A Serious Man

  • Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
  • Producers: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
  • Writers: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
  • Genres: Comedy
  • Actors: Michael Stuhlbarg, Richard Kind, Sari Wagner Lennick, Fred Melamed, Aaron Wolff

Minnesota, 1967. Larry Gopnik (Michael Stuhlbarg) is a Jewish physics professor who is being considered for tenure at the university. His son Danny (Aaron Wolff) lives in constant fear of a physically intimidating Hebrew school classmate named Mike Fagle (Jon Kaminski Jr.), to whom Danny owes twenty dollars for marijuana. His teacher catches him listening to a portable radio in class and confiscates it.

Larry’s brother Arthur (Richard Kind) is sleeping on the couch and obsessively writing in a notebook. He purports it to be a scientific research work called The Mentaculus determining the fundamental mathematical relationships that tie all natural laws together.

A Korean-born student, Clive (David Kang), is about to flunk Larry’s class and lose his scholarship. He protests that Larry’s exams are unfair; that he understands the illustrative stories about Schrödinger’s Cat but does not understand the math. After the student leaves the office, Larry spots a thick envelope left by Clive and containing a great sum of money.

Larry’s wife Judith (Sari Lennick) is seeking a divorce and needs a get (a Jewish divorce), so she can marry widower Sy Ableman (Fred Melamed). At the insistence of Judith and Sy, Larry and Arthur eventually move into a nearby motel, the “Jolly Roger”. Judith has withdrawn all of the couple’s money from their joint accounts, leaving Larry penniless.

Larry’s department head compliments Larry on Danny’s bar mitzvah and hints that he will earn tenure. Upon receiving the bill for Arthur’s criminal lawyer he decides to pass Clive after all, and take the bribe left in his desk. His doctor calls him and asks to see him to talk about the results of a chest X-ray. At the same time a massive tornado is approaching Danny’s school.

Big Stan

  • Directors: Rob Schneider
  • Producers: Rob Schneider
  • Writers: Josh Lieb
  • Genres: Comedy
  • Actors: Rob Schneider, Jennifer Morrison, Scott Wilson, Henry Gibson, Richard Kind, Introducing, Jackson Rathbone, with M Emmet Walsh, and David Carradine, as The Master

A real estate con artist named Stan Minton (Rob Schneider) panics when he learns that he’s going to prison for fraud. Stan’s fear of jailhouse rape leads him to hire the mysterious guru known as “The Master” (David Carradine) who helps transform him into a creative martial-arts expert. After his incarceration, Stan uses his newfound skills to intimidate his fellow prisoners. He gains their respect, and eventually becomes their leader, bringing peace and harmony to the prison yard. But the corrupt warden has an elaborate plan that could help him turn a profit by turning the prison into a war zone, and Stan is the only thing standing in the way.

A Bug s Life

  • Directors: John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton
  • Producers: Darla K Anderson, John Lasseter
  • Writers: Story, Joe Ranft, Additional Story, Gefwee Boedoe, Jason Katz, Jorgen Klubien, Robert Lence, David Reynolds Screenplay, Andrew Stanton, Don McEnery, Bob Shaw
  • Genres: Family, Animation, Comedy, Adventure
  • Actors: Dave Foley, Kevin Spacey, Julia Louis Dreyfus, Denis Leary, Phyllis Diller, Joe Ranft, David Hyde Pierce, Brad Garrett, Richard Kind, Bonnie Hunt, Jonathan Harris, Hayden Panettiere, Madeline Kahn, Roddy McDowall, Michael McShane, John Ratzenberger, Ashley Tisdale

A colony of ants on a small island are working to gather enough food to satisfy the extortion demands of a gang of tough grasshoppers who visit every growing season. One ant, Flik, is an inventor whose creations usually do more harm than good. While trying out a mechanical harvester, he accidentally knocks the pile of food into a stream just before the grasshoppers arrive. Their leader, Hopper, gives the ants the rest of the season to make good on what they owe, but orders a double ration of food after Flik stands up to him in defense of the Queen’s younger daughter, Dot. Flik is called before the colony’s royal council and admonished severely for his actions. Princess Atta, Dot’s older sister and the eventual successor of the current queen, is unsure about how to deal with him. When Flik suggests that he might try to recruit some “warrior bugs” to fight the grasshoppers, the council sees this idea as a chance to get him removed and enthusiastically approves. Reaching the insect “city,” built from discarded boxes and cans, Flik encounters a troupe of unemployed circus bugs whose latest performance has just ended in disaster. He mistakes them for the warriors he needs; at the same time; they believe him to be a talent scout who wants to book their act on the island. They return to the colony, much to Atta’s surprise, and are immediately greeted as heroes who can put an end to the threat posed by Hopper’s gang. Atta soon becomes suspicious after almost overhearing a conversation in which both Flik and the troupe realize their mistakes. However, after they band together to save Dot from a hungry bird, she begins to think that the troupe may be able to stop the grasshoppers after all. She also starts to fall in love with Flik.

Dot overhears the gang’s plans to kill the queen once they have all the food, and she rushes to catch up with Flik, who has left the colony with the troupe. She persuades them to return and put the bird plan into action, with help from her and some of the other young ants. The model scares the gang, and they almost retreat until P. T. intervenes and inadvertently incinerates it. Enraged, Hopper sends his crazed associate Thumper to severely injure Flik, but Flik is still able to stand up and rally the other ants, saying that the grasshoppers depend on the extorted food for their own survival. The entire colony swarms against the gang, forcing them to leave but Hopper, now obsessed with killing Flik. In his rage, he grabs Flik and flies off, evading the troupe until Atta intervenes and rescues Flik. They lure him towards the bird’s nest and get separated. Hopper finds Flik and they fight until the bird emerges. Hopper, believing this bird to be another model, taunts Flik until it picks him up and feeds him to its chicks. The ants welcome Flik back into the colony and adopt his harvester to speed up grain collection. Passing her princess crown to Dot, Atta is crowned the new queen and chooses Flik as her mate. Before the troupe can leave, they must wait for one member, Heimlich the caterpillar, to emerge from the chrysalis in which he has encased himself. He pops out with a tiny pair of butterfly wings, far too small to lift him off the ground, and the troupe (with Molt, acting as a road crew assistant) departs with the colony’s thanks.