Heat

  • Directors: Michael Mann
  • Producers: Michael Mann, Art Linson
  • Writers: Michael Mann
  • Genres: Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Tom Sizemore, Diane Venora, Amy Brenneman, Ashley Judd, Mykelti Williamson, Wes Studi, Ted Levine, Dennis Haysbert, William Fichtner, Natalie Portman, Tom Noonan, Kevin Gage, Hank Azaria, Danny Trejo, and Jon Voight

Career thief Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro) leads a team of criminals, including longtime friends Chris Shiherlis (Val Kilmer), Michael Cheritto (Tom Sizemore), and Trejo (Danny Trejo), who carry out a carefully planned armored car heist, stealing US$1.6 million in bearer bonds from Malibu Equity Investments, a shell company run by Roger Van Zant (William Fichtner) that launders drug money through offshore bank accounts. The robbery is complicated by new member Waingro (Kevin Gage) impulsively murdering a guard, forcing the team to execute the remaining guards—potential witnesses—and escape. After the robbery, McCauley meets with his fence, Nate (Jon Voight), who suggests selling the bonds back to Van Zant for 60% of their value instead of laundering them at 60% cost; since the bonds were insured for 100% of their value, Van Zant would make 40% of 1.6 million above his bond insurance while McCauley and his team would gain an additional 20% on top of their expected take.

Later, McCauley and his crew meet at a diner to discuss dividing the money from the robbery. Enraged about the robbery, escalated to capital murder by Waingro, McCauley and his crew attempt to kill Waingro, but when a passing police car distracts them, Waingro escapes. Meanwhile, Van Zant agrees to buy the bonds back, but instructs his men to ambush McCauley at the meeting and take the bonds back. With help from his crew, McCauley escapes the ambush and vows revenge.

McCauley returns to Eady and breaks his longstanding creed, compelling her to flee with him to New Zealand. As he finalizes his plans, Nate reveals Waingro’s whereabouts to McCauley. Confident with his escape plan, McCauley impulsively takes the bait and infiltrates the hotel, activating the fire alarm to vacate the hotel. With the hotel security and police distracted, McCauley barges in and murders Waingro before beginning his escape. Moments later, Hanna arrives at the hotel and from a distance observes Eady waiting in McCauley’s car. As he approaches, McCauley emerges from the building and noticing Hanna, hesitantly defaults to his “thirty seconds” rule and abandons Eady, disappearing into the crowd with Hanna in pursuit. Following a tense cat-and-mouse chase in the darkness of the LAX freight terminal, McCauley nearly gets the drop on Hanna, but Hanna manages to shoot McCauley first, leaving him clinging to life in the fields of the adjoining runways. Hanna holds McCauley’s hand as a mark of mutual respect. Together, the two share a final, quiet moment of reflection and understanding as McCauley dies.

Con Air

  • Directors: Simon West
  • Producers: Jerry Bruckheimer
  • Writers: Scott Rosenberg
  • Genres: Action, Crime, Thriller
  • Actors: Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, John Malkovich, Steve Buscemi, Ving Rhames, Colm Meaney, Mykelti Williamson, Rachel Ticotin, Monica Potter, Danny Trejo, Nick Chinlund

Cameron Poe (Nicholas Cage), an honorably discharged United States Army Ranger, is found guilty of manslaughter for killing a drunken man in a bar brawl while trying to defend his pregnant wife Tricia (Monica Potter) and sentenced to seven to ten years. During his time in prison, he communicates with his daughter while taking time to better himself.

He is released on parole eight years later and is scheduled to be flown back to Alabama on the same day as his daughter Casey’s (Landry Allbright) seventh birthday. Poe is arranged transport on the “Jailbird”, a C-123 airplane, along with a fellow prisoner Mike “Baby-O” O’Dell (Mykelti Williamson) and several other prisoners destined for a new Supermax prison, including William “Billy Bedlam” Bedford (Nick Chinlund), Nathan “Diamond Dog” Jones (Ving Rhames), and Cyrus “The Virus” Grissom (John Malkovich).

The transfer is overseen by U.S. Marshal Vince Larkin (John Cusack); however, he is approached by Drug Enforcement Administration agent Duncan Malloy (Colm Meaney), who asks to put undercover agent Willie Sims (Jose Zuniga) on board the plane in order to gain intelligence from one of the prisoners during flight. Larkin acquiesces on the condition the agent go aboard unarmed, but Malloy is able to sneak Sims a gun during the boarding pat-down.

At the end, Garland Greene, the only fugitive still at large, is seen at a Vegas table playing Craps and sipping margaritas.

Forrest Gump

  • Directors: Robert Zemeckis
  • Producers: Wendy Finerman, Steve Tisch, Charles Newirth
  • Writers: Winston Groom, Eric Roth
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
  • Actors: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Mykelti Williamson, Sally Field

The film begins in medias res with a white feather falling to the feet of Forrest Gump, who is sitting at a bus stop in Savannah, Georgia. Forrest picks up the feather and puts it in the book Curious George, then tells the story of his life to a woman seated next to him. The listeners at the bus stop change regularly throughout his narration, each showing a different reaction to his narration ranging from disbelief and indifference to rapt veneration.

His mother runs a boarding house in Alabama. One guest, a musician (later revealed to be Elvis Presley) picks up his own style of dancing from watching Forrest’s shaky movements caused by his leg braces. To get Forrest into a normal school, Forrest’s mother bribes the school’s Principal with sexual favors. On his first day of school, he meets a girl named Jenny Curran, a girl who is sexually abused by her father and who becomes his life’s love. One day after school, Forrest is being threatened by a group of bullies. Jenny tells him to run, and so he does, losing his leg braces in the process. His fast running ability becomes his favored method of travel, and during his senior year in high school, threatened by the same group of bullies, he runs through a football field and gets himself into college on a football scholarship playing for Paul “Bear” Bryant at the University of Alabama. He excels at football so much that he becomes an All-American, and meets President John F. Kennedy.

Forrest’s core character and personality are also changed from the novel, among other things he is an autistic savant – while playing football at the university, he fails craft and gym, but receives a perfect score in an advanced physics class he was enrolled in by his coach to satisfy his college requirements.