Directed by Emile Ardolino, In the 1960s, Frances “Baby” Houseman, a sweet daddy’s girl, goes with her family to a resort in upstate New York’s Catskill Mountains. Baby has grown up in privileged surroundings and all expect her to go on to college, join the Peace Corps and save the world before marrying a doctor, just like her father. Unexpectedly, Baby becomes infatuated with the camp’s dance instructor, Johnny, a man whose background is vastly different from her own. Baby lies to her father to get money to pay for an illegal abortion for Johnny’s dance partner (Johnny is not the father). She then fills in as Johnny’s dance partner and it is as he is teaching her the dance routine that they fall in love. It all comes apart when Johnny’s friend falls seriously ill after her abortion and Baby gets her father, who saves the girl’s life. He then learns what Baby has been up to.
Monthly Archives: April 2011
Directed by Rob Reiner, Best-selling novelist Paul Sheldon is on his way home from his Colorado hideaway after completing his latest book, when he crashes his car in a freak blizzard. Paul is critically injured, but is rescued by former nurse Annie Wilkes, Paul’s “number one fan”, who takes Paul back to her remote house in the mountains (without bothering to tell anybody). Unfortunately for Paul, Annie is also a headcase. When she discovers that Paul has killed off the heroine in her favorite novels, her reaction leaves Paul shattered.
Directed by Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise, Westside story is a , Romeo and Juliette. The feuding families become two warring New York City gangs- the white Jets led by Riff and the Puerto Rican Sharks, led by Bernardo. Their hatred escalates to a point where neither can coexist with any form of understanding. But when Riff’s best friend (and former Jet) Tony and Bernardo’s younger sister Maria meet at a dance, no one can do anything to stop their love. Maria and Tony begin meeting in secret, planning to run away. Then the Skarks and Jets plan a rumble under the highway – whoever wins gains control of the streets. Maria sends Tony to stop it, hoping it can end the violence. It goes terribly wrong, and before the lovers know what’s happened, tragedy strikes and doesn’t stop until the climactic and heartbreaking ending.
Directed by Pete Docter and Bob Peterson, A young Carl Fredrickson meets a young adventure spirited girl named Ellie. They both dream of going to a Lost Land in South America. 70 years later, Ellie has died. Carl remembers the promise he made to her. Then, when he inadvertently hits a construction worker, he is forced to go to a retirement home. But before they can take him, he and his house fly away. However he has a stowaway aboard. An 8 year old boy named Russell, who’s trying to get an Assisting the Elderly badge. Together, they embark on an adventure.
Directed by Mick Jackson, A Biopic of Temple Grandin, an autistic woman who overcame the limitations imposed on her by her condition to become an expert in the field of animal husbandry. She developed an interest in cattle early in life while spending time at her Aunt and Uncle’s ranch. She did not speak until age four and had difficulty right through high school, mostly in dealing with people. Her mother was very supportive as were some of her teachers. She is noted for creating her ‘hug box’, widely recognized today as a way of relieving stress and her humane design for the treatment of cattle in processing plants, even winning an award from PETA. Today, she is a professor at Colorado State University. Grandin is listed in the 2010 Time_100″ Time 100 list of the 100 most influential people in the world in the category “Heroes.
Directed by Tim Burton, The story revolves around a dying father and his son, who is trying to learn more about his dad by piecing together the stories he has gathered over the years. The son winds up re-creating his father’s elusive life in a series of legends and myths inspired by the few facts he knows. Through these tales, the son begins to understand his father’s great feats and his great failings. By reliving stories and myths he told about his life.
Directed by Frank Darabont, Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency. Andy Dufresne is a young and successful banker whose life changes drastically when he is convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of his wife and her lover. Set in the 1940′s, the film shows how Andy, with the help of his friend Red, the prison entrepreneur, turns out to be a most unconventional prisoner.
Directed by Frank Capra, George Bailey has spent his entire life giving of himself to the people of Bedford Falls. He has always longed to travel but never had the opportunity in order to prevent rich skinflint Mr. Potter from taking over the entire town. All that prevents him from doing so is George’s modest building and loan company, which was founded by his generous father. But on Christmas Eve, George’s Uncle Billy loses the business’s $8,000 while intending to deposit it in the bank. Potter finds the misplaced money and hides it from Billy. When the bank examiner discovers the shortage later that night, George realizes that he will be held responsible and sent to jail and the company will collapse, finally allowing Potter to take over the town. Thinking of his wife, their young children, and others he loves will be better off with him dead, he contemplates suicide. Then an angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed.
Directed by Shekhar Kapur, A mature Queen Elizabeth endures multiple crises late in her reign including court intrigues, an assassination plot, the Spanish Armada, and romantic disappointments. Two faiths, two empires, two rulers – colliding in 1588. Papist Spain wants to bring down the heretic Elizabeth. Philip is building an armada but needs a rationale to attack. With covert intrigue, Spain sets a trap for the Queen and her principal secretary, Walsingham, using as a pawn Elizabeth’s cousin Mary Stuart, who’s under house arrest in the North. The trap springs, and the armada sets sail, to rendezvous with French ground forces and to attack. During these months, the Virgin Queen falls in love with Walter Raleigh, keeping him close to court and away from the sea and America. Is treachery or heroism at his heart?
Directed by Sidney Lumet, The defense and the prosecution have rested and the jury is filing into the jury room to decide if a young Spanish-American is guilty or innocent of murdering his father. What begins as an open and shut case of murder soon becomes a mini-drama of each of the jurors’ prejudices and preconceptions about the trial, the accused, and each other. Twelve jurors slowly begin to take serious interpretation of the “beyond a reasonable doubt” clause and over the course of an hour and a half debate their impending verdict on a hot New York summer day. Based on the play, all of the action takes place on the stage of the jury room.
Directed by Gore Verbinski, Jerry Welbach is given two ultimatums. His mob boss wants him to travel to Mexico to get a priceless antique pistol called “The Mexican” or he will suffer the consequences. The other ultimatum comes from his girlfriend Samantha, who wants him to end his association with the mob. Jerry figures that being alive, although in trouble with his girlfriend is the better alternative so he heads south of the border. Finding the pistol is easy but getting it home is a whole other matter. The pistol supposedly carries a curse – a curse Jerry is given every reason to believe, especially when Samantha is held hostage by the gay hit man Leroy.
Directed by Brad Furman, Matt Haller is a defense lawyer who works out of his Lincoln. When a wealthy Realtor is accused of raping a prostitute, Haller is asked to defend him. The man claims that the woman is trying to get some money out of him. But when Haller looks at the evidence against him, he learns that this case might be linked to an old case of his. But the seemingly straightforward case suddenly develops into a deadly game of survival for Haller.
Directed by Anton Corbijn, Alone among assassins, Jack is a master craftsman. When a job in Sweden ends more harshly than expected for this American abroad, he vows to his contact Pavel that his next assignment will be his last. Jack reports to the Italian countryside, where he holes up in a small town and relishes being away from death for a spell. The assignment, as specified by a Belgian woman, Mathilde, is in the offing as a weapon is constructed. Surprising himself, Jack seeks out the friendship of local priest Father Benedetto and pursues romance with local woman Clara.
Directed by Peter Jackson, A 14-year-old girl in suburban 1970′s Pennsylvania is murdered by her neighbor. She tells the story from the place between Heaven and Earth, showing the lives of the people around her and how they have changed all while attempting to get someone to find her lost body. The film Centers on a young girl who has been murdered and watches over her family – and her killer – from heaven. She must weigh her desire for vengeance against her desire for her family to heal.
Directed by Joe Wright, Hanna (Ronan) is a teenage girl. Uniquely, she has the strength, the stamina, and the smarts of a soldier; these come from being raised by her father (Bana), an ex-CIA man, in the wilds of Finland. Living a life unlike any other teenager, her upbringing and training have been one and the same, all geared to making her the perfect assassin. The turning point in her adolescence is a sharp one; sent into the world by her father on a mission, Hanna journeys stealthily across Europe while eluding agents dispatched after her by a ruthless intelligence operative with secrets of her own (Ms. Blanchett). As she nears her ultimate target, Hanna faces startling revelations about her existence and unexpected questions about her humanity.
Directed by Victor Fleming, In this charming film based on the popular L. Frank Baum stories, Dorothy and her dog Toto are caught in a tornado’s path and somehow end up in the land of Oz. Here she meets some memorable friends and foes in her journey to meet the Wizard of Oz who everyone says can help her return home and possibly grant her new friends their goals of a brain, heart and courage.
Directed by Shekhar Kapur, This is the England of 1554, but the veneer of traditional English composure and dignity has been stripped away. The British populace is in turmoil. Fearing a challenge to her throne, Queen Mary I imprisons her half-sister, Princess Elizabeth Tudor (The daughter of King Henry VII and Anne Boleyn), in the Tower of London. But, in 1558, when “Bloody Mary” dies, Elizabeth is swept onto the throne and, at the age of 25, is crowned Queen of England. In order to survive, let alone to rule, Elizabeth must suss out hidden agendas: the Court is rife with intrigue; military strategists are risking the lives of young Englishmen; religious leaders at home and abroad place no faith in her; and the man she loves might not be worthy of her trust. The male-dominated ruling class would appear to have the advantage, but intelligent Elizabeth will deploy whatever means necessary to keep, or take what’s rightfully hers.
Directed by Todd Phillips, Angelenos Doug Billings and Tracy Garner are about to get married. Two days before the wedding, the four men in the wedding party – Doug, Doug’s two best buddies Phil Wenneck and Stu Price, and Tracy’s brother Alan Garner – hop into Tracy’s father’s beloved Mercedes convertible for a 24-hour stag party to Las Vegas. Phil, a married high school teacher, has the same maturity level as his students when he’s with his pals. Stu, a dentist, is worried about everything, especially what his controlling girlfriend Melissa thinks. Because she disapproves of traditional male bonding rituals, Stu has to lie to her about the stag, he telling her that they are going on a wine tasting tour in the Napa Valley. Regardless, he intends on eventually marrying her, against the advice and wishes of his friends. And Alan seems to be unaware of what are considered the social graces of the western world. This comedy centered around three groomsmen who lose their about-to-be-wed buddy during their drunken misadventures, then must retrace their steps in order to find him.
Directed by Roman Polanski, An unremarkable ghost-writer has landed a lucrative contract to redact the memoirs of Adam Lang, the former UK Prime Minister. After dominating British politics for years, Lang has retired with his wife to the USA. He lives on an island, in luxurious, isolated premises complete with a security detail and a secretarial staff. Soon, Adam Lang gets embroiled in a major scandal with international ramifications that reveals how far he was ready to go in order to nurture UK’s “special relationship” with the USA. But before this controversy has started, before even he has closed the deal with the publisher, the ghost-writer gets unmistakable signs that the turgid draft he is tasked to put into shape inexplicably.
Directed by Mike Nichols, George and Martha are a middle aged married couple, whose charged relationship is defined by vitriolic verbal battles, which underlies what seems like an emotional dependence upon each other. This verbal abuse is fueled by an excessive consumption of alcohol. George being an associate History professor in a New Carthage university where Martha’s father is the President adds an extra dimension to their relationship. Late one Sunday evening after a faculty mixer, Martha invites Nick and Honey, an ambitious young Biology professor new to the university and his mousy wife, over for a nightcap. As the evening progresses, Nick and Honey, plied with more alcohol, get caught up in George and Martha’s games of needing to hurt each other and everyone around them. The ultimate abuse comes in the form of talk.
Directed by Edmund Goulding, Sandra and Pete elope but their marriage is invalid since she’s not yet divorced. Sandra is, however, pregnant by Pete. Pete marries his former fiancée Maggie, then flies to South America where his plane crashes. Maggie pays Sandra to let her adopt Pete’s baby. Pete returns “from the dead”. Sandra and Maggie contend for Pete and the baby.
Directed by Jean-Luc Godard, In this modern retelling of the Virgin birth, Mary is a student who plays basketball and works at her father’s petrol station; Joseph is an earnest dropout who drives a cab. The angel Gabriel must school Joseph to accept Mary’s pregnancy, while Mary comes to terms with God’s plan through meditations that are sometimes angry and usually punctuated by elemental images of the sun, moon, clouds, flowers, and water. Godard intercuts a brief parallel story of Eva and her nameless lover; their adulterous affair, rife with philosophical discussions, another religious film that sparked off controversy when originally released.
Directed by Randal Kleiser, A musical about teens in love in the 50′s! It’s California, 1959 and greaser Danny Zuko and Australian Sandy Olsson are in love. They spend time at the beach, but when they go back to school, what either of them don’t know is that they both now attend Rydell High. Danny’s the leader of the T-Birds, a group of black-jacket greasers while Sandy hangs with the Pink Ladies, a group of pink-wearing girls led by Rizzo. When they clash at Rydell’s first pep rally, Danny isn’t the same Danny at the beach.
Directed by Gore Verbinski, Rango is a sheltered chameleon living as an ordinary family pet facing a major identity crisis. After all, how high can you aim when your whole purpose in life is to blend in? When Rango accidentally winds up in the gritty, gun-slinging town of Dirt — a lawless outpost populated by the desert’s most wily and whimsical creatures — the less-than-courageous lizard suddenly finds he stands out. Welcomed as the last hope the town has been waiting for, new Sheriff Rango is forced to play his new role to the hilt… until he starts to become the hero he once only pretended to be.