Thir13en Ghosts

  • Directors: Steve Beck
  • Producers: Robert Zemeckis, Gilbert Adler, Joel Silver
  • Writers: Robb White, Neal Marshall Stevens
  • Genres: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
  • Actors: Tony Shalhoub, Embeth Davidtz, Matthew Lillard, Shannon Elizabeth, F Murray Abraham

Ghost hunter Cyrus Kriticos (F. Murray Abraham) and assistant Dennis Rafkin (Matthew Lillard) lead a team on a mission to capture a spirit, called the Juggernaut, in a junkyard. Several of the men are killed during the ensuing fight, including Cyrus himself. However, the team is able to catch the ghost.

Arthur Kriticos (Tony Shalhoub), a mathematician who is also a widower, is informed by the estate lawyer of his uncle Cyrus, Benjamin Moss (JR Bourne), that he has inherited a mansion. Arthur and his financially insecure family plan to move into this mansion with his two children, Kathy (Shannon Elizabeth) and Bobby (Alec Roberts). Their babysitter/nanny Maggie (Rah Digga) accompanies the family.

Dennis Rafkin, disguised as a power company employee (electrician), meets the family and Benjamin as they tour the mansion. The residence is made almost entirely of glass. It contains Latin phrases etched on floors and movable glass walls, along with priceless artifacts. Arthur and his family are eager about inheriting this new home, and while Arthur is discussing financial matters with the attorney, Kathy and Bobby venture off on their own to explore the mansion. After seeing several ghosts in the basement, Dennis frantically runs upstairs to warn Arthur about the home he is about to own. Benjamin assures Arthur that Dennis is crazy and should be ignored. Dennis tells Arthur that there are twelve spirits imprisoned in the house, held captive by the spells written throughout the residence.

The film ends with a battered Maggie walking through the wreckage, yelling out to Arthur and the kids that she did not agree to this when she came to work for them, and that she was quitting.

Valkyrie

  • Directors: Bryan Singer
  • Producers: Christopher McQuarrie, Bryan Singer, Gilbert Adler, Chris Lee
  • Writers: Christopher McQuarrie, Nathan Alexander
  • Genres: History, Thriller, War
  • Actors: Tom Cruise, Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy, Carice van Houten, Eddie Izzard, Terence Stamp, Tom Wilkinson

During World War II, Wehrmacht Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg (Cruise) is severely wounded in Tunisia, and is evacuated home to Nazi Germany. Meanwhile, Major General Henning von Tresckow (Branagh) attempts to assassinate Adolf Hitler by smuggling a bomb aboard the Führer’s private airplane. The bomb, however, fails to detonate and Tresckow safely retrieves it to conceal his intentions. After learning that the Gestapo has arrested Major Hans Oster, he orders General Olbricht (Nighy) to find a replacement. After recruiting von Stauffenberg into the German Resistance, Olbricht delivers von Stauffenberg to a meeting of the secret committee which has coordinated previous attempts on Hitler’s life. The members include General Ludwig Beck (Stamp), Dr. Carl Goerdeler (McNally), and Erwin von Witzleben (Schofield). The Colonel is stunned to learn that no plans exist for after Hitler’s assassination.

After a bombing raid on Berlin, he lights upon using the plan Operation Valkyrie, which involves the deployment of the Reserve Army to maintain order in the event of a national emergency. The plotters carefully redraft the plan so that they can dismantle the Nazi regime after assassinating Hitler, by overthrowing the SS and imprisoning Hitler’s closest advisors. Realizing that only General Fromm (Wilkinson), the head of the Reserve Army, can initiate Valkyrie, they offer him a position as head of the Wehrmacht in a Post-Nazi Germany and recruit him into the fold: however, Fromm initially refuses. With the rewritten plan needing to be signed off by Hitler (Bamber) himself, von Stauffenberg visits the Führer at his Berghof estate in Bavaria. In the presence of his inner circle, Hitler praises von Stauffenberg’s heroism in North Africa and signs off on the plan without fully examining the modifications.

As von Stauffenberg flies back to Berlin, Olbricht refuses to mobilize the Reserve Army until he knows without a doubt that Hitler is dead. Behind Olbricht’s back, Mertz forges his signature and issues the orders anyway. With Operation Valkyrie underway, von Stauffenberg and his fellow plotters order the arrest of Nazi party leaders and SS officers and begin to take control of Berlin’s government quarter, which will allow them to command the entire Reich. Rumors reach Berlin that Hitler survived the blast, but von Stauffenberg dismisses them as SS propaganda. Meanwhile, Fromm learns from Field Marshal Keitel that Hitler is still alive. The General refuses to join the plotters, resulting in his arrest. When Hitler reaches the Reserve Army by telephone, the SS officers are released and the plotters in turn are besieged inside the Bendlerblock. The headquarters staff flees, but the ringleaders are arrested. Most are eventually tried and executed, while some commit suicide. Von Stauffenberg shouts “Long live sacred Germany!” before being executed by a firing squad.

Constantine

  • Directors: Francis Lawrence
  • Producers: Gilbert Adler, Michael Aguilar
  • Writers: Screenplay, Kevin Brodbin, Frank Cappello, Comic Book, Alan Moore, Jamie Delano, Garth Ennis
  • Genres: Action, Fantasy, Horror, Thriller
  • Actors: Keanu Reeves, Rachel Weisz, Shia LaBeouf, Tilda Swinton, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Djimon Hounsou, Gavin Rossdale, Peter Stormare, Nicholas Downs

Searching through ruins in Mexico, a young man accidentally finds the Spear of Destiny wrapped in a Nazi flag. Immediately possessed by a supernatural force, he is propelled on a journey to Los Angeles, where he is now seemingly indestructible and causing demonic and unnatural damage as he goes. In Los Angeles, occult detective John Constantine (Keanu Reeves) exorcises a demon from a teenage girl, finding himself unnerved by the demon’s unusually bold attempt at crossing over into humanity’s realm. Later that night, disturbed mental patient Isabel Dodson (Rachel Weisz) commits suicide, provoking the sorrow and disbelief of her twin sister, L.A.P.D. Detective Angela Dodson (Rachel Weisz). Visiting the hospital where Isabel died, Angela encounters Constantine, who is being treated at the same hospital for his terminal lung cancer, a result of his decades-long chain-smoking habit. Disgusted with the prognosis, Constantine visits a nearby church to speak with the angel Gabriel (Tilda Swinton), angrily asking what more he must do to earn God’s forgiveness. Unsympathetic to Constantine’s plight, Gabriel rebuffs his attempts at reconciliation with God, tells him about sacrifices which can be done and then pointing out the selfish undertones beneath his good deeds. Meanwhile at the same church, Angela begs a priest to allow Isabel to receive a church-sanctioned funeral, which the Bishop has refused, pointing out the Catholic rules regarding suicides.

At the end of the film’s credits, Constantine visits Chas’s grave, leaving his cigarette lighter atop the grave. As Constantine turns to leave, Chas appears as an angel, and flies silently into the sky, leaving behind a smiling Constantine.

Superman Returns

  • Directors: Bryan Singer
  • Producers: Bryan Singer, Gilbert Adler, Jon Peters
  • Writers: Screenplay, Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris, Story, Bryan Singer, Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris, Characters, Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
  • Actors: Brandon Routh, Kate Bosworth, Kevin Spacey, James Marsden, Parker Posey

Superman has been missing for several years, having traveled to where astronomers believed they had discovered the remains of Krypton. During his absence, Lex Luthor was released from prison and married a rich widow to obtain her fortune upon her death. Superman returns to Earth and, as Clark Kent, resumes his job at the Daily Planet in Metropolis, and learns that Lois Lane has won the Pulitzer Prize for her article “Why the World Doesn’t Need Superman”. Meanwhile, Luthor travels to the Fortress of Solitude and steals Kryptonian crystals. During an experiment with the crystals, Lex causes a worldwide power outage. The power loss interferes with the flight test of a space shuttle attached to a Boeing 777, occupied by Lois Lane who is covering the story. Clark flies into action as Superman and stops the plane from crashing onto a baseball stadium, which is full of spectators.

The world rejoices at Superman’s return, but Lois is more concerned with the blackout. Clark later meets her fiance Richard White, nephew of Daily Planet editor-in-chief Perry White, and their son, Jason. Clark is emotionally hurt when he overhears a conversation between Lois and Richard in which she says she never loved Superman. He then stops a bank heist, and saves Kitty Kowalski, Luthor’s co-conspirator. With Superman distracted, Luthor steals Kryptonite from the Metropolis Museum of Natural History. Perry assigns Lois to interview Superman while Clark investigates the blackout. That night, Superman arrives at the Daily Planet and takes Lois for a flight, during which he apologizes for leaving her and tells her that, because of his superhuman hearing, he knows the world needs his protection.

Meeting Luthor, Superman discovers the landmass is filled with Kryptonite, which weakens him to the point that Luthor and his henchmen are able to beat him. Superman is stabbed by Luthor with a shard of Kryptonite and falls into the ocean. Lois makes Richard turn back to rescue Superman, whereupon she removes the Kryptonite from his back. Superman, after regaining his strength from the sun, lifts the landmass after putting layers of earth between him and the Kryptonite. Luthor and Kitty escape in their helicopter; Kitty, unwilling to let billions of people die, tosses away the crystals that Lex stole from the Fortress of Solitude. She and Luthor are stranded on a desert island when their helicopter runs out of fuel. Superman pushes the landmass into space, but is weakened by the Kryptonite and crashes back to Earth. Doctors remove more Kryptonite from Superman’s wound, but after it is removed they cannot penetrate his skin with their surgical tools. While Superman remains in a coma, Lois and Jason visit him at the hospital where Lois whispers a secret into Superman’s ear and then kisses him. Superman later awakens and flies to visit Jason, reciting Jor-El’s last speech to Jason as he sleeps, the way his father did to him. Lois starts writing another article, titled “Why the World Needs Superman”. Superman reassures her that he is now back to stay, and flies off to low orbit, where he gazes down at the world once again.