Midnight Express

  • Directors: Alan Parker
  • Producers: Alan Marshall, David Puttnam
  • Writers: Billy Hayes, William Hoffer, Oliver Stone
  • Genres: Biography, Crime, Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Brad Davis, Randy Quaid, John Hurt, Paul L Smith, Irene Miracle

On October 6, 1970, after a stay in Istanbul, a US citizen named Billy Hayes is arrested by Turkish police, on high alert due to fear of terrorist attacks, as he is about to fly out of the country with his girlfriend. After being found with several bricks of hashish taped to his body – about two kilograms in total – he is arrested. After a while, a shadowy American arrives. He translates for Billy. The police ask where Billy bought the hash. Billy tells them that he bought it from a cab driver and offers to help the police track him down in exchange for his release. He goes with the police to a local market and points the cab driver out but while the police go to arrest the cabbie, Billy makes a run for it. He gets cornered in a building and is recaptured by the mysterious American. Billy is sentenced to four years and two months’ imprisonment on the charge of drug possession. He is sent to SaÄŸmalcılar prison (closed in 2008) to serve out his sentence. In the remand centre, he meets and befriends other Western prisoners. In 1974, after a prosecution appeal (who originally wished to have Hayes found guilty of smuggling and not possession), his original sentence is overturned by the Turkish High Court in Ankara and he is ordered to serve a 30-year term for his crime. His stay becomes a living hell: terrifying and unbearable scenes of physical and mental torture follow one another, where bribery, violence and insanity rule the prison.

In 1975, Susan comes to see Billy and is devastated at what the guards have done to him. After being committed to the prison’s insane asylum, Billy again tries to escape, this time by attempting to bribe the head guard, who then takes him to the sanitarium, intending to rape him. Billy ends up killing the guard. He then puts on an officer’s uniform and manages his escape by walking out of the front door. From the epilogue, it is explained that on the night of October 4, 1975 he successfully crossed the border to Greece, and arrived home three weeks later.

Christmas Vacation

  • Directors: Jeremiah Chechik
  • Producers: John Hughes, Matty Simmons
  • Writers: John Hughes
  • Genres: Comedy
  • Actors: Chevy Chase, Beverly D Angelo, Juliette Lewis, Randy Quaid, Johnny Galecki, John Randolph, Diane Ladd

The movie begins with Clark taking his family on the search for a perfect Christmas tree. After aggravating nearby motorists, getting stuck under a big rig, and walking in the woods for a long time, Clark finally finds said tree. (He digs the tree out himself because he forgot the saw.) Clark breaks several windows and gets covered in tree sap setting it up, as it barely fits in the yard, let alone the living room.

While shopping for gifts at a downtown Chicago department store, Clark meets a saleswoman named Mary (Nicolette Scorsese). He makes a series of Freudian slips to her on their first encounter, and later fantasizes about her skinny-dipping in his future pool (interrupted by his cousin in law’s daughter).

Clark has been working on a project at his firm which he expects will bring in a good Christmas bonus. Clark plans to use the bonus to put in a swimming pool, which he has already laid down a $7,500 deposit on.

As Christmas approaches, the many members of Clark’s extended family begin arriving to stay with him. Clark’s and Ellen’s parents are the first to arrive. This drives him to go set up the lighting on the house with his son Rusty. He covers nearly every inch of the home’s exterior and yard with lights (according to Clark himself, a grand total of 25,000 Christmas lights). Clark becomes very frustrated after many attempts to get the lights working. Unknown to him, the electricity wasn’t on to begin with. When Ellen heads to the back store room to get something, she clicks a light switch, lighting the house (and causing the power plant to switch to nuclear generators for backup power), and blinding their unfriendly yuppie neighbors. After the lights are up and running, Ellen’s cousin-in-law and cousin, Eddie and Catherine, along with their children show up to stay with him for a month, with their dilapidated, rusty RV parked in the driveway the whole time. Stifling his disappointment at their surprise arrival proves difficult for Clark. However, Clark and Ellen are concerned about Eddie’s children, as they won’t have many, if any gifts, for Christmas, due to Eddie’s seven year unemployment. Later on, Clark treats Rusty, Eddie, Catherine and others to a sledding trip. Clark then adds a sheeting of a “Non-Choloric, Silicon-Based Kitchen Lubricent that his company had made, but results in the chemichal compound to shoot Clark about 800mph and for abot 1 mile, leading to Clark becoming severly injured.

Uncle Lewis’s cigar ignites the gas from the sewage Eddie had earlier dumped down the street drain while emptying the holding tank on his RV, blasting a Santa ornament into the sky. Everyone watches the strange but touching sight, as Clark realizes his dream of the perfect, albeit weird, family Christmas.

Independence Day

  • Directors: Roland Emmerich
  • Producers: Dean Devlin
  • Writers: Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Mary McDonnell, Judd Hirsch, Robert Loggia, Randy Quaid, Margaret Colin, Vivica A Fox

On July 2, a giant alien mothership enters orbit around Earth and deploys several dozen saucer-shaped “destroyer” spacecraft, each 15 miles (24 km) in width. As the destroyers take positions over some of Earth’s major cities, David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum), an MIT graduate working for a cable company in New York City, discovers hidden satellite transmissions which he believes to be a timer counting down to a coordinated attack by the aliens. With the help of his ex-wife Constance Spano (Margaret Colin), a White House employee, he and his father Julius (Judd Hirsch) gain entrance into the Oval Office to warn President Thomas J. Whitmore (Bill Pullman) of the impending attack. The President immediately orders large-scale evacuations of the targeted cities, but the aliens attack with advanced directed-energy weapons before these could occur. The President, portions of his staff, and the Levinsons narrowly escape aboard Air Force One as the destroyers simultaneously lay waste to Washington, D.C, New York City, Los Angeles, and several other major cities around the world.

On July 3, the United States conducts a coordinated counterattack; the movie follows the Black Knights, a squadron of Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornets, as they participate in an assault on a destroyer near the destroyed city of Los Angeles. Their weapons fail to penetrate the craft’s force field, and it responds by releasing scores of smaller “attacker” ships which are similarly shielded and armed with directed-energy weapons, and a one-sided dogfight ensues. Captain Steven Hiller (Will Smith) survives the attack by luring a single attacker to the Grand Canyon.[4] There, he blinds the alien with the braking parachute on his jet and ejects just before running out of fuel, causing both to crash in the desert. Having parachuted to safety, he subdues the injured alien. Hiller is picked up by Russell Casse (Randy Quaid), who is traveling across the desert with a group of refugees in a convoy of RVs. They take the captured alien to nearby Area 51, commanded by Major Mitchell (Adam Baldwin), where the President and his remaining staff have also landed. Here, it is shown that Area 51 conceals a top secret facility housing a repaired attacker and three alien bodies recovered from Roswell in 1947.

With the successful implantation of the virus, President Whitmore leads the American jet fighters against an alien destroyer on approach to Area 51. Although the aliens now lack shields, the fighters’ supply of missiles are quickly exhausted against the colossal craft and its large complement of assault ships. The underside of the alien craft opens up as its directed-energy weapon prepares to fire on the base. Russell possesses the last remaining missile, but his firing mechanism jams; changing his plan, he pilots his aircraft into the alien weapon in a kamikaze attack. The ensuing explosion causes a chain reaction which annihilates the ship. Using this same method, human resistance forces around the world destroy the remainder of the alien ships and saving several surviving major cities, while the nuclear device planted by Hiller and Levinson destroys the alien mothership soon after the duo escape. Hiller and Levinson return unharmed, crash-landing their captured alien fighter in the desert close to Area 51. The world celebrates, and the film ends as the main characters watch debris from the mothership enter the atmosphere like fireworks.

Brokeback Mountain

  • Directors: Ang Lee
  • Producers: James Schamus, Larry McMurtry, Diana Ossana
  • Writers: Short Story, Annie Proulx, Screenplay, Larry McMurtry, Diana Ossana
  • Genres: Drama, Romance, Western
  • Actors: Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Randy Quaid, Anne Hathaway, Michelle Williams

Brokeback Mountain is the story of ranch hand Ennis del Mar (Heath Ledger) and rodeo cowboy Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal), two young men who meet and fall in love on the fictional Brokeback Mountain in Wyoming in 1963. The film documents their complex relationship over the next twenty years.

Ennis and Jack first meet when they are hired by Joe Aguirre (Quaid) to herd his sheep through the summer. During the long months of isolation, a bond begins to develop between the two. One night, after heavy drinking, Jack makes a sexual pass at Ennis, who initially is apprehensive, but then succumbs to Jack’s advances. Although he warns Jack it was only a one-time incident, Ennis finds himself becoming involved in both a physical and a powerful emotional relationship with his partner through the rest of their tenure. Shortly after learning their summer together is being cut short unexpectedly, they briefly fight, during which each is bloodied.

After the two part ways, Ennis marries his long-time fiancée Alma Beers (Michelle Williams) and Jack ends up in Texas, where he meets and marries rodeo princess Lureen Newsome (Anne Hathaway). The two men reunite four years later, and Alma accidentally witnesses them passionately kissing. Jack broaches the subject of creating a life together on a small ranch, but Ennis, haunted by a painful childhood memory of the torture and murder of a suspected homosexual in his hometown, fears such an arrangement could only end in tragedy. He also is unwilling to abandon his family. Unable to be open about their relationship, Ennis and Jack end up meeting only for infrequent fishing trips.

In the final scene, 19-year-old Alma Jr. (Kate Mara) arrives at her father’s trailer with the news she’s engaged. She asks Ennis for his blessings and invites him to the wedding. Ennis, finally aware of the importance of love in a relationship and marriage, asks her if her fiancé really loves her. After Alma’s departure, Ennis notices she has forgotten her sweater, which he folds and puts in the closet. Inside, hanging on a nail pounded into the door, are the two shirts with a postcard of Brokeback Mountain tacked alongside. Now, Jack’s shirt is tucked inside of Ennis’s. Ennis carefully fastens the top button of Jack’s shirt, and with tears in his eyes mutters, “Jack, I swear…” while slowly straightening the postcard.

Paper Moon

  • Directors: Peter Bogdanovich
  • Producers: Frank Marshall, Peter Bogdanovich
  • Writers: Joe David Brown, Alvin Sargent
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama
  • Actors: Ryan O Neal, Tatum O Neal, Madeline Kahn, Randy Quaid

The story follows con man Moses Pray (Ryan O’Neal) and young Addie Loggins (Tatum O’Neal), an orphaned daughter of a prostitute. Because Moses had once had an affair with her mother, there is speculation that he is in fact Addie’s father (which he denies). Moses is charged with bringing Addie to her aunt’s home. Along the way, Moses manages to con the man who hit Addie’s mother with his car into giving him two hundred dollars, claiming it’s for Addie. Addie overhears this conversation and later demands the money from him. Because he spent the money, Moses is forced to keep Addie with him until he has raised two hundred dollars to give to her. Addie soon learns how Moses makes his money – he finds recently widowed women and visits them pretending to be a Bible salesman who recently sold a Bible to the deceased husband. The widows then pay him for the book. Addie joins in the scam, pretending to be his daughter, which makes the widows more willing to pay (as it makes Moses seem more legitimate). As time passes, Moses and Addie become a formidable team and seem to forget about Addie leaving for her aunt.

At a hotel, Moses is able to find a bootlegger’s store of whiskey, steals it, and sells it back to the bootlegger. Unfortunately, the bootlegger’s brother is the sheriff, who quickly arrests Moses and Addie. Addie hides their money, steals back the key to their car, and the pair escape to Missouri, where the Kansas law can’t follow them. The sheriff finds them in Missouri however, and unable to arrest Moses, he beats and robs him. Humiliated, Moses sends Addie to her aunt’s house. Addie quickly misses Moses however and returns to him, reminding him that he still does owe her two hundred dollars.The Film was Shot in and around the St.Joseph (Missouri)/Kansas Area