Heat

  • Directors: Michael Mann
  • Producers: Michael Mann, Art Linson
  • Writers: Michael Mann
  • Genres: Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Tom Sizemore, Diane Venora, Amy Brenneman, Ashley Judd, Mykelti Williamson, Wes Studi, Ted Levine, Dennis Haysbert, William Fichtner, Natalie Portman, Tom Noonan, Kevin Gage, Hank Azaria, Danny Trejo, and Jon Voight

Career thief Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro) leads a team of criminals, including longtime friends Chris Shiherlis (Val Kilmer), Michael Cheritto (Tom Sizemore), and Trejo (Danny Trejo), who carry out a carefully planned armored car heist, stealing US$1.6 million in bearer bonds from Malibu Equity Investments, a shell company run by Roger Van Zant (William Fichtner) that launders drug money through offshore bank accounts. The robbery is complicated by new member Waingro (Kevin Gage) impulsively murdering a guard, forcing the team to execute the remaining guards—potential witnesses—and escape. After the robbery, McCauley meets with his fence, Nate (Jon Voight), who suggests selling the bonds back to Van Zant for 60% of their value instead of laundering them at 60% cost; since the bonds were insured for 100% of their value, Van Zant would make 40% of 1.6 million above his bond insurance while McCauley and his team would gain an additional 20% on top of their expected take.

Later, McCauley and his crew meet at a diner to discuss dividing the money from the robbery. Enraged about the robbery, escalated to capital murder by Waingro, McCauley and his crew attempt to kill Waingro, but when a passing police car distracts them, Waingro escapes. Meanwhile, Van Zant agrees to buy the bonds back, but instructs his men to ambush McCauley at the meeting and take the bonds back. With help from his crew, McCauley escapes the ambush and vows revenge.

McCauley returns to Eady and breaks his longstanding creed, compelling her to flee with him to New Zealand. As he finalizes his plans, Nate reveals Waingro’s whereabouts to McCauley. Confident with his escape plan, McCauley impulsively takes the bait and infiltrates the hotel, activating the fire alarm to vacate the hotel. With the hotel security and police distracted, McCauley barges in and murders Waingro before beginning his escape. Moments later, Hanna arrives at the hotel and from a distance observes Eady waiting in McCauley’s car. As he approaches, McCauley emerges from the building and noticing Hanna, hesitantly defaults to his “thirty seconds” rule and abandons Eady, disappearing into the crowd with Hanna in pursuit. Following a tense cat-and-mouse chase in the darkness of the LAX freight terminal, McCauley nearly gets the drop on Hanna, but Hanna manages to shoot McCauley first, leaving him clinging to life in the fields of the adjoining runways. Hanna holds McCauley’s hand as a mark of mutual respect. Together, the two share a final, quiet moment of reflection and understanding as McCauley dies.

The Longest Yard

  • Directors: Peter Segal
  • Producers: Heather Parry
  • Writers: Albert S Ruddy, Sheldon Turner
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Sport
  • Actors: Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, James Cromwell, Nelly, William Fichtner, David Patrick Kelly, Tracy Morgan, Cloris Leachman, and Burt Reynolds, Courteney Cox, Michael Irvin, Bill Romanowski, Brian Bosworth, Terry Crews, Nicholas Turturro, Bill Goldberg, Kevin Nash, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Bob Sapp, Steve Reevis, Lobo Sebastian, Dalip The Great Khali Singh Rana

The film starts with Paul Crewe (Adam Sandler), an ex-NFL player disgraced for shaving points in a big game, getting in an argument with his rich girlfriend Lena (Courteney Cox) regarding his failure. He locks her in a closet, gets drunk, and goes joy riding in her Bentley Continental GT throughout San Diego. After getting the car completely destroyed and disabling several police cruisers in the process, he gets arrested. He is found guilty of grand theft auto and is sentenced to three years in Allenville Penitentiary in Texas, as it was arranged by the prison’s warden Hazen (James Cromwell).

In prison, the warden asks Paul to help with the prison guards’ football team. After being roughed up a bit, Paul (under threat of an extra 5 years for blocking a guard’s baton) decides to help him. He informs the warden that what his team needs is a tune-up game: a game where they play a team and “kick the living shit out of ’em, and get their spirits up”. This gives the warden an idea: Paul, with the help of fellow immate Caretaker (Rock), will make a team out of the inmates for them to play as their tune-up game. He starts off with a poorly organized team before being noticed by another prisoner, former football player Nate Scarborough (Reynolds), and decides to help him by coaching the team.

As the warden watches them leave, Moss and Battle pour a cooler of Gatorade on Hazen in a mockery of a typical football game celebration. The Warden angrily shouts that they’ll receive a week in the hotbox. Battle yells back “who gives a shit?”

Contact

  • Directors: Robert Zemeckis
  • Producers: Robert Zemeckis, Steve Starkey
  • Writers: Novel, Carl Sagan, Screen story, Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan, Screenplay, James V Hart, Michael Goldenberg
  • Genres: Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Jodie Foster, Matthew McConaughey, James Woods, Tom Skerritt, William Fichtner, John Hurt, Angela Bassett, David Morse

Dr. Arroway is a scientist for the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) program at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. She and her colleagues listen to radio transmissions in hopes of finding signals sent by extraterrestrial life. Government scientist David Drumlin eventually pulls the funding from SETI. After eighteen months of searching, Ellie is able to gain funding from reclusive billionaire industrialist S.R. Hadden, which allows her to continue her studies at the Very Large Array in New Mexico.

Four years later, with Drumlin applying pressure to close SETI, Arroway finds a strong signal repeating a sequence of prime numbers, apparently emitting from the Vega star. This announcement causes both Drumlin and the National Security Council, led by National Security Advisor Michael Kitz, to attempt to take control of the facility. As Arroway, Drumlin and Kitz argue, the team at the VLA discover a video source buried in the signal: Adolf Hitler’s welcoming address at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. Arroway and her team postulate that this would have been the first significantly-strong television signal to leave Earth’s atmosphere, which was then transmitted back from Vega 26 light years away.

The project is brought under tight security and its progress is followed fervently worldwide. President Bill Clinton and Drumlin give a television address to downplay the impact of the Hitler image, while Arroway learns that a third set of data was found in the signal; over 60,000 “pages” of what appear to be technical drawings. Government specialists are unsuccessful in attempting to decode the drawings, which is eventually decoded by Hadden. He explains that the pages are meant to be interpreted in three dimensions, which reveals a complex machine that which allows for one human occupant inside a pod to be dropped into three rapidly spinning rings.

Ellie considers these answers and falls unconscious, finding herself on the floor of the pod where she is being repeatedly called by the machine’s control team. She learns that from all external vantage points, she and the pod merely dropped straight through the Machine. Ellie insists that she was gone for approximately 18 hours, but her recording devices only show static. Kitz resigns as National Security Advisor to lead a Congressional committee to determine if the Machine was a fraud by Hadden, who had the resources to set up an elaborate hoax, but has since died. Ellie is accused of collaborating with Hadden; she asks them to accept her testimony on faith. Kitz and White House Chief of Staff Rachel Constantine together reflect on the fact that Ellie’s recording devices contained 18 hours of static. Ellie is given continued grant money for the SETI program at the Very Large Array.

Black Hawk Down

  • Directors: Ridley Scott
  • Producers: Jerry Bruckheimer, Ridley Scott
  • Writers: Book, Mark Bowden, Screenplay, Ken Nolan
  • Genres: Action, Drama, History, War
  • Actors: Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Tom Hardy, Tom Sizemore, William Fichtner, Eric Bana, Brendan Sexton III, Sam Shepard, Ewen Bremner, Jason Isaacs, Orlando Bloom

In a raid, a task force of Delta Force soldiers, Army Rangers, and Special Operations Aviation Regiment attempt to capture two of Mohammed Farah Aidid’s senior subordinates in the Bakaara Market neighborhood of Mogadishu. The mission is led by Major General William F. Garrison and was supposed to take no more than one hour. The extraction by the Delta team is successful, but the Somali militia, armed with RPGs, shoot down two Black Hawk helicopters, and the resulting rescue extends the mission to over 15 hours.

The film follows many characters through the build-up, assault and rescue. It shows how Staff Sergeant Matt Eversmann was placed in charge of Ranger Chalk Four, before portraying the raid and successful extraction of the wanted persons, and shows the first injury, as PFC Todd Blackburn falls from a helicopter as it maneuvers to avoid an RPG. This is the beginning of the indication that the troops are overwhelmed by the volume of enemy militia, and builds up to the two helicopter crashes: Super Six-One piloted by Cliff “Elvis” Wolcott, and Super Six-Four piloted by Mike Durant. Durant is taken prisoner after the two Delta snipers who requested to be inserted near the crash site of Super Six-Four are killed while defending him.

The film ends with text informing the viewer that “19 Americans and approximately 1000 Somalis died in the conflict. Mike Durant was released and Mohamed Farrah Aidid died in 1996”.

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.

The Perfect Storm

  • Directors: Wolfgang Petersen
  • Producers: Gail Katz
  • Writers: Sebastian Junger, William D Wittliff, Bo Goldman
  • Genres: Adventure, Drama, Action, Thriller
  • Actors: George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Diane Lane, John C Reilly, William Fichtner

In September 1991, the swordfishing boat Andrea Gail returns to home port in Gloucester, Massachusetts with a poor catch. The owner of the Andrea Gail starts to get mad upon the distribution of salary to the crew, and insults the captain for his streak of poor catches. Desperate for money, the captain convinces his reluctant crew to join him for one more late season fishing expedition. They head out past their usual fishing grounds, leaving a developing thunderstorm behind them. After little success, they head to the Flemish Cap, where they find great success. At their height of fishing, the engineer is unable to fix their aging and battered ice machine, so the only way to preserve their catch is to hurry back home. After a debate as to sailing straight through the building storm or to wait it out, the crew decides to head home quickly with their 60,000 pounds of fish. However, between the Andrea Gail and Gloucester is a confluence of two powerful weather fronts and a hurricane, which the crew of Andrea Gail underestimates. After repeated warnings from other ships, the Andrea Gail loses her antenna, forcing a fellow ship to call “Mayday” for the Andrea Gail. A US Coast Guard rescue helicopter responds, but after failing to perform a midair refuel, the helicopter crew ditches the aircraft, and is luckily rescued by a Coast Guard vessel, the Tamaroa. The Andrea Gail endures various problems, with 40 feet waves crashing on to the deck, a broken anchor ramming the side of the ship, and two men thrown overboard, the crew decides to turn around. They head into the eye of the hurricane, as they see the sun for the last time before an overhelming wave (possibly 70 – 100 feet high) sinks the fishing vessel. Friends and family worry and wait for a ship that never comes home.[1]

Armageddon

  • Directors: Michael Bay
  • Producers: Michael Bay, Jerry Bruckheimer, Gale Anne Hurd
  • Writers: Screenplay, Jonathan Hensleigh, J J Abrams, Story, Robert Roy Pool, Jonathan Hensleigh, Adaptation, Tony Gilroy, Shane Salerno
  • Genres: Action, Romance, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, Liv Tyler, Ben Affleck, Will Patton, Peter Stormare, Keith David, Owen Wilson, William Fichtner, Jessica Steen, Jason Isaacs, Ken Campbell, Grayson McCouch, Clark Brolly, Marshall R Teague, Chris Ellis, Eddie Griffin, John Mahon, Steve Buscemi, Michael Clarke Duncan

After several meteoroids destroy the Space Shuttle Atlantis and bombard New York City, NASA discovers that an asteroid the size of Texas is on a direct collision course with Earth and will likely wipe out all life on the Earth and destroy it. It is not publicly revealed that it will hit the Earth within 18 days. The scientists at NASA devise a plan to activate a nuclear bomb at a precise point under the asteroid’s surface which will split it in two and cause it to miss the Earth. NASA locates the best oil driller on the planet, Harry Stamper, to get advice. Harry and Grace, his daughter, are taken to NASA and Dan Truman, the head of NASA, informs him of the situation. Harry immediately recognizes that he and his crew must accompany the astronauts on the mission to ensure the job is done properly. After Harry’s crew is collected from across the country and NASA acquiesces to their demands, they are put through a training program and outfit a drilling rig with the proper equipment for the job.

When a meteorite strikes Shanghai, China, destroying the city and causing a tsunami, around 50,000 people die. At this point, the pending mission is revealed to the world. Two specially designed military shuttles, Freedom and Independence are launched simultaneously and shortly dock at a Russian space station (crewed by Lev Andropov) to refuel. AJ encounters a problem stopping the pumps after the ships tanks are full and the station explodes. The crews and Lev Andropov escape. The two shuttles perform a high G-force slingshot procedure around the Moon to land on the backside of the asteroid. However, as they enter the trailing debris of the asteroid, the Independence is struck and crash lands on the asteroid. The Freedom manages to land on the surface but misses the target landing zone. They land on an area of hard iron which will be difficult to drill through. The Freedom team try to drill but suffer several setbacks and losses due to the unexpected conditions. It is revealed that if the deadline is missed, Colonel Sharpe would activate the nuclear device on the surface. However, a surface explosion would not be sufficient to divert the asteroid from hitting the Earth. Harry is able to convince Colonel Sharpe to help them attempt to finish the job. During this time, another meteorite wipes out much of Paris, France.

All seems lost when their drilling machine is blasted off the asteroid by a gas vent, but the Freedom crew learns that the other team managed to survive the crash thanks to Lev Andropov and have driven the second drilling machine to the drilling site. Harry puts AJ in charge of finishing the drilling and they successfully drill to the necessary depth. The team lowers the bomb into the hole, but find that they can not detonate remotely after a rock storm damages the bomb’s trigger, as well as killing one of the crew members. Truman tells the team that someone is going to have to stay behind to activate the bomb to destroy the asteroid. AJ is picked to detonate the bomb remotely after drawing straws, but Harry disables his air supply and takes his place. As the shuttle prepares to depart, Harry sends a final message to his daughter and gives his full support for her to marry AJ. Harry manages to activate the bomb moments before the critical deadline, and the asteroid halves successfully miss the Earth. The remaining crew of the Freedom return to Earth as heroes, AJ reuniting tearfully with Grace while the others are met by their loved ones. Grace and AJ soon marry, while Harry and their lost crew members are memorialized.