Jump to content
Alpha

CAYOM YEAR 9 - PART I - MOVIE SUBMISSION

Recommended Posts

THE MIRAGE

 

Distributor: Studio Groundswell

Director: Fede Alvarez

Genre: Western/Horror

Release Date: July 11th, Y9

Theater Count: 3,664

MPAA Rating: R for Language, Violence, Peril, and Disturbing Imagery and Themes

Runtime: 1 hr 45 min

Budget: $20 Million

Original Score Composer: Daniel Hart

 

Major Cast

Glen Powell as Ralph Thompson

Margaret Qualley as Allison Fletcher

with Parker Sawyers as Lamonte Williams

and Eva Green as Old Ruth

 

Minor & Spoiler Cast

Spoiler

 

Spoiler

 

Parker Saywers as Cyclist #1/Leonard

Eva Green as Cyclist #2/Adeline

Margaret Qualley as Cyclist #3

Unknowns In All Other Roles

 

 

Logline

Eccentric bounty hunter Ralph Thompson searches the American West for a missing girl. Little does he know, something sinister awaits...

 

Disclaimer: No animals were harmed in the making of this film.

 

Special thanks to @4815162342 for pre-reading.

 

Plot Summary (about 5.6k words)

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1DrR_U6Aw9taWzVKOw1NoKy7duwRomERo/edit

 

Edited by SLAM!
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Go-Kart Gottlieb

Studio Groundswell

Director: Tom Tykwer

Genre: Drama

Release Date: January 24th

Theater Count: 2,370

Rating: PG-13 for Language and Thematic Elements

Budget: $40 Million

Runtime: 1 hr 36 min

Language: German

 

Major Cast

Matthias Schweighöfer as Gottlieb

Udo Kier as Felix

Numan Acar as Selim

Franka Potente as Marie

David Kross as Karl

August Diehl as Hans

 

Plot Summary

Spoiler

 

Spoiler

 

Black. Engines revving, wheels spinning. We open with a fast-motion first-person POV of a go kart racer as they drive on a track.
 

Cut to fast-cut footage of a Karting World Championship race. But then—the footage cuts back and forth from an audience in the stands to the fast cuts of karts revving across the track. Excited murmurs fill the stands. Then the karts appear, and the crowd cheers as they pass by. An official raises a checkered flag as they cross the finish line.

 

Gottlieb (Schweighöfer) and his wife, Marie (Potente), clap as the first place winner exits their kart and takes off their helmet. It’s Gottlieb—the first place finisher who hugs the fans and crew rushing to him? We cut back to Gottlieb in the stands as he stares with longing. Cut back—Gottlieb had imagined himself as the first place winner, and it’s actually Karl (Kross) pumping his fists in the air.

 

The race being over, Gottlieb and Marie walk around, and he tells her he’ll wait for her while she uses the bathroom. But Gottlieb has other plans. She enters, and he walks off.

 

Karl and his crew walk with victorious swagger while cameramen take pictures. Hans (Diehl) slips into the crowd and yells that he believes Karl’s win is illegitimate because of the technology in his kart that surpasses the other karts. He is told that Karl would not have raced if the racing organization hadn’t given his kart their approval. Hans storms away in anger.

 

Gottlieb searches through the crowds and comes across a garage where Felix (Kier), who triples as a manager, coach, and mechanic, is doing post-race things with his crew. Selim (Acar) is one of the members of his crew. Gottlieb runs in and asks Felix if he has advice on how someone can start a kart racing career from scratch. Felix looks him up and down and essentially tells him to go away.

 

Gottlieb walks out dejected—but Selim runs out to meet him, gives him a business card, and tells him he can help him get in touch with people who can help. Gottlieb thanks him.

 

Gottlieb then goes to find Marie. Suddenly, there are SCREAMS offscreen. He runs through the crowds to find the screams. It takes him a while, and he hears even more screams. Other people are running toward the screams, so he joins the human flow and finds Marie, who is on the ground and bleeding out.

 

Gottlieb kneels to her and asks the crowd what happened. Karl is at the scene and swiftly explains that he was signing autographs when Hans approached him with a knife—it was then that Marie stepped between the two men, trying to stop the attack, and Hans began stabbing her instead. He also tells Gottlieb that Hans ran off, and he gives a description of him.

 

Gottlieb takes off running to find Hans and eventually sees a sketchy man in an alleyway between white tents. He shouts at Hans, who stares at him with crazed eyes before running away. Gottlieb chases after him and loses him—or so Gottlieb thinks, because Hans ambushes him and stabs him in the shoulder. Gottlieb fights back and pins him down just long enough for security officers to rush in and detain Hans. Despite being told to stay by security, Gottlieb stumbles away.

 

From afar, Gottlieb sees paramedics carrying Marie on a stretcher and pushing it into an ambulance. Gottlieb hurries to the ambulance and shouts for Marie. When the ambulance takes off, Gottlieb to the parking lot, while keeping eyes on the ambulance, and jumps into his SUV. We cut to a shot of Felix’s POV as he stands and watches Gottlieb from far off.

 

Cut to Gottlieb driving astonishingly fast down windy roads as he attempts to keep up with the ambulance. He dodges traffic when he needs to and drives with notable skill. Inside the ambulance, the paramedics do what they need to do to keep Marie alive. They ask each other who the car following them might be—but Marie knows who it is.

 

Cut to the paramedics wheeling Marie through the hospital lobby and through the hallways. Gottlieb runs in and is stopped in his tracks by nurses who notice his condition. He asks if paramedics wheeled a woman in, and they confirm that Marie is being taken to the ICU. Gottlieb catches his breath and allows the nurses to take him to another room.

 

Days pass by as Gottlieb and Marie recover in separate rooms. Gottlieb is taken to see Marie. She will recover, but her condition will be critical for weeks, and there will be long-lasting effects. Gottlieb mutters that he’s worried about being able to pay the hospital bills. He is told not to worry about it—but he still worries.

 

One day, Gottlieb and Marie are in the hospital, and they are told that they have a visitor. It’s Felix. Gottlieb meets Felix in the hallway; Felix opens by saying that he tracked down the ambulance’s time of departure and arrival and discovered that because Gottlieb was able to catch up with the ambulance, he actually drove from the track to the hospital in less than ten minutes. Gottlieb nods. Then Felix steps closer and says that his team needs a new kart racer—but if Gottlieb accepts being the racer, then he must promise that he can drive like he did on that day. Gottlieb promises, and they shake hands.

 

But in Marie’s room, she tells Gottlieb that it seems as if he and Felix had seen each other before. Gottlieb admits that he abandoned his watch to find out how to get into kart racing, and Marie calls him childlike, reminds him that she might not have been stabbed if he had been there for her, and forbids him from pursuing the sport. Gottlieb tells her that he thinks he can earn money to help pay medical bills through the sport, and he will pursue it despite what she says.

 

Marie then says she would be better off dead if Gottlieb is speaking to her like that. Gottlieb stares at her before storming out. We cut to a still shot of the hallway; Gottlieb storms down the hallway and thinks, before making a decision and storming back toward the room. Cut back to the room, where Gottlieb bursts in and monologues about how he believes that he can drive for her just as much as he can drive for himself. Marie says she doesn’t believe that.

 

In the parking lot, Gottlieb hits the steering wheel multiple times and screams. He stares out at the hospital before driving away.

 

Two Weeks Later, Gottlieb arrives at an indoor practice track owned by Felix. He shakes hands with Felix and Selim and gets to work practicing right away. He races through the track smoothly, but Felix believes that he can go faster. So Gottlieb goes around again, but Felix again suggests that Gottlieb can go faster. Gottlieb goes around a third time, and Felix reminds him of how he drove for his wife, shouting that he needs channel that energy. Gottlieb then drives fast around the track, and Felix tells him to drive multiple laps around the track. The laps meld within each other as Gottlieb drives around the track a dizzying amount of times.

 

Match cut to Gottlieb driving during a race. We see many karts in front of him during a POV shot. Then he expertly maneuvers around the other racers and clutches second only behind Karl. On the podium, Karl admits that even though he’s younger than him, he feels indebted to Gottlieb because Marie is the reason why he’s still alive today. They share the carton of milk that is given to Karl for winning the race.

 

At his apartment, Gottlieb writes checks to pay the medical bills while Marie silently watches from a corridor. Gottlieb goes to put the envelope in the mailbox, and then goes back into the apartment—but Marie has disappeared. On the coffee table is a note—"You've found a new love, so I will get out of your way."

 

Gottlieb then goes back to the practice facility and tells Felix and Selim that he needs to quit. They try to stop him, but Gottlieb exclaims that he should never have pursued his dream at the expense of his wife—he laments that he can’t race for her anymore because she’s not with him anymore. Then, Selim asks him if he wants to race for himself. The two get Gottlieb to admit that he wants to race for himself—not only this, but the fact that he really just wanted to race for himself. Gottlieb then decides not to quit, and Felix grabs Gottlieb’s shoulder and tells him that he’s proud of him.

 

Another big race comes, but before the race, Karl shows Gottlieb the technology of his specialized kart and says that he’s asked the league to implement the technology in more karts than just his own. He says that it’s an artificial intelligence that allows the kart to analyze the track and vibrate to signal the racer of when to turn and which parts of the track to drive on. Gottlieb thanks Karl and gives him a thumbs up.

 

Gottlieb, Felix, and Selim place the A.I. technology in the go kart, and the kart revs on its own. Felix shouts in triumph because he is finally in a position to see the driver he’s managing win a race. He puts pressure on Gottlieb to win, and Gottlieb says “I won’t let you down.”

 

The AI-adorned karts line up to begin the race, and a girl waves a checkered flag to get them started. Gottlieb and Karl race against each other and are leading the pack. They begin to drive laps over slower racers as well. It all seems like a normal race until…

 

One of the slow karts they’re lapping spins out on its own. Gottlieb and Karl dodge it, but the spinning kart and the detached wheels hit other racers behind them. It is soon clear that all of the racers have lost control of their karts. Some leap out of the karts while others cannot undo their seatbelt. Soon, the karts drive into the pit stops and into the tent areas, running people over and causing all sorts of havoc. One of the karts targets a food stand selling glass bottles of milk. The milk vendor (surprise cameo by Dan Stevens) throws milk bottles at the kart in a crazed attempt to defend himself, but to no avail. The kart crashes into the stand, killing the milk vendor and destroying the glass bottles.

 

Gottlieb and Karl have leapt out of their karts and are running away from the carnage. They catch their breath thinking they’re safe. But then, a herd of karts revs behind them. Gottlieb runs to the left, but Karl keeps running forward. Karl is then run over by the herd of karts, and he dies.

 

Gottlieb rushes into a conference tent and hides behind a table that is leaning on its side. Engines begin revving offscreen; he peeks out and sees the herd of karts circling him. The engines go silent, and one kart drives forward and stops, as if confronting him. Gottlieb sees that it’s the kart given to him by Felix.

 

Fade to white and then to a flashback of Gottlieb and Marie in bed and staring up at the ceiling. Marie asks him what he desires, and Gottlieb snap-answers “you, of course.” Marie says “besides that.” Gottlieb answers that he wants to be successful in something that he enjoys doing. He doesn’t want to live life doing something that doesn’t excite him. Marie then answers that while she knows she’s hypocritical, she’s struggling to say anything other than the fact that she desires Gottlieb. The ceiling fan whirs. Gottlieb asks if the fan is spinning too fast. Marie smokes a cigarette, puffs out smoke,  and tells him to let it spin.

 

Fade to white and then back to the conference tent as Gottlieb cries and says he’s sorry as all of the engines rev as if chanting for his demise. Then Selim runs in and throws a Molotov cocktail at the karts. The karts catch fire and start driving around madly; Felix and Selim grab Gottlieb and take him away from the tent.

 

The three men flee the scene and run far away until they’re on the side of an empty, winding back road. Ambulances and police cars drive by swiftly. They stare at each other before staring directly into the camera. Cut to black.

 

 

Edited by SLAM!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

ALAKAZAM!

 

Studio Groundswell

Director: Sarah Smith and J.P. Vine

Genre: Animation

Release Date: March 21st, Y9

Theater Count: 3,875

MPAA Rating: PG for Thematic Elements, Crude Humor, and Violence

Budget: $125 Million

Runtime: 1 hr 45 min

Original Score Composer: Christophe Beck

 

Major Cast

Benedict Cumberbatch as Charles Remington

Eddie Redmayne as Houdini

Elizabeth Debicki as Penelope

Gemma Chan as Hildegard

Ralph Ineson as Solomon Iremonger

Nathalie Emmanuel as Laura

Pixie Davies as Susie

Archie Yates as Bart

Kulvinder Ghir as Black Jack

Lennie James as Mr. Banana

Barry Keoghan as Mr. Bonono

with Domhnall Gleeson as The Ace of Spades

and Idris Elba as Leo LuFranc

 

Surprise Cameos/Minor Roles

Spoiler

Henry Golding as Dante the Dove

Patrick Stewart as Old Man

Judi Dench as Old Woman

 

Logline

A stage magician must travel through his top hat the city of Alakazam when he swaps bodies with his talking rabbit partner by accident.

 

Plot Summary (about 13k words)

Spoiler
Spoiler

Opening logos. Fade in as stage lights dance around on a velvet curtain.

 

“Ladies and gentlemen… I now present… Leo LuFranc!”

 

The curtains part, revealing a stage magician striking a pose in a flashy outfit. The audience cheers as Leo LuFranc (Elba) welcomes the audience to his show. He takes off his top hat and pulls a lengthy amount of ribbon out of the hat.

 

Cut back to the ticket booth as a couple and a seven-year-old boy walk up to it. The boy (whom the “camera” focuses on) is excited and impatient, while the father and mother are quarreling with each other because they’re barely above living paycheck to paycheck and still don’t agree on whether to buy three tickets to the show is worth it for them. The ticket salesman says that the show just began and that the theater isn’t supposed to let latecomers in, but the father insists on paying for tickets so his son can see the show. The salesman takes pity and makes an exception.

 

The family steps in and takes seats near the back. Leo is still pulling the ribbon out of the hat—but something tugs the ribbon from inside the hat. He yanks the ribbon out—a gray rabbit had been holding onto the ribbon from inside. Leo boops the rabbit on its nose, and it begins to levitate above Leo like a balloon, prompting oohs and aahs from the audience (as well as the boy). Then Leo takes the ribbon and twirls it fast like a whip—he had been wearing a black and red suit, and after the ribbon moved across his body, it became a purple and yellow outfit. He twirls the ribbon again—now it’s red and green. More applause.

 

Then Leo pulls out a deck of cards and blows on it like a candle. The cards scatter into the air and levitate. The rabbit swims through the air, selects a card, brings it down to Leo, and floats away. Leo announces that the rabbit has selected the Six of Diamonds. Then he signs the card, places the card in his hand, and whistles; the cards in the air rush back to his hand, forming a pristinely-shuffled deck. Then he tosses the cards to the audience. They jump out of their seats trying to grab cards—and one card dances through the crowd and lands right in the boy’s hand.

 

The boy sees that he’s holding a signed Six of Diamonds. And other people in the crowd begin shouting that they’ve caught a signed Six of Diamonds as well. The audience is dumbfounded. They rise to their feet and give a roaring standing ovation. The rabbit perches on Leo’s shoulder, and they both take a bow.

 

Dissolve to after the show, with the family in line for Leo’s autographs. It’s finally their turn, and the boy looks up at him in awe. Leo notices him and stoops to his level to say hello. But the boy is shy and hides behind his parents. Leo tells him not to be afraid and asks him his name.

 

“Charles,” the boy answers.

 

Leo asks him what he wants to be when he grows up. Charles points at Leo, who laughs heartily in response and proclaims to Charles that he can do anything he sets his mind to. Then, an assistant tells Leo that he’s needed backstage. A tinge of worry appears on Leo’s face… He nods at Charles and walks off. Charles simply stares in awe.

 

Fade to a montage that corresponds with the following voice-over monologue by an older Charles Remington (Cumberbatch), who’s now in his 30s—

 

Charles (V.O.): I had no way of knowing it… But that was Leo LuFranc’s final show. He vanished a few weeks later, and no one has seen him since. His disappearance was all over the news, and many tried to find him; alas, he was gone without a trace. Of course, that made me want to follow in his footsteps even more. I begged my parents for a magic kit and spent countless hours alone in my room, perfecting the craft of stage magic. Naturally, my passion thwarted my secondary goal of making friends at school—a secondary goal, mind you. But the bullies were no matter to me. For I kept at it, tirelessly chipping away at my desire—that of I, Charles Remington, standing tall as the next great stage magician—the next Leo LuFranc! And now, my audience, I must ask you a question near and dear to my heart…

 

Cut to Charles on a London sidewalk, turning flamboyantly to an ‘audience’ of ten spectators with a Three of Clubs in his hand.

 

Charles: Is this your card?

 

The ‘audience’ is dumbfounded—but not in a good way. Charles waits for applause and asks why they didn’t clap. They admit that while the routine was fine, they weren’t blown away by it.

 

Charles: Not blown away? But I’m Charles Remington! The finest magician in London—in theory!

Spectator #1: But we’ve seen card tricks a million times. What you did wasn’t unique.

Charles: Must I do it again? I’m doing it again.

 

The spectators groan. Charles does a card trick where one spectator picks a card out of the deck (the Jack of Hearts); then he shuffles the deck and drops all of the cards on the ground. And he reaches into his coat and grabs a Jack of Hearts—then shakes his sleeves, with multiple Jack of Hearts falling out of his sleeves.

 

At that point, the spectators start walking away. Charles tells them to wait, but it’s futile. Charles stoops to collect his cards as the spectators talk amongst themselves while walking off.

 

Spectator #2: What a joke. Can’t magicians wow us anymore?

Spectator #3: Goes to show Leo LuFranc was in a league of his own.

 

Charles frowns at his failure to be entertaining. We cut to Charles working an undesirable fish processing job at a quaint seafood market. By that sequence, it’s safe to say he’s not enjoying it.

 

Then Charles trudges into to his apartment bedroom, which is barren except for posters of Leo LuFranc, a bed, a desk, and a drawer. He sits at his desk and opens his laptop—then, an annoying roommate knocks and opens the door. The roommate is holding a muffin in his hand.

 

Charles: Yes?

Roommate: You wouldn’t happen to know where my muffin is, would you?

Charles: It’s in your hand.

Roommate: Is it?

Charles: Yes.

Roommate: You wouldn’t lie to me, would you?

Charles: No. I wouldn’t.

Roommate: I’m gonna find my muffin, Charles.

Charles: Yep. You do that.

 

The roommate walks out of the room.

 

Roommate (O.S.): Oh, it was in my hand the whole time! Ha!

 

Charles sighs and turns back to his laptop. He stares at the search engine on the screen and types in “how to be a real magician”—to his surprise, he sees an ad for Solomon’s Toys and Trinkets, a shop in London. The words “real magic” are a part of the slogan. He reads the slogan aloud and resolves to visit the shop that night—and he better hurry since it closes in twenty minutes.

 

Charles takes the subway train and makes it to Solomon’s Toys and Trinkets right before it closes. Literally right before—when Charles bursts inside, a flip clock on the cashier’s desk strikes 9:00 PM. Cut to Solomon Iremonger (Ineson), the crafty man behind the desk, who tells Charles he’s closed without bothering to look up from the crystal ball he’s polishing. Charles asks Solomon to give him a chance, but Solomon won’t budge and tells him to come tomorrow. As a last-ditch effort, Charles reveals that he’s a struggling magician looking for “real magic.”

 

Solomon cocks an eyebrow. He sets down the crystal ball. “One moment please,” he says as he scurries away. Charles waits idly for a moment before Solomon comes back with a pen and a piece of paper with lots of text on it.

 

Solomon: Are you sure you want to know about real magic?

Charles: I am. I need to know how real magic works!

Solomon: Please sign this non-disclosure agreement. If you tell anyone what you see, there will be consequences.

(Charles takes the pen. He hesitates for a moment before signing the paper.)

Solomon: Follow me.

 

Charles follows Solomon into a storage room (where Solomon uses an absurd amount of keys to open the door). What’s inside the store is more magic equipment like the stuff on display in the store—but something’s different about these particular items.

 

Charles: So, uh… What exactly is real magic?

Solomon: …What did you say your name was again?

Charles: Charles Remington!

Solomon: …You must be street level.

Charles: Uh, well, you see…

Solomon: Suddenly this interaction makes much more sense. No matter. You decided you want this, and who am I to stop you. Listen up: the magic I’m sharing with you… Is Real. Magic.

Charles: Real… Magic?

 

Charles realizes it and gasps, covering his mouth in surprise. He acts giddy as Solomon pulls out a black flute case.

 

Solomon: Every good magician needs a wand.

 

Charles stares aghast at the wand.

 

Charles: May I...

 

He reaches for it, and Solomon snaps the case shut, hurting Charles's finger. Charles yanks back.

 

Solomon: It's not yours yet...

Charles: Sorry... Geez...

 

Solomon explains other items he’s giving to Charles as he does so. He gives Charles a black coat with red velvet interior (he tosses it up, and it swirls in the air before flying onto Charles's body), and then a deck of cards (the cards, scattered on the floor, rise up into a neat stack in Charles's palm). Charles reacts to both of these items in awe. Lastly, Solomon gives Charles a top hat—and Solomon pulls a rabbit with black-and-white fur, Houdini (Redmayne), out of the hat. Houdini wears a bartender-style getup with a white shirt, red vest, and red tie.

 

Solomon: ...and any magician worth their salt requires a partner.

Houdini: Uh. Pleasure to meet you, sir.

Charles: (does a double-take) A talking rabbit!

Solomon: A talking rabbit from Alakazam. Where real magic comes from!

Charles: Alakazam?

Houdini: A city full of creatures like me. It’s quite nice!

Solomon: And it’s where all the operations behind the scenes of magic tricks take place!

Charles: And… To be perfectly clear… You’re giving me access to all of this?

Solomon: You signed the paper, this is what you wanted… So yes.

Charles: Now I’ll surely be the next Leo LuFranc! Thank you, Solomon!

 

Houdini hops into the hat. Charles gathers his items and turns to go. Solomon asks him to wait.

 

Solomon: If nothing else, remember my warning: if you are caught using this magic, or you misuse it… Alakazam’s Court of Suits will find you. And there will be grave consequences.

(Charles thinks for a moment.)

Charles: Well, hiding thing's part of the tricks, I'd say. (grins)

Solomon: Do heed my warning. Off you go.

 

Charles hurries out. Solomon watches him go before laughing to himself. It’s a disconcerting type of laugh. He glances again at the paper Charles signed. “You fool,” he says with a smirk. “Now I have you in the palm of my hand…”

 

The next day, Charles sets up his magic show on the same street corner from before. He gets the attention of pedestrians and tries to pull Houdini out of the hat. But Houdini won’t come out due to stage fright. Charles eventually convinces Houdini, and the two of them perform “magic tricks” that are reminiscent of Leo LuFranc’s stage show. This astonishes the pedestrians, and they all cheer Charles on. One of the pedestrians is seeing taking a video with their smartphone.

 

We get a single shot of Charles rushing into the seafood market, quitting his job, and rushing away while laughing in glee. That shot is followed by a montage of Charles performing and becoming a viral sensation as time goes on. After the montage, he enters his apartment and gives his roommate a whole bucket of muffins as a gift, so that he won’t lose track of his muffins again. In his room, Charles reads e-mails and sees an offer to perform magic tricks on the S.S. Spearfish, a cruise ship. Charles jumps with delight; he jumps backward and crashes on his bed.

 

…But something’s not quite right. Houdini, who’s in the room with him, celebrates their success and congratulates Charles for a job well done. When Houdini asks him what’s wrong, Charles admits that he feels like he hasn’t earned his success. Houdini commends Charles for being brave to perform magic at all and that many magicians before him have used real magic.

 

This cheers Charles up, and together they resolve to put on a good show on the cruise ship. They begin planning their first elaborate onstage show together. We fade from his room to an exterior shot of the Spearfish as passengers board. While boarding, Susie (Davies), a precocious kid, drops her Nancy Drew novel, which is picked up and given back to her by Bart (Yates), another precocious kid. They strike up a conversation about how they’re excited to see the magician’s show. Further in line, a hooded Solomon picks at his mustache as he proceeds onto the ship.

 

We get a collection of shots that show the Spearfish taking off. Cut to Charles leaning on the deck’s fence as he scans the open seas. Houdini sits on his shoulders and asks him if he ever left London before. Charles was never able to leave London; now, on the Spearfish, he’ll be able to see locations in Northern Europe that he’s never seen before. Charles’s spunky assistant Laura (Emmanuel), a new hire, finds Charles and says she’s looked everywhere for him; they need to start setting up! Laura drags Charles away…

 

Later that night, audience members start gathering in the cruise ship’s auditorium. Bart and Susie, who are now friends due to their shared enthusiasm for stage magic, sit in the front row while Solomon watches from the shadows in the back.

 

In a storage room backstage, Charles and Houdini discuss some final things about their show. When Laura walks in, she says it’s almost time and asks Charles who he was talking to. Charles hides Houdini behind his back and says he was only speaking to himself. Laura puts her hands on her hips and asks him if he’s nervous. When Charles says yes (not really meaning it), Laura steps closer and encourages him in a blunt manner, telling him she didn’t slog through four years of performing arts college just so her partner would fumble in their first performance. “Now let’s saw me in half and entertain these folks while doing it!” she says. When she leaves, Charles looks back at Houdini and reminds him not to be nervous, as Houdini studied magic show assistance at his college in Alakazam and knows exactly what to do. Houdini promises he’ll try and hops back into the top hat.

 

Charles walks onto the stage and welcomes his audience. He begins his show by presenting a box; Laura is the woman in the box, and Charles pulls a saw out of his top hat and saws the box in half. Laura is actually severed, but it isn’t graphic at all and she’s very much still alive. The crowd erupts in cheer. Then Charles pulls Houdini out of the hat; Houdini blows a bubble with a bubble blower, and Charles puts an entire deck of cards inside of the bubble. One by one, the cards splinter off from the deck and float in their own smaller bubbles; the bubbles float through the auditorium. Bart and Susie pop a bubble and shout that they just caught the Six of Diamonds. With a wave of Charles’s wand, the bubbles return to hovering above the stage; the Six of Diamonds levitates in the air, a bubble form’s around it, and it joins the other bubbles. Houdini flies through the air as the bubbles float around him; when he catches the Six of Diamonds, the other bubbles pop and the other cards fall away like feathers. Charles gets a standing ovation. Solomon mutters “your fifteen minutes are coming to an end, Remington,” as he sneaks out.

 

Cut from Charles and Houdini bowing to Charles walking backstage toward the storage room. Bart and Susie have snuck backstage and show him t-shirts—they want his autograph. A security guard tries to shoo them away, but Charles says he’ll allow it just this once, signing the shirts and asking for their names. They answer “Bart and Susie,” and Charles says he’ll tell them what Leo told him: they can do anything they put their minds to. Charles walks off, and Bart and Susie exchange looks of star-struck giddiness.

 

Cut to a now-intact Laura leading Charles into the storage room. Laura rants about the show because even she doesn’t know how Charles severed her in half since that trick takes two assistants instead of one—but no matter because their success onstage deserves to be celebrated at the bar. Charles tells Laura to go on ahead and that he’ll catch up with her. Before she goes, he asks her to wait. “I’m grateful to have a fan as dedicated to my act as you, Laura,” says Charles. Laura shrugs it off, telling him that at their current pace, Charles will have many more zealous fans than her. Laura exits. Charles takes Houdini out of the hat, and they celebrate together.

 

Charles gallivants around, praising himself for his great show. Houdini tries to get Charles’s attention, as his pride is reaching a dangerous level. Too focused on boasting to think clearly, Charles takes out his wand and waves it around half-hazardly—but its tip is pointed toward him!

 

Charles: And the whole world will know the name... Charles—

Houdini: Wait! The wand!

 

BOOOOOSH! A magic force knocks Charles back in a slow-motion shot. The rabbit watches in its own slo-mo shot as he falls away from Charles and flips around in the air. Charles’s body crashes into a loud row of lockers and falls to the floor like a ragdoll.

 

Cut to black…

 

We get POV shots of the magician as he wakes up. “Hey,” says a voice. “Are you all right?” The magician looks up and sees that the rabbit is perched on his chest with its head very close to the magician’s face. “Aah!” says the magician and he shakes off the rabbit and backs away. He looks at his own body and asks himself why he’s human. “Wait! That’s…” The magician looks down at the rabbit, who’s thumping his foot madly. The magician realizes what’s happened, and we cut to another silent exterior shot of the cruise ship as he screams.

 

Charles (Cumberbatch) now occupies the rabbit’s body, while Houdini (Redmayne) now occupies the magician’s body. Houdini freaks out, calling it a disaster, and Charles tries to calm him down saying that they need to focus on changing themselves back. Charles waddles over to his wand and tries to pick it up, but because of his rabbit paws, he keeps dropping the wand. Charles asks Houdini if he knows how to use the wand, but Houdini informs him that rabbit partners are only allowed to be the magician’s assistant and are forbidden to use magic wands. When Charles begs him to at least try, Houdini says “just this once” and flicks the wand at Charles, launching an electric bolt and zapping him. The zap launches the rabbit across the room; Charles is okay, but he says they better not try that again.

 

Houdini drops the wand and panics, thinking they might be stuck in the wrong bodies. He runs to a mirror and examines the human body, lamenting the fact that he has pimples. (Charles corrects him saying they’re birthmarks.) Suddenly, someone knocks on the door. They both panic for a bit, and Charles tells Houdini to pretend he’s him, and he hides behind cardboard boxes while Houdini answers the door. It’s a group of S.S. Spearfish event organizers, who inform Houdini that the next day’s performer, a singer, has a bad case of strep throat and can’t perform the next night and that they want Charles Remington to put on an encore performance to fill the gap in the schedule. Houdini tries to refuse, but the organizers insist, and Houdini accepts the gig.

 

“See you on stage in about 24 hours!” they tell him. They leave, and Houdini shuts the door and begins hyperventilating. Charles comes out and waddles to the mirror. If they don’t figure out a way to change themselves back by the time the show starts, Charles muses, then his career will be finished—not to mention he’ll be in trouble with the authorities Solomon warned him about. “I’ll never be the next Leo LuFranc like this!” Charles laments.

 

“Did you say Leo LuFranc?” Houdini asks. Charles tells him Leo LuFranc is his childhood idol and one of the most legendary stage magicians of his time—or he was before he disappeared. Charles reveals that his whole reason to make a name for himself as a magician was to fill the societal void that Leo’s disappearance created. Houdini sits on the floor in criss-cross applesauce. “I have an idea,” he says, “but first, there’s something I must tell you.”

 

Houdini reveals that Leo LuFranc is rumored to be living among the rabbits and other creatures in Alakazam. When Charles asks why the magicians on earth never knew about this, Houdini reveals that the number of magicians harnessing magic from Alakazam is numerous—but only a handful know of Alakazam, hence why none of them think that Leo LuFranc might be there. Houdini takes off the top hat and points inside of it, telling Charles that it could be worth it for Charles to travel to Alakazam and find Leo LuFranc before the next show since Leo surely knows how to change them back to normal.

 

Charles hops around in excitement, as he always wanted to meet Leo again. Houdini warns Charles that if the wrong folks in Alakazam find out a human is inhabiting Houdini’s rabbit body, then both of them will be in trouble with the city’s Court of Suits as human foreigners are forbidden from entering Alakazam, and he tells Charles to start his search by finding Black Jack’s Tavern—there are creatures working there who seem to have a connection to everything.

 

Without further ado, Charles proclaims that he’s ready to go! Houdini, caught off guard by his gung-ho attitude, asks him to wait (as he’s not quite finished explaining everything), but Charles scurries forward, leaps in the air, and dives inside the top hat. “Mr. Remington!” Houdini cries.

 

****

 

Charles falls into a pitch-black hole. Suddenly, he finds himself sliding. It’s an invisible slide that curls to break his speed. After a tense moment, the slide drops him into a pit of colorful ribbons. He peeks his head out of the pile, shaking the ribbon off his head. A female rabbit in a secretary uniform approaches him with a clipboard and pencil, taking notes about “Houdini’s” appearance. She asks him how he feels (to check up on him). “Flabbergasted,” says Charles. “All right, I’ll jot that down, you’re free to go, Mr. Houdini,” she says in quick succession.

 

Charles walks through the Top Hat Terminal, a facility where rabbits work behind the scenes of magic shows to provide them with the “magic” part. A few blue-collar rabbits carry magicians’ items (such as ribbons and cards) back and forth to various locations. Charles even sees a room where rabbits are typing away at computers to provide magic shows with visual effects.

 

Charles makes his way to the terminal’s front entrance and finds himself gawking at the stunning metropolis of Alakazam that stands before him. There are a lot of skyscrapers around, and there’s an abundance of anthropomorphic creatures out and about. Charles waddles up to a rabbit mime, and Charles asks the mime for directions to Black Jack’s Tavern. The mime keeps miming, and Charles keeps asking for directions until he finally figures out that the mime is detailing the path to Black Jack’s Tavern. Charles says the directions aloud, thanks the mime, and scurries away.

 

Charles scurries past two bananas who sit on a bench reading newspaper. They are Mr. Banana (James) and Mr. Bonono (Keoghan), two tuxedo-wearing policemen who happen to be bananas. They agree there’s something fishy about the rabbit who scurried past them. They abandon their newspapers and follow the trail, scuttling sideways out of frame, cuz they are sneakin’…

 

Charles hurries down a city sidewalk and runs into a female rabbit with sandy blonde fur. This is Penelope (Debicki), and she looks very happy to see him!

 

Penelope: Houdini! Where’ve you been! I’ve been trying to reach you!

Charles: Uh… Hi! I’ve been, uh…

Penelope: Working for that magician of yours? You’re so focused on assistance, it’s crazy! You should take a break! There’s a hang-out at my apartment tonight!

Charles: That sounds fun, but I really have to get going!

Penelope: Well, you’re never in this much of a rush! Is something wrong? What’s the matter?

Charles: I, uh… Okay. You know Houdini, so you’ll understand: I’m not Houdini.

Penelope: Ha, ha, very funny.

Charles: No, really! I’m his magician, Charles Remington! We switched bodies!

Penelope:Oh.

Charles: And I have to find a way to fix it by tomorrow! Is there any way you could help me?

 

Penelope thinks for a moment. She crosses her arms and turns away, thumping her foot and telling him she refuses to help. When Charles asks why, she tells him that if human magicians don't care about their rabbit partners, then why should she care about him? Charles doesn’t know what she means, and Penelope says that magicians have been known to be mean to their rabbit partners, and because she doesn’t like magicians, she’s leaving Charles on his own.

 

Mr. Banana and Mr. Bonono appear on the sidewalk, having followed Charles. “All right, is this rabbit bothering you miss?” Mr. Bonono asks Penelope. She shouts that Charles is a human. “You mean unauthorized foreigner!” says Mr. Banana. The policemen pull sledgehammers from their tuxedos. When Charles asks what they are, Penelope tells him those hammers are called “bonkers”—they’re designed to knock suspects unconscious without hurting them. Charles starts running, and the bananas pursue. “Good luck, magician!” Penelope says as Charles runs away.

 

Charles runs straight down the sidewalk as the bananas pursue. Cars pass on the road ahead of the sidewalk; Charles hops out on the street and dodges cars to buy time for running away—but the bananas are just as skilled at dodging cars and keep pursuing anyway. Meanwhile, Penelope’s walking along on the sidewalk when she tells herself, “wait… It’s his magician, but it’s still Houdini’s body… I better see what happens…” And she scurries toward the action.

 

Charles ducks into an alleyway—dead end. “Stop right there, human!” Mr. Banana yells. The bananas step closer and closer to Charles, who has to think about how to get away. Penelope appears from the shadows of an unnoticed alleyway and watches curiously. Charles whispers to himself, “I’m human… I’m a rabbit… I’m a rabbit…” With this realization, he hops to the wall and wall-jumps over the banana policemen, reaching an impressive height while doing so. In their haste to react, the bananas bump into each other, knocking each other down as Charles gets away. Penelope, who saw the whole thing, looks impressed.

 

The bananas run out onto the sidewalk. Charles is hiding underneath them, below the railing of a lower ground floor apartment. The bananas run further down the sidewalk, meaning Charles has evaded capture. Charles breathes in and out for a moment, then… CLANG! Charles gasps as Penelope appears above him. “It’s you again!” Charles says. Penelope apologizes for snitching, saying that after seeing how he got away, she knows he’s not the kind of magician she despises. In light of this, Penelope agrees to help Charles, not for his sake, but for Houdini’s sake.

 

Charles: Thank you! I’ll owe you one!

Penelope: Thing is, I’m in a hurry myself. I can only answer questions, then I must be off.

Charles: That’s perfect! All I need is directions to Black Jack’s Tavern.

Penepole: Oh, I know that place. Let’s see. Hmmm. Go right from here, take another right, walk down five blocks, take a left and go down fifteen more blocks, and it’s on the corner of Sparkle Street and Candy Cane Boulevard. Can’t miss it.

Charles: …Okay, I think I have it. Thank you… Miss…

Penelope: Penelope. Maybe you’ll need that name. I dunno.

Charles: …Wait! Will I see you again? Since I’m Houdini and all?

Penelope: …Perhaps.

 

Penelope scurries away as Charles looks on. We cut to Black Jack’s Tavern as Charles, who let the sun go down during his search, finally finds the tavern. He walks up to the door, and all of a sudden, a drunk squirrel crashes through one of its windows, landing hard on the sidewalk before stumbling away. Charles gulps before waddling in.

 

He walks past the bar’s animal patrons, who look like they’re all from the rough side of town. He takes a seat at the bar and nods to the bartender, an Indian pangolin (think: scaly anteater) who happens to be Black Jack himself (Ghir). “Whisky,” says Charles. The bartenders surrounding Black Jack burst into laughter, though Black Jack stays serious. He slides Charles a glass of an orange-colored drink. “Carrot juice,” he says. “That’s what we got for a rabbit.” Too exhausted to complain, Charles takes a sip of the carrot juice. To his surprise, it tastes pretty good!

 

Then a fight breaks out at a table behind them; a beaver and a capybara are brawling it out. Then a female, somewhat muscular fairy (Chan) storms in, and the brawlers immediately stand at attention. “All right you two, who started it!” she yells as she cracks her knuckles. When they blame each other, the fairy grabs both of them and hurls them out of the window. (We get shots of them crashing through the glass and landing on the sidewalk.) “You exceeded your monthly window breaking allotment,” says a deadpan Black Jack. The fairy brushes dust off her hands and tells him to take it out of her pay. She strides next to Charles and leans against the bar.

 

Hildegard: You’re new. Doesn’t seem like you’re around these parts.

Charles: You could say that.

Hildegard: Hildegard. Pleasure to meet you. This here’s Black Jack.

 

Charles and Hildegard shake hands. Charles explains that he’s a “real magic” magician stuck in his rabbit partner’s body and that he’s searching for Leo LuFranc as he believes Leo knows how to reserve the accident. Hildegard and Black Jack exchange a look. She tells Charles that they’re willing to give him information, but in exchange, he needs to do them a favor.

 

“What favor?” asks Charles. Wanting privacy, Hildegard and Black Jack begin shooing other customers out of the tavern, as they’re closing early; Black Jack puts a “closed sign” on the front door. When they’re alone, they tell Charles that they’re planning on heisting some stolen items from Dante the Dove and his pigeon posse; Hildegard’s ring is one of the stolen items. When Charles asks why the ring is important, Hildegard says it’s a tradition for fairies to wear rings passed down from each generation—so the ring, given to her by her grandmother, is priceless. Charles tries to back out, saying he’s not a thief, but Black Jack reminds him that technically, he’s stealing “real magic” from Alakazam’s energy sources and its citizens. Hildegard promises Charles he’ll be fine if he follows their plan. With no other ideas, Charles agrees to help them.

 

****

 

Fade to the cruise ship as it sails on during the night. In a restaurant, Laura eats sushi with chopsticks at a rotating sushi bar and loudly tells the diner next to her about how Charles Remington is a viral sensation and her choice to work with him was an outside-the-box career decision that’ll lead to her becoming a famous actress. The other diner nods and says they agree that Remington’s performance was impressive but doesn’t say much beyond that. Laura pounds her fist on the bar, shouting that Remington’s act is an earth-shattering phenomenon that deserves greater levels of excitement. The diner perpetuates their reasonable stance by casually stating that Remington’s magic show exceeded their expectations. Laura stands up, shouts “he’ll be one of the greats, just you wait!” and storms off with the chopsticks still in her hand.

 

An exhausted Houdini trudges around and collapses in a seat at a fancy bar. He isn’t wearing the top hat as he wisely hid it in a box in the storage room. “Carrot juice,” he tells the bartenders. The bartenders laugh at his order, and Houdini sighs. Across from the bar, Bart and Susie rendezvous with their parents, who ask if they had fun playing in the arcade. Bart and Susie’s explanation of their fun is interrupted by the unmistakable costume and figure of Charles Remington at the bar. They beg the parents to take them to him so they can say hello, but the parents say no since it looks like the magician needs time to himself. The parents take Bart and Susie on their separate ways. “Let’s go to bed, okay?” Bart and Susie agree to go to bed to their parents, but they secretly wink at each other…

 

Meanwhile, Houdini slumps on the bar and stares into space. Solomon sits next to him, which spooks Houdini. Solomon asks the bartender for two double shots of whiskey, one for each of them. He turns to Houdini and, thinking he’s Charles, congratulates him on a great show. Houdini, who sweats a bit, thanks Solomon and asks him why he’s on the cruise ship. Solomon lies and says he’s curious about the budding magician’s approach to using real magic. Racking his brain and remembering Charles, Houdini answers, “well, I’m inspired by Leo LuFranc!” Solomon’s eye twitches after hearing that name. “Well, that makes two of us…” says Solomon.

 

The bartender plops two whiskey double-shots on the table. Houdini stares into space again; Solomon dips a finger into Houdini's shot glass (without being noticed) and spikes it with a purple substance that seeps from his finger into the whiskey. Solomon tells Houdini that the magician next to him (Remington) is different in person than he is on stage and that they should loosen him up to get him out of his shell. Houdini is confused, but he says yes. Solomon tells him they should drink to a successful show, to bright futures, and to Leo LuFranc. Solomon chugs it down in one gulp, and Houdini brings the glass to his lips—

 

But chopsticks clamp down on Houdini’s glass, stopping him from drinking. It’s Laura, who had seen Solomon spike his glass and had waited for the right moment to intervene. Laura takes the glass away from Houdini; she greets Charles, sits next to Solomon, and introduces herself. She sniffs the spiked glass and calls over the bartender, telling him her drink smells funny and that she’d like another. The bartender smells the drink and agrees, saying he’ll pour another on the house. Solomon breaks into a sweat as Laura asks who he is. “This is Charles’s—er, this is my friend, Solomon Iremonger!” answers a clueless Houdini. “We met in his toy shop in London!”

 

Laura asks Solomon more questions, and she communicates to Houdini with his eyes, telling him to leave. Confused but willing to trust Laura, Houdini stands and tells Solomon that he’s tired and that he needs to go back to his cabin. Houdini leaves, and Solomon tries to get up so he can follow him, but Laura holds Solomon down. “Don’t you want to get to know me?” she asks. Solomon eyes the bartender, who looks amused; staring at Solomon, he nods toward Laura, communicating ‘I’d stay if I were you.’

 

Houdini walks through the hallways to find his cabin. The magic jacket he’s wearing tugs down to get his attention; he rummages through the pocket and finds a key with a room number. When he enters the cabin, the jacket flies off his body and hangs itself on the coat rack. Houdini crashes onto the bed and curls into a ball like a rabbit. He almost dozes off, but he catches sight of the mirror and sees the magician’s body. “I’ll see you again, Penelope,” he whispers. “I promise.”

 

Meanwhile, Bart is following Susie around corridors. We discover through their whispered banter that Susie wants to eavesdrop on cabin doors, seeking to discover some secrets because she wants to be like Nancy Drew. “This is dangerous, but I’ll follow you,” Bart whispers—“but only if I’m Sherlock.” They lean against a cabin door and overhear the TV inside blaring a soccer match. Bart asks her if she can make out which teams are playing. As they listen to the match, Solomon walks into the corridor from the other side, now wearing a black eye (which is implied to have come from Laura). Solomon doesn’t notice the kids as he’s busy massaging the bruised part of his head; he enters his cabin, and the kids sneak over to his door and eavesdrop.

 

Solomon looks in his mirror and examines his black eye, mumbling to himself that Laura hadn’t punched him near a public area, he would have punished her. A purple mist seeps out from his pores and swirls around the eye; when it dissipates, the black eye has been healed.

 

Bart: Wait—who’s Laura?

Susie: Shush!

 

Solomon paces around. He throws a desk chair across his cabin and monologues to himself as Bart and Susie listen in. “The man I spoke to… That wasn’t Remington. No. That was his rabbit. I’m sure of it. Same voice, for certain. How could this be? …Oh well. I can seize that body no matter the host… And when I seize LuFranc… It’ll be Remington who pays the price…”

 

Solomon emits a quieter, more sinister rendition of the classic villain laugh. Bart and Susie quietly hurry away from Solomon’s cabin door; they hide behind a corner and whisper about how Charles might be in trouble. But is Remington’s rabbit inside his body? What’s going on?! They resolve to find Charles tomorrow morning to investigate the matter—and for them, that means getting a good night’s rest! They pinky-promise and sneak further down the corridor…

 

****

 

Fade to a sketchy warehouse in Alakazam as Charles, Hildegard, and Black Jack sneak around the exterior. Hildegard repeats the plan: Charles will act as a birdseed salesman and distract the pigeon posse while the others sneak in and stealthily take the ring from their safe. Charles asks if they’re sure it’ll work, and Hildegard tells him it’s not their first time doing a heist like this. “We do some Robin Hood things,” Black Jack clarifies. Charles hesitates, and he says he’s ready.

 

In the warehouse, pigeons gather around Dante the Dove (Henry Golding), who sits crossed-legged on a fancy chair as the pigeons show him items they’ve pickpocketed throughout the day. Dante the Dove readjusts his fedora and tells them to put the best items in their safe. “There’s someone here, boss,” says a goon. When the goon tells them that it’s a birdseed salesman, Dante sends two goons to let him in (as he’s in a good mood and wants some amusement).

 

Two goons open a backdoor of the warehouse and notice Charles, who’s dressed in a part-time delivery hat and shirt. The goons drag him inside and take him to Dante, who demands to know what makes his birdseed so special. Charles makes up some reasons on the spot, and Dante believes it. Some of the goons taste test the birdseed and seem to like it. In the background, we see Hildegard gliding through the air and Black Jack rolling armadillo-style, both unnoticed as they reach the safe. Charles continues, telling them that they can have the birdseed he brought them for free and they can call his business if they want to buy more.

 

Hildegard and Black Jack open the safe and start sweeping its contents into a bag. Charles sees them and knows he needs to buy more time. “Before I go,” he tells Dante, “would you like to know what I’m up to in my spare time?” Dante says yes, and Charles tells him he’s a stage magician. Dante tells him he wants to see a magic trick. Charles asks him which magic trick he wants to see. (We get a shot of Hildegard and Black Jack closing the safe and hurrying away.)

 

Dante tells him he wants to see one of his goons disappear. Charles explains that a trick that complex takes some coordination to pull off the illusion and that it’s not something he can pull off on short notice. This offends Dante, as he says “if you can’t make a goon disappear, then I’m not sure if you’re really a magician!” Charles backs away and tries to offer to show them another magic trick, but the pigeons don’t listen as they slowly walk toward him…

 

Then a police car bursts through the warehouse’s garage door, startling everyone. Mr. Banana and Mr. Bonono step out of the car and hold up their bonkers, telling them that Dante is under arrest for reasons involving his organized crime. Dante sends his pigeon posse after the banana policemen, but Mr. Bonono does a spin move and bonks a whole bunch of pigeons at once.

 

Hildegard and Black Jack peek their heads in and see that Charles is in trouble. “You know I’m not leaving him behind,” says Hildegard. “Nor would I expect you to,” says Black Jack. In the warehouse, Mr. Banana notices Charles from afar. Charles gasps as Mr. Bonono sets his eyes on Charles. Then everyone looks up as Hildegard flies above everyone and spreads fairy dust around, immobilizing the pigeons because the fairy dust gives them dry eyes.

 

“Hop to me!” Hildegard yells. “Quickly!” Charles hops, but Mr. Bonono stylishly throws his bonker, hitting Charles’s forehead while he’s in the air. We get a slo-mo shot of Charles as his body flips in the air before falling down—but Black Jack rolls in, catches him, and rolls out with Hildegard flying away as well. Dante tries to cut a deal with the banana policemen, but they’re not having it. They bonk him and then strike a pose, holding up their bonkers and standing with their backs against each other.

 

Mr. Bonono: First comes potassium…

Mr. Banana: Then comes prison!

 

Outside of the warehouse, Hildegard and Black Jack meet up and look at Charles. Hildegard tells him to hang in there as Charles drifts to sleep and we fade out…

 

Fade to Charles waking up on a living room couch. He looks around and finds a clock on the wall. It’s 9:00 AM. He hurries down a set of stairs and finds Hildegard and Black Jack in Black Jack’s Tavern. They’ve been waiting for Charles to wake up. Charles asks how much time he lost, but Hildegard tells him he was unconscious for seven hours, so it wasn’t too bad.

 

“Seymour Hermann,” says Black Jack. “If you’re searching for LuFranc, that name will lead you there.” Charles thanks Hildegard and Black Jack profusely. “Thank you,” says Hildegard as she shows him the ring on her hand and the bag full of pickpocketed items. “We couldn’t have done it without you.” Charles reflects on this a bit before saying his goodbyes and hurrying out.

 

Charles walks down a sidewalk as he searches for clues about Seymour Hermann’s whereabouts. He runs into Penelope again. After some chatter, she cashes in on Charles’s “you owe me one” by inviting him out for coffee. Charles knows better than to break a deal!

 

In a café, they drink coffee together, and Charles remarks that it tastes very good. Penelope stares at Charles longingly. Charles squints his eyes a bit.

 

Charles: If I may… (sets cup down) When you stare at me… You’re staring at Houdini, right?

Penelope: (chuckles) You got me.

Charles: How long have you known one another?

 

We learn from her explanation (and a flashback montage) that Houdini and Penelope became friends in college. Houdini had always struck her as someone very studious and introverted, but they’ve grown a fondness for one another, and they both know about the sparks they have for each other. Inevitably, Penelope graduated (becoming an engineer who helps funnel Alakazam’s magic energy to all magic shows to effect the success of the illusions and the audience’s reception). But Houdini went straight into master’s school, poured himself into his studies, and kept himself away from social interaction. Now, Houdini’s working with Charles and has even less time on his hands, calling the fate of their future together into question.

 

Fade back to Penelope who says she knows they’ve saved themselves for each other, but she’s been waiting for Houdini to pursue her more forcefully instead of devoting so much of his time to his work. She implores Charles to fix the accident because she surely can’t love Charles, nor can she love Houdini if he’s in the magician’s body. She also asks Charles to tell Houdini about their interaction and clue him into her love for him the next time they see each other (and to go lighter on Houdini’s workload if possible). Charles reflects on this.

 

Then a broccoli man bursts into the café with a phonebook, and he’s dancing around the room chanting “I have a phonebook, I have a phonebook!” Charles asks the broccoli if he can borrow it; he flips through the phonebook and finds a number next to Hermann’s Instrument Repairs. Memorizing the number, he gives back the phonebook and thanks Penelope as he hurries out. Penelope dryly wishes him luck and takes a sip of her coffee.

 

Charles finds a phone booth and stuffs himself inside (as he’s almost too plump to fit). He finds some change in Houdini’s vest and calls the number. He recognizes the voice as Leo’s, and he tells Leo that he’s looking for him. “I haven’t been called that name in years,” says Leo. Charles explains the predicament, and Leo gives him an address. Charles hangs up, squeezes himself out of the phonebooth, and hurries down the sidewalk.

 

****

 

Fade back to the cruise ship as Houdini steps out of his cabin and yawns, still feeling sleepy. “Sleep well?” says Solomon, who’s walking toward him and scanning the surroundings for anyone who might be watching. Houdini skittishly greets Solomon and asks him what he’s doing here. Solomon transforms into a gust of purple mist and seeps into Houdini; Solomon now possesses the magician’s body! His eyes are now glowing yellow. Solomon brushes dust off the magician’s shoulders. “Now where could he be keeping his top hat,” he mutters…

 

He walks through the cruise ship, and Laura (who’s wearing a dress shirt and jeans) finds him and storms up. Laura, still thinking he’s Charles, just found out about the encore performance and demands to know why he hasn’t told her yet. Solomon tells her to step aside as he has more important matters to attend to. By this response, Laura knows something is off. She steps in front of Solomon and says that something’s gotten into him because the Charles she’s familiar with is more respectful. Solomon tries to step around her and tells her to quit being a distraction. “A distraction?!” says Laura. She slaps him, literally slapping the purple gust out of the magician’s body. The purple gust (Solomon’s true form), exposed in public, zips away from the scene. Laura stares in awe as Houdini looks around confused and asks her what happened.

 

Laura: Okay. First, you blow off our celebration at the bar. Then this happens. Not to mention your different voice. You need to tell me what’s going on!

 

Houdini promises to tell her, but it’s a conversation that must be held in private. Suddenly, Houdini spots two kids running up to him from behind Laura. It’s Bart and Susie, who are shouting “Mr. Remington!” as they try to reach him. Houdini runs away from the kids, and Laura yells back to him to meet her in the storage room once he gets the kids off his trail.

 

We get a chase sequence of Houdini running through the cruise ship as the kids chase him around. They get to the auditorium, and they sneak through the isles of seats; the kids try to say they want to help him, but Houdini doesn’t want them to be involved in what’s happening.

 

Houdini reaches the storage room and shuts the door. Laura checks her watch and congratulates him on his impeccable timing. Houdini looks past Laura (with the camera panning with him) and he jumps, as Bart and Susie are standing there as they somehow got in!

 

Bart: To be frank, mister magic, we don’t think you’re Charles!

Houdini: No, really! You're mistaken! Of course I'm Mr. Remington! Er, Charles Remington!

Susie: For a human magician, you sure are tapping your foot quickly.

Bart: I think we've sussed him out properly, haven't we?

(Houdini grabs the cloak's collar and cringes.)

Laura: Wait… What’s going on?

 

Houdini calms everyone down and promises to explain. He explains that Charles is using real magic on stage. “Like… magic-magic?!” Laura asks. Houdini confirms ‘yes’ and explains that after the first show, Charles accidentally swapped bodies with his rabbit partner Houdini, so right now, they’re talking with Houdini. “So… I’m actually getting chopped in half?!” asks Laura. Susie asks where Charles is now, and Houdini takes out the top hat and points to it, saying that he's traveled through the hat to Alakazam, and he should be coming back with knowledge of how to swap themselves back any minute now.

 

Bart and Susie, of course, want to see Alakazam for themselves. Houdini says it’s a world of creatures and that no humans are allowed in the city. The kids claim they know how to fix that; they run around Houdini, find his wand, and steal it from him. Then Bart points the wand at the magician, turning him into a small monkey. Bart turns Susie into a bluebird, and Susie takes the wand and turns Bart into a skunk. “Mr. Remington will have my feet for this!” says a petrified Houdini. Susie and Bart take the wand with them as they run into the hat, giving Houdini no choice but to run after them. Alone in the room, Laura stands there and mutters, “…Wh-what?”

 

****

 

Cut back to Alakazam as Charles travels down the sidewalk, finds a house, and knocks on the door. The gray rabbit from Leo’s stage show, who now looks older, cracks the door open. When Charles tells him who he is, the rabbit leads him to his living room. Charles says “I remember you from Leo’s show, you worked with Leo LuFranc!” The rabbit (Elba) tells him that he is Leo, which shocks Charles as he realizes that Leo has been a rabbit living in Alakazam all this time. He asks what happened, and they sit as Leo narrates his backstory over a flashback sequence.

 

Leo reveals that while he was touring his magic shows, he was also a single dad trying to take care of a daughter with leukemia. In fact, his daughter is the reason why he used real magic in the first place because the real magic drew in a lot of crowds. Leo used the money earned from his shows to help pay for expensive treatments. After a valiant fight against cancer, Leo’s daughter sadly passed away. Leo quietly took a break from magic in his mourning process, but while keeping up with current events involving magic shows, he found that his use of real magic caused audience enthusiasm for magic shows lacking real magic to nosedive—this meant there was an unnatural imbalance in the flow of Alakazam’s magic energy between the two worlds.

 

Leo knew that other magicians (such as the envious colleague Solomon Iremonger) would inevitably harness real magic for themselves, causing a greater imbalance, and he needed a way to discourage the use of real magic in a broad sort of way. He also considered his rabbit partner Seymour Hermann, who had a lonely life in Alakazam without parents or siblings or friends. One day, Leo asked Seymour what he would do if he were a human on Earth. Seymour answered that he would lead a quiet life as a fisherman, something he can’t do in Alakazam since the fish are anthropomorphic citizens of an underwater part of the city. Leo decided it’d be better for him to live in Alakazam and for Seymour to live on Earth. So they swapped bodies, and on Earth, Seymour changed his name, settled in a fishing village, and has yet to be recognized—meaning he’s out of the public eye for good.

 

After listening to the story, Charles briefly criticizes Leo for removing himself from Earth, since he was an inspiration to many people as well as to Charles himself. Leo tells Charles that while him being an inspiration doesn’t give him the right to monopolize that inspiration; he wants other magicians to succeed, whether or not they’re using real magic. Knowing that Charles wouldn’t be there if he hadn’t used real magic himself, Leo makes Charles promise to stop using real magic, or else he’s not telling him how to fix the body swap. With no other choice, Charles swears off using real magic in his stage shows.

 

“Abracadabra,” says Leo, who explains that it’s an all-rounder kind of phrase. Charles laughs to himself saying “why didn’t I think of that.” Leo gives Charles directions on how to sneak back to the location of his top hat without being noticed by the Alakazam authorities, and from magician to magician, he wishes him good luck and tells him to be the best magician he can be. Charles thanks him and runs out.


Charles heads back to the terminal. Then he notices that pandemonium is occurring. A squadron of banana policemen is standing in the distance. Mr. Banana tells them with a megaphone (while Mr. Bonono stands near him looking cool and edgy), ordering them to capture three animal-disguised humans. Mr. Banana relays the latest forensic analysis, saying magic show records have suggested that the rabbit spotted the day before was Charles Remington and that one of the animal-disguised humans may in fact be his rabbit partner Houdini.

 

Charles rushes to Black Jack’s Tavern and asks for help from Hildegard and Black Jack. He notices a television playing the news, which explains that a bluebird, a skunk, and a monkey are running around the city and are believed to be intruders. Charles remarks that the animals each have something about their appearance that liken them to Susie, Bart, and the magician’s body, respectively. Hildegard and Black Jack agree to help; Hildegard will go after Susie, Black Jack will go after Bart, and Charles will go after Houdini. They exit the bar and roll out.

 

Charles finds Houdini, who scrambles to say that the kids took the wand from him and turned them all into animals. Houdini is freaking out, and Charles shakes some sense into him, saying that their top priority right now is finding the kids. Charles and Houdini follow the commotion until pigeons from Dante’s pigeon posse get revenge on Charles by picking them up with their talons and hoisting them in the air. “You never told me the pigeons were this strong here!” remarks Charles. “I never needed to!” yells Houdini.

 

Hildegard finds Susie perched on a utility pole wire; she’s distraught by everything that’s happened as Alakazam wasn’t what she thought it would be. Hildegard says she’s with Charles and asks her to fly with her to find the others. Just as they start flying through the air, the pigeons toss Charles and Houdini right on top of them, and all four start falling to the ground. Hildegard and Susie break their falls, but Charles and Houdini are in trouble. Bart and Black Jack appear on the street below and catch Charles and Houdini. When they meet together on the street, they find themselves surrounded by banana policemen. All six of them surrender to the police.

 

As they get handcuffed, a crowd of citizens comes to watch as they get shoved into police cars. Penelope is in this crowd, and she sees the monkey. She recognizes the monkey’s mannerisms and expressions. “Houdini!” she says. The monkey looks at her fearfully, confirming that it’s Houdini. “Penelope…” he says. The bananas put him in the police car, and they drive off.

 

Fade to a castle on an island across the canal. Toy soldiers guard the castle, and some of them rush to the dock when a boat pulls up. Mr. Banana and Mr. Bonono hand the arrested crew over to the toy soldiers. The soldiers say well done and take them all away. “It’s all up to the Court of Suits now,” says Mr. Bonono.

 

The soldiers lead everyone into a court. Lots of toy soldiers (in either scarlet or jet black armor) stand in the room and look at the group with death stares. A single black-armored soldier stands with their back turned to the group. When the guards make them kneel, the soldier (Gleeson) whips around and introduces them.

 

The Ace of Spades: I am the Ace of Spades.

Houdini: (stammering) If I may explai—

The Ace of Spades: SILENCE.

 

Ace (abbreviated for simplicity) saunters around and asks which one of them is the magician. Charles reveals himself and tells him he used real magic in his magic shows. In a monologue, Ace says that it’s already frowned upon for humans to use real magic since it damages the flow of magic energy—but for them to wreak havoc in the city! Why that’s just dastardly! The kids ask Ace what will happen to them. Ace tells them that firstly, they will be thrown into the dungeon… For an indeterminate amount of time! The kids ask what happens after that. (We cut to Hildegard and Black Jack with pale expressions, as they already know.)

 

Toy soldiers bring out a chained-up Dante the Dove. Other soldiers uncover a well of glowing light-blue light. Ace tells them that any creature who falls in this pool becomes magic energy. Creatures already become magic energy when they die; but when a creature falls into the well, it speeds up the process. Dante profusely promises not to pickpocket ever again, but the soldiers dump him into the well, and just like that, he’s gone. The kids start crying, and Ace quickly reassures them that it’s only something they do to adults, they don’t do it to kids.

 

Houdini asks Ace if he can at least have the dignity of swapping bodies with Charles, regardless of what fate is given to them by the court. Ace asks for more information, and Charles explains that the two of them accidentally swapped bodies. Ace smirks. “Bring me the wand!” he tells his guards. The guards bring the wand, which had been confiscated a while ago. Ace tells him that this is for misusing his magic in a way that caused the body swap—he takes the wand and snaps it in half. “NO!” Charles cries. Ace exclaims that’s what Charles gets for toying with the most important rules of “real magic” use, and he orders his soldiers to throw them in the dungeon…

 

****

 

Cut back to the storage room as Laura paces around. Laura decides to hide the top hat in a box and tells herself that in the event everyone comes back in time for the show, she needs to make sure she’s ready for it. She leaves the room…

 

Cut to Laura doing makeup in her cabin. The purple mist seeps underneath the closed door; once in the cabin, he returns to his human form and greets Laura, who grabs a curling iron so she can defend herself. “You must enjoy being split in two!” he says. He waves his hands, and Laura’s torso pops off of her lower body. What’s more, the lower body gains a degree of sentient and starts striking poses in the mirror. “That’s for punching me in the eye,” says Solomon. When Laura demands to be changed back, Solomon tells her that if she tells him where the top hat is. Laura tells him it’s in the storage room near the stage, and Solomon transforms back into the purple mist and leaves without changing Laura back. “Don’t leave me like this!” yells Laura.

 

Solomon swirls throughout the cruise ship as passengers react in shock. Solomon gets into the storage room, finds the top hat, and enters Alakazam. He flies through the air in Alakazam, causing even greater panic than Bart, Susie, and Houdini did. He goes straight to Leo’s house and swirls above him in his living room. A face appears in the mist—it’s like the carving on a jack-o-lantern. Leo knows who this is! Solomon demands to know where his human body is so he can possess it, and Leo refuses to tell him. Solomon says that if Leo refuses to let him live inside of Leo’s human body, then he’ll absorb all of Alakazam’s magic energy. Solomon bursts through one of Leo’s windows and swirls around the down, getting enough energy from power lines to grow bigger and bigger…

 

Cut back to the dungeon, where the group is chained up in a big cell. The cell in front of them has all the pigeons that the banana police arrested the other night. Charles’s head and front paws are in a pillory (the prisoner capture device with the wooden board). Houdini thanks Charles for taking good care of his body. “Likewise,” says Charles. Black Jack asks Charles if he ever found Leo LuFranc. Everyone looks at him. Charles says he found him, and he knows how to change everyone back; but what does it matter now because the wand is broken and they’re in prison.

 

The kids are worried that they’ll never see their parents again. Hildegard tells the kids, “don’t worry, we’ll find a way to get you out of this—right, Charles?” Pan to Charles, who tells everyone that he doesn’t think he can help because he’s not a real magician. Everyone else tries to encourage him, and Houdini encourages him to try escaping from his chains as Harry Houdini would. Charles explains that while he’s studied that kind of escape, it’s futile because he’s never tried that before.

 

Then Houdini says, “you were a magician before you met me, right?” Charles answers yes, and Houdini says, “maybe you don’t need real magic, Charles. Maybe the magic you need doesn’t come from a wand, or from the city’s energy flow. Maybe the magic you need comes from you!”

 

Charles thinks about that. Then he thinks about what he studied, and he starts twisting his arms, head, and body to get out of the restrains as the others cheer him on. The pigeons across the prison, who have been listening, join in on cheering him on. When he breaks out, the others rejoice. Charles looks at Houdini’s paws like he’d look at his own hands, and he finds joy in a certain realization. He hurries to the others to free them.

 

Back in Laura’s cabin, Laura tells her bottom half that she should stay in her cabin and hope that Charles and Houdini somehow save the day. The bottom poses in a “really, girl?” manner as it taps its foot. “Okay, okay,” says Laura. “Maybe Solomon hasn’t reached the hat yet… Or if he has, I should guard it so no one else falls in… Agh! Let’s just go!”

 

Laura struggles to open the door. She walks on her hands as she hurries down the hall, with her bottom half jogging up and stopping because Laura can’t keep up with her. They make it all the way to in front of the bar from earlier, and Laura, fatigued, falls down and catches her breath. The bottom half, clearly fed up with how slow Laura is, runs away and heads to the storage room on its own. Laura tells it to wait up. Then a nice disabled man at the bar tells Laura that she can borrow his wheelchair. When she asks why, the bartender (who recognizes her) tells her he’ll radio for another one. Laura hops in the wheelchair and zooms off.

 

Laura chases her bottom half through the hall. An old couple (cameos by Patrick Stewart and Judi Dench) ask her why she’s been split in two.

 

Laura: Uh… Magical shenanigans! (zooms away)

Old Woman: What did she say, dear?

Old Man: She referenced magical shenanigans.

Old Woman: Oh, how dreadful!

 

Laura chases her bottom half through a casino as the people around her gawk at the chase. “Coming through!” yells Laura. The reasonable man who had sat next to her sees the chase, and it blows his mind. She finally reaches the storage room and shuts the door. They notice the top hat on the floor, and they both lie down. “Now… we wait!” she tells her bottom half.

 

Cut back to Alakazam, as the citizens are being evacuated into the underwater neighborhood. Penelope wants to help people evacuate, so she races to the center of the city, which is already enveloped in Solomon’s mist. She notices Mr. Banana, Mr. Bonono, and the other banana policemen trying to subdue the mist with their bonkers, but the mist picks them up in its swirl as a tornado would. She scurries through the city and finds Leo alone in the street, trying to zap the mist with electricity from his wand. Penelope rushes to Leo and tells him that they need to evacuate, but Solomon notices an opportunity and surrounds the two with a mist vortex. “You’ve gotten yourself trapped!” Leo tells her. When Penelope asks her what she should do, he tells her to stay on her toes as he continues zapping the mist.

 

At the castle, Ace yells “ALL HANDS ON DECK” as the toy soldiers run around in a frenzy. Suddenly, the pigeons grab him and hold him up in the air. Ace demands to be put down, and the pigeons hold him over the exposed energy well, which frightens him. Charles and his group appear, and they demand that Ace give Charles a chance to defeat the mist. Ace agrees, and the pigeons fly him back to the ground. “If I’m being honest,” says Ace, “we may need a human mind or two to get us out of this mess!”

 

Ace leads the group to a purple cannon with yellow stars on its exterior. Beyond the canal stands the city, and the purple mist swirls menacingly around the city. Ace gives Charles a glass jar and tells him that the jar will act as a vacuum that sucks the purple mist inside. Hildegard, a self-proclaimed pyromaniac (a notion that Black Jack seconds), volunteers to light the cannon. Houdini wishes Charles luck as Charles enters the cannon. Hildegard lights the cannon. The cannon fires, launching Charles toward the city. The camera stays on him as he flies through the air, and he has a look of determination on his face—he knows what he needs to do to save the city!

 

Once Charles lands in the street, the mist notices him. “…YOU!” says Solomon. The mist drops possessed banana policemen into the street, and they run up to Charles. Then Houdini, Black Jack, and Charles drop in from the cannon and start fighting the possessed policemen (while Hildegard, Susie, and the pigeons opted for just flying there). Hildegard uses her fairy dust, Susie pecks the bananas with her beak, Black Jack rolls through a bunch of them, and Bart clears out a whole bunch of them with his skunk stink. The pigeons fly overhead and say they’ve spotted Leo and Penelope further in the city, and Charles and Houdini decide to meet up with them.

 

Charles and Houdini scurry past the commotion and run through the city to get to Leo and Penelope. Charles uses well-timed hops to dodge the swirls of mist that try to grab him, while Houdini uses his monkey form to slink around them. They toss the glass jar to each other like a football as they run. Then they reach the center of the city and find Leo and Penelope; Houdini rushes to Penelope, and Charles sees the mist rushing toward Houdini. He pushes Houdini away, and the mist grabs Charles, causing him to drop the glass jar; it shatters into pieces. Charles stares aghast as he comes face to face with Solomon’s giant jack-o-lantern face.

 

A maniacal Solomon reveals who he is; believing he’s already won, he explains his plan over more flashback images. Solomon wanted to become a successful magician like Leo but could never match the extravagance of Leo’s stage shows. Upon learning about Alakazam from another magician, he could have waited like the other magicians for access to rabbit partners and flashy tricks; instead, he turned himself into a rabbit and invaded Alakazam so he could beat them all to the real magic punch. He was caught and, doing himself no favors by cursing and fighting back against the Court of Suits, he was thrown into the energy well—but unbeknownst to the Court of Suits, the energy couldn’t kill a human being, but simply turn it into the energy. Returning to London in a human disguise, he heard rumors from other magicians of Leo swapping bodies with his rabbit partner. For years, he searched for Leo’s human body so he could imitate Leo’s success with stage shows, but he was never able to find it. So he hatched a plan to give a naïve magician like Charles access to real magic, only to possess them, return to Alakazam in their body, get answers from Leo, and abandon the magician in Alakazam so they would take the blame for trespassing instead of him. Obviously, things didn’t go as planned and he got antsy. So instead, he’ll steal all of the energy from Alakazam, and the people of Earth will cease to be enthralled by magic!

 

Solomon laughs maniacally and tries to eat Charles, but Charles wiggles out and falls to the ground, where Houdini catches him. “What do we do?!” yells Penelope. Leo takes his wand and zaps the glass jar, which allows the jar to put itself back together. Then the purple mist begins to violently swirl around Leo. Charles takes this chance to grab the jar; when Houdini and Penelope stand behind him, he opens the jar. Solomon screams as all of his purple mist gets vacuumed into the jar. Charles clamps down on the lid, sealing him inside of the jar. Then everyone rushes to Leo—the mist thrashed Leo around enough to create fatal internal wounds inside of his body. Charles grabs Leo and cries, telling him he can’t die, as he’s still an inspiration to many. Leo tells Charles to inspire people in his place; thanking him for saving the city of Alakazam and passing away with a smile on his face. Charles closes Leo’s eyes, and the trio mourns together.

 

Fade to Mr. Banana and Mr. Bonono as they lead their squadron, now unpossessed, through the first efforts to rebuild the city. Charles, Houdini, and Penelope meet up with the others, with Charles looking visibly downtrodden. Bart and Susie rush to Charles and hug him, which catches Charles off guard, but he reciprocates the hug. “Where’s Leo?” Hildegard asks. Charles shakes his head, and they all stare down.

 

Marching. Everyone looks and sees that Ace and a group of soldiers are marching to them. One of the soldiers has the jar containing Solomon tucked under his arm. Ace tells everyone not to worry; the Court of Suits is no longer pursuing charges against any of them. The news spread quickly: Charles, a human, saved the city. Leo, a human who lived in the city for years, died to protect it. So while they still don’t want humans in the city (to preserve the magic of stage shows), they know they don’t have to be fear humans—and that’ll bring more peace to the city.

 

“Speaking of stage shows,” says Houdini, “does anyone have the time?” Penelope checks her watch and sees that it’s 5:40 PM. Twenty minutes until showtime. Charles tells them they wouldn’t make it in time unless they quickly found a means to change everyone back to their original forms. Ace gives Charles a brand new wand and pats him on the back, wishing him good luck on the show. Ace and the soldier march away.

 

Houdini: Or, I should ask… Do you want to perform? I know Leo… Forgive me, sir…

Charles thinks for a moment.

Hildegard: If you do perform, I want to see it.

Black Jack: Count me in, too. I’ve never a human magician perform before.

Penelope: …I’ll come to.

 

Charles looks around at everyone. Bart and Susie stare at him with starry eyes. Charles thinks and nods his head a bit.

 

Charles: I think Leo would want that.

 

Houdini tells everyone to follow him, as he knows the way to the outside of a top hat. Houdini hurries out, and Bart, Susie, and Penelope follow. Charles is still standing in his melancholy daze; Black Jack comes to him and says that while he called him a thief for stealing energy from Alakazam, Charles was in fact more Robin Hood, giving that magic to his audience, than himself and Hildegard ever were. Black Jack rolls out, and Hildegard walks up to Charles and snaps him out of his daze drill-sergeant-style, telling him to hurry. Charles hurries off, and Hildegard chuckles to herself before she follows.

 

Cut back to Laura in the storage room, who notices that the hat on the ground is moving on its own (like one would imagine a gurgling stomach). Laura stares aghast as everyone bursts out of the hat. “All right,” Laura says. “Which one of you is Charles!” Everyone looks at the spotted rabbit, and Laura cups him in her hands. “I’d tell you choice words for keeping secrets… If you weren’t so cute and cuddly ohmigosh!” She pets him, and Charles asks her to stop (but does admit it feels good). Penelope and Black Jack react to seeing a human in person for the first time, while Hildegard remarks that it's certainly her first time seeing one who’s split in two. Laura clarifies that she’s under a spell but also says being split in half is something she’s used to.

 

Houdini asks Laura to use the wand to help them turn back. Laura checks her watch. “Oh, sh…” she says. She takes the wand asks what she’s supposed to say to fix everything. “Abracadabra,” says Charles. Laura is shocked that it’s that easy. “Wow. Okay. Uh. Yeah. Let’s do it.” Cut outside the storage room; beyond the door’s window, we see a white light flash four times.

 

Cut backstage; it’s only a few minutes before the show starts, and there’s lots of commotion in the auditorium. Charles (now in his human body again) tells Bart and Susie (both human again) to search the auditorium for their parents since their parents probably know they can find them at the magic show. Bart and Susie both run off. Laura (now intact) asks Laura about the plan for the performance—will it be the same as last time? Charles looks down at Houdini (now the rabbit again), who stands on the ground near Penelope, Hildegard, and Black Jack. Charles whispers something in Laura’s ear—it’s stunning enough to make her put a hand to her mouth. Then Charles stoops to Houdini and tells him he doesn’t need him for the show and that he can watch. Houdini nods and wishes him good luck. Charles hands Laura his hand and his wand; Laura lets the creatures stand on top of the hat, and Laura wishes Charles good luck as she walks away.

 

An announcer welcomes Charles to the stage, garnering enthusiastic applause. The curtains roll back, revealing the sullen Charles Remington. The crowd goes silent as he waits to see what he does. To their shock, Charles goes into a monologue about how when he was influenced by Leo LuFranc, he was honestly interested in Leo’s “real magic.” He says he tried to imitate and use that real magic onstage, and that’s what allowed him to reach the level of fame that he’s reached thus far. But Charles tells them that he’s not Leo LuFranc, nor is he capable of the “real magic” he showed them the last night. He tells his audience that he understands if they are disappointed that the magic he shows them isn’t as great as what he showed them yesterday.

 

There’s a silence for a moment. Laura and the creatures on the hat stare at him from their hiding place near stage left. Charles stands with his head down, lightly kicking the stage with his foot.

 

“It doesn’t matter!” says Susie, who’s in the audience with Bart (and all the parents). Charles looks and sees the girl as she stands and tells him he doesn’t have to show them real magic. He’s already a real magician, as he’s wearing the uniform and he’s standing on the stage, so of course he’s real. Charles says he doesn’t understand. Then Bart stands up next to her and says, “We’re not here for ‘someone who’s great’—we’re here for a magician!” Then more audience members chime in with encouraging words and start chanting “Remington, Remington, Remington!”

 

Remington smiles. He proceeds to show everyone a series of simple tricks and illusions. He links metal rings, shows them impressive card tricks, and pulls ribbon out of his sleeves (not an exorbitant amount of ribbon though, but the audience still enjoys it). For his final illusion, he asks the lighting assistants to dim the lights. He pulls out an entire deck of cards, squeezes his hands around it, and rubs his hands together. “This is one of my favorite tricks,” he says. “It just needs a little bit of friction, a little bit of heat, what have you.” Then he tosses something into the air. It appears as shredded pieces of cards, and all of the pieces glow like fireflies as they flutter around the room. This impresses everyone, and they give Charles a standing ovation. Laura and the four creatures shout “bravo” and applaud Charles. Charles takes a bow and exits stage left.

 

Cut back to the storage room where Charles, Laura, and the creatures meet. “Nice meeting you guys, I’m saving Charles a seat at the bar!” Charles promises not to hold her up this time even if the last time he did was an accident; Laura sticks her tongue out before she leaves. Charles tells the creatures that it’s time for them to go back. Hildegard and Black share final congratulations as they go into the hat. Houdini and Penelope hold hands as they waddle toward the hat, but Charles stops them because he wants to talk with Houdini in private. Penepole gives Houdini a kiss on the cheek and thanks Charles for everyone he did before she leaves. Houdini blushes.

 

Charles sits criss-cross applesauce and tells Houdini that he thinks this will be the last time they see each other. When Houdini asks why, Charles reveals that he promised Leo he would drop “real magic” for good. There may be magicians who continue to use real magic, but he won’t be one of them anymore. Houdini understands and tells him that he enjoyed working with him immensely. Charles then tells him, “Penelope loves you—do you love her?” Houdini nods vigorously. Then Charles says, “she’s ready for you. Go get her.” Houdini smiles wide, and he scurries into the hat to catch up with Penelope.

 

Charles tells himself he doesn’t want the other magic items anymore. He starts with the deck of magic cards and tries to put them in the hat—but something’s different about the hat. He feels the inside of the hat and discovers that it’s become a regular hat. Charles lays down on the floor and laughs to himself as he becomes teary-eyed. The final shots are of Houdini sliding down into the terminal as he discovers that Penelope was waiting for him. Houdini runs to Penelope, and they walk side by side as they walk out of the terminal and head toward the city of Alakazam. Fade to black.

 

 

Edited by SLAM!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

ROCKET HERO

 

Studio: Phoenix Fire Entertainment

Director: Christopher McQuarrie

Cinematography: Rob Hardy

 

Genre: Action/Thriller

Release Date: January 31st Y9

Theater Count: 3657

Rating: PG-13 for scenes of heavy violence, some blood, language and thematic content

Format: 2D, 3D, IMAX, 4DX

Budget: $110 million

Runtime: 105 minutes (1 hour and 45 minutes)

 

Cast:

- Tom Cruise as Jaeden "Rocket Hero" King

- Michael Shannon as Lieutenant Warren Goldfield

- Rami Malek as Chris King

- Josh Keaton as Officer James Brown

- Tara Strong as Janet King

- Unknown child actors as Richie and Tommy King

 

Plot:

Spoiler

We open the film with a black and white montage. Jaeden King (Tom Cruise) narrates how, in the present, America has started developing an actual superhero-style program, directly inspired by patriotic fiction figures such as Captain America. This association, backed by the CIA, was codenamed USHA - United States Hero Association - and started doing experiments on some of its soldiers to give them superhuman/peak physical condition (we see these soldiers going through significant pain in these experiments). The best of the bunch would be trained to intervene in situations that "normal" soldiers would consider unattainable by more traditional methods, and then promoted as a heroic figure for America. This figure was henceforth called "Rocket Hero", and that figure... is him.

 

CHAPTER I
The Hijack

 

(This sequence is entirely edited as a real-time one-take shot.)

 

We then cut, in color, to Jaeden, dressed in a red, white and blue costume with a mask that looks like an exploding rocket, bound to a lifted up bed in the back of a USHA fighter plane. Soldiers come, and unbound him, asking him if he's ready. The Rocket Hero says that he is, although there is some harrow in his voice. From inside comes Lieutenant Warren Goldfield (Michael Shannon), who greets him formally. Goldfield says the Rocket Hero is looking to be on his day today, and the Hero (as he shall be called from here on out) says that he's just had a good breakfast - as good as it can be while he's bound to that thing. Goldfield appreciates the Hero's sense of sarcasm, and starts detailing the mission. The mission is very simple: the Hero will be rocketed (literally) from the fighter plane with enough force to then safely parachute horizontally onto a commercial airplane, a United Airlines Boeing 737, that has been hijacked by terrorists in Cairo, Egypt, in what was a return flight to Washington DC. Once he lands, the Hero must infiltrate into the airplane by the emergency door, take out the terrorists, and find a way to land the plane safely on ground. "What if the pilot or co-pilot are both down?", the Hero asks. "If neither of them are on their senses... well, you've flown jet fighters, how hard can it be to fly a 737?", Goldfield replies. The Hero looks worried. Goldfield says that the fate of over 300 Americans is on the line, and that he insisted to put the USHA on this before any national or international resources were to intervene, so the Hero better not make him look bad - else, he knows the price to pay: his wife and his two sons are both literally written from existence. "Just like that, they'll be gone, and no one will know where they've ever been", he says. The Hero says that he sounds like Stalin everytime he says that, and Goldfield says that, in a weird way, he never disagreed with Stalin's methods to enforce the security of his own country - he only disagreed with the fact that he was anything but a real American. "National security is at stake... are you going to let the millions of US citizens down, Mr. King?", Goldfield asks. "Are you going to leave... Janet, Richie and Tommy down?" He then leaves, while the Hero looks very hesitant, gulping to himself.

 

We see the Hero prepare for the jump. A soldier (Josh Keaton) asks him if there's any pressure on him to be the American hero everyone looks him up to be, and the Hero says that there is none, he knows how to perform for his people and that he will do his absolute best. The soldier is impressed at the Hero's confidence and the Hero, hesitantly, says that's what he's gotta have in order to be there for America. The soldier leaves him and we then see the final moments before a red signal fires off, Goldfield on a speaker asking the Hero to ready for his launch. We witness the Hero walking, getting an oxygen mask put on top of his Rocket Hero mask, and, eventually, getting to the launch area. We see through the window that the USHA plane is at a lower altitude than the 737, which is flying from east, the direction that the rocket the Hero will be launched from is facing. The Hero jumps inside the rocket, and after a countdown, is launched from it, human cannonball-style. We get the full moment of the Hero flying northeast, the sequence lasts about a minute and a half. During this sequence, we listen to the Hero's inner thoughts, where he flashbacks to him vowing to his wife (Tara Strong) and two children that he would come back and make sure they all returned to a normal life. When Richie asks him when he is coming back, the Hero says he doesn't know, but it will be soon. Janet makes him promise that, and he does. They kiss. (Again, all of this internally, while the shot keeps locked on the Hero flying.) Eventually, the Hero overflies the plane, and he turns around, opens his parachute and glides towards the airplane. He finds the emergency door, but is worried that this will cause instant decompression of oxygen in the air and render all people in it unconscious. He hangs from the side of the plane to witness how far apart the emergency door is from the remaining plane, and noticing that it is on a separate cabinet, decides to risk it. With a slicing laser tool, he breaks into the plane.

 

Inside, he breaks into the main cabinets, where people already have their oxygen masks on. He reassures everybody that he's here to save them. He goes through economic class, and eventually, he encounters some of the hijackers, all of them appearing to be Arab men. The hijackers jump at the Hero, one of them trying to stab him with a knife. The Hero pulls out a shield and blocks every one of the shots, knocking them out eventually. The hijackers come back, and double team on the Hero, but the Hero manages to overpower them and take them out again, then pulling out cowboy-style lassoes and tying their hands together. He then slowly makes his way across other classes of the plane, until eventually, he reaches the cockpit, where the pilot happens to be a man he's familiar with: Chris King (Rami Malek). The Hero recognizes Chris, whom notices the Hero (or Jaeden) back. After a few seconds of contemplation, Chris jumps at the Hero, and the Hero counters by not trying to attack him, and rather just letting him swing and miss. Chris unleashes angrily at the Hero but none of his attempts hit, and eventually, the Hero catches Chris' arm, locks him in a hold and tries to choke him out. At the same time, he puts the plane, through luck, on autopilot. But Chris headbutts him and starts pounding away at the Hero. The Hero begs Chris to stop this, and Chris says he never will, regardless of whether or not he is his "brother". "Never forget what they did to mom!", he says. Chris then tries to get back control of the plane, in hopes to put it on a downward trajectory, but the Hero stops him. Eventually, the Hero tries to detain him, but Chris figures that his work here is done and the Hero can try to find out how to stop the plane himself - if he can. Chris runs off with a parachute. In his way, he finds the other terrorists tied down, and upon their requests for him to rescue them, he ignores them and leaves them to be. The Hero is left at cahoots with the plane, and decides to improvise based on his learnings from fighter planes, simulations and video games. He realizes that it's much, much different than any of these. But, something he hadn't noticed were the pilot and co-pilot. He realizes that the pilot is dead, having been stabbed by the terrorists, while the co-pilot is faking his unconsciousness and is actually awake. Together, the Hero and the co-pilot find out a way to get the plane safely landed on a nearby airport. The Hero's landing is particularly jarring, but despite almost overshooting, he manages to stop the plane half-decently, and everyone is both safe and alive. The Hero and the co-pilot hug, while all of the crew and passengers on-board, apart from the pilot and one or other who were assaulted, are alive. This is considered to be a miraculous rescue by the Hero and the USHA, and the Hero is yet again declared America's pride.

 

CHAPTER II
The Hostage

 

(This scene has visible cuts/edits.)

 

We cut to a flashback, when a younger Chris is visiting a grave, belonging to one Abigail King. He leaves flowers down on her grave, and wells up a bit. From behind, a younger Jaeden shows up, and hugs Chris. The two speak of how much they miss mom. Chris misses her so much. Jaeden, who was already working for the USHA, is also emotional at the loss of Abigail. He tries to tell Chris something, but he holds back. Chris says he will make those who killed her pay, whomever they may be. Jaeden looks at Chris with his conscience full. He looks down at Abigail's grave again.

 

We cut back to Jaeden, on his bed in the USHA plane, where it's noticeable that he was thinking about this. Goldfield shows up, asking him if he slept like a baby. Jaeden says that anytime he sleeps thinking about his family, he sleeps like a baby. Goldfield says he knows this very well, which is why he is keeping them very safe... for now. Jaeden is confused. Goldfield says that Jaeden did in fact succeed in rescuing the crew and passengers of the plane, save a few unfortunate casualties, but he didn't stop all of the terrorists. "The Egyptians said that there was one of them, their leader... he left them high and dry, jumped off the plane, God knows where. They say that he probably met you in the cockpit of the plane", he goes. Jaeden says that there was, in fact, one other terrorist, but he had overpowered him and managed to get away. Goldfield cackles, saying that it's literally impossible that a feeble human being would be able to overpower the Rocket "Goddamn" Hero, ironically asking him if that guy was a World's Strongest Man contender. Jaeden doesn't answer, so Goldfield figures he's lying. Goldfield then says that there was a fine detail about that man that the terrorists spoke of: he was American. Jaeden gulps, and doesn't look Goldfield in the eyes, until Goldfield asks him to do so. When he does, Goldfield tells him that just because this guy is from their country, doesn't mean he is one of them. "He's not a true American. He will never be a true American, so you better show his pathetic ass no mercy", he goes on. He threatens at last: "If you so let him escape one more time, ever again, I promise you: your family is not getting away from this clean." He leaves, and Jaeden is upset.

 

(We return to a sequence edited as a real time one-take shot.)

 

We cut to the Rocket Hero, in suit, getting ready for his next assignment. Goldfield tells him what it is: he has to parachute down to an Algerian open field, where the American man that hijacked the plane (Chris) is being held hostage. Goldfield says he was identified recently by "contacts" that they have down there, and that he is under hold by a bunch of thieves, who are trying to buy his rescue. Goldfield wants the Hero to go down there and retrieve the American, and if need be, no leaving any witnesses alive. "If they try to kill ya, shoot 'em", giving the Hero a pistol. "And if he tries to shoot you, don't hesitate in pulling the trigger - we want him, don't matter if dead or alive." The Hero asks if this is the Wild West, and Goldfield says it might as well be, so the Hero can call him the sheriff in town. Goldfield further explains that the reason why they want him is because, despite his color and ethnicity, he happens to have American citizenship, so the officials want to have him in custody. "Remember: no mercy. Or your family is blitzed out." Goldfield leaves.

 

After preparations, where he remains silent and stoic, the Hero is rocketed out. We see the full sequence of his daredevil fall toward Algerian soil. During the fall, he ruminates (and we listen to the dialogue in his head) about conversations he had with Janet about Chris. She asks him what happened to his brother Chris and Jaeden says he has no idea... he had gone missing shortly after Abigail had been killed. Janet asks him if he ever considered knowing anything about him and Jaeden says that  he thinks about his brother often, whether or not it's his whereabouts, how he's doing now or what caused him to leave, although he suspects the reason why. Janet asks if that would be their mother's death, Jaeden saying yes. Jaeden then says that everyday, he feels guilty over their mother's death, what he could have done to help and how he could've stopped Chris from ever losing it, but Janet tells him that it's not his fault, he just did the right thing. Jaeden then stumbles in his words, but admits he might have something to tell Janet, something he should've told her a long time ago. Janet asks what is it, but before we know, the Hero focuses on the mission and lands.

 

Upon landing, the Hero pulls out his pistol, but looks at it and prefers to use his shield and bare hands, Captain America-style (more because he just doesn't want to kill). He methodically approaches the basement where Chris is presumably being held hostage, under the brooding sunshine. He reaches the basement, and when asked if he is the negotiator for Chris, he says he is, on behalf of the United States of America. The ransomers let him in, and he encounters a damp building, with a dark atmosphere. He walks inside and there, he is greeted by a mysterious man, who says he is going to be the translator between the ransomers and the Rocket Hero. The Hero asks if he has any other choice, but before the translator answers, the Hero says it was a rhetorical question. The ransomers then show up with Chris tied up, his mouth taped. The Hero and Chris sit in front of each other on a table. The ransomers take the tape off Chris' mouth and ask the Hero where's the money. The Hero says the money comes after Chris is in the USHA's hands. The ransomer who holds Chris asks the Hero if he honestly thinks they will believe him and the Hero says that, as a real American, they have his word. Chris chuckles to himself. The Hero asks him what is it. Chris asks him to stop lying to these people. The ransomers point a gun to his mouth and tell him to shut up, but the Hero asks them, politely, to let him speak. The ransomers hold the gun down, and Chris starts monologuing about the Hero actually being his half-brother, Jaeden King. "The fact that you, a white man who's brother of an Arab-American and serves a white supremacy organization like the USHA, call yourself 'a real American' is Goddamn hilarious to me", Chris says. The Hero says that he can call out the USHA all he wants and he has a right to do it, but terrorism is not the solution. Chris replies that he may be a terrorist, but he's also an avenger. Chris then reveals the truth, that he's acting against Americans because of what Jaeden had told him shortly after their mother died: it was the USHA, the same organization Jaeden is working for as the Rocket Hero, who killed her, in a violent white supremacy protest where she showed up as an anti-protester and one of the USHA men rammed a truck against the anti-protesters, killing her. The Hero holds his emotions back and says that he told him this because he wanted him to know the truth, not because he wanted him to start exorting terrorism. Chris ironically apologizes, and asks him why he still works for them, since he knows damn well he can't stand them. The Hero stays quiet, still holding his emotions back. The ransomers then chime in and ask them if they're done with their family bonding, and ask for the money yet again, or they kill both Chris and the Hero right here and right now. The Hero says that they can kill Chris for all he cares, since his mission is to bring him either dead or alive - but if they think they're gonna kill him, they're very mistaken. Chris is appalled at the Hero's lack of care for his safety, but the ransomers laugh at the Hero's audacity. One of them says that they can get the money another way and takes the dare, pointing the gun at the Hero, but the Hero quickly flexes up his shield and protects himself. A firefight begins, with the ransomers trying to shoot down the Hero, but the Hero is quick to guard himself and knocks all of the ransomers down in hand-to-hand combat, one by one. The last one, however, is a brute, and has a machine gun. The Hero hides behind a pillar, and the brute is approaching. The Hero has no other choice than pull out his pistol and kill him, looking at it with trepidation. He gets ready to point it at the brute's head and shoot it, but before he does, Chris, who had grabbed one of the dead ransomer's guns despite being bound, shoots him in the head and kills him.

 

The only people left standing are the Hero, Chris and the translator. Chris demands the Hero to take off his mask and tell him, face to face, why he still works for the USHA after they killed their mother. The Hero faces him, reflective, ultimately saying that he never asked for Abigail to die and that he loved her just as much as Chris did. Chris dares the Hero to try to take him to them. The Hero doesn't hold back, but Chris gives him a fight, despite being much weaker than him. The Hero, somewhat hurt, stands over Chris, but Chris low blows him with a kick and grabs his pistol away, then points it at him. Chris doesn't want to shoot him, his hand shaking, but the Hero says that if he's going to do that, he better leave him dead, because he'd rather that than be alive to see his family be hurt. Chris doesn't understand this, and the Hero says that if he doesn't capture Chris, Janet, Richie and Tommy will all be written off existence by the USHA. Chris is shocked, but his surprise quickly fades away: "I shouldn't be surprised. We're talking about a bunch of Nazis. Are you surprised that they would take away your own family if you took away their version of America?" The Hero tries to surprise Chris, but Chris, instinctively, shoots him in the shoulder. The Hero is down, in pain, and Chris immediately regrets what he did, but in a moment of playing tough, says that he doesn't kill him because, deep down, he feels pity for him. Chris runs off. The Hero is miserable at himself, but the translator is quick to help him. The Hero thanks the translator's immediate assistance, who tapes his wound. However, the Hero notices that the translator had a speaker hidden underneath his suit all along - coming through that speaker is Goldfield's voice, who is telling him that he's nearly arriving. The Hero is shocked, asking the translator if he's working for the USHA, and the translator doesn't say a word. Eventually, Goldfield arrives down to the basement with back-up, but the Hero passes out from the pain.

 

CHAPTER III
The Chase

 

(Normal edits/cuts)

 

We fade to Jaeden in a medical bay, where he's being held. His shoulder is taped, and he's gonna stay put for a while until he recovers, which doesn't take too long. During his training to come back to form, he gets a visit from that soldier who greeted him earlier, asking him if the Hero is alright now. Jaeden asks him to call him by his name, and says he is. The soldier thanks Jaeden for letting him call him by his actual name, but he respects him enough to treat him as the Hero. The soldier knows that the last few days have been tough, but he wants to thank Jaeden for everything he's done for the USHA. Jaeden says that the soldier has no idea how much it hurts to be at the USHA, under the believe that you're serving your country and being honorable, but in reality, carrying a great burden with you that just makes you feel helpless sometimes. The soldier says that he doesn't feel helpless, but he understands how serving your country can sometimes cast a dark shadow over you. Jaeden asks him what he means. The soldier admits that once, he did something that was pretty bad, but in his mind, it was the right thing to do, to protect the soul of America. He explains that during a right-wing rally, he got into a truck and rammed someone, who ended up dying. Jaeden is shocked. The soldier says that a real American would never hold back in taking down any traitors to America's heart and soul. Holding himself back, he asks him what the soldier's name is, the soldier revealing it as Officer James Brown, and Jaeden's internal ruminations cast how he heard Officer James Brown considered guilty of the crime of murder of Abigail King, and shortly afterwards, the USHA bailed him out of jail for "good behavior outside of 'one bad skimp'". Jaeden angrily asks the soldier if he regrets what he did, and Brown says that, honestly, he doesn't, because the people who try to stand up to America are people who deserve to be put down like bad dogs. Jaeden slowly seems like he's about to walk out, but then, he turns back around and punches Brown in the face, and starts to beat him up. Brown is crying out, asking him why, and Jaeden doesn't hesitate in shouting that he killed his mother, leaving Brown, amidst the pain of the battering, stunned. Eventually, more USHA soldiers appear to try to stop Jaeden, but he pushes them all away, until one shoots a tranquilizer gun, and Jaeden passes out.

 

(Edited as real-time one-take shot)

 

 

Cut to Jaeden waking up with his Rocket Hero suit on, bound to the same upward bed from earlier in the film. Goldfield walks up to him, evidently pissed. The Hero is no less pissed than him, and Goldfield slaps him in the face. He's quite angry at the Hero, who tells him to call him Jaeden (and we will permanently call him as such from here on out), and Goldfield says he'll call him whatever the Hell he wants. Jaeden says that he calls him Jaeden King, son of Abigail King, the woman that his men murdered. Goldfield says he knows, thanks to the translator's great work, and that he now knows that Chris is his half-brother. "You're the brother of an Arab terrorist. It seems we were very wrong in believing you were a real American." Jaeden nods in wrath. Goldfield also says that Jaeden revealed to the terrorist that the USHA was behind the murder of their mother, making Jaeden a traitor. "The only reason I don't drop your ass in an Afghan pit is that you're still valuable to this association." Goldfield says that he's surprised it took him this long to revolt against the USHA, given how long it's been since it happened, and Jaeden says that he was under the impression that despite one bad egg, there were good people within the USHA, who believed in the greater good for America, but the fact that pretty much everyone in this plane, other than him, is racist scum, proves otherwise. Goldfield says he's not racist - "I even have Arab friends!" He just so happens to feel like America was too kind to the Middle East after 9/11. Goldfield says that either way, Jaeden has no choice but to obey them. Jaeden says the only reason he'll continue to work for them is because they have his family under watch, and Goldfield says that he doesn't need to worry about that anymore, since the reveal that Chris is his brother AND the fact that Jaeden let him escape again, for a second time in a row, even after Goldfield's warning, led to them taking... "security measures". Jaeden asks him what he means, and Goldfield says that they wrote Tommy out of existence. Jaeden says they're bluffing, Goldfield leaves the doubt in his head, daring him to try to find out what'll happen to all his family if he ever tries to one-up them regarding Chris. "You will bring that son of a bitch over us and if you try to be a good brother and save him again... I swear, you and your whole family will disappear off the face of God's green Earth." Jaeden tells him to fuck off and accuses him and everyone in this ship of murdering his mother. Goldfield smiles and says that his mission is to find Chris in an Algerian city, where he is presumably hiding, and bring him over to them. For security measures, they will be bringing Brown, the soldier Jaeden assaulted, with him, although he's not jumping in the same stylish way, Goldfield smugly quips. Jaeden is pissed and tries to break out of his bondage, but soon enough, he's been brought over to the rocket, where, still bound, he is put inside the Rocket. Brown, beat up, but ready, shows up at his side, and doesn't say a word, while Jaeden eyes him bad. Shortly afterwards, Brown jumps off the plane, and Jaeden is rocketed out afterwards.

 

During his fall, Jaeden ruminates about a voice message that he had sent Chris shortly after he went missing. Jaeden, sorrowfully, says that he's sorry for having broken to him about what had happened to mom, but he had to know. He knows that Chris likely won't forgive him for still working for the USHA, but he believes that he's doing something right. After sending it, Richie and Tommy both show up next to him, and ask him if he's doing okay. Jaeden says he is, just worried about their uncle. But he doesn't want them to worry, because everything is gonna be alright, for them and for uncle Chris. They hug.

 

Jaeden lands, and Brown lands a little further down. Brown finally opens conversation about what happened between the two of them, trying to apologize for having murdered Jaeden's mother, but Jaeden tells him to shut the Hell up. The two walk their way through the Algerian town, with plenty of people looking confused at two American military officers, one of them looking ridiculous in red, white and blue spandex and a rocket mask, going by. Brown tells the people not to worry, they are here representing official American diplomacies, while Jaeden stays silent. Jaeden then paces ahead, and thanks to initial coordinates given to him by the USHA, he quickly finds Chris, hiding in a basement. Chris is stunned that Jaeden found him yet again, and it seems this time, he has company. Chris jokes that Jaeden is not good enough at his job and needed help, and Jaeden says that he just wants Chris to come with him so that his family doesn't suffer anymore. Chris asks Jaeden how can he think that his family hasn't suffered enough already. He asks him one last time: "Why the Hell are you still working for those fascists who killed our mother?" Jaeden snaps and admits that it's because he thought he was being good to his country, putting America's interests over his own, allowing his mother to be sacrificed but recognizing that, deep down, the USHA meant good. "Being a 'real American'." He always knew that there was inherent racism in the organization, but he didn't wanna believe that it was ever going to bring the worst of Americans, besides that one tragic incident, given their historical track record of good deeds for America in which he was involved. Chris questions that, saying that Jaeden was likely tortured and experimented on by them, and his family is being held hostage, so they truly never cared about humanity - they just care about their political interests of "making America great again." Jaeden stares, as if he knows this. Brown asks Jaeden what's he waiting for, let's take this son of a bitch down, and Brown jumps at Chris. The two fight for a brief moment, but when it seems Brown has the upper hand, Jaeden turns him around and punches him hard, sending him flying across the room. Jaeden then tells Chris that Brown was the guy who killed their mother, shocking Chris. Brown says, down on the ground, that he did kill their mother, and he should've killed them too, calling Jaeden a traitor to America and Chris a terrorist who was willing to murder hundreds. Chris grabs Jaeden's pistol, which Jaeden allows him to have, and shoots Brown in the head, Jaeden not looking. Chris cries out after killing Brown. Jaeden says that he could have the USHA after him and his wife and sons, so he really needs to bring Chris in if things are to stay normal. Chris says he's only going dead, and they fight one last time. Jaeden ruminates over everything that's transpired while he fights Chris, but he recovers focus and takes Chris down for good. With his pistol pointed at Chris, who demands him to kill him, Jaeden says that with his family on the line and Chris having turned into a terrorist, he should. Chris says that's probably what "real Americans" do. Chris then closes his eyes, but Jaeden puts his gun down, and asks Chris to run as far away as he can, and never come back again. "If you ever try to kill innocent people again, I'll bring you to the law myself." They stare at each other and look as if they're about to head the other way, but turn back around and hug. They hug for a solid moment and then let go. They finally head their way.

 

Cut to black.

 

We fade in to a home in rural America. We see Janet and Richie's face for the first time. They're watching at home as the Rocket Hero is considered having betrayed the USHA and let terrorist Chris King escape. It is revealed that the Rocket Hero is actually Jaeden King, half-brother of Chris King, and that both men are in every federal and military organization's most wanted lists. We hear a knock on the door, Janet walks carefully to answer it. After looking through the door, she realizes that it's Jaeden. She opens the door, and she and Jaeden tearfully hug and kiss. Richie also comes back, and Jaeden emotionally embraces his son and wife. Jaeden says that they need to fly, far away, and to gather their things. Shortly afterwards, Jaeden realizes that Tommy is missing. Janet is unable to bring herself to words about it. Jaeden clenches his fists and face.

 

Edited by MCKillswitch123
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

XenobladeBanner.png

 

THE POWER OF THE MONADO

 

Studio Groundswell

Director: Wes Ball

Genre: Sci-Fi/Adventure

Release Date: June 13th, Y9 (IMAX)

Theater Count: 3,850

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for Violence and Peril

Budget: $150 Million

Runtime: 2 hr 01 min

Original Score Composers: Sonya Belousova and Giona Ostinelli

 

Main Cast

Tom Holland as Shulk

Harris Dickinson as Reyn

Jessie Mei Li as Sharla

Phoebe Dyvenor as Fiora

Ben Barnes as Dunban

Ralph Fiennes as Dickson

Lennie James as Otharon

with Ralph Ineson as Xord*

and Willem Dafoe as Metal Face*

 

Minor Cast

Amir El-Masry as Gadolt

Maxim Baldry as Alvis

Pilou Asbæk as Mumkhar

 

* = denotes voice role

 

Logline

Shulk and others travel across locations grown on the dead titan Bionis in an effort to save his colony's citizens from being eaten alive by robotic beings known as Mechon.

 

Plot Summary (just shy of 3K)

Spoiler

The camera fades in and sweeps across an ocean, panning up to two gigantic titans in a never-ending battle—Bionis and Mechonis. Their size is massive, truly massive; their height pierces the stratosphere of their planet. A narrator explains that the titans have fought on this never-ending sea for millennia. They duel, and duel, and duel, until one day when their bodies become frozen like statues in the middle of their duel. Then life grows on the frozen bodies of the titans. Organic life forms grow on Bionis; this includes the Homs (who are practically identical to humans) as well as other intelligent life forms. But on Mechonis… Only mechanical beings known as Mechons come from there. And in this day and age, the Homs and the Mechons are at war with one another, with the Mechons steadily advancing through the land on Bionis!

 

We transition to a battle against Hom soldiers and Mechons, with Mechons gaining the upper hand against the Homs. The Homs try to use guns and other weapons against the Mechons, but all of their weapons fail against the Mechon. Dunban (Barnes), Dickson (Fiennes), and Mumkhar (Asbæk) hide behind a rock and discuss what they’re going to do against the Mechon. It looks hopeless—but with the weapon Dunban’s holding, a red laser sword called the Monado, they have a fighting chance! Dunban leaps out and starts using the Monado to defeat many of the Mechons. At one point, Dickson leaps out and takes a hit for Dunban, but he’s very much still alive. Meanwhile, Mumkhar tries to desert them, but he runs into a group of Mechons, and he screams as their red lasers point at him…

 

Dunban uses his sheer willpower to keep the Monado under control. Brandishing the Monado, he runs into a crowd of Mechon. The camera follows a dragon-like “Telethia” as it flies over the battle and flies through shadowy locations on Bionis as the sun’s white light takes over the image.

 

We fade to a blue sky. One Year Later appears, followed by Colony 9 - Bionis’s Right Calf. 

 

Shulk (Holland) lies down in a patch of green grass. A curious fellow, he notices a rock and gets up to look at it. Reyn (Dickinson) runs in and tells him to look out. Shulk jumps back as a crabble stands up (the rock was actually a shell). They defeat the crabble (Shulk using a wooden sword and Reyn using a giant gunblade), and Shulk thanks Reyn for the heads up.

 

They travel back to the main village of Colony 9, where more Homs live. Nopon (a species of small fluffy round things that speak broken English) also inhabit the town. Reyn’s break is over, so he heads back to the colony’s defense force. Shulk, a weapons developer, reports directly to a laboratory and observes the Monado with Dickson. We learn from this scene that the Monado is the open weapon that can make a dent in Mechon armor and that the weapon goes out of control when someone tries to wield it. Shulk’s current goal is to find a way to control the Monado.

 

We cut to Dunban’s house in Colony 9. Dunban lies in his bed, and his younger sister Fiora (Dynevor) brings him a bowl of stew. We learn that Dunban had controlled the Monado out of sheer willpower at the cost of losing his right arm to paralysis. Fiora is about to go find Shulk and eat lunch with him. She wishes Dunban to get well soon as she leaves. Dunban tries to use his right hand to eat, but he drops the spoon and sighs.

 

Shulk and Fiora meet each other at a bench in Outlook Park, which overlooks the town. They eat sandwiches and talk about their friendship, as they’ve known each other since childhood. Fiora wants to see the Monado, so Shulk agrees to sneak her into the laboratory.

 

They go to the lab and find havoc, as Reyn has grabbed the Monado—the sword drags him around the room, and he destroys equipment by accident. He also hits Fiora and knocks her back (though the Monado doesn’t injure humans). Shulk takes the sword from Reyn... Zoom in on Shulk’s pupil, and we cut to a vision—shots of future events in the story, events Shulk can’t recognize yet. Amazed, Shulk drops the sword and huffs. They ask each other if they’re okay. Shulk chastises Reyn for trying to grab the sword because he could have damaged the Monado. Fiora expresses her anger that Shulk is more worried about the weapon than he is about her. Reyn reveals that he came to the lab to ask Shulk to accompany him to Tephra Cave so they can gather Ether Cylinders and bring them to refuel the colony’s mobile artillery unit. (In this world, ether is an energy source.) Shulk, Reyn, and Fiora resolve to go there together.

 

Night falls. We get scenes of Shulk, Reyn, and Fiora traveling through Tephra Cave, defeating monsters, and obtaining ether cylinders. But then… Rumbling can be felt from outside. They exit the cave and look up at the sky as Mechon invade Colony 9. The Mechon destroy the military’s means of defense and start snatching civilians, kidnapping a whole bunch of them. Reyn swears vengeance on his fallen comrades before they head back to the colony. The trio runs through the town in a mad dash to get to the Monado (though Fiora breaks off to go refuel the mobile artillery unit, believing it’ll be of help). Shulk and Reyn see that the entrance to the lab is blocked by debris. They get surrounded by Mechon, and it looks grim… Then Dunban appears with the Monado in hand, as he’s unearthed more willpower to fight with the Monado once more. He takes out waves of Mechon in front of Shulk and Reyn.

 

They head to the main entrance, but Dunban becomes immobilized by sudden pain. He drops the Monado and collapses just as they get surrounded by more Mechon. With no options, Shulk picks up the Monado in an attempt to wield it. Not only can he wield it without pain, but the sword gives him a premonition of a Mechon laser firing at them. With knowledge of the future, Shulk deflects the laser and uses the Monado to slay the Mechon.

 

Shulk and Reyn help Dunban up, and they carry him together. Seeing that most of the Mechon have left, they travel the residential district and try to get him back to his house. But they are stopped by a Faced Mechon known as Metal Face (Dafoe), who miraculously knows how to speak English. They find out that the Monado doesn’t have any effect on a Faced Mechon such as Metal Face.

 

Metal Face knocks them and goes in for the kill. Then Fiora shows up to join the fight; she’s operating the mobile artillery unit (think P-5000 Powered Work Loader). Fiora blasts Metal Face back, diverting his attention to her. Shulk then sees a premonition of Metal Face killing Fiora. Shulk yells at Fiora, telling her not to fight, but Fiora refuses to back down, rushing in and using the artillery unit to fire machine gun bullets at Metal Face. The bullets actually make a dent in his face! But Metal Face fires a laser from his eyes and knocks the unit back. Then he grabs the unit, slams it against a wall, and uses his claws to stab and ultimately kill Fiora. Shulk vows revenge on Metal Face and tries to kill him, but Metal Face escapes with Fiora’s body.

 

After a brief funeral for everyone who died during the chaos, Shulk talks with Dunban and Dickson in Dunban’s room. Dickson believes that the Mechons are most likely taking the kidnapped people to a captured mine in Colony 6. Shulk fights through the emotional pain of losing Fiora, but Dunban tells him to “treasure the gift of life that Fiora has given him.” Then Shulk and Reyn head out to find and rescue the citizens, as well as to fulfill their desires for vengeance. Shulk vows to change the future. Dunban stays behind to heal, but watches them from a window in his house and wishes them luck.

 

Shulk and Reyn through another part of Tephra Cave (the rocks have a dark blue glow to them). They believe this new path will get them to where they need to go. Then Shulk gets a premonition of giant spiders surrounding and killing Reyn in a webbed area but decides not to tell Reyn so as not to worry him. They walk further through the cave, and suddenly, a white webby substance wraps around Reyn and pulls him through the cave’s ceiling. Shulk rushes past an oasis in the middle of the cave, past some beautiful wildlife, until he finally reaches the spider’s nest, where Reyn is getting surrounded. Just before the spider shoves its leg through Reyn’s chest, Shulk activates the shield function of the Monado and covers Reyn with a yellow energy shield. Shulk and Reyn proceed to defeat the spiders.

 

They find an exit and enter a beautiful grassy landscape known as the Gaur Plain, where a lot of monsters reside. They see smoke in the distance and head to the smoke, finding a destroyed buggy. Shulk touches it and gets a vision of a young boy being chased by monsters on the plain. Shulk and Reyn proceed through the plain and find Juju, a young boy who is indeed being chased by monsters. Shulk and Reyn defeat the monsters.

 

Shulk fixes Juju’s buggy, and Juju gives them a ride to his camp, which is hidden in an encampment of Homs that’s surrounded by rocky walls. Shulk and Reyn meet Sharla (Li), who is Juju’s older sister as well as a trained medic. Sharla sees Reyn’s defense force uniform and asks him if he knows where Gadolt, her lover, is. Shulk clarifies that they’re from Colony 9, not Colony 6. Sharla agrees to let Shulk and Reyn rest in the encampment.

 

During the night, Shulk and Reyn go to talk with Sharla, who reveals that her encampment is the last of the Colony 6 citizens. They had to flee Colony 6 a month ago due to Mechon attacks. Sharla believes that Gadolt and a Colony 6 tactician, Otharon, are among the few people still hiding in Colony 6 and fighting against the Mechon. Shulk and Reyn say that they’re headed to Colony 6 to rescue Colony 9 citizens that may have been taken there. Sharla decides that she wants to go with them. Juju overheard them, and he comes out telling them he wants to join them, but Sharla refuses to let him tag along. He runs off, gets in his buggy, and drives off into the plain, forcing Shulk, Reyn, and Sharla to follow him on foot.

 

We cut to the mines of Colony 6 where Mechon have surrounded the kidnapped people from Colony 9. The Mechon pull a citizen out from the group and feeds him to a machine; the man is eaten alive in front of everyone. Otharon (James) watches from afar with a pair of binoculars; he looks down mournfully, not believing he can do anything to stop the Mechons. He sneaks away…

 

Shulk, Reyn, and Sharla find Juju in Spiral Valley, an area past the plain, but Shulk gets a vision of a tentacle Mechon. Sure enough, a tentacle Mechon bursts from the ground and grabs Juju. The group defeats the tentacle monster in an intense struggle, aided by Shulk using the Monado to give everyone the temporary ability to run faster. Sharla helps by using her sniper rifle to shoot bullets, and she also shoots healing lasers at Shulk and Reyn from time to time. They think they’re safe until Shulk tells everyone that he saw another Mechon in his vision. It’s Xord (Ineson), another Faced Mechon who appears hovering in the sky. Xord is bulkier and rounder than Metal Face, and the lights coming from within his body are red in color. Cord tries to kill everyone (with the heroes fighting back) until the light from his body turns green. Then Xord kidnaps Juju and heads off toward Colony 6. Sharla, distraught after seeing Juju being kidnapped, faints, and the others take her back to the encampment.

 

They all get rest, and Sharla wakes up from a nightmare about Juju dying. (We saw flashes of that dream; Gadolt (Masry) was also shown in the dream.) Shulk and Reyn assure Sharla that they will help get Juju back. “We’ll save him,” says Shulk. “I’m really feeling it!” They leave the encampment and travel past Gaur Plain and Spiral Valley, reaching the Colony 6 entrance at the upper level of Bionis’s leg. Sadly, the entrance is guarded by Mechon, forcing them to travel through the mines.

 

They travel through the mines (the rock walls are a darker purple-ish color), and they run into Otharon. Otharon reveals that Gadolt disappeared after a failed surprise attack. We cut to flashes of Gadolt promising Sharla that he will find her, and we cut back to the present as Sharla breaks down. Reyn comforts Sharla, and Shulk suddenly gets a vision of Otharon shooting Xord in a mobile artillery and falling into a pool of liquid ether. Shulk tries to warn Otharon, but Otharon doesn’t believe him. Believing that they are the key to freeing the captive Colony 9 citizens, Otharon impatiently goes ahead.

 

The trio finds a Nopon vendor, who is selling brand new items, and they decide to stock up on gear that will help them out during the battle to come. When Reyn finishes getting his gear, he pounds his fists together and says, “now it’s Reyn time!”

 

After fighting a lot of Mechon, they get to the base of the Mechon and destroy the machine that the Mechon were feeding with the citizens. They free the citizens from their cages. Sharla looks for Juju but cannot find him. Then Xord appears and taunts them, and he reveals a levitating diamond-shaped force field; Juju is trapped inside of the force field, and he’s unconscious. (Xord’s monologue is intercut with Otharon making his way near the base and overhearing everything.)

 

The trio fights Xord, but Xord is too powerful to beat. Then Otharon appears in the mobile artillery and shoots Xord. The force of the artillery’s bullets knocks Xord backward toward the pool of liquid ether (a steaming green lake in which Xord would surely disintegrate). Shulk remembers this from his vision and quickly tells Reyn and Sharla about a plan to save Otharon.

 

Otharon shoots Xord enough so that he falls off his platform. Unfortunately, due to where he was positioned, Otharon falls off his own platform. Shulk maneuvers a mobile crane, and Sharla yells for Otharon to jump out of the artillery unit. Otharon leaps out and tries to land on the crane, but he’s just shy of making it. Reyn catches him just in time, as he ran on the crane onto the crane to catch him while he was falling. Xord finally lands in the ether, and he screams and splashes around as he sinks below the surface.

 

Juju’s force field fades away, and he falls to the ground. Sharla catches him, and he wakes up and embraces Sharla. Otharon sees that Shulk’s vision was right, and he apologizes for not believing him. The trio corales all the citizens onto an elevator (a very wide, very open platform) where they will get out of the mine and head back to Sharla’s refugee camp. But while the elevator slowly ascends upwards diagonally to the surface, Xord reappears, scales the elevator shaft, and makes it onto the platform. Xord is severely damaged, but is hungry for the deaths of the Homs who outsmarted him. His armor being corroded by the ether means that he is defeated easily by the trio. Just before Xord dies, he tells Shulk “you remind me of the time when I…” Shulk demands that he answer, but Xord closes with “You have yet to unlock the full power of the Monado.” Then Xord falls down the elevator shaft and explodes.

 

The elevator reaches the top. Everyone spills out onto the grass, and they rejoice that they’re alive. Then everyone panics as a horde of Faced Mechons shows up; this includes Metal Face. Shulk brandishes the Monado and stands in front of everyone. The Mechons know that Xord is dead; fearing the Monado’s power and not wanting to lose any more of their numbers, they retreat. Shulk calls them cowards and chastises Metal Face for killing Fiora, swearing that he will get revenge one day.

 

Everyone asks each other what they’re going to do now. Sharla offers to lead everyone back to her refugee camp, but many of the Colony 9 citizens are scared since the world outside the colonies is full of monsters. Shulk walks to the front of the pack. He looks back at the people and tells them to follow him. Reyn is the first one to follow, and everyone else follows suit. As the mass of people follows the heroes, the Telethia from the beginning of the film flies higher up Bionis’s body and flies in front of a young man who sits over a cliff. This is Alvis (Baldry). He pets the Telethia’s head. “You did well,” he says. “But what of the boy?” The dragon grunts. Alvis says, “I see… There is much to be done.”

 

The camera dollies out from Alvis and the Telethia. A series of shots fade in and out, going farther and farther from Alvis until finally, we get one last shot of Bionis and Mechonis as they remain frozen. Cut to black.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

AeroMobil: The Future Is Now

Studio Groundswell

Directors: Josh Lowell and Peter Mortimer

Genre: Documentary

Release Date: May 16th, Y9

Theater Count: 2,115

MPAA Rating: PG for Thematic Elements and Peril

Budget: $5 million

Runtime: 91 minutes

 

Plot Summary

AeroMobil: The Future Is Now tracks Slovakian company AeroMobil and its development of the world's first functioning flying car. The documentarians tell the history of the company and its founders and discuss the development of the cars in relation to past attempts to develop flying cars, the history of Slovakia and what AeroMobil means to the country. The first flight of their supercar took place in 2014, and the cars have gained more publicity in the past few months, have been greenlit for flight by the Slovak Transport Authority, and have entered mass production. The documentary has a hopeful tone, with many nods to visions of flying cars from visual media's past, and ultimately states that the arrival of flying cars means that we have finally entered the future, and in the future, who knows what else is possible?

 

(Images of the car:)

Spoiler

1920x1080_cmsv2_6c14752e-81a2-5e2d-8135-

 

76cb1f2008a07f04b31d6699964f173af497c2ff

 

58107651_303.jpg

 

Edited by SLAM!
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Shadow of the Comet

 

Studio: Fossil Record Animation

Director: Harold Kingsley

Genre: Action, Science-Fiction

Release Date: April 25th Y9

Rating: PG-13 for language, violence

Budget: $25 Million

Runtime: 2 hr 25 min

Format: hand-drawn animation

Theater Count: 2,086

 

Main Cast:

Samuel L. Jackson as Lee Richards

Janet Maheswaran* as Valerie Acharya

John Wilkins* as Michael Schwartz

Peter David Meyers* as Ian Seymour

Andrew Harrow* as Joseph "Big Joe" Creed


Summary:

Spoiler

The film opens on a monologue by protagonist Lee Richards, describing how humanity always considered itself invincible, but was unable to survive the destructive force of nature. This occurs against a backdrop of a comet in space, which is then shown colliding with Earth. Cities are destroyed, clouds of black smoke and dust fill the air. All of this fades out to reveal it is a flashback, and Lee is in fact walking through a devastated North Carolina landscape (the ruins of Charlotte can be seen in the background). 

 

The title is then shown

 

We see a montage of Richards' travels during the opening credits, during which he is barely eking out an existence. No other humans are to be seen. At various times, we focus on a NASA logo on Richards's clothing. 

 

The story proper starts with Richards unsuccessfully attempting to build a fire and cook something over it, when he is distracted by a sound coming from a nearby thicket of dead vegetation. Turning to investigate, he discovers that the source of the sound is another man. The new man does not introduce himself, but instead accosts Richards, who in turn demands to know where he came from and what he wants. 

 

The new man remains cryptic and cagey, but tells Richards he is looking for a place where he believes that his family have survived the disaster that seems to have wiped out the rest of humanity. Gradually, through their conversation, more details of the backstory are revealed. Richards explains that he was a former NASA astronaut on a space mission to deflect the incoming comet with a nuclear bomb. The mission failed, but he was inexplicably one of the few-- if not the only-- people to survive the impact. Richards agrees to help the new man find what he is looking for, but privately distrusts him. 

 

Richards and the new man-- who eventually reveals that his name is Michael Schwartz, and that he is a former firefighter-- arrive at what appears to be an impromptu refugee colony of other people who have survived the impact. Upon his arrival, Richards is captured and interrogated by a group of armed thugs, who seemingly act as the colony's makeshift police force. He is freed, however, by Valerie Acharya, a former mathematics professor who had arrived in the colony several weeks beforehand. Acharya claims that, based on her calculations, the colony is inherently unstable, and this will eventually lead to its collapse. The refugees in the colony also whisper of an "Ark", the nature of which is not elaborated upon.

 

Richards and Schwartz seek an audience with Ian Seymour, a billionaire survivor who exudes an outsized influence over the rest of the survivors in the colony. Seymour comes off as welcoming and friendly, and apologizes-- in a surprisingly sincere manner-- for how his "supporters" acted towards Richards. Richards, however, isn't convinced, and when he is alone with Schwartz, he tells him that he believes Seymour is going to be bad news for the colony. The very next day, Seymour makes a public speech to the rest of the refugee colony, claiming that humanity can "rise again" and will experience a "new golden age". The majority of people in the colony are thrilled by this, and, buoyed by this popularity, Seymour asserts himself as the leader of the colony. 

 

After witnessing this, Richards and Schwartz speak to Acharya again. She explains that she specializes in chaos theory-- the study of things that are inherently unstable and unpredictable. In other words, the exact opposite of Richards's work as an astrophysicist, which focused on very predictable things such as the orbits of satellites and planets. Using the failed mission to deflect the comet as an example, she points out how a complex system never stays stable for long, and why she was worried about the refugee colony. Schwartz asks Acharya if there is any other way for civilization to survive. Hess says she doesn't know. 

 

As the days go by, food and water become ever scarcer in the refugee colony, and Seymour declares that the solution to this is to steal from the other refugee colonies. To that end, he sends his armed supporters--now organized into a militia-- on raids into nearby refuges, where they kill the inhabitants and take their supplies. Lynchings and beatings of survivors who disagree with Seymour become common as well. Meanwhile, Richards, Schwartz, and Acharya decide it is no longer safe in the refugee colony, and make plans to escape. 

 

That night, the three of them sneak out of the refugee colony, only for Schwartz to suddenly confront Richards about how everything from the comet collision to them ending up in a tyrannical refugee colony was his fault. Richards attempts to defend himself, saying he couldn't have predicted any of that, only to realize that Acharya's chaos theory is more true than he gave it credit for being. He asks if either of them blame him for the failure of the comet deflection mission, but they both say they do not. 

 

They arrive the next day at a neighboring refugee colony called New Asheville, where they are greeted by Schwartz's family. Richards recognizes that resources are still poor, but refuses to stoop to Seymour's level of raiding other refugees. He does, however, ask Acharya about the "Ark". She assumes it to be some kind of underground bunker that would have allowed a certain number of people to survive the impact. Richards, however, is unconvinced, and believes it to be something more. He decides to investigate.  During one of his routine explorations of the colony, he discovers a metal door in the ground. The door opens, leading to what seems to be a long mine shaft. He climbs down it, only for it to be revealed that it isn't a mine shaft at all, but something much stranger. 

 

Meanwhile, Seymour's militia are preparing to mount an attack on New Asheville. Seymour declares that it is a matter of pride, not simply of gaining more resources, and that they must be destroyed at all costs. Many of them are well-armed now, with makeshift spears, axes, and a few even have guns. They begin marching towards New Asheville, clearly intending to wipe them out. 

 

As Seymour's militia arrives in New Asheville, Acharya and Schwartz attempt to rally the inhabitants to fight, while Richard continues to investigate the tunnels he has discovered. It turns out the tunnels lead to a huge underground base of some kind, which has been sheltered from the impact, but is completely unoccupied. Richards tries to turn on a computer, but it doesn't work. Instead, he picks up a book, and then slowly looks up, realizing that what he sees illustrated in it is sitting directly in front of him. The underground base is in fact a bunker for a gigantic spacecraft, built before the impact as a last-ditch effort to evacuate Earth. This is the "Ark" he heard about.

 

Richards returns to the surface with this news, only to discover that Seymour's militia is already attacking New Asheville. Many of the refugees then proceed to follow him, Acharya, and Schwartz towards the Ark; Schwartz attempts to hold off the attacking militia but is killed. Once on board the Ark, Seymour confronts Richards directly on the catwalk overlooking the spacecraft, and is about to push him over the edge. Before he can do it, though, he is suddenly seized from behind and thrown down the launch silo by his own bodyguard Big Joe, who angrily declares that Seymour is the reason his brother died. 

 

Richards and Acharya escort the survivors onto the Ark-- which he christens the Michael Schwartz, after his deceased friend-- and prepares the giant spacecraft for launch. The scene then zooms out to reveal the spacecraft rising from its launch silo on a column of nuclear fire, ascending into orbit with the last of the human race on board. As the spacecraft recedes into the sky, Richards gives another monologue, against a backdrop of outer space. This time, he talks about the inherent corruptibility of human society, and whether it will ever be possible to overcome it. He says he doesn't know. 

 

The scene then fades to black, and the credits roll.

 

Edited by El Squibbonator
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

THE BOY WHO HATED BOOKS

 

Based OnO Menino Que Não Gostava de Ler (or Papirofobia: Leopoldo e a Montanha de Livros), by Susanna Tamaro

 

Studio: Phoenix Fire Entertainment

Director: Thea Sharrock

 

Genre: Family/Drama

Release Date: April 18th Y9
Theater Count: 3356

Rating: PG, for several scenes of peril and strong thematic content 

Format: 2D

Budget: $42 million

Runtime: 89 minutes (1 hour and 29 minutes)

 

Cast:

- Archie Yates as Leopold

- Vicky Kreips as Mum

- Tom Hiddleston as Dad

- Delroy Lindo as the Old Man

 

Plot:

 

Spoiler

Fade into waves crashing on a beach. On that beach, a young boy with glasses named Leopold (Archie Yates) is looking at the sunset. His eyes are watery, but his expression is stoic. In his hand is a book called “The Tramp in the Stars.” We start to hear in the background a birthday party.

 

24 Hours Earlier

 

 

Cut to said birthday party: it's Leopold's 8th anniversary. Mum (Vicky Kreips) and Dad (Tom Hiddleston) are gleefully singing him happy birthday. Leopold claps along and blows the candles. Mum kisses Leopold in the cheek and Dad gives him a good ol' hug. Mum asks Leopold to make a wish, Leopold closes his eyes and does. Dad asks Leopold to reveal his wish but Leopold refuses, as it only works if it's a secret. Mum then says that it's about time they gave Leopold his gift. Dad brings the gift and, eyeing the shape, Leopold gulps. Mum excitedly asks him to open the gift. Leopold unwraps the package: it's a small collection of books. Leopold is not pleased.

 

 

THE BOY WHO HATED BOOKS

 

 

Dad shouts "Yay!" while Mum jumps around goofily. Leopold, however, is pretty unsatisfied, looking down at the floor with sadness in his expression. Dad asks what's wrong. Leopold asks Mum and Dad if they don't tire of giving him the same thing over and over and over again. Mum rolls her eyes, saying Leopold has to start reading books at any point now. Leopold complains that every single time they buy him something, it's books. They already have shelves stockpiled with books, plenty of them bought for him, when he never liked to read. When all of his friends go out on camping holidays, or to the beach, or the river, and when their parents buy them something, it's things like brand new high fashion sneakers, like the High Starr ones he really wants. Mum is uninterested in Leopold's complaining. When he asks her why is it necessary for him to read, she says that he has to read to become a cult and intelligent person, just like her, or Dad. Dad, put on the spot, says he reads because it's good for his health or, err, good for learning things about worlds he never visited, or things like that. Mum makes a puppy face and tries to make Leopold read his new book, which is apparently an adventure book about a pirate traversing the Atlantic Ocean to find a hidden treasure. Leopold tries opening the book, but all he sees - and all we see - is letters dancing around like letter soup. He becomes anxious and drops the book. Mum is shocked, while Dad calmly tries to get Leopold to read the book again, but Leopold says he can't and starts crying. Mum and Dad look at each other worried.

 

 

The next day, Mum walks to work. She works as a librarian in a place that’s relatively close to the family’s home. At work, she meets a close friend of hers and Dad's, a psychologist and she convinces him to help them out with Leopold, since she trusts him better than any other doctors she knows. The friend hesitantly agrees. Dad is snoring on his couch, halfway through a book. He jolts up when he hears a call from Mum, who's asking him if he's available tomorrow to go with Leopold to meet their friend. She says it’s gotta be him - he knows she doesn’t really like going out to the city. Dad sighs and says he is. Meanwhile, Leopold is in school. During class, he is asked to read something out loud and everytime he is, he struggles with the dancing letters. The other children assume that he's taunting the professor and laugh. The teacher does not take Leopold's "mocking" lightly and berates him in public. Later in the day, Leopold has a written text. Leopold is nervous because he's been seeing letters mop around like never before, but a friend reassures him by saying that he's never had bad results in school. Sure enough, cut to the next shot, after the written test was completed and Leopold barely got a positive result, the teacher claiming that his writings were messy and barely legible. Leopold, frustrated, is led to tears. After school, he tells Mum in the car that his test result wasn't great and Mum is upset, but quickly cheers up as she tells Leopold that the next day, they will be seeing their psychologist friend. Mum says that Leopold got his glasses because he couldn't read very well in his early years and she doesn't understand why the problem wasn't fixed already. Leopold doesn't understand it either.

 

 

We cut to Dad, bored, looking at his phone, while Leopold is paying attention to the psychologist friend. The psychologist tells him that it's very likely that he has something called "papyrophobia" - fear of paper or, in this case, fear of books. Leopold is confused, but the psychologist tells him that he simply has to cut down on video games and television. Leopold wants to object, but Dad suddenly wakes up and says that he will make sure Leopold will lose the effect of those bad things. Shortly after, at home, Mum says that this papyrophobia thing needs to be corrected as soon as possible. Leopold says he has no video games at all and Mum says that he must play at school with his friends, little enough to affect his vision and fears. The boy also says that he barely watches television nowadays, but Mum says the little he sees must not be doing him right. She decides to unplug the television from his bedroom and cover it under a blanket with a lock and chain on it to keep it from being taken off. Leopold is shocked. At dinner, Mum asks Dad if he has any say on this and Dad, surprised, says that he will, umm, come up with a "therapeutic solution" for this papyrophobia. He says that by Leopold's age, he had already read half his height in physical books sized up and on his current age, he's read books many, many times his size, so Leopold must be "brought over softly", going from half a book on one session, to one book on another, to maybe two books and so on, until he's become an avid reader. Leopold is hesitant to start this therapy, while Mum is excited.

 

 

At night, Leopold is dreaming about a beast made entirely of books. In his book, the beast runs after him and when it reaches him, it opens its “mouth” (a book), where letters come out of it. The letters are blurry and hard to make anything off. They form a word that Leopold vaguely recognizes as his name, but once they start forming a phrase, (we shift to Leopold’s POV) they become increasingly imperceptible. Leopold has his glasses on and asks why they won’t do anything to help him. The letters do a weird cult-like dance and then grow larger in size, as they approach Leopold. Leopold screams - then, he wakes up on a jolt. Breathing in and out hard, he looks hard at his bedroom, full of shelves littered with books and looks with affirmation forward. He then lays down again, looking pensive. 

 

 

The next morning, he quickly packs his things up in a backpack, dresses up very casually and gets out of the house at around 6:30 AM, before either Mum or Dad are awake. Dad snores loudly, but Mum overheard something. Leopold makes a run for it outside and ends up on a bus, which leads to the center of the town. Mum gets up, startling Dad awake. She visits Leopold’s bedroom and realizes he left. She starts calling for him around the house and doesn’t find him anywhere. She panics, as Dad too realizes what’s going on. Dad runs outside, almost tripping on his way out. On the street, he realizes Leopold is nowhere to be seen. Mum starts crying and asks Dad to call the police, but Dad, looking sideways, says maybe Leopold just went to school early - this is a school day after all. Mum says Dad just wants to go back to bed and him a lazy, self-centered bum, while Dad, using his best (but still weak) energy, tells Mum that she is too scaredy to drive out to find their son. Mum says she’s not, but when Dad challenges her to drive, she refuses. Dad says they’ll drive later, when the sky is clear blue, but Mum wants something to be done asap, since for all they know, Leopold might’ve been kidnapped. Dad stands there, without really knowing what to do.

 

 

Leopold, meanwhile, is in the center of the city. He passes by a closed shopping mall, where he sees the High Starr sneakers he so desperately wanted. He imagines parents buying them for their kids and turns around calling for Mum, but then he realizes he’s alone. He silently weeps. His despair draws the attention of locals passing by, who ask him where his parents are. He says he doesn’t know. When a guy who went out for jogging asks to call his parents, he says he lost his phone and doesn’t know his parents’ number by memory - we cut to a pan shot of the phone buried underneath trash in a trash can nearby. The phone starts vibrating, as “Mum” is ringing. Leopold lies to the jogger, saying he went out shopping with his parents, but the jogger says that it’s way too early to shop and it’s a school day, so Leopold should be getting ready to go to school. The jogger says he’s never seen Leopold around here anyway, so he suspects Leopold must be from another part of the city. He makes a call, but after he’s turned around, Leopold has run away. He runs after the kid, but Leopold hides behind some trees in a public park. Having managed to drive the jogger away, he then notices a bench. He approaches it, only to realize that there’s an old man (Delroy Lindo) sitting on that bench. He then notices the old man wearing black glasses and suspects he’s blind, so he tries to approach the bench silently as for the man not to disturb him. However, as he gets there, the old man asks who it is that’s out there. Leopold tries to stay silent, but the old man knows someone’s there and asks them not to shy away. Leopold reveals himself and the Old Man is surprised that it’s just a young boy. Leopold asks him not to judge him. The Old Man asks Leopold if he ran away from his house. Leopold is taken by surprise and stumbles into saying he did, which encourages the Old Man to reveal that he knows a kid who’s ran away from home, since he ran away from home himself. Leopold is shocked.

 

 

Mum is trying hard to call Leopold, but he won’t answer. She is really anxious now. She yells at Dad, for why he is falling asleep on the couch. Dad jolts back up awake and apologizes, but says that he’s afraid bringing in the police will create a media storm. Mum says she’d rather that than drive around the city to find her boy, especially since it’s the police’s job to find Leopold. Dad, admitting he’s afraid they will draw national attention, finally relents and says that he will drive, even if he’s super sleepy right now. Mum asks him why he is so sleepy all the time if he takes long naps and sleeps enough hours, but Dad says he doesn’t know, it’s just inherent. Dad then retorts and asks Mum why she is so afraid of driving. Mum admits… uncomfort in cars. When Dad gets on the wheel and Mum sits down, Mum shows a face of slight anxiousness. Dad asks Mum if this is why the only car they use on holidays is a cab and then they use public transport; Mum says this is part of the reason, the other being that cars are bad for the environment. Dad doesn’t disagree there, but whispers that this will have to do for now. The car speeds off the house.

 

 

The Old Man shares stories with Leopold, stories of when he was a homeless person. He was very sad and lonely at home, so he decided to head out. Leopold asks him where he slept and the Old Man reveals that, despite not being very tall, he embarked on a sailboat, which wows Leopold. The Old Man then sits down and tells Leopold some of his life story: he had lapped the world around eighteen times and plenty of wonderful things had happened during that time. (We get shots where we see the Old Man doing what he says) He had seen whales of many different colors and kinds; fought the pirates in Malaysia and in the South China Sea, having escaped one of them by jumping and grabbing onto a trunk, on which he had washed ashore on a volcanic island lost in the middle of the Pacific Ocean; in that island, he had met wild people so tiny that they fit on the palm of his hand. Those locals elected him as the king of the island; yet still, he chose to leave the island eventually, hopping on the back of a dolphin, and traveling all the way to another island, where he had met a beautiful princess. He fell in love with her, but found out the day before they married that if he had married her, she would’ve transformed him into a pig because she was actually a witch. So, he jumped into the sea and swam until he reached a transatlantic cruise ship that was traveling West. From there, he visited Crimea, hopped on a horse and crossed the entirety of Russia and Siberia. One fateful morning, the event that made him blind happened. (Leopold, back in the present time, is completely into the story and is taken aback, but darkly curious to find out how the Old Man became blind.) The Old Man says it happened in Mongolia: a tribe of rebels took sight away from him with an incandescent sword flashing rays into his eyes. (We return to the present.) Leopold says that must’ve been scary, which the Old Man agrees with, but the Old Man says he regrets none of it. The Old Man then sighs to the floor, his hands shaking just a tiny little bit. Leopold notices this and asks the Old Man what is wrong. The Old Man says that deep down, he doesn’t quite know how to feel as his time has passed and life took much away from him. Leopold asks him if he is scared, the Old Man doesn’t directly reply other than turning his head around.

 

 

The Old Man then says that if there is one thing he doesn’t regret, it is that he never found out how a certain book ended. A book titled “The Tramp in the Stars.” It was the story of a man unfairly held in prison. Held in chains and in the dark, the prisoner then started utilizing his imagination as a form of going back in time and living the lives of people in distinct periods of history. It was, according to the Old Man, a fascinating story. One that he never got to finish, as the Mongolians had blinded him when he was about to end it. Leopold, breathing hard but looking bravely, thinks that, maybe, he could find himself a way to finish that book. The Old Man says that there’s only one library in the city that is known to have copies of this book. Leopold suspects it must be the library next to his house, where his mom works, so he says they will be headed there. The Old Man then asks what they are going to do there and Leopold looks down, but says that he is going to rent the book and read the ending to the Old Man. The Old Man appreciates it, but Leopold seems lost in inner rumination.

 

 

Dad and Mum drive around looking for anything remotely close to answers, but as they ask many people, they do not know the whereabouts of Leopold. Some time has passed and school is now open, so Mum calls school. No sign of Leopold there. Mum cries. Dad is worried too and starts asking himself if it isn’t a good time to actually admit they have an emergency and call the police at that point, even if he doesn’t want him or his family to be the center of attention. Mum doesn’t care at this point and asks Dad to drive. On the way back, however, Dad starts dozing off a little bit. At first, not too much of a problem, but eventually, he careers off the road and almost causes an incident with people walking back, scaring everyone around, including Mum. Dad cannot explain what happened, he just started falling asleep again, unexpectedly, which doesn’t usually happen when he’s driving. Mum just yells at him to leave the wheel, she’s driving herself. Dad, seeing everyone looking and wondering if they’re gonna start murmuring about them, closes his eyes and listens to memories of him being bullied in school because he slept too much. He quickly doses back to life and, reluctantly, lets Mum on the wheel, despite knowing she hasn’t taken the wheel of a car for a while now. Mum is at the wheel, but her own anxieties start surfacing, as while she puts the foot on the gas, she starts imagining sharp curves and claustrophobic tunnels, where she can imagine hearing cars spinning out. We jump in quick cuts throughout her driving, Dad imagining what other people might be thinking and Mum trying to keep focused, only to lose herself in her amaxophobia (fear of cars). Eventually, the quick cuts reach a crescendo and Mum just stops the car in a nearby parking lot. The two breathe hard and look at each other, only to hold hands. Dad asks Mum if she can feel what he feels, Mum says she does. Dad asks what it is he feels and Mum says it: “Fear.” They embrace in the car.

 

 

On a bus headed to the library, Leopold and the Old Man talk. Leopold asks the Old Man what it is that makes him go to that public park everyday. The Old Man says that, deep down, it’s because he feels like he has so much more to give to the world when he’s outside than when he’s in. That’s why he liked reading books so much before he lost sight: because he could lose himself in the outside world, or the outside worlds imagined by other people. Leopold asks the Old Man if he ever feels scared of going out and the Old Man admits that at his age, he has nothing to lose, so there’s no reason to fear anything. Leopold says that’s not the case with him, as he wants to live a long, healthy life. The Old Man then finally asks if that has anything to do with him running away from his house. Leopold says it does. The Old Man didn’t wanna ask directly because he didn’t want to judge Leopold, since, as he said it, he had run from his home himself before. Leopold says that he too is scared of… many things. Scared of not understanding why his parents want him to be something that he’s not, or why he does not see things the same way other people see them. He admits being terrified of being a disappointment. The Old Man, empathetic, tells Leopold that life is like reading a book: you can either read it well, semi-well, poorly or not be able to read it at all (like himself), but everyone will be able to tell the same story in a different way. “Isn’t that what makes books special? The fact that they are so different to each person, but so universal in what they are?” Leopold sits in silence, until the Old Man holds his hands to comfort him. Leopold thanks the Old Man.

 

 

The bus reaches Leopold’s neighborhood, where he and the Old Man walk out, Leopold with some anxiety. They make their way to the library. But before they can arrive, Mum and Dad’s car passes by, with Dad back on the wheel, despite the earlier incident. Mum notices Leopold and the car quickly parks on the library’s lot, while Leopold enters in a panic. The Old Man, aware that something’s wrong, tells Leopold that he has it in him. Leopold stares at him and then back at Mum, who runs to hug the boy. Dad slowly makes his way and embraces the two as well. The Old Man asks if they are the child’s parents. Mum is initially hostile towards the Old Man, wondering if he kidnapped him, but Leopold insists that the Old Man is someone he trusts, explaining that he is a blind person he found in a park and came with to the library to read him the ending of a book he never finished. Mum is relieved that the Old Man is not threatening, but then asks Leopold what was wrong with him by running away from their house like that. Leopold admits that he just thought he was a disappointment to them, but Mum says that he will never be a disappointment, he will always be her baby. Dad agrees and tells Leopold that he doesn’t have to worry about reading books ever again. The Old Man realizes that Leopold has some sort of fear of books, to which Leopold explains that everytime he tries to read, he sees a letter soup of sorts and it just frustrates him. The Old Man thinks to himself. He then asks if Leopold wears glasses, to which Leopold says he does, which makes the Old Man even more curious. Leopold then bravely decides he’s still gonna try to read the book anyway, if anything because he wanted to help the Old Man. Mum and Dad tell him that if he needs the help, they’ll give it, but Leopold insists he wants to do it himself. They head inside the library and eventually find a copy of “The Tramp in the Stars.” Leopold starts reading to himself the page in which the Old Man says he stopped, but as he tries to read, words just jump in and out of place, dancing maniacally. He becomes anxious and snaps, throwing the book to the floor, to the surprise of Mum and Dad. He then cries and asks Mum why they want him to read books so badly, since he can’t do it even with glasses. Mum, with a tear on her face, explains that she was always afraid of going out to the city because she went through something bad in the past, and because of that, she would stay inside reading books. Dad followed her suit. Dad intervenes, saying that he’s always felt unbelievable sleepiness and books were always his way of compensating for the free times in which he was actually awake. But deep down, both agree that the reason why they wanted Leopold to read books was because they were afraid that Leopold was not gonna do so well outside. Dad funnily says that they are a family of mess-ups. Mum and Dad then apologize to Leopold for being so protective and Leopold accepts the apology, saying they were just trying to keep him safe. He also apologizes to them for running away and the parents quickly accept his apology. The Old Man finally chimes in and says that if Leopold reads letter soup even with glasses on, that must mean that he has a different problem, something a little bit deeper. Mum then suggests dyslexia. Dad says that indeed might be it. Leopold doesn’t know very well what it is. Dad explains that it is a sight disorder that ran in his side of the family. Leopold asks him why he never suggested this could’ve been his problem and Dad says it was just another fear of his to find out his son had a disorder of this kind, but that reflects bad on his in hindsight. Mum says she just never thought of it before. Leopold looks down, but then smiles and hugs his Mum again. Mum, tears down her face, accepts the hug and embraces him again. Fade to black.

 

 

Leopold starts seeing a doctor and a special education teacher to help him with his dyslexia. Mum, meanwhile, is diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, and Dad is diagnosed with hypersomnia, a disorder that makes the person overly sleepy. All three joke about being a family of mess-ups and laugh about it, then focusing on getting better overtime. With the help of his guidance, Leopold learns to juggle his literacy skills and is finally able to read the book. It finished with the prisoner, in his last day of life, flying off to the stars, after taking off from a beautiful beach under a sunset. Leopold is there, watching the man take off - we return to the opening scene of the film. The Old Man joins Leopold, as the two embrace in this ethereal moment. After this, we get a montage sequence that shows the family embracing life through their struggles: Dad becoming more active, Mum exposing herself to her fears and Leopold reading more books. In the last scene, Leopold (with his parents nearby) and the Old Man reunite again. The Old Man says that Leopold is a brave young man and Leopold thanks the Old Man for everything he taught him. The Old Man then says Leopold shouldn’t be too happy with him as he lied to him. Leopold asks him how so. The Old Man then explains that he was not a sailor, but rather a night guard who read endless books to not lose himself in tedium. The only sea he saw was on the books he read, but Leopold promises him that those books took him to adventures anyone could only dream of. “They took me too”, he says. The Old Man, smiling, and Leopold, also smiling, look forward, as they see the same beach they saw earlier. The Sun shines down on them as the film fades to black.

 

Edited by MCKillswitch123
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Molly and Emmett

 

Based On: Characters created by Marilyn Hafner 

Studio: The Workshop, Inc.  

Director: Dan Walker 

Genre: Animation/Fantasy/Children's

Release Date: Friday April 4th, Y9
Theater Count: 1500

Rating: G (very mild peril) 

Format: 2D Animation

Budget: $10 million

Runtime: 90 minutes (1 hour and 30 minutes)

 

Cast:

- Annie Jeong* as Molly Park

- Billy Westwood* as Emmett

- Chae-won Yang* as Mrs. Park

- Stanley Miller* as Arthur Z.
- Jane Pearson* as Samantha

- Dee Bradley Baker as Angelina
*fictional

 

Tagline:

Things are about to get fuzzy. 

Synopsis

Spoiler

The movie begins with the title character, Molly Park, introducing herself. Molly is a free-spirited, artistic 10-year-old girl, who lives with her mother in suburban North Carolina. At school, she is an outcast, often struggling to fit in, and the only friend she has is her classmate Samantha, who she fantasizes about one day starting her own art studio with, since they share a keen interest in painting. In Molly's case, this interest is derived from her mother's own skill as a painter. 

While her mother is away on a business trip, Molly explores her study, and stumbles upon a paint set and an easel that she has never seen before. Intrigued, she begins painting a picture of a large orange cat, only to be surprised when the painting comes to life and speaks to her, introducing himself as Emmett. Knowing her mother won't approve of him, Molly insists on having him live in her room, something Emmett does not initially like the idea of. Molly takes Emmett to various places out of the house-- the park, the local ice cream shop, the arcade-- but she warns him not to speak so as not to attract attention. 

Molly invites Samantha over to her house, introduces her to Emmett, and shows her the mysterious paint set. Against Molly and Emmett's protests, Samantha takes a video with her phone and posts it on the internet. 

 

The post is noticed by Arthur Z, a social media influencer who claims to be on the lookout for "the next great artist." He is convinced that Molly is the star he is looking for. Molly and Emmett both admonish Samantha for being irresponsible, but when Molly's mother arrives home shortly afterwards, Samantha lies and says nothing bad happened, angering Molly. Molly goes to Samantha's house and demands she take down the video, but Samantha refuses. Molly is even angrier, and returns home, only to find that Emmett is gone. 

 

Emmett and the paint set, meanwhile, have been taken by Arthur Z, who at first simply sees him as a way to get Molly to agree to a contract, but is shocked when he discovers that Emmett can speak, and that he was created from the magic paint set. Arthur Z makes his announcement public, claiming that the magic paint set was his discovery. Molly notices this, and finally explains to her mother what happened. Her mother is surprised, but understanding. Next, Molly returns to Samantha's house, explaining to Samantha what happened because of what she did. Samantha doesn't apologize, but tells Molly she knows where Arthur Z will be making his next public appearance. 

 

Emmett, meanwhile, is trying to escape from Arthur Z's studio, only to encounter Angelina, Arthur Z's small but very cranky Chihuahua. Emmett tries to speak to Angelina, but can't, since the reason he can talk is because he was brought to life by the magic paint. Angelina chases him out of the studio and into the public reception area, where Emmett proceeds to run across the guests' tables, then climb up the curtains of the stage. Arthur Z notices this, and demands that Emmett come down while apologizing for the "inconvenience". With Angelina still barking at Emmett, Arthur Z assures the viewers that nothing is wrong. 

 

Arthur Z then goes backstage, where he discovers Molly and Samantha trying to sneak inside. The two girls hastily try to explain that they're "huge fans" who "really want to see him, something Arthur Z is skeptical of, pointing out that if they were fans they would have bought tickets. He recognizes Samantha as the girl who posted the video of Emmet, and Molly as the other person in the video whose house Emmet came from. Molly demands to know what he wants with Emmet, and Arthur Z explains that he wants to help Emmet. 

 

Molly is incredulous and asks how Arthur Z could possibly be helping Emmet, but instead of answering, he simply throws them in a closet, before returning to the stage. Inside the closet, Molly tells Samantha that this has all happened because of her. Samantha finally apologizes, and acknowledges that she was wrong for selling Molly out. Molly accepts her apology, and asks if she knows how to get out of the closet. Samantha says she has no idea.

 

Meanwhile, Emmet has escaped from Angelina and hidden backstage ("Dogs. . . I do not like dogs," he remarks), and discovers the closet where Molly and Samantha are being held. He manages to open the closet after several comical failed attempts, most of which involve stacking various objects and climbing on top of them to reach the doorknob. 

 

The door opens, and Molly hugs Emmett, who licks her face affectionately. However, they are discovered by Arthur Z, who demands to know what they are doing with "his" talking cat. He takes Molly and Samantha out to the stage, trying to frame them for "stealing" Emmett from him. Molly stands up to Arthur Z, and explains that the magic paint set works because of creativity, and she says that while he is famous for cultivating the talent and creativity of other artists he finds on the internet, he doesn't have any talent himself. 

 

Molly demonstrates the magic paint set by drawing a picture of a bird, which flies away (though Emmett tries to catch it). Arthur Z is impressed, and tries to do the same, only for nothing to happen. The audience realizes they were hoodwinked, and begin to turn against Arthur Z, while cheering for Molly and Emmett. 

 

As the credits roll, a montage of pictures shows that Molly, Emmett, and Samantha have become famous as artists. 

 

 



 

Edited by El Squibbonator
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

DEVIL BEAN

 

Studio Groundswell

Director: Doug Liman

Genre: Action/Comedy

Release Date: April 25th, Y9

Theater Count: 3,361

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for Language, Violence, and Crude Humor

Budget: $75 Million

Runtime: 1 hr 49 min

 

Cast

Daniel Henney as Allan

Robert Pattinson as Clark

Mackenzie Davis as Robo-Jojo**

Eiza Gonzalez as Katerina

Jonathan Majors as Richard

Karen Fukuhara as Shuku

Vin Diesel as Hippoman*

Julian Dennison as Jeffrey

Joe Alwyn as Simon

Ken Watanabe as Yoshio

George Lopez as Hugo

Yayan Ruhian as Bambang

Iko Uwais as Rudi

Julia Butters as Zoe

Neal McDonough as Travis

with Bill Nighy as Dr. Schmidt

and Clive Owen as Mallory

 

* = denotes voice role

** = denotes motion-capture role

 

Logline

Powerful entities such as governments, corporations, and underground organizations send their best protégés to Denver, Colorado in search of a mysterious bean, the Devil Bean, a supposedly ancient relic which may or may not bring power or healing once consumed.

 

Flashbacks written in italics.

 

Plot Summary (about 7,000 words)

https://docs.google.com/document/d/10Z3SUCKjy5qGLASRUN1Wop6kXlLfwsLtC9anyXBGylI/edit?usp=sharing

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Raven Island

 

Studio: Fossil Record Animation

Director: Rebecca Daintree

Genre: Animation, Fantasy, Family

Release Date: September 19th Y9

Rating: PG (violence, thematic elements)

Budget: $20 Million

Runtime: 2 hr 19 min

Format: hand-drawn animation

Theater Count: 2,055

 

Main Cast:

Clarissa May Jones* as Jessica Taylor

Mary Waterstone* as Claire Taylor

John Wilkins* as Dohra-Kaa

Stephen Bryce* as The Watcher

Harry Richard Milhouse* as Corax 

 

*fictional


Summary:

Spoiler

The story begins at the Seattle Airport, with 16-year-old Jessica Taylor complaining about having to spend the summer with her Aunt Claire, who she hasn't seen in many years and regards as eccentric and strange. As Jessica travels to Claire's house, it is quickly revealed why she considers Claire to be "weird."

 

Claire lives by herself on an island in Puget Sound, off Seattle, and owns a small seaplane transport service. She also has an extremely close relationship with the ravens that live on her island, leaving food out for them every morning after breakfast. As Jessica sets about exploring Claire's house, she stumbles upon a drawer full of drawings of bizarre-looking creatures. She asks Claire about them, but Claire says nothing. Later that day, she goes out exploring in the nearby forest, and becomes lost. However, she is led back to Claire's house when she follows one of the ravens-- an unusually large one with a patch of gray feathers on its head. 

 

The next day, Claire takes off for another delivery flight in her plane, but disappears. Panicked, Jessica is about to call the Coast Guard, but before she can, she sees the same raven from before. She follows it, and it leads her to a stone tower at the center of the island.  The moment Jessica touches the tower, she and the raven are transported to an alternate universe known as The Deeps. The raven has shape-shifted into a humanoid form, and speaks to Jessica. He tells her his name is Corax, and that Claire is in danger.

 

Corax tells Jessica that most mortal humans cannot leave The Deeps, only enter it. Ravens are the only creatures from the material world that can freely move between it and The Deeps. Jessica insists that she still wants to save her aunt, and she doesn't care what the consequences are. Moments later, Jessica and Corax find themselves attacked by a multi-legged serpentine creature resembling one of Claire's drawings. Jessica manages to overpower and defeat it, but Corax chastises her, telling her that she has been deemed a threat by "The Watcher", who is the one holding Claire captive.

 

Jessica is about to ask who The Watcher is, but Corax silences her. They make their way towards one of The Deep's "cities", which to Jessica feels more like a gathering place for monsters and spirits. As a human, Jessica is a fugitive by her very nature, but Corax insists that this is the only way they have any hope of helping Claire. Jessica and Corax's attempt to blend into the various monsters and spirits in The Deeps is unsuccessful; they are spotted and captured. Corax is imprisoned as a traitor to The Deeps for aiding a human, and Jessica is thrown into an arena of sand-dwelling creatures resembling antlion larvae (again, they bear an uncanny similarity to Claire's drawings). Jessica is able to free herself from the ravenous creatures, picking up a broken wood beam and using it as a weapon. Once she has defeated them, she frees Corax.

 

Determined to rescue her aunt, Jessica demands Corax help her "defeat" The Watcher, but Corax corrects her. He explains that The Watcher is not evil, but simply experiences morality on a different level than humans do. Nevertheless, he does offer to help her. He directs her to a ferryman--or rather, an operator of a flying ship-- named Dohra-Kaa, who resembles a two-headed serpent. Dohra-Kaa is reluctant to take them, for fear of endangering The Deeps, but is moved by Jessica's devotion to her aunt. The three of them travel to a mountain known as the Heart of the Deeps, where the Watcher is said to live. During the flight, the flying ship is attacked by monstrous airborne creatures sent by The Watcher, which prompt the trio to take evasive action. After a narrow escape, they crash-land at the foot of the mountain. As Jessica and Corax leave the flying ship, Dohra-Kaa warns them that The Watcher does not usually like visitors.

 

At the foot of the mountain, they discover the remains of Claire's crashed airplane, which at first convinces Jessica that Claire is dead. However, upon continuing to the top of the mountain, they discover Claire trapped in a hollow crystalline sphere. Claire, surprisingly recognizes Corax. She explains that when she was a teenager, she was lost in the woods, but was saved by a boy with black hair and a cloak of feathers. She tried to thank him, but he turned into a raven and flew away. Ever since then, she has been feeding the local ravens in hopes he will return. 

 

Jessica attempts to free Claire, but is stopped when The Watcher-- a colossal shadowy entity resembling a mass of oily writhing ooze, studded with eyes-- emerges from the depths of the mountain and speaks. The Watcher states that, while he has great power, he envies humans for their ability to shape their world and create works of great beauty. He seeks to use Claire's body as a vessel to become human. Jessica, Corax, Bohra-Kaa, and Claire all protest, but all come to nothing. The Watcher attempts to merge with Claire, only to be stopped when Jessica offers herself to it in Claire's place.

 

The Watcher is stunned by Claire's sacrifice, and frees Claire. It states that Jessica's love for her aunt far exceeds its own selfish desires, and that it regrets having forcibly separated them. Jessica, Claire, and Corax are then returned to the island, with Corax still in his human form. The movie ends with Jessica commenting that while she thought Claire was weird and boring, she turned out to be a lot more interesting.

 

As the credits roll, a photo montage of Jessica, Claire, and Corax's activities over the summer plays. 

 


 

Edited by El Squibbonator
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

KIRBY

AND THE KING'S CAPER

 

Studio Groundswell

in association with the following companies:

 - Horizon Entertainment

 - Nintendo

 - HAL Laboratories

based on the Kirby video games, scenarios from Kirby Super Star, and characters from Kirby: Right Back at Ya!

Director: Pierre Perifel

Genre: Animation

Release Date: May 9th, Y9

Theater Count: 4,042

MPAA Rating: PG for Cartoon Violence and Thematic Elements

Budget: $100 Million

Runtime: 1 hr 41 min

Original Score Composer: Lorne Balfe

 

Major Cast

Terry Crews as King Dedede

Diego Luna as Meta Knight

Kumail Nanjiani as Chef Kawasaki

Elizabeth Banks as Waddle Doo

Andy Samberg as Bandana Waddle Dee

Joe Du Truglio as Escargoon

Donna Jay Fulks as Elfilin

with Nik Dodani as Whispy Woods

and Bobby Moynihan as Marx

 

Kirby noises provided by an unbilled professional.

 

Logline

After finding himself far from home, Kirby journeys across Dream Land to the castle of King Dedede, who stole food from his kingdom's residents.

 

Special thanks to @Reddroast for his willingness to share the rights to Kirby, for pre-reading, and for casting suggestions.

 

For Mom

 

Plot Summary (about 10.85k words)

https://docs.google.com/document/d/12Eo1faBmVMOnrkbJKrrhAOo87jZMf2Js28OYjRjJmeM/edit

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fore!

Studio Groundswell

Director: Tom Gormican

Genre: Comedy

Release Date: October 3rd, Y9

Theater Count: 3,036

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for Thematic Elements and Crude Humor

Budget: $30 Million

Runtime: 1 hr 20 min

 

Cast

Anthony Ramos as Carlos

Jake Johnson as Henry

William Jackson Harper as Russell

Harry Shum Jr. as Warren

Zach Galifianakis as Himself

Jason Sudeikis as Himself

Stephen Park as The Sushi Chef

Blake Shelton as Music Producer #1

Gwen Stefani as Music Producer #2

 

Plot Summary (less than 3k words)

https://docs.google.com/document/d/12dOCBBHpdOQtsExFhx4d44R1gcvOPVESEShA7DsSPas/edit

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

SMB_2.png?resize=472,316&ssl=1

 

Studio Groundswell

Director: Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn

based on the video game franchise by SEGA

Genre: Animated Comedy

Release Date: January 10th, Y9

Theater Count: 3,770

MPAA Rating: PG for Crude Humor and Cartoon Violence

Budget: $91 Million

Runtime: 1 hr 36 min

 

Cast

Jimmy Tatro as Aiai

Auli'i Cravalho as Meemee

Alan Tudyk as Baby

Brian Tyree Henry as GonGon

Keegan-Michael Key as Dr. Bad-boon

Jordan Peele as The Henchman

Patrick Warburton as Jam

María Cecilia Botero as The Mayor

and Rose Byrne as Jane Goodball

 

Animation

The film is a CG animated film with an expressive style.

 

Spoiler

We begin with a slideshow of photographs of real-life chimps as a woman named Jane Goodball (Thompson), our film’s narrator, introduces herself and her research on chimps. She cracks jokes about the chimps in the images if it looks like they’re doing something funny. She says that while her research is well-known, there’s one primate species that, as far as the public eye goes, has been swept under the rug—perhaps due to the unfathomable nature of her findings, but she digresses. She takes pleasure in introducing to the audience… The Super Monkeys!

 

The camera travels into a photograph that overlooks a vast jungle. The camera swoops through the logos and title!

 

Studio Groundswell presents

 

in association with SEGA

 

SUPER MONKEY BALL

 

We reach a village of monkeys that look exactly like the classic monkey design from the games. Goodball clarifies they’re monkeys even though their tailless nature likens them to chimps, but in any case, they’re advanced to an astonishing degree. They speak English, live in huts, wear human clothes such as t-shirts and skirts… And they even play sports!

 

We cut to a soccer match where Aiai (Tatro) kicks the ball past his opponents and scores a goal. Meemee (Cravalho) cheers on Aiai’s team with a group of cheerleaders. A foul is called on Aiai’s team at one point, and Aiai playfully argues with GonGon (Henry), who’s a referee. On the field, Aiai displays a rivalry with Jam (Warburton), who’s on the opposing team. Everything’s going great for Aiai until… “Look out!” yells a teammate, but it’s too late as the soccer ball hits Aiai in the head and knocks him out cold.

 

“Thankfully, the village has a state-of-the-art medical facility,” Jane says as a nurse treats Aiai and gives him a bag of ice for the bump on his head. Meemee strides in and gives Aiai flowers and a get-well card. Aiai thanks her and tells her the injuries were minor, but Meemee says she was worried and thought it’d be a nice gesture. The nurse asks Meemee if she’s Aiai’s girlfriend. They exchange glances.

 

Aiai: Nope.

Meemee: Nada.

Aiai: Just friends.

Meemee: Yep. Just friends.

 

The nurse is bewildered but shrugs it off. Cut to another day in the village as Jane explains that love is an important topic in the Super Monkey village just as it is in all chimp communities, but the search for a significant other is especially prevalent among the Super Monkeys. She showcases the mating practices—one of the monkeys brings a girl chocolates, flattering her, and Jane considers that a mating practice. “But sometimes they show no interest in each other,” Jane says as Aiai and Meemee walk past each other and reconfirm that they are, indeed, not interested in each other. GonGon peeks out from behind a hut and considers their supposed disinterest with an expression of disbelief.

 

GonGon takes a walk with The Mayor (Botero) and tells her that Aiai and Meemee are perfect for each other, and the whole village knows it, and it’s frustrating that they don’t see it for themselves. The mayor, who walks with a cane, tells him that relationships take time and that if they’re meant for each other, they’ll eventually realize it.

 

Suddenly, something falls from the sky and crashes into a hut. The whole village rushes into the hut to see what’s going on, and they find a baby, soon to be referred to as Baby (Tudyk), trapped in a ball. One half of the ball is clear, and the other half is yellow. GonGon pries the ball open. Aiai and Meemee tell each other that Baby looks like he came from the village. As the mayor takes it out and rocks it gently, Baby points at Meemee and says “Mama!” causing gasps. Meemee falls into a cold sweat because she doesn’t know why he said that and knows she doesn’t have a baby. Then Baby points to Aiai and says “Dada!” causing even more gasps.

 

Aiai and Meemee both say it’s impossible for Baby to be their child because they aren’t even interested in each other. A villager states it might be possible because judging from the futuristic visor Baby’s wearing over his eyes, he might be from the future. Jam, who has a crush on Meemee, demands a DNA test because he wants to see if he’s the father, and Meemee shoots it down because she’s even less interested in Jam than she is in Aiai. GonGon, a self-proclaimed peacemaker, asks everyone to settle down because for all they know, Baby is simply repeating the only words it’s learned. “Besides,” the mayor says, “we have more pertinent issues to worry about—like our Bananaconamy!”

 

“The Bananaconamy,” Jane explains as the film displays a sequence of villagers buying, selling, collecting, and eating bananas, “is a banana-based economy where villagers buy, sell, collect, and eat bananas. It’s the main food source and the main currency of the Super Monkey village. There’s even a bank where they can withdraw and deposit bananas for safekeeping. If only our human economy was centered around bananas! Wait. What’s this?” she asks as a giant airship appears in the sky, hovering above the village.

 

A messenger calls the villagers out of the damaged hut. The monkeys stare up at the airship. Dr. Bad-boon (Key) proclaims through a megaphone, while his henchman (Peele) helms the wheel, that he’s going to steal all the village’s bananas (because he’s greedy, and there’s not really another reason). After Dr. Bad-boon exchanges banter with his henchman, he pushes a button, and a giant vacuum-like tube slithers out from the airship and sucks up the bananas from the Super Monkey village. Aiai, Meemee, and GonGon all try to keep the bananas from flying away, while Jam displays his cowardice by hiding behind a hut. The manager of the banana bank cries out in despair as all the bananas are sucked out of the bank, even though they were stored in a locked vault. Once Dr. Bad-boon has stolen a sufficient number of bananas—which, really, is all the bananas—he does a stereotypical villain laugh as the airship flies off.

 

The villagers come together and bemoan the fact that all the bananas have been stolen, and they ask themselves where to go from there—because they must get the bananas back. Baby rolls in, as he somehow got in his ball again. GonGon wonders aloud how Baby got trapped again, and Aiai and Meemee turn to acknowledge his comment—but they gasp as GonGon is now trapped in a ball too. GonGon’s ball is clear and green. Aiai and Meemee try to get GonGon out, as GonGon realizes that he’s now in a ball himself. “So that’s why I levitated,” GonGon says. The villagers ask questions like, “what do you mean levitated” and “why isn’t his voice muffled.” Then Aiai and Meemee levitate in the air for a moment, and balls spawn around them. Aiai’s is clear and red; Meemee’s is clear and blue. Aiai figures out that the ball symptom is contagious and tells the other villagers not to touch the balls. Baby bounces in his ball and bumps into Meemee’s ball, causing Meemee to bounce around the village uncontrollably. Aiai, while struggling to stay upright, groans that he didn’t ask for this. GonGon tells them—what if they use the balls to get the bananas back? There aren’t any other ideas, so The Mayor gives Aiai, Meemee, Baby, and GonGon permission to chase after the airship and get the bananas back.

 

Jane explains during a montage that the ball—assumedly a future technology sent to their village from the future—is the most fascinating topic surrounding the Super Monkey species. She explains some things about the balls, like how the monkeys can exit the ball with a well-timed hop, spawning and erasing the ball at will. The ball also grants them speed and durability—but at the cost of full control, as the ball is rather hard to maneuver. “Nevertheless, I observed the Super Monkeys as this small but merry band of heroes waved goodbye from their village and journeyed through the various bordering lands in search of the dastardly Dr. Bad-boon!”

 

Aiai, Meemee, Baby, and GonGon travel outside of the jungle and enter a desert landscape. They ask each other if they’re sure the airship went this way and confirm they’re in the right direction. Aiai knows it’s right because he brought a compass and can see they’re headed north. Meemee asks the group if they can really be sure Baby isn’t her and Aiai’s child. Aiai muses that since their body hair is brown and Baby’s body hair is somehow a baby blue color, the genetics doesn’t check out. GonGon insists that it might be the truth because kids don’t say “mama” and “dada” to just anyone.

 

The conversation gets cut short as sandfish start jumping in and out of the sand, threatening to gobble them up. They zoom through the desert inside their balls as they get chased by the sandfish. They zoom off a cliff to evade the sandfish, plunging into a canyon and opening their balls to use them as gliders. They land in the canyon’s river, which proves to be a problem as Baby can’t swim. Aiai grabs a hold of Baby so he doesn’t drown.

 

Then GonGon spots a fellow Super Monkey in the distance behind them. It’s Jam, who’s rowing toward them in a kayak. He’s blushing, and steam’s coming out of his nose. “I’m coming for you Meemee!” Jam yells. Meemee replies with another rejection and swims with the current, and Aiai and GonGon follow her while Jam pursues. During the chase, Jam parks at some rocks and yells at the group to turn back. They argue about what Jam’s saying before realizing, right as they come up to a waterfall, that Jam was referring to the waterfall that’s right in front of them! They fall down the waterfall; thankfully, they wash up on a shore in a forest, safe and sound. Aiai points and see rising smoke in the distance; they get inside their balls and follow the smoke.

 

Screen wipe to Half An Hour Ago. In the airship, Dr. Bad-boon guffaws about how he has all the bananas. The henchman is practically falling asleep at the steering wheel—then he actually does fall asleep, causing the airship to go haywire. They bump into some levers, and the airship starts doing spins and corkscrews, with the two being knocked around like pinballs before the airship crashes in the forest.

 

Screen wipe to Aiai’s crew arriving at the crash site as Dr. Bad-boon and his henchman bicker about the crash. Aiai and Meemee demand that they give the bananas to them. The henchman, unable to hold his curiosity back, asks Aiai and Meemee if they’re in a relationship. They get flustered and clarify that they’re just friends. The henchman says that the way they demanded the bananas together made them think they were a good fit. GonGon chimes in saying, “that’s what I’ve been telling them!” and he says that Baby might be Aiai and Meemee’s child from the future, though they argue against that, saying it’s only a theory.

 

Dr. Bad-boon changes the subject, saying that it seems they’ve brought some nice-looking balls, but there’s no way they’re getting their bananas back. To combat this, Baby rolls up to the henchman and bounces on him, flattening him in a cartoonlike manner while Dr. Bad-boon cowers and shakes in his boots. “I’m a pancake!” the henchman screams. The doctor makes the wise decision of ushering everyone into the airship. They enter the airship, and the flattened henchman waddles in behind them.

 

After inflating his henchman back to normal with a bicycle pump, Dr. Bad-boon leads Aiai’s crew into a storage room. Once the crew’s inside, they quickly realize the bananas are missing. Dr. Bad-boon locks them inside and reveals that it’s not a storage room, but a teleportation room. He’s already teleported the bananas to his lair, and he says he’ll teleport them to a place they’ll never escape from. He teleports them away and teleports himself and the henchman to his lair.

 

The group finds themselves floating inside the spacious belly of a humpback whale. The belly has a gentle anti-gravity effect, one which Jane Goodball elaborates on. Aiai says they should find a way out, but Meemee insists that they stop at one of the floating houses to rest. GonGon says resting is a good idea because now they have a definite location of where the bananas are (the lair), so there’s not as much pressure to chase after Dr. Bad-boon. They glide through the air into a floating igloo. Once inside, Baby chucks his visor at the floor, breaking it; the visor then releases energy that restabilizes gravity inside of the igloo. GonGon finds blankets in a drawer and distributes them. When they lie down, Aiai and Meemee notice that despite being wrapped in a blanket, Baby is still shivering. They agree to huddle around Baby to give him extra warmth. This strategy works; Baby stops shivering and sleeps soundly. Aiai and Meemee ask each other if they’re okay and remark on how crazy their day’s been as GonGon looks at them and smiles.

 

We get a brief scene where the village’s mayor observes the village in dire straits. Jane Goodball describes how hangry and irritable the villagers can get when they don’t have any bananas. The mayor expresses hope that the search party will return soon…

 

Aiai’s crew gets out of the whale by entering the balls, bouncing around, and ricocheting wildly off the walls of the belly, building up enough pressure to trigger the whale’s blowhole. They escape through the blowhole and land on a beach—beyond the shore, there’s a theme park as well as a spooky mansion on a hill. They’ve found the lair!

 

At the lair, Dr. Bad-boon celebrates, as he believes no one will be able to get the bananas back. Then he complains about back cramps. The henchman alerts him to a problem: the gate separating the lair’s hill from the amusement park doesn’t have any “no trespassing” signs or anything, meaning there isn’t any way to stop people from approaching the lair. Dr. Bad-boon rubs his hands together—he has an idea.

 

When the group reaches the hill, they see a gate guarded by a charming salesmonkey who tells them they need to earn a certain amount of Banana Tokens from the fair games to enter the “haunted house.” They look at the amount—1,000 tokens. Obscenely high. They try to pass by because the situation is too important to waste time getting the tokens, but the salesmonkey tenaciously prevents them from passing through the gate.

 

Forced to gather the tokens, the group splits up to play carnival games. Aiai shoots basketball hoops, Meemee plays a dance pad game, Baby enters his ball and bounces on a whack-a-mole, and GonGon balances a marble through miniature mazes. But they don’t earn nearly enough.

 

Meanwhile, Jam is at the amusement park too. He sits at a tiki bar; multiple empty glasses separate him and a bartender. He orders another banana milkshake, but the bartender tries to cut him off. Jam goes on a rant about how he’s madly in love with Meemee, but she doesn’t reciprocate his feelings. He sees the group from afar and runs to them, pleading for Meemee to give him another chance. Meemee gets an idea to manipulate Jam. “What are you doing?” says Aiai, but Meemee ignores him and tells Jam to help them earn Banana Tokens for a *chance* to earn her affection. Hearts show up in Jam’s eyes as Meemee shows him to the Flip-Flopper, a fair game where two springboards bounce the player back and forth, and each bounce earns them a token. Jam plays the game for Meemee and the others, laughing with glee while he does it. Once they have enough tokens, Meemee tells Jam he’s doing great and to keep it up; they leave while Jam continues getting bounced back and forth, with him remarking that he’s getting dizzy.

 

While on the way to the hill, Aiai stops them and criticizes Meemee for manipulating Jam because he doesn’t think that behavior is right. Meemee says that it was the only way to be sure that they would earn enough Banana Tokens. They continue to argue about it, and Aiai walks ahead of the group while Meemee paces around in a huff. GonGon looks down at Baby, whose body becomes transparent-looking. GonGon bonks Baby’s head, which shoos the transparency away. GonGon decides to keep what he found to himself so as not to worry the others.

 

The group gathers at the hill and gives the salesmonkey the tokens. They walk up the hill and knock on the door. The henchman, dressed as the Frankenstein monster, welcomes them back to the “haunted house”—then realizing they’re the Super Monkeys, he shuts the door and locks it before running away. GonGon asks everyone to step back; then he punches the door off its hinges. “Wow,” says Aiai.

 

They enter the lair and roll in their balls down the corridors. Aiai and Meemee continue to bicker about what’s good for the group and what is right, and GonGon warns them to keep it down. They follow Dr. Bad-boon’s voice and enter a lab, and Dr. Bad-boon fires a shrink ray at them, making them as small as marbles. He captures them and says, “we’ll see who’s bananas now!”

 

The next morning, Dr. Bad-boon brings a box containing the shrunken heroes to a campfire, where water and vegetables are boiling in a huge pot. Dr. Bad-boon tells them that he’s going to destroy them once and for all by throwing them in the boiling water. But he leaves because he needs to get some spices first. Aiai and Meemee take the moment to apologize to each other, and they grow closer as a result. GonGon tells them that when they started arguing at the fair, Baby was becoming transparent—he might cease to exist if they don’t get together. Aiai and Meemee laugh about how GonGon has been trying to hook them up, but they agree that they need to do what’s necessary to keep Baby safe—and that means getting out of this predicament. What’s more, they’ll do it in a way that puts all their skills to good use.

 

They enter their balls and jump around the box until they force it open. The box was on a stand above the pot though, and Baby falls onto the rim of the pot. The others jump down to the grass and follow Baby as he balances on the rim; after a few close calls, he falls into the grass, and they all set off. Dr. Bad-Boon and his henchman walk out and discover that the Super Monkeys have gone missing. The doctor has back cramps, so he sends his henchman after them (though they exchange banter because the henchman’s like “back cramps at a time like this, really?”).

 

The Super Monkeys find the shrink ray and use it to get back to regular size. The henchman finds them, and Baby bounces on him as he did at the airship’s crash site, flattening him again. They leave to find the bananas while the henchman mutters about being a pancake again.

 

GonGon uses strength to open a vault, and they find the banana cache. Aiai looks at Meemee and says he has an idea. Cut to Dr. Bad-boon rushing into the room, and the Super Monkeys are already on top of the pile of bananas. They bounce on the pile to cause an avalanche that buries Dr. Bad-boon in the bananas he stole. Dr. Bad-boon refuses to give the bananas back at first, but then Aiai and Meemee tell Dr. Bad-boon he can keep 10% of the bananas if he gives them the other 90%. He agrees!

 

A repaired airship returns to the village, and bananas reign down on the village. The group arrives in the village and receives a hero’s welcome from the mayor and the villagers—even from Jam, who’s in a body cast and a wheelchair because he kept playing and playing that fair game. After Aiai nods to her, Meemee tells Jam the truth and apologizes for manipulating him. Jam says it’s okay and says he’s over it because he found someone else.

 

In a hut, our heroes meet up for a meeting. Aiai and Meemee flirt with each other and tell each other that even though they’ve been friends for a long time, they both see how much they care about each other. They kiss! Baby levitates again and then disappears in a flash. This time, Aiai and Meemee believe 100% that Baby is their son. GonGon celebrates, and Aiai and Meemee kiss again.

 

The film ends with more slideshow images. Photos of Aiai and Meemee’s wedding are included. Jane Goodball goes into a final monologue and ends with “if you’ll excuse me, I’m hungry for bananas!” Credits.

 

Edited by SLAM!
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

lXveYi8.png

 

Based On: TV series of the same name

Studio: The Workshop, Inc.  

Director: John M. Carrigan*

Genre: Animation/Fantasy/Children's

Release Date: August 1st, Y9
Theater Count: 3104

Rating: PG (fantasy violence)

Format: CGI Animation

Budget: $45 million

Runtime: 117 minutes (1 hour and 57 minutes)

 

Major Cast: 

Clarissa May Jones* as Sarah Spencer

Brock Armstrong* as Ryan Spencer

Hayden Moss* as David, Bonehead

Jacob Harris* as Paul

John C. Reilly as Allo

Ed Vincent* as Stego, Ankylo

Laura Mallon* as Teryx

James N. Midas* as Stego

Frank Welker as Genghis Rex

Alan Tudyk as The Dinosorcerer 

Benedict Wong as General Tarbo

 

Summary:

Spoiler

The movie opens at a summer camp in Montana, where four middle schoolers-- Sarah, her twin brother Ryan, and their friends Paul and David-- are attending a lecture about dinosaurs at a dig site. Sarah, David, and Paul find the lecture fascinating, but Ryan considers it boring and wishes he could actually get to look for fossils. While the guest speaker is distracted, he goads the other three into investigating the fossil dig. Sarah and Paul both object, but Ryan calls them "chicken" for refusing and they reluctantly agree. Shortly after starting their search, they stumble-- quite literally stumble, as in trip over-- upon what looks like a stone sundial. Sarah wants to show it to the camp counselor, but Ryan insists on taking it for himself. As soon as Ryan picks it up, the device begins to glow, and all four of them black out.

 

When they open their eyes again, they aren't at camp anymore. They're in a bizarre city with skyscrapers covered in plants, and strange dinosaur-shaped vehicles flying through the air. Paul tries to pull up the internet on his phone, but it doesn't work. Before they can do anything else, they find themselves surrounded by a group of anthropomorphic dinosaurs-- the Dinosaucers. Allo, the leader and an Allosaurus, accuses them of being spies for "the enemy", but Sarah and David protest that they know nothing about any sort of dinosaur war. Paul is simply giddy with excitement at the idea of seeing live, talking dinosaurs, and begins taking photos on his phone. Ryan, however, is skeptical, both of the idea that what they're experiencing is real and that the Dinosaucers can be trusted. 

 

Allo explains that he and the Dinosaucers-- Teryx, Bonehead, Stego, Tricero, Dimetro, Icthy, and Bronto Thunder-- are a resistance movement against the evil Tyranno Empire, rulers of the planet Reptilon. Ryan angrily asks how he and the other campers were brought to Reptilon, and Teryx says that only the Dinosorcerer knows that. Sarah asks why they don't just find him, and Allo says that they're trying to, but no one has seen the Dinosorcerer in decades. The campers promise to help the Dinosaucers find the Dinosorcerer, in exchange for a chance to return home. 

 

Shortly afterwards, they take off in the Dinosaucer's ship-- the RSS Stegosaur-- to search for the Dinosorcerer, only to be attacked and boarded by a Tyranno ship. A battle between the Dinosaucers and the Tyrannos ensues, and Allo is wounded by a laser blast. Genghis Rex, the Tyranno leader, demands that the Dinosaucers tell him where the Dinosorcerer is, as the Tyrannos are also looking for him, but Sarah tells him that they don't know either. This enrages Rex, who shoots Dimetro, the Dinosaucers' Dimetrodon pilot, with a laser gun, injuring him. The Stegosaur enters a steep dive, and the crew of dinosaurs and humans desperately try to prevent it from crashing. Rex declares that if the Dinosaucers do not tell him where the Dinosorcerer lives, he will kill them all. Despite Tricero cautioning that Rex will never keep his word, Ryan approaches Rex and tells him he is willing to help him find the Dinosorcerer. The others are shocked at Ryan's apparent betrayal, none more so than his sister Sarah, who blames him for trapping them in Reptilon in the first place. As the Tyrannos leave with Ryan, the Dinosaucers are trapped in their crippled ship, but manage to make it to an escape pod before the ship crashes. 

 

Meanwhile, aboard the Tyranno's ship, the Tyranno scientist Plesio (a Plesiosaurus) fits Ryan with an electric collar that will give him a shock if he tries to escape. Ryan asks why they are doing this, and Brachio, Rex's Brachiosaurus thug, tells him that "we can't have any filthy mammals running loose. You might be useful, but you're not our friend." Genghis Rex asks Ryan how he knows where the Dinosorcerer is, and Ryan shows him the stone sundial. Rex is impressed, and activates the stone, which reveals a holographic map to the Dinosorcerer's castle. 

 

By sheer coincidence, the Dinosaucers, upon leaving their crashed escape pod, find themselves attacked by General Tarbo. He is the Dinosorcerer's Tarbosaurus military commander, and  is accompanied by his Velociraptor foot soldiers (whose feathers look like samurai armor). While Allo protests that they merely wish to see the Dinosorcerer, General Tarbo doesn't believe them, and takes them to the Dinosorcerer's palace to stand trial. We see the Dinosorcerer's desert capital city of Dinopolis, which consists of elaborate East Asian-style architecture with towering pagodas.  The Dinosaucers are brought to a massive golden castle, flanked by dinosaur statues and raptor guards. The campers wonder what kind of dinosaur the Dinosorcerer is, but the answer soon reveals itself when the door to the throne room opens, and the Dinosorcerer reveals himself to be, not a T. rex or a Brachiosaurus as Paul and Sarah respectively suggest, but a tiny three-foot tall Protoceratops wearing a jeweled crown and holding a large staff. 

 

Allo pleads with the Dinosorcerer to give them another chance, and to help their human friends get home, but the Protoceratops grins wickedly and announces that he's already received "a better offer." This "better offer", it turns out, is from the Tyrannos, who have already arrived at the palace and delivered the stone sundial to the Dinosorcerer. Accompanying them is Ryan, who is not shocked to see his fellow campers. 

 

Stego demands to know what the Dinosorcerer wants with the sundial, and he explains it is actually a device that can travel between dimensions. A world where dinosaurs are extinct, as he sees it, would be ripe for colonizing, and the Tyrannos have agreed to help him. Ryan is incredulous, and demands to know why Rex never told him this. Rex snaps at Ryan for disrespecting him, and Ryan angrily states he no longer wants to be on the side of the Tyrannos. General Tarbo, too, is shocked-- he has spent his entire life serving the Dinosorcerer, and feels betrayed by his ruler. He defects to the Dinosaucers along with Ryan, only for the Dinosorcerer to order the Tyrannos to attack. 

 

With the Tyrannos on his side, the Dinosorcerer's forces easily overwhelm the Dinosaucers at first. However, Allo manages to overpower Genghis Rex in a one-on-one fight, Rex drops the stone sundial, and Sarah picks it up, revealing to the Dinosorcerer that she is the one holding it. The Dinosorcerer is astonished, and orders his raptor bodyguards to attack them, but they refuse, now that the Dinosaucers clearly have the upper hand. Allo informs the Dinosorcerer that his plans are ruined, and Sarah demands that they allow her and her friends to go home. The Dinosorcerer refuses, but relents when General Tarbo expresses heartfelt disappointment in what his leader did. The Dinosorcerer explains that all he ever wanted to do was find a place where all kinds of dinosaurs could live in peace, and if that meant colonizing another world, then so be it. 

 

The Dinosorcerer asks if they forgive him, and Allo pauses for a moment. He says that the Dinosorcerer will need to be punished for his crimes, and while he may personally forgive him, the populace of Reptilon probably never will. Ryan also asks his friends if they forgive him, and Paul says he does, since he understands how desperate he must have felt. The campers prepare to activate the stone sundial and return home, but Allo cautions them that they can now never return to Reptilon. The sundial must be destroyed, since its potential for abuse is too great even in well-meaning hands. The campers-- now dubbed "Secret Scouts of Reptilon" for their efforts in defeating the Tyrannos-- give a final farewell to their friends. There is a blinding flash of light from the sundial, and the screen goes black.

 

The campers find themselves back at camp, at the exact same moment they left. The sundial, however, is gone. Ryan wonders what they're doing so far from the lecture, and wants to get back, because "dinosaurs are cool!" The other three question his change of attitude towards dinosaurs, but follow him back to camp. As they return, the camera lingers on the Secret Scout badges they were given by Allo. 

 

In a post-credits scene, a shadowed dinosaur is shown reading about Genghis Rex's fate on a computer and laughing to herself. She then turns around, revealing herself to be Princess Dei, a Deinonychus who is Rex's long-time rival. 

 

 

Edited by El Squibbonator
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

RUNAWAY TRAIN

 

Studio: Phoenix Fire Entertainment

Director: James Mangold

Writer: James Mangold

Producers: Dave Pirner, Marc Abrams, Mike Benson

 

Genre: Biographical Drama

Release Date: November 21st Y9

Theater Count: 3132

Rating: R, for language, drinking and smoking

Format: 2D

Budget: $35 million

Runtime: 120 minutes (2 hours)

 

Major Cast:

- Joaquin Phoenix as Dave Pirner

- Cooper Hoffman as Dan Murphy

- Glen Powell as Grant Young

- Bill Hader as Michael Beinhorn

- Corey Hawkins as Sterling Campbell

- and Jon Hamm as Karl Mueller

 

Plot Summary: A dramatization of Soul Asylum's rise - thanks to one song, Runaway Train - and fall from fame in the early 90's.

 

Note: This is a work of fiction and some of the story beats have been created uproot for this film, but it is based on real events.

 

Plot:

Spoiler

1984

 

The movie begins in a bar, where we witness a bored section of men drinking the night away. To the stage of the bar come in four individuals. They look particularly grungy and irreverent, but don't really capture the audience's attention. One of the clients asks the barman: "Who are these fuckin' jokers?", and the barman says: "Oh... let me tell you, they're gonna be the next frontmen of the decade." The lead man, Dave Pirner (Joaquin Phoenix) introduces the four men as a band called Soul Asylum, and playing next to him - Dave being the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist - are lead guitarist and backing vocalist Dan Murphy (Cooper Hoffman), bassist Karl Mueller (Jon Hamm), and on the drums, Grant Young (Glen Powell). All three band members wave to the crowd, who does not seem particularly enthusiastic for the presence of Soul Asylum. We cut to a zoom in of Karl beating his drumsticks, and cueing the rest of the band for a live performance of the song Dragging Me Down. Dave shows a lot of charisma and swagger on stage, showing off while performing the song, which attracts attention from the previously uninterested crowd.

 

Cut to a montage sequence of Soul Asylum playing other songs of their debut album Say What You Will, Clarence... Karl Sold the Truck, across a myriad of different stages. First, through bars, and then, across various rock festivals, where they act as openers for the headliners, or, later down the line, as headliner acts themselves. They manage to sign with A&M Records in 1988, and are critically acclaimed across the United States and all over the places of the globe they go to. But, their second and third studio albums, backed by A&M - 1989's Clam Dip & Other Heights, and 1990's And the Horse They Rode In On - are commercial flops. In the streets, Dan tries to give away CD's, but no one outside of a few local communities seem to recognize who he is. In a quick cut scene inside the record studio, A&M co-founder Herp Albert and producer Steve Jordan complain to Soul Asylum that nobody gives two shits about them, to their admitted bafflement as they are damn good. Dave, who admits that he's starting to have hearing problems - due to the loud nature of the music they play - and Karl tell them to fuck off, and a fight damn near ensues. Cut to Soul Asylum leaving A&M, and Dave saying that they need to bring themselves down from the heavier tunes due to his hearing. The montage quickly passes by their next two years' worth of acoustic shows, before settling down once Dave and company finally settle down and sign with Columbia Records in 1992. Producer Michael Beinhorn (Bill Hader) asks himself if he did the right thing agreeing stuff with these mofos that haven't made a penny in sales for nearly an entire decade. Dave tells him: "If we make one fucking song that sells well... we're gonna be making this studio thousands." Karl looks pensive, while Dan and Grant are more optimistic.

 

RUNAWAY TRAIN

 

At Columbia, Soul Asylum are gathered with Beinhorn over how are they going to win over an audience. As he chain smokes, Karl stands up and says that they're not gonna stride away from the style that's been making them fans for years. Beinhorn asks them what fans do they have, since they're basically a bunch of flops, and Dan retorts that every community they've been going to has been favorable towards them. Beinhorn reinforces that it matters nothing if they can't sell. Grant says that they'll try their best from here on out, while Dave, after taking a sip from a beer, takes initiative and starts jamming some random sounds. The band doesn't really go along, while Beinhorn just snarks that they won't really catch a break anytime soon unless they come up with something "big." Beinhorn and the band split for the day.

 

At their place, Dave continues to mess with the jams he made. Karl just smokes. Dan reassures them all that Soul Asylum will become popular sooner or later. Grant subscribes on Dan's words, while Dave just nods. Dan then says that he hopes to have enough money one day to start a collection. Grant asks him why does he want a collection, and Dan doesn't answer. Dave just nods them along, the camera zooms in on him while he's pensive.

 

Cut to him still with his guitar, alone now. Finally, the jams come along and start making a sound that he likes. He starts writing lyrics on a melancholic melody about the author's despair. The chorus is lowly sung: "Runaway train, never going back | Wrong way on a one way track | Seems like I should be getting somewhere | Somehow I'm neither here nor there..." - as he sings the last words of the chorus, it all starts making sense to Dave. Dave presents the tune to his bandmates, and later, they send a demo tape to Beinhorn. He does in fact like what he hears, and Soul Asylum start digging deeper into this sound. We jump to when they start recording the single for their next album Grave Dancers Union, titled Runaway Train. The band goes through a bunch of different takes. Grant's performance on the drums is starting to make Beinhorn impatient, him disliking Grant's lack of discernible rhythm and effort. Grant says he's trying his best, but Beinhorn isn't finding it any good. Dave tries to back Grant, but Beinhorn says they better try someone else if Grant keeps fucking it up. Later, the band recording other songs on their album, when Beinhorn finally snaps and tells Dave that he's gonna bring in another drummer to fill in Grant's spot. Grant is very dissatisfied and Dave and Karl try to talk Beinhorn out of it, but it's gonna happen. Cue in the presentation to the band of Sterling Campbell (Corey Hawkins), who comes in blind and has to quickly learn the band's pace and ideas. He grows costumed quickly, and he's the one who performs the final recorded version of Runaway Train on the drums, to the envy of Grant. Dave, Dan and Karl seem pleased with Sterling, but conflicted over Grant's current positioning in the band.

 

After the recording of the song, Beinhorn proposes the single to be turned into a music video. Dave starts drawing ideas on his head. Dan proposes simple things like a romantic affair gone wrong, Karl proposes the same but perhaps a little bit more hardcore, Grant doesn't offer any ideas and just asks why the band seemed cool with Sterling. Karl says they weren't cool, but Grant tells him he saw otherwise in the way they acted. Dave quickly changes conversation as to not ruin the mood, and Grant walks off. Dan goes after him to try to calm him down. Karl tells Dave to ignore them, since they got big things ahead. "Hell, this Runaway Train thing you got, I think will give us money. Give me enough money to give my girlfriend the marriage of her dreams." Dave asks him if he's sure, and Karl just winks and tells him that the best ideas come when you least expect them. Karl leaves. Dave is left to himself. Sometime later, Dave jams Runaway Train to himself, when Sterling comes in. He says that he's sorry if he's caused any trouble between the band, but Dave excuses him, saying Grant's just hot blooded. Cut to when Dave and the rest of the band (including Sterling - whom Grant side eyes) are talking with Tony Kaye, the director of the music video for the song, about ideas. Dave asks Tony to spew out something - anything. Tony says he brainstormed something on the fly: "The kids on the milk cartons... we should try to find them." Karl, Dan, Grant and Sterling look at each other. Dave picks up a newspaper left around and starts reading and hearing about the amount of children gone missing in the streets of America, a report by the National Center for Exploited and Missing Children claiming that a million youth is lost every year. Dave sings the chorus again, to himself: "Runaway train... never going back...... | Wrong way on a... one way track....... | Seems like I should be getting somewhere | Somehow I'm neither here nor there!" Dave looks enthusiastic.

 

1993

 

We cut to real-life footage of MTV in 1993, which contains the premiere of Runaway Train's music video (in its original version, not a replicated version with the actors of this film). It features multiple stories of youth who run away, are snatched or otherwise lost, intercut with shots of Soul Asylum playing the song (in the video, Sterling plays the drums). The chorus plays in the background as we see images of a bunch of children who, at the time, had been missing. The video is played in its entirety.

 

We cut back to Dave watching the video in its finished form, right out of the cutting room, with Tony and Beinhorn. Dave looks proud of what he has in hands. Tony says: "Yeah, we can do some good with this", Beinhorn and Dave agree, but Dave nods along with a smile on his face, looking over the video with some thoughts. He sits down with Karl, who is smoking as usual, and they debate what this will mean for them going forward. Karl thinks that it's good that they made a video about this subject matter, because now, they will grow bigger with something that has powerful things to say. Dave says that the opportunity to do good and the opportunity to be rich came at once - killing two birds in one stone. Karl half-smiles and lowly asks Dave that he'll toast to that, so they do toast. Dan tries to intermediate a conversation between Grant and Sterling. Grant tells Sterling that he don't want any fucking competition if the band becomes more successful thanks to Runaway Train. Sterling says he'll be happy to drop out if things get out of control, but Dan instead tells Grant that if things get out of control, it'll be easy to drop out the trouble kids. Grant says that's a bad way to put things, since trouble kids are what they're trying to go after with the song. He leaves, leaving Dan and Sterling awestruck.

 

The music video for Runaway Train becomes a quick sensation, garnering lots of ratings for MTV and attention on local radios. The song is very well reviewed, and charts strongly across the globe - particularly high in the US, UK and Canada, the latter two countries having gotten their own unique music video versions with missing kids from those territories. It reaches number five on the Billboard Hot 100, tops the chart on the Canadian RPM Top Singles chart, and sells up to 600k copies in the US, earning a gold sales certification from the RIAA. The song makes Soul Asylum an instant hit across the world, where they play it endlessly in concerts. A famous live interpretation of the song on MTV Unplugged gains a lot of attention as well.

 

Backstage, Soul Asylum celebrate their success. Grant, who had played the drums on the first live versions of the song, is still with the band, drinking the night away, while the rest of the band parties. Karl and Dave toast, while Dan says that with all the money that they're making, he's gonna finally start doing his desired collection. Karl asks him what he is going to collect, and Dan responds that he's going for pin-ups. Karl finds it a cute idea, while Dave says that if he wants, he could collect Ferraris because they're fuckin' rich, baby. Sterling comes in at this moment, asking if he's allowed in on the party. Grant is not pleased with him, but Dave welcomes Sterling in kindly, since he did a great job with the drums on the recordings. Grant asks Dave if they're gonna let this asshole take his spot; Karl shuts him down for racism. Grant denies being racist, he just doesn't want to lose the spot. Dan asks Grant to calm down again, and Grant starts losing his mind. He shoves Dan and Dave away, confronts Sterling face to face. Sterling wants no problems, but Grant headbutts him. A fight ensues (the shot of the fight and the other band members trying to break it up holds for about 10 seconds). Cut to a day later, when Dave speaks with Beinhorn about Grant's behavior. Beinhorn says it's inacceptable. We cut to Grant packing his stuff and leaving the band's place, but not before the rest of the band hugs him goodbye. Sterling tries to handshake him, but Grant ignores and leaves him be. Grant goes away, and now, Sterling is "officially" a part of Soul Asylum.

 

Dave gives interviews on the success of Runaway Train, claiming that yeah, he was interested in doing good. We then see a reunion between Dave, Beinhorn, Tony Kaye and René Walsh, wife of John Walsh and one of the co-founders of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. René thanks the band enormously for their collaboration with the NCMEC. Beinhorn says that there is nothing to worry about, since it was very much an idea that connected immediately with the rest of the band. Dave nods, with a grin on his face. René says that ever since the video was released, they've been getting a lot of traffic in regards to kids who have either returned home or found. Dave says that it was an honor to do good.

 

Dan starts his pin-up collection, buying old pins from different decades in time. Some of them are worth a lot of money, but Dan has to spare. Karl buys a wedding ring, and finally proposes to his wife, knowing that he'll give her the wedding she wants. Sterling and Dave hang out often, riding high on the success of the song. Karl and his wife marry in a huge celebration featuring the band members as attendees. Soul Asylum continues to be successful into the 90's, and their next album, Let Your Dim Light Shine, featured Misery, a single which reached the top end of the charts. However, this album is not as successful as Grave Dancers Union, mainly because Misery, despite being successful, is nowhere near as big as Runaway Train. This frustrates Dave.

 

While Soul Asylum is touring on the East Coast, Dan, who is still picking up pin-ups from across the States, meets a fireman who is a fan of the band. The fireman then tells his story: "My daughter was in that video that you made." Dan is stunned, and says he feels really sorry. The fireman thanks him, and continues: "She was... I was in a custody battle for her with my wife. She... she didn't run away." Dan asks him if he found her, and the fireman responds: "We found her remains. My wife killed her and buried her in our backyard." Dan is speechless. He tells this story to Dave, Karl and Sterling. The latter two are stunned, but the former, despite obviously disturbed by the story, is more worried about the fact that Let Your Dim Light Shine isn't selling as much. Dan tells him to snap the fuck out of it, because they should be more focused on the good side of what they're doing, regardless of whether they succeed or not. Dave is not having it, and throws jabs at Dan, for not realizing that if they don't sell, their luxuries are gonna go away very quickly. Dan retorts that Dave is a greedy fuck, and Dave nearly punches him the face, but Karl stops him from doing so, Karl asking Dave to calm the fuck down. Dave tells him that his breath stinks of smoke. Sterling imposes himself, and tells Dave that it won't be hard to get rid of him if he keeps acting this way. Dave cries sacrilege, saying there's no way that Beinhorn will fire him, but Dan says that at this rate, they won't need Beinhorn. He leaves. Dave screams at him to come back, but the others ignore him too.

 

In a concert, they're playing the very demanded Runaway Train, and the not-so demanded Misery - Dave whispers to himself "fuck" before he starts playing. Sterling notices that Grant is watching the concert, and loses focus temporarily, only to put on the best show imaginable, even going out of his way to do a cool drum solo, pumping up the crowd. Grant watches, and with a bittersweet expression, leaves. After another well done concert, at backstage, a teenage girl meets up with the band. She's a fan who was allowed in, and hugs them all. She keeps friendly company to the band, telling them, in a somewhat nonchalant note, that she came to the concert with her boyfriend who helped her when she had ran away - in fact, she was one of the runaway girls from the video. This takes the band by utter surprise, including Dave, who looks over to the side with admiration. Karl asks her what happened, and she said that she was in a bad home situation, that she was now forced back into because she saw herself in the video. She laughs as she says: "You ruined my life." The band simulates laughs too, but Karl quickly says that he's sorry they did that to her. The girl says it's okay, because now, she feels alive knowing that someone out there cared for her - other than her boyfriend, at least. Dave looks to her, with an expression of genuine empathy on his face. Karl, Sterling and Dan smile too.

 

1998

 

Soul Asylum releases their next album, Candy from a Stranger. It is unsuccessful at the charts. At concerts, fans just wanna see Runaway Train and don't particularly care for the rest of the output, some of them leaving after the song is played. Dave grows increasingly frustrated. Beinhorn tells them that he feels like their output is really going down. Dave tells him that he has never stopped making good songs, but Beinhorn tells him that the charts say otherwise. Dave, furious, tells Beinhorn that this was the last album they were going to release under Columbia, then. Beinhorn blows up and says that's fine, he'll find himself the next Nirvana or Pearl Jam, because it sure as fuck was never going to be "you guys". Dave screams at him that Soul Asylum made grunge cool before Nirvana were ever a fucking thing. He then says that he once told him something: "If we make one fucking song that sells well... we're gonna be making this studio thousands", and he claims they fucking did. Beinhorn ironically thanks him, but says that Soul Asylum's time is up. Dave is angered, and leaves. He then informs the rest of the band what Beinhorn was telling him, and, ever slowly, Dan and Karl both support Dave's decision to leave Columbia. Sterling, having been brought by Beinhorn, feels conflicted, but ultimately, he supports Dave as well. Dave just feels awful.

 

Soul Asylum disappears from the high success radar, and go back to a more lowkey style of life, without the huge riches. Dan and Sterling meet up with Grant, who asked to be with them for a bit. Sterling tells Grant that there's no need to worry, since he feels just as awkward as he does. Grant laughs. Dan intermediates, saying that it is kinda their thing to find lost kids. Grant jokingly remembers how Dan once said that they could drop out the trouble kids easily, and Dan says that really did not age well, to which the three laugh. Sterling tells Grant that some kids they found were not in great conditions... some died, even. Dan recalls the story of the fireman, as well as that of the teenage girl they met. Others showed up throughout their lives with sad stories of how they disappeared. Grant feels sorry, but he tells them that, at least, they've done good in that the one big hit song they had, happened to be one with such a powerful meaning. Sterling says that he genuinely apologizes to Grant for having taken his spot from the band. Grant laughs and says he's the one who's sorry, because he acted like a spoiled brat back then. He looks over as someone puts up a sign of a missing child on a wall, and says: "Sometimes, we are the ones who behave like children." Dan then reveals to the two of them why he wanted to collect pin-ups. He reveals that it's because he had a passion for something that would bring back memories, nostalgic memories, whether those be for him or for other people, and expresses interest in opening an art gallery in the future. Grant and Sterling pat him in the back, saying that if the day comes, they'll be there to see the gallery open. Dan smiles, saying that when he heard that they were gonna make a music video about missing kids... all he could think of was that: memories. Happy memories... or lost memories. Silence bestows the three.

 

Dave and Karl talk to each other alone. Karl tells Dave that the last few years have been crazy. Dave says that he should've known better than drop out of Columbia, but Karl tells him that he is better off not sucking Beinhorn's dick anymore. Dave gives in, saying that the idea for the Runaway Train video was Tony Kaye's, after all - "He deserves the credit a lot fucking more than I do." Karl laughs. Karl then says that his wife and him are happy, so maybe Dave should consider some time out. Dave says that he has been pondering it, a good break from all of this. He's just not sure if they're ever gonna be the same again. He says it - "I think we were nothing more than what we fear we were." Karl asks him what that is, and Dave replies: "A one-hit wonder." Karl takes a deep breath, takes the cigarette out of his mouth, and tells Dave that if they really are that, they should be grateful that their one hit was... Dave completes the phrase: "Runaway Train." Karl asks Dave why did making money ever mattered to him so much. Dave, bittersweetly, says he just didn't want Soul Asylum to be an opening act forever. Karl asks him if it had anything to do with Beinhorn, Dave just turns his face around and sips his drink. Karl tells him once again that the best ideas were those you least expect, and he happened to come across a great idea which led them to being at the top of the charts for a while. "But," says Karl, "I don't think that's what really matters here, if I'm honest." Dave then harkens back to the conversations with Tony Kaye, René Walsh, the teenage girl telling him that she was happy someone cared, and listening to news of lost kids being found, some of them thanks to Runaway Train making people aware of missing kids. He sings, one more time: "Runaway train, never going.... back | Wrong way.... on a one way track..." - he starts crying. Karl hugs him tight. Karl tells him that he's always gonna be there for him. Dave smiles crying, and says he's sorry for acting like a dick all these years. Karl tells him that he's his favorite dick. Dave ughs and pushes him, while Karl laughs.

 

Soul Asylum decide to take a break from big fame, instead focusing on a smaller scale of artistry.

 

2003

 

Dave, Karl and Sterling gather up with their families to visit Dan's art gallery, the Grapefuit Moon Gallery. The three are impressed with Dan's work, who thanks them. In comes Grant, who visits the group one more time. He and Dan look at each other and smile, without saying a word. The five men all hug. Dave then hugs Grant on his own, while Karl, Dan and Sterling look proud.

 

Outside of the gallery, local music reporters try to interview Soul Asylum. They ask Dave if they ever feel like they will return to their successful days in the 90's. Dave says that maybe they won't, and maybe they are one-hit wonders, but - pointing at the sky - we did something much better than just music. "We made people care." The five walk away, as we cut across the different members of the band.

 

- Dan Murphy retired from Soul Asylum in 2012. He then returned to music in 2020.

- Sterling Campbell had left Soul Asylum in 1998. He's still active in music. In the late 90's and onwards, he began advocating for human rights in China.

- Grant Young owned a resort with his wife after leaving Soul Asylum. Eventually, the two sold the resort. They operated another business, but dropped it too, and eventually divorced. He now lives in Iowa City, his hometown.

- Karl Mueller was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2004, due to his many years of smoking. He passed away in 2005.

- Dave Pirner continued to play with Soul Asylum. The band is still active today.

 

We cut back to the five men walking away, and then fade to black, to reveal more text in white.

 

- As of 2022, 25 of the 36 missing children from the original version of Runaway Train were found or returned home. Many other children from the UK and Canada were also found. However, many others are still missing.

 

End credits song: Soul Asylum - Making You Care (original song inspired by Rhinestone Cowboy)

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Among_Us.png

Studio Groundswell

Director: James Gunn

based on the video game by InnerSloth LLC

Genre: Comedy/Mystery

Release Date: December 25th, Y9

Theater Count: 3,850

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for Blood, Violence, Some Language, and Crude Humor

Budget: $100 Million

Runtime: 1 hr 42 min

Original Score Composer: Jon Brion

 

Secret Cast Members (*SPOILERS*)

Spoiler

As every actor wears an identity-concealing spacesuit, the identities of the actors are kept secret until the very end of the film.

 

This is an experiment to have readers interacting with the film by guessing which actors play which characters.

 

The next drop-down box reveals the cast. Please do not click it if you haven't already read the film and don't want to be spoiled.

 

*This is your final warning.*

 

Spoiler

Sasha Lane as Cyan

Pete Davidson as Lime Green

Aubrey Plaza as Yellow

Daniel Kaluuya as Blue

Steven Yeun as Black

Emma Stone as Pink

Justin Roiland as Orange

Daniela Melchior as White

Michael Rooker as Purple

with Sean Gunn as Brown

and Adam Driver as Red

 

 

 

Note on the Film's Marketing

To maintain the surprise of which actors play which characters, Studio Groundswell made sure that none of the trailers or TV spots had any dialogue in them. Groundswell is aware that the actors' voices give them away, but because of the way Groundswell marketed the film, audiences have to buy tickets and get in the theater in order to hear the voices of the actors.

 

Plot Summary

Spoiler

Cut to a small spaceship floating aimlessly in outer space. Cut inside as the camera tracks through one of the ship's corridors, which is littered with bodies of dead crewmates, and there's bloodstains on the wall and rubble everywhere. A Brown-Suited Crewmate runs out of a room and into the corridor, and he yells and runs away from an unseen enemy. He darts into the oxygen room and checks his gun—but it's jammed (!!). He looks and sees a silhouette of another crewmate. Brown pleads for his life, but it's futile. Cut to blood splattering on the wall as the entity kills him before dragging him out of the room. Dissolve out of the room, then out of the ship as it floats in the darkness of space.

 

Cyan narrates and says that there's a lot of risks that come with working on a space surveillance ship (SSS). While those risks usually refer up to accidents made by ship crewmates, she says sometimes being a crewmate comes with danger, as one could encounter aliens, injury, or even death.

 

We cut to Cyan in a small shuttle as it zooms through space to get her space station, The Skald. Cyan explains hat she experienced that danger firsthand when she went to work at her SSS known as The Skeld. It was a routine months-long mission to patrol outskirts of the Milky Way Galaxy, where space travel would be monitored and suspicious alien activity would be relayed back to Earth.

 

Through her plucky narration, Cyan introduces us to herself and her crewmates, with ten being the total number of workers; all of them are wearing their colored spacesuits, and we'll never seen any of them take their helmet off.

 

  • CYAN: female; medic; first time on an SSS; naïve and optimistic
  • BLUE: male; electrician/engineer; the man who can fix anything
  • ORANGE: male; navigator; skittish and timid, but considerate
  • WHITE: female; nuclear scientist; the smartest one of the bunch
  • LIME GREEN: male; shields operator; casual but 
  • BLACK: male; weapons specialist; he's cocky and likes to brag
  • PURPLE: male; security guard; a family man who rolls with the punches
  • YELLOW: female; communications agent; doesn't take bleep from anyone
  • PINK: female; sanitation; bubbly and energetic
  • RED: male; all-business leader of the crew; hot-headed, mission-driven

 

The shuttle backs into the Skeld like a plug. They disperse and explore the Skeld to get set up at their main stations; for example, Cyan ogles around the infirmary, Lime Green puts the Skald's shields up, and Purple turns on the cameras in the security room, setting up a family photo as he does so; the photo has him, his wife, and his kid, all wearing spacesuits and helmets in the photo and he takes a moment to appreciate the photo.

 

Everyone meets in the cafeteria. Red types on screen on his right arm (something all the suits have) to give each crewmate tasks for their first day. "Remember to swipe your I.D. card if you haven't done so already, and then do everything on your agenda," says Red. Everyone disperses, but Cyan has to go to electrical but doesn't know where to go, so Purple offers to guide her there since they're headed to the same place. Cyan notices Lime Green as she goes, and she stares at him since she has a crush on him. "You coming or what?" says Purple. That shakes Cyan back, and they head out.

 

In the Admin room, Lime Green and White wait in line while Orange tries to swipe his card.

 

Lime Green: You need any help there, bud?

Orange: Nah, I got this. Just have to get the right speed here…

He swipes two more times, failing both swipes.

White: Orange, please hurry. I have to get to the nuclear reactor.

Lime Green: (laughs) Yeah, you don't want the Skeld exploding on us, right?

Orange: Hold on a second, I know I can get this…

Orange swipes again and fails.

Lime Green: All right, give it to me, I’ll show you…

Then Orange swipes, and it finally recognizes.

Orange: There we go!

Orange walks off, and Lime Green steps to the slot. He swipes his card and fails.

Lime Green: Huh. I guess it is pretty hard.

 

In the weapons room, Black sits in a chair with a laser gun, shooting incoming asteroids in the distance. Blue’s standing nearby, reconnecting some electrical wires. Black celebrates in a cocky way as he shoots asteroids. “You know it’s as easy as tapping a button, right?” Blue says. Black scoffs, claiming there’s a finesse to clearing asteroid fields not everyone knows about. Blue steps in and taps on the screen, clearing a hundred asteroids in five seconds. Blue tells him, "if you took the time to focus on people the way you focus on those asteroids, you'd surely have found a girlfriend by now." He steps away, leaving Black staring at the screen in amazement.

 

Meanwhile, Pink and Yellow are in the communications room, where Yellow answers a radio call from an alien spaceship while Pink runs up and down the room with a mop device that resembles a Swiffer WetJet.

 

Yellow: Yeah, what do you want?

Alien: *gibberish*

Yellow: Alien traders need an ID number. Got one?

Alien: *more gibberish*

Yellow: No ID number, no trading Jupiter’s vapors with Antarctica. Capisce?

 

The alien says more gibberish. Yellow types into a computer.

 

Yellow: You’re clarified. Have a nice space flight.

 

Yellow hangs up and does an office chair swivel and spends some time staring at Pink, who's still mopping the heck out of the comm room's floor, humming the melody of the film's original song, "Suspicious" by Carly Rae Jepsen. "Pink?" says Yellow. Pink ignores her and continues sweeping. "Pink?" she says again. "I know, hold on," Pink replies, still humming. Pink gets the last few sweeps in before she jots out of the room, still humming. Yellow sits staring out before swiveling back to her desk.

 

Meanwhile, Purple and Cyan are in electrical calibrating the distributor and downloading data. Cyan admits to Purple that Lime Green caught her eye and that she might be crushing on him. Purple encourages her to ask him out on a date. Cyan acts shy and says she doesn’t know if she can, and Purple tells her that she’ll only have so much time to get to know him, or else she might miss her chance. He’s been in her shoes before, and if he hadn’t asked out the girl he liked years ago, he wouldn’t be married with kids by then. Cyan dwells on that. Purple finishes wiring and checks his watch—“Welp. I think it’s lunchtime.”

 

Lime Green's in the shields room readjusting shields. Blue steps in to tell him that it's lunchtime. "Great, hold on a minute," says Lime Green. He pushes the last of his shield buttons, but we can tell there's something on his mind, we can tell he's frazzled. He jogs out after finishing; or he thought he finished. Turns out, the shield screen says that one of the force fields isn't set up yet!

 

Cut to lunchtime, where the crewmates gather in the cafeteria and get trays of machine-prepared foods. The guys are sitting together, and the girls are sitting together. Cyan stares at Lime Green from across the room; Pink notices and tells her to go for it. Cyan sheepishly walks to Lime Green and asks if he has a minute to talk. “Ooh, you're in trouble now,” Blue says, and the guys laugh.

 

Cut to Lime Green and Cyan talking in the hallway…

 

Lime Green: Is everything all right?

Cyan: Yeah, of course! It’s just…

Lime Green: What is it?

Cyan: It’s fine, really! I just… I have something to tell you.

Lime Green: Yes?

 

Pink blush marks appear on their helmets as the camera dollies in. Cyan hesitates, and just before she’s about to tell him, the space station’s alarm goes off.

 

Cyan: What’s happening?

Lime Green: I dunno. Could be anything.

 

In the cafeteria, Red orders Purple to rush to the security room to locate the issue. Purple rushes there and sees security camera footage of aliens invading in the east hallway of the Skeld. Purple relays this information through a walkie-talkie system on the suit's arm. Cyan and Lime Green rush back into the cafeteria, where Red tells everyone about the invaders and tells them to defend The Skeld at all costs. The crewmates salute him—“aye aye”—and run out.

 

Everyone rushes around, but Red holds Lime Green back and asks him if he put the shields up. Lime Green remembers putting the shields up. Red figures that the aliens somehow breached the force field. They rush to defend the Skeld.

 

We cut to the aliens in the east hallway—little green stereotypical aliens in slick gray suits—and their head honcho motions five of them toward the engine room and motions the other four to follow him to the cockpit—using alien gibberish to give the orders.

 

Blue, Yellow, White, and Purple intercept the aliens before they reach the engine room, and a firefight breaks out. They eliminate the threat, but Purple gets shot in the chest. White tells the others to take purple to medbay, and she uses the walkie-talkie to tell everyone else about the aliens heading to navigation.

 

Orange is in that navigation room and gets the message, so he scrambles to lock the navigation system behind a password and does so just in time before the aliens come in. Orange puts his hands up and says “nice aliens,” but Cyan, Lime Green, Black, and Pink enter and save him. Orange runs out of the way, and the other crewmates shoot the aliens and eliminate the threat.

 

Two of the aliens survive, but are incapacitated. One crawls toward the vent, while the other pulls out a white flag. Pink says, “eww, they’re still alive, gross,” and Cyan says, “couldn’t we have just taken them prisoner,” and Lime Green says, “we don’t have any place to put them,” and finally Black says, “well that’s why we have the airlock.” Then Red stomps in, and the crewmates part ways like a sea. Red says, “We can’t let them live. Fire!” Then Red shoots a laser gun at the flag-waving alien (the laser going through is kept offscreen), and he orders the others to help him carry the bodies to the airlock.

 

The other alien makes it into the vent and leans against one of its walls, but it quickly realizes that it’s bleeding out (its blood is a honey/amber color). Knowing it doesn’t have long to live, it pulls out a flask with a caterpillar inside of it. In gibberish (we get subtitles this time), the alien tells the caterpillar to kill the humans and bring the Skeld back to their home planet. He releases the caterpillar and says “You’re our only hope!” before slumping over and breathing its last.

 

The crewmates (sans purple, who’s in the medbay), put the bodies of the aliens in the airlock and release the bodies out into space. None of them talk to each other; there’s a long moment of silence. Then Blue breaks the silence by saying he’s beat and that he’s going to the cafeteria and getting some grilled tilapia. “That’s sounds delicious!” Pink exclaims. The crewmates walk toward the cafeteria and excitedly talk about the grilled tilapia… But Red stands alone and stares out at the vastness of space…

 

Cut to Cyan visiting Purple in the medbay. She brings him food and reassures him that he should be healed up in a day or so. Purple thanks her and asks her if she got around asking Lime Green out on a date. Cyan admits that the alarm went off just before she could; and she also doesn't know what kind of date her and Lime Green would be able to have on the Skeld. Purple encourages her, saying that if they're meant to be together, then it'll happen for sure. Cyan asks Purple if he's fine staying alone in the medbay, and Purple says he’ll be okay and that if he needs anything, there’s nine crewmates in the building that he trusts to help him out. Cyan tells him to get some rest and walks out.

 

All of the crewmates crawl into bunk beds and go to sleep. But the caterpillar crawls with determination toward the dorm rooms. It enters one of the dorm rooms, and the camera dollies out…

 

The next morning, everyone swipes their ID cards, and Cyan goes into the medbay.

 

Cyan: Hi Purple! I hope you got a good night’s rest!

She stands on a platform that scans her body.

Cyan: I bet you’re already feeling better. With our technology, we can heal wounds pretty quickly.

Purple is silent.

Cyan: You're still sleeping? I don’t blame you. That was a day yesterday. You know, I had a dream where Lime Green and I were on a rollercoaster, and our car drove off the tracks and flew in the air! Did you have a dream? Um… Purple?

 

The scan finishes, and Cyan finally gets a good look at Purple, whose entire upper body is missing. Cyan begins to freak out, and just before she screams, we cut to Lime Green and Blue standing in a hallway holding coffee cups. Lime Green takes a sip.

 

Blue: Wait… How are you drinking that?

(Lime Green, who’s still wearing his helmet, looks down at his cup.)

Lime Green: I don’t know. Huh.

 

Then they hear Cyan screaming and run to the medbay. Cut back to Cyan as everyone rushes in and finds the dead body. Red makes his way through the crowd and asks what happened. Cyan stutters and cries, explaining that Purple is dead. Lime Green gives her a hug, and she cries in his chest. Red tells the other crewmates to discard Purple’s body through the airlock and meet in the cafeteria, as there’s something that needs to be discussed.

 

The nine crewmates meet in the cafeteria. Red paces back and forth. Orange wonders aloud if an alien stowed away and killed Purple, but White rebuts and says there’s no way one of those aliens could make a man’s entire upper body disappear.

 

Red stops pacing and corrects them, saying that Purple had been murdered by one of the crewmates. They all go silent, and Cyan asks Red how he knows this. Red cues Blue to go to the hologram table, and Blue types on the keyboard to reveal a holographic image of the caterpillar that the alien had released. Red explains that the aliens were a species known as the Dingalings, and the Dingalings are known for utilizing a parasite known as the Bunchworm, which looks like a caterpillar but knows how to burrow into the host’s skull and take control of its brain, thus turning the host into its puppet.

 

Black snidely remarks, “at least we weren’t raided by the Dongalings.” Red throws the hologram's remote at him and yells, “FOCUS!”

 

Lime Green states that if there’s a killer “among us,” and there’s already been a murder, they should all leave the Skeld and go back to Earth. Red is adamantly against taking the killer back to Earth because if the killer gets to Earth, there might be dire consequences for the planet since an imposter is easier to track among nine than it would be among billions. White doesn't see any good in staying on a ship with a murderer, and Black reminds her that she shouldn't want to risk an alien invasion. "I guess you're right..." she says. 

 

Red tells everyone to get back to their daily tasks, but he also tells them to keep an eye out for crewmates that don’t remember what their tasks are or how to do their tasks, or to be wary of suspicious behavior. Pink is weirdly excited to search for the murderer, and Yellow's like, "don't get too excited." Then animated sweat drips outside of Orange’s helmet, and Blue asks “you okay, bud” and Orange says he gets sweaty when he’s scared. Red sends them off to do their tasks, but he tells Cyan to follow him to the security room.

 

When Red and Cyan get there, Red tells her that she's the only one out of everyone who definitely didn’t kill Purple and the only one he can trust. Red turns on the camera footage and tells her that he’s giving her the privilege of taking Purple's place as the security officer. Cyan asks, “what am I supposed to look for?” and Red states that she’ll know the killer by the way they compose themselves in private, or if they go “stabby stabby” to a crewmate. Red leaves, and Cyan stares at the monitors…

 

Cut to Yellow in the comms room as she sends photos and a hologram of the crime scene to the SSS headquarters along with information about Purple's death and the situation happening on the Skeld. She leans her head in her hand like 'it's really happening, isn't it.' White walks in and asks if she's okay. Yellow says she's fine, but White does an over-exaggerated examination of Yellow, to see if she's experiencing trauma or shock or anything like that. Yellow continues to say she's fine. Then White's screen pings; she looks at it and says, "shoot, there's something wrong with the engines. I'll come back, I promise!" She runs out. Yellow swivels her chair to watch her go and swivels back to her desk.

 

Fade to the medbay, where Pink is humming while cleaning up Purple's blood. She turns around, and Orange, who's walking in, YELPS because he's startled by Pink being in there.

 

Pink: Hey, Orange. You good?

Orange: Uh—Yeah! What are you up to?

Pink: Just cleaning up the crime scene. You?

Orange: Inspecting samples.

Pink: What? That makes me think you’re the murderer!

Orange: What? No! You're the one cleaning the crime scene!

Pink: (laughs) Just kidding! You wouldn’t kill Purple. Right?

Orange: I’d never take no for an answer! I mean, I’d never take yes for an answer! I mean, I wouldn’t! Not a chance! Ha ha!

Pink: Huh. Well, this is all clean now, so I'll be leaving.

Orange: Wait! I found this on the ground!

 

Orange gives Pink a Swiss Army Knife with a violet handle—the blade is bent, presumably by the impostor. Pink tilts her head and says that fabric belonging to the impostor’s spacesuit might be around the crime scene; she pictures Purple clawing at the killer, and she playfully reenacts the scene in her head, with Orange holding his hands close to his chest (still spooked). Pink turns to leave, and Orange asks her one more question: who gave her permission to clean the crime scene. "Red did," she says, "cuz we've already sent the crime scene hologram." She waves goodbye and leaves, and Orange catches his breath since the moment was really tense for him.

 

Cut to the upper engine room as White tries to realign the engine output. Then a vent on the floor swings open, but White doesn't notice as she's absorbed in her work. White finishes and turns to leave, but then the lights go out, leaving the engine room in near darkness. White raises her walkie-talkie to say something, but Red is already asking what happened since the whole Skeld's light are out, and Lime Green is already saying that he's in electrical and already flipping on the lights. White's hesitation gives the unseen killer enough time to trip her down. White tries crawling away but is dragged into the darkness.

 

Cut to Lime Green turning on the lights. He relays this to Red, who confirms that the Skeld's lights are back on. Lime Green goes into the hallway and sees that Yellow's pacing around since the power outage turned off communication software and she has to wait for it to boot up. Lime Green takes the opportunity to ask her something:

 

Lime: Hey, Yellow?

Yellow: Yeah?

Lime: Can you keep a secret?

Yellow: Sure.

Lime: I know we've just met Cyan. But I think I like her.

Yellow: That’s neat.

Lime: I’ve been thinking about telling her.

Yellow: So do it.

Lime: But if she doesn’t feel the same way, I’ll be embarrassed about it.

Yellow: So don’t.

Lime: But if I don’t tell her, then... I don't know, I could miss the chance.

Yellow: So do it.

Lime: In short, it’s like Jean Valjean—if I do it, I’m condemned, and if I don’t, I’m damned.

Yellow: That’s quite the dilemma.

Lime: Thank you, Yellow! Now I know exactly what to do.

Yellow: No problem.

 

Cut to Red stomping down the hallway. He overhears heavy breathing and storms into the exercise room and finds Black doing benchpresses and Blue curling a dumbbell with his right arm. "Working out at a time like this?" says Red. Black defends their decision to work out, as there's an impostor in their midst that they might need to subdue with brute strength. Then the alarm goes off! "Speak of the devil," says a confident Black, who racks the bar. Blue asks Red where the emergency is. "It's in the nuclear reactor!" says Red.

 

All of the crewmates (sans White) run to the room where the nuclear reactor is. Orange is trying to fix it by typing on the computer. "Where's White when you need her, she's the nuclear expert," says Black. Red sends Lime Green to the engine room so he can realign the engines (since White couldn't finish it). It comes down to the wire since they only have less than a minute, but the crewmates successfully fix the nuclear reactor. That's when Lime Green tells everyone via walkie-talkie that he found White's body.

 

Everyone shudders. Fade to the crewmates meeting in the cafeteria, where they discuss the fact that White’s body was found in the electrical room. They need to talk among themselves to see who the killer might be. We discover the following information:

 

- Red, Black, and Blue ran straight from the gym to the reactor.

- Cyan hunkered down in the security room.

- Lime Green turning the lights back on.

- Pink had finished cleaning and was putting his supplies back in the storage room.

- Then Orange went to the cockpit to check on the ship’s travels, and Yellow stayed in the comms room.

 

Lime Green notes that a vent hatch was open near the scene of the crime. Black decides to accuse Cyan because she was alone in the security room and, thus, unaccounted for by anyone else. Cyan defends saying she was watching the camera footage the whole time. "But you could've seen a suspect, right?" says Orange, questioning her credibility. "I don't have a full view of the ship, Orange!" says Cyan, defending herself. "Wait—our cameras don't have a full view?" says Pink (who's reminded by Yellow that everyone is supposed to be installing new security cameras as part of their tasks).

 

Red tells everyone to stop accusing Cyan. Red is still confident in Cyan's innocence since she's the one who discovered Purple, and her scream was authentic. Blue then suggests that Pink was the killer, because she was cleaning vents, and one of the vents was left open near the crime scene. "Ooh, that's kinda sus," says Lime Green. Pink defends herself saying she wasn't anywhere near the engine rooms. Orange points at purple fabric on her shoulder, and that's enough for Orange and others to believe she's the impostor.

 

Red mobilizes everyone, and the group carries Pink to the airlock and shuts her in. Pink tells them there’s been a misunderstanding, but due to paranoia, none of them are listening. Red pulls the lever and lets Pink out into space…

 

They all take a breather until Red mobilizes everyone—Cyan to security, Orange to navigation, Black to installing new cameras throughout the Skeld, Yellow to comms for relaying what happened to Earth, Blue to weapons to shoot down any hostile aliens he sees (he doesn't want any more aliens boarding the ship). Black, as the weapons guy, and Blue, as the engineer, tell Red that he mixed up their tasks; Red tells them to deal with it because he needs well rounded crewmates anyway, not one-note crewmates. Everyone disperses, but Red asks Lime Green to follow him to administration room for a meeting. "Now?" asks Lime Green. "Yes, now!" says Red.

 

Cyan's heading down the hall, but Yellow quietly waves her into comms. Yellow warns Cyan that the men outnumber the women five to two, and they need to stay on their toes or they might be the next ones accused if they, God forbid, threw out the wrong crewmate. Cyan, still naive, believes that everything should be okay, because Pink was the killer, and they threw her out... Right? Then Yellow gets in her face and says, "promise me we'll stick out for each other. Do you promise?" Cyan hesitates for a moment, then promises.

 

Cut to Lime Green and Red in the meeting room, where Red displays a hologram showing proof that Lime Green neglected to press one of the shield buttons. "Oh shit," says Lime Green as he realizes he messed us really badly. Red briefly lectures Lime Green about his negligence and says that with impostor potentially still among them, he has everything he needs to throw Lime Green off the ship. "So where was your mind?" says Red. Lime Green answers that he was thinking about Cyan. Red tells him that from this point forward, he needs to focus on what's really important. They've gone from ten to seven, and he doesn't want to lose anymore crewmates. Lime Green says he'll try. "No try," says Red. "Just do." Then Red storms out, leaving Lime Green alone.

 

Cut to Black installing more cameras in the hallway. He notices something go bump from the storage room, so he slowly walks over to check it out. He walks into the storage room and see that the door of the trash compactor has been left open. "That'll cause a smell," he says as he walks over to close it. When he reaches the doors, an offscreen crewmate shoves him into the trash compactor, and that crewmate, the killer, pushes buttons and watches from above as the compactor's two walls slowly close in on each other. Black has nervous laughter as he struggles to get out, saying things like "okay, this isn't funny." He can't reach the ledge back to the storage room. The killer's silhouette looms over him, and the killer closes the trash compactor's doors. We see the killer's shadow as they walk across the storage room. Dolly out from the trash compactor's doors as Black screams.

 

Later, everyone realizes that Black is missing. They meet in the cafeteria for yet another emergency meeting. Orange still thinks it's Cyan, and Blue throws support to Orange's accusation, citing Black, a previous accuser of Cyan, being the one who died. Red says again that he knows Cyan isn't the killer. "How do you know that," says Blue. "The way she screamed!" says Red. "She could've screamed on purpose to throw everyone off," says Orange. Again, Red defends Cyan. Yellow looks at Cyan, looking to save her, and she gets an idea. She turns to Red and accuses him of being the killer. Red denies this furiously. Blue takes note of his explosive reaction to being accused, with Orange saying it's fishy how Red can dictate who is and isn't the killer, and it makes sense that Red could be bossing everyone around to throw everyone off of him being the killer. Red is in damage control mode and having a breakdown trying to defend himself. Yellow asks Lime Green what Red did after the meeting, and Lime Green confesses that Red stormed out, and he doesn't know exactly where Red went. The 'not knowing' is enough for Blue and Orange. So Blue, Orange, and Yellow formally accuse Red. Cyan maintains Red's innocence and asks Lime Green to do the same. Lime Green hesitates, but pressured by the others' groupthink, he joins in on the crusade against Red.

 

Everyone besides Cyan carries Red to the airlock, with Red shouting some creative insults along the way. “You’ll never find the killer if you do this!” Red screams. Orange uses his body weight to push the lever down (since it's heavy for him), and off Red goes into space.

 

After air-locking Red, Cyan asks Lime Green to talk to her in private. As they go off, Blue says, "if Lime Green disappears, I guess we'll know for sure who the killer is." Blue and Orange head toward the cafeteria as Yellow looks on concerned.

 

In the hallway, Cyan chastises Lime Green for not defending Red. Lime Green tells her that they were already on the outs as it is and that it would’ve been dangerous for them to disagree with the groupthink. When Cyan tearfully tells him she knows Red wasn’t the killer, Lime Green finally blurts out that he was trying to protect her because he loves her. The blush marks reappear on both helmets, and they vow to protect each other no matter what happens. They both go to the security room, where Cyan watches the security cameras while Lime Green stands outside the room to guard it.

 

Blue, Yellow, and Orange sit together in the cafeteria, and none of them want to go alone. Yellow notices that Orange is bouncing up and down in his seat. She asks him what’s wrong.

 

Orange: I have to use the bathroom.

Yellow: You can use the bathroom. We’ll be here.

Orange: But… The killer…

Yellow: Red was the killer, right? So we’re safe now.

Orange: Ma… Mama…

Yellow: Just go, Orange. I promise you’ll be fine.

 

Orange speeds off. Suddenly, the alarm goes off, as the oxygen room needs immediate maintenance. Yellow and Blue go together to fix it. We see through her body language that Yellow's getting pensive. In the oxygen room, Yellow turns her back on Blue momentarily to fix the oxygen filters, and that's when Blue brandishes his knife. Yellow finishes just in time; with excellent reflexes, she kicks the knife out of Blue's hand, and it slides across the room into a vent. Yellow tells him he knew it was him right after they threw Red out of the airlock. "Well, you realized too late," says Blue. Yellow knows she's not getting out of this alive, but she asks Blue how he killed the others. We get a montage where Blue explains how he snuck into the medical room to kill Purple, snuck through the vent to kill White (while Black was too self-absorbed during the workout to notice him leaving through the vent), and finally pushing Black into the trash compactor.

 

Yellow tells him she's going to make sure there's no more victims; she tries to whip out her laser gun, but Blue's head quickly grows giant and monstrous—and he bites off Yellow's torso, eating her alive. (This part is bloodless to maintain PG-13.) Then Blue makes a call on his walkie-talkie and tells the others that he found Yellow's dead body.

 

Cyan's alone in the security room when she gets the message. She's astonished. Lime Green bursts in and tells her they have to go to the cafeteria for a meeting. Cyan thinks for a moment and tells Lime Green that she thinks she might know who did it. "Really?" says Lime Green. "Who?" But Cyan, focused, storms past him.

 

Cyan, Lime Green, Orange, and Blue reach the cafeteria. Blue accuses Cyan again, going on a long monologue about how she can't be trusted, and Orange eats up every single word. Cyan defends herself saying she was in security the whole time, and Lime Green also defends her saying she was outside the room the whole time. "But she could've gone in the vent while you weren't noticing, right?" says Blue. Orange chimes in with a "yeah!" and Cyan takes a step back, overwhelmed by everything but maintaining her innocence. Blue tells Lime Green that it can all be over if he just trusts him. Lime Green looks back and forth between Cyan and Blue, and Cyan begs him to believe her. Ultimately, Lime Green sides with Cyan, and both Cyan and Lime Green accuse Blue of being the murderer.

 

"Well even if I were the killer, you're short a vote to send me out," says Blue. "But I have Orange with me. Right?" Orange, still petrified, nods his head 'yes' and whimpers. "So if you insist in making such a false claim," says Blue, "there's only one way this'll end."

 

Cyan steps in front of Lime Green. He tries to stop her, but Cyan insists saying she's the one who's being accused. Cyan and Blue have a western style stand-off where they stare at each other, and one of them could use the laser gun to shoot the other at any moment. But before that happens, Red stumbles in and shouts, "stop!" Everyone turns to Red, and Red shouts that he'll be the heroes' third vote against Blue. When Lime Green asks him how he survived, Red reveals (w/ flashback) that when the airlock blew him out, he got back to the ship by rapid-firing lasers to create force, and he entered the Skeld in the same opening found by the aliens from the beginning of the movie. Red says he knows it's not Cyan, he knows it's not Lime Green, and come on, it's not Orange either. And that leaves Blue!

 

Outnumbered, Blue realizes he's been had. But the worm in his brain won't not going down without a fight. We get a shot of his brain as the worm emits toxins into his body. Blue gradually transforms into a giant alien lizard monster, with the spacesuit molding with the shape of the new form. The monsters bares fangs and drips green slimy drool as everyone back away. Suddenly, it grabs Orange and eats him alive as he screams for his mama. Cyan, Lime Green, and Red run away from the monster, and the monster chases after them. They run through the Skeld and reach the airlock—dead end. They shoot at the monster with their laser guns, and the monster falls down and dies just inches before reaching the heroes.

 

Cyan, Lime Green, and Red rejoice together at being alive. Then the moment turns to sorrow as they realize they're the only three left. They release the leftover dead bodies through the airlock and mourn the losses. Then they report everything that happened in the comms room and get a well-deserved order to return to Earth. "Before we go," says Red—and he tells his superiors that they need to reconsider alien conflict, as he believes that the entire situation could've been avoided. Cyan and Lime Green exchange a look, as Red's revelation, while welcome, is out of the blue. The superiors promise to talk with him about it more in-depth once they come home. After the messaging, Red walks off to spend time with his thoughts.

 

Meanwhile, Cyan and Lime Green spend some time in the cafeteria. Cyan gets emotional because of how many of their crewmates died. Lime Green gives her a hug—and so do the ghosts of the crewmates who died. The ghosts of the aliens killed in the skirmish also comfort them, and all the ghosts fade away, having been unnoticed. A series of fading shots back away from Cyan and Lime Green, landing us back onto an exterior shot of the Skeld as Cyan narrates about how she'll never forget her experience on the Skeld, and how even when there's trouble among us, there's always opportunities for hope and courage.

 

Fade to black as Carly Rae Jepsen's "Suspicious" comes in. We get shots of each cast member, with the characters' actors being revealed in their corresponding shots:

 

Sasha Lane as Cyan

Pete Davidson as Lime Green

Aubrey Plaza as Yellow

Daniel Kaluuya as Blue

Steven Yeun as Black

Emma Stone as Pink

Justin Roiland as Orange

Daniela Melchior as White

Michael Rooker as Purple

with Sean Gunn as Brown

and Adam Driver as Red

 

 

Edited by SLAM!
  • Astonished 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Revenge Ex

Infinite Studios

Release Date: 5/23/Y9

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Director: Will Gluck

Rating: R

Budget: $37m

Theater Count: 3,925

Format: 2D 

Runtime: 108 minutes

Cast:

Zendaya as Emma

Tom Holland as Jonah

Jacob Elrodi as Kyler

Molly Gordon as Bethany

Leslie Grace as Trisssss

Unknowns as Abigail and Tim


 

Spoiler

The confident and driven Emma and extraverted party-dude Kyler were high school sweethearts. Both were polar opposites as Emma came from middle class as Tyler’s family was extra wealthy but fell for each other, having maintained a relationship throughout Emma’s college years while Kyler worked at the docks. Over the years, the relationship went semi-sour with their bits of trials and tribulations, as Emma wants to make more of her degree in business and climb the corporate ladder while working as Kyler had been laid off and is not really pulling his weight, with quarrels intensifying on the eve of Kyler older sister’s and one of Emma’s dear friends, Abigail’s wedding in just a month and a half about where their future is heading.

 

Emma and Kyler head to a surprise trip, in order for Kyler’s word to make things right, saying that he knows she is a huge fan of The Tim Tattler Show (a Jerry Springer Show expy) and arranged a surprise that will fix the relationship. However, upon going on stage with Tim Tattler (J.K. Simmons cameo-ing), it is revealed that Kyler has been cheating on Emma with Bethany, a Instagram-famous life coach since Emma went on to college and intends to dump her. Emma hears about this backstage and is furious and heartbroken as she rushes on the stage to confront this. Kyler explains it was for the best, and that he did her a favor as this is her favorite show and his way of making things right. Emma slaps him as Bethany comes on stage and makes out with Kyler, as Emma almost gets into a scrap with her before the bouncer comes to separate the two. Jonah, Bethany’s mousy boyfriend as well as business partner, comes on stage as Bethany coldly dumps him. Jonah splashes a cup of water on Kyler’s face as the two fight, as Emma, shell-shocked, walks off backstage, takes the car and heads to a bar, texting her friend Trisssss the whole dilemma, all while trying not to break down.

 

Trisssss and Emma have a good time at the club, as Emma drinks out her sorrows, confiding that she knew the relationship was doomed but why does it still hurt her. Trisssss admits it is true that when you have been with someone for so long, even if they were not good it hurts, but as she gives the speech, she is distracted by many notifications. Trisssss is revealed to be a part time influencer working on her own brand but has not had any luck (Trisssss is her social handle). Trisssss says the best way to forget about Kyler is to have a good time, which Emma does as she parties the night away, dancing, doing shots, and smoking pot. She also ends up hooking up with a guy who is also drunk as well, as the camera pans showing it to be Jonah.

 

The next morning, Emma wakes up with a hangover as she finds herself in bed with Jonah. Emma recognizes him from the Tim Tattler show as she attempts to sneak out but trips over what is shown to be a strap-on. Jonah wakes up and recognizes Emma, as he bashfully rambles apologizing about last night, hoping he didn’t take advantage of her. Jonah attempts to get up to find his wrist handcuffed to the bedpost. Emma insists it was consensual, sloppy and B- - range but consensual. In the air of awkward silence, Emma asks who was the strap-on for as she never remembered it being used on her, as Jonah bashfully smiles, revealing it was used on him. Emma attempts to find her car keys as she looks at her phone to see a post from Trisssss, revealing Trisssss took her car (and also in a drunken haze, went to Bethany’s house to key Kyler’s car). Jonah notes if it can’t get more awkward, he could drive her, which Emma accepts but Jonah notes he needs the key first, and not the one to the car. 

 

The two make some small talk as Jonah drives Emma to her house. Emma sympathizes with him being cheated on by his partner as well as their exes cheating on them with each other as the two bond over how shitty their partners were as well as even though they were hurt, both of them miss their ex. Emma then has an idea to fake date, which Jonah is skeptical until Emma explains the logic behind it, noting both of their exes are egotistical narcissists and when no one is sucking them off, they’ll suck up to those who are not sucking them and what better way than if it were their exes. Jonah is briefly confused, asking why she is doing an oral euphemism as Emma responds she still is very hungover.

 

Emma and Jonah agree to pretend to be a fake couple in order to spite their exes and get them to come back begging to their respective partner. Emma plans to rebuff Kyler as Jonah wants Bethany back. Trisssss joins in on the scheme as she could gain clout on social media by helping them become trendsetters, she will obviously run the operation as both have busy lives. The trio plans to have the lead up to Abigail’s wedding in less than 45 days with the meet up in Cancun in just 42 days. By the time Kyler and Bethany see them being happy and doing good, those two will go mad with jealousy, with one of them making a big scene about it. 

 

The few weeks in the experiment is a complete failure. This is due a to a number of failed outings like a date at the movies, amusement park, ice skating and a fancy restaurant due to inability to other couples being a bit too affectionate and rowdy in the theater, neither Emma or Jonah being able to skate or neither of their stomachs being handle the high velocities of a rollercoaster and a complication of the restaurant menus being in French which Emma only can partially read, accidentally causes Jonah’s shellfish allergy to flare up. Work also complicates things as the two have different schedules which makes spending time, fake or real, harder.

 

The trio recoup at a local bar as Emma and Jonah consider quitting the scheme until Trisssss suggest why not just take a day to get to know each other. Jonah asks like a date, as Emma snarks as they went well the last few times, as Trisssss says it does not have to be a date, just hanging out or whatever.

 

Emma and Jonah agree with this planning to meet up the upcoming Friday. However, at the last minute, Emma has some paperwork dumped on her, forcing her to cancel but Jonah offers to help. The two meet up at Emma’s apartment as Emma goes through the paperwork with ease, just acknowledging it’s mainly busy work, thanking Jonah. Jonah notes it is not like he had much better to do on a Friday night, as his American accent suddenly slips to British, which Emma picks up on. Jonah, in an attempt to change the subject, notices blueprints for a pitch.

 

Emma explains that she is working on a pitch for a new cleaning product, these past few weeks and whoever delivers the best slogan receives a sizable bonus. Jonah lights up as he’s passionate about the marketing aspect behind it. Jonah notes that he works as a sales analyst and used to handle Bethany’s marketing affairs of the products she would sell to her followers. Jonah comes up with a few dorky but effective slogans and advice for Emma to deal with her jitters. The two have fun until Jonah’s stomach growls as the two decide to settle on dinner, at a local Mexican restaurant.

 

The two actually strike up a decent conversation, as they learn more about each other, revealing funny stories about themselves, favorites from food to music  to even books as both discover that they are avid readers and even do a bit of karaoke. Jonah also reveals that he is actually from Britain, and that he and his mum moved her during his middle school years. Jonah was picked on but Bethany was one of the first friends he gained here as he struggled with his own confidence and the two also dated during sophomore year of high school. Bethany was the one to convince him to drop the accent as it made him seem off.

 

Emma voices her disapproval of his treatment which Jonah agrees, but overtime he became complacent as he felt for a brief period that without Bethany, he felt not worthy and while he doesn’t feel like that now, he still misses her. Emma advises Jonah to move on as well as pointing out to Jonah that he is not just a good catch but a good guy as Jonah thanks her, eyes and smile glowing. The two head back to Emma’s apartment but both hesitate to say goodbye. Emma asks Jonah if he wants to spend the night over which Jonah smiles. The camera shows shoes knocked all over the place to a couch as it pans up to see the two of them… just watching Netflix and not chilling.

 

After that, the following weeks goes more smoothly. The planned dates are going along well, with a few grand romantic gestures to help sell the deal. Jonah begins to embrace his British accent as Emma even sells her pitch which is a huge success. The next day, Jonah surprises Emma at the office with flowers and Candy to congratulate her, which goes viral. During this, Kyler and Bethany does notice on social media. Bethany comments that it seems kind of phony as Kyler notes it doesn’t matter and the two should just ignore it. Meanwhile as time goes on, Emma and Jonah also begin to slowly fall for each other.

 

On the morning of the Cancun trip, Emma and Jonah show up ready to go, as the two walk through their plan one more time, as the two seem completely in sync. Emma helps fix Jonah’s tie as the two gaze into each other’s eyes for a minute but just as they instinctively lean in for a kiss, Trisssss walks in letting them know they are running late. The three hurry as they hitch a plane there, as Emma and Jonah talk about that moment, Emma insists it was just nerves but that the two of them have this down. Jonah mostly agrees, although secretly a bit disappointed.

 

Upon arriving to Cancun, Jonah, Emma and Trisssss are impressed by the luxurious resort that Abigail is having her reception at. The trio run into Abigail, who unlike Kyler is both down to earth and very sweet as well as her fiancé Tim. Emma and Abigail catch up with Abigail apologizing for how Kyler treated her as Emma insists she found a new guy, introducing them to Jonah.

 

Kyler and Bethany arrive as well, both of whom are condescending towards their exes, happy they got their leftovers. The day proceeds with a bunch of fun activities like interacting with the dolphins and sea turtles or sampling alcohol or dancing as Emma and Jonah at first exaggerate their “love” for one another but the two have so much fun together, it becomes less phony and more cute which gets to Kyler and Bethany, making both seethed and correctly paranoid, it’s a sting to make them look bad.

 

At brunch the next day, Kyler and Bethany challenge Emma and Jonah to some “friendly” competition as a way to blow off some steam. Abigail and Trisssss both see right through Kyler and Bethany’s charade try to talk down Emma and Jonah from accepting, which the duo declines at first until Kyler makes a backhanded statement towards Emma. The couples compete in binge drinking, couples’ bungie jumping, and beach volleyball throughout a montage, as the two couples are tied.

 

This culminates into a competitive jet-ski race on the beach between the couples. Kyler and Bethany take the lead at first, while neither Emma or Jonah have handled a jet ski, narrowly dodging rocks but with their cooperation and quick thinking manage to take back the lead. Kyler and Bethany also manage to comically crash onto the shore, as Bethany’s extensions are ruining due to the water. Kyler and Bethany get into a huge fight and quite publicly break up. 

 

As the day ends, Emma, Trisssss and Jonah head back to the hotel room to celebrate their victory but neither Emma nor Jonah are over the moon about their 45 day plan practically succeeding but over the day they had. Trisssss, noticing the obvious chemistry gives the fake couple some time for themselves as the two decide to go for a walk on the beach, before finding Tim playing a guitar song for Abigail. 

 

Both apologize to Abigail but she accepts it, noting that Kyler and Bethany were both out of line the whole vacation. Jonah compliments Tim guitar playing as he informs Tim he using to be in a band back in middle school, and could provide vocals to heighten the song, The two perform an original love song “Heartbeat” to their partners, who also join in on the singing. When the song ends, Emma embraces Jonah as the two debate how corny it was which results in the two of them sleeping together again but unlike the previous time where it was drunken impulses, it was a unison of pure passion. 

 

The next morning on the day of the wedding, the two wake up joyously next to each other, as Emma freaks out a bit. Jonah confides to Emma that he has fallen for her, for real and would like to begin a real relationship. Emma, conflicted with different emotions of love and fear, doesn’t give Jonah an answer and instead avoids him for the day, even at the wedding between Abigail and Tim which goes off without a hitch.

 

In fact, at one point as she debates with herself on what to say Emma runs into a stall as Trisssss confronts her. Emma confides to Trisssss she has gained feelings for Jonah, as Trisssss is happy for her but confused why it is a problem. Emma is afraid she may just be a rebound for Bethany and is not ready yet for a relationship right now despite her feelings for Jonah. Trisssss encourages Emma to follow her heart and not her head, which Abigail agrees with and overhears. Emma apologizes about all the drama to Abigail who accepts the apology but warns her, that when she and Jonah get married, she jokes that she’ll be petty enough to air out any drama between herself and Tim.

 

Meanwhile, a heartbroken Jonah heads to the bar for a drink, running into Bethany and confides to her (without telling her the obvious truth) about some problems he and Emma had last night. Bethany flirts with Jonah, convincing him to get back together with her, noting that even though she was not the best girlfriend, she could at least be open with her feelings. Emma runs to Jonah, even humorously pushing Kyler aside who gives her a half-hearted apology.

 

Emma attempts to explain but Jonah reveals he had decided to get back with Bethany. The two argue for a bit as a heartbroken Emma, decides to calmly cut ties with Jonah, wishing him the best, just lamenting she thought he was different. A week goes by after the Cancun trip as Jonah despite being with Bethany is clearly unsatisfied. Trisssss confronts Jonah herself and angrily informs Jonah, Emma did love him back but didn’t have the courage to tell him. 

 

Stunned by this, Jonah realizes his mistake and decides to talk to Bethany about it, in order to let her down easy. Bethany notes it doesn’t matter as they are together while also inadvertently revealing the main reason she came back to him was because of business reasons. Jonah coldly dumps Bethany and attempts to reconnect with Emma, meeting back up at the club where they first formally met, finding both her and Trisssss but both are understandably cold to him,

 

Jonah talks to Trisssss alone though and convinces her, he really is sorry and loves Emma as Jonah decides to win her back by performing Heartbeat on the stage of the DJ which hyped up the crowd but Jonah trips over a wire, breaking the equipment causing him to get booed and rushed off stage. Emma, touched by this display, decides to confront Jonah as the two reconicle. A year or so later, the two are a happy couple with healthy lives as the two attempt to make surprise proposals to each other which both of them accepting.

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

GRACE AND MERCY

 

Studio Groundswell

Director: Stella Meghie

Genre: Dramedy

Release Date: October 31st, Y9

Theaters: 2,754

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for Language and Thematic Elements

Budget: $20 Million

Runtime: 1 hr 27 min

 

Cast

Tiffany Haddish as Tessica Brown

André Holland as Kenan*

Da'vine Joy Randolph as Latoya*

Dominique Fishback as Shanice*

Natasha Rothwell as Arrie*

Samira Wiley as Imani*

Myles Truitt as Sam*

[unknown child actors as the three daughters]

with Mike Colter as Dr. Michael Obeng

and Oprah Winfrey as Marianne*

 

* = denotes a name-change

 

Logline

A loose cinematic retelling of the gorilla glue incident that took place around February 2021 when Louisiana native Tessica Brown, a hard-working single mother, mistakenly used spray-on gorilla glue to style her hair.

 

Tagline

Many black women care deeply about their hair.

Tessica Brown is no exception.

 

Note: This is a work of fiction and some of the story beats have been created uproot for this film, but it is based on real events. (credit to @MCKillswitch123, I copied this note off of what's on Runaway Train 😅)

 

Spoiler
Spoiler

 

 

Cut inside of a dark bathroom as Tessica Brown (Haddish) walks in and turns the light on. She yawns and proceeds to fix up her hair, and her hairdressing, a passion of hers, is paired with the opening credits. She wakes up her three young daughters to take them to school, and Sam (Truitt), the older son, greets Tessica in a hurry during breakfast so he can drive himself to school. During the car ride, the disc jockey on the radio comments on how it’s a beautiful day in Louisiana; the daughters cause commotion, so Tessica asks them to play the quiet game. It works for a few seconds but they quickly continue being rambunctious.

 

Tessica has to continue dealing with rambunctious kids in the next scene, as she owns a daycare. (She has to wear a mask because the story is set during the COVID-19 pandemic.) Some of the kids compliment Tessica’s hair. Tessica thanks the kids, and Latoya (Randolph), one of Tessica’s sisters, remarks that Tessica really goes all in with her hair, and Tessica playfully tells her to shut up. Kids start telling each other to “shut up,” and Latoya’s all like “look what you started” and the two share a laugh.

 

Parents then pick up the kids from the day care, and they talk to Tessica about her hair. Tessica explains more information about the specific hair product she uses. They leave, and Latoya nudges her with an elbow, and Tessica rolls her eyes and walks off.

 

Tessica and the daughters arrive back home, and she gets a video call from her boyfriend Kenan (Holland), who calls her names like ‘boo,’ and they talk about how they’re going on a date tomorrow, and Tessica’s in a hurry to get to her second job so the call doesn’t last very long. Sam arrives just as Tessica is getting ready to leave; they hug, and Tessica tells him to watch his sisters while she goes to the dance studio where she teaches classes, and before leaving, she reminds them that they’re going to meet the family for dinner that night.

 

Cut to Tessica teaching a hip-hop dance class for tweenage girls, where she instructs them how to perform a variety of dance moves. We cut from this scene to Tessica and her kids going to the house of Marianne (Winfrey), Tessica’s mom, and all of Tessica’s sisters greet her and her kids—the sisters being Latoya, Shanice (Fishback), Arrie (Rothwell), and Imani (Wiley). Tessica compliments Imani for her new tattoos, and Shanice then shows her the tattoos that she got, as they went together.

 

They sit down for dinner, and Shanice complains that her hair product isn’t working the way she wants it to. Tessica asks if she’s tried another product that she claims to be better, and Shanice says that it’s not for her. Arrie states that maybe Shanice didn’t use it correctly, and Latoya chuckles that it’s pretty hard to use a product incorrectly. One of Tessica’s daughters asks if she can do her hair, and Tessica says that it’s going to get late by the time they get home, but maybe the next day. Imani notices Sam scrolling on his phone and says “poor Sam, cuz we’re talking about hair and that’s not his expertise” and Arrie remarks that if she were a teenage boy, she’d be on her phone too, especially during hair talk.

 

Marianne then looks from her seat and sees that one of Tessica’s daughters hasn’t eaten her black eyed peas. “Tessica,” she says. After getting her attention, Marianne tells her to tell the daughter to eat her peas. So Tessica tells the daughter to eat the peas, and naturally, the daughter refuses. Tessica says that if she eats the peas, she can have dessert, and Shanice says “that reminds me, I brought a homemade key lime pie,” and Arrie says to the daughter, “yeah you better eat those peas.” Tessica then sees that all three of her daughters still have peas on their plate and says, “all of you eat the peas, you’ll want those nutrients playing tag at recess.” One of the daughters complains that the peas are nasty, and Tessica says, “well I think they’re nasty too,” which prompts a reaction from the sisters, and Marianne raises her eyebrows. Tessica then eats a forkful of peas and says, “if I have to eat them, you have to eat them.” Finally, the daughters eat their peas, and the sisters cheer them on. Marianne sits back and smiles.

 

The next day is just as hectic, but this time, Sam and the three daughters are like, “hey mom, you have that date with Kenan today!” The kids are just as excited about Tessica’s date as she is. Tessica keeps telling them to focus on getting ready for school. Even when she’s at the daycare, she’s not yet away from questions about the date, as Latoya’s teasing her about the date as well.

 

After this second hectic day of work, Tessica drives her kids home and has to rush to get ready for the date. (Sam's car broke down so she has to pick him up from his high school as well.) She looks in the mirror and sees that her hair’s a mess, and she decides she wants a ponytail style with the top flattened down. However, her favorite hairspray, the one she uses for flattening down her hair, is completely out. Nothing else she has will give the effect she wants. She hurriedly searches around the house for something else and finds a can of gorilla glue under the kitchen sink. Without thinking, she takes the can to the bathroom and sprays the gorilla glue onto her hair and scalp. She also rubs gorilla glue into the ponytail.

 

She meets Kenan in front of a restaurant, and Kenan is surprised about Tessica’s hairstyle but is nonetheless happy to see her. They eat together in the restaurant, with Tessica telling Kenan how her work life is going and Kenan telling her how his life is going. They’re very much into each other, it’s a very successful date. All success, except for one thing: waiters and diners are giving weird looks to Tessica’s hairstyle. Tessica’s a little concerned about it, but Kenan tells her not to worry about what other people think of her hair, cuz she’s the one who designed it with her own vision. They go for a walk in the park and talk about their goals for the future, as Kenan wants to eventually move in. The scene ends with them kissing and telling each other goodbye.

 

We get a brief scene of Tessica coming back home, ushering her kids to bed, and going to sleep herself. The next morning, Tessica wakes up and tries to fix her hair in a different way, but the gorilla glue on her head has hardened into what is essentially a helmet attached to her head and hair. Tessica tries washing it off, but nope, it’s not coming off. There’s really no time to deal with it, so she plans to just go about her day with her hair like that. Sam and the daughters ask her about her hair, and once told… You know how kids can be. They’re like, “why would you put gorilla glue in your hair?” and “eww” and “that’s silly.”

 

After dropping off the kids, Tessica’s goes to work, and Latoya sees her hair and does a double-take. “Okay, something’s not right here,” she says. Tessica explains that she put gorilla glue in her hair and that’s why her head’s hard and why it’s stuck the way it is. Latoya’s jaw drops. She’s stunned speechless. Then she bursts out laughing! She apologizes for her reaction, but she cannot help but laugh. Tessica shakes her head and gets to work doing something else while Latoya tries desperately to keep it together.

 

Tessica has another shift with the hip-hop dance class, but we see that the discomfort caused by the gorilla glue on her head and ponytail presents a distraction and an obstacle. Being the badass single mother that she is, she pushes through it. Tessica brings the kids home just in time for her to get a phone call. It’s Latoya, who has Shanice, Arrie, and Imani with her. The sisters share a laugh about Tessica having put gorilla glue in her hair. Marianne walks in and asks what’s going on, and Shanice explains that Tessica put gorilla glue in her hair. Marianne raises her eyebrows, sighs, and walks away. “She’s walking away!” shouts Arrie, who laughs even harder. Tessica listens to the laughter and hangs up.

 

We cut back to Tessica trying again to wash the gorilla glue out of her hair, and it’s still not budging. She gets another video call from Kenan, and they talk about the hair struggle. Kenan shares optimism, thinking that if she gives it time, the glue will eventually come out. Tessica shakes her head, as many things regarding her life, whether systemic or circumstantial, has made her pessimistic. But she does promise to put in some hope that it’ll eventually come out.

 

We get a montage of Tessica living her life over the course of a week or so. The gorilla glue causes increasing discomfort, and she washes her hair more and more often to get it out, but to no avail. Her frustration mounts, leading her to upload a video on TikTok, where she rubs hair on her head to show how much of an impenetrable helmet your scalp becomes if you coat it with gorilla glue. She says, “my hair, it don’t move. You hear what I’m telling you? It don’t move… I’ve washed it fifteen times.”

 

She tries distracting herself from the situation by taking her kids to a mini-golf course. They also meet Kenan there. As they play mini-golf, Kenan notices that Tessica is unable to focus on the game, and he asks her what’s wrong. Tessica tells him that it’s her head, and she desribes the pain she’s feeling from the gorilla glue, saying it’s like a weight clamping down on her head and that her scalp isn’t able to breathe. Kenan hugs her tightly and casually reassures her that all things pass and that this’ll pass too.

 

Tessica and her kids go to another family dinner, and Tessica is upset about the pain, but her sisters act callously and unsympathetic as they make fun of her predicament. Tessica defends herself saying she didn’t know what the gorilla glue would do, but the sisters keep making fun. Then Tessica stands to her feet, and we see that she wants to say something in anger, but she shakes her head, holds her tongue, and storms out. Marianne follows her and finds her in a bedroom. Tears fall down Tessica’s face as Marianne reassures her that no matter what mistakes she makes, she’ll never stop loving her for who she is. They give each other a hug.

 

At home, Tessica gets out the gorilla glue can and holds it in another TikTok, telling the viewers to never, ever put gorilla glue in their hair. Tears fall as she says this to anyone willing to listen. We get a montage of Tessica’s TikToks going viral, with people online dubbing her “gorilla glue girl.” In real-life footage, SNL pokes fun at her in a sketch, and Wendy Williams calls her the “dumbest woman in the world.”

 

The next morning at work, Tessica breaks down to Latoya cuz she at least wants the ponytail off since it’ll help her with the pain. Latoya asks her if wants to do it right then, and Tessica tells her it feels like fire ants are gnawing at her scalp and that she needs to get the ponytail off. They go to a break room, where Latoya manages to get Tessica’s ponytail (a massive braided ponytail) off of her head. Latoya asks her if it’s better, but Tessica’s busy staring at the severed ponytail and realizing she’s lost a lot of hair.

 

Parents pick up their kids, and one couple notices Tessica’s hair and ask if she’s trying a Halle Berry look. Tessica storms off in response. The couple muses that some can pull off the look and others can’t. Latoya hears this and chastises the couple in a monologue, telling them that Tessica is her sister and that if they want to make of Tessica, they’ll have go through her [Latoya]. Another worker corrales the kid as a verbal kerfuffle occurs between Latoya and the couple, and Latoya says “take your kid and skidaddle.”

 

Latoya goes to the break room and tells Tessica to take time off of work as she can handle the day care in her absence. Latoya tells her to swing by the family house later. Tessica thanks her profusely and tells her she’ll also take time away from her dance class job since she’s in too much pain for it. They hug.

 

 

 

At the family house, Sam and the three daughters run and play while Tessica and her sisters talk about how the situation has gone viral. Arrie’s like “you’re famous,” and Imani chimes in saying “this is not the kind of fame you’d want.” Shanice scrolls through Twitter and relays that she’s discovering an outpouring of empathy and support for Tessica in spite of the boneheadedness of Tessica’s mistake. Tessica looks at her emails and discovers one that makes her jaw drop­—Dr. Michael Obeng (Colter), a plastic surgeon, has offered to perform an operation that gets all the glue out of Tessica’s hair; and what’s more, he’ll do it for free. Tessica and her family celebrate.

 

We get a brief scene of Tessica discussing the operation in Dr. Michael Obeng’s office, and we get a scene of Dr. Obeng and his crew using a solvent that dissolves the polyurethane of the gorilla glue. The scene is filmed in a dreamlike style that emphasizes the relief Tessica feels when she finally gets all the gorilla glue out of her hair, and she begins to cry tears of joy as the doctors cheer for her. A little later, Tessica stands outside, examine her short hair with a pocket mirror—you’re darn right she’s pulling off the Halle Berry look. A small news crew asks her what it feels like for her hair to be free of gorilla glue. She answers that she feels like Tessica again.

 

In a montage, we see that the internet and the media changing its tone from unsupportive to empathetic. Even Wendy Williams is addressing the success of the operation in another episode of her show. Tessica’s mom, Marianne, and all of her sisters (Latoya first, then Shanice, then Arrie, then Imani) shave their heads in solidarity with Tessica’s whole ordeal; they take a group photo on the living room couch.

 

At her house, Sam and the three daughters are all happy for their mom, and when Tessica jokingly asks them if she still looks pretty, they all shout that she does look pretty, except for one daughter who’s making a stink face. Tessica puts her hands on her hips and asks “what’s that face for.” The daughter bursts out into a fit of giggles. Then, a knock on the door. Sam opens it, and Kenan saunters up to Tessica. They briefly kiss, and Tessica tells the kids she’s going on that date, telling Sam to watch the girls. We get a montage of Tessica and Kenan’s date that ends with them kissing.

 

Two weeks later, Tessica and Latoya are working at the day care, and they’re laughing about the whole ordeal. That’s when Tessica gets a phone call. It’s from Sam’s high school, with the administrator telling her that Sam got into a fight and needs to be picked up from school as he’s getting suspended.

 

Tessica gets to the school and enters an office with Sam and an administrator. Tessica asks what happened, and the administrator explains that Sam started a fight by shoving another student. Sam tries to defend himself saying the other kid threw the first punch. The administrator says it doesn’t matter since he shoved the other kid, therefore he’s the one who started it. When Tessica asks Sam why he did it, Sam explains that the other kid made fun of her first, called her the gorilla glue girl, and then called him “gorillaninny,” a combination of “gorilla glue boy” and the racial slur “pickaninny.” Tessica takes Sam’s side and asks the administrator to reconsider Sam’s suspension. The administrator tells her that the school has a zero tolerance policy meaning Sam has to be suspended for a week, and there’s nothing to be done.

 

Tessica thinks for a moment, then turns to Sam and tells him she’s ready to leave. As they head for the door, the administrator leans back in their chair, saying, “sounds like a sticky situation, doesn’t it?” Tessica turns around and glares at the administrator. The glare alone wipes the smile off the administrator’s face. Sam tells her to say something back to them, but Tessica simply stares at them. “Let’s go, Sam,” she says. Both of them walk out.

 

The final scene is of Tessica and Sam sitting on a park bench. They talk about everything they’ve been through, with Tessica explaining to Sam that it’s okay to make mistakes in life, because it’s part of being human and if you don’t make any mistakes, you’ll have no experiences to learn from. Sam asks if that means she forgives him for getting into a fight. Tessica tells that he honored his mother by defending her, and because of that, there’s nothing she needs to forgive. Tessica checks the time, and they make their way to the car to pick the daughters up from the elementary school. Before they walk to the car, Sam asks her if she’ll be known as the gorilla glue girl forever. Tessica doesn’t believe that and says that even if she is known as the "gorilla glue girl" forever, that doesn’t matter as much as they think it does.

 

They walk together to the car. Credits roll as the crane shot dollies out.

 

 

 

Edited by SLAM!
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

VIXEN

and the Castle

of Doom

 

Based On: Vixen and the Flaming Feather, by Gianluigi Toccafondo

 

Studio: Phoenix Fire Entertainment, Phoenix Fire Artstyles, Scott Free Productions

Directors: Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman and Gianluigi Toccafondo

Producer: Ridley Scott

 

Genre: Animation/Fantasy

Release Date: July 25th Y9

Theater Count: 2867

Rating: PG, for strong thematic material and sequences of heavy peril

Format: 2D

Budget: $15.8 million

Runtime: 90 minutes (1 hour and 30 minutes)

 

Voice Cast:

- Katherine Langford as Vixen

- Awkwafina as the Castle of Doom

- Ian McShane as Warthog

- Naomi Watts as Flyleaf

- Kevin Michael Richardson as Bigeye

- and James Hong as the Elderly Dragon

 

Note on Animation: The opening prologue is done on the vein of Scott Free Productions' logo, while the remaining film is stylized after Loving Vincent.

 

Previous Films' Box Office:

- Vixen and the Flaming Feather, Y7 - $6,110,765 OW / $25,104,664 DOM / $34,011,795 WW

 

Plot Summary: To rid the Great Land of a presumed deadly threat, Vixen must travel to the Castle of Doom.

 

Plothttps://docs.google.com/document/d/1fr2Pj7oWdfiuUS0OYKtf_qHyEjeSM8KfT2ouPs30VeA/edit?usp=sharing

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Guidelines. Feel free to read our Privacy Policy as well.