Crash

  • Directors: Paul Haggis
  • Producers: Paul Haggis, Don Cheadle, Bob Yari, Cathy Schulman
  • Writers: Screenplay, Paul Haggis, Bobby Moresco, Story, Paul Haggis
  • Genres: Crime, Drama
  • Actors: Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Jennifer Esposito, Brendan Fraser, Terrence Howard, Ludacris, Thandie Newton, Ryan Philippe, Larenz Tate

A police detective with a drugged out mother and a thieving younger brother, two car thieves who are constantly theorizing on society and race, the white district attorney and his irritated and pampered wife, a racist white veteran cop who disgusts his more idealistic younger partner, a film director hits with his wife who is ashamed and humiliated by two policemen, a locksmith and his young daughter who is afraid of bullets.

Flags of Our Fathers

  • Directors: Clint Eastwood
  • Producers: Clint Eastwood, Robert Lorenz, Steven Spielberg
  • Writers: James Bradley, Ron Powers, William Broyles Jr, Paul Haggis
  • Genres: Action, Drama, History, War
  • Actors: Ryan Phillippe, Adam Beach, Jesse Bradford, Neal McDonough, Barry Pepper, Robert Patrick, Paul Walker, Jamie Bell, John Benjamin Hickey, John Slattery

The story focuses on seven US Marines of the 28th Marine Regiment, 5th Marine Division, Sgt. Mike Strank, Pfc. Rene Gagnon, Pfc. Ira Hayes, Cpl. Harlon Block, Pfc. Franklin Sousley, Sgt. Hank Hansen, and Pfc. Ralph Ignatowski, as well as their Navy Corpsman, PhM2. John “Doc” Bradley.

In December 1944, U.S. Marines train at Camp Tarawa, Hawaii. They train by climbing a large mountain and getting in Higgins boats. The Marines then set sail across the Pacific, and it is revealed that they are headed to the small island of Iwo Jima, located less than 700 miles from the Japanese mainland. As Captain Severance puts it, they will be fighting on Japanese soil, and will expect tough resistance. A few days later, the armada arrives off the coast of Iwo Jima and the ships of the US Navy open fire on suspected Japanese positions. On the night before the landings, Mike is put in charge of second platoon.

The next day, February 19, 1945, the Marines hit the beach in landing craft and meet no resistance. Ralph, aka “Iggy”, suspects that the Navy killed all the Japanese defenders, as do most of the Marines. After several tense minutes the Marines advance forward and the Japanese open fire. The battle is extremely intense, and the Marines take heavy casualties. Japanese heavy artillery opens fire upon the Marines on shore, as well as the Navy ships. After several attempts, Second Platoon takes out a Japanese pillbox which was pinning them down. They advance forward, as do many other Marines. The battle begins to calm down and the beachheads are secure. Two days later the Marines attack Mount Suribachi under a rain of Japanese artillery and machine gun fire, as the Navy bombards the mountain. It is here that Doc saves the lives of several Marines under fire which later earns him the Navy Cross. Finally, the mountain is secure. For the next four nights, the Marines take cover in foxholes as Japanese soldiers charge through the mist.

In September the war ends and Doc, Rene and Ira go home. Ira tries to move on but is never able to escape his unwanted fame. One day in 1952 after being released from jail, he hitchhikes over 1,300 miles to Texas to see Harlon Block’s family. He tells Ed Block, Harlon’s father that Harlon was indeed at the base of the flag in the famous photograph. In 1954, the USMC War Memorial is dedicated and the three flag raisers see each one last time. In 1955 Ira dies of exposure after a night of drinking. That same year Doc drove to a town where Iggy’s mom lived and told her how Iggy died, though it is implied that he lied. Rene has little success as the business offers he received on the bond drive are no longer offered to him. He spends the rest of his life as a high school janitor, dying in 1979. Doc is the only successful one. He buys the funeral home he worked at before the war and runs it for the rest of his life. In 1995, as he is on his death bed, he tells his son James how after the flag raising Captain Severance took the men swimming. He then dies peacefully. In a final flashback to 1945, the men swim in the ocean after raising the flags.

Terminator Salvation

  • Directors: McG
  • Producers: Derek Anderson, Victor Kubicek, Jeffrey Silver, Moritz Borman
  • Writers: Screenplay, John D Brancato, Michael Ferris, Uncredited, Jonathan Nolan, Anthony E Zuiker, Shawn Ryan, Paul Haggis, David C Wilson, Characters, James Cameron, Gale Anne Hurd
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Anton Yelchin, Moon Bloodgood, Bryce Dallas Howard, Common, Jane Alexander, Helena Bonham Carter

On May 23, 2008, Warner Bros. released the following plot summary for the film. The synopsis was modified on June 11, 2008:

Set in post-apocalyptic 2018, John Connor (Christian Bale), the man fated to be the leader of the human resistance against Skynet and its army of Terminators, and the future he was raised to believe in is altered in part by the appearance of Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington), a stranger whose last memory is of being on death row. John must decide whether Marcus has been sent from the future or rescued from the past. As Skynet prepares its final onslaught, John and Marcus both embark on an odyssey that takes them into the heart of Skynet’s operations, where they find out a terrible secret that may lead to the possible annihilation of mankind.[2]

At the beginning, John does not start off as leader of the human resistance, but will work his way through the ranks in the film. He is mistrusted by other soldiers due to his extensive knowledge of Skynet.[3] McG said that the film will reveal the development of the Model 101 Terminator as well:[4] scenes involve humans being captured and studied by Skynet in order to perfect their cybernetic organisms and John explaining “[i]f we let these things go online, the war is over”.[5] Skynet captures Kyle Reese because it is aware that Reese is John’s father, and uses him as a bait in an attempt to kill John.[6]

Letters from Iwo Jima

  • Directors: Clint Eastwood
  • Producers: Clint Eastwood, Robert Lorenz, Steven Spielberg
  • Writers: Screenplay, Iris Yamashita, Story, Iris Yamashita, Paul Haggis, Book, Tadamichi Kuribayashi, Tsuyuko Yoshido
  • Genres: Drama, History, War
  • Actors: Ken Watanabe, Kazunari Ninomiya, Tsuyoshi Ihara, Ryo Kase

In the present day, Japanese archaeologists explore tunnels on Iwo Jima. They find something in the dirt and the scene changes to Iwo Jima in 1944. Private First Class Saigo, a baker conscripted into the Imperial Japanese Army, and his platoon are grudgingly digging beach trenches on the island. Meanwhile, Lieutenant General Tadamichi Kuribayashi arrives to take command of the garrison and immediately begins an inspection of the island defenses. He saves Saigo and his friend Kashiwara from a beating for having uttered ‘unpatriotic speeches’ and orders the men to stop digging trenches on the beach and begin tunnelling defenses into Mount Suribachi.

Later, Lieutenant Colonel Baron Takeichi Nishi, a famous Olympic gold medalist show jumper, joins Kuribayashi for dinner. They discuss the grim prospect of no naval support and the fanaticism their fellow officers would show. Kuribayashi evacuates the civilian population of Iwo Jima to mainland Japan. He clashes with some of his senior officers, who do not agree with his strategy of defending inland instead of the beaches; Kuribayashi believes the Americans will take the beaches quickly, and only the mountain defenses will have a better chance for holding out against the enemy.

Poor nutrition and unsanitary conditions take their toll on the garrison; many die of dysentery, including Kashiwara. The Japanese troops begin using the caves as barracks. Kashiwara’s replacement, a young soldier named Superior Private Shimizu, arrives for duty on the island. Saigo and his friends suspect that Shimizu is a spy sent from Kempeitai to report on disloyal soldiers. The first American aerial bombings occur shortly after, causing significant casualties. After the raid, Saigo is sickened when he sees the corpse of a friend, still sitting upright. Another casualty was Jupiter, Baron Nishi’s horse, which was also killed by a bomb. The raid forces the Japanese to dig deeper into the volcanic island. The battle for Iwo Jima begins.

The scene shifts back to the Japanese archaeologists who uncover the bag of letters written by Japanese soldiers on the island, never sent, that Saigo buried in 1945. As the letters fall from the bag, the voices of the fallen Japanese soldiers are heard reading from them.