Tropic Thunder

  • Directors: Ben Stiller
  • Producers: Stuart Cornfeld, Eric McLeod, Ben Stiller
  • Writers: Ben Stiller, Justin Theroux, Etan Cohen
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, War
  • Actors: Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr, Jack Black, Brandon T Jackson, Jay Baruchel

During the filming of hook-handed Vietnam veteran John “Four Leaf” Tayback’s memoir, Tropic Thunder, the actors—fading action hero Tugg Speedman, five-time Academy Award-winning Australian method actor Kirk Lazarus, rapper Alpa Chino, and drug-addicted comedian Jeff Portnoy—behave unreasonably (with the exception of newcomer supporting actor Kevin Sandusky). Rookie director Damien Cockburn is unable to control the actors during the filming of a large war scene, and just five days into shooting the production is reported to be a month behind schedule. Cockburn is ordered by studio executive Les Grossman to get filming back on track.

Acting on Tayback’s advice, Cockburn drops the actors into the middle of the jungle, where he has installed hidden cameras and special-effect explosions rigged so he can film “guerrilla-style”. The actors have guns that fire blanks, along with a map and scene listing that will guide them to a helicopter waiting at the end of the jungle route. Unbeknownst to the actors and the production, the group have been dropped in the middle of the Golden Triangle, the home of the heroin-producing Flaming Dragon gang. Shortly after the group set off, the five actors are stunned to see Cockburn blown up by a land mine. Speedman, believing Cockburn faked his death, persuades Chino, Portnoy, and Sandusky that Cockburn is alive and that they are still shooting the film. Lazarus is unconvinced that Cockburn is alive, but joins the other actors in their trek through the jungle.

The four actors locate Tayback, Underwood, and Speedman and cross a bridge rigged to explode to get to Underwood’s helicopter. Speedman asks to remain behind with the gang which he considers his “family”, but quickly returns with Flaming Dragon in pursuit. Tayback detonates the bridge, allowing Speedman to reach safety, but as the helicopter takes off, the gang fires a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) at the machine. Peck unexpectedly stumbles out of the jungle carrying a TiVo box and throws it in the path of the RPG, saving them all. The actors and crew return to Hollywood, where footage from the hidden cameras is compiled into a feature film, Tropic Blunder, which becomes a major critical and box office hit.

Iron Man 2

  • Directors: Jon Favreau
  • Producers: Kevin Feige
  • Writers: Screenplay, Justin Theroux, Story, Jon Favreau, Robert Downey Jr, Character, Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Don Heck, Jack Kirby
  • Genres: Action
  • Actors: Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Mickey Rourke, Sam Rockwell, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L Jackson

In an interview with USA Today, Jon Favreau revealed that the sequel is set 6 months after the events of Iron Man, and he also stated that Stark’s revealing of his identity is taking its toll on him. Favreau revealed their version of Iron Man’s comic book nemesis the Mandarin “allows us to incorporate the whole pantheon of villains”, while S.H.I.E.L.D. will continue to have a major role.[1]

During development, Favreau said the film would explore Stark’s alcoholism, but it would not be “the Leaving Las Vegas version”.[1] Downey said, while promoting the first film, that Stark would probably develop a drinking problem as he is unable to cope with his age and Pepper getting a boyfriend.[2] Before filming began, Downey revealed that while the film was not an adaptation of Demon in a Bottle, it was more about the “interim space” between the origin and the Demon story arc.[3]

Mulholland Dr

  • Directors: David Lynch
  • Producers: Pierre Edelman, Alain Sarde, Mary Sweeney
  • Writers: David Lynch
  • Genres: Drama, Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller
  • Actors: Naomi Watts, Laura Elena Harring, Justin Theroux, Ann Miller

The story may not be linear and exhibits several instances of temporal disruption. A dark-haired woman (Laura Elena Harring) escapes imminent murder when she is the sole survivor of a car accident on Mulholland Drive. Injured and in shock, she descends into Los Angeles and sneaks into an apartment which an older, red-headed woman has recently vacated. An aspiring actress named Betty Elms (Naomi Watts) arrives from Deep River, Ontario, and takes a taxi to the same apartment, where she finds the dark-haired woman confused, not knowing her own name. The dark-haired woman assumes the name “Rita” when she sees a poster for the film Gilda (1946), starring Rita Hayworth. Betty decides to assist her in discovering her identity, and they look in Rita’s purse where they find a large amount of money and an unusual blue key.

A man in a diner called Winkies tells his companion about a nightmare in which he dreamt there was a horrible figure behind the diner. When they investigate, the figure appears, causing the man with the nightmare to collapse in fright. Later, a bungling hit man attempts to steal a book full of phone numbers and leaves three people dead. A Hollywood director named Adam Kesher (Justin Theroux) has his film commandeered by apparent mobsters, who insist he casts an unknown actress named Camilla Rhodes (Melissa George) as the lead in his film. After he resists, he returns home to find his wife having an affair and is thrown out of his house. He later learns that his bank has closed his line of credit and he is broke. He agrees to meet a mysterious figure called The Cowboy, who urges him to cast Camilla Rhodes for his own good.

Diane meets with the bungling hit man at Winkies, where she gives him Camilla’s photo and a large amount of money, and they are served by a waitress named Betty. The hit man tells Diane that when the job is done, she will find a blue key. Diane looks up to see the man who had the nightmare standing at the counter. Back at her apartment, in view of the key, she is terrorized by hallucinations. She runs screaming to her bed where she shoots herself.