Sinise) of the NYPD is arresting a perpetrator in a convenience store when Cubby comes in and nervously buys some FrankenBerry cereal. Shaker follows Cubby into the building where the kidnappers are residing; Shaker is the mastermind behind the kidnapping and is romantically involved with Maris. He chides Cubby for buying a box of kids’ cereal in front of cops during a kidnapping investigation. The group argues over the plan to kill Sean once the ransom has been delivered. Cubby tells Clark that he plans to release Sean despite the risk of identification.

Cops converge on Tom and Shaker outside the bank. Shaker panics and opens fire, killing several cops. Tom throws himself at Shaker and Shaker loses his gun to Tom. Tom throws Shaker through a store window and when they emerge they are surrounded by armed policemen. Shaker draws his back-up revolver from an ankle holster. Tom and Hawkins fire first, killing Shaker. The film closes as Hawkins stops the police from arresting Tom.

Open Season

  • Directors: Roger Allers, Jill Culton, Anthony Stacchi
  • Producers: Producer, Michelle Murdocca, Co Producer, Amy Jupiter, Executive Producer, Steve Moore and John B Carls
  • Writers: Steve Bencich, Ron J Friedman
  • Genres: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family
  • Actors: Martin Lawrence, Ashton Kutcher, Debra Messing, Gary Sinise, Jon Favreau, Matthew W Taylor, Jane Krakowski, Billy Connolly, Georgia Engel, Patrick Warburton

In the tranquil town of Timberline, a 900 pound grizzly bear named Boog (Martin Lawrence) enjoys a captive existence. He spends his day as the star attraction of the town’s nature show and spends his nights living the life of luxury in the garage of park ranger Beth (Debra Messing) who raised him since he was a cub in a poor captive state.

One day, maniacal hunter Shaw (Gary Sinise) drives into town with the one-antlered mule deer Elliot (Ashton Kutcher) strapped to the hood of his truck. Boog wakes him as the two scream in terror. With Boog reluctant to intervene, Elliot begs to for help to escape. At the last minute and against his better judgment, Boog frees Elliot before Shaw could go after him. Boog never expects to see his “buddy” again.

Elliot follows Boog home and finds him sleeping in the garage and starts to throw rabbits at the window. Elliot tells Boog the he is intent on returning the favor by “freeing” him from his garage captivity. Elliot introduces Boog to a world of sweet temptations outside of the garage that he has never known. When the grizzly’s true instincts begin to emerge, events quickly spiral out of control as the two ransack the town’s food store. Elliot escapes before Boog is caught by a friend of Beth, police officer Gordy (Gordon Tootoosis).

The following day, Boog leads a rampage against the hunters, sending them running after McSquizzy blows up their trucks. Shaw returns for a final battle. Elliot takes a bullet meant for Boog, enraging the bear who ties up Shaw with his own gun. Boog finds that Elliot survived the blast, only losing his second antler in the fight. Beth returns to take Boog back home, but instead he stays with his friends. She realizes that the bear is home in the forest.

Apollo 13

  • Directors: Ron Howard
  • Producers: Brian Grazer
  • Writers: Book, Jim Lovell, Jeffrey Kluger, Screenplay, William Broyles Jr, Al Reinert
  • Genres: Adventure, Drama, History
  • Actors: Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, Ed Harris

Apollo 13 opens with a flashback of the Apollo 1 fire incident, accompanied by narration by Walter Cronkite. As Cronkite’s monologue ends, the film moves on to July 20, 1969 where veteran astronaut Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks) is on his way home to a party for the Apollo 11 moon landing. After witnessing Neil Armstrong’s historic first steps on the moon, an inebriated Lovell stares up at the moon and tells his wife, Marilyn (Kathleen Quinlan), of his wish for a moon landing of his own.

A few months later, Jim, who’s expecting to fly Apollo 14, is giving a VIP tour of NASA’s towering Vehicle Assembly Building while Apollo 13’s massive Saturn V rocket is being assembled. As the U.S. representatives among the VIPs question the possibility of any further moon landings after beating the Soviet Union to the moon, he is informed by Deke Slayton (Chris Ellis) that he and his crew have been bumped up to be prime crew of Apollo 13. After informing his family of his new flight assignment, Lovell and his crew, Fred Haise (Bill Paxton) and Ken Mattingly (Gary Sinise) begin training for Apollo 13 instead of Apollo 14. As the launch date approaches, Marilyn’s fears for her husband’s fourth space mission manifest in her unwillingness to go to the launch.

After witnessing the damage suffered by the scarred Service Module, the crew strap in for their descent into atmosphere. With one final goodbye to Aquarius, the lunar module that saved their lives is jettisoned. Then, Odyssey re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere, and after over four minutes of radio ionization blackout – three minutes is normal for re-entry – the crew reports that they have made it alive and well. Celebration rushes through Mission Control and in the homes of the astronauts’ families. In an emotional scene, Kranz simply sits down as everyone applauds around him, looking overwhelmed and fighting back tears. After splashing down, the crew is plucked out of the water and taken to the USS Iwo Jima for a heroes welcome. The film then concludes with a slow-motion sequence with monologue by Hanks (as Lovell) about the events that would follow their return from space. Lovell shakes hands with the captain of Iwo Jima while narrating as the sequence ends with “I look up at the moon and wonder: ‘When will we be going back, and who will that be?'”

Forrest Gump

  • Directors: Robert Zemeckis
  • Producers: Wendy Finerman, Steve Tisch, Charles Newirth
  • Writers: Winston Groom, Eric Roth
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
  • Actors: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Mykelti Williamson, Sally Field

The film begins in medias res with a white feather falling to the feet of Forrest Gump, who is sitting at a bus stop in Savannah, Georgia. Forrest picks up the feather and puts it in the book Curious George, then tells the story of his life to a woman seated next to him. The listeners at the bus stop change regularly throughout his narration, each showing a different reaction to his narration ranging from disbelief and indifference to rapt veneration.

His mother runs a boarding house in Alabama. One guest, a musician (later revealed to be Elvis Presley) picks up his own style of dancing from watching Forrest’s shaky movements caused by his leg braces. To get Forrest into a normal school, Forrest’s mother bribes the school’s Principal with sexual favors. On his first day of school, he meets a girl named Jenny Curran, a girl who is sexually abused by her father and who becomes his life’s love. One day after school, Forrest is being threatened by a group of bullies. Jenny tells him to run, and so he does, losing his leg braces in the process. His fast running ability becomes his favored method of travel, and during his senior year in high school, threatened by the same group of bullies, he runs through a football field and gets himself into college on a football scholarship playing for Paul “Bear” Bryant at the University of Alabama. He excels at football so much that he becomes an All-American, and meets President John F. Kennedy.

Forrest’s core character and personality are also changed from the novel, among other things he is an autistic savant – while playing football at the university, he fails craft and gym, but receives a perfect score in an advanced physics class he was enrolled in by his coach to satisfy his college requirements.