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1          THE 13TH WARRIOR - 1999., 103 Minutes

Starring: Antonio Banderas, Diane Venora, Dennis Storhoi, Vladimir Kulich, Omar Sharif

Director: John McTiernan

 

A cultured diplomat joins a band of savage warriors in time to meet an even more fearsome enemy in this historical adventure. In 922 A.D., Ibn Fadlan (Antonio Banderas) is a Muslim emissary from Baghdad en route to meet with the King of Saqaliba when he is captured by a gang of Vikings. While Ibn and his people are intelligent and well-mannered, the Vikings are a rowdy and sometimes unpleasant lot, with an unquenchable appetite for food, alcohol, and women. However, in time he develops an understanding and respect for the Viking warriors and is welcomed into their society by their leader, Buliwyf. However, Ibn must now join them as they return to their homeland once they receive word of an invasion by a huge pack of bloodthirsty invaders who will destroy and eat anything in their path -- including the flesh of the men they have killed. The 13th Warrior was based on the book Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton, which was in turn adapted from tales of Viking folklore

 

2          15 MINUTES; 2001., 120 Minutes

Starring: Robert De Niro, Edward Burn

Director: John Herzfeld

 

When Eastern European criminals Oleg and Emil come to New York City to pick up their share of a heist score, Oleg steals a video camera and starts filming their activities, both legal and illegal. When they learn how the American media circus can make a remorseless killer look like the victim and make them rich, they target media-savvy NYPD Homicide Detective Eddie Flemming and media-naive FDNY Fire Marshal Jordy Warsaw, the cops investigating their murder and torching of their former criminal partner, filming everything to sell to the local tabloid TV show "Top Story."

 

3          A.I. - ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE; 2001., 145 Minutes

Starring: Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law, Frances O'Connor, Brendan Gleeson, William Hurt,

Director: Steven Spielberg

 

Based on the 1969 short story Super-Toys Last All Summer Long by Brian Aldiss, this science fiction fantasy bears similarities to Pinocchio (1940) and originated as a long-gestating project of director Stanley Kubrick that passed to his friend Steven Spielberg after Kubrick's death. Haley Joel Osment stars as David, a "mecha" or robot of the future, when the polar ice caps have melted and submerged many coastal cities, causing worldwide starvation and human dependence upon robotic assistance. The first mecha designed to experience love, David is the "son" of Henry (Sam Robards), an employee of the company that built the boy, and the grief-stricken Monica (Frances O'Connor). David is meant to replace the couple's hopelessly comatose son, but when their natural child recovers, David is abandoned and sets out to become "a real boy" worthy of his mother's affection. Along the way, David is mentored by a pleasure-providing mecha named Gigolo Joe (Jude Law) and a talking "super toy" bear named Teddy. His adventures take him to the Roman Circus-style "Flesh Fair," where mechas are destroyed for the amusement of humans; Rouge City, where Gigolo Joe narrowly avoids capture by police; and finally a submerged New York City, where David's creator William Hurt reveals the secrets of the boy's creation. Brendan Gleeson and narrator Ben Kingsley co-star in A.I., which was adapted from Kubrick's treatment by Spielberg, in his first crack at screenwriting since Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977).

 

4          THE ABYSS; 1989., 167 Minutes

Starring: Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Michael Biehn, Leo Burmeister, Todd Graff

Director: James Cameron

 

An underwater UFO, travelling at enormous speed, wreaks havoc on tidal activities throughout the world. It also causes a nuclear submarine to sink 2000 feet, to the ledge of underwater abyss. A group of adventurous oil riggers, working out of a high-tech submersible vessel, is pressed into action to seek out the submarine and rescue any survivors. Tensions on board are heightened by fact that rig foreman Ed Harris is the ex-husband of the submersible's designing engineer Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. As the vessel comes closer to the crippled sub, it is discovered that another member of crew, Navy SEAL officer Michael Biehn, intends to nuke the aliens should they turn out to be Soviet saboteurs in disguise. A near-death experience brings Mastrantonio and Harris back together. She waits in agony as he descends into the depths while wearing a special diving helmet that pumps fluorocarbon into his system, enabling him to breathe underwater. Harris bottoms out at a record-breaking 25,000 feet; then he sees an eerie but somehow reassuring glow of bright light.....and we're not going to say another word. The Abyss didn't do as well at the box-office as its creators hoped, a fact attributable in great part to gaping holes in the plotline, caused by Universal's post-production tampering. Cameron's 167-minute director's cut, now available, plugs those holes.

 

5          AIR FORCE ONE; 1997., 124 Minutes

Starring: Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Glenn Close, Wendy Crewson, Paul Guilfoyle

Director: Wolfgang Petersen

 

In this action drama, Harrison Ford plays James Marshall, a onetime combat hero in the Vietnam War who is now President of the United States. While visiting the former Soviet Union, Marshall gives a speech in which he supports a get-tough attitude against both terrorists and a right-wing general and war criminal from Kazakhstan imprisoned in Moscow, earning him few friends in the Eastern Bloc. While flying back to the United States aboard Air Force One, Marshall and his staff discover that one of the journalists returning with them is actually Ivan Korshunov (Gary Oldman), a Kazakhstani terrorist, who hijacks the plane with three associates and holds the president hostage -- with his wife and daughter on board. Marshall must use his strength and intelligence to keep the terrorists at bay and devise a plan to allow his family to escape to safety, while on the ground the vice-president (Glenn Close), the secretary of defense (Dean Stockwell), and the attorney general (Philip Baker Hall) grapple over what to do and how much control to take in this crisis. Slam-bang action sequences and plot twists fly fast and furious in this nail-biter from director Wolfgang Petersen, who previously generated suspense under water (rather than in the air) with Das Boot.

 

6          AIRPLANE! -  1980., 88 Minutes

Starring: Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Lloyd Bridges, Peter Graves,

Director: Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker

 

This hilarious spoof of the Airport series of disaster movies relies on ridiculous sight gags, groan-inducing dialogue, and broad comic acting to make the audience laugh - and it succeeds. Airplane! pulls out all the clichés as alcoholic pilot Ted Striker (Robert Hays), who's developed a fear of flying due to wartime trauma, boards a jumbo jet to attempt to woo back his stewardess girlfriend (Julie Hagerty). Food poisoning decimates the passengers and crew, leaving it up to Striker to land the plane, and a deadpan, glue-sniffing air traffic controller (Lloyd Bridges) and Striker's vengeful former captain (Robert Stack) to talk him down. Along the way, we meet a clutch of stock disaster movie passengers like the guitar-strumming nun, sick little girl, and frightened old lady, as well as two African-American travelers whose "jive" has to be subtitled. That's just one of the many gags that fill the film to overflowing. Leslie Nielsen has some of the movie's best lines as the plane's doctor, launching a new phase of the actor's career that carried him through the next two decades in several similarly comedic roles. Much of the humor in Airplane! is intentionally sophomoric, but its sheer bravado keeps the movie fresh and the chuckles coming.

 

7          AIRPLANE 2; THE SEQUEL - 1982., 85 Minutes

Starring: Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Lloyd Bridges, Peter Graves, William Shatner

Director: Ken Finkleman

 

The Jerry Zucker-Jim Abrahams-David Zucker team is conspicuous by its absence in Airplane 2: The Sequel. This sequel to the cash-cow 1980 spoof Airplane tries very hard to get laughs, and therein lies its main problem. Once more, garrulous man-with-a-past Ted Striker (Robert Hays) is compelled to take over the controls of crippled aircraft, all the while trying to patch up his relationship with stewardess Elaine (Julie Hagerty). This time, an atomic-powered Concorde is accidentally catapulted into outer space. Lloyd Bridges and Peter Graves are as amusing as they were in the first Airplane, while William Shatner, Chad Everett, Sonny Bono, Raymond Burr and Chuck Conners are very appealing as they lampoon their established images. Where the film falters is in its handling of individual gags. Part of the fun in the first Airplane was the lampooning of cliches that the audience had never previously regarded as cliches, and the surprise twists on the various jokes. In Airplane 2, the cliches presented are strictly within the realm of "we know that; what's next?" while we can see most of the punchlines coming a mile away (Example: when Hays declares that the passengers are "in jeopardy", we just know we're going to see Art Fleming and the "Daily Double" board in the next shot). To be sure, Airplane 2: The Sequel gets laughs; it simply just doesn't have a high a batting average as the original.

 

8          ALI G - INDAHOUSE; 2002., 138 minutes

Director: Mark Mylod

starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Emilio Rivera, Charles Dance, Michael Gambon, Isabelle Pasco, Kellie Bright.

 

"Guess Who's In Da House?" Comedy starring Sacha Baron Cohen. Ali G unwittingly becomes a pawn in the evil Chancellor's plot to overthrow the Prime Minister of Great Britain. However, instead of bringing the Prime Minister down, Ali is embraced by the nation as the voice of youth and 'realness', making the Prime Minister and his government more popular than ever.

 

9          ALIEN; 1979., 117 Minutes

Starring: Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Ian Holm, John Hurt, Harry Dean Stanton, Yaphet Kotto, Veronica Cartwright, Bolaji Badejo

Director: Ridley Scott

 

The movie is a cross-section of golden horror oldies and the far-off futuristic space setting of the science fiction genre. We're cast into deep space, where we encounter the Nostromo, a commercial mining/towing vehicle on its way back to earth with a hefty cargo of mineral ore. With a crew of only seven aboard (played by Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, and Yaphet Kotto), and an out-of-the-way SOS signal that leads them to an off-course planet for an investigation, things are only just beginning to take shape.

When all hell breaks loose, and the real predator begins its rampage aboard the Nostromo, the fight for survival begins. At this point, the movie abandons most of its sci-fi origins and delves straight into 100-percent horror fare, with Scott choosing once again to build up suspense and shocks with incredibly lengthy periods of waiting before the alien rears its head (or heads, if you will). Hailing to the golden rule that what we don't see can incite fear moreso than that which we can, he uses to its utmost advantage the elements of shadow and light to create an atmosphere of wildly intoxicating intensity. With a vast and extremely dark setting at his command, Scott flirts with shots of his characters set against backdrops of complete darkness, using moving shadows, steam, water, sound effects, and low-lit, claustrophobic settings to exact a state of primal fear over the audience; the effect is nothing short of mind-blowing.

 

10        ALIENS; 1986., 148 Minutes

Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Paul Reiser, Lance Henriksen, Carrie Henn, Bill Paxton, William Hope, Jenette Goldstein, Al Matthews

Director: James Cameron

 

Far in the future, a deep space salvage team find a lone craft floating aimlessly through the stars. On board, there's just one human inhabitant in suspended animation — Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), the sole survivor of the Nostromo, a mining ship that disappeared some 57 years earlier. Back on Earth, she tells her employers what happened, of the huge ship discovered on a deserted planet, and the alien parasite that was brought back onto the Nostromo and wiped the crew out one by one. Since this planet has now been colonised for some 20-odd years, Ripley’s story isn't believed and she loses her job. But when contact with the colonists is lost, Ripley is recruited as an advisor and sent back to the distant world alongside a platoon of trigger-happy marines.

 

11        ALIEN - RESURRECTION; 1997., 116 Minutes

Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Winona Ryder, Dominique Pinon, Ron Perlman, Gary Dourdan, Michael Wincott, Kim Flowers

Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet

 

Alien Resurrection is the most radical departure in the series that has now spanned centuries in its own universe and nearly twenty years of our own earth time. Gone is the meticulously constructed suspense of Ridley Scott's 1979 original. Gone is the heart-stopping pulse of uncannily staged action from James Cameron's 1986 sequel. Gone is the Ripley who cried and fought and bled and sacrificed her own life to save the world from the horror she very nearly unleashed in David Fincher's atmospheric and underrated Alien 3. Instead, we get the all-new Ripley: cynical, sardonic, and ready with a wisecrack or a fist for anyone who crosses her path.

The future. An old enemy. The perfect predator. Defeated but not destroyed. If only her killer instinct could be reconfigured, reformed ... resurrected.

The nefarious experiments begin. An unholy combination of human and alien genetics is discovered, made possible by an uneasy alliance between a renegade band of smugglers and a zealous cadre of scientists and officials. One subject is familiar, a woman horrifically linked to the alien species that now elicits so much scrutiny. Ripley is back and all is not what it seems.

No amount of arrogance, science or technology can control the biological destiny that compels the aliens. A destiny that only Ripley understands, on a deeply personal, primal level. To combat the alien menace, Ripley must team up with the smugglers, including an enigmatic mechanic named Call, who may be the instrument of Ripley's resurrection or the weapon of her destruction.

 

12        ALONG CAME A SPIDER; 2001., 104 Minutes

Starring: Morgan Freeman, Monica Potter, Michael Wincott, Dylan Baker, Mika Boorem

Director: Lee Tamahori

 

Morgan Freeman returns as forensic psychologist Dr. Alex Cross in this thriller based on the novel by James Patterson (whose work also formed the basis of the hit Kiss the Girls). Gary Soneji (Michael Wincott) is a brilliant but remorseless psychopath who has landed a teaching position at an exclusive private school in Washington, D.C. Using his extensive knowledge of kidnapping (he's taught a class on Charles Lindberg), Soneji abducts one of his students - Megan (Mika Boorem), whose father Hank Rose (Michael Moriarty) is a United States senator. Ollie MacArthur (Dylan Baker), the detective investigating the case, has strong words for Jezzie Flannigan (Monica Potter), the Secret Service agent who mistakenly let Megan slip through her fingers. But when the kidnapper contacts Dr. Cross, the psychologist is brought in on the case, and Cross seeks out Flannigan, who he believes might have a valuable insight into the case. Soon, Cross and Flannigan come to the terrible realization that this crime only represents the tip of the iceberg for the ruthless Soneji. Along Came a Spider also features Penelope Ann Miller, Jay O. Sanders, and Kim Hawthorne.

 

13        AMERICAN PIE (UNRATED); 1999., 95 Minutes

Starring: Jason Biggs, Shannon Elizabeth, Alyson Hannigan, Chris Klein, Natasha Lyonne

Director: Paul Weitz

 

It's said that most American men think about sex once every two or three minutes, but this statistic would seriously underestimate the horniness of Jim (Jason Biggs), a high school senior in suburban Michigan. Jim is thoroughly obsessed with sex, a fact of which his parents become aware when they discover him performing the sin of Onan with a gym sock while watching scrambled pay-per-view porn. Jim's buddies Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas), Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas), and Oz (Chris Klein) are no less anxious to relieve themselves of their virginity, so they all make a pledge: they will go to bed with a woman in the three weeks before senior prom or die trying. Kevin appears to have the advantage, since he already has a girlfriend, Vicky (Tara Reid), but before he ventures into the Final Frontier, Kevin is urged to consult "The Bible," a hand-written how-to manual possessing erotic wisdom passed down through the ages. Oz is a good-looking jock who is actually a nice guy -- which is part of the problem, since he has his heart set on a nice girl, Heather (Mena Suvari), who does not seem the type to leap into bed within 21 days. Finch has no immediate prospects, though Jessica (Natasha Lyonne) is in a position to know if those rumors about him are true. And Jim is a truly hopeless case -- after his attempted seduction of beautiful Czech exchange student Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth) turns out to be a disaster, he ends up going to the prom with Michelle (Alyson Hannigan), an annoyingly chatty band geek who does, however, have a fascinating story about a flute. American Pie was the directorial debut of Paul Weitz, who, along with his brother Chris Weitz (who served as producer), previously wrote several screenplays, including Antz and Madeline (where they presumably worked all their wholesome ideas out of their system).

14        AMERICAN PIE 2; 2001., 90 Minutes

Starring: Jason Biggs, Shannon Elizabeth, Alyson Hannigan, Chris Klein, Natasha Lyonne

Director: J.B. Rogers

 

The horny teen heroes of American Pie (1999) return for further raunchy antics in this comedy sequel written by the first film's creator, Adam Herz. Returning home following their freshman year of college, old friends Jim (Jason Biggs), Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas), Oz (Chris Klein), Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas), and Stifler (Seann William Scott) rent a summer house on Lake Michigan where they hope to score romantically. However, complications ensue due to Jim's relative lack of experience, requiring an interlude with a fellow student and a visit to his old friend Michelle (Alyson Hanigan), who's now a band camp counselor, all in preparation for the return of Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth). In the meantime, Oz is separated from Heather (Mena Suvari) by a trip abroad, Finch has another encounter with Stifler's mom (Jennifer Coolidge), and Jim's dad (Eugene Levy) is as clueless as ever about his son's love life. Director J.B. Rogers served as first assistant director on the first film and made his directorial debut with Say It Isn't So (2001).

 

15        The Animal; 2001., 84 Minutes

Director: Luke Greenfield

 

Rob Schneider  - Marvin Mange

Colleen Haskell  - Rianna

John C. McGinley  - Sgt. Sisk

Edward Asner  - Chief Wilson

Michael Caton  - Dr. Wilder

Louis Lombardi  - Fatty

Guy Torry  - Miles

 

Former Saturday Night Live cast member Rob Schneider stars in this comedy as Marvin Mage, a wimpy nebbish whose lifelong dreams of becoming a police officer are thwarted by his diminutive stature. But when Marvin is critically injured in an auto wreck, deranged scientist Dr. Wilder (Michael Caton) uses various animal body parts to save his life, leaving the patient with the stamina and physical skills of the organ donors. Marvin quickly gains fame as a supercop, but he's also left with all of the embarrassing animal instincts and urges that accompany his new powers — a serious threat to his blooming romance with new girlfriend Rianna (Colleen Haskell). The Animal co-stars John C. McGinley, Edward Asner, Norm Macdonald, and Cloris Leachman. — Karl Williams

A comedy without fangs, The Animal actually has a strong concept. The film attempts to poke fun at how helpless humans are to control their animal urges, and occasionally it hits its mark. The scene where Marvin Rob Schneider must continually excuse himself from the table where he is having dinner with his girlfriend in order to attend to one of the base instincts she is triggering in him provides a clue as to where this film could have gone. But avoiding a box-office harming "R" rating was more important than playing this Darwinian concept out to its fullest. Schneider has a sweet, likable quality in the film, as does Survivor contestant Colleen Haskell, making her film debut as his animal-loving girlfriend, but neither is given a real character to play. Not extreme enough for the gags to flower, nor written well enough to explore the romantic angle, The Animal settles into bland inoffensiveness. — Perry Seibert

 

16        ANTZ; 1998., 83 Minutes

Starring: Woody Allen, Dan Aykroyd, Anne Bancroft, Jane Curtin, Danny Glover

Director: Eric Darnell, Tim Johnson

 

DreamWorks and Pacific Data Images collaborated on this all computer-animated comedy-adventure about the ant angst of misfit worker ant, Z (voice of Woody Allen), who feels trapped by the conformist confines of his totalitarian ant civilization and eventually sets forth in search of Insectopia. After DreamWorks began animating Prince of Egypt June 1, 1995, the company launched Antz in Palo Alto a year later (5/20/96), the same month the DreamWorks/PDI partnership was announced. The screenplay by Chris and Paul Weitz and Todd Alcott has uncredited input by Woody Allen (who matched dialogue to fit his usual style of verbal delivery). The story suggests the possible influence of Yevgeny Zamatin's classic novel We (1923) and Ayn Rand's similar-themed Anthem (1936), filmed in the early '70s in a rarely seen unauthorized film adaptation (which Rand never allowed to be shown commercially). Following the 1995 Toy Story (1995), Antz is the second fully computer-animated feature, preceding the release of Disney's all-CGI A Bug's Life by seven weeks. Antz begins with worker ant Z discussing his feelings of insignificance with a shrink (voice of Paul Mazursky) before heading off to his tunnel-digging job, work supervised by General Mandible (Gene Hackman) and Colonel Cutter (Christopher Walken). Mandible has big dreams of conquest, and he convinces the Queen (Anne Bancroft) an attack is necessary to prevent a termite invasion. Her daughter is Princess Bala (Sharon Stone), who's not overly enchanted by her engagement to Mandible. The Princess goes slumming, visiting the bar where Z hangs out with his friend Weaver (Sylvester Stallone). To the tune of "Guantanamera," Bala dances with Z -- in a scene with allusions to the dance in Pulp Fiction (1994). Entranced by the encounter, Z convinces Weaver to swap places, so a military parade will allow him to see Bala in the reviewing stand. Befriended by soldier ant Barbatus (Danny Glover) during the parade, Z nervously realizes he's actually marching into battle. Attacked by termites, the troops experience horrors highly reminiscent of the Starship Troopers (1997) bug battles. The dying Barbatus tells Z, "Don't follow orders all your life." As the only survivor of the slaughter, Z returns home a war hero. Threatened by Mandible, Bala and Z are thrown together in a journey into the outside world, and they travel toward the legendary Insectopia. Major city newspaper critics were almost unanimous in their praise of Antz. Shown at the 1998 Toronto Film Festival.

 

17        ARMAGEDDON; 1998., 150 Minutes

Starring: Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, Liv Tyler, Ben Affleck, Will Patton

Director: Michael Bay

 

Michael Bay directed this $150 million science fiction action thriller about an asteroid on a collision course with Earth, sending fireballs down on Manhattan, prompting a plan to split the asteroid into two sections before it arrives and causes human extinction. NASA executive director Dan Truman (Billy Bob Thornton) brings in the world's number-one oil driller, Harry S. Stamper (Bruce Willis), who assembles his team that is trained for the task. The group includes top crew hand A.J. Frost (Ben Affleck), who is involved in a relationship with Stamper's daughter Grace (Liv Tyler). With only days remaining, two shuttles head into space to drill 800 feet into the asteroid and nuke the rock. Back on Earth, as mini-asteroids pelt Paris and Shanghai, humanity hopes and prays for a successful mission.

 

18        THE ART OF WAR; 2000., 117 Minutes

Directed by: Christian Duguay

 

Wesley Snipes ....  Neil Shaw

Anne Archer ....  Eleanor Hooks

Maury Chaykin ....  Capella

Marie Matiko ....  Julia Fang

Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa ....  David Chan

Michael Biehn ....  Robert Bly

Donald Sutherland ....  U.N. Secretary General Douglas Thomas

Liliana Komorowska ....  Novak

 

Shaw is an operative for the United Nations' covert dirty-tricks squad, using espionage and quasi-ethical tactics to secure peace and cooperation. When a shipping container full of dead Vietnamese refugees turns up on the docks and China's ambassador is gunned down at a dinner celebrating a new trade agreement with China and the US, Shaw is framed for the murder and must evade the FBI and Triad gangsters to find out what is really going on.

 

19        BACK TO THE FUTURE I; 1986., 111 Minutes

Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

 

Cast overview: 

Michael J. Fox ....  Marty McFly (A.K.A. Calvin Klein)

Christopher Lloyd ....  Dr. Emmett "Doc" Brown

Lea Thompson ....  Lorraine Baines (McFly)

Crispin Glover ....  George Douglas McFly

Thomas F. Wilson ....  Biff Tannen

Claudia Wells  ....  Jennifer Jane Parker

Marc McClure  ....  David McFly

Wendie Jo Sperber ....  Linda McFly

George DiCenzo ....  Sam Baines; Lorraine's father

Frances Lee McCain ....  Stella Baines; Lorraine's mother

James Tolkan ....  Mr. S.S. Strickland

J.J. Cohen ....  Skinhead; Biff's Gang #1 (as Jeffrey Jay Cohen)

Casey Siemaszko ....  3-D; Biff's Gang #2

Billy Zane ....  Match; Biff's Gang #3

Harry Waters Jr. ....  Marvin Berry

 

The future for teenager Marty McFly is not shaping up well. His family is dysfunctional, his schoolteacher, Mr Strickland, is out to get him, his music is just too loud and the rest of the world doesn't care. Only with his girlfriend, Jennifer Parker and local eccentric scientist, Dr Emmet Brown does he find the encouragement and excitement that he needs. Then, one of Doc Brown's experiments goes slightly wrong and Marty gets caught up in a race to set it and his future right again. "When this baby hits 88 miles per hour you're gonna see some serious shit."

 

20        BACK TO THE FUTURE II; 1989., 108 Minutes

Directed by:Robert Zemeckis

 

Cast overview: 

Michael J. Fox ....  Marty McFly/Marty McFly Jr./Marlene McFly (girl)

Christopher Lloyd ....  Dr. Emmett L. 'Doc' Brown

Lea Thompson ....  Lorraine Baines (McFly) (Tannen)

Thomas F. Wilson ....  Biff Tannen/Griff Tannen

Elisabeth Shue ....  Jennifer Jane Parker (McFly)

James Tolkan ....  Mr. S S Strickland

Jeffrey Weissman ....  George Douglas McFly

Casey Siemaszko ....  3-D

Billy Zane ....  Match

J.J. Cohen ....  Skinhead (as Jeffrey Jay Cohen)

Charles Fleischer ....  Terry (historical old man [2015]/auto attendant [1955])

E. Casanova Evans ....  Michael Jackson Video Waiter

Jay Koch ....  Ronald Reagan Video Waiter

Charles Gherardi  ....  Ayatollah Khomeini Video Waiter

Ricky Dean Logan ....  Rafe 'Data' Unger

 

The second part of the trilogy begins as Doc, Marty and Jennifer take the time-traveling DeLorean into the year 2015 to straighten out the future of the McFly family. But Biff Tannen steals the time machine and gives his younger self a book containing 50 years of sports statistics, which the young Biff uses to amass an enormous gambling fortune and transform idyllic Hill Valley into a living hell. To restore the present, Doc and Marty must return to the events of their previous adventure in 1955 and retrieve the book.

 

21        BACK TO THE FUTURE III; 1990., 118 Minutes

Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

 

Cast overview: 

Michael J. Fox ....  Marty McFly ('Clint Eastwood')/Seamus McFly

Christopher Lloyd ....  Dr. Emmett L 'Doc' Brown

Mary Steenburgen ....  Clara Clayton

Thomas F. Wilson ....  Buford 'Mad Dog' Tannen/Biff Tannen

Lea Thompson ....  Maggie McFly/Lorraine McFly

Elisabeth Shue ....  Jennifer Jane Parker

Matt Clark ....  Chester the Saloon Bartender

Richard A. Dysart ....  Barbed-Wire Salesman (as Richard Dysart)

Dub Taylor ....  Saloon Old Timer #1

Harry Carey Jr. ....  Saloon Old Timer #2

Pat Buttram ....  Saloon Old Timer #3

Hugh Gillin ....  Mayor Hubert

James Tolkan ....  Marshall Strickland

Christopher Wynne ....  Buford's Gang Member #1/Needles' Gang Member #1

Sean Gregory Sullivan ....  Buford's Gang Member #2

 

The conclusion of the trilogy sends Marty McFly on a rescue mission to the year 1885., where he must save Doc Brown from death at the hands of yet another member of the Tannen clan. However, there are a number of complications preventing a quick return to the future: a lack of gasoline for the time-traveling DeLorean, a band of gunslinging outlaws and a schoolmarm with affections for the smitten Doc.

 

22        BAD BOYS; 1995., 118 Minutes

Starring: Martin Lawrence, Will Smith, Tea Leoni, Theresa Randle, Tchéky Karyo

Director: Michael Bay

 

Former video director Michael Bay had his first big hit with this action comedy, which also returned producers Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson to the big-budget, high-violence movies that they successfully churned out in the Eighties. Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) are two Miami cops who watch as $100 million in heroin, from the biggest drug bust of their careers, is stolen out of the basement of police headquarters. This puts them hot on the trail of French drug lord Fouchet (Tcheky Karyo), who leaves a trail of bodies in his wake and only one witness, Julie Mott (Tea Leoni), who quickly teams up with our heroes. Comic hijinks ensue when plot complications force Mike to impersonate the married Marcus, to the point of moving in with his wife and children, while Marcus takes over Mike's bachelor pad and lifestyle. Car chases, snappy one-liners, and nonstop pacing fuel this umpteenth variation on the cop "buddy" formula.

 

23        BAD BOYS 2; 2003., 146 Minutes

Starring: Martin Lawrence, Will Smith, Jordi Molla, Gabrielle Union, Peter Stormare, Theresa Randle, Joe Pantoliano, Michael Shannon, Jon Seda, Yul Vázquez, Jason Manuel Olazábal, Otto Sanchez, Henry Rollins, Antoni Corone, Oleg Taktarov, Dennis Green

Director: Michael Bay

 

As Miami narcotics detectives Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) and Mike Lowry (Will Smith) pursue an ecstasy tablet trail to Cuban drugdealer Tapia (Jordi Molla), they learn that Marcus' sister Syd (Gabrielle Union), working undercover for the DEA, is also after Tapia. Throw in the Ku Klux Klan, some Haitian car-jackers, Russian crimelords, and a relationship between Mike and Syd that no amount of anger management therapy will prevent from irking Marcus, and soon all the predictable mayhem is on again.

 

 

24        BAD COMPANY; 2002., 116 Minutes

Director: Joel Schumacher

 

Anthony Hopkins  - Gaylord Oakes

Chris Rock  - Kevin Pope/Jake Pope

John Slattery  - Roland Yates

Kerry Washington  - Julie

Brooke Smith   

Peter Stormare  - Adrik Vas

Shea Whigham   

Garcelle Beauvais  - Nicole

Dragan Micanovic  - Michelle Petrov

Gabriel Macht  - Seale

Matthew Marsh  - Dragan Adjanic

 

Dignified Oscar-winner Anthony Hopkins tries the buddy action-comedy on for size with this typically slick and bombastic offering from producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Hopkins stars as Gaylord Oakes, a CIA spy attempting — along with his partner, Kevin Pope (Chris Rock) — to secure a suitcase-sized nuclear bomb in Prague from a Russian black marketer (Peter Stormare). Just as the partners discover that another bidder for the device exists, they are ambushed and Pope is killed trying to protect Oakes. Desperate for the bomb's owners and their attackers to believe that Pope is still alive so that the deal can commence in ten days time, Oakes recruits his late partner's long-lost twin, ticket-scalping chess hustler Jake Hayes (also played by Rock), a small-time criminal who never knew he had a brother. Offered a sizable payday and the admiration of his student nurse girlfriend, Hayes agrees to undergo vigorous training and dangerous situations as he impersonates his brother and helps Oakes to remove the nuclear threat, but the new partners clash in every way possible, from personal discipline to musical taste. Meanwhile, the assassin of the real Kevin Pope sends another cadre of killers after the agent he believes is still alive. Bad Company co-stars Kerry Washington, Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon, Gabriel Macht, and Matthew Marsh.

Look no further than Bad Company for evidence that Anthony Hopkins just likes to work — or, less charitably, just likes to collect a paycheck. It wasn't even the oddball pairing with Chris Rock, per se, that inspired so many giggles of disbelief when the earliest trailers hit the theaters (which was eons before its release), but rather, the very idea of the Merchant-Ivory thespian appearing in a buddy action-comedy. After that reaction faded, the next might have been that it was just crazy enough to work. But the titular adjective applies to every element of Bad Company, a new low in soulless swill for both producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Joel Schumacher. Rock, not Hopkins, is the driving force behind whatever success this movie might muster, and the talented comedian does have moments of grace, barely even choking on the script's numerous jokes that rely on insulting, ethnic-specific name-dropping, like "He's the Tiger Woods of murder!" But that same accursed script thrusts him through so much other ormulaic stereotypical nonsense — does the black sidekick always have to be a motormouth coward during gun battles? — that it's impossible to ignore or forgive. Furthermore, everything audiences have come to hate about Schumacher collides in one film, from the superficial sleekness of his car-commercial hues to his distracting fetishes for helicopters and mobilized SWAT teams — all of it exacerbated by Bruckheimer's typical agenda. And Hopkins? He puts a stamp on it and mails it in. He's spent much of his career in good company, so the title alone — as meaningless and forgettable as anything else in the movie — should have told him to take his tea elsewhere.

 

25        BEVERLY HILLS COP I; 1984., 100 Minutes

Directed by: Martin Brest

 

Cast overview: 

Eddie Murphy ....  Detective Axel Foley

Judge Reinhold ....  Detective William 'Billy' Rosewood

John Ashton  ....  Sergeant John Taggart

Lisa Eilbacher ....  Jeannette 'Jenny' Summers, Manager Holis Benton Art Gallery

Ronny Cox ....  Lieutenant Andrew Bogomil

Steven Berkoff ....  Victor Maitland

James Russo ....  Mikey Tandino

Jonathan Banks ....  Zack, Maitland's Thug

Stephen Elliott  ....  Police Chief Hubbard

Gilbert R. Hill ....  Inspector Douglas Todd

Art Kimbro ....  Detective Foster

Joel Bailey ....  Detective McCabe

Bronson Pinchot ....  Serge

Paul Reiser ....  Jeffrey

Michael Champion ....  Casey

 

Detroit cop Axel Foley is delighted when he receives a surprise visit from his best friend Mikey Tandino, who lives in California. Not long after Mikey arrives in Detroit, Mikey is killed, right in front of Axel, by a man named Zack. Axel follows Zack to Beverly Hills, California, where Beverly Hills police department Lieutenant Andrew Bogomil assigns Detective Billy Rosewood and Rosewood's partner, Sergeant John Taggart, to keep an eye on Axel. Axel visits his friend Jenny Summers, who works in an art gallery. With Jenny's help, Axel discovers that Zack works for Jenny's boss, Victor Maitland, the man who owns the art gallery. Maitland is a drug kingpin who is using the gallery as a front, and Maitland had Zack kill Mikey after Maitland accused Mikey of stealing some of Maitland's bonds. With the help of Jenny, Billy, and Taggart, Axel does what he can to make sure Maitland and Zack won't kill any more people.

 

26        BEVERLY HILLS COP II; 1987., 100 Minutes

Directed by: Tony Scott

 

Cast overview: 

Eddie Murphy ....  Detective Axel Foley

Judge Reinhold ....  Detective William 'Billy' Rosewood

John Ashton  ....  Sergeant John Taggart

Jürgen Prochnow ....  Maxwell Dent

Ronny Cox ....  Captain/Chief Andrew Bogomil

Brigitte Nielsen ....  Karla Fry

Allen Garfield ....  Police Chief Harold Lutz

Dean Stockwell ....  Charles "Chip" Cain

Paul Reiser ....  Detective Jeffrey Friedman

Gilbert R. Hill ....  Inspector Douglas Todd (as Gil Hill)

Paul Guilfoyle  ....  Nikos Thomopolis

Robert Ridgely ....  Mayor Ted Egan

Brian O'Connor ....  Biddle, Lutz's Aide

Alice Adair  ....  Jan Bogomil

Eugene Butler ....  May

 

Detroit cop Axel Foley is watching the news on TV when the reporter tells a story that Axel's friend, Beverly Hills police Captain Andrew Bogomil, has been shot by a tall woman. Axel heads out to Beverly Hills to visit Bogomil in the hospital, and this is where Axel is reunited with Bogomil's daughter Jan Bogomil. Axel is also reunited with Detective Billy Rosewood and Sergeant John Taggart. Billy and Taggart decide to let Axel help them find the woman who tried to kill Bogomil, even though abusive police chief Harold Lutz has been deliberately trying to find a reason to fire Billy and Taggart. Axel, Billy, and Taggart soon discover that the alphabet robberies, a series of robberies that have been going on in the area, are masterminded by weapons kingpin Maxwell Dent, and Dent had sent his fiancee Karla Fry to try to kill Bogomil because Bogomil had been after Dent. With this information, Axel, Billy, and Taggart try to find Dent and Karla.

 

27        BEVERLY HILLS COP III; 1994., 109 Minutes

Director: John Landis

 

Eddie Murphy  - Axel Foley

Judge Reinhold  - Billy Rosewood

Hector Elizondo  - Joe Flint

Timothy Carhart  - Ellis deWald

Stephen McHattie  - Steve Fulbright

John Saxon  - Orrin Sanderson

Theresa Randle  - Janice

Bronson Pinchot  - Serge

Alan Young  - Uncle Dave Thornton

Al M. Green  - Minister

Tracy Lindsey  - Ticket Booth Girl

Roger E. Reid  - Man on Phone

John Rubinow  - Doctor

Fred Asparagus  - Bobby

 

The third entry in the popular Beverly Hills Cop series finds Detroit cop Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) returning yet again to Southern California, this time on the trail of two car thieves turned murderers. As he teams up again with L.A. cop Billy Rosewood (Judge Reinhold), Foley's investigation leads him to Wonder World, a theme park that is also the front for a major counterfeiting ring. More action and less wit are the trademarks of this film, which features Murphy dishing out his usual wisecracks, but with less flair and freshness than in the original film. Alan Young plays the old man who runs the amusement park, an interesting setting that still adds little to the tired premise.

 

28        BLADE I; 1998., 115 Minutes

Starring Wesley Snipes, Stephen Dorff, Kris Kristofferson, N'Bushe Wright, Donal Logue, Udo Kier, Tracy Lords

Director: Stephen Norrington

 

Wesley Snipes stars as Blade, an immortal 'day-walker' who considers it his mission to hunt vampires. Blade's mother was bitten by a vampire during her pregnancy, which passed a variety of vampiric powers on to her son. Blade benefited from the best attributes of both vampires and humans, and grew up to be a vampire hunter in order to avenge the death of his mother. He is aided by Adam Whistler (Kris Kristofferson), who provides him with a range of high-tech solutions. Blade is hunting down vampires when he discovers details of a plot hatched by the renegade vampire overlord Deacon Frost (Stephen Dorff). Frost is very powerful, and his vampires have infiltrated many major human organisations. Frost is trying to take control of the House of Erebus in order to become Bloodlord, so that he can rule over all the vampires and destroy humanity. He needs Blade's unique blood to summon the blood god to give him dominion over what the vampires call 'human cattle'.

 

29        BLADE II; 2002., 116 Minutes

Directed by: Guillermo Del Toro

 

Wesley Snipes  - Blade

Kris Kristofferson  - Whistler

Ron Perlman  - Rienhard

Leonor Varela  - Nyssa

Norman Reedus  - Scud

Thomas Kretschmann  - Damaskinos

Luke Goss  - Nomak

Matt Schulze  - Chupa

Danny John-Jules  - Asad

Donnie Yen  - Snowman

Karel Roden  - Kounen

Tony Curran  - Priest

 

Four years after scoring a box-office touchdown with Blade (1998), actor Wesley Snipes returns to portray the Marvel Comics character again in this sequel that teams him with Mexican horror director Guillermo del Toro. A half-vampire, half-human hybrid, Blade (Snipes) is a merciless vampire hunter bent on destroying the bloodsuckers that feed on humanity. The keys to Blade's success are a serum that allows him to resist the urge for blood and an array of inventive, deadly weapons, both of which were once supplied by his mentor, Whistler (Kris Kristofferson). Since Whistler's death, Blade has relocated to Prague and recruited the pot-smoking slacker Scud (Norman Reedus) to take the place of his father figure, but then he discovers that Whistler's not dead after all: He's been infected with the vampire virus. Reunited with Whistler, Blade is dealt an even bigger surprise: His greatest enemy, vampire leader Damaskinos (Thomas Kretschmann), wants to make peace with him. It seems that the vampires are facing a greater threat than Blade and hope to persuade him to fight the Reapers, a mutated super-race of vampires on a rampage of murder, indiscriminately killing both humans and their fellow bloodsuckers while sucking their victims dry. Blade agrees to a truce and joins the Bloodpack, an elite squad of commandos originally formed to fight Blade himself. Soon, the vampire soldiers discover that the virus responsible for creating their enemies is spreading rapidly and can be traced back to a mysterious "Patient Zero." Blade 2 (2002) co-stars Ron Perlman, Leonor Varela, Donnie Yen, and Matt Schulze. — Karl Williams

 

Wesley Snipes remains the perfect incarnation of the comic book vampire hunter Blade in this intense, bloody sequel that marks a new advance in the world of special effects. Director Guillermo Del Toro (Mimic, The Devil's Backbone) has a strong record in the horror genre and he manages to avoid the many traps of doing a sequel due in large part to David S. Goyer's strong script. In smartly resurrecting the half-human, half-vampire hero's seemingly dead partner, Whistler, Goyer has brought back actor Kris Kristofferson who delivers a gritty, blue-collar performance that gives the steely, impersonal Blade a colorful foil. From there, Goyer's story puts the duo, along with a new helper (Norman Reedus), in an uneasy alignment with the vampire race against an almost indestructible super-breed of vampire. This straightforward setup allows Del Toro and his team (including noted Hong Kong fight coordinator Donnie Yen) to focus on the choreography of the film's plentiful fight scenes. The result is an action-packed hybrid of horror and martial arts that is easily one of the most exciting and most impressive displays of monster and special makeup effects to hit the screen since John Carpenter's 1982 creature extravaganza The Thing. The hundreds of effects shots reflects a collaboration of multiple effects companies doing visuals, prosthetics, makeup and CGI — all of which come together in a seamless, visually stunning package. Throw in a fully charged club soundtrack and a Snipes performance that combines a ton of toughness with just enough sensitivity to make him (somewhat) human, and you've got a fantastic genre sequel that has style and cool to spare. — Patrick Legare

 

30        BLADE RUNNER; 1982., 117 Minutes

Starring: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, M. Emmet Walsh, Daryl Hannah

Director: Ridley Scott

 

Early in the 21st Century, THE TYRELL CORPORATION advanced Robot evolution into the NEXUS phase - a being virtually identical to a human - known as a replicant. The NEXUS 6 Replicants were superior in strength and agility, and at least equal in intelligence, to the genetic engineers who created them. Replicants were used Off-world as slave labor, in the hazardous exploration and colonization of other planets. After a bloody mutiny by a NEXUS 6 combat team in an Off-world colony, Replicants were declared illegal on earth - under penalty of death. Special police squads - BLADE RUNNER UNITS - had orders to shoot to kill, upon detection, any trespassing Replicant. This was not called execution. It was called retirement.

 

31        BRAVEHEART; 1995., 177 Minutes

Starring: Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Patrick McGoohan, Catherine McCormack, Brendan Gleeson

Director: Mel Gibson

 

Mel Gibson, long-time heartthrob of the silver screen, came into his own as a director with Braveheart, an account of the life and times of medieval Scottish patriot William Wallace and, to a lesser degree, Robert the Bruce's struggle to unify his nation against its English oppressors. The story begins with young Wallace, whose father and brother have been killed fighting the English, being taken into the custody of his uncle, a nationalist and pre-Renaissance renaissance man. He returns twenty years later, a man educated both in the classics and in the art of war. There he finds his childhood sweetheart Murron (Catherine McCormack), and the two quickly fall in love. There are murmurs of revolt against the English throughout the village, but Wallace remains aloof, wishing simply to tend to his crops and live in peace. However, when his love is killed by English soldiers the day after their secret marriage (held secretly so as to prevent the local English lord from exercising the repulsive right of prima noctae, the privilege of sleeping with the bride on the first night of the marriage), he springs into action and single-handedly slays an entire platoon of foot soldiers. The other villagers join him in destroying the English garrison, and thus begins the revolt against the English in what will eventually become full-fledged war. Wallace eventually leads his fellow Scots in a series of bloody battles that prove a serious threat to English domination and, along the way, has a hushed affair with the Princess of Wales (the breathtaking Sophie Marceau) before his imminent demise. For his efforts, Gibson won the honor of Best Director from the Academy; the movie also took home statuettes for Best Picture, Cinematography, Makeup, and Sound Effects.

 

32        THE CELL; 2001., 107 Minutes

Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Vince Vaughn, Vincent D'Onofrio, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Jake Weber, Dylan Baker

Director: Tarsem Singh

 

A serial killer who gets off on watching his victims drown to death is on the loose, but not for long. As the FBI bust his butt, the killer falls into a deep coma, while his final missing victim only has a few hours left to live.

This is the kind of movie that sets a new standard for moviemakers. It takes the cinematic canvas and rewrites the rules with its daring use of staggering imagery, visual experimentation and camera tricks.

 

33        CHICKEN RUN; 2000., 84 Minutes

Starring: voices of Julia Sawalha, Mel Gibson, Miranda Richardson, Tony Haygarth, Phil Daniels, Lynn Ferguson, Benjamin Whitrow

Directors: Peter Lord, Nick Park

 

Ginger (Julia Sawalha) is a hen who has tried numerous methods to escape the farm run by the profit-driven Mrs Tweedy (Miranda Richardson) and her dim-witted husband (Tony Haygarth). The other chickens in the coop, including Mac (Lynn Ferguson) and Fowler (Benjamin Whitrow), are sympathetic to Ginger's efforts but realise they need a miracle. That miracle comes in the form of Rocky Rhodes (Mel Gibson), a brash American rooster who can apparently fly. Ginger sees Rocky as their salvation, and urges him to teach them how to fly. Meanwhile, Mrs Tweedy puts into motion a plan to turn all the chickens on her farm into chicken pies. Will Ginger's plan succeed, or will the chickens end up being encased in pastry and gravy?

 

34        CONAN THE BARBARIAN; 1982., 129 Minutes

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Max Von Sydow, Sandahl Bergman, Ben Davidson

Director: John Milius

 

John Milius's jingoistic direction and pulpy screenplay fit perfectly into this film version of the Robert E. Howard fantasy story of the sword and sorcery hero, Conan the Barbarian. Complementing Mulius's heavy metal production is Arnold Schwarzenegger's leaden acting, which in any other context would be deadly, but here (as in The Terminator) corresponds nicely with the whole sonorous project. The story begins when a horde of rampaging warriors massacre the parents of young Conan and enslave the young child for years on The Wheel of Pain. The Wheel of Pain seems to have as its only purpose the building up of Conan's muscles, so it's no surprise that one day Conan grows up to become Arnold Schwarzenegger. As the sole survivor of the childhood massacre, Conan is released from slavery and taught the ancient arts of fighting. Transforming himself into a killing machine, Conan travels into the wilderness to seek vengeance on Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones), the man responsible for killing his family. In the wilderness, Conan takes up with the thieves Valeria (Sandahl Bergman) and Subota (Gerry Lopez). The trio comes upon a weird snake cult, linked to Doom, and Conan wants to trek off to Doom's mountain retreat to kill him. But he is prevented from doing that by King Osrik (Max Von Sydow), who wants the trio of warriors to help rescue his daughter who has joined Doom in the hills.

 

35        DAREDEVIL; 2003., 103 Minutes

Starring: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Michael Clarke Duncan, Colin Farrell, Jon Favreau, Joe Pantoliano

Director: Mark Steven Johnson

 

Taking it’s cue from a classic Frank Miller storyline, the film opens with a little backstory to introduce us to our newest big-screen hero. A wounded and befuddled Daredevil (Ben Affleck) seeks shelter from unseen enemies in a church and, as his life ebbs away, he recalls the events of his youth: The son of an over-the-hill prize-fighter, young Matt Murdock fends off bullies and continually cajoles his father into doing something with his stagnating life. When a nasty toxic waste spill leaves him blind-but possessing of strangely super-human "radar sense"-Matt makes a pact with his father; each must to the best they can to make something of their lives. As his dad battles back to the top of the boxing world, Matt tirelessly trains and hones his advanced senses to perfection. And when his father is brutally slain for refusing to throw a fight, Matt swears to bring all those who do wrong in the world to justice. Flash forward twenty years, and Matt’s now a down-and-out lawyer, taking on cases for those less fortunate than most with the aid of his wise-cracking buddy Foggy Nelson (an excellent Jon Favreau). But of course, that’s not all; by night, the blind avenger takes the rooftops, seeking out wrongdoers and delivering his own brand of justice, Daredevil-style. When a beautiful-but-deadly young woman, Elecktra (Jennifer Garner), enters Matt’s life, he finds himself on a collision course with crime overlord Kingpin (Michael Clarke Duncan) and his psychotic heavy Bullseye (Colin Farrell)....

 

36        DEAD CALM; 1988., 91 Minutes

Starring: Sam Neill, Nicole Kidman, Billy Zane

Director: Phillip Noyce

 

Thriller specialist Phillip Noyce (Patriot Games, The Saint) directs three splendid actors - Sam Neill (Jurassic Park), Nicole Kidman (Eyes Wide Shut), Billy Zane (Titanic) - in riveting perfomances.

Joe and Rae Ingram (Neill and Kidmann) do the right thing and rescue the half-delirious sole survivor (Zane) of a crippled schooner. But soon the stranger will plunge the unwary pair into an intense battle of cat and mouse. And life and death.

 

37        DEMOLITION MAN; 1993., 114 Minutes

Director: Marco Brambilla

 

Sylvester Stallone  - Sergeant John Spartan

Wesley Snipes  - Simon Phoenix

Sandra Bullock  - Lenina Huxley

Nigel Hawthorne  - Dr. Raymond Cocteau

Benjamin Bratt  - Alfredo Garcia

Bob Gunton  - Chief George Earle

Glenn Shadix  - Associate Bob

Denis Leary  - Edgar Friendly

 

The plot of this action film begins in 1996., with Los Angeles in a violence-crazed conflagration. One of the LAPD's most notorious cops, John Spartan (Sylvester Stallone), known as "the demolition man," is in hot pursuit of blonde-haired psychopath Simon Phoenix (Wesley Snipes), who is so nasty he even kills sometimes just because he feels cranky. John captures Simon, but not before Simon kills innocent hostages. John is blamed for the deaths of the hostages, and both he and Simon are cryogenically frozen to remove their brand of ultra-violence from a society that is simply just violent. The film shifts to the future world of 2032, where Los Angeles has become a megalopolis called San Angeles. There is no poverty, Arnold Schwarzenegger was (at one time) President of the United States, and Taco Bell is the sole survivor of the Franchise Wars. Into this peaceful and bland society, Simon is summarily defrosted by reigning benevolent dictator Dr. Cocteau (Nigel Hawthorne) to have Simon murder Edgar Friendly (Denis Leary), the leader of a group of underground rebels. But Cocteau bites off more than he can chew when the melted down Simon proceeds to go on a murder and looting spree. Reluctantly, Cocteau defrosts John to hunt down his old adversary. As John adjusts to self-driving cars and having sex with helmets, he pairs up with Lenina Huxley (Sandra Bullock), a bored cop with a nostalgic fascination for 20th-century culture.

 

38        DEUCE BIGALOW: MALE GIGOLO; 1999., 88 Minutes

Starring: Rob Schneider, William Forsythe, Eddie Griffin, Arija Bareikis, Oded Fehr

Director: Mike Mitchell

 

Yet another Saturday Night Live alumnus makes his bid for big-screen success as Rob Schneider, best remembered as the "Making copies!" guy, tackles his first leading role in this broad comedy. Deuce (Rob Schneider) earns a meager living as a professional fish tank cleaner until he's asked to housesit for a gigolo. Deuce mistakenly answers the gigolo's business phone and finds himself having sex with a woman he's never met and getting paid for it (not a bad deal, since women generally avoid Deuce like the Ebola virus). It's not long before Deuce learns that there's more to selling your body than one might expect: for example, being re-styled by your pimp or having to explain your new source of income when the owner of the house gets home. Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo was the first feature film produced by Adam Sandler's production company, Happy Madison; Sandler himself makes a cameo appearance, while Oded Fehr, William Forsythe, Eddie Griffin, and Marlo Thomas highlight the supporting cast.

 

39        DEVIL'S ADVOCATE; 1997., 144 Minutes

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Al Pacino, Charlize Theron, Jeffrey Jones, Judith Ivey

Director: Taylor Hackford

 

Supernatural forces hover over the courtroom in this devilish drama adapted from the novel by Andrew Neiderman. Attorney Kevin Lomax (Keanu Reeves) doesn't heed the Bible-based warnings of his mother (Judith Ivey), who views New York City as "the dwelling place of demons." Instead, he leaves Gainesville, Florida, with his wife Mary Ann (Charlize Theron) to put his legalistic skills to the test at a leading Manhattan law firm run by John Milton (Al Pacino). It all goes smoothly -- with Milton urging them to stay, putting Kevin on a $400-per-hour salary, and moving the couple into a luxurious apartment in his own building on Fifth Avenue -- where Mary Ann falls under the influence of neighbor Jackie (Tamara Tunie). After Kevin defends a weird animal sacrificer (Delroy Lindo, uncredited), he moves up to an important case with an apparent murderer, real-estate tycoon Alexander Cullen (Craig T. Nelson). Ignored by Kevin, the troubled Mary Ann has some disturbing experiences, verging on the occult, while Kevin, at work, becomes attracted to redhead Christabella (Connie Neilsen). Dazzled by his entrance into paradise, Kevin doesn't grasp who handed him this Big-Apple success. Could it be...Satan? The film features demonic creatures by Rick Baker. Cameos (Senator Alfonse D'Amato, Don King, others) add to the ambiance of ambition and power in the canyons of Manhattan.

 

40        DOUBLE JEOPARDY; 1999., 105 Minutes

Starring: Ashley Judd, Tommy Lee Jones, Bruce Greenwood, Annabeth Gish

Director: Bruce Beresford

 

Nick (Greenwood) and Libby Parsons (Judd) are a happily married couple, living with their young son in a beautiful waterfront home in Seattle. One weekend they go sailing together, leaving their son Matty behind with their friend Angie (Gish). Libby wakes up the next morning covered in blood, with no sign of her husband. She is taken in by the coast guard, and later charged, tried and sent to prison for her husband's murder. When a chance phone call reveals her husband is still alive, she sets into motion a plan to hunt him down when she is released.

 

41        DRIVEN; 2001., 117 Minutes

Director: Renny Harlin

 

Sylvester Stallone  - Joe Tanto

Burt Reynolds  - Carl Henry

Kip Pardue  - Jimmy Bly

Stacy Edwards  - Lucretia "Luc" Jones

Til Schweiger  - Beau Brandenburg

Gina Gershon  - Cathy Moreno

Estella Warren  - Sophia Simone

Cristian de la Fuente  - Memo Moreno

Brent Briscoe  - Crusher

Robert Sean Leonard  - DeMille Bly

 

Sylvester Stallone wrote the screenplay for this action-packed drama directed by Renny Harlin and set in the dangerous, high-stakes world of CART auto racing. Jimmy Bly (Kip Pardue) is an up-and-coming young star of the open-wheel circuit, but he's slipping in the rankings as the championships loom. Under pressure from his promoter brother Demille (Robert Sean Leonard) and wheelchair-bound owner Carl Henry (Burt Reynolds), Jimmy is given a mentor — Joe Tanto (Stallone), a once great CART competitor whose career and marriage to Cathy (Gina Gershon) were destroyed by a tragic accident. Joe must earn the rookie's trust, while attempting a career comeback, dealing with persistent reporter Lucretia Clan (Stacy Edwards), and facing Cathy, who's remarried to rival racing sensation Memo Moreno (Cristian de la Fuente). Meanwhile, Jimmy is stirring up his own romantic trouble by pursuing Sophia (Estella Warren), the girlfriend of top driver Beau Brandenburg (Til Schweiger). Long interested in creating a car racing drama, Stallone penned Driven after abandoning a film biography of real-life Formula One legend Ayrton Senna.

 

42        DROP ZONE; 1994., 102 Minutes

Starring: Wesley Snipes, Gary Busey, Yancy Butler, Michael Jeter, Corin Nemec

Director: John Badham

 

Pete Nessip and his brother are U.S. marshalls escorting convicted computer hacker Earl Leedy to a federal prison on a commercial 747. Mid-flight, an apparent terrorist attack results in an on-board explosion, the death of Pete's brother and Leedy's disappearance. In the aftermath, Pete's badge is suspended while authorities investigate the accident. Determined to track down his brother's killers and locate Leedy, Nessip is drawn into the daredevil world of exhibition skydiving.

 

43        ENEMY MINE; 1985., 108 Minutes

Starring: Dennis Quaid, Louis Gossett, Jr., Brion James, Richard Marcus, Carolyn McCormick

Director: Wolfgang Petersen

 

Love means never having to say that you're ugly in the extravagant fantasy film Enemy Mine. Earthling Dennis Quaid is Davidge, one of many space warriors engaged in a bloody extraterrestrial battle against the Draconians. Crash-landing on a faraway planet, Davidge is forced into an "up close and personal" with the Drac (Lou Gossett Jr.), a repellant, reptilian creature. Evidently a bivalve, the Drac gives birth to a baby Drac just before expiring. Now a reluctant foster father, Davidge tries to keep himself and the baby alive while the war continues to rage all around them. The special effects (courtesy Industrial Light and Magic) are serviceable if not brilliant, and the acting is okay so far as it goes. What socks over Enemy Mine is Rolf Zehetbauer's awe-inspiring production design and Chris Walas' superb makeup work. Though a favorite on home video, the film deserves to be seen on a wide theatre screen.

 

44        ENEMY OF THE STATE; 1998., 150 Minutes

Starring: Will Smith, Gene Hackman, Jon Voight, Lisa Bonet, Regina King,

Director: Tony Scott

 

The action producing-directing team of Jerry Bruckheimer and Tony Scott is back with another thrill-a-minute ride called Enemy of the State. Taking its "innocent man accidentally caught up in political corruption" story from such films as Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation, Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much, and Sydney Pollack's Three Days of the Condor, they turn up the high-tech volume in an attempt to create the ultimate action film. Robert Clayton Dean, played by Will Smith, is a devoted father, husband, and attorney shopping for a sexy gift for his wife. What he doesn't know is that he was given a videotape from a friend (Jason Lee) regarding the recent murder of a U.S. senator led by corrupt National Security Agency official Thomas Reynolds (Jon Voight). Now Reynolds is after Dean to cover his tracks or, as the audience soon finds out, frame Dean for the murder. Since Dean isn't up on his high-tech gadgetry, he needs the aid of ex-intelligence operative Brill (Gene Hackman). Between the explosions and chases is the subtext of George Orwell's 1984 mantra "beware of big brother," as Dean realizes that in the modern world, there is no such thing as total privacy.

 

45        FACE OFF; 1997., 138 Minutes

Starring: John Travolta, Nicolas Cage, Joan Allen, Alessandro Nivola, Gina Gershon,

Director: John Woo

 

The third of John Woo's American-made feature films, Face/Off stars John Travolta as Sean Archer, an FBI agent obsessed with capturing Castor Troy (Nicolas Cage), a criminal genius who years before killed Archer's son while trying to assassinate the agent. Archer's single-minded pursuit of Troy has caused serious harm to his marriage, but Archer thinks the light may have appeared at the end of the tunnel when a seriously wounded Troy is captured in a bloody shootout. However, it turns out that Troy has planted a time bomb, with a biological payload that could destroy the entire city of Los Angeles -- and Troy isn't about to say where it is. The only other person who knows the bomb's location is Troy's brother, Pollux (Alessandro Nivola), who is no more helpful than Castor. FBI scientists hatch a plan: they have developed an experimental surgery which would allow them to graft Troy's face temporarily on Archer's head and allow him to question Pollux as if he were his brother. But after Archer has taken Troy's face, Troy regains consciousness and forces the doctors to give him Archer's face. Now the criminal mastermind has the FBI at his disposal, and the lawman is underground with few places to turn. Along with Woo's usual elaborately choreographed action scenes, Face/Off features a number of notable supporting performances, including Joan Allen as Archer's wife, Colm Feore and C.C.H. Pounder as FBI scientists, and Gina Gershon as Troy's loyal but long-suffering girlfriend.

46        FALLEN; 1998., 124 Minutes

Starring: Denzel Washington, John Goodman, Donald Sutherland, Embeth Davidtz, James Gandolfini

Director: Gregory Hoblit

 

Gregory Hoblit (Primal Fear) directed this genre mix-in, a blend of police drama and supernatural thriller. Homicide detective John Hobbes (Denzel Washington) narrates, taking the audience back to "the time I almost died." This sets a flashback in motion, beginning at the prison cell of serial killer Edgar Reese (Elias Koteas), who grabs Hobbes' hand and sings The Rolling Stones' "Time Is On My Side." After Reese is executed, Hobbes and his partner Jonesy (John Goodman) find a seeming copycat killer, committing murders in a manner not unlike Reese. Hobbes is drawn into the occult after he meets theology professor Gretta Milano (Embeth Davidtz), the daughter of a dead police officer. Hobbes becomes a suspect himself, but he continues his search for the truth. Co-producer Dawn Steel died just as this film was due for release.

47        FALLING DOWN - 1993., 112 Minutes

Starring: Michael Douglas, Robert Duvall, Barbara Hershey, Rachel Ticotin, Tuesday Weld

Director: Joel Schumacher

 

It's just not William Foster's (Michael Douglas) day. Laid off from his defense job, Foster gets stuck in the middle of the mother of all traffic jams. Desirous of attending his daughter's birthday party at the home of his ex-wife (Barbara Hershey), Foster abandons his car and begins walking, encountering one urban humiliation after another (the Korean shopkeeper who obstinately refuses to give change is the worst of the batch). He also slowly unravels mentally, finally snapping at a fast-food restaurant that refuses to serve him breakfast because it's "too late." Running amok with an arsenal of weapons at the ready, Foster -- also known as "D-FENS" because of his vanity license plate -- rapidly becomes a source of terror to some, a folk hero to others. It's up to reluctant cop Prendergast (Robert Duvall), on the eve of his retirement, to bring D-FENS down. Symptomatic of the 1990s is the fact that many preview audiences for Falling Down were wildly cheering Michael Douglas as he lashed back at all the major and minor frustrations of modern living. Still, screenwriter Ebbe Roe Smith and director Joe Schumacher insist that the film is not an advocation of violence, merely a cautionary fable. Falling Down is exciting (and fun) while it lasts, but viewers leave the theater feeling as though they've been through two hours of buildup with no real payoff.

 

48        FAST AND THE FURIOUS; 2001., 107 Minutes

Starring: Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordanna Brewster, Rick Yune

Director: Rob Cohen

 

A magazine article about real-life car racing gangs for Vibe becomes this fast-paced automotive thriller from director Rob Cohen. Paul Walker stars as Brian Spindler, a youthful FBI agent investigating a series of hijackings by going undercover with a street gang led by charismatic Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel). Caught up in Toretto's world of gang conflict that is resolved in late-night car races, Spindler starts to sympathize with his chief suspect and falls in love with Toretto's younger sister Mia (Jordana Brewster). In the meantime, Spindler initially suspects the wrong gang of complicity in the crimes he's probing, while Toretto remains involved in a forbidden romance, ŕ la Romeo and Juliet, with his girlfriend Letty (Michelle Rodriguez). The Fast and the Furious co-stars Ted Levine, Rick Yune, and Matt Schulze.

 

49        2 FAST 2 FURIOUS; 2003., 100 Minutes

Starring: Paul Walker, Tyrese Gibson, Eva Mendes, Cole Hauser

Director: John Singleton

 

2 fast 2 furious street racingJohn Singleton of Boyz in the Hood and Shaft fame replaces Rob Cohen as director. Vin Diesel and all of the original supporting cast are gone, but Paul Walker is back to reprise his role as Brian O'Connor. This time he's joined by Tyrese Gibson as Roman. It's kind of obvious that the screenplay was written with the hope that Diesel would return. Roman ends up being an angrier wise-cracking version of Vin's Toretto character.

 

This movie finds Brian kicked off the police force and street racing in Miami. He gets busted and the FBI and Customs cuts a deal whereby his record will be cleansed if he goes undercover to help them get a dirty importer/exporter. Check your brain at the door at this point otherwise you'll find yourself asking silly questions like "why would you hire street racers to run your loads for you at 100+ mph down the interstate in broad daylight?".

 

50        FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF; 1986., 103 Minutes

Starring: Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, Jeffrey Jones, Jennifer Grey

Director: John Hughes

 

Teenaged Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) is a legend in his own time thanks to his uncanny skill at cutting classes and getting away with it. Intending to make one last grand duck-out before graduation, Ferris calls in sick, "borrows" a Ferrari, and embarks on a one-day bacchanal through the streets of Chicago. Dogging Ferris' trail at every turn is high school principal Rooney (Jeffrey Jones), determined to catch Bueller in the act of class-cutting. Writer/director John Hughes once again tries to wed satire, slapstick, and social commentary, as Ferris Bueller's Day Off starts like a house afire and goes on to make "serious" points about status-seeking and casual parental cruelties. It brightens up considerably in the last few moments, when Ferris' tattletale sister (Jennifer Grey) decides to align herself with her merry prankster sibling. A huge moneymaker, Ferris Bueller's Day Off eventually spawned a TV sitcom.

 

51        THE FIFTH ELEMENT; 1997., 127 Minutes

Starring: Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, Ian Holm, Gary Oldman, Chris Tucker

Director: Luc Besson

 

Good and evil battle for the future of 25th century Earth in this visually striking big-budget science fiction epic. In the year 1914, a group of scientists in Egypt are able to summon up a spaceship from another world through the power of four magical stones which represent the ancient elements: earth, wind, fire, and water. However, the alien visitors, before spiriting the scientist away, warn them that the stones are no longer safe on Earth. Five thousand years later, a huge ball of molten lava and flame is hurtling toward Earth, and scientist/holy man Victor Cornelius (Ian Holm) declares that in order to prevent it from destroying the Earth, the same four elemental stones must be combined with a fifth element, the positive force of life, as embodied by a visitor from another world named Leeloo (Milla Jonovich). However, if the force of evil presents itself to the stones instead, the Earth will be destroyed, and a sinister alien race called the Mangalores are intent upon using their representative, Zorg (Gary Oldman), to trigger the disaster. Despite her remarkable powers, Leeloo needs help with her mission, and she chooses her accomplice, military leader turned cab driver Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis), when she literally falls through the roof of his taxi. Writer and director Luc Besson wrote the original story for The Fifth Element when he was only 16 years old, though he was 38 before he was able to bring it to the screen.

 

52        FINAL FANTASY; 2001., 106 Minutes

Starring: Ming-Na Wen, Alec Baldwin, Ving Rhames, Steve Buscemi, Peri Gilpin

Director: Hironobu Sakaguchi

 

The first feature-length motion picture to use computer-generated imagery to create not only effects, props, and environments but also the cast members themselves, this lavish science-fiction adventure follows closely on the heels of another video game-based film, Tomb Raider (2001). Ming-Na provides the voice of Dr. Aki Ross, a female scientist in the year 2065, a time when Earth has been overrun by extraterrestrial phantoms borne of a crashed meteor. Humans have been pushed back to cities protected by barriers that keep the marauding space monsters away, but time is running out. Fatally infected by one of the ghostly beasts, Ross seeks information about their purpose and physiology, assisted by her mentor Dr. Sid (voice of Donald Sutherland) and the Deep Eyes military squad of courageous Captain Gray Edwards (voice of Alec Baldwin). Tension develops between Aki's quest to stop the alien onslaught through study and the more extreme solution favored by the vengeful, saber-rattling General Hein (voice of James Woods), who would destroy both the aliens and the Earth itself. Aki ultimately comes to realize that the key to unlocking the mystery of the invaders lies within her own dreams.

 

53        FORREST GUMP;  1994., 142 Minutes

Starring: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright Penn, Gary Sinise, Mykelti Williamson, Sally Field

Director: Robert Zemeckis

 

"Stupid is as stupid does," says Forrest Gump (played by Tom Hanks in an Oscar-winning performance) as he discusses his relative level of intelligence with a stranger while waiting for a bus. While of sub-normal IQ, Gump leads a truly charmed life, with a ringside seat for many of the most memorable events of the second half of the 20th century. Entirely without trying, Forrest teaches Elvis Presley to dance, becomes a football star, meets John F. Kennedy, serves with honor in Vietnam, meets Lyndon Johnson, speaks at an anti-war rally at the Washington Monument, hangs out with the Yippies, defeats the Chinese national team in table tennis, meets Richard Nixon, discovers the break-in at the Watergate, opens a profitable shrimping business, becomes an original investor in Apple Computers, and decides to run back and forth across the country for several years. Meanwhile, as the remarkable parade of his life goes by, Forrest never forgets Jenny (Robin Wright), the girl he loved as a boy, who makes her own journey through the turbulence of the 1960s and 1970s that's far more troubled than the path Forrest happens upon. Starring alongside Tom Hanks are Sally Field as Forrest's mother, Gary Sinise as his commanding officer in Vietnam, Mykelti Williamson as his ill-fated Army buddy who is familiar with every recipe that involves shrimp, and the special effects artists whose digital magic place Forrest amidst a remarkable array of historical events and people.

 

54        THE FUGITIVE; 1993. 127 Minutes

Starring: Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones, Sela Ward, Joe Pantoliano, Jeroen Krabbé

Director: Andrew Davis

 

This 1993 box-office smash partly adheres to the 1960s TV series on which it is based and partly goes off on several tangents of its own. Harrison Ford stars as Dr. Richard Kimble, convicted of murdering his wife. While being transferred to prison by bus, Kimble is involved in a spectacular bus-train collision (one of the best of its kind ever filmed). Surviving the disaster, Kimble escapes, vowing to track down the elusive professional criminal whom he holds responsible for the murder. Dogging the fugitive every foot of the way is U.S. marshal Sam Gerard (an Oscar-winning turn by Tommy Lee Jones), who announces his intention to search "every whorehouse, doghouse, and outhouse" to bring Kimble to justice. Unlike his dour TV-series counterpart Barry Morse, Jones plays the role with a sardonic sense of humor: when a cornered Kimble screams, "I didn't kill my wife," Gerard shrugs and famously replies, "I don't care." Once the premise has been established, scripters Jeb Stuart and David Twohy and director Andrew Davis pull off several audacious plot twists, ranging from Kimble's rendezvous with a sympathetic lab technician to a jaw-dropping dive into a huge waterfall. The second half of the film offers one surprise after another (including the true identity of the murderer), brilliantly avoiding the letdown that plagues many movie adaptations of old TV series.

 

55        U.S. MARSHALS; 1998., 133 Minutes

Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Wesley Snipes, Robert Downey, Jr., Kate Nelligan, Joe Pantoliano

Director: Stuart Baird

 

Tommy Lee Jones returns as United States Marshall Sam Gerard, the role that earned him an Academy Award, in this sequel to the 1993 blockbuster The Fugitive. Gerard has been assigned to escort a federal prisoner to a maximum security prison in Missouri. On the same flight is Mark Sheridan (Wesley Snipes), who has been convicted of the murders of two Federal agents, though he insists he's innocent. The plane is involved in an accident leading to a crash, and after helping to rescue some of the passengers, Sheridan escapes. The State Department informs Gerard that finding Sheridan and putting him back behind bars is a top priority, and Gerard sets out on his trail, with the very much uncalled-for assistance of eccentric FBI agent John Royce (Robert Downey Jr.). However, Gerard soon begins to wonder just how Sheridan became such an important man in the eyes of the government, while Sheridan is determined to find out who turned him in to the authorities. U.S. Marshals also features Joe Pantoliano, Daniel Roebuck, and Kate Nelligan.

 

56        GET OVER IT; 2001., 87 Minutes

Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Ben Foster, Melissa Sagemiller, Sisqo, Shane West,

Director: Tommy O'Haver

 

Ben Foster stars in this teenage comedy as Berke Landers, an average high schooler who has achieved high status by winning over Allison (Melissa Sagemiller), reputed to be the most popular and beautiful girl in his class. After an initially winning time, Allison finds herself drawn to the hot new guy in school, leaving Berke in the lurch. At the risk of ruining his unsteady reputation, Berke concocts a scheme for getting Allison back: he will join the school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream and prove his romanticism to her. Realizing he needs an effective acting coach, he turns to Kelly (Kirsten Dunst), who was once the annoying little sister of a best friend and has suddenly blossomed into a grownup -- to whom Berke finds himself drawn. Berke must then decide if getting Allison back is the ultimate priority, as he falls for the more sensible Kelly, all while trying to maintain a credible presence both in school and in his new acting gig. Get Over It also features R&B singer Sisqo, comedian Martin Short, and Shane West in supporting roles.

 

57        GLADIATOR - 2000., 154 Minutes

Starring: Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Oliver Reed, Derek Jacobi,

Director: Ridley Scott

 

A man robbed of his name and his dignity strives to win them back, and gain the freedom of his people, in this epic historical drama from director Ridley Scott. In the year 180, the death of emperor Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris) throws the Roman Empire into chaos. Maximus (Russell Crowe), one of the Roman army's most capable and trusted generals and a key advisor to the emperor, is stripped of his rank and sold into slavery, as Marcus's devious son Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) ascends to the throne. Renamed Narcissus and forced to become a gladiator, Maximus must battle to the death with other men for the amusement of paying audiences. His battle skills serve him well, and he becomes one of the most famous and admired men to fight in the Coliseum. Determined to avenge himself against the man who took away his freedom and laid waste to his family, Maximus believes that he can use his fame and skill in the ring to lead the people of Rome to overthrow their tyrannical leader. As the gladiator begins to challenge his rule, Commodus decides to put his own fighting mettle to the test by squaring off with Maximus in a battle to the death. Gladiator also features Derek Jacobi, Connie Nielsen, Djimon Hounsou, and Oliver Reed, who died of a heart attack midway through production.

 

58        GODZILLA; 1998., 133 Minutes

Director: Roland Emmerich

 

Dr. Niko Tatopoulos ....  Matthew Broderick 

Philippe Roache ....  Jean Reno 

Audrey Timmonds ....  Maria Pitillo 

Victor "Animal" Palotti ....  Hank Azaria 

 

As the monster makes its way towards New York, Dr. Niko Tatopoulos is called in to study the massive footprints left behind by the monster. Things quickly get out of hand as Godzilla rips New York to pieces and there is nothing the military or any one else seems to be able to do about it.

 

Matthew's character gets re-involved with an old flame administrative assistant (Maria Pitillo) working at News 12 in New York aspiring to be a reporter. The mayor of New York City Ebert, along with his campaign partner Gene, try to turn the tragic series of events into an opportunity for re-election. A French insurance agent (Jean Reno) has mysterious motives in also trying to find out Godzilla's agenda. Finally, a fellow reporter from News 12 (Hank Azaria) risks his life, along with the old flame, to get the full expose on Godzilla, at whatever costs it takes (job, friends, and life).

 

59        GONE IN 60 SECONDS - 2000., 117 Minutes

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Angelina Jolie, Robert Duvall

Director: H.B. Halicki, Dominic Sena

 

In this action thriller, a master car thief has his skills pushed to the limit. Randall "Memphis" Raines (Nicolas Cage) can steal practically any car that crosses his path. While he has done well in his life of crime, he knows that there's a short future in theft, and he wants to get out of the business. But his retirement plans are interrupted when his younger brother Kip (Giovanni Ribisi) gets in trouble with a dangerous crime boss. To get his brother out of harm's way, Randall agrees to a profitable but risky scheme to steal 50 luxury cars in one night, with the help of several other car thieves, including Sara "Sway" Wayland (Angelina Jolie). A rival group of thieves is trying to pull the same stunt at the same time, and Detectives Castlebeck (Delroy Lindo) and Drycoff (Timothy Olyphant) are trying to shut both operations down. Also starring Robert Duvall as Otto Halliwell, and Scott Caan as Tumbler, Gone in Sixty Seconds is a remake of the 1974 low-budget action hit of the same name, best remembered for a 40-minute chase scene in which 90 cars were destroyed.

60        THE GOONIES; 1985., 114 minutes

Cast: Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen, Corey Feldman, Jonathan Ke Quan, Kerri Green, Martha Plimpton, Anne Ramsey, John Matuszak, Robert Davi, Joe Pantoliano

Director: Richard Donner

 

The Goonies stumble upon a treasure map hidden in an attic and set off on the adventure of a lifetime in order to save their community from demolition.

61        HANNIBAL; 2001., 131 Minutes

Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Julianne Moore, Ray Liotta, Frankie R. Faison, Giancarlo Giannini

Director: Ridley Scott

 

Based on the controversial sequel novel of the same name, Hannibal is the much-anticipated follow-up to the Oscar-winning The Silence of the Lambs (1991). Anthony Hopkins returns as Dr. Hannibal Lecter, one of the world's most cunning and feared serial killers, who resurfaces after a decade in hiding to toy with FBI agent Clarice Starling (Julianne Moore). As Starling's career flounders thanks to a drug bust gone wrong, Lecter attempts to elude a greedy Italian police detective (Giancarlo Giannini) who's willing to alert the authorities to his presence in Florence for a price. In the meantime, a maimed but wealthy former victim of Lecter's named Mason Verger (Gary Oldman) plots to get his revenge on the doctor in a most unusual and grisly fashion. The novel by Thomas Harris was adapted for director Ridley Scott by David Mamet and Steven Zaillian

 

62        HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE; 2001., 147 Minutes

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint,Emma Watson,Robbie Coltrane  

Director: Chris Columbus

 

Here's an event movie that holds up to being an event. This filmed version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, adapted from the wildly popular book by J.K. Rowling, stunningly brings to life Harry Potter's world of Hogwarts, the school for young witches and wizards. The greatest strength of the film comes from its faithfulness to the novel, and this new cinematic world is filled with all the details of Rowling's imagination, thanks to exuberant sets, elaborate costumes, clever makeup and visual effects, and a creme de la creme cast, including Maggie Smith, Richard Harris, Alan Rickman, and more. Especially fine is the interplay between Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and his schoolmates Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson), as well as his protector, the looming Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane). The second-half adventure--involving the titular sorcerer's stone--doesn't translate perfectly from page to screen, ultimately because of the film's fidelity to the novel; this is a case of making a movie for the book's fans, as opposed to a transcending film. Writer Steve Kloves and director Chris Columbus keep the spooks in check, making this a true family film, and with its resourceful hero wide-eyed and ready, one can't wait for Harry's return. Ages 8 and up.

 

63        HARRY POTTER II: HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS; 2002., 161 Minutes

Directed by: Chris Columbus

 

Daniel Radcliffe ....  Harry Potter

Emma Watson ....  Hermione Granger

Rupert Grint ....  Ron Weasley

Richard Griffiths ....  Uncle Vernon

Fiona Shaw ....  Aunt Petunia

Harry Melling ....  Dudley Dursley

Toby Jones ....  Dobby (voice)

Veronica Clifford ....  Mrs. Mason

James Phelps ....  Fred Weasley

Oliver Phelps ....  George Weasley

Julie Walters ....  Mrs. Weasley

Bonnie Wright ....  Ginny Weasley

Mark Williams ....  Mr. Weasley

Chris Rankin ....  Percy Weasley

Tom Felton ....  Draco Malfoy

 

Harry Potter is in his second year of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He is visited by a house-elf named Dobby and warned not to go back to Hogwarts. Harry ignores his warning, and returns. He is still famous, although still disliked by Snape, Malfoy, and the rest of the Slytherins. But then, strange things start to happen. People are becoming petrified, and no-one knows what is doing it. Harry keeps hearing a voice.. a voice which seems to be coming from within the walls. They are told the story of the Chamber of Secrets. It is said that only Salazar Slytherin's true descendent will be able to open it. Harry, it turns out, is a Parsel-tongue. This means that he is able to speak/understand snakes. Everyone thinks that it's him that has opened the Chamber of Secrets because that is what Slytherin was famous for.

 

64        HEARTBREAK RIDGE; 1986., 124 Minutes

Starring: Clint Eastwood, Marsha Mason,

Director: Clint Eastwood

 

The controversial, Reagan-era invasion of Grenada by U.S. troops is, oddly enough, at the center of this initially interesting story of a seasoned Marine sergeant (Clint Eastwood) routinely insulted by younger officers for being a symbol of the war that America "lost" in Vietnam. Looking for both a victory and a little redemption, Eastwood's character trains a squadron of scrappy pups and turns them into fighting grunts, just in time to follow White House orders and take the little island. Marsha Mason plays Eastwood's love interest, and Mario Van Peebles is funny as an undisciplined con artist who joins Clint's men and finally catches the spirit after getting his butt kicked a few times.

65        HEAT; 1995., 172 Minutes

Starring: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Jon Voight, Tom Sizemore

Director: Michael Mann

 

A successful career criminal considers getting out of the business after one last score, while an obsessive cop desperately tries to put him behind bars in this intelligent thriller written and directed by Michael Mann. Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro) is a thief who specializes in big, risky jobs, such as banks and armored cars. He's very good at what he does; he's bright, methodical, and has honed his skills as a thief at the expense of his personal life, vowing never to get involved in a relationship from which he couldn't walk away in 30 seconds. Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino) is an L.A.P.D. detective determined to catch McCauley, but while McCauley's personal code has forced him to do without a wife and children, Hanna's dedication has made a wreck of the home he's tried to have; he's been divorced twice, he's all but a stranger to his third wife, and he has no idea how to reach out to his troubled step-daughter. While McCauley has enough money to retire and is planning to move to New Zealand, he loves the thrill of robbery as much as the profit, and is blocking out plans for one more job; meanwhile, he's met a woman, Eady (Amy Brenneman), whom he's not so sure he can walk away from. The supporting cast includes Val Kilmer as Chris, one of McCauley's partners; Ashley Judd as his girlfriend Charlene; Jon Voight as Nate; Hank Azaria as Alan Marciano; and Henry Rollins as Hugh, who is beaten up by Hanna.

 

66        HIGH FIDELITY; 2000., 113 Minutes

Starring: Jack Black, Lisa Bonet, Ben Carr, Joelle Carter, John Cusack

Director: Stephen Frears

 

A man discovers that there's more to love than a good mix tape in this dramatic comedy about music and relationships. Rob (John Cusack), an obsessive record collector in his mid-30s, is struggling to reconcile his adolescent enthusiasm for pop music with adult responsibilities and a more mature outlook. He runs a record shop with his friends Barry (Jack Black) and Dick (Todd Louiso), who are known to drive away customers whose taste in music doesn't match their exacting standards -- which may have something to do with why the shop is losing money. However, Rob's biggest problem is his failing relationship with Laura (Iben Hjejle), a lawyer who needs more out of the relationship than Rob is capable of giving. To Rob's horror, Laura starts dating Ian (Tim Robbins), his upstairs neighbor, known throughout the building for his long and noisy sex sessions. Rob, on the other hand, finds himself catching the attention of singer/songwriter Marie (Lisa Bonet), as he tries to deal with his breakup by tracking down his previous ex-girlfriends and taking a fresh look at what he‘s been doing wrong. Based on the acclaimed novel by Nick Hornby, High Fidelity also features Catherine Zeta-Jones, Lili Taylor, and Natasha Gregson Wagner as three of Rob exes, and Sara Gilbert as Dick's new girlfriend, who gets a crash course in UK punk bands who influenced Green Day.

 

67        MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL; 1974, 89 Minutes

Starring: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones

Director: Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones

 

From its opening multi-language titles (that sure looks like Swedish) to the closing arrest of the entire Dark Ages cast by modern-day bobbies, Monty Python & the Holy Grail has "comedy cult classic" written all over it. This time the Pythonites savage the legend of King Arthur, juxtaposing some excellently selected exterior locations with an unending stream of anachronistic one-liners, non sequiturs, and slapstick set pieces. The Knights of the Round Table set off in search of the Holy Grail on foot, as their lackeys make clippety-clop sounds with coconut shells. A plague-ridden community, ringing with the cry of "bring out your dead," offers its hale and hearty citizens to the body piles. A wedding of convenience is attacked by Arthur's minions while the pasty-faced groom continually attempts to burst into song. The good guys are nearly thwarted by the dreaded, tree-shaped "Knights who Say Ni!" A feisty enemy warrior, bloodily shorn of his arms and legs in the thick of battle, threatens to bite off his opponent's kneecap. A French military officer shouts such taunts as "I fart in your general direction" and "I wave my private parts at your aunties." Rabbits are a particular obsession of the writers this time around, ranging from the huge Trojan Rabbit to the "killer bunny" that decapitates one of the knights. Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin collaborated on the script and assumed most of the onscreen roles, while Gilliam and Jones served as co-directors.

 

68        HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN 10 DAYS; 2003., 116 Minutes

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Kate Hudson, Adam Goldberg, Thomas Lennon, Michael Michele | Directed by: Donald Petrie

Director: Donald Petrie

 

Andie is a writer who works at a woman's magazine but longs to write about something more substantial like politics and the environment but her boss won't let her. Ben works in advertising, and he has suggested to his boss that they go after a diamond merchant, which he agrees but is considering giving to two female employees, Spears and Green, cause he feels that it neeeds the feminine touch. Andie's friend announces at a meeting that she's been dumped, and their boss comes up with the idea of writing an article about how one goes about getting a guy to leave or dump them. Andie agrees to do it on the condition that she be allowed to write what she wants to write and her boss says yes. Now Spears and Green were at the magazine trying to court them to join their agency and hear about Andie's assignment. Later that evening, Ben meets with his boss and the girls and insists that he be allowed to handle the account of the diamond merchant. In the end the girls bet Ben that if he could get a girl to fall in love with him in 10 days, he can handle the account. And the girls pick Andie, who was there looking for her subject, and knowing about her article, they knew that she will do everything possible to turn him off. And she does but Ben endures everything she does, and she finds herself falling for him.

69        I SPY; 2002., 95 Minutes

Starring: Eddie Murphy, Owen Wilson, Famke Janssen, Malcolm McDowell, Gary Cole

Director: Betty Thomas

 

Alexander Scott (Wilson) is a Bureau of National Security agent, who, in between assigments, is simultaneously envious of fellow superspy Carlos (Gary Cole) and his gadgets, and in love with the sexy Rachel (Famke Janssen). Kelly Robinson (Murphy) is a world boxing champion who is enlisted by the US president to help out on a special mission. Scott and Robinson join forces with Rachel to determine the location of a stealth jet that has been acquired by Gundars (Malcolm McDowell), a shadowy operator in Budapest, Hungary. What follows is a hilarious set of misadventures as Scott and Robinson fumble their way around the city, trying to escape being killed by the enemy, and also trying not to kill each other.

 

70        ICE AGE; 2002., 85 Minutes

Starring: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Goran Visnjic, Jack Black

Director: Carlos Saldanha, Chris Wedge

 

A team of "sub-zero heroes" band together to save a human infant in this digitally animated feature from Oscar-winning director Chris Wedge, whose unique lighting software (called "Ray Tracing") sets his visual style apart from earlier CGI efforts. Twenty thousand years ago, the Earth is overrun by freezing temperatures in an Ice Age that is sending all manner of critters scattering in the path of encroaching glaciers. When a lost human infant is discovered, an unlikely quartet of misfits forms to return it to its mother: Manny, a depressed woolly mammoth (Ray Romano); Sid, a fast-talking sloth (John Leguizamo); an acorn-crazed squirrel named Scrat (Wedge); and the devilish saber-toothed tiger named Diego (Denis Leary). Before they can complete their mission, the reluctant compatriots will brave pits of boiling lava, dangerous caverns of ice, and even a traitorous plot within their midst. Ice Age (2002) also features the voices of Jack Black, Jane Krakowski, and Goran Visnjic.

 

71        INDEPENDENCE DAY; 1996., 145 Minutes

Starring: Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Mary McDonnell, Judd Hirsch

Director: Roland Emmerich

 

A group of intrepid humans attempts to save the Earth from vicious extraterrestrials in this extremely popular science-fiction adventure. Borrowing liberally from War of the Worlds, Aliens, and every sci-fi invasion film inbetween, director Roland Emmerich and producer and co-writer Dean Devlin present a visually slick, fast-paced adventure filled with expensive special effects and large-scale action sequences. The story begins with the approach of a series of massive spaceships, which many on Earth greet with open arms, looking forward to the first contact with alien life. Unfortunately, these extraterrestrials have not come in peace, and they unleash powerful weapons that destroy most of the world's major cities. Thrown into chaos, the survivors struggle to band together and put up a last-ditch resistance in order to save the human race. As this is a Hollywood film, this effort is led by a group of scrappy Americans, including a computer genius who had foreseen the alien's evil intent (Jeff Goldblum), a hot-shot jet pilot (Will Smith), and the President of the United States (Bill Pullman). While some critics objected to the film's lack of originality and lapses in logic, the combination of grand visual spectacle and crowd-pleasing storytelling proved irresistable to audiences, resulting in an international smash hit.

 

75        INNERSPACE; 1987., 120 Minutes

Director: Joe Dante

 

Dennis Quaid  - Lt. Tuck Pendelton

Martin Short  - Jack Putter

Meg Ryan  - Lydia Maxwell

Kevin McCarthy  - Victor Scrimshaw

Fiona Lewis  - Dr. Margaret Canker

Henry Gibson  - Mr. Wormwood

Vernon Wells  - Mr. Igoe

Robert Picardo  - The Cowboy

Wendy Schaal  - Wendy

Harold Sylvester  - Peter Blanchard

William Schallert  - Dr. Greenbush

John Hora  - Ozzie Wexler

Mark L. Taylor  - Dr. Niles

Orson Bean  - Lydia's Editor

Kevin Hooks  - Duane

Kathleen Freeman  - Dream Lady

 

Director Joe Dante infuses this science fiction comedy with the visual razzle-dazzle and manic, goofball performances typical of his cartoon-inspired sensibilities. Navy test pilot Lt. Tuck Pendleton (Dennis Quaid) has volunteered for a highly dangerous medical experiment. A submersible craft, with Tuck at the controls, is to be shrunk down to molecular size and inserted into the body of a living rabbit. If successful, the test could result in radical breakthroughs in surgical techniques, but some high-tech thieves attempt to steal Tuck and his ship while both are in miniature form. Enter Jack Putter (Martin Short), a mild-mannered, hypochondriac retail store clerk, a nerd who suddenly finds himself injected with Tuck and his tiny ship. Now poor Jack's got to rise above his mundane existence to help an American hero get back to safety, while also trying to reunite Tuck with his beautiful estranged girlfriend Lydia (Meg Ryan). Innerspace (1987) won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.

Essentially a visually sophisticated update of Robert Fleischer's Fantastic Voyage (1966), Innerspace is a wacky sci-fi treat that looks like oodles of fun for both the performers and the Oscar-winning special effects department. There's something inherently watchable about the "oops, we're headed straight for the gall bladder!" emergencies of this story matter, and it gives Martin Short a license to be physically scattershot — something the audience doesn't always grant him so willingly. Dennis Quaid's hotshot pilot is key to setting Joe Dante's grinning tone; his wisecracks under duress keep the movie humming along at the level of screwball comedy, in which nothing really bad can happen. The giddy "reality on hold" mindset of Innerspace is a logical offshoot from Dante's Gremlins, though the director is migrating from comic fantasy to fantastic comedy. That he helped direct the episodic parody Amazon Women on the Moon the same year suggests his increasing fondness for the ridiculous. The shrunken production design and weightless sensibilities of Innerspace likely helped inspire Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, which would turn size altering into a franchise two years later.

 

77        JAMES BOND 007: DR. NO; 1962., 111 Minutes

Director: Terence Young

 

Sean Connery  - James Bond

Ursula Andress  - Honey Ryder

Joseph Wiseman  - Dr. No

Jack Lord  - Felix Leiter

Bernard Lee  - M

Zena Marshall  - Miss Taro

Anthony Dawson  - Prof. Dent

John Kitzmiller  - Quarrel

Eunice Gayson  - Sylvia

Lois Maxwell  - Miss Moneypenny

Margaret LeWars  - Photographer

Yvonne Shima  - Sister Lily

Reggie Carter  - Jones

Lester Prendergast  - Pussfeller

Peter Burton  - Maj. Boothroyd

 

Terrence Young directed this first of a long line of screen adventures with Ian Fleming's unflappable British Secret Service Agent 007 in a fast-paced, tongue-in-cheek style that set the tone for the rest of the popular series. Sean Connery sets the standard by which all future takers must measure themselves as the insouciant and devil-may-care James Bond. The story concerns Bond being sent to Jamaica to investigate the murders of a British agent and his secretary. During his investigation, he comes into contact with the evil and unscrupulous Chinese scientist Dr. No (Joseph Wiseman) who, living on an island called Crab Key, is hard at work in a nuclear laboratory. Dr. No's scheme is to divert rockets being fired from Cape Canaveral off their charted course and to blackmail the United States to get their rocket launches restored to normal. Helping Bond is Ursula Andress (mostly undressed in a bikini throughout most of the film), as well as bad gals like Zena Marshall — who almost leads Bond to his death in he bedroom — and Eunice Gayson — a Bond pickup in a London gambling house who proves herself a greater adversary than even James Bond can handle.

 

78        JAMES BOND 007: FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE; 1963.,  125 Minutes

 

Director: Terence Young

Sean Connery  - James Bond

Daniela Bianchi  - Tania Romanova

Pedro Armendariz  - Kerim Bey

Lotte Lenya  - Rosa Klebb

Robert Shaw  - Red Grant

Bernard Lee  - M

Eunice Gayson  - Sylvia

Walter Gotell  - Morzeny

Francis de Wolff  - Vavra

George Pastell  - Train Conductor

Nadja Regin  - Kerim's Girl

Lois Maxwell  - Miss Moneypenny

Jan Williams  - Masseuse

Neville Jason  - Kerim's Chauffeur

Martine Beswicke  - Zora

Peter Brayham  - Rhoda

 

From Russia With Love, the second in the series of James Bond films, is the film that solidifies all the Bond film elements into a formula — the action sequences are intensified and lend greater tension to the proceedings; John Barry's inimitable score makes its first appearance; Q is seen for the first time; and Sean Connery as Bond has nailed down his role as 007 — accentuating Bond's stylishness and sophistication, while toning down his cold-bloodedness. In From Russia With Love, the bad guys don't want to take over the world. They want something more mundane — a Russian decoding device. Assigned to the mission of stealing the decoding device are #3, former KGB agent Rosa Klebb (Lotte Lenya), and #5, Kronsteen (Vladek Sheybal), an expert chess player who has plotted every move of the mission. Kronsteen's plan requires using Bond's weakness for women as an element in acquiring the decoding device. Once Bond obtains the decoding device from Russian cipher clerk Tatiana Romanova (Daniela Bianchi), SPECTRE muscleman Red Grant (Robert Shaw) is to forcibly take it from Bond and kill him. But Bond suspects a trap. Being Bond, however, he can't resist the lure of a beautiful woman. So, flaunting danger, Bond travels to Istanbul to meet Tatiana. The centerpiece of this 007 feature is the thrilling fight to the death between Bond and enemy agent Red Grant (Shaw) aboard the Orient Express.

Perhaps the definitive James Bond film, From Russia with Love firmly established the series' now-familiar combination of outrageous action, femme fatales, fantastic gadgetry, and tongue-in-cheek suavity. Sean Connery deepens his Bond characterization, imbuing the persona with the smirky confidence that future audiences would come to expect. Director Terence Young's climactic showdown is one of the best action sequences of its kind, with thrilling combat choreography and expert editing. Though Dr. No may have been the first Bond film, Russia marked the inaugural appearance of the hip, flashy credit sequence, as well as Desmond Llewelyn in the role of Q. All in all, Russia is one of the sharpest entries in the perennially popular franchise.

 

79        JAMES BOND 007: GOLDFINGER: 1964., 117 Minutes

Director:  Guy Hamilton

 

Sean Connery  - James Bond

Gert Fröbe  - Auric Goldfinger

Honor Blackman  - Pussy Galore

Shirley Eaton  - Jill Masterson

Bernard Lee  - M

Lois Maxwell  - Miss Moneypenny

Desmond Llewelyn  - Q

Harold Sakata  - Odd Job

Tania Mallet  - Tilly Masterson

Austin Willis  - Simmons

Cec Linder  - Felix Leiter

Martin Benson  - Solo

Bill Nagy  - Midnight

Alf Joint  - Capungo

Nadja Regin  - Bonita

 

With Goldfinger, the James Bond series took a turn away from relatively straightforward spy thrillers and toward campy gadgetry, extravagant sets, and kitschy jokes. The final result was one of the best and most endearing 007 movies. Bond (Sean Connery) has to prevent a notorious gold smuggler, appropriately named Goldfinger (Gert Frobe), from robbing Fort Knox. Goldfinger is surrounded by evil henchmen, such as the sexy female pilot Pussy Galore (Honor Blackman) and Oddjob (Harold Sakata), who kills with his steel-rimmed bowler hats. In order to stop Goldfinger, Bond has to survive several perilous situations, including a huge, deadly laser. Goldfinger is one of the most popular films in the James Bond series, and it set the tone not only for the rest of the series but also for most of the action/adventure films of the late '60s and early '70s. — Stephen Thomas Erlewine

The third film in the remarkably durable franchise, Goldfinger (1964) set the gold standard (naturally) for future James Bond adventures. With the films' signature elements firmly entrenched — including globe-trotting story, salacious credits sequence, Q's exasperation, and 007's phenomenal abilities with women and antagonists — Goldfinger began to up the ante. Bond's well-equipped Aston-Martin and Goldfinger's elaborate Fort Knox model presaged future technical extravagance, while Bond's near castration via giant laser was one more sign of the series' humorous self-awareness. Loquacious villain Auric Goldfinger, lethally hat-throwing Oddjob, and inimitably named Bond girl Pussy Galore were already outrageously tongue-in-cheek baddies long before Mike Myers parodied them in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997). Dispatching enemies, making puns, and seducing females with equal aplomb, tough-yet-debonair Sean Connery gracefully walked the line between straight-up action hero and sly burlesque, offering further evidence as to why he would be the definitive 007. Building on its predecessors' success, Goldfinger swiftly became one of the most popular films of 1964 (and Shirley Bassey's Goldfinger theme a hit single), leading the way for flashier Bond spectaculars. — Lucia Bozzola

 

80        JAMES BOND 007: THUNDERBALL; 1965., 130 Minutes

Directed by: Terence Young

 

Sean Connery ....  James Bond

Claudine Auger ....  Domino

Adolfo Celi ....  Emilio Largo

Luciana Paluzzi ....  Fiona Volpe

Rik Van Nutter ....  Felix Leiter

Guy Doleman ....  Count Lippe

Molly Peters ....  Patricia Fearing

Martine Beswick ....  Paula Caplan

Bernard Lee ....  M

Desmond Llewelyn ....  Q

Lois Maxwell ....  Moneypenny

Roland Culver ....  Foreign Secretary

Earl Cameron ....  Pinder Romania

Paul Stassino ....  Maj. Francois Derval/Angelo Palazzi

Rose Alba ....  Madame Boitier

 

In a bold and deadly scheme, the evil SPECTRE organization hijacks a NATO plane and seizes two atomic warheads, each capable of killing millions of innocent people. As the world is held hostage by the threat of a nuclear nightmare, Bond jumps into action, racing against the clock as the trail leads him to tropical Nassau. There he meets Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi), a high-ranking agent of SPECTRE, and the stunning Domino (Claudine Auger), with whom he shares an irresistible attraction. The confrontation builds to an epic battle on the ocean floor, as Bond and his allies fight to avert a catastrophe of immense proportions.

 

81        JAMES BOND 007: YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE; 1967., 125 Minutes

Director: Lewis Gilbert

 

Sean Connery  - James Bond

Akiko Wakabayashi  - Aki

Tetsuro Tamba  - Tiger Tanaka

Mie Hama  - Kissy Suzuki

Teru Shimada  - Mr. Osato

Karin Dor  - Helga Brandt

Donald Pleasence  - Ernst Stavro Blofeld

Lois Maxwell  - Miss Moneypenny

Desmond Llewelyn  - Q

Charles Gray  - Henderson

Tsai Chin  - Chinese Girl

Bernard Lee  - "M"

John Stone  - Submarine Captain

George Roubicek  - Astronaut - 2nd American Spacecraft

Daivd Toguri  - Assassin (Bedroom)

Jeanne Roland  - Bond's Masseuse

 

James Bond heads East to save the world (and to learn how to serve saki properly) in this action-packed espionage adventure. When an American spacecraft disappears during a mission, it's widely believed to have been intercepted by the Soviet Union, and after a Russian space capsule similarly goes missing, most consider it to be an act of American retaliation. Soon the two nations are at the brink of war, but British intelligence discovers that some sort of UFO has crashed into the Sea of Japan. Agent 007, James Bond (Sean Connery) is sent in to investigate. After staging his own death to avoid being followed, Bond, disguised as a Japanese civilian, teams up with agent Tiger Tanaka (Tetsuro Tamba) and his beautiful associate Aki (Akiko Wakabayashi). With their help, Bond learns that both the American and Russian space missions were actually scuttled by supercriminal Ernst Blofeld (Donald Pleasance) in yet another bid by his evil empire SPECTRE to take over the world. As he battles the bad guys, Bond finds time to romance both Kissy Suziki (Mie Hama) and Helga Brandt (Karin Dor). You Only Live Twice was one of Sean Connery's last outings as James Bond. The next Bond film, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, would star George Lazenby as 007, and while Connery would return for Diamonds Are Forever, in 1973, Roger Moore took over the role. (Connery would play Bond one last time, in 1983's Never Say Never Again, which was produced outside the official series.) — Mark Deming

The fifth of Sean Connery's James Bond films, You Only Live Twice is another entertaining winner that rides the coattails of the Scot's charming screen presence. On this outing, Connery plays the super-spy with more poise and humor than menace, perhaps a symptom of Connery's growing dissatisfaction with the role. The film itself is different in tone from the earlier entries: as directed by Lewis Gilbert, it's grander and more elaborate than any Bond film before it, as evidenced by the climactic fight scene in a dormant volcano, of all places. In this respect, You Only Live Twice marks a shift away from the earnest espionage thrills of the earlier Bond films toward the over-the-top camp phenomenon quality of the later efforts. As with any high-quality Bond movie, You Only Live Twice features a memorably sinister villain: in this case, Donald Pleasance's Blofeld, inaugurating the trademark white cat-petting bad guy.

 

82        ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE; 1969., 140 Minutes

Directed by: Peter R. Hunt

 

Cast overview: 

George Lazenby ....  James Bond

Diana Rigg ....  Tracy

Telly Savalas ....  Ernst Stavro Blofeld

Gabriele Ferzetti ....  Draco

Ilse Steppat ....  Irma Bunt

Lois Maxwell ....  Miss Moneypenny

George Baker  ....  Sir Hilary Bray

Bernard Lee  ....  M

Bernard Horsfall ....  Campbell

Desmond Llewelyn ....  Q

Yuri Borionko ....  Grunther (as Yuri Borienko)

Virginia North ....  Olympe

Geoffrey Cheshire ....  Toussaint

Irvin Allen ....  Che Che

Terence Mountain ....  Raphael (as Terry Mountain)

 

Whilst on leave, British agent James Bond prevents a young woman, Tracy Draco, from committing suicide. Her father is the head of a powerful crime syndicate who is impressed by Bond and wants him to protect his daughter by marrying her. In exchange he offers Bond information which will lead 007 to his arch enemy Ernst Blofeld. At first Bond agrees to the deal purely to fulfil his objective to kill Blofeld but later he grows to love Tracy but when the British learn that Blofeld plans to destroy mankind with a deadly virus, 007 is torn between his loyalty to his county and his intent to marry Tracy.

 

83        JAMES BOND 007: DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER; 1971.; 121 Minutes

Directed by: Guy Hamilton

 

Cast overview: 

Sean Connery ....  James Bond

Jill St. John ....  Tiffany Case

Charles Gray  ....  Ernst Stavro Blofeld

Lana Wood ....  Plenty O'Toole

Jimmy Dean ....  Willard Whyte

Bruce Cabot  ....  Albert R. 'Bert' Saxby

Putter Smith ....  Mr. Kidd

Bruce Glover ....  Mr. Wint

Norman Burton ....  Felix Leiter

Joseph Fürst ....  Prof. Dr. Metz (as Joseph Furst)

Bernard Lee  ....  M

Desmond Llewelyn ....  Q

Leonard Barr  ....  Shady Tree

Lois Maxwell ....  Miss Moneypenny

Margaret Lacey ....  Mrs. Whistler

 

When the British Government suspect the existence of a world-wide diamond smuggling operation, James Bond is called in to investigate. He soon discovers the extent of the problem and travels to America where a millionaire casino owner is suspected to be behind it all. However, when the casino owner turns out to be none other than Ernst Stavro Blofeld, 007 knows exactly what he must do. Especially when some of the world's most powerful weapons are involved - and two of the three stooges!

 

84        JAMES BOND 007: LIVE AND LET DIE; 1973., 121 Minutes

Director: Guy Hamilton

Roger Moore  - James Bond

Yaphet Kotto  - Kananga/Mr. Big

Jane Seymour  - Solitaire

Clifton James  - Sheriff

Julius Harris  - Tee

Geoffrey Holder  - Baron Samedi

Bernard Lee  - M

Madeline Smith  - Beautiful Girl

Lon Satton  - Strutter

Lois Maxwell  - Moneypenny

 

Roger Moore makes his first appearance as "Bond...James Bond" in 1973's Live and Let Die. Bond is dispatched to the States to stem the activities of Mr. Big (Yaphet Kotto), who plans to take over the Western Hemisphere by converting everyone into heroin addicts. The woman in the case is Solitaire (Jane Seymour in her movie debut), an enigmatic interpreter of tarot cards. The obligatory destructive-chase sequence occurs at the film's midpoint, with Bond being chased in a motorboat by Mr. Big's henchmen, slashing his way through the marshlands and smashing up a wedding party. Clifton James makes the first of several Bond appearances as redneck sheriff Pepper, while Geoffrey Holder is an enthusiastic secondary villain. The title song, written by Paul McCartney and Lisa McCartney, provides the frosting on this 007 confection. — Hal Erickson

 

Roger Moore's debut as James Bond has action and style to spare, but sadly falls short in the areas of story and pacing. Tom Mankiewicz's script creates an interesting villain in Kananga and starts off with an exciting barrage of action scenes, but seems to lose its way as it hits the midway point, failing to come up with an inspired motive for Kananga's villainous actions and neglecting to create set pieces that live up to the excitement of the first half. A bigger problem is that the story deviates too far from the usual Bond story line to create a mish-mash that borrows too heavily from the popular genres of its time. The drug-smuggling angle of the script could have come from any blaxploitation film of the era and a lengthy New Orleans-set boat chase in the second hour abruptly and unconvincingly detours the film into goofy Smokey and the Bandit territory (complete with a silly redneck sheriff). Despite these problems, Live and Let Die remains watchable thanks to efficient direction from Guy Hamilton that makes the most of the script's action opportunities. The best moment in this vein is a hair-raising scene where Bond has to escape from a tiny sandbar that is surrounded by a squad of hungry alligators. Live and Let Die further benefits from the committed work of a game cast. Moore brings an appealing dry wit to the character of James Bond and Yaphet Kotto delivers an appropriately forceful performance as Kananga. In the end, Live and Let Die is probably a bit too dated and inconsistent for the casual viewer, but offers enough inspired moments to make it worthwhile for the hardcore James Bond fan. — Donald Guarisco

 

85        JAMES BOND 007: THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN; 1974., 125 Minutes

Directed by: Guy Hamilton

 

Cast overview: 

Roger Moore ....  James Bond

Christopher Lee ....  Francisco Scaramanga

Britt Ekland ....  Mary Goodnight

Maud Adams ....  Andrea Anders

Hervé Villechaize ....  Nick Nack (as Herve Villechaize)

Clifton James ....  Sheriff J.W. Pepper

Richard Loo ....  Hai Fat

Soon-Tek Oh ....  Lieutenant Hip (as Soon-Taik Oh)

Marc Lawrence ....  Rodney

Bernard Lee  ....  M

Lois Maxwell ....  Miss Moneypenny

Marne Maitland ....  Lazar

Desmond Llewelyn ....  Q

James Cossins ....  Colthorpe

Chan Yiu Lam ....  Chula

 

Scaramanga is a hit-man who charges a million dollars per job. He becomes linked to the death of a scientist working on a powerful solar cell, and James Bond is called in to investigate. As he tracks down Scaramanga, he realises that he is highly respected by the killer, but will this prove to be an advantage in the final showdown?

 

86        JAMES BOND 007: THE SPY WHO LOVED ME; 1977., 125 Minutes

Directed by: Lewis Gilbert

 

Cast overview: 

Roger Moore ....  James Bond

Barbara Bach ....  Major Anya Amasova (Agent XXX)

Curd Jürgens ....  Karl Stromberg (as Curt Jurgens)

Richard Kiel ....  Jaws

Caroline Munro ....  Naomi

Walter Gotell ....  General Anatol Gogol

Geoffrey Keen ....  Sir Frederick Gray, Minister of Defence

Bernard Lee (I) ....  M

George Baker (I) ....  Captain Benson

Michael Billington ....  Sergei Borzov

Olga Bisera ....  Felicca

Desmond Llewelyn ....  Q

Edward de Souza ....  Sheikh Hoseim

Vernon Dobtcheff ....  Max Kalba

 

Both the British and Russians are amazed when a submarine from each country disappears and the only link is a microfilm detailing the movements of the British submarine meaning that somehow a submarine can be tracked via it's "wake". The British sends agent James Bond and the Russians send Major Anya Amasova, otherwise known as "Triple-X". After first fighting against each other over the microfilm, the two agents are ordered to work together against the real enemy, mad shipping billionaire Carl Stromberg who plans to use the submarines to destroy the world via nuclear missiles so that any survivors are forced to live in Stromberg's dream world beneath the sea. However James must also defend himself against Anya as she finds out that James had killed her lover on a previous mission...

 

87        JAMES BOND 007: MOONRAKER; 1979., 136 Minutes

Director:Lewis Gilbert

Roger Moore  - James Bond

Lois Chiles  - Holly Goodhead

Michel Lonsdale  - Hugo Drax

Richard Kiel  - Jaws

Bernard Lee  - "M"

Corinne Clery  - Corinne Dufour

Geoffrey Keen  - Frederick Gray

Desmond Llewelyn  - Q

Lois Maxwell  - Miss Moneypenny

 

Ian Fleming's 1955. James Bond novel Moonraker concerned itself with an experimental spaceship controlled by a megalomaniac. The 1979 film version of Moonraker pays lip service to the original plot, adding an up-to-date space travel wrinkle. This time, Bond (Roger Moore) must thwart the plans of Sir Hugo Drax (Michael Lonsdale) to destroy the earth with an atomic-powered rocket. On surface level, Drax's scheme seems self-defeating, but he intends to raise a race of supermen on a distant planet. The girl in the case is American secret-agent Holly Goodhead, intelligently played by Lois Chiles. "Jaws," the steel-mouthed henchman played by Richard Kiel in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), makes a return appearance in Moonraker, turning good-guy (complete with a girl friend of his own) in the process. Bernard Lee makes his last appearance as "M" in this most costly of James Bond's 1970s escapades.

 

 

88        JAMES BOND 007: FOR YOUR EYES ONLY; 1981., 127 Minutes

Directed by: John Glen

 

Cast overview: 

Roger Moore ....  James Bond

Carole Bouquet ....  Melina Havelock

Topol ....  Milos Columbo

Lynn-Holly Johnson ....  Bibi Dahl

Julian Glover ....  Aristotle Kristatos

Cassandra Harris ....  Countess Lisl von Schlaf

Jill Bennett  ....  Jacoba Brink

Michael Gothard ....  Emile Leopold Locque

John Wyman ....  Eric Kriegler

Jack Hedley ....  Sir Timothy Havelock

Lois Maxwell ....  Miss Moneypenny

Desmond Llewelyn ....  Q

Geoffrey Keen ....  Sir Frederick Gray, Minister of Defence

Walter Gotell ....  General Anatol Gogol

James Villiers ....  Bill Tanner, Chief of Staff

 

James Bond Adventure. A British spy-ship, the St. Georges, accidently hits a mine and sinks near a Warsaw Pact country. On aboard is ATAC, a communications device that could order Western subs to attack friendly areas. 007 is sent to recover the ATAC and the Russians, interested in getting ATAC, send a message to their local "contact". Bond's investigations leads to Greece and he meets Melina Havelock, out for revenge, as the "Contact" has had her parents murdered. Bond also meets Aristotle Kristatos and Milos Colombo (known as "The Dove") and evidence leads that one of them is the Russian's "Contact" but both accuses the other. Melina and Bond sets out to recover the ATAC and not only goes up against the "Contract" but also against Bibi, a young ice-skater, who has a major crush on 007...

 

89        JAMES BOND 007: OCTOPUSSY; 1983., 131 Minutes

Directed by: John Glen

 

Cast overview: 

Roger Moore ....  James Bond

Maud Adams ....  Octopussy

Louis Jourdan  ....  Kamal Khan

Kristina Wayborn ....  Magda

Kabir Bedi ....  Gobinda

Steven Berkoff ....  Orlov

David Meyer ....  Mischka

Tony Meyer  ....  Grischka (as Anthony Meyer)

Desmond Llewelyn ....  Q

Robert Brown  ....  M

Lois Maxwell ....  Miss Moneypenny

Michaela Clavell ....  Penelope Smallbone

Walter Gotell ....  General Anatol Gogol

Vijay Amritraj ....  Vijay

Albert Moses  ....  Sadruddin

 

Bond is sent on a mission to discover how another, dying, '00' agent crashes through the British Embassy's window with a fake Faberge egg in his hand. He discovers that its not only him thats interested in the real egg when it is put up for auction and is bought by rich exiled Indian Prince, Kamal Khan. Bond's suspicions deepen when Kamal Khan meets with General Orlov, an insane Russian General who desires to conquer Europe as well as faking Russia's Art Treasures as Russia's Government plans to disarm its weapons. 007 discovers that both Orlov and Khan plan to blow a nuclear device in an American Air Force Base. Connecting Orlov, Khan and Bond is the beautiful but mysterious female smuggler known only as 'Octopussy' but will she help or kill Bond...

90        JAMES BOND 007: VIEW TO A KILL; 1985., 131 Minutes

Directed by: John Glen

 

Roger Moore ....  James Bond

Christopher Walken ....  Maximillion 'Max' Zorin

Tanya Roberts ....  Stacey Sutton

Grace Jones ....  May Day

Patrick Macnee ....  Sir Godfrey Tibbett

Patrick Bauchau ....  Scarpine

David Yip ....  Chuck Lee

Fiona Fullerton ....  Pola Ivanova

Manning Redwood ....  Bob Conley

Alison Doody ....  Jenny Flex

Willoughby Gray ....  Dr. Carl Mortner/Hans Glaub

Desmond Llewelyn ....  Q

Robert Brown  ....  M

Lois Maxwell ....  Miss Moneypenny

 

When Bond is sent to investigate a security leak at the high-tech Zorin Industries, he discovers a hotbed of murder and deception. The company's mysterious owner, Max Zorin (Christopher Walken) has devised a plan to corner the world microchip market, even if he has to kill millions to do it! But before Bond can stop Zorin, he must confront the madman's beautiful and deadly companion May Day (Grace Jones). With help from the gorgeous Stacey (Tanya Roberts), Bond will launch an all-out assault on Zorin's deadly scheme, climaxing in a spine-tingling duel on the upper spans of the Golden Gate Bridge.

 

92        JAMES BOND 007: LICENCE TO KILL; 1989., 133 Minutes

Directed by: John Glen

 

Timothy Dalton ....  James Bond

Carey Lowell ....  Pam Bouvier

Robert Davi ....  Franz Sanchez

Talisa Soto ....  Lupe Lamora

Anthony Zerbe ....  Milton Krest

Frank McRae ....  Sharkey

Everett McGill ....  Ed Killifer

Wayne Newton ....  Professor Joe Butcher

Benicio Del Toro ....  Dario

Anthony Starke ....  Truman-Lodge

Pedro Armendáriz Jr. ....  President Hector Lopez (as Pedro Armendariz)

Desmond Llewelyn ....  Q

David Hedison ....  Felix Leiter

Priscilla Barnes ....  Della Churchill

Robert Brown ....  M

 

When drug lord Franz Sanchez (Robert Davi) exacts his brutal vengeance on Bond's friend Felix Leiter (David Hedison), 007 resigns from the British Secret Service and begins a fierce vendetta against the master criminal. Bond won't be satisfied until Sanchez is defeated, and to accomplish this aim he allies himself with a beautiful pilot (Carey Lowell) and Sanchez's sexy girldfriend (Talisa Soto). But Bond, relegated to outlaw status, must battle agents on both sides of the law as he discovers the horrifying extent of his prey's resources. In order to bring Sanchez down, Bond must survive a ferocious boat chase, a midair brawl over the controls of an out-of-control airplane, and an action-packed confrontation in the Mexico desert.

 

93        JAMES BOND 007: GOLDENEYE; 1995., 130 Minutes

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Sean Bean, Izabella Scorupco, Famke Janssen, Joe Don Baker

Director: Martin Campbell

 

Pierce Brosnan made his first appearance as James Bond in this action thriller, the 18th in the series featuring the suave British super-agent. As the story begins, Agent 007 and his partner Agent 006 (Sean Bean) pull a daring raid on a chemical weapons plant in the Soviet Union. However, they are captured by Russian troops, and while Bond is able to escape, 006 is not so lucky. Several years later, the Soviet Union and the Cold War are a thing of the past, but Bond is still at work ferreting out evildoers everywhere. Xenia Onatopp (Famke Janssen), a beautiful but vicious villain working with the Russian Mafia, spearheads the theft of the controls to GoldenEye, a high-tech satellite weapons system, and with her gunmen, she kills most of the soldiers and guards at a top-secret military facility in the process. Bond joins forces with Natalya Simonova (Izabella Scorupco), one of the base's few survivors, to help track down Onatopp's minions and the controls to GoldenEye, which can destroy all electronic circuits in a given area in a matter of seconds. However, in time, Bond discovers the true identity of the criminal mastermind who is behind this bid for unholy power and world domination -- none other than Alec Trevelyan, the man Bond once knew as 006. In addition to Brosnan, GoldenEye also marked another significant cast change for the Bond series -- Judi Dench made her debut as M, Bond's superior. Minnie Driver also has a cameo as a nightclub singer. Sadly, this was the last film in the Bond series for special effects supervisor Derek Meddings, who died in the midst of production; the film was dedicated to him.

 

94        JAMES BOND 007: TOMORROW NEVER DIES; 1997., 119 Minutes

Director: Roger Spottiswoode

Pierce Brosnan  - James Bond

Jonathan Pryce  - Elliot Carver

Michelle Yeoh  - Wai Lin

Teri Hatcher  - Paris Carver

Joe Don Baker  - Wade

Ricky Jay  - Henry Gupta

Götz Otto  - Stamper

Judi Dench  - M

Desmond Llewelyn  - Q

Vincent Schiavelli  - Dr. Kaufman

Geoffrey Palmer  - Admiral Roebuck

Colin Salmon  - Robinson

Samantha Bond  - Moneypenny

 

 

Roger Spottiswoode (Air America) directed this 18th chapter in the 35-year-old James Bond series. James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) learns billionaire media mogul Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce) is manipulating world events via an exclusive flow of information through his satellite system reaching all corners of the planet. With a stealth battleship sinking a British naval vessel, Carver sees that the Chinese are blamed. Crashing Carver's party in Hamburg, Bond meets "journalist" Wai Lin (Michelle Yeoh), later revealed as a Chinese agent. In a brief tryst, Bond renews his past relationship with Carver's wife Paris (Teri Hatcher). Carver dispatches Stamper (Gotz Otto) and other goons to cancel Bond, who eludes attackers with some of his new gadgets. In Southeast Asia, after Bond and Wai Lin scuba dive into the sunken British ship, they are captured by Stamper, handcuffed, and taken to Saigon where they make a motorcycle escape. To thwart Carver's plans for WWIII, the two agents head for Carver's stealth ship where a cruise missile is aimed at Beijing. Principal photography began April 1, 1997 in the new Eon Productions studio facility at Frogmore, northwest of London, and on the 007 stage at Pinewood Studios. Locations included the UK, Hamburg, Southeast Asia, Mexico, and off the Florida coast. The trademark Bond pre-title sequence was filmed in the French Pyrenees snowfields, centered around one of the few high-altitude operational airfields in Europe. — Bhob Stewart

 

This 18th James Bond film returns the character to his usual behavior following the more politically correct Goldeneye. The double-entendres and smarmy sexual innuendos are back, as is Pierce Brosnan, this time battling a crazed media mogul (Jonathan Pryce) intent on starting a war between England and China so he can cover it on his global satellite network. Michelle Yeoh scores points as a beautiful Chinese agent, Pryce is wonderfully nutty, and the stunts are a lot of fun. This entry should please Bond fans who enjoy the campier films in the series (The Man With the Golden Gun, for example) more than those looking for high tension, as Roger Spottiswoode directs with tongue firmly in cheek. — Robert Firsching

 

95        JAMES BOND 007: THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH; 1999.; 123 Minutes

Directed by: Michael Apted

 

Cast overview: 

Pierce Brosnan ....  James Bond

Sophie Marceau ....  Elektra King

Robert Carlyle ....  Victor 'Renard' Zokas

Denise Richards ....  Dr. Christmas Jones

Robbie Coltrane ....  Valentin Dmitrovich Zukovsky

Judi Dench ....  M

Desmond Llewelyn ....  Q

John Cleese ....  R

Maria Grazia Cucinotta ....  Julietta the Cigar Girl

Samantha Bond (I) ....  Miss Moneypenny

Michael Kitchen ....  Chief of Staff William 'Bill' Tanner

Colin Salmon ....  Charles Robinson

Goldie (II) ....  Mr. Bullion

David Calder ....  Sir Robert King

Serena Scott Thomas ....  Dr. Molly Warmflash

 

After British oil tycoon Sir Robert King is killed in a bombing at the MI6 headquarters, his daughter, Elektra, inherits his fortune which includes billions of dollars worth of oil deposits in the Caspian Sea...and James Bond as a Bond guard. Her new wealth attracts international interest. But she has also attracted the attention of her father's killer. His name is Renard. A bullet lodged in his brain has rendered him unable to feel physical pain, and he has but only one reason left to live - revenge. There's only one man who can take the heat between a beautiful heiress, a malicious sociopath, and his final diabolical plan. For the world's most famous secret agent, when the stakes are high and the danger hits too close to home, it is not just professional; its personal!

 

96        JAMES BOND 007: DIE ANOTHER DAY; 2002.; 132 Minutes

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Halle Berry, Rosamund Pike, Toby Stephens, Rick Yune, Judi Dench, John Cleese, Samantha Bond, Kenneth Tsang, Will Yun Lee

Director: Lee Tamahori

 

The venerable James Bond series gears up for another outing, its twentieth. Following a three year hiatus, Pierce Brosnan is back as the suave British secret agent, once again courting danger, beautiful women, and driving sleek Aston Martins equipped with all sorts of gadgets and weapons. It's good to know the formula hasn't changed, with Die Another Day having its share of outrageous one-liners and action sequences. But the film lacks spark and sizzle, and the use of some horrid computer graphics makes one yearn for the grit of Sean Connery or the humour of Roger Moore.

The movie starts with the obligatory pre-credits action sequence. Bond (Brosnan) infiltrates a North Korean diamond smuggling and terrorist operation, headed by Colonel Moon (Will Yun Lee) and his henchman, Zao (Rick Yune). When he realises he is the pawn in an international prisoner swap, Bond escapes and seeks revenge against Zao. He chases him to Cuba, where he encounters the sultry Jinx (Halle Berry), who has an agenda of her own, and then back to London, where he meets the flamboyant and rich Gustav Graves (Toby Stephens) and his assistant, the mysterious Miranda Frost (Rosamund Pike). From there, the action moves to Iceland, where Graves has been secretly building a diamond studded satellite that can harness the sun's power and melt anything in the world. It's up to Bond to stop him, of course, with the help of a souped-up Aston Martin provided by Q (John Cleese).

 

98        KEVIN AND PERRY GO LARGE; 2000., 82 Minutes

Starring: Starring: Harry Enfield, Kathy Burke, Rhys Ifans, Laura Fraser, Tabitha Wady, James Fleet, Louisa Rix, Paul Whitehouse

Director: Ed Bye

 

Harry Enfield and Kathy Burke star once again as Kevin and Perry, the English teenagers whose only concern is doing it. The teenage DJs decide they want to go to Ibiza to lose their shameful virginity to anyone willing, but find that they must raise the money to make the trip in order to go. Kevin (Harry Enfield) shortens his and Perry's (Kathy Burke) efforts by capturing a bank robber and so the two are rewarded by Kevin's parents, the Patterson's, with their trip with only one snag - they go too. Once there, complications arise as the two meet the girls of their dreams and fall in love with them. However, the two find a backdoor to their sweethearts when they make friends with the local DJ and open the doors of opportunity when the DJ eyeball Paul is willing to play the teenagers' record at his club. Kevin and Perry see their mix as an opportunity to impress the girls and persuade eyeball Paul to play their record at humiliating costs.

 

99        KISS THE GIRLS; 1997., 120 Minutes

Starring: Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Cary Elwes, Tony Goldwyn, Jay O. Sanders

Director: Gary Fleder

 

This thriller is adapted from the 1995 novel by James Patterson about a serial killer prowling a Southern university. Washington, D.C., forensic psychologist Dr. Alex Cross (Morgan Freeman) is also a best-selling author. After his niece Naomi (Gina Ravera) is reported missing, he heads his Porsche for Durham, North Carolina, where eight young women have been reported missing. Bodies are found by local policemen (Cary Elwes and Alex McArthur), along with the killer's signature, "Casanova." Casanova is a "collector" of strong-willed women who are forced to submit to his demands. Soon, local doctor Kate McTiernan (Ashley Judd) is abducted from her home and taken to a dungeon -- where other women are imprisoned in underground chambers. After McTiernan succeeds in escaping, she joins Cross and other detectives in the search for Casanova -- a trail that leads to Los Angeles, where similar crimes are being committed by someone known as "The Gentleman Caller." Are these two criminals in competition with each other or are they working together?

 

100      Kung Pow, 2002., 81 Minutes

Starring: Steve Oedekerk, Fei Lung, Leo Lee

Director: Steve Oedekerk

 

Writer, director, and star Steve Oedekerk lampoons the martial arts genre with this action spoof that digitally mixes new scenes with poorly dubbed footage from the vintage 1976 film Savage Killers. Oedekerk stars as "the Chosen One," a kung-fu prodigy even from the womb, who grows up to seek vengeance on the evil, legendary "Master Pain" (aka Betty), who murdered his parents. Along the way, he is aided in his quest by the kindly, wizened Master Tang as well as Whoa (Jennifer Tung), a karate queen with a cleavage problem. The Chosen One is also called upon to employ his unique fighting styles, including the "gopher," and faces not only Master Pain, but a gay henchman and the lethal lactation of a deadly, karate-chopping cow. Originally entitled "The Dubbed Action Movie," this broad parody saw its release delayed several times, finally reaching theaters two years after it was shot. Kung Pow! Enter the Fist co-stars Tad Horino and Philip Tan.

 

101      THE LAST BOY SCOUT; 1991., 105 Minutes

Starring: Bruce Willis, Damon Wayans, Chelsea Field, Noble Willingham, Taylor Negron

Director: Tony Scott

 

Producer Joel Silver, director Tony Scott, and screenwriters Shane Black and Greg Hicks team up for this gridiron-set action thriller. Bruce Willis stars as Joe Hallenbeck, who was once a top-of-the-line Secret Service agent but has since become an alcoholic, flea-bag detective. While performing the chores of a two-bit shamus, he discovers his wife Sarah (Chelsea Field) is having an affair with his best friend. Joe is hired to protect Cory (Halle Berry), a stripper who has been getting death threats; Joe begins to sober up when Cory is blow to smithereens. Cory's boyfriend, Jimmy Dix (Damon Wayans), was at one time a NFL football quarterback, but was thrown out of the game for gambling and addiction to Demerol. Smelling something fishy, Joe and Jimmy begin to investigate further and discover layers of corruption in professional football circles, leading up to Sheldon Marcone (Noble Willingham), a corrupt team owner who wants to pay off legislators to legalize gambling on pro football games.

 

102      LETHAL WEAPON 1; 1987., 110 Minutes

Starring: Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Gary Busey, Mitchell Ryan, Tom Atkins

Director: Richard Donner

 

LA cop Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson), whose wife has recently died, is a loose cannon with a seeming death wish. This makes him indispensable in collaring dangerous criminals, but a liability to any potential partners. Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover), a conservative family man who wants to stay alive for his upcoming 50th birthday, is partnered with Riggs. As Riggs gets to know Murtaugh and his family, he begins to mellow, though his insistence on using guerilla tactics to catch criminals is still (put mildly) above and beyond the call of duty. The main villain is The General (Mitchell Ryan), a drug dealer responsible for the death of the daughter of one of Murtaugh's oldest friends. The General is also in charge of a deadly, militia-like gang of smugglers. Adding fuel to the fire is The General's chief henchman, played with all stops out by Gary Busey. Moviegoers familiar only with the relatively tongue-in-cheek Lethal Weapon sequels may be amazed to find out how dangerous and unpredictable Riggs is in the first Lethal Weapon -- and how likely it seems that Murtaugh might not survive until fade-out time.

 

103      LETHAL WEAPON 2; 1989., 114 Minutes

Starring: Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Joe Pesci, Joss Ackland, Derrick O'Connor

Director: Richard Donner

 

In many ways superior to its predecessor Lethal Weapon, Lethal Weapon 2 reteams Mel Gibson and Danny Glover as, respectively, "loose cannon" LA detective Martin Riggs and Riggs' cautious family-man partner Roger Murtaugh. The villain this time is a South African diplomat (Joss Ackland) who doubles as a drug dealer. Though Riggs knows what's going on thanks to characterless character witness Joe Pesci, he can't touch the villain because of "diplomatic immunity." After perils too numerous to mention, Riggs and Murtaugh shoot it out with the heavies on the deck of a South African cargo ship. The film sometimes strains credulity to the breaking point, notably by having lead villain Joss Ackland turn out to be the same man who killed Mel Gibson's wife in the first Lethal Weapon (this plot point seems to have been inserted with a squeegie). Still, Lethal Weapon 2 contains one of the best--and funniest--suspense scenes ever filmed: Mel Gibson agonizingly attempting to extricate a terrified Danny Glover from a booby-trapped toilet seat. Gibson, Glover and Joe Pesci would be reunited three years later for the equally entertaining Lethal Weapon 3.

 

104      LETHAL WEAPON 3; 1992., 118 Minutes

Starring: Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Joe Pesci, Rene Russo, Stuart Wilson

Director: Richard Donner

 

Superstars Mel Gibson and Danny Glover return with director Richard Donner for Lethal Weapon 3, the third in the phenomenally successful action series. In this film, Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) is only eight days away from retirement and his partner Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) once again manages to get them both into hot water with the both LAPD and the bad guys, who this time are Jack Travis (Stuart Wilson) and a gang of hoodlums selling armor-piercing bullets. Joe Pesci returns as the fast-talking schmuck Leo Getz. A new addition to the cast is Rene Russo as Lorna Cole, a sergeant from internal affairs sent to investigate Riggs and Murtaugh, but who ultimately ends up falling in love with the caffienated Riggs.

 

 

105      LETHAL WEAPON 4; 1998., 127 Minutes

Starring: Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Joe Pesci, Rene Russo, Chris Rock

Director: Richard Donner

 

Detectives Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) and Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) reteamed for their fourth foray together in this buddy-cop action-comedy series based on characters created by Shane Black. With the passage of years, Murtagh's daughter Rianne (Traci Wolfe) is now about to upgrade Murtagh to grandfather status, while Riggs' relationship with Internal Affairs officer Lorna Cole (Rene Russo) means he'll become a proud papa. Elsewhere on the family front, Chinese triad members in Los Angeles smuggle families from the mainland, but this is only one item on the criminal agenda of triad leader Wah Sing Ku (Jet Li), who executes balletic martial arts maneuvers with blinding speed (fight sequences were staged by Hong Kong director Corey Yuen). The film opens with fire (when Riggs and Murtaugh encounter a flame-thrower in a bulletproof suit) and travels an entertaining popcorn plot path to a frightening, watery climax (which we won't reveal here). In between, Riggs and Murtaugh tackle the troublesome triads with an assist from wickedly witty, sharp-edged newcomer Lee Butters (Chris Rock) and private detective Leo Getz (Joe Pesci), the character first seen as a mob accountant in the second film of this highly popular series.

 

106      LIFE OF BRIAN; 1979., 94 Minutes

Director: Terry Jones

Starring: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle

 

A beautiful film, a perfect comedy, and a gentle triumph of silliness over pomposity, self-importance, and intolerance - "Life of Brian" could be the best British comedy ever.

In Judea, a mother tends her newborn child. Lo, from the east three wise men appear to pay tribute to the infant - but they want the stable next door: this is Brian Cohen not Jesus Christ! Rolling forward 33 years, Brian joins the People's Front of Judea, a wannabe terrorist cell out to undermine the occupying Romans. Brian gets roped into their plot to kidnap Pontius Pilate's wife but they run into another terrorist gang on the same mission and everyone is captured while squabbling among themselves.

 

107      LORD OF THE RINGS: PART I - THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING; 2001., 208 Minutes - EXTENDED VERSION

Directed by: Peter Jackson

 

Cast overview: 

Elijah Wood ....  Frodo Baggins

Ian McKellen ....  Gandalf the Grey

Viggo Mortensen ....  Aragorn/Strider

Sean Astin ....  Samwise 'Sam' Gamgee

Cate Blanchett ....  Galadriel, Lady of the Galadrhim/Narrator

Sean Bean ....  Boromir

Liv Tyler ....  Arwen

John Rhys-Davies ....  Gimli

Billy Boyd ....  Peregrin 'Pippin' Took

Dominic Monaghan ....  Meriadoc 'Merry' Brandybuck

Orlando Bloom ....  Legolas Greenleaf

Christopher Lee ....  Saruman the White

Hugo Weaving ....  Elrond

Ian Holm ....  Bilbo Baggins

Andy Serkis ....  Gollum/Sméagol

 

An ancient Ring thought lost for centuries has been found, and through a strange twist in fate has been given to a small Hobbit named Frodo. When Gandalf discovers the Ring is in fact the One Ring of the Dark Lord Sauron, Frodo must make an epic quest to the Cracks of Doom in order to destroy it! However he does not go alone. He is joined by Gandalf, Legolas the elf, Gimli the Dwarf, Aragorn, Boromir and his three Hobbit friends Merry, Pippin and Samwise. Through mountains, snow, darkness, forests, rivers and plains, facing evil and danger at every corner the Fellowship of the Ring must go. Their quest to destroy the One Ring is the only hope for the end of the Dark Lords reign!

 

4xcd!

108      THE LORD OF THE RINGS: PART II - THE TWO TOWERS, 2002., 179 Minutes

Starring Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin,

John Rhys-Davies, Orlando Bloom, Bernard Hill, Miranda Otto,

Dominic Monaghan, Billy Boyd, Liv Tyler and David Wenham

Director Peter Jackson

 

The Two Towers gets off to a quicker start than Fellowship of the Ring, because the story is already in motion. We're just picking up on events that have been established. The first hour has more action scenes than the whole of Fellowship, but there are still heavy plot developments in the three hour span. Two more major battles come in the 2nd and 3rd acts, and those offer both huge displays of battle and individual moments, like Legolas surfing down the stairs during the Battle of Helms Deep. Now that the Fellowship is divided, there are several plot threads. Going back and forth at just the right moments, it's easy to follow them. The whole interrelated story is still tough, but you'll see this more than once anyway.

 

109      MAD MAX; 1979., 93 Minutes

Starring: Mel Gibson, Joanne Samuel, Hugh Keays-Byme, Steve Bisley, Roger Ward

Director: George Miller

 

This stunning, post-apocalyptic action thriller from director George Miller stars Mel Gibson as Max Rockatansky, a motorcycle policeman in the near future who is tired of his job. Since the apocalypse, the lengthy, desolate stretches of highway in the Australian outback have become bloodstained battlegrounds. Max has seen too many innocents and fellow officers murdered by the bomb's savage offspring, bestial marauding bikers for whom killing, rape, and looting is a way of life. He just wants to retire and spend time with his wife and son but lets his boss talk him into taking a peaceful vacation and starts to reconsider. Then his world is shattered as a gang led by the evil Toecutter (Hugh Keays-Byrne) murders his family in retaliation for the death of one of its members. Dead inside, Max straps on his helmet and climbs into a souped-up V-8 racing machine to seek his bloody revenge. Despite an obviously low budget and a plot reminiscent of many spaghetti westerns, Mad Max is tremendously exciting, thanks to some of the most spectacular road stunts ever put on film. Cinematographer David Eggby and stunt coordinator Grant Page did some of their best work under Miller's direction, and crafted a gritty, gripping thrill ride which spawned two sequels, numerous imitations, and made Mel Gibson an international star. One sequence, in which a man is chained to a car and must cut off a limb before the machine explodes is one of the most tense scenes of the decade. The American version dubbed all the voices -- including Gibson's -- in a particularly cartoonish manner. Trivia buffs should note that Max's car is a 1973 Ford Falcon GT Coupe with a 300bhp 351C V-8 engine, customized with the front end of a Ford Fairmont and other modifications.

 

110      MAD MAX 2 - THE ROAD WARRIOR -  1981., 96 Minutes

Starring: Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Michael Preston, Max Phipps

Director: George Miller

 

Max is a loner, traveling the forsaken highway in search of gas and food, which is usually in the form of Alpo. As he goes about his business, he decides to enter the conflict and turn a profit while doing so. Along the way, he meets up with an autogyro flying toady, a wilding, boomerang throwing kid, and all sorts of assorted lowlife, doom-sayers, and of course, really cool, gas guzzling eight cylinder cars,

Mel Gibson is very good and believable as Max; the stunts are spectacular, with elaborate vehicle-jumping fights, and multi-car accidents; and the direction is in a flat-out style that keeps the whole experience chugging along at about a hundred miles per hour. So, if you're thinking of going to see that water-logged piece of whale pucky, don't. Rent "The Road Warrior" and you'll have a much better time.

 

111      MAD MAX 3 - BEYOND THUNDERDOME; 1985., 107 Minutes

Starring: Mel Gibson, Tina Turner, Angelo Rossitto, Helen Buday, Bruce Spence,

Director: George Miller, George Ogilvie

 

George Miller and George Ogilvie co-directed this ambitious, visually elaborate third entry in the Mad Max series. Max (Mel Gibson) comes to the city of Bartertown (impressively rendered by a top-notch team of designers) to find some stolen possessions. In the city, he is caught up in a struggle between the city's ruler, the flamboyant Aunty Entity (Tina Turner), and the powerful duo of Master-Blaster. Master (Angelo Rossitto) is a dwarf whose technological genius operates Bartertown, and he rides on the shoulders of a hulking protector named Blaster (Paul Larsson). Max must eventually fight to the death in Bartertown's spectacular gladiatorial arena, known as Thunderdome.

 

112      The Matrix - 1999., 136 Minutes

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Gloria Foster,

Director: Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski

 

What if virtual reality wasn't just for fun, but was being used to imprison you? That's the dilemma that faces mild-mannered computer jockey Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves) in The Matrix. It's the year 2070, and Anderson works in a cubicle, manning a computer and doing a little hacking on the side. It's while engaged in the latter activity that Thomas makes the acquaintance of Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), who has some interesting news for Mr. Anderson -- none of what's going on around him is real. It seems Thomas, like most people, is a victim of The Matrix, a massive artificial intelligence system that has tapped into people's minds and created the illusion of a real world, while using their brains and bodies for energy, tossing them away like spent batteries when they're through. Morpheus, however, is convinced Thomas is "Neo," the "one" who can crack open The Matrix and bring his people to both physical and psychological freedom. The Matrix is the second feature film from the sibling writer/director team of Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski, who made an impressive debut with the stylish erotic crime thriller Bound.

 

115      MAVERICK: 1994., 129 Minutes

Starring: Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, James Garner, Graham Greene, James Coburn,

Director: Richard Donner

 

A gunslinging con man develops a tricky scheme to make a killing at a major poker tournament in this comic Western inspired by the popular television show. Mel Gibson assumes the role of Bret Maverick, the handsome rogue who hopes to cheat his way to success. In need of a large stake to enter a major card competition on a Louisiana steamboat, Maverick decides to take advantage of a few small-town poker players. These include the seemingly sweet Annabelle Bransford (Jodie Foster) and the intimidating Angel (Alfred Molina), neither of whom is too happy about their loss. Things become even more complicated for Maverick when the law gets involved, with Marshal Zane Cooper (James Garner, who played the role of Maverick in the original television series) giving chase. A series of stagecoach chases, complicated cons, and gun battles ensues, with Annabelle and Maverick finding time for plenty of flirtation along the way.

 

116      THE MEANING OF LIFE; 1979., 93 Minutes

Director: Terry Jones

Starring: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle

 

From birth to death, this is a hilarious view at the time we spend inbetween. The established cast of actors, in and out of drag, poke fun at everything from religion to vital organ transplants. My favorite scene is where "the fattest man in the world" pigs out at a fancy restaurant and eventually explodes to the disgust of the other guests. Another good one is where 3 couples at a house party get a visit from the grim reaper and give him several clever arguments befor finally following him to heaven. This is The Monty Python Gang at their very best. The little ditty at the end of the movie is priceless! This film is an absolute must for fans (but then again, if you're a fan, you've already seen it anyway). Five stars for this one!

 

117      MEMENTO:2000., 108 Minutes

Starring: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss 

Director: Christopher Nolan

 

Guy Pearce (L.A. Confidential) and Joe Pantoliano (The Matrix) shine in this absolute stunner of a movie. Memento combines a bold, mind-bending script with compelling action and virtuoso performances. Pearce plays Leonard Shelby, hunting down the man who raped and murdered his wife. The problem is that "the incident" that robbed Leonard of his wife also stole his ability to make new memories. Unable to retain a location, a face, or a new clue on his own, Leonard continues his search with the help of notes, Polaroids, and even homemade tattoos for vital information.

Because of his condition, Leonard essentially lives his life in short, present-tense segments, with no clear idea of what's just happened to him. That's where Memento gets really interesting; the story begins at the end, and the movie jumps backward in 10-minute segments. The suspense of the movie lies not in discovering what happens, but in finding out why it happened. Amazingly, the movie achieves edge-of-your-seat excitement even as it moves backward in time, and it keeps the mind hopping as cause and effect are pieced together.

 

Pearce captures Leonard perfectly, conveying both the tragic romance of his quest and his wry humor in dealing with his condition. He is bolstered by several excellent supporting players, and the movie is all but stolen from him by Pantoliano, who delivers an amazing performance as Teddy, the guy who may or may not be on his side. Memento has an intriguing structure and even meditations on the nature of perception and meaning of life if you go looking for them, but it also functions just as well as a completely absorbing thriller. It's rare to find a movie this exciting with so much intelligence behind it.

 

118      Men In Black; 1997., 98 Minutes

Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Linda Fiorentino, Vincent D'Onofrio, Rip Torn

Director: Barry Sonnenfeld

 

For his fifth effort as a feature film director, one-time cinematographer Barry Sonnenfeld brought his cartoonish visual style and darkly humorous sensibilities to this adaptation of, appropriately enough, a tongue-in-cheek sci-fi comic book. Will Smith stars as James Darrel Edwards, a New York City cop with an athletic physique and a flippant, anti-authoritarian attitude toward law enforcement. After chasing down a mysterious perpetrator one night who turns out to be an alien, James is recruited by “K” (Tommy Lee Jones), a veteran of a clandestine government agency secretly policing the comings and goings of aliens on planet Earth. Nicknamed the “men in black” for their nondescript uniform of black suit, shoes, tie and sunglasses, the agents are assigned to recover a bauble that's been stolen by an intergalactic terrorist (Vincent D'Onofrio). It seems the item is none other than the galaxy itself, and its theft has plunged humanity into the center of what's shaping up to become an interstellar war, unless K and his new wisecracking partner, now renamed “J,” can stop the bad guy. On their side but somewhat in the dark is a pretty, unflappable city medical examiner (Linda Fiorentino) who has been zapped one too many times by K's ingenious memory-sapping device. Men in Black was a box office smash, inspiring an animated children's television series and a hit soundtrack album that featured a performance by star and former rap singer Smith.

 

119      MEN IN BLACK II; 2002., 88 Minutes

Directed by: Barry Sonnenfeld

 

Cast overview: 

Tommy Lee Jones ....  Agent K

Will Smith ....  Agent J

Rosario Dawson ....  Laura Vasquez

Lara Flynn Boyle ....  Serleena

Johnny Knoxville ....  Scrad/Charlie

Rip Torn ....  Zed

Tony Shalhoub ....  Jack Jeebs

Patrick Warburton ....  Agent T

Jack Kehler ....  Ben

David Cross ....  Newton

Colombe Jacobsen-Derstine ....  Hailey (as Colombe Jacobsen)

 

It has been four years since the alien-seeking agents averted an intergalactic disaster of epic proportions. Kay has since returned to the comforts of civilian life while Jay continues to work for the Men in Black, the highly funded yet unofficial government agency that regulates all things alien on earth. While investigating a seemingly routine crime, Jay uncovers a diabolical plot masterminded by Serleena, an evil Kylothian monster who disguises herself as a sexy lingerie model. It's a race against the clock as Jay must convince Kay--who not only has no memory of his time spent with the agency, but is also the only person alive who has the expertise to save the galaxy--to reunite with the MIB before Earth is destroyed completely.

 

120      MINORITY REPORT, 2002., 145 Minutes

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

 

Tom Cruise ....  Detective John Anderton

Max von Sydow ....  Director Lamar Burgess

Steve Harris  ....  Jad

Neal McDonough ....  Officer Gordon Fletcher

Patrick Kilpatrick ....  Officer Jeff Knott

Jessica Capshaw ....  Evanna

 

In the year 2054, a so-called "pre-crime division" is working around Washington, DC. Its purpose is to use the precog(nitive) potential of three genetically altered humans to prevent murders. When the three precogs, who only work together, floating connected in a tank of fluid, have a vision, the names of the victim and the perpetrator as well as video imagery of the crime and the exact time it will happen, are given out to the special cops who then try to prevent the crime from happening. But there is a political dilemma: If someone is arrested before he commits a murder, can the person be accused of the murder, which - because of the arrest - never took place? The project of pre-crime, at the time being in a state of trial run, is going to be voted about in the near future. If people accept it, the crime rate is going to drop drastically, but it never will be known if there might not be too many people imprisoned, some or even all of them innocent. After John Anderton lost his son to a crime a six years ago, he took up drugs, and works the precog division like nobody else. One day, his own name arrives in the "perpetrator" chute, and the precogs predict that he will kill a man he never knew in less than 36 hours. John takes off, his trust in the system diminishing rapidly. His own colleagues after him, John follows a very small trace that might hold the key to his innocence, a strange unsolved yet predicted murder and a so-called "minority report", a documentation of one of the rare events in which a precog sees something different than the other two.

 

121      MISS CONGENIALITY, 2000., 109 Minutes

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Benjamin Bratt. Michael Caine, Candice Bergen, William Shatner, Ernie Hudson, Heather Burns

Director: Donald Petrie

 

Bullock plays Gracie Hart, a tomboyish FBI agent who knows little about style, fashion or etiquette. When a bomber (known as the Citizen) mails a letter to the FBI, his/her next target is traced to the Miss USA pageant to be held in San Antonio. Hart, already in trouble with her boss McDonald (Ernie Hudson) for a bungled operation during a Russian mob sting, is assigned by agent-in-charge Eric Matthews (Benjamin Bratt) to go undercover as a contestant in the pageant, much to the dismay of co-hosts Kathy Morningside (Candice Bergen) and Stan Fields (William Shatner). Style guru Victor Melling (Michael Caine) is brought in to transform her into someone more befitting of a pageant contestant, and though the swan that emerges makes even Matthews do a double-take, she still has trouble adjusting to the catwalk and glamorous lifestyle.

 

122      MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE; 1996., 110 Minutes

Starring: Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Emmanuelle Béart, Henry Czerny, Jean Réno

Director: Brian De Palma

 

After he is framed for the death of several colleagues and falsely branded a traitor, a secret agent embarks on a daring scheme to clear his name in this spy adventure. Though it drew its name from the familiar television series, director Brian DePalma's big-budget adaptation shares little more with the original show than the occasional self-destructing message and the name of team leader Jim Phelps (Jon Voight). The film focuses not on Phelps but his protégé, Ethan Hunt (a reserved Tom Cruise), who becomes a fugitive after taking the blame for a botched operation. He responds by banding together with a group of fellow renegades, and he is soon maneuvering his way through a twisted series of double crosses that mainly serve as excuses for spectacular high-tech action sequences. Much of the activity revolves around a missing computer disk, with the film's most famous scene depicting Hunt's delicate efforts to retrieve the disk from a secure, well-alarmed room in CIA headquarters.

 

123      MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 2; 2000., 123 Minutes

Starring: Tom Cruise, Dougray Scott, Thandie Newton, Ving Rhames, Richard Roxburgh,

Director: John Woo

 

Director John Woo brings Hong Kong-style martial arts action to this comic book-flavored sequel that eschews the complicated plot and political maneuverings of its predecessor in favor of pure, adrenaline-charged thrills. Tom Cruise returns as Ethan Hunt, an operative for the top-secret government agency IMF (Impossible Missions Force). Fellow agent Sean Ambrose (Dougray Scott) has gone rogue, stealing a sample of a deadly synthetic virus named Chimera that could rapidly wipe out the world's population. Ambrose's plan is to sell Chimera to the highest bidder in exchange for shares of stock in the winner's company. Summoned by the new IMF chief (Anthony Hopkins in an uncredited cameo role), Ethan is assigned to recruit the help of Ambrose's former lover Nyah Nordoff-Hall (Thandie Newton), a gorgeous woman who left Ambrose broken-hearted and who may be able to quickly regain his confidence. Once he meets and spends a night with Nyah, however, Ethan is smitten, and now must both capture Ambrose and keep Nyah alive as she infiltrates a nest of vipers. Sophisticated disguises, gun battles, and high-speed chases are the order of the day, very much in the James Bond mold. Mission: Impossible 2 is based on a story by Star Trek: The Next Generation writers Ronald D. Moore and Brannon Braga, with a script polish by Robert Towne.

124      MONSTERS INC.; 2001., 92 Minutes

 

+ BONUS MATERIAL:

Chapter 2: Repeated Scenes

Chapter 3: Mike's New Car

Chapter 4: For The Birds

 

Starring: John Goodman, Billy Crystal, Mary Gibbs, Steve Buscemi, James Coburn

Director: Peter Docter, David Silverman, Lee Unkrich

 

After exploring the worlds of toys and bugs in the two Toy Story films and A Bug's Life, the award-winning computer animation company Pixar delves into the realm of monsters with its fourth feature. Hulking, blue-furred behemoth James P. "Sully" Sullivan (John Goodman) and his one-eyed assistant Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) are employed by Monsters, Inc., a scream processing factory. It seems that the denizens of their realm thrive on the screams of kids spooked by monsters lurking under their beds and in their closets. It's the job of Sully, Mike, and their co-workers, including sarcastic Randall Boggs (Steve Buscemi), crab-like CEO Henry J. Waternoose (James Coburn), and lovely snake-headed receptionist Celia (Jennifer Tilly) to keep the frights flowing. When Sully and Mike are followed back into the monster world by a very unafraid little human girl named Boo (Mary Gibbs), they are exiled to her universe, where they discover that such a modern-day mythological specimen as the Abominable Snowman is a fellow refugee.

125      THE MOTHMAN'S PROPHECIES; 2002., 119 Minutes

Director:Mark Pellington

 

Richard Gere  - John Klein

Laura Linney  - Connie

Will Patton  - Gordon Smallwood

Debra Messing  - Mary Klein

Lucinda Jenney  - Denise Smallwood

Alan Bates  - Alexander Leek

David Eigenberg  - Ed Fleischman

Ann McDonough  - Lucy Griffin

Nesbitt Blaisdell  - Chief Josh Jarrett

Bill Laing  - Indrid Cold

Murphy Dunne  - Gov. Rob McCallum

 

Based on a book by paranormal investigator John Keel, this spooky, X-Files-type supernatural thriller is purportedly based loosely on true events that occurred in the small town of Point Pleasant, WV, in 1966-1967. Richard Gere stars as journalist John Klein, an up-and-coming reporter devastated by the death of his beloved wife Mary (Debra Messing) following a car accident. Mary saw a mysterious vision immediately before the crash, a haunting image of a moth-like creature. Two years later, Klein is driving to an interview with the governor of Virginia when he suddenly finds himself hundreds of miles out of his way in a small town on the West Virginia-Ohio border. He discovers that strange events are occurring there, including sightings of the "mothman," as well as UFOs and bizarre alien-like telephone calls. Klein stays to investigate, despite the protests of skeptical cop Connie Parker (Laura Linney) and the initial hostility of spooked local Gordon (Will Patton). He soon discovers that sightings of the mothman are historical portents of doom and disaster, omens that may foretell a terrible cataclysm about to strike Point Pleasant. The Mothman Prophecies reunites Gere and Linney, who previously starred together in Primal Fear (1996). — Karl Williams

Intriguing real-life accounts of the supernatural become an exercise in supertedium in the leaden hands of stylist — er, director — Mark Pellington with this wintry sci-fi suspense thriller. Mothman Prophecies boasts a decent cast, some convincingly drab on-location shooting, and compellingly creepy sound design, but the entire exercise is undone by a vague, ponderous pace that effectively neuters the impact of the script's would-be freak-out set pieces. Though Richard Gere is believably tortured as a recent widower, and Laura Linney brings humanity and warmth to yet another sensible small-town character, the two never create any sparks — not with each other, nor with the unseen entity that plagues the both of them. Mothman's scares are that of the creepy phone call and the blink-and-you'll-miss-it flash of light, which may ensure a PG-13 rating, but do little to quicken the pulse. Worse yet, Pellington and screenwriter Richard Hatem only pay lip service to the plight of the West Virginian townsfolk played by Will Patton and Lucinda Jenney; the filmmakers' overall tone toward most of the supporting characters would best be described as polite condescension. When Mothman's murky, apocalyptic climax finally rolls around (at the 110-minute mark), and dozens of characters find their fates hanging in the balance, most audiences will be long past the point of caring about any of them.

 

126      MOULIN ROUGE; 2001., 126 Minutes

Starring: Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor, John Leguizamo, Jim Broadbent, Richard Roxburgh

Director: Baz Luhrmann

 

The third film from pop-music-obsessed director Baz Luhrmann tweaks the conventions of the musical genre by mixing a period romance with anachronistic dialogue and songs in the style of his previous Romeo+Juliet (1996). Ewan McGregor stars as Christian, who leaves behind his bourgeois father during the French belle époque of the late 1890s to seek his fortunes in the bohemian underworld of Montmartre, Paris. Christian meets the absinthe- and alcohol-addicted artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (John Leguizamo), who introduces him to a world of sex, drugs, music, theater, and the scandalous dance known as the cancan, all at the Moulin Rouge, a decadent dance hall, brothel, and theater that's the brainchild of Charles Zidler (Jim Broadbent). Christian also meets and falls into a tragically doomed romance with the courtesan Satine (Nicole Kidman), who becomes the star of the play he's writing, which parallels the couple's romance and utilizes rock music from a century later, including songs by Nirvana, Madonna, the Beatles, and Queen, among others. Loosely based on the opera Orpheus in the Underworld, Moulin Rouge was shown in competition at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival.

 

127      THE MUMMY; 1999., 124 Minutes

Starring: Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, Arnold Vosloo, Kevin J. O'Connor

Director: Stephen Sommers

 

Brendan Frasier, Rachel Weisz and Arnold Vosloo star in this fast-paced remake of the classic Boris Karloff film, "The Mummy". Hamunaptra-The City of the Dead, is the stuff of legends. According to legend, the ancient Egyptian pharaohs stored their wealth in an underground chamber within this city. Tales of the fabulous wealth hidden here have lured treasure-hunters from throughout the world. Despite this, few have ever found the city, leading many to believe that a legend is all that it is. Rick O'Connell (Frasier) knows differently because he has been there. He also knows that there is something besides treasure within that city, something evil...

 

128      MUMMY RETURNS; 2001., 129 Minutes

Starring: Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, Arnold Vosloo, Oded Fehr

Director: Stephen Sommers

 

This big-budget sequel from writer/director Stephen Sommers navigates much of the same cliffhanger territory as George Lucas and Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones franchise. It is 1933, eight years after the events of The Mummy (1999). Legionnaire Rick O'Connell Brendan Fraser has married his Egyptologist girlfriend Evelyn Carnahan (Rachel Weisz) and the couple has settled in London, where they're raising their young son Alex (Freddie Boath). The family's domestic tranquility is shattered when the 3,000-year-old mummified corpse of Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo), which has been shipped to the British Museum, is resurrected once again to resume his evil quest for immortality. In the meantime, another ancient threat emerges in the form of the Scorpion King (professional wrestler Dwayne Johnson, aka. the Rock), a mighty warrior frozen in time with his supernatural army. In order to save his family, Rick is forced to seek a mythical pyramid of gold, facing marauding bands of pygmy skeletons, among other hazards. The Mummy Returns co-stars John Hannah, Oded Fehr, and Patricia Velasquez.

 

129      MURDER BY NUMBERS; 2002., 120 Minutes

Directed by: Barbet Schroeder

 

Sandra Bullock ....  Cassie Mayweather

Ben Chaplin ....  Sam Kennedy

Ryan Gosling ....  Richard Haywood

Michael Pitt ....  Justin Pendleton

Agnes Bruckner ....  Lisa Mills

Chris Penn ....  Ray

R.D. Call ....  Captain Rod Cody

Tom Verica ....  Al Swanson

Janni Brenn ....  Ms. Elder

John Vickery ....  Restaurant Manager

Michael Canavan ....  Mr. Chechi

Krista Carpenter ....  Olivia Lake

 

'Murder By Numbers' is a psychological suspense-thriller that tells the story of a tenacious homicide detective, Cassie Mayweather (Sandra Bullock) and her new partner Sam Kennedy (Ben Chaplin) who become pitted against two malevolently brilliant young men (Ryan Gosling and Michael Pitt) in an ingenious battle of wits as they try to solve a murder case.

 

130      THE NEW GUY; 2002., 100 Minutes

Director: Ed Decter

Starring: Eddie Griffin, Eliza Dushku, Ross Patterson, Tony Hawk

 

At Eastland High School, new guy Gil Harris is Mr. Popularity. Mysterious and charming, Gil has girls falling all over him and thugs scrambling to get his back. He's got Eastland High in the palm of his hand. But Gil's also got a secret. Not so long ago, at Rocky Creek High School, Gil, formerly known as Diz, was the resident loser. So how did lowly Diz become Gil, the hot new guy? With a simple plan, determination and the help of some unlikely friends, Diz makes an incredible transformation that works like a charm -- that is until some students from Rocky Creek also make the transfer to Eastland...

 

132      NOT ANOTHER TEEN MOVIE; 2001., 88 Minutes

Starring: Chyler Leigh, Chris Evans, Jaime Pressly, Eric Christian Olsen, Mia Kirshner

Director: Joel Gallen

 

Former MTV executive Joel Gallen makes his feature directorial debut with this broad spoof of the popular teen comedy genre, lampooning dozens of movies including American Pie (1999), American Beauty (1999), Bring It On (2000), Clueless (1995), She's All That (1999), Road Trip (2000), Can't Hardly Wait (1998), 10 Things I Hate About You (1999), Never Been Kissed (1999), and even the teen films of an earlier era such as The Breakfast Club (1985). At the aptly titled "John Hughes High School," aspiring artist Janey Briggs (Chyler Leigh) is an outcast because of her plain, bespectacled looks and paint-splattered overalls. Football hero Jake Wyler (Chris Evans) makes a bet that he can transform Janey into a gorgeous prom queen, a wager he may come to regret as he discovers Janey's true inner beauty. As their relationship blossoms, several other characters are limned, including a Nasty Cheerleader (Jaime Pressly), a Token Black Guy (Deon Richmond), a Stupid Fat Guy (Ron Lester), an Obsessed Best Friend (Eric Jungmann), an Undercover Reporter (Beverly Polcyn), the Cruelest Girl in School (Mia Kirshner), a Cocky Blonde Guy (Eric Christian Olsen), and several others. A nod to the multiple films that inspired it, Not Another Teen Movie (2001) was originally to have been entitled "Ten Things I Hate About Clueless Road Trips When I Can't Hardly Wait to Be Kissed."

 

133      ORIGINAL SIN; 2001., 112 Minutes

Starring: Antonio Banderas, Angelina Jolie, Thomas Jane, Jack Thompson, Gregory Itzin

Director: Michael Cristofer

 

A lonely man's search for companionship soon takes him to dangerous and unexpected places in this erotically charged drama. Luis Antonio Vargas (Antonio Banderas) is a successful coffee salesman living in Cuba in the 1880s. Luis has had little luck finding love among the women of his native island, and he sends away to America for a mail-order bride. To his pleasant surprise, his fiancée from the United States, Julia Russell (Angelina Jolie), turns out to be not only beautiful but passionate and devoted. But Luis' happiness proves to be short-lived when he learns that Julia is not the person he imagined her to be, and detective Walter Downs (Thomas Jane) appears, trying to get to the bottom of Julia's mysterious past and possibly deadly secrets. Original Sin is based on the novel Waltz Into Darkness by Cornell Woolrich, which Francois Truffaut previously adapted for the screen as La Sirene du Mississippi.

 

134      PASSENGER 57; 1992., 84 Minutes

Starring: Wesley Snipes, Bruce Payne, Tom Sizemore, Alex Datcher, Bruce Greenwood

Director: Kevin Hooks

 

This fast-paced action picture plays like Die Hard (1988) on an airplane. Grieving over the death of his wife at the hands of an armed robber and blaming himself for her death, anti-terrorism expert John Cutter (Wesley Snipes) is retiring from his dangerous job. The flight he's on is occupied by a coterie of FBI agents escorting the lethal terrorist Charles Rane (Bruce Payne), but as the aircraft is taking off, Rane's associates, who have also boarded the plane, take the vehicle by force and free their leader. With the aid of a sheriff on the ground, a pair of stewardesses (Alex Datcher and Elizlabeth Hurley) and his old friend, airport manager Sly Delvecchio (Tom Sizemore), Cutter puts his special training and martial arts skills to good use combating the kidnappers. The clever, dapper Rane has several surprises in store for his nemesis, however, including killing a hostage and an ally who's only pretending to be on Cutter's side. His options becoming increasingly limited, Cutter devises a dangerous plan that involves dumping the airplane's precious fuel reserves. Director Kevin Hooks cast his father, actor Robert Hooks in the role of federal agent Dwight Henderson.

 

135      PATRIOT; 2000., 164 Minutes

Starring: Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Joely Richardson, Jason Isaacs

Director: Roland Emmerich

 

Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin, the director/producer team responsible for such sci-fi blockbusters as Independence Day, Stargate, and Godzilla, take a step back in time with this drama set during the American Revolution. Farmer Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson) was born and raised in South Carolina, and fought bravely during the French-Indian wars. But since the death of his wife, Benjamin has renounced violence and quietly tends his crops, raising his seven children alone. In 1776, over Benjamin's objections, his oldest son Gabriel (Heath Ledger) joins the fight against the British. Gabriel returns from battle seriously wounded, with Lord General Cornwallis (Tom Wilkinson) calling for his arrest. A skirmish breaks out on Benjamin's plantation, and one of his children is killed as Gabriel is captured by Col. Tavington (Jason Isaacs) and sentenced to hang. Benjamin sets aside his vow of pacifism and rescues Gabriel; with the help of his former comrade-in-arms Harry Burwell (Chris Cooper), the father and son form a regiment of Carolina patriots whose cunning and ruthlessness make them heroes among the colonists -- and wanted men by British troops. Loosely adapted from the true story of Francis Marion and filmed on location in South Carolina, The Patriot was the first feature film made with the cooperation of the Smithsonian Institute, who advised the producers on historical accuracy. Joely Richardson also stars as Charlotte, Benjamin's sister-in-law who helps him care for the children.

136      Pearl Harbor, 2001., 182 Minutes

Starring: Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett, Kate Beckinsale, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Tom Sizemore

Director: Michael Bay

 

When Pearl Harbor was released in the spring of 2001, baby boomers were in the midst of their fixation on the so-called "greatest generation." But in the wake of the attack on the World Trade Center, an event that has been compared to Pearl Harbor, yet in many ways was far more horrific, the movie seems even more facile than it did when it premiered.

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer (Top Gun) and director Michael Bay, who together have made such lightweight action films as Armageddon and The Rock, might have thought Pearl Harbor was their chance for a degree of artistic credibility, such as director James Cameron garnered, deservedly, with Titanic. But somewhere along the way they forgot to include the art.

To call Pearl Harbor artless is an understatement. Shamelessly manipulative, with a sappy, soap operatic story, wooden characters, and little pretension to historical accuracy, the film is an embarrassing mess. While other, much better, films about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, such as From Here To Eternity and In Harm's Way, had soap operatic elements, they also had well-developed characters, top-notch acting, and something to say. The best that can be said about the performances in Pearl Harbor, by such young eye-candy as Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett, and Kate Beckinsale, is that the actors look great in 1940s fashions and uniforms when they are not speaking.

Every time the actors open their mouths to speak another line of corny dialogue, however, you want to run for cover. "I think World War II just started!" Hartnett's character says after the attack (whoops! The war had been going on for a couple years in Europe by this time). Other contenders for the year's worst line of dialogue include, "Returning from the dead wasn't all that I expected. But that's life" and "I'll never look at another sunset without thinking of you."

The story manages to be both shockingly preposterous and completely predictable. When compared with some of the moving real-life tales related in a documentary such as Pearl Harbor: Legacy of Attack, the stupefyingly unlikely fiction in this film seems disrespectful.

As one might expect, Bruckheimer and his protégé do better in the action scenes, which are portrayed with some dazzling special effects. But many of the effects call attention to themselves in a way that makes you aware that they are computer generated, to the point that they are nowhere near as affecting as the battle scenes in Saving Private Ryan or even some of the scenes created on soundstages in John Ford's Oscar-winning documentary December 7th: The Pearl Harbor Story.

Like Tora! Tora! Tora!, Pearl Harbor includes some scenes from the Japanese side of these events, but unlike that scrupulously accurate Japanese-American production, it can't even seem to get the smallest historical details correct. For example, in the clichéd scene in which a Japanese officer ominously turns the calendar to December 7, no seems to have bothered to check a globe, which would show that Japan is on the other side of the International Date Line, where the actual date was December 8. When the Japanese attack, children are shown playing baseball, although the attack took place at 8:00 in the morning. And the scene where Franklin Roosevelt (Jon Voight) stands up on his own to make a dramatic point is so preposterous, it's mind-boggling.

Pearl Harbor doesn't seem like such a remote event in history anymore. Those who weren't yet born when it happened can understand a little better now how it must have felt to have one's innocence shattered, to have one's sense that the problems of the rest of the world were too far away to touch these shores so horribly contradicted. We've witnessed first hand and on television the heroism that great tragedies can bring out in some people and how lives can be utterly changed in an instant. We don't need a faux Hollywood version of the real thing.

 

137      PHONE BOOTH; 2003., 81 Minutes

Starring: Colin Farrell, Forest Whitaker, Katie Holmes, Kiefer Sutherland, Radha Mitchell

Director: Joel Schumacher

 

Smartmouth New York publicist Stu Shepard (Colin Farrell) uses a public phone to ring the object of his extramarital affections (Katie Holmes). There, he takes a call from a stranger who threatens that if he hangs up, he'll be shot. As the tagline would have it, Stu's "life is on the line".Can he talk his way clear of trouble? What does The Caller want? And when a passer-by is shot, can Stu persuade police captain Ramey (Forest Whitaker) he's not responsible?

 

138      PLANET OF THE APES; 2001., 120 Minutes

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Tim Roth, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Clarke Duncan, Kris Kristofferson,

Director: Tim Burton

 

This big budget "re-imagining" of the 1968 original departs somewhat from both that classic science fiction film and the source novel by author Pierre Boulle. Mark Wahlberg stars as Leo Davidson, an astronaut of the early 21st century whose unauthorized mission to rescue a chimp companion from a mysterious space storm goes awry when he and his ship are lost through a rip in the fabric of time. Leo crash-lands on a planet where intelligent, talking apes are the dominant species and humans a conquered slave class. Befriending both a chimpanzee activist named Ari (Helena Bonham Carter), who's sympathetic to humans, and a beautiful human rebel, Daena (Estella Warren), Leo quickly becomes a prominent figure of resistance to his fellow humans. This makes him an instant source of irritation for the militant and ambitious General Thade (Tim Roth) and his trusted adjutant, Attar (Michael Clarke Duncan), who intend to hunt Leo down and crush the burgeoning human uprising. War looms between ape and human as Leo and his band head for a sacred site deep in an off-limits desert, where secrets about the planet's ape and human ancestry wait to be revealed. Planet of the Apes is directed by Tim Burton and features the original film's star, Charlton Heston, in a cameo role as the dying father of Thade.

139      PREDATOR; 1987., 107 Minutes

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Elpidia Carrillo, Bill Duke, Jesse Ventura

Director: John McTiernan

 

Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger) has a code of honor which he will not violate, even when his life depends on it. Paradoxically, his code of honor gives him the backbone to survive as a military special forces operative when he is sent on a covert mission to rescue another group which was sent in to assist some nefarious U.S. government plan in a Latin American country. Once there, he encounters an old army buddy (Carl Weathers) who has gotten too deep in the CIA's good graces for Dutch's comfort. When he and his team go into the jungle to rescue the others, they get involved in a pitched battle with local guerillas, but they are more than capable of besting these vicious fighters. However, not long after that, they encounter signs that the equally capable men they were sent to rescue were all killed unawares and in an unusually gruesome fashion. Given their training, it should have been impossible for anyone to best all of these commando warriors. Soon, the men from Dutch's own team get picked off one by one, as they grow aware that they are up against something uncanny, not of this world, something that is hunting them for sport. Why? Because their skills make them worthy opponents for the perfectly camouflaged Predator. This carefully paced action movie was given poor reviews by many movie critics, but was sufficiently satisfying for its (largely male) audiences that a successful sequel (Predator 2) was released in 1990.

 

141      RUSH HOUR; 1998., 98 Minutes

Director: Brett Ratner

 

Jackie Chan  - Detective Inspector Lee

Chris Tucker  - Detective James Carter

Tom Wilkinson  - Thomas Griffin

Elizabeth Peńa  - Tania Johnson

Philip Baker Hall  - Capt. Diel

 

Brett Ratner directed this action-comedy that found box-office success by teaming Chris Tucker with Jackie Chan — performing his own stunts as per his earlier films. As the story begins, Hong-Kong supercop Lee's (Chan), detective savvy leads to the confiscation of $500 million in weapons, drugs, and Chinese art. When Hong Kong Chinese Consul Han (Tzi Ma), is sent on a diplomatic mission to Los Angeles, his 11-year-old daughter, Soo Young (Julia Hsu), is abducted by an international criminal mastermind. The FBI assures Han they will find the kidnappers and return her safely, yet Han only trusts his longtime friend and ally (also his daughter's beloved martial arts teacher) Inspector Lee, who immediately flies in to help. Unwilling to have an outsider interfere in their investigation, the FBI assigns rogue LAPD detective (and buffoon) James Carter (Chris Tucker) to the case. Hoping to impress the FBI, Carter enthusiastically reports for work but is dismayed to discover his real mission is only to keep Lee away from the case (read b-a-b-y-s-i-t-t-e-r). The arrogant Carter reacts by embarking on a one-man crusade to solve the case, but he must first distract Lee. It doesn't take Carter long before he realizes he has greatly underestimated his Hong Kong counterpart, who sees what's going on and slips away. Impatient FBI agents try to cast off these unwanted misfit cops, but with an assist from LAPD bomb expert Tania Johnson (Elizabeth Pena), Carter and Lee eventually confront the bad guys in a full-tilt action sequence.

 

142      RUSH HOUR 2; 2001., 90 Minutes

Starring: Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, John Lone, Zhang Zi Yi, Roselyn Sanchez

Director: Brett Ratner

 

A surprise box-office smash spawns this inevitably action-packed buddy comedy follow-up that reunites director Brett Ratner with stars Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker. Chan is Chief Inspector Lee of the Royal Hong Kong Police, who travels back to China with his American colleague, Los Angeles detective James Carter (Tucker). The men intend to take some vacation time but are quickly pulled into the case of two murdered U.S. customs agents, who were investigating an illegal counterfeiting scam involving Ricky Tan (John Lone), one of the most powerful Triad gangsters in Asia and an old enemy of Lee's. Lee and Carter are soon embroiled in a dangerous mystery that also involves a sexy secret-service agent (Roselyn Sanchez), a billionaire hotel owner (Alan King), a dangerous femme fatale (Zhang Ziyi) and a finale set in a lavish Las Vegas casino.

 

143      THE SAINT; 1997., 116 Minutes

Starring: Val Kilmer, Elisabeth Shue, Rade Serbedzija, Valery Nikolaev, Henry Goodman

Director: Phillip Noyce

 

Based on the popular novels about that other suave, globe-trotting man of action, this genre picture from director Phillip Noyce mixed romance and character development with dangerous stunts, geopolitical intrigue, and a variety of elaborate disguises, resulting in an uneven stew of a spy thriller. Val Kilmer is Simon Templar, a classy, cunning master thief and "man of a thousand faces" who cribs his phony names from those of obscure saints and sells his illegal services to the highest bidder. Hired by an ambitious Russian politician (Rade Serbedzija) to steal the formula for cold fusion, Templar falls in love with Dr. Emma Russell (Elisabeth Shue), the frail Oxford scientist who has unlocked the secret of the process. Back in Moscow, the thief debates whether to betray his new love or the powerful madman who is paying him millions, until he discovers that his client is concealing oil reserves that could save his freezing people. Often seen as an also-ran to the legendary James Bond, Templar, the creation of author Leslie Charteris, in fact predated the first Bond novel by decades and probably inspired Ian Fleming in his creation of the debonair agent.

 

144      SAVING PRIVATE RYAN; 1998., 170 Minutes

Starring: Tom Hanks, Edward Burns, Tom Sizemore, Jeremy Davies, Vin Diesel

Director: Steven Spielberg

 

Steven Spielberg directed this powerful, realistic re-creation of WWII's D-day invasion and the immediate aftermath. The story opens with a prologue in which a veteran brings his family to the American cemetery at Normandy, and a flashback then joins Capt. John Miller (Tom Hanks) and GIs in a landing craft making the June 6, 1944, approach to Omaha Beach to face devastating German artillery fire. This mass slaughter of American soldiers is depicted in a compelling, unforgettable 24-minute sequence. Miller's men slowly move forward to finally take a concrete pillbox. On the beach littered with bodies is one with the name "Ryan" stenciled on his backpack. Army Chief of Staff Gen. George C. Marshall (Harve Presnell), learning that three Ryan brothers from the same family have all been killed in a single week, requests that the surviving brother, Pvt. James Ryan (Matt Damon), be located and brought back to the United States. Capt. Miller gets the assignment, and he chooses a translator, Cpl. Upham (Jeremy Davis), skilled in language but not in combat, to join his squad of right-hand man Sgt. Horvath (Tom Sizemore), plus privates Mellish (Adam Goldberg), Medic Wade (Giovanni Ribisi), cynical Reiben (Edward Burns) from Brooklyn, Italian-American Caparzo (Vin Diesel), and religious Southerner Jackson (Barry Pepper), an ace sharpshooter who calls on the Lord while taking aim. Having previously experienced action in Italy and North Africa, the close-knit squad sets out through areas still thick with Nazis. After they lose one man in a skirmish at a bombed village, some in the group begin to question the logic of losing more lives to save a single soldier. The film's historical consultant is Stephen E. Ambrose, and the incident is based on a true occurance in Ambrose's 1994 bestseller D-Day: June 6, 1944. Immediately following the successful premeire of this film, DreamWorks TV acquired the film rights to Citizen Soldiers (1997), Ambrose's best-selling D-Day sequel, detailing WWII events from Normandy to the German surrender.

 

145      SCARY MOVIE; 2000.; 88 Minutes

Starring: Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Cheri Oteri, Shannon Elizabeth, Anna Faris

Director: Keenen Ivory Wayans

 

After parodying the blaxploitation films of the 1970s in I'm Gonna Git You Sucka, Keenen Ivory Wayans takes aim at slasher films of the 1980s and 1990s in this raunchy satire, which was produced under the clumsy but inarguably appropriate title Scream If You Know What I Did Last Halloween. As you might expect, a group of teenagers -- not-terribly-bright Buffy (Shannon Elizabeth), her best friend Brenda (Regina Hall), stoner Shorty (Marlon Wayans), fey football player Ray (Shawn Wayans), loudmouthed Greg (Lochlyn Munro), sexually overexcited Bobby (Jon Abrahams), and his prim girlfriend Cindy (Anna Faris) -- are on the run from a maniacal killer who is looking for revenge after the kids accidentally kill a man following an auto accident. They also find themselves having to contend with intrusive reporter Gail Hailstorm (Cheri Oteri) and eccentric high school principal Squiggly (David L. Lander). Incidentally, the title Scary Movie is something of an inside joke: it was the working title for Scream, the movie that kick-started the mid-'90s slasher film revival.

 

146      SCARY MOVIE 2; 2001., 82 Minutes

Starring: Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Anna Faris, Regina Hall, Chris Masterson

Director: Keenen Ivory Wayans

 

This sequel to a box-office sleeper hit that spoofed teen slasher flicks takes its cues from haunted house and possession films, particularly The Haunting (1999) and The Exorcist (1973). Although many of the first film's main characters were homicide victims, Marlon Wayans, Shawn Wayans, and Anna Faris return anyway to "re-possess" their roles for this follow-up in which four students are invited by their professor (Tim Curry) to his haunted mansion, Hell House, for a weekend sleep-deprivation study. Providing the sleep deprivation, however, is a series of murderous, supernatural goings-on. Scary Movie 2 co-stars Tori Spelling, Andy Richter, Christopher Masterson, Kathleen Robertson, James Woods, Chris Elliott, and Natasha Lyonne.

 

147      SCREAM; 1996., 110 Minutes

Starring: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Skeet Ulrich, Henry Winkler,

Director: Wes Craven

 

Scream is at once a slasher film and a tongue-in-cheek position paper on the "dead teenagers" movies of the late 1970s/early 1980s that plays as half-parody, half-tribute. Sydney Prescott (Neve Campbell) is having a rough time lately: she's still getting over the brutal rape and murder of her mother a year ago, and now one of her friends (Drew Barrymore) has been killed by a lunatic who harassed her with terrifying phone calls, then stabbed her to death while wearing a Halloween costume. Soon Sydney is receiving similar phone calls, quizzing her on the arcane details of such films as Friday the 13th and Prom Night, and is attacked by the same cloaked maniac. With her father missing, she has hardly anyone on her side except her best friend Tatum (Rose McGowan) and Tatum's brother Dewey (David Arquette), a half-bright cop. As for the murderer, it could be any number of people: Syd's father; her cute but overly intense boyfriend Billy (Skeet Ullrich); Tatum's goofball boyfriend Stuart (Matthew Lillard); or Randy (Jamie Kennedy), who works at the local video store and seems to like horror movies just a little too much. Much like Halloween, Scream spawned a series of sequels and inspired a large number of similar films -- its original working title, Scary Movie, became the title of the 2000 parody film by Damon Wayans.

 

148      SCREAM 2; 1997., 120 Minutes

Starring: David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jamie Kennedy

Director: Wes Craven

 

While Scream (1996) was a funny, scary deconstruction of the slasher genre, its follow-up is just another horror sequel. The opening movie-theater sequence is even well-worn, being almost a shot-for-shot reconstruction of the beginning of He Knows You're Alone (1981), complete with a spooky trip to the restroom. The rest of the film follows tradition slavishly, and although the young cast is appealing and there are some nice individual moments, this film matches its predecessor neither in scares nor entertainment. Younger viewers -- who may not recognize every plot twist instantly -- should get a kick out of it anyway, but dedicated genre fans will be able to play connect-the-dots with the familiar storyline.

 

149      SCREAM 3; 2000., 116 Minutes

Starring: David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Patrick Dempsey, Scott Foley

Director: Wes Craven

 

Wes Craven's Scream (1996) was a half-parody/half-tribute to the first wave of slasher films of the 1970s and 1980s, and since most of them spawned a large number of sequels, it's only appropriate that Craven and screenwriter Kevin Williamson produced a third installment of their Scream franchise. Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), traumatized by the brutal murders of her friends, has left her hometown of Woodsboro and is working in California as a crisis intervention counselor. Meanwhile, "Stab," the novel by Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox Arquette), is spawning a series of successful horror films, and as Stab 3: Return to Woodsboro is being filmed in Los Angeles, a lunatic has gotten his hands on a copy of the script, and is murdering the characters in the same order that they die in the movie. But predicting who will die next is not as simple as it might seem, since the producers have circulated three different screenplays, with different endings. In addition to Campbell and Cox-Arquette, David Arquette returns from the first two films as less-than-bright "Dewey" Riley; new members of the cast include Parker Posey, Patrick Dempsey, Scott Foley, and Jenny McCarthy. Kevin Williamson wrote the original story, but the screenplay was penned by Ehren Kruger.

 

150      SHAFT - 2000., 98 Minutes

Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Vanessa L. Williams, Jeffrey Wright, Christian Bale, Busta Rhymes

Director: John Singleton

 

This action drama puts a new spin on Shaft, one of the key "blaxploitation" films of the 1970s. John Shaft (Samuel L. Jackson), the namesake nephew of the legendary private eye (Richard Roundtree), is a street-smart police detective who with his partner Carmen Velez (Vanessa L. Williams) has been assigned to a racially motivated murder case, in which a black college student was killed in front of a restaurant by Walter Williams Jr. (Christian Bale), the sociopathic son of a New York construction tycoon, who then fled the country rather than face prosecution. Diane Palmieri (Toni Collette), a waitress on a smoke break, saw the murder, but she doesn't want to talk to the police. Two years later, Walter is forced to return to New York, but without Diane's testimony, the city doesn't have much of a case. Soon, Shaft, Walter Junior, and Walter Senior's goons are all looking for Diane, with Junior enlisting the help of Peoples Hernandez (Jeffrey Wright), a small-time drug dealer who will do anything to move into the big leagues. Shaft and Carmen find Diane, but discover that she had a good reason for being on the lam for the past two years. Amidst all this activity, John gets frequent advice from his uncle, with whom he ponders the idea of quitting the force and opening a detective agency. Shaft was directed by John Singleton, from a screenplay by Singleton, Richard Price, and Shane Salerno.

 

151      SHAOLIN SOCCER; 2001., 112 minutes

Director: Stephen Chow

Starring: Stephen Chow, Vicki Zhao Wei, Ng Man Tat, Patrick Tse Yin, Wong Yat Fei, Tin Kai Man, Lam Tze Chung, Chan Kwok Kwan, Mok Lei Lam, Lam Tsz Sin, Karen Mok, Cecilia Cheung

 

Shaolin was an art practiced through the ages; a skill mastered in the heart. For six young believers it had become more than just a philosophy. It had become a complete way of life. But as the world changed around them, and honor and discipline became forgotten values, the young followers lost their way--except for Sing. With the help of a former soccer star, he reunites his old, out-of-shape, misfit friends and recruits a young woman with extraordinary Kung Fu skills. Together, they're out to combine the ancient power of Shaolin with the modern game of soccer and in the process, they just might take the world's most popular sport to its most extreme.

 

152      SHREK; 2001., 89 Minutes

Starring: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, John Lithgow, Vincent Cassel

Director: Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson

 

In this fully computer-animated fantasy from the creators of Antz, we follow the travails of Shrek (Mike Myers), a green ogre who enjoys a life of solitude. Living in a far away swamp, he is suddenly invaded by a hoard of fairy tale characters, such as the Big Bad Wolf, the Three Little Pigs, and Three Blind Mice, all refugees of their homes who have been shunned by the evil Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow). They want to save their homes from ruin, and enlist the help of Shrek, who is in the same situation. Shrek decides to offer Lord Farquaad a deal; he will rescue the beautiful Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz), who is intended to be Farquaad's bride. Accompanying Shrek on his adventure is the faithful but loquacious Donkey (Eddie Murphy), who has a penchant for crooning pop songs. The two must face various obstacles in order to locate the Princess, but they find their world challenged when she reveals a dark secret that will affect the group. Shrek is based on the children's book by William Steig, and features additional voice-work by Vincent Cassel, Cody Cameron, and Kathleen Freeman.

 

153      SILENCE OF THE LAMBS -  1991., 118 Minutes

Starring: Jodie Foster  Scott Glenn  Anthony Hopkins  Ted Levine 

Director: Jonathan Demme

 

Clarice Starling, a gutsy FBI trainee haunted by her past, risks her life in an attempt to save a missing woman from certain death. The desperate, deadly search for a killer makes Clarice confront her deepest fears as she must confront and befriend convicted killer Dr. Hannibal 'the Cannibal' Lechter, a monstrous but brilliant psychiatrist who can lead her to the murderer.

Director Jonathan Demme's atmosphere in this film is strong and effective, and the production design by Kristi Zea is dark and ominous. These elements work together to form a twisted and dirty world, in which all of the buildings seem to be made of five foot-thick stone and the sun never shines through the clouds. It's a grey film, and grey is my favorite color. There are gruesome and shocking images, and the violence is strong, but it's executed in such a way that we're forced to watch, even though we know that we won't like what we see.

 

154      THE SKULLS; 2000., 106 Minutes

Starring: Joshua Jackson, Paul Walker, Hill Harper, Leslie Bibb, Chris McDonald

Director: Rob Cohen

 

In this suspense drama, a college student finds himself immersed in forces beyond his control. Born and raised in a working-class Connecticut community, Luke McNamara (Joshua Jackson) made it into an Ivy League college, where he's done quite well; his dream is to be accepted into Harvard Law School, but he knows that it will take more than a good report card to beat out the competition. When an upper-crust secret society called the Skulls asks Luke to join, he eagerly accepts, thinking that the club's connections will help him gain acceptance to Harvard. He enjoys the Skulls' luxurious lifestyle, but when his roommate, a journalism student, dies of an apparent suicide, he's convinced that something is wrong. The deeper Luke digs into the secrets of the Skulls, the more he's convinced that his friend's death was no suicide and that he's put himself in more danger than he imagined. The Skulls was the first starring vehicle for Joshua Jackson, who gained fame on the TV series Dawson's Creek; the supporting cast includes Paul Walker, Craig T. Nelson, Hill Harper, and William L. Petersen.

 

155      SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER AND UNCUT; 1999., 88 Minutes

Starring: Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Mary Kay Bergman, Isaac Hayes, Jesse Howell

Director: Trey Parker

 

The most tasteless third graders on television graduate to the big screen, as Trey Parker and Matt Stone expand their animated series with foul-mouthed humor that might breach the boundaries of basic cable. In the small Colorado town of South Park, good natured Stan Marsh, slightly neurotic Kyle Broflovski, fat and petulant Eric Cartman, and perpetually doomed Kenny McCormick are psyched for the premiere of the first feature film from flatulent Canadian TV performers Terrence and Philip, entitled Asses Of Fire. The movie is rated R, but that's not about to stop the boys from sneaking into the theater. However, when the boys' language gets bluer by the minute after seeing the film, their parents and school administrators decide that something must be done. Kyle's mother comes up with the ideal solution: blame Canada. Terrence and Philip end up in jail for corrupting America's youth, while the Canadian Air Force retaliates with an air strike targeting the Baldwin Brothers. The boys soon organize a children's underground resistance force to free Terrence and Philip before they can be executed; meanwhile, in a sensitive subplot exploring relationship issues, we're permitted an inside look at the domestic problems of Satan and his lover, Saddam Hussein. As on the TV show, Parker and Stone perform the voices of most of the characters, and they also wrote several songs for the film; George Clooney, Minnie Driver, Eric Idle, Dave Foley, and Mike Judge contribute voices. Not to spoil the plot, but rumor has it that Kenny dies.

 

156      SPACE COWBOYS - 2000, 129 Minutes

Starring: Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland, James Garner, James Cromwell,

Director: Clint Eastwood

 

In this adventure drama, four men passed over by the space program get one last chance to be heroes and live out their dreams. Frank Corvin (Clint Eastwood), Hawk Hawkins (Tommy Lee Jones), Jerry O'Neill (Donald Sutherland), and Tank Sullivan (James Garner) were top pilots within an elite Air Force squadron and on the fast track to becoming the first Americans in space in the early 1950s. However, when NASA was established, the pilots were cut out of the loop; Corvin went on to become an aerospace engineer, Hawkins continued on as a freelance pilot, O'Neill became an astrophysicist with a sideline in designing roller coasters, and Sullivan took up preaching as a Baptist minister. Years later, a Russian satellite's guidance system has started to malfunction, and it is expected to crash into the Earth within a matter of weeks. The system is identical to the one Corvin designed for Skylab, so NASA head Bob Gerson (James Cromwell) asks Corvin to help him with the emergency mission to repair the satellite. Corvin agrees under one condition -- that he be sent up to do the repairs himself, with Hawkins, O'Neill, and Sullivan as his crew. Clint Eastwood directed Space Cowboys while also starring as Frank Corvin; his supporting cast includes Marcia Gay Harden, Courtney B. Vance, Loren Dean, and William Devane.

 

157      SPEED; 1994., 115 Minutes

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper, Sandra Bullock, Joe Morton, Jeff Daniels

Director: Jan de Bont

 

If you don't think Speed is the fastest-moving adventure film ever made, we challenge you to find a faster one. Keanu Reeves stars as an LA Bomb Squad specialist whose principal antagonist is elusive bomber-extortionist Dennis Hopper. Seeking vengeance after his latest ransom scheme is thwarted, Hopper presents a personal challenge to Reeves: A wired-for-destruction city bus, which will detonate if the speedometer drops below 50 MPH. Playing the reluctant civilian who is pressed into service as the bus' "substitute driver," leading lady Sandra Bullock became a major star in her own right. Once Speed gets to the meat of its story, the excitement never lets up--not even after the boobytrapped bus is out of the picture.

 

158      SPHERE -  1998., 128 Minutes

Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Sharon Stone,Samuel L. Jackson and Liev Schreiber

Director: Barry Levinson

 

An alien spacecraft has landed in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and although it's been there for 300 years, it's been held strictly confidential. Who better to call in now than a pyschologist (Dustin Hoffman, who thinks he's investigating a "plane crash"), a biochemist (Sharon Stone), a mathematician (Samuel L. Jackson), and a young astrophysicist (Liev Schreiber) to survey the wreckage.

The basic premise of Sphere is an intriguing one, and the story has a certain Twilight Zone feel that will come across as creepy if you're able to really throw yourself into the film. Much of the movie is a sequence of mindgames, similar to last year's sci-fi thriller Event Horizon, although not as overt. Each answer the scientists unravel leads to more questions--every time they believe they understand what's going on, something else proves they don't.

 

159      SPIDERMAN; 2002., 121 Minutes

Directed by Sam Raimi

 

Cast overview, first billed only: 

Tobey Maguire ....  Peter B. Parker/Spider-Man

Willem Dafoe ....  Norman Osborn/The Green Goblin

Kirsten Dunst ....  Mary Jane Watson

James Franco ....  Harry Osborn

Cliff Robertson ....  Uncle Ben

Rosemary Harris ....  Aunt May

J.K. Simmons ....  J. Jonah Jameson, Daily Bugle Editor

Joe Manganiello ....  Flash Thompson

Gerry Becker ....  Max Fargas

Bill Nunn ....  Robbie Robertson

Jack Betts ....  Henry Balkan

Stanley Anderson ....  General Slocum

Ron Perkins ....  Dr. Mendel Stromm

Michael Papajohn ....  Uncle Ben's Carjacker

K.K. Dodds ....  Ellie Simkins

 

A rather odd thing has just just occurred in the life of nerdy high school student Peter Parker; after being bitten by a radioactive spider, his body chemistry is mutagenically altered in that he can scale walls and ceilings, and he develops a "spider-sense" that warns him of approaching danger. Adopting the name "Spider-Man", Peter first uses his newfound powers to make money, but after his uncle is murdered at the hands of a criminal Peter failed to stop, he swears to use his powers to fight the evil that killed his uncle. At the same time, scientist and businessman Norman Osborn, after exposure to an experimental nerve gas, develops an alternate personality himself; the super-strong, psychotic Green Goblin! Peter Parker must now juggle three things in his life; his new job at the local newspaper under a perpetually on-edge employer, his battle against the evil Green Goblin, and his fight to win the affections of beautiful classmate Mary Jane Watson, against none other than his best friend Harry Osborn, son of Norman Osborn! Is this challenge too much for even the amazing Spider-Man to handle?

160      SPY GAME; 2001., 127 Minutes

Starring: Robert Redford, Brad Pitt, Catherine McCormack, Stephen Dillane, Larry Bryggman

Director: Tony Scott

 

Brad Pitt is reunited as a co-star with his A River Runs Through It (1992) director Robert Redford for this espionage thriller from Tony Scott. On the verge of retirement from the Central Intelligence Agency, veteran spy Nathan Muir (Redford) learns that his one-time protégé Tom Bishop (Pitt) has gone rogue and been taken prisoner in Beijing after attempting to smuggle a prisoner out of China. Although Muir and Bishop had once been close friends, sharing adventures from Vietnam to Berlin, bad blood and resentment developed between them, and the two men haven't seen each other in years. As his memories of their friendship come flooding back, Muir agrees to take the most dangerous mission of his career -- the rescue of his old friend from a Communist jail. Spy Game (2001) co-stars Catherine McCormack as a human rights activist and Bishop's love interest.

 

161      SPY HARD; 1996., 80 minutes

Director: Rick Friedberg

 

Leslie Nielsen  - Dick Steele (Agent WD-40)

Nicollette Sheridan  - Veronique Ukrinsky (Agent 3.14)

Charles Durning  - The Director

Marcia Gay Harden  - Miss Cheevus

Barry Bostwick  - Norman Coleman

 

Nielsen plays Dick Steele, secret agent WD-40, called out of retirement to stop the world-conquering plans of his old nemesis, General Rancor (Andy Griffith), an armless madman determined to avenge himself upon Steele (who is responsible for Rancor's lack of appendages). With the help of Russian agent Veronique Ukrinsky (Nicolette Sheridan), Steele prepares to battle Rancor at his tropical island lair, where the daughter of Steele's long-ago love is being held captive. Along the way, such films as True Lies (1994), Speed (1994), Jurassic Park (1993), Pulp Fiction (1994), and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) are spoofed.

 

162      STAR TREK - THE MOTION PICTURE; 1979., 143 Minutes

Starring: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Stephen Collins, James Doohan

Director: Robert Wise

 

When plans to launch a second Star Trek television series in the late 1970s were scrapped by Paramount Pictures, the show's creator, Gene Roddenberry, instead transformed the aborted program's 2-hour pilot into this big budget theatrical feature. Five years after the legendary voyages of the starship Enterprise, James T. Kirk (William Shatner) is an unhappy, desk-bound admiral at Starfleet headquarters. Kirk goes aboard his old vessel to observe its re-launch under new captain Will Decker (Stephen Collins). Soon, however, an escalating crisis causes Kirk to take command of his old ship. A mysterious, planet-sized energy force of enormous power is headed for Earth. Reunited with Spock (Leonard Nimoy), Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy (DeForest Kelley), and the rest of his former colleagues, Kirk takes the Enterprise inside the massive energy cloud and discovers that it is the long-lost NASA space probe Voyager. Now a sentient being after accumulating centuries of knowledge in its deep space travels, the alien, which calls itself V'ger, has come home seeking its creator. Although not a critical home run, box office receipts for Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979.) were strong enough to inspire a revamped television series and a long-running line of theatrical sequels.

 

163      STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN; 1982., 113 Minutes

Starring: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Ricardo Montalban, James Doohan

Director: Nicholas Meyer

 

Because it is the simplest of the Star Trek theatrical films, Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan is fondly regarded as being the closest in spirit to the 1966-69 TV series that spawned it. William Shatner plays Admiral Kirk (remember his promotion?) who escapes the tedium of a desk job to join Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) and Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy (DeForest Kelley) on a space mission. While boldly going where no man etc. etc., Kirk crosses the path of his old enemy Khan (Ricardo Montalban), who as any diehard Trekker can tell you was the chief antagonist in the 1966 Trek TV episode "Space Seed." Leading a crew of near-savage space prisoners, Khan insinuates himself into the Genesis Project, which is designed to introduce living organisms on long-dead planets. Intending to harness this program for his own despotic purposes, Khan engages in battle with the Enterprise crew. Only through the self-sacrifice of Mr. Spock is Khan disposed of. The shock of Spock's death is softened by the hindsight realization that he will be reborn in the subsequent Star Trek 3: The Search for Spock. Originally released at 113 minutes, this was expanded somewhat for network TV showings.

 

164      STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK; 1984., 105 Minutes

Starring: William Shatner, DeForest Kelley, George Takei, James Doohan, Walter Koenig

Director: Leonard Nimoy

 

When last we left the crew of the star ship Enterprise, they were heading home following a skirmish with the despotic Khan. The unpleasant incident had cost the life of Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy)--or so it seemed. Admiral Kirk (William Shatner) is informed by Spock's Vulcan father Sarek (Mark Lenard) that the pointy-eared one is being kept alive in the thoughts of one of the crew members. It now becomes necessary to search for Spock's body, so that flesh and soul can be rejoined on Vulcan. It turns out that Spock's spirit is residing within the grey cells of the Vulcan's longtime friendly enemy, "Bones" McCoy (DeForrest Kelley). Finding the body is another matter, since the Enterprise has been consigned to the trash heap and thus is out of Kirk's jurisdiction. The Admiral steals the Enterprise and heads into Deep Space, thence to Spock's coffin on the planet Genesis. From here on in, we journey into 2001 territory with a "reborn" Spock. Star Trek 3: The Search for Spock was directed by Leonard Nimoy, who agreed to appear in the film only on the proviso that he could call the shots.

 

165      STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME; 1986., 119 Minutes

Starring: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, George Takei, James Doohan

Director: Leonard Nimoy

 

After three somber Star Trek films, the producers opted for humor and whimsy in Star Trek 4: The Voyage Home. Gingerly borrowing elements from the 1966 Trek TV episode "City on the Edge of Forever," not to mention the first Back to the Future film, Star Trek 4 compels the crew of the Enterprise (destroyed in the previous film) to journey back from the 23rd century to the 20th. Their mission is to save the humpbacked whale for future generations and to prepare a defense against charges made by the Klingons for "crimes" committed in the previous film. Beyond the expected culture-clash humor, the film gets plenty of mileage out of Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy)'s faulty memory, a by-product of having "died" in Star Trek 2. Scripted by Harve Bennett, Steve Meerson, Peter Krikes, and Nicholas Meyer from a story by Bennett and star/director Nimoy, Star Trek 4: The Voyage Home was one of the most profitable films of 1986.

 

166      STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER; 1989., 107 Minutes

Starring: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, George Takei, James Doohan,

Director: William Shatner

 

Kirk (William Shatner), McCoy (DeForest Kelley), and Spock (Leonard Nimoy) are enjoying a vacation in Yosemite National Park when duty calls. Vulcan cult leader Sybok (Laurence Luckinbill) and his followers have invaded a "planet of peace," where delegates from hostile races co-exist in a sort of intergalactic United Nations. Ordered to quell the crisis, the Enterprise crew discovers that it's a ruse perpetrated by Sybok, who takes over the ship, piloting it toward the "Great Barrier," an energy field at the galaxy's rim. Sybok, who is revealed to be Spock's half-brother, possesses the ability to help people face their "inner pain." He also believes that God lies beyond the Great Barrier. Once arriving there, however, Sybok and the Enterprise crew discover only an imprisoned alien entity. Shatner wrote the story and made his directorial debut with the film, failing to ape the success that his colleague Nimoy enjoyed with his pair of "Trek" directing forays

 

167      STAR TREK VI: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY; 1991., 110 Minutes

Starring: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Kim Cattrall, David Warner

Director: Nicholas Meyer

 

The plot involves a peace conference between the Federation of Planets and the troublesome Klingons. The Klingons are hoping to perform a little damage control after triggering a mining disaster on one of their moons; their spokesman is the seemingly contrite General Chang (Christopher Plummer). All negotiations abruptly cease when a Klingon vessel is attacked, and Capt. Kirk (William Shatner) and Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley) are accused of the crime. As they stand trial for murder, Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) and Vulcanian trainee Lt. Valeris (Kim Cattrall) try to locate the real culprits. It turns out that Kirk and McCoy are victims of a conspiracy to foment further hostilities between the Good Guys and the Klingons.

 

168      STAR TREK: GENERATIONS; 1994., 118 Minutes

Starring: Patrick Stewart, William Shatner, Malcolm McDowell, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner

Director: David Carson

 

The seventh Star Trek feature passed the torch to a new crew. Decades after the original "Trek," the skipper of the fourth U.S.S. Enterprise is Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), who investigates a massacre at a science outpost. The only survivor is Dr. Soran (Malcolm McDowall), who perpetrated the event to cover up his invention: a bomb he launches into a nearby sun, exploding it. As Soran escapes with Klingon cronies, Picard learns that Soran's plan is to summon a heavenly energy ribbon called the Nexus. Those who enter it live forever with every wish fulfilled. Attempting to stop Soran, Picard ends up inside the Nexus, where he discovers former Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner), believed to have been killed in an accident seventy-eight years earlier. Though reluctant to leave nirvana, Kirk agrees to aid Picard. On a rocky, barren planet, the two heroes stop Soran, but Kirk falls to his death and the Enterprise is destroyed in a battle with the Klingons.

 

169      STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT; 1996., 110 Minutes

Starring: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn

Director: Jonathan Frakes

 

The first "Trek" film to feature the cast of the Star Trek: The Next Generation TV series without any of the members of the original series, this action-packed hit was well received at the box office. The Federation comes under attack by its ongoing enemy, the Borg, a cybernetics-enhanced race that once kidnapped Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), "assimilating" him into a drone. As a former prisoner of the Borg, Picard is ordered to stay out of the new battle, but he cannot resist and orders the brand-new starship Enterprise into the fray. The Enterprise follows the only surviving Borg ship through a time tunnel, where they intend to conquer Earth in an earlier era. The Borg have targeted the work of Zefram Cochrane (James Cromwell), inventor of warp drive, the device that makes interplanetary travel possible. As the Enterprise crew attempts to stop the Borg from interrupting the work of Cochrane and his assistant, Lily (Alfre Woodard), Borg drones invade the Enterprise and take it over piece by piece, while Data (Brent Spiner) is captured and seduced by the Borg Queen (Alice Krige).

 

170      STAR TREK: INSURRECTION; 1998., 111 Minutes

Starring: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn

Director: Jonathan Frakes

 

Star Trek: Insurrection manages to recall the original 1960s series' spirit of liberalism, while transcending it for sheer boldness, embracing issues that are on the political cutting edge in the 1990s and beyond. The fact that the first 30 minutes are presented as a mystery only makes the material more engrossing. While assisting a survey team of Federation allies observing the populace of a distant planet, Lt. Commander Data (Brent Spiner) seemingly goes berserk and attacks the survey team, exposing their existence to the populace and jeopardizing the mission. Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) brings the Enterprise into orbit to try and apprehend Data and find out what happened . He discovers that the mission isn't one of observation, but the involuntary relocation of a small, peaceful population, undertaken by the Federation and its rogue planet allies the Son'a, supposedly to secure the planet's youth-restoring qualities. As it turns out, there's a much darker side to the plans of the Son'a, and a personal side to the carnage planned by the Son'a leader Ru'afo (F. Murray Abraham). Picard and his officers, suitably outraged by this violation of the Prime Directive -- that no Federation mission may interfere with the natural evolution of an alien culture -- take matters into their own hands in an attempt to expose the plot to public scrutiny, risking their lives in the process.

 

171      STAR TREK: NEMESIS; 2002., 115 Minutes

Starring: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis

Director: Stuart Baird

 

After the wedding of Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Troi (Marina Sirtis) on earth, most of the crew of the old series hops on board the Enterprise and heads towards Troi’s home planet to complete the ceremony. But they’re soon diverted by a startling development: the Romulans are asking for peace with the Federation.

As fans of the show know, the Romulans are a powerful race that has always been in conflict with the Federation and most of the galaxy. Upon arriving at Romulus, Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) and the crew find that the Romulan senate has been killed and that an out-of-place human from Romulus’s twin world Remus has taken control of both worlds.

This young leader, Shinzon (Tom Hardy), has a strange connection with Captain Picard. It turns out that he has lead Picard and the Enterprise to Romulus for a very specific reason. His plot threatens not only the crew, but the Earth, as well. Will Picard be able to stop Shinzon and the ruthless warriors of Remus before it’s too late? And what will it cost them to save the galaxy one more time?

 

172      STAR WARS EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE; 1999., 131 Minutes

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, Natalie Portman, Jake Lloyd, Pernilla August

Director: George Lucas

 

In 1977, George Lucas released Star Wars, the ultimate sci-fi popcorn flick turned pop-culture myth machine. It quickly became the biggest money-making film of all time and changed the shape of the film industry. After two successful sequels (1980's The Empire Strikes Back and 1983's Return Of The Jedi) that extended the story of the first film, Lucas took some time off to produce movies for others with mixed success. In 1999, Lucas returns to the Star Wars saga with a new approach -- instead of picking up where Return Of The Jedi left off, Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace is the first of a trilogy of stories that will trace what happened in the intergalactic saga before the first film began. Here, Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) is a young apprentice Jedi knight under the tutelage of Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson); Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd), who will later father Luke Skywalker and become known as Darth Vader, is just a nine-year-old boy. When the Trade Federation cuts off all routes to the planet Naboo, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are assigned to settle the matter, but when they arrive on Naboo they are brought to Amidala, the Naboo Queen (Natalie Portman), by a friendly but opportunistic Gungan named Jar Jar. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan plan to escort Amidala to a meeting of Republic leaders in Coruscant, but trouble with their spacecraft strands them on the planet Tatoonie, where Qui-Gon meets Anakin, the slave of a scrap dealer. Qui-Gon is soon convinced that the boy could be the leader the Jedis have been searching for, and he begins bargaining for his freedom and teaching the boy the lessons of The Force. The supporting cast includes Pernilla August as Anakin's mother, Terence Stamp as Chancellor Valorum, and Samuel L. Jackson as Jedi master Mace Windu; Jackson told a reporter before The Phantom Menace's release that the best part about doing the film was that he got to say "May The Force Be With You" on screen.

 

173      STAR WARS EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES; 2002., 143 Minutes

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, Christopher Lee, Samuel L. Jackson

Director: George Lucas

 

The second prequel to the original Star Wars trilogy takes place ten years after the events depicted in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Now 20, young Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) is an apprentice to respected Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor). Unusually powerful in the Force, Anakin is also impatient, arrogant, and headstrong, causing his mentor a great deal of concern. The pair are ordered to protect Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman), the former queen of the planet Naboo, now representing her world in the Galactic Senate. Someone is trying to assassinate her on the eve of a vote enabling Supreme Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) to build a military force that will safeguard against a growing separatist movement led by mysterious former Jedi Count Dooku (Christopher Lee). After another attempt on Padme's life, Obi-Wan and Anakin separate. The young Jedi and Padme fall in love as he escorts her first to the security of Naboo and then to his home world of Tatooine, where the fate of his mother leads him to commit an ominous atrocity. Meanwhile, Obi-Wan travels to the secretive planet Kamino and the asteroid-ringed world of Geonosis, following bounty hunter Jango Fett (Temuera Morrison) and his son, Boba (Daniel Logan), who are involved in an operation to create a massive army of clones. A vicious battle ensues between the clones and Jedi on one side and Dooku's droids on the other, but who is really pulling the strings in this galactic conflict? Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones marks the first major motion picture to be filmed entirely in digital video, with director George Lucas using cameras modified for him by the manufacturer.

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Audio: AC3 Surround

174      STARSHIP TROOPERS; 1997, 129 Minutes

Starring: Casper Van Dien, Dina Meyer, Denise Richards, Jake Busey, Neil Patrick Harris

Director: Paul Verhoeven

 

Director Paul Verhoeven (Showgirls, Total Recall) reunited many from his 1987 Robocop team for this $100-million science fiction adventure, adapted from Robert A. Heinlein's 1959 novel, originally serialized in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (October-November, 1959). After graduation, Johnny Rico (Casper Van Dien) volunteers for the Mobile Infantry to do his Federal service -- but also to win over his girlfriend, Carmen Ibanez (Denise Richards), who has signed with the Fleet Academy to become a starship pilot. Johnny joins other boot-camp recruits -- Dizzy Flores (Dina Meyer), who has had a crush on Johnny since school, and Ace Levy (Jake Busey). Ace and Johnny become pals, and Johnny's abilities earn him the squad leader position. A training accident occurs on Johnny's watch, and he is about to resign when Earth is attacked by alien insects intent on eradicating all human life. Johnny's home, Buenos Aires, is no longer on the map. Horrified, he chooses to stay on and fight to destroy the insect threat. The Mobile Infantry travels to the planet Klendathu to battle the warrior bugs, a ruthless enemy with only one goal -- survival of their species no matter what. In the initial encounter, some 100,000 lives are lost. At a distant fort, Johnny's unit discovers that the bugs drain brains to acquire knowledge. Soon they are overwhelmed by an advancing arthropod army of immense proportions, attacking both in space and on the planet surface. The notion of human extinction becomes a possibility. For this $100-million production, some 300 artists and technicians combined models and miniatures with CGI effects to fashion a variety of creatures -- from breeder bugs to armored tanker bugs. The film employed hundreds of extras and has over 500 visual effects shots. Filming began 4/29/96 in California (LA and Long Beach, where Cal State's pyramid gym was used for the Jumpball game), New York, South Dakota, Wyoming (Casper, Hell's Half Acre), and Utah (an abandoned Wendover airstrip where the Enola Gay WWII bomber crew trained). At an abandoned airfield in Fountain Valley, California, an elaborate set was constructed to resemble a military boot camp of the future -- complete with an array of pup tents, gull-winged spaceships, hurdle obstacle course, and training facility buildings. Cinematography by Jost Vacano (Showgirls). Licensed products include Lewis Galoob Inc. toys.

 

175      SWORDFISH; 2001., 99 Minutes

Starring: John Travolta, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Don Cheadle, Vinnie Jones

Director: Dominic Sena

 

Director Dominic Sena follows up his stylish action film Gone in 60 Seconds (2000) with this high-tech thriller. John Travolta stars as Gabriel Shear, a charismatic spy who plots to steal a multi-billion-dollar fortune in illegal government funds. In order to make his scheme work, however, Gabriel needs some help from a computer hacker, which is where Stanley Jobson (Hugh Jackman) comes in. Stanley has been paroled from prison after serving a lengthy sentence for penetrating the FBI's cyber-surveillance operations. Issued a restraining order that keeps him away from computers and living penniless in a trailer park, Stanley wants only to be reunited with his daughter Holly, who's in the custody of his ex-wife, now remarried to a pornographer. Gabriel and his partner Ginger (Halle Berry) offer Stanley the chance to get his child back in exchange for his help, but the hacker soon realizes he's a pawn in a larger operation than the high-tech bank heist he thought he was perpetrating. In the meantime, a dedicated federal agent (Don Cheadle), the same man who once arrested Stanley, is trying to expose Gabriel's operation. Swordfish also stars Sam Shepard and Zach Grenier.

 

176      TAXI; 1998., 86 Minutes

Starring: Samy Naceri, Frédéric Diefenthal, Marion Cotillard, Manuela Gourary, Emma Sjöberg

Director: Luc Besson

 

In Marseilles (France), Daniel, an ancient pizza delivery boy, changes job to become a taxi driver, but his dream is to become an F1 pilot. Caught by the police for a huge speed infraction, he will help Emilien, a loser inspector on the track of German bank robbers, so he doesn't lose his license and his job.

 

177      TAXI 2: 2001., 85 Minutes

Starring: Samy Naceri, Frederic Diefenthal, Emma Sjoberg

Director: Gerard Krawczyk

 

Japanski ministar obrane posjećuje Francusku kako bi potpisao "ugovor stoljeća" i uvjerio se u sposobnost francuske policije u borbi s teroristima. Policijski načelnik, u međuvremenu promaknut, misli da je operacija Ninja, misija u kojoj mora štititi ministra, vrhunac njegove karijere. Daniel je svoj taksi "obogatio" još nekim "sitnim" dodacima. Pristaje pomoći Lilynom ocu, koji nije samo policajac, već i vojni veteran alžirskog rata i ne podnosi muškarce koji nisu odslužili vojni rok... Emilien i dalje pokušava osvojiti Petru, a trudi se konačno dobiti i vozačku dozvolu. Kad banda yakuza otima japanskog ministra, jasno je da im se suprostaviti mogu samo Daniel i Emilien. Daniel već vidi novu priliku za dokazivanje svojih vozačkih vještina, a Emilien priliku za konačno osvajanje Petre. Oni kreću u misiju pronalaženja i oslobađanja uvaženog gosta, a za Daniela to je i novo kašnjenje Lily.

 

178      TAXI 3; 2003., 84 Minutes

 

Director: Gerard Krawczyk

Starring: Emma Sjoeberg, Frederic Diefenthal, Marion Cotillard, Samy Naceri

 

Marseilles police officer Émilien has trouble sleeping at night. He's obsessed by a gang of bank robbers who disguise themselves as Santa Claus, then evade the police by escaping on shoes that have retractable wheels. The young cop is so obsessed that he doesn't even notice his girlfriend, Petra, is eight months pregnant. While the investigation is ongoing, police chief Gilbert welcomes Qui, a journalist, who is planning to do a story about the French police force. Meanwhile, the Santa Claus bandits repeat their crime. But this time Daniel, a taxi driver and Émilien's good friend, helps the police officer to track down the elusive criminals.

 

179      TEQUILA SUNRISE; 1988., 116 Minutes

Starring: Mel Gibson, Michelle Pfeiffer, Kurt Russell, Raul Julia, J.T. Walsh,

Director: Robert Towne

 

For his first directorial project in six years, Robert Towne selected a timeworn romantic-triangle yarn, injecting the material with subtlety and conviction. Tequila Sunrise stars Mel Gibson and Kurt Russell as two lifelong friends who, in true James Cagney-Pat O'Brien fashion, grow up on the opposite sides of the law. One is a retired drug dealer (at least he says he is), the other a "celebrity" cop. Both fall in love with gorgeous restaurateur Michelle Pfeiffer. Veteran movie buffs will enjoy spotting director Budd Boetticher as a judge, and will welcome the presence in the production credits of cinematographer Conrad Hall, who earned an Oscar nomination for his richly textured color camerawork.

 

180      TIME MACHINE; 2002., 95 Minutes

Starring: Guy Pearce, Samantha Mumba, Mark Addy, Orlando Jones, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Guillory, Phyllida Law

Director: Simon Wells

 

The story begins in the 1890s. Alexander Hartdegen (Guy Pearce), a scientist whose curiosity about machines often distracts him, much to the dismay of his friend David Philby (Mark Addy) and housekeeper Mrs Watchit (Phyllida Law), has created a time machine. He hopes to return to the past and prevent a loved one from being shot and killed. When that endeavour fails, he heads into the future in search of a clearer answer. After a stop where he barely survives the destruction of Earth's moon, he is catapulted some 800,000 years ahead. Here he encounters a human subspecies called the Eloi, and befriends Mara (Samantha Mumba), a teacher of the "stone language", English. Hartdegen discovers the harsh truth of this brave, new world, however, when Mara and some of the other Eloi are captured by the malicious, underground-dwelling Morlocks, who treat the Eloi as cattle. It's up to Hartdegen to fight back and reclaim freedom for humankind.

 

181      TITANIC; 1997., 195 Minutes

Starring: Leonardo Di Caprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates, Frances Fisher

Director: James Cameron

 

This spectacular epic re-creates the ill-fated maiden voyage of the White Star Line's $7.5 million R.M.S Titanic and the tragic sea disaster of April 15, 1912. Running over three hours and made with the combined contributions of two major studios (20th Century-Fox, Paramount) at a cost of more than $200 million, Titanic ranked as the most expensive film in Hollywood history at the time of its release, and became the most successful. Writer-director James Cameron employed state-of-the-art digital special effects for this production, realized on a monumental scale and spanning eight decades. Inspired by the 1985 discovery of the Titanic in the North Atlantic, the contemporary storyline involves American treasure-seeker Brock Lovett (Bill Paxton) retrieving artifacts from the submerged ship. Lovett looks for diamonds but finds a drawing of a young woman, nude except for a necklace. When 102-year-old Rose (Gloria Stuart) reveals she's the person in the portrait, she is summoned to the wreckage site to tell her story of the 56-carat diamond necklace and her experiences of 84 years earlier. The scene then shifts to 1912 Southampton where passengers boarding the Titanic include penniless Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) and society girl Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet), returning to Philadelphia with her wealthy fiance Cal Hockley (Billy Zane). After the April 10th launch, Rose develops a passionate interest in Jack, and Cal's reaction is vengeful. At midpoint in the film, the Titanic slides against the iceberg and water rushes into the front compartments. Even engulfed, Cal continues to pursue Jack and Rose as the massive liner begins its descent. Cameron launched the project after seeing Robert Ballard's 1987 National Geographic documentary on the wreckage. Blueprints of the real Titanic were followed during construction at Fox's custom-built Rosarito, Mexico studio, where a hydraulics system moved an immense model in a 17-million-gallon water tank. During three weeks aboard the Russian ship Academik Keldysh, underwater sequences were filmed with a 35mm camera in a titanium case mounted on the Russian submersible Mir 1. When the submersible neared the wreck, a video camera inside a remote-operated vehicle was sent into the Titanic's 400-foot bow, bringing back footage of staterooms, furniture and chandeliers. On November 1, 1997, the film had its world premiere at the 10th Tokyo International Film Festival.

 

182      TOMB RAIDER; 2001., 100 Minutes

Starring: Angelina Jolie, Jon Voight, Noah Taylor, Iain Glen, Daniel Craig

Director: Simon West

 

A popular video game comes to the screen with this big-budget adventure starring Angelina Jolie as a buxom heroine recalling equal parts Indiana Jones and James Bond. Jolie is Lara Croft, a proper British aristocrat groomed at schools for the children of the elite. Croft leads a double life, however, as an acquirer of lost antiquities through questionable means, highly trained in combat skills with the help of a robotic opponent called Simon. Despite her exciting profession and a life of wealth and breeding, Lara pines for her father, Lord Croft (Jon Voight), whose passing left her orphaned. On the eve of a celestial event that will also mark the anniversary of Lord Croft's death, Lara comes up against an ancient organization called the Illuminati, represented by the sinister Powell (Iain Glen), who's in pursuit of an ancient relic with power over time and even death itself. With the aid of her high-tech support team, Lara travels to some exotic locales in search of the artifact, including a foray into a decrepit Asian temple guarded by lethal stone apes and other creatures that spring to life. Filmed at various locations in Great Britain as well as Iceland and the Angkor Wat temples of Cambodia, Tomb Raider co-stars Noah Taylor, Chris Barrie, Daniel Craig, Rachel Appleton, Leslie Phillips, Mark Collie, and Julian Rhind-Tutt.

BONUS: U2-Elevation (Tomb Raider Mix)

 

183      TOP GUN; 1986., 109 Minutes

Starring: Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, Tom Skerritt

Director: Tony Scott

 

Devil-may-care navy pilot Pete Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is sent to Miramar Naval Air Station for advanced training. Here he vies with Tom Kasansky (Val Kilmer) for the coveted "Top Gun" award. When not so occupied, Mitchell carries on a romance with civilian consultant Charlotte Blackwood (Kelly McGillis). Shaken up by the death of a friend, Mitchell loses the Top Gun honor to Kasansky. Worried that he may have lost his nerve, Mitchell is given a chance to redeem himself during a tense international crisis involving a crippled US vessel and a flock of predatory enemy planes. The story wasn't new in 1986, but Top Gun scored with audiences on the strength of its visuals, especially the vertigo-inducing aerial sequences. The film made more money than any other film in 1986 and even spawned a 1989 takeoff, Hot Shots. An Academy Award went to the Giogio Moroder-Tom Whitlock song "Take My Breath Away."

 

184      TOP SECRET., 1984., 87 Minutes

Starring: Val Kilmer, Jeremy Kemp, Lucy Gutteridge

Director: Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams

 

In between the disaster movie satire Airplane! in 1980 and the hardboiled cop show parody The Naked Gun in 1988, the comedy crew of Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and David Zucker put together a picture that's almost as funny as their better-known hits. Top Secret! sends up spy movies and cheesy teen rock & roll musicals. Val Kilmer stars as swivel-hipped American rocker Nick Rivers, a sort of blonde Elvis whose secret weapon is Little Richard's tune "Tutti Fruitti." On tour behind the Iron Curtain, Nick strikes blows for democracy overtly and covertly, with his music as well as his espionage skills. In short, this is a very, very silly motion picture. Some great gags, including a subtitled scene in a Swedish book shop, and an inspired bit with a Ford Pinto that not everybody may get anymore. (The Pinto, you may or may not recall, was notoriously prone to gas tank explosions when rear-ended.)

 

185      THE TUXEDO; 2002., 87 Minutes

Director: Kevin Donovan

Starring: Jackie Chan, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ritchie Coster, James Brown

 

Cabbie-turned-chauffeur Jimmy Tong learns there is really only one rule when you work for playboy millionaire Clark Devlin: Never touch Devlin's prized tuxedo. But when Devlin is temporarily put out of commission in an explosive "accident," Jimmy puts on the tux and soon discovers that this extraordinary suit may be more black belt than black tie. Suddenly thrust into a dangerous world of espionage, paired with a rookie partner as inexperienced as he is, Jimmy becomes an unwitting--if impeccably dressed--secret agent.

 

186      TWELVE MONKEYS; 1995., 130 Minutes

Director: Terry Gilliam

Starring: Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt, Madeleine Stowe, Christopher Plummer

 

The year is 2035 and humankind subsists in a desolate netherworld following the eradication of 99% of the Earth's population, a holocaust that makes the planet's surface uninhabitable, and mankind's destiny uncertain. A desperate group of scientists secure a reluctant volunteer, Cole, to embark on a dangerous mission back to the year 1996, where they hope he can help unravel this apocalyptic nightmare before it completely erases humanity from the planet. When Cole arrives in 1996, he meets Jeffrey Goines, the unstable son of a renowned scientist, and Dr. Kathryn Railly, a psychiatrist and author whose initial alarm over his prophetic warnings of the world's fate soon turns to conviction, and she comes to believe that mankind may indeed be doomed. While also questioning his own sanity, Cole struggles with Railly to unravel the mystery with his only two clues: a haunting childhood memory and a series of puzzling symbols from a group known only as The Army of the Twelve Monkeys.

 

187      U-571 - 2000., 118 Minutes

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Harvey Keitel, Bill Paxton, David Keith

Director: Jonathan Mostow

 

The movie is a exciting tale of historical fiction, a composite of actual events.With Matthew McConaughey and Bill Paxton, the Executive Officer and Skipper of a U.S. submarine in World War II that gets ordered on a top secret mission. Most everything that can go wrong in this mission does, and we're along for the ride as the crew fights for their lives.

 

188      UNFORGIVEN; 1992., 135 Minutes

Starring: Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, Richard Harris, Jaimz Woolvett

Director: Clint Eastwood

 

Dedicated to his mentors Sergio Leone and Don Siegel, Clint Eastwood's 1992 Oscar-winner examines the mythic violence of the Western, taking on the ghosts of his own star past. Disgusted by Sheriff "Little Bill" Daggett's decree that several ponies make up for a cowhand's slashing a whore's face, Big Whiskey prostitutes, led by fierce Strawberry Alice (Frances Fisher), take justice into their own hands and put a $1000 bounty on the lives of the perpetrators. Notorious outlaw-turned-hog farmer William Munny (Eastwood) is sought out by neophyte gunslinger the Schofield Kid (Jaimz Woolvett) to go with him to Big Whiskey and collect the bounty. While Munny insists, "I ain't like that no more," he needs the bounty money for his children, and the two men convince Munny's clean-living comrade Ned Logan (Morgan Freeman) to join them in righting a wrong done to a woman. Little Bill (Oscar-winner Gene Hackman), however, has no intention of letting any bounty hunters impinge on his iron-clad authority. When pompous gunman English Bob (Richard Harris) arrives in Big Whiskey with pulp biographer W.W. Beauchamp (Saul Rubinek) in tow, Little Bill beats Bob senseless and promises to tell Beauchamp the real story about violent frontier life and justice. But when Munny, the true unwritten legend, comes to town, everyone soon learns a harsh lesson about the price of vindictive bloodshed and the malleability of ideas like "justice." "I don't deserve this," pleads Little Bill. "Deserve's got nothin' to do with it," growls Munny, simultaneously summing up the insanity of western violence and the legacy of Eastwood's Man With No Name.

 

189      THE UNTOUCHABLES; 1987., 119 Minutes

Starring: Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Charles Martin Smith, Andy Garcia, Robert De Niro

Director: Brian De Palma

 

Like the TV series that shared the same title, The Untouchables (1987) was an account of the battle between gangster Al Capone and lawman Eliot Ness, this time in the form of a feature film boasting big stars, a big budget, and a script from respected playwright David Mamet. Kevin Costner stars as Ness, a federal agent who has come to Chicago during the Prohibition Era, when corruption in the local police department is rampant. His mission is to put crime lord Capone (Robert DeNiro) out of business, but Capone is so powerful and popular that Ness is not taken seriously by the law or the press. One night, discouraged, he meets a veteran patrolman, Jimmy Malone (Sean Connery), and discovers that the acerbic Irishman is the one honest man he's been seeking. Malone has soon helped Ness recruit a gunslinger rookie, George Stone (Andy Garcia) and, joined by nebbish accountant Oscar Wallace (Charles Martin Smith), the men doggedly pursue Capone and his illegal interests. At first a laughingstock, Ness soon has Capone outraged over his and Malone's sometimes law-bending tactics, and the vain mobster strikes back in vicious style. Ultimately, it is the most unexpected and minor of crimes, tax evasion, which proves Capone's undoing. All of the credits for The Untouchables boasted big names, including music from Ennio Morricone and costumes by Giorgio Armani. Director Brian DePalma continued his tradition of including a homage to past masters of the cinema with a taut stairway shoot-out reminiscent of a similar sequence in Sergei Eisenstein's The Battleship Potemkin (1925).

 

190      VANILLA SKY; 2001., 134 Minutes

Starring: Tom Cruise, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Jason Lee

Director: Cameron Crowe

 

A remake of the Spanish film Open Your Eyes (1997.), this thriller from director Cameron Crowe bears one of several discarded titles for his previous, Oscar-winning film Almost Famous (2000.). Tom Cruise stars as David Ames, a womanizing playboy who finds romantic redemption when he falls in love with his best friend's girlfriend Sofia (Penelope Cruz, reprising her role from the original film). Before that relationship can begin, however, David is coaxed into a car driven by an ex-lover, Julie (Cameron Diaz), who turns out to be suicidal. Driving her car off a bridge, Julie kills herself and horribly disfigures David. Reconstructive surgery and the loving support of Sofia seem to reverse David's luck, but eerie incidents are soon making him question the reality of his existence and his control over his life, even while he is suspected of complicity in Julie's death. Vanilla Sky (2001.) bears the expected Crowe trademark of an obsession with recent pop culture and particularly rock music, a more important element of the remake than the original film. That project's writer/director, Alejandro Amenabar, crafted his own supernatural hit the same year with The Others (2001.), starring Nicole Kidman, the soon-to-be-ex-wife of Cruise.

 

191      LA VITA E BELLA, 1997., 122 Minutes

Directed by: Roberto Benigni

 

Cast overview: 

Roberto Benigni ....  Guido Orefice

Nicoletta Braschi ....  Dora

Giustino Durano ....  Guido's uncle

Sergio Bini Bustric ....  Ferruccio Papini

Giuliana Lojodice ....  School principal

Amerigo Fontani ....  Rodolfo

Pietro De Silva ....  Bartolomeo

Francesco Guzzo ....  Vittorino

Raffaella Lebboroni ....  Elena

Giorgio Cantarini ....  Giosué Orefice

Marisa Paredes ....  Madre di Dora

Horst Buchholz ....  Dr. Lessing

Claudio Alfonsi ....  Amico Rodolfo

Gil Baroni ....  Prefect

 

The film starts in the 1930s when Guido relocates from the country to a large Tuscan town where he falls in love with schoolteacher Dora. She is already engaged to another guy, but Guido stills fights for her. The story continues 5 years later, during wartime, Guido is married to Dora and they have a son called Giosue. Guido is of Jewish origin, and he is sent to a concentration camp with Giosue and Dora follows them, only to be sent to another camp.

 

192      WATERWORLD; 1995., 120 Minutes

Director: Kevin Reynolds

Starring: Kevin Costner, Dennis Hopper, Chaim Jeraffi, R D Call

 

 

Centuries of global warming have caused the polar ice caps to melt, flooding the earth as civilization is left adrift. The inhabitants of this once-flourishing planet cling to life on incredible floating cities, their existence constantly threatened by Smokers--bands of marauding pirates who roam the featureless surface of Waterworld. For the survivors, one chance remains: a solitary hero, known only as the Mariner. Battling the Smokers and their ruthless leader, the Deacon, the Mariner sets out with a beautiful woman and a mysterious little girl on a search for a new beginning.

 

194      WILD WILD WEST; 1999., 105 Minutes

Starring: Will Smith, Kevin Kline, Kenneth Branagh, Salma Hayek, M. Emmet Walsh, Ted Levine

Director: Barry Sonnenfeld

 

Based (loosely) on the 1960s Robert Conrad television vehicle, WILD WILD WEST is a classic buddy film: One man relies solely on his guns (or fists), while the other relies on intellect. James West (Will Smith) is a man of action, a Civil War hero, a ladies' man. Artemus Gordon (Kevin Kline) is a wacky inventor and master of disguise. President Ulysses S. Grant (also played by Kevin Kline, in a dual performance) forces the two to team up to save the world’s leading scientists, who have been kidnapped by evil madman Dr. Arliss Loveless (Kenneth Branagh).

 

195      XXX, 2002., 120 Minutes

Starring: Vin Diesel, Samuel L. Jackson

Director: Rob Cohen

 

Vin Diesel is no James Bond, and he doesn't want to be. That's why XXX announced Diesel as the adrenalin-junkie Bond of the PlayStation generation, copying the Bond formula so shamelessly that this action-packed silliness would be a Bond movie if it starred Pierce Brosnan. Reuniting Diesel with his Fast and the Furious director Rob Cohen, XXX has an attitude (if not a brain) all its own, plucking Diesel's Xander Cage from his celebrity as an extreme sports renegade, recruited by a National Security Agency big shot (Samuel L. Jackson) to foil a nasty Czech villain (Marton Csokas) who's eager to depopulate Prague with remote-controlled biological weaponry. Toss in a sulky, sultry Russian agent (Asia Argento) and you've got extreme Bond-age for anyone who thinks tuxedos are passé. With a handful of eye-popping action sequences, XXX launched a movie franchise with a cool guy, another cool muscle car, and plenty of box-office sizzle.

 

196      YAMAKASI; 2001., 91 Minutes

Directed by: Ariel Zeitoun

 

Châu Belle Dinh ....  Baseball

Williams Belle ....  L'Araignée

Malik Diouf ....  La Belette

Yann Hnautra ....  Zicmu

Guylain N'Guba-Boyeke ....  Rocket

Charles Perriere ....  Sitting Bull

Laurent Piemontesi ....  Tango

Maher Kamoun ....  Vincent

Bruno Flender ....  Michelin

Afida Tahri ....  Fatima

Amel Djemel ....  Aila

Nassim Faid ....  Djamel

Frédéric Pellegeay ....  Fretin

Gerald Morales ....  Chief doctor Le Tronc

Pascal Léger ....  Commissaire Orsini

 

Yamakasi is a refreshing change from Hollywood style films. It's not Besson's masterpiece, the story is not THAT original, but the music, the cool "action" and the fresh style makes it a worthwhile experience.

The story itself is about 7 modern samurai, "yamakasi", that try to help a dying boy by stealing money from rich people in order to buy a donor-heart. The action, although there isn't as much in it as the trailer would led you to believe, mostly consists of the yamakasi running away, climbing buildings, doing crazy jumps, and other stunts involving pedestrians.

 

197      ZOOLANDER; 2001., 89 Minutes

Starring: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell, Christine Taylor, Milla Jovovich

Director: Ben Stiller

 

Comic actor Ben Stiller co-wrote, directed, and stars in this spoof of the fashion industry that began as a short skit for the 1996 VH1 Fashion Awards. Stiller is Derek Zoolander, an intellectually challenged but bone structure-blessed male model who's despondent after being eclipsed in popularity by an equally vacuous rival, Hansel (Owen Wilson). Upon his reluctant retirement, Derek is invited to a day spa by previously standoffish fashion designer Jacobim Mugatu (Will Ferrell), where the befuddled model is brainwashed by the mysterious Katinka (Milla Jovovich) into assassinating the prime minister of Malaysia. It seems that, much like other male models, Derek's lack of mental acuity makes him an ideal specimen for espionage, and he's soon recruited as a double-agent by rogue CIA operative Matilda Jeffries (Christine Taylor). In addition to Stiller's real-life wife Taylor, Zoolander co-stars his father Jerry Stiller, along with Jon Voight, David Duchovny, Andy Dick, and Fabio.