Che Part Two

  • Directors: Steven Soderbergh
  • Producers: Laura Bickford, Benicio del Toro
  • Writers: Peter Buchman, Benjamin A van der Veen
  • Genres: Biography, Drama, War
  • Actors: Benicio del Toro, Franka Potente, Catalina Sandino Moreno

In Havana 1964, Che Guevara is interviewed by Lisa Howard who asks him if reform throughout Latin America might not blunt the “message of the Cuban Revolution”. In 1955, at a gathering in Mexico City, Guevara first meets Fidel Castro. He listens to Castro’s plans and signs on as a member of the July 26th Movement. There is a return to 1964 for Guevara’s address before the United Nations General Assembly, where he makes an impassioned speech against American imperialism, and defends the executions his regime has committed declaring that “this is a battle to the death”.

March 1957, Guevara deals with debilitating bouts of asthma as his group of revolutionaries meet up with Castro’s group. Together, they attack an army barracks on May 28, 1957. On October 15, 1958, the guerrillas approach the town of Las Villas. The Battle of Santa Clara is depicted with Guevara demonstrating his tactical skill as the guerrillas engage in street-to-street fighting. Near the film’s end they are victorious. With the Cuban Revolution now over, Guevara heads to Havana, remarking “we won the war, the revolution starts now”.

The second part begins with Guevara arriving in Bolivia disguised as a middle-aged representative of the Organization of American States hailing from Uruguay, who subsequently drives into the mountains to meet his men. The film is organized by the days that he was in the country. On Day 26, there is solidarity among Guevara’s men despite his status as foreigner. By Day 67, Guevara has been set up for betrayal. He tries to recruit some peasants only to be mistaken for a cocaine smuggler. On Day 100, there is a shortage of food and Guevara exercises discipline to resolve conflicts between his Cuban and Bolivian followers.

Guevara grows sick and by Day 280 can barely breathe as a result of his acute asthma. On Day 302 Tania Bunke, Juan Acuña Ñunez, and several others in Che’s forces are massacred by the Bolivian Army as they attempt to cross the Vado del Yeso. By Day 340, Guevara is trapped by the Bolivian army and while wounded is surrounded and captured. The next day, a helicopter lands and a Cuban-American CIA agent Félix Rodríguez emerges. Guevara says, “I don’t talk to traitors.” Rodriguez responds, “You executed my uncle”. The Bolivian high command are then phoned and give approval for Guevara’s execution. He is killed on October 9, 1967, and his corpse lashed to the landing skids of a helicopter and flown out.

Ocean s Twelve

  • Directors: Steven Soderbergh
  • Producers: Jerry Weintraub
  • Writers: George Nolfi
  • Genres: Comedy, Crime, Thriller
  • Actors: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Julia Roberts, Catherine Zeta Jones, Bernie Mac, Don Cheadle, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Vincent Cassel, Eddie Jemison, Shaobo Qin, Carl Reiner, Elliott Gould

Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) rounds up the eleven members of Danny Ocean’s (George Clooney) gang, and threatens them in order to force them to pay back the $160 million that they stole from his Vegas casino from their previous heist, along with $38 million in interest, within two weeks. Collectively, the group is short by nearly half, and are forced to stage another heist to collect the funds. The group opts for a European target as they are too well recognized in the United States. For their first target, recommended by an informant named Matsui (Robbie Coltrane) the team goes after the world’s oldest stock certificate issued by the Dutch East India Company in 1602. Kept in a private home in Amsterdam, the value would not be enough to settle the debt, but sufficient to extend their deadline. While the group is able to breach the security of the house, including physically lifting the house to gain the correct line of sight to deactivate the security codes, they find they have been beaten by another master thief, François Toulour, also known as “The Night Fox” (Vincent Cassel). Toulour invites Danny to his home, and reveals that it was he that tipped off Terry on Danny’s casino heist, due to being upset that his mentor Gaspar LeMarc (Albert Finney) has believed Danny was the world’s best thief. Toulour challenges Danny to see who could first steal the Coronation Egg within the week, offering to pay off Terry’s debt if Danny should win.

LeMarc reveals in a meeting with Danny and Rusty that he had been playing a long con. LeMarc wanted to humiliate Toulour by taunting him into the bet with Danny, as well as to regain possession of the Egg that he had stolen himself long ago, only relinquishing it due to his wife’s nagging. More importantly, LeMarc wanted to be reunited with his daughter, revealed to be Lahiri, which could only be done after Danny’s crew was extradited. With Rusty’s help, Lahiri is flown in to an emotional meeting with her father. The group pays the money back to Terry, though under watch by Toulour, and then enjoy a private poker session, with Lahiri rejoining with Rusty.

The Girlfriend Experience

  • Directors: Steven Soderbergh
  • Producers: Mark Cuban, Gregory Jacobs, Todd Wagner
  • Writers: Brian Koppelman, David Levien
  • Genres: Comedy
  • Actors: Sasha Grey, Chris Santos, Glenn Kenny, Peter Zizzo

November, 2008. Escort Chelsea works in New York, but her clients have suffered since the collapse of the banks. Her boyfriend, Chris, is a trainer who is also struggling to make money as most of his clients will only pay for the short term plans.

Chris is asked by a client to go to Vegas for a weekend away, which he initially turns down as he feels Chelsea will not agree to it.

Chelsea meets with a first time client, a writer from Los Angeles, and they click. He is married with children, but after one date wants to spend a weekend with her. Chris does not want Chelsea to go, but after an argument they both go away for the weekend. Chris goes to Las Vegas with his client, and Chelsea flies out to meet her client. However her client has changed his mind.

Chelsea meets with various clients, some of whom just talk, others who engage in sex. She also meets with an interviewer who interviews her about her work. She is also blackmailed by the owner of a website which reviews escorts, when she refuses his advances he gives her a bad review.

Chelsea and Chris break up.

Ocean s Thirteen

  • Directors: Steven Soderbergh
  • Producers: Jerry Weintraub
  • Writers: Brian Koppelman, David Levien
  • Genres: Comedy, Crime, Thriller
  • Actors: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Don Cheadle, Bernie Mac, with Ellen Barkin, and Al Pacino, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Eddie Izzard, Eddie Jemison, Shaobo Qin, with Carl Reiner, and Elliott Gould

Reuben Tishkoff (Elliott Gould) and Las Vegas’ most hated businessman, Willy Bank (Al Pacino), are building a new hotel and casino in Las Vegas, a deal Danny Ocean (George Clooney) initially warns Reuben to avoid. After having secured crucial deals for Bank, Reuben is strong armed into signing over his share of the new establishment to Bank, who leaves him with only a $10,000 poker chip. Looking at the chip, Reuben notices that Bank has changed the name of the hotel from “The Midas” to his own name, “The Bank”. Reuben suffers a heart attack from the stress related to this financial loss. The remainder of Ocean’s Eleven—Danny Ocean (George Clooney), Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt), Linus Caldwell (Matt Damon), Basher Tarr (Don Cheadle), Frank Catton (Bernie Mac), Virgil Malloy (Casey Affleck), Turk Malloy (Scott Caan), “The Amazing” Yen (Shaobo Qin), Saul Bloom (Carl Reiner), and Livingston Dell (Eddie Jemison)— are gathered around Reuben. They decide to offer Bank a “Billy Martin” (presumably a “do-over”, a reference to Martin’s repeated hirings/firings/rehirings with the New York Yankees) or “face the consequences” of his actions. Not only does he turns down the offer, he happily says to Danny that Reuben has made the right choice to “roll over and die”. Thus, the team sets out to avenge the injustice committed against Reuben by making sure Bank’s casino not only loses, but loses big. Tess Ocean and Isabel Lahiri are notably absent from this plot—left behind with Danny’s simple explanation that “it’s not their fight”.

Days later, in the McCarran International Airport, Danny, Rusty, and Linus watch as Benedict gives an interview on The Oprah Winfrey Show, announcing that he donated the money because he was touched by the kids. The three go their separate ways. Linus, the first to leave, has finally gotten a “part” in his father’s work. Danny is the second to leave. After they have left, Rusty decides to hit the slots one last time. He starts to put some coins in the machine, but decides to give up his seat to the beleaguered hotel reviewer who is also at the airport. It turns out Rusty used the hacking coin sequence to rig the machine and the hotel reviewer wins $11 million; Rusty walks off smiling while a crowd gathers (this is significant also because Saul and Turk had earlier discussed how he would get the “Susan B. Anthony” at the airport, with Saul claiming he would undergo the reviewer’s plight if he were paid 11 million dollars).

Leatherheads

  • Directors: George Clooney
  • Producers: George Clooney, Barbara A Hall, Grant Heslov, Casey Silver, Jeffrey Silver, Sydney Pollack
  • Writers: George Clooney, Steven Soderbergh, Duncan Brantley, Rick Reilly, Stephen Schiff
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance, Sport
  • Actors: George Clooney, John Krasinski, Jonathan Pryce, Stephen Root, Wayne Duvall, Keith Loneker, Robert Baker

Clooney plays Jimmy “Dodge” Connelly, captain of a struggling professional American football team during the 1920s, the Duluth Bulldogs. Dodge is determined to save both his team and pro football in general when the players lose their sponsor and the league is on the brink of collapse. He convinces a college football star, Carter “the Bullet” Rutherford, to join the Bulldogs, hoping to capitalize on Carter’s fame as a decorated hero of the First World War (like Alvin York, he singlehandedly captured a large group of German soldiers).

In addition to his legendary tales of combat heroism, Carter has dashing good looks and unparalleled speed and skill on the field. As a result of his presence, both the Bulldogs and pro football in general begin to prosper.

Zellweger provides a romantic interest as Chicago newspaper reporter Lexie Littleton, who becomes the object of the affections of both Dodge and Carter. One knows but the other doesn’t that Lexie has been assigned to find proof that Carter’s war heroics are bogus. Indeed, Carter confesses that the surrender of the Germans was a lucky accident and in no way heroic.

Meanwhile, Dodge’s attempts to legitimize pro football start to backfire, as rules are formalized, taking away much of the improvisational antics that made the game fun for many of its players.

With his own playing career near an end, Dodge gets to play in one last big game. This time it will be against Carter, who has changed sides to the Chicago team. Their rivalry for Lexie’s affection spills over onto the football field for one last day.

Traffic

  • Directors: Steven Soderbergh
  • Producers: Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz, Laura Bickford
  • Writers: Stephen Gaghan
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Michael Douglas, Benicio del Toro, Don Cheadle, Catherine Zeta Jones, Dennis Quaid

The film begins in Mexico, where police officer Javier Rodriguez (Benicio Del Toro) and his partner, Manolo Sanchez (Jacob Vargas), stop a drug transport and arrest the couriers. Their arrest is interrupted by General Salazar (Tomás Milián), a high-ranking Mexican official, who decides to hire Rodriguez. Salazar instructs him to locate and apprehend Francisco Flores (Clifton Collins, Jr.), a notorious hit man for the Tijuana Cartel, headed by the Obregón brothers.

Meanwhile, Robert Wakefield (Douglas), a conservative Ohio judge, is appointed to head the President’s Office of National Drug Control, taking on the title drug czar. Wakefield is warned by his predecessor and several influential politicians that the War on Drugs is unwinnable. Unbeknownst to Wakefield, his honors student daughter, Caroline (Erika Christensen) has been using cocaine, and develops a drug addiction after her boyfriend Seth (Topher Grace) introduces her to freebase cocaine. Caroline and Seth are arrested when a fellow student overdoses on drugs at a party and they unsuccessfully try to dump him anonymously at a nearby hospital. Robert finds out that his wife Barbara (Amy Irving) has known about their daughter’s involvement with drugs for over six months.

A third story is set in San Diego, where an undercover Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) investigation led by Montel Gordon (Don Cheadle) and Ray Castro (Luis Guzmán) leads to arrest of Eduardo Ruiz (Miguel Ferrer), a high-stakes dealer posing as a fisherman. Ruiz, who is hospitalized as the result of a gunshot wound from the arrest, decides to risk the dangerous road to immunity by giving up his boss: drug lord Carlos Ayala (Steven Bauer), the biggest distributor for the Obregón brothers in the United States. Ayala is indicted by a tough prosecutor, hand-selected by Wakefield in an attempt to send a message to the Mexican drug organizations.

Some aspects of the plotline are based on real-life characters and events. The character General Arturo Salazar is closely modeled after Mexican General Jesús Gutiérrez Rebollo, who was secretly on the payroll of Amado Carrillo Fuentes, head of the Juarez Cartel. The character Porfilio Madrigal is modeled after Fuentes. The Obregón brothers are similarly modeled after the Arellano Félix brothers.[1][2][3]

Ocean s Eleven

  • Directors: Steven Soderbergh
  • Producers: Jerry Weintraub
  • Writers: George C Johnson, Jack G Russell, Harry Brown, Charles Lederer, Scott Corwon, Ted Griffin
  • Genres: Comedy, Crime, Thriller
  • Actors: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Julia Roberts, Bernie Mac, Don Cheadle, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Elliott Gould, Eddie Jemison, with Shaobo Qin, and Carl Reiner

Shortly after being paroled from prison in New Jersey, Danny Ocean (George Clooney) breaks parole to visit Los Angeles, meeting up with Rusty (Brad Pitt), a former partner in his criminal schemes, to inform him that he has a new scheme in mind. The two head to Las Vegas to approach wealthy former casino owner and friend Reuben Tishkoff (Elliott Gould), with a plan to rob the vaults of the Bellagio, The Mirage and the MGM Grand casinos. At first Reuben is very reluctant, knowing himself how much security there is in every casino, but Reuben, seeing this as a way to get back at his rival, Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia), owner of the 3 casinos , finances the option and suggests the plan be executed on the night of the highly-anticipated Lennox Lewis/Wladimir Klitschko boxing match. By Nevada Gaming Commission rules, the casinos must maintain adequate funds in their vaults to cover all bets, and during the busy casino night coinciding with the match, more than $150 million is expected to be stored in the Bellagio vault. Danny and Rusty begin to recruit former colleagues and other criminal masterminds into their group. The team plans and carries out a series of reconnaissance missions at the Bellagio to learn as much as possible about the security, the lie of the land and the routines and behaviours of the casino staff. At the same time, they set up a re-creation of the Bellagio vault, in which to practice evasion of the vault’s formidable security systems. During this planning phase, the team discovers that Danny’s ex-wife, Tess Ocean (Julia Roberts), is currently Terry’s lover, and Rusty urges Danny to drop the plan saying that “Tess does not split eleven ways”, aware that Tess may warn Terry that something is afoot if she sees Danny, but Danny figures this into the plan.

Terry quickly realises that the televised images of the vault he is looking at are faked, and that the team had created the images inside a replication of the vault at some earlier time. Specifically, he notices that the video feed did not show the new Bellagio logo that was installed only a few days earlier. His men following the van find that it is being driven remotely, and is only filled with “fliers for hookers”. Terry comes to the realization that Danny’s men must have posed as the S.W.A.T. team and faked the fighting while they cleared out the vault, taking all of the money with them as they left unchecked. Terry returns to the room where he left Danny, finding that Danny is still there, leaving Terry no way to connect him to the theft. Danny offers to assist Terry in finding the money on condition that he give up Tess, to which Terry agrees. However, the team recorded this conversation and shows it to Tess. Angry at being used by Terry, she leaves him and returns to Danny. Danny is still arrested for violating parole and spends some months in prison, after Terry arranges for the police to be tipped off about Danny’s parole violation. When Danny is released, he is met by Rusty and Tess, and the three drive off, closely followed by Terry’s bodyguards.

Erin Brockovich

  • Directors: Steven Soderbergh
  • Producers: Danny DeVito, Stacey Sher, Michael Shamberg, Gail Lyon, John Hardy
  • Writers: Susannah Grant
  • Genres: Biography, Drama, Romance
  • Actors: Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, Aaron Eckhart

Erin Brockovich (Julia Roberts) is an unemployed single mother of three children who, after losing a personal injury lawsuit against a doctor in a car accident she was in, asks her lawyer, Edward L. Masry (Albert Finney), if he can find her a job in compensation for the loss. Ed gives her work as a file clerk in his office, and she runs across some files on a pro bono case involving real-estate and medical records against PG&E.

Erin begins digging into the particulars of the case, convinced that the facts simply do not add up, and persuades Ed to allow her further research. After investigation, she discovers a systematic cover-up of the industrial poisoning (Hexavalent chromium) of the town of Hinkley’s water supply that threatens the health of an entire community. She finds that PG&E is responsible for the extensive illnesses residents of Hinkley have been diagnosed with and fights to bring the company to justice.