Real Genius

  • Directors: Martha Coolidge
  • Producers: Brian Grazer
  • Writers: Neal Israel, Pat Proft, Peter Torokvei
  • Genres: Comedy, Romance, Sci-Fi
  • Actors: Val Kilmer, Gabriel Jarret, William Atherton, Jon Gries, Ed Lauter, Michelle Meyrink, Robert Prescott, Deborah Foreman

The military contracts Professor Jerry Hathaway (William Atherton) of Pacific Tech to construct a chemical laser weapon capable of eliminating individual human targets from space. To this end, Hathaway forms a research team composed of his students at the university who will design and perfect the device; they will believe that they are advancing the frontiers of physics, completely unaware that it will be used as a military weapon. When the Agency insists upon increasing the output power of the laser, Hathaway searches outside of the university for a fresh perspective and sets his sights on emerging prodigy Mitch Taylor. The Professor informs Mitch and his parents that Mitch has been accepted for the mid-winter term at Pacific Tech. Mitch will become the second youngest student ever accepted into the university; the youngest “cracked under pressure within 6 months.” Upon arriving on campus, Mitch is assigned a dorm room with Chris Knight. Chris is in his senior year at Pacific Tech and already works on the laser project. Mitch meets the rest of the team, including graduate assistant Kent (Robert Prescott), who sees Mitch as a threat (particularly because the professor tells Kent that he will now be reporting directly to Mitch).

Just at sunset, as the credits begin, Dr. Hathaway drives up to and parks in front of his shattered house and stands disconsolately looking at it, then holds his handkerchief to his face against the smell of the popcorn as the dog he has chased away from the house throughout the film runs up to greet him.

The Pelican Brief

  • Directors: Alan J Pakula
  • Producers: Alan J Pakula, Pieter Jan Brugge
  • Writers: John Grisham, Alan J Pakula
  • Genres: Drama, Mystery, Romance, Thriller
  • Actors: Julia Roberts, Denzel Washington, Sam Shepard, John Heard, Tony Goldwyn, James B Sikking, William Atherton, Robert Culp, Stanley Tucci, Special Appearance by, Hume Cronyn, And John Lithgow

Two Supreme Court justices are assassinated. A terrorist named Khamel, who works as a hired assassin, shoots one of the justices as he lies in his sickbed. He strangles the other in a gay porn film theater. The two had been very different in their voting patterns and opinions in cases that had come before them. Tulane University Law School student Darby Shaw theorizes that there may be some similarity in their otherwise-different voting patterns that may provide a motive for their assassinations. She discovers that both were protective of the environment (the only subject the two agreed on) in their votes. Her research also reveals that the Fifth Circuit ruling, contrary to the interest of an oil company owned by Victor Mattiece, had ruled in favor of protecting an expanse of wetlands in Louisiana used by pelicans and other wildlife as a habitat.

The Supreme Court was expected to eventually hear the corporation’s appeal of that Fifth Circuit ruling; but now, two pro-environment justices who have been assassinated will not be able to take part in any Supreme Court vote on the appeal, and oil magnate Mattiece (a close friend of and political contributor to the President) hopes to have pro-oil justices named as their replacements.

In a dark, empty hangar, Darby and Grantham board a plane and fly to an undisclosed location. Upon arrival, they are given a copy of the day’s Herald with their story and many related articles on the front page. Darby hugs Grantham goodbye before getting into a van and vanishing. Finally, we see Darby in her new safehouse watching Grantham being interviewed by a television news station. She smiles as he deflects questions about her identity, and we are left with the impression that they may meet again.

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.