Sleepers

  • Directors: Barry Levinson
  • Producers: Barry Levinson, Steve Golin
  • Writers: Screenplay, Barry Levinson, Novel, Lorenzo Carcaterra
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Kevin Bacon, Billy Crudup, Robert De Niro, Minnie Driver, Ron Eldard, Dustin Hoffman, Jason Patric, and Brad Pitt

Lorenzo “Shakes” Carcaterra, Thomas “Tommy” Marcano, Michael Sullivan, and John Reilly are four childhood friends (Joseph Perrino, Jonathan Tucker, Brad Renfro, and Geoffrey Wigdor respectively) who grow up in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City in the mid-1960s. During this time, the local priest, Father Bobby (Robert De Niro), plays a very important part in their lives and keeps an eye on them. However, early on they start running small errands for a local gangster, King Benny (Vittorio Gassman).

On a summer day in 1967, their lives take a sharp turn when they almost kill a man after pulling a prank on a hot dog vendor. As a punishment they are all four sentenced to serve time at the Wilkinson Home for Boys in upstate New York. There, the boys are systematically beaten, abused, and raped by guards Sean Nokes, Henry Addison, Adam Styler, and Ralph Ferguson (Kevin Bacon, Jeffrey Donovan, Lennie Loftin, and Terry Kinney respectively). These traumatic events change the boys and their friendship forever.

Fourteen years later, John and Tommy (Ron Eldard and Billy Crudup), now gangsters, come across Sean Nokes in a pub in Hell’s Kitchen. After making sure that Nokes knows who they are, they both shoot him. Mike (Brad Pitt), now an assistant District Attorney, arranges to be assigned to the case, secretly intending to lose it as a means of getting revenge. Moreover, he and Shakes (Jason Patric), begin to forge a plan to get their revenge on all the responsible guards. Together with many of their lifelong friends, especially Carol (Minnie Driver), a social worker, and King Benny, they manage to collect information on all the Wilkinson guards.

However, to clinch the case they need a key witness who can give John and Tommy an alibi. After a long talk with Father Bobby, including telling him about the awful events at Wilkinson, he agrees to lie on the stand about where John and Tommy were on the night of the shooting; the priest swears under oath that they were with him at Madison Square Garden at a Knicks basketball game. As a result, they are acquited.

My Sister s Keeper

  • Directors: Nick Cassavetes
  • Producers: Curmudgeon Films
  • Writers: Novel, Jodi Picoult, Screenplay, Jeremy Leven
  • Genres: Drama
  • Actors: Cameron Diaz, Abigail Breslin, Sofia Vassilieva, Alec Baldwin, Jason Patric, Thomas Dekker, Emily Deschanel, Joan Cusack

Conceived by means of in vitro fertilization, Anna Fitzgerald (Abigail Breslin) was brought into the world to be a genetic match for her older sister, Kate (Sofia Vassilieva), who suffers from acute promyelocytic leukemia. Anna knows if she donates a kidney, she will be unable to live the life she wants; she will no longer be able to take part in extracurricular activities such as cheerleading and soccer, or be a mother. Her family members are introduced one by one and each tell about how Katie’s illness has affected them personally and the family. When Kate turns 15, she goes into renal failure. Knowing that she will have to donate one of her kidneys to her sister, Anna sues her parents for medical emancipation and the rights to her own body. Attorney Campbell Alexander (Alec Baldwin) agrees to work for Anna as her guardian ad litem, suing for partial termination of parental rights. It is later learned he agreed to take the case not for the notoriety, but because he is an epileptic and understands her predicament of not having control over one’s own body.

The judge (Joan Cusack) refuses to grant summary dismissal, and the case goes to a hearing. The film is interlaced with flashbacks that detail the strong relationship between Kate and Anna as well as how Kate’s illness has affected her siblings’ lives and their relationships. Kate also meets a fellow cancer patient, Taylor (Thomas Dekker), who becomes her boyfriend both in and out of the hospital. He asks her to the hospital’s “prom” for patients and they make love. A few days later, Kate is crying because Taylor hasn’t called her for several days. Her mother Sara, furious because Kate said they “did it”, storms out to ask the nurse where he is and learns that he has died. Before the hearing, their dad Brian takes the kids to the beach at Kate’s request and with the doctor’s permission. Overprotective as ever, Sara is infuriated when she finds out but Brian drives away anyway. Sara later joins them and they enjoy one last family outing together.

It turns out that Kate does not even want Anna’s kidney, she has no confidence in another operation and prefers to die, and since Sara does not listen to her she has requested Anna to file for medical emancipation, and refuse to donate a kidney. Their older brother Jesse had known about it all along and urges Anna to tell but she doesn’t dare say any more so he reveals it himself. Before the case is settled, Kate dies in her sleep at the hospital with her mother in her arms. After Kate’s death, Campbell brings the court decision – Anna won the case. The family moves on with their lives, being changed by Kate’s death, but every year on Kate’s birthday they go to Montana, which was her “most favorite place in the world”.

The Lost Boys

  • Directors: Joel Schumacher
  • Producers: Harvey Bernhard, Richard Donner
  • Writers: Janice Fischer, James Jeremias, Jeffrey Boam
  • Genres: Comedy, Fantasy, Horror, Thriller
  • Actors: Jason Patric, Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Haim, Corey Feldman, Jami Gertz, Edward Herrmann, Barnard Hughes, Dianne Wiest

After a strange and mysterious murder at a fairground at the immediate start of the film, Michael and Sam move with their mother Lucy to Santa Carla, a coastal California town plagued with gang activity and unexplained disappearances. The family moves in with Lucy’s father, a cantankerous old man who lives in the outlying suburbs of town and who decorates his house with the product of his hobby: taxidermy.

The center of town life seems to be the local boardwalk. While Lucy gets a job at a local video and electronics store run by a man named Max, Michael is fascinated by a beautiful young woman who he sees at an outdoor concert. After following her along the boardwalk, he sees her getting on a motorcycle with David, the leader of the local gang. The following night he finds the young woman again and learns her name is Star. As they are about to leave together on Michael’s motorcycle, David reappears and provokes Michael into following him and his cadre. They drive to some sea-cliffs where Michael is almost baited into going over the edge. Michael punches David, who merely sees potential in Michael and invites him to the gang’s lair, an old dilapidated hotel that sank beneath the ground after an earthquake.

The teens determine that one of the gang must be the head vampire. Michael, disgusted at the transformation he has undergone, joins them in an attempt to rescue Star and her young brother Laddie, also a “half vampire” and reverse their condition. The group borrow Grandpa’s car (without permission – Sam shouting permission to borrow the car as they drive by him.) Grandpa is seen making a fence and putting large spiked fence posts into the ground. The group travels to the vampire’s cave and while Michael rescues Star and Laddie, the Frog Brothers and Sam travel deep into the lair to kill the vampires. They discover the gang asleep, hanging from the roof like bats. Unsure of which one of the gang is the head vampire the Frog brothers stake Marko, one of the gang members who expires in an explosive fashion. With the rest of the gang woken by the commotion the three boys retreat, with Sam narrowly escaping capture by David. That night, while Lucy is on a date with Max and their grandfather is away, the teens barricade their house and prepare for the gang’s assault. Among other things they steal holy water from a church and fill squirt guns with it to use against the vampires. That night the gang attacks. With the help of Sam’s dog, Nanook, the defenders pick off the gang-members one by one, with Sam shooting Dwayne through the heart with an arrow, Nanook knocking Paul into a bathtub full of holy water and garlic, and Michael impaling David on some deer antlers in his grandfather’s taxidermy workshop. However, Michael is still a vampire, and Max and Lucy then appear and Max reveals himself to be the head vampire after all; the tests hadn’t worked because he had been freely invited into the house. He reveals that he had wanted Lucy as his mate and that his “family” and hers would merge. Lucy is horrified, but Max threatens to kill Sam unless she joins him. As Max is about to bite Lucy’s neck, her father crashes his jeep through the wall of the house; the vehicle’s hood is piled up with the large spiked fence posts (seen earlier when Grandpa is putting the fence up) and one of them impales Max, killing him. As the others stare in amazement, Grandpa casually gets a root beer from the refrigerator and remarks, “One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach… all the damn vampires.”