Push Based on the Novel by Sapphire

  • Directors: Lee Daniels
  • Producers: Lee Daniels, Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, Sarah Siegel Magness, Gary Magness
  • Writers: Novel, Sapphire, Screenplay, Geoffrey Fletcher
  • Genres: Drama
  • Actors: Gabourey Sidibe, Mo Nique, Paula Patton, Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz

In 1987, obese, illiterate, black 16-year-old Claireece “Precious” Jones (Gabourey Sidibe) lives in the New York City neighborhood of Harlem with her dysfunctional family; she has been raped and impregnated twice by her father, Carl, and suffers constant physical, mental and sexual abuse from her unemployed mother, Mary (Mo’Nique). The family resides in a Section 8 tenement and subsists on welfare. Her first child, known only as “Mongo” (short for “Mongoloid”), has Down Syndrome and is being cared for by Precious’s grandmother. After Precious becomes pregnant for the second time, she is suspended from school. Her junior high school principal, Mrs. Lichtenstein (Nealla Gordon) arranges to have her attend an alternative school, which she hopes can help Precious change her life’s direction.[6]

Precious fights to find a way out of her traumatic daily existence through imagination and fantasy. While she is being raped by her father, she looks at the ceiling and imagines herself in a music video shoot; in the video, she is the superstar and the focus of attention. While looking in photo albums, she imagines the pictures talking to her. When she looks in the mirror, she sees a pretty, white, thin, blonde girl. In her mind there is another world, one in which, unlike her real one, she is loved and appreciated.

Inspired by her new teacher Miss Rain (Paula Patton), Precious begins learning to read. She gives birth to her second child and names him Abdul. After Precious’s mother deliberately drops three-day-old Abdul and hits Precious, Precious fights back long enough to get her son and flees her home permanently. She finds new confidence with the help of her teacher, Miss Rain, and begins raising her son in a half-way house while she continues to improve academically. Her mother comes back into her life to inform Precious that her father has died of AIDS. Later, Precious finds out that she is HIV positive, but Abdul is not. The film ends with Precious still resolved to improve for herself and for her children. She severs ties with her family and makes plans to complete a General Educational Development test.

Mirrors

  • Directors: Alexandre Aja
  • Producers: Alexandre Aja
  • Writers: Alexandre Aja
  • Genres: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
  • Actors: Kiefer Sutherland, Paula Patton

The movie starts with a terrified man running across a subway platform. He ends up in a locker room, and all of the locker doors swing open. Each door has a mirror on the inside, and each stops once the mirrors are aimed at him. To his horror, the room’s larger wall mirror begins to crack as he approaches it. He desperately apologizes to his reflection therein for running away, asking for forgiveness, he begins fervently cleaning it, and a piece of the fractured mirror falls off. He notices his reflection begin acting of its own accord as it picks up the shard of broken mirror and then slowly slashing its own throat. The man experiences the effects of this, his throat slices open, blood erupting from the wound, despite him not doing it himself. He collapses and dies.

Sometime later, Ben Carson (Kiefer Sutherland), an undercover police detective on suspension after shooting another officer, his partner, arrives for his first day on the job as a night security guard at a department store that had been gutted by fire and shuttered for close to a decade. As he is given a tour of the building, he is told about its history. The department store used to be a psychiatric hospital that experimented in treating schizophrenia. In 1952, a mass killing took place and the hospital was closed. It was later reopened as a luxury department store, the Mayflower. Carson comments on the pristine mirrors throughout the otherwise deteriorated place, and the guard comments that his predecessor had been obsessed with cleaning them.

Ben pulls himself out of the rubble and stumbles his way out of the building. Police and firemen are everywhere in the street, and a body is seen taken in a bag by paramedics, but nobody notices Ben. He looks at the older security guard’s nametag, and sees it is written in reverse (like a mirror), as is the word “Police” on a police car; even the wound he suffered earlier is on Ben’s opposite hand. Upon walking through New York with cars nearly running him over and people not noticing him as well, he comes upon the mirrored surface of a department store front and fails to see his own reflection as he reaches out to touch it. He realizes that he was crushed to death under the rubble and is now trapped in the mirror world, yet in our world we see a handprint appear on the glass surface.

Deja Vu

  • Directors: Tony Scott
  • Producers: Jerry Bruckheimer
  • Writers: Bill Marsilii, Terry Rossio 1
  • Genres: Action, Romance, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Denzel Washington, Val Kilmer, Paula Patton, Bruce Greenwood, Adam Goldberg, Jim Caviezel

On Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras in New Orleans, a ferry (the “Sen. Alvin T. Stumpf”) is carrying several hundred U.S. Navy sailors and their families from the Algiers dock to a celebration, when it explodes and sinks into the river, killing at least 543 on board. Agent Doug Carlin (Denzel Washington) from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is sent to investigate the explosion and discovers evidence that the attack was by a domestic terrorist. He meets with the investigating police officers and FBI Agent Paul Pryzwarra (Val Kilmer), letting them know of his findings. Back at his office, Doug learns about a charred body pulled from the river, that of a Claire Kuchever (Paula Patton). However, unlike the other bodies found in the river, this one was discovered before the explosion.

After Pryzwarra is impressed with Doug’s detective expertise, he convinces him to join a newly formed government-funded detective unit whose first case is to investigate the explosion. With a team led by scientist Dr. Alexander Denny (Adam Goldberg), they investigate the events leading up to the explosion by using a new program called “Snow White”, which enables them to look into the past (4 days, 6 hours, 3 minutes, 45 seconds) in detail. The catch is, they can only see the events once – there is no fast forwarding or rewinding, although they can record what they see. Convinced that Claire is a vital link to the case, Doug persuades the team to focus on her. Sure enough, while investigating Claire’s past through “Snow White”, eventually the bomber calls her to try and purchase her car to use to blow up the ferry. Although he decides to not purchase her car, during the phone call, the “Snow White” team is able to discover an exact time and place where they know the terrorist will be.

After tending to a bullet wound at Claire’s house, Doug goes to the ferry where, with Claire’s help, he kills Carroll, but is unable to disarm the bomb. To save everyone on the ferry, Doug has Claire drive the SUV with the bomb off the ferry into the water just before it explodes. Claire is able to escape, but Doug is unable to get out before the bomb explodes and dies in the underwater explosion. As Claire mourns Doug’s death, she is approached by another Doug Carlin, the one from the present, who consoles her. As they drive off, the Beach Boys’ song, “Don’t Worry Baby”, which had played at the beginning of the film, plays on the radio.