Hollywoodland

  • Directors: Allen Coulter
  • Producers: Glenn Williamson
  • Writers: Paul Bernbaum
  • Genres: Biography, Crime, Drama, History, Mystery, Thriller
  • Actors: Adrien Brody, Diane Lane, Ben Affleck, Bob Hoskins, Molly Parker, Robin Tunney, Caroline Dhavernas

The movie begins in Beverly Hills on June 16, 1959, at the home of TV star George Reeves with a police investigation underway and Reeves’ lifeless body on his bed. The police rule the death a suicide. The focus of the film then shifts to Louis Simo, a private investigator more interested in generating an income than in devotion to his clients. A man named Chester Sinclair is paying Simo to spy on his wife under the impression that she is cheating on him. Simo simply accepts his money and takes pictures outside of a building where she goes to from time to time. On a visit to see his son, Simo reacts to the boy’s lackluster demeanor and asks his ex-wife Laurie what is wrong. She tells him it’s because the actor who plays Superman has shot himself. Simo learns from a former colleague on the police force that the Reeves suicide has aspects that the cops don’t want to touch. Simo, sensing the potential for making a name for himself, begins investigating the case and notes several apparent conflicts with the official version of Reeves’ death. Simultaneously Simo bickers with Laurie over his failures as a father, particularly now when his son seems so troubled.

The story of Reeves’ quest for fame and success and Simo’s realization of how that quest is paralleled in his own existence causes the detective to reevaluate his life. Simo watches another home movie, this one of himself and Laurie and their son in happier days. The film ends with Simo coming to Laurie’s house wearing a suit and tie, and greeting his son hopefully.

Wonderful World

  • Directors: Joshua Goldin
  • Producers: Miranda Bailey, Matthew Leutwyler, Glenn Williamson
  • Writers: Joshua Goldin
  • Genres: Drama, Romance
  • Actors: Matthew Broderick, Sanaa Lathan, Michael K Williams, Jodelle Ferland

Ben Singer (Matthew Broderick) is a former children’s singer whose misanthropic worldview leads him to an isolated existence. When his Senegalese roommate Ibou (Michael K. Williams) falls into a diabetic coma and is taken to the hospital, his sister Khadi (Sanaa Lathan) arrives from Senegal to take care of him. After Khadi and Ben eventually fall in love, circumstances lead Ben to reconsider his way of thinking.

Push

  • Directors: Paul McGuigan
  • Producers: Bruce Davey, William Vince, Glenn Williamson
  • Writers: David Bourla
  • Genres: Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Chris Evans, Dakota Fanning, Camilla Belle, Djimon Hounsou, Ming Na

During the opening credits, a narrator (Dakota Fanning) tells us how those with abilities have been involved with the government since 1945. The opening scene shows two Movers, Nick Gant and his father on the run from the “Division”. Realizing that escape is impossible, Nick’s father tells him of a vision he received from a Watcher; a girl will give him a flower and he is to do what she says in order to “save us all.” He then throws him through an air vent as Agent Henry Carver (Djimon Hounsou) of Division arrives. Nick’s father then fights the Agents, taking out only two (on screen) before he is killed while Nick escapes.

Ten years later, the American Division is testing a potentially deadly augmentation drug on a Pusher named Kira (Camilla Belle). While the test seems like a failure, when the doctor moves in to check Kira’s pulse, she reveals herself to be alive (the one and only to ever live). Knocking the doctor out, Kira steals his card and a syringe which has the drug in it and escapes with the help of her enhanced abilities and interference from a nearly-catatonic Watcher.

Two days later, the scene changes to Hong Kong, where an adult Nick Gant (Chris Evans) is hiding from Division as an expatriate. Though he attempts to use his ability to make a living, he displays a poor skill at “moving” and is not successful at fixing a local dice game, leaving him in debt to a local Triad—which happens to be controlled by Bleeders bred by the now defunct Chinese Division. After making his escape from the gamblers, he returns to his apartment and finds that the American Division has located him. Two Sniff Agents, Mac and Holden (Cory Stoll and Scott Michael Campbell), demand to know if he has seen a certain girl. While Mac sniffs around Nick’s apartment, Holden psychically reads about Nick’s actions in this apartment, and finds out he hasn’t yet met the girl. The two Agents then leave, taking Nick’s toothbrush in case they need to find him again.

As the movie fades to black, a gunshot is heard, indicating that Carver did as Kira commanded.

Sunshine Cleaning

  • Directors: Christine Jeffs
  • Producers: Jeb Brody, Peter Saraf, Marc Turtletaub, Glenn Williamson
  • Writers: Megan Holley
  • Genres: Comedy
  • Actors: Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, Alan Arkin, Steve Zahn

Former high school cheerleading captain Rose Lorkowski (Adams) is a thirty-something single mother who cleans houses for a living. Wanting to send her trouble-making eight-year-old son Oscar (Jason Spevack) to a private school, Rose decides to take her married lover’s advice and get into the “lucrative” business of crime scene clean-up. Rose convinces her disillusioned, underachieving sister Norah (Blunt) to join her in the enterprise, which she calls “Sunshine Cleaning.” The sisters begin to find meaning in their function to “help” in some way in the aftermath of a loss, just as the job stirs up memories of their own mother’s death. Their priorities and goals tested, Rose and Norah face hard challenges as they strive to improve their lives.