Brother Bear

  • Directors: Aaron Blaise, Robert Walker
  • Producers: Igor Khait, Chuck Williams
  • Writers: Tab Murphy, Lorne Cameron, David Hoselton, Steve Bencich, Ron J Friedman
  • Genres: Animation, Adventure, Family, Fantasy
  • Actors: Joaquin Phoenix, Jeremy Suarez, Rick Moranis, Dave Thomas, Jason Raize, D B Sweeney, Joan Copeland, Michael Clarke Duncan

Long ago in a post-ice age North America, there are three Indian brothers named Kenai (Joaquin Phoenix), Denahi (Jason Raize), and Sitka (D.B. Sweeney). Denahi is the middle brother, and Sitka, the oldest. Kenai, the youngest, hates bears because they fight for the same food, overtake the land, and ruin his coming-of-age ceremony. Each brother was given his own totem when they came of age: Sitka, the eagle of guidance and Denahi, the wolf of wisdom. At the ceremony, Kenai is presented with the bear of love. Kenai questions the totem he has been given with his brother by saying that “[bears] don’t love anyone, they don’t think, they don’t feel […]”, calling them thieves when he notices the stolen fish basket.

When Sitka is killed in a battle with the bear that stole the basket, Tanana (Joan Copeland), the tribal shaman, officiates a funeral rite for Sitka. Suddenly Kenai ignores the village teachings of brotherhood with animals and sets out to hunt the bear for revenge and eventually kills it. To punish Kenai, the Great Spirits, represented by the spirit of Sitka, transform him into a bear. Unfortunately his other brother, who was pursuing Kenai to stop him, doesn’t realize what has happened. He finds Kenai’s torn clothes and believes the bear took his other brother’s life. In grief, he vows revenge.

Yet, while Kenai has regained his humanity, he can no longer talk with Koda, a cub who is now orphaned yet again. Rather than abandon Koda, Kenai tells Sitka that Koda needs him. Denahi calls Kenai “little brother” instead of “baby brother” and Sitka transforms Kenai (by his choice) back into a bear. The three brothers then share a hug and say goodbye, while Koda and his mother’s spirit do the same.The film ends with Kenai as a bear, accompanied by Koda, being welcomed back by his tribe and pressing his pawprint to the cliff wall, which bears the handprints of countless generations of other tribe members who also fulfilled the calling of their totem animals.

Parenthood

  • Directors: Ron Howard
  • Producers: Brian Grazer
  • Writers: Story, Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel, Ron Howard, Screenplay, Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama
  • Actors: Steve Martin, Tom Hulce, Rick Moranis, Martha Plimpton, Keanu Reeves, Jason Robards, Mary Steenburgen, Dianne Wiest

The story revolves around Gil Buckman (Steve Martin), a neurotic sales executive trying to balance the pressures of raising a family in the suburbs of St. Louis and succeeding in his career. Among Gil’s issues is a family of relatives who all face their own obstacles related to family and raising children such as Gil’s wife, Karen (Mary Steenburgen), his gruff and distant father, Frank (Jason Robards) and an assortment of other colorful relatives in a movie that raises the question: How easy is it to raise a family when you’re also trying to have your own life?

Gil never overworks himself, because he wants to be an active father, rather than a distant one like his own father was. His relationship with his father remains tense. His parenting skills are put under more pressure when he finds out that his wife is pregnant with their fourth child whom he is unsure of, and that his eldest son, Kevin, may have emotional problems [recognizably, in retrospect, a mild form of social anxiety disorder or possibly Asperger’s Syndrome] and may need to be placed in special classes or a private school if his issues don’t get better. Given Kevin’s issues, and some more minor issues with his other two children, Gil begins to blame himself and deeply question his abilities as a father. In addition, the financial burdens of another child and office politics at work may mean becoming the workaholic he despised his own father for being. When his father comes to Gil for advice on how to deal with Larry (Gil’s wayward brother) and says he is asking Gil’s advice because Gil is a good father, Gil has some closure about his feelings toward his father. Although this was a first step for Gil to realize that kids don’t come with an instruction manual, it is grandma and his wife that finally get him to relax and enjoy what life brings rather than over analyze it.

The film ends on a sentimental note with a new generation of Buckman children being born and the personal growth of the parents. For example, Frank lovingly hugs and cuddles his grandson Cool demonstrating that he changed his distant ways. The message of the film is seemingly that despite a family’s hectic problems, there is nothing better than being part of it and everyone has insecurities about their parenting skills.

Ghostbusters II

  • Directors: Ivan Reitman
  • Producers: Ivan Reitman
  • Writers: Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
  • Actors: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts, Peter MacNicol, Wilhelm von Homburg

Five years after the events of the first film, the Ghostbusters are out of business after being sued by the city for property damage incurred during the battle against Gozer. Ray Stantz and Winston Zeddemore have become entertainers at children’s parties, Egon Spengler works in a laboratory conducting various experiments, Peter Venkman hosts a pseudo-psychic television show, and Dana Barrett is working at an art museum restoring paintings and raising her infant son Oscar at a new apartment.

One day, Oscar’s carriage starts rolling down the street by itself and is nearly crushed by traffic. Ray, Egon, and Peter investigate. Meanwhile, Dana’s boss, Dr. Janosz Poha (Peter MacNicol), is restoring a painting of a seventeenth-century tyrant named Vigo the Carpathian when the real Vigo’s spirit (located inside the painting) orders Janosz to find a child that he (Vigo) might use as a physical form. When Ray is lowered underground, he discovers a river of pink slime beneath the streets. He obtains a sample; moments later, the Ghostbusters are arrested after Ray accidentally knocks most of the city’s electrical power out. During court, two ghosts appear out of the slime in response to the judge’s shouting and attack the court. However, the Ghostbusters manage to capture them using their old equipment and therefore resume their business. During a test of the slime, the Ghostbusters realize that the slime absorbs emotion and becomes malevolent or benevolent according to the emotions to which it is exposed. Meanwhile, the slime appears out of Dana’s bathtub and tries to grab her and Oscar; but she escapes. The next morning, the Ghostbusters investigate the painting of Vigo and begin to notice the presence of the spirit in it. The next night, Ray, Winston, and Egon discover that the river of slime leads directly to the museum.

Janosz appears and kidnaps Oscar while Dana goes to the museum. After Dana enters the museum, the “malevolent” slime forms a shell around the building and the Ghostbusters are called to destroy it. They are unable to do so by their accustomed means; therefore they instead animate the Statue of Liberty by exposing it to “benevolent” slime and “ride” the statue to the museum, where they destroy part of the rooftop with its torch. When the Ghostbusters are in the museum, Vigo appears out of the painting and grabs Oscar. Outside, the citizens of New York, knowing the slime’s sensitivity to emotion, give the Ghostbusters an advantage by singing Auld Lang Syne, enabling the Ghostbusters to drive Vigo the Carpathian into his portrait. In an effort to escape, he possesses Ray, but is destroyed entirely by the “benevolent” slime. His portrait is then replaced by one showing the Ghostbusters and Oscar in forms that represent them as guardians to Oscar, concluding the film.

The Flintstones

  • Directors: Brian Levant
  • Producers: Bruce Cohen
  • Writers: Tom S Parker, Jim Jennewein, Steven E de Souza
  • Genres: Comedy, Crime, Family
  • Actors: John Goodman, Rick Moranis, Elizabeth Perkins, Kyle MacLachlan, Rosie O Donnell, Halle Berry, Elizabeth Taylor

Cliff Vandercave, the Executive Vice President of Industrial Procurement at Slate & Co., plans to appoint a Vice President of his division to frame for a crime. To find one, he makes an exam to give to the quarry operators, among whom are Barney Rubble and Fred Flintstone. Fred loans Barney money so he and his wife, Betty can adopt a child. They adopt a caveboy named Bamm-Bamm. Barney appreciates what Fred did for him and is determined to pay him back. While taking the exams, Fred fails it, and is disappointed since he will not be able to give his wife, Wilma the wealthy life she used to have. Barney takes Fred’s exam up for him and notices how poorly he did. To pay him back for giving him the money to adopt Bamm-Bamm, he swaps his exam with Fred’s and Fred is promoted to Vice President.

On Fred’s first day as an executive, Cliff brings him to his new office, where he meets Sharon Stone, Cliff’s assistant. Stone seduces Fred and tells him she will do whatever he desires. Fred is then introduced to the dictabird. Cliff orders Fred to fire Barney because of his exam score, and he (very reluctantly and sadly) fires Barney at the Rubbles’ surprise party, but does his best to help Barney afterwards with financial problems. Cliff proposes a new machine that will do all of the quarry work and increase the company’s income. However, Fred is concerned about the operators losing their jobs. Cliff plans to have a fake version of the machine built and flee with the money gained from the machine, and frame Fred for it. Cliff orders Stone to give Fred the forms, but he is against the idea. To get him to sign the forms, Miss Stone once again seduces Fred, but Wilma walks in on them this time.

The film ends with a live-action montage of the animated series’ closing credits.

Ghost Busters

  • Directors: Ivan Reitman
  • Producers: Bernie Brillstein, Ivan Reitman
  • Writers: Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis
  • Genres: Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi
  • Actors: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts, William Atherton

Investigating a disturbance at the New York Public Library, three misfit parapsychology research professors specializing in research on ghosts, Drs. Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis), Raymond “Ray” Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), and Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), for the first time witness concrete evidence of paranormal activity, including a ghost. They nevertheless are expelled from Columbia University after their research grants are terminated. To maintain their livelihood, they establish “Ghostbusters”, an organization described by Venkman as a “professional paranormal investigations and eliminations” service, using an old firehouse as their headquarters, a 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor Ambulance dubbed “Ecto-1” as transport, and one Janine Melnitz (Annie Potts) as a receptionist. Just as the fledgling business runs out of funds, they are hired by the staff of a hotel plagued by a ghost (named “Slimer” by Ray in The Real Ghostbusters). They capture this ghost successfully, using their nuclear-powered “proton packs” to force it into a small holding trap for later transfer to a containment grid in the firehouse. Following their first successful endeavor, the Ghostbusters suddenly find themselves overwhelmed by calls from prospective clients about hauntings, to the point that they hire a fourth member, Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson). Zeddemore ultimately comes to believe that the increase of ghostly activity is building up towards a single grand-scale paranormal event that will result in the biblical “Judgment Day”, and is later proven to be correct.

Assisted by the police and Army, the Ghostbusters proceed to the top of 55 Central Park West, but are too late to prevent Barrett and Tully from meeting. Together they open an interdimensional portal, allowing Gozer to enter the human world, while the two are transformed into the doglike beasts seen earlier. When Gozer (Slavitza Jovan) emerges in a female humanoid form, the Ghostbusters briefly force her back into her dimension with their proton guns. Being led to believe that they are its prophesied adversaries, Gozer challenges them to choose a form for it to assume as it destroys the world. When Venkman orders his teammates to think of nothing, Stantz is unable to avoid thinking of the most innocent being he could imagine: the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. A gigantic version of this mascot appears and begins to lay waste to the city. Seeing this, Spengler realizes that their only hope is to cross their weapons’ emitted energy streams, reversing the particle flow and destroying Gozer’s gate to its home dimension, despite the fact that the Ghostbusters themselves may be killed as a result. As the “Marshmallow Man” reaches the top of the building, the team executes this plan, causing the gate to explode and reducing the creature to torrents of melted marshmallow. The Ghostbusters survive and Venkman frees Tully and Barrett from their doglike forms, which have been carbonized. When they leave the building, the Ghostbusters are met by Janine, who had been waiting for them. As they leave the scene in the Ecto-1, the public cheers them, followed by Slimer.