This Side of the Truth

  • Directors: Ricky Gervais, Matthew Robinson
  • Producers: Ricky Gervais, Dan Lin, Lynda Obst, Oly Obst
  • Writers: Ricky Gervais, Matthew Robinson
  • Genres: Comedy
  • Actors: Ricky Gervais, Jennifer Garner, Jonah Hill, Louis C K, Christopher Guest, Rob Lowe, Tina Fey

The film is set in an alternate reality in which there is no such thing as lying, and everything said is the absolute truth. In this world, people continually make very blunt and often cruel statements and remarks that people in the real world would normally keep to themselves. The concepts of fiction, imagination, and speculation do not exist, resulting in the movie industry being limited to lecture-style historical readings, television commercials being straightforward, and an absence of religion.

Mark Bellison is an unsuccessful lecture-film writer, who is cursed with writing for the 14th century, a “very boring” era to write about. One night, he goes out on a date with Anna McDoogles. She bluntly states to Mark that she is not attracted to him due to his looks and unsuccessful financial situation, but is going out with him to satisfy her extremely prejudicial mother. After the date, she admits that she had a better time than she thought she would.

The next day Mark is fired from his job and his landlord evicts him for being short on his $800 rent. Depressed, he goes to the bank to close his account and use his remaining money to move out of his apartment. The teller informs him that the computers are down, but since society is one of full disclosure, she asks Mark how much money he has in his account. Mark has an epiphany, and tells the world’s first lie, that he has $800 in his account. The computer comes back online and shows his balance is $300, but the teller gives him the full $800 anyway, assuming that the computer made a mistake.

Years later, Anna and Mark are married with a son, with another child on the way, and their son has inherited Mark’s ability to lie.

Valentine s Day

  • Directors: Garry Marshall
  • Producers: Samuel J Brown, Mike Karz, Wayne Allan Rice, Josie Rosen
  • Writers: Abby Kohn, Mark Silverstein, Katherine Fugate
  • Genres: Comedy, Romance
  • Actors: Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Ashton Kutcher, Alex Williams, Julia Roberts, Jamie Foxx, Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Garner, Patrick Dempsey, Eric Dane, Emma Roberts, Taylor Swift, Taylor Lautner, Queen Latifah, Topher Grace, Carter Jenkins, Shirley MacLaine, Hector Elizondo

10 stories of different people on Valentine’s Day in Los Angeles are all linked in some way. The story was written by Abby Kohn and Mark Silverstein.

The Kingdom

  • Directors: Peter Berg
  • Producers:
  • Writers: Matthew Michael Carnahan
  • Genres: Action, Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Jamie Foxx, Ashraf Barhom, Chris Cooper, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Kyle Chandler, Richard Jenkins, Jeremy Piven, Ali Suliman

The opening scene of the movie explains the origins of U.S.-Saudi diplomatic relations and how energy exploitation has transformed the Middle East through a timeline sequence. It portrays the conflicts that have risen since the late 1940s for the rightful ownership of the oil industry. This includes the Gulf War in Iraq and al-Qaeda’s growing network of terrorism. Eventually, it explains the 9/11 terrorist attacks and how the majority of the hijackers were Saudis. This raises serious questions on the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United States. The plot begins with the current struggle of Saudi Arabia and the kingdom’s efforts to stand control of their country against terrorist extremists.

During a softball game at an American oil company housing compound in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, al-Qaeda terrorists set off a bomb, killing many Americans and Saudis in the process. The terrorists impersonate members of the Saudi State Police. While one team hijacks a car and shoots up residents of the area, another runs out onto the softball diamond, pretending to aid the Americans, but then reveals that he is a suicide bomber and blows himself up, killing everyone near him. Sergeant Haytham (Ali Suliman) of the Saudi state police, disables the stolen Saudi Police vehicle and kills the terrorists. A short time later, the FBI Legal Attache in Saudi Arabia, Special Agent Francis Manner (Kyle Chandler), calls up his colleague Special Agent Ronald Fleury (Jamie Foxx) to tell him about the attack. Shortly afterwards, a second bomb explodes in the compound killing Manner and more people.

At Al-Ghazi’s house, Fleury and Haytham meet his family. Fleury tells his son that al-Ghazi was his good friend, mirroring a similar scene earlier in the movie where he comforted Special Agent Manner’s son. Fleury and his team return to the U.S., where they are commended by FBI Director James Grace (Richard Jenkins) for their outstanding work. Afterwards, Leavitt asks Fleury what he had whispered to Mayes (earlier in the film) to calm her down. The scene cuts to Abu Hamza’s daughter asking her son what his grandfather whispered to him as he was dying. Fleury recalls saying, “We’re gonna kill them all,” while the grandson tells his mother, “Don’t fear them, my child. We are going to kill them all.”

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past

  • Directors: Mark Waters
  • Producers: Brad Epstein, Jonathan Shestack, Marcus Viscidi
  • Writers: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore
  • Genres: Comedy, Romance
  • Actors: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Emma Stone, Noureen DeWulf, Breckin Meyer, Lacey Chabert

A womanizer (Matthew McConaughey) is haunted by the ghosts of his former girlfriends at his younger brother’s (Breckin Meyer) wedding. The Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (Emma Stone), Present (Noureen DeWulf), and Future (Amanda Walsh) take him on a journey through his romantic history (à la Ebenezer Scrooge) to help him come to a realization about his ways with women[1] and as well as what he lost with the one woman he was previously intimate and passionately with since childhood.

Daredevil

  • Directors: Mark Steven Johnson
  • Producers: Avi Arad, Gary Foster, Arnon Milchan
  • Writers: Screenplay, Mark Steven Johnson, Comic Book, Stan Lee, Bill Everett
  • Genres: Action, Crime, Fantasy, Thriller
  • Actors: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Michael Clarke Duncan, Colin Farrell

The film begins in medias res with Daredevil clutching a cross at the top of a church, wounded. Daredevil clambers into the church and collapses as a priest who knows his identity approaches him in concern. The events that led to this scene are shown.

As a child, Matt lived in Hell’s Kitchen with his washed-up boxer father, Jack Murdock. Matt’s father constantly reminds Matt to get an education and make something of himself, and not wind up like him. One fateful day, when young Matt takes a shortcut home, he stumbles across his father beating up a man at the behest of local mob boss Fallon. Horrified, Matt runs blindly away from the scene, and runs afoul of a forklift which swerves to avoid him and accidentally pierces a barrel of toxic fluid, drenching Matt’s face in the substance.

An unspecified amount of time later, Matt awakens to find that he is blind. However, despite his loss of sight, his other four senses functioned with super-human accuracy, hearing and touch in particular. While Matt uses his radar-like hearing to train his body, his redeemed father decides to fight again in the ring. One night, Fallon approaches his father and orders him to throw the fight; when he does not, he is brutally murdered by a shadowy figure later revealed to be the Kingpin. Matt is heartbroken by his father’s death.

A final post-credits scene features Bullseye in full body traction on a hospital bed killing a pesky fly despite being largely immobilized.

Juno

  • Directors: Jason Reitman
  • Producers: John Malkovich, Lianne Halfon, Mason Novick, Russell Smith
  • Writers: Diablo Cody
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama
  • Actors: Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Allison Janney, J K Simmons, Olivia Thirlby

Sixteen-year-old Minnesotan high-schooler Juno MacGuff (Ellen Page) discovers she is pregnant with a child fathered by her friend and longtime admirer, Paulie Bleeker (Michael Cera). While at first she intends to have an abortion, she changes her mind and decides to make a plan for the child’s adoption. With the help of her friend Leah (Olivia Thirlby), Juno searches the ads in the Pennysaver and finds a couple she feels will provide a suitable home. Along with her father, Mac (J. K. Simmons), Juno meets the couple, Mark and Vanessa Loring (Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner), in their expensive home and expresses a desire for a closed adoption.

Vanessa is extremely anxious around Juno and their initial interactions are uneasy. However, Juno and Leah happen to see Vanessa in a shopping mall being completely at ease with a child, and Juno encourages Vanessa to talk to her baby in the womb, where it obligingly kicks for her. On the other hand, Juno more easily forms a friendship with Mark, with whom she shares tastes in punk rock and horror films. Mark, who has set aside his rock band youth (now confined to memorabilia displayed in the one room of the house allowed him by Vanessa), works at home composing commercial jingles. Juno hangs out with Mark a few times, ignoring a warning from her stepmother Bren (Allison Janney) that she should not spend time alone with a married man.

After a heartfelt discussion with Mac, Juno accepts that she loves Paulie. Juno then tells Paulie that she loves him, and Paulie’s actions make it clear that her feelings are reciprocated. At his track meet, when Paulie notices Juno is not in the stands and realizes she must be in labor, he rushes to the hospital to be with her (she had not told him because she did not want him to miss the meet). He arrives to find Juno has given birth to their son, and comforts Juno as she cries. Vanessa comes to the hospital where she joyfully claims the newborn boy as a single adoptive mother. On the wall in the baby’s new nursery, Vanessa has framed Juno’s note—addressed only to her—which reads “Vanessa: If you’re still in, I’m still in. —Juno.” The film ends in the summertime with Juno and Paulie playing guitar and singing together, followed by a kiss.