21 Grams

  • Directors:
  • Producers: Robert Salerno
  • Writers: Guillermo Arriaga
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Sean Penn, Naomi Watts, Benicio del Toro, Melissa Leo, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Danny Huston

The story is told in a non-linear manner. The following is a linear, chronological summary of the plot:

Jack Jordan is a former convict who is using his new-found religious faith to recover from drug addiction and alcoholism. Paul Rivers is a mathematics professor with a fatal heart condition. Unless he receives a new heart from an organ donor, he will have less than one month to live. Paul’s wife wants him to donate his sperm so she can have his baby, even if he dies. The two are civil to one another, yet distant. Cristina Peck is also a recovering drug addict, and now lives a normal suburban life with a supportive husband and two children. She is a loving mother and active swimmer, who has left her days of drugs and booze behind. These three separate stories/characters become tied together one evening when Jack kills Cristina’s husband and children in a hit-and-run accident. Her husband’s heart is donated to Paul, who begins his recovery.

Cristina is devastated by the loss and returns to drugs (2C-B and ketamine) and alcohol. Paul is eager to begin normal life again, but he hesitantly agrees to his wife’s idea of surgery and artificial insemination as a last-ditch effort to get pregnant. During consultations with a doctor before the surgery, Paul learns that his wife had undergone an abortion after they had separated in the past. Angered, Paul ends the relationship. He becomes very inquisitive about whose heart he has. He learns from a private detective that the heart belonged to Cristina’s husband, and begins to follow the widowed Cristina around town.

Jack and Cristina rush Paul to the hospital. Jack tells the police that he shot Paul, but he is released. The conflict between Cristina and Jack remains unresolved (they meet in the waiting room after Paul’s death, but do not speak). Cristina learns in the hospital that she is pregnant. After Paul’s death, Cristina is seen tentatively preparing for the new child and Jack is shown returning home to his family.

Mystic River

  • Directors: Clint Eastwood
  • Producers: Clint Eastwood, Robert Lorenz, Judie G Hoyt
  • Writers: Novel, Dennis Lehane, Screenplay, Brian Helgeland
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
  • Actors: Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishburne, Marcia Gay Harden, Laura Linney

The film opens with three boys, Sean Devine, Jimmy Markum, and Dave Boyle, playing hockey in the street. While playing, the boys find a section of sidewalk concrete that is still drying. Jimmy impulsively writes his name in the cement and Sean follows. Dave begins to write his name in the cement, but a car pulls up and a man who pretends to be a plainclothes police officer gets out, scolds the three boys, and tells Dave to get in the car. After a second man in the front passenger seat (who appears to be a priest) turns and smiles at the boy, Dave looks out the back window to see Jimmy and Sean staring back at him as the car moves away. Hearing that Dave was taken away by a police officer, the parents of Jimmy and Sean agree that something is wrong and begin to look for him.

The film then cuts to Dave in the basement of the two child molesters who took him and then to Dave running away from the house through a forest.

Twenty-five years later, the boys are now grown and still living in Boston. Jimmy (Sean Penn) is an ex-con running a neighborhood store, while Dave (Tim Robbins) is a blue-collar worker, still haunted by his abduction. The two men are still neighbors and related by marriage. Jimmy’s 19 year old daughter Katie (Emmy Rossum) is secretly dating Brendan Harris (Thomas Guiry), a boy Jimmy despises. She and Brendan are planning on eloping to marry in Las Vegas.

The film ends with the camera zooming towards Mystic River and fades to black.

Milk

  • Directors: Gus Van Sant
  • Producers: Dan Jinks, Bruce Cohen, Michael London
  • Writers: Dustin Lance Black
  • Genres: Biography, Drama, Romance
  • Actors: Sean Penn, Emile Hirsch, Josh Brolin, Diego Luna, James Franco, Alison Pill, Victor Garber

Milk opens with archival footage of police raiding gay bars and arresting patrons during the 1950s and 1960s, followed by Dianne Feinstein’s November 27, 1978, announcement to the press that Milk and Moscone have been assassinated. Milk is seen recording his will throughout the film, nine days (November 18, 1978) before the assassinations. The film then flashes back to New York City in 1970, the eve of Milk’s 40th birthday and his first meeting with his much younger lover, Scott Smith.

Unsatisfied with his life and in need of a change, Milk and Smith decide to move to San Francisco in the hope of finding larger acceptance of their relationship. They open Castro Camera in the heart of Eureka Valley, a working class neighborhood in the process of evolving into a predominantly gay neighborhood known as The Castro. Frustrated by the opposition they encounter in the once Irish-Catholic neighborhood, Milk utilizes his background as a businessman to become a gay activist, eventually becoming a mentor for Cleve Jones. Early on, Smith serves as Milk’s campaign manager, but his frustration grows with Milk’s devotion to politics, and he leaves him. Milk later meets Jack Lira, a sweet-natured but unbalanced young man. As with Smith, Lira cannot tolerate Milk’s devotion to political activism, and eventually hangs himself.

The last scene is an aerial shot of the candlelight vigil held by thousands for Milk and Moscone throughout the streets of the city. Pictures of the actual people depicted in the film, and brief summaries of their lives follow. This includes a note that Dan White’s lawyers used the infamous Twinkie defense to get White’s conviction reduced to voluntary manslaughter.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High

  • Directors: Amy Heckerling
  • Producers: Irving Azoff, Art Linson
  • Writers: Cameron Crowe
  • Genres: Comedy, Music, Romance
  • Actors: Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge Reinhold, Phoebe Cates, Brian Backer, Robert Romanus, Lana Clarkson, Ray Walston, Forest Whitaker, Nicolas Cage

Stacy Hamilton (Leigh) is a high school freshman who works at Perry’s pizza parlor with the seemingly more sexually experienced Linda Barrett (Cates). Mark Ratner (Backer) also works in the mall, as “assistant to the assistant manager” of the movie theater. His friend Mike Damone (Romanus), who also hangs out at the mall scalping rock concert tickets, believes himself to be both worldly and wise in the ways of women. Stacy’s brother Brad (Reinhold) is a relatively popular, if a bit dorky, senior who works at All-American Burger to buy a blue 1960 Buick LeSabre and only has six more payments left (“Six more payments gentlemen, and this beautiful, blue, four-door, luxury sedan is all mine.”) .[1] Surfer Jeff Spicoli (Penn) hotboxes a Volkswagen Microbus before the final bell rings for the start of a new school year.

The sexually curious Stacy initially hooks up with a much older home stereo salesman, Ron Johnson of Pacific Stereo. He provides her first sexual experiences, but dumps her a few months later, and then Stacy seeks other relationships.

Stacy and nerdy Mark Ratner end up sharing a biology class. Eventually Ratner asks Stacy out and receives pointers from his friend Damone, the scalper. The date goes well despite Ratner forgetting his wallet at home and the tape deck being stolen from his sister’s vehicle during their dinner “at such a fancy place.” They go back to her house where she comes on to him, and he chickens out, leaving her there with nothing but a robe on.

There are several extra scenes only shown on the cable versions. They include

Into the Wild

  • Directors: Sean Penn
  • Producers: Sean Penn, Art Linson
  • Writers: Jon Krakauer, Sean Penn
  • Genres: Adventure, Biography, Drama
  • Actors: Emile Hirsch, Marcia Gay Harden, William Hurt, Jena Malone, Catherine Keener, Vince Vaughn, Hal Holbrook, Kristen Stewart

Into the Wild recounts the life of Christopher McCandless, a real-life National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS)|student-athlete at Emory University, as told by his sympathetic sister. In response to his parents, whom McCandless perceives as materialistic, manipulative, and domineering, McCandless destroys all of his credit cards and identification documents, donates $24,000 (nearly his entire savings) to Oxfam, and sets out on a off-road|cross-country drive in his well-used but reliable Datsun towards his ultimate goal: to travel alone to Alaska and experience its nature firsthand. Along the way, he abandons his automobile in the course of a flash flood, to hitchhike after burning the remainder of his dwindling cash supply. He acquires a Perception Sundance 12 open-water kayak and goes down the Colorado River, into Mexico, and later returns to America via freight train to Los Angeles. Taking a circuitous route, he encounters many unconventional individuals along the way, such as a group of hippies, a farm owner (Vince Vaughn), and a lonely leather worker (Hal Holbrook) who offers to adopt and be a grandfather to McCandless. McCandless purposefully trudges onward to his final destination, arriving in the wilds of Alaska nearly two years after his initial departure. He starts living in a “Magic Bus”, used as a shelter for moose hunters. McCandless finds joy in living off the land and begins to write a book of his adventures. As the spring thaw arrives and he seeks to return from the wild, McCandless is cut off from civilization by the torrents of a swelled river one of his few admitted fears is of water. As his food supply of small game dwindles, he resorts to eating indigenous plants. Although he consults a book that he brought along in order to identify edible plants in the wild, he confuses an edible and a poisonous variety, which shuts down his digestive system and causes him to starve to death. In his final hours, he continues to document his demise in a painful and dramatic denouement.