The Spirit (2008)
Written and Directed by Frank Miller
Starring Gabriel Macht, Eva Mendes, Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlett Johansson
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of stylized violence and action, some sexual content and brief nudity.

Story: After an incident in the line of duty left him about dead, Central City Detective Denny Colt (Gabriel Macht) mysteriously reemerged as The Spirit, the city’s masked protector. Armed with the ability to take a ridiculous amount of beating, The Spirit sets off on the case of two missing crates. One has been taken by the evil mastermind known as The Octopus (Samuel L. Jackson) and his gang of genetically altered goons, and the other has landed in the hands of a blast from the past, a sexy jewel thief known as Sand Saref (Eva Mendes). Now he must dodge the arrows of love and bullets of evil to save the City that he loves.

Review: Stupid, stupid, stupid. Chances are that your reaction will be somewhere along those lines after a viewing of Frank Miller’s The Spirit. Though in all fairness, if you are seeing The Spirit this week you fit into one of two categories. Either you’ve been handily duped by one of the most mediocre marketing campaigns in the modern era, thus deserving of your punishment. Or you are genuinely interested in seeing what Frank Miller has cooked up in his directorial follow-up to Sin City. Either way you are bound to be disappointed, because what Miller has delivered is the most remarkably unremarkable moviegoing experience of 2008. It is quite possibly both one of the worst comic book adaptations I’ve ever seen and one of the neatest looking films of the year all at the same time.

The trouble begins when we combine the expectations of a Frank Miller movie with the final product at hand. Anyone who has seen Sin City or read Miller’s work in comics would probably go into this film with the expectation of something dark, potentially gritty and incredibly unique. And if there was any humor, it would based in irony or delivery. But instead of going down that road, Miller chose to stick to the source material’s general campiness, one of the only elements that seem to have survived the adaptation process from Will Eisner’s original work. The real problem is that Frank Miller the director doesn’t appear to understand how to mix the Sin City visual tone with the camp. And many of the moments in the film that are supposed to be funny, most notably an early fight scene between The Spirit and The Octopus in which The Octopus uses some literal toilet humor, end up coming out as simply awkward.

The same can be said about the romantic storylines, which are abundant. The character of The Spirit has always been a womanizer of sorts, and in this film he’s got plenty of targets. It translates into tons of eye candy thanks to the lovely collection of Eva Mendes, Jamie King, Sarah Paulson and Paz Vega. Unfortunately good eye candy does not a good movie make. Every time we see The Spirit encounter one of these delicious dames, it is another round of one-liners that fall flat. And speaking of performances that fall flat; Scarlett Johansson, who plays The Octopus’ calculating right hand chick Silken Floss, is painfully wrong for this movie. Sure, she glows in the sunlight and Frank Miller loves her from neck to waist, but she can’t act her way out of a paper bag. Hell, she can’t even go silly and campy. Instead she spends the bulk of her screentime looking like a Community College theater troupe understudy who’s been thrown on stage unexpectedly.

Gabriel Macht is another misaligned piece to this jagged puzzle, though it has little to do with his acting abilities. Macht’s problem is that he is playing a different version of The Spirit than what appears to have been written. The version that makes it to the screen takes himself a little too seriously, even for a film intended to be comical and campy. In a more serious, dark adaptation of a similar character he might work. Unfortunately that is not the movie Frank Miller set out to make.

One of my other few loves in this movie is easily Sam Jackson. In his role as The Octopus, The Spirit’s arch nemesis, Jackson proceeds to whoop it up with loud outbursts and a characteristically campy presence. In fact, he seems to be the only member of the cast that realizes what sort of film he’s in. Everyone else, including the far too serious for his own good Macht, seems to think that they are acting in some sort of green screen dominated period piece, in which serious characters might exist. While everyone else seems to be putting their most dramatic foot forward, or in the case of Eva Mendes her most bare-assed foot forward, Jackson appears to be having fun dressing up in wild costumes (including in one scene, a Nazi officer’s uniform — which is just plain creepy) and yelling at the top of his lungs. Though as a fan of Jackson’s edgier stuff, I would have liked to see Frank Miller and Lionsgate go full-on with the language, R-rating or not. Because lets face it, kids aren’t going to go see this movie either way — you might as well let Mr. Jackson lay down some F-bombs, as he’s been known to do so well. The only thing that bothered me about Jackson’s character was his inexplicable and useless obsession with eggs, a reference made several times over the course of the film. Just another example of a campy film making all the wrong moves and coming up laughless.

In the end the problem with Frank Miller’s The Spirit is that Frank Miller never really appears to have a grasp on what movie he’d like to make. Is he making Sin City 2 or is he adapting The Spirit? Either way he’s failed miserably. To his credit, he did write a solid story and he has recaptured some of the cool visuals that he and Robert Rodriguez achieved with Sin City, though this movie never feels anything but awkward in its own flashy skin. If you go in looking for something akin to Sin City, don’t be surprised if you find yourself watching the Looney Tunes version. And if you are headed in looking for some good campy laughs, you aren’t going to find those either. What you will find if you see The Spirit this week is a big pile of disappointment, wrapped neatly in Frank Miller’s directorial shame. Sorry Frank, just like everyone else I am still waiting patiently for you to reconnect with a real director and give us brilliance with Sin City 2, just please don’t make any more of these duds in the meantime. I don’t know if your film career can take much more of a beating — it isn’t built like The Spirit, you know.

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Monday, December 29, 2008 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

The sequel to 2005's "Madagascar", in which New York Zoo animals, Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe and Gloria the Hippo, still stranded on Madagascar, start to leave the island. All of a sudden, they land in the wilderness of Africa, where Alex meets the rest of his family, but has trouble communicating with them after spending so much time at the Central Park Zoo.
In the highly-anticipated sequel to 'Madagascar,' Alex, Marty, Melman, Gloria, King Julien, Maurice and the penguins and the chimps find themselves marooned on the distant shores of Madagascar. In the face of this obstacle, the New Yorkers have hatched a plan so crazy it just might work. With military precision, the penguins have repaired an old crashed plane--sort of. Once aloft, this unlikely crew stays airborne just long enough to make it to the wildest place of all--the vast plains of Africa, where the members of our zoo-raised crew encounter species of their own kind for the very first time. Africa seems like a great place...but is it better than their Central Park home?

Directors:
Eric Darnell
Tom McGrath
Writer:
Etan Cohen (written by)
Release Date:
24 December 2008 (Indonesia)
Genre:
Animation | Action | Adventure | Comedy | Family

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Sunday, December 28, 2008 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

Men in Black is a 1997 science fiction comedy action film directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, starring Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith and Vincent D'Onofrio. The film was based on the Men in Black comic book series by Lowell Cunningham, originally published by Aircel Comics. The film featured the creature effects and makeup of Rick Baker. The film was released on July 2, 1997 by Columbia Pictures and grossed over USD $589 million worldwide against a $90 million budget. It was followed by a sequel, Men in Black II, in 2002, and an animated series, simply titled Men in Black: The Series, which aired on the Kids' WB channel from 1997 through 2001.

The MIB, a top-secret agency that polices, monitors and directs alien activity on Earth, has established the Earth as an apolitical "neutral zone" for alien refugees (as Agent K explains, like Casablanca with no Nazis). MIB agents have no identity or any public record of existence, and the MIB agency answers to no government. The funding for their agency comes from the patents they own on technology confiscated from aliens, such as velcro, microwave ovens, and liposuction. Any memory of MIB activity upon "mustering out" of the MIB is erased and a new identity is created for the departing agent. Into this strange world is ushered the initially skeptical Det/Sgt James Edwards (Will Smith), an NYPD officer, as he becomes Agent J, one of the newest MIB personnel. Tommy Lee Jones plays K, a senior MIB agent who recruits and guides J as he learns the ropes.

MIB agents wear sunglasses and dark suits, and appear at UFO landing sites, similar to paranormal reports of real-world Men in Black. Instead of intimidating or threatening witnesses, the MIB use devices known as "Neuralyzers" to wipe witnesses' memories of what they have seen, and replace the memories with more mundane explanations, such as swamp gas or weather balloons. Neuralyzers are also used on agents who leave the organization for any reason. The MIB's sunglasses protect them from the effects of the Neuralyzer.

The main plot of the movie revolves around a "Bug" (code word for a member of an alien species that is similar in many ways to a very large cockroach) searching for a miniature galaxy which is also a vast energy source. Upon landing on Earth, the Bug kills a farmer named Edgar (Vincent D'Onofrio) and uses his skin as a disguise to aid in the hunt. A member of an alien royal family, masquerading as a diamond merchant, has concealed the galaxy on his cat's collar. When he is killed by the Bug, his government prepares to destroy the Earth rather than let the galaxy fall into the Bugs' hands. During their mission, J and K investigate a morgue where they meet Dr. Laurel Weaver (Linda Fiorentino), a cynical deputy medical examiner. Eventually, the agents kill the Bug (with Laurel's help) and recover the galaxy. K then has J erase his memory so he can retire, and Laurel joins the MIB and becomes Agent L, J's new partner.

In the final scene of the film, the camera pulls back into the sky through space past our solar system, past millions of stars, ultimately revealing that our galaxy is contained within a circular container resembling a marble. The container is then picked up by an alien hand which throws it, hitting another 'marble' which also contains a galaxy. Both marbles are then picked up by the hand and placed into a bag full of galaxy-containing marbles.

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Shrek the Third is a 2007 animated film, and the third film in the Shrek series, following Shrek and Shrek 2. It was produced by Jeffrey Katzenberg for DreamWorks Animation, and is distributed by Paramount Pictures, and was released in U.S. theaters on May 18, 2007 (exactly 6 years after the first Shrek).

It was produced with the working title of Shrek 3, the name being changed to avoid potential confusion with Shrek 3-D. Like the first two Shrek films, the movie is significantly based on fairy tale themes. The film was rated PG by the MPAA for some crude humor, suggestive content and swashbuckling action. It was nominated for Best Animated Movie at the Kids' Choice Awards 2008.
King Harold (John Cleese) falls ill and his ogre son-in-law Shrek (Mike Myers) and daughter Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) are next in line to be King and Queen of Far Far Away. Shrek declines, insisting that an ogre as king is a bad idea and that there has to be someone else for the job. With his final few breaths, the king tells Shrek that there is one other heir who can become the new King of Far Far Away: his nephew, Arthur Pendragon (Justin Timberlake). After a mournful (yet somewhat humorous) funeral, Shrek sets out on a quest to bring back the new king, along with Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas). As they're sailing off, Fiona runs to the dock and announces to Shrek that he's going to be a father. Shocked, Shrek begins to have nightmares about his future children on the journey to find Arthur.

The trio's journey leads them to Worcestershire Academy, an elite boarding school, where they discover that Arthur, or "Artie", as he prefers to be called, is a gangly loser hated by virtually everyone, from the cool kids down to the retainer wearing Dungeons and Dragons geeks. Far removed from the courageous legend his name evokes, Artie stands literally at the bottom of the high school food chain. He is constantly showered with insults, used as a punching bag by the school Jousting Team, led by the obnoxious Lancelot du Lac (John Krasinski), and cruelly scorned by Guinevere (Latifa Ouaou), the girl he had always loved.

At the school pep rally Shrek tells him he's going to be the new king of Far Far Away. Artie is only too excited to be on his way to the throne, until Donkey and Puss inadvertently scare him by talking about responsibilities of being king. Panicked, Artie tries to take control of the ship and ends up crashing it on an island where they meet Artie's retired wizard teacher, Merlin (Eric Idle).

Meanwhile, Prince Charming (Rupert Everett) has gone to the Poison Apple Bar, where he encounters a slew of fairy tale villains including Captain Hook (Ian McShane), the Wicked Queen (Susanne Blakeslee), a Cyclops (Mark Valley), Rumpelstiltskin (Conrad Vernon), Little Red Riding Hood, Mabel the Ugly Stepsister (Regis Philbin), the Headless Horseman (Conrad Vernon), Stromboli the Puppet Master (Chris Miller), and an assortment of black knights, pirates, ents, and witches. Although they initially despise Charming, he persuades them to join him in a fight for their "happily ever after". The villains feel their side of the story has never been told and now is the time to do it.

Charming and the other villains invade the kingdom and pillage for a time before attacking the castle, disrupting Fiona's baby shower. They capture all of Shrek's fairy tale friends Gingerbread Man (Conrad Vernon), Pinocchio (Cody Cameron), The Big Bad Wolf (a cross between the Three little pigs and Little Red Riding Hood's wolf) (Aron Warner), The Three Blind Mice (Christopher Knight) and The Three Little Pigs (also Cameron), Dragon, and Donkey and Dragon's children. Fiona and Lilian (Julie Andrews) try to escape through an underground passage, along with Doris the Ugly Stepsister (Larry King), Cinderella (Amy Sedaris), Snow White (Amy Poehler), Sleeping Beauty (Cheri Oteri) and Rapunzel (Maya Rudolph); the ladies are captured, however, when Rapunzel betrays them and leads them into a trap. They learn that she is in love with Charming, who plans to make her his queen once he claims the throne.

Captain Hook and some of his pirates track Shrek and company to Merlin's island, where they attempt to capture Shrek and kill the others. Shrek and Artie tag-team them effectively, however, and send the villains running, but not before Hook mentions "King Charming" and the takeover of Far Far Away. Concerned for his wife and their child, Shrek urges Artie to return to the safety of Worcestershire; Artie, however, has other ideas. He cons Merlin into coming out of retirement long enough to use his magic and send them all back to Far Far Away; the spell works, but accidentally causes Puss and Donkey to switch bodies because they were touching each other. They find that Charming is bent on revenge against Shrek for 'stealing' his "happily ever after," and plans to kill Shrek in a play later that night. Charming's men arrive shortly, but another clever ruse by Artie tricks the knights into not taking them into custody. They then break into the castle, where play rehearsal and set design are in full swing, but Charming is not good at rehearsing. He is also not good at mock battles, killing two faux Shrek in a row. In Charming's dressing room, Shrek menaces Charming but Charming is able to summon his men, who burst in and take the four captive.

Charming prepares to decapitate Artie. In an effort to save him, Shrek tells Charming that Artie was just a patsy to take his place as King of Far Far Away. Charming believes Shrek and decides not to kill the boy. Artie, who had just been growing to trust Shrek, is crushed by this and runs away. Donkey and Puss are thrown into the tower with Fiona and the other ladies, where Fiona is growing frustrated with the other princesses and their lack of initiative. Queen Lilian grows fed up when Snow White calls her an old lady, and successfully smashes the stone wall of the prison by head butting the walls. While the women launch a rescue mission for Shrek, who is being held captive elsewhere, Donkey and Puss work to free Gingy, Pinocchio, the wolf and pigs, Dragon, and the Dronkey. As they prepare to enter the castle and join the ladies, they encounter Artie, and Puss and Donkey explain to him that Shrek lied so Charming wouldn't kill him. Artie seems hesitant to believe them.

As the kingdom watches, Charming stages a theatrical performance in which he heroically rides to the rescue of Rapunzel in her (fake) tower and sings, somewhat badly. To Charming's profound annoyance, the chained Shrek wins the audience's support by ridiculing his singing and acting. Just as Charming is about to kill Shrek, Fiona and her friends, along with Puss, Donkey and the Fairy Tale characters, leap onto the stage to confront the villains. It goes awry, however, as the villains largely outnumber the heroes and take them prisoner again. In the nick of time, Artie arrives and convinces the villains to stop and turn over a new leaf, proving himself to possess effective leadership skills. He says a word of wisdom-"Just because some people treat you like a loser, it doesn't mean you are one. The thing that matters most is what you think of yourself. If there is something you really want or someone you really want to be then it's only you yourself standing in your way." The villains drop their weapons and release their captives. Charming, furious at having been thwarted by this boy, lunges for him with his sword. Shrek blocks the blow and appears to take it in his own chest, leading Charming to exult; the attack missed, however, and the sword is lodged harmlessly under Shrek's arm. Shrek informs Charming that he needs to keep looking for his own happily ever after, "because I'm not giving up mine." Dragon slyly knocks over Rapunzel's tower, which lands on Charming (although it is unkown wether the hole for the window fell on him or not) and the crowd cheers. Charming's crown is sent rolling across the stage by the impact and is caught by Artie. Shrek tells him that the throne is his if he wants it, but it is his decision to make. Artie lifts the crown toward the audience, who cheer him loudly, then sets it on his own head. While the kingdom celebrates their new monarch, Merlin appears and restores Puss and Donkey to their proper bodies, though their tails remain switched.

As Far Far Away is left in the capable hands of young King Arthur, Shrek retires with Fiona to their swamp, having three ogre babies.

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Saturday, December 27, 2008 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

Surf's Up is a American Academy Award-nominated computer-animated mockumentary film produced by Sony Pictures Animation and distributed by Columbia Pictures. It stars the voices of Shia LaBeouf, Jeff Bridges, Zooey Deschanel, Jon Heder among others.

It is Sony Pictures Animation's second film, the first being Open Season on September 29, 2006. The American premiere occurred on June 8. It is directed by Ash Brannon (the co-director of Toy Story 2) and Chris Buck (the director of Tarzan). Pre-production for Surf's Up began in 2002.

It is a parody of surfing documentaries, such as The Endless Summer and Riding Giants. Real-life surfers Kelly Slater and Rob Machado have vignettes as their penguin surfer counterparts.

A documentary crew follows the events of Cody Maverick (voiced by Shia LaBeouf) a small rockhopper penguin residing in Shiverpool, Antarctica (a pun on Liverpool, England). After a childhood visit from surf legend Zeke "Big Z" Topanga, Cody aspires to emulate the renowned legend by becoming a famous and respected surfer.

Eventually, talent scout Mikey Abromowitz (voiced by Mario Cantone) arrives in Shiverpool scouting for surfers to compete in the Big Z Memorial Surf Contest. Cody joins the group, once he's proven himself to Mikey, and quickly befriends Chicken Joe (voiced by Jon Heder), an easy-going surfer from Wisconsin. Soon after arriving at Pen Gu Island, Cody crosses paths with the local lifeguard named Lani Aliikai (voiced by Zooey Deschanel) as she rescues the penguin child, Arnold, from "drowning." Shortly thereafter, Cody has an altercation with the egotistical Tank "The Shredder" Evans (voiced by Diedrich Bader), a large muscular penguin and nine time winner of the Big Z Competition, when he witnesses Tank hurling stones at Big Z's memorial shrine. The disturbance catches the attention of promoter Reggie Belefonte, all too eager to allow Cody to challenge Tank to a surf-off on the spot. Unfortunately Cody's inexperience with the challenges the competition has to offer leads to a terrible wipeout; unable to come up for a proper breath of air, he is pulled under and injured when he steps on a fire urchin. Lani takes the injured and unconscious Cody to the jungle home of a hermit called the Geek (voiced by Jeff Bridges) in order to get help for his injuries and to recuperate. The Geek studies the injury, removes the urchin spire, and uses an old trick taught to him to heal the poisonous sting, urinating on it.

By morning Cody is woken by the Geek, who is eager to remove the young surfer from his premises. On the escort back, Cody realizes that he has lost his Big Z necklace. Geek is less than impressed, though shows curious reactions to Cody's tale of Big Z and how Cody received said necklace. He shows Cody the route back to the beach, and leaves the young penguin be. A short time having passed, Geek has found Cody's necklace in his hut and quickly returns to the path fork, finding Cody still sitting on the log, and returns the Big Z necklace. As if in an effort to make up with the surfer-to-be, Geek notices the log's type, Koa (of which all the best surfboards are made), and decides for Cody that they're making him a surfboard. Cody, bemused and surprised, reluctantly agrees and the two attempt to haul the log back to Geek's hut.

A little slip up on Cody's part and soon the log is rolling in the opposite direction, with Geek soon with it. The log ends up flying off a cliff, Geek, however, stays hanging on for dear life on the cliff itself. After a quick rescue from Cody, the young surfer notices what the cliff looks over: a beautiful and pristine beach. Unable to contain his curiosity, Cody treks down the steep cliff, inadvertently taking Geek with him. On the beach now, Cody explores a toppled tree and soon realizes it houses several old surfboards, those of Big Z's. Geek is seen investigating a dilapidated shack littered with messages of grief from Big Z's fans, and from his reaction, Cody realizes that the Geek is Big Z.

Almost instantly, Cody's excitement that his lifetime hero still lives is unleashed in a torrent of questions and theories as to what happened, much to the chagrin of Z, who quickly takes to hiding within his old home. Cody is now convinced that this is his chance, with his hero by his side to train him, he can win the Memorial Surf Off no question. Eventually Cody lures Z from the hut, having pulled Z's old boards from their resting spot and attempting to surf with them out in the crystal blue ocean. Cody takes a few more wipeouts as he attempts to get Z in the water, but slowly manages to work tips from Big Z; Z, however, is still not impressed, and with one last (and Z predicted) wave, Cody is pulled ashore ("Don't touch my stuff, man.") and told that he won't be doing any surfing until he has made a board of his own.

Eager Cody and mellow Z finally get to work on the Koa board, halving the log from earlier, and getting a pattern drawn. The two are quickly at odds with one another, Cody becoming frustrated with his mentor's overbearing attitude towards the board ("No, no I don't want your help!"). Z backs off, and allows Cody to pry his way through the wood, creating a "work in progress" gouged plank that quickly snaps once actually in the water. Cody becomes irritated and leaves the beach, leaving Z and the documentary crew behind (Z offering them barbecue cooked over the broken wood). He's soon reunited with Lani, on her way to Geek's hut with a satchel full of clams. It is revealed that Lani knew of Geek's true persona, she was his niece, and in her very own excitement, she takes Cody to a special spot on the island, the Lava Tubes. After a thrilling race through the tubes and a "winning" landing in glow worm droppings, a shower, and a talk, Lani convinces Cody to return to Z. Cody complies, realizing his folly, and returns to Z's beach, beginning work on a new surfboard under the bright moonlight.

By morning, he has finished the board, Z is surprised and pleased, Cody has successfully created a proper board this time. Z, being the playful sort, puts Cody through a few more land-based tests first, before he allows Cody in the water, all intended to make Cody realize that surfing should be about having fun, and not contests and winning. Once the young surfer has proven that to Big Z, they're off to the water! A true feat, Z's first attempt at surfing in over 10 years proves that he's still the soul surfer he always was. Lani soon arrives on the beach and joins the duo as they surf the rest of the day away.

Now evening, Cody, Lani, and Zeke are resting beside a fire, cooking a few shrimp, Z is entertaining them with his personal ukelele song, while Cody waxes his new board. Cody soon asks Big Z to come and watch him surf in the Big Z Memorial Surf competition. Z is highly reluctant, becoming irritated with the questioning, but ashamedly reveals the truth behind his disappearance. Ten years ago, winning had become everything to Z, he was facing Tank Evans in a Reggie Belafonte backed contest, and realizes soon enough that he couldn't beat the then up-and-coming Tank. Not wanting to end up a loser and wash-up to his fans and friends, Z decided the only right choice was to disappear.

On that last big wave, Z lets go of his board, allowing it to careen into the Boneyards, himself slipping off into the wave and out of sight, permanently. Cody is in disbelief, his hero had given up. Tossing his necklace into the dark waves, Cody storms off, intending to win the contest alone. Cody continues through the forest and is caught in a trap set by the natives of Pen Gu island. Chicken Joe appears, having been looking for Cody ever since his disappearance, and since had befriended and apparently traveling with the Pen Gu-ins, retrieves Cody just as the horn blows for the start of the Surf Off.

The first waves remove most of the surfers from the contest, leaving Tank, Cody and Chicken Joe to continue on. Things become heated and Tank makes it clear his intentions to take out Chicken Joe, leaving Cody with an opportunity to win, an opportunity he does not take. Instead he clashes with Tank, sending them both to "The Boneyard", a section normally roped off and considered the most dangerous section due to the rough nature of the waves and the lacerating and towering rock formations. Tank is knocked out cold after colliding with some of the rocks, Lani rescues Tank and brings him to shore while Cody hangs on to dear life on any surface he can grab. Big Z appears and with the help of a particularly large and crashing wave, rescues Cody from the dangers of the Boneyard. Once together on Z's old board they exhaustedly paddle safely to shore. Finally ashore, Z is quickly revealed to the curious and questioning onlookers. After standing up to Reggie in his attempt to auction off the "deceased" Cody's board, Z invites everyone to his old beach spot to surf. Cody finishes talking with the documentary crew at this point and joins his friends in the water. Having learned that friendship and fun is the heart behind surfing, Cody finally catches a tube with Big Z. The film ends with Z, Cody, Lani, and many others surfing the waves as the sun sets.

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Friday, December 26, 2008 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

Transformers is a 2007 live-action film adaptation of the Transformers franchise, directed by Michael Bay and written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. It stars Shia LaBeouf as Sam Witwicky, a teenager involved in a war between the heroic Autobots and the evil Decepticons, two factions of alien robots who can disguise themselves by transforming into everyday machinery. The Decepticons desire control of the All Spark, the object that created their robotic race, with the intention of using it to build an army by giving life to the machines of Earth. Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Jon Voight and John Turturro also star, while Peter Cullen and Hugo Weaving provide the voices of Optimus Prime and Megatron respectively.

Producers Don Murphy and Tom DeSanto developed the project in 2003, with a treatment written by DeSanto. Executive producer Steven Spielberg came on board the following year, and hired Orci, Kurtzman and Bay for the project in 2005. The filmmakers wanted a realistic depiction of the story, and created a complex design aesthetic for the robots to stress their alien nature. The computer-generated characters were programmed to have thousands of mechanical pieces move as they transformed and maneuvered. The United States Military and General Motors lent vehicles and aircraft during filming, which saved money for the production and added realism to the battle scenes.

Hasbro organized an enormous promotional campaign for the film, making deals with hundreds of companies. This advertising blitz included a viral marketing campaign, coordinated releases of Transformers prequel comics books, Transformers toys and books, as well as product placement deals with GM and eBay. The film was a box office success despite mixed fan reaction to the radical redesigns of the characters, and reviews criticizing the focus on the humans at the expense of the robots. It is the thirtieth most successful film released and the fifth most successful of 2007, grossing approximately US$708 million worldwide. The film won four awards from the Visual Effects Society and was nominated for three Academy Awards. It revitalized media interest in the franchise, and a sequel Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is expected for release on June 26, 2009.

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King Arthur is a 2004 film directed by Antoine Fuqua and written by David Franzoni. It stars Clive Owen as the title character.

The makers of the film claim to present a historically accurate version[1] of the Arthurian legends, supposedly inspired by new archaeological findings. The accuracy of these claims is subject to debate, but the film is unusual in representing Arthur as a Roman officer rather than a medieval knight. It was shot in England, Ireland, and Wales.
Arthur, also known as Artorius Castus (Clive Owen), is portrayed as a Roman cavalry officer, the son of a Roman father and a Celtic mother, who leads a military force of Sarmatian auxiliary cavalry in Britain at the close of the Roman occupation in 467 A.D. He and his men guard Hadrian's Wall against the Woads, a Celtic people who resist Roman rule, based on the historical Picts,[2] led by the mysterious Merlin. He is not the first Arthur — for generations, his ancestors have manned the Wall, leading Sarmatian auxiliaries.

As the film starts, Arthur and his remaining knights Lancelot (whose voiceover is heard at the beginning and end), Bors, Tristan, Gawain, Galahad and Dagonet - are expecting discharge from the service of the Empire after faithfully serving for 15 years (Lancelot's entry into service as a youth in 452 A.D. is depicted at the very beginning of the film). However, on the night they ought to receive their freedom, they are dispatched on a final and possibly suicidal mission by Bishop Germanius in the freezing winter to rescue the important Roman family of Marius Honorius, his wife, and their son, Alecto, who is the Pope's favorite godson (and, according to Bishop Germanius, may be "destined to be Pope one day"), from impending capture by the invading Saxons, who are led by their chief Cerdic and his son Cynric. The knights are charged with this rescue because Rome is withdrawing from Britain, it now being considered an indefensible outpost.

At the remote estate, Arthur explains his mission to Marius, who becomes defensive and refuses to leave his grand home. Marius is revealed to have oppressed his serfs on the pretense of speaking for God. While being shown an elder who is tied up out in the elements for holding back food, Arthur advises that Marius does not speak for God. He frees the elder & tells them all that they were "free from their first breath". Arthur soon discovers Marius has also imprisoned pagans: a Woad with an injured hand, Guinevere (Keira Knightley) and a small boy, Lucan. Arthur frees them and decides to take everyone, along with Marius' family, back to Hadrian's Wall.

Along the journey, Guinevere tells Arthur of the "fairy tales" she'd heard of him, and Arthur is revealed to be half Celt (on his mother's side). Arthur resets the fingers in Guinevere's hand. One night, Guinevere takes Arthur to meet with Merlin, the leader of the Woads. At first, Arthur thinks Guinevere has betrayed him, but Merlin has come in peace. It is revealed in flashback that Arthur's mother had died in a Woad attack when he was a boy. Merlin says that he did not wish for Arthur's mother to die; she was of their blood, as is Arthur. Arthur's famous sword, Excalibur, is also shown to be his father's, which he drew from his father's tombstone (inspiring the legend of the Sword in the Stone) in an effort to rescue his mother. Merlin suggests an alliance between the Woads and the Sarmatian knights, and Arthur leaves in silence.

Along the route one dawn, Marius forces a standoff with his own soldiers, taking the boy Lucan hostage. Hand mended, Guinevere uses a bow to shoot Marius dead; his guards stand down and aid the knights in getting all the people to the wall. Tristan returns from scouting the area and tells Arthur that a whole Saxon army is on the move.

The group soon encounter the Saxons at an ice-covered lake. The knights stay behind to hold up the Saxons and allow the refugees to escape. Greatly outnumbered, Arthur, Guinevere and the knights attempt to repel them with arrows; the battle is won when Dagonet runs to the middle of the ice and breaks it with an axe, at the cost of his life — however, many Saxons are killed.

Struck by Rome leaving its subjects to the mercy of the Saxons, Arthur is further disillusioned when he learns that Bishop Pelagius, whose teachings about the equality of all men inspired the brotherhood of his Round Table — has been executed as a heretic by order of Bishop Germanius himself. In due course, Arthur and his remaining men forsake Roman citizenship and form an alliance with the Woads to fight the Saxons. In the climatic battle, the Battle of Badon Hill, the Woads catapult flaming missiles at the Saxon army, and when they enter battle, Guinevere engages in combat with Cynric. Cerdic fights and kills Tristan, but, just before delivering the final blow, he looks around to make sure that Arthur is watching. Arthur sees Cerdic kill Tristan and rushes to fight Cerdic himself. Meanwhile, Guinevere disarms Cynric and nearly kills him before Lancelot intervenes and duels Cynric alone. While another Saxon captures Lancelot's attention for a moment, Cynric shoots Lancelot with a Saxon crossbow. Though mortally wounded, Lancelot manages to kill Cynric, and he himself dies with Guinevere at his side. Arthur kills Cerdic. The film ends with Arthur and Guinevere's marriage. Merlin then proclaims him to be their king. King Arthur, Queen Guinevere, and his remaining knights promise to lead the Britons, united with the defeat of the Saxons and retreat of the Romans, against future invaders. The last scene shows Lancelot, Dagonet and Tristan reincarnated as horses and roaming the lands freely, while Lancelot speaks of the fact that their names will live forever in legend.

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Zathura Is A Space Adventure is a film directed by Jon Favreau, based on an illustrated book by Chris Van Allsburg, author of Jumanji. It starred Jonah Bobo as Danny and Josh Hutcherson as Walter. Tim Robbins also had a small role as the divorced father of Walter and Danny. The film also gave a sister to the boys, introduced a derelict astronaut to the plot, and multiplied the number of the Zorgons and Zorgon ships. This movie is considered as the first of a series, being a prequel to Jumanji despite being released ten years afterwards.[1] The film was released on November 11, 2005 by Columbia Pictures.

Two boys, Walter (Josh Hutcherson) and Danny (Jonah Bobo), discover a space themed board game from the basement, where everything inside it becomes real. The boys are eventually drawn into an adventure when their house is magically hurtled through space. The story is similar to Jumanji, another illustrated book by Van Allsburg (in the book, the Zathura game is contained inside the Jumanji one, although paradoxically the astronaut is revealed to be the creator of Jumanji. Likewise in the movie versions Zathura takes place in the 1970's and Jumanji takes place in the 1960's).

During the course of the story, the boys must overcome their personal ill-feeling held toward one another in order to survive. They are aided in this by an astronaut (Dax Shepard) who appears as a result of the game. This astronaut is eventually revealed to be an older version of Walter, who had been trapped as a character in the game's world as a result of causing the disappearance of Danny, without whom he was no longer a player. Thus, the game could not advance without Danny taking his turn. This backstory becomes the basis, although the viewer only sees its role as such in retrospect, of parallels drawn between the two versions of Walter, including a revelation of the backstory without mention of his name or that of his brother. He is finally released when Walter summons his brother back to him. Both he and his brother seem to merge with Danny and Walter (after the astronaut turns back into another version of Walter) now that the future caused by Walter wishing Danny away has been erased.

Accompanying Danny, Walter, and the astronaut is their cantankerous elder sister, Lisa (Kristen Stewart), who while not a player is as vulnerable to the dangers present in the game. She is placed in cryogenic freeze for five turns. She develops a crush on the astronaut, and is thus horrified when she finds out that she fell for an older version of her brother Walter.

The main villains in the movie are the Zorgons; reptilian, biped tool-users who are fond of heat and are attracted to a heat source much like bees are attracted to nectar, because they are cold-blooded. The Zorgons, having burned their own planet to obtain more heat, are nomads who travel through space seeking more to burn and who keep a flock of four-eyed goats on their ship.

Another character, a robot (Frank Oz), first appears as a wind-up tin toy that quickly becomes life-size. It is supposed to defend the players, but as it is malfunctioning it mis-identifies Walter as an alien life form and begins rampaging through the house. Walter uses a "Reprogram" card on the robot, and it instead sets its sights on the Zorgons. A single Zorgon survives the robot's kamikaze attack and sneaks up behind Walter and Danny as they are wondering where Lisa is. Just as it's about to kill them, it is crushed and killed by Lisa with Danny's piano. Unfortunately, a massive Zorgon fleet arrives and attacks after Walter frees the astronaut and his brother.

Danny eventually completes the object of the game, whereupon the house is drawn into a roaring black hole, which Danny realizes is Zathura. The Zorgon fleet is pulled into the black hole, as are Lisa and Walter. Moments later, they have returned to Earth. All the "pieces" of the game (the house, its furnishing, and the players) have been replaced as they were before the game began. The brothers are thereafter much more cooperative with one another. The boys, and Lisa, retain their memories of the game's events in which they all agree never to speak of Zathura again.

As the kids get in the car with their mother and drive away, one of their bicycles which drifted off into space falls back to the lawn.

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Bruce Almighty is a 2003 American comedy film, directed by Tom Shadyac and starring Jim Carrey. The film was written by Steve Koren, Mark O'Keefe, and Steve Oedekerk. It co-stars Morgan Freeman and Jennifer Aniston. The supporting cast includes Steve Carell, Catherine Bell, Lisa Ann Walter, and Philip Baker Hall. Tony Bennett makes a cameo appearance.

The film follows Bruce Nolan, a down on his luck TV reporter who seeks a promotion and a better life overall. After a series of bad incidents, such as being beaten while helping a homeless person, Nolan complains that God can't do His job properly. He is surprised when he is met by God himself and granted his powers for a week to see if he can do a better job.

When the film was released in American theaters in late May 2003, it took the #1 spot at the box office, grossing $85.89 million, higher than the release of Pearl Harbor, making it the highest-rated Memorial Day weekend opening of any film in motion picture history until the release of X-Men: The Last Stand over Memorial Day 2006.[1] The movie surprised media analysts when it beat The Matrix Reloaded after its first week of release. By the time it left theaters in December 2003, it took in a United States domestic total of over $242 million and $484,572,835 worldwide, breaking records as the seventeenth highest-grossing live action comedy of all time.

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Joan of Arc has inspired artistic and cultural works for nearly six centuries. The following lists cover various media to include items of historic interest, enduring works of high art, and recent representations in popular culture. The entries represent portrayals that a reader has a reasonable chance of encountering rather than a complete catalog. Lesser known works, particularly from early periods, are not included. In 1979 the Bibliothèque Municipale in Rouen, France held an exhibition that contained over 500 images and other items that related to Joan of Arc.[1] Many of the excluded items are derivative of better known representations. For instance, Schiller's play inspired at least 82 different dramatic works during the nineteenth century. Verdi's and Tchaikovsky's operatic adaptations are still recorded and performed. Most of the others survive only in research libraries.[2] In 1894 Émile Huet listed over 400 plays and musical works about Joan of Arc. Despite a great deal of scholarly interest in Joan of Arc no complete list of artistic works about her exists, although a 1989 doctoral dissertation did identify all relevant films including ones for which no copy survives.[3]

For purposes of classification, popular culture music is a separate section from operas and oratorios. Films include made-for-television movies and miniseries. Television covers live action series. Comics and Animation details both North American animation and Japanese anime, as well as manga and graphic novels.

The story of Joan of Arc was a popular subject for dramatization in the 1940s. In addition to Maxwell Anderson's play Joan of Lorraine and the Ingrid Bergman film Joan of Arc, there was also the 1948 RKO film The Miracle of the Bells starring Fred MacMurray, Alida Valli, and Frank Sinatra, about a dying film actress whose first and last role is Joan of Arc. There were also three radio dramatizations of the story of Joan during those years, one of them specifically written with a World War II framework.

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Bad Boys II is a 2003 action-comedy film directed by Michael Bay, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, and starring Martin Lawrence and Will Smith. It is a sequel to the 1995 film Bad Boys.
Eight years later, Narcotics cops Mike Lowrey (Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Lawrence) head a task force investigating the flow of ecstasy into Miami, after breaking up a Ku Klux Klan rally where in Mike accidentally shoots Marcus in the buttocks which, combined with Mike's apparent propensity for violence, becomes a point of contention between the two throughout most of the film.

Meanwhile, neurotic Cuban kingpin named "Johnny" Tapia (Jordi Molla)'s plan to control the city's drug traffic has touched off an underground war with the local Russian mafia. The Russians, Alexei and Josef, receive drugs from Tapia to run their nightclub businesses, but had to give nearly half of their profits to Tapia. Their attempt to renegotiate ends in Josef's death and loss of their business to Tapia.

Meanwhile, a relationship starts to form between Mike and Syd (Gabrielle Union), Marcus' sister, who also happens to be undercover with the DEA as a money laundering agent for the Russians. During her first assignment the Zoe pounders, a Haitian gang, attempt to hijack the transport and kill Syd. A massive fire fight ensues between the gang members and the Miami Police/DEA and devastates the local area. Marcus and Mike, who happened to be observing the Zoe pounders, learn of Syd's actual work, and Marcus is not happy.

Marcus and Mike confront the Haitian gang leader and find out about Palm Spring's Mortuary, a business run by Tapia's Mother, is being used to smuggle drugs in and out of Miami. Disguised as pest terminators, they penetrate Tapia's mansion and find out that Tapia is using dead bodies in the mortuary to smuggle his drugs and money to Cuba. Syd, still undercover with the DEA, has successfully charmed Tapia but is found out, captured and taken to Cuba.

Mike and Marcus, along with their team, prepare a plan to recover Syd from Tapia's capture. A long gunfight ensues and eventually the Cuban military arrive outnumbering the team. As Tapia's newly built house is destroyed by a bomb, Mike, Marcus and Syd manage to escape, pursued by the infuriated Tapia. After a lengthy car chase they end up at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay. As Marcus and Syd plead with the soldiers, a gunfight erupts between Tapia and Mike. Marcus gets the opportunity to fire his last bullet and shoots Tapia in the head, narrowly missing Mike's. Tapia's body falls on a mine and Tapia's corpse explodes.

Later, at the Burnett house, Mike has bought Marcus a new pool, and Marcus finally comes to peace with Mike dating his sister, Syd. He even tears up the transfer papers he was going to put in, which would have ended their partnership. However, the pool breaks again, washing the two into the river, as they sing the "Bad Boys" theme song from 'Cops'. (still forgetting the actual words like before)

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

Bad Boys is a 1995 action comedy film, directed by Michael Bay, produced by Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer and starring Martin Lawrence and Will Smith. The film also spawned a 2003 sequel, Bad Boys II.
Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) and Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) are detective sergeants in the Miami-Dade Police Department. While Lowery is from a wealthy background and enjoys a playboy-like lifestyle, the family man Burnett is married, with three kids.
One night, $100 million of seized heroin is stolen by gangsters from a secure police vault. This is a major blow to Burnett and Lowery, because it was the biggest drug bust of their careers. Internal Affairs believe it was an inside job and issue an ultimatum—if they do not recover the drugs in five days, the narcotics division will be shut down. It is quickly discovered that one of the gang members was Eddie Domínguez, a former cop, who has absconded with some of the heroin. Dominguez is shot to death by his boss, French drug kingpin Fouchet (Tchéky Karyo), who also kills escort Max (Karen Alexander), one of Lowery's ex-girlfriends. The only witness to the crime is Max's friend Julie Mott (Téa Leoni).

Although she has never met him, Julie will only testify to Lowrey, but he is out of contact when she threatens to run, so Burnett is forced to impersonate him in order to get her to co-operate. In order to continue the deception Burnett moves Julie into Lowrey's apartment, which he himself has to move into, while Lowrey moves in with Burnett's family and claims to be Burnett in Julie's presence while Burnett claims to be Lowrey.

Eventually, Fouchet and his gang of criminals learn where Julie is and kidnap her. Burnett, Lowrey and two other members of the Miami P.D. organize a plan to stop the criminals from killing Julie and selling the drugs to a Colombian drug lord. A final shoot-out erupts between Burnett, Lowrey and the drug dealers. The criminals are eliminated, Julie is saved in the process and Lowrey kills Fouchet.

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Armageddon is a 1998 disaster/sci-fi-action film about a group of blue-collar deep-core drillers who are sent by NASA to deflect an asteroid on a collision course with Earth. It was directed by Michael Bay, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and released on Disney's Touchstone Pictures label. It stars Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler.

A novelization was written by C. Bolin, based on the screenplay by Jonathan Hensleigh, J.J. Abrams, Tony Gilroy and Shane Salerno and the story by Jonathan Hensleigh and Robert Pool.

Incidentally, Armageddon arrived in theatres only two and a half months after a similar impact-based, Deep Impact, which starred Morgan Freeman.

After several meteoroids destroy the Space Shuttle Atlantis and bombard a path across the Earth, including New York City, NASA discovers that an asteroid the size of Texas is on a direct collision with Earth, the impact likely to wipe out all life on the surface within 18 days, a fact not publicly revealed. The scientists at NASA devise a scheme to activate a nuclear bomb at a precise point under the asteroid's surface which will split the body in two, both halves missing the Earth. NASA locates the best oil driller on the planet, Harry Stamper, to get advice. Harry and his daughter Grace are taken to NASA and are told of the situation by Dan Truman, the head of NASA. Harry immediately recognizes that he and his crew must accompany the astronauts on the mission to make sure the job is done right. After Harry's crew is collected from across the country and NASA acquiesces to their demands for their services, they are put through a fast-paced training program before the mission starts, as well as outfitting a drilling rig with the proper equipment for the job. During this time, AJ, a member of Stamper's crew who Grace has been sleeping with, gets into several heated arguments with Harry, making the training difficult.

When a meteorite completely wipes out Shanghai, China, the truth is revealed to the world, as well as the pending mission. Two shuttles, Freedom and Independence are launched simultaneously and shortly dock at a Russian space station to refuel. However, an accident occurs during the process, and the crews evacuate to their shuttles, including Lev Andropov, the sole Cosmonaut from the station. The two shuttles begin a high G-force slingshot procedure around the Moon in order to land on the backside of the asteroid. However, as they enter the trailing debris of the asteroid, the Independence, including AJ, Lev, and Bear, another member of Harry's crew, is struck down and crash lands on the asteroids. Mourning the loss of their friends, the Freedom manages to land on the surface but misses the target landing zone, ending up over an area of very hard rock to have to drill through. The Freedom team tries to drill but suffer several setbacks and losses due to the impossible conditions, and are well behind schedule. They are further put behind schedule when it is revealed that if the deadline were missed, the shuttle pilot Colonel Sharpe would activate the nuclear device, sacrificing their lives and likely not damaging the asteroid as needed. Harry, with Dan's help at mission control, is able to convince Colonel Sharpe to help them finish up. Another meteorite wipes out all of Paris as the asteroid continues closer to the Earth.

All seems lost when their drilling machine is blasted off the asteroid by a gas vent. However, they come to learn that AJ, Bear, and Lev have managed to survive the Independence crash and have driven the second machine to the drilling site. Harry puts AJ in charge of finishing the drilling, and they successfully get to the necessary depth. The team lowers the nuclear bomb into the hole, but find that the asteroid's conditions have made it impossible to detonate remotely, and that someone would have to sacrifice themselves to activate the bomb after the shuttle leaves. AJ is picked after drawing straws, but as AJ is about to step out of the shuttle, Harry disables his air supply and takes his place, telling AJ to take good care of Grace. As the shuttle prepares to depart, Harry sends a final touching message to his daughter and gives his full support of her seeing AJ. Harry manages to activate the bomb moments before the critical deadline, and the asteroid halves successfully miss the earth. The remaining crew of the Freedom return to Earth as heroes, AJ reuniting tearfully with Grace while the others are met by their loved ones. Grace and AJ are soon wed, while Harry and their lost crew members are memorialized at the service.

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Pearl Harbor is a 2001 war film directed by Michael Bay. It features a large ensemble cast, including Ben Affleck, Alec Baldwin, Jon Voight, Josh Hartnett, Kate Beckinsale, Cuba Gooding Jr., Dan Aykroyd, Jaime King, and Jennifer Garner. It is a dramatic re-imagining of the attack on Pearl Harbor, produced by the team of Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer, who had previously worked on summer mega-blockbusters as Armageddon and The Rock. The final section of the movie recounts the Doolittle Raid, the first American attack on the Japanese home islands in World War II. Some scenes in the movie were some of the last to be filmed in Technicolor.

Rafael McCawley (Ben Affleck) and Daniel Walker (Josh Hartnett), both in their early twenties and First Lieutenants in the U.S. Army, are at a U.S. Army Air Corps training field commanded by Major Jimmy Doolittle (Alec Baldwin). Rafe is very cocky as he and Danny do a particularly dangerous stunt (a game of chicken) that almost kills them (and more importantly to the brass, almost damages the aircraft), impressing the pilots on ground but making the commanding officer unhappy. They are called into Doolittle's office where they are reprimanded, but Doolittle is actually quite impressed with Rafe as he reminds him of himself when he was young. Later, Doolittle tells Rafe that he has been accepted to go to Britain and join Eagle Squadron, a squadron of volunteer American pilots serving with the Royal Air Force in the fight against the Germans. It is strictly a volunteer assignment, and Doolittle tells him it's his duty to talk him out of it. Rafe asks Doolittle what he would do, and Doolittle says he would go, so Rafe agrees to go as well.

Prior to Rafe leaving, there is a big dance in New York, and many nurses are coming to the event. Some of the nurses are traveling there by train, and one of them, Evelyn Johnson (Kate Beckinsale), is telling the other nurses how she first met Rafe while assessing his fitness to fly. As Rafe is dyslexic, he has difficulty reading the letters on the eye chart correctly. He would have failed the vision test had Evelyn not felt sorry and passed him anyway. During his flu shots, she first agreed to go out with him, and they have been going out now for four weeks and two days. At the dance, Rafe tells Evelyn that in the morning he is headed off to England. They have a tearful good-bye, and Rafe tells her not to come to the train station to see him off. He goes to England, and Evelyn, Danny and the other officers get transferred to Pearl Harbor.

Rafe comes to the RAF aerodrome to report for duty and to receive his aircraft (which is a Supermarine Spitfire covered in blood from the previous pilot with the officer commenting on how he died). Back in Hawaii, Danny, Evelyn and their friends enjoy the surf and sun. By now, Rafe writes to Evelyn on how he misses her and how it's hard making friends at the base with all of them getting killed. Evelyn writes back saying how she misses him and hopes he comes back one day. In Japan meanwhile, Admiral Yamamoto plans the attack on Pearl Harbor after the United States freezes its trade. He sends fake codes to confuse U.S. Intelligence and shows some staff his new torpedo invention that the aircraft would use during the attack.

Back in England one day, Rafe's squadron is alerted and scrambled to intercept some German Heinkel He 111s and Bf 109s. At first Rafe shows off his flying skills by helping his wingmate in partially blowing up a Heinkel and shoots down two Bf 109s escorts until his wingmate warns him that another Bf 109 is on his tail. The Bf 109 shoots up Rafe's Spitfire hitting his oil hoses which sets his cockpit on fire then finishes him off with another burst. Rafe attempts to bail out only to be stuck in the cockpit when the canopy jams and the aircraft hits the English Channel. In Hawaii, both Danny and Evelyn are informed that Rafe is presumed killed in action.

This leaves both of them mourning for Rafe along with their friends who knew him. Evelyn continues to mourn for him. Three months later while separately going to the same movie, Danny and Evelyn see a newsreel that shows British fighters being shot down by the Germans. Thinking of Rafe, both Danny and Evelyn leave the theater and by accident meet each other out front of the building. They strike up a friendship again which eventually leads to a romantic after-hours flight.

Evelyn has stopped mourning Rafe, but one morning after discovering she is pregnant, she is stunned to find Rafe. As it turned out, after he crashed into the English Channel, the impact meant he could escape, and he was rescued by a French fishing boat and returned to occupied France for three months where he couldn't get word out to them that he was alive. Suddenly Danny appears, holding a telegram saying that Rafe is alive. Rafe realizes that Danny and Evelyn are now together and leaves, refusing to talk to Danny.

After a bar fight, Danny and Rafe argue and eventually drive to a hillside to discuss what they are going to do about their situation. After talking with Danny, Rafe realizes that if he had in fact died that Danny would be the one he would want Evelyn with. They are awakened the next morning by Japanese Zero fighters, Val dive bombers and Kate torpedo bombers flying overhead. The barely-awake pilots think it is the U.S. Navy performing exercises.

The Japanese attack catches the U.S. fleet largely unaware, despite Admiral Kimmel having been informed of a Japanese midget submarine destroyed near the entrance to the harbor. Much of the surprise came not from a lack of awareness of the aircraft, but a radar station dismissing the large number of contacts as a flight of B-17s. Only one officer is suspicious, calling the group "a heck of a lot of B-17s." A bomb dropped from a Kate bomber ruptures the forward part of the USS Arizona's ammunition magazine, literally splitting the ship in half and sending it to the bottom. Meanwhile, Japanese fighters are attacking the airstrips present on the island to prevent any attempt to intercept the attack aircraft. Petty Officer Doris "Dorie" Miller (Cuba Gooding Jr.), a cook on the USS West Virginia, mans an antiaircraft gun and manages to shoot down a Japanese aircraft. Around the same time, Evelyn, Sandra, Betty and the other nurses head towards the hospital to help injured people. On their way they are strafed, and many people flee into the hospital while some are killed. The gunfire forces Evelyn and Sandra to hide behind a fountain. Suddenly, an aircraft drops a bomb, and Betty is killed while the other women hide in the hospital.

Later, Evelyn and the other nurses are working frantically with masses of incoming casualties, having to prioritize which lives can be saved and who receives priority care (triage). Rafe and Danny make it to their Army auxiliary airfield, and together with another pilot (Joe) manage to get their aircraft moving, though Joe is killed and his aircraft wrecked a few seconds after getting off the ground. The two of them shoot down seven Japanese aircraft over the Harbor. They even use the same maneuver that got them into trouble at Doolittle's school to force four Zeros to crash into each other.

The attack finally ends and, because of their heroism, Rafe and Danny are both promoted to Captain and assigned to Doolittle (now promoted to Lieutenant Colonel) for a top-secret mission. Prior to leaving, a heartbroken Rafe apologizes to Evelyn for leaving her, and asks why she wants to see him. She reveals that she is pregnant, but has not yet told Danny so he can focus on his mission. She also says that she is going to remain with Danny, but deep down she will always love Rafe just as much. When Rafe and Danny leave, Evelyn and Danny kiss and she tells him that she loves him and will be waiting for him.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt (Jon Voight) wants to send a message that the Japanese homeland is not immune from bombing. They are going to put Army Air Corps B-25 Mitchell bombers onto the aircraft carrier USS Hornet (instead of the usual light naval assault bombers), sail out close to Japan, take off a few hundred miles offshore, bomb Tokyo and land in China.

For the next five or six weeks, Rafe and Danny are in training, learning how to fly these aircraft, and most importantly, learn how to take off in such a short space more suited to launching fighters and light-strike aircraft. To achieve this, the aircraft are stripped of any unnecessary weight. Finally, they load the aircraft onto the aircraft carrier and head off towards Japan. The Hornet and her escorts are discovered by Japanese patrol boats, and have to take off a couple of hundred miles earlier than planned. They now know that they won't have enough fuel to get their original landing point in China and will instead have to land their aircraft earlier than planned.

They bomb Tokyo as planned and limp towards China, running out of fuel. Rafe crash lands his aircraft, but is caught by elements of the Imperial Japanese Army which are assigned to the invasion of China. Just as he is about to be shot by the Japanese, Danny comes flying down, shooting the Japanese soldiers, with forward-mounted machine guns as he crashes his aircraft, too.

The two, along with a few other men are confronted by more Japanese soldiers, and after a small gunfight, they are captured. Danny is dying but is tied to a board attached to his shoulders. Rafe is about to be shot when suddenly Danny takes his board and whacks the Japanese soldier, protecting Rafe, just as Rafe had done for him when they were younger and the Japanese open fire, shooting Danny twice in the chest before Gooz finishes them off with a hand grenade. Danny's wounds are fatal, though, and as he lays dying in Rafe's arms, Rafe tells him he can't die because he is going to be a father. Danny, knowing he is dying, tells him no - that Rafe is going to have to be the father of the child.

Later, the surviving Doolittle Raiders are seen coming off the aircraft. Now visibly pregnant, Evelyn is there waiting to see who gets off. Rafe appears, and she is elated but waits to see if Danny is next. A sombre Rafe then reaches back inside and helps carry out the coffin containing Danny's remains. A few years later, Rafe, Evelyn and their son Danny, who is named in honor of his father and their best friend, are back at the farm in Tennessee overlooking Danny's grave. Rafe then asks little Danny if he would like to go flying; an excited Danny points to the crop duster aircraft and, together, Rafe and little Danny fly off into the sunset.

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The Haunted Mansion is a 2003 fantasy film based on the ride of the same name, directed by Rob Minkoff and starring Eddie Murphy, Terence Stamp, Jennifer Tilly, Marsha Thomason and Nathaniel Parker.
Jim and Sara Evers are proprietors of Evers and Evers Real Estate and parents of 10-year-old Michael and 13-year-old Megan. Jim is a workaholic who has not been spending time with his family, much to the disapproval of his wife. On a weekend trip in which he has promised to devote time to the family, they make a detour through the swamps of New Orleans, Louisiana to Gracey Manor, a decaying but valuable property. The owners had earlier contacted Sara with interest in selling,but they end up seeing ghosts at the house.

Once the Evers arrive, a violent rainstorm erupts, and they are led inside by Ramsley, the creepy butler who is immediately disturbed that Sara did not come alone. The family is introduced to Master Edward Gracey, the heir of the house, and invited to stay the night as the roads have flooded. Michael and Megan are sent to one bedroom, Jim and Sara to another.

As Jim and Sara are separated, and Jim finds himself trapped in a secret passage, Michael and Megan are led by a floating blue orb into an attic room where they discover an antiquated painting that looks exactly like their mother. They encounter Ezra and Emma, a footman and maid respectively who work for the mansion and also warn the kids of impending danger. Megan and Michael discover that Emma and Ezra are actually ghosts, as is Master Gracey, and that Master Gracey thinks their mother is his lover Elizabeth returned to him from beyond the grave; years ago, she had seemingly committed suicide.

Meanwhile, Jim discovers the animated head of gypsy Madame Leota stored inside a crystal ball. Through her help, he is led to his kids and together, they follow her instructions through a ghost-populated graveyard to find a key that will help them flee the mansion. Jim, Michael, and Megan learn that there is a curse binding the souls of everyone who has died in the mansion to walk its premises until it is broken.

Jim and Megan go into a mausoleum, per Madame Leota's instructions, and locate the key in question, only to be attacked by hundreds of zombies. They find themselves trapped in the mausoleum, but Michael overcomes his fear of spiders (which are crawling all over the outside of the crypt door) and frees his father and sister just in time. They use the key to unlock a trunk, inside of which is a letter from Elizabeth declaring that she loved Master Gracey and that she did want to marry him. It is revealed that Ramsley, also a ghost, did not like the idea of Master Gracey and Elizabeth getting married. So he wrote a different letter (which was taken as Elizabeth's) stating that Elizabeth felt differently than she really did, and poisoned Elizabeth to prevent an interracial marriage between her and Gracey. Ramsley traps Michael and Megan in a trunk suitcase, and literally throws Jim out of the mansion, locking him outside. He confronts Sara and makes it clear that she will either proceed with the marriage (and a suicide), or that her children will die.

Jim, attempting to break back into the mansion but finding it magically sealed, sits outside in vain until the head of Madame Leota rolls up to him to encourage him to keep trying. Jim drives his BMW E65 through the wall just in time to stop the wedding and confront Gracey with the truth. When all is revealed, Ramsley becomes enraged and invokes the fires of Hell. The multiple windows of the mansion shatter as evil spirits fly around the room. Then out of the fireplace comes a giant demonic dragon. The dragon sucks Ramsley into the fireplace for his eternal punishment in Hell. Unfortunately, Sara has had enough of the poison given to her before the wedding to die. Just in time, Elizabeth's spirit, which is actually the blue orb, moves into Sara's body and revives her, breaking the curse and saving her life. After everything he's put the Evers through, Master Gracey repays them by giving them the deed to the mansion. Thus all of the spirits in the mansion, including Elizabeth, Master Gracey, Ezra, and Emma ascend into the light of Heaven, their curse broken.

Jim has learned an important lesson about family, and his son and daughter have learned bravery in the face of evil. The family, now in possession of the deed to the house, head out on their vacation to the lake (with the encased head of Madame Leota in the back seat and a quartet of singing busts strapped to the back of the car singing their own version of "When the Saints Come Marching In").

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