Cold Mountain

  • Directors: Anthony Minghella
  • Producers: Albert Berger, William Horberg, Sydney Pollack, Ron Yerxa
  • Writers: Anthony Minghella, Charles Frazier
  • Genres: Drama, Romance, War
  • Actors: Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Eileen Atkins, Kathy Baker, Brendan Gleeson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Charlie Hunnam, Natalie Portman, Giovanni Ribisi, Donald Sutherland, James Gammon, Jack White, Ethan Suplee

At the film’s inception Jude Law plays a young man named W. P. Inman at a provincial North Carolina town. He meets Ada (Nicole Kidman) and is at the fledgling stages of a relationship with her when he marches off to war as a Confederate soldier.

The film opens early in the morning of July 30, 1864. Confederate troops are entrenched outside Petersburg during its siege. The teenaged Oakley (Lucas Black) is handing out clothes from a wheelbarrow while Inman reads letters from Ada. The soldiers are tired and bored. Most are seasoned veterans who have been fighting for over three years. But meanwhile Union engineers are filling a mine under the Confederate trenches with gunpowder barrels while above, hundreds Union troops are waiting to attack. Suddenly back at the Confederate siege works, a rabbit hops into the trench. Just as one of the men is about to capture it the ground rises from under him and there is a huge explosion. The Union lit the barrels and most of the trench exploded. As Inman and Oakley get up dazed from the blast they see Union troops charging at them. As the Union charge they run right into the crater where the trench used to be and are trapped in a kill zone. The Confederates fire down at them but the fighting becomes hand to hand and Oakley is pulled down in by a Union soldier and Inman goes after him. Before Inman can reach him Oakley is bayoneted but survives. Inman shoots the Union soldier with a LeMat revolver he finds and pulls Oakley out of the chaos. The battle ends with a huge Union defeat. As the Confederates are cleaning up after the battle, Inman comforts Oakley as he is pulled to the hospital on a cart. Later that day Oakley dies in the hospital with Inman and Stobrod Thewes (Brendan Gleeson) beside him.

The film ends several years later with Ada, Ruby and their families celebrating Easter. Ruby has married Georgia, and the two have an infant child. Her father Stobrod is revealed to have survived, and it is revealed that Ada’s night with Inman had given her a child, Grace Inman.

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.

New York I Love You

  • Directors: Jiang Wen, Mira Nair, Shunji Iwai, Yvan Attal, Brett Ratner, Allen Hughes, Shekhar Kapur, Natalie Portman, Fatih Akin, Joshua Marston, Randy Balsmeyer
  • Producers: Emmanuel Benbihy, Marina Grasic
  • Writers: Fatih Akin, Keenan Donahue, Natalie Portman, Anthony Minghella, Joshua Marston, Jeff Nathanson, Hu Hong, Jiang Wen, Meng Yao, Suketu Mehta, Shunji Iwai, Yvan Attal, Xan Cassavetes, Stephen Winter, Hall Powell, Israel Horovitz, James Strouse
  • Genres: Drama, Romance
  • Actors:

New York, I Love You is a collective work of eleven short films, with each segment running around 10 minutes long. Some of the actors have international status (Natalie Portman, Shia LaBeouf, Hayden Christensen, Rachel Bilson, Orlando Bloom, and Irrfan Khan), with each shooting their part in one of New York’s five boroughs. Similar to the previous film, Paris, je t’aime, the shorts presented together will not relate but will all tie into the common theme of finding love.

Brothers

  • Directors: Jim Sheridan
  • Producers: Michael de Luca, Zach Schiff Abrams, Joni Sighvatsson, Tucker Tooley, Ryan Kavanaugh
  • Writers: Screenplay, David Benioff
  • Genres: Drama, War
  • Actors: Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal, Natalie Portman

When a decorated Marine goes missing overseas, his black-sheep younger brother cares for his wife and children at home—with consequences that will shake the foundation of the entire family. BROTHERS tells the powerful story of two siblings, Captain Sam Cahill (Tobey Maguire) and younger brother Tommy Cahill (Jake Gyllenhaal), who are polar opposites. A Marine about to embark on his fourth tour of duty, Sam is a steadfast family man married to his high school sweetheart, the aptly named Grace (Natalie Portman), with whom he has two young daughters (Bailee Madison, Taylor Grace Geare). Tommy, his charismatic younger brother, is a drifter just out of jail who’s always gotten by on wit and charm. He slides easily into his role as family provocateur on his first night out of prison, at Sam’s farewell dinner with their parents, Elsie (Mare Winningham) and Hank Cahill (Sam Shepard), a retired Marine.

The Other Boleyn Girl

  • Directors: Justin Chadwick
  • Producers: Alison Owen
  • Writers: Screenplay, Peter Morgan, Novel, Philippa Gregory
  • Genres: Biography, Drama, History, Romance
  • Actors: Natalie Portman, Eric Bana, Jim Sturgess, Scarlett Johansson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Mark Rylance, Ana Torrent, David Morrissey

When Catherine of Aragon fails to produce a male heir to the English throne, the Duke of Norfolk and his brother in law, Thomas Boleyn, scheme to install the latter’s elder daughter Anne in the court of Henry VIII as the king’s mistress and potential mother of his son, thereby furthering their own political ambitions much to the disgust of Thomas’ wife and the duke’s sister, Elizabeth Boleyn. At first, Anne is reluctant to go along with the idea, fearing that her reputation will be ruined, but in the end goes along to please her father and uncle. The plan backfires when Henry, injured in a hunting accident indirectly caused by Anne, is nursed by her recently married sister Mary and he becomes smitten of her. With great reluctance, Mary and her husband William Carey agree to accept positions at the court, knowing full well what will be expected of her. William is then sent away on an assignment by the king. Separated from her spouse, Mary finds herself falling in love with Henry.

Rebellious Anne secretly marries betrothed nobleman Henry Percy to impress her family and confides in her brother George. Thrilled, George tells Mary about the elopement. Concerned that Anne will disgrace herself by marrying a nobleman without the King’s consent, she alerts her father and uncle of the union. They confront Anne, who argues that the marriage has been consummated and what is done before God cannot be undone. Despite her argument, the marriage is annulled and she is exiled to France in disgrace. Feeling that Mary betrayed her only to increase her own status, Anne vows revenge.

The closing captions reveal that Thomas Boleyn, disgraced and alone, died two years after the deaths of Anne and George while Elizabeth Boleyn died a year after her husband. The Duke of Norfolk was later imprisoned while his son and grandson were both executed. True to her word, Elizabeth never saw or spoke to her husband or brother again. Mary returned to William and lived happily with him and the children away from court for the rest of her life. The captions also reveal that perhaps Henry should not have been concerned about leaving England with a strong heir because he, in fact, did. However, it was not the son he desired, but the strong red haired daughter Anne gave him, Elizabeth.

Star Wars Episode II Attack of the Clones

  • Directors: George Lucas
  • Producers: Rick McCallum, George Lucas
  • Writers: Screenplay, George Lucas, Jonathan Hales, Story, George Lucas
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
  • Actors: Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, Frank Oz, Samuel L Jackson, Christopher Lee

Ten years have passed since the invasion of Naboo, and the Galactic Republic is experiencing a crisis. Former Jedi Master Count Dooku has organized a Separatist movement against the Republic, making it difficult for the Jedi to maintain the peace. The Republic contemplates creating an army to assist the Jedi, prompting Senator Padmé Amidala, former Queen of Naboo, to return to Coruscant to vote on the matter. Upon her arrival, she narrowly escapes an assassination attempt. Shaken by the close call, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine assigns Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi and his apprentice Anakin Skywalker to protect her. That night, another attempt on the Senator’s life is made, though Obi-Wan and Anakin foil the plot and subdue the assassin, who is permanently silenced by her mysterious employer when the Jedi force her to reveal vital information. Returning to the Jedi Temple, Obi-Wan is assigned to investigate the identity of the assassin’s killer, while Anakin is assigned to escort and accompany Senator Amidala to her homeplanet of Naboo. Anakin, who has grown infatuated with Padmé, relishes the opportunity to spend time with her, though Padmé resists her feelings toward him, as that would go against the moral codes of their careers as a Jedi and a senator, respectively.

As a large battle erupts between the Republic’s clone army and the Separatist’s droid forces, Count Dooku attempts to escape. Obi-Wan and Anakin corner him in a hangar and engage him in a lightsaber duel, but he outmatches and defeats them with his mastery of the dark side of the Force, cutting off Anakin’s arm in the process. Yoda engages Dooku in a fierce duel, though Dooku manages to escape once more, taking the plans for a new “ultimate weapon” to his Sith master on Coruscant. The Jedi are now uncertain of what will become of the Republic, now that the Clone Wars have begun. Anakin, meanwhile, with a new cybernetic arm, secretly marries Padmé on Naboo.

Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith

  • Directors: George Lucas
  • Producers: Rick McCallum
  • Writers: George Lucas
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
  • Actors: Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, Ian McDiarmid, Frank Oz, Samuel L Jackson, Christopher Lee

The Galactic Republic is on the verge of collapse as a result of the Clone Wars, which have been waged between the Republic and the Separatists for three years. In a surprise move, General Grievous, commander of the Separatist Droid Army, kidnaps Supreme Chancellor Palpatine and attempts to escape. During a battle over the planet Coruscant, Jedi Knights Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker lead a mission to rescue the Chancellor, who is being held captive on Grievous’s flagship. There they confront Count Dooku in a lightsaber duel; at the end of the duel, Anakin hesitantly kills Dooku at Palpatine’s urging. The Jedi free the Chancellor and attempt to escape the battle-torn flagship, but Grievous traps them inside and escapes. Anakin pilots the collapsing flagship to safety on Coruscant. There, Anakin reunites with his wife, Padmé Amidala, who reveals that she is pregnant. Anakin is overjoyed with this news until he begins having recurring nightmares of Padmé dying in childbirth, similar to the visions he had of his mother before she died. Anakin resolves to prevent these visions from coming true.

Palpatine, concerned about the Jedi’s motives, places Anakin on the Jedi Council to be his eyes and ears. Meanwhile, the Jedi Council has begun to suspect Palpatine of corruption and orders Anakin to spy on him, while also denying the young Jedi the rank of Master. Under Palpatine’s influence, Anakin begins to grow distrustful of his fellow Jedi, and is intrigued when Palpatine mentions the power to prevent death, an ability only gained through the dark side of the Force. Obi-Wan is sent to the planet Utapau where he engages and kills General Grievous. Back on Coruscant, Palpatine reveals himself to Anakin as the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, who has been controlling both sides of the war. Anakin reports Palpatine’s treachery to Jedi Master Mace Windu, who engages and subdues the Sith Lord in a lightsaber duel. Believing that Sidious is his only hope to save Padmé, Anakin intervenes and disarms Windu before he can execute Sidious, allowing the Sith Lord to kill the Jedi Master. Anakin is distraught by what he has just done, and Palpatine takes advantage of Anakin’s emotionally drained mind to submit him to the dark side and becomes Sidious’s new apprentice, Darth Vader.

With Anakin’s children the last hope for the galaxy, Obi-Wan, Yoda and Organa agree that they should be hidden and separate from one another. Leia is taken to Alderaan to be raised by Organa, while Obi-Wan takes Luke to Tatooine to live with his uncle Owen and aunt Beru.

V for Vendetta

  • Directors: James McTeigue
  • Producers: Joel Silver, Larry Wachowski, Andy Wachowski, Grant Hill
  • Writers: Screenplay, Larry Wachowski, Andy Wachowski, Comic Book, Alan Moore, David Lloyd
  • Genres: Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea, Stephen Fry, John Hurt

In the year 2038, Britain has become totalitarian and is ruled by the Far-Right Norsefire regime. The story follows Evey Hammond, a young woman who is rescued from state police by a masked vigilante known as “V”. After rescuing her, they witness V’s destruction of the Old Bailey. The regime explains the incident to the public as an emergency demolition, but this is shown to be a lie when V takes over the state-run British Television Network (BTN) the same day. He broadcasts a message urging the people of Britain to rise up against the oppressive government on the fifth of November; one year from that day, when V will destroy the Houses of Parliament. Evey helps V escape, but is put in danger. V saves Evey from being captured and interrogated by officials and does this by bringing her to his lair, where she is told that she must stay in hiding with him. Upon learning that V is killing government officials, she escapes to the home of one of her superiors at the BTN, television personality Gordon Deitrich. However, after he broadcasts a comedic show about the country’s current regime, the state police raid Gordon’s home, capturing Evey. She is incarcerated and tortured for days, which includes the length of her hair being shorn, leaving her with short hair. Finding solace only in notes left by another prisoner, Valerie, Evey is told that she will be executed unless she reveals V’s whereabouts. Evey says she would rather die. She is then released. Evey discovers that her imprisonment was staged by V, to free her from fear of the fascist government-“Only when you accept death are you free”, V tells her. Later that day Evey leaves V, promising to return before the fifth of November.

Evey is about to send the train down the track, when she is discovered by Inspector Finch. However, Finch, having learned much about the corruption of the Norsefire regime, allows Evey to proceed. Meanwhile, thousands of Londoners, all wearing Guy Fawkes masks, march on Parliament to watch the event. Among these Londoners, we see the faces of those who have died, including a little girl shot by the police for wearing the mask; Evey’s parents; Valerie, the lesbian prisoner in the cell next to V’s whose words had given him his drive; Ruth, Valerie’s partner; and Gordon Dietrich. Because Creedy and the Chancellor are dead, the British Army stands down in the face of a civil rebellion. Parliament is destroyed by the explosion. On a nearby rooftop, Evey and Finch watch the scene together.

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace

  • Directors: George Lucas
  • Producers: Rick McCallum, George Lucas
  • Writers: George Lucas
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
  • Actors: Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Jake Lloyd, Pernilla August, Frank Oz, Terence Stamp

The Galactic Republic is in a period of decline, its bureaucracy bloated and corrupt, its economy deteriorating. In response to a taxation on trade routes, the greedy Trade Federation organizes a blockade of battleships around the small planet of Naboo. Hoping to resolve the matter, the Supreme Chancellor dispatches two Jedi, Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice, Obi-Wan Kenobi, to negotiate with Trade Federation Viceroy Nute Gunray. Unbeknownst to them, the Trade Federation is in league with the evil Sith Lord Darth Sidious, who orders them to invade Naboo with an army of battle droids and kill the Jedi. Narrowly evading death, the two Jedi stow aboard landing crafts and escape to Naboo. There Qui-Gon saves local Gungan outcast Jar Jar Binks from being trampled by a Federation tank. Indebted to the Jedi, Jar Jar leads them to the underwater Gungan city of Otoh Gunga, where the Jedi unsuccessfully attempt to persuade the Gungans to help the people of Naboo, though they are able to obtain a transport to reach the city of Theed on the surface.

Queen Amidala of the Naboo is captured by the Federation droid invasion army, but is rescued by the Jedi. The Queen escapes Naboo with the Jedi on her personal starship, which is damaged on its way through the blockade surrounding the planet, forcing them to land on the nearby desert planet Tatooine for repairs. Qui-Gon ventures into the settlement of Mos Espa with PadmГ©, one of the Queen’s handmaidens, to a junk shop to purchase a new hyperdrive generator. There they meet a young slave child named Anakin Skywalker, who takes an immediate liking to PadmГ©. After spending time with Anakin and his mother, Qui-Gon senses a strong presence of the Force within him, and suspects he may be the Chosen One who will bring balance to the Force. Qui-Gon makes a bet with Anakin’s owner to enter him in a Podrace, and that if Anakin wins, he will be freed. With Qui-Gon’s guidance, Anakin manages to win the race and joins the group to be trained as a Jedi, but he is forced to leave his mother, who Qui-Gon was unable to release, behind. Before they leave, they are attacked by Darth Sidious’ apprentice, Darth Maul, who was dispatched to capture the Queen. After a brief fight, they manage to escape.

Back on Naboo, PadmГ© reveals herself to be Queen Amidala, the other “Queen” having been a decoy for her own protection. The Queen convinces the Gungan people to form an alliance against the Trade Federation. While the comically inept Jar Jar leads his people in a battle against the droid army and the Queen moves in to capture Viceroy Gunray in Theed, Anakin commandeers a vacant starfighter and joins the dogfight against the Federation droid control ship in space, using his skills with the Force to destroy it, which deactivates the entire droid army. The Jedi, meanwhile, encounter Darth Maul once more and engage him in a two-on-one lightsaber duel. Qui-Gon is mortally wounded in the battle, but Obi-Wan manages to kill the Sith once and for all. With his dying breaths, Qui-Gon tells Obi-Wan to train Anakin. Senator Palpatine is elected as the new Supreme Chancellor, Viceroy Gunray is sent to stand trial for his crimes, and the Jedi Council reluctantly allows Anakin to become Obi-Wan’s apprentice. At a grand ceremony, Queen Amidala presents a gift of appreciation and friendship to the Gungan people.