Shooter

  • Directors: Antoine Fuqua
  • Producers: Lorenzo di Bonaventura
  • Writers: Stephen Hunter, Jonathan Lemkin
  • Genres: Action, Crime, Mystery, Thriller
  • Actors: Mark Wahlberg, Danny Glover, Ned Beatty, Tate Donovan, Kate Mara, Mike Dopud

Bob Lee Swagger (Mark Wahlberg), a retired Gunnery Sergeant Marine Scout Sniper, is one of the few snipers in the world whose sharpshooting abilities allow him to “take out a target from a mile away.” He reluctantly leaves a self-imposed exile from his isolated mountain home at the request of Colonel Isaac Johnson (Danny Glover). Johnson appeals to his expertise and patriotism to help track down an assassin who plans on shooting the president from a great distance with a high powered rifle. Johnson gives him a list of three cities where the President is scheduled to visit so Swagger could determine if an attempt could be made at any of them.

Swagger assesses each of the locations and determines that a site in Philadelphia would be most conducive to a long range assassination attempt. He passes this information to Johnson, who purportedly arranges for a response. This turns out to be a set-up: while Swagger is working with Johnson’s agents — including a local police officer — to find the rumored assassin, the Ethiopian archbishop is instead assassinated while standing next to the president. Swagger is shot by the officer, but manages to escape. The agents tell the police and public that Swagger is the shooter, and stage a massive manhunt for the injured sniper. However, Swagger has a stroke of luck — he meets a rookie FBI special agent, Nick Memphis (Michael Peña), disarms him and steals his car.

Later appearing in a closed meeting with the Director of the FBI and the United States Attorney General present, Swagger clears his name by loading a rifle round (supplied by Memphis) into his rifle (which is there as evidence since it was supposedly used in the killing), aiming it at the Colonel and pulling the trigger — which fails to fire the round. Swagger explains that every time he leaves his house, he takes out all the firing pins replacing them with slightly shorter ones, thus rendering them unable to fire until he returns. Although Swagger is exonerated, Colonel Johnson takes advantage of a legal loophole — the Ethiopian genocide is outside American legal jurisdiction — and walks free. The attorney general approaches Swagger and states that as a law enforcement official, he must abide by the law (he insinuates that if it was the “wild west” it would be appropriate to clean the system with a gun). Afterwards, the Colonel and the Senator plan their next move while at the Senator’s vacation house — only to be interrupted by an attack by Swagger. He kills both conspirators, one of the Colonel’s aides and two bodyguards, then breaks open a gas valve before leaving. The fire in the fireplace ignites the gas, blowing up the house. The final scene shows Swagger getting into a car with Fenn and driving away.

We Are Marshall

  • Directors: McG
  • Producers: McG, Basil Iwanyk
  • Writers: Story, Jamie Linden, Cory Helms, Screenplay, Jamie Linden
  • Genres: Drama, Sport
  • Actors: Matthew McConaughey, Matthew Fox, Anthony Mackie, Kate Mara, Ian McShane, David Strathairn, Kimberly Williams Paisley, Robert Patrick, Brian Geraghty, January Jones

On the evening of November 14, 1970, Southern Airways Flight 932, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9 which Huntington, West Virginia’s Marshall University chartered to transport the Thundering Herd football team to Greenville, North Carolina and back to Huntington, clipped trees on a ridge just one mile short of the runway at Tri-State Airport in Ceredo, West Virginia and crashed into a gully. The team was returning from their game against the East Carolina University Pirates — a 17–14 loss. There were no survivors. In all, seventy-five people lost their lives. The dead included the thirty-seven players, head coach Rick Tolley and five members of his coaching staff, Charles E. Kautz, Marshall’s athletics director, team trainer Jim Schroer and his assistant, Donald Tackett, twenty-two boosters, and five crew members.

In the wake of the tragedy, President Donald Dedmon leans towards indefinitely suspending the football program, but he is ultimately persuaded to reconsider by the pleas of the Marshall students and Huntington residents, and especially the few football players who didn’t make the flight. Dedmon hires a young new head coach Jack Lengyel, who, with the help of Red Dawson, manages to rebuild the team in a relatively short time. They are aided by the NCAA’s waiver of a rule prohibiting freshmen from playing varsity football (a rule which had been abolished in 1968 for all sports except for football and basketball, and would be permanently abolished for those sports in 1972). The new team is composed mostly of the eighteen returning players (three varsity, fifteen sophomores) and walk-on athletes from other Marshall sports programs. Due to their lack of experience, the “Young Thundering Herd” ends up losing their first game, 29-6 to the Morehead State Eagles. The Herd’s first post-crash victory is a heart-stopping 15–13 home win against Xavier University in the first home game of the season.

The following week, Marshall lost to the Miami Redskins 66 to 6. They would win only one more game in 1971. Jack Lengyel resigned as head coach in 1974 with a record of 9-33. He would later become athletic director at the Naval Academy. He’s now in the Hall of Fame. Donald Dedmond accepted the presidency at Radford University where he would remain until he retired in 1994. Gene Morehouse’s son Keith followed in his fathers footsteps and became a broadcaster for Marshall Football where he remains today. Reggie Oliver started every game for the Thundering Herd until he graduated. He later returned to Marshall as an assistant coach and now lives in Ohio. After graduation, Nate Ruffin moved away from Huntington, got married and started a family. In 2001, after an illness, Nate died at his home in Virginia. He would return to Hunington one last time for a reuninon with his old buddies