30 Days of Night

  • Directors: David Slade
  • Producers: Sam Raimi, Ted Adams, Rob Tapert
  • Writers: Steve Niles, Stuart Beattie
  • Genres: Horror, Thriller
  • Actors: Josh Hartnett, Melissa George, Danny Huston, Ben Foster, Mark Boone Junior, Mark Rendall

Barrow, Alaska, is preparing for its annual “30 Days of Night”, a period during the winter when the sun will not be seen for a month: some inhabitants leave for Fairbanks or other parts south. As the town gets ready, the Stranger (Ben Foster) rows ashore from a large ship and once in Barrow, he sets about sabotaging the town (stealing and burning cell phones, killing all the sled dogs) in the belief that the vampires will make him one of them if he helps them with their plans.

Barrow’s sheriff, Eben Oleson (Josh Hartnett) investigates these crimes. As he does so, he learns that his estranged wife, Stella Oleson (Melissa George), missed the last plane out of town and will have to spend the 30 day period in Barrow. Although they try to avoid one another, when Stella confronts the Stranger in the town diner, she helps subdue him and take him to the station house.

From the jail cell, the Stranger taunts Eben, Stella, Eben’s teenage brother, Jake (Mark Rendall) and grandmother, telling them that death is coming for them. Just then, vampires attack the local telecommunications center and power supply, rendering the town dark and cut off from the outside world. Eben goes to the telecommunications center and finds the operator’s head on a spike. He and Stella then go through town, warning all the residents to lock themselves indoors and load all weapons.

Eben and Stella watch the sunrise together. While Stella rests on Eben’s shoulder, they share one last kiss. Stella holds Eben tightly in her arms as the light of sun brightens. His body begins to burn and he lets out a bloodcurdling scream. Seconds later he dies, his body turned to ash. The end of the film is marked as Stella closes her eyes, cradling Eben’s ashen corpse.

Black Hawk Down

  • Directors: Ridley Scott
  • Producers: Jerry Bruckheimer, Ridley Scott
  • Writers: Book, Mark Bowden, Screenplay, Ken Nolan
  • Genres: Action, Drama, History, War
  • Actors: Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Tom Hardy, Tom Sizemore, William Fichtner, Eric Bana, Brendan Sexton III, Sam Shepard, Ewen Bremner, Jason Isaacs, Orlando Bloom

In a raid, a task force of Delta Force soldiers, Army Rangers, and Special Operations Aviation Regiment attempt to capture two of Mohammed Farah Aidid’s senior subordinates in the Bakaara Market neighborhood of Mogadishu. The mission is led by Major General William F. Garrison and was supposed to take no more than one hour. The extraction by the Delta team is successful, but the Somali militia, armed with RPGs, shoot down two Black Hawk helicopters, and the resulting rescue extends the mission to over 15 hours.

The film follows many characters through the build-up, assault and rescue. It shows how Staff Sergeant Matt Eversmann was placed in charge of Ranger Chalk Four, before portraying the raid and successful extraction of the wanted persons, and shows the first injury, as PFC Todd Blackburn falls from a helicopter as it maneuvers to avoid an RPG. This is the beginning of the indication that the troops are overwhelmed by the volume of enemy militia, and builds up to the two helicopter crashes: Super Six-One piloted by Cliff “Elvis” Wolcott, and Super Six-Four piloted by Mike Durant. Durant is taken prisoner after the two Delta snipers who requested to be inserted near the crash site of Super Six-Four are killed while defending him.

The film ends with text informing the viewer that “19 Americans and approximately 1000 Somalis died in the conflict. Mike Durant was released and Mohamed Farrah Aidid died in 1996”.

Pearl Harbor

  • Directors: Michael Bay
  • Producers: Jerry Bruckheimer, Michael Bay
  • Writers: Randall Wallace
  • Genres: Action, Romance, War
  • Actors: Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett, Kate Beckinsale, Cuba Gooding Jr, Tom Sizemore, Jon Voight, Colm Feore, Mako and, Alec Baldwin

Childhood friends from Tennessee U.S. Army Air Corps First Lieutenants Rafe McCawley (Affleck) and Danny Walker (Hartnett) are reckless, but talented pilots under the command of Major Jimmy Doolittle (Baldwin). McCawley volunteers for the Eagle Squadrons serving with the Royal Air Force in the war. He meets Evelyn Johnson (Beckinsale), a Navy nurse, before leaving for England; Johnson and Walker get transferred to Pearl Harbor. In Japan, Admiral Yamamoto plans an attack on Pearl Harbor after the United States freezes its trade.

McCawley is shot down in combat over the English Channel; in Hawaii, Walker and Johnson are notified that he is presumed killed in action. While mourning for McCawley, the two have an intimate encounter and begin dating. On the day Johnson discovers that she is pregnant, McCawley returns after three months in occupied France; Walker and Johnson’s relationship estranges McCawley from them. After a fight the two men begin to reconcile, but are interrupted by Japanese Zero fighters, Val dive bombers, and Kate torpedo bombers.

The surprise Japanese attack sinks the USS Arizona (BB-39) and many other ships. While Johnson and other nurses struggle to help the wounded, McCawley and Walker shoot down seven Japanese aircraft using their reckless tactics. The heroes are both promoted to Captain and assigned to now-Lieutenant Colonel Doolittle for a dangerous and top-secret mission. Prior to leaving, Johnson reveals to McCawley her love for him, pregnancy, and intention to stay with Walker as the child is his.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt (Voight) wants to send a message that the Japanese homeland is not immune from bombing. Walker, McCawley, and others are to fly B-25 Mitchell heavy bombers from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-8), bomb Tokyo, and land in China. The two men succeed in their bombing but are captured by the Imperial Japanese Army in China. Walker gives his life to save McCawley, who promises to raise Walker’s son. The film closes with McCawley, Johnson, and their son Danny, Jr. visiting Walker’s grave.

Sin City

  • Directors: Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez, Special Guest Director, Quentin Tarantino
  • Producers: Elizabeth Avellan, Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez
  • Writers: Frank Miller
  • Genres: Action, Crime, Thriller
  • Actors: Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Clive Owen, Jessica Alba, Benicio del Toro, Brittany Murphy, Elijah Wood, Rosario Dawson, Jaime King, Michael Clarke Duncan, Alexis Bledel, Powers Boothe, Michael Madsen, Josh Hartnett, Devon Aoki, Carla Gugino, Rutger Hauer, Marley Shelton

In a penthouse on the roof of a skyscraper overlooking Basin City, a fancy party is in progress. A woman (Marley Shelton), dressed in a red evening gown, is alone on the balcony. A man (Josh Hartnett), who is narrating, walks up behind her and offers her a cigarette. They exchange some small talk, he tells her that he sees in her eyes a “crazy calm”, of someone who is tired of running, but doesn’t want to face her problems alone. He tells her that he will save her, and take her far away. They kiss, then he shoots her. She dies in his arms. He says that he does not know who she was running from, but will “cash her check in the morning.”

In the DVD commentary, Frank Miller explains that the victim in this story (the Customer of the title) is actually committing suicide. The unnamed woman had dated a mobster, and when she tried to break it off, he said that he would kill her in the most terrible way possible. She then used her connections to hire a hitman (known as the Salesman) to provide her with a quick death.

On the docks of Sin City, aging police officer John Hartigan (Bruce Willis) is attempting to stop serial child murderer Roark Junior (Nick Stahl) from raping and killing 11-year-old Nancy Callahan (Makenzie Vega). Junior is the son of the powerful Senator Roark (Powers Boothe), who has paid off many police to cover up his son’s crimes, including Hartigan’s partner Bob (Michael Madsen). Bob tries to convince Hartigan to walk away, and appears to succeed, but Hartigan sucker-punches him, knocking him out cold. Hartigan then makes his way into a warehouse, knocking unconscious two local criminals. Junior is inside with the frightened Nancy and two armed henchmen, who are making sure that Junior and Nancy “get along” before leaving them alone. Hartigan shoots and kills the henchmen, but Junior shoots Hartigan in the shoulder, grabs Nancy and runs out to the docks. Hartigan catches up to Junior and shoots off his ear, causing him to drop Nancy. He then shoots off Junior’s hand and genitals, before being shot in the back several times by Bob, who has recovered. Bob tells Hartigan to stay down, but Hartigan knows he must buy time for backup to arrive (as Bob will kill Nancy if they are alone) so he tries to pull his reserve gun, causing Bob to shoot him several more times. As the sirens approach, Hartigan lapses into unconsciousness knowing that Nancy is safe, justifying himself with the words “An old man dies, a little girl lives; fair trade.”

An injured Becky departs from a hospital, talking on a cell phone with her mother. While riding in the elevator, she is met by the Salesman. Stunned, Becky hangs up the phone. The Salesman offers Becky a cigarette, implying that he was going to kill her, since he also offered the customer from Act 1 a cigarette, but it cuts to black before anything is done.