Grease 2

  • Directors: Patricia Birch
  • Producers: Robert Stigwood, Allan Carr
  • Writers: Ken Finkleman
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Musical, Romance
  • Actors: Maxwell Caulfield, Michelle Pfeiffer, Adrian Zmed, Lorna Luft

It is 1961, two years after the events of the first film took place, and a new academic year is just beginning at Rydell High School (Back To School Again). The Pink Ladies are now led by the beautiful Stephanie Zinone (Michelle Pfeiffer), who feels she has “outgrown” her relationship with the arrogant leader of the The T-Birds, Johnny Nogerelli (Adrian Zmed) during summer break. A new arrival comes in the form of clean-cut English student Michael Carrington (Maxwell Caulfield), the cousin of Sandy Olsson (the character played by Olivia Newton-John in Grease). Michael quickly becomes smitten with Stephanie, despite the gentle protestation of the sole remaining lead character from the first film, Frenchy (Didi Conn), who observes that she will not date him since he is not a T-Bird.

At the local bowling alley, a competitive game (Score Tonight) turns sour due to the animosity between Johnny and Stephanie. Johnny flirts with Stephanie’s friend and fellow Pink Lady, Paulette Rebchuck (Lorna Luft), to make Stephanie jealous, and she retaliates by kissing the next man who walks in the door, which happens to be Michael. Bemused by this unexpected kiss, Michael attempts to ask her out the next day at an audition for the school talent show, but discovers that she has a very specific vision of her ideal man (Cool Rider). He realizes that he will only win her affection if he turns himself into a cool rider, and begins saving up for a motorcycle by selling completed homework assignments to the academically-challenged T-Birds. He buys the bike, fixes it up and spends all his spare time learning to ride it.

The school year ends with the graduation luau the next day (Rock-A-Hula Luau) during which Johnny and Stephanie later engage in another argument while being carried onto the pool in a floating throne. The Cycle Lords suddenly appear and begin to destroy the celebration, but are stopped by the emergence of the Cool Rider, much to the surprise of Stephanie. After roundly defeating the Cycle Lords and leaping over the pool on his motorcycle, he finally reveals himself to all in attendance to be Michael. After his initial shock, Johnny offers him a T-Bird jacket and welcomes him into the gang, and Stephanie finally accepts that she can have “two for the price of one” – a cool rider and a Shakespeare. All of the couples pair off (Michael/Stephanie, Johnny/Paulette, Lewis/Sharon, Davey/Dolores & Rhonda/Goose, happily (We’ll Be Together). The credits start rolling and just like in the first movie, it’s in the style of a yearbook.

The Prince of Egypt

  • Directors: Brenda Chapman, Steve Hickner, Simon Wells
  • Producers: Penney Finkelman Cox, Sandra Rabins, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg
  • Writers:
  • Genres: Animation, Adventure, Drama, Family, Musical
  • Actors: Val Kilmer, Ralph Fiennes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sandra Bullock, Jeff Goldblum, Patrick Stewart, Danny Glover, Steve Martin, Martin Short, Ofra Haza Helen Mirren

The first song (“Deliver Us”) shows Hebrew slaves labor away while Jochebed (also spelt Yocheved), seeing her fellow mothers’ baby sons being taken away from them, places her own son in a basket and sets it afloat on the Nile to be preserved by fate, singing her final lullaby (“River Lullaby”, A recurring motif in the film) to the baby. Her daughter, Miriam, follows the basket and witnesses her baby brother being taken in by the Queen of Egypt and named Moses.

The story cuts to (presumably) 18-20 years later (biblically 40 years), to show a grown Moses and his foster-brother, Rameses, racing their chariots through the Egyptian temples, destroying many statues. When they are lectured by their father, Seti, later on for their misdeeds, Rameses is offended. Moses later remarks that Rameses wants the approval of his father, but lacks the opportunity. Moses goes to cheer his brother up, making joking predictions (“Statues crumbling and toppling, the Nile drying up; you will singlehandedly bring the greatest kingdom on Earth to ruins!”). They then stumble in late to a banquet given by Seti, discovering that he has named Rameses as Prince Regent. In thanks, Rameses appoints Moses as Royal Chief Architect. As a tribute to Moses, the high priests Hotep and Huy offer Zipporah, a Midianite girl they kidnapped, as a concubine for him. She eventually escapes, with Moses’ help. Moses is led to a small spot in Goshen where he is reunited with Miriam and Aaron, his siblings. There, Miriam tells him the truth about his past. Moses at first is in denial (“All I Ever Wanted”), but a nightmare and talks with his adoptive parents help him realize the truth. Moses eventually kills an Egyptian guard, who was abusing an old slave, and runs away in despair.

The next morning, the Hebrews happily pack, leave their enslavement, and eventually find their way to the Red Sea (“When You Believe”), but turn around to find out Rameses has changed his mind and is pursuing them with his army. Moses parts the Red Sea, while behind him a pillar of fire writhes before the Egyptians, blocking their way. The Hebrews cross on the sea bottom; when the army gives chase, the water closes over the Egyptians, and the Hebrews are freed. Rameses, who has been hurled back to the shore by the collapsing waves, is left yelling his brother’s name in disgrace. Moses turns from the shore and begins to lead his people onward; only briefly looking back towards the sea in Rameses’ direction, murmuring sadly; “Farewell, Brother”. The last scene of the film shows Moses delivering the Ten Commandments to his people as Jochebed’s voice echoes in the background.

Hairspray

  • Directors: Adam Shankman
  • Producers: Adam Shankman, Craig Zadan, Neil Meron, Bob Shaye, Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman, Toby Emmerich
  • Writers: John Waters, Thomas Meehan, Leslie Dixon, Mark O Donnell
  • Genres: Comedy, Musical, Romance
  • Actors: Nikki Blonsky, John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, James Marsden, Zac Efron, Amanda Bynes, Queen Latifah, Brittany Snow, Elijah Kelley, Allison Janney, Taylor Parks, Jerry Stiller, Paul Dooley

May 3, 1962. Tracy Turnblad (Nikki Blonsky), a cheerful, rotund high school student living in Baltimore, Maryland steps out of her apartment (“Good Morning Baltimore”), only to endure a day’s worth of school so she and her best friend Penny Pingleton (Amanda Bynes) can race home to view their favorite TV show, The Corny Collins Show. The program, a teen dance show, is broadcast from Baltimore’s station WYZT on weekday afternoons (“The Nicest Kids in Town”).

The teenagers featured on the show attend Tracy and Penny’s school, among them the arrogant and wealthy Amber Von Tussle (Brittany Snow) and her boyfriend Link Larkin (Zac Efron), the lead male dancer on the show. Amber’s mother, Velma (Michelle Pfeiffer) manages station WYZT and goes out of her way to make sure that Amber is prominently featured and that The Corny Collins Show remains a racially segregated program. Corny Collins (James Marsden) and all of his “Council Members” are white; black kids are only allowed on The Corny Collins Show on “Negro Day”, held the last Tuesday of each month and hosted by local R&B radio disc jockey Motormouth Maybelle (Queen Latifah), who also owns her own record shop on North Avenue.

Against all expectations, Little Inez receives the most votes and wins the pageant, officially integrating The Corny Collins Show. A perturbed Velma loudly declares her frustration, informing her daughter of the tally-switching scheme. Unknown to Velma, Edna and Wilbur have turned a camera on her, and Velma’s outburst is broadcast on the air, causing her to be fired from the program. Meanwhile, The Corny Collins Show set explodes into a celebration as Tracy and Link cement their love with a kiss (“You Can’t Stop the Beat”).

What Lies Beneath

  • Directors: Robert Zemeckis
  • Producers: Steve Starkey, Robert Zemeckis, Jack Rapke
  • Writers: Sarah Kernochan, Clark Gregg
  • Genres: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
  • Actors: Harrison Ford, Michelle Pfeiffer, Diana Scarwid

Claire Spencer (Michelle Pfeiffer) enters a new phase of her life after a serious car accident leaves gaps in her memory. She is married to the renowned scientist Dr. Norman Spencer (Harrison Ford). Shortly after arriving in a new lakeside house in Vermont that once belonged to Norman’s scientist father, her daughter Caitlin leaves home to go away to college. One day when Claire is working in the garden she hears loud sobbing coming from over the fence. It turns out to be her neighbor, Mary Feur (Miranda Otto). She seems terrified and Claire is very concerned, thinking that her husband is beating her. Norman tells her not to worry. Claire wakes in the middle of the night, and looks out of the window. She sees Mary’s husband Warren (James Remar) dragging what looks like a body bag out into the boot of his car. By the time Claire had woken Norman, there was nothing left to see.

The next day, Claire decides to investigate by taking a basket of flowers and wine to the house as a “Welcome Gift”. After nobody answers the door she walks round the side of the house and makes a startling discovery; a woman’s sandal with a dark stain on it… She collects the sandal, and returns to the front door to leave the basket there. Warren returns as she is leaving the basket, and Claire explains why she was there and asks where Mary is. Warren gives a vague answer which leaves Claire even more worried.

In the Near Future: It is Winter and Claire is seen placing a single red rose on the grave of Madison Elizabeth Frank, but not the grave of Norman.

Batman Returns

  • Directors: Tim Burton
  • Producers: Tim Burton, Denise Di Novi, Michael Uslan, Benjamin Melniker, Peter Guber, Jon Peters, Larry J Franco
  • Writers: Screenplay, Daniel Waters, Story, Sam Hamm, Daniel Waters, Comic Book, Bill Finger, Bob Kane
  • Genres: Action, Crime, Thriller
  • Actors: Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken

A deformed baby boy is thrown into Gotham City’s river by his horrified parents. Thirty-three years later, the child, Oswald Cobblepot, has been transformed into the hideous Penguin (Danny DeVito), whose gang disrupts the ceremonial lighting of Gotham’s Christmas tree and kidnaps millionaire industrialist Max Shreck (Christopher Walken). Armed with evidence of Shreck’s many crimes, the Penguin blackmails him into helping him discover the identity of his parents.

When the Penguin’s plight becomes news, he’s propelled into running for Mayor. Batman (Michael Keaton) is unconvinced by the Penguin, believing that he and his gang are responsible for several child murders. Meanwhile, Shreck throws his secretary, Selina Kyle (Michelle Pfeiffer), from the top of his company’s building when she discovers his plan to build a super power station and drain Gotham of its electricity.

Resuscitated by a group of cats, Selina returns home and designs a new costume, becoming Catwoman. Selina, meanwhile, is being romanced by Batman’s alter-ego Bruce Wayne, a situation complicated by Catwoman’s teaming up with the Penguin in an effort to rid Gotham of Batman. When Batman exposes the Penguin’s villainous ways, thereby ruining his political chances, the Penguin mounts an attack to kill all of Gotham’s first-born infants. Batman foils his scheme and Catwoman, after killing Shreck, is presumed dead. The Penguin, having been wounded during his fight with Batman, does not survive his injuries, and dies.

Some time later, Bruce is driving around the city at night with butler Alfred Pennyworth (Michael Gough), thinking he sees Selina’s shadow on a wall. Alfred stops the car and Bruce searches for Selina in vain. He does find Selina’s cat, however, which he takes with him and leaves. The camera then pans up to the top of the city, amidst the sky scrapers. As the Bat-Signal lights up the night sky, Catwoman appears.

Dangerous Liaisons

  • Directors: Stephen Frears
  • Producers: Norma Heyman, Hank Moonjean
  • Writers: Christopher Hampton
  • Genres: Drama, Romance
  • Actors: John Malkovich, Glenn Close, Michelle Pfeiffer, Swoosie Kurtz, Keanu Reeves, Mildred Natwick, and, Uma Thurman

The Marquise de Merteuil (Glenn Close) calls on her partner, the Vicomte de Valmont (John Malkovich), to seduce the young daughter of her cousin, Madame de Volanges (Swoosie Kurtz), thus having revenge on a former lover, the man to whom young Cécile de Volanges (Uma Thurman) is promised in marriage. At first, Valmont refuses her proposition: he wants to seduce the prudish Madame de Tourvel (Michelle Pfeiffer), who is spending time at his aunt’s house while her husband is abroad.

Upon discovering that Madame de Volanges had been secretly writing to Madame de Tourvel to warn her against his evil nature, Valmont changes his mind and decides to follow Merteuil’s scheme. They take advantage of the fact that young Cécile is in love with her music teacher, the Chevalier Danceny (Keanu Reeves), who does not qualify in the eyes of her mother as a potential suitor.

At his aunt’s, Valmont easily seduces Cécile. She later becomes pregnant with Valmont’s child, but suffers a miscarriage, avoiding a scandal. Valmont meanwhile steadily targets his main prey, Madame de Tourvel, who, though realizing that she has become his prey, eventually gives in to his tireless advances.

But unknown to Valmont, the womanizer his entire life, and much against the course of events, the magic of love casts a spell on Valmont. The devoted love of Tourvel shakes him to his roots. But it was too late for him to stop himself and others fall into dark vortex of the evil plans he and Merteuil had cooked up.

The film and play alter the novel’s original ending, in which Merteuil’s face is permanently disfigured due to illness.