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CAYOM Year 8: Part 1

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Year 8 of CAYOM 2.0 officially begins! Since detailed instructions are contained in the players' guide thread, I'll simply summarize and say that this is the thread where you post all of your films with info including: Title, Cast, Director, Release Date, Theater Count, MPAA Rating, Budget, and a Plot Summary. I will edit this post a few times a day with updates based on postings.If your plot is of significant length, place it inside spoiler tags so it doesn't take forever to scroll down a page of this thread!!!!! Based on the 2018 calendarJanuary 5-7The Good, The Bad, and The Dead (3054 Theaters) (Page 5)Slenderman: The Beginning (2569 Theaters) (Page 2) January 12-15 (MLK Weekend)The Chain (3482 Theaters) (Page 4)Unbalanced 5 (3460 Theaters) (Page 3)January 19-21Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel (3487 Theaters) (Page 5) January 26-28Ice Station 2: Area 7 (3285 Theaters) (Page 2) February 2-4Silent Invasion 3: The Attack (2671 Theaters) (Page 3)We are the Champions 2: Rise of the Crusaders (2913 Theaters) (Page 3) February 9-11Farmville (2991 Theaters) (Page 2) February 16-19 (President's Day Weekend)The Mutant (3465 Theaters) (Page 1)February 23-25Daniel Tosh: New and Improved (2354 Theaters) (Page 3)Horror House (3667 Theaters) (Page 4)The Last Rider (3132 Theaters) (Page 3)March 2-4At the Mountains of Madness (3575 Theaters) (Page 3)Star Fox (4112 Theaters) (Page 1)Twinkie (12 Theaters) (Page 4)March 9-11M.A.D.N.E.S.S (Sci-Fi/War) (dir. Zack Snyder)Twinkie (146 Theaters) March 16-18Family Guy (4018 Theaters) (Page 4)Pompeii (3658 Theaters) (Page 2)Twinkie (856 Theaters)March 23-25Lost Planet (3776 Theaters) (Page 3)Where? (Animated Adventure/Mystery)March 30-April 1Kamigawa (Period Fantasy) (dir. Andy & Lana Wachowski) April 6-8Chuck Norris and Liam Neeson vs. the Underworld (Action) (dir. Clark Gregg)April 13-15 (Easter Weekend)The Dresden Files: Stormfront (3784 Theaters) (Page 5)The Mansion (2737 Theaters) (Page 1)April 20-22Stephen King's It: Part 2 (3256 Theaters) (Page 2)White Tower (3266 Theaters) (Page 1) April 27-29Chuc: The Birth of Rain Man (Superhero/Action) (dir. Bryan Singer)May 4-6StarCraft: Brood War (Sci-Fi/War) (dir. Neil Marshall)May 11-13May 18-20Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (3901 Theaters) (Page 3) May 25-28 (Memorial Day Weekend)American Idiot (3666 Theaters) (Page 1)Digimon: World Invasion (3905 Theaters) (Page 3)Shadow People (3498 Theaters) (Page 5)June 1-3The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy (Sci-Fi/Comedy) (dir. Danny Boyle)Steve Jobs (3346 Theaters) (Page 2) June 8-10Wed. June 6- Blood Brothers (3880 Theaters) (Page 4)Hand Drawn Heroes (3516 Theaters) (Page 1)The Voyages of Marco Polo: At the Edge of the Map (Period/Adventure) (dir. Sam Raimi)June 15-17The Dependables (3588 Theaters) (Page 1)Donuts Are Zombies Too Along With the Dominant Walruses (2968 Theaters) (Page 5)June 22-24The Blue Mountain (Animated/Fantasy) (dir. Chris Sanders)Godzilla: Apocalypse Part 1 (3885 Theaters) (Page 3) June 29-July 1For God and Glory (4291 Theaters) (Page 1)Orion - The Birth of Metal Man (Superhero/Action) (dir. Floria Sigismondi)July 6-8Tues. July 3- American Gods (3634 Theaters) (Page 3)Tues. July 3- The Little Mermaid (4002 Theaters) (Page 3)July 13-15Thurs. July 12- Candy Crush (3930 Theaters) (Page 4)The Enchanted Horse (Adventure) (dir. Stephen Sommers)July 20-22Obliteration (Sci-fi/Epic) (dir. Steven Spielberg)July 27-2960 Days of HellMidnight in the Afghan Valley (2794 Theaters) (Page 1)Sonic The Hedgehog (Animation/Sci-Fi) (dir. George Miller)August 3-5Stranger in a Strange Land (3555 Theaters) (Page 2)Top Gear Adventures: Bolivian Cruiser (3285 Theaters) (Page 2)August 10-14Wed. Aug. 8th- The Who's Tommy (3103 Theaters) (Page 2)Aftermath (3401 Theaters) (Page 1)August 17-19Blood Currency (3029 Theaters) (Page 1)Feed (3122 Theaters) (Page 2)August 24-26August 31-September 4 (Labor Day Weekend)Giant Spiders 5 (Horror)Resonance (Limited- 5 Theaters) (Page 2)September 7-9Killer Computer 2 (814 Theaters) (Page 3)Resonance (34 Theaters) September 14-16Wed. Sept. 12- The Brave One (3028 Theaters) (Page 4)My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic - The Legacy of Nightmare Moon, Part 1 (Animated/Musical) (dir. James Wooton)Resonance (144 Theaters) September 21-23Cinema Studies (2827 Theaters) (Page 1)Death Note (3264 Theaters) (Page 5)Resonance (423 Theaters) September 28-30Thurs. Sept. 27- The Garden (3862 Theaters) (Page 4)The Valley (3040 Theaters) (Page 2)Resonance (Wide- 917 Theaters)October 5-7Identity Crisis (3017 Theaters) (Page 3)Regular Movie (Animation) (dir. J.G. Quintel)Resonance (1644 Theaters) October 12-14Cannibalistic Freaks (3266 Theaters) (Page 1)October 19-21Behemoth (3607 Theaters) (Page 2)The Picture (Drama/Psychological Horror) (dir. David Fincher)October 26-28SCP Foundation Tales (3414 Theaters) (Page 2)The Wolf Gift (Gothic Horror) (dir. Neil Jordan)November 2-4The Bronx is Burning (3024 Theaters) (Page 1)The Creators (3925 Theaters) (Page 2)Dragon Age: Awakening (4166 Theaters) (Page 1)November 9-11Wed. November 7- Wallace and Gromit 2 (3720 Theaters) (Page 4)The Concert's End (Historical/War Drama) (dir. Kenneth Branagh)Green Lantern (Superhero/Action) (dir. Jack Bender)Santa Claus: Ultimate Badass - Volume 2 (Action/Comedy) (dir. Scott Sanders) November 16-18Dissension (Sci-Fi/Adventure/Dystopia) (dir. J.J. Abrams)The Giver (3032 Theaters) (Page 1)The Nodding Tiger (4022 Theaters) (Page 2)No Greater Glory (Limited- 72 Theaters) (Page 2)November 21-25 (Thanksgiving Weekend)The Deadline (3214 Theaters) (Page 2)Planeswalkers: Into The Unknown (Fantasy/Action) (dir. Joss Whedon)A Series of Unfortunate Events: Movie the Third (3883 Theaters) (Page 5)Simpsons 2: The Ride (4074 Theaters) Page 4)No Greater Glory (368 Theaters)Thurs. Nov. 22- Titanic (2 Theaters) (Page 3) November 30-December 2For No Greater Glory (Wide- 1365 Theaters)Titanic (348 Theaters) December 7-9The Bat (Thriller) (dir. Matt Reeves)Beauty and the Beast (Fantasy/Musical) (dir. Marc Webb)Dracula (3523 Theaters) (Page 2)No Greater Glory (1618 Theaters)Titanic (3785 Theaters)December 14-16The Chronicles of Narnia: The Horse and His Boy (4132 Theaters) (Page 1)Dominion (Sci-Fi/Epic) (dir. Jonathan Nolan)No Greater Glory (1872 Theaters) December 21-25 (Christmas Weekend)White Death (War/Drama) (dir. Clint Eastwood)December 28-January 1 (New Year's Weekend)

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The Bronx is Burning

Cast: Stanley Tucci (Billy Martin), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Reggie Jackson), Casey Affleck (Thurman Munson), Jeremy Renner (“Catfish” Hunter), James Badge Dale (Fran Healy), Jon Bernthal (Lou Piniella), and Brendan Gleeson (George Steinbrenner)
Genre: Drama/Sport
Directed By: Martin Scorsese
Written By: Brian Helgeland
Release Date: 11/2
Theater Count: 3024
Budget: $58 Million
Running Time: 137 minutes
MPAA Rating: R for pervasive language throughout, sexuality, violence, and some drug use


Plot Summary:


It is a hot summer evening in the Bronx. A family returns home from a night out and the daughter suggests that she and her friend walk the family dog before both going home. The parents go inside and a minute later the two teenage girls get out of the car. (All of this is heard, though the shots are shown at a low and far angle, as if they are all being watched). The two girls wait outside for a moment and then turn to see an unidentifiable man quickly walking towards them. The daughter shouts at him for bothering them and the man then suddenly pulls a handgun out of a paper bag and fires three shots, killing the daughter and wounding her friend. The friend slowly falls to the ground and, with “The River” by Bruce Springsteen now playing, she (this is now seen from her view) watches as the man turns around and walks away from the crime scene.

The opening credits begin to roll at this point (0:18 into the song), the scene then segueing into a series of archive (real) news reports from all over New York City around this time period, all of them commenting on the high levels of crime and immorality plaguing the city, the lackluster performance of the Mayor, Abraham Beame, and other themes that show the dark place the world-famous city resides in. The credits continue to play scattered through this montage and finally end, the screen fading to black with the song fading out at the 2:32 mark.
Then a final news report shows up and is of a different tone, this one reporting that Game 4 of the World Series is about to begin, with the Cincinnati Reds leading the New York Yankees three games to none.

October 21, 1976
Game 4 of the 1976 World Series begins at Yankees Stadium with the New York Yankees in dire straits, needing to win all four remaining games of the series with a single loss eliminating them. Things start out well for the Yankees who score first thanks to a hit by catcher Thurman Munson (Casey Affleck) but soon the tide turns against them with the Reds grabbing a 3-2 lead by the ninth inning. The game is close, but then a meltdown occurs where the Yankees proceed to give up four runs in the top of the ninth. As “Hold Tight” by Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tick begins and frustrated by his team’s mistakes and the refereeing calls, Billy Martin (Stanley Tucci), the manager of the Yankees, looks in disgust at the field and then, seeing a foul ball that landed by the dugout, picks it up and throws it at the home plate umpire (0:16 into the song), being promptly ejected from the game due to the act. Martin then storms out of the dugout (0:24 in) and viciously and profanely argues with the umpire, not more than two inches away from one another, before an assistant coach half-drags Martin off the field (0:48 in) Martin trying to pull away while still screaming at the top of his lungs, and finally before leaving Martin kicks a bat rack in the dugout, knocking it down and spilling the bats all over the place (1:06 in, song then fades out).

He retreats to the trainer’s room and curls under a table crying about his team’s impending loss, soon learning that his team has lost 7-2. His personal bereavement is soon interrupted when George Steinbrenner (Brendan Gleeson), the owner of the Yankees, barges in and verbally tears Martin to pieces for embarrassing him in this way, with both the Yankees being easily swept and Martin’s volcanic behavior both insults. Martin, a wreck, only gives feeble responses and soon Steinbrenner barges back out, leaving Martin again to cry in silence.

Some days later, George Steinbrenner meets with a few of his assistants to discuss the current state of the Yankees. They all agree that the sweep by the Reds was embarrassing and disheartening to both the team and the city and that they need to make a big splash in the infant system of free agency in order to revitalize the franchise.

Another wave of archived news footage hits, though these are all baseball-centric and focus on Reggie Jackson, a well-known and talented slugger who is famed for his theatrics and his flair in his personal life as much as his skill on the field. The reports mention that he is the most sought after free agent in all of baseball and the final one mentions that the New York Yankees have signed him to a deal making him the highest-paid player in all of baseball.

November 29, 1976
Just after midnight, a plane lands at JFK International Airport with “Feeling Alright” by Joe Cocker starting in the background. Outside on the tarmac a team of reporters and photographers congregate in order to catch a glimpse of their target: Reggie Jackson. The baseball star (Ejiofor) steps out of the plane (0:43 in with the song then playing out with the scene to the end) with a blond model on his arm and after coming down to the tarmac genially fields a few questions, using charm and a big smile to make the mood light before stepping away to a waiting limousine. The limo drives into Manhattan, Reggie occasionally glancing out the window when he isn’t canoodling with his female friend. The limo winds up in front of a luxurious Manhattan hotel and Reggie is helped in every way as he goes inside. He cracks a big smile and says “This is my town now.”

Later in the day at a banquet hall in the same hotel, the Yankees brass led by Steinbrenner hold a huge press conference as they formally sign Reggie and welcome him to the team. Steinbrenner says to the media that Reggie is the missing piece the team needs to win the World Series and that he is sure to become yet another New York favorite. When it is Reggie’s turn to speak, the player turns up the charisma and tells the crowd of reporters that “I didn’t come to New York to be a star. I brought my star with me.” He then all but guarantees a championship for the coming season, proclaiming “I’m going to be working the next World Series, either for the Yankees or ABC, and I’m pretty sure I won’t be sitting in the broadcasting booth.” The crowd of reporters roars along with all of his confident and self-assured comments and lap it up as perfect media fodder.

In the following few days Reggie-mania dominates the New York media, with television commentators and newspaper editorials speculating on just how grand the new addition to the Yankees will be. One person who is not feeling happy about the decision is Billy Martin. When he is having dinner with a couple of his stars, including Munson and pitcher James “Catfish” Hunter (Renner), he complains about how he wanted a different player to be signed but that the front office never consulted him on any free agent moves. Hunter tries to calm Martin down with reassurances but Munson is just as bitter since Reggie’s deal is so exorbitant it makes all of the other Yankee players look grossly underpaid. He remarks to Martin that in an interview Reggie said that he looked forward to being in New York since he and Steinbrenner got along so well. Martin, lounging in his seat, cracks that Reggie is soon going to find out that Steinbrenner ain’t the manager of the Yankees.

We see a few short scenes showing Reggie getting accustomed to living the lifestyle of the famous in New York City, garnering a small entourage, hitting it big with the ladies and taking some home for one-night stands, and generally living it up. We also see by contrast, Martin living a rather subdued and mostly solitary offseason life, on occasion drinking too heavily and passing out on his couch or on the floor in front of the TV.

March 1, 1977
The first day of spring training has come with the Yankees all congregating at their facility in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Reggie arrives a bit overweight due to all of the banquets, press galas, etc he has participated in during the off-season but he has a cheery mood and gets right to work with practice. “All Day and All of the Night” by The Kinks plays as on the field later that day, as the members of the team stretch, play catch, etc, Reggie has a rough first encounter with Munson, who is the team captain (starting 0:42 in and growing softer in the background). Munson tries to boss Reggie around to do laps but intervention by a coach allows Reggie to wiggle out of the situation (1:16 in). The forecast for their relationship though appears stormy at best.

The Yankees do mediocre in their spring training games, which suits Martin fine since the point is not to win games but to get the players back into their groove and see what is working and what needs improvement. Steinbrenner though expects victory in all situations and grows irate over the Yankees losing to a number of teams. Eventually he confronts Martin in a locker room at the facility and demands an explanation for why Martin is not playing the starters enough. When Martin says that he is the manager and that the roster is his call, Steinbrenner loses it and tells Martin he should fire him right now for insubordination. Martin calls the bluff and dares Steinbrenner to fire him since Steinbrenner has no right to barge into the locker room and berate him in front of his players. Steinbrenner backs down and leaves. The following day he and Martin make up somewhat over breakfast and have a cease fire, but the tension between them is not resolved.

Spring training continues to be a rocky period for Reggie. Many of the players feel alienated by Reggie’s high salary and most of the time he is excluded from the usual clubhouse banter and joking. Joining Munson in his cold war standoff with Reggie is Lou Piniella (Bernthal), a long-time veteran. The two of them do what they can to feed Reggie’s discomfort, such as ragging on him while he takes batting practice. The only sure friend Reggie is able to make among his teammates is Fran Healy (Badge Dale), the team’s backup catcher and a very modest and unassuming individual. By the end of spring training Reggie is no longer confident of his success with the Yankees and feels the burden of high expectations may do him in. In addition he starts remarking on current race attitudes and that some are rooting for him to fail because he is black.

April 6, 1977
The Yankees hold their final preseason practice at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. After practice Martin gathers all the players together in the clubhouse and tells them that any disorder that happened during spring training is over and now they have to pull together as a team and work things out together in out of the public eye. Most of the team receives the talk quietly though Reggie is outwardly pleased by Martin’s attitude though disappointed he isn’t batting cleanup.

The next morning is the first game of the season. As “Join Together” by The Who plays, the film shows each of the major baseball characters getting up and ready in the morning and going through their routine before heading over the stadium (intercutting between all of them and their actions). Reggie, always conspicuous in his appearance, shows up in a burgundy Rolls-Royce and moves to his newly assigned locker. As he gets dressed (2:10 in), other prominent Yankees such as Munson and Hunter gather in the far corner shooting the breeze and still excluding Reggie from the conversation, who is clearly affected by this. The film then cuts ahead to the Yankees starting team running out onto the field to take their positions, the camera swirling around Jackson, Munson, etc as they are cheered on by the fans in the stands. (2:32-2:54)

The first game of the season starts promisingly with the Yankees getting an early lead. In the sixth inning Reggie gets a base hit, advances to third over the course of the next couple batters, and then on a wild pitch makes a mad dash for home plate, sliding safely in just under the tag of an opposing player. As he gets up, dusts himself off, and walks to the dugout, he and everyone else can hear the chanting that is starting in the bleachers: “Reg-gie….Reg-gie…Reg-gie.”

May, 1977
The promising beginning for Reggie Jackson has turned into a month-and-a-half of frustration as he does mediocre both offensively and defensively and New York fandom, growing restless, greets him with some heckles and boos every time he comes to bat. Martin remains mostly neutral on the subject of Reggie though in private with friends he does confess he doesn’t think Reggie can cut it in New York. Players on the team such as Munson and Piniella however are more vocal about their discontent with Reggie. After a disappointing loss where Reggie made a couple bad defensive errors, Munson comments about a new candy bar from Standard Brands that will be named after Reggie. Munson says that “Reggie already has a candy bar named after him: Butterfingers.” Reggie overhears this, but is silent, not wanting to start a confrontation.

Deciding to give Reggie a break for a day, Martin benches him for a road game against the Oakland Athletics. ”Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival begins playing. The game runs into extra innings all tied up but at a critical moment at the top of the fifteenth inning where a hit is desperately needed, Martin deliberately picks an untested rookie over Jackson (0:24 in), who watches on and later glares at his manager as the rookie, Dell Alston, gets a hit that starts the game-winning rally. (song ending at 1:10) After the game Jackson complains about it to his friend Fran, saying sarcastically that he is in fact both a mediocre ballplayer and overpaid.

Towards the end of May Sports Illustrated releases in its June issue a story about Reggie Jackson that includes an interview one of its reporters had with Reggie back in March. The film flashes back to March to show some of the interview, where Reggie talks freely about his feelings about the team, other players, and his place in it all. He says that “this team, it all flows from me. I’m the straw that stirs the drink.” In the course of the interview he at a couple points puts down Munson’s stature in the team with a bit of harshness. The reporter senses the story is a gold-mine and double-checks to make sure Reggie wants all of what he said printed and Reggie, still a bit high from the session of self-expression, says he does.

The issue comes out and sparks a frenzy amongst New York baseball fans and ignites some passions and tensions in the Yankees’ clubhouse. Munson is enraged by what he reads, though unwilling to confront Reggie directly, gives Fran a severe tongue-lashing about the whole thing and verbally attacks Reggie harshly as well. Fran does his best to defend his friend and calm Munson down, but his efforts aren’t very successful. Most of the team by this point has turned against him, so at one point in a game where Reggie hits a home run, upon returning to the dugout he ignores his manager and teammates who had gathered for the traditional post-homer handshake. After the game when speaking to the media, Martin says that leadership is done through actions, not through words or “mouth” and tells them to ask Reggie about the handshake snub instead of him. Reggie gives a BS answer, so when a reporter mentions it to Munson, the catcher goes ballistic and when asked for a quote says “How is this: he’s a bleeping liar!” Munson also lashes out about the Sports Illustrated article. In following days the continued discontent and dislike of the other players is shown through little incidents such as Reggie’s bags being “accidentally” knocked over, obscene notes taped to his locker, etc, and on one occasion being taunted by another player about his race. For his part, Reggie does nothing to indicate he is sorry about anything he has done and soldiers through as best he can.

June 17, 1977
On a foggy night at Fenway Park, “Catfish” Hunter, one of the best pitchers in the major leagues, has the worst outing of his career. Humble and quiet off the mound and aggressively arrogant on it, Hunter is in the middle of a mediocre season and before the game tries to get pepped up for the game. Things go disastrously for him however as he can’t control his pitches and allows run after run before getting pulled after only two-thirds of one inning. The resulting loss was a bad day for the Yankees, but compared to what was to come it was nothing.

The next day the Yankees fall behind early, with Reggie making defensive miscues on a couple plays. Sensing his team won’t pull off a win and annoyed at Reggie’s play, Martin decides to substitute a reserve player for him. The reserve player goes onto the field to tell Reggie, who had not been paying attention, that he is benched. Reggie, more confused than upset, returns to the dugout and upon asking Martin why he was pulled, Martin profanely angrily lashes out at him for not playing his best and not hustling after the ball on defense. Reggie moves closer and tells Martin to back off, saying “who the bleep do you think you are talking to old man?” Hearing that, “Nowhere to Run” by Martha Reeves and the Vandellas starting at 0:12, Martin lunges at Reggie to start a fight but at the last millisecond is pulled back by one of the other coaches while one of the reserve players pulls an eager-to-fight Reggie back towards the entrance to the locker room. Meanwhile fans all around the stadium point and react as they witness the altercation. As the two men are led away from one another (0:41 in) they continue to yell and scream at one another and occasionally try to break free to go after the other. Reggie finally is taken to the locker room while Martin is all but pinned in the dugout (song ending at 1:02 mark). Fran heads to the locker room and persuades Reggie to shower and leave before the game ends, otherwise a fight might as well break out afterwards. The entire incident in the dugout has been captured on national television. Watching the game on TV, George Steinbrenner calls up his assistant to have an emergency meeting where the assistant will try to give him reasons not to fire Billy Martin.

Steinbrenner goes in person to the next stop on the Yankees’ road trip with the intention of firing Martin in person, but at the last minute he is convinced by his assistant that if he fires Martin now it will give everyone the impression that Reggie Jackson runs the team. Steinbrenner accepts this and backs off, announcing to the whole team that he has given Martin a reprieve…for now. He also tells the team to lay off the “race crap” as it is hurting their image and reputation. Reggie is glad to hear that, as by this point almost every newspaper and media outlet in NYC has turned against him, Martin and other teammates had said thinly veiled racist comments, and even black newspapers were criticizing him for not being “black” enough in his actions and standing with the community.

July 9, 1977
Though Billy Martin’s job is publicly safe for the moment, the manager is still wracked with unease over the situation as he is forced to deal with incessant calls from Steinbrenner or other front office officials inquiring about the health of injured players, starting lineups, etc. In a frank talk with Munson, Martin, a bit drunk, confides that he is incredibly scared about losing his job and that he’d have no idea how to support his family if he does get fired since baseball is all his life is about. Munson comes from the talk feeling sad for Martin and a couple days later at dinner at a hotel on the road with Piniella opens up about the talk, with Piniella falling in line behind Munson’s belief that Steinbrenner is doing damage to Martin’s mental state and ability as manager. Since Steinbrenner is in town to watch the games in person, they decide to go up to talk to him in his hotel room. After going up and being invited inside, they tell Steinbrenner that he needs to give Martin more space if he wants the team to function well. At the same time Martin, again somewhat drunk, comes up from the hotel bar and upon hearing voices in the room barges into the room after Steinbrenner denies that anyone else is in there, coarsely demanding an explanation. Munson and Piniella are able to reassure him that they are sticking up for him and his interests.

Mid-July, 1977
Life isn’t going any easier for Reggie Jackson. Shortly after the All-Star game which is held in New York, Reggie is signing autographs when a young teenager loudly insults him. Reggie chases the teen and awkwardly tackles him to the asphalt, causing another swirl of Reggie-dislike in the media. Meanwhile, with rumors still buzzing over whether Billy Martin will remain the manager, George Steinbrenner calls a press conference on July 25 to discuss the issue openly and frankly. Steinbrenner says he has doubts Martin is the right kind of person to be a baseball manager and outlines seven qualities he wants Martin to follow in order to keep his job, such as emotional stability and honor. The press mockingly titles the announcement “The Seven Commandments.” In a moving scene, Martin walks into the team’s clubhouse to find most of the team waiting for him. Munson holds up a copy of the Seven Commandments and rips it in half and the team gives Martin a round of applause. Also, in response to the public announcement much of the New York public and press rally behind Martin and blast Steinbrenner. Martin is buoyed by the support and the day after the announcement the Yanks return to Yankee Stadium to play a series. Before the game starts Martin takes the field and is greeted by a unanimous roar of cheering from the crowd, bringing some tears to a smiling Martin’s eyes.

August, 1977
The Yankees are finally beginning to catch a rhythm. In August they go on a torrid winning streak, returning home to find a newly appreciative crowd. Amid the success the clubhouse divide of Munson, Hunter, Piniella, et al against Jackson is soothed and Martin starts to finally feel confident he’ll keep his job for the rest of the season. The crowds are also beginning to come around, starting the “Reg-gie, Reg-gie” chant once again as Reggie delivers on crucial batting appearances.

After a couple short scenes showing daily life of the main characters, we see Reggie called into Martin’s office. Reggie, not lacking for confidence, tells Martin that it seems to him that with him batting cleanup the team’s finally playing as well as it should. Martin, doing his best to stay civil, tells Reggie that a team plays well when the players play for the team, not only for themselves. “You might make headlines and get awards and score runs, but it means shit if the team goes home with nothing.” Martin says he wasn’t a good ballplayer when he played, all he could do was play hard, hustle, and never give an inch, and work towards getting the team on the scoreboard, and he applies that same ethic to managing the team. Reggie nods and says he’ll keep it in mind, but Martin knows he’s bullshitting him and calls him out on it. Reggie, with a smirk, says “take it up with the boss.”

Meanwhile Munson and Hunter go talk to Fran and ask him why he’s stayed such good buddies with Reggie. Fran, shrugging, says that Reggie has his faults sure, but he’s a good guy if you take the time to know him.

September, 1977
The Yankees are now in their most crucial game of the season, playing at home against the Boston Red Sox who are only just behind them in the standings. In a tense game where both pitchers are dominant, the game is scoreless until the bottom of the ninth when Reggie, waving off Martin’s orders to bunt, swings at a bad pitch and manages to crush it into the stands for a home run, winning the game. Even Martin can’t find a reason to berate Reggie for disobeying his plan.

Martin arranges a meeting with Steinbrenner to talk about the season’s progress, as the Yankees are in good position to take the division. Steinbrenner is pleased, but reminds Martin that the team collapsed late last year. “In the World Series” Martin says. He says Steinbrenner that if he gets the team to a second World Series in a row, he deserves a contract extension. Steinbrenner replies “Win the World Series and we’ll see. If you don’t, I’ll find a manager who will.”

Martin does his best to avoid letting the stress of the season get to him, mixing booze with some pills to keep steady. One day he’s approached by Munson, who is concerned about Martin’s health and stability. Martin assures his star catcher that he’ll be able to pull through, he just needs the team to keep it up. Helping to relieve the stress a little is the team clinching its division, sending it to another postseason run.

October, 1977
The Yankees are back in the post-season and though there is still trouble in the clubhouse it is buried amidst the success. After seeing Reggie and Munson joke around together for a minute, a reporter asks Munson if he and Reggie are friends now. Munson replies “I could never be that son-of-a-bitch’s friend after what he’s pulled, but we need him to win.” Martin and Steinbrenner meanwhile have settled into an uneasy détente, with both sniping at one another but with Martin assured of his job so long as the postseason lasts. “Catfish” Hunter, who has had injury troubles and been on the bench for a few weeks, pleads with Martin to let him play but Martin isn’t confident of his ace’s ability and keeps him benched for the first postseason series against the Royals. This leads to Hunter for the first time criticizing Martin harshly, which leaves Martin shaken and a bit sad. Munson and Piniella reprimand Hunter for putting himself over what’s best for the team.

Later, with the series tied at two games apiece, Martin, noticing that Reggie has been performing poorly, tells Fran Healy to tell Reggie he is benched for the fifth and final game. Fran asks why he has to tell Reggie and is told that aside from being Reggie’s only friend on the team, neither Martin nor any of the other coaches want to break the news to Reggie personally. Fran lets Reggie know and the two talk it over for a couple minutes with Fran sharing in Reggie’s frustrations. In a bit of irony it is Paul Blair, Reggie’s replacement that night, who is the hero, starting a ninth-inning rally that wins the game for the Yankees and sets them up for a World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. After the game, Martin sprays Steinbrenner with a champagne bottle, saying “that’s for trying to fire me!” Steinbrenner replies, griming in mock menace, “If I want to fire you, I will.”

October 11, 1977
The World Series begins with Game 1 in New York City, the Empire State Building illuminated in the Yankees’ colors of blue and white. The game goes into extra innings and is won for the Yankees in the twelfth inning when Paul Blair drives home the game-winning run. The following day is Game 2, with Martin finally deciding to let Hunter return to the mound. Before the game starts, an abandoned elementary school a few blocks from the stadium catches fire, the flames visible from the stands. All of the television networks pick up on the story and during one helicopter shot of the inferno famed television announcer Howard Cosell announces to the viewing public “There you have it, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx is burning.” Martin’s decision ends up going poorly for the Yankees, as Hunter is shelled hardly by the Dodgers and, his confidence shaken all over again, is pulled in the third inning. The second game on the whole is a disaster for the Yankees and New York City in general. The Dodgers easily win; a fan hits a Dodgers’ player in the head with a ball, significantly injuring the player, and Cosell’s broadcast of the burning building highlighting the still desperate nature of the city’s troubled neighborhoods. Afterwards Reggie comments to the press that starting Hunter was a terrible idea, causing Martin to severely rebuke the player in public. This cows Reggie, especially since Steinbrenner elects to let the chips fall as they may for the World Series. We see a short scene with Martin going to talk with Hunter about his bad performance and saying that the series isn’t over in the slightest.

The next three games are in Los Angeles, with brief highlights showing what happened. The Yankees win Games 3 and 4 while the Dodgers win Game 5. With the Yankees leading the series three games to two, the World Series returns to New York for a pivotal Game 6.

October 18, 1977
It is a beautiful crisp fall day, with the skies clear, the temperature cool but not uncomfortable, and everything seeming just right. During batting practice in the afternoon, Reggie hits almost every ball out of the park. Afterwards Fran tells him that excellent batting practice is usually a bad omen and Reggie laughs it off.

That night Reggie is walked his first appearance and at his second time at the plate in the fourth the Yankees are down 3-2. On the first ball from the Dodgers pitcher Reggie swings as hard as he can and flings the ball into the outfield. Racing as hard as he can, it isn’t until he clears first base that he notices that the hit is a home run, putting the Yankees ahead. Returning to the dugout, he is given a little pat on the cheek by a pleased Martin. The next inning he is up again with two men out and one man on base. Again on the first throw he swings as hard as possible and again races from the plate, unsure of its path. Passing first he sees the ball again clear the fences for a home run and slows to a happy trot as “Moondance” by Van Morrison begins to play and the crowd again begins to chant “Reg-gie, Reg-gie, Reg-gie.” As he crosses home plate for the second time, he holds up a pair of fingers and silently mouths the word “two.” The film jumps to the eighth inning when Reggie is up for his next at-bat, receiving a standing ovation. Yet again on the first pitch Reggie launches it into the stands for yet another home run, the crowd falling silent in disbelief at what Reggie has done. As Reggie rounds the bases, even some of the Dodger players begin softly applauding for Reggie. Reggie Jackson has hit three home runs in three straight at-bats on three straight pitches, a feat never seen before. The Yankees are up 8-3 and there is no doubt that the team’s next World Series win is only minutes away.

In the ninth inning, “25 or 6 to 4” by Chicago starting, policemen in riot gear take positions at the fringes of the field to deal with unruly fans, the public announcer is saying over the loudspeaker for fans to not go on the field at the end of the game, and in the outfield many of the people at the bleachers are sitting on the top of the outfield fence. Everyone is on the edge of their seats with both players and fans sensing what is about to happen (1:07 in). When the last out is recorded, the stadium in an instant goes berserk, with thousands of fans coming from all directions towards the field to celebrate. Martin along with many of the Yankee players race to the middle of the field to engage in a massive celebratory group hug and cheer as the police can do nothing but let the masses of fans run past them as crowd control would have been too dangerous (1:58 in). Amidst this atmosphere, Reggie takes off his helmet and glasses and runs pell-mell for the dugout, weaving between fans already on the field. Not far from the dugout he collides with an oblivious fan, sending the fan sprawling to the ground, and then disappears into the dugout (ending with a sudden flourish at 2:24).

Most of the Yankees, Steinbrenner included, go to a massive team party to celebrate the win. Munson walks up to Reggie and after an few awkward seconds of silence offers a handshake. Reggie smiles and laughs and pulls Munson in for a hug. For now at least, the two are on good terms. We see players like them, Piniella, Hunter, etc, letting all the frustrations from the past year subside in this on happy night. Reggie goes up to Fran and thanks him for being a good friend this season.

Martin, exhausted, feels a bit uneasy and after talking with Steinbrenner and other players for a bit leaves to go to a nearby bar for a bit more quiet where he can drink in peace and savor the moment properly. He goes home to his house and reclines on his porch. “What a fucking ride its been” he comments to himself as he has another beer.

Reggie Jackson meanwhile hits the nightlife with a friend of his and spends much of the early morning drinking at a Manhattan bar. He is met personally by the governor with his own entourage and deals with lots of people offering congratulations and well wishes. By dawn he heads back to his friend’s apartment for a short break. Back in New York’s good graces, his friend in another room reminds him to get ready for an interview with the “Today Show” that had been scheduled just after the game ended. The friend, not getting an answer, comes to the room where Reggie and finds Reggie peacefully at sleep on the couch, for the moment without a care in the world as “New York State of Mind” by Billy Joel begins playing, starting at the 0:57 mark of the song. The song then continues as the end credits start.

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The Dependables

Cast: Liam Neeson (Jack Miles), Denzel Washington (Wilt Jarvis), Vin Diesel (Roderick), Channing Tatum (Alan Banner), Edgar Ramirez (Ramos), Norman Reedus (Prideaux), Takeshi Kaneshiro (Liang), Frank Grillo (Grissom), Liam McIntyre (O’Kelly), with Tony Leung (Kao-San), and Sean Bean (“Nine Lives” Loughran)Directed By: Stuart BairdRelease Date: 6/15Theater Count: 3588 TheatersBudget: $82 millionRunning Time: TBDMPAA Rating: R for strong violence and strong languagePlot Summary: UNDER CONSTRUCTION

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StarCraft: Brood War
Genre: Sci-Fi/War
Starring: Josh Brolin (Jim Raynor), Rooney Mara (Kerrigan), Jon Hamm (voice of Zeratul), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Captain Alexei Stukov), Viola Davis (voice of Matriarch Raszagal) Aaron Johnson (voice of Artanis), with Max von Sydow (Admiral Gerard DuGalle), and William Hurt (Arcturus Mengsk)
Co-Starring: Danny Huston (General Duke), Lance Reddick (Samir Duran), Michael Pitt (Matt Horner), Titus Welliver (voice of Aldaris), Jason Momoa (voice of Fenix)
Directed By: Neil Marshall
Original Music By: Neil Davidge
Release Date: 5/4
Theater Count: 4082 Theaters
Budget: $185 Million
Running Time: TBD
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence, language, and disturbing images

Previous Film: StarCraft: Fury of the Swarm (Year 5)- 157.65m/424.41m/1,428.97m

Plot Summary: The film takes place six months following the conclusion of StarCraft: Fury of the Swarm
 
UNDER CONSTRUCTION

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Blood Currency

Genre: Western
Cast: Michael Fassbender (Smith), Aaron Eckhart (Reynolds), Joel Edgerton (Lachlan), Timothy Olyphant (Rodgers), Demián Bichir (Raoul Mendez), Don Johnson (Oliver Mitchell), Sarah Shahi (Alena), Jason Clarke (Sheriff Finnegan), and Kurt Russell (Colonel Francis)
Written and Directed By: Quentin Tarantino
Release Date: 8/18
Theater Count: 3029 Theaters
Budget: $58 Million
Running Time: TBD
MPAA Rating: R for violence, strong language, and some sexuality

Plot: All flashbacks are in italics

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

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The Concert’s End

 

Director: Kenneth Branagh
Studio: Arcturus Entertainment
Format: 2D 35mm Film
Genre:  Historical/War and Political Drama
Cast:
Michael Fassbender as Count Leopold  von Berchtold of Austria (Like when he played Carl Jung in A Dangerous Method)
Ben Kingsley as Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria
Rupert Everett as Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria
Viggo Mortensen as Count Alois Lexa von Aehrenthal of Austria
Berenice Bejo as Ferdinandine von Berchtold of Austria
Tom Wilkinson as Count Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf  of Austria
Anthony Andrews as Count Alexander von Hoyo of Austria
Shirley Henderson as Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg of Austira
John Simm as Count Karl von Sturgkh of Austria
Michael Caine as General Oskar Potiorek of Austria
Cillian Murphy as Leopold Lojka of Austria
Jason Statham as Baron Wladimir Giesl von Gieslingen of Austria
Julian Barratt as Count Frigyes Szapary of Austria
Mark Strong as Count Istvan Tisza of Austria-Hungary
James D’arcy as Edward Grey, 1st Viscount Grey of Fallodon of Great Britain
Jared Harris as Herbert Asquith of Great Britain 
Timothy Spall as Winston Churchill of Great Britain
Michael Culkin as Sir Edward Goschen of Great Britain
David Thewlis as David Lloyd George of Great Britain
Alan Rickman as Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany
Neil Maskell as Prince Karl Max Lichnowsky of Germany
Stephen Graham as Count Heinrich von Tschirschky of Germany 
Johnny Lee Miller as Theodore von Bethmann-Hollwegg of Germany
Tom Hardy as Gottlieb von Jagow of Germany
Julian Barratt as Helmuth von Moltke of Germany
James McAvoy as Gavarillo Princip of Serbia
Paul Giamatti as Count Alexander Izvolsky of Russia
Joseph Fiennes as Tsar Nicholas II of Russia
Liam Cunnningham as Sergei Sazonov of Russia
Robert Carlyle as King Peter I of Serbia
Jimi Mistry as Abdul Hamid II of the Ottoman Empire
Unknowns as Miscellaneous Kings and Other Leaders of Europe
Score: Patrick Doyle
Director of Photography: Haris Zambarloukos

Budget: $95 million
Theatre Count:  3819
Rating:  PG-13
Release Date:  9 November
Running Time: 2hr 41mins (161 mins)

 

Plot:

 

The Film opens with a sweeping crane shot of Buchlau Castle. The words Buchlau Castle, Austria-Hungary, 16 September 1908 are shown on the bottom-centre of the screen. We cut to the inside of the castle as we see the servants bustling around, evidently preparing for some sort of event. We see an ornate state room being prepped for two, along with lots of food, drink, and stationery. We also see a large map being laid out on the table. Through the open doors we can see other servants dusting and straightening everything else out. We cut to the entrance hall and we see two men, Count Leopold Berchtold (Michael Fassbender) and Count Alois Lexa von Aehrenthal (Viggo Mortensen), nervously standing in the middle of the hall. The sides of the room are flanked by a small consortium of valets, butlers, and other staff. We hear the faint sound of the telephone in the background as we see Leopold fidget a little. Alois tells him to stop, and Leopold responds that he’s just a bit nervous. He adds that this has the potential to blow up in everyone’s faces. Alois tells him to calm down and stop acting like a schoolboy. This goes on for a little longer and we learn that Leopold is the Austrian ambassador to Russia and Alois is the Austrian Foreign Minister. We also learn that they’re hosting a meeting with the Russian Foreign Minister, Alexander Izvolsky, at Leopold’s castle. As their talk is about to turn to the actual topic of the meeting, they are interrupted by a butler, who says to Leopold, “Sir, the groundskeeper just telephoned and His Lordship’s convoy passed by the gates about 4 minutes ago. They will be arriving in about 5 minutes.” We see Leopold nod and dismiss the butler. He then excuses himself and goes into the rest of the castle to check on the progress. He sees that almost everything is done and perfect, and so he shoos the staff and commands them to get out of sight. The nervousness of his tone and his stiff body indicates just how much is at stake here and just how vital it is that everything is perfect.

We cut back to entrance hall as Leopold re-enters the room just as the large oak doors are swung inward. Looking outside we see a convoy of at least 5 cars enter the Porte-Cohere. The biggest car in the middle bore the state flag and insignia of Russia and the Czar. The drive of that car quickly gets out and opens the door. From within the car steps Count Alexander Izvolsky (Paul Giamatti); he quickly ascends the stairs and shakes hands with Leopold and Alois. They make some small talk that we can’t hear before Leopold beckons them into the castle for a meal.

We cut to them in the dining hall at the end of the meal. We see the remnants of a main course taken away as the drinks are refilled and the desert is brought out. They all seem to know each other decently well, and the alcohol is working its magic as their small talk is jovial and friendly. Then after all of them have finished, we see Leopold catch the attention of and nod sharply yet imperceptibly at one of the footmen who quickly arranged for the plates to be taken away. Alois then motions towards Alexander and says, “Shall we?” Alexander nods his consent and Leopold tersely says, “Follow me.” We see Leopold lead the men through a series of ornately decorated hallways, establishing the mood and feel of the time period: aristocratic, lavish, and filled with prodigality.  They arrive at the entrance to the state room with its high double doors and Leopold opens it before ushering the two other gentlemen inside. He turns to leave, but turns back and tells them that if they need anything just notify him via the telephone in the room or one of the footmen and that he’ll be in his study. He wishes them good luck and then turns to leave.

 

We see a shot of him, outside the state room, letting out the breath that he had been holding. He then goes upstairs into his private suites where we see his wife, Ferdinandine von Berchtold (Berenice Bejo), waiting for him. She looks up at he enters the drawing room of the suite and cocks her head. He sits down on the chair opposite her and lights up a pipe, takes a deep breath, exhales, and sinks into the chair. He lets out a sigh and his wife asks him what’s wrong. He says that he’s just so confused, and so unsure of all of this. He says that they’ve been planning for months, yet everything still rests on a most precipitous cliff. His wife chides him a little for being so self-doubtful before reaching out to place a comforting hand on his back. She then proceeds to tell him that it’s all right as Leopold says in a slightly emotional voice that he can’t help being indecisive because he can’t stop himself from contemplating all the alternatives and what could go wrong. His wife just continues on comforting him.

 

We cut back to the state room, and we see that the two men are dwarfed by the sheer size and spectacle of the room. We see them, sitting on opposite sides of a long table, engaged in a heated debate. Austria wants to annex Bosnia and Herzogovina and Russia wants to take over the Dardanelles and Bosporus straits. We see snippets of their argument. They agree fairly early on that there would be mutual support for each other’s actions; however the conditions, concessions, and methods of dealing with the other countries are fiercely debated. At one moment we see Alois take a knife and stab it into an apple on one of the fruit plates. We hear the sound of the splitting apple as the knife causes the apple to crack cleanly into two halves.  Eventually after lots of arguing and drawing on the map, they come to an agreement that Russia will open the straits up to all ships, Austria will annex Bosnia and Herzegovina and withdraw from the Sanjak of Novibazar, and that they’ll mutually support each other. They also accepted Bulgarian independence and said that in exchange for support of the annexation they would support other countries’ expansion into the Balkans. They conclude the meeting with a cordial handshake and wishing the best of luck to each other. 

 

We cut to the great hall again as Alexander exits and gets back into his car. Alois and Leopold are standing next to each other, and the moment Alexander’s convoy peels out of the Porte-Cohere, Leopold turns towards Alois. Alois says that it’s good news and that he has to notify the emperor immediately. Leopold then breaks into a genuine relaxed smile as they exit the room.

 

Title Credits.

 

We then cut to Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria (Ben Kinsley) in an ornate stateroom. The date, 6 October 1908, appears on the bottom-centre of the screen. He’s sitting at a desk, flanked by his advisors, amongst them include Archduke Franz Ferdinand (Rupert Everett), Alois, and Leopold.  In front of him on the desk rests an official looking paper. We eventually settle on a shot of the paper from over his shoulder and see that it reads “Proclamation//Annexation of the Bosnia and Herzegovina//Emperor Franz Joseph I//[…].” He takes the quill on his desk, dips it into his inkwell, and then signs at the bottom of the document. He is then passed a seal, and heated sealing wax is poured onto the paper below this signature. He then takes the seal and presses the seal down onto it. Then a second document is presented to him: it reads, “Proclamation//Demilitarisation of the Sanjak of Novibazar//Emperor Franz JosephI//[…]” He signs it, and it is sealed just like the other document. After he is done there is polite applause from his advisors.

 

We cut to a shot of the exterior of the British Foreign office, and we cut into the office of Foreign Minister, Viscount Edward Grey (James D’Arcy), as the minister enters. He sits down at his desks and asks one of his aids to “Inform me of what the hell is going on,” and so one of his aides quickly presents him with a prepared dossier. He reads it quickly before telling his aide to send this message to Vienna, “London is concerned by this action and requests clarification quickly.” He then tells the aide to inform the War Ministry to ready the army because this might blow-up very soon.

 

We cut to the Ballhausplatz in Vienna where Alois is inundated with telegraphs and messages. We quickly learn that the Ottomans and the Serbians are fiercely against the annexation and that the rest of the powers of Europe are extremely concerned and worried by this violation of the Treaty of Berlin. Over the next few weeks we see snippets of the Austrian, French, German, Russian, Ottoman, Serbian, and British armies preparing for the possibility of war as the capitals of Europe liaise with each other. We see this from Alois’s perspective in Vienna, and he’s getting more and more worried as the situation seems to be spiralling out of control; this isn’t helped by the fact that Emperor Franz Joseph I is feeling like Austria has got her back pressed against the wall and so is taking it out on Alois.

 

We cut back to London, where we see the Cabinet in session. We see Grey addressing the Prime Minister, Asquith (Jared Harris), and the Cabinet in general. We see him talk about the situation at hand and how they must be extremely careful not to upset the balance of power. He says that they must respect maintain their entente with France and with Russia, so they must not outright advocate for maintaining the status quo or for going along with these new events. Grey proposes that the official government line be that they aren’t opposed to change as long as it happens within the existing guidelines of the Treaty of Berlin. He says that they must not only stress that the Treaty shall not be amended but also that they are open to change.

 

We cut to Moscow where Leopold has returned to, being the ambassador, and he and Alexander are furiously trying to piece together a united front for the Austro-Russian team to present to Europe. We see them puzzling over the various requests and positions of the European nations. We learn that all the great powers bar Germany are in favour of having a conference to settle the issue (violation of the Treaty of Berlin), Serbia and the Ottomans want a reversal of the annexations or territorial gains and compensation, Italy wants territory in exchange for recognising the annexation, and that Britain is against amending the Treaty of Berlin. However, Leopold’s indecisive nature is hindering him as he is getting pushed around by Alexander a little bit.

 

Over the next few months we see Alois trying to juggle everything around, as tensions escalate to new heights. An amendment is being passed around for ratification; however due to British opposition, Russia will not be getting the Turkish straits. We cut to Moscow and we see Alexander lambasting and screaming at a scared Leopold. We cut to a scene of Alexander with his wife where he doubts the use of all the work he’s done to avert war because, “War now, war later. We’ll fight a war in the next 10 years and it’ll be the biggest we’ve ever seen.” His wife just tells him to focus on the matter at hand and that everything will sort itself out in the end. We cut back to Vienna where the Emperor and Alois are in a discussion. They eventually decide that they’re going to start leaking state correspondence with Russia until Russia complied and ratified the amendment to the treaty. However, this causes tensions to heat up drastically and both Austria and Russia are on the verge of mobilisation before the Germans issue an ultimatum to Russia, Alexander caves in, and the Russian government ratifies the amendments. In Vienna we see a relieved Alois that war isn’t happening, and in Moscow we see a suitably nervous Leopold because this is a huge diplomatic defeat for Russia and Alexander is furious. Soon after, the amendments are totally ratified and war is averted. Serbia and the Ottomans both get compensation, Austria gets to keep Bosnia and Herzegovina, and everyone else gets nothing. We cut to the treaty signing between Austria-Hungary, Russia, The Ottomans, and Serbia. We can see the leaders of all Europe gathered in the background. In the foreground, the leaders of Russia, Austria-Hungary, The Ottoman Empire, and Serbia are sitting at a table with the treaty in front of them. The camera pans to each of them as they sign the treaty. Tsar Nicholas II (Joseph Fiennes) looks livid and Franz Josef I looks relieved and quite pleased with himself as Austria-Hungary got to keep Bosnia and Herzegovina and the compensation isn’t particularly large. The Ottoman Caliph, Abdul Hamid II (Jimi Mistry), doesn’t look too upset either. He looks more resigned to the inevitable fate of his empire. We cut to the Serbian party; King Peter I (Robert Carlyle) looks stoic but kind of angry. We cut to some of the Serbian government and military officers in the background. We see one unidentified figure whispering to another, “They need to pay for this. All in good time.” The figure says more but the sound is drowned out by the applause from all the world leaders as the treaty is officiated.

 

We cut to the celebration banquet and ball. The opulence of Europe is still on full display. We then cut outside to a peaceful night-time shot of Vienna, serene and calm in knowing that War is not on the horizon, as we fade to black.

 

In the blackness we hear, “Boom, Boom, Boom.”

 

We slowly fade into a scene of the Austrian army going through practices. Sarajevo, Austria-Hungary 28 June 1914 is displayed on the bottom of the screen. We now cut to the train station at Sarajevo where Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie (Shirley Henderson)are getting off and into their convoy. We settle into a tracking shot of the car speeding through the city centre of Sarajevo when all of a sudden, a thunk is heard before a large explosion occurs behind them. The car immediately stops and the crowd descends into an absolute panic. We see out of the peripheral of our vision, someone jumping off of the bridge and into the river. We then pan in that direction and see many police officers diving in to retrieve the body. We cut back to the Archduke and we see the police attending to him and asking him if he’s all right. He shrugs them off and just holds onto his wife closely. They are quickly ushered back into their car and hurried away. We focus on the scene of the exploded car and we see an aide go into the wreckage and fish out a blood stained piece of paper.

 

We cut to the town hall where the Mayor begins to give his speech of welcome as Franz Ferdinand’s motorcade arrives. We see Franz hurry out of his car, rush up to the mayor, and interrupt him by saying, “Mr. Mayor, I came here on a visit and I get bombs thrown at me. It is outrageous.” Then Sophie pulls Franz back and whispers something into his ear. Franz then takes a step back and a deep breath before telling the mayor that he may continue. At this point an aide approaches him and gives him a blood-stained piece of paper, the same one that was fished out of the wreckage of the exploded car. It is his speech.

 

We cut to him at the end of his speech where he remarks about the bombing, and thanks the people of Sarajevo by saying, “as I see in them an expression of their joy at the failure of the attempt at assassination.” He finishes off his speech and the crowd bursts into applause. He then gives one final wave before heading into the town hall with his wife and the mayor. The Camera follows them into the town hall and the Archduke, his wife, and the Mayor are quickly ushered off into a side room where a crowd of advisors are waiting. They are discussing their next moves. Some people are advocating not letting the enemy get to them and to continue with the schedule, others are advocating going to the hospital to visit those wounded from the attack, and others still are advocating to just call-off the visit for the sake of security. Eventually, The Archduke decides to go visit the wounded but also decides to take a safer and more direct route rather than a ceremonial one through the city-centre. As everyone exits the room, Sophie begins to break down into sobs causing the Archduke to put a comforting arm around her. He tells her that everything will be all right and that they can’t let the terrorists get to them.

 

We cut to a delicatessen where a thoroughly disappointed Gavarillo Princip (James McAvoy) walks into. We see him browse the selection before purchasing some ham. We see him fumble for his money, pay for the meat, and then leave. Out of the window of the delicatessen we can see a large convoy of cars passing by.

 

We cut to the Archduke’s convoy as they’re passing by a delicatessen, and we see the driver of the archduke’s car make a turn onto a bridge. All the rest of the convoy continue on the main road and pass by, unable to stop. The other passenger in the Archduke’s car, General Potiorek, the governor of Bosnia and Herzegovina, shouts at the driver and tells him that he’s going the wrong way and that the plans have been changed. The Driver looks absolutely bewildered and says that no one’s informed him as he’s backing off of the bridge.

 

We cut back to Gavarillo as he steps out onto the pavement of the street and notices that the Archduke’s convoy is passing by and seems to be having some problems, as evidence by the Archduke’s car backing off of the bridge and the absence of the rest of the convoy. We see him reach into his jacket and we see that he’s palming his gun. His face has suddenly taken on a determined look as he seems to be contemplating a new idea.

We cut back and forth between the Archduke’s car and Gavrillo as the car stalls, Gavarillo begins to approach the car, the driver getting panicked and trying to get the car to move again, Gavarillo takes a step forward, and we cut to black as two shots are heard and the crowd erupts into panic and screams. We hear the peeling sound of a car speeding off and we cut.

 

We cut to the inside of the car where we see that both the Archduke and his wife have been shot. We see that the Archduke is trying to hold the both of them upright as the car is speeding away from the scene. We see Potiorek tell the driver to take them towards the Governor’s residence because they can get medical help there. As Sophie is clutching her stomach and slumping forward, the Archduke is saying softly to her, “Sophie, Sophie! Don't die! Live for our children!” Sophie and Potiorek are both asking about the Archduke’s jugular vein injury and he brushes both of them off by saying, “It is nothing,” multiple times.

 

We cut back to the scene of the murder and we see Gavarillo getting swamped by the crowd and police; he gets beat up severely before he’s arrested and carted off. As he is thrown into the police car, we see one of the police officers give him a kick for good measure.

 

We cut back to the Archduke’s car as they’re still speeding off towards the Governor’s residence.  However, as we see the residence appear at the end of the road, Sophie suddenly slumps over and dies. The Archduke looks totally distraught as he tries to revive her and tells her to keep living for their children. However, the Archduke soon succumbs to his injuries and begins his death rattle. Potiorek looks absolutely horrified and scared at this point and orders the equally scared driver, Leopold Lojka (Cillian Murphy), to drive as fast as possible towards the residence.  We see them pull into the Porte-Cohere and the staff, having no prior warning, are completely bewildered as we hear frantic shouts for medical staff and to make the necessary arrangements. We see the bodies of the Archduke and Sophie getting carried into the building, as Lojka and Potiorek are being questioned and examined for injuries. In the background we hear someone ordering someone else to get a Priest here immediately. (for the Last Rites)

 

We cut to the inside of the residence where we see a doctor covering up the bed of Sophie; he shakes his head and turns his attention to the Archduke who is on the other bed in the room. The doctor examines his injuries, and gives him some tonic; however, he eventually beckons to the Priest who is waiting outside the door. The priest comes in and administers the last rites to the Archduke. Just as the Priest is finished, Potiorek, Lojka, and a bunch of the Archduke’s aides who just arrived, after backtracking to the scene of the accident and then proceeding to the Governor’s residence, enter the room as the Archduke passes away. The Doctor puts his year up to the Archduke’s mouth, taps him several times on the head, and proclaims his death with great sorrow. The entire room descends into prayer for the Archduke for just a moment before the well-oiled machine of Austrian bureaucracy springs into action. We see a Potiorek delegate the task of transporting the two bodies back to Vienna to a few aides, and then instructs Lojka to send three telegrams. One to Emperor Franz Josef, One to German Kaiser Wilhelm II (Alan Rickman), and One to the Archduke’s children about the deaths. He then turns to another aide and instructs him to expeditiously arrest anyone involved in the assassination.

 

We cut to Vienna where a telegraph operator tears the sheet of paper off of his pad and runs out of the room. We see him run up into the ornate palace, disregarding all of the orders for him to stop and declare his business. He approaches the Emperor’s private suite and barges in as multiple guards are on his tail in pursuit. The Emperor is sitting having lunch with Count Karl von Sturgkh (John Simm), The Minister-President of Austria-Hungary, and Count Leopold von Berchtold, who is now the Imperial Foreign Minister of Austria-Hungary. They are in the middle of discussion, something about protecting the security of the Archduke and not letting the bomb incident happen again, and they all look irate that a servant interrupted their private meeting. However, the telegraph operator, looking distraught, hurriedly presents the sheet of paper to the Emperor and tells him that he should look at it. The Emperor looks shocked and lets out a gasp as the guards enter the suite and proceed to take the telegraph operator away. The Emperor tells them to let the telegraph operator go, and then dismisses all of them. He then passes the sheet of paper to Karl and Leopold, and the camera settles over their shoulders to see the note reading, “Your Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty, We bear grave and distressing news from Sarajevo. The Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife the Duchess Sophie of Hohenberg have been shot and killed. We will update when further details are known. - General Oskar Potiorek (Michael Caine), Governor of Bosnia and Herzegovina.” There is an atmosphere of visible shock in the room as the three men process what had just happened. Karl is the first to respond and he first offers his apologies to a still shell-shocked Franz Josef before saying that they need to put the military on mobilisation alert. Leopold nods his agreement and the three men begin to discuss the appropriate responses towards Serbia. The options are quite clear; they cannot allow Serbia to get away with no punishment so it would have to either be war or severe diplomatic punishment.

 

We cut back to Sarajevo where we see Princip getting interrogated. Although he is originally defiant, we soon see him crack as he reveals the entire plan. How he and a bunch of others were part of the Black Hand, how they trained in Belgrade, Serbia, and how they snuck across the border and etc. Most importantly, he gave up the names of the other people involved. We see Potiorek standing in the back of the room, listening. He quickly dispatches officers to seal up these passages and arrest all of these people. We then cut to him leaving the police station and we can see massive anti-Serbian riots on the streets. As his car drives off, the crowd swarms it and the car can barely move anywhere. We then cut to him arriving at the Governor’s palace where he orders the military to be dispatched to quash the riots because even though they are in our favour, they’re too dangerous to be allowed to continue. We cut back to the scene of one of the riots as the Austrian military arrives and begins to arrest and break the riot up. We can hear the sounds of a few shots fired in the background as this is happening.

 

We cut to Berlin, there is a meeting between German Kaiser, Wilhelm II, German Chancellor, Theodore von Bethmann-Hollwegg (Johnny Lee Miller). They are talking about a series of domestic issues including Welfare, Pensions, and etc. The topic then turns onto Foreign Affairs and naturally the conversation shifts to the assassination of Franz Ferdinand. Theodore says that it is the perfect opportunity to exercise Darwinian Socialism. He says that their army has never been stronger and that his military advisors have told him that there may never be as good a time as now. He says that they must take advantage of it. Wilhelm nods his agreement; however he adds that we must be very careful because we cannot be seen as the aggressors of war or else the entire system could be brought down. Theodore tries to argue and says that they don’t need the system anymore because when Germany wins, Germany can write the system. Wilhelm adamantly rebuts that all the monarchs from Cardiff to Vladivostok are interrelated and that relation represents the complex web of alliances, gentleman’s agreements, and etc. He then says that one error could bring all of it crashing down. Theodore tries to argue more, but has to submit to the will of the Kaiser.

 

We cut to the next morning as we see all the capitals of Europe awaking to this news. We see a montage of people reading newspapers and paperboys from London, Paris, Berlin, Moscow, Rome, Vienna, and Belgrade. They all carry the same headline.

 

We cut back to Vienna where we see Leopold in his office, in front of him is a copy of a telegraph from Sarjevo that outlined the information that Potiorek got out of Princip and the current progress of the investigation. He then tells his chief of staff, Count Hoyo (Anthony Andrews), to get a telegram to Berlin. He wants Berlin to support Vienna in its request for a formal investigation into this affair. Hoyo then asks him if they’re going to war or not and Leopold responds, “I don’t know.” Hoyo then replies, “With all due respect, sir. I think we should. It’ll be good to put Serbia back in her place.”

 

We then cut to Leopold arriving home for the evening, and we see him sinking into a chair with a drink looking utterly lost and distraught. We see his wife approach him again and he confesses that he has no idea what he’s doing. He says that he never wanted this job and all he’s doing is making things worse for everyone. His wife takes his hands in her hands and then says very calmly but also authoritatively, “Get yourself together. Your country needs you. Now is not the time for you to vacillate. It’s time to be strong and assertive because if you’re strong you’ll at least have a chance of getting things right. Being weak does nothing and accomplishes nothing. GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER.” Leopold nods, a little shocked by his wife’s scolding, and tells her that he’ll try. She smiles at him and inquisitively asks, “So, are we going to war? I had tea today at the lady’s club and that was the rumour going around. War, with Serbia. Is that wise, what about the alliances?” Leopold looks as if he wants to say I don’t know and kick the can further down the road but decides to carefully answer, “War is looking inevitable. The Serbians most likely won’t accept our demands. The alliance system shouldn’t be a large obstacle because we doubt that the Russians will mobilise to help the Serbians. They’re too small and insignificant for the Russians to honour their alliance and risk bringing in Germany.”

 

We cut to a meeting of the Austrian cabinet. The four main players are Franz Josef, Leopold, Karl, and Count Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf (Tom Wilkinson), the Chief of Staff of the Austrian army. Franz Conrad is advocating for outright war, while the other three are more cautious in their approach. They are accepting war is a valid, and perhaps inevitable, option but would rather push for diplomatic punishment and resolution. Franz Josef in particular is against war unless they can get German backing for it. Leopold says that public opinion must be prepared for war and that it is best to wait for the results of the Austrian investigation and the trial of the conspirators because then they’d have a solid legal case and base to go to war on. Franz Conrad replies that the Anti-Serb riots in Sarajevo seemed to indicate plenty of public goodwill for war with Serbia. Karl also adds that he just spoke with his counter-part in Budapest (Dual-Monarchy, the system is really complicated), Count Istvan Tisza, the Minister-President of Hungary was against going to war with Serbia. Franz Conrad at that point makes a snide comment about the Magyars (Hungarians). As the meeting is going on, they are interrupted by a telegraph which informs them that a major player in the assassination has escaped to Montenegro and that a commanding officer in the Serbian military was involved, according to Princip. We see Franz Conrad go into an uproar and say that they must go to war now because the Serbian government is involved and that this is a blatant violation of national sovereignty. However, Leopold, looking a little uncomfortable having to stand-up to such an intimidating figure, says that they must not deviate from a path of moderation and diplomatic solution. He says that they have acquired Germany’s support if they want to press for an investigation and that he’ll telegram Belgrade today to firmly request an inquiry. He says that he’ll also telegraph Moscow to ask them to pressure Belgrade into an inquiry as they’re Belgrade’s ally.

 

We cut to the German embassy in Vienna, the German Ambassador, Count Heinrich von Tschirschky (Stephen Graham), working at his desk. We see an aide enter the room and say, “My lord, Ambassador. There is a message to you from Berlin.” Heinrich takes the message and dismisses the aide. He opens it up and sees that he has been forwarded a copy of the telegram that Lojka sent to Wilhelm II; a note was added at the bottom of the telegram, “Now or Never.”

 

We cut later that day; Leopold is in his office reviewing all of this material. We see him compose a telegram to Montenegro requesting them to capture the escaped conspirator and to honour their extradition treaty by returning him to Austria. We then see him call a meeting with his advisors to discuss further courses of action. It is here that we see his indecisiveness is still his Achilles heel because he allows himself to be bamboozled and pushed by his pro-war advisors. This is particularly strong in his Chief of Staff, Count Hoyo. Hoyo advocates war to exterminate Serbia forever and to advance Austrian foreign policy. He then says that he met with a German source who says that the German government and the German Foreign Minister will of supportive of reasonable Austrian action. Hoyo then says that they need to engineer a situation so that they have the legitimate reason to attack. He says that that should be their number one goal, not diplomacy. Leopold looks kind of confused and dazed but is able to stand his ground a little bit and does not concede to pursuing war as the number one objective. They are drawing up a list of possible allies and enemies for their position. Germany is the first to be put onto the ally list. Russia is put into the enemy list but noted to be possibly neutral as they might not be willing to risk war for Serbia. They also deem Romania, a Austrian-Ally, to be possibly more pro-Russia and pro-Serbia due to a recent Russo-Romanian summit. Italy is also put into the unknown category because they abandoned the Germany and Austrian position during the Moroccan crises even though they are formally allied. In the end they decide that they need to pursue alliances with Bulgaria, Ottomans, and to rekindle their alliance with Italy.

 

We cut to Leopold leaving the meeting room where he is cornered by Franz Conrad. Franz Conrad takes the opportunity again to push for war, and we can see that Leopold is being gradually convinced by both his staff and Franz Conrad. Leopold responds that, yes War is inevitable, but there needs to be a solid basis and it must look legitimate. Franz Conrad seems to be placated by this small victory, and presses on to say that he is concerned that Germany hasn’t stated its intentions clearly enough in the case of war. Franz Conrad asks Leopold to clarify and get the German position in very black and white terms. Leopold agrees to that and we cut.

 

We cut to the British Cabinet room. We see Edward Grey addressing the cabinet. We see that he is saying that the world is on a knife edge and one wrong step from anyone can bring war upon Europe. He says that Britain must use its influence to mediate between Serbia and Austria to ensure that no war breaks out. He says that he will be sending telegrams to Berlin, Moscow, Vienna, and Belgrade today to request for talks. He also says that they need to start looking for a Casus Belli in the event that they need to go to war because their ententes are not military accords. However, he also advocates slow, methodical, and well-thought out plans because he says that the tension is still far from critical levels and that they can depend on the enormous German influence on Austria-Hungary to defuse the situation. We can see many of the people in the Whig cabinet upset at this activist foreign policy, but under the sharp glares of Prime Minister Asquith they all stay silent. Then Prime Minister Asquith moves the agenda forward and turns to what the British Government holds as the more important topic, the imminent civil war in Ireland as the separatism movement has gotten out of hand.  We see the Chancellor of the Exchequer, David Lloyd George (David Thewlis), mention that they need to avoid war anywhere if possible due to the cost. He says that the empire is both a blessing and drain finance wise.

 

We cut back to the Emperor’s private suite where Leopold, Karl, and Franz Josef are having lunch again. Leopold informs the two of them that the Montenegrins have the conspirator in custody and he is arranging for his prompt and immediate extradition. He also informs the other two that both Russia and Serbia have rebuffed their and Germany’s request for a formal inquiry. He then says that he also plans on sending Hoyo to Berlin to ask for a clear, black and white, German declaration of intent in all of this. Franz Josef and Karl agree with this, and Franz Josef says that he’ll add his own personal letter to the mix and that he’ll send the letter to Leopold’s office this afternoon. Franz Josef then also proposes a Joint Council of Ministers (Austrian Ministers and their Hungarian counterparts meeting) next week to decide on a course of action.

 

We cut to a meeting between Wilhelm, Theobald, and the German Army Chief of Staff, Helmuth von Moltke (Julian Barratt). They are discussing the peace plan that was sent by the British Foreign Secretary, Edward Grey. Both Theobald and Helmuth are in favour of binning the telegram and telling the British that it isn’t Europe’s job to interfere in a localised and domestic dispute between the Slavs in Austria-Hungary and the Slavs in Serbia. However, Wilhelm wants to forward the peace plan to Austria and get Austria to reject it. He says that that way Germany will be seen as trying to help the peace plan and not causing war. However, Helmuth raises the objection that the Austria possibly could accept if they think that the German forwarding of the peace plan is a signal that Germany won’t help in even of a war and because the Austrian army isn’t in the best of shape at the moment. Theobald then raises the point that they can’t tell Austria to reject the proposal because that’s too dangerous and could lead to an international scandal. Eventually they compromise on just not responding to the peace plan.

 

We cut to Leopold and Hoyo outside the Ballhausplatz where the government offices are located, and we see Leopold giving Hoyo a stack of letters. He tells Hoyo to go straight to the office of the Chancellor, Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg, to demand an audience with the Kaiser. He tells Hoyo to be expeditious and waste no time and to telegram back the response when he gets it. 

 

We cut to the funeral of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Sophie. It’s a small but lavish affair with only the Imperial Royal Family in attendance. Emperor Franz Josef looks particularly sad as the coffin is carried into the chapel and laid in front of the altar. We cut as the archbishop of Vienna begins the service.

 

We cut to Hoyo arriving in Berlin. He is immediately ushered into German Chancellor, Theobald von Bethmann Hollwegg’s office. They have a Frank chat about the situation and Hoyo discloses the quite obvious intent of his trip. He then asks for an audience with the Kaiser which is promptly granted. We cut to an audience of him with the Kaiser; he bows and kneels at the feet of the Kaiser before he is given the signal to take a seat. Then we see him pass the letters that Leopold gave him to the Kaiser. He then appeals to the Kaiser directly and asks the Kaiser if Germany will support Austria in the event of an Austrian-declared war. The Kaiser pretends to decide for a moment before saying that he needs to consult with his government. We cut to the backroom where Helmuth and Theobald are sitting. The Kaiser says that he told Hoyo that he needs some time to discuss. Theobald and Helmuth gets the point that the Kaiser is making and we see them waste some time by going over some of the domestic issues that need dealing with. We see only a few seconds of that before we cut back to the outside room. We see a few shots of Hoyo waiting for what appears to be hours before the Kaiser emerges and tells Hoyo that Germany will unconditionally support whatever actions Austria deems necessary. Hoyo bows again to the Kaiser before being dismissed and leaves with a large smile on his face; the deal was better than what Austria had asked for.  We then see Theobald emerge from a room and walk down the hall. Theobald greets Hoyo and then leads him away to his office to discuss “further details” about the blank cheque.

 

We cut to London where we see Grey reading a particularly vacillating response from Berlin. It promises everything without promising anything. This causes Grey to be particularly annoyed and we can hear him muttering under his breath, “Germans. We’re on the verge of a bloody war and you can’t even be bothered to care.” We see him storm out of his office.

 

We cut to a shot of Grey entering the German embassy in London. The ambassador’s chief of staff is surprised to see him, and says that the German Ambassador, Prince Karl Max Lichnowsky (Neil Maskell), is currently in a meeting and cannot meet with him. He suggests that Grey leave word and schedule an appointment. Grey is visibly frustrated and tries to bargain before bursting out, “Oh shut up, and let me see him immediately.” The Chief of Staff is shocked and promptly leads Grey to the Ambassador. The Chief of Staff leads him to a set of closed double doors, knock twice, and opens it without waiting for a response. He then announces, “Ambassador, The Viscount Grey is here to see you. I’m afraid he is very insistent.” The Ambassador is visibly disgruntled but acquiesces to Grey’s demands. The moment the Ambassador steps into the hallway and the doors are closed again, Grey launches onto him. He rants in an angry but steady manner about how the Germans need to act and standing here doing nothing is the exact same as provoking war between Austria and Serbia. The Ambassador looks flabbergasted by this entire tirade and tries to calmly say that he agrees; however Grey just goes on. Finally, the Ambassador raises his voice a little and says, “Enough. If you’ll just listen to me for a moment.” He then goes on to tell Grey that he is very sorry that the German government position is this, and that he agrees with Grey that something needs to be done. He then promises Grey that he’ll telegram and get in touch with Berlin again to reiterate his points and try to push Berlin into action. Grey looks calmer now and says that it’s a pleasure to do business with the Ambassador and hopes that through their efforts that a peaceful solution can be reached. The two shake hands and we see the Ambassador turning to go back into the room. As the Ambassador is going back into the room, he is handed a telegraph note. It says, “Note: Second Reich Official Policy towards the Austria-Hungary and Serbian conflict is unconditional support towards the policies of Austria-Hungary.” He looks at the note and sighs. They’re too late.

 

We cut back to Leopold’s office where two telegrams arrive for him. One is from the Montenegro Government that notifies him that the conspirator has escaped. The other is from Hoyo who says that the German Kaiser has given the Austrians their full support for any of their actions towards Serbia. He rips up the one from the Montenegro government and then proceeds to tell his aide to send a strongly worded telegram to Montenegro expressing their disappointment and displeasure that they have allowed the conspirator to “escape.”

 

We cut to Moscow and we see Tsar Nicholas II meeting with Foreign Minister, Sergei Sazonov (Liam Cunningham). He is expressing his concern to Sergei about the mysterious actions that Austria is taking and the recent visit to Berlin that Count Hoyo, the chief of staff to the foreign minister, made. He says that it is best if Sergei go to the Austrian embassy to ask for clarification. We cut to Sergei in a meeting with the Austrian ambassador in Moscow, Frigyes Szapary (Julian Barratt). Sergei is questioning Frigyes about the actions of the Austria government, and Frigyes denies everything. He says that he is just a diplomat and that he is uninformed of all of the going-ons in the Austria government. He says that he’ll only be informed when Leopold (Austrian Foreign Minister) deems it necessary for him to know in order to carry out his job properly. Sergei then asks him to request that information from Vienna before they bid each other good day and Sergei leaves. We then see Frigyes calling for an aide and begins to compose a telegram to Vienna. He looks quite frantic and panicked now that Sergei has gone. We cut back to Sergei and the Tsar. We see Sergei telling the Tsar that he feels like Frigyes is concealing something from Russia. Tsar nods and just tells him to keep a close eye on everything and to make sure everything stays under control. He then adds that War is to be avoided as the army isn’t ready yet for heavy fighting.

 

We now cut to the Joint Council of Ministers meeting. We see some people advocating a surprise attack, and others advocating for war but in a more controlled and methodical manner. Only one person, Count Tisza (Mark Strong), the Minister-President of Hungary is opposed to war. Many people are cautious but supportive of war and it is a fight between the both sides to get those people onto their side. Tisza argued that war would lead to many unforeseen consequences and could be on a larger scale and time frame than anyone can imagine or anticipate. Karl argues back that not pursuing war would be seen as a policy of hesitation and weakness, but agrees with Tisza that there must be further careful and due consideration. He then reiterates that Russia would most likely not step in to aid Serbia because Serbia is too insignificant an ally for Russia to risk war with Germany over. As the argument is getting heated, Hoyo arrives back from Berlin and gives his oral report. He says that Kaiser Wilhelm II is fully supportive of whatever Austria does and that their Chancellor, Theobald, personally told him that Germany prefers war over diplomatically negotiated peace. This quickly swings a lot of people into the pro-war camp and they finally decide on presenting Serbia with an ultimatum, which if refused would lead to war in order to placate Count Tisza who is particularly assertive. 

 

We cut to a dinner service for the Joint Council of Ministers and we can see the furious backroom dealings going on as we see different people pushing for different conditions in the ultimatum. However, we soon get the impression that the consensus is to present Serbia with an ultimatum that it can’t possibly accept to give Austria-Hungary a legitimate Casus Belli to attack Serbia but also to ensure British, French, and other European Countries neutrality as this would be a “legitimate” war and not an unprovoked one and one based on sketchy testimony and unproven evidence. However, Tisza is still opposed to war and is determined to piece together an ultimatum that is harsh but still acceptable by the Serbians. We then see Leopold get a telegram from the Austrian Ambassador in Moscow who asks what he should tell the Russian Foreign minister who just requested Austria clarify its intent towards Serbia. Leopold decides to tell the Ambassador to tell the Foreign Minister nothing and to say that Austria has no plans for war.

 

We cut back to Berlin and we see Wilhelm, Helmuth, Theodore, and the Foreign Minister, Gottlieb von Jagow (Tom Hardy), meeting. They’re discussing the progress of the Joint Council of Ministers. We see Gottlieb saying that the Ambassador in Vienna is reporting that they’re hung up over the wording and the harshness of the ultimatum. He also says that there is a sole hold-out, the Hungarian Minister President, Count Tisza. We see them debate and discuss some more before they decide to tell their ambassador in Vienna to push the Austrians along. We see Helmuth saying “Austria must beat the Serbs.”

 

Over the next few days we see Hoyo and Franz Conrad pushing Leopold to take a more aggressive stance as the Joint Council is still debating on how harsh the ultimatum will be and what’ll be on it. We see Tisza still holding out for a more peaceful approach and we see Leopold confronting him to try to get him to accept war. As the debates go on we see Leopold capitulate to Hoyo and Franz and orders his staff to begin drawing up a carefully worded and crafted ultimatum. We also see the ministers getting quite tired of going in cyclical arguments, and then we see the German ambassador in Vienna, Count Heinrich von Tschirschky, approaching Leopold and advising him to sue for war. He says that everyone in Berlin is in favour of war. He then says that it is the belief of the German government that Austria must choose immediately and that they should choose war if they want what’s best for the continent in general. Leopold looks visibly scared at this and asks about Germany’s commitment to their alliance and Heinrich responds that only time will tell. Leopold blanches as he takes this as a sign that Germany could be willing to break their alliance with Austria. Leopold then tells Heinrich that the Austrian government plans on sending Serbia an unacceptable ultimatum that the Serbians definitely will reject in order to provoke war. He asks Heinrich if he can do a favour for him. Heinrich motions for him to continue and Leopold asks him to talk to Tisza and to give him a bit of a scare because Tisza’s the only person demanding an acceptable ultimatum. Heinrich nods and says that he’ll do what he can.

 

We cut to a meeting between Franz Conrad, Franz Josef, Leopold, and Karl in the Emperor’s private suite to discuss the war. Even though they are just issuing an ultimatum, all of them are acting as if war was 100% assured. They’re discussing the best times to deliver the ultimatum and to declare war. Franz Josef says that it will be advisable to deliver the ultimatum after the Franco-Russian summit because they can facilitate a change in action if the summit has unusual results and because they can’t risk the French and Russians coming to new military agreements as a result of the ultimatum being presented while they’re engaged in talks. Franz Conrad then also says that the earliest Austria can declare war will be the 25th of July because they need to wait until the summer harvest is over to be fully equipped and supplies for the war. Eventually they decide the present the ultimatum on the 23rd and to set its expiration date on the 25th.

 

We cut to the Cabinet room in London, and we see Grey addressing the cabinet again. He says that they must keep pressing for a conference to sue for peace because otherwise this would be the most disastrous war in history. He says that he’ll go through the German ambassador in London, Prince Lichnowsky, to propose to the Germans again the idea of a conference. He says that he’s already spoken to Moscow and Paris and both of them are open to the idea of diplomatically discussing this through. He then adds that the German participation is crucial to the conference’s success and the failure of Germany to participate means that Britain must take “exigent and drastic measures to protect the safety and prosperity of itself and that of its empire. He then says that they must proactively pursue these measures because quoting a telegram from the British Ambassador in Berlin, “We do not know the facts. The German government clearly do know. They know what the Austrian government is going to demand...and I think we may say with some assurance that they had expressed approval of those demands and promised support should dangerous complications ensure...” However he adds that the telegram says that “the German government did not believe that there is any danger of war.” However, no risks can be taken.

 

We cut to Lichnowsky receiving a telegram and promptly hurrying out of the room. We then cut to Grey walking into the Foreign Office building and into his office to find Lichnowsky waiting there for him. Grey looks a bit surprised and says that he was just going to go visit Linchnowsky. Lichnowsky says that he has something urgent he needs to discuss with Grey and Grey ushers the both of them into his office. Grey says that he needs Lichnowsky’s help and that he needs Lichnowsky to press Berlin into acquiescing to a conference. Lichnowsky says that that was precisely what he was here about. He says that he received a directive from Berlin this morning and he says that all hopes of peace is dead. He says that Berlin informed him that it was pressing for Austria to go to war and instructed him to inform and fool the British government into thinking that Berlin isn’t interested in war and isn’t egging Austria on. Grey looks a bit shocked at this and says that Lichnowsky must do something. Lichnowsky asks, “What? What can I do? The Directive’s been given. I am but a humble servant of the Reich and I have no choice but to obey. However, as a friend, I recommend you inform your government to prepare for war.” He then promptly leaves the room without a word.

 

We now cut to an empty hallway in the Ballhausplatz. We see Tisza emerge from a room and proceed down the hallway. He doesn’t get very far before he is cornered by the German Ambassador, Heinrich. Heinrich tries to persuade Tisza to accept war and Tisza refuses and continues to demand peace. Then Heinrich says the same thing that he said to Leopold. This leads Tisza to draw the same conclusion as Leopold did. Even though he tries to hold his ground, he eventually capitulates and says that he’ll stop demanding peace because the threat of breaking the Austro-German alliance is too dangerous to disregard. Then Heinrich smiles and bids Tisza a good day before going off.

 

We cut back to London and we see Lichnowksy telegraphing Berlin and saying, “If we do not join the mediation, all faith here in us and in our love of peace will be shattered.” However the prompt response from Berlin is to follow the directive and that it has been deemed by the leadership in the best interests of the Reich to proceed with war.

 

We then see the ultimatum drafted by Leopold’s staff quickly presented to the Joint Council and they make quick work on rewording it and making a final copy out of it. Just as the final copy is about to be finished, Leopold has a moment of weakness and decides to throw it all out the window and start again because he feels that there needs to be no doubt that Serbia would reject. However, Heinrich hears about this and tells Leopold to just reword the current draft as redrawing a new one will take too long and will prolong the period of vacillation and indecision. He also tells Leopold that the presentation of the ultimatum must be delayed by one hour because they need to make sure that the French are far enough from St. Petersburg that they won’t turn back and negotiate new treaties to deal with the ultimatum. Leopold gulps and nods.

 

We now cut to the 5:00 PM 23rd of July. The time is displayed at the bottom of the screen and we see the Austrian Ambassador, Baron Wladimir Giesl von Gieslingen (Jason Statham), in Belgrade walk into the audience room of the King Peter I of Serbia, hand him the ultimatum, say, “You have 48 hours,” and leaves without another word. We see  from over the King’s shoulders that the terms of the ultimatum are:

 

1. Suppress all publications which "incite hatred and contempt of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy" and are "directed against its territorial integrity".

2. Dissolve the Serbian nationalist organisation "Narodna Odbrana" ("The People's Defense") and all other such societies in Serbia.

3. Eliminate without delay from schoolbooks and public documents all "propaganda against Austria-Hungary".

4. Remove from the Serbian military and civil administration all officers and functionaries whose names the Austro-Hungarian Government will provide.

5. Accept in Serbia "representatives of the Austro-Hungarian Government" for the "suppression of subversive movements".

6. Bring to trial all accessories to the Archduke's assassination and allow "Austro-Hungarian delegates" (law enforcement officers) to take part in the investigations.

7. Arrest Major Voja Tankosić and civil servant Milan Ciganović who were named as participants in the assassination plot.

8. Cease the cooperation of the Serbian authorities in the "traffic in arms and explosives across the frontier"; dismiss and punish the officials of the at Shabatz Loznica frontier service, "guilty of having assisted the perpetrators of the Sarajevo crime".

9. Provide "explanations" to the Austro-Hungarian Government regarding "Serbian officials" who have expressed themselves in interviews "in terms of hostility to the Austro-Hungarian Government".

10. Notify the Austro-Hungarian Government "without delay" of the execution of the measures comprised in the ultimatum.
 

6:11PM 23rd of July: We see Emperor Franz Josef order Chief of Staff Franz Conrad to prepare the army for war, but no mobilisation yet.

 

8:54PM 23rd of July: We see Grey get a notification of the ultimatum and proceed to draft a telegram to all the capitals of Europe again. In the telegram he strongly advocates for peace, but adds that should a conference not happen then Britain will do everything in her capability to protect herself and her empire. We then see him tell his aide to call all the ambassadors from the major powers of Europe and Serbia to join him tomorrow in his office.

 

7:47AM 24th of July: We see Leopold get a message from Russia expressing its displeasure and mentioning that Serbia had appealed to the Russian Ambassador in Belgrade for help. Russia expresses its sympathy towards Serbia and its hope that Austria will take a calm and reasoned approach to all of this.

 

8:51AM 24th of July: We see Leopold, Franz Josef, Franz Conrad, and Karl eating breakfast together and they’re discussing the Russian telegram. Leopold seems a bit unsure of himself however Franz Conrad says that they’re in too deep to back-off now. He says that withdrawing the ultimatum is too diplomatically damaging. Karl then adds that he thinks that Russia’s bluffing and that they wouldn’t really step in to help and risk war with Germany.

 

1:39PM 24th of July: We see Grey meeting with the ambassadors of France, Germany (Lichnowsky), Russia, and Italy. We see Grey saying that they must still sue for peace and that he wants each and every one of them to pressure their home governments into accepting. The tension in the room is palpable and we see Russia (Referring to the ambassador) attacking Germany for warmongering and saying that the ultimatum is a farce. Germany coolly responds by saying that they had no prior knowledge of all of this.

 

2:12PM 24th of July: We see Grey meeting with the Russian ambassador. They’re discussing the ultimatum. Grey tells Russia that he thinks the ultimatum was designed for rejection and Russia agrees. Russia also says that while it is in support of the conference, that it is also concerned that such a conference could be used by Germany to break up the entente. Grey says that he’s well aware of the risks but thinks that peace is needed at any cost.

 

3:19PM 24th of July: We see Leopold telegramming Wladimir, The Austrian Ambassador to Serbia, and telling him to break all diplomatic relations with Serbia and to prepare to leave tomorrow. We see Wladimir receive the telegram and telling his servants and his wife to pack and prepare to leave tomorrow. An aide then approaches him and mutters something into his ear. We then see him telegram back to Berlin, “Serbia has mobilised. War is imminent. Ultimatum taken as rejected.”

 

8:00AM 25th of July: We see the Joint Council of Ministers and Emperor Franz Joseph I sitting in a large stateroom waiting for the Serbian reply. We then see an aide rush into the room and distribute copies of a telegram. We see from over the shoulder of the Emperor that it is the Serbian response to the ultimatum. They have accepted all the terms of the ultimatum except for Article 6. The council then without much discussion proclaims the Serbian response to be unacceptable and the order to mobilise is quickly brought to the Emperor who signs it without much hesitation.

 

1:03PM 25th of July: We see Wladimir and his family surrounded by a mountain of suitcases as their motorcade arrives. They get into the car and the servants load all their suitcases on before the motorcade proceeds to the train station.

 

3:22PM 25th of July: We see Grey telegram Berlin to advise Berlin to advise Vienna to reconsider and accept the Serbian response.

 

4:07PM 25th of July: We see Leopold receiving Grey’s telegram, forwarded by Berlin, with a small addendum at the end. “Reject.” We also see him receive a telegram from Russia saying that they cannot remain “uninterested” should Austria attack Serbia. We see Leopold tell Hoyo to inform Franz Josef, Franz Conrad, and Karl that war with Russia is most likely a certainty.

 

8:38AM 26th of July: We see Leopold drafting a telegram to London saying that they reject Grey’s proposal and hope for a localised war. He then adds that should a localised war be impossible then Austria will be counting on Germany’s gracious help.

 

1:32PM 26th of July: We see the British Cabinet assembled again. We see Grey addressing the cabinet and saying that “Yet again, our proposals for peace have been thwarted and rejected. It leaves us with no choice but to prepare for war.” He then says that he has found a Casus Belli and explains that since Russia has indicated its intent for war against Austria should it attack Serbia, then Germany is obligated to declare war on Russia, and as a result France is obligated to declare on Germany. He says that for Germany to attack France successfully, it’ll have to route at minimum a small portion of its troops through Belgium. Grey then goes on to say that they’ve decided to use the Belgian Neutrality Guarantee to justify declaring war on Germany should the need arise. Asquith then says that all non-essential government meetings and business will be postponed in preparation for war. We then see Churchill (Timothy Spall) indicate his need to speak. Asquith gives him the go-ahead and Churchill says that as the First Lord of the Admiralty, he’ll order the navy not to disperse after their annual inspection because Britain preparing for war could act as a deterrent. We then see an unnamed member of the cabinet voice his opinion that Berlin is playing all of us. Grey says that he knows and that the whole world knows, but they can’t do anything about it. Grey then says that they must choose now for War or for Peace when the fighting begins however the British Cabinet decides to postpone that decision until necessary. Lloyd George says that he will need more time to draw up a financial plan for the war. Grey rebuts and says, “David. I really don’t think we should be worrying about money right now. It is our moral duty to save all Europe from its fate in chains and to restore peace, stability, and prosperity.”

 

5:02PM 26th of July: We see Leopold and Franz Conrad meeting in Leopold’s office. They’re discussing when the formal declaration of war and commencement of military operations will be. Conrad says that the Austrian military will not be fully ready until 12 August and advocates waiting until then. Leopold advocates for 28 July, when Austria will have the capability to first start attacking Serbia. Conrad tries to argue, but Leopold replies, “The Diplomatic situation will not hold that long.”

 

5:21PM 26th of July: We see Winston Churchill in his office and we see that he’s dictating an order to the navy: “Secret. European political situation makes war between Triple Alliance and Triple Entente by no means impossible. This is not the Warning Telegram, but be prepared to shadow possible hostile men of war... Measure is purely precautionary.”
 

5:33PM 26th of July: We see the order being carried out as the ships of the British fleet spring to life as sailors begin the necessary preparations for war. We see them clear the decks and arm the guns and cannons and etc.

 

11:49AM 27th of July: We see Grey meeting with Lichnowsky, The German Ambssador, again. He’s asking Lichnowsky to submit to berlin yet another peace proposal, this time one that’s from King George V. Lichnowsky asks Grey why he’s submitting yet another proposal that he knows will be rejected. Grey says that war is inevitable and Britain cannot be seen as aggressors.  “We must maintain our peaceful stance for as long as possible, so as not to be construed in any human way as being the aggressors of a global war.”

 

1:41PM 27th of July: We see Wilhelm, Theobald, and Gottlieb discussing the recently peace proposal from London. Theobald complains that it is almost the same thing as last time and that they should just reject it. However, Wilhelm and Gottlieb are more cautious and favour presenting it to Austria. Wilhelm says that the last proposal the forwarded to Austria with the word reject at the bottom was only a small action to keep the British at bay. He then says that to really not be seen as the aggressors, Germany needs to actively help the peace proposal along. Gottlieb adds that he and the Kaiser have spoken already and decided that the best policy was to present the peace plan to Austria, but only after they have declared war. Theobald looks livid that his foreign minister plotted against him with the Kaiser but is forced to acquiesce. Then they turn onto the matter of the actual war. Wilhelm is concerned that there is a chance of fighting a war on two fronts. He says that if Russia mobilises against Austria, which is looking likely, then France is bound by treaty to join in. Gottlieb assures the Kaiser that it won’t happen. He says that if Britain doesn’t mobilise, which it doesn’t seem to be seeing as it is committed to “our peaceful stance for as long as possible, so as not to be construed in any human way as being the aggressors of a global war,” then France won’t mobilise and honour its treaty with Russia. Theobald then says that even if France does declare war, they have the Schlieffen plan to deal with the entire thing. He jabs at the map in front of them and says that going through Belgium where France has no fortifications and won’t be expecting it is genius and that the French won’t know what hit them as Paris is captured within 4 weeks.

 

3:15 PM 27th of July: We see Leopold meet with Heinrich and inform him that the Austrians plan on declaring war tomorrow. However, he informs Heinrich that the bulk of the Austrian army won’t be ready until the 12th of August Heinrich looks outraged. We then see Heinrich telegram back to Berlin that plans may have to be slightly altered as the Austrians won’t be able to fully mobilise for 2 weeks longer than anticipated. We also see him receive a telegram from Berlin. It is Grey’s peace plan. At first Heinrich looks confused, but then reads the telegram and understands.

 

11:00AM 28th of July: We see Emperor Franz Josef I signing the declaration of war. The officials stationed in the room begin to applaud. We can hear the sound of the cheering crowds outside, and after the Emperor is done signing the declaration we see him approach the glass doors and step onto the balcony. We see a glimpse of the cheering crowds below and we cut.

 

11:01AM 28th of July: We see the Austrian Army amassed at the border of Serbia begin to shell the Capital City of Belgrade which lies just across the river. Boom. Boom. Boom.

 

12:00PM 28th of July: We see Heinrich walk into the stateroom for his audience with Franz Josef I. We see him present Franz with the British peace plan before looking to be dismissed. Franz dismisses him and he leaves. Franz then tells an aide to dispose of the plan in the trash.

 

1:38PM 29th of July: We see Grey meeting with Lichnowsky again. We see him hint at the fact that if Germany were to join the war and attack Russia or France then Britain would have no choice but to join in. However, Lichnowsky doesn’t seem to have gotten the hint. Grey also says that the British Army has been put onto high alert. Grey then tells Lichnowsky that he must tell the government that they need to accept the Peace talks, with no ifs, buts, or whys. He says that failure to do so would inevitably cause a world war.
 

2:15PM 29th of July: We see the British Ambassador to Berlin, Sir Edward Goschen (Michael Culkin), meeting with the German Chancellor Theodore von Bethmann Hollwegg. Goschen is questioning the legitimacy of the German commitment to peace and further demands assurances that Germany will not enter the war. We see Bethmann Hollwegg trying to tactfully get over the issue and says, “The Imperial Government is ready to give every assurance to the British government, provided that Great Britain remain neutral. That Germany aims at no territorial acquisition at the expense of metropolitan France. In regards to Belgium, I can state if Belgium does not take sides against Germany, her integrity will be respected at the end of the war.” Goschen then reminds Bethmann Hollwegg that Great Britain, France, and Germany all signed treaties in 1839 to ensure Belgian neutrality. He says that Great Britain and France are upstanding and great nations and always honour their agreements. However, when Bethmann Hollwegg enquires further about British intention, Goschen simply reiterates the line, “His Majesty’s Government is committed to its obligations and the safety and security of its Empire.” Bethmann Hollwegg then chides Goschen and says, “A scrap of paper signed 80 years ago is hardly a reason to go to war.” Goschen then adds, “The British government is committed to is obligations and Paris has assured us that they are fully committed to their obligations.”

 

4:29PM 29th of July: We cut to Theodore, Wilhelm, Gottlieb, and Helmuth meeting again. Theodore is sharing his recent meeting with the British ambassador. He says that the situation has changed and says, “The tides have changed and it is, in my eyes, inevitable that Great Britain and her empire will join the war. It is imperative that we put the Schlieffen plan into action.” Wilhelm looks a little bit apprehensive and seems to shrink back and bit and reconsider how sage it was to go to war. However, Gottlieb adds in that there is still a chance that Britain won’t. He says, “I will meet with Edward (Goschen, the British ambassador in Berlin) again tomorrow to achieve a compromise of British neutrality.” Helmuth also adds that the Schlieffen plan was designed for this and that they’ve prepared for this conundrum. Eventually they decide that as a pre-emptive measure they’ll enact the Schlieffen plan.

6:42PM 29th of July: We cut to Moscow. Tsar Nicholas II is meeting with multiple advisors. He seems to be making the final decisions to go to war or not. He is talking to one of his unnamed advisors on the feasibility of war. The advisor says that even though the Russian army is not the best equipped, they have the most numbers and they’ll be able to beat back both Austria-Hungary and Germany. Sasanov, the foreign secretary, then adds that they’ve received from Paris, an affirmation of their commitment to the Franco-Russian accord. He says that it’ll force the Germans to divide up their army into two and will give the Russians a further tactical and numerical advantage. Then Nicholas II says, “Then so it is set. It is our decision to go to war, because we can only do the right as we see the light. The rest, we reverently commit to the hands of God. We’ll win this war. All Russia needs is us, God, and the people. Inform the generals; tell them that we have made our decision.”

 

11:00AM 30th of July: We see Tsar Nicholas II sign the proclamation of war. There is clapping all around as we cut outside to see the numerically impressive Russian army doing drills and going through the ceremony that war dictates. Outside the square where the Russian army is doing drills we see the tens of thousands of civilians assembled. Many of them are carrying banners or signs or pictures of the Tsar; the mood is jubilant. As the Tsar steps onto the balcony to appear in front of his people, all the soldiers and civilians get onto their knees. Once the Tsar signals for them to get up the cheering resumes, but louder.

 

11:44AM 30th of July: We see the Russian ambassador in Vienna meeting Emperor Franz Josef I and informing him that Russia has just declared war on Austria and will be mobilising immediately. Emperor Franz Josef just nods and dismisses the ambassador.

 

12:00PM 30th of July: We see Kaiser Wilhelm II sitting at a table with an official document in front of him. We can hear the people cheering outside. In the background are all the senior members of his government and senior members of the military. We see him sign the declaration of war on Russia and Serbia. The room bursts into applause and good cheer because the Germans think that they’ll win easily. We focus on Helmuth in the back of the room who tells to an aide that they need to mobilise the army immediately and carry out the Schlieffen plan.
 

1:03PM 30th of July: We see Heinrich meeting with Emperor Franz Josef and informing him that Germany has just received word of the Russian declaration of war and is honouring their alliance by mobilising their troops against Russia. Emperor Franz Josef I smiles like this and tells Heinrich to tell Berlin that he is grateful and pleased by Berlin’s unwavering support throughout this entire ordeal.

 

3:10PM 31st of July: We cut to the border of Luxembourg and Germany. We see the first German troops, very few of them, begin to cross the border into Luxemourg. We then cut to Berlin as we see many, many, many trains leaving Berlin filled with troops and supplies. The morale is extremely high and the mood is jubilant.

 

10:15AM 2nd of August: We cut to Berlin as we see the Foreign Secretary, Gottlieb, sending a telegram to the German ambassador to Belgium instructing him to deliver the ultimatum to the King of Belgium at 11am and to tell the King that the Belgians have exactly 12 hours to respond.

 

3:01PM 2nd of August: We see Grey meeting with the Prime Minister at a gentleman’s club. They’re discussing the German occupation of Luxembourg and the ultimatum to Belgium. Grey says that this is a pre-emptive sign of the German invasion of France. He says that he’ll inform Lichnowsky to inform Berlin that Britain is committed to maintaining Belgian Neutrality and that the ultimatum is unacceptable by Britain. He also says that he’ll inform Berlin that Britain is committed to maintaining French as well as Belgian neutrality as France has pulled its troops back from the border in a show of peace, yet Germany still is going to invade.

 

1:18PM 4th of August: We see Grey addressing the Cabinet again. He says that they need to decide on war immediately. He says that Germany has declared war on both Belgium and France, in addition to Russia, and that Britain is committed to maintain their neutrality. He then references and quotes an audience the British Ambassador in Berlin had with the Chancellor Bethmann Hollwegg, “Her Imperial Government is ready to give every assurance to the British government, provided that Great Britain remain neutral. That Germany aims at no territorial acquisition at the expense of metropolitan France. In regards to Belgium, I can state if Belgium does not take sides against Germany, her integrity will be respected at the end of the war.” He then reads out another quote from the meeting, “A Scrap of paper signed 80 years ago is hardly a reason to go to war.” He then says that this morning the Chancellor said that it’s full-out war and necessity governs us now and that necessity needs no boundaries. He says that this type of supercilious and arrogant attitude is despicable and has led the entire world to war. He says that it is up to Britain to defend the freedom and natural laws of mankind. He finishes off by proclaiming that the concert of Europe has failed. After he finishes, Asquith stands up and asks for a vote. We see the names being read out as each member votes. The British cabinet votes unanimously for war, though some voted grudgingly for it. Asquith sits down and in a grave tone says, “And it is done.”

 

6:00PM 4th of August: We see the British Ambassador to Berlin, Sir Edward Goschen, presenting the German Foreign Minister, Gottlieb von Jagow, the ultimatum and telling him that he has 6 hours to respond.

 

12:00AM 5th of August: We see Grey standing by the window of his office looking out into the still it city still lit and alive city. We can see his face from the reflection in the mirror. He looks down to check his pocket watch as the minute hand moves and 12:00 becomes 12:01. No response to the ultimatum is coming. He looks out into the city and sighs before saying, “The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our time.”

 

We cut to a scene of the German army at the border of Belgium. We can see what looks like an opposing army, probably the Belgians, not too far into the distance. We see the order be given and the first soldiers cross into Belgium. As they draw nearer and nearer to the opposing army, shots begin to get fired. People are falling on both sides now and as the armies get within 50M of each other and the bloodshed really begins, we fade to black. Roll credits. 

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Dragon Age: Awakening

Genre: Fantasy/Adventure/War
Starring: Chris Hemsworth (Avner Cousland), Eva Green (Morrigan), Chris Evans (Alistair), Miranda Richardson (Wynne), Léa Seydoux (Leliana), Benedict Cumberbatch (Fergus Cousland), Mark Addy (Oghren), with Demián Bichir (Riordan), and Mark Strong (Loghain)
Co-Starring: Liam Cunningham (Arl Eamon), Eddie Marsan (Teyrn Rendon Howe), Rosamund Pike (Queen Anora), Keith Szarabajka (voice of The Architect), Tamsin Egerton (Velanna), Xavier Samuel (Anders)
Written and Directed By: Matthew Vaughn
Original Music By: Bear McCreary
Release Date: 11/2
Theater Count: 4166
Budget: $200 million
Running Time:
MPAA Rating: R for graphic fantasy violence, language, and sexual content

Previous Film: Dragon Age: Onslaught (Year 5): 83.34/278.27/837.97

Plot Summary:

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Horse and His Boy

 

 

Director: Rupert Wyatt
Studio: Arcturus Entertainment
Genre: Adventure/Action
Format: 15/70 IMAX
Cast:
Tom Holland as Peter Pevensie
Asa Butterfield as Edmund Pevensie
Ramona Marquez as Lucy Pevensie
Eve Newton as Susan Pevensie
James D’Arcy as Mr. Tumnus
Ralph Fiennes as the voice of Aslan
TBA as The Rest of Them
Score: Patrick Doyle
Budget: $150 million
Theatre Count: 4132
Rating: PG
Release Date: 14 December
Running Time: 2 hr. 11 mins
 
Plot:

WORK IN PROGRESS

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The Giver

Director: David Lynch

Composer: Angelo Badalamenti

Genre: Sci-Fi Drama

Date: November 16

Studio: Alpha Pictures

Format: 35/70mm film, black and white

Budget: $45 million

Theaters: 3,032

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for thematic elements, including disturbing images, sexual content, and one scene involving war violence

Running Time: 114 minutes

Tagline: Snow. Love. War. Memory.

 

Cast:

Preston Bailey as Jonas

Jeff Bridges as The Giver

Joel Edgerton as Father

Rose Byrne as Mother

Sadie Sandler as Lily

Jared Gilmore as Asher

Emily Hahn as Fiona

Kate Capshaw as The Chief Elder

 

NOTE: The film is shot in black in white, however there are notable exceptions, in the first scene and when Jonas is gathering memories of the past. For example, when the memory of red is discovered, anything colored red is seen in the color red instead of black and white.

 

Plot:

We see a blizzard of snow, blowing at the screen, in color (the POV of a sled rider). We hear movement, similar to a sled, and the camera begins a descent. As the sled rolls down the hill, it begins to slow down. Before the sled stops, the camera cuts to black.

 

DAVID LYNCH’S THE GIVER

 

We see a bike, riding down a paved street. We are introduced to Jonas, as he narrates about his struggles to find the right word to describe his feelings as he approaches an important milestone. He rejects “frightened” as too strong a word. Jonas decides he is apprehensive, not frightened, about the important thing that is going to happen in December.

 

At dinner that night, Jonas’s family—his father, mother, and seven-year-old sister Lily—participate in a nightly ritual called “the telling of feelings.” Each person describes an emotion that he or she experienced during the day and discusses it with the others. Lily says she was angry at a child visiting from a nearby community who did not observe her childcare group’s play area rules (making a fist in anger). Her parents help her to understand that the boy probably felt out of place, and she becomes less angry.

 

Jonas’s father, who is a Nurturer (he takes care of the community’s babies, or newchildren), describes his struggles with a slowly developing baby whose weakness makes it a candidate for release. The family considers taking care of the baby for a while (the night crew would take care instead, but the crew is not as experienced, which is a problem), though they are not allowed to adopt him—every household is allowed only one male and one female child.

 

Jonas’s mother explains her feeling of sadness, about how she needed to assign a man for release (the biggest punishment anyone in the community for release), even after he had given the criminal a second chance. The criminal was released from jail a while ago, and it was “heartbreaking” to see him be punished once again.

 

Jonas explains his apprehensiveness about the coming Ceremony of Twelve—the time when he will be assigned a career and begin life as an adult. The parents ask Lily to go to her room; this is a private conversation.

 

Jonas’s father explains that he has nothing to worry about. Everything will go as the Ceremonies usually proceed. Every December, all of the children in the community are promoted to the next age group—for example, all four-year-old children become Fives, regardless of the time of year when they were actually born. Fifty children are born every year. The ceremonies are different for each age group. At the Ceremony of One newchildren, who have spent their first year at the Nurturing Center, are assigned to family units and given a name to use in addition to the number they were given at birth. Jonas’s father confesses to his family that he has peeked at the struggling newchild’s name—Gabriel—in the hopes that calling him a name will help the child develop more quickly. Jonas is surprised that his father would break any kind of rule, though the members of the community seem to bend rules once in a while. For instance, older siblings often teach younger siblings to ride bicycles before the Ceremony of Nine, when they receive their first official bicycles.

 

Jonas’s parents reassure him that the Committee of Elders, the ruling group of the community, will choose a career for him that will suit him. The Committee members observe the Elevens all year, at school and play and at the volunteer work they are required to do after school, and consider each child’s abilities and interests when they make their selection. Jonas’s father tells him that when he was eleven, he knew he would be assigned the role of Nurturer, because it was clear that he loved newchildren and he spent all his volunteer hours in the Nurturing Center. When Jonas expresses concern about his friend Asher’s Assignment—he worries that Asher does not have any serious interests—his parents tell him not to worry, but remind him that after Twelve, he might lose touch with many of his childhood friends, since he will be spending his time with a new group, training for his job. Then Jonas’s sister Lily appears, asking for her “comfort object”—a community-issued stuffed elephant. The narrator refers to the comfort objects as imaginary creatures. Jonas’s had been called a bear.

 

The following night, Jonas’s father brings the struggling newchild Gabriel home to spend nights with Jonas’s family. Lily remarks that Gabriel has “funny eyes” like Jonas—both boys have light eyes, while most people in the community have darker eyes. Lily is being slightly rude. In their society it is inappropriate to call attention to the ways in which people are different. Lily also says she hopes she will be assigned to be a Birthmother when she grows up, since she likes newchildren so much, but her mother tells her that the position of Birthmother carries very little honor—Birthmothers are pampered for three years while they produce children, but then do hard labor afterwards and never get to see their biological children.

 

The next day, Jonas meets Asher so that they can do their mandatory volunteer hours together. Children from eight to eleven volunteer at different locations daily to develop skills and get a sense of their occupational interests. Jonas enjoys volunteer hours because they are less regulated than other hours of his day—he gets to choose where he spends them. He volunteers at a variety of places, enjoying the different experiences, and has no idea what his Assignment will be. Today, he goes to the House of the Old, where he notices Asher’s bike is parked. In the bathing room, he finds Asher and Fiona. He appreciates the sense of safety and trust he gets from Fiona—it is against the rules to look at other people naked in any situation, but Jonas does not realize this. They discuss the release of one of the Old, a man named Roberto. Fiona describes the release as a wonderful celebration—the man’s life story was narrated, he was toasted by the other residents of the House of the Old, he made a farewell speech, and then walked blissfully through a special door to be released. Fiona does not know what actually happens when someone is released, but she assumes it is wonderful. Jonas then takes off his clothes, and gets into the pool. The two kiss, and Jonas reaches down near Fiona’s vaginal area. At that moment, Jonas wakes up. It was a dream.

 

Just as the family practices a telling of feelings at night, they tell their dreams in the morning. Jonas usually does not have a dream to tell, but this morning he tells the one we witnessed. He was in the steamy bathing room at the House of the Old, trying to convince his friend Fiona to have an act of sexuality. He remembers feeling a strong “wanting.” After sending his sister off to school, Jonas’s mother tells him that the feelings he is having are his first Stirrings, something that happens to everyone when they get to be Jonas’s age. She gives him a small pill as “treatment” and reminds him to take his pill every morning. Jonas recalls that his parents take the same pill every morning, as do some of his friends. Jonas is pleased to have grown up enough to have to take the pills, but he tries to remember the dream—he liked the feelings it gave him. However, the pill works quickly, and the pleasures of the dream are gone. Soon enough, it is time for Jonas to go to school. He says “bye” to his mother, and he leaves for his bike, which he rides to school.

 

Soon enough, the big day in December comes; the Ceremonies. These Ceremonies last two days in total, beginning with the Ceremony of Ones, where newchildren are named, and the Ceremony of Twelves, where Elevens like Jonas are given Assignments (jobs), which they will be trained in and become an active citizen in their profession.

 

On the first morning of the Ceremony, Jonas and his mother and Lily discuss some of the milestones that children achieve each year—at age seven they get a jacket that they can button themselves, at Eight they begin to volunteer, at nine they get bikes and girls no longer need to wear hair ribbons. At the first Ceremony, the Naming, Jonas’s father sits with the other Nurturers, holding the newchildren to be named that year. Gabriel, although he does not weigh enough or sleep through the night well enough to be assigned to a family, has not been released yet—Jonas’s father has gotten a year’s reprieve for him because their family is taking care of the faltering newchild. In order to do this, each member of the family signed a statement promising not to get attached to Gabriel.

 

One of the newchildren named at the Ceremony is a “replacement child” named Caleb. He has been given to a family whose four-year-old son Caleb was “lost” in the river. When he died, the community performed the Ceremony of Loss, chanting his name more and more softly until it seemed to fade away. Now, welcoming the new baby, they chant it louder and louder in the Murmur-of-Replacement Ceremony, which is performed only if a child is lost, not if it is released. The other ceremonies proceed—on the second and final day of the Ceremony, the Nines get their bicycles (everyone cringes when a clumsy child knocks his into the podium, since his clumsiness reflects on his parents’ guidance), the Tens’ hair is cut. At lunch the Elevens discuss their upcoming Assignments, speculating on what they will do if they get an unsatisfactory Assignment. If a citizen feels that he or she does not fit in with the community, that citizen can apply for release and disappear into Elsewhere, but Jonas cannot imagine a person feeling that he or she did not fit in, because the community is so well ordered. The Committee of Elders weighs each decision carefully, painstakingly matching adults who applied for spouses to the appropriate spouse and placing newchildren with the appropriate families. Jonas trusts the Committee to give him an appropriate Assignment.

 

Just before the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas and the other Elevens line up by number—in addition to his or her name, each child has a number that was assigned at birth, showing the order in which he or she was born. Jonas is Nineteen; his friend Fiona is Eighteen. The Chief Elder, the elected leader of the community, gives a speech before the Ceremony, noting that it is the one time the community recognizes the differences between the children rather than ignoring them as is customary and polite. Jonas watches and listens as his classmates receive their Assignments. His friend Asher is assigned the position of Assistant Director of Recreation after the Chief Elder gives a long and humorous speech about Asher’s pleasant, fun-loving nature and the trouble he has had in using precise language. She recalls a time when Asher confused the words “snack” and “smack” at the Childcare Center, and received a smack with the discipline wand every time. She laughs as she remembers that for a while, three-year-old Asher refused to talk at all, but that “he learned . . . and now his lapses are very few.” Jonas is relieved that Asher has received a wonderful Assignment and happy to see that his other classmates are pleased with their Assignments too.

 

But when Jonas’s turn comes, the Chief Elder skips over him, moving from Eighteen to Twenty without acknowledging him. Jonas endures the rest of the Ceremony in horrible embarrassment and worry, wondering what he has done wrong. The audience is concerned too—they are unused to disorder and mistakes. At the end of the Ceremony, the Chief Elder apologizes for causing the audience concern and causing Jonas anguish. She tells him that he has been selected for a very special position, that of Receiver of Memory. The community has only one Receiver at a time, and the current one—a bearded man with pale eyes like Jonas’s, sitting with the Committee of Elders—is very old and needs to train a successor. The Chief Elder explains that ten years ago, a new Receiver had been selected, but the selection had been a terrible failure. After Jonas was identified as a possible Receiver, the Elders watched him very carefully and made a unanimous decision to select him, despite the strict selection criteria. To begin with, the candidate for Receiver can be rejected if any of the Elders so much as dreams that he might not be the best selection. The Receiver also needs to possess intelligence, integrity, and courage, as well as the ability to acquire wisdom. Courage is especially important, because as the Receiver, Jonas will experience real pain, something no one else in the community experiences. The job also requires the “Capacity to See Beyond.” Jonas does not believe he has this capacity, but then he looks out at the crowd and sees their faces change, a shade of red, the color on the cheeks. The Chief Elder thanks him for his childhood, and the crowd accepts him as the new Receiver by chanting his name louder and louder. Jonas feels gratitude, pride, and fear at the same time.

 

Although his training, which will keep him apart from other members of the community, has not yet begun, Jonas immediately begins to feel isolated from his friends and family, who treat him differently from before, though very respectfully. At home, his family is quieter than usual, though his parents tell him that they are very honored that he has been selected as Receiver. When he asks about the previous, failed selection, they reluctantly tell him that the name of the female selected ten years ago is Not-to-Be-Spoken, indicating the highest degree of disgrace.

 

Before bed, Jonas looks over the single sheet of paper in his Assignment folder. He learns that he is exempted from rules governing rudeness—he can ask anyone any question he likes and expect an answer—that he is not allowed to discuss his training with anyone, that he is not allowed to tell his dreams to anyone, that he cannot apply for medication unless it is for an illness unrelated to his training, that he cannot apply for release, and that he is allowed to lie. He also learns that he will have very little time for recreation and wonders what will happen to his friendships. The other instructions disturb him too—he cannot imagine being rude, nor can he imagine not having access to medication. In his community, medicine is always instantly delivered to stop pain of any kind, and the idea that his training involves excruciating pain is almost incomprehensible. He cannot imagine lying, either, having been trained since childhood to speak with total precision and accuracy, even avoiding exaggeration and figures of speech. He wonders if anyone else in his community is allowed to lie too.

 

Jonas reports to the Annex of the House of the Old for his first day of training. An Attendant admits him to the Receiver’s living area, which is locked to ensure the Receiver’s privacy, even though no one else in the community locks their doors. The living area is more luxurious than average, and its walls are lined with hundreds of thick, beautifully bound books, very different from the three reference volumes (dictionary, community volume, Book of Rules) available in every other household. Jonas cannot imagine what could be inside them. He meets the Receiver, who greets him as the new Receiver of Memory and tells him that although he, the old Receiver, is not as old as he looks (his job has aged him, giving him features of white hair, dried skin and a long beard), he will need to use the last of his strength to train Jonas. He says that the process involves transmitting all of the memories he has of the past to Jonas. The Receiver continues that the memories he will give Jonas the memories of the entire world, going back through generations and generations of Receivers. These memories of communities and worlds before Jonas’s community bring wisdom and help the community to shape its future. The Receiver feels weighed down by so many memories and compares the feeling to a sled slowing down as it has to push against more and more accumulated snow.

 

Jonas does not understand the comparison, because he has never seen snow or a sled. The Receiver decides to transmit the memory of snow to him. He instructs Jonas to take off his tunic and lie face-down on the bed. Then he goes to the speaker, which is just like the speaker that transmits announcements in every house, and turns it off, something that no one else in the community can do. He places his hands on Jonas’s back, and Jonas begins to feel the sensation of cold air, then of snowflakes touching his face. He experiences the wonderful sensation of going downhill on a sled (in color), feeling the exhilaration of movement and speed even though he has never felt snow or strong wind or even a hill. In his community, all hills have been leveled to make transportation easier, and snow disappeared with the onset of climate control that made agriculture more efficient. When the experience is over, the Receiver tells Jonas that the memory is a very distant one, from before the time when “we went to Sameness.” Jonas says that he wishes snow and hills still existed, and asks the Receiver why he does not use his great power to bring them back. The Receiver answers that great honor is not the same thing as great power. He then gives Jonas the memory of sunshine, and Jonas perceives the word for “sunshine” at the same time that he perceives the sensation of it. Afterward he asks about the pain he will experience, and the Receiver gives him the mild pain of a sunburn in order to get him used to the idea. Jonas finds the experience interesting, if not pleasant. When he leaves, he asks the Receiver what he should call him now that he, Jonas, is the new Receiver. The Receiver, drained from their day’s work, says to call him “The Giver.”

 

After Jonas receives his first memory, he finds that it is not too hard to obey the rules that come with his position. His family is used to his not dreaming frequently, so they do not question him much at dream-telling time. His friends are so busy describing their own training experiences that he can just sit still and listen, knowing that he could not even begin to explain what happens in his training. As they bicycle to the House of the Old together, he talks with his friend Fiona about her training as a Caretaker of the Old and notices her hair change the way the apple changed (the color red), but only a glimpse. At the Giver’s living space, Jonas tells him about the changes, wondering if that is what the Giver means by seeing beyond. The Giver says that for him, his first experiences with seeing beyond took a different form, one that Jonas would not understand yet. He asks Jonas to remember the sled from yesterday, and Jonas notices that the sled has the same strange quality as Fiona’s hair—it does not change as they did, it just has the quality. The Giver tells Jonas that he is beginning to see the color red, explaining that at one time everything in the world had color as well as shape and size. The reason that the sled is just red, instead of turning red, is that it is a memory from a time when color existed. Jonas remarks that red is beautiful and wonders why his community got rid of it, and the Giver tells him that in order to gain control of certain things, the society had to let go of others. Jonas says that they should not have done so, and the Giver tells Jonas that he is quickly acquiring wisdom.

 

As Jonas’s training progresses, he learns about all the different colors and begins to see glimpses of them in his daily life. He decides that it is unfair that nothing in his society has color—he wants to have the freedom to choose between things that are different. Then he realizes that if people had the power to make choices, they might make the wrong choices. It would be unsafe to allow people to choose their spouse or their job, but he still feels frustrated. He wishes his friends and family could see the world the way he sees it. He makes Asher stare at a flowerbed, hoping Asher will notice the colors, but Asher becomes uncomfortable. Another time, after the Giver transmits a memory of an elephant mourning the death of another elephant that was brutally killed by poachers, he tries to give the memory to Lily, hoping that she will understand that her toy elephant is a representation of something that was once real and majestic and awe-inspiring. It does not work, as Lily struggles from the touch of his hand, saying Jonas is hurting her. Jonas says sorry, and Lily responds, “‘Cept your apology,” to which her father reminds her of precision of language as he unties her ribbons.

 

Jonas’s training makes him curious. He asks if the Giver is allowed to have a spouse, and the Giver says that he did have a spouse once—now she lives with the Childless Adults, as almost all adults do when their children are grown and their family units have dissolved. The Giver tells him that being the Receiver makes family life difficult—Jonas will not be able to share his memories or books with his spouse or children. The Giver tells Jonas that his whole life will be nothing more than the memories he possesses. He occasionally will appear before the Committee of Elders to give them advice, but his primary function is to contain all the painful memories that the community cannot endure. When the new Receiver who was selected ten years before failed, all the memories she had received returned to the community, and the whole community suffered until the memories were assimilated. The Giver tells Jonas that his instructors know nothing, despite their scientific knowledge, because all of their knowledge is meaningless without the memories the Giver carries. Jonas notices that the Giver’s memories give him pain, and he wonders what causes it. He also wonders what lies Elsewhere, beyond his community. The Giver decides to give Jonas a memory of another sled ride.

 

The Giver transmits the memory of another ride on a sled, only this time the sled loses control and Jonas experiences pain and nausea from a badly broken leg. The pain lingers after the experience is over, but the Giver is not allowed to give him relief-of-pain, and Jonas limps home and goes to bed early. Forbidden to share his feelings with his family, he feels isolated, realizing that they have never known intense pain. Over the next days, the Giver transmits more and more painful memories, always ending the day with a memory of pleasure. After experiencing starvation, Jonas asks why these horrible memories need to be preserved, and the Giver explains that they bring wisdom. Once, for example, the community wanted to increase the number of children allowed to each family, but the Giver remembered the hunger that overpopulation brings and advised against it. Jonas wonders why the whole community cannot share the pain of these important memories, and the Giver tells him that this is the reason the position of Receiver is so honored—the community does not want to be burdened and pained by memories. Jonas wants to change things, but the Giver reminds him that the situation has been the same for generations, and that there is very little hope for change.

 

Meanwhile, the newchild Gabriel is developing well, but still cannot sleep through the night. Jonas’s father worries that he will have to be released after all. He mentions that the Nurturing Center will probably have to make another release first, though: a Birthmother is expecting twin males, and if they are identical, one will have to be released. Jonas wonders what happens to children who are released. Is someone waiting for them Elsewhere to bring them up and take care of them? He asks his parents to let Gabriel sleep in his room that night so that he can share the responsibility of caring for him. When Gabriel wakes up crying, Jonas pats his back while remembering a wonderful sail on a lake transmitted to him by the Giver. He realizes that he is unwittingly transmitting the memory to Gabriel and stops himself. Later, he transmits the whole memory and Gabriel stops crying and sleeps. Jonas wonders if he has done the right thing.

 

The next day, Jonas finds the Giver in incredible pain, and the Giver asks him to take some of the pain away. The Giver transmits the terrible memory of a battlefield covered with groaning, dying men and horses. Jonas, himself horribly wounded, gives water to a young soldier and then watches him die. After this memory, Jonas never wants to go back to the Annex for more wisdom and pain, but he does, and the Giver transmits beautiful memories—birthday parties, art museums, horseback riding, camping—that celebrate individuality, brilliant colors, the bond between people and animals, and solitude, all things absent from Jonas’s society. He asks the Giver what his favorite memory is, and the Giver transmits a memory of a family—grandparents, parents, young children—opening presents at Christmas. Jonas has never heard of grandparents. In his community, parents cease to be a part of children’s lives once the children have grown up—children do not even know when their parents are released. He understands that his organized society works well, but he felt a feeling in the room that he liked. The Giver tells him that the feeling is love, and Jonas says that he wishes his own family could be like the family in the memory and that the Giver could be his grandparent. At home that evening, he asks his parents if they love him. They laugh and tell him to use more precise language: the word “love” is so general that it is almost meaningless. They enjoy him, and they are proud of him, but they cannot say they love him. Jonas pretends to agree with them, but secretly he does not understand. That night, he tells little Gabriel—who can only sleep through the night when Jonas gives him memories—that if things were different in the community, there could be colors and grandparents and love. The next morning, Jonas decides to stop taking his morning pill, getting a feeling from the memories to throw the pill away. Jonas dumps the pills into the sink.

 

Four weeks after Jonas stops taking his pills, an unscheduled holiday is declared in the community. He can now see in full color (the black and white style is gone, now the film is in full color). His Stirrings have returned, and he has pleasurable dreams that make him feel a little guilty, but he refuses to give up the heightened feelings that the Stirrings and his wonderful memories have given him. The Stirring have become more sexually charged, and in one Jonas is given oral sex by an unidentified girl (off-screen). Jonas realizes that he now experiences a new depth of feeling. He understands that the feelings his family and friends call anger and sadness and happiness are nothing like the feelings of rage and despair and joy he knows through his memories. On this particular holiday, Jonas refuses to participate with his friends in a game of good guys and bad guys, because he recognizes it as a war game. He tries to explain to his friends that the game is a cruel mockery of a horrible reality, but they are only puzzled and annoyed. He leaves his friends, knowing that they cannot understand his feelings or even return the strong love that he feels for them. At home, he feels better when he sees Gabe, who has learned to walk and to say his own name. His father talks about the upcoming release of one of the identical twins that will be born the next day. Jonas asks his father if he will actually take the newchild Elsewhere, and his father says no. He will only select the child with the lowest birthweight, perform a Ceremony of Release, and wave goodbye. Someone else will come and get him from Elsewhere. Lily speculates about two identical twins growing up with the same name, one here and one Elsewhere. She rattles on and on about the idea, and the family finds this amusing.

 

The next day, Jonas asks the Giver if he thinks about release. The Giver says he thinks of his own when he is in great pain, but that he cannot apply for release until Jonas is trained. Jonas cannot ask for release either, a rule that was created after the failure of the new Receiver ten years ago. At Jonas’s insistence, the Giver tells him what happened. The failed Receiver was intelligent and eager to learn, and her name was Rosemary. The Giver tells Jonas that he loved her, and that he loves Jonas in the same way. When Rosemary’s training began, she loved experiencing new things, and the Giver started with happy memories that would make her laugh. But she wanted more difficult memories. The Giver could not bring himself to give her physical pain, but at her insistence he gave her loneliness, loss, poverty, and fear. After a very hard session, she kissed the Giver’s cheek and left. He never saw her again. Later, he learned that she had applied for release that day. Jonas knows that he cannot apply for release, but he asks the Giver what would happen if he accidentally drowned in the river, carrying a year’s worth of memories with him. The Giver tells him it would be a disaster: his memories would not be lost, but instead all of the people in the community would have them, and they would not be able to deal with them. The Giver becomes thoughtful and says that if that happened, perhaps he could help the community to deal with the memories in the same way that he helps Jonas, but that he would need more time to think about it. He warns Jonas to stay away from the river, just in case.

 

Jonas explains that he is curious about release because his father released a newchild that day. The Giver says that he wishes that newchildren were not released, and Jonas reminds him that it would be confusing to have two identical people walking around. The Giver tells Jonas that, as Receiver, he is allowed to have access to any information he wants and that if he wants to watch a release, he can. Since all private ceremonies are recorded, Jonas can even watch his father’s release of the newchild that morning. Jonas agrees to watch it, and the Giver calls the recording up on a video screen. Jonas watches as his father weighs the twins, then gently injects something into a vein in the smaller one’s head. The newchild twitches and lies still, and Jonas realizes that it is dead. He recognizes the gestures and posture of the boy that he saw die on the battlefield. Horrified, he watches his father place the body in a garbage chute and wave goodbye. The Giver tells Jonas that he watched the recording of Rosemary’s release. She had been told to roll up her sleeve, but she chose to inject herself.

 

Jonas is overcome by pain and horror when he realizes what release really is. He starts crying and refuses to go home to his family, knowing that his father lied to him about what would happen to the newchild. He cannot believe that his friend Fiona efficiently kills the Old when they are released. The Giver allows Jonas to spend the night with him and tries to explain that the people of his community do not feel things the way that he and Jonas do. He tells Jonas that Jonas has helped him to decide that things have to change, that the memories have to be shared.

 

The Giver and Jonas come up with a plan: Jonas will escape from the community, leaving all his memories for the people of the community. When Rosemary was released, Jonas begs the Giver to come with him, but the Giver explains that someone needs to stay to help the others deal with those memories, or the community will be thrown into utter chaos. Jonas says that he does not want to care about the other people, but he knows that the only reason he and the Giver devised the plan is because they do care about the others. The Giver tells Jonas that he himself is too weak to make the journey anyway. He cannot even see colors anymore. Jonas asks the Giver about his early experiences with seeing beyond, how they were different from Jonas’s own, and the Giver tells him that he heard beyond. He heard music, something Jonas would not understand because the Giver has kept music to himself. Jonas says the Giver should keep the memory of music, and Jonas will leave without it.

 

For the next two weeks, the Giver plans to transmit memories of courage and strength to help Jonas with his journey. At midnight on the night before the Ceremony, Jonas will slip out of his house with an extra set of clothing, which he will hide by the riverbank next to his bicycle. The next day, the Giver will order a vehicle for a visit to another community, hide Jonas in the storage area, and give him a head start on his journey to Elsewhere. The Giver will tell the community that Jonas has been lost in the river, they will perform the Ceremony of Loss, and he will help them bear Jonas’s memories. The Giver tells Jonas that afterward, he will be with his daughter, Rosemary.

 

Instead of waiting two weeks as he and the Giver had planned, Jonas is forced to escape right away. At the evening meal, his father tells the family that he tried to see if Gabriel could sleep through the night at the Nurturing Center, and that the newchild had cried all night. The staff, including Jonas’s father, voted to release him the next day. Jonas cannot allow this to happen, so he takes some leftover food and his father’s bicycle, which has a child seat, and leaves, relying on his own courage and strength instead of on the memories that the Giver had promised. Jonas has broken serious rules against leaving his dwelling at night and taking food. After riding all night, he and Gabe rest during the day, hiding from the planes that fly overhead searching for them. He transmits memories of exhaustion to Gabriel in order to make him sleep during the day, and in order to avoid the heat-seeking technology of the planes, he transmits memory of intense cold to both of them so that their body heat does not show up on the planes’ devices. After several days, when Jonas and Gabriel have left all communities far behind, the planes come less frequently.

 

The landscape around them begins to change: the terrain becomes bumpy and irregular, and Jonas falls and twists his ankle. He sees waterfalls and wildlife, all new things to him after a life of Sameness. He is happy to see beautiful things, but worries that he and Gabe might starve, since there is no sign of cultivated land anywhere around. He catches some fish in a makeshift net and gathers some berries, but they are only just enough. If he had stayed in the community, he would have had enough to eat, and he realizes that in choosing to leave, he chose to starve. But in the community he would have been hungry for feelings and color, and Gabriel would have died. The weather changes, and Jonas feels cold and hunger and pain from his twisted ankle. But he suspects that Elsewhere is not far away and hopes that he will be able to keep Gabriel alive.

 

One day, it begins to snow, and Jonas’s bicycle cannot climb the steep hill that rises before them. Jonas has lost most of the memories he received from the Giver, but he tries to remember sunshine and the feeling of warmth that it gives. When it comes, he transmits the feeling to Gabriel, and it helps them make it up the hill on foot, despite the intense cold and hunger they feel. When he can no longer remember sunshine, and is almost totally numb with cold, Jonas remembers his friends and family and the Giver, and the happiness their memories give him helps him to reach the top. He recognizes the snow-covered summit of the hill, and somehow finds a sled waiting for him there. He gets in the sled and steers himself and Gabe to the bottom, toward warm, twinkling lights that glow from the windows of houses. He feels certain that the families in those houses, where they kept memories and celebrated love, were waiting for him and Gabe. Ahead of him, he hears singing for the first time in his life, and he thinks that he hears the music behind him too. The film ends with Jonas muttering the line, as he rides down the hill; “Perhaps it’s only an echo.”

 

THE END

 

During the credits, “The Memories” by Lana Del Ray plays.

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The Mansion

Director: James Wan

Composer: Charlie Clouser

Genre: Horror Thriller

Date: April 13

Studio: Alpha Pictures

Format: 35mm film

Budget: $10 million

Theaters: 2,737

MPAA Rating: R for intense graphic horror violence and some frightening images

Runtime: 92 min

Tagline: Be Forewarned

 

Cast:

Gavin Kent as Adam

Ethan Hawke as Caleb Johnson

Amy Acker as Bailey Johnson

Paul Walker as Michael Bachelor

Dylan O’Brien as Sam Johnson

Peyton List as Sally Johnson

Mackenzie Foy as April Johnson

Lucy Hutchinson as Hailey Johnson

Amber Heard as the business partner

 

Plot:

In the suburbs of a city in California lives the Johnson family. They consist of 2 adults (Caleb and Bailey, husband and wife) and 4 children (Caleb Jr., Sally, Sam, April). They are a very successful and rich family. Caleb is a CEO of Johnson-July Industries, and Bailey is an acclaimed children's author. All of the children have straight A's in all of their classes in school. However, Caleb Jr. is suffering from osteosarcoma, and is undergoing treatment at a local hospital.

 

Unfortunately, the recent limb-salvage surgery has failed, and he only has days to live. 5 days after the failure, Caleb Jr. dies. The Johnsons mourn his death, and go to his funeral. Various family members are there, and it stretches into the night. After the ceremony by the graveside, the family leaves. Bailey is carrying a box of tissues, due to her excessive crying. When they get home, they notice a basket by the door. Caleb looks at the basket, and sees a baby, that looks about 3 months old. The family take inside the baby, and Bailey says she will try and find who left the baby and return it.

 

SEVEN YEARS LATER

 

The family has grown over the course of these seven years. Caleb has recently purchased an independent food company, and Bailey has written many more books. Sam has graduated from high school and is leaving for college in a few weeks, Sally and April are currently in middle school, and there is a 9 year old girl named Hailey. The baby left on the doorstep has also grown up to be 7 years old, and the family has named him Adam.

 

Adam was diagnosed at an early age with Asperger syndrome, and does not seem to show much interaction with kids his age. He rarely speaks, and is always daydreaming during school. One night, a business partner of Caleb comes to the house to stay for the night. Adam hugs him before he goes to sleep, and says, “Good night,” in a cute manner. The business partner sleeps in the guest house, and suddenly he begins to get night terrors. He suddenly begins to stop breathing, and after he dies, he disappears. The family wakes up in the morning and finds the partner’s stuff gone. Bailey assumes that he just left in the wee hours of the morning.

 

Adam begins to develop an interest in Hailey. Hailey and Adam become friends inside the family, and they play with each other. The parents find this as a sign of progress in social development, and report it to his school case manager to try and encourage him more in interactions at school.

 

One day, Adam and Hailey are playing when Hailey begins to make googly faces at Adam, taunting him. The two insue in play fighting, and after the fight Hailey is beaten. Hailey giggles, saying “You beat me!” Adam gets up, and claps his hands. Suddenly, Hailey disappears, along with all her personal belongings. Adam then walks into the kitchen, and Bailey asks where Hailey is. Adam says, "She went to a friend’s house." Bailey walks back into the kitchen, where there is a missing chair.

 

The people in the family begin to act strange around Adam. Being experienced at computers, Sam takes pictures of random people, and edits their photos so their eyes are left with white holes. Bailey becomes more prolific in writing children’s books, but hides disturbing pictures in them.

 

One night, the Johnson family has a party at their mansion. Everyone in the neighborhood comes, and they all have a rapturous time. However, Adam begins to ruin the mood with his odd events. Taking his plate to the dishwater, he breaks it. He tries to watch TV but immediately after seeing the screen, the TV glass breaks. Adam tries to go to the bathroom, but on every occasion, clogs the toilet. As the night goes on, neighbors leave one by one until there is only one guest left, a friend of Caleb’s named Michael Bachelor. They both have drinks, discussing life, when Michael needs to go get some things from his car.

 

When he goes out there, he sees Adam, crossing his arms, standing in the grass in the light of the moon. Michael is creeped out, and asks Adam where his parents are. Adam says, “Be forewarned.” Suddenly, he attacks Michael, but after defeating him, he does not clap his hands, but instead places his hand on Michael’s skin, turning it white. Adam says, “They will come soon,” before Adam faints.

 

The next day, Michael goes over to the Johnson’s mansion. Bailey greets him, but immediately Michael attacks her, knife in hand. Under his eyes Michael is crying blood, with his skin extremely pale. Michael eventually stabs the knife through Bailey’s throat, blood gushing everywhere. Bailey dies, and her body disappears, along with another dining room chair, and her personal belongings. Adam comes downstairs in his pajamas, and sees Michael with the knife. Adam smiles. The two hug, and in a demonic voice, Michael says, “Come on child. There is a lot of work to be done.” They both leave the house, holding hands.

 

Caleb comes home from work, and sees that Bailey is gone. Caleb begins to get suspicious. Bailey is gone and Hailey is gone. He also thinks about how all their personal belongings disappeared as they died. He then realizes; it’s a serial killer. Caleb immediately calls the police, saying his wife and daughter were murdered.

 

Police begin an investigation of the murders. Apparently, children in the neighborhood have been murdered. Some eyewitnesses say that the murderer had extremely pale skin and blood under his eyes. Others see a child walking around a house before a murder took place.

 

At night, Caleb gets a snack, crying over the loss of his family. Suddenly, Adam shows up. Caleb looks behind him, and hugs Adam, happy to see him alive. Adam says, “You shouldn’t have taken me in.” Caleb blinks twice, bewildered at this statement. Adam then states, “My work here is done. And I know what must be done.”

 

Suddenly, Adam’s head explodes into a million pieces, and Caleb is shocked. Blood is everywhere in the kitchen, and soon enough fire begins to come out of where Adam’s head originally was. The fire spreads, and begins to set the house on fire. Caleb grabs a fire extinguisher from a special room, but is unable to stop the fire. The rest of the family is in a panic, and Caleb tells them to come to the panic room. They all huddle in one room, and suddenly, the panic room explodes from a gas leak, killing them all.

 

Firemen come to the house, and try to put out the fire. However, it does not work, and hours later the house collapses. What’s left is a blood-red pentagram on a black plot of land. The firemen discover the burned bodies in the remains of the house. One of them seems to see the shadow of a boy in the remains of the kitchen.

 

THE END

 

In a post-credits scene, a screenwriter finishes his latest movie script, about a demonic boy who begins to cause terror on his family. He gets up from his seat when he hears a doorbell, and sees a baby in a basket, about 3 months old. The screenwriter then takes the baby inside.

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Midnight in the Afghan Valley
 
"This Isn’t A Glorious War"
 
Date- Limited June 22nd and Wide July 13th 
Genre- War Drama
Rating- R- strong war violence including torture and for strong language
Theaters- June 22nd- 4, June 29th- 60, July 6th- 255, July 13th- 625, July 20th- 1,513 , and July 27th- 2,794
Budget- 20 million
Running Time- 126 minutes or 2 hours and 6 minutes
Studio- O$corp Pictures
Director- Josh Trank
Actors and Actresses
Specialist Frank Voss- Daniel Sharman
Sergeant Adam Lindahl- Orlando Bloom
Sergeant Jordan Murel- Josh Duhamel
Rasa- Freida Pinto
 
Plot: 

The film begins with Specialist Frank Voss, Sergeant Adam Lindahl, and Sergeant Jordan Murel saying farewell to their families as they are about to be deployed to secret location in the rugged and dangerous area of Afghanistan. This is their first deployment to the country. This is Specialist Voss’s second deployment. He was previously deployed to South Korea. Sergeant Lindahl is on his second deployment too and he was deployed previously to Sudan. Sergeant Lindahl and Specialist Voss are close friends.  Specialist Voss sees Sergeant Lindahl as an older brother figure. Sergeant Murel is the veteran of the group. He is on his fourth deployment and both his previous three were located in Iraq. He is the only one with experience in the unpredictable and violent Islamic Middle East war. Behind them they leave family, friends, and loved ones. Sergeant Murel is married and has a 1 year-old son. Specialist Voss has a girlfriend of 7 years. 
 
They arrive in Afghanistan and land at the base. After getting acquainted with the base and surrounding area they go on their first mission. It is uneventful much to Specialist Voss and Sergeant Lindahl’s relief. Sergeant Murel the leader of the company however wanted some action and excitement. The next few weeks drag by. The team has to deal with sudden acts from insurgents, IED explosions, and conflicts with the locals. The newly arrived troops suffer their first casualties, which shake the newer troops that aren’t experienced to violent conflict. During this time, Sergeant Murel, Sergeant Lindahl, and Specialist Voss grow as a team together. They become a band of brothers. 
 
During the next few months, Sergeant Lindahl begins to develop feelings for a beautiful local named Rasa. She and Sergeant Lindahl meet in secret. She doesn’t believe in Islam even though, she is forced to believe in it by her abusive father. She is close with her five sisters and mother. She is in an arranged marriage with one of the local leaders who is 20 years older than she is. Sergeant Lindahl promises to help her escape Afghanistan. There relationship is soon discovered by Specialist Voss. He wants Sergeant Lindahl to end it and threatens to tell Sergeant Murel but Sergeant Lindahl aggressively threatens him to keep silent telling him that Rasa his is source of joy and peace in this garbage dump of a country, his anger alarms Specialist Voss and he keeps silent.  
 
A couple of weeks later while out on a patrol, they come up on Rasa’s father severely beating Rasa for going outside without her veil. Rasa looks up at them and begs for help. Sergeant Murel tells Sergeant Lindahl to drive on since they can’t get involved in civilian affairs. Sergeant Lindahl however leaps from the truck and begins to fight Rasa’s father. Sergeant Murel angrily yells for Sergeant Lindahl to return to the truck. Anger locals soon gather and begin to attack the patrol. An IED explodes and chaos erupts. Locals begin to fire shots at the patrol. Specialist Voss calls back to the base for support.  A full on battle begins and the locals are driven back by back up forces. 10 locals are killed along with 2 soldiers. Upon returning to base, Sergeant Lindahl lies about his relationship with Rasa and claims that he couldn’t see an innocent woman be beaten so her reacted. He is severely reprimanded by Sergeant Murel who says that Sergeant Lindahl’s foolish act caused the death of two soldiers and has destroyed the hard won loyalty of the Afghan civilians. Specialist Voss is traumatized by the events since this is his first time engaging in an actual close range fight. He also witnessed the gruesome death of one of the soldiers. He suffers a breakdown and higher nervousness. 
 
Over the next weeks, the tensions grow. Civilians are armed and dangerous. Nobody is safe anymore. IED attacks happen more than once daily and there isn’t a day with out a soldier getting killed or wounded in an IED attack or minor gunfight. The Taliban have entered the village since the soldiers remain mostly sieged in the base. 
 
Late one night, Specialist Voss and Sergeant Lindahl are awaken by Sergeant Murel who announces that they have been selected for a sudden midnight attack on the town to try to control the civilians and thrust the Taliban from the village. They leave the safety of the base and venture into the dark village. They are told to kill anybody who is armed, civilian or not. They leave the trucks and begin to entire the houses to route the insurgents out. Soon gunshots are heard and the shooting begins. People sleeping with weapons are killed. Civilians awaken and begin to fight back. Scream from women and children erupt along with gunshots throughout the clear midnight sky. Sergeant Murel, Sergeant Lindahl, and Specialist Voss make their way through the streets shooting anybody who is armed. Reports begin to fly that unarmed civilians are being killed and this is confirmed when the trio entire a house and see a soldier massacre a family. Sergeant Murel asks what the fuck the soldier is doing. The soldier replies that he is doing what he was told to do. The solider leaves the house. Specialist Voss whispers something about Rasa to Sergeant Lindahl. Sergeant Lindahl turns to bolts from the house. Sergeant Murel and Specialist Voss shout after him. Sergeant Lindahl runs through the street shouting Rasa’s name. He bolts into her house and sees her sobbing over the bodies of her dead mother and sisters. Sergeant Lindahl tries to comfort her but she throws him off and blames him and his kind for her family’s deaths. She tells him that she trusted him and she thought the Americans were here to help them not kill them. She shouts for Sergeant Lindahl to leave. She pulls out a knife and tells him to get out and that she doesn’t want to see any of his kind in her village ever again. Sergeant Lindahl leaves. Meanwhile Sergeant Murel and Specialist Voss continue to fight. They witness the sight of dozens of unarmed villagers are gunned down. Sergeant Murel has enough and leaves in a Humvee. The battle continues into the morning. The remaining villagers flee to the hills. When they return to base, Sergeant Lindahl storms into the office of the base commanders and asks what the fuck happened. He says that this isn’t war. He tells them that what they did was cold-blooded murder. The commanders say that civilians sometimes get killed and that this is war. They say that Sergeant Lindahl isn’t suppose to question their leadership but just follow it. The commanders command soldiers to remove him from the room. Sergeant Lindahl cusses angrily as he is thrown out. 
 
The next months drag. Half the village is dead even though almost all the Taliban were killed in the fight. Sergeant Lindahl is depressed and bitter about the attack and about Rasa. He never sees her again. It is hinted that she has forever left the village to live in the mountains with most of the villagers. Sergeant Murel detaches from the trio and becomes much harsher and strict. Specialist Voss is left alone despite the fact that he needs the support from the others and he suffers from severe paranoia and survivor guilt. The three men are basically just trying to survive until the end of their deployment. A dark cloud rest over the base as soldiers feel guilt about the attack. The days tick down to the end of the deployment and the days are full of violence, pain, and desperation. The soldiers just want to die or go home. Two soldiers kill themselves out of guilt and desperation among them is the soldier from the house. 
 
A week before they return home, a fight erupts when their patrol is ambushed in the countryside. The fighting is intense. The trio find themselves grouping together during the fight. During the fight, Sergeant Lindahl is killed. The three manage to resolve their tensions between each other before Sergeant Lindahl bleeds out before help can arrive. They are greatly shaken by his death.
 
The film concludes with Lindahl’s funeral. Several weeks after the funeral, Specialist Voss is deemed unfit to return to combat and given an honorable discharge. He is seeing a therapist and is also helped by his girlfriend. He finds relief in the peaceful and slow pace civilian life. Sergeant Murel returns overseas on a final deployment since he can’t stand living a regular citizen life. His passion is with the Army. Specialist Voss and Sergeant Murel say that they will always remember that deployment to the Afghan valley and that it will haunt them forever. 

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For God and Glory

Director: Ridley Scott

Studio: Arcturus Entertainment

Genre: Adventure/Action

Format: 15/70 IMAX 3D

Cast: TBA

Score: Michael Giacchino

Budget: $135 million

Theatre Count: 4291

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: 29 June

Running Time: 2 hr. 10 mins

Plot:

The Film opens in media res. It is the Battle of Manzikert; The Byzantines are in being slowly beat back by the onslaught of the Sejuk Turks. It is a victory that is rapidly gaining momentum as more and more Byzantines are gunned down. We pan up to see Emperor Romanos IV Diogenes of Byzantium surveying the scene with a steely and stoic expression. An advisor on horseback rides up to him and asks him for his orders; Romanos hesitates for a moment before giving a hand signal and saying, “Retreat.” We see the order being conveyed to the two commanding Generals. One of them misunderstands the order in a Charge of the Light Brigade-esque moment, and the other, Doukas, who doesn’t like him, deliberately decides to ignore the order. We see the army descend into mass confusion as orders are ignored or butchered in execution. We see the Turks surge and capitalise on the moment. Emperor Romanos IV Diogenes is scene staring in disbelief at what had happened and is promptly captured by the Turks.

We see Emperor Romanos being led into the Turkish camp where he meets Sultan Alp Arslan in the make-shift command/throne-tent. Romanos is forced onto his knees as Sultan Alp places a boot on Romanos’s neck and forces him to kiss the ground in a symbolic display of humiliation. He then asks Romanos the famous question, “What would you do if I were brought before you as a prisoner?” To which Romanos answers, “Perhaps I’d kill you, or exhibit you in the streets of Constantinople.” The Sultan replies, “My punishment is far heavier. I forgive you, and set you free.” We then see Alp pull Romanos to his feet and treat Romanos like a king.

We cut to a scene at night where the Byzantines try to rescue Romanos from the Turks however they achieve little progress and are either rounded up as prisoners, killed, or forced to retreat in shame. Then we cut to Romanos who is still being treated very kindly. Romanos and Alp are sitting around a table with a map on it. We see Antioch, Edessa, Hierapolis, and Manzikert surrendered to the Turks. This leaves the heartland of Byzantium untouched. A ransom of 1.5 million gold pieces and annual payments of 360 000 gold pieces negotiated. Finally a marriage alliance between Romanos’s daughter and Arslan’s son is contracted before Romanos is released and sent on his way to Constantinople bearing lavish gifts.

As Romanos is sent on his way to Constantinople, we cut to Constantinople and see John Doukas, a leading aristocrat, plotting behind Romanos’s back. We see him enlist the help of the other noble families of Byzantium and hatch a plot to kill the king. We also see that each individual family is planning to use the deposition of Romanos as a cause belli to seize the throne for themselves.

We cut to Romanos arriving at the gates of Constantinople and there seems to be a large reception party for him. The gates open as he nears and the pomp and circumstance is fit for a king. However, he barely gets 50 metres inside before he meets a coup organised by John Doukas as he’s promptly deposed, blinded, and killed. We see many of the noble families of Byzantium try to seize the throne for themsleves and Byzantium plunges into a civil war with the Turks still knocking on their door. We see shots of the civil war as Doukas is fighting a variety of other nobles, and the legitimate claimant to the throne, Constantine Diogenes. We see both the backroom deals that Constantine Diogenes and his brother-in-law Alexios I Komnenos make (some separately, and others independently) to drive the noble families away from Doukas. This culminates in a chase scene as Doukas is chased into the Hagia Sophia and murdered at the altar. As the soldiers near we see Doukas trying to hide and back away, but he soon accepts his inevitable fate. The camera then takes a crane shot directly above the altar as we see Doukas praying for salvation and help from god. We see the soldiers enter the scene and one of them lifts his sword up and plunges it into Doukas’s body. However, Doukas doesn’t die and we see him gasp in pain and cry out as he still tries to pray. Then we see a second soldier take out his sword and prepare to lop off Doukas’s head. As the sword goes up and then falls we cut to black. (We hear the sound of the sword and of the head hitting the floor after we fade to black.)

The title “For God and Glory” slowly appears one word at a time. Title Credits run over an ornate procession of bishops, priests, and nobles. The crowds line the streets for what looks to be a very fancy state event.

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*Official Selection: CAYOM Festival Y8*

 

Cinema Studies

 

Genre: Comedy/Drama

Writer/Director: Cameron Crowe

Date: September 21st

Theaters: 2,827

Rating: PG-13 for brief strong language including sexual references, some thematic material, and a scene of alcohol use

Runtime: 116min (1hr, 56min)

Budget: $27.5 million

Cast: AnnaSophia Robb (Cassie Felderton), Bradley Cooper (Trevor Deston), Zach Mills (Danny Still), Jacqueline Emerson (Susan Motts), Julia Louis-Dreyfuss (Sally Felderton), Bruce Greenwood (Gregory Felderton), Josh Hutcherson (Paul Hendricks)

 

TRIMESTER ONE

 

Cassie, a girl who appears to be around 17 years old, opened up her laptop on top of her bed, scrambled through a few folders on her computer, and opened up a file. On it was a digital copy of Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window. She turned up the volume and began to watch the much acclaimed film on her bed. We see that her room is covered with all kinds of film posters and has bookshelves lined with books about films, novels that became films, and of course, several DVDs and Blu-rays. As she gets invested in the movie, Cassie begins to narrate. “I’ve always been in love with the medium of film. Being invested in a world beyond your own, escaping the mundane for adventures through time, space, and even minimal traveling. When real life was a pain to get though, it was nice to know that I could always escape.” Cassie soon hears a call coming from downstairs, and it’s her father calling her down for dinner. Cassie says that she’s coming, pausing the movie and leaving her room to have her meal.

 

She is now at the table with her parents, Sally and Gregory, who are being excessively sentimental that tomorrow is the star of Cassie’s last year of school. Also there is Cassie’s 4-year old brother, Mikey. Cassie doesn’t really share this sentiment, saying that High School has just been a blur to her, and that she just wants to move on in her life. Gregory tells her that she’s always been rather introverted, choosing to ignore the school social life to live in her own little world of film. Cassie retaliates by asking what’s wrong with pursuing a hobby in her manner. She was even the resident film critic for the school’s newspaper. After they continue to argue mildly, Gregory just asks Cassie to try to make some new friends this year. Cassie finishes up her food, saying that she’ll at least try to make some friends, even if it’s the only year they’re probably going to be together.  As she leaves, she turns to Mikey, asking him if he knows how good he has it.

 

The next day, Cassie uses narration to describe her first day of school. It’s pretty boring, with a few AP Classes: Biology and Calculus. However, the highlight of her day is definitely Film Studies, taught by a young English teacher, Mr. Trevor Deston. It’s about time I got to take a class in something I liked, thought Cassie as she came into the classroom. Mr. Deston goes over the syllabus of the class, joking with the class on how this will be one of the last times they hear such a spiel on class syllabi, so they should cherish the moment. Cassie looks over the list of films and genres being studied, and finds a lot of classic movies on there: Casablanca, North by Northwest, Taxi Driver, and so on. She feels giddy about the class, even if she’s seen a few of these before. Hell, she spent much of the summer just watching movies and even making a few short films.

 

Deston begins by talking a bit about film as a whole, and Cassie realizes that Soon, Deston gets up and begins to call on random people to ask what their favorite movies are. There are a lot of responses of recent blockbusters and romantic comedies like “Nirvana,” “Walking With You,” even a few responses of “Unbalanced.” When he calls on Cassie, she soon replies with her favorite movie in a snap, “Chinatown.” Deston nods at her, saying that she’s got some nice taste in film. Cassie nods briefly, thanking him. She’s a little bit timid, naturally, due to her introverted nature. Class soon ends, but Cassie looks at Mr. Deston as she leaves class. It’s been a while since she met someone else this knowledgeable in film. As she returns home, she posts in her film blog about the new class she’s taking at school this year that she’s incredibly excited about: AP Calculus BC. Seriously, though, she talks about what movies she’s going to study. She’s seen a lot of them, but she gets to capitalize on boosting her GPA with her knowledge of film. She thinks that it may be like some of the classes she takes in her dream college: The University of Southern California. She finds out this winter if she got in.

 

The next few days go by, and Cassie continues to do work unenthusiastically in her other classes, but think vividly about the films they watch. The first film they study is recent Best Picture winner The Good Die Young, a favorite of Cassie’s. In the in class discussion of the film, Cassie talks about some of the motivations of the characters in great depth, impressing Deston greatly. Deston actually wants to talk to her after class. Deston owns a lot of great movies that she might not have seen, and he thinks that Cassie would appreciate them. He lends her a copy of the 2004 movie Primer. Deston also wants to tell her that two juniors, Danny and Susan, are actually forming a film club at the school, and they’re having their first meeting next week. They’re starting simple, with a viewing of Young Frankenstein to celebrate the Halloween season. She says that she always enjoyed that movie, and she’ll come.

 

That night at dinner, she tells her family about how cool Mr. Deston actually is, and how he’s going to lend her movies to study. Gregory sighs, saying that his request for her to make friends didn’t really go over as he had hoped. Cassie points out that there’s this film club she’s going to next week, and it’s going to be a place for her to meet new friends. “You wanted me to meet new friends, and I’m going to,” Cassie says in a reassuring manner. That weekend, we see Cassie finishing up some of her college applications. She has applied to many schools with strong film programs, but her heart is still excited for USC. She comments that it was natural to write about film as her primary common app essay, and that she seriously hopes to get in, even though her grades and test scores aren’t as strong as her love for film. “Nobody’s perfect,” she says after clicking send for her applications.

 

After school on Tuesday of the next week, she comes into Mr. Deston’s classroom and finds Danny, Susan, Mr. Deston, and some other students, but not many. Danny soon gets up in front of the crowd and begins to speak. “So, everyone, welcome to the first meeting of our film club!” Danny says with enthusiasm, and many of the students there were just friends of Danny and Susan, willing to spend some time with the two of them. They watch the movie, Young Frankenstein, and then proceed to just talk about their favorite scenes. When Cassie begins to speak, Danny recognizes her as that student who started her own film blog, telling everyone that they should check it out. Susan is also impressed, sad that they weren’t able to meet before. Cassie soon leaves after getting acquainted with Danny and Susan, and she leaves the school, fast cutting to her mom driving her home from school. “So how was your first club meeting?” “It was fine, mom, there are some cool people there.” Sally continues to ask her daughter questions about school, and she answers them with decreasing energy.

 

She soon gets home and logs onto her blog, writing about Primer and Young Frankenstein. One was a fun parody, the other was a film I’ll probably never be able to wrap my head around. She continues to write, soon making a shout out to Danny and Susan, two of her followers. She soon notices a noise from her Facebook page: Two friend requests from Danny and Susan. “Speak of the devil,” she says, clicking on “accept” for both friend requests. As she clicks, the camera cuts to the homecoming dance at the school, with loud pop music playing in the background, as Danny and Susan are dancing in a corner, as Cassie just stands against the wall, not really feeling like dancing. The junior couple persuades her to dance, saying that they have another friend they’d like her to meet: Paul Hendricks.

 

He’s also a film junkie, even one who’s applying to USC to study film, but he couldn’t come to the screening of Young Frankenstein. Cassie comes up to meet him, and she says that he has a nice suit on. “Thanks,” Paul says and the two awkwardly stand by one another, talking about High School. “I’m so ready to get out of here,” Paul mutters, to which Cassie tells him to join the club. After a pause, Cassie admits that she’s not very good at creating small talk with other people, so they should probably do something, even if it’s just swaying from side to side while eating cookies. “Fair enough,” Paul adds. They end up doing just that. The night ends, and Cassie thinks about what an awkward first date that was.

 

A few days later, Cassie comes in before school to chat with Mr. Deston. It turns out that Paul is also there, and apparently he’s in another hour of Deston’s film class. Paul was talking to Mr. Deston as a friend, feeling weighed down by personal issues and needing some help in life. Realizing that he needs to be somewhere else, Paul leaves, and feeling rather stressed, but not before waving at Cassie. Cassie asks Deston if Paul’s okay. Deston replies that he’s not certain if Paul’s okay, but Paul didn’t want a whole lot of other peo

ple to know. Cassie understands, but the bell rings before she is able to say much to Mr. Deston. . “Before I leave, and to end on a high note, you should check out some of these.”

 

The next few weeks pass as finals for the first term approach the student body. Cassie, Susan, and Danny continue to enjoy watching movies, and Cassie continues to keep blogging. She’s trying to keep up with her grades, but she is struggling somewhat, especially in AP Biology. This became an increased problem as finals for the trimester approached in the fall. She calculates that to get a B in the course, she needs to get at least an 88 on the final exam. Fortunately, Danny and Susan are also in AP Biology, so they help her to study. All they ask in return is that they take pride in the fact that the two juniors are helping a senior to study. Finals soon come, and there is cause to celebrate, she got an 89. As Danny, Susan, and Paul continue to celebrate with her, the scene transitions to a small Christmas party at Susan’s house.

 

TRIMESTER TWO

 

The atmosphere is very energetic, with the four students and even Mr. Deston hanging out around a living room table and talking about the season. They’re also taking time to talk about movies in a fun manner, going around and doing a truth or dare style game to ask about guilty pleasures. When it comes to be Cassie’s turn, she reveals her embarrassing enjoyment of the 4Chan movies.  “They’re so god damn bizarre, yet I love them so.” Everyone laughs as they continue to have a good time at the party. The party scene ends with Danny asking what they want to watch first: It’s A Wonderful Life or Santa Claus: Ultimate Badass. It was truly a night that we could forget about all that was wrong in the world, Cassie thought to herself. However, she couldn’t help but notice that Paul was feeling detached from the group.

 

Paul comes home from the party that night, and he goes up to his bed after checking with his parents in the kitchen. He cannot rest easily, as they appear to be having an argument. As Cassie came home, she finds an email from University Of Southern Carolina, her dream school, and her parents are eager for her to open it up on her laptop. She does so, feeling very excited and scared. As it turns out, she was deferred to have her decision posted in the spring. “Better than the alternative,” Cassie sighs, still feeling disappointed. All of her other schools don’t post decisions until spring, and all of them were designed to have fantastic programs in the study of film. Cassie says to herself that this is going to be a long three months.

 

As school returns for January, and Cassie tries to find Paul in the school hallways. She wants to ask him if he’s doing okay, since he didn’t do very much at the party for Christmas. Paul says that it’s nothing, and that she shouldn’t worry about him. She has her own life to live, and probably a better one. Cassie continues to reason with him, until Paul simply asks her to please leave him alone. Cassie understands, and she nods towards Paul. Fortunately, the others appear to be in a much better mood than Paul is, and they’re eager to hang out with her. Cassie is happy to oblige with her friends, although she can’t help but feel a little worried about Paul, and she hasn’t forgotten about the fragility of Deston’s job position as a teacher in this school.

 

One day after school, after the students had recently studied Rapture, Cassie comes in to talk to Mr. Deston. She had finished a recent film he had assigned to her, Magnolia. “It was an incredible film,” she says, “One of the best that I’ve ever seen.” Deston smiles, saying that he’s always appreciated that movie, and that he read her blog post about this movie. However, he is a little bit flustered, admitting that he’s almost running out of movies that she hasn’t seen before. He tells her that he’s probably not going to give her a new movie this week, but rather says that there’s some good Oscar nominees at the movies this weekend. Why not see one of those? They smile, but Deston still feels worried about Paul. At dinner that night, Sally and Gregory are talking to Cassie about her friends, and that they’re glad she’s finally reaching out. It seems that she’s getting along very well with Danny and Susan, and Paul also seems like a nice guy. Cassie, through narration, says that she’d rather not tell them much more about Paul, considering how he’s going through something that even she can’t place a finger on. “Yeah, everything’s pretty good,” she says.

 

In her blog, Cassie introduces her revisit to an old short film she made about a year ago, entitled, “A Glimpse Of Life.” It’s a collection of video clips and vignettes of her in her current life, doing things in her old time. She was rather lonely and cold at the time, but she soon thinks about how things have changed for her over the past year. She reimagines the film footage in her mind. Rather than her being alone, she is now with her four new friends, doing various activities around the town, from going to the arcade, the cinema, the mall, and so on. She felt that even when the shadows were covering us, she had discovered that she wasn’t alone, not like she once was. Sometimes, that may be what everyone needs in life: Someone to be with. With this in mind, she sends Paul a Facebook message to invite her to her family’s Oscar party.  

 

We soon see the family get set up for their party, and they’re looking forward to meeting Paul for the first time. Cassie says that he’s pretty nice, but she asks that they give him some space while he’s here. He’s going through something that even she isn’t clear on. Her parents understand, yet they are still eager to greet him when he arrives at the house, feeling a bit happier than he was over the last few weeks. As her parents ask Paul many generic questions, such as “When did you and Cassie meet?” Cassie is seen sitting on the couch, snacking on hour d’ourves for the party, enjoying some red carpet coverage. Paul and her parents soon follow. Later that night, Paul decides to go outside for some fresh air, and he asks Cassie to join her. The two sit outside under a starry sky, as Paul comments on the beauty of the scene.  Paul then says that he wants to get something off of his chest, the reason why he’s been acting off over these past few weeks.

 

“My family has been going through hell over this past year. My dad lost his job, and every single god damn night, my parents just argue. It’s like they enjoy doing this whole routine every night instead of notice I’m even there. As the cards continued to fall, they’re getting a divorce, and now I’m caught in this spiral of events that I never wanted to be in. It’s also one of the reasons I love film so much. These characters, these worlds, they allow me to escape the hell known as reality.” Cassie seeing Paul struggle to hold back his tears, hugs him, asking why he never told her before. She could have helped him out. Her entire family could. Paul says that he didn’t want to burden someone he just met with all of these problems, but he realizes that he could truly trust her now. The two soon lean in to kiss on the porch, Paul and one of the only people who truly cared about him. After they are done, Sally calls the two in, saying that they’re getting to the big awards. Cassie and Paul smile towards one another, and head inside. Paul soon goes to his house, realizing that his parents are sleeping on different beds yet again. He goes to his own bed and closes his eyes, not resting easily until he thinks of Cassie again.

 

As Second Trimester Finals approach, Danny and Susan talk to Cassie about the film program she’s hopefully going to at University of Southern California. Paul may be going as well. She’s extremely excited, as the school was home to many alumni whom are big in the film industry, such as George Lucas, Ron Howard, and more. After talking to Mr. Deston once again, he tells her that she hopes he gets in, even though he couldn’t. He still enjoyed studying film, as well as teaching it, and bringing him to the career that he has today.

 

Cassie, Paul, Danny, and Susan, have a Star Wars movie marathon at Danny’s house as they build up to the admissions decisions of USC. Suddenly, both Paul and Cassie receive emails from USC Admissions. Cassie is safe, as she had been accepted to another decent film school, the fictional Westwood University, but her heart is still set on USC. Paul opens his email first, and he screams in excitement, as he had been accepted. Danny and Susan hug him, as Cassie looks on in some happiness. It’s now Cassie’s turn to check, and she asks everyone to look away. She looks at her screen with a bright smile, which vanishes in a flash. She soon unplugs her laptop, closes up everything, and tells her friends that she needs to leave. She does all of this with a black expression on her face. We cut to her bedroom, where she narrates that she can probably guess what the decision was, considering how she couldn’t let her friends see her at this low moment, apologizing for how snobbish that probably sounded.

 

TRIMESTER THREE

 

We then cut to a scene of Cassie sitting on the couch, wrapped in blankets, eating some ice cream, and watching John Hughes movies. It is presented in a somewhat humorous manner. Sally comes in on her, saying that she’s been wrapped up in that blanket all day. Sally tells her daughter that while USC isn’t an option anymore, she’s still got plenty of other great choices of schools that she’s been admitted to, primarily Westwood University. Cassie says that it’s not the same game when it’s been a college she’s dreamed about going for so many years. Besides, this stress routine always worked for her. Sally tells her to at least be happy for Paul and his acceptance, and maybe talking to him will make her feel better. Cassie looks on, saying that she might be right. The party didn’t end as smoothly as she thought, and now she out to let them know that she’s okay.

 

At school the next day, the four friends are sitting together at lunch, and they’re all being evasive about talking about USC, if only to avoid hurting Cassie’s feelings. Cassie soon breaks the ice and congratulates Paul on getting into USC. Paul thanks her, but she can’t help but feel a bit dismayed. She still tries to keep these feelings to herself. Cassie realizes that at this moment, she felt much like Paul felt throughout much of the year. He had to deal with so much stuff in his life and he didn’t want to burden them on his friends. She also realized how silly she was, and given that she hasn’t been through nearly as much as Paul has, maybe he needed this more than she did. At the same time, she can’t help but feel upset. Danny soon speaks to the group, diving into a new topic to distract Cassie. He and Susan are filming a music video for the song, “You Get What You Give” by The New Radicals, and they’d like Paul and Cassie to be in it. Cassie looks at Paul, and both want to be a part of it. The camera zooms out to them discussing the details of the video, as the song fades in.

 

A montage soon follows to Cassie and Paul and her other friends filming the video all over town, and they are simply being young and having fun. Cassie narrates that she remembers doing this project for her video class, but her song was “Don’t You Forget about Me” from The Breakfast Club. She says that this revisiting of the project was fitting, since them kind of felt like their own breakfast club now. They were a circle of friends like she never had, and they were able to lift her and Paul out of the disappointment that life can bring. Even then, there can still be heartbreak in this world. As Paul and Cassie were driving home from the final shoot of the music video, they felt happy and joyed with their project. Paul is driving, and Cassie is in the passenger’s seat. Cassie looks out of the window on Paul’s side for a moment, and her smile disappears. In a few moments, a car strikes the vehicle from Paul’s side, and everything suddenly cuts to black.

 

A few weeks later, there are cars driving through a cemetery, and a funeral appears to taking place. It is found out that the funeral is for Paul, who died in the car crash. Out of one of the cars, we see Cassie’s parents helping their daughter out of the car. She is walking with crutches, and she still has injuries on her arm. Sitting on the opposite side where the accident managed to prevent her from dying, although she’s very upset and feeling painful about the accident that took her best friend. Her parents help her find Danny, Susan, and Mr. Deston, and they let her sit with them. She looks at Danny’s parents, both of which are crying profusely, feeling sad that it took Paul’s death for them to finally worry about their son after all of their altercations with the divorce. The pastor for the funeral asks if anyone would like to share thoughts on the passing of this bright, young soul. Cassie stands up.

 

Cassie comes up and begins to speak, clearing her breath as she does so. “I was in the car when the accident occurred, and once the accident occurred, everything went black. It wasn’t until waking up at the hospital when I realized that he was gone. I only knew him for less than a year, but that didn’t make things any better. I had this connection with Paul, and Danny and Susan for that matter that I never had before in my life. The four of us connected through our love of film, and both Paul and I were going to study film in the fall. He got into one of the greatest film schools in the nation, only to have that dream taken away from him. Much like a movie, life can be unpredictable. It can contain heartbreak, cruelty, and tragic turns of fate.” Cassie soon pauses, “But at the same time, movies also include changes for the better, things looking better, and heroes overcoming obstacles. Life may have been tragic now, but perhaps things will get better in the future.”

 

The next weeks pass like a blur, as Cassie makes her final preparations to head for Westwood University in the early summer for orientation and a special film program. She soon becomes excited for this experience, yet she is sad that she will miss Mr. Deston, who become one of the best teachers she had ever had, and also Danny and Susan, two wonderful people who are truly passionate about film. Cassie believed that they had a great future. On the last day of school for seniors, Cassie stops by Mr. Deston’s room once again, and he wishes him goodbye for one final time. However, Mr. Deston leaves her with one last film to watch, Mike Nichols’ The Graduate. He thought it would be fitting for the occasion. Cassie then decides to invite Danny, Susan, and Mr. Deston over to her house to watch the movie, and everyone comes. Cassie talks about how life sometimes isn’t perfect, and when it is, all of have to do is slow things down, make the adjustments you need, and press play once more. The film ends with the characters sitting on the couch, as Cassie points the remote towards the audience and presses a button.

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Hand Drawn Heroes

 

Genre: Animation (2D)/Action/Comedy

Directors: Phil Lord & Chris Miller

Writers: Phil Lord, Chris Miller, and Michael Baccal

Date: June 8th

Theaters: 3,516

Runtime: 103min (1hr. 43min)

Rating: PG for comic action and some rude humor

Budget: $70 million

Composer: Danny Elfman

Cast: Neil Patrick Harris (Inspector Sketchit), Will Arnett (The Eraser), Rob Riggle (CEO Executor), Mark Hamill (Popeye), P.J. Byrne (Underdog), Vanessa Bayer (Betty Boop), Alan Tudyk (Bullwinkle), Ashly Burch (Rocky), James Arnold Taylor (Fred Flinstone), Jim Cummings (Darkwing Duck), Channing Tatum (AstroCat), Jonah Hill (Slug Bartender), Nathan Fillion (Captain Kidd), Linda Cardellini (Susan Burlap), Paul Dano (Alex Spark), Daniel Craig (Leon Redbeard), Emma Watson (Selena), Vincent Martella (Icarus)

 

NOTE: Cameos from CGI movies appear as 2D drawings. Also note that several cameos are in hidden background performances.

 

We see a cartoon man, wearing a fedora and a detective’s coat, waiting in line for something. In line with him are several other wacky cartoon characters, all wildly diverse in appearance, outside of a large studio. He tells himself to calm down, and to do what he always does in calming himself: reciting the digits of Pi. 3.14159….and so on. He soon meets the character in line next to him, an anthropomorphic cat in an astronaut suit, going by the name of AstroCat. He is also somewhat nervous about his audition, and he hopes that he gets his show on the network. The man says that he feels the same way, introducing himself as Inspector Sketchit, and his show is mainly about him solving crimes by using his powers of drawing sketches that come to life. AstroCat says that that’s probably going to have a lot of people on the internet pointing out logical errors relentlessly about the show. “And this is coming from an astronaut cat who speaks English.” AstroCat pauses and says, “Touche.” They wish each other luck as a large, slug-like cartoon tells Sketchit that it’s time for his audition. AstroCat wishes him luck, as Sketchit walks through the doors.

 

Sketchit walks in through the doors clumsily, and he comes up to three characters, Deputy Burlap, the brave force of law in Shiverin’ Gulch, Pikachu, arguably the most famous Pokemon there is, and the CEO of the network, President Ron Executor, who looks at Sketchit with a rather grim frown. Executor tells him that this is the 27th time that he’s auditioned for a role such as this, and asks if he has something planned that will cause this audition to go better than any other. Sketchit smiles brightly and says that he does, but after a pause, and a few awkward instances of him trying to think of something new, he realizes that he has nothing. Executor sighs and tells him that he seems like a nice guy, bright and enthusiastic, but it’s not what the network needs right now. “You see, ratings are approaching lows like we haven’t seen before, and kids these days just don’t like the fun cartoons that we’ve always shown. They want more dark things, violence, and so on.” He then looks to the judges as they look at him, and both of the judges write these notes down. The point is, they need something truly revolutionary and dazzling to save the network, and he just doesn’t have it.  Sketchit says that he understands, and he leaves the studio with a feeling of sadness. Meanwhile, CEO Executor calls up The Jetsons, saying that the go live in 10 minutes.

 

He then takes a colorful train to the center of Disney Street and Looney Boulevard, where he sees several other classic cartoon characters present. The city is alive with brightness and wackiness all around, as cartoons go about their daily business, some a bit more unusual than the rest. Hong Kong Phooey is practicing with nun chucks, only to lose them off screen and hit someone in the head, while another cartoon is reading a newspaper about a secret friendship between Tom and Jerry. However, most of them look on at disdain towards Sketchit, who looks on sadly. He does know why all of this was happening, though. Sketchit also walks past a billboard advertising the simulation of dreams through memories, like in To The Moon. He soon comes up to a corner of the city, where a trash can begins talking to him, asking why he is feeling sad. Sketchit soon says that it’s getting pretty sad when he’s talking to a trash can for solace, “no offense,” The trash can soon says, “None taken.

 

He then goes to a bar where several cartoon and relaxing and listening to music from a club jazz band, consisting mainly of a crow, a fox, a dog, a mouse, and a pizza chef. At the bar Sketchit asks for a drink of Color Color Boom Pow, a popular beverage in the world of cartoons. Some say it gives various characters the energy they show on TV, like Woody Woodpecker.  Sketchit talks to the bartender, a large blue slug wearing a fedora and a nice shirt and bow tie, all of which are navy blue. “Didn’t get your show again, huh?” Sketchit frowns, saying how frustrating it can be at times. The slug tells him that the bar will always be there, and he’s in good company, even with his most recent mishap. Sketchit asks that he not remind him of that, saying that nobody has let him forget it. The two look out at the various people at the club. He smiles, as the bar tender says its open mic night for any toon to get out any musical numbers, be it of joy or angst, but Sketchit politely declines. He soon notices Betty Boop, a famous cartoon character, wearing a dark coat, as gray as she is, and she leaves the club, leaving her purse behind.

 

Sketchit finishes his drink, sets it on the glass, puts some money beside it, (he struggles to find cash, as his wallet it filled with several other wacky things, such as fireworks and PDAs) yells to keep the change, and quickly leaves the club, getting the purse and stepping outside. He calls out for Betty, saying that she left her purse at the club. He tries to run in one direction, until she finds a sign that points in two directions: One leads to Betty, and the other leads to “Just don’t go this way.” Sketchit remarks that this is kind of creepy, but he still runs in the right direction. He soon sees Betty looking around and finding a large apartment building, going inside. He soon quickly follows, following her to an elevator, but having to take the next one. He then talks to the elevator keypad as he tries to follow Betty Boop. The keypad thinks that this probably won’t lead to any good, but he makes the elevator go to the penthouse level. “You’re not going to murder her, are you?” “What?! No! I just have her purse!” “That’s a bizarre weapon!” “No, you don’t understand…never mind. Just bring me to her floor.” The elevator does so, singing out generic elevator music. He soon finds the floor she is on, and it has just one door.

 

Sketchit gulps, knocking on the door to Betty’s penthouse. She opens the door, finding that she has her purse. She thanks him very much for his gentleman-like behavior, and invites him into her penthouse. However, Sketchit gasps in huge shock. He sees several legenday cartoon characters sitting down and playing cards: Fred Flinstone, Rocky & Bullwinkle, Underdog, Darkwing Duck, and Popeye The Sailor Man. Betty introduces her new friend to these legends, and Bullwinkle jumps up to Sketchit, saying how excited he is to meet him. Sketchit, however, begins to have a spasm, and begins to make bizarre faces. Everyone looks at him strangely. He soon shouts, “3.14159265359!!!!!!” He is meanwhile running towards the window of the penthouse, jumping out when he says the final nine. The cartoon legends looks out of the window with concern, as Fred says that they should probably check on him. Darkwing Duck says that he’s fine, as cartoons tend to have great endurance. Before this happens, we see the sound of a truck passing through and later, a shout of, “I’m okay!” Then, there comes a sound of Sketchit (still off-screen) being hit by an anvil, causing Sketchit to ask why people just randomly drop anvils. The cartoons looks down and find a conveyor belt of anvils falling onto the sidewalk.

 

There is a point of view shot from Sketchit’s eyes from a hospital bed, and a rather attractive cartoon nurse is checking up on him. “You have some guests who would like to visit,” and he sees all of the cartoons from the previous night, looking at him with concern and hope that he’s okay. Darkwing Duck is the only one not present. Sketchit immediately faints again. He opens his eyes only to faint again. This process repeats several times, and the toons’ concern terns to annoyance. We also see that Sketchit has a large bump on his head and a black eye, as well as a cast around his arm. Sketchit soon wakes up and thinks that it’s all out of his system. He soon wakes up, and Popeye comes up to thank him for returning Betty’s purse. Sketchit soon asks what brought such a famous band of cartoons together. Underdog explains in rhyme, “We’ve all come together for a vital reason, for if we don’t act, it could be our last season!”  Rocky tells him to stop worrying about coming up with a rhyme every sentence and to let him do the talking. “From what I can gather, the cartoon universe is on the verge of destruction!”

 

Rocky goes on to mention a mysterious force that appears to be destroying the cartoon world. Famous cartoon characters have been disappearing recently, and we see a montage of them being attacked by a shadowy figure: Pinky & The Brain, Speed Racer, Snagglepuss, and many more. They all need to stay together, and Rocky lets Bullwinkle say why. “….because being lonely is sad?” Rocky says that while this is true, sighing in the process, they need to stick together because they may very well be among the next targets. Popeye looks off-screen, and sees something up with a nurse around the corner. She appears to be tendering to herself, looking at a corner. Popeye asks her if she needs any help, but she turns around, and it isn’t any ordinary nurse. It’s a purple-skinned, human-like monster with red eyes, sharp teeth, and dark, spiked hair. He begins to let out a sharp hiss, and everyone looks on in horror. People run across the hallways, some saying that “I don’t know why I’m panicking!” Through the red eyes of the monster, we see it focus on the main heroes. He begins to dash across the hospital hallway, when all of the heroes duck away, except for Bullwinkle, who only musters up a lame cower. Suddenly, we see a shadowy figure jump into the scene to knock out the monster: Darkwing Duck.

 

Darkwing says “I am the terror that flaps in the night, I am the time that is extremely convenient”, as the monster comes up from the ground, but all of the heroes have various weapons out. Rocky has a slingshot, Fred has a stone club, and Popeye has a can of spinach. Sketchit looks on awkwardly as he says that his pen is sort of sharp, he supposes. The monsters says that he’ll be back to get them one day, although he realizes that he shouldn’t have just said that, and he’s now appearing to be rather week. As he continues to stutter, he just drops a “Whatever” and disappears in a cloud of smoke. Darkwing asks if they were just telling him about the disappearances, and they nod. “It was totally worth it for that dramatic entrance.” Popeye gives Sketchit a business card, saying that they’re forming a crusade against this eraser guy. If he’s interested in joining the fight, he knows who to call. “Ghostbusters?” Sketchit jokes. They all kind of groan, saying how that’s one of the oldest jokes in cartoons. Sketchit feels idiotic for making that lame joke, but doesn’t mind. The next scene shows him walking out of the hospital, noting how fast everything went, and looking at the business card. Sketchit looks at it, and he has comically mixed emotions. “I’m so excited for this opportunity! I’m going to die! I’m working with legends! I’ll weigh them down!”

 

Sketchit is back as his small apartment, almost set up like a detective’s office, and he looks sadly at a news headline: “UNPROVEN TOON WRECKS ARCADE WITH MAGIC SKETCHPAD.” The headline is discussing Sketchit, who has humiliated himself after drawing a blue whale inside of the city’s most popular arcade, earning much disdain for the event. He has since changed his appearance, notably, to a different color coat and hat. He then looks at his sketchpad and pen, and realizes that it’s too dangerous to keep using them. However, he looks at pad one more time, and draws a sword. The sword magically comes to life in real size, and Sketchit picks up, smiling. He begins to slash the sword around, until he comes to an epiphany. He picks up the old-fashioned telephone and dials the number on the card. “It’s me, Sketchit. You said you needed help saving the world?”

 

We then cut to a cartoon news show in the world of cartoons, where a robotic newscaster reports on more mysterious disappearances of cartoon legends and the panic that is overtaking the city. Among the people interviewed are Selena (Sylvarius), Leon Redbeard (Amulet), and more cartoon characters. Sketchit goes to Boop’s penthouse again, and she welcomes him in. She then presses a few buttons on her doorpad, and asks Sketchit to move off of the welcome mat. He complies. The mat, saying “Boop boop-a-doop!” flips over, revealing a secret tube-like passage. Sketchit nods, “ladies first” and Boop goes in, jumping right in. Sketchit soon follows, screaming as he goes through the roller-coaster like tube chain. Betty soon lands on her feet in the floor below the end of the tunnel, while Sketchit lands a much more awkward landing. He looks around with much awe, seeing all of the same toons around a large war-room like table, with monitors of the cartoon world spread all across the room. Sketchit remarks that the layout is impressive, and he finds a place to sit down at the table, ready for action. "We've never come together for something like this unless trying to tell minors that drugs are bad!"

 

Sketchit looks around the room, doing investigation of the toons. He suspects that he’s going to have a love interest in here, probably Betty Boop, but he never knows, and there’s probably that arrogant one that will have a grudge against him but come to grow on him, maybe Darkwing? Everyone is a bit confused at what he is doing, but Sketchit calms down, saying that he’s always done this. He anticipates it as being another of his leitmotifs for being on his show. He soon apologizes for being sidetracked, and gets back with the rest of the cartoons. They have finally investigated their threat, The Eraser. He was the one who attacked them at the hospital, and he’s probably the one who was making all of these cartoon characters disappear.  They need to find more information about this insidious threat, while trying to defend themselves from its terror. They were able to find that they were attacking the central square of the city tomorrow. Sketchit asks how they found out about it, when Rocky says that he hid a camera on the back of The Eraser when he attacked at the hospital, revealing this information before noticing the camera and taking it off. Everyone compliments Rocky, who says it was an act of child’s play. Sketchit is then introduced to the wild and crazy weapons that the team will use in fighting the Eraser and his forces. Among them are ridiculous flamethrowers, talking machine guns, giant clubs, boxing gloves, flowers with hidden TNT, and more. Popeye, grabbing a can of spinach, tells everyone to prepare their weapons for a crazy fight the next day.

 

It’s a bright day at cartoon square, with the two fountains of Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny lighting the square, and several cartoons enjoying the sunshine. Alex Spark (Spark) and Captain Kidd (The End Of The Universe) are also having a mild argument about the merits of each of their space adventures. All of the sudden, the ground begins to shake underneath them, and several cartoons speed off with great fear and panic, expressed humorously, of course. Inside the crevice comes a Godzilla like monster, colored dark purple, akin to the design of the Eraser. He is about to pick up and eat a young cartoon ferret, but he is shot with a laser, dropping the ferret. Sketchit is holding a giant laser gun which he had drawn from his sketchpad. He remarks under his breath, “That was awesome.” Suddenly, all of the cartoons come out of their hiding places, ready to fight. Fred has his trusty club, Rocky & Bullwinkle have a cannon, Popeye just ate a can of spinach, Underdog is flying in the air, “There’s no need to fear, Underdog is here!”  Darkwing Duck waits atop a nearby building, and Betty Boop  just looks for a moment, then pulls out a gigantic RPG, which is able to talk: “Let’s destroy some evil!”

 

Soon, an over the top battle ensues, full of crazy sound effects, as the heroes try to subdue the monster. Popeye and Fred try to beat up the monster, keeping it distracted, while Betty fires the RPG at it, soon breaking the fourth wall by saying, “I bet that part might have surprised you.” Sketchit fires his laser gun, scoring a few decent hits. Darkwing also swoops in to bop the monster right in its nose, feeling very proud of himself afterwards. Rocky delivers the final blow, however, by shooting Bullwinkle out of a cannon and having him hit the monster right in the gut. The monster topples back into the crevice, and after some shock, there is cheering for the victory against the monster. There are photographs taken of the famous cartoon heroes, with some people cheering wildly. Sketchit tries to get in on the action, but he is cast aside from his much more famous co-fighters. When he insists that he fought with them, all he got was great laughter, much to his dismay. He did kind of fight in an obscure and camera-shy location. (There is a montage of scenes from the fight, none showing Sketchit.) Sketchit frowns, but is still happy for his allies.

 

A large gala is soon thrown for the heroic cartoons as they are celebrating their victories. Two cartoons discuss how fast this gala was thrown together considering how the event had just happened. Many people are trying to interview the cartoons, and Betty Boop and Darkwing Duck are enjoying the spotlight greatly. Fred Flinstone also uses a bird to fly around and copy his signature to everyone. “Eh, it’s an efficient practice.” Sketchit, on the other hand, is having a hard time being let in, as the bouncers, two large gorillas, are mocking him for believing that he actually contributed to the saving of the city. Popeye eventually lets him in, apologizing for the two guys giving him a hard time. Popeye actually calls him out from the crowd, confirming that Sketchit actually did help them fight the monster. After a brief pause, and some snickering, people realize that Sketchit really was helpful, and they begin to cheer. For the first time in his drawn life, Sketchit felt like he could actually be worth something.

 

 Through a montage, we see the fame that these heroes have (re)acquired. There are movies, video games, and more about the exploits of these heroes. They even save more lives from the attacks of the Eraser. Sketchit soon feels like this is the only group of friends that he has ever truly had. ‘Friends’ wasn’t even the right word. Sketchit believed that they were truly a family, telling them how greatful he is that he took them under his wing

 

A few days later, we see him walking down the street, with much happiness, even talking to some cute animals on the his walk, and being greeted by several other cartoons. Things couldn’t be better for him, and he felt like if he could keep this up, that he could finally land his show on the network. He just needed to keep being awesome. He mentions how this may be one of the best days ever, all while stepping on a banana peel and falling into a manhole. He says that he needed to go down this manhole anyways to the cartoons watching above. As it turns out, he actually did. He travels down the manhole for an alternate route to the secret hide out of the recently dubbed ‘Hand Drawn Heroes.’ Everyone is just relaxing and playing retro-style video games until they notice that Sketchit has arrived. They welcome him aboard, and they begin to announce their next mission. They’re going to have to actually infiltrate The Eraser’s hideout to investigate.

 

Here is their plan: They’re going to set up a fake cartoon decoy (whom Sketchit will draw.) The Eraser will come to capture it, and Betty will then trail him to his hideaway. The others will teleport then when she gets the connection set up at the hideaway. They then need to examine the hideaway without being caught, which is why everyone is wearing a chameleon on their shoulders in this situation: to  have it blend in with other surroundings. Sketchit is skeptical of that working, since chameleons would just blend in with the characters, but he assumes that these people must know what they’re doing. Rocky notes that these are special chameleons that he was able to transmit color changing capabilities to other things. His explanation is very scientific. “Mr. Peabody really helped me with it!” Sketchit looks at him with a blank face, almost saying, “Damn.”. The plan begins, as Sketchit deplots a nearly robotic cartoon character: A flamingo wearing a bowtie. “I sure hope the Eraser doesn’t abduct me!” is repeated by it numerous times in the same voice. There is then a shadowy figure lurking through the city, and it finds the flamingo. It snatches the flamingo in a shadow-like bag, and it slithers away into the shadows. Betty Boop, in disguise with the chameleon, follows the Eraser.

 

She is a crafty follower, disguising herself in a variety of sneaky positions. She eventually arrives to a large car that the Eraser gets into. She hides herself in the trunk, taking advantage of the noise made by The Eraser throwing in the flamingo robotic decoy. All of the other heroeis are waiting for the teleportation hub at headquarters, believing that they will be able to get in at any moment. They all have their robotic chameleons ready. Sketchit, meanwhile, is still more excited than anyone, thinking that a few more acts like this and he’ll have his show in no time. Betty soon arrives at what appears to be a large tower far off from the rest of the city, and she is able to sneak in, soon placing a small device outside of the door. It begins to light up, and the other HDHs arrive to the scene, all of which are invisible after a moment. They set their help warning to be “THIS IS BAD! THIS IS BAD!” They soon all divide to examine the secrets of the building, each covering a different floor. They’re obviously taking important areas like mission control and archival records rather than Birthday Parties and Ice Cream Central. Bullwinkle remarks, “People with areas like that can’t possibly be evil, right?”

 

They split off, each taking stealthy manuevers and sometimes knocking out some of the Eraser’s workers. Darkwing Duck soon arrives in the CSC (Cartoon Storage Chambers) and is able to sneak in. As he enters through a vault, his eyes soon bulge as he looks around the room in shock. Several famous cartoon characters are being stored in liquid tubes, in a state of deep sleep. He-Man, Huckleberry Hound, Mickey Mouse, and Bugs Bunny are all present, among others. Daria complains about how boring this is, and how she’d like to be let out on the sooner side. Darkwing Duck soon hides away as he sees two workers coming in, investigating the area and talking about the ice cream social that’s going on at the country club in a few days. Darkwing whispers into a headset what he’s seen to everyone. Sketchit, on the other hand, is climbing through a vent as he overhears talking. He recognizes the voice as Ron Executor, the CEO of the network, and The Eraser. Sketchit draws a recording device to capture what he hears. Sketchit looks down from the ceiling, and he finds The Eraser talking to CEO Executor.

 

Executor has been blackmailed by the Eraser, threatening him to phase out the programming of famous cartoons and prevent new ones from taking the air. Executor didn’t want to comply, but the Eraser threatened him with being ‘erased’ should he not comply with the decisions that he makes. "3.14159...." Sketchit’s jaw soon drops from the ceiling, opening the vent and dangling from the ceiling. The Eraser turns around and looks at the jaw with much confusion. After tapping it, he looks up and finds Sketchit. The Eraser pulls the jaw of Sketchit down, causing him to fall onto the floor. "THIS IS BAD! THIS IS BAD!" but the Eraser shuts him up. He confronts The Eraser for doing all of this, and CEO Executor for following him this whole time. The Eraser then creates a trap that immobilizes Sketchit midair, using several chains that tie him all over the room. The Eraser explains that this is merely progress once again. He of all people should remember how CEO Executor had concerns about how kids wanted action and drama, not just stupid cartoons anymore. Sketchit tries to tell him that he’s wrong, but The Eraser interrupts him, saying that this conversation has already bought them time to find the rest of his posse.  Sketchit then sees footage of all of the heroes being round up and put into jail cells. He wanted to see them helpless against their destruction. Sketchit begs him to let them go, but The Eraser apologizes. “To make way for the future, sacrifices from the past must be made. However, we won’t make it all horrible for you in particular.”

 

Cut to a few days later, when The Eraser is preparing his final wipeout of the entire city, using the famous cartoons, now brainwashed, to do the destruction for him. Sketchit, however, has been ensured safety and finally got his own show with CEO Executor, like he had always dreamed. He has to deal with a more serious and dramatic script, much to his dismay. He also laments how he let his friends down. Meanwhile, at the jail the HDHs are kept in, all of them are in a state of dismay. Darkwing criticizes Sketchit for giving them away, but the others are a bit more forgiving, saying that he did try his best, and he’s already been though a lot in his chaotic life. “Poor kid,” Popeye says about him. The first day of shooting comes around, and Sketchit tries to think about how much entertainment he’s going to provide for these kids. Sketchit is about to film his first scene of his first episode, and everyone is prepared for one of the biggest events of the network. CEO Executor says that if anyone knows about the upcoming attack, The Eraser will personally kill both of them. Sketchit, however, digresses. Shortly after filming starts, he tells everyone about the attack, and that they all need to find a safe place. He and Executor, however, need to rescue some friends.

 

Suddenly, a Thunderstorm appears inside the studio, causing everyone to hide and run away. The Eraser appears inside the studio, while Sketchit says that he didn’t realize that he could actually detect him saying that, figuring that it was just to make the deal more dramatic. The Eraser facepalms, while Sketchit does a scribble in his pad: A poorly drawn car. It comes to life, so he and Executor escape in it. Executor criticizes the poor design of the car, but Sketchit remarks, “When you need to escape from an evil sorcerer with magical writing utensils, then you can criticize me.” They soon drive through the city, chased by The Eraser. However, The Eraser creates several more minions released from the ground: Purple-zombie like variations of the cartoon characters he’s kidnapped. They try to fend them off, but Sketchit hopes that the others are okay. Fortunately, they also manage to escape from the menaces by drawing in an extra motor to boost speed. The HDHs are still stuck in their prison cell, but a familiar face pops up from outside of the window: Sketchit. He says, with various jumps, to “Back.” “Away.” “I’m.” “Breaking.” “You.” “Out.” He is jumping on an increasily in-pain Executor. Sketchit attaches a bomb to the prison, and makes it explode a wall into the outside world, the city entering a state of terror. Sketchit tries to think of something to tell them, but they assure that they are already inspired enough to fight. Sketchit soon realizes that they won’t have to, having an epic epiphany.

 

The cartoons soon go around the city, not armed with their weapons, but with pencils of Sketchit’s creation. Rocky looks at an erased-Secret Squirrel monster, closes his eyes, and pierces him with his pencil. A large burst of light then occurs, and Secret Squirrel is returned to normal. Rocky is delighted, but Secret Squirrel believes that he was just dreaming this whole time. Bullwinkle calls to Sketchit that they’re going to need more pencils, and Sketchit keeps them coming. Soon, the HDHs are able to clean up all of the zombified characters into their natural states once more. The Eraser is appalled by this, soon transforming himself into the largest monster of all: A giant hybrid of several movie monsters: King Kong, Godzilla, Gamera, Cloverfield, and more. Sketchit looks on with a panicked! "THREE POINT ONE FOUR ONE FIVE NINE..." Everyone also realizes that pencils are too weak against this giant monster. “You idiots! It’s going to take more than that!” All of the cartoons, led by the HDHs, begin to attack the monster with all of their weapons. (Betty Boop’s talking RPG makes a return in this scene.) However, none of these seem to work.

 

Sketchit realizes that he needs to draw a gigantic pencil, stronger than anything seen before. He is guided to a warehouse safely, where a large sheet of paper is laid out. Sketchit begins to draw his vision of the most epic pencil ever (Saying that sounded more badass in Sketchit’s head.) Before he can finish, the Eraser finds and grabs him with his giant, monstrous hand. The Eraser is about to eat Sketchit, saying what a shame it is that he will fall once people actually started to like him. The HDHs run into the warehouse just in time, ready to finish the drawing with even more cool touches. It soon comes to life, much to Sketchit’s joy. Sketchit yells to fire at will, and all of the HDHs lift up the pencil, and using Popeye’s great might from spinach, throw it right into the heart of The Eraser. Sketchit soon falls down, landing on the pencil and riding it to the top of another building, while The Eraser shouts a dramatic, “NOOOOO!!!!” and begins to turn into light. After a pause, everyone begins to cheer, and Sketchit sees that the people are cheering for him. Sketchit runs down and begins to crowd surf, meeting up with the other heroes as well.

 

After much congratulation, Sketchit soon comes to a sad realitization that this isn’t really going to stop the people beyond from not watching us. CEO Executor soon walks up with a smile, holding up a live camera. We then cut to people in the real world (still in 2D but with slightly more detailed human expressions) are talking about the awesome special on Cartoon Junction. Teens, families, nerds, everyone is raving about it. With this realitization, the toons realize that their programming may be safe afterall, which leads to even more cheering. The Slug Bartender and AstroCat hug in the crowd, and Icarus flies high into the sky, lighting up some fireworks that transition to the next scene.  We soon find out that rather than start his own show, Sketchit has become the head of the DTD, Department of Toon Defense, using his powers to protect the city. He realized that this was far more fitting for him than just being on some show, still happy for his friends who continue to appear on TV. It’s true that some old friends will have to say goodbye to make way for new toons, but for now, everything is going just as it should, and for all of his life, he’ll never forget the time when he saved the world with the HAND DRAWN HEROES.

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The Aftermath

Director: Roland Emmerich

Composer: Graham Reynolds

Genre: Sci-Fi Comedy

Date: August 10

Studio: Alpha Pictures

Format: 35mm film

Budget: $75 million

Theaters: 3,401

MPAA Rating: R for some violence, language, sexual content and drug use

Runtime: 108 min

Tagline: Coexistence. It Can Wait.

Cast:

Jim Sturgress as Simon

Channing Tatum as Iortav (voice)

Olivia Wilde as Sarah

James Badge Dale as Ass Holo

Plot:

UNDER REWRITES. I want to do some better work on this as I believe it has potential to succeed.

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American Idiot

 

Director: Samuel Bayer

Composer: Green Day

Genre: Animation

Date: May 25-28

Studio: Guernica Studios

Format: 2D

Budget: $65 million

Theaters: 3,666

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 113 min

 

Cast:

 

Paul Dano as Will

Rory Culkin as Johnny

Emma Watson as Heather

Logan Lerman as Tunny

Hilary Duff as Whatshername

 

Plot:

 

Set in the recent past, the musical opens on a group of suburban youths living unhappily in "Jingletown, USA" and saturated with TV. Fed up with the state of the union, the company explodes in frustration ("American Idiot"). One of the youths, Johnny (Dano), goes to commiserate with his friend Will (Culkin) ("Jesus of Suburbia"). A third friend, Tunny (Lerman), joins the two and they party until they run out of beer, prompting them to pick up more at the local 7-Eleven.

 

Tunny soon exposes the do-nothing go-nowhere quicksand of their lives ("City of the Damned"). They get riled up, and Johnny challenges his friends to engage ("I Don't Care"). Will's girlfriend, Heather (Watson), soon makes an appearance. She is pregnant and doesn't know what to do ("Dearly Beloved"). Johnny borrows money and buys bus tickets to the city for the three young men, eager to escape suburbia. Before the boys are able to leave, Heather tells Will of her pregnancy. With no other choice, he stays home ("Tales of Another Broken Home"). Johnny and Tunny depart for the city with a group of other jaded youths ("Holiday").

While Johnny wanders the city and pines for a woman he sees in an apartment window ("Boulevard of Broken Dreams"), Tunny finds it hard to adjust to urban life and is seduced by a television ad for the army ("Favorite Son"). Tunny realizes that his generation has been so numbed and apathetic that nothing, not even the bright lights of the city, will excite him ("Are We the Waiting"). He enlists in the army.

A frustrated Johnny encounters a rebellious, drug dealer called St. Jimmy, and shoots heroin for the first time ("St. Jimmy"). Back in Jingletown, Will sits on the couch as his girlfriend's pregnancy progresses. He drinks beer and begs for a release. Meanwhile, Tunny is deployed to a war zone, and is soon shot and wounded ("Give Me Novacaine").

Johnny spends the night with the girl (Duff), he saw in the window, whom he calls "Whatsername". Johnny is smitten with Whatsername and wants to celebrate, but St. Jimmy has other plans for them ("Last of the American Girls/She's a Rebel"). Johnny and Whatsername go to a club, shoot drugs together, and have passionate sex. By this time, Will and Heather's baby girl has been born, and Will is increasingly oblivious as Heather tenderly commits herself to her baby's future ("Last Night on Earth").

Heather has had enough of Will's pot-and-alcohol-fueled apathy. Despite Will's protestations, she takes the baby and walks out ("Too Much, Too Soon"). Around the same time, lying in a bed in an army hospital ("Before the Lobotomy"), Tunny falls victim to the hopelessness he has seen during wartime and hallucinates. He and his nurse engage in a balletic aerial dance ("Extraordinary Girl"). He quickly falls in love with her. His hallucination disappears, and he's left with his fellow soldiers in agony ("Before the Lobotomy (Reprise)").

Back in the city, Johnny reveals the depth of his love for Whatsername as she sleeps ("When It's Time"). The temptation of drugs, however, is too great; Jimmy forces Johnny to become increasingly erratic, and he eventually threatens Whatsername (and then himself) with a knife ("Know Your Enemy"). Whatsername attempts to talk about Johnny's behavior, while the Extraordinary Girl dresses Tunny's wounds and Will sits on the couch, once again alone ("21 Guns"). Johnny leaves a note for Whatsername, saying he has chosen Jimmy and drugs over her. Frightened and fed up, Whatsername tells Johnny that he is not the "Jesus of Suburbia" and reveals that St. Jimmy is nothing more than "a figment of [his] father's rage and [his] mother's love" ("Letterbomb"). She leaves him.

Hurt by Whatsername's departure, Johnny longs for better days ahead, Tunny longs for home, and Will longs for all the things he's lost ("Wake Me Up When September Ends"). St. Jimmy appears and makes one last attempt to get Johnny's attention, but that part of Johnny has died, resulting in the metaphorical suicide of St. Jimmy ("The Death of St. Jimmy"). Johnny cleans up and gets a desk job but soon realizes there is no place for him in the city ("East 12th Street"). Will, all alone with his television, bemoans his outcast state ("Nobody Likes You"). As he finally gets up off the couch, Heather appears with her new show-off rockstar boyfriend ("Rock and Roll Girlfriend"). Will heads to the 7-Eleven to get away from them and, surprisingly, finds Johnny there. Johnny had sold his guitar for a bus ticket home. Tunny returns from the war zone (as an amputee) with the Extraordinary Girl. As Tunny introduces his friends to the Extraordinary Girl, Johnny becomes furious with him for leaving the group, but quickly forgives him and the three friends embrace. Heather and her boyfriend arrive. In an uneasy truce, she gives the baby to Will. Other friends show up to greet the three men they haven't seen in a year ("We're Coming Home Again"). One year later, Johnny laments that he lost the love of his life, but he accepts that he can live inside the struggle between rage and love that has defined his life. With this acceptance comes the possibility of hope ("Whatsername").

In the end the three friends meet up in a bar for beers and they perform the song "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)".

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Cannibalistic Freaks

 

Director: James DeMonaco

Genre: Horror

Date: October 14-16

Studio: Guernica Studios

Format: 2D

Budget: $15 million

Theaters: 3,266

MPAA Rating: R

Running Time: 113 min

 

Cast:

 

Emily Blunt as Tiffany

Ewan McGregor as Andy

unknown creepy face as old woman

Tom Hardy as Murderer

 

Plot:

 



Running foot claps echoe off the frost covered asphalt; a young woman is rapidly panting for breath--covered in blood spatter. Her thin arms rest on her upper thighs, preparing to regurgitate from the absolute horror she witnessed. Suddenly; a man (Hardy) steps out of the viscous ink like shadows, revealing an outrageous spectacle of cannibalistic grotesqueness. He quietly stalks her while she is occupied (hunched over--throwing up.)

 

A hulking paw grabs the back of her head; whipping her neck into an appalling contorted shape; the petrified glow in her big grey eyes, give away to the dark of night.

We see a sliver of ochre light flars across the dark snowcapped mountains; leaving a magnanimous thick fog behind. The neon vacancy sign radiates out into the narrow country road; casting a greasy yellow sheen on the cold tarmac. An ancient old woman sits behind the clerks desk, as Tiffany (Blunt) and Andy (McGregor) enters the lobby. The old woman's neck is leathery fold of skin; her blind eye is white and calloused over, and her face looks like a thick truckers atlas of wrinkles.

 

“Yeah forty-five per night.” she says with a mucus polluted voice--her chin almost touches her nose when she begins chewing the tobacco again-- spitting what looks like molasses in a tin coffee can. Tiffany looks at Andy with an expression of disapproval on her face; Andy takes note of it, but pushes the thought out of his mind. They’ve been traveling for fifteen hours straight, and really need a fresh start in the morning.

The small motel room they enter is very rustic looking: horseshoes on the wood paneled walls, elk antlers above the door frame, and solid redwood floors. To Tiffany’s surprise it is very nice inside. Andy rolls over on one side facing Tiffany on the bed; his eyes shimmer in the light; as he whisperes a sequence of sexy vulgarities, in her soft ear.

 

We cut to later: she stayed awake in nostalgia over the first time she and Andy had met.

The little old woman turns off her television; then sloppily crams the receipt book under the overcrowded desk. Arthritically walking down the creaky, rough cut wooden staircase to the motel basement. The smell of dust; decay, mold, and death reeks a nauseating odor. A macabre scene of human processing for human consumption! A tanned flesh curtain draps over the doorway, as she walks through it with a crooked smile. A hulking blood covered disfigured man; is tossing fresh body parts up on the cooler shelves. “Come on now boy!” the old woman shouts in a stern voice. “Here’s the keys to the front exit door; lock it before you get started boy. We don’t need another crazy running across the Goddamn parking lot again--all right boy! And send them down the chute this time; last time I like to never got that fucking mess cleaned up off the floors!” She looks up at him, and gives a pat on his melancholic face. “Go on now!” She sits down to a hot bowl of human gumbo, and changes the channel that is keeping the morbid freak company--a children’s alphabet channel. The old woman turns her weathered head to the chute; as a gore covered corps slides out, and across the large prep table.

Andy wakes up to a resounding thud near their room. With curiosity, he opens the door and looks down the dim lit hallway of doors; he sees a huge man casually walking into a room four doors down. A second thump -- no a third thump -- and it is getting louder. Annoyed, he gets up from underneath the warm blankets; looks down the hall once more, and sees nothing; not even the huge man again. Tiffany is in a sound slumber, so decides to investigate the strange thumping sound that was keeping him up. The narrow hallway floor is cold on his bare feet, and a strange knocking sound grows louder the further he goes on. Stepping lightly; he approaches the ajar door. He notices something warm and slick on his feet; discovering the horror of standing in a pool of blood that runs from under the door. He stands bewilderment looking down at his feet. Suddenly the door flings open! The murderer is dragging a naked convulsing lady by the hair; her heels rapidly knocking on the wooden floor. Terror shocked, Andy is frozen in stationary--and everything quickly turns black. He is kicked down the chute first, then the convulsing lady behind him.

Tiffany is startled awake in the empty bed. Assuming Andy is in the bathroom, or at the soda machine in the hall. She waits up for what seems like forever; the bathroom and hallway both is unoccupied; she begins boiling over with anxiety, and searches the down the long cold floor. Stopping and leaning into the dark shadow adjacent to the soda machine. She hears someone step out one of the rooms (heavy footsteps walking along the floor boards.) The slow moving monster is carrying a flaccid body--covered in blood--across his shoulder, and kicks the crumbled body down the chute. She covers her mouth with nervous hands--trying to hold her breath-- as the killer walks by the black shadow that conceals her presence. He shuffles through a ring of keys, as she stands squirming edgily on the brink of revealing herself. The murderer enters the room cautiously, and quietly with a heavy mallet in his leathery hand. The oak door slowly closes with no sound; she can hear the brass locks on the door when the killer locks himself in. Surging with adrenaline Tiffany jolts back to their room.

The convulsing lady begins shaking Andy back to consciousness. The near mummified woman drops her spoon in the repugnant gumbo. She walks over to where they were, and plucks a butchers knife off the magnetic bar. “We got us a wiggler.” the old woman says in a merciless voice. Andy is fading in and out; catching a glimpse of the old woman holding the knife. Warm blood leaches behind Andy’s back; as her convulsions slowly declines.

Tiffany locks the door behind her; trying to give herself more time to make a successful escape. She can hear the brutality in the next room through the walls. Thoughts of Andy, and the probability of what happened to him; makes her uncontrolled emotions escalate to a full panic.

He is struggling to stay awake; Tiffany’s face flashes once in his mind. He frightfully begins pushing the bodies away from him--some flopping off the stainless steel table. Andy fades out again, but catches a glimpse of the old woman standing above him. He struggles to keep the knife from his throat in a weakened state; he grasps her hands, and twists the blade to her stomach. A sharp thrust painfully sends her to the concrete--to bleed to death in punishment that fit her crime. He checks the upstairs door; only to find it locked from the outside, and he can’t muster up the strength to break it down.

Tiffany quickly makes a beeline for the main exit door. Expecting to burst through to the cold night; she abruptly comes to a halt; slamming her thin body on the unforgiving steel. The blood spattered killer turns sharply from his dead victim; when he hears the ruckus echo throughout the hall. Two more bodies slide down the death slide; ejecting Andy back out the gore lubed mouth again.

She breaks the mirror that is hanging around the shower head. Pulling the curtain closed, and holding the long reflective shard with both hands, so tight it cut deep into the palms of her hands. Pecking of keys on the hardwood door makes her adrenaline detonate with voltage like force. The killer completely demolishes the room looking for her. The bathroom light unexpectedly turned on; as he stans there in silence for a moment--and then leave. An extreme amount of tension leaves her body; her mind begins to relax from the jittery possibilities of what was to come. Sliding her back down the wall to a resting seat in the bathtub. Deafened by the silence. Shockingly the curtain is ripped off the metal rail; exposing her by complete surprise. In the blind darkness she stabs him in the groan with the shard, and tries to make a run for it, but he catches her leg. Dragging her to him; Tiffany kicks at his disfigured eyes (hoping to blind him.) Moaning on the floor like an animal; as he slowly pulls the reflective glass out of his wound. Rage is plastered over his mangled face. He throws his arms violently against the walls; as he get sup in a slow agonizing pain. The search for her just became personal.

Andy opens the door, and lobs a flat bar out onto the floor. He can hear the stomping of light feet quickly coming his way. Glancing with a half shadowed face around the corner; only to see a running woman in the dim light. He snatches her up, and spins her around the dark corner.

 

Tiffany’s body begins to go into violent fits; as she starts fighting Andy for her life. He pushes her against the wall--looking closely at her face. “Andy!” Tiffany speaks in a sigh of relief, as she rests her tired face on his shoulder. He curls his arm around her sweaty head to comfort her. “We don’t have much time.” Tiffany says--still holding on. A crashing blow knocks the door off its hinges! The infuriated killer looks one way down the hall, and then to the other. His breath is pulsating in hostility. Checking the rooms again; thrashing the contents around in a malicious manor.

She lies on the hall floor pretending to be in distress. The murderer spots her right off, and slowly begins to lurk after her as she crawls away. (Keeping enough distance to lure him in.) Andy steps out of the shadows, and blind sides the hulking man. Repeatedly bashing his head with the steel flat bar--making the sound of an over ripened watermelon being busted on the ground. She swipes the keys from his belt, and gives a final kick to his wounded groan. He lets out a eerily high pitched cry; as he collapsed in affliction. They run to the room; desperately sifting through the demolished remains for the car keys, “we’ve got a problem.” Andy says in a sick timorous voice. It is like a heart piercing stab of failure! Only the coagulates blood traces remained in the hollow hallway.

Heavy boots produce a blood curdling sound throughout the motel. Tiffany turns back to the exit door; trying to remain calm, and not break any keys off in the locks. Andy stans rooted to the floor; preparing himself for a gruesome battle. The footsteps came to a halt-- the only thing that can be heard is the vigorous metallic tinkles of the key ring. Without warning the slow moving monstrosity begins to run at them with remarkable speed. Rushing out of the shadows clamping a large terrifying scissor like garden tool. Andy struggles to hold him off. She opened the door, and runs out into the night. They shuffle around with each other; as the heavy door jack closes itsself back. She can hear the distressing struggle going on inside, and all at once the noise cease in the cold winter night. The long silence makes her wait unbearable. The exit door pops open squeaking a hellish sound. Andy spilles through the doorway; battered and bruised, but still very much alive. She looks through the entrance, as she is helping him to his feet. The nauseating sight makes her quickly turn her head in repulsion; as she assistes the door on its closing way with a hateful kick. She loads him up in the SUV; punches the GPS home button, and pulls out with blue smoke rolling off the rear tires. Tiffany and Andy will never return to the Southern Appalachian Mountains again. As the car fades out the credits start to roll.

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