Flags of Our Fathers

  • Directors: Clint Eastwood
  • Producers: Clint Eastwood, Robert Lorenz, Steven Spielberg
  • Writers: James Bradley, Ron Powers, William Broyles Jr, Paul Haggis
  • Genres: Action, Drama, History, War
  • Actors: Ryan Phillippe, Adam Beach, Jesse Bradford, Neal McDonough, Barry Pepper, Robert Patrick, Paul Walker, Jamie Bell, John Benjamin Hickey, John Slattery

The story focuses on seven US Marines of the 28th Marine Regiment, 5th Marine Division, Sgt. Mike Strank, Pfc. Rene Gagnon, Pfc. Ira Hayes, Cpl. Harlon Block, Pfc. Franklin Sousley, Sgt. Hank Hansen, and Pfc. Ralph Ignatowski, as well as their Navy Corpsman, PhM2. John “Doc” Bradley.

In December 1944, U.S. Marines train at Camp Tarawa, Hawaii. They train by climbing a large mountain and getting in Higgins boats. The Marines then set sail across the Pacific, and it is revealed that they are headed to the small island of Iwo Jima, located less than 700 miles from the Japanese mainland. As Captain Severance puts it, they will be fighting on Japanese soil, and will expect tough resistance. A few days later, the armada arrives off the coast of Iwo Jima and the ships of the US Navy open fire on suspected Japanese positions. On the night before the landings, Mike is put in charge of second platoon.

The next day, February 19, 1945, the Marines hit the beach in landing craft and meet no resistance. Ralph, aka “Iggy”, suspects that the Navy killed all the Japanese defenders, as do most of the Marines. After several tense minutes the Marines advance forward and the Japanese open fire. The battle is extremely intense, and the Marines take heavy casualties. Japanese heavy artillery opens fire upon the Marines on shore, as well as the Navy ships. After several attempts, Second Platoon takes out a Japanese pillbox which was pinning them down. They advance forward, as do many other Marines. The battle begins to calm down and the beachheads are secure. Two days later the Marines attack Mount Suribachi under a rain of Japanese artillery and machine gun fire, as the Navy bombards the mountain. It is here that Doc saves the lives of several Marines under fire which later earns him the Navy Cross. Finally, the mountain is secure. For the next four nights, the Marines take cover in foxholes as Japanese soldiers charge through the mist.

In September the war ends and Doc, Rene and Ira go home. Ira tries to move on but is never able to escape his unwanted fame. One day in 1952 after being released from jail, he hitchhikes over 1,300 miles to Texas to see Harlon Block’s family. He tells Ed Block, Harlon’s father that Harlon was indeed at the base of the flag in the famous photograph. In 1954, the USMC War Memorial is dedicated and the three flag raisers see each one last time. In 1955 Ira dies of exposure after a night of drinking. That same year Doc drove to a town where Iggy’s mom lived and told her how Iggy died, though it is implied that he lied. Rene has little success as the business offers he received on the bond drive are no longer offered to him. He spends the rest of his life as a high school janitor, dying in 1979. Doc is the only successful one. He buys the funeral home he worked at before the war and runs it for the rest of his life. In 1995, as he is on his death bed, he tells his son James how after the flag raising Captain Severance took the men swimming. He then dies peacefully. In a final flashback to 1945, the men swim in the ocean after raising the flags.

Bring It On

  • Directors: Peyton Reed
  • Producers: Marc Abraham, Thomas Bliss
  • Writers: Jessica Bendinger
  • Genres: Comedy, Sport
  • Actors: Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, Jesse Bradford, Gabrielle Union

The Rancho Carne High School cheerleading squad “The Toros” are aiming for their sixth consecutive national championship title. “Big Red” (Lindsay Sloane), their team captain, is graduating and Torrance Shipman (Kirsten Dunst) is elected to take her place.

The movie begins with Torrance Shipman entering a car with her boyfriend Aaron, who explains that the transition from high school to college is going to be a difficult one. Meanwhile, a new male student, Cliff Pantone (Jesse Bradford), joins Torrance’s class and takes a seat next to her. Although he is teased by two of the school’s football players, he stands up for himself and Torrance immediately takes a liking to him.

During an after school practice for the Regionals, a girl injures herself and is taken to the hospital, forcing the team to hold auditions for a new member. All the applicants turn out to be complete failures, some even turning out to sing and do ballet. Whitney is positive her younger sister Jamie would be perfect for the team as she is light and can be thrown easily. When Jamie auditions, Whitney and her friend Courtney are impressed, but the others are less so.

When the next applicant, Missy (Eliza Dushku), walks in, the girls don’t appear to like her from her appearance and quickly find reasons to get her out of the gym. They say that tattoos are strictly forbidden but Missy reveals that the tattoo on her arm was drawn on when she was bored during fourth period. Missy explains that she’s trying out because cheerleading is the closest thing she could find to gymnastics, since the school doesn’t have a gymnastics team. Whitney attempts to make her to leave by telling her to complete a series of complicated gymnastics moves and Missy successfully executes them, amazing the rest of the crew. Torrance is especially impressed, but Courtney calls her an “über-dyke” which Missy interprets as an insult and leaves angrily.

When Cliff walks up to Torrance and Missy, Missy leaves them alone and Torrance finally kisses Missy’s brother.

Happy Endings

  • Directors: Don Roos
  • Producers: Michael Paseornek, Holly Wiersma
  • Writers: Don Roos
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Music, Thriller
  • Actors: Lisa Kudrow, Steve Coogan, Jesse Bradford, Bobby Cannavale, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jason Ritter, Tom Arnold

The film follows the lives of a diverse group of mostly middle-class Americans through the emotional ups and downs in their flawed yet very human lives, each loosely connected to each other through a restaurant.

The film follows three interconnected stories. In the first, a woman (Lisa Kudrow) reluctantly agrees to work with a would-be young filmmaker (Jesse Bradford) in order to locate the now grown son she secretly gave up for adoption after becoming pregnant from her stepbrother (Steve Coogan) (who is later found to be gay) 19 years earlier.

In the second story arc, her stepbrother and his domestic partner (David Sutcliffe) are deciding whether or not to confront their friends, a lesbian couple (Laura Dern and Sarah Clarke), regarding the paternity of their son.

And in the third, a young man (Jason Ritter) is involved with a band and trying to keep his father (Tom Arnold) from learning that he is gay, while also dealing with the seemingly gold-digging woman (Maggie Gyllenhaal) who inserts herself into their lives.