Tropic Thunder

  • Directors: Ben Stiller
  • Producers: Stuart Cornfeld, Eric McLeod, Ben Stiller
  • Writers: Ben Stiller, Justin Theroux, Etan Cohen
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, War
  • Actors: Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr, Jack Black, Brandon T Jackson, Jay Baruchel

During the filming of hook-handed Vietnam veteran John “Four Leaf” Tayback’s memoir, Tropic Thunder, the actors—fading action hero Tugg Speedman, five-time Academy Award-winning Australian method actor Kirk Lazarus, rapper Alpa Chino, and drug-addicted comedian Jeff Portnoy—behave unreasonably (with the exception of newcomer supporting actor Kevin Sandusky). Rookie director Damien Cockburn is unable to control the actors during the filming of a large war scene, and just five days into shooting the production is reported to be a month behind schedule. Cockburn is ordered by studio executive Les Grossman to get filming back on track.

Acting on Tayback’s advice, Cockburn drops the actors into the middle of the jungle, where he has installed hidden cameras and special-effect explosions rigged so he can film “guerrilla-style”. The actors have guns that fire blanks, along with a map and scene listing that will guide them to a helicopter waiting at the end of the jungle route. Unbeknownst to the actors and the production, the group have been dropped in the middle of the Golden Triangle, the home of the heroin-producing Flaming Dragon gang. Shortly after the group set off, the five actors are stunned to see Cockburn blown up by a land mine. Speedman, believing Cockburn faked his death, persuades Chino, Portnoy, and Sandusky that Cockburn is alive and that they are still shooting the film. Lazarus is unconvinced that Cockburn is alive, but joins the other actors in their trek through the jungle.

The four actors locate Tayback, Underwood, and Speedman and cross a bridge rigged to explode to get to Underwood’s helicopter. Speedman asks to remain behind with the gang which he considers his “family”, but quickly returns with Flaming Dragon in pursuit. Tayback detonates the bridge, allowing Speedman to reach safety, but as the helicopter takes off, the gang fires a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) at the machine. Peck unexpectedly stumbles out of the jungle carrying a TiVo box and throws it in the path of the RPG, saving them all. The actors and crew return to Hollywood, where footage from the hidden cameras is compiled into a feature film, Tropic Blunder, which becomes a major critical and box office hit.

The Elephant Man

  • Directors: David Lynch
  • Producers: Jonathan Sanger, Stuart Cornfeld, Mel Brooks
  • Writers: Screenplay, Christopher De Vore, Eric Bergren, David Lynch, Books, Sir Frederick Treves, Ashley Montagu
  • Genres: Biography, Drama, History
  • Actors: Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt, Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud, Wendy Hiller

Frederick Treves (Anthony Hopkins), a surgeon at the London Hospital, discovers John Merrick (John Hurt) in a Victorian freak show in London’s East End, where he is managed by the brutish Bytes (Freddie Jones). Merrick is so deformed that he must wear a hood and cape when in public. Bytes further claims that his “exhibit” is an imbecile. Treves is professionally intrigued by Merrick’s condition and pays Bytes to bring him to the London Hospital so that he can examine him. He then presents a lecture to his colleagues on Merrick’s disability, dispassionately displaying him as a prize physiological curiosity. Treves draws attention to the oversized deformities of Merrick’s skull; it is his most obvious disability and (as he was so informed by Bytes) also the most life-threatening, as he is compelled to sleep sitting with his head resting upon his knees, as the weight of his skull would asphyxiate him if he were to ever lie down. On Merrick’s return, Bytes beats him so severely that a sympathetic apprentice (Dexter Fletcher) alerts Treves, who attempts to take him back to the hospital. Bytes confronts Treves, accusing him of likewise exploiting Merrick for his own ends, which leads the surgeon to resolve to do what he can to help the unfortunate man.

As the shocked mob backs away, he collapses from illness and exhaustion. Treves, consumed with guilt over Merrick’s plight, takes action against the night porter with the help of Mrs. Mothershead. When the police return Merrick to the hospital, he is reinstated to his rooms. He recovers a little but it is soon clear he is dying from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. As a treat, Mrs. Kemble arranges an evening at the musical theatre, where Merrick is accompanied by his beloved friends: Treves, Mrs Mothershead, Nurse Nora, and HRH The Princess Of Wales. Resplendent in white tie, he rises in the Royal Box to an ovation, having had the performance dedicated to him from Mrs Kemble. That night, back at the hospital, Merrick thanks Treves for all he has done and finishes his model of the nearby church. Imitating one of his sketches on the wall — a sleeping child — he removes the pillows that have allowed him to sleep in an upright position, lies down on his bed and dies, consoled by a vision of his mother.

Blades of Glory

  • Directors: Josh Gordon, Will Speck
  • Producers: Ben Stiller, Stuart Cornfeld, John Jacobs
  • Writers: John Altschuler, Craig Cox, Jeff Cox, Dave Krinsky, Story by Busy Philipps
  • Genres: Comedy, Romance, Sport
  • Actors: Will Ferrell, Jon Heder, Will Arnett, Amy Poehler, William Fichtner, Jenna Fischer, Romany Malco, Nick Swardson, Rob Corddry, Craig T Nelson

At the 2003 World Winter Sport Games, rival men’s singles skaters Chazz Michael Michaels (Will Ferrell), a skillful skater but raunchy sex addict and Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder), a talented but girly skater tie for gold and an argument ensues on the awards podium. It quickly develops into a fight. Having disgraced their sport, they both are stripped of their gold medals, and receive a lifetime ban from men’s singles competition. Jimmy’s billionaire adoptive father Darren MacElroy (William Fichtner) disowns him and leaves him on the side of the road.

Three and a half years later, Jimmy is working at a winter sporting goods store and gets demoted to sorting out the stock when he refuses to listen to a customer telling him her skating boot is too tight. Chazz skates in the kiddie skating show ‘Grublets on Ice’ as the ‘Evil Wizard,’ has gained a lot of weight, and gets fired from his job for being in a drunken stupor on stage. Jimmy’s stalker Hector (Nick Swardson) tells him of a loophole in the ban: he is banned only from singles skating and can still compete in pair skating or ice dancing. Jimmy contacts his old coach (Craig T. Nelson), but is unable to find a female partner. Jimmy’s search for a partner leads him to Chazz, and his coach convinces the two of them to join up as a same-sex pairs team, because of a loophole in the regulations (also found by Jimmy’s stalker Hector) that fails to state the genders of the pairs and dance team.

Meanwhile, Stranz and Fairchild perform their routine, a dramatization of the “forbidden romance” of JFK and Marilyn Monroe. Both Chazz and Jimmy arrive separately in the ice rink just in time to compete. Chazz and Jimmy reconcile quickly (Chazz telling Jimmy and the entire arena that “Katie is not a whore”) and begin their routine, which has a science fiction theme. Fairchild, seeing the two doing extremely well, throws a pearl from her costume onto the ice. Chazz trips over the pearl and breaks his ankle, which renders him unable to perform his role in the Iron Lotus. Jimmy then offers to switch places with him. Although they have never practiced the other’s roles (and it took hundreds of tries for Chazz to not decapitate a test dummy), they perform the Iron Lotus perfectly. Jimmy and Chazz win the competition, Jimmy reconciles with Katie, and Stranz and Fairchild are arrested due to the kidnappings as well as Stranz shooting the mascot. Stranz and Fairchild begin arguing, then kiss each other incestuously. They get the silver medal while Jimmy and Chazz receive the glorious gold and fly off into the sky (literally, through some sort of rockets on their skates). While the credits are rolling, Hector is seen playing with dolls of himself, Jimmy and Chazz.

Dodgeball A True Underdog Story

  • Directors: Rawson Marshall Thurber
  • Producers: Stuart Cornfeld, Ben Stiller
  • Writers: Rawson Marshall Thurber
  • Genres: Comedy, Sport
  • Actors: Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller, Christine Taylor, Justin Long, Jason Bateman, and Rip Torn

Peter LaFleur (Vaughn) is the laid-back, down-to-earth owner of Average Joe’s, a failing, decaying gym with a handful of loyal, but eccentric, members, including Steve the Pirate (Alan Tudyk), Justin (Justin Long), Gordon (Stephen Root), and employees Dwight (Chris Williams) and Owen (Joel Moore). His rival, White Goodman (Stiller), owner of the glamorous Globo-Gym located across the street, has purchased Average Joe’s defaulted mortgage. Therefore, Peter must raise $50,000 in 30 days in order to redeem the equity of redemption on the about-to-be-foreclosed mortgage, or else Goodman will successfully foreclose upon Average Joe’s Gym and demolish it for a parking garage. Working on this transaction is attorney Kate Veatch (Taylor), whom White attempts and fails to charm on multiple different occasions. However, Veatch and Peter develop a friendship despite her role in his business troubles. After various half-hearted attempts at money-raising fail, Gordon declares that they can win the money needed to pay the redemption costs by winning a dodgeball competition in Las Vegas, and begin to train to enter the tournament. The team watches a 1950s-style training film featuring legendary dodgeball star Patches O’Houlihan (played by Rip Torn) to learn about dodgeball.

The Average Joes become a success, Justin’s girlfriend Amber becomes pregnant, and White drowns his sorrows in junk food, becoming obese again as a result. After the end credits White is seen on the on his couch listening to the song Milkshake while rubbing his nipples together