Misery

  • Directors: Rob Reiner
  • Producers: Rob Reiner, Andrew Scheinman, Jeffrey Stott, Steve Nicolaides
  • Writers: Novel, Stephen King, Screenplay, William Goldman
  • Genres: Horror, Thriller
  • Actors: James Caan, Kathy Bates, Richard Farnsworth, Frances Sternhagen, Lauren Bacall

Famed novelist, Paul Sheldon (James Caan) is the best selling author of a series of romance novels involving the character, Misery Chastaine. After finishing his latest novel, he departs from Silver Creek, Colorado to New York; he drives in the middle of a blizzard and his car goes off the road. He is rescued by former nurse Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates) and brought back to her home where she tends to his injuries.

She claims she is his number one fan, and goes on and on about how she cherishes Paul and the novels. At first, Annie seems to be a very kind nurse with a very happy-go-lucky attitude, but it becomes clear to Paul that she is psychotic. He lets her read his novel and she says that she disagrees with profanity, while she is feeding him, she loses control, spilling some soup on him, but regains control and humbly apologizes for her actions.

She then gets a copy of Paul’s already published book entitled, Misery’s Child the latest Misery novel and the last, as Paul has decided to go on writing other stories, including the one he has already finished. After he has “killed” Misery (who suffered a maternal death) in this story, Annie goes into a rage, almost killing Paul, she claims that she never contacted the hospital, his agent or family, or anyone else Paul knows. Annie then leaves and Paul decides to escape his room but she has locked the door making it impossible for him to leave. Annie comes to him the following morning and makes him burn his latest novel. Paul initially refuses, but then Annie starts pouring lighting fluid onto the bedspread, making it clear that she will set the bed on fire if Paul refuses.

Eighteen months later, Paul (now able to walk again) meets with his publishing agent in New York, in a restaurant, discussing his first non-Misery novel called The Higher Education of J. Philip Stone, which has become a real success. His agent asks if he wants to write a non-fiction book about his time with Annie, but Paul claims it would not be good for him. He then sees a vision of Annie as a waitress but turns out to be someone else. The waitress claims that she is his number one fan, to which Paul responds, “That’s very sweet of you.”

Get Smart

  • Directors: Peter Segal
  • Producers: Alex Gartner, Charles Roven, Andrew Lazar, Michael Ewing
  • Writers: Screenplay, Tom J Astle, Matt Ember, Characters, Mel Brooks, Buck Henry
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Crime, Mystery, Thriller
  • Actors: Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway, Dwayne Johnson, Alan Arkin, Terence Stamp, James Caan, Ken Davitian

Maxwell Smart, an analyst for the top secret American intelligence agency CONTROL, yearns to become a field agent like his friend Agent 23 whom he idolizes. Despite scoring extremely well in the acceptance tests, Max is denied the promotion as the Chief of CONTROL feels that Max’s analytical skills are too valuable in his present assignment. This changes when CONTROL headquarters is attacked by its arch-enemy, the terrorist organization KAOS, led by a man known only as Siegfried. As a result, almost all of CONTROL’s agents’ identities are exposed, leaving only Max and Agent 99, whose recent plastic surgery has protected her identity, to pursue the culprits whilst former field operatives such as 23 are demoted to desk jobs. Max is promoted to field agent status with the codename Agent 86, but the experienced 99, viewing the naive and bumbling but overwhelmingly enthusiastic Max as an irritating encumbrance, is reluctant to partner with him.

After a series of mishaps while travelling on a commercial airliner, Max and 99 infiltrate Russia by parachute, hoping to trace KAOS’ recent acquisition of nuclear materials through its chief bombmaker, Krstic. Along the way, they are attacked by Dalip, a formidable henchman of Siegfried’s. Infiltrating a luxurious party hosted by Krstic, they trace the nuclear material (specifically Yellowcake uranium) to a KAOS nuclear weapons factory disguised as a Moscow bakery, but Max is forced to shoot Krstic when he and his men corner them. Infiltrating the bakery, Max meets with Siegfried and his second-in-command, Shtarker, only to learn that Siegfried was expecting him; a double agent has compromised his and 99’s identities. Max manages to escape capture and seal the weapons factory with explosives. During their escape, Max and 99 are confronted by Dalip; realizing that he knows Dalip through hours of listening to him on spy ‘chatter’, Max manages to persuade Dalip to spare their lives by giving him advice on how to repair his failing marriage. The Chief sends 23 to observe the clean-up of the factory, but KAOS manages to sneak the weapons out through the Moskva River, leaving 23 to report that only a bakery has been destroyed. Realizing that Max was alone during his key discoveries, CONTROL believe Max to be the double-agent; 99, who has been gradually falling in love with Max through their shared experiences, is heartbroken but takes Max into custody.

Subsequently, CONTROL becomes a laughing stock in the intelligence community, and their advice is disregarded when Siegfried transmits a threat to the United States government; pay him $200 billion or he will release the missile codes to rogue states. Whilst Max is in a CONTROL holding cell, Dalip sends him a coded message via the radio show American Top 40 revealing Siegfried’s plan; as a ‘demonstration’ he intends to detonate a nuclear device during the President’s visit to a concert performed at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Max escapes from CONTROL and flies to Los Angeles to unite with the Chief, 99, and 23, who have flown out to persuade the President to take the KAOS threat seriously. Although 23 is skeptical, Max manages to convince 99 and the Chief that he is not the double agent. As KAOS plants the nuclear bomb in the concert hall, Max discovers trace amounts of radioactivity on Agent 23, exposing that he was lying about the bakery; revealed as the double agent, 23 takes 99 hostage and flees, forcing Max and the Chief to give pursuit. Managing to infiltrate 23’s car, Max rescues 99 and confronts 23, but in the struggle the car is set on fire and forced onto railroad tracks; 23 is killed when the car collides with a freight train. Realizing that the bomb will explode with the final notes of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”, Max, 99, and the Chief manage to reach the concert hall and tackle the conductor with seconds to spare, preventing the bomb from going off. During their escape, Siegfried insults Dalip once too often, previously threatening to kill his wife if he failed. Even though he has no intentions of killing her, he openly states that he would be “doing the sighted world a favor” if he did so. Finally having had enough, Dalip throws Siegfried out of their car over the side of a bridge in response. Max is hailed by the President as a hero, and walks off the stage heroically, with no one mentioning that there is a huge hole in his pants exposing his bare bottom, because it would ruin his moment. As CONTROL celebrates their success, he and 99 begin dating.

Bottle Rocket

  • Directors: Wes Anderson
  • Producers: Polly Platt, Cynthia Hargrave, Barbara Boyle, James L Brooks, Richard Sakai, Michael Taylor, David Jones, Andrew Wilson
  • Writers: Owen Wilson, Wes Anderson
  • Genres: Short, Comedy, Crime
  • Actors: Luke Wilson, Owen Wilson, James Caan, Robert Musgrave, Lumi Cavazos

The film centers on a group of aimless young men from a wealthy Texas community. As the movie opens, Dignan (Owen Wilson) “rescues” Anthony (Luke Wilson) from a voluntary mental hospital where he has been staying for self-described exhaustion. Dignan has an elaborate escape planned and has developed a 75-year plan, which he shows to Anthony on the escape bus. The plan is to pull off several heists and then meet Mr. Henry, a landscapist and part-time criminal known to Dignan.

The two friends waste no time in breaking into and robbing a house as a practice run, taking small, specific items from a list. During Dignan’s critique of the robbery, he mentions that he took diamond earrings, which were not on the list. Anthony becomes angered because the house was his family’s and he admonishes Dignan for stealing his mother’s earrings without permission.

Anthony visits his little sister at her school so she can return the earrings. Dignan recruits Bob Mapplethorpe as a getaway driver because he is the only person they know with his own car. The three make a road trip to buy guns and return to Bob’s house to plan their next heist, a local bookstore. The group bickers as Dignan struggles to describe his intricate plan to the others.

Anthony and Bob visit Dignan in prison. They catch up and tell him how Mr. Henry robbed Bob’s house. Dignan begins rattling off an escape plan and instructs his friends to get into position for a get-away. After a tense moment, the two realize that Dignan is joking. Before leaving, Dignan says to Anthony, “Isn’t it funny that you used to be in the nuthouse and now I’m in jail?” as he walks back into the prison. As in most Wes Anderson movies the ending is in slow motion.

El Dorado

  • Directors: Howard Hawks
  • Producers: Howard Hawks
  • Writers: Harry Brown, Leigh Brackett
  • Genres: Western, Action, Adventure
  • Actors: John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, James Caan, Charlene Holt, Paul Fix

Cole Thornton (John Wayne), an infamous gunslinger, is hired by wealthy rancher Bart Jason (Ed Asner) to help him in a ranch war with the McDonald family. While making a stop at the town of El Dorado, the local sheriff and an old friend, J.P. Harrah (Robert Mitchum), approaches him and gives him more sensitive details about the mission of his which Jason had deliberately left out, including the possibility of having to face Harrah in combat. Unwilling to do this, Thornton agrees to quit, though the possibility of a clash between the two is briefly hinted at with the arrival of saloon owner Maudie (Charlene Holt), who is in love with Thornton (and was for a time also the romantic interest of Harrah’s).

In the meantime, however, the McDonalds learn of Thornton’s presence in town. Fearing that he might come for them, Kevin McDonald (R. G. Armstrong) puts his youngest son, Luke, on guard. When Thornton passes by on his way back from visiting Jason to tell him that he is not going to work for him, Luke (Johnny Crawford), who has fallen asleep, wakes and fires a wild warning shot, whereupon Thornton reflexively shoots him. Luke is still alive when Thornton comes to him, but he refuses treatment upon the belief that a gut-shot man wouldn’t have a chance anyway, and commits suicide when Thornton is not looking. Thornton brings Luke’s body to the McDonald farm and offers an explanation, but the only McDonald daughter, Joey (Michele Carey), impulsively rides off before Thornton can finish and subsequently ambushes him. Her shot is not fatal, but the bullet lodges next to Thornton’s spine and in time begins to trouble him by occasionally pressing against the spinal cord, causing temporary paralysis of his right side each time. The local doctor (Paul Fix) is unable to remove the bullet and, after healing up, Thornton departs El Dorado for a new job.

About half a year later, Thornton runs into another gunslinger for hire named Nelse McLeod (Christopher George) and a young greenhorn nicknamed Mississippi (James Caan), who has come for revenge against one of McLeod’s men. Thornton learns that McLeod has been hired by Jason for the very same job Thornton had turned down months ago, and Harrah has turned into a drunk after an unhappy love affair. Thornton returns to El Dorado, where he, Mississippi, and deputy sheriff Bull (Arthur Hunnicutt) try their best both to protect the McDonalds from Jason’s scheming and restore the drunken Harrah to his old self.

Eraser

  • Directors: Chuck Russell
  • Producers: Anne Kopelson, Arnold Kopelson
  • Writers: Tony Puryear, Walon Green, Michael S Chernuchin
  • Genres: Action, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
  • Actors: Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Caan, Vanessa Williams, James Coburn, and Robert Pastorelli, James Cromwell, Danny Nucci, Andy Romano, Nick Chinlund, Gerry Becker

John “Eraser” Kruger (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a U.S. Marshal who works for the Federal Witness Security Protection Program (WITSEC). John is assigned to protect Dr. Lee Cullen (Vanessa L. Williams), a scientist who works for Cyrez Corporation, a company that creates and manufactures weapons for the military. Lee has come across plans in which Cyrez plans to sell a top secret electronic pulse rifle to terrorist Sergei Ivanovich Petrofsky (Olek Krupa). With its unparalleled firepower, the sale of such weapons to the wrong hands would tip over the balance of power.

The man behind the scheme, William Donahue (James Cromwell) wants Lee dead, because without Lee’s testimony, there is no case against Cyrez. After Donahue commits suicide to escape punishment, John takes Lee to New York City to hide her, then John and his mentor, fellow marshal Robert Deguerin (James Caan), try to locate a witness. But Deguerin kills the witness they are looking for, indicating that Deguerin is Donahue’s U.S. Marshal mole in the scam. Even Undersecretary of Defense Daniel Harper (Andy Romano) is in on it.

Deguerin kidnaps Lee, and with the help of Johnny Casteleone (Robert Pastorelli), a man whose life John once saved, John rescues Lee and prevents the railgun shipment. After a hearing for Deguerin and his fellow conspirators a few weeks later, and with the implication that under civil law jurisdiction a conviction and sentence of the culprits will not be possible, John eliminates Deguerin and the conspirators, “erasing” them thoroughly in an arranged train accident.

Elf

  • Directors: Jon Favreau
  • Producers: Jon Berg, Todd Komarnicki, Shauna Robertson
  • Writers: Buddy Hobbs, David Berenbaum
  • Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy
  • Actors: Will Ferrell, Artie Lange, James Caan, Zooey Deschanel, Mary Steenburgen, Daniel Tay, with Edward Asner, and Bob Newhart

Elf begins with narration by Papa Elf (Bob Newhart), explaining the only three jobs available to an elf: making shoes for a cobbler; baking cookies inside of trees; and working in Santa’s workshop. He also explains Buddy’s presence at the North Pole — as an infant in an orphanage, he crawled into Santa Claus’s sack of toys one Christmas Eve and was accidentally taken to the North Pole. Santa (Edward Asner) decides to allow the child, called “Buddy” after a label on his diaper, to be raised by Papa Elf, who has no children of his own.

As Buddy (Will Ferrell) grows, his height and poor toymaking skills raise awkward questions that his adoptive father continually waves away. Papa Elf also shows Buddy the jet engine he created in the 1960s to assist Santa’s sleigh, which had run on the power of the Christmas spirit, until people began to doubt Santa’s existence. After a string of accidents in which Buddy’s non-elfness becomes obvious, Papa Elf finally breaks the news that he was adopted: his birth parents fell in love with each other when they were high school students in the 1970s, and nine months later, Buddy was born, in 1973. His late mother, Susan Wells, placed him for adoption at the orphanage. Buddy’s now 46-year-old father, Walter Hobbs (James Caan), was never aware of Buddy’s existence, and has since become a children’s book publishing executive with offices in the Empire State Building; Walter is presently married to Emily (Mary Steenburgen), and has a 10-year-old son, Michael (Daniel Tay). However Santa informs Buddy that Hobbs is unfortunately on the Naughty List for being a heartless grouch, but has confidence that Buddy will be able to change his Scrooge-like father into a kind and caring human being.

After Christmas, Walter starts a new publishing company, with their first book, “Elf”, written by Buddy Hobbs, becoming an award winning children’s novel. Buddy and Jovie get married and have a daughter named Susie (which is seen, stitched on her hat).

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

  • Directors: Phil Lord, Chris Miller
  • Producers: Pam Marsden
  • Writers: Judi Barrett, Ron Barrett, Phil Lord, Chris Miller
  • Genres: Animation, Family
  • Actors: Bill Hader, Anna Faris, Bruce Campbell, James Caan, Tracy Morgan, Andy Samberg, Mr T

A scientist trying to solve world hunger by converting water into food encounters a problem of global proportions, as food begins to fall from the sky.

The Godfather

  • Directors: Francis Ford Coppola
  • Producers: Albert S Ruddy
  • Writers: Novel, Mario Puzo, Screenplay, Mario Puzo, Francis Ford Coppola, Robert Towne,
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Richard S Castellano, Robert Duvall, Sterling Hayden, John Marley, Richard Conte, Diane Keaton

In late summer 1945, guests are gathered for the wedding reception of Don Vito Corleone’s daughter Connie and Carlo Rizzi. Vito (Marlon Brando), the head of the Corleone Mafia family – who is known to friends and associates as “Godfather” – and Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall), the Corleone family lawyer and consigliere (counselor), are hearing requests for favors because “no Sicilian can refuse a request on his daughter’s wedding day”. Meanwhile, the Don’s youngest son Michael (Al Pacino), a decorated Marine war hero returning from World War II service, tells his girlfriend Kay Adams (Diane Keaton) anecdotes about his family, attempting to inform her about his father’s criminal life; he reassures her that he is different from his family. Among depicting the marriage of Connie and Carlo, the wedding scene also serves as a critical exposition scene for the remainder of the film, as Michael figuratively introduces the main characters to Kay.

Among the guests at the celebration is the famous singer Johnny Fontane (Al Martino), Corleone’s godson, who has come from Hollywood to petition Vito’s help in landing a movie role that will revitalize his flagging career. Jack Woltz (John Marley), the head of the studio, denies Fontane the part, but Don Corleone explains to Johnny: “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.” Hagen is dispatched to California to fix the problem, but Woltz angrily tells him that he will never cast Fontane in the role, for which he is perfect and will make him an even bigger star, because Fontane seduced and “ruined” a starlet that Woltz favored. Woltz is persuaded otherwise, however, when he wakes up early the next morning and feels something wet in his bed. He pulls back the sheets, and finds himself in a pool of blood with the severed head of his prized $600,000 stud horse, Khartoum, in the bed with him, and screams in horror.[5]

The book’s ending differs from the movie: whereas in the film Kay suddenly realizes that Michael has become “like his family”, the drama is toned down in the book. She leaves Michael and goes to stay with her parents. When Tom Hagen visits her there, he lets her in on family secrets for which, according to him, he would be killed should Michael find out what he has revealed. This is then followed by Kay’s visit to the church, where she prays for her husband’s soul.