Shooter

  • Directors: Antoine Fuqua
  • Producers: Lorenzo di Bonaventura
  • Writers: Stephen Hunter, Jonathan Lemkin
  • Genres: Action, Crime, Mystery, Thriller
  • Actors: Mark Wahlberg, Danny Glover, Ned Beatty, Tate Donovan, Kate Mara, Mike Dopud

Bob Lee Swagger (Mark Wahlberg), a retired Gunnery Sergeant Marine Scout Sniper, is one of the few snipers in the world whose sharpshooting abilities allow him to “take out a target from a mile away.” He reluctantly leaves a self-imposed exile from his isolated mountain home at the request of Colonel Isaac Johnson (Danny Glover). Johnson appeals to his expertise and patriotism to help track down an assassin who plans on shooting the president from a great distance with a high powered rifle. Johnson gives him a list of three cities where the President is scheduled to visit so Swagger could determine if an attempt could be made at any of them.

Swagger assesses each of the locations and determines that a site in Philadelphia would be most conducive to a long range assassination attempt. He passes this information to Johnson, who purportedly arranges for a response. This turns out to be a set-up: while Swagger is working with Johnson’s agents — including a local police officer — to find the rumored assassin, the Ethiopian archbishop is instead assassinated while standing next to the president. Swagger is shot by the officer, but manages to escape. The agents tell the police and public that Swagger is the shooter, and stage a massive manhunt for the injured sniper. However, Swagger has a stroke of luck — he meets a rookie FBI special agent, Nick Memphis (Michael Peña), disarms him and steals his car.

Later appearing in a closed meeting with the Director of the FBI and the United States Attorney General present, Swagger clears his name by loading a rifle round (supplied by Memphis) into his rifle (which is there as evidence since it was supposedly used in the killing), aiming it at the Colonel and pulling the trigger — which fails to fire the round. Swagger explains that every time he leaves his house, he takes out all the firing pins replacing them with slightly shorter ones, thus rendering them unable to fire until he returns. Although Swagger is exonerated, Colonel Johnson takes advantage of a legal loophole — the Ethiopian genocide is outside American legal jurisdiction — and walks free. The attorney general approaches Swagger and states that as a law enforcement official, he must abide by the law (he insinuates that if it was the “wild west” it would be appropriate to clean the system with a gun). Afterwards, the Colonel and the Senator plan their next move while at the Senator’s vacation house — only to be interrupted by an attack by Swagger. He kills both conspirators, one of the Colonel’s aides and two bodyguards, then breaks open a gas valve before leaving. The fire in the fireplace ignites the gas, blowing up the house. The final scene shows Swagger getting into a car with Fenn and driving away.

Hercules

  • Directors: Ron Clements, John Musker
  • Producers: Ron Clements, John Musker
  • Writers: Ron Clements, John Musker, Barry Johnson
  • Genres: Animation, Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Musical
  • Actors: Tate Donovan, Danny DeVito, James Woods, Susan Egan, Rip Torn

The film begins in ancient Greece with a mock-epic spoken narration (Heston), but dissolves into the musical narration by the five Muses (consisting of Calliope (White), Clio (Thomas), Melpomene (Freeman), Terpsichore (LaChanze), and Thalia (Ryan)). The Muses tell the tale (“The Gospel Truth”) of how Zeus (Torn) came to power and prevented the monstrous Titans from ruling the world. This leads to the day Hercules is born to Zeus and Hera (Eggar), much to the pleasure of all the other gods except Hades (Woods), Zeus’ brother, who receives word from the Fates (consisting of Clotho (Plummer), Lachesis (Shelley), and Atropos (Edwards)) that though he will release the Titans in eighteen years, Hercules will one day rise to power and prevent him from taking control of the world. Hades sends his minions, Pain (Goldthwait) and Panic (Frewer), to kidnap Hercules and feed him a potion that will strip him of his immortality; however, they are interrupted and, while Hercules becomes mortal, he retains his god-like strength because he didn’t drink the last drop.

Hercules (Keaton) grows up to be a misfit, challenged by his incredible strength and inability to fit in with other people. His adoptive parents Amphitryon (Holbrook) and Alcmene (Barrie) finally tell him they found him with the symbol of the gods around his neck. Hercules believes the gods may have the answers behind his past and decides to go to the Temple of Zeus (“Go the Distance”). Zeus manifests as his statue and tells him that he is Hercules’ father, and that he must prove himself a true hero before he can rejoin the other gods on Mount Olympus. Hercules rides on Pegasus (Welker) and leaves the temple to seek out Philoctetes (“Phil” for short), an unhappy satyr and trainer of heroes. Phil (DeVito) has failed to train a true hero yet; but after some “persuasion” from Zeus, Phil decides to take on Hercules as his final attempt (“One Last Hope”).

Hercules and Pegasus get back to Phil and Meg too late and Hercules heads to the Underworld and demands for Meg to be revived, but Hades shows him that she is trapped in the River Styx. Hercules trades his soul for Meg’s, and Hades agrees on the condition that Hercules must get her soul out himself. Hercules jumps into the river, but given that one must be dead to enter the river, he ages rapidly as he swims toward Meg. The Fates try to cut Hercules’ lifeline, but they find that they couldn’t, for Hercules has become a true hero through his selfless actions, thereby restoring his godhood and immortality. As Hercules successfully returns Meg to the surface, Hades tries to talk his way out of the situation, but Hercules punches him, knocking him into the River Styx. The other souls grab Hades and pull him down into the river. Pain and Panic then worry about what Hades is going to do to them, until they realize they’re free from his wrath. Hercules revives Meg and returns to Olympus. Meg’s entrance is denied because she is mortal, but Hercules chooses to become mortal again and stay with her. Hercules is acclaimed a hero on Earth and Olympus alike. Zeus creates a constellation in his image, and Phil is remembered for being the one to train him. Hercules and his mortal friends and family are all shown happily together on earth, while Zeus and the other Olympians rejoice above. (“A Star is Born”)