Se7en

  • Directors: David Fincher
  • Producers: Arnold Kopelson, Phyllis Carlyle
  • Writers: Andrew Kevin Walker
  • Genres: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
  • Actors: Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Spacey, R Lee Ermey

In an unidentified city of near-constant rain and urban decay, the soon-to-be retiring Detective William R. Somerset (Freeman) is partnered with short-tempered Detective David Mills (Pitt) who recently transferred to the department. Somerset is eventually invited over to meet Mills’ wife, Tracy (Paltrow); when Somerset learns that she is pregnant but has not told her husband, he confides in her his fear that the city is no place to start a family, reiterating his own losses of his fiancée and unborn child years ago. Somerset advises her not to tell Mills just yet of their child.

Somerset and Mills investigate a series of crimes relating to the seven deadly sins, such as a man who was forced to feed himself to death to represent Gluttony. They find clues at the scene of the murders that connect to the other deaths, and believe they are chasing a serial killer. A set of fingerprints found at where the Greed murder occurred leads them to the apartment of a man, near death, who has been strapped to a bed for a year, representing Sloth. Though unable to learn anything from the delirious victim, the detectives agree that the serial murderer has been planning these killings for more than a year.

Doe directs the two detectives to a remote desert area far from the city, with Doe believing that his actions have helped to show the people what the world actually is and to punish the wicked, riling Mills further. After arriving at the location, a delivery van approaches; the scared driver tells the detectives he was paid to deliver a package precisely at this time and location, and is told to leave after handing it over. While Mills holds Doe at gunpoint, Somerset opens the package and recoils in horror at the sight of the contents. He races back, warning Mills not to listen to Doe, but Doe reveals to Mills that the box contains Tracy’s head. Mills, distraught, demands an explanation from Doe; Doe simply replies that he himself represents the sin of Envy, jealous of Mills’ wife, and then reveals her pregnancy to Mills. Somerset is unable to contain Mills as he unloads his gun into Doe, becoming the embodiment of Wrath and proving out Doe’s plan. After a catatonic Mills is taken away, Somerset is asked where he will be and responds, “around”, suggesting he will not go through with his retirement. The film ends with the sun setting over the desert, with Somerset quoting Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls:

Iron Man 2

  • Directors: Jon Favreau
  • Producers: Kevin Feige
  • Writers: Screenplay, Justin Theroux, Story, Jon Favreau, Robert Downey Jr, Character, Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Don Heck, Jack Kirby
  • Genres: Action
  • Actors: Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Mickey Rourke, Sam Rockwell, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L Jackson

In an interview with USA Today, Jon Favreau revealed that the sequel is set 6 months after the events of Iron Man, and he also stated that Stark’s revealing of his identity is taking its toll on him. Favreau revealed their version of Iron Man’s comic book nemesis the Mandarin “allows us to incorporate the whole pantheon of villains”, while S.H.I.E.L.D. will continue to have a major role.[1]

During development, Favreau said the film would explore Stark’s alcoholism, but it would not be “the Leaving Las Vegas version”.[1] Downey said, while promoting the first film, that Stark would probably develop a drinking problem as he is unable to cope with his age and Pepper getting a boyfriend.[2] Before filming began, Downey revealed that while the film was not an adaptation of Demon in a Bottle, it was more about the “interim space” between the origin and the Demon story arc.[3]

Two Lovers

  • Directors: James Gray
  • Producers: Donna Gigliotti, James Gray, Anthony Katagas
  • Writers: James Gray, Richard Menello
  • Genres: Drama, Romance
  • Actors: Joaquin Phoenix, Gwyneth Paltrow, Vinessa Shaw, Isabella Rossellini, Elias Koteas, Moni Moshonov

The film starts with Leonard (Phoenix) walking along a foot bridge over the Sheepshead Bay creek in Brooklyn with dry cleaning when he drops the clothing and jumps into the water in an attempted suicide. He changes his mind and surfaces to be helped by random passersby. After walking home to his parents apartment and his mother seeing him dripping wet it becomes evident that Leonard has had emotional problems and had tried to kill himself before.

His parents tell him that a potential business partner and his family are invited for dinner. When they arrive Leonard finds out that he had been set up with the other families’ daughter, Sandra (Shaw). He hits it off with Sandra and tells her how he had been engaged several years before but the relationship broke off because genetic counselling showed that he and his fiancee could not have had healthy children.

A few days later, Leonard meets a new neighbor Michelle (Paltrow) in his apartment building hall. He is immediately attracted to her and spends time with her and goes out on the town with her and her friends. He finds out that she is dating a married partner in her law firm, Ronald (Koteas). Leonard later meets Ronald and Michelle for dinner at an upscale restaurant in the city. He goes home upset but then Sandra surprises him at home where they have sex. The next day he tells Michelle he no longer wants to see her and becomes further involved in a relationship with Sandra.

Two weeks later Michelle calls Leonard and meets him on the roof and tells him that had broken off the relationship with Ronald and is going to San Francisco. Leonard tells her not to go because he loves her but agrees that he will go with her the next day. He buys two tickets online, buys an engagement ring and packs for his trip. The next day, during his parents New Year’s Eve party, he ducks out to the courtyard to meet Michelle where she tells him that she isn’t going to San Francisco because Ronald had left his wife and will marry Michelle. Distraught, Leonard heads out to the beach apparently to kill himself. As he steps in the ocean, he drops a glove that Sandra had bought for him earlier. He picks up the glove, returns to the party, and seeing Sandra gives her the ring.

Iron Man

  • Directors: Jon Favreau
  • Producers: Avi Arad, Kevin Feige
  • Writers: Screenplay, John August, Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, Arthur Marcum, Matthew Hollaway, Comic Book, Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Don Heck, Jack Kirby
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Crime, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Robert Downey Jr, Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Gwyneth Paltrow, Leslie Bibb, Shaun Toub

Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) gambles at a Las Vegas casino, leaving his deceased father’s friend and business partner, Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges), to accept a prestigious award for him. As Stark leaves the casino with his entourage, he is approached by reporter Christine Everhart (Leslie Bibb), whom he charms into a one-night stand at his Malibu house. When she awakens the next morning, Stark is gone and she is coldly greeted by Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), his personal assistant.

Stark flies off to war-torn Afghanistan with his friend and company military liaison, Lieutenant Colonel James Rhodes (Terrence Howard), for a demonstration of Stark Industries’ new weapon, the “Jericho” cluster missile. On the way back, however, his military convoy is attacked. In the firefight, his escort is wiped out and Stark himself is knocked unconscious by one of his own company’s bombs.

Waking up in an Afghan cave, he discovers an electromagnet embedded in his chest, placed there by fellow captive Dr. Yinsen (Shaun Toub). Powered by a car battery, it keeps shrapnel from working its way to his heart and killing him. Stark has been captured by a terrorist group known as the Ten Rings, whose leader orders him to build a Jericho missile for him.

In a post-credits scene, Stark is visited by S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) who notes that Stark is not “the only superhero in the world” and states he wants to discuss the “Avenger Initiative”.