Saturday, July 30, 2011

Extract (2009)

Joel, the owner of an extract manufacturing plant, constantly finds himself in precarious situations that steadily worsen by the minute. First, his soon-to-be floor manager acquires a serious injury in a machine malfunctioning accident that subsequently endangers the wellbeing of his company. Second, his personal life doesn't fair much better when he takes the advice of his bartending friend Dean during a drug-induced brainstorming session on how to test his wife's faithfulness. Finally, compounding these catastrophes is new employee Cindy, who happens to be a scam artist intent on milking the company for all its worth. Now, Joel must attempt to piece his company and his marriage back together all while trying to figure out what he's really after in life.

Director: Mike Judge
Writer: Mike Judge
Stars: Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig and Mila Kunis
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Friday, July 29, 2011

One Hour Photo (2002)

Semour "Sy" Parrish runs the photo processing department at a large discount store; Sy is dedicated to his job, and takes great pride in his work. Sy's favorite customers are Nina and Will Yorkin, an attractive and cheerful young couple with a nine-year-old boy, Jake. Sy dotes on the Yorkins and their son whenever they drop off film to be processed -- something they've been doing quite often ever since Jake was born -- and Nina and Will are indulgent of Sy's attentions, regarding his as a harmless eccentric. What the Yorkins don't know is Sy is a desperately lonely man with no real life of his own, and he's been obsessively making copies of their photos, for years, imagining himself to be "Uncle Sy," a member of the family. Sy's tenuous hold on reality begins to collapse when he develops a roll of film brought in by a new customer that suggests Will has been unfaithful to Nina; the notion that his ideal family may be falling apart is troubling enough for Sy, and when he loses his job, Sy reaches the breaking point.

Director: Mark Romanek
Writer: Mark Romanek
Stars: Robin Williams, Connie Nielsen and Michael Vartan
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Club Dread (2004)

Broken Lizard is surrounded by limber, wanton women on a booze-soaked island resort owned by Coconut Pete, a rock star has-been. But the non-stop party takes a turn for the weird when dead bodies start turning up. Everyone begins to look suspicious. Could it be Sam, of the Fun Police brigade, who is quick-on-the- trigger with his tequila loaded super-soaker; Jenny, the over-sexed, fitness instructor; Juan, the flamboyant diving instructor with a secret third-world past; Putman, the bratty-British tennis coach/fanatic; Dave, the ecstasy-crazed, adopted nephew of Coconut Pete; or the burly masseuse blessed with a creepy touch, that can render anyone into instant Jell-O? Can the inhabitants of Pleasure Island unite, solve the mystery and restore happy hour to this tropical bacchanal?

Director: Jay Chandrasekhar
Writers: Jay Chandrasekhar and Kevin Heffernan
Stars: Jay Chandrasekhar, Bill Paxton and Kevin Heffernan
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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Spirited Away (2001)

Ten-year-old Chihiro is riding along during a family outing as her father races through remote country roads. When they come upon a blocked tunnel, her parents decide to have a look around -- even though Chihiro finds the place very creepy. When they pass through the tunnel, they discover an abandoned amusement park. As Chihiro's bad vibes continue, her parents discover an empty eatery that smells of fresh food. After her mother and father help themselves to some tasty purloined morsels, they turn into giant pigs. Chihiro understandably freaks out and flees. She learns that this very weird place, where all sorts of bizarre gods and monsters reside, is a holiday resort for the supernatural after their exhausting tour of duty in the human world. Soon after befriending a boy named Haku, Chihiro learns the rules of the land: one, she must work, as laziness of any kind is not tolerated; and two, she must take on the new moniker of Sen. If she forgets her real name, Haku tells her, then she will never be permitted to leave.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Writer: Hayao Miyazaki
Stars: Daveigh Chase, Suzanne Pleshette and Miyu Irino
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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Dying Breed (2008)

Eight years ago, Zoology student Nina's sister was searching for evidence of the elusive Tasmanian Tiger when she suddenly vanished without a trace. Before disappearing, however, she did manage to send her sister a mysterious paw print that seemed to suggest that the species was still flourishing somewhere in the vast Australian wilderness. Much like the Sasquatch, the Tasmanian Tiger is a creature that modern scientists have dismissed as legend - but now that Nina has evidence, she's fully prepared to breach Tasmania's dense and dangerous forests in order to prove that the reclusive creature really exists. As Nina, her partner Matt, his old friend Jack, and his girlfriend Rebecca make their way deep into the heart of Tasmania, it quickly becomes obvious that Nina is completely ignorant to one of the isolated island's darkest legends. Back in the 19th Century, when Australia was a barren penal colony, a dangerous convict named Alexander Pierce (aka "The Pieman"), staged a daring escape from the island's most heavily guarded prison. Later, in order to survive, Pierce resorted to eating his fellow escapees. Though Pierce would be hung for cannibalism in 1824, by the time he was captured it was already too late. Pierce had bred, passing on his insatiable appetite for human flesh the next generation. Nearly two centuries later the Tasmanian Tiger seems to have finally become extinct, though the Pieman's lineage is still going strong. Now, in a land where human meat is scarce, Nina's expedition will fall prey to species with a savage appetite, and a murderous motivation to keep their bloodline strong.

Director: Jody Dwyer
Writers: Michael Boughen and Rod Morris
Stars: Nathan Phillips, Leigh Whannell and Bille Brown
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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Insomnia (2002)

Detective Will Dormer is a Los Angeles Police Department legend who temporarily escapes an internal affairs investigation that may ruin his career by traveling to Nightmute, AK, the remote site of a murder that has the local authorities flummoxed. Along with his partner, Hap Eckhart, and the small town's wide-eyed rookie investigator, Ellie Burr, the exhausted Dormer probes the brutal slaying of a teenage girl who was rumored to have a secret lover. A clever ruse quickly lures the killer into a police trap, but the suspect escapes and a tragic accident at the scene leaves Dormer at the mercy of the murderer, a pulp crime novelist named Walter Finch. As Finch plays a dangerous game of extortion with Dormer, the detective's mental health deteriorates rapidly from guilt over his complicity in a crime and sleep deprivation compounded by the lack of darkness in the land of the midnight sun. Meanwhile, the bright and dogged Ellie continues putting the pieces of a complex puzzle together despite Dormer's skillful attempts to lead the investigation toward the right suspect, but away from his own malfeasance.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Writers: Hillary Seitz and Nikolaj Frobenius
Stars: Al Pacino, Robin Williams and Hilary Swank
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The Clinic (2010)

On Christmas Eve 1979, Cameron and his pregnant fiancée Beth are traveling through the Outback of Australia to spend Christmas with Beth's parents. In the evening, Cameron is thrown off road by a reckless driver and the couple decides to stay in a low-budget hotel in the small town of Montgomery. Late at night, Cameron is hungry and cannot sleep, so he decides to look for a restaurant. He leaves a message for Beth, but the Chinese Sky Dragon is closed and his car runs out of gas. When he returns to his room, Beth is missing and he calls the police. Cameron accuses the cynical and unhelpful hotel receptionist, Marv, but the police office does not believe him. He is arrested when he tries to hit the receptionist but while in the police car, he gets Underwood's gun and takes control of the situation. Meanwhile, Beth awakes in a bathtub full of ice and with a C-section. She seeks out her baby and finds four other women in the same situation.

Director: James Rabbitts
Writer: James Rabbitts
Stars: Tabrett Bethell, Freya Stafford and Andy Whitfield
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Monday, July 25, 2011

Faster (2010)

After ten years in prison, Driver has a singular focus - to avenge the murder of his brother during the botched bank robbery that led to his imprisonment. Now a free man with a deadly to-do list in hand, he's finally on his mission...but with two men on his trail - a veteran cop just days from retirement, and a young egocentric hitman with a flair for the art of killing and a newfound worthy opponent. The hunter is also the hunted. It's a do or die race to the list's finish as the mystery surrounding his brother's murder deepens, and new details emerge along the way hinting that Driver's list may be incomplete.

Director: George Tillman Jr.
Writers: Tony Gayton and Joe Gayton
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton and Maggie Grace
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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Jeepers Creepers 2 (2003)

Follows Jeepers Creepers (2001). The Creeper is back, and he's brought his appetite with him. Stranded on the dreaded East 9 Highway while returning home from winning the championship game, a group of basketball players, cheerleaders, and coaches quickly realize that there's more to fear than a broken down bus when The Creeper descends mercilessly upon them. As his 23-day feeding frenzy draws to a close, The Creeper needs the sort of nourishment only a vital group of young athletes can provide, and to survive the night, the terrified teens will have to fight to their dying breaths.

Director: Victor Salva
Writers: Victor Salva
Stars: Jonathan Breck, Ray Wise and Nicki Aycox
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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Jeepers Creepers (2001)

Followed by Jeepers Creepers 2 (2003). On their way back home during the spring break, Darry and Patricia Jenner witness a mysterious person dumping something down a tunnel. Deciding to discover what was dumped down there, Darry discovers a huge disturbing hideout full of modified bodies. Darry and Patricia set off to get help, unaware that the individual is now aware of who has been down the tunnel. Darry and Patricia soon realizes that their pursuer is not just a mysterious person, but something even more horrifying, who has more in store than they could possibly imagine.

Director: Victor Salva
Writer: Victor Salva
Stars: Gina Philips, Justin Long and Jonathan Breck
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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Rogue (2007)

Pete McKell is a writer for an American travel magazine who has been assigned to write a story about vacationing in rugged Northern Australia. Pete signs up for a cruise along a river that's home to a large crocodile population, with tough but pretty Kate Ryan serving as guide. Pete soon finds he's roughing it in the Aussie wilds with an eclectic variety of travelers, including Russell, who is dealing with the death of his wife; Simon, a tactless amateur photographer; and Allen, a member of the British upper crust making the trip with his ailing spouse and their rambunctious daughter. While Kate's former husband, who also works on the river, makes a pest of himself in the early stages of the voyage, the travelers soon find they have more to worry about when their craft is attacked by a massive 25-foot crocodile, who is just clever enough to know how to trap its prey before enjoying them for dinner.

Director: Greg Mclean
Writer: Greg Mclean
Stars: Michael Vartan, Radha Mitchell and Sam Worthington
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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Street Kings (2008)

Followed by Street Kings 2: Motor City (2011). In the wake of the L.A. riots, an LAPD vice detective who always went above and beyond the call of duty to keep the streets safe receives a startling wake-up call that leaves him convinced he can no longer employ the tactics that made him so effective in his work. LAPD veteran Tom Ludlow has borne personal witness to the worst that the streets have to offer, and when his partner, Detective Terrance Washington, is killed the violence strikes a bit too close to home. Now Ludlow is on a mission to bring his partner's killer to justice, though Captain Walker is concerned that the hotheaded detective is taking the case too personally. Now, as Captain Walker attempts to convince Ludlow to work within the confines of the law, Internal Affairs Captain Biggs begins following the vengeful lawman's every move. In order to accomplish his mission, Ludlow recruits fresh-faced Robbery Homicide Detective Diskant to trace Washington's killers through the winding streets of Los Angeles. Later, when Ludlow and Diskant come face to face with the remorseless cop killers, they must chose between upholding the law and seeking bitter vengeance.

Director: David Ayer
Writers: James Ellroy and Kurt Wimmer
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Forest Whitaker and Hugh Laurie
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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Glass House (2001)

Ruby Baker, a high school student, is devastated when her parents Grace and Dave are killed in a tragic car accident. With her younger brother Rhett, Ruby is sent to live with the legal guardians chosen by her parents, their best friends Terry and Erin Glass. The Glasses live in an opulent Malibu mansion where Ruby and Rhett are promised all of the finest luxuries money can buy and a lavish new rich-kid lifestyle. Before long, however, Ruby begins to suspect that her new caretakers are not what they appear on the surface and that the couple's financial woes may force them to harm her or Rhett in order to cash in on their sizable life insurance policies.

Director: Daniel Sackheim
Writer: Wesley Strick
Stars: Diane Lane, Leelee Sobieski and Stellan Skarsgård
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Cyrus (2010)

John is a middle-aged lonely divorced guy who gets dragged to a party by his remarried ex-wife -- who remains his best friend. After a few clumsy, drunken passes at a variety of women, John encounters Molly, an attractive single-mom who finds John's social awkwardness appealing. They hit it off, and quickly begin a tender new relationship. Problems soon arise in the form of Cyrus, Molly's twentysomething son, who has an off-puttingly close relationship to his mom. Soon the jealous Cyrus sets about trying to break them up, and John must figure out how to deal with this unhinged and unexpected rival.

Directors: Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass
Writers: Mark Duplass and Jay Duplass
Stars: John C. Reilly, Marisa Tomei and Jonah Hill
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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Chapter 27 (2007)

On December 8, 1980, Mark David Chapman shocked the world by murdering the beloved purveyor of peace, 40-year-old musician and activist John Lennon, outside The Dakota, his New York apartment building. Chapman's motives were fabricated from pure delusion, fueled by an obsession with the fictional character Holden Caulfield and his similar misadventures in J.D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye. In one instant, an anonymous, mentally unstable 25-year-old, a socially awkward Beatles fan who had fluctuated between idealizing Lennon and being overcome with a desire to kill him, altered the course of history. Aside from a Larry King interview in 1992, he has never spoken with the media. However, Chapman did reveal the mechanics of his unraveling over three fateful days in New York City to crime journalist Jack Jones. Those interviews were published in 1992 as Let Me Take You Down: Inside the Mind of Mark David Chapman, a book of Chapman's recollections of his unthinkable act of violence. From this text, the film Chapter 27 is based.

Director: J.P. Schaefer
Writers: J.P. Schaefer and Jack Jones (book)
Stars: Jared Leto, Lindsay Lohan and Robert Mark Lindsay Chapman
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The Babysitters (2007)

Shirley is a brainy honors student who is always thinking about the future, and works part-time as a babysitter in order to save up for college. Among Shirley's regular charges are spirited youngsters Adam and Mikey, the offspring of respected father Michael and his pretty wife, Gail. Shirley has always had an innocent crush on Michael, but one night after her regular shift, things take a serious turn when the pair sneaks a furtive kiss. Lately Michael has become noticeably depressed by the suburban routine, longing for the days before family responsibility weighed him down and his wife turned into the typical minivan-driving soccer mom. Shirley's kiss makes Michael feel alive again, and as a result he gives her a substantial tip that night. Before long, however, a fleeting kiss has turned into a full-fledged affair, with Michael and Shirley using the babysitting shifts as cover. When Michael's married friends catch wind of his extramarital exploits, they, too, express the want for a babysitter who is willing to earn a healthy tip. Recognizing the potential for profit in such a situation, Shirley soon assumes the role of teenage madam -- matching up her high-school friends with otherwise upstanding men who have grown bored with married life. Of course, Shirley isn't above skimming a bit of the profits for her college fund, but then again it's only a matter of time before their carefully crafted cover is blown.

Director: David Ross
Writer: David Ross
Stars: Lauren Birkell, Paul Borghese and Chira Cassel
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Friday, July 15, 2011

Antitrust (2001)

Milo Hoffmann is a young and gifted computer software designer who with his close friend Teddy is about to launch a high-tech start-up firm based on Milo's inventive ideas in convergence, in which he's helping to create new ways for different forms of digital technology to work in harmony. However, before Milo and Teddy can get their company off the ground, Milo receives a very tempting offer from Gary Winston, a trailblazing genius in the digital world who has turned his company N.U.R.V. into one of the richest and most powerful computer firms on Earth. While Milo is sympathetic to Teddy's beliefs that computer technology should belong to the people and that open source software is the most promising future lies, Winston has long been Milo's role model in design and research, and Milo feels Winston's offer is too good to pass up. Milo and his girlfriend Alice Poulson move out to Silicon Valley, and at first Milo thrives on the challenges of his new position, and develops a close working relationship with fellow designer Lisa Calighan. But Milo underestimates the ruthlessness of the leading-edge software industry, and he soon learns there's a sinister undercurrent to Winston's drive to stay on top.

Director: Peter Howitt
Writer: Howard Franklin
Stars: Ryan Phillippe, Rachael Leigh Cook and Claire Forlani
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