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CAYOM Year 6: Part 1

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Year 6 of CAYOM 2.0 officially begins! Since detailed instructions are contained in the players' guide thread, I'll simply summarize and say that this is the thread where you post all of your films with info including: Title, Cast, Director, Release Date, Theater Count, MPAA Rating, Budget, and a Plot Summary. I will edit this post a few times a day with updates based on postings.


If your plot is of significant length, place it inside spoiler tags so it doesn't take forever to scroll down a page of this thread!!!!!


The schedule:

January 1-3:

fun. Some Nights (2912 Theaters) (Page 6)
Vague Genre Movie (1369 Theaters) (Page 2)

January 8-10:
Killer Computer (1232 Theaters) (Page 1)

January 15-18 (MLK weekend):
Army of Two: The 40th Day (3287 Theaters) (Page 3)
Taylor Swift: Safe and Sound (2312 Theaters) (Page 2)

January 22-24:

Left Behind (2697 Theaters) (Page 6)
The Miracle at the Meadowlands (275 Theaters- Limited) (Page 2)
Yolo (2871 Theaters) (Page 2)

January 29-31:
The Story of Daniel Rigger (2958 Theaters) (Page 1)
The Miracle at the Meadowlands (557 Theaters)

February 5-7:

Murder at the Superbowl (3178 Theaters) (Page 4)

Unbalanced 1/2 Re-Release (2291 Theaters) (Page 5)

Miracle at the Meadowlands (2022 Theaters- Wide)

February 12-15 (President's Day weekend):
Pokemon: The Champion's Gift (3655 Theaters) (Page 2)
Unbalanced 3 (3210 Theaters) (Page 1)

February 19-21:

Things Not Seen (2569 Theaters) (Page 5)

A Warning to the Curious (3016 Theaters) (Page 6)

 

February 26-28:

Love Song (2419 Theaters) (Page 6)

Minotaur 3D (2128 Theaters) (Page 5)

March 4-6:

The Improper Exchange (3403 Theaters) (Page 5)
Isolation (3144 Theaters) (Page 2)

Paddles: The Video Game Story (8 Theaters- Limited) (Page 4)


March 11-13:
The Enigma (3185 Theaters) (Page 5)

The Screwtape Letters (3121 Theaters) (Page 4)

Paddles: The Video Game Story (52 Theaters)

 

March 18-20:
Honey Boo-Boo Makes a Movie (3009 Theaters) (Page 6)

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (3702 Theaters) (Page 2)
Paddles: The Video Game Story (247 Theaters)

 

March 25-27:

Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Promise (2865 Theaters) (Page 5)

Senior Citizens (2827 Theaters) (Page 5)

Paddles: The Video Game Story (1058 Theaters- Wide)

April 1-3:

Bounty Hunters From Heaven (3204 Theaters)
L.A. Noire (3205 Theaters) (Page 2)

April 8-10:

The Archivist (23129 Theaters) (Page 5)
Silent Invasion 2: Revelation (2683 Theaters) (Page 2)

April 15-17:

No Surrender (2725 Theaters) (Page 4)

 

April 22-24:
Chopping Mall (2875 Theaters) (Page 3)
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic – The Return of Queen Chrysalis (2795 Theaters) (Page 6)

April 29-May 1:
The Impact of Sir Roger the Alien 2 (3518 Theaters) (Page 3)

May 6-8:
Last Ditch Effort (4387 Theaters) (Page 1)

May 13-15:
Avenue Q (3126 Theaters) (Page 3)
Wonder Woman (3812 Theaters) (Page 3)

May 20-22:

Mysteries of the Beyond (3768 Theaters) (Page 2)

Sir Thimes Time (3829 Theaters) (Page 4)

 

May 27-30 (Memorial Day Weekend):
The New Species (3789 Theaters) (Page 4)

Wicked (2345 Theaters) (Page 3)

June 3-5:

The Life of a Prophet (2954 Theaters) (Page 5)
The Stuff of Legend: Into the Dark (3872 Theaters) (Page 1)

June 10-12:
3:38 AM (3207 Theaters) (Page 6)

The Golden Bird (3818 Theaters) (Page 2)

June 17-19:

Bioshock (3570 Theaters) (Page 6)

June 24-26:
451 (3171 Theaters) (Page 3)

Frogs, Frogs, and More Frogs 3D (2771 Theaters) (Page 5)

 

July 1-4: (4-Day Weekend)
Wednesday, June 29: The Cloud (4085 Theaters) (Page 3)

July 8-10:

The Different Ones (2763 Theaters) (Page 5)

July 15-17:
Avarice (4373 Theaters) (Page 4)
The Book of 4Chan (56 Theaters- limited) (Page 3)

July 22-24:

Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys (2856 Theaters) (Page 6)

Portal (3792 Theaters) (Page 6)

The Book of 4Chan (347 Theaters)

July 29-31:
Burnout: Takedown (3687 Theaters) (Page 1)
The Book of 4Chan (868 Theaters- Wide)

August 5-7:

Guardians of the Internet (3375 Theaters) (Page 6)
Wrinkle In Time: A Wind in the Door (3571 Theaters) (Page 4)

August 12-14:
Aquaman (3812 Theaters) (Page 4)

August 19-21:
Cyber (2879 Theaters) (Page 1)

Vampire Academy (3225 Theaters) (Page 5)

August 26-28:
Chuck Norris and Liam Neeson vs. Giant Spiders (3629 Theaters) (Page 6)
Subway Nest II: The Suburbs (3562 Theaters) (Page 3)

September 2-5 (Labor Day weekend):
The Immune: Global Outbreak (3309 Theaters) (Page 4)
Swag (2487 Theaters) (Page 2)

September 9-11:
The Life and Death of Amy Winehouse (1878 Theaters) (Page 2)

Texans Hate Zombies (2547 Theaters) (Page 5)

Whorehouse (1567 Theaters) (Page 5)

September 16-18:
High Life (3038 Theaters) (Page 5)
The Shepherd and the Daughter of the Sun (2318 Theaters) (Page 4)

September 23-25:

Kaleidoscope (2168 Theaters) (Page 5)

Mumford and Sons: Babel (2821 Theaters) (Page 6)

To The Moon (3700 Theaters) (Page 1)

September 30-October 2:
The Fall 2: Back From The Past (2745 Theaters) (Page 2)
Halloweentown III (3500 Theaters) (Page 4)

October 7-9:

Haunted Hoax (2586 Theaters) (Page 4)
Society (3024 Theaters) (Page 1)

October 14-16:
24 Hours (2653 Theaters) (Page 2)

Paranormal lamronaraP 2 (3009 Theaters) (Page 5)

Mr. Rogers Goes to Washington (4 Theaters- Limited) (Page 5)

October 21-23:

Cruisers: World Tour (3257 Theaters) (Page 6)

Jekyll Jr. (2467 Theaters) (Page 6)
Careful Laid Plans (2 Theaters- Limited) (Page 1)
Mr. Rogers Goes to Washington (812 Theaters- Wide)

 

October 28-30:
The Vast Dark: God is an American (3366 Theaters) (Page 3)
Careful Laid Plans (58 Theaters)

Mr. Rogers Goes to Washington (2876 Theaters)

November 4-6:
Barricade (4388 Theaters) (Page 1)
Le Grand Ecran (4 Theaters- Limited) (Page 2)
Careful Laid Plans (602 Theaters- Wide)

November 11-13:
Blaster (3796 Theaters) (Page 4)

The Female Man (3393 Theaters) (Page 4)
Careful Laid Plans (1096 Theaters)
Le Grand Ecran (47 Theaters)

November 18-20:
The 39 Clues: One False Note (4281 Theaters) (Page 1)
The Cardinal in the Kremlin (3328 Theaters) (Page 1)
Wonderstruck (4 Theaters- Limited)

Careful Laid Plans (1922 Theaters)
Le Grand Ecran (148 Theaters)

November 23-27 (Thanksgiving weekend):
Man of La Mancha (3634 Theaters) (Page 3)
Planeswalkers: Betrayals (4275 Theaters) (Page 3)
Careful Laid Plans (3094 Theaters)
Fri. November 25- Le Grand Ecran (1258 Theaters- Wide)

 

December 2-4:
Elite Beat Agents (3113 Theaters) (Page 6)

Le Grand Ecran (1903 Theaters)

 

December 9-11:

Kind Hearts and Coronets (3014 Theaters) (Page 4)

The Twenty-One Balloons (3571 Theaters) (Page 5)

 

December 16-18:

Best Friends (2748 Theaters) (Page 5)

A Series of Unfortunate Events: Movie the Second (3843 Theaters) (Page 3)

 

December 23-25 (Christmas falls on a Sunday, so just a 3-day weekend here):
Wednesday, December 21: Expedecade (3987 Theaters) (Page 4)
Thursday, December 22: The Zone (3722 Theaters) (Page 3)

 

December 30-January 1:

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The Cardinal in the Kremlin

Genre: Period Spy Drama/Thriller
Cast: Chris Pine (Jack Ryan), Jessica Chastain (Mary Pat Foley), Karl Urban (Ed Foley), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Sergei Golovko), Zeljko Ivanek (Chairman Gerasimov), Noah Emmerich (Bob Ritter), Bruce Greenwood (Judge Arthur Moore), Moritz Bleibtreu (Colonel Gennady Bondarenko), Vincent Kartheiser (Major Alan Gregory), with Andre Braugher (Admiral James Greer), and Armin Mueller-Stahl (Colonel Mikhail Filitov)
Directed By: Phillip Noyce
Written By: John Logan
Original Music By: Michael Nyman
Release Date: 11/18
Theater Count: 3328 Theaters
Running Time: 153 minutes
Budget: $80 million
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence, brief strong language, and some sensuality

 

Previous Film's Gross (Red Rabbit, Year 3): 63.02 OW/218.44 DOM/400.53 WW

Plot Summary: The film takes place in 1986, nearly 4 years following the end of events of Red Rabbit. All dialogue between only Soviet characters is in Russian with subtitles. All other verbal dialogue is in English unless specified. When there is sign language, there are subtitles.

Note: This film assumes that the events of the novel The Hunt for Red October happened in 1984 just like in the novel (and movie). I chose not to remake that adaptation since it’s a great one already. If you want you can assume that that adaptation is canon though that is unnecessary.

The film opens with a view of Earth from space, we see an ancient satellite with Soviet markings whisk past the screen. At a U.S. military station soldiers are monitoring space objects; there is business as usual, until suddenly one of the soldiers detects a major energy flare by the satellite and we see the satellite’s electronic circuits suddenly overheating, turning the satellite into a molten piece of junk. The monitoring station crew is completely befuddled. We then see a shot of a bright moving dot in space on the horizon. It is a Soviet military satellite, in position over Central Asia. As it moves past the screen, we are taken down to a strange-looking facility with towers, domes, and large energy conduits in the ground. Inside the control room, one of the chief engineers comes up to the general in charge of the project to say “Test partially successful.” The general smiles and says “good work Comrade, today we have begun to change the world.”



THE CARDINAL IN THE KREMLIN

In Moscow, a big diplomatic get-together is occurring, arms-control talks between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. One member of the U.S. team is Jack Ryan (Pine), back from London after a unique “naval incident” in 1984 and now a special assistant to the Deputy Director of Intelligence for the CIA. Ryan is approached by Sergei Golovko (Coster-Waldau), who chats with him about opinions on how the talks are going. The goal is for both countries to reduce their nuclear weapons stockpiles, but the main issue is how each country would be able to verify the dismantling. Both know that the other is an intelligence agent so their conversation is a mix of actual business and careful, witty probing of the other’s knowledge. Meanwhile, two other Russians, Defense Minister Yazov and his aide, Colonel Mikhail Filitov (Mueller-Stahl) are walking around the room when they encounter an American woman, Mary Pat Foley (Chastain), who Filitov says he met at a youth hockey game where his grand-nephew plays on the team Mary’s son is on. Filitov and Mary act like they only met the once, so Yazov spends some time explaining Filitov’s status as a famous war hero from World War 2. In the brief introduction though, Mary is able to slip a small cassette to Filitov. After a minute Filitov excuses himself to go to the restroom and on the way bumps into Ryan by coincidence. We return to Yazov and Mary Pat, who is joined by her husband Ed (Urban), whose cover is a media attaché at the US embassy. After an introduction Ed says it’s time to go and he and Mary Pat head off. Yazov is shortly rejoined by Filitov and the two decide it is time for them to leave as well. In their car they reminisce about old times and we learn that Filitov’s wife and children died many years ago. Filitov is dropped off at his apartment and he sits alone, sadly having a drink.

The gala breaks up and people disperse. Golovko returns to his office to write his observations of the meeting with Ryan, the notes saying Ryan and the CIA would likely support the arms reduction treaty. The Foleys go back to their home where they talk generally about the diplomatic gala and the official stuff that went on. As they talk though they also communicate in sign language, in which they say that contact was made with the “Cardinal” at the gala and he will be providing information on something called “Dushanbe” at the next meet. Finally Ryan is sitting on the plane carrying the U.S. diplomatic team back home and in talking with the senior members says that the arms reduction treaty sounds great for public relations, but all it does is reduce overkill. The key, Ryan says, is for there to be a game-changer that makes nuclear war less viable period.

Ryan returns to the CIA HQ to meet with his boss Admiral James Greer (Braugher). He briefly updates Greer on the arms reduction talks and Greer says that a recon satellite will be over Dushanbe shortly. They travel to a secure auditorium and watch as live-streamed pictures of the location appear and we see it’s the Soviet base from the beginning of the film. Ryan comments that it seems like the Soviets have made substantial progress in building up the infrastructure. Greer agrees and informs Ryan that while he was in Moscow there was a confirmed “Dropshot” on a retired Soviet satellite. Ryan is shocked and says that the Soviets are moving faster than anticipated. Greer agrees but it’s still a big step away from shooting down a nuclear missile. Greer says that he’ll get Ryan access to Tea Clipper, the US laser program, so he can compare the two programs.

At home, Filitov writes in his diary, surrounded at his desk by pictures of long-gone family members and friends. One of them is a black-and-white picture of a pretty young woman. He looks at it and smiles before walking over to a closet where we see he has a horde of classified documents stored under a floorboard. He tucks the diary in with them. The next day he goes to work and meets with Yazov to discuss the Dushanbe program, which the Soviets call Bright Star. Filitov convinces Yazov that a military man should be sent down to inspect the site. Filitov selects Colonel Gennady Bondarenko (Bleibtreu), who has helped develop laser rangefinders. Bondarenko is smart and promises to leave immediately and provide a detailed report to Filitov.

Ryan is flown to Los Alamos, New Mexico, home to Tea Clipper, where he is briefed on the program by Major Alan Gregory (Kartheiser), a genius scientist. Gregory says the project is still in the early stages and Ryan witnesses a test where low-power lasers are fired at weather balloons hundreds of miles up using orbital mirrors. Half the target lasers hit, which is progress but still very early in the process. He is told it will take about five years for the technology to be ironed out before a true missile defense system could be started. Ryan shows Gregory photos taken of Dushanbe and Gregory tells him the layout isn’t dissimilar from Tea Clipper though it seems the Soviets have made further progress in terms of sheer infrastructure. Ryan talks to Greer by phone and we learn that Ryan may have an insider trading issue in the stock market.

In Moscow, Filitov goes to a steam sauna frequented by Kremlin officials and while there leaves a towel hanging from his locker. After he goes into a steam room, an attendant goes to the locker and retrieves a cassette from it. The attendant then goes to a nearby small shop where he buys a bottle of vodka and slips the cassette to the cashier along with the payment. The cashier then sticks the cassette into a coat in the dry-cleaning section of the shop. A young woman picks up that coat and after putting it on goes to the subway where while standing in one of the cars a man slips by to retrieve the cassette, and that man exits at the next stop, walks a block, and passes it off to a man on a bench, Ed. Ed returns to the US Embassy where he begins to develop the cassette’s film. Once developed, Ed types up a direct translation of the contents, burns the film, and slips his report on the film contents into a diplomatic messenger bag, which flies out that evening. Once the courier leaves, Ed returns to his apartment to find Mary and his son waiting for him. He and Mary talk about the normal events of their day, including their son’s hockey practice. He slips Mary a note saying “transfer complete” and Mary smiles.

The report arrives at the CIA and Greer along with the two other head honchos, Judge Moore (Greenwood) the Director, and Bob Ritter (Chandler) the Deputy Director for Operations, are pleased by Filitov’s scheme but concerned he is taking too many risks. The report confirms their fears of the Soviet program and Greer says some of the info will need to be shared with Ryan so Ryan can do his analysis. Ritter and Moore agree, but Ritter still thinks Ryan an amateur.

In New Mexico near Los Alamos, a woman walks into a clothing department store and after being called “Ann” by a worker there is directed into a particular changing room to find a box waiting for her. The box has a dress in it, but under the dress are several sheets of American science documents. One of them has a photo of Major Gregory on it.

Bondarenko has arrived at Bright Star and is observing a test in the same station we saw in the beginning of the film. As some engineers explain some of the science, everything is prepared for another test to destroy a Soviet satellite in a decaying orbit. The test goes fairly smoothly, though there is a persistent thermal blooming issue. Bondarenko is impressed.

The occurrence of the second test causes a flurry of activity at the CIA. Gregory is flown to D.C. and he tells Ryan that based on the figures the Soviets currently produce 8 times as much power compared to Tea Clipper, though the thermal blooming issue dilutes how much power reaches its target. Afterwards Ryan and Gregory chat a bit about their backgrounds.

Bondarenko returns to Moscow, giving Filitov a lengthy written report. Bondarenko’s conclusions are that the Bright Star project should prove to be a major success once the technical issues are ironed out. Filitov and Bondarenko talk about the effects of a functional Bright Star and both say while some would claim Bright Star would make nuclear war entirely obsolete. Filitov, an old tank commander, says he would prefer if war went back to the simpler days of the battlefield. Later at home, Filitov copies by memory the details of the report into his diary and then takes microfilm photos of the new pages which he puts into a new cassette. He then adjusts a lamp and window shades, and when Ed drives down the street, taking his son home, he notices it. Ed goes home and he and Mary talk in sign language about Filitov planning another information drop. The two talk about how they have been in Moscow for 4 years and they’re both looking forward to being transferred home next year.

The amount of development in the Soviet program warrants a meeting with the President. Ryan is a tad nervous about his first face-to-face meeting with the President but Greer assures him he’ll do fine. Ryan says he knows there is intelligence he isn’t cleared for and he would like to have an idea of what it is before he gives an assessment to the President. Greer is able to briefly tell Ryan that there is a source in the Kremlin providing info about Bright Star. Soon after Ryan, Gregory, Greer, Ritter, and Moore meet with the President and Ryan and Gregory give the President the breakdown on Soviet laser development. The President wonders if this type of weapon should be included in the arms reduction talks and Ryan advises against it doing so may tip the Russians off that their program may be compromised.

Back in Moscow Filitov repeats the information drop-off process at the steam bath, though by chance Golovko is there. Golovko doesn’t see the drop-off, but he interacts with Filitov when Filitov trips and Golovko is nearby to catch him. The two briefly chat. We then follow the same people doing their part of the routine, until the hand-off on the subway, where the man bungles the pickup and drops it, having to quickly bend down to pick it up before exiting. By pure chance, a KGB official on his way home is sitting nearby and decides to follow the man. At the street intersection outside the KGB agent has to half-run to follow the man across a crosswalk before traffic goes through. This alerts Ed, who is sitting on a bench down the street, so he sends an abort signal by folding his newspaper as he reads it. The man acknowledges by walking past Ed casually. When the man turns a corner Ed calmly gets up and walks the opposite direction. The man, after turning the corner, ducks into an alley to destroy the film, but the agent stops him just after he takes the film out and arrests him.

The man is taken to Lefortovo Prison, the main KGB prison. The agent gives the film to a tech lab to develop. Because the film was exposed to sunlight, almost all of it is useless save for a single frame which shows a diagram that reads “Bright Star Complex.” Meanwhile Golovko is brought in to lead the case and observes to a colleague that the man looks easy to break. His suspicion is correct as he is able to crack the man in interrogation, the man agreeing to provide what he knows in exchange for a merciful sentence.

Back at the Embassy, Ed sends a brief message to Langley indicating there is a potential breach of the CARDINAL information exchange. He goes home to share this with Mary, the two talking via sign about Ed’s concerns. Mary thinks it’s still possible that their courier was able to dump the film and get away. Mary is more risk-taking, so she is willing to continue the field op as long as possible.

At Langley, Greer, Ritter, and Moore discuss Ed’s message. They agree that if they send the emergency signal Filitov will likely destroy all his materials, so since the Bright Star details are very important they will send him a data lost signal. The plan will be for Filitov to recreate the info he sent along, and once that info is in American hands they’ll arrange for Filitov’s extraction.

Jack and Greer then talk about the progress of the US and Soviet laser programs. Jack says it was dumb luck they noticed the most recent Soviet test and that his own take is that the Soviets will get to completion before the U.S., if only because there is more bureaucratic red tape needed in the U.S. to hide Tea Clipper from the main areas of government to prevent a leak.

Golovko rides the Moscow subway, as Golovko suspects that the woman is amateurish enough to not separate her daily routine from her covert acts. He observes the woman described to him get on the train and activates a shadow team to follow her and photograph her. The arrested man IDs the photograph. However the woman is identified as Svetlana Vaneyeva, the only daughter of a member of the Politburo, the ruling council of the Soviet Union. Arresting her requires authorization from the top, so Golovko is brought to meet Nikolai Gerasimov (Ivanek), the Chairman of the KGB. Gerasimov signs off on the arrest. Svetlana is brought in and is resistant to questioning, even after the arrested man IDs her in person. Golovko has men sedate her and tells them to prepare her for “the tank.”

Filitov meets with Yazov to learn that the KGB has provided partial schematics of the American laser design. Bondarenko is brought in for his opinion, which is that the schematics will allow for improved mirror and optic designs, but it will take time to develop computer hardware to run them. Filitov recommends that the Bright Star project be given priority status over conventional weapons funding.

Svetlana wakes up totally disoriented, a first-person camera shot moving around to show her in what appears to be a grayish, amorphous environment that is completely silent and which swirls around her. She slowly starts to panic. We then see from an outside view that she is in a wetsuit and submerged in a large water tank with special gear. Observing, Golovko talks to the doctor running the tank and we learn a bit about the sensory deprivation tank being used to break Svetlana. Svetlana panics more and then settles into despair, which the doctor judges to be the right time for the “intervention.” Through a special microphone, Golovko is able to talk to Svetlana and coax her into confessing her part. He plans to have her sent to a labor camp but is summoned by Gerasimov, who orders him to let Svetlana go after telling him who she gets her information from.

Ed is visited by Mary at the Embassy and talk in a secure room. We learn it is three days later and the contact man at the dry-cleaners has disappeared and Ed has sent a warning to the attendant at the steam baths. Ed is anxious but Mary says that until the pieces for the extraction in the Baltic are in place, it makes no sense warning CARDINAL.

Ryan is brought in by Greer before Moore, who tells him that Ryan is now fully cleared for CARDINAL and hands him a file on the agent’s history. Ryan reviews it and marvels at the agent’s past. Moore says that Ryan was cleared because he’s smart and has proven himself many times over, but warns him that CARDINAL is so secret even the President knows nothing of it.

Golovko is in conference with some colleagues, going over what they learned from the dry-cleaner man. The bath attendant hasn’t showed up to work but Golovko is in thought and says he saw an elderly man near the attendant when he was at that bath a few days earlier. He goes to pull a file on Filitov and reads it. Close-ups of documents show that Filitov was instrumental in identifying Oleg Penkovskiy as a traitor to the Soviet Union just following the Cuban Missile Crisis. Another shows that Filitov lost one son in 1956, his other four years later when a defective tank cannon exploded, and his wife died the following summer. Golovko is then brought in to brief Gerasimov on the investigation. Golovko says the KGB is looking for the bath attendant, named Altunin. Golovko brings up Filitov as a potential suspect due to an off set of coincidences. Gerasimov tells him to quietly put Filitov under surveillance and adds that this investigation is classified at the highest level.

The surveillance begins, with Bondarenko being surveyed too because of his recent connection to Filitov. Filitov’s driver is replaced with a KGB plant. At first, nothing of interest is reported.

At the same time, the Foleys are driving through Moscow, Mary noting that their occasional tail isn’t around today. They swing around a corner to in front of Filitov’s apartment building and Ed hops out and Mary continues on. Ed quickly takes the stairs and gets to Filitov’s floor. He nervously walks down the corridor just as Filitov leaves his apartment and Ed brushes past, exchanging Filitov’s cassette for a note. Ed disappears and Filitov reads the note which is a warning about possible surveillance. Ed is picked up at the side entrance by Mary and she says everything is clear. Ed later develops the film and sees that the KGB has infiltrated a project called Tea Clipper. He crafts a report and gives it to a diplomatic courier for delivery to Langley. He later talks with Mary in a secure room. With the courier chain broken they would need to create a way for a direct drop-off of film to Filitov to finish his photographing and then pick the film up. Mary says she can handle that.

Once Filitov is at his office, the KGB led by Golovko execute a sweep of his apartment and car. They find Filitov’s diary and photograph the contents. Upon reviewing them, Golovko notices that one page is identical to the fragment from the recovered film. Upon discussion with his team they decide it isn’t enough to indict Filitov. Based upon preliminary observations of Bondarenko, Golovko thinks he’s clean but has surveillance stay just in case.

We join Chairman Gerasimov talking with a confidant and we learn he has a major political grudge against the Soviet leader, Secretary Narmonov. Gerasimov says that with Svetlana Vaneyeva proven a traitor, it will be political leverage against her father on the Politburo. Ditto with Minister Yazov once Filitov’s treachery is proven. Gerasimov says the Filitov matter is more than counterespionage; it is the foundation for his ascension.

The CIA leaders get the report and are stunned by the prospect of Tea Clipper being infiltrated. They bring in Ryan to brief them on the Politburo situation and Ryan says that Narmonov’s position is shaky, but he has 4 members backing him while his rival Alexandrov only has 3, though Gerasimov would be the man on the throne rather than Alexandrov. Greer says that number may flip since Vaneyeva’s daughter is likely compromised. Greer adds that the President is concerned about Narmonov’s position and extracting CARDINAL may weaken it due to the political backlash against Yazov. Ritter says that if Filitov is caught the same backlash will happen AND Filitov will be worse off. Moore says that any extraction will need Presidential approval.

The bath attendant Altunin has been in hiding with old friends but has to leave. He walks north towards a railyard and breaks into a boxcar to find people in it stealing parts. One of those people overreacts and slashes Altunin’s throat, killing him. His body is found a couple hours later and word soon reaches the KGB, and Golovko thinks that the Americans have broken the unwritten rule that the CIA doesn’t kill Russians in Russia and the KGB doesn’t kill Americans in America. He concedes to a colleague it may have been black market thugs who did it, but he uses his theory to convince Gerasimov to increase surveillance on all known Americans in Moscow.

Greer sets up a conference with the head of the FBI’s counterintelligence team and the head of Tea Clipper to discuss methods of determining who the mole in Tea Clipper is. Because of the nature of the program, traditional counterintelligence methods would be noticed, so Greer suggests they slowly case key personnel a few at a time to clear them.

Bondarenko approaches Filitov in his office to tell him that he’s noticed some people following him while he’s jogged around Moscow. Filitov tells Bondarenko he has nothing to be concerned about. After Bondarenko leaves Filitov, looking a little shaken, pours himself a big drink.

Greer, Moore, and Ritter meet with the President and his chief advisor about extracting Filitov. The advisor is against the idea since extracting Filitov would weaken the Defense Ministry in Russia, which would weaken Narmonov, who is seen as the chance for real reform in Russia. Greer says that if Filitov is arrested the same thing would happen, but the advisor says it’s better to take the chance Filitov isn’t found out than give Alexandrov and Gerasimov more leverage for a coup attempt. The President tells Moore to get all extraction assets in place in the event he approves the mission. Afterwards the three CIA men talk and Ritter is frustrated, as he is protective of the agents he runs.

Golovko is reviewing the latest surveillance reports and decides that Bondarenko is totally clean. One official tells him surveillance of American officials and their families has increased. Golovko muses that depending on how things go, he could end up a general, or demoted and sent to Siberia.

Ed and Mary work it out that they will pass the film cassettes to Filitov at their son’s youth hockey game, alerting him via a pay-phone call code. They also realize they and other Americans are under more consistent surveillance and will have to do things delicately.

Filitov has convinced Yazov to attend with him, which brings Yazov’s security detail along which helps shield Filitov from sight. Mary is at the game, cheering on her son, and even the normal security officers are watching the game. Two KGB men hidden in the rafters are observing Filitov and chat. Mary acts like a typical American soccer mom which catches Yazov’s attention and, recognizing her, decides to reintroduce himself, bringing Filitov along. Mary continues the act, babbling away. The KGB agents think Mary is just some airhead American but continue to watch. At a critical point in the game Mary’s son scores, and in a show of exuberance Mary screams and throws her arms around Yazov in a hug, and then the same to Filitov. Yazov then excuses himself and Filitov and the two walk away, Mary having a smile on her face. The KGB agents have photographed the whole thing though they think it’s innocent. The head agent sifts through the developed photographs and stops dead on pictures of Mary’s hug of Filitov. Mary’s expression is serious, she’s looking in the direction of the stadium security, and her left hand is at Filitov’s side down by his right one. Other photographs from before first show her left hand in her coat pocket, then balled in a fist when around Yazov, and then completely open after hugging Filitov. The agent quickly calls up Golovko, who has brought with him Mary’s file, which is very thin because as he comments, no one ever suspected her or her husband. He gets the go-ahead from Gerasimov to tighten the net, but not to act until they witness in person the handover from Filitov to one of the Foleys.

We briefly see Alan in New Mexico talking to his fiancé, who works at Tea Clipper as a physicist, and a few other co-workers about how he has changed the computer data routines to improve the project functionality. Later we see one of those co-workers leaving a small purse behind a park bench. That purse is soon picked up by the woman from earlier in the film we know as “Ann.” Ann takes the purse and finds a small disc in it along with a note.

Moore is called by the President and is told the extraction is a go. He shares the news with Ritter who is very pleased since Filitov will be in the U.S. in 10 days. The news gets forwarded to the Foleys, who decide to pass the extraction message to Filitov at the same time he gives them the last information drop. Both of them know the last transfer will be very dangerous but it has to be done. Mary volunteers to do it at Filitov’s apartment building. Ed worries since she has always had a cowboy persona when it came to field work. Mary is “touched” by the concern and gives her husband a kiss, which leads into more intimate behavior in the bedroom.

The following morning Ed and Mary get in their car and drive. They check their mirrors for tailing vehicles and detect none. Unfortunately there is one, a non-descript dumptruck. Golovko meanwhile is with a few other agents in an apartment across the hall from Filitov’s. It is tense waiting.

The Foleys pull up alongside Filitov’s building, Ed patting his wife’s shoulder just before she steps out. Her movement is reported to Golovko, who tells his men to keep their guns holstered, since the last thing the investigation needs is an accidental fatality. Since they can’t get camera surveillance, he has to look through a peephole in the door.

Mary gets to Filitov’s floor and starts walking down the corridor. As she does Filitov exits his apartment. Right as he does that, Golovko slips the deadbolt on his room’s door, which makes a clicking noise that Mary hears. She keeps calm and gives the danger-breakout signal to Filitov. Before the old man can do anything Golovko wrenches the door open and shouts that Filitov and Mary are under arrest. Mary plays the part of a startled, innocent woman and Filitov acts outraged. The two are quickly handcuffed and searched, and a film cassette is retrieved from Filitov. Golovko has Filitov sent away and turns his attention to Mary, who is in character and saying that she is wife to a diplomatic officer and pregnant and if she’s mistreated it will cause a major incident. Golovko smiles and says he just wants to ask Mary some questions.

Outside and down the street, Ed has noticed the KGB activity and, realizing what likely happened, sighs sadly and drives towards the US Embassy, where he immediately notifies the US Ambassador and then sends a cable message to Langley.

In an interrogation room Golovko chats with Mary, showing her photographic evidence and trying to convince her to come clean. Mary acts ignorant and outraged. Golovko smiles again and leaves to discuss things with his direct boss. Golovko says that Mary is a true pro and got caught only by bad luck. He adds that since they had to move before the exchange was made, they have to break Filitov in interrogation before they can confirm his treachery for Gerasimov’s satisfaction. He is told the “tank” can’t be used since the stress would cause a massive heart attack for someone of Filitov’s age and health. More traditional methods will have to be used.

Meanwhile Gerasimov is meeting with an angry Yazov, who demands Filitov be released since the Army will not stand for one of its greatest heroes being abused. Gerasimov coolly lays out what the KGB knows and what it expects to learn. Yazov remains defiant and leaves. Gerasimov loses composure slightly when talking to a confidant, saying that until Yazov is convinced he will remain Narmonov’s greatest ally. He learns of the latest information from their operation in New Mexico and gives an order for closer surveillance of the key staff there.

At Langley, Moore, Ritter, and Greer bring in Ryan to discuss the event. They expect the Foleys to be shipped home within 24 hours. Jack asks if they could arrange a trade for Filitov and Ritter says that even if they had the assets to trade, Filitov’s too big a fish. Ryan is asked for his assessment of the politics and he says the arms control talks will continue. Ryan then adds that since the Ambassador lodged a protest with the Foreign Ministry before the arrest went public, it meant that the Foreign Minister, who is an ally of Narmonov, was caught off-guard by the arrests, making it likely Narmonov was in the dark as well. Ryan says this means the takedown of Filitov is a political operation, likely the first step in a coup. Greer says Gerasimov is setting the pieces into place, with Yazov discredited because of Filitov and Vaneyeva susceptible to blackmail. Add to that information from the British that Gerasimov has been spending lots of time with Alexandrov and it appears that Filitov’s arrest is stirring up nasty Soviet politics. Moore says that an American compromise on the arms control talks may give Narmonov sufficient political capital to weather the storm, but Ryan advises against making concessions. Ritter, annoyed, says the only other way to stop a coup is to neutralize Gerasimov. Ryan replies “But what if we can?” Ritter gets more annoyed but Moore, sensing something, asks Ryan if he has an idea. Ryan smiles.

Mary and Ed with their two kids are on a commercial flight back to the U.S. The kids are entertaining themselves but Mary is looking out a window and quietly sobbing. Ed comforts her and she says they were so “f-ing” close to getting the information and CARDINAL out. Ed assures her that they both did the best they could. Mary says it wasn’t good enough. They are met at Dulles Airport by a car which takes them direct to Langley where Ritter meets them. Mary is more composed at this point. Ritter thanks them for doing a terrific job as the heads of the Moscow Station. Ed says they were so close to closing out their tenure with a perfect run. Ritter nods and says he can’t say much, but there’s a chance that they might end up with a win in this situation, though he isn’t a fan of who’s heading the op.

In New Mexico, a FBI counterintelligence team has set up shop. This night they watch Alan Gregory and his fiancé, though it soon becomes clear to the team that the two are the most committed people to the program, so they check them off. Little do they know that someone else is keeping an eye on Alan as well: Ann.

In Moscow, Bondarenko goes to see Yazov, unaware of Filitov’s arrest but suspicious of his absence. Yazov curtly dismisses Bondarenko, saying he can’t be sure of anyone’s loyalties anymore. Bondarenko realizes what Yazov means and says Filitov is innocent. Yazov says the truth doesn’t matter when the KGB gets involved in politics. He tells Bondarenko to count himself lucky he wasn’t arrested too.

The following night, Ryan is attending a fundraising reception when he is approached by a reporter asking him questions about his insider trading problem that we heard about earlier in the film. Ryan, acting tipsy, says the reporter’s sources are wrong and the reporter’s being an ass. At this point a congressman, Trent, butts into the conversation to blame Ryan for some of the mistakes being made at the CIA. A crowd gathers around them as they exchange barbs until finally Jack lets slip an insult about Trent’s sexual orientation. The crowd silently murmurs as Ryan leaves through a side exit, where Greer is outside waiting. “Do you think our ‘friend’ in the room noticed?” Greer asks. Ryan says they’ll know soon enough.

Filitov is kept in a small cell that is soundproofed and with an overhead light kept on 24/7. His only human contact is with the man who brings his food and that man doesn’t talk. Filitov closes his eyes and silently murmurs to himself.

Golovko meets with Gerasimov to tell him that physicians say any physical abuse or strenuous procedure is likely to kill Filitov, reducing their options. Gerasimov says he needs the confession soon. Gerasimov then travels to the countryside to meet Alexandrov at his dacha. Alexandrov is a true Marxist. The two discuss current events and their plans, with Gerasimov expecting Filitov to break within a couple weeks, not long after the next arms control meeting in Moscow. Alexandrov says Minister Vaneyeva is in their pocket now so once Filitov breaks it will be time for a coordinated political offensive, with Narmonov safely “dealt with.”

Ryan is out shopping when “by chance” he encounters Platonov, a Russian diplomat he’s met before. The two briefly catch up and Platonov asks if they could talk more over lunch. They sit in an area of the food court where it is hard to be overheard and Platonov talks about Ryan’s “legal difficulties” and references Soviet distaste towards men of Trent’s orientation. Ryan vents, complaining about the financial investigation and being questioned about his competency. Ryan says he doesn’t have many friends at the CIA and some like Ritter hate him. Ryan then vents about issues with the strategic arms talks and says that the US laser system is on the table and his advice is being ignored and he doesn’t want to end up in jail. Platonov finally says “we” can help Ryan. Ryan asks what he means and Platonov says that for an “incentive” his people could end Ryan’s legal troubles. Ryan replies that there’s someone inside KGB headquarters, he doesn’t know the name, but he has information that can ID the mole. The only person he knows it isn’t is Gerasimov, so Gerasimov is the only person he can give the information to. Ryan says he is flying to Moscow next week for the arms control talks, so he needs a private meeting with Gerasimov. Platonov says that would be highly irregular, but Ryan says the deal is “take it or leave it” and walks away. As he walks away, a smile is on his face.

After a few days of isolation and as much psychological deprivation and drugging of food as the doctors will allow, Golovko decides to interrogate Filitov. He first tries to be sympathetic about the prison conditions and gets a weary smile in return. Golovko then asks Filitov why he betrayed his country, wondering if it’s because Filitov hates it. He gets an unexpected reaction, Filitov getting reinvigorated and angry. Filitov shouts that he loves his country, having killed, bled, and burned for it. Golovko is a bit surprised and further attempts get nowhere. Afterwards he tells a colleague that the setback delays the inevitable because “time always breaks them.”

Gerasimov is given a communique from DC that informs him of Ryan’s offer. He is intrigued but a bit wary, so he sends a message back asking for confirmation on Ryan’s legal problems.

Ritter meets with Ryan to tell him his agents have observed that the Russians are biting on Ryan’s offer. Ryan is pleased but Ritter warns him that he’s still an amateur at field work, even with his experience in Rome and with that “submarine business.” Ryan says he understands that but the op is simple and he won’t screw it up. Ritter hopes he follows through on the promise.

Gerasimov gets “confirmation” of Ryan’s legal troubles and, pleased, goes to the morning’s Politburo meeting. At the meeting he says sources tell him that the Americans will put their laser weapon system on the table for arms reduction talks. He says the move may be because the Americans have learned of Bright Star through some “source,” giving Yazov a look during the last part. Yazov says that Bright Star is progressing, saying that some hurdles have been overcome through information provided by the KGB. Gerasimov smiles and after the meeting he tells Alexandrov that Yazov is theirs. He adds that there may be an opportunity to get a top-level intelligence source soon.

Ryan goes to Andrews Air Force Base where the arms reduction team is leaving from. Greer accompanies him in a CIA car and just before Ryan gets out Greer wishes him luck and hands him an envelope. Ryan nods and then leaves to board the aircraft taking the arms reduction team to Moscow. He talks a little with some of the team members, reinforcing their plan to not make concessions, then goes to get some sleep.

In New Mexico Alan is helping run a laser aiming experiment, using computer simulations of lasers bouncing off relay mirrors in space. The test is a major success and the whole team cheers and jumps up and down. One of the team however is the woman who left the purse of information for Ann, and her exuberance isn’t as large.

When Ryan arrives in Moscow he travels to the U.S. Embassy with the rest of the team, though upon arrival he separates from the group and goes to meet Tony, the interim head of the CIA station in Moscow. Ryan says there is an op about to go down in Moscow and it’s going to be strange. Tony says it’s a shame the Foleys got kicked out since they loved the oddball ops and asks Ryan to explain.

Golovko talks with Filitov again, probing for a weakness. Filitov is still defiant, but his posture indicates the sleep deprivation and other methods are taking their toll. Filitov doesn’t quite break, but he makes a misstep when he blames the Communist Party for the ills that afflicted his life and his country. But then he shuts back down. Golovko is convinced he’s found the crack in Filitov’s armor. However he is summoned by Gerasimov, who temporarily pulls him off the interrogation. Golovko objects, but Gerasimov says there is another case and hands him a file on Jack Ryan, saying that Golovko met him earlier. Golovko recognizes Ryan and is told that he is to “approach” Ryan at the diplomatic reception tonight based on the information in the file.

That night Ryan opens the envelope Greer gave him and sees it contains a strange-looking key on a keychain. Ryan chuckles and tucks it into his pocket. He then travels with the U.S. delegation to the reception and soon encounters Golovko, who he recognizes. They amiably chat for a minute and then Golovko says that Ryan’s request for a meeting has been accepted. Ryan, concealing his glee, nods and is given directions to follow in five minutes. Golovko then shakes Ryan’s hand and walks away. For a moment Ryan stands in silence and then whispers “oh shit” to himself. He then follows the directions Golovko gave him which takes him to a side exit where a small team of escorts are waiting. They escort Ryan through alleys to a streetcar storage shed and indicate he is to get on one. Ryan does so and finds himself face to face with Gerasimov.

Gerasimov welcomes Ryan to Moscow and after a couple pleasantries says Ryan has information for him. Ryan, smiling, says he does and takes the keychain out and hands it to Gerasimov, who looks puzzled. Ryan explains that that is the warhead-control key from the Soviet submarine Red October, which Ryan obtained from its captain when he defected along with the sub two years ago. Gerasimov says the sub was destroyed and Ryan says his information is provably wrong. He tells Gerasimov the CIA wants Filitov freed and will ruin his career if he doesn’t, since Gerasimov had told the Politburo that the submarine was confirmed destroyed. If Filitov isn’t released, a news story will be leaked that will include some details of the defection as well as photos of the sub in a dry-dock. Ryan adds that the U.S. laser system is not on the bargaining table, which will add to Gerasimov’s failure since he told the Politburo that it was. Ryan says the CIA can end Gerasimov’s career since he’s too big a target to pass up. Gerasimov, flustered, says the CIA isn’t doing all this just for Filitov. Ryan, smiling, nods and says “we want you to come out too.” Ryan then turns to leave and has an eerie walk back to the reception.

Gerasimov is alone in his office, sulking and drinking vodka as he stares off into space. He chuckles to himself, sadly, and continues drinking. He looks at the key Ryan gave him and a grim look appears on his face. He picks up the phone in his office and tells the person on the other line that he’s setting up a special operation.

In New Mexico Ann receives a message and she looks surprised by its contents. She quickly drives to a nearby park and parking her car at a certain corner. As she sits on a bench, a car with two men in it drives by and spots her car. The two men briefly chat in Russian and continue onward. Ann sets up a signal outside the house of the mole in Tea Clipper, which causes the woman to meet her at the arranged spot. Ann gives the woman a note and the woman has a resigned look. Ann then goes to secure a safehouse south of Santa Fe, which is a house-trailer. Shortly after she gets there the car with the two men arrives and they go inside to talk. Meanwhile the mole calls Gregory, asking him to meet her tomorrow to help buy a birthday present for his fiancé and Gregory agrees.

Ryan meanders around the Embassy, waiting for the next opportunity for being approached by Gerasimov. Tony asks if Ryan thinks Gerasimov will think Ryan is bluffing and Ryan replies if Gerasimov tries to call the bluff then the CIA will have to content itself with taking the man down instead of saving Filitov.

Golovko, not hearing anything from Gerasimov, goes back to the Filitov case and tries a third time to break Filitov, who is slightly shakier than last time. Golovko asks Filitov what he thinks the men who served under him would think of him now and Filitov stumbles over an attempt to answer. Sobbing a little, he claims they would understand, saying men like Golovko killed them, his sons, and his wife. Golovko presses further and Filitov snaps, shouting that the Communist Party took everything he cared about away from him and gave him nothing but pain in return, it betrayed him. Golovko calmly asks if this was why Oleg Penkovskiy recruited him into an agent and Filitov snarls that it isn’t hard to fool the KGB and for almost thirty years he’d been fooling them. Filitov then stops, realizing what he let slip. Golovko smiles and gently thanks Filitov, saying that is enough for now and though Filitov is a traitor, he admires his courage. Filitov, stunned, is taken away. Golovko exits the room and shakes the hands of those who worked the case with him. He travels to Gerasimov’s office to inform him of the initial confession. Gerasimov is distant but acts pleased. Golovko then asks if he is needed further with Ryan and Gerasimov says he is unsure and will call on him if needed. Golovko returns to his office and talks with a colleague, saying it is strange Gerasimov wasn’t happier.

It is the following afternoon in New Mexico and Gregory meets the mole at the local mall. The two walk towards a nearby entrance when Ann shows up. Ann pretends she and the mole are close friends and asks the two to check if the perfume she has is any good. Gregory leans over to smell and gets sprayed in the face with Mace. Gregory drops to his knees screaming as a van pulls up beside them and a man gets out to knock Gregory unconscious and throw him into the van which takes off. No one sees this. Ann tells the mole to go and not make contact again. Ann then leaves, driving Alan’s car to a vacant lot where her own car is waiting.

Enroute to the safe house, the van’s driving attracts the attention of a cop car which pulls it over. The driver acts cooperative, handing over his license and info. The cop smells the Mace and wonders why it’s there when Alan stirs awake and jerks, making noise. The cop, alerted, asks the driver to get out of the van and gets a bullet to the chest in return. The van speeds off as a passing motorist stops to give aid and call for help. The cop is quickly taken to the hospital where he’s stabilized. The local FBI team for Tea Clipper is called in because the driver’s license and license plate come up empty and the officer describes a phrase he heard that one of the FBI agents recognizes as Russian. The agents suspect a kidnapping and soon confirm Gregory is missing.

Word quickly reaches the CIA. In Moscow Ryan is pissed since he realizes this was a mission Gerasimov created, since with Gregory he has a hostage as valuable as Filitov. Ryan tells Tony that if Gregory ends up hurt or worse he’ll ensure Gerasimov’s career is destroyed. At Langley Moore talks with the FBI Director and says this is a KGB mission and the agents may have orders to kill Gregory if the mission seems like it will fail. The FBI Director says he will get Presidential authorization for his men to use deadly force under any circumstance. Meanwhile Greer and Ritter are surprised. Greer says they expected Gerasimov to play things like a chess player, but instead Gerasimov acted like the stereotype of an American and rolled the dice.

The van gets to the safehouse and finds Ann waiting. Ann is displeased, but promises she will get the two other Russians and Gregory out. Alan is brought into the safehouse and tied up and gagged. Meanwhile the mole, out of guilt, visits Gregory’s fiancé to check on her and upon seeing the fiancé’s emotional state breaks down and quickly leaves, attracting FBI attention. Agents follow her and confront her and, overcome with shame, the mole confesses.

This leads to the FBI locating Ann’s residence and setting up a watch, and they spy Ann coming back to pick up supplies. They then tail her with several vehicles switching on and off to avoid her detecting any and a couple helicopters watching from a distance. By this tactic they are able to track her to the safehouse. The FBI calls in the Hostage Rescue Team.

At the Politburo in Moscow Gerasimov is uncomfortable as the leaders discuss events in the arms control talks, such as the Americans decided to not put their laser system on the table for negotiation. To avoid criticism, he says he has a team attempting to bring out “sensitive material” from Tea Clipper. Meanwhile Golovko is dispatched to the diplomatic team again and interacts with Ryan. The two briefly talk about how irritating it is that the diplomats can’t simply find a way to meet in the middle. When the session concludes the two shake hands and in the process Ryan slips Golovko a note.

Back in New Mexico, the Hostage Rescue Team arrives near the safehouse and sets up snipers. In the safehouse the three Russian agents bicker over the best way to get themselves and Gregory out. They hear a noise in the distance and Ann sends the two men out to take a look while she goes to a window to take a look. Once all three are in sight, the FBI leader gives the go order and the HRT snipers open fire, killing Ann and one of the two men and wounding the other as a helicopter swoops in to land men, who burst into the safehouse and secure Gregory.

Golovko delivers the note to Gerasimov, who reads it without discussion. Golovko asks about Filitov and Gerasimov simply says further interrogation will be premature. Golovko is a bit perturbed by both Ryan and Gerasimov’s behavior. Meanwhile Ryan receives word that Gregory is safe and photos of the crime scene. Ryan puts them into a sealed envelope. He goes for a walk, going towards the place he met Gerasimov previously. Security guards wave him in and he meets Gerasimov on the same streetcar. Gerasimov asks Ryan thought he would do nothing, referring to the Gregory kidnapping. Ryan hands over the envelope and while Gerasimov looks at the pictures tells him that Gregory is safe and one of the KGB agents is alive. Ryan says Gerasimov is back to square one and has to make his choice and Gerasimov replies it is obvious. Gerasimov asks how Ryan was able to fool the Russian agents in DC and Ryan says there was a minor issue with the SEC that was easy to exaggerate, the harder part was the political trouble and for that Congressman Trent was all too eager to help since a friend of his in Russia was sent to a labor camp for having an undesirable sexual orientation. Ryan tells Gerasimov to have himself and Filitov at the airport tomorrow night when the US team heads home.

The following morning Ryan contacts the pilot for the US group’s plane and tells him he has a job. The pilot asks what it is and Ryan, a big sarcastically, says the pilot will love it.

Meanwhile Golovko calls in a colleague he trusts and posits a “hypothetical” to the colleague about his situation with Ryan and Gerasimov. The colleague finds it strange and thinks Golovko should analyze the situation carefully, since any premature action could ruin him. Golovko agrees and says the final diplomatic session is today but he will skip the reception to meet the colleague at 4:30 PM, the Americans leaving at 10:00 PM.

As the diplomatic session is underway, the American pilot gathers his flight crew to tell them that tonight they’ll be doing something a little “different.”

The session ends and the diplomats bid farewell. Ryan and Golovko shake hands and go their separate ways. Ryan returns to the embassy to pack and get ready. Tony wishes him luck.

Gerasimov arrives at Lefortovo Prison. He demands that the jailer ready Filitov for a transfer. The jailer, terrified, complies and has a confused Filitov brought in. Gerasimov tells Filitov they will be taking a trip and has him handcuffed and led by his bodyguard to a car. Gerasimov sits in the back with Filitov and orders his driver to go to the cargo terminal of the airport.

Golovko and his colleague are talking, growing more and more suspicious. Golovko then suddenly curses, saying he now remembers that Ryan “bumped” into Filitov when he was previously in Moscow. He calls Lefortovo to get Filitov ready for questioning and curses again when told that Gerasimov had taken Filitov out. He tells his colleague they need to go.

Ryan and the diplomats arrive at the airport and make their way to the waiting US plane. Once inside Ryan nods at the pilot and gets a wink in return. Jack sits in the back of the airplane. Sitting next to him is a military sergeant who gives him a nod of acknowledgment.

Gerasimov’s car arrives at the terminal. He tells the driver they will “inspect the perimeter” and has him drive right. While the driver and bodyguard are distracted he uncuffs a surprised Filitov.

The US plane starts to taxi down the runway and the flight crew sees Gerasimov’s car. The engineer says the rear door light is on and the pilot asks the crew chief to check it before the plane moves any further. “Go time” the sergeant says to Ryan. Meanwhile Golovko and his colleague arrive at the terminal and are told that Gerasimov’s car continued down the perimeter.

Gerasimov has his car stop and pulls a gun on his bodyguard. He has the bodyguard and the driver handcuff themselves to the steering wheel. He has Filitov exit with him and walk towards the US plane. As they do, the rear door opens and Ryan tosses down a rope ladder. Filitov struggles trying to climb it. Meanwhile Golovko, driving, spots the plane and the people by it. Seeing the car approaching, Ryan jumps down, hurting his ankle, and helps Gerasimov get Filitov up. Gerasimov then climbs up with Ryan’s help. However Ryan’s injury makes it hard for him to climb and with the Russian car closing in he shouts for the sergeant to close the door. The sergeant complies, informing the pilot that the door is sealed. The pilot turns on the throttle and the plane lurches forward, the engine blast knocking Ryan over. He rolls over to find Golovko standing over him with a gun drawn. “Hello Sergei” Ryan says in a pained smile.

The plane takes off and the pilot is told that there are two new passengers. It’s 75 minutes to free airspace.

Ryan is shoved into Gerasimov’s car while Golovko, his colleague, and a few others angrily talk in Russian, unsure what to do other than have air control order the plane back. The pilot in response switches the radio off. Golovko has Ryan taken to a waiting room. Ryan acts as polite as possible and asks Golovko to have him driven to the U.S. Embassy. Golovko laughs bitterly and says to his colleague “Who do we even call?”

Two Russian fighters are ordered to pursue the US plane, but since it’s a diplomatic flight both pilots refuse to take any additional measures that could get violent. The plane is home free.

While Golovko’s colleague makes calls, he stares down Ryan, saying it is very frustrating, after taking down the biggest mole in Soviet history, to have “all this” happen. Ryan says that Gerasimov was simply a bonus, since he was planning to take down Narmonov’s government. Golovko says “in the end it’s always politics” and the two men share a nod and Golovko gives Ryan a cigarette. As the two smoke and wait, Golovko says that things were getting to be so stable before all this recent craziness and Ryan retorts that if two countries having 10,000 missiles aimed at one another is stable then he doesn’t want to see insanity. Golovko agrees, but points out it’s never going to be the case that they go away entirely. At this point Golovko is told to pick up the phone. Golovko does, looking at Ryan as he talks in Russian, a little surprised by what he hears. Right before he hangs up he says “As you wish Comrade Narmonov.” Golovko shakes his head and then tells Ryan, “you have the thanks of the General Secretary, but he asks that your people keep this circus secret, since publicity helps no one.” Ryan says he can agree to that. As he is led to the exit to be taken to his embassy, Golovko adds “until next time Ryan.”

The US plane makes a stopover in Ireland where Filitov and Gerasimov are escorted out of the back in secret to a hangar where a second plane waits. Ritter is there to receive Gerasimov and leads the man away. Mary is there to greet Filitov and she hugs him warmly. Filitov returns the hug and is taken to the plane where Ed is waiting and he shakes Filitov’s hand.

The following morning Ryan is driven to the airport in an embassy car. Once aboard he quickly falls asleep.

SIX MONTHS LATER

At Andrews Air Force Base, a plane lands and Colonel Bondarenko in full dress uniform exits, looking a little confused. He is escorted to a waiting military helicopter which flies him across Maryland to Camp David, where he is again escorted to a clearing where others wait, including Ryan, Mary, Ed, Ritter, and Greer. Bondarenko is still confused but when he sees a truck pull up with a coffin he understands. He watches as the coffin is lowered into the hole and a Soviet flag is carefully draped over it as a trumpeter plays Taps. The 21-gun salute happens and then Mary and Ed walk by the unmarked grave to drop some flowers in. As the ceremony ends, Ryan walks over to Bondarenko, who says he had been confused as to why Narmonov had personally ordered him to fly to the U.S., but he now understands that Narmonov wanted someone who knew Filitov here. Ryan nods and asks Bondarenko if he blames Filitov. Bondarenko shakes his head and says Filitov loved his country and hoped that one day the nuclear era would end and war would make sense again. If what he did helps accomplish that, Bondarenko says it’s worth it. He salutes Filitov’s grave and then walks away. Ryan lingers for a moment and then walks away as well, the camera holding a shot of the grave before fading to black.

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THE STUFF OF LEGEND: INTO THE DARK

“To save their master, they must explore a world unlike any other.”

Genre: Period/Fantasy/Adventure

Director: Andrew Stanton

Date: June 3rd

Theaters: 3,872

Budget: $170 million

Rating: PG-13 for scenes of fantasy violence and some scary images

Runtime: 128min (2hr, 8min)

Cast: Ray Winstone (Max - voice), Rachel McAdams (Harmony), Jonathan Rhys Meyers (The Colonel), Cary Elwes (Quackers - voice), Timothy Spall (Percy - voice), Q'orianka Kicher (Princess), Tom Hiddleston (Jester), Michael C. Hall (The Boogeyman), Joel Edgerton (The Knight), Alan Tudyk (Homer), Zach Braff (The Gingerbread Man - Voice), Crispin Glover (The Mayor)

Composer: Patrick Doyle

Overview: After their owner, a young boy, is kidnapped by the Boogeyman (Every child’s worst nightmare), the child’s toys venture into a fantasy realm known as the Dark, where they become realistic, larger-than-life versions of themselves. In The Dark, they encounter other toys and mysterious creatures. In their journey, they must face various trials, distrust in their own group, and more, if they are to find the boy. This is the first of a series of at least three films.

The year is 1944. In a Brooklyn neighborhood, it is nighttime. A boy and his pet beagle, Scout, are laying together in bed. Suddenly, Scout hears a creaking noise coming from the closet door, and he begins to bark. Suddenly, a teddy bear falls of the bed. The boy tells his dog to stop barking, but he continues. Suddenly, some long, black tentacles come out from the closet as the dog barks at them. The tentacles grab the dog and throw him to the side. The boy begins to panic, and the tentacles soon grab him. He begins to panic desperately as they drag him into the closet, with the door nearly shut. The teddy bear and scout are left as witnesses. Scout looks past the creaked door, but he sees only darkness. Suddenly, a noise comes from inside the toy box. The child’s toys are coming to life.

Coming out of the box is a brave Native American girl named Princess and a heroic army figure named Colonel. Colonel tries to escort Princess out, but she insists that she’s fine. Meanwhile, on a top shelf, we meet a jester in a jack-in-the-box, a piggy bank named Percy, a toy duck named Quackers, and a ballerina figurine named Harmony. Everyone is shocked at what had just happened, but Percy asserts that there was nothing that could be done, as the toys were forbidden to more or talk while the boy was present. Meanwhile, Princess comforts Scout, who feels bad about letting his master get taken away. Harmony talks to Max, the boy’s beloved teddy bear, to make sure that he’s okay. Both Max and Scout are fine. The Colonel, trying to explain what had just happened and find a plan, calls together all of the toys in the room.

The Jester knows that the arms that took him were those of the Boogeyman, every child’s worst nightmare. All of the toys were afraid of him, and Max feels bad for failing to do anything against him when alone. Quackers tells him that he has nothing to be ashamed of, though the dog just barked as always. Princess expresses annoyance at this comment. The Colonel tells everyone that he is going into “the dark,” the realm that the boy had been taken to, in order to bring him back home, and Percy leads a cheer for him. Princess, Jester, Quakers, and Harmony all agree to accompany him, as does Max, who was considered to be the boy’s best friend. Scout the dog will also come along. Percy shows more hesitance, however, as he does not want to attempt changing the balance by being scattered about, and how it is truly a suicide mission. “Faith is not my strong suit,” he says. Harmony convinces him to come, to which he reluctantly complies. The toys venture into the closet, soon to begin an epic adventure.

As they keep walking, the toys soon find themselves in a vast green field, apparently set up as a battlefield. The toys are amazed to discover their new forms in this world. Max, Quackers, and Percy appear as realistic versions of a bear, duck, and pig respectively. Princess appears as a realistic Native American. Harmony looks like a ballerina, but with makeup to emphasize the mechanical nature of her toy. The Colonel is indistinguishable from any WWII soldier. Finally, The Jester appears in vibrant colored clothing and an elaborate wooden mask. The only unchanged character is Scout. The colonel tells everyone to be very careful, as the Boogeyman’s forces must be nearby. An army of eight will be greatly challenges against the massive forces of the boogeyman. They were in Brooklyn Creek, which was the passage from the real world to “The Dark.” Suddenly, Max looks into the distance, seeing a large army approaching. As the army gets closer, it appears to be made up of all kinds of people: cowboys, knights, soldiers across history, and more. The army witnesses the eight heroes, and they hear a voice from the Boogeyman: “Attack.”

With this call of action, an epic battle breaks out in Brooklyn Creek. The toys are fortunately able to hold their own against the forces of the Boogeyman, despite being heavily outnumbered. Max is able to use his strength to take down foes, while Princess is able to take out foes with her dagger. The Jester tells her that she should “really stay back, m’lady.” Princess is annoyed by this. Harmony uses her pistol to beat enemies, but she finds Percy with a slight injury. Percy overreacts, however, and says that they must turn back. They are too many of them. Harmony says that they’re winning, and with the colonel in the lead, they will be able to save the boy. Eventually, the enemies retreat, and all of the toys are safe. Meanwhile, a leader of the army, a knight, looks onto the battlefield from a distance. Another soldier, a baseball player named Homer, thinks that the battle is lost. The knight is still adamant, believing that this battle was just the start of a very long war.

With the end of the battle, the gang is resting in a ditch, with the exception of Percy, who was still injured. Jester and Quackers both make jokes, but Max tells both of them to shut up. Colonel tells everyone that they need to be careful. The boogeyman could have an incredibly diverse and powerful army coming to get them, one more so then they had just defeated. All of them need to be careful, even though they are all greatly spent from the battle that had just occurred. He tells Quackers to fly ahead and look for enemies. Max thinks that he might need help, but Colonel tells him that he had already done a great deal today. The colonel tells everyone that he will go out and search for Percy, after realizing that he was missing. He tells the rest of the toys to stay where they are. He will be back soon, and safely.

Cut to a flashback back in the Brooklyn house. The boy is playing with his toy soldiers on the top of his bed sheets. The Colonel is leading the allied forces against the Nazis in order to save the Indian princess. The child has the colonel kill a great number of enemies with great excitement, making sound effects as he moves each toy. Pretty soon, the colonel defeats the bad guys and saves the princess! The boy cheers with this victory. His mom soon calls him downstairs to dinner, asking him to bring the letter that his father sent to him. The boy grabs the letter, glancing at it. His father is currently deployed in Europe, but he is doing well. The boy sets the Colonel down next to Maxwell, and he heads off to dinner.

Back to the present, Percy is walking in the field alone, feeling very scared. Where is everyone else? Will they find him? Percy has to get out of here. All of the sudden, he hears a voice. The boogeyman is looking at him from the top of a tree. He comes down, revealing himself. He is a man with completely white skin, black clothing, and lightly painted grey lines lines on his face, all surrounded by black shadows. He also beckons his forces to come with him to confront Percy, but he tells them not to attack. He tells him that he saw all of this amazing battle. Percy’s friends were quite intense. The boogeyman condones Percy for believing that they were on a fools’ errand, lifting him up as if he were a child. Percy becomes scared, seeing him as a monster. The boogeyman drops him, but Percy is shocked to see that he doesn’t break, unlike in the real world.

The boogeyman talks about how sad it was that the boy, who had trusted the pig with his loyalty and security, broke Percy. Percy also begins to show some of these melancholy feelings. The boogeyman soon tells Percy that if he helps him and betrays his friends, he will never be broken again. The boogeyman turns around and is shocked to see just the Colonel standing there. He must have scared off the forces that were with the boogeyman. Colonel tells him to step away from Percy. The boogeyman is surprised that the bear didn’t come first. The Colonel confronts him by saying that he just wants what the boogeyman (who pretends to be scared) has taken. The two soon fight, but the boogeyman nearly defeats the Colonel by piercing him with his sharp fingers. The Colonel begs Percy to attack him, but he looks down in sorrow, saying that “he can’t.” The Colonel looks on in horror as the Boogeyman kills him. Percy looks on in shame and horror as the boogeyman says the words, “Remember our plan. Do not fail me,” soon vanishing into the tree’s shadow. The gang soon finds Percy after worrying about the colonel, saddened to find that he had died. Harmony is especially upset.

Meanwhile, the boogeyman’s forces are talking again. The knight tells some of his men to go out and find the toys. They will not be able to get far now. The gang has set up a camp near a waterfall, and Percy is going off again on how this mission is impossible. Harmony tells him that his protests are not helpful. We see some forces looking at them at the top of the fall, but Maxwell comes up from behind them, killing them in a rather humorous manner off screen. Quackers is startled by this attack, but everything is fine. Max yells at Percy because he overheard his protests from the top of the cliff. The gang soon finds a walled city, known as Hopscotch. They have Percy’s scouting skills to thank for this. They open the doors into the city, and they are all surprised to find that it looks like a normal city, save that the ground is made of a larger than life board game. Everything is colorful and odd.

They soon see a gingerbread man traversing the board. He freaks out when he sees the gang, telling them all that they must leave. The Jester comes up to him, addressing why he is being so silly. The gingerbread man begs him not to go onto his space, or he will be caught cheating. The Jester tells him that he is just making an inquiry. However, the residents of Hopscotch see the gingerbread man as cheating. He can’t have a partner! The residents of the town are a mix of seemingly normal people, some in wacky clothing, and others wearing animal masks. The Mayor of Hopscotch soon comes in on a grand carriage. He accuses the gingerbread man of breaking the rules, as well as the Jester. When he stepped onto the board, he began to play the game too! Both pull cards from the cheater deck, which is contained in the carriage. Lo and behold, both must go to the town’s prison. The citizens and the mayor’s guards throw both of them into a cage for the public to see. Max gets angry, but Percy tells him to control his anger. Max fails to do so, coming up to yell at the mayor.

The mayor tells everyone to calm down, telling everyone that the toys are now a part of the game. However, the mayor awards Percy a special prize on his first turn. He gets to have dinner with him on this lovely evening, along with his friends (save the Jester, of course). At the prison, The Jester is making animals out of feathers to entertain the convicts. No one is very happy, however, especially the gingerbread man. Dinner at the mayor’s mansion is very extravagant, with cake as the main entrée. Everyone is enjoying it, except for Scout, who was sadly left outside in the rain for not being a true toy. The mayor tells everyone that he made Hopscotch to give these hopeless denizens of the Dark new purpose in life. Max is still annoyed, but Harmony tells the mayor that what Max was trying to say is that they’re trying to find the boy. She is also annoyed with the treatments of Scout and the Jester. Max and Quackers joke about Scout, but Harmony glares at both of them, slamming on the table and yelling at them. The conversation continues about the heroes’ journey, increasing Max’s rage. He soon gets up and pounds the table, splitting it in half.

The guards confine everyone, with many capturing Max. Threatening the mayor is punishable by death! However, the mayor is willing to wager with the gang for Max’s life. The Princess says that they have nothing, but Percy did have a coin inside of him, that the mayor pulls out of his ear. The mayor is entranced by it, telling everyone that he will discuss the game with Percy, as he is providing the wager. Everyone else leaves. The mayor talks to Percy, telling him that his coin is amazing, as well as that The Boogeyman sees worth in him, asking if he was also tasked by the boogeyman, possibly for a personal city. Percy confesses that he just has to stall his friends, and the mayor tells him to do so. He has all the friends that he needs in Hopscotch! The two talk as Percy is escorted to his private quarters. After the conversation ends, Percy asks about the rules. The mayor simply says, “Why worry about rules? They will lose, and we will win.”

Cut to another flashback. The boy and his brother are getting out Percy the piggy bank to drop of money earned from working in his aunt’s garden. The boy talks about how he’ll break the bank to get the money for buying “the best glove of the block.” Back to the present, The Jester and The Gingerbread Man hear Max roaring to be let go in rage and agony from inside the prison. The Jester becomes very concerned upon seeing this. After this, The Gingerbread Man confesses that he entered the game to save his brothers’ lives, but he had failed. The Jester knows that the game must be rigged, and he vows that he will find a way to prove that they are. Max, locked up in a cage, sees Scout, looking to him and smiling. Max initially tells him to go away, but he soon apologizes for yelling at him earlier. It was got to see him again. The mayor is now in bed, but he is awoken by Homer. He desires (on behalf of the boogeyman) that some renegade toys be found. The mayor says that he has no such criminals. Homer soon leaves through the window in disappointment, telling him to continue his pathetic games. The mayor soon realizes that he knows what Homer was talking about, and he must “manipulate the rules.”

The next day, the town center is roaring with excitement. Percy is going to be challeneged to a grand and exciting game. Princess sees that Scout and Quackers are nervous, the latter mainly because of the five glasses of wine he drank the prior night. The mayor announces that the game is for Percy to save Max from certain death, ordering the crowd to boo and hiss. They do not want to do so, but they are forced to. Meanwhile, at the prison, the guard comes down the hall, while the Jester asks if he wants to see a magic trick. The guard reluctantly obliges. The trick is that the Jester steals the guard’s keys! All of the prisoners can be freed in a matter of time.

Back at the town square, the challenge is a game of hangman, with Max as the hangman. If Percy cannot guess the correct word, Max will die. Initially, Percy is struggling, and he gets a few guesses wrong. The other toys become nervous, though Princess is confident that he will get the right answer. Eventually, he is left with only one wrong answer before Max is hanged! Percy guesses an “L,” and he is right! In fact, there are two “L”s! The next guesses are O, A, Y. Percy makes a final guess that the word is “LOYALTY.” He is correct! Everyone cheers at the fact that Percy has won the mayor’s challenge, and that no one has won before! Percy is happy and humbled by this jubilant response. The mayor, becoming very angry, announces that Percy must also participate in a bonus round, in accordance to the rules. This challenge is…the Guilty-Be-Gone Guilltone! The Mayor is going to kill Percy! All of the sudden, just before the mayor grabs Percy, he is hit in the back, knocking him to the ground. The convicts of Hopscotch prison, led by The Jester and The Gingerbread Man, glare at him. The Jester announces that the games end today. Harmony then grabs the rule book out of the Mayor’s hands, much to his great dismay. Harmony is not surprised by what she sees, showing all of Hopscotch. The rule book is completely blank.

The crowd soon becomes enraged that the mayor had lied to them for so long, and he calls out Percy for betraying him. Percy says no, thinking back to when the Colonel died, and deciding not to make that mistake again. He rams the mayor to the ground, as the others yell at the mayor. He soon flees the city, and everyone cheers. All was well in Hopscotch, as no one had to worry about playing this unjust game. Max apologizes for being so rash, but Percy forgives him. He is still upset, however, that this task has not put them closer to finding the boy. They had to do more in order to save the boy. The gang is joyful as they leave the city, looking onto their next steps to save the boy. Perhaps this wasn’t a fool’s errand after all.

THE END

The end credits features concept art based on the graphic novels, and it is set to the song “World Of Wonder” by Jonsi.

Post Credits Scene: The Boogeyman talks to the Mayor of Hopscotch, yelling at him for not being able to stop them. The Knight and Homer were both more competent than him, even though they had failed also. The Boogeyman pieces the Mayor, sending him into a dark shadow. The boogeyman was taking off the kid gloves now.

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Last Ditch Effort

Director: Peter Jackson

Genre: Historical Epic

Format: Native 15/70 IMAX

Cast: Matt Dillon as King Nabonidus of Babylonia

Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Prince Belshazzar of Babylonia

Gary Oldman as King Cyrus the Great of Persia

Ed Harris as General Gobryas

Cinematographer: Andrew Lesnie

Budget: $180 million

Theatre Count: 4387

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: 6 May

Running Time: 2 hrs. 12 mins (132 mins)

Plot:

The film opens with a sweeping camera shot of Babylon. It looks a bit worn down and worse for wear, but the walls around the city hold firm and they still look like they’re in their glory days. In the city we also see grand temples, a huge palace complex, and many houses. We can’t see the small details very clearly but there doesn’t seem to be many people out in the streets. Those who are seem to be moving rather quickly. There’s an air of desperation and desolation in the city. Babylon is the capital of the once great Babylonian empire and the city still shows signs of that former greatness. We cut to a desert forest and we see a massive taskforce of Persians tearing down the forest. A man clothed in ornate, but primitive suit of armour, stands at the top of an observatory tower. The man, King Cyrus of Persia (Gary Oldman) is surrounded by advisors; they’re all holding relics as they’re led into prayer by the Priest at the front of the congregation. They prayer ends and Cyrus moves to the very edge of the observatory tower, gripping the railing he inspects the progress. He says, “I sacrifice/rape the forests of my future realm for the sake of my Empire. I pray to you to guide us to victory.” The trees are being brought from the now decimated forest and brought to the adjacent Tigris River which supported the forest’s growth. The trees are being added to a huge structure that looks like a dam, Babylon can be seen in the not so far distance. The water diverted from the dam is being routed off to the side and into a ditch running off into the distance turning the soil on that side of the river into a murky swampy mess. The trees are sawed apart into pieces and reassembled by craftsmen, and another taskforce is slathering the trees with tar to make it water-resistant. The water flow is already beginning to slow as parts of the river bank are showing. Cyrus turns around to ask his top General, General Gobryas (Ed Harris), how long it’ll take for the dam to be finished and the response he gets is 5 days left and that they’re about 80% done. He tells them to make it quicker, he’s told it isn’t possible, but he snaps back and them and tells them to make it possible. He says that his ancestors have made significant gains to capture the Babylonian empire and that he will have such a frivolous thing stop generations of progress. He makes the point by jabbing at the inlaid table which contains a map of the Babylon and the surround territories. He points at it and even though Gobrayas has a look that shows that he’s heard this a million times. Cyrus tells the story of how his ancestors have expanded Persian greatness and points at various parts of the map as the Persians get closer and closer to Babylon. He ends the story with the point that they are on the cusp of breakthrough and victory and that they will not be stopped by the construction of this dam. He tells the story with such conviction is really amazing and it feels much more than him believing in the words he says but instead him embodying the words he says. He literally is the story he just told, he is the words.

Down at the construction site we are in the midst of the building as trees fall left and right beside us and we see them dragged off. We focus on the yet to be felled forest and we see some human figures in there. We see one of them nod to the rest of them and he very quickly rushes out of the forest. We follow him run past everyone and in the midst of the blistering and punishing building regime no one pays this intruder any notice. He sees the dam and he looks momentarily puzzled, however looking at the partially expose river bank he manages to string together what is going on. He quickly rushes back. Someone calls out to him to get back to work, however he doesn’t heed the voice and eventually it stops.

We cut to the war room in Babylon now; it’s a grand room with a huge map of the surrounding areas carved into the floor. Everyone is standing at the sides of the room except for King Nabonidus (Matt Dillon, who’s made up to look older) who’s pointing at the various gilded people on the floor. The gold ones represent the Babylonian forces, and Babylon is set in the centre of the map as a golden city. The enemy (Persia) forces are represented through silver ones. We join them as they are running through the chronology of the current battles. We hear the string of battles including a devastating setback at Opis and etc. We then hear Nabonidus say that they are outnumbered 3 to 1, the enemy number 200 000 and we only have 70 000. He turns around to ask his son what he thinks and we see Prince Belshazzar (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who’s made up to look younger) rise up from the crowd to respond, Father we should attack them now on our terms to stem their progress. Take them by surprise, they’ll expect us to hide here and wait out a siege but we must be aggressive and show no fear. Nabonidus says that he isn’t willing to risk so many lives on something that has a low chance of working, but he thanks his son for out of the box thinking. Belshazzar protests this, causing the King to erupt and ask him who the actual king is. The room fills with an awkward, tense silence as Belshazzar backs away into the crowd. Then, the man we saw down at the construction site enters with the rest of group all of whom are slightly out of breath. Nabonidus looks up and motions for them to talk. The man who did the dash to the dam speaking up, “Your Majesty, they’re about 10 miles upriver by the forests. They’re cutting it down and building what looks to be a dam. They have a lot of men building it.” Nabonidus tells them that they’ve done well and dismisses them. As the men leave, the advisors in the room erupt up into chatter as the confusing nature of the Persian’s action is evident in their tone. The King Nabonidus shouts “Silence!” and the room quiets down almost immediately. Then he continues as if the rowdy crowd never erupted, he simply goes on and they debrief the situation. They cannot figure out why the Persians would want to dam the river as they have wells in the city and that seems to be the only purpose for damming the river. In the end they just resolve to keep on their toes. However Belshazzar looks unhappy at this.

Belshazzar confronts his father later that night. They get into a fight as Belshazzar accuses his father Nabonidus of throwing away his Kingdom because he doesn’t have the gut to sacrifice lives in the short term for long term gain. He also rips on his father about deciding not to deal with the dam. He says that they shouldn’t wait for something to happen just because they don’t know what could happen. He says that now the dam is there that they must deal with it once and for all because the risk of leaving it there and it possibly being a huge blow to us is unacceptable. Nabonidus accuses his son of being selfish and just wanting to usurp his father’s power and selfishly wanting to inherit a Kingdom no matter how many must die to save it. Belshazzar however keeps pushing back and talking about how the dam must be brought down before He ends with saying to his son that sometimes there are things that aren’t worth their cost to save. We cut to the command tent of the Persians. There’s big firing roaring outside it and King Cyrus and his General Gobryas are discussing strategy and they decide to keep pressing on to Babylon so that they can keep the Babylonian forces on the defensive. They also check up on the progress of the explosives and we find out their plan with the dam and the explosives. They found out from a source inside the city that the city walls are impenetrable except for the small holes covered with metal grills that allow for water flow. They plan to drain the river so that they can blow open the grills with the explosives and go into the city that way.

We cut to the battlefield; the vast Persian army outnumbers the Babylonian forces. The Persians also looks more energised, while the Babylonians looks defeated already. They clash and we see Prince Belshazzar directing the Babylonian troops, and General Gobryas for the Persians. As expected the Babylonians are being pushed back as the Persians continue unfazed on their march towards Babylon. It’s night again and in the Persian camp the spirits are high. The booze is flowing and the men are rowdy as they celebrate yet another successful battle against the Babylonians. In Babylon the streets are pretty much empty and we see some people barricading themselves in their houses. Inside the palace we see the King consulting with his advisors yet again. They’re saying that the citizens are absolutely terrified and that they need reassurance. Nabonidus looks very concerned and the entire grim condition is laid out in plain sight. Their forces are getting decimated every day out there and if it comes to a siege the cannot last for too long as their food stores are not too high as they haven’t been able to trade with their partners since the Persians begin to approach Babylon. Belshazzar looks fairly pissed probably because he wasn’t allowed to lead a night strike.

The next morning we see the king give a speech to the people in the square in front of his palace. The people all carry an air of despair and they all look very scared. The King says that the losses are harsh but he won’t let any one of their lives go to waste. He promises that Babylon will defeat this enemy and rise up and become stronger than ever. The King also goes on to say that the Feast of Belshazzar will go ahead in 3 days’ time as tradition dictates. He says that he will not let the enemies at the gate or the dire situation at hand dampen or prohibit tradition that has endured many a war. The people are not particularly inspired or reassured by the announcement of the feast nor of the King’s attempt to calm his citizens, and after the speech is done they quickly leave the square all hurrying along, as if they’re scared that if they stay in one place too long that they’ll be killed. In the backrooms of the palace Belshazzar is talking to senior military officials. He’s saying to them that if Father isn’t willing to act and is by default then throwing away his kingdom by choosing to have a feast over saving his own people then he is will go against his father’s word to save the kingdom. He tells the generals to assemble a night-time covert strike force and to keep it secret from his father. The generals look suspicious and wary but they nod. He tells them to have them ready in 2 days and they nod again.

The Dam is nearing completion, and General Gobryas now tells Nabonidus that they’ll be able to finish the dam 1 day faster than originally planned. Nabonidus nods and tells him to keep hammering at the dam and the Babylonians as they’re only about 5 miles away from the city now.

We cut back to the construction site as the damn is being constructed and as more trees are fallen and we focus on a particularly tall tree. We see it being cut down by a team of 10 men. Then rolled all the way from the forest to the shore where it is cut into two big pieces. One of the big pieces is hoisted into place and latched down with rope, but when the other one is hoisted up we focus on one of them men latching it into place. We see his feet slip on the slightly wet wood and as he falls down into the water the entire piece comes crashing down. Many men are dragged with it and we see them dragged under the water. A few resurface but equally as many don’t as the water is stained with just the slightest hint of red. The work stops in the area around the construction site as some of the soldiers dive down to save their comrades. However at this point in time we hear the authority figure, another General, come over and yells at them to get back to work. True to the Persian’s impeccable discipline the log is promptly hauled out of the water and rehoisted into position. Soon, it is as if nothing tragic had every happened.

We turn back inside Babylon and we see King Nabonidus sitting at a desk. His son Belshazzar is standing to his side, while he has advisors standing in front of him. They are in the middle of an argument. We hear Belshazzar saying that they shouldn’t be focusing on the feast, it should be cancelled, and their priority should be driving away the Persians. His tone of voice evidently displays the fact that his father is not listening to his suggestion. We hear Nabonidus say that the Persians are still a fair ways away and that the feast is important because it is tradition. He gives the same spiel to his son about how this feast has been going on for centuries and has gone one before in times even direr than this. He ends with the phrase, “And we shall do no different now, than what has been done for centuries before.” Nabonidus also starts lecturing Belshazzar about some of the history of Babylon about the great empire and how they came to be. He tells his son how Babylon is still great and that we will overcome this hurdle of the Persians eventually. He says that they’ve held of the Persians for generations and they’ll do that for many generations more. Belshazzar begins to protest telling him that another thousand troops died today and that you’re condemning them to die in vain, causing Nabonidus to erupt again and ask him, “Who’s King? Me or you?” This causes Belshazzar to back down again and his cheeks tinge red just the slightest bit evidently embarrassed to have been told off like that in public. Nabonidus then turns back to his advisors and acts like nothing happened. We then hear of them rattling off plans to decorate the central square, to gather all the people there, and to lay out all the food and drink (Which is little) for people to enjoy. All the while we see Belshazzar looking at the clay tablets upon which this was written and staring at it was a look of disdain and annoyance.

Cutting into the city now, the streets are definitely quite empty. Those who are despite being nicely dress and nicely fed all look like they’ve been mistreated for a lifetime. They’re all shrinking in upon themselves, hurriedly getting everywhere. They’re still walking but if they were going any faster they’d be running. We see some shops lining the street, selling cloth and clothing on what is evidently the fabric row of the city. There are people inside the shops and attendants inside there, but everyone is focused on just getting what they want and leaving as quickly as they can. One of the attendants looks out of the shop and we follow her gaze down the street to a military garrison. Just as we focus on the military garrison we see a boy tear down the street towards the garrison. Other people on the street give the running boy a glance before hurriedly turning back to their task. We follow the boy down the street and into the garrison. He hands the officer waiting at the door clay block and in return he gets a single coin. He thanks the officer and turns away. The office in turn takes the clay block inside the garrison and read sit. We hear the voice over the officer reading out the message which tells him to prepare the troops in the garrison for a night strike tonight. We hear the officer yell out “Listen up!”

Back in the palace we see Belshazzar talking to the military generals again in the room with the map on the floor. They’re going over the plan. They plan on performing pincer movement on the Persian main camp. So they’ll have one group attack them outright head on, and then another group will circle around the camp to the back and sandwich the Persians. Belshazzar asks how many troops have we got. The generals respond with about 10 to 15 thousand. Belshazzar looks a bit disappointed at the figure but says that it’ll have to do and that the element of surprise will help them. He also tells them that pressing on to the dam and bringing it down is also a top priority because it’ll eliminate what could possibly be a threat and dampen Persian morale.

It’s night time now and we see the troops being led out of the gate and into uncertain territory. We see Belshazzar and two other generals at the front of the pack riding horses leading the quickly and brutal march of the soldiers. We can see the slightest hint of the Persian camp in the near distance illuminated by the moonlight as the pack splits off into two. One general peels off and leads a good chunk of the troops in a different direction to prepare to circle around the camp. At the camp, the Persians are mostly resting and sleeping so when the sentinels raised alarm and lit up the torches to cast more light on the Babylonians the response was slow. A runner is dispatched to warn the group upstream at the dam as we see Gobryas rising from his tent and he shouts at all the soldiers who are in sleepy confusion, and panic to get a move on. It is evident that because of this surprise that the Persians are on the lower ground because they are unprepared, taken by surprise, and unorganised as the Babylonian troops that are outnumbered are beginning to push the Persians back. As the Persians begin to retreat the other part of the Babylonian army who has circled behind the camp and was waiting to strike begins its move. This causes the entire Persian army to practically implode upon itself as its own disunity of movements caused their formations to crumble and allowed their army to be slaughtered. Pushing on to the damn which is a few miles upriver from the main Persian camp we see another battle. This time they Persians are slightly more prepared as they were warned by the messenger. However because this group of troops were delegated the task of building the dam they had a lack of proper weapons and armour. (Remember, the Persians have travelled a long way to get here. They’re bound to have lost or broken a significant amount of weapons and etc. in the battles along the way) We see the Persians with what swords, weapons, and armour they could scrape together along with some improvised tools. King Cyrus however is not at the front of the pack but instead at the top of his control tower. As the Babylonians arrive the clash begins. Being emboldened by their recent success and having a significant advantage over the Persians they push the Persians back fairly easily without too many problems. At the command tower we see Cyrus rushing down the steps and trying to run however he gets quickly mobbed by the Babylonian soldiers and disappears presumably killed. As the Persians are mostly beginning to retreat to the relative safety of the forest, we focus on the dam. Belshazzar is standing close to it and he watches as the Babylonian soldiers attack at the dam. The dam begins to crumble, and the water at first squirts out of the cracks before coming pouring out and rushing to raise the water level back to its original. However as the water begins to pour out in torrent of water, we cut.

An attendant wakes up Belshazzar; it had just been a dream. Belshazzar’s expression was one of confusion for a few seconds before realising what had happened and his face soon takes on a bit of a disappointed look. He quickly gets dressed and hurries out into the hall. However, as he is descending the stairs he meets his father Nabonidus coming up the stairs so he has to quickly hide in a side room. Nabonidus thinks that there is a disturbance and he looks around however finding nothing he quickly passes it off as a figment of his imagination and hurries on. Belshazzar gets out of his hiding place and continues down the stairs. In the armoury he gets dressed in his armour and gets on a stallion riding towards the gates of the city. At the gates he rendezvous with the Generals and is told that they have just short of 10 000 men. Belshazzar comments that he was hoping for more but that 10 000 will have to do. The giant gates of Ishtar are opened as the layers are peeled back one by one. We see Belshazzar and his generals leading the front of the pack as they stream out of the door to join some of the troops already waiting outside.

Arriving at the Persian camp, the scenario is different than Belshazzar had dreamed of. The Persians yes were surprised and disorganised. However because the Babylonians were vastly outnumbered and luck wasn’t on their side, the Persians began to gain the upper hand after an initial period where the Babylonians looked to be gaining. As the troops are beginning to fall, and the Babylonians are getting pushed closer and closer to the city, Belshazzar yells for them to give one last push for the sake of the kingdom. The soldiers respond and we see the Babylonians give one last valiant push but alas it was in vain. Belshazzar thick in the midst of battle takes a glance at one of the Generals as he attacks at a Persian. The general shakes his head, and Belshazzar being slightly disheartened calls for the retreat of the troops.

We cut to King Cyrus. He’s standing at the top of his command tower, evidently having been woken from his sleep judging by the frazzled nature of his clothing and his mussed hair. He looks out into the darkness and sees nothing. There seems to be the tiniest hint of maybe the torches illuminating the Persian camp downriver where the fighting is going on but we cannot be sure. His general, Gobryas, stands beside him. He tells him not to worry as our army greatly outnumbers the troops that Babylon can muster and that we’re sure to defeat them yet again. Cyrus looks pleased at the progress and say, “Soon we will attack them from within. The dam is almost finished.”

It’s the next morning and a slightly red-eyed Belshazzar is standing in front of his Father, Nabonidus, who is sitting at his desk. He is absolutely getting torn apart by the King, as he berates his son about irresponsibility, failure, rebelling against authority, loss of life, and etc. Belshazzar looks like he wants to speak at a few points, but he gets absolutely steam rolled over by his father as he continues on with no end in sight. At the very end he just tells his son to get out. Belshazzar says, “You always ask for my opinion but never listen. Maybe sometimes you’re just wrong and I’m right.” Belshazzar turns away as he finished his phrase and walks out the room. The King shouts after him, “But I am the King. It is the Gods who made me who I am and I have the ultimate authority here.” As Belshazzar leaves we can hear him mumble under his breath, “I was just trying to help. Even bad action’s better than inaction.”

Meanwhile a messenger bearing a white flag arrives at the gate and after being frisked for weapons is let through. Arriving at the palace he passes a sizable but very, very thin clay tablet off to man at the door. Now, the King Nabonidus is given the tablet. He sits at his desk as his advisors surround him, but his son is missing. He looks at the tablet and we cut to a scene of King Cyrus dictating his letter out with the help of General Gobryas to his amanuensis. The terms of the letter are clear. Cyrus will spare the Babylonians if they surrender peacefully. There are some small details in the letter that as Cyrus is dictating out we see him and Gobryas disagreeing slightly. Usually Cyrus gets his way however once or twice he does give in to Gobryas’s suggestion. Cutting back to Nabonidus and his advisors we see a livid King looking at the tablet. He turns around to ask for his son’s opinion, however he finds that he is not there and shrinks away trying to conceal the action. Conversing with his advisors they decide not to give in to his threats and to send him a decline. They reason that even if they are under siege that Babylon’s walls will hold and that they have enough food to last them a fair while. After his amanuensis wrote out the reply, Nabonidus decides to let his advisors go and prepare for the feast tonight.

Meanwhile, back at the Persian camp, the note of decline was received by King Cyrus and he just nods at Gobryas. Gobryas asks him if he is sure because the dam is not yet complete. It’ll be night when the dam is complete and they might want to wait before attacking and pushing their way to the city walls. Cyrus considers this and he ultimately decides to push on right now. General Gobryas leaves to begin preparations as Cyrus brings out a relic from the folds of his clothing. He prays to the gods to please make this successful for them and that he is doing this to not only for personal gain but also to continue the legacy of Persian expansion carried out by his forefathers. We get some more personal details and more emotional glimpses into the history of this war. He then offers to the gods, sacrifices and offerings if they grant him and his army success.

Cutting to inside Babylon again, we see Belshazzar standing at the top of the gates looking into the city. He sees the preparations going on for the feast and he looks disappointed and almost disgusted. He mutters under his breath that he can’t believe that his father’s doing this while our entire kingdom is on the verge of collapse. Turning around and looking out he sees the approaching Persian army. They’re still small specks in the distance. He looks at the approaching army and he is deep in thought. He seems really calm in the face of devastation, but he keeps on looking. He seems to be mulling over something before he finally rises up from his leaning position and walking away down the top of the wall and disappearing as he descends a staircase.

We’re in the big city square now. Decorations and preparations are being done as the Babylon mandarins (civil servants) are doing their best to make it a festive occasion. We end up with this sombre and almost perverse festive cheer yet mixed with immense amounts of anxious worrying. We see Belshazzar walking through the square looking for someone. He spots who he’s looking for and quickly hurries up the stairs and away. Finding his father, Nabonidus, he tells him that the Persians are coming. Nabonidus is unsurprised and says that he was already informed by the sentinels stationed at the gate. Belshazzar asks if he’s gonna do anything about it, and Nabonidus replies that he already has. He’s ordered troops to engage the Persians at the city gates, and that he is confident that they can’t break the defences of the city walls. Belshazzar almost pleads with his father to let him lead the troops further out and engage the Persians to push them back.

Nabonidus says no and asks if he has forgotten the event of last night already, and Belshazzar says no but he still thinks that this is their best chance. After a few back and forth exchanges as things get more pleading and emotion on Belshazzar’s end, Nabonidus finally gives in and gives him the go ahead.

Cutting to Gobryas leading the Persian troops we see Belshazzar approaching in the distance and the fighting commences. At this point it’s already mid-late afternoon and the sun is beginning to set in the horizon. Both sides are fighting with vigour one which knows that victory is one fight away and the other which knows that this fight is the only thing keeping them from certain painful death. It’s still however an uneven match. Despite, the Babylonians not being pushed back as quickly as before, they are still being pushed back albeit very slowly. However that push is a sure and steady one.

Inside the city we see Nabonidus finishing his speech and opening the feast to everyone, however as he sit down at his head table and as the festive music begins to sound he looks over to the walls of the city and looks worried. He quickly however turns back and focuses on talking to the advisor beside him while eating. The citizens below are having a very interesting time to say the least. The festive cheer is partially there with the music and the food and drink. However, they are still deeply worried and nervous. We see Nabonidus say to his advisor to not tell the people that the Persians are intent on reaching the gates as that would invoke too much fear, and chaos. He tells them to keep it secret and to let the people enjoy their feast even though it doesn’t measure up to any of the previous year’s grandeur.

Meanwhile we see the dam in its finishing moment as one last tree is hauled off to the river and hoisted into place. The river is still leaking through the dam but it runs at no more than just a trickle. King Cyrus is at the base of the dam as it is being finished and nods at an advisor saying that it is time. The advisor sends a messenger to the battlefield. At the battlefield the messenger informs one of the commanders who informs Gobryas that the dam is ready. Gobryas nods and tells them to peel the delegated taskforce away from the action and off to a safe area to await the arrival of the explosives.

We see King Cyrus riding with the explosives as they are delivered to the battlefield. Once they are there Cyrus leaves to join the battle to the surprise of Gobryas. Gobryas asks why his Majesty is here, and Cyrus responds that I’ve waited too long for this moment to not be here. I was trained as a soldier and I can still fight. Cutting to the Babylonian side of the battlefield we see Belshazzar getting worried as his side fails to make progress. In fact, his side is slowly being killed off and pushed back. They are not too far from the city walls now. Now, cutting to the explosives team, we see them just calmly walking down the river with the water lapping at their feet barely a few inches deep. Arriving at one of the giant grills at the base of the river they set the explosives in place and lights it up and runs to safety. The explosion is loud and shakes the very walls of the city.

Cutting to Nabonidus we feel a slight tremor as the buildings shake just a little. The crowd who’s already uneasy begins to panic a bit. Nabonidus himself looks towards the walls and sees that the emergency beacons have been lit. He sends one of his advisors out to check what’s happening. With the crowd threatening to riot, he stands up and gives one almighty shout and tells them to calm down. They can barely hear him however after a few tries they begin to settle down again. Meanwhile in the battlefield Cyrus and Gobryas both smile at what happened, while Belshazzar looks confused. Cutting back to the explosives taskforce they are climbing into the hole in the metal grill made by the explosion and crawl into the darkness. Following the flow of the water out of the pipe they end up inside the city at the outskirts near the wall where it is deserted because of the feast. The invaders look slightly surprised that the city is deserted as they were expecting to have to be very sneaky. However, they look wary right now as they think there might be a surprise attack on them. They converse between themselves and resolve to be very careful. Rushing towards the garrison at the gates they quickly slaughter the men stationed there who are absolutely taken by surprise. They begin the process of opening the gates taking the key from a dead guard’s body. The team of 30 people make quick work of this and the gates are already halfway open before the advisor arrives. Drawing a small knife from his cloak he manages to ambush one of the Persians and kills him before getting killed in turn.

As the gates continue to open we cut outside to the battle. The Babylonians are maybe a hundred meters from the wall now and they’re very, very surprised that the doors are opening but yet reveal no reinforcements. Belshazzar shouts at his general, but gets a confused answer in reply as they’re not expecting more reinforcements because they don’t have any troops left.

The Persians however are very encouraged by this and a final push from the depths of their reserves begins as they can literally see their end in sight. With this the Babylonian defence really begins to crumble as cracks appear everywhere. The battle itself drags on for a few more minutes by which time the gates are fully open. Once the first few troops break through the Babylonian barricade and break for the now open gates the entire thing falls apart. The Babylonians are now falling left right and centre including a dramatic scene with Belshazzar while the Persians stream into the city. In the midst of it all we see one man on a horse standing in the middle of the gates as King Cyrus sits on his horse admiring the city and the empire he’s about to take. We focus on a side shot of him with a mosaic dragon as the background as the movie ends.

As we focus on a side shot of him with a mosaic dragon we cut to the city square as the entire population now in full blown panic and the entire city is in chaos as shops are looted and people are slaughtered. We see Nabonidus with a sword in his hand trying to defend himself however in the end it is in vain. As the fighting dies down and the Persians conquer Babylon we fast forward in time we take a helicopter shot of the square and Babylon. The Persians and the Babylonians crumple to dust as the city ages and we have a modern shot of Babylon illuminated by the setting sun.

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The 39 Clues: One False Note

Director: Gore Verbinski
Studio: Arcturus Entertainment
Genre: Adventure/Action
Format: 3D Digital IMAX
Cast: Thomas Horn as Dan Cahill
Molly C. Quinn as Amy Cahill
Elizabeth Olsen as Nellie Gomez
Frank Langella as William McIntyre
Unknown as The Man In Black (In Later Movies, Harrison Ford)
Mellissa Leo as Irina Spasky
Avan Jogia as Ian Kabra
Ariela Barer as Natalie Kabra
Unknown as Alistair Oh
Unknown as Jonah Wizard
Laurence Fishburne as Boderick Wizard
Eric Allen Kramer as Eisenhower Holt
Elizabeth Banks as Mary-Todd Holt
Autumn Shields as Madison Holt
Willow Shields as Reagan Holt
Alexander Ludwig as Hamilton Holt
Score: Patrick Doyle
Budget: $115 million
Theatre Count: 4281
Rating: PG
Release Date: 18 November
Running Time: 1 hr 42 mins (102 minutes)

Plot:

Picking up where the previous movie left off in the Gare de Lyon railway station. We see Amy, Dan, and Nellie standing on the platform. We hear the French words of the PA system and then it repeats itself in English. “The 13:30 train to Vienna, Austra now boarding.” They all hurry on to the train along with quite a few other people. Unbeknownst to them the Holts board the train as well. On-board the train we see Amy, Dan, and Nellie sitting in the restaurant carriage on the train, they’re eating some sort of soup and main course as they’re discussing the clue. Their cat, Saladin, is sitting in the empty seat occasionally meowing. Dan takes out the clue and they look at it closely holding it up to the light and etc. They don’t find anything. However at that moment Hamilton Holt appears in restaurant carriage and attempts to steal the clue away Dan’s hands. He temporarily snatches it out of Dan’s hands however Dan grasps at it and after a tussle and attracting a fair bit of attention the piece of paper gets ripped from Hamilton’s hands and lands in the soup. At that point in time the Maître D’ arrives to see what’s happening and orders Hamilton out and tells the security which has been called to make sure he gets off at the next stop. Hamilton looks at Dan and mouths, “This isn’t over.” The Maître D’ apologises for the incident and says that he will waive the charge for the meal and if there is anything that he can get them it’d be his pleasure to. Dan just asks for a pen and a piece of paper puzzling the older man. However, he goes to gets it anyway. After getting the piece of paper and the pen, Dan proceeds to draw out the music because he has an eidetic memory.



Arriving in Vienna, they begin to look for clues. Visiting places that Mozart once lived or worked and they don’t find anything. Dan says that they should break in during the night to gain full access to one of the museums so they can look behind and in the cases and actually touch some of the stuff to see if they can find anything. Amy, being the stickler to the rules that she is shoots down the idea and says that unless there is concrete evidence saying clues are here they can’t risk it. Just as they are arguing they arrive at a huge portrait and accompanying plaque saying that the portrait is of Mozart’s sister Maria Anna “Nannerl” Mozart. The plaque gives a short account of her life and also says that her diary is available for perusing in the library of the museum. Amy, Dan and Nellie go to the library to ask for her diary but are told by the librarian in charge that it has been stolen. They are dejected and leave for their hotel. Upon arriving at their hotel they find that the outside is teeming with fans because their fellow competitor and internationally famous star, Jonah Wizard, is staying in the Royal suite of the hotel.

Inside their hotel room, they decide after some opposition by Amy to raid Jonah Wizard’s suite to see if he has the diary. Once they have deceived their way into the suite they search and eventually find the diary hidden taped to the inside top of one of the drawers in the bedroom. As they are preparing to leave they hear the door opening and an African man walks in. Amy and Dan quickly go hide inside a giant walk-in closet as Jonah Wizard and his father arrives back. They don’t notice anything awry and as they settle down in the dining room of the suite to have dinner Amy and Dan take that opportunity to sneak out. However, when they get back to their room to look at the diary as Nellie translates it for them they find that three pages are missing. While Nellie finishes translating the diary, Amy and Dan begin to mull over the sheet music that was their original clue and over the three missing pages. After some googling they find out that hidden inside the Mozart piece there is a line that doesn’t belong to Mozart. It is in fact a song called, “The Place Where I was Born.” This prompts them to very quickly go to the place that Mozart was born: Salzburg, Austria.

Upon arriving in Salzburg they encounter two people they had hoped not to: Alistair Oh (Their Korean Relative), and the Man in Black. Following Alistair into the Salzburg Catacombs they lose sight of him after he takes something that was stuck on the wall of the catacombs as an explosion occurs causing a cave-in. Heading the other way with the only light being those from Amy and Dan’s phones they find an alternate way out through St. Peter’s Archabbey. As they climb from the catacombs and into a wine cellar they find a sheet of old parchment that they thought had all 39 clues on it. However, after being chased by angry monks and finally back to safety in the back of a cab they find that the parchment was just a recipe for Benedictine.

Arriving back at their hotel room, they are greeted by an anxious Nellie who was worried that something had happened because they’ve been gone so long. Dan says that it’s a long story, and Nellie just says that they can tell her some other time because she found something exciting. She shows them the tracking device that she found on the collar of Saladin. Dan begins to take it from Nellie to crush it, before stopping as Amy yells, “No.” Dan looks at Amy like she’s crazy, but Amy explains that they can save it to plant on someone else and in the process throwing their tail of their tracks. Later that even, they find Alistair Oh dozed off in one of the city parks and they decide to take that opportunity and plant it on him. While looking for a suitable place to plant it, Alistair almost wakes up twice before Amy found out that Alistair’s cane is hollow and that there is a compartment inside it. They plant the homing device in there and take what they found inside which was an 18th century concert poster starring Mozart in Venice, Italy.

Now in Venice, Italy they follow Jonah Wizard. They track him down going into a music store called “Disco Volante” but never comes out. So, going in to investigate they found that despite it being a Disco store it has a prominent Mozart selection as well. Going into a listening booth they found that playing the single Mozart song available turned the ground into a slide and they found themselves in the Janus stronghold. At this point in time, Amy and Dan don’t know which branch they belong to and are not sure if the Janus are their enemy, so they hide from the Janus inside the branch often behind statues with Nellie following close behind. As they hide behind a statue Amy and Dan have a silent mental conversation via V.O. about the possibility of them belong to Janus. However, this is eventually shot down as they reaffirm the fact that they both have no artistic talent. Just then, Jonah Wizard and his father pass through being led by a delegate of Janus members. They decide to follow and they see Jonah extracting the 3 missing pages of the diary. They steal it from Jonah as he and his father are examining it. The Janus agents chase Amy, Dan and Nellie but eventually they losing the Janus. In the process they had to hide the pages on a boat called the Royal Saladin intending to come back to collect it once they are safe.

The next day they go back to retrieve the pages but the boat is no longer there, and they resolve to stake out the harbour at the café across from the dock until the boat returns. It is evening when the boat returns and in that time we’ve seen Amy, Dan and Nellie play various word games, mind puzzles, write on pieces of tissue paper, and etc. They’re all quite bored and dejected by the time the boat comes, but when it does they spring into action and grabs the pages before dashing away again.

Back in the hotel room, Nellie translates the pages into English for Amy and Dan. They find that Nannerl thought that her brother was insane because he was digging himself into a massive hole of debt so he could be large shipments of expensive Japanese steel, Tungsten. The pages also mention a name, Fidelio Racco, who also appears on the advertisement for the 18th century Mozart Concert that they took from Alistair. Lastly, they also find what looks to be handwritten notes from their grandmother Grace Cahill on the sheet in faded ink. It reads, “The word that cost her life, minus the music,” and in a different place it reads, “D>HIC.” Amy recalls a hazy story that Grace once told them, and they deduct that “The words that cost her life” referred to France’s infamous last queen, Mary Antoinette. When they search this up, Dan remembers something due to his eidetic memory. Grace had used the word gateau and particularly stressed it instead of the word brioche that all the other sources used. They also find out that Fidelio Racco had a house in Venice and it was now a museum.

The next day they go to Fidelio Racco’s mansion and they locate a harpsichord which they think will contain the clue as Dan insists that if they play the Mozart piece something will happen. Amy and Nellie however only half-heartedly goes along with the plan. So, they hid in the house until it closes in the lavatories and then proceeds to the Harpsichord. At this point, they are ambushed by the Kabras. Ian gloats at them and tells them that they’ve been following them since Paris, and as Natalie holds a tranquiliser dart against Dan’s neck Ian plucks the sheet music in Dan’s hand away from him and begins to play it. As Ian begins to play the beautiful piece, Amy is looking at the keyboard and suddenly her eyes light up in an “aha” moment. She realises that the “D>HIC” clue that Grace left behind meant that the key D above High C was booby-trapped. We see Ian reach to touch the key, and Amy tries to knock Ian off the bench however she is too late. Just as Amy collides with Ian, his finger pressed down on the booby-trapped key causing an explosion that floors all four of them. In slightly slowed down playback, we see Amy duck and roll as she hits the floor, however Ian is thrown back hard against the marble floor and knocked unconscious. Natalie who is shocked at this moment falls to the ground and Dan reacts quickly by ripping the tranquiliser dart from her hand and sticking it into her neck.

Meanwhile, Amy begins to play the piece “The Place Where I was Born” on the still relatively undamaged harpsichord and just as she finished a section of the floor drops down revealing two Japanese swords and the second clue, tungsten. Amy figures out that gateau minus the music means that she needs to take out all of the letters that are musical notes, which leaves her with T-U, the chemical symbol for tungsten.

Back at their hotel in Venice, Amy and Dan tell Nellie about the second clue who is absolutely astounded. They then decide to follow the origins of their second clue, tungsten, which is Japan. We see Nellie calling Japan Airlines to book three tickets to Tokyo. As we cut to:

William McIntyre is walking down the streets of Salzburg and sneaks up behind a man, Alistair Oh. Alistair turns around very shocked and raises his hands to defend himself. William just calmly takes a step back from Alistair and asks for his tracking device back. Alistair is surprised and shocked that someone had been tailing him . Eventually they find the tracking device on the inside of Alistair’s cane. We pan up to the sky and we see a plane heading overhead, a Japan Airlines plane bound for Tokyo, Japan.

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To The Moon

Genre: Drama/Animation
Director: Kan Gao
Cast:
Bonnie Wright as River (II)
Ellie Darcey-Alden as River (I)
Olivia Wilde as Eva
Sebastian Stan as Neil
Tom Hanks as Johnny (II)
Unknown as Johnny (I)
Composer: Kan Gao
Laura Shigihara ("Everything is alright")
Date: September 23rd
Theaters: 3700
Rating: PG
Budget: $105M
Plot:


The first shot of the movie shows us a clear night sky, the moon being clearly visible, and having around a few stars that were shining brighter than the others, forming a rabbit around it, the moon representing the rabbit’s tummy.

The camera slowly zooms out until it ends up behind a bench, on a cliff from where you had a nice view at the sunset and over the ocean. Next to that bench, there was a light house that wasn’t being used anymore.

We can see two people sitting on that bench: a young man and young red-headed girl. They are both holding hands, quietly, not talking or doing anything else. A few different shots follow, representing the time passing. The couple treptately became older until, suddenly, the red-haired girl disappeared from the man’s side, and a tombstone appeared next to the light house.

The next couple of shots show the man sitting there alone, becoming older and older, until a young woman appears by his side again. They were both sitting on a bench, watching the sunset, and the woman turns at him and asks him something, to which the man nodded sadly. She nodded back at him and then got up on her feet and left, leaving him alone.

A few seconds later the man also stands up and slowly went to the tombstone, were he sat on one knee, resting his hand on the grave, and started crying.

--

In the next shot, we find ourselves on the very same cliff, in front of a beautiful two story high house that was situated next to a small forest, and had a big, beautiful garden filled with all kinds of flowers. The sound of the ocean waves, and the birds singing in the forest, made this place seem like a small paradise.

A few seconds later, Dr. Neil Watts and Dr. Eva Rosalene appear in front of the house. Neil was struggling with carrying a rather large suitcase which had gotten heavy for him while Eva was amazed by how beautiful this place was, and mentioned how she always wanted to move to a place like this after she retired.

They knock on the door and a young woman answered. Both, Neil and Eva, introduced themselves as being employees of Sigmund Corp., an agency that uses technology to build artificial memories for persons, so when they died, they do it with their wishes fulfilled, although, in real life, they never fulfilled them.

The young woman then introduced herself as being Lily, Johnny’s caretaker. She let them both in and then tried to answer a few questions about Johnny, but then admitted that, even though she was living here with him, since her job required her to do so, she didn’t know much about Johnny because he was a rather misterious person who wasn’t very talkative.

Johnny Wyles was their patient, a old and retired widower who lost his wife a few years back, and who came to the realization that his time was coming too and that he never did the one thing he always dreamed of: go to the moon.

Because the artificial memories would start a conflict with the patient’s real memories when they woke up, this needed to be done with the patient not having much time left, so, when Neil and Eva arrived at Johnny’s house, he was already on his death bed, constantly watched by a nurse.

Dr. Eva decided to start setting up the machine upstairs, in Johnny’s room, and asked Neil to start looking around mementos whilst she did that.

Mementos were objects that they could use to link two of Johnny’s memories between them, making travelling between them possible. They only needed real mementos at the beginning, when they entered his latest accesible memory. From there, they could get the mementos from Johnny’s memories, making it easier to travel between them.

After checking the entire house, Dr. Neil ended up in the basement, in front of a locked door. He tried to open it forcefully, but failed, so he decided that he had no other choice than go and look for the key around the house. When he headed back upstairs, he heard someone play a piano. Heading to the living room, where he saw the piano earlier, he found two kids, a boy and a girl, playing it. Asking them who they were, they said they were Lily’s kids.

Asking them about the door in the basement, the kids said they knew where the key was, but they wanted something in exchange for it. After negotiating for a few minutes, in which Neil agreed to talk to Lily so she would give them more sweets, which he couldn’t do, of course, they gave him the key and went with him downstairs.

Entering with a flashlight, since the kids stated that there was no light in there, Neil got a serious shock when he found the entire room filled with paper folded rabbits. They were simply everywhere: on the floor, on the table that was in the middle of the room, on the chairs around the table, and even behind a few barrels that were in the corner of the room. Taking one paper rabbit and a toy platypus which he found on a chair, Neil brought them to Eva.

After doing that, Neil asked the kids if they had any idea what those rabbits meant or why they were hidden away in a dark room. They said they didn’t know since the rabbits were there from before they moved it. They also happened to mention that there were more in the light house nearby.

The kids guided him to the light house, which, despite being abandoned, was in a very good shape, like someone was taking care of it. There was also a tombstone near the light house, which Neil went to inspect after sending the kids back in the house saying that he would be okay. It simply read “In memory of River Wyles,” so Neil assumed that she must’ve been Johnny’s wife.

He then went up in the lighthouse and again, found dozens on rabbits. His eyes landed on a more special rabbit, since it was made out of colored paper while the other ones were made just of white paper. He took it and headed back to the house, where Eva was already waiting for him with the machine all set up.

--

The main idea was to enter Johnny’s latest accessible memory and talk to his projection. They wanted to ask him why exactly he wanted to go to the moon and when did that desire start. They can use the information to make their job easier.

As soon as they entered his latest accessible memory and talked to Johnny’s projection, they already had a problem. For some reason, Johnny did not know why he wanted to go to the moon, so Neil and Eva’s job had just gotten harder. Instead of going to a certain memory and changing something so he would become motivated, they would have to go to one of his earliest memories, when he was an infant, and send the desire to become an astronaut from there.

They made their first leap backwards, and, even though they weren’t supposed to watch the memories, but just take the mementos and move on, Dr. Neil was rather curious about Johnny’s story, mainly because of the strange rabbits that he had around his house and in the light house next to his house.

The first leap backwards sent them to a more recent memory. It was a rainy day, and Johnny was outside, talking to River’s tombstone. He kept mentioning someone named ‘Anya’ and that, for some reason, he decided to take care of her just like River always wanted to. Johnny also expressed his worry that once he was gone, there would be no one to watch over them.

The second leap backwards sent them in Johnny’s bedroom, where River lay in the bed, looking very ill. Next to her, there was the toy platypus Neil had found earlier in the mysterious room. The room was also filled with paper folded rabbits, just like the ones that Neil also found in the same room as the toy platypus, and in the light house.

River then called Johnny, who came upstairs in a hurry. He went to her bed and she slowly handed him the colored paper rabbit which Neil had found in the light house. She asked him if he remembered now, but Johnny looked at her, confused, and then slowly shook his head sadly, making River even sadder as she was. Her voice was weak, but she managed to ask Johnny if he could play that song on the piano because it was relaxing her.

Johnny smiled and nodded, then went to the piano, which, back then, was in his bedroom, and started playing the song.

Neil immediately recognized the song as being the one that Lily’s kids were playing earlier when he talked to them. He slowly went behind Neil and looked at the sheet, seeing that the song was named “For River.”

The third leap sent them next to the light house. Looking around, they noticed that Johnny’s house wasn’t finished then, but was under construction. They found Johnny resting outside the house, talking to a friend of his, Isabelle. He admitted that he was worried about River’s condition and about the fact that they didn’t have enough money for her treatment and for the house. He then said he was considering lying to her by telling her that they had money for both things.

Isabelle said it wasn’t a good idea to lie to her, and that it was better to tell her the truth. Johnny snapped saying that he had the right to be selfish at for once in his entire life. He wanted to keep River alive because, if she would find out that they didn’t have enough money for her treatment and the house, she would chose the house over her treatment, and, in the end, she would die.

The fourth leap sent them, once more, next to the lighthouse, where they found Johnny and River reading the note that was on the door, stating that the light house had been abandoned and was out of function. River was sad that the light house had been abandoned, but Johnny told her that with their situation being stable, they could build a house up here so they could watch over her every single day.

The next leap sent them in Johnny’s bedroom, where Johnny was just waking up. In the middle of the room, on the floor, there was paper rabbit, which Johnny picked up and looked at it for a few moments, before starting to look for River. He headed downstairs, in the room where Neil found the paper rabbits, and found River there, sitting at a table, folding paper rabbits. Johnny had also noticed that River cut her hair that morning, but when he asked, she just ignored him and continued making paper rabbits, like she was hypnotized.

Neil and Eva both got to the conclusion that this was probably the day when River started acting very weirdly.

The next memory showed Johnny and River, sitting on a log next to the light house. River asked Johnny if that really was the reason why he approached her back then, and Johnny admitted that it was so and that he told her because Isabelle told him to do so because it was a bad idea to keep it a secret.

The next memory sent them in a library, next to the table where Johnny, Isabelle and Nick, a friend Johnny’s, were sitting, talking about River. Johnny mentioned that even when they are in the same room, she isn’t quite ‘there’. She’s very absent all the time.

He asked Isabelle what was wrong with River, to which she replied that they might have the same condition, but that doesn’t mean that they are the same person for her to know what’s going on with River. He agrees with her, stating that Isabelle was more normal compared to River. Isabelle claimed that she actually envied, but also pitied River for being different because she isn’t afraid to be different from the other people. In the end, she admitted that she only envies River, stating that she was normal because she was a child when she was diagnosed, and that, since then, she acted being normal. She’s been an actress her entire life, and right now, her normal self got lost somewhere deep within her.

The next leap sent them again, next to the lighthouse, on a quiet evening. Johnny and River were both sitting on the ground, with their backs against the light house, holdings hands. Johnny broke the silence by asking River if she felt any different now that they had rings on their fingers. River shook her head and asked Johnny if he did. He said he did, but he thought it was probably just the responsibilities that were coming towards them that made him feel different.

A few moments of silence followed, only to be broken by Johnny, who asked River what she thought about the name ‘Anya’. She asked him if he wanted to name her like that, to which he said yes. She smiled at him and then nodded, saying that ‘Anya’ was a great name.

Johnny then took her up in the light house, where they danced through the night, until the sun started rising. Then, they went down, said their vows and they were officially married.

Thinking that they saw the important part of the memory, Neil and Eva started looking around the place for mementos. There were tables everywhere and people who were sharply dressed. As they looked around, they stepped over Johnny and his mother, who kept calling him Joey. When Nick asked why she was calling him Joey, Johnny claimed that Joey was his grandfather’s name, and since he died, his mother liked to call him that.
They kept searching for mementos until they ended up at the edge of the road. They found River there, who was looking at Johnny, who was in the middle of the road, checking on a rabbit that had been hit by a car. He came back to River and told her that the rabbit was dead.

Both Neil and Eva started suspecting that this might be the reason she started making all the paper rabbits, but they quickly dismissed the idea because it seemed abnormal to obsess over some random road kill, especially after so many years of it happening.

The following memory started from where they left off – the middle of the road, where there was another dead rabbit. Looking around, they noticed that Johnny and River were at a ranch. They jumped over the fence, heading towards them. Half-way, though, Neil found a horse. Excited, he jumped on it and started riding it at fast speed, even though Eva protested about it being a stupid idea. He ended up yelling for help while the horse was running around, frantically, while he was facing the back of the horse, having lost control of it. A few moments later, he fell off of it and swore never to ride a horse again.

They went to where Johnny and River was, just to catch Johnny helping River up on her horse and then getting on his own. They started riding around the place, and Eva said they should follow them, but Neil said he wasn’t getting on any horse anymore. Instead, he suggested they should start looking for the mementos and get away as fast as possible. Eva said that they always had to do what Neil was saying, owning a laugh from Neil.

The next jump sent them in a waiting room. There was no sign of River or Johnny, so they entered the doctor’s office, where they found both of them. River was sitting down, shocked, while Johnny listened to the doctor, who explained River’s condition to him. He said that if she would’ve been diagnosed as a kid, she wouldn’t have to worry right now. He recommended them a book and asked them if there were any problems with their relationship, to which, River, nearly instantly answered with a no. Johnny looked at her and then replied with a hesitant ‘no’, too. The doctor’s last recommendation was to do equine therapy. He told them there was a small ranch that was doing that, and it was just north of there.

Moving out, in the waiting room, River sat down and Johnny asked the assistant to silence the clock ticking because it was bothering River. Despite River stating that it didn’t, the assistant muted the clock.

Another leap sent them in a movie theater. Eva and Neil were a row behind Johnny. At first, Neil laughed at Johnny for paying money to see such a horrible movie. Eva, though, wasn’t paying attention to Neil, but was focused on Johnny because she noticed that he was very sad. A few moments later, he got up and left the room.

Eva had to drag Neil outside of the theater because, Neil stated, the movie was getting interesting and he wanted to see what happened next. They found Johnny outside the theater, sitting on the floor with his back against the wall. While Eva tried to make out what happened, Neil already knew that he probably had been stood up by someone.

Eva sighed, knowing well that this place was too strange for Johnny to use mementos from it, and that meant only one thing: they needed to make themselves visible and manage to get something from Johnny to use as a memento. Just as Eva nearly talked Neil into talking to him, River exited the theater, looking for Johnny.

While looking around, her eyes landed on Johnny. When Johnny saw her he asked her where she was the whole time, to which River she replied that she was in the theater. They were watching the movie together and then he just got up and left for no reason. Johnny said that it wasn’t true; they didn’t watch the movie together. River said that they were in the same room, watching the same movie at the same time, obviously meaning that they were watching it together. Eva and Neil followed them back into the theater, since River brought the toy platypus and they could use that as a memento to travel further back.

That leap sent them in the school where Johnny and River used to go together. They see River sitting on the stairs, next to her toy platypus, reading a book about light houses. Johnny was just around the corner, talking to Nick, who was trying to convince Johnny to go and ask River out. Despite Johnny insisting that he didn’t want to, Nick pushed him towards her forcefully. Awkwardly, Johnny managed to ask her out for a movie.

Neil and Eva started looking for mementos, and ended up in the school cafeteria, where they found Johnny, Nick and Isabelle sitting a table, talking about River, who was a few tables away, sitting alone. Nick was making fun of River’s weirdness while Johnny was defending her. Nick asked what Johnny saw in her, to which Johnny replied that she was different and that’s why he wanted to together with her. He just didn’t want to be another typical kid in another typical sea of people.

Isabelle concluded that Johnny wanted River for what she had, not for who she was, and Johnny admitted it was so, saying that he had everything under control. The memory ended with Nick admitting that that’s cold, even for him.

The next memory features Johnny waking up just as his mother enters his room. She helps him off of his bunk bed and tells him she’s going to work and that he should lock the door behind him. She kisses on the cheek and then leaves for work, with Johnny shortly leaving afterwards for school.

After getting all the mementos, they travelled to another memory of Johnny’s, but there they had a very unpleasant surprise. For some unknown reason, Johnny’s memories were breaking down, making Eva and Neil unable to travel any further. They had no other solution than leave his memories and try to re-form them.

They exited his memories and then linked the memories in the machine. They sent the desire to become an astronaut, hoping it would have effect, and then entered Johnny’s latest memory, where there was supposed to be a change if it worked.

But it didn’t…

That meant that they had to get access to Johnny’s earlier memories. They just needed a way to do that. After some thinking, Eva came up with another solution. Maybe, in order for him to become an astronaut, he needed provoking.

They entered his memories again and started putting up subliminal things that could make Johnny wish to become an astronaut. They changed the movie he saw with River to a movie about the moon. They disguised themselves as people from NASA and went to Johnny’s school, where they talked about missions and how they wanted to recruit people, especially brunette ones. They tried many other things, but not a single one worked.
They decided to take a break until the next morning, hoping that Johnny would last until then.

Eva went to sleep while Neil talked to his boss all night long. When Eva woke up, Neil mentioned that there was something that they didn’t know at the beginning, something that was hidden. Johnny apparently had hidden medical records. Neil handed Eva the file and she started reading. When Johnny was young, he used enhanced beta blockers, even though he didn’t have a heart condition. Neil mentioned that Beta Blockers have a certain side effect on memories, and that’s why they couldn’t enter them.

Eva didn’t show any excitement at the beginning. She was asking herself why Johnny would take Beta blockers if he didn’t have a heart condition. Maybe the memories were the main reason for him to take beta blockers?
Neil said that this case is as good as solved. He could easily re-configure the machine so it would enter the memories that are under the effect of the beta blockers.

They entered Johnny’s memory again, this time managing to do it. They were on the street, in front of Johnny’s childhood house. Looking around, they saw two versions of Johnny running around the street. Neil said that it was probably because of the beta blockers, and that the memories were probably overlapped.

They saw how Johnny’s mother talked to their baby sitter and then hurried to her car, mentioning that she was late for work. She got into her car and backed off out of the car park. Neil and Eva watched in horror how Johnny, who was playing ball in the street, was hit by the car. They run next to him and whilst doing that, Neil realized something else: How could he see this if he was unconscious?

Just as that thought passed, Johnny appears from behind the house and runs towards the little boy that looked exactly like him. In tears, he fell on his knees next to him, asking his mother why she had hit Joey, his twin brother.
Neil didn’t say a word, but stared at the whole scene, confused and shocked in the same time. Eva then came to him and told him that Johnny had a twin brother, and that she suspected it since she saw that he had a bulk bed, in some of his earlier memories.

Neil, still shocked at what he saw, didn’t say anything for about half an hour. He didn’t even want to see the memories again, but just pass through them and do his job. They took numerous leaps backwards until they ended up at the memory where Johnny met River.

Eva stopped Neil from looking for the mementos for taking another leap, saying that this memory is important and that they need to check it.

Johnny and Joey, together with their mother, went to a festival that took place on the same cliff Johnny would build a house later on and would live with River. They had lots of fun, and when it got dark, Johnny asked his mother if she would let him go and watch the stars. She said he could, so he went at the edge of the cliff, where he sat down and looked up at the stars.

He heard someone come from behind, and when he turned around, he saw a young short and red-headed girl. She wanted to turn around and leave, saying that Johnny was on her spot. He stopped her and told her they could star gaze together.

They got along very well. While star gazing, they recognized a bunny through the stars, the moon representing its tummy.

Johnny asked River what she really thought they were; the stars. She replied shyly that she thought they were light houses, stuck at the far end of the sky.

It had gotten late and Johnny’s mother called for him. He got up and asked her if she would be there next year too, to which she said she would. Johnny asked her if something happened and she wouldn’t, to which, laughing, she replied by saying they would meet on the rabbit’s tummy, pointing at the moon.

That’s when both, Eva and Neil, realized what they had to do in order to make Johnny want to go to the moon: They had to remove River from his memories.

Neil protested by saying that it was not worth it because they clearly saw from his memories: River was Johnny’s life, and it would be too brutal to just remove her. Eva insisted that it was their job and that they had to do it. Eva then grabbed Neil and teleported him to another memory, knowing well that Neil would try and manage to stop her somehow.

She alone found River, and she was ready to press the button to remove her from Johnny’s memories, forever. She then stopped, thinking about it for a moment. She heard Neil teleport back and start yelling at her not to do it. Eva then realized that she was going to destroy Johnny’s life if she did this, but it was their job in the same time, so she pressed the button and whispered ‘I’m sorry,’ as she watched River fade out.

When Neil had found Eva, she was in tears, full realization having struck her. She quickly grabbed Neil and exited Johnny’s memories. As protocol stated, they needed to stay with the patient until he died so they would know the job was completed. Neil left the house, angry, while Eva collapsed on the sofa and started crying.

Neil went to the bench next to River’s tombstone and stared at the sky. A smile appeared on his face when he saw the same rabbit River and Johnny saw many years ago. The night passed, and, as the sun was rising, he heard footsteps from behind. Eva came and sat down next to him, and then announced that Johnny had passed away a few minutes ago.

(Everything is alright starts playing)

We now see how Johnny’s life turned out to be with the desire of him becoming an astronaut. At school, when he was asked by a teacher what he wanted to become when he was grown up, he replied with “Astronaut.”

We then see different scenes of him studying hard and sending letters to NASA to be accepted as an astronaut. There are a few more scenes of him sending letters, getting sadder every time he did send and didn’t get an answer back.

Then, he gets a letter back, telling him that he had been accepted. We see him jump in joy and hug his mother as she congratulates him.

The next scene features him going to the NASA headquarters. Then he goes through the training an astronaut does. The announcement that he would take part in a mission to the moon followed.

Before the launch, he is in the rest room at the headquarters, where there was a piano. He sat down and started playing “For River”

We see him board the rocket and take off. A shot of him in the rocket, looking out his window at the moon, follows. The screen then fades black as the song comes to an end, and the last thing we hear is Johnny saying:
“Houston, I’m on the moon!”



*The Song isn't the same as the one from the game - It only has the same name.
*The movie ending is similar to Inception (Silent - no words or noise (other than "Astronaut" part)).

 

Score sample (Original score similar to this):

 

Song sample (Original song similar to this):

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Careful Laid Plans

Director: Joel and Ethan Coen
Studio: Arcturus Entertainment
Genre: Crime Drama
Format: 2D 70mm Film
Cast:
Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Albert Cunnigham
Rooney Mara as Lisa Cunnigham
Leonardo DiCaprio as Colin Adams
James Badge Dale as Inspector Barrigan of the NYPD
Jeremy Irvine as Josh Hunt
John Goodman as Jack
Score: Howard Shore
Cinematographer: Roger Deakins
Budget: $35 million
Theater Count: 2 [21 October], 58 [28 October], 602[4 November] 1096[11 November], 1922[18 November], 3094[23 November]
Rating: R
Release Date: 21 October Limited; 4 November Wide; 23 November Widest
Running Time: 2 hrs 42 mins (162 minutes)

Summary:

The movie takes place in Prohibition Era New York. Albert Cunnigham (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) works his way up from the bottom, and in the process loses sight of himself in his work until he pays the ultimate price. Inspector Barrigan (James Badge Dale) is a young Police Inspector who suffers a loss which drives him to dismantle a criminal empire once and for all. The paths of these men collide and both have to deal with morality vs immorality and right vs. wrong. (I know that this plot summary is kinda lame, but the story is kinda hard to explain so this is the best I could do.)

 

Plot:

New York 1930. It’s the era of the Prohibition, and the smuggling trade is booming as everyone from the poor, to the old money do business with them, and the crime bosses party and mingle with the rich. The movie opens in the dead of the night and the words NYC, 1930 appear in the bottom right corner of the screen, and we see a ship quietly in the dark of night quietly approach a small derelict dock with just one light on in New York City. The ship is carrying a shipment of alcohol from Canada, and we can see the barrels of alcohol, mostly distilled, and some wine, in the light that the ever awake New York City is giving off. The ship docks just as the clock chimes 12, and barely makes a sound. Meanwhile, the entire ship almost springs to life, as the crew who were doing their best to stay silent before, springs into action, unloading the alcohol.

 

They are greeted by Albert Cunningham (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a sharply dressed man in his late-twenties. Also with him are a team of maybe thirty kids, all of them are no older than 15 years old, a mix of boys and girls. The boys and girls take the barrels of alcohol as they are unloaded off the ship, and wheel it to a tunnel hidden by the dock, and wheel it through the tunnel the 500 meters from the dock to the alcohol stores. However, at that moment, a raid by the NYPD led by Inspector Barrigan (James Badge Dale), occurs, and the entire crew, children, and Albert is forced to fend for themselves and run. The children being the fastest, escape, and the police don’t make an effort to catch them, as they aren’t a big enough target. Instead the aim for the crew, and for Albert especially, who being well dressed now stands out sharply among the dirty, and unruly crew. However Albert doesn’t seem fazed by the police and he’s almost nonchalantly admiring the scene while standing in the shadows. As the scene goes on, Albert seems to be looking for someone or something, and he finally seems to spot it, however at that moment, one police officer, Inspector Barrigan notices Albert. He looks shocked, and reaches for his gun. However, Albert seems to be expecting him, and pulls out a gun, and shoots Barrigan straight in the chest. Seeing the commotion, the other police officers rush over to assist, but it’s too late as and Barrigan is already dead. Albert is now sitting slumped against the lamppost smiling, looking at peace, and doesn’t even put up a struggle as he is arrested, and we see him pushed against the police car, and handcuffs snapped onto his wrists. He is bundled into the police car, and we see a shot of Albert looking passively out of the police car.

 

The title sequence begins, and the opening credits are shown, as we see a shot of Albert’s passive and reflective expression on the window pane of as we see the lights of New York through the windows. As the scene sequence goes on, we see flashes of the previous incident as Albert reflects on it. The flashes are translucent, and we can still see Albert’s face, and the lights of New York. We see Albert looking at his clock, and we see him pull out a planner. "12:35: Raid.” And he pulls out his clock again, counting down the minutes, time read 12:29. We see him expecting the raid. We see from his POV looking around for Barrigan, and finally we see from his POV, the gun, and finally the shot bullet, in slow motion, rushing towards Barrigan, and the opening sequence ends with the title appearing, as the bullet slams into Barrigan, and he crumples. As he crumples in slow motion, the scene begins to transition.

 

The next scene cuts to New York, in 1925. This is indicated in the bottom right corner. We see a shot of street level in a nicer part of the city, and we see the hustle and bustle of the city. Then, a younger Albert about 24-25 and dressed in what seems to be his best clothes, but still dirty and worn in many places, walks up to a building looks almost confused, and definitely surprised as the niceness of the place. He’s evidently nervous, and pulls out a slip of paper from his jacket to check if it is right, before taking a deep breath and walking in.

 

Inside is a high end restaurant and the maître d’ looks at him, surprised, and slightly repulsed, before asking him if he has a reservation. Albert replies that he’s meeting a Mr. Adams, and the maitre d’s attitude immediately changes, and he adopts much warmer tone towards Albert, and leads him to the rear of the restaurant, and into a private room. Inside is a man in his 40s, Colin Adams (Leonardo DiCaprio), he’s sitting with a group of his cronies, and smoking a cigar. Booze, despite the prohibition is still flowing, with everything from moonshine to wine. Colin looks up, and the maître d’ introduces, Albert as the visitor, and then promptly leaves. Colin extends a hand, and Albert hesitantly takes it, and shakes it. Colin, laughs at Albert’s nervousness, and announces in his unique, quiet way, “This one’s nervous, knows his place, I like this one.” The entire table laughs, some of them genuinely, others more forced. Colin, motions for Albert to take the empty seat, and Albert does more nervous than before. Albert is served food, and they have a dinner, as Colin continues to interrogate, Albert, in a quiet way, that carries a playful tune, yet completely serious. Albert after a few glasses of fine wine begins to relax and bit. As this goes on, the rest of the table begins to leave, as Colin begins to signal to them covertly under the table to leave the two of them alone. Albert looks confused as everyone else is leaving, and he too motions to get up. However, Colin calls him back, and they have a little chat. Colin says, “I see you know Sam.”// “Yes, sir. I met him at the bar, I was asking around for a job.”// “Why, should I give you a job, Albert? Sam seems to think you deserve one. I do not.”// “I’m dedicated sir. Good at what I do. Committed.” // “Even if you are all that, which I’m sure you are. I could get someone out there from the street in 5 minutes, who’s committed, dedicated, and good at what they do.” The exchange goes on for a while, as Colin tries to break down Albert, psychologically to get to his true character. Albert offers back smart responses, and he’s increasing getting more and more nervous, and sweat begins to appear on his face. As the scene goes on, the shots of Albert, and Colin progressively get closer, and closer, until finally we only see their face between their forehead, and chin. Finally, Colin opens his mouth, and his tone is as if he’s going to swing another question at Albert, but instead changes in an instant, and tells Albert, “Congratulations, you’re hired.” The tension breaks, and the shot zooms back out. Colin shakes Albert’s hand again, and Albert lets out a weak smile. Colin gives Albert, a time, and a place, “8AM tomorrow, at the corner of Oak, and Mallard.”

 

The next scene is of Albert being led down a narrow stone staircase, into the stores of alcohol. He’s explained what happens within their criminal organisation, and he’s shown the ropes by an older member of the organisation. We see some of the most basic yet integral workings of the organisation. We see the older member explain and show Albert how the tunnel from the docks leads into here and how he’s supposed to label each barrel before rolling it carefully into the storage room. Albert seems surprised that the job is so menial and simple, and it kinda shows on his face which prompts the older man to snap at Albert asking him if he expected the penthouse suite at the Waldorf-Astoria. Albert shuts up for the rest of the time as some of the smaller details are ironed out causing a mild-medium sort of tension in the atmosphere. When the man is finished explaining the job he shows Albert the sign-in and sign-out board and sets him off to work, but not before giving him one last thing. He gives Albert a gun (revolver), and tells him to keep it with him at all times, keep in in good condition because it’s a dangerous time and city. He also tells him to not use it unless necessary because gunshots draw attention, there’s extra rounds in the storeroom, and to take them as he needs them.

 

It’s night-time and we see a door. We’re inside a small hostel room with little furnishings. The door opens and Albert walks in looking dishevelled, exhausted, and a little bit dirtied up. We hear a rustling of a duvet off camera and a voice rings out, “Albert is that you?” We cut and see Albert’s sister, Lisa Cunningham (Rooney Mara), groggily sitting up on the bed. She asks how her big bro is doing at his new job, and he replies that the work isn’t hard but it is boring. He also promises her that they’ll move out of this rented hostel room soon. He leaves the room again mumbling to his sister, Lisa that he’ll just clean himself up, that he’ll be back immediately, and to not wait up for him. Lisa lets out a bit of a noise that can be construed as a “uh-huh.” We focus on Albert leaving the room and at the very edge of the lens we see Lisa roll over in bed and go back to bed.

 

We cut to Albert in the communal washroom at the hostel; we’re looking at him from outside, in the hallway, and through the door. As he’s washing his face we see him smile quietly to himself, and we hear a barely audible, “From here on out it’s nowhere but up.” As he’s holding a towel to his slightly damp face and looks up at himself in the mirror. He holds this face in a sort of relaxed pensive look before turning the tap back on and washes his cloth in the sink before hanging it up to dry along with all of the many other cloths shared among all the other residents of this floor.

 

Returning to the room, we see him bring out a diary and fountain pen. He puts it on the only desk in the room before drawing up a chair, sitting down, and beginning to write. The camera looks over his shoulder and we see him writing about some of his thoughts from the menial tasks, the slight rebuffing he had, and other details that weren’t shown on Camera. But, most importantly we see him unleash some of his emotions, and we hear his thoughts through Voice Overs; we hear about his ambition, his worry about letting down his sister, and etc.
It’s the next morning and we see Albert and his sister, Lisa, in bed, each occupying what little space their half had. Albert stirs a bit before waking up groggily and his eyes flutter open and squint shut a few times as he tries to adjust to the morning light that’s streaming through the window. As he’s getting dressed he quietly wakes Lisa, and tells her to be safe and etc. Lisa listens with a sort of impatience that is good natured, and kinda waves him off. Albert picks up his jacket off from the back of a chair and as he’s putting it on he’s stepping out of the door.

 

He steps out of the dilapidated hostel and walks down the street, at the corner he stops at a small patisserie and buys himself some baked goods for breakfast. Arriving at a non-descript restaurant, beside which we can clearly see a street sign with the words Oak and Mallard on it, which has yet to open for the day, he lets himself in and walks to the back of the dining area and into the kitchen. He opens a door and walks down the stone staircases and back into the stores of alcohol. As he clocks himself in he checks the stack of orders and the arrival schedule before setting off for work.

 

This goes on for a little while, Albert toiling in the monotony of the job just shifting, sorting, storing, and etc. the bottles of booze. In the mean time we also see Albert beginning to look for a rental flat however without much luck. Even on a good-ish income the rent for a modestly decent flat is still a little bit out of reach. We hear him bargaining with one of the landlords, trying to get a better price for a lower priced flat; however he fails. We see him walking back to hostel by now the seasons have changed; Lisa’s waiting for him in their room when he arrives back. There’s evidence of the passage of time as the room now has many more personal possessions, and items of higher quality than the ones we previously saw. We see Albert sit down at the desk and begin to write in his diary again, however when Lisa gets close by he suddenly snaps it shut. She cracks a joke about it with him, but it falls flat as Albert just brushes it off. Lisa notices this and frowns, asking him what’s wrong. Albert at first doesn’t want to say, wanting to stay strong and keep his feelings to himself; however Lisa eventually wears him down and extracts a confession out of him. Albert talks about how he’s disappointed, and upset with himself that he still hasn’t managed to make good of his promise to her (Lisa), despite having been employed for 4 months now. Lisa comforts him by reassuring him that no matter what happens, she’ll always look up to her big bro, and that she’s sure he’ll eventually make good of his promise. Albert after a while breaks into a small and tiny bit uneasy smile; he tells her that she’s right and that he’ll work his way up no matter what so that he can make good on his promise.

 

The next scene is of him at a seedy bar, it’s poorly lit and the windows are all partially boarded up so as to prevent itself from attracting too much attention. We can hear the faint roar of the river in the background as we see Albert nursing a bottle of beer, taking each swig in a careful and calculated manner. There aren’t too many patrons in the bar; the ones that are here are all minding their own business, their body language tense because of the threat that the police could come in at any moment. You can tell the degree of intoxication by each man’s muscle tension, those who’ve drank more than their fair share being much more relaxed than the rest. Then, Colin Adams walks into the bar, flanked by a small group of bodyguards. The man behind the bar, one of Colin’s employees jumps in surprise and runs out from behind the bar to greet him. Colin coldly shrugs him off, and motions to his men. They swarm on the unfortunate employee and pin him to the wall. One of them draws a gun and presses it against the employee’s throat. Then Colin steps forward and begins an interrogation of the guy on the spot. He accuses the employee of consorting with the police and that they’re planning a raid here later tonight, and while the employee tries to deny it, Colin refuses to listen. We get a taste of the ruthless and heartless business nature of Colin, as the interrogation continues. As Colin motions to his guards again, they release the employee for a fraction of a second before dragging him and slamming him across the top of a table. The bar by now is empty except for Colin, the employee, his guards, and Albert. Albert’s hiding out of sight behind the bar; he stayed behind and is now watching with an almost perverse interest. Colin’s now holding a gun and pointing it at the employee. He’s gives the man 60 seconds to talk and confess before he shoots and brings out a pocket watch. Flicking it open we see the second hand pass the 12, and the faint clicking of the hand can be hear in the background. Colin readies his aim, and as he’s doing that we see a slight movement in the background, but we hear no sound. Albert catches it as well, and as the camera focuses on the background we see that it’s a police officer. He’s moving in through the kitchen door, and he’s holding a gun aimed straight at Colin. Albert seeing this pulls out his gun, and looks at it hesitantly; we can see the emotion on his face as he wants to protect his boss and hopefully in the process get some good will, but on the other hand he’s afraid of killing someone. Eventually as we hear Colin say in the background, 30 seconds, we see Albert aiming the gun at the police officer with shaking hands. The police officer hasn’t noticed Albert yet, as he’s been intently focusing on Colin, and no making a noise that’ll attract attention to his position by the kitchen door. Meanwhile we focus on Colin as he says 15 seconds. He threatens in an angry tone one last time, “Tell me, confess!” We cut to a shot in which we can see all three of them each aiming at a different target as we hear Colin count down 5, 4, 3, 2,& 1; suddenly a loud shot rings out and we cut away from out shot. We cut to Colin spinning around just in time to see the Police Officer by the door crumble, and Albert still holding his gun out and shaking. After pausing for a moment to process the scene, Colin turns right back at the employee and shoots him in the head before saying calmly and anticlimactically, “And So I was right, you were a traitor.” He walks up to Albert and says, “You Okay, son?” Albert nods shakily back before replying in a subdued tone, “I’m fine. Thank-you for asking.” Colin then says that it was some feat that Albert pulled off there, and says that he probably saved his life. Colin then goes on to say that his policy has always been to reward those loyal to him, and punish those who are not, and then offers Albert a promotion. He tells him that he works directly under him now, and to report tomorrow morning to a house on 5th avenue. Albert is shocked, and quickly responds with, “Thank-you sir.” Colin waves it off almost as if it was nothing and leaves after bidding Albert good night. Albert is left with 2 dead bodies lying there. As he puts away his gun we see a few tears begin to stream down his face.

 

Managing to control his tears we see him drag the police man’s body through the kitchen and out of the back door. The Hudson river is racing by just meters away from the backdoor of the bar. Albert quickly takes the body drags it to the shore and throws it in. He doesn’t manage to hurl the body far, but it doesn’t matter as the river quickly takes the body away downstream and into the ocean. He does the same to the other body, and seeing the blood on his hands quickly dunks his hand in the river water trying to wash the blood off. Back inside the bar we see Albert taking a mop and bucket, and washing off the blood from the floor and the splatters on the walls before throwing the mop, and bucket into the river as well.

 

We seem him walking up to his hostel in the middle of the night and climb the stairs up to his room. His actions are mechanical; it’s almost as if his mind’s detached from his body turning himself into a cold machine. Upon reaching his room, he finds that Lisa is already asleep as he slumps down onto the sofa and begins to cry. He finally lets his emotions out, and cries in his guilt, and shock of having killed a man. Lisa wakes up after a little while, and comforts him, she doesn’t press him on for any information, or comfort him with words. However, her actions and facial expression tell the entire tale, a tale of sibling love, and steadfastness, of always being there for one another, and of understanding. Eventually, we hear a little bit of Albert recounting what happened in single word, practically incomprehensible, “Man…. Killed…. Death….. etc….” before falling asleep as Lisa continues to comfort him. The camera continues to hold the shot as we see the faint silhouettes of Lisa holding Albert. Albert even in his sleep is twisting, turning, and heaving a little bit as Lisa continues to comfort him. The scene holds an air of intimacy and feels like a private moment that we shouldn’t be intruding on. We fade to black and cut to:

 

The same identical shot, but now its morning. The early morning light is streaming through the window as we see Lisa slumped over Albert both of whom are asleep, and at peace despite the uncomfortable position they’ve assumed on the sofa. Albert begins to stir, and looks monetarily confused as to where he was before vaguely remembering the events of last night. He managed to carefully extricate himself from under Lisa, he spruces himself up a little bit, takes one last look at the sleeping Lisa on the couch, and leaves the room without making the slightest hint of a sound. He walks down the hallway, down the stairs, out into and down the street before stopping at the patisserie on the street corner. He orders himself some breakfast which is coffee and a pastry before sitting down at the table and taking out his diary again. As he’s holding his coffee, and eating his pastry with his left hand, he’s writing in it with his right; looking over his shoulder the Camera films him writing about last night. We hear the Voice Over talking about how he killed a man, asking for God’s forgiveness, his worry about how his sister will react to the news, and etc.

 

The scene cuts to him arriving at the house on 5th avenue; he knocks on the door and is promptly let in by a man who’s been clearly expecting him. Albert is led into the richly decorated house and into an office where Colin Adams sits behind the desk. Colin motions for Albert to sit and he promptly does so. Colin then begins to talk, saying that loyalty and courageous deeds cannot go unrewarded. We hear him go on a spiel for a little while about how that his entire organisation is built upon this core belief. He then tells Albert that his new job will be to work as the protégé to the man currently in charge of managing shipments and distribution. He then goes on for just a little longer about the responsibilities of the job, and his new pay which is considerably more than what he was being paid before. Then he tells him to go and get started; as Albert is about to walk out of the room we hear Colin’s voice ring out with a warmer tone, “And, Albert? Thank-you for last night. You saved my life.” Albert turns

around and nods awkwardly in acknowledgement before walking out of the room.

 

We cut to a body, the body of the dead Police officer, being slowly revealed by the tide going out, someone notices this and shouts in surprise. Soon we can hear the sound of a few people arriving, and as we pan up we see that it is the police.  They life him up and begin to take him away from the beach and up to the street to be transported away before the voice of another Police officer rings out from further down the shore saying that there’s another body.

 

We cut to the inside shot of the morgue and we see the two bodies, the dead police officer’s and the informant’s, on the table. Off screen a voice begins, “Inspector Barrigan, we gathered from the identification that the deceased was your Police Partner Inspector Smith. Could you please identify the body?” Inspector Barrigan is led into the room, looking visibly shocked and pale as he takes one look at the body before slowly nodding yes. “Yes it is. That’s him,” he mumbles before pointing at the other corpse, “And that’s John. He was our informant.” The other man asks if Inspector Barrigan knew a last name, and he replies, “No. John was all we knew him as.” “Thank-you for your time and you have my deepest sympathies for your loss. I personally know how much losing a police partner can hurt,” says the other man. Inspector Barrigan nods awkwardly before leaving the room.

 

Back to Albert, we see him sitting at a desk in his own office. There’s a load of paperwork on his desk as his superior, Jack (John Goodman), is going over the fine details of his job. Jack is a middle-aged, slightly-obese man with an irritable attitude. He then sets Albert off to work telling him not to be late with his work. He works through the paperwork and all of it is giving him a bit of a headache.

 

Cutting back to the hostel, Albert arrives to an empty room and looks surprised that Lisa isn’t back already. He gets out of his work clothes and into something more comfortable before sitting down at the couch and relaxing and thinking a bit. It isn’t long before she arrives home and she asks him about his day. Albert looked nervous for a moment when Lisa opened her mouth to speak, but soon relaxed when he realised that she wasn’t asking about last night. He said that he got a promotion at work today and that he’s working in upper level management now. Lisa says that she feels happy for him, and this mindless chit-chat goes on for a little while longer before Lisa asks him about last night. Albert immediately tenses up and says nothing. He tells her that it is none of her business and that nothing major happened. He also tells her to never speak about this again. Lisa however tells him that judging by the state he was in last night, it wasn’t “nothing” and that he should talk about it. She tells him in an almost maternal way that she cares for him and that growing up with him she knows that since father died he’s been mostly keeping his emotions to himself because he wants to stay strong and be the head of the family.

She tells him that she knows that he’s hurting inside, and that he shouldn’t keep it all pent up because one day he is going to explode. She then goes on to say that when Mum, died last year on her deathbed she told the pair of them to look out for each other and told her that she should take care of her brother and to not let him get too stressed. Albert at the mention of mum, turns almost livid, and stands up; he’s almost bursting. Lisa stands up as well. He tells her in a passive-aggressive, very cold and detached, yet full of anger and annoyance, way not to bring up mum and use her against him. He tells her that mum’s gone and that there’s nothing they can do about it except soldier on. He tells her that the conversation is closed, forever, before walking out the door to the washroom down the hall. We cut to a wide shot of the hostel room, as Lisa sits back down in the chaise and puts cups her hands around her nose and thinks with her eyes closed. She takes a few shaky, deep breathes before opening her eyes. We see that her eyes are filled with a slight layer of tears.

 

We cut to Albert who’s in the washroom.  The shot is of his back as we see him turn on the tap and splash his face with water multiple times before looking up into the mirror. We see a different Albert in the mirror than the one back in his and Lisa’s room. Albert’s eyes look scared, tired, and it looks as if he’s about to cry. His resolve to stay strong and keep things to himself seem to be shattering before our eyes. However, that barely lasts for 10 seconds before Albert quickly puts his mask back on and uses a towel to wipe his face dry.

 

 

We cut to Inspector Barrigan, who’s sitting at his desk in the NYPD HQ on Broome Street. He’s deep in thought and the sound of a phone ringing in the background brings him out of his reverie. He calls for his assistant, Anne, to bring him the files they have on Colin Adams. She asks him if he’s all right because he was looking white as a when he got back after lunch and that he’s been through the files a million times since he was assigned this case. Inspector Barrigan insists that he’s fine and that he wants to see the files again because he thinks he might’ve overlooked something. Anne looks a bit disappointed that she couldn’t get him to open up, but goes off to get the files. Inspector Barrigan sits back down in his office, and we see his planner open on his desk. We focus on a shot of the planner and we seek it open to the week of March 20th-26th. We also see beside it that today’s date is Thursday 24 March 1926. We see on yesterday’s date Wednesday 23 March, in the address book that he’d written 2 things: 8:30 pm Bar Raid with Smith. That had been crossed out. The other thing that was written was 8:45pm Dinner and Date at Le Parker Meridien. (Implying that he missed covering his partner’s back for a dinner and date) We hold this shot until the files are dropped on Inspector Barrigan’s desk off screen. We cut to later in the night now; Inspector Barrigan is still in, reading the files. We see through the door that the hallway is dark and that almost everyone’s already gone. Inspector Barrigan rubs his temples as he goes through yet another file and lets out a sigh. He mumbles that he must get “that bastard Colin.”

 

We cut a few weeks into the future, to Albert at a meeting with all the upper level management people, Colin is going on about the fact that they’ve received reports that the Coast Guard is trying new tactics to stop the smuggling of booze into the city. He asks Jack what he thinks should be done, but Jack cannot come up with anything that Colin deems to be workable. Colin then turns to Albert and asks him what he thinks. Jack looks upset and offended and is about to protest before Colin raises a hand and tells Jack to let young Albert speak. Albert says in a timid fashion as if he’s afraid of one-upping Jack that they should use smaller ships instead of the bigger ones they’re using right now. He points back at some events in past wars, and says that smaller ships are faster and able to out-manoeuver the coast guards if need be. Colin begins to smile, and Jack looks livid as he begins to protest, saying that the costs will be too high. However, Colin cuts him off, and with a hint of acid says, “Jack, that’s enough.” He goes on to say that he likes the boy’s (Albert’s) idea and that we should look into it.

 

We cut to Albert working in his office; He’s filling out a schedule of deliveries and shipments for the next week. Jack pops in the door, and shoots daggers at Albert while telling him that he’s dropping off some more work that needs to be done by tomorrow. Albert looks very frustrated at this, and in his frustration manages to accidently mess-up the schedule that he was filling out. Feeling equal measures annoyed with himself and Jack, he grabs out a fresh-empty schedule and begins to recopy. We cut to later that night, as a single lamp is lit on Albert’s desk as he continues to write. However, he isn’t working on work. Instead he is writing in his diary, he talks about how his boss, Jack, is an absolute imbecile. Stupid, Jealous, and incompetent. He then talks about how every time he exerts a favourable reaction from Colin, that Jack is extremely angry and piles on the work for him. He says that he is working on a plan to get rid of him and that he will execute it within the next few months. He then hesitates for a few moments with his pen hovering above the page. A few drops of ink drip down before he begins to write about that night. He talks about his internal struggles, and how he’s ashamed to look at himself in the mirror and to face Lisa. He says that he feels so guilty mainly because he feels like he betrayed Lisa. He says that she’s always looked up to him as a figure of good, and etc. and now by killing someone he feels like he’s killing Lisa’s version of him.

 

We cut to Inspector Barrigan, who’s interrogating what looks to be an employee of Colin’s crime syndicate in a holding cell. He goes on about the crimes that the man is accused of, and that if he talks there’s a deal to be made. However, when the man stays silent, Barrigan gets very frustrated and physically manhandles the man a bit before asking him again if he wants to talk. The man reluctantly nods and Barrigan begins to ask a few questions. Through this we figure out some of the basic details of Colin’s crime syndicate. We see Barrigan pore through police reports files, pieces together evidence, makes arrests, and questions various detainees. Through their answers to the questions we see how Colin’s entire crime empire came to be, and Barrigan’s own information as he corroborates their answers with what he knows and calls out their lies. We find out that the organisation is much more than just alcohol, it’s also gambling, prostitution, and etc. We also find out some other pieces of trivia about how Colin’s entire criminal empire is built.

 

We cut back to Albert and we see the year or so flash by. We see him throwing himself into his work more and more and more; partially because Jack is so demanding of him, and partially because he can’t deal with the guilt he feels about killing the police officer. We also see his home life, and his relationship with his sister deteriorating as Lisa tries to get him to talk and worries about his “workaholicsm” Then, we see Albert’s plan to get rid of Jack getting put into place. We see him purposely mess up the delivery schedule in a big way and making it seem like Jack was the one who made the mistake. This causes Colin to be very, very pissed and we see him go on a spiel with a thoroughly cowed Jack about how he arrived in New York all those years ago as a penniless pauper and built his way up. He says that this is causing serious problems with our buyers and that it could potentially threaten everything that he’s been working up to. He then fires Jack; Jack looks very angry and wants to protest but Colin kicks him out of his office. Just before he leaves he asks if Colin’s gonna replace him with the “little scoundrel Albert.” Colin nods once, and Jack turns even more livid if possible. After Jack storms out of his office, he leaves as well and tells one of the bodyguards outside the door to tail Jack and don’t let him talk to the police. Then Colin makes his way to Albert’s office and we see him offer Jack’s job to Albert. Albert’s eyes take on a greedy glint for a moment before settling into an expression of humility and he accepts. Albert asks, “Why me? There are many other much older people that could fill the job.” Colin replies that his success is in part because he rewards people based on skill, not time in service. He says that Albert is the best and that he should take the job because of that. We see Colin proceed to leave, but when he arrives at the door he turns around and says, “You know, I know you framed him.” Albert freezes and looks surprised, shocked, scared, and guilty all in one, before asking, “Why didn’t you call me out?” Colin answers, “I’ve been wanting to get rid of him for a while. He used to be good, but he’s slipped up.” Albert then asks, “Then why not just fire him?” Colin replies, “Not without cause. My organisation only runs because my subordinates support me. I don’t want to give them any cause otherwise. I don’t do things without cause; if I have cause then I’m seen sometimes as overly harsh, but always as reasonable by others. I was going to arrange for a little accident of mine soon, but you just saved the trouble of having to do that.”

 

We cut to Jack who’s sitting at a restaurant and thinking. We hear him muttering and slagging both Colin, and Albert. Then he falls silent for a bit as if he’s thinking/making a decision, then all of a sudden he seems to have come to one and waves his hand at the waiter for the bill. After paying he walks out of the restaurant and walks down the street before noticing that he has a tail. Swearing under his breath, he breaks off into a light jog and we see the tail follow suit. However, after a short while, Jack begins to tire out and after spotting a New York Subway spot he dashes into it. He pays for a ticket and then rushes onto the subway car that’s waiting. The tail rushes down the stairs as well but after some problems finding the right change the subway departed without him. We cut onto the subway, Jack sits down in one of the empty seats and relaxes for a moment having lost his tail.

 

We see Jack walk into the Headquarters of the NYPD on Broome street and says that he has information on Colin Adams. The receptionist says to wait a moment while she gets someone to assist him. We see her calling Anne who then goes down to the holding cells where she finds Inspector Barrigan interrogating one of the detainees. She tells him that someone has information on Colin and Barrigan stops interrogating the detainee after telling him that he’d be back. We see Jack being led into a conference room where Barrigan is sitting. Jack says that before he says anything he wants full immunity. Jack says that he can’t promise anything but he will try his best to obtain full immunity. Jack then says that he won’t give him anything until he can be promised immunity. Barrigan looks annoyed and they haggle before coming to the agreement that Jack will give names and details of the upper level management of the organisation, before Barrigan pushes for immunity and if he obtains immunity then Jack will tell everything he knows. So, we see Barrigan bring out the file on the management of Colin’s organisation and we see Jack go through it with Colin correcting the files where they are wrong and filling in the gaps. He then says that they have a new head of distribution, Albert Cunningham. He describes him as Colin’s new favourite, young, ambitious, slippery, and etc. Barrigan then says that this will be all and that he will contact Jack if the immunity deal materialises. They shake hands and Barrigan shows Jack the way out. We see Jack step out of NYPD HQ and looks apprehensively outside for his tail before taking a cautious step out. However he doesn’t make it very far as we hear a gunshot and Jack falls down on the ground dead as Inspector Barrigan and other police personnel rush outside having heard the gunshot.

 

We cut forward a few years. It says 1929 on the bottom of the screen. It’s dark out and we see a large townhouse illuminated by the light coming out of one of its windows and the street lamps. We see Albert who is now dressed in a tailor cut suit walk up the step, unlocks the door, steps in, and turns on the light. Inside the house is quite luxurious, with a distinctly European feel to it. We see him pour himself a nightcap before sitting down in the drawing room to enjoy it. We cut to a shot of his face and we see that he’s aged considerably. It’s only been 3 years but it seems like Albert’s aged 5-10 years. His eyes look more tired, and there’s the beginning sings of wrinkles around his eyes. We see him let of a sigh, rub his temples, before going up the stairs. The corridor upstairs is dark and we see Albert poke his head into a bedroom, Lisa’s bedroom. He calls softly to see if Lisa is still up and says that he’s home and that he’s sorry for coming home so late yet again. Getting no reply we see Albert look a bit disappointed and walk out of the room. We cut to a shot of Lisa, and we see her turn away from the door and facing the window. She’s awake, and her eyes are showing some mysterious emotion of sadness, anger, annoyance, and disappointment.

 

Cutting to morning we see 4 long, still shots of the house: the entrance corridor, the study, the drawing room, and finally the kitchen. In the last shot we’re disrupted by the sound of someone entering. We see Lisa in a dressing gown, walking in. She looks around for any sign of life, but seeing none she sighs and proceeds to make herself some breakfast. When she is making the breakfast we see some signs of emotion, as she breaks down in a poignant way from the lack of anyone in her life. The camera captures one of her tears falling off of her face and landing on the stove top which hisses as we see the tear evaporate. Later we see her bring her finished breakfast over to the table and she sees a note. The note’s from albert saying that he had to go into early today because of a problem in distribution. He then goes on to say that he’ll be home late and to have dinner without him. After finishing reading the note we see Lisa crumple the note up in her hand and drop it on the floor.

 

We cut to the NYPD HQ where we see Inspector Barrigan in a conference room with several other members of his team. On the desk we see a police sketch on what they think Albert looks like. A man is currently talking about the sketch. He talks about this is what they’ve managed to piece together from informants, and that they’ve managed to locate a potential address. He pulls out a photo from his folder and says that this is the picture they got of the man who lives there. The photo is one of Albert. Barrigan looks at the file and says that it looks like him but he and another member of their team, Henry, will go over there to check this afternoon. They then move on to other business such as the fact that they need to still acquire a schedule of their operations. He expresses his frustration that the last one they acquired was a fake and that after so many years they haven’t managed to get a real one. They also say that need to try to get a mole into management, or find an informant. They then continue talking and the drone of their conversation fades out as we fade into another conversation.

 

Albert is sitting in Colin’s office and they’re talking about security. They’re talking about how they think there could possibly be a mole in upper management, and that they need to beef up security and be on the lookout for the mole. They then move onto delivery shipments. Albert says that the smaller ships have been delivered and are ready to begin using them. He says that they’ll have more shipments per day and that he’s recently hired some new people. Colin asks if he’s screened them or checked their backgrounds, and Albert answers that he’s gotten his men on the job. Colin says good, and then tells Albert that he’s looking very tired and stressed and tells him to take the afternoon off and go home or go out and relax. Albert asks if he’s sure because he claims that he isn’t stressed and he’s fine. Colin looks incredulous and tells him that he’s sure and to just go home.

 

We see Albert getting out of a car and beginning to walk towards his townhouse. Across the street we see in another car, Inspector Barrigan and Henry. We see Barrigan say to Henry that he needs a closer look at things. Henry asks what he’s going to do about it and Inspector Barrigan says that he’s going to talk to him. So, Inspector Barrigan approaches Albert and asks him for directions to an address. Albert points him in the right direction, and Inspector Barrigan says thank-you before heading back to the car. Inside the car, Barrigan says to Henry that he thinks that’s him and Henry asks him, “What now?” Barrigan tells him that we’ll keep the house under surveillance and we’ll see what happens from there. He tells Henry to go home now, and that he’ll stay for a little while longer to see if anything else happens. Henry says, “Sure thing boss.” We see Henry leave, and when he disappears down the street we see Inspector Barrigan reach into the glove-box of the car and retrieves the set of lock picks he put inside there. He pockets them and then heads towards Albert’s townhouse.

 

We cut to the inside of the townhouse where we see Albert entering. We see him put his coat away in the coat closet before proceeding to the drawing room. We see that he’s wearing a gun on a holster now. Lisa is in the drawing room doing a crossword; Albert walks in and tells her that he’s home and that they’re going to go out tonight. Lisa responds in a way that Albert doesn’t expect saying, “So you’re home early.” The accusatory tone of all of this gets at Albert he snipes back, “So what do you mean I’m home early? I have a fucking job. I work. Be grateful that I’m home early.” Lisa tells him to calm down, and to put the gun on the table. She says that he’s easily angered and that she doesn’t want him to do anything he’ll regret. Albert is extremely offended at this and accuses her of not trusting him. He then says that he’s angry at her for ruining the day. He says that he doesn’t come home early often and today was supposed to be a happy day not an angry one.This leads to an argument in which Lisa screams at Albert about how she’s lonely and that he’s been holing her up here. Albert responds that it’s because he’s worried for her safety, because he knows that the police are on the lookout for him and they could use her as leverage against him. He says that he doesn’t want her to get hurt. Lisa then goes on to say that when they came to New York this wasn’t what she wanted, they wanted, nor what their mother wanted. She goes on to say that she would’ve wanted them to be happy and she says that neither of them is happy. This mention of their mother sets Albert off, and we see him rant again about Lisa brining their mother up, and how she shouldn’t presume to know how happy he is. He insists that he is very happy. At this point we see Inspector Barrigan in the background in the hallway. He’s hiding and trying to stay hidden, but he looks very interested in this argument and is also trying to listen in. We then hear Lisa telling Albert to stop pretending, and that she knows that he’s not happy. Albert angrily tries to protest, but Lisa steamrolls on saying that ever since that night at the bar and his subsequent mysterious promotion he hasn’t been the same. She goes on to say that he’s been throwing himself into his work ever since and she says that she is extremely concerned. Albert wants to talk but can’t form any words. He looks extremely angry and scared as he opens and closes his mouth multiple times without saying anything. Lisa then asks in a harrowing tone, “What happened that night?” Albert looks like he’s close to tears and looks tempted to talk but instead shakes his head. Lisa then proceeds to try to get him to talk, to which Albert replies, “I’m fine. We’re safe, and we’re living a good life. That’s all the matters. I’m really ok.” Lisa retorts in an emotional way, “No. You’re not okay.” Albert begins to protest but Lisa cuts him off saying, “I care for you big bro, and nothing you say will ever make me change view of you. It’s ok. You can tell me.” Albert shakes his head again, but Lisa moves over and begins to comfort him. Eventually we hear the faintest whisper, “I killed a cop that night.” Lisa looks shocked and says in an even tone, “What?” Albert suddenly bursts out into a shout, “I killed a cop that night.  Dumped him in the river afterwards. He was gonna kill him, Colin. So I shot him.” Lisa is still shocked and Albert looks angry, “See, I knew I shouldn’t have told you.” Lisa replies, “No, I don’t think of you any less. I’m just surprised. Something this big, you should’ve told me. I could’ve helped you get over it.” Albert replies, “No, you couldn’t have. You have no idea what it’s like.” Lisa then says that she could’ve helped, and it wasn’t fair to her either as she watched him suffer for so long. This leads to a second row.

 

We cut to Inspector Barrigan who’s shocked, angry, and seething at the door. We can still hear the argument going on in the background, we can’t make out the words but we can hear it. Barrigan managed to piece together what happened  and now realises that his police partner Inspector Smith was shot and killed by this man. He looks emotional and filled with inner turmoil as he reaches for his gun. He holds it in his hand and looks troubled. He looks like he’s trying to work his way through a dilemma, whether to shoot Albert and get his revenge, or to do things the right way, the way of the law. He looks troubled and we hold on a close-up of his face as he holds the gun up to his face to examine. His hands are shaking as he sits there pensive and thinking. Suddenly, a shattering sound is heard in the background as we hear Albert’s voice, “Stop chastising me! I’m going through immense stress, and I’ve faced a lot in my life. The least you could do is give me your full support!” We see Barrigan come to his decision as he cocks his gun as we hear Lisa’s voice ringing, “My full support? What do you think I give you every day?” At this point we see Inspector Barrigan make his move as we cut to inside the room. We see Lisa and Albert on opposite sides of the coffee table as Inspector Barrigan bursts into the room.  Albert immediately dives gun on the table but as he does Barrigan aims and shoots at Albert. He manages to hit Albert in the shoulder and Albert collapses on the table. Lisa screams and tries to push Albert off of the table and behind it to protect him. However, Barrigan takes another shot at Albert and hits Lisa. The force of the bullet throws Lisa off of Albert and onto the floor. We see her hit her head and blood begins to seep out from her wound. Albert seeing what has happened gets incredibly angry and after managing to grasp onto the gun shoots at Barrigan. However, with his shoulder injured he can’t shoot properly which allows Barrigan, who’s now mortified after realising what just happened, to escape. Albert looks like he wants to run after him but instead stays to tend to Lisa. He cradles Lisa in his lap and tells her that everything will be okay. He tells her that he’s going to get the car and they’re going to go to the hospital. But, Lisa weakly shakes her head and tells Albert to “Take care of yourself” before dying. Albert begins to cry at this point and tells her hold on and that everything’s gonna be alright. He tries to shake her away but nothing happens and he collapses on the floor crying.

 

We cut to outside as we see Inspector Barrigan walking towards the car. He turns the car on with shaking hands and drives away. Inside we see him take multiple deep breathes and he looks white as a ghost. We see him park, and we see him getting out and walking to the banks of the Hudson river. He throws the gun into the water and sits down on the ground. He holds himself with his knees close to his chest before taking multiple shaky breathes. He just sits there and we hold the shot of him sitting there until the sun sets and the all we can see is a faint silhouette illuminated by the distant moonlight and street lamps.

 

We fast-forward to the next morning where we see Albert walking into the office. He looks like hell, eyes swollen, nose puffy, hair everywhere, and his shoulder is bandaged as well. Colin is already in Albert’s office waiting for him. He doesn’t say anything to Albert, and gives him a curt nod. After Albert sits down he motions for Albert to begin his story. Albert recounts what happened and he says that he feels so guilty because the last thing he said to her was, “The least you could do for me is give me your full support.” Colin just sits there and listens. After Albert is finished he simply says, “You’ll need a new house. I’ll have someone give you the keys and an address this afternoon.” Albert nods a confirmation as Colin gets up to leave. As Colin is leaving Albert says, “Colin? Thank-you for just listening.” Colin smiles at him and nods before leaving. Cutting to later that afternoon we see Colin’s assistant walking in with Albert’s new house keys and address. There’s also a note which says, “Don’t do anything rash. – Colin” Albert looks at the note and completely disregards it by throwing it away.

 

We cut to Inspector Barrigan who is sitting at his police desk doing nothing in particular. He seems to be deep in thought and we cut to a shot over his shoulder as we see a piece of paper on his desk is littered with the wards, “I killed someone. I killed someone. I killed someone. I killed someone.” The sound of the telephone ringing in the background brings him out of his reverie as he looks at his piece of paper in front of him. He brings out a lighter and sets the paper on fire; letting the ashes fall into the garbage can beside him.

 

Over the next few scenes we see Albert cycle through Khubler-Ross’s 5 stages of acceptance (Denial, Anger,

Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance) as he shuts people out but eventually lets people back in. We also see Colin telling Albert that they’ll nail Barrigan one day but not yet. However, Albert doesn’t listen and eventually begins to formulate his own plan to get rid of Barrigan. He plans on having one of his men arrested at a raid, and then getting his man to feed Barrigan information about a delivery date. Then, when Barrigan shows up he can shoot him and be done with everything.

 

Barrigan on the other hand throws himself into his work and closes himself off, just like Albert did when he killed Inspector Smith, and just like how Barrigan himself did when he found that Inspector Smith had been murdered. We see him piece together more and more of the criminal empire however he is also getting increasingly frustrated as he can’t piece together a delivery and shipping schedule, or find incriminating evidence against any of the upper level management because the only piece he knows, Albert killing the policeman, was obtained illegally and therefore can’t be used. However, he does begin to formulate a plan to doctor the evidence so that it looks like the incriminating evidence against Albert was obtained in a legal fashion. We see him slave long hours at the office forging documents and etc.

 

We see Albert preparing the last parts of his plan and is currently giving off instructions to his assistant, Josh Hunt (Jeremy Irvine). We hear the tail ends of the plan, “… And then when he comes for the raid I’ll be there waiting for him. He’s been looking to raid a delivery for years now. He’ll be there for sure. Make sure the captain of the boat is instructed to leave the engine on so I can just hop on and go. Also don’t tell him the delivery date right away. Make sure he roughs you up or interrogates you for a while. Make it believable.” Josh answers, “Yes, sir,” and leaves. We see Josh hurriedly and dressed in all black walk nervously and hesitantly into the NYPD HQ. He goes up to the reception desk and drops a letter off at the counter with the words “About Colin Adams” written on it before leaving just as quickly and as apprehensively as he came in.

 

We cut to Inspector Barrigan reading the note that was dropped off. All it has on it is a date, a place, a time, and the words “delivery to a customer” written on it. Barrigan orders some of his subordinates to assemble a team to go raid the delivery.

 

We cut to the delivery as we see Josh and a few other men carrying cases of booze down into a basement and piling them up. They’re just arranging them in the cellar when the door bursts open and the cry of “Police” was heard. A team of at least 7 cops rushed down the stairs and after a fair bit of struggle managed to apprehend all those involved.

 

We cut to Barrigan arriving in Josh’s holding cell. His hands are already slightly bloody, and he growls, “I’ve already dealt with 4 of you guys, so speak up before I lose my patience.” Josh initially says nothing, and is silent. Then Barrigan roughs him up a little, giving Josh a bloody nose before he finally tells him about the one delivery date that’s tomorrow. He tells Barrigan the date, time, and location of the delivery. Barrigan looks positively delighted and mutters under his breathe, “Thank-god someone here knows something. The others were as stupid as rocks.” Barrigan then tells his assistant Anne, to get a team ready for tomorrow and that he’ll be leading it. 

 

We cut to Albert at the cemetery. He’s holding a large bouquet of flowers. He sets the flowers on the grave stone that reads, “Lisa Cunningham.// 1905-1929// Forever Caring and Loving// ‘till her dying breath” He’s crying a little bit as he talks to the gravestone. He talks about how he regrets keeping stuff from her, how he regrets not paying more attention to her. He says that he feels so guilty, but he’s going to make it all right tonight. He says that he’ll get revenge for her death and this heart-to-heart goes on for a little while longer. He tells plants a kiss on the top of the gravestone and then walks away. As he leaves we focus on the gravestone as we see the wind blowing some of the flowers away.

 

We cut to night-time now. Albert is arriving at the dock with the little kids who’ll run the alcohol through the tunnel and into the warehouse. He turns one of the dock lights on, leans against the lamppost, pulls out his pocket watch and waits. Meanwhile, we cut to Inspector Barrigan who’s sitting in his office with his eyes closed, thinking and relaxing. Anne comes into his office and tells him that it’s time to go. Barrigan is a little surprised by the sudden intrusion and jumps a little but quickly gets up and prepares to leave. His hands are shaking just a little, and Anne seeing that says, “Daniel? It’ll be fine. Just relax.” Daniel Barrigan just nods at her a little, and gives her a little smile expressing his gratitude.

 

We see the beginning scene now play out from Inspector Barrigan’s side. We see the police cars arriving at the dock. The light from the dock can be seen very faintly in the distance. We see him and many others get out of the cars and begin to rush down the stairs and towards the dock. The kids begin to scramble as they run in many different directions. Cutting to Barrigan’s  POV we see him rush down the stairs, and our field of vision bounds up and down as he runs towards the dock. However, as he approaches the dock and as the man leaning against the lamppost becomes clear, Barrigan suddenly stops and draws a sudden and jerky breath. We hear him grasp for his gun, however we see Albert pull out his gun and we hear the shot ring out. As Barrigan crumples and his eyes close we see Albert’s face morph to one of euphoria, victory, and tired freedom as he slumps to the ground against the lamppost. Barrigan’s eyelids are closing and obstructing our field of vision as he dies and we cut to black.

 

The Credits roll in.

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Barricade

 

Director: J.J.AbramsStudio: Arcturus EntertainmentFormat: Native IMAX 3DGenre: Sci-Fi/DystopianCast:Benedict Cumberbatch as Mark RobertsBen Wishaw as James WalkerChris Pine as Paul ShatnerKenneth Branagh as President Michael EvansBudget: $135 millionLanguages: EnglishTheater Count: 4388Rating: PG-13Release Date: 4 NovemberRunning Time: 1hr 58mins (118 Minutes)

 

Plot:

The film opens with a video/news reel clip of President Michael Evans (Kenneth Branagh) giving a speech on national unity and pride, “There are those who oppose us. There are those who’ll stay stand back. But we will never give in, not to these terrorists. We will do what we know must be done because Volynia stands strong in the face of difficulty and overcome any obstacle placed in our path as we have in times past. Our bastion of strength and resilience will stand strong for now and forever.”

 

We cut to the real Michael Evans sitting behind a modern looking sleek glass desk in a similarly designed office looking over his speech footage. He asks his advisors who stand behind him, “How was that?” and the advisors all reply, “Perfect, sir.” The President then goes on to have a mini-rant about how if these rebel-scum would stop opposing his regime that he’d be able to better spend his time doing something else. As he finishes his rant a beeping red dot appears on the computer screen in front of him, and President Evans looks at it and sighs in an annoyed fashion. As he presses the red dot on his screen, and advisor says to him as he’s looking at his phone that there’s been an alleged rebel meeting staged in London and that the police are already on their way to supress it. At the same time we see a map of Europe pop up on the President’s computer screen. It shows the borders of Volynia; it includes most of continental Europe, and the British Isles. Its borders end by Scandinavia and Siberia to the north, and Afghanistan and Iraq to the south. President Evans nods, and dismisses his advisors with a wave of his hand.We cut to a whole bunch of University aged students, and some older people in a large and barren room that looks neglected, and barely used. Paul Shatner, a handsome energetic University student, stands on a platform in the middle of the room; he’s in the middle of giving an inspirational speech about how despite the government crackdown we can still beat them if we keep at it. He then ends the meeting by saying, “That’s all for the first meeting of this term. We’ll contact you with details of our next meeting through the usual channels. I hope that we can accomplish a lot this year, and be safe.” The bulk of the people at this point begin to shuffle out of the room, leaving behind a small core group of just 10 people behind. Paul then steps off of the platform and leads them into a side room where a conference table and chairs are set out. Paul takes the seat at the head of the table and we see him load a plan of something onto the computer system that brought up a holograph of it on the table. It seems to be something about the logistics of future protests, meetings, and awareness campaigns. Paul goes on to say that he’s most certain that there’s a mole somewhere in the group because the police keeps finding out about all our plans and meetings. He goes on to say that we must be very careful from now on and to not let future plans out of the hands of anyone but the people in this room. He also says that we need to figure out plans to destabilise the government and asks people to consider and think of ideas before the next meeting. They proceed to discuss other plans before we hear a huge slam at outside. A panic erupts into the room as someone shouts they’re coming and people are scrambling to pack up the papers and to unplug the plans from the computer and we cut to the outside room again as we see the room getting blown open. The soldiers clad in black rush in and storm the room. The check that the room is clear before we cut back to the side room; someone opens the door between the side room and the main room a crack to check what happened and they say that the soldiers are already in the room. At that point the room is almost stripped bare and as the guy who checked the main room waves hurriedly at the rest of the room everyone begins to clear out. As the soldiers burst into the side room we see the last of the people hurry out of a hidden escape route and the entrance to that route clicking shut blending in with the wall. The soldiers realise that they aren’t there anymore and the team commander quickly orders the group to retreat and surround the perimeter of the property with the rest of the troops, and gets a few people to stay behind with him to search the room for any useful information.We cut to a chase scene as the rebels step out of the house from a hidden entrance but as they try to sneak out they encounter the perimeter that the army had set around the property. So, the group scatters and disappears into the woods behind the house. The soldiers give chase and we hear a few shots ring before we hear a shout saying, “Don’t kill the, we want them alive.” This chase goes on as we see the soldiers giving chase after Paul. However, eventually Paul loses them and slips unseen back out onto the streets. After figuring out where he was he broke off into a run and we see him running and running however we see a soldier emerge from the woods and sneaks off after Paul. We see Paul run into a side street. On one side of the street are the backyards of houses and on the other side are the woods. He walks down the street and unlocks a gate leading to the backyard of a large house. As we see Paul unlock the backdoor to the house and enter we spot the soldier arriving. He looks at the house and pulls out his com-link. As we hear him press down a button and begin to speak we cut.We see Paul walking into the house; we see an eerie glow emanating from one of the rooms. Paul walks towards the light and we see Mark Roberts (Benedict Cumberbatch) and James Walker (Ben Wishaw), Paul’s two housemates, watching TV while unpacking and arranging their various possessions around the room. James looks up and greets Paul. He says to him that he saw his stuff here already and was wondering where he went. Paul answers that he just went for a long walk, he needed some fresh air. Then they begin to chat about how their summers went, we find out that they’re University students at the Michael Evans College (Note, the President’s name) and that all three of them were childhood friends because their parents were business acquaintances. All three of them are majoring in Political science and minoring in computer sciences. (Remember this, it’ll be important later on) We also find out that Mark went overseas this summer, and we hear him complain about all the freedom and knowledge they have there compared to here. He says that it’d be nice if we could kick the government out. James laughs and agrees with him, while Paul laughs awkwardly. He then says that, “Even if there was a group willing to do that it’d be hard to kick the government out anyways.” This implies that Mark and James know nothing about Paul’s rebel group activities.We cut to Paul in bed. It’s extremely dark and the only sources of light are the digital clock on the dresser and the streetlight coming in through the blinds. Paul is still awake, we see him toss and turn as he tries to fall asleep but to no avail. We see him click the light on and bring out his computer. We see him look in the drawer of his dresser for something. Not finding it he continues to look. He goes to the laundry hamper and looks inside the pockets of his clothes. We see him begin to panic before realising something. He brings out his cell-phone and makes a call. We hear someone pick up on the other line and a groggily says, “Paul? What the fuck are you doing? It’s 3 o clock in the morning.” Paul ignores that and urgently asks, “Phil, do you have the drive containing the….?” There’s silence on the other end before Phil responds, “Yeah. We were in such a hurry today I forgot to give it back to you. I’ll give it to you tomorrow. Does 5pm at the pizzeria on campus sound good?” We hear the sound of marching as Paul goes to the window and we see a team of soldiers approaching the house. We hear Phil on the other line asking if Paul had heard him, while we hear Paul really loudly say, “Shit.” Phil hearing that asks loudly if Paul is okay. Paul hears Phil’s voice coming from the line and quickly says, “They’ve found me.” Silence from Phil’s side. Paul then goes on to say, “We’ve prepped for this, one of us getting taken. Continue on without me, I’ll find a way out of this mess.” We hear Phil answer in the affirmative as Paul rushes down the corridor into James’s room. We see him wake James up roughly and shushes James as he opens his mouth to complain. He tells him to get dressed quickly and be prepared to go. We see him do the same thing with Mark. We see the three of them step into Paul’s room and Paul hands his two thoroughly confused friends a plasma gun and shows them how to shoot. Mark asks why and Paul tells him that there are soldiers at the door. Just as we see the shocked reactions of James and Mark we hear the door bursting opening as the team of soldiers stream into the house.We see Paul, Mark, and James run towards the end of the hallway as we hear the soldiers searching the first floor of the house. Paul opens the window and motions towards the patio roof. We see that the back street behind the house is empty and it doesn’t look like anyone is there. One by one they jump from the window down to the patio roof down below. We see James complete the jump just as the first soldiers go up the stairs. They see flicker of motion and the open window, putting 2 and 2 together they rush towards the open window and see the three of them making the jump from the roof of the patio onto the ground. Shots are fired from the window just as the three of them unlock the gates and leave through the back exit.Cutting to the back exit we see that there are a few soldiers (4) hiding behind the wall hiding. Both parties are surprised and because there are only a few soldiers, Mark Paul, and James manage to overpower them. They have a quick discussion about what they’re going to do and they decide that they’re going to take the identity of three of these soldiers and go from there. We see them hold a gun to one of the person’s heads and orders him to stay quiet about all of this. They strip the other three people of their uniforms and wear them. Then, they deposit the three unconscious bodies in the woods behind the house just as a vehicle rounds a corner and begins to come down the side street. The other soldier looks a bit apprehensive and Paul aims a gun at his back causing him to gulp and continue on with the plan. We see the 4 of them meet up with the rest of the soldiers. The leader of the group asks where the rebels that escaped went. Paul gives the other soldier a slight look, and the other soldier answers a bit apprehensively, “They had, uhm, guns. And we were overpowered…. We couldn’t see where they went.” This causes the leader of the group to be very mad and he orders them to sit down and not to mess up again.We cut to the vehicle arriving at the military base as the soldiers disembark. We see Paul, Mark, and James disembark and enter the base. There are a lot of people milling around everywhere, and there’s equipment everywhere. We see James and Mark having a conversation as they follow Paul. We can’t hear them because of all the noise of everyone. They seem to be arguing about something and eventually Mark seems successful into cajoling James into agreement. As they’re walking deeper into the base they come upon an empty hallway. Mark suddenly tells Paul to stop, and Mark and James confront Paul about everything. At first Paul tries to deny it, but eventually he tells them everything about his efforts leading a rebel student group trying to get stuff done and establish some groundwork. James and Mark are pissed that Paul didn’t tell them about this earlier but they are more focused on the situation at hand and getting themselves out of here and hopefully somewhere safe. Mark says that they need to find a way out ASAP, but Paul disagrees. Both of them look at Paul like he’s crazy but Paul says that it’s like being a kid in a candy store. There’s so much information on the government here that they have to take a look and try to get what they can find before leaving. This turns into a bit of a row; Paul says that he’s going to find the control room with or without them. However they hear approaching footsteps and have to run for it.Eventually however, they agree to help Paul and they set off to see if they can find anything useful in the base. They have a few near misses including one where they had to hide in a supply cupboard. However, they managed to find grenades and other weapons in the cupboard to supplement their guns.Meanwhile we cut to the woods behind Paul, James, and Mark’s house and we see three bodies stirring and waking up. One of them jumps and looks extremely confused because he found himself in nothing but his boxers and lying in the woods. He quickly shakes the two others awake and they try to remember what happened. They remember up until the raid began but nothing afterwards. They decide that they’d try to call for help and try to reach the nearest military base. They don’t get very far down the road before they’re picked up by a police car on duty. They’re protesting and insisting that they’re soldiers and they need to get back to based, but the two police officers look incredulous and forces them into the car.We cut to a shot of an interrogation room. Inside sits the three arrested soldiers. They’re wearing paper thing robes now and they’re telling their story to an incredulous police officer. However, when he asks for confirmation and telephones the military base to get a confirmation on their identities everything checks out. The police chief says that the military will send out a ride for them soon, and that they can go.We cut to a receptionist talking to the leader of the raid last night. She’s saying that a police station just reported that they found 3 of your missing soldiers. However, the leader looks very surprised and says that they didn’t have missing soldiers. Everyone was accounted for. He gets the names of the three soldiers and looks through his electronic organiser. He finds that they were assigned with another soldier to watch the back of the house last night. He quickly sends for the other soldier. When he arrives out of breath, and very nervous he gets a huge slap in the face and then an angry team leader yelling at him asking if he knew that the other three soldiers were imposters. There’s a slight nervous silence before an imperceptible nod. Then we see the team leader look furious and then we see him motion for him to continue. The soldier then takes a gulp and explains what happens. The team leader then asks for the descriptions of these three men and the soldier says that he doesn’t remember very clearly and can only give vague descriptions. The team leader grows more furious by the second and then just sends him away and tells him not to come back. Then, he pulls out his com-link and orders a search for these 3 people and gives out the description of the three people. However they’re quite vague.We see James, Paul, and Mark walking around as the alarm sounds, and a PA sounds, “All personnel please report to your reporting officer. Code Orange. Unauthorised personnel intrusion. Code Orange.” The three of them suddenly freeze and Mark looks apprehensive and asks out loud what they should do. James and Mark both think that they should leave ASAP and try to find the way out; but Paul insists that they have to press on. However, James and Mark outvote Paul and he grudgingly agrees.However, as they try to escape they come up against a locked door at the end of the hall. It has a key-card swipe with a small red LED light on next to it and they all look at each other for a moment having a silent confirmation. After a moment they all nod at each other before James takes the key-card on his uniform and swipes it very slowly and carefully. All three of them hold their breath as if they’re afraid of triggering an alarm, but the door simply just hisses open as the light changes to green and a breath they didn’t know they were holding was let out. They proceed through the door and down the hall. However, as we see them disappear down the hall we see the doors close and light change back to red. However, the red is flashing quickly now like an alarm.We see them continue down the hallway however they hear footsteps fast approaching. They quickly yank open the first door they could find. Thankfully it was unlocked, but there was someone inside the room so James takes the plasma gun and shoots at him. As the man inside the room collapses on the floor they rush in. At the last second Paul thinking quickly pulls out a few grenades and lobs them down the hallway. We hold on the hallway as we hear a huge bang, and see a huge flash as debris comes spewing down the hallway.Inside the room, we see a computer terminal still active from when the man on the floor was working on it. They immediately go towards the terminal and take a look. Eventually they manage to draw up a map of the complex and figuring out where they are manage to find a way out. Then, as they’re about to leave and make a break for the exit, Paul says to wait. He says that he noticed that the guy that’s on the floor is personnel with security clearance so he says that they should dig around for a while longer. He says that they're here already, and they've been oppressed for so long that they should try to do whatever possible to break through the government's barricade. A restrictive barricade that rings all of us in. Mark looks at him like he’s crazy and tells him that there are probably people rushing here right now after they caused an explosion in the hallway. Paul says that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to get information and that he’s not going to give it up. Mark then tells him that he’s going on his own then. However as he opens the door he gets hit with a faceful of floating dust and debris forcing him to close and door and come back into the room. He says, “We’ll have to find a different route out. It’s impossible to breathe through that.” They look around the room for a possible route of escape and they see the airduct on the ceiling. As Paul continues to search through the computer Mark hauls the chair onto the table and then standing on the chair gives James a boost to reach the air duct. As James fiddles with the screws to air duct, Paul is looking through the computer still. He find something important and immediately begins to look through the drawers for an empty data drive. Finding one he plugs it in and immediately begins to copy the files over to the flash drive. After the files are finished transferring, he looks for more files he manages to press something wrong and the entire computer freezes as the words, “Unauthorised access” pops up on the screen. At this point James has managed to open the air duct and then he climbs in. He gives a shout at Paul who looks almost reluctant to leave the computer before pulling both of them up. Paul also takes the key-card from the man on the floor before getting pulled up.Inside the air duct James asks if they know where they’re going. Mark says that they needed to go north and then west to reach the entrance and he says that since the air duct heads west they should go west first and then take a turn that’ll head them north.Meanwhile cutting to a security room, we see the words “Unauthorised Access” pops up on one of the screens. One of the security guard on duty quickly checks where the access is coming from and putting 2 and 2 together from the unauthorised access position, the reported explosion, and the rough area they knew the intruders were. So, they send out a taskforce with gas masks to storm the room. However, upon arriving at the room they find that it is empty with a computer turned on, a man on the floor, and nothing else out of place. However, one of the people steps on a screw and almost slips. He picks it up and looks confused. However, he quickly figures out where the screw comes from and looking up sees the air vent with no screws in it. Calling the team leader they quickly radio this back to the command room. They are told to keep a pair of guards in the room in case they try to come back this way and for the rest of them to disperse.Paul, Mark, and James reaches the end of an air vent and they look down to see a deserted hallway. Paul takes his foot and kicks hard on the air vent a few times before it clatters to the ground. They then take a short jump down to the ground. They look both left and right and then Mark says that this should be the right direction before they run down that way.Upon arriving at the lobby they rush out to the parking lot. The security guard in the lobby looks suspiciously at them. Inside the parking lot they see a row of covert military cars. They observe for a few moments and they see that people are swiping their key-cards to unlock he doors before going. They rush to take one of the cars, and we cut back to see the security guard still looking at them before making a call using his com-link.We cut to the inside of the car as Paul, Mark, and James climbs in. Paul starts the car and they pull out and out of the parking lot. However as they pull out they hear yells behind them and telling them to stop or be shot at. Then, as we see them not stopping and speeding up down the driveway leading towards the main gates. We hear the peel of wheels racing after them. At the main gate they have to stop to swipe their key card to open the door. However, as they stop the other car begins to catch up to them and we hear a few shots ring. Luckily they miss the car and the gate hisses open as Paul uses the man they shot in the computer room’s key-card to open it. The last shot of the film is of them racing down the road and into the city as the gates hiss shut and the pursuing car is forced to slow to a stop and reopen the doors.

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The Story of Daniel Rigger

Director: Guy Ritchie

Genre: Drama/Adventure

Cast:

Liam Neeson as Daniel Rigger

Emma Watson as Alice

Budget: $35 million

Composer: Hans Zimmer

Theatre Count: 2958

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: January 29

Plot:

The movie opens in the middle of a stormy autumn night with the camera flying up above some hills, passing through some clouds whilst doing that. A thunder strikes in the distance, and the name of the movie (“The Story of Daniel Rigger”) slowly fades in on the screen, and then, after just a few seconds, fades out.

As that happens, some lights become visible in the distance, on a hillside. The camera starts moving towards them and, as it gets closer to the lights, it becomes clear that there is actually a small village.

The camera starts descending until it ends up on the empty and narrow streets, barely illuminated by a few lamp posts on each side of the street. It continued moving through the streets, passing people who were wearing robes and were running in all directions, looking for a place where they could shelter themselves from the rain.

In the end, the camera comes to a halt in front of a old building that looked like it could collapse any second over the person living inside. It looked abandoned, but the movement noticeable inside suggested otherwise.

We enter the building through a small hole that was in the window, a hole that had been covered with a newspaper but it was ripped apart by the wind, and was just fluttering in the wind now. In that building, we find a man, walking around the room, mumbling unintelligible things.

He kept going like that for a few good seconds, after which he went in the darkest corner of the room, where a round wooden table became visible as he approached it with the candle in his hand. On the table, there was a feather, a notebook and a bottle of ink.

He sits down and takes the notebook, skipping through the already written pages and stopping somewhere near the middle of it. He takes the feather, slowly dips it into the ink and then starts writing, a voice narrating (his voice) everything he was writing.

He started by writing down the date, and then went on explaining how he had the same dreams for over a month now, and that because of the lack of sleep, caused by his dreams, he started doubting his own sanity.

The dreams, which are all the same, made Daniel Rigger spend the last week and a half without any sleep. He always wakes up at the same part and is unable to fall asleep because he can’t get her out of his mind.

Each dream starts on a hillside, next to a forest, on a stormy night. On the top of the hill there is always a small wooden house towards which he always starts walking, only to stop a few seconds later when he hears someone call out his name. When he turns around to see who was calling out his name, he sees a young, beautiful woman at the edge of the forest, waving at him. He walks towards her, but as he gets close to her, she runs off into the forest.

He runs after her but loses her trail quickly. Resting against a tree, trying to catch his breath, he hears someone laugh from behind the tree. Checking to see who it was, he finds her there, sitting on a sheet next to a picnic basket. He slowly walks towards her and she offers him her hand, which he wants to grab, but as he reaches out for her, he wakes up.

And after that, no sleep at all…

After he finished writing his entry, he goes over a few older entries. He stops at one and starts reading it (voice). In that entry he admitted that he didn’t think these were just simple dreams, but something way more than that. He thought that those dreams were actually memories from before his accident, and that he started remembering now. Another weird thing was that he never remembered how that woman looked like in his dreams.

Daniel Rigger’s story is a little bit strange. A few years ago, he was involved in an air balloon crash near the village he was living in now. In that crash, he hit his head against the ground, losing his entire memory. He simply couldn’t remember who he was, from where he was coming, where he was going, or if he had a family or a job somewhere. Nothing at all.

Luckily, he found the notebook which he now used as a dream journal. Back then, he used it as a travel log, and finding this gave him his name back, since he had it written on the notebook.

The way he was living now was the main reason why he started believing that the dreams are just memories from his past. He just thought that to get his hopes up, to make him think that there is something better out there and that it’s worth looking for it. Even though he still believed that, he realized that he would never have a chance to find out who he really was before the crash, and that saddened him every time he thought about it.

He shook his head, not knowing what to believe anymore – is there somewhere something for him or is he doomed to live a life he hates the most. He blamed everything, his thoughts about possibilities of another life out there, on the lack of sleep. He didn’t sleep in the last week and a half, and that was never a good sign, for anyone.

He decided to go back in bed, hoping to get at least a couple of hours of sleep, but he doubted this night would be any more special than the other ones. He grabbed the candle and headed towards his bed, walking past the window, catching a glimpse of someone standing in the middle of the street, looking at him. He stopped and checked again to see if there really was someone, but the second time no one was there.

--

We cut to Daniel Rigger walking carelessly through the village, which, at this hour, seemed abandoned. He was wearing an old, dusty suit, accompanied by a top hat and a dark wooden cane. He approached a rather fancy looking shop, from which he usually would get kicked out of, and entered it.

Shaking hands with the owner, known as Alexander Cliffe, they went into his office. Alexander Cliffe was the closest friend of Daniel and one of the wealthiest denizens of this city. Alexander was the one who gave Daniel a roof above his head, and money to buy food and other stuff, after Daniel’s accident. That was until a few years ago, when Daniel, having enough of living the way he lived, decided to start living on his own, hoping to get a job, a place to stay and maybe, someday, a family.

Nothing like that ever happened…

Since then, Daniel avoided borrowing money from Alexander as much as possible, but there were times when he really needed it, and saw no other choice.

When they entered his office, Alexander sat down behind his desk, while Daniel curiously started inspecting a map that was on the wall. He didn’t say anything until he was asked by Alexander about what he wanted. He admitted he needed some money, which Alexander gave to him without any worries at all.

They started talking about mostly unimportant things, but then Alexander asked him about the dreams. Daniel never told him what he started thinking, that they were memories, not dreams, and decided to tell him his thoughts now.

His hopes came up when Alexander said it was possible, even though the chance of that happening was very small. Maybe after a couple of years, it would’ve been common, but after ten years it was very uncommon for it to happen.

Now that Alexander said it was possible, Daniel was hoping for a different dream, one that would explain more things to him. He really wanted to know everything about his past. He wanted to know if he had a family, if he had a good job, but most important, he wanted to know if the girl of his dreams really was part of his life because, Daniel realized, he had fallen for her.

A month passed without anything new occurring in his dreams. Then, the dream changed in the favor of Daniel.

Once more, he found himself in the same place he always did: on the hillside, next to the forest, on a stormy autumn night. He saw the house on the top of the hill, and, as usually, started walking towards it, but this time, no one called out his name.

He arrived at the house, and, as he headed towards the door, he caught a glimpse, through the window, of a young woman. She was writing a letter, crying. He watched her as she finished the letter and then suddenly disappeared. The house started changing gradually, dust and spider webs starting to cover everything in it. The letter, though, was still there, where the girl had left it.

He ran inside the house and grabbed the letter, which he noticed, was addressed to him.

“Dear Daniel,

A lot of time passed since you left, and I still hope that you will return someday. Too much time passed, though, and living here, without you, becomes harder and harder with the day that passes. The memories hurt too much, and I can’t live with that pain, so I will be moving somewhere far away from Recas. I’m going to move to a place where I can live in rest, thinking about our past and the future, not having to worry about the present. If you do ever come back, make sure to look for me because I’ll be waiting for you.

Alice”

Then he opened his eyes, a smile spreading on his face. He started repeating the name of the town mentioned in the letter, being pretty sure that he knew that town from somewhere. He needed only a few seconds to realize that he had seen that town on the map in Alexander’s office, just a few days ago.

He jumped on his feet and got dressed. Grabbing the keys Alexander gave to Daniel only to use on emergencies, he headed towards the shop.

Arriving there, he quickly unlocked the door and ran towards the office door, leaving muddy footsteps all over the floor because of the heavy rain outside. He lit a candle and started looking for it. After a few seconds, he pointed at the map and with a smile said “There it is.”

--

We see Alexander slowly making his way to his shop just as the sun was rising to the sky. He approached the shop and noticed that the door was wide open and that there was a muddy footsteps trail that led to his office. He silently closed the door and grabbed the nearest broom.

He tip toed to his office and carefully opened the door, ready to strike if he would find a thief there. What he saw, though, made him laugh. He found Daniel Rigger there, sitting on his chair, behind his desk, sleeping with his feet up on the desk.

He grabbed Rigger’s cane, which was on the desk, and sat down. He then started poking him in the ribs with it until he woke up.

The first thing Alexander did was ask him what he was doing there. Then, pointing at a dotted line on the map that went across the country, he asked Rigger what that was.

He explained why he was there, but was confused on how he had fallen asleep there, even more, how he managed to actually get some sleep in the most uncomfortable position ever to exist. He also told Alexander what his latest dream was about and what his current plans were: Travel to Recas.

Alexander immediately said his opinion on that idea and called Daniel insane for believing that he even wanted to try that. He said that it was possible for it to be true, but also that the journey would end with disappointment. Ten years had passed since that happen, and probably most people forgot him already, moved on, just like the girl from his dreams probably did, if she even existed.

Daniel replied by saying that he didn’t care what his chances were. He just wanted to know who he really was before the crash, if he was any different than he was now. He also said that he didn’t need Alexander’s approval to do something he wanted, and that even with Alexander’s opinion said, he still would go his own way.

Alexander realized what Daniel was going through. He knew he was unhappy with the way he was living now, and finding out that he led a better life before his crash, would help him a lot, he thought. So, he gave in, and decided to help him with the journey, even though he was pretty sure it wouldn’t end up well.

He took Daniel and went just outside the city, to his farm. There, Alexander had kept something that belonged to Daniel. In an old hangar that hadn’t been opened for quite some time now, there was an air balloon. Alexander said it was the same one with which Daniel crashed ten years ago, and that, in the few months he had been out here, on holiday, he always found some time to work on it and fix it, hoping that one day Daniel would remember everything.

A few hours later, the balloon was all set up and ready for a test flight, which Daniel agreed to go on alone since Alexander was afraid of heights. He got in the basket and told Alexander to untie the rope, letting him take off.

Before that, Alexander asked him if he even knew how to fly such a thing, to which Daniel replied, laughing, that he remembered.

He took off, and soon the farm became very little. He was simply amazed by the view and how wonderful the world seemed from this point of view. He loved the fresh air, the cold wind and pretty much everything else. For the first time in months, Daniel felt happy and excited.

When he realized he went too far from Alexander’s farm, he moved the sand bags to head back to it, and then started admiring the view again. He approached the farm and kept descending, and as he did that, he noticed a young woman next to the farm, waving at him.

As soon as he landed, he ran to the place where the woman was he first saw her. She wasn’t there anymore, and as he looked around, he saw her running into the forest. He ran after her but then lost her trail quickly. He started hearing her laughing from all directions, and then they suddenly stopped as Alexander came after Rigger asking him what happened and if he was ok.

Daniel didn’t mention anything about the girl, but just said that he was ok and that he thought he saw something interesting. Alexander bought his excuse, and said that they had to leave because there was a storm approaching and they would be stuck here if it started soon. He also said that they would get a last beer together, his treat.

--

Once again, the night passed with Daniel just turning around in his bed, unable to close his eyes for a few seconds to get some rest he deserved so much.

He had many things on his mind: from the excitement about the journey he would face today, to questions about the woman he saw yesterday at Alexander’s farm. He tried to push these thoughts away, but he simply wasn’t able to do it.

Together with the excitement for the journey, Daniel was also sad. He realized that he would have to leave Alexander behind, and that, the current odds of him actually succeeding, were pointing at the odds of them never meeting again.

By six AM, Daniel was all packed and waiting for Alexander. He was looking out the window, waiting for Alexader to come driving with his car down the street. His eyes scanned the whole street and his heart skipped a beat as he saw a person, in the shadows, staring directly at him, through the window. He shook his head, closing his eyes and re-opening them, and when he checked again, there was no one there anymore.

These sightings persisted for Daniel. On his way to Alexander’s farm, he saw that woman two times. Every time she was at the edge of the forest, waving at him, just like the woman from his dreams. He didn’t know what was happening, but he didn’t want to tell Alexander what he was seeing, especially now that he was very close on leaving. Telling Alexander would just mean that he wouldn’t be let to leave.

They put all of Daniel’s bags in the air balloon basket, and said their goodbye. Alexander gave Daniel a map, saying that it would help him a lot, and then hugged him. He then watche as Daniel got into the basket and gave him a nod to untie the rope. He did as he was asked, and then watched how his best friend travelled into the skies with the air balloon. He kept watching until the balloon became just a dot in the sky.

Without even checking the map or anything else, Daniel decided that he wanted to get there as soon as possible, and therefore he would also travel at night. He sat down, comfortable, and closed his eyes, finally falling asleep.

--

He was woken up by the heavy thundering. Opening his eyes, he immediately realized that he was soaking wet.

He had entered a storm, and the strong wind was throwing him in all directions as the balloon moved uncontrollably in all directions.

He managed to get on his feet, and looking down, he saw only forest. There was no place where he could safely land, and with this weather, if he continued, everything would end up badly. He had to think quickly, and he did… He decided to try and crash land into the forest, not wanting to be hit by thunder and fall from 100 feet and die.

He started losing height and could hear the branches hitting the basket. He ducked, not wanting to be hit by one as soon as he enters underneath the trees. Branches were cracking and the basket hitting them was throwing Daniel in all directions. Finally, everything stopped when the balloon got stuck in the trees and the basket his one, too.

He had to act quickly. Grabbing a knife from one of his bags, he cut down the basket. He fell down and hit the ground, the basket collapsing as Daniel lost his balance. He turned the basket around and used a stick to keep it up, creating a shelter out of it. There, he managed to get a smile fire burning, which didn’t help at all since it wasn’t strong enough to dry him.

That night, he didn’t sleep since he didn’t have enough room to lie down. He just stared into the fire, occasionally throwing in a wet stick, wanting to keep the fire going, even though there was a bigger chance for it to stop burning.

The whole night, Daniel heard strange things. He heard someone move through the bushes and saw a shadow running around a few times. In the morning, as the sun rose, everything became stranger. As he got out from underneath the basket, wanting to move on with only the things he needed from his three bags, he saw something he didn’t think he would ever see.

Behind the basket, there was young woman, smiling and looking at him. He didn’t know what to do and just approached her slowly, reaching for her hand. She moved away one step and said that she wasn’t ready, and that he needed to be patient. Then, she disappeared.

He stared into emptiness for a few minutes, trying to make out what he just saw and what had happened. He couldn’t explain why she disappeared so suddenly – he couldn’t explain what she was. It took him little to realize that it was probably her that he saw back at his house and at the farm.

His heart was beating very fast, and his hands were shaking. He was weakened by the lack of sleep these past days, and now he had to move on feet. It took him a lot of time to choose only the things he thought would come useful in the future, but he managed to do it and then moved on.

He kept walking through the forest for a few hours, until he arrived at an opening that led to a river. He followed it down stream and after a few more hours, he found an old boat. He put his bags into it and used it to travel quicker. The sun was slowly setting, but there was still enough light for Daniel to want to continue. As he did, the strange things continued. Every where he looked, he saw that young woman next to a tree, waving at him with a large smile on her face.

Daniel realized he had made a good decision on keep going despite the sun setting. He had found a small village, in which he found out that he was actually closer to Recas than he thought. Asking a few villagers, he found out that it was probably a day of walking away from that small town.

That day though, he spent his night on the street, in the heavy rain. Hugging his knees, with his back against a wall, he tried to warm himself up. Then, he saw someone stopping in front of him. He didn’t look up, but when he heard her voice, he immediately looked up. It was that girl again, the one that had been following him everywhere.

She sat next to him and started talking. She asked him if he thought it was worth it to do something like this. Head into a journey that could kill him without having assured that he might actually find what he wanted. He asked her how she knew that, to which she replied that she knows more about him than he does.

He opened his mouth to reply, but when he turned at her, he noticed that she disappeared again. He sighed, becoming even more scared of what was happening around. He didn’t knew what she was or why she was following him, or even more important, what she wanted from him.

The next day he left the town on foot, weakened. He was pale and very cold. He had gotten very sick from sleeping in the rain, but he didn’t care. He kept going until he arrived next to another small forest. The trees were stopping the light from entering, thing that made it look like it was dark outside, even though the sun was still up on the sky.

He then heard someone whisper his name. Turning around, he saw the girl that had been following him, calling out his name angry, and holding his knife. She kept saying that she hated him and it wasn’t worth it to come here. She was playing with the knife maniacally and approaching him dangerously. He slowly backed away and then she disappeared. He relaxed and looked to his left, where he saw her just a few inches away from him, staring into his eyes.

He fell on his back and started yelling and asking who she was and what she wanted. She kept disappearing and appearing, saying that he wouldn’t find her and that he would die alone, without anyone by his side.

He jumped on his feet and ran for a few good minutes, until he arrived in a place he knew very well. It was the place from his dreams – the forest. He looked around and saw the spot he always dreamed about, where she was sitting next to a picnic basket. He blinked, and that girl appeared there, next to the picnic basket. It was the exact same scene from his dreams, and that’s when Daniel realized that that girl was actually Alice, the girl he was dreaming about.

He blinked and she disappeared. Looking through the trees, he saw the house where she lived. He ran towards it and knocked on the door. An old woman answered and he asked her where Alice was, or if she knew it.

The old woman invited him inside when she saw how he looked like. She took care of him and he insisted on her telling him if she knew who that girl was and where he could find her.

The old woman told him that Alice had died about a month ago. She had come back here and lived here a couple of days, after which she passed away. She mentioned that she had moved out and that she bought the house, and that she was happy to welcome her back here for a few days.

He asked if she ever mentioned anything about him, but she said she didn’t. She remembered that she kept asking if someone had looked for her.

Daniel spent the night there, crying the whole night. For some reason, reality struck him a little bit too late. He realized that he had made this trip for nothing. He had made hopes for nothing… Everything was lost.

He knew he was stuck here because he knew that trying to go back home would result in him getting killed. The trip here nearly managed to kill him a few times already.

The next day, he left that house, visiting Alice’s grave, which was just outside the house. He wanted to go back home, where he would try and continue his life like it’s been destined to be. He thought that he could look through the town and maybe find someone who travels in that direction and wants to help him. But there was no one, and Alice kept appearing in his mind.

That’s when Daniel also realized that Alice wasn’t anything more than a hallucination due to the lack of sleep, which, ironically, was because of her also. She was mirroring his feelings – when he was happy she was happy too, when he was asking questions if it was worth it, she was too, and when he was mad at himself or lost hope, so was she.

That night, he again had to sleep in the rain. He had bags under his eyes and looked terrible. His breath was weak and Alice appeared in front of him. She had an evil smile on her face and she had his knife, playing with it like she did before.

She sat down in front of him and looked into his eyes, then said that he should do it because he knew he wanted to do it, and that’s what he wanted now. He would get rid of everything that worried him and he would go somewhere where everything was better and was how he expected it to be.

She insisted on him doing it, and after she tried with yelling at him and saying that he was useless to the world and that he deserved only to die, a evil smile, just like hers, appeared on Daniel face as he got out the knife from his bag. He looked at it for a few seconds, his smile becoming larger, and then the screen went black.

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Walls of Stone

Director: TBA

Composer: Howard Shore

Studio: Boreal Pictures

Genre: Fantasy Epic

Date: February 26th

Cast: TBA

Theaters: 3,321

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Budget: $60 million

Running Time: 153 minutes

Plot soon to be released

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Greyhound Girl

Director: James Mangold

Studio: Energized Entertainment

Genre: Romance/Drama

Date: December 4

Cast: Danielle Panabaker (Audrey), Ben Foster (Ollie), Meryl Streep (Audrey's Mom, Rachel)

Theaters: 3,106

MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for strong language and "thematic" "elements)

Budget: $50 million

Running Time: 138 minutes (2hr 18 minutes)

Plot: The film starts in Texas, where we see Audrey sitting in an English class. She can barely focus as she tries to sort out what is going on her mind. Jumbled voices, visions, and sounds form in her mind. "Fail. You will fail." This voice is stronger than the others, and she cannot ignore it.

"Escape, while you still can." She finds herself walking out of the college classroom, and off the campus completely. She walks into a clothing store, as she walks, she seems fine to everyone else, but her mind is fragmented with images. What she sees and what is actually there are shown on the same shot sometimes. The colors are slightly off and things seem a bit distorted. She takes a shirt from a display and calmly walks out of the store with it.

The store doesn't seem to notice her taking the shirt. But in her mind, we see a vision of her buying the shirt instead of stealing it. However, with the distorted images of the purchase, it is clear that she actually stole it, but she is trying to convince herself that she bought it instead. She walks, not back to the campus, but to her home, miles away.

Her mom, Rachel is waiting for her there, and she begins yelling at Audrey. "How could you do this to me?! I was worried sick!"

"I'm sorry mom... I just didn't. I couldn't."

"I think they need to change your... medication."

After the word medication is said, Audrey begins to lose focus again, and the film fades out with just sound. After we come to, she is sitting in a hospital, looking calmer, but not in a very good situation. "We've got you on some better medication, Audrey..." she hears some names. Geodon? Invega?

But she seems to be doing better. She has a boyfriend for a short while. It does not last, but she loses her virginity to this man, and he is good to her when they are together.

We flash forward a couple more years, now early 2008.

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Legend

"The truth will become LEGEND"

Director: Paul Haggis

Genre:​ Post Apocalyptic, Dystopia, Scifi and Romance

(NEW RELEASE DATE TBA)

Studio: Spark Revolution

Format: Traditional and IMAX

Budget: $90 million

Theaters: 3,777

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Score: Christophe Beck

Running Time: 2hrs 11mins (131 mins)

Cast: Jeremy Irvine as Day, Hailee Steinfeld as June, Josh Bowman as Thomas, Drew Van Acker as John, Ella Purnell as Tess, Emile Hirsch as Metias and Annette Bening Kaede as Commander Jameson
Synopsis: The flooded coast of former Los Angeles. Two warring nations of North America—the Republic and the Colonies.

Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy. Obedient, passionate, and committed to her country, she is being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles.

Born into the slums of the Republic’s Lake Sector, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother is murdered. And Day becomes the prime suspect. Now, caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival while June tries desperately to avenge her brother’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together and the sinister lengths their country will go to in order to keep its secrets.
Plot: TBA

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Unbalanced 3

Tagline: “Evil Will Never Rest”

Date- February 12th

Genre- Horror/Psychological/Found Footage

Rating- R- bloody violence, gore, strong language, frightening and scary images, disturbing content, suspense, some sexual content, and moments of extreme terror

Theaters- 3,210 theaters

Budget- 19 million

Running Time- 122 minutes or 2 hours and 2 minutes

Studio- Number 2 Productions

Director- Ariel Schulman

Actors- UnknownPrevious

Films: Unbalanced- 10.6M (limited)/30.6M(wide)/101.2M/138.2M

Unbalanced 2- 40.2M/106.6M (No overseas yet)

Plot: All stories are presented in found footage style. Each stories begins with a warning to warn views that the content that is going to be viewed is disturbing and actual footage.

Story 1: The Rake: During the summer of 2003, events in the northeastern United States involving a strange, humanlike creature sparked brief local media interest before an apparent blackout was enacted. Little or no information was left intact, as most online and written accounts of the creature were mysteriously destroyed. Primarily focused in rural New York state, self proclaimed witnesses told stories of thier enounters with a creature of unkown origin. Emotions ranged from extremely traumatic levels of fright and discomfort, to an almost childlike sense of playfulness and curiosity. While their published versions are no longer on record, the memories remained powerful. Several of the involved parties began looking for answers that year. In early 2006, the collaboration had accumulated nearly two dozen documents dating between the 12th century and present day, spanning 4 continents. In almost all cases, the stories were identical. I’ve been in contact with a member of this group and was able to get some exceprts from their upcoming book.

A Suicide Note: 1964

As I prepare to take my life, I feel it necessary to assuage any guilt or pain I have introduced through this act. It is not the fault of anyone other than him. For once I awoke and felt his presence. And once I awoke and saw his form. Once again I awoke and heard his voice, and looked into his eyes. I cannot sleep without fear of what I might next awake to experience. I cannot ever wake. Goodbye. Found in the same wooden box were two empty envelopes addressed to William and Rose, and one loose personal letter with no envelope.

‘Dearest Linnie,
I have prayed for you. He spoke your name.’

A Journal Entry (translated from Spanish): 1880

I have experience the greatest terror. I have experienced the greatest terror. I have experienced the greatest terror. I see his eyes when I close mine. They are hollow. Black. They saw me and pierced me. His wet hand. I will not sleep. His voice (unintelligible text).

A Mariner’s Log: 1691

He came to me in my sleep. From the foot of my bed I felt a sensation. He took everything. We must return to England. We shall not return here again at the request of the Rake.

From a Witness: 2006

Three years ago, I had just returned from a trip from Niagara Falls with my family for the 4th of July. We were all very exhausted after a long day of driving, so my husband and I put the kids right to bed and called it a night.

At about 4am, I woke up thinking my husband had gotten up to use the restroom. I used the moment to steal back the sheets, only to wake him in the process. I appologized and told him I though he got out of bed. When he turned to face me, he gasped and pulled his feet up from the end of the bed so quickly his knee almost knocked me out of the bed. He then grabbed me and said nothing.

After adjusting to the dark for a half second, I was able to see what caused the strange reaction. At the foot of the bed, sitting and facing away from us, there was what appeared to be a naked man, or a large hairless dog of some sort. It’s body position was disturbing and unnatural, as if it had been hit by a car or something. For some reason, I was not instantly frightened by it, but more concerned as to its condition. At this point I was somewhat under the assumption that we were supposed to help him.

My husband was peering over his arm and knee, tucked into the fetal position, occasionally glancing at me before returning to the creature.

In a flurry of motion, the creature scrambled around the side of the bed, and then crawled quickly in a flailing sort of motion right along the bed until it was less than a foot from my husband’s face. The creature was completely silent for about 30 seconds (or probably closer to 5, it just seemed like a while) just looking at my husband. The creature then placed its hand on his knee and ran into the hallway, leading to the kids’ rooms.

I screamed and ran for the lightswitch, planning to stop him before he hurt my children. When I got to the hallway, the light from the bedroom was enough to see it crouching and hunched over about 20 feet away. He turned around and looked directly at me, covered in blood. I flipped the switch on the wall and saw my daughter Clara.

The creature ran down the stairs while my husband and I rushed to help our daughter. She was very badly injured and spoke only once more in her short life. She said “he is the Rake”.

My husband drove his car into a lake that night, while rushing our daughter to the hospital. He did not survive.

Being a small town, news got around pretty quickly. The police were helpful at first, and the local newspaper took a lot of interest as well. However, the story was never published and the local television news never followed up either.

For several months, my son Justin and I stayed in a hotel near my parent’s house. After we decided to return home, I began looking for answers myself. I eventually located a man in the next town over who had a similar story. We got in contact and began talking about our experiences. He knew of two other people in New York who had seen the creature we now referred to as the Rake.

It took the four of us about two solid years of hunting on the internet and writing letters to come up with a small collection of what we believe to be accounts of the Rake. None of them gave any details, history or follow up. One journal had an entry involving the creature in its first 3 pages, and never mentioned it again. A ship’s log explained nothing of the encounter, saying only that they were told to leave by the Rake. That was the last entry in the log.

There were, however, many instances where the creature’s visit was one of a series of visits with the same person. Multiple people also mentioned being spoken to, my daughter included. This led us to wonder if the Rake had visited any of us before our last encounter.

I set up a digital recorder near my bed and left it running all night, every night, for two weeks. I would tediously scan through the sounds of me rolling around in my bed each day when I woke up. By the end of the second week, I was quite used to the occasional sound of sleep while blurring through the recording at 8 times the normal speed. (This still took almost an hour every day)

On the first day of the third week, I thought I heard something different. What I found was a shrill voice. It was the Rake. I can’t listen to it long enough to even begin to transcribe it. I haven’t let anyone listen to it yet. All I know is that I’ve heard it before, and I now believe that it spoke when it was sitting in front of my husband. I don’t remember hearing anything at the time, but for some reason, the voice on the recorder immediately brings me back to that moment. The thoughts that must have gone through my daughter’s head make me very upset. I have not seen the Rake since he ruined my life, but I know that he has been in my room while I slept. I know and fear that one night I’ll wake up to see him staring at me.

Story 2: Psychosis: Sunday: I’m not sure why I’m writing this down on paper and not on my computer. I guess I’ve just noticed some odd things. It’s not that I don’t trust the computer… I just… need to organize my thoughts. I need to get down all the details somewhere objective, somewhere I know that what I write can’t be deleted or… changed… not that that’s happened. It’s just… everything blurs together here, and the fog of memory lends a strange cast to things…

I’m starting to feel cramped in this small apartment. Maybe that’s the problem. I just had to go and choose the cheapest apartment, the only one in the basement. The lack of windows down here makes day and night seem to slip by seamlessly. I haven’t been out in a few days because I’ve been working on this programming project so intensively. I suppose I just wanted to get it done. Hours of sitting and staring at a monitor can make anyone feel strange, I know, but I don’t think that’s it.

I’m not sure when I first started to feel like something was odd. I can’t even define what it is. Maybe I just haven’t talked to anyone in awhile. That’s the first thing that crept up on me. Everyone I normally talk to online while I program has been idle, or they’ve simply not logged on at all. My instant messages go unanswered. The last e-mail I got from anybody was a friend saying he’d talk to me when he got back from the store, and that was yesterday. I’d call with my cell phone, but reception’s terrible down here. Yeah, that’s it. I just need to call someone. I’m going to go outside.

Well, that didn’t work so well. As the tingle of fear fades, I’m feeling a little ridiculous for being scared at all. I looked in the mirror before I went out, but I didn’t shave the two-day stubble I’ve grown. I figured I was just going out for a quick cell phone call. I did change my shirt, though, because it was lunchtime, and I guessed that I’d run into at least one person I knew. That didn’t end up happening. I wish it did.

When I went out, I opened the door to my small apartment slowly. A small feeling of apprehension had somehow already lodged itself in me, for some indefinable reason. I chalked it up to having not spoken to anyone but myself for a day or two. I peered down the dingy grey hallway, made dingier by the fact that it was a basement hallway. On one end, a large metal door led to the building’s furnace room. It was locked, of course. Two dreary soda machines stood by it; I bought a soda from one the first day I moved in, but it had a two year old expiration date. I’m fairly sure nobody knows those machines are even down here, or my cheap landlady just doesn’t care to get them restocked.

I closed my door softly, and walked the other direction, taking care not to make a sound. I have no idea why I chose to do that, but it was fun giving in to the strange impulse not to break the droning hum of the soda machines, at least for the moment. I got to the stairwell, and took the stairs up to the building’s front door. I looked through the heavy door’s small square window, and received quite the shock: it was definitely not lunchtime. City-gloom hung over the dark street outside, and the traffic lights at the intersection in the distance blinked yellow. Dim clouds, purple and black from the glow of the city, hung overhead. Nothing moved, save the few sidewalk trees that shifted in the wind. I remember shivering, though I wasn’t cold. Maybe it was the wind outside. I could vaguely hear it through the heavy metal door, and I knew it was that unique kind of late-night wind, the kind that was constant, cold, and quiet, save for the rhythmic music it made as it passed through countless unseen tree leaves. I decided not to go outside.

Instead, I lifted my cell phone to the door’s little window, and checked the signal meter. The bars filled up the meter, and I smiled. Time to hear someone else’s voice, I remember thinking, relieved. It was such a strange thing, to be afraid of nothing. I shook my head, laughing at myself silently. I hit speed-dial for my best friend Amy’s number, and held the phone up to my ear. It rang once… but then it stopped. Nothing happened. I listened to silence for a good twenty seconds, then hung up. I frowned, and looked at the signal meter again – still full. I went to dial her number again, but then my phone rang in my hand, startling me. I put it up to my ear.

“Hello?” I asked, immediately fighting down a small shock at hearing the first spoken voice in days, even if it was my own. I had gotten used to the droning hum of the building’s inner workings, my computer, and the soda machines in the hallway. There was no response to my greeting at first, but then, finally, a voice came.

“Hey,” said a clear male voice, obviously of college age, like me. “Who’s this?”

“John,” I replied, confused.

“Oh, sorry, wrong number,” he replied, then hung up.

I lowered the phone slowly and leaned against the thick brick wall of the stairwell. That was strange. I looked at my received calls list, but the number was unfamiliar. Before I could think on it further, the phone rang loudly, shocking me yet again. This time, I looked at the caller before I answered. It was another unfamiliar number. This time, I held the phone up to my ear, but said nothing. I heard nothing but the general background noise of a phone. Then, a familiar voice broke my tension.

“John?” was the single word, in Amy’s voice.

I breathed a sigh of relief.

“Hey, it’s you,” I replied.

“Who else would it be?” she responded. “Oh, the number. I’m at a party on Seventh Street, and my phone died just as you called me. This is someone else’s phone, obviously.”

“Oh, ok,” I said.

“Where are you?” she asked.

My eyes glanced over the drab white-washed cylinder block walls and the heavy metal door with its small window.

“At my building,” I sighed. “Just feeling cooped up. I didn’t realize it was so late.”

“You should come here,” she said, laughing.

“Nah, I don’t feel like looking for some strange place by myself in the middle of the night,” I said, looking out the window at the silent windy street that secretly scared me just a tiny bit. “I think I’m just going to keep working or go to bed.”

“Nonsense!” she replied. “I can come get you! Your building is close to Seventh Street, right?”

“How drunk are you?” I asked lightheartedly. “You know where I live.”

“Oh, of course,” she said abruptly. “I guess I can’t get there by walking, huh?”

“You could if you wanted to waste half an hour,” I told her.

“Right,” she said. “Ok, have to go, good luck with your work!”

I lowered the phone once more, looking at the numbers flash as the call ended. Then, the droning silence suddenly reasserted itself in my ears. The two strange calls and the eerie street outside just drove home my aloneness in this empty stairwell. Perhaps from having seen too many scary movies, I had the sudden inexplicable idea that something could look in the door’s window and see me, some sort of horrible entity that hovered at the edge of aloneness, just waiting to creep up on unsuspecting people that strayed too far from other human beings. I knew the fear was irrational, but nobody else was around, so… I jumped down the stairs, ran down the hallway into my room, and closed the door as swiftly as I could while still staying silent. Like I said, I feel a little ridiculous for being scared of nothing, and the fear has already faded. Writing this down helps a lot – it makes me realize that nothing is wrong. It filters out half-formed thoughts and fears and leaves only cold, hard facts. It’s late, I got a call from a wrong number, and Amy’s phone died, so she called me back from another number. Nothing strange is happening.

Still, there was something a little off about that conversation. I know it could have just been the alcohol she’d had… or was it even her that seemed off to me? Or was it… yes, that was it! I didn’t realize it until this moment, writing these things down. I knew writing things down would help. She said she was at a party, but I only heard silence in the background! Of course, that doesn’t mean anything in particular, as she could have just gone outside to make the call. No… that couldn’t be it either. I didn’t hear the wind! I need to see if the wind is still blowing!

Monday

I forgot to finish writing last night. I’m not sure what I expected to see when I ran up the stairwell and looked out the heavy metal door’s window. I’m feeling ridiculous. Last night’s fear seems hazy and unreasonable to me now. I can’t wait to go out into the sunlight. I’m going to check my email, shave, shower, and finally get out of here! Wait… I think I heard something.

It was thunder. That whole sunlight and fresh air thing didn’t happen. I went out into the stairwell and up the stairs, only to find disappointment. The heavy metal door’s little window showed only flowing water, as torrential rain slammed against it. Only a very dim, gloomy light filtered in through the rain, but at least I knew it was daytime, even if it was a grey, sickly, wet day. I tried looking out the window and waiting for lightning to illuminate the gloom, but the rain was too heavy and I couldn’t make out anything more than vague weird shapes moving at odd angles in the waves washing down the window. Disappointed, I turned around, but I didn’t want to go back to my room. Instead, I wandered further up the stairs, past the first floor, and the second. The stairs ended at the third floor, the highest floor in the building. I looked through the glass that ran up the outer wall of the stairwell, but it was that warped, thick kind that scatters the light, not that there was much to see through the rain to begin with.

I opened the stairwell door and wandered down the hallway. The ten or so thick wooden doors, painted blue a long time ago, were all closed. I listened as I walked, but it was the middle of the day, so I wasn’t surprised that I heard nothing but the rain outside. As I stood there in the dim hallway, listening to the rain, I had the strange fleeting impression that the doors were standing like silent granite monoliths erected by some ancient forgotten civilization for some unfathomable guardian purpose. Lightning flashed, and I could have sworn that, for just a moment, the old grainy blue wood looked just like rough stone. I laughed at myself for letting my imagination get the best of me, but then it occurred to me that the dim gloom and lightning must mean there was a window somewhere in the hallway. A vague memory surfaced, and I suddenly recalled that the third floor had an alcove and an inset window halfway down the floor’s hallway.

Excited to look out into the rain and possibly see another human being, I quickly walked over to the alcove, finding the large thin glass window. Rain washed down it, as with the front door’s window, but I could open this one. I reached a hand out to slide it open, but hesitated. I had the strangest feeling that if I opened that window, I would see something absolutely horrifying on the other side. Everything’s been so odd lately… so I came up with a plan, and I came back here to get what I needed. I don’t seriously think anything will come of it, but I’m bored, it’s raining, and I’m going stir crazy. I came back to get my webcam. The cord isn’t long enough to reach the third floor by any means, so instead I’m going to hide it between the two soda machines in the dark end of my basement hallway, run the wire along the wall and under my door, and put black duct tape over the wire to blend it in with the black plastic strip that runs along the base of the hallway’s walls. I know this is silly, but I don’t have anything better to do…

Well, nothing happened. I propped open the hallway-to-stairwell door, steeled myself, then flung the heavy front door wide open and ran like hell down the stairs to my room and slammed the door. I watched the webcam on my computer intently, seeing the hallway outside my door and most of the stairwell. I’m watching it right now, and I don’t see anything interesting. I just wish the camera’s position was different, so that I could see out the front door. Hey! Somebody’s online!

I got out an older, less functional webcam that I had in my closet to video chat with my friend online. I couldn’t really explain to him why I wanted to video chat, but it felt good to see another person’s face. He couldn’t talk very long, and we didn’t talk about anything meaningful, but I feel much better. My strange fear has almost passed. I would feel completely better, but there was something… odd… about our conversation. I know that I’ve said that everything has seemed odd, but… still, he was very vague in his responses. I can’t recall one specific thing that he said… no particular name, or place, or event… but he did ask for my email address to keep in touch. Wait, I just got an email.

I’m about to go out. I just got an email from Amy that asked me to meet her for dinner at ‘the place we usually go to.’ I do love pizza, and I’ve just been eating random food from my poorly stocked fridge for days, so I can’t wait. Again, I feel ridiculous about the odd couple of days I’ve been having. I should destroy this journal when I get back. Oh, another email.

Oh my god. I almost left the email and opened the door. I almost opened the door. I almost opened the door, but I read the email first! It was from a friend I hadn’t heard from in a long time, and it was sent to a huge number of emails that must have been every person he had saved in his address list. It had no subject, and it said, simply “Seen with your own eyes don’t trust them they”

What the hell is that supposed to mean? The words shock me, and I keep going over and over them. Is it a desperate email sent just as… something happened? The words are obviously cut off without finishing! On any other day I would have dismissed this as spam from a computer virus or something, but the words… seen with your own eyes! I can’t help but read over this journal and think back on the last few days and realize that I have not seen another person with my own eyes or talked to another person face to face. The webcam conversation with my friend was so strange, so vague, so… eerie, now that I think about it. Was it eerie? Or is the fear clouding my memory? My mind toys with the progression of events I’ve written here, pointing out that I have not been presented with one single fact that I did not specifically give out unsuspectingly. The random ‘wrong number’ that got my name and the subsequent strange return call from Amy, the friend that asked for my email address… I messaged him first when I saw him online! And then I got my first email a few minutes after that conversation! Oh my god! That phone call with Amy! I said over the phone – I said that I was within half an hour’s walk of Seventh Street! They know I’m near there! What if they’re trying to find me?! Where is everyone else? Why haven’t I seen or heard anyone else in days?

No, no, this is crazy. This is absolutely crazy. I need to calm down. This madness needs to end.

I don’t know what to think. I ran about my apartment furiously, holding my cell phone up to every corner to see if it got a signal through the heavy walls. Finally, in the tiny bathroom, near one ceiling corner, I got a single bar. Holding my phone there, I sent a text message to every number in my list. Not wanting to betray anything about my unfounded fears, I simply sent:

You seen anyone face to face lately?

At that point, I just wanted any reply back. I didn’t care what the reply was, or if I embarrassed myself. I tried to call someone a few times, but I couldn’t get my head up high enough, and if I brought my cell phone down even an inch, it lost signal. Then I remembered the computer, and rushed over to it, instant messaging everyone online. Most were idle or away from their computer. Nobody responded. My messages grew more frantic, and I started telling people where I was and to stop by in person for a host of barely passable reasons. I didn’t care about anything by that point. I just needed to see another person!

I also tore apart my apartment looking for something that I might have missed; some way to contact another human being without opening the door. I know it’s crazy, I know it’s unfounded, but what if? WHAT IF? I just need to be sure! I taped the phone to the ceiling in case

Tuesday

THE PHONE RANG! Exhausted from last night’s rampage, I must have fallen asleep. I woke up to the phone ringing, and ran into the bathroom, stood on the toilet, and flipped open the phone taped to the ceiling. It was Amy, and I feel so much better. She was really worried about me, and apparently had been trying to contact me since the last time I talked to her. She’s coming over now, and, yes, she knows where I am without me telling her. I feel so embarrassed. I am definitely throwing this journal away before anyone sees it. I don’t even know why I’m writing in it now. Maybe it’s just because it’s the only communication I’ve had at all since… god knows when. I look like hell, too. I looked in the mirror before I came back in here. My eyes are sunken, my stubble is thicker, and I just look generally unhealthy.

My apartment is trashed, but I’m not going to clean it up. I think I need someone else to see what I’ve been through. These past few days have NOT been normal. I am not one to imagine things. I know I have been the victim of extreme probability. I probably missed seeing another person a dozen times. I just happened to go out when it was late at night, or the middle of the day when everyone was gone. Everything’s perfectly fine, I know this now. Plus, I found something in the closet last night that has helped me tremendously: a television! I set it up just before I wrote this, and it’s on in the background. Television has always been an escape for me, and it reminds me that there’s a world beyond these dingy brick walls.

I’m glad Amy’s the only one that responded to me after last night’s frantic pestering of everyone I could contact. She’s been my best friend for years. She doesn’t know it, but I count the day that I met her among one of the few moments of true happiness in my life. I remember that warm summer day fondly. It seems a different reality from this dark, rainy, lonely place. I feel like I spent days sitting in that playground, much too old to play, just talking with her and hanging around doing nothing at all. I still feel like I can go back to that moment sometimes, and it reminds me that this damn place is not all that there is… finally, a knock on the door!

I thought it was odd that I couldn’t see her through the camera I hid between the two soda machines. I figured that it was bad positioning, like when I couldn’t see out the front door. I should have known. I should have known! After the knock, I yelled through the door jokingly that I had a camera between the soda machines, because I was embarrassed myself that I had taken this paranoia so far. After I did that, I saw her image walk over to the camera and look down at it. She smiled and waved.

“Hey!” she said to the camera brightly, giving it a wry look.

“It’s weird, I know,” I said into the mic attached to my computer. “I’ve had a weird few days.”

“Must have,” she replied. “Open the door, John.”

I hesitated. How could I be sure?

“Hey, humor me a second here,” I told her through the mic. “Tell me one thing about us. Just prove to me you’re you.”

She gave the camera a weird look.

“Um, alright,” she said slowly, thinking. “We met randomly at a playground when we were both way too old to be there?”

I sighed deeply as reality returned and fear faded. God, I’d been so ridiculous. Of course it was Amy! That day wasn’t anywhere in the world except in my memory. I’d never even mentioned it to anyone, not out of embarrassment, but out of a strange secret nostalgia and a longing for those days to return. If there was some unknown force at work trying to trick me, as I feared, there was no way they could know about that day.

“Haha, alright, I’ll explain everything,” I told her. “Be right there.”

I ran to my small bathroom and fixed my hair as best I could. I looked like hell, but she would understand. Snickering at my own unbelievable behavior and the mess I’d made of the place, I walked to the door. I put my hand on the doorknob and gave the mess one last look. So ridiculous, I thought. My eyes traced over the half-eaten food lying on the ground, the overflowing trash bin, and the bed I’d tipped to the side looking for… God knows what. I almost turned to the door and opened it, but my eyes fell on one last thing: the old webcam, the one I used for that eerily vacant chat with my friend.

Its silent black sphere lay haphazardly tossed to the side, its lens pointed at the table where this journal lay. An overwhelming terror took me as I realized that if something could see through that camera, it would have seen what I just wrote about that day. I asked her for any one thing about us, and she chose the only thing in the world that I thought they or it did not know… but IT DID! IT DID KNOW! IT COULD HAVE BEEN WATCHING ME THE WHOLE TIME!

I didn’t open the door. I screamed. I screamed in uncontrollable terror. I stomped on the old webcam on the floor. The door shook, and the doorknob tried to turn, but I didn’t hear Amy’s voice through the door. Was the basement door, made to keep out drafts, too thick? Or was Amy not outside? What could have been trying to get in, if not her? What the hell is out there?! I saw her on my computer through the camera outside, I heard her on the speakers through the camera outside, but was it real?! How can I know?! She’s gone now – I screamed, and shouted for help! I piled up everything in my apartment against the front door –

Friday

At least I think that it’s Friday. I broke everything electronic. I smashed my computer to pieces. Every single thing on there could have been accessed by network access, or worse, altered. I’m a programmer, I know. Every little piece of information I gave out since this started – my name, my email, my location – none of it came back from outside until I gave it out. I’ve been going over and over what I wrote. I’ve been pacing back and forth, alternating between stark terror and overpowering disbelief. Sometimes I’m absolutely certain some phantom entity is dead set on the simple goal of getting me to go outside. Back to the beginning, with the phone call from Amy, she was effectively asking me to open the door and go outside.

I keep running through it in my head. One point of view says I’ve acted like a madman, and all of this is the extreme convergence of probability – never going outside at the right times by pure luck, never seeing another person by pure chance, getting a random nonsense email from some computer virus at just the right time. The other point of view says that extreme convergence of probability is the reason that whatever’s out there hasn’t gotten me already. I keep thinking: I never opened the window on the third floor. I never opened the front door, until that incredibly stupid stunt with the hidden camera after which I ran straight to my room and slammed the door. I haven’t opened my own solid door since I flung open the front door of the building. Whatever’s out there – if anything’s out there – never made an ‘appearance’ in the building before I opened the front door. Maybe the reason it wasn’t in the building already was that it was elsewhere getting everyone else… and then it waited, until I betrayed my existence by trying to call Amy… a call which didn’t work, until it called me and asked me my name…

Terror literally overwhelms me every time I try to fit the pieces of this nightmare together. That email – short, cut off – was it from someone trying to get word out? Some friendly voice desperately trying to warn me before it came? Seen with my own eyes, don’t trust them – exactly what I’ve been so suspicious of. It could have masterful control of all things electronic, practicing its insidious deception to trick me into coming outside. Why can’t it get in? It knocked on the door – it must have some solid presence… the door… the image of those doors in the upper hallway as guardian monoliths flashes back in my mind every time I trace this path of thoughts. If there is some phantom entity trying to get me to go outside, maybe it can’t get through doors. I keep thinking back over all the books I’ve read or movies I’ve seen, trying to generate some explanation for this. Doors have always been such intense foci of human imagination, always seen as wards or portals of special importance. Or perhaps the door is just too thick? I know that I couldn’t bash through any of the doors in this building, let alone the heavy basement ones. Aside from that, the real question is, why does it even want me? If it just wanted to kill me, it could do it any number of ways, including just waiting until I starve to death. What if it doesn’t want to kill me? What if it has some far more horrific fate in store for me? God, what can I do to escape this nightmare?!

A knock on the door…

I told the people on the other side of the door I need a minute to think and I’ll come out. I’m really just writing this down so I can figure out what to do. At least this time I heard their voices. My paranoia – and yes, I recognize I’m being paranoid – has me thinking of all sorts of ways that their voices could be faked electronically. There could be nothing but speakers outside, simulating human voices. Did it really take them three days to come talk to me? Amy is supposedly out there, along with two policemen and a psychiatrist. Maybe it took them three days to think of what to say to me – the psychiatrist’s claim could be pretty convincing, if I decided to think this has all been a crazy misunderstanding, and not some entity trying to trick me into opening the door.

The psychiatrist had an older voice, authoritarian but still caring. I liked it. I’m desperate just to see someone with my own eyes! He said I have something called cyber-psychosis, and I’m just one of a nationwide epidemic of thousands of people having breakdowns triggered by a suggestive email that ‘got through somehow.’ I swear he said ‘got through somehow.’ I think he means spread throughout the country inexplicably, but I’m incredibly suspicious that the entity slipped up and revealed something. He said I am part of a wave of ‘emergent behavior’, that a lot of other people are having the same problem with the same fears, even though we’ve never communicated.

That neatly explains the strange email about eyes that I got. I didn’t get the original triggering email. I got a descendant of it – my friend could have broken down too, and tried to warn everyone he knew against his paranoid fears. That’s how the problem spreads, the psychiatrist claims. I could have spread it, too, with my texts and instant messages online to everybody I know. One of those people might be melting down right now, after being triggered by something I sent them, something they might interpret any way that they want, something like a text saying seen anyone face to face lately? The psychiatrist told me that he didn’t want to ‘lose another one’, that people like me are intelligent, and that’s our downfall. We draw connections so well that we draw them even when they shouldn’t be there. He said it’s easy to get caught up in paranoia in our fast paced world, a constantly changing place where more and more of our interaction is simulated…

I have to give him one thing. It’s a great explanation. It neatly explains everything. It perfectly explains everything, in fact. I have every reason to shake off this nightmarish fear that some thing or consciousness or being out there wants me to open the door so it can capture me for some horrible fate worse than death. It would be foolish, after hearing that explanation, to stay in here until I starve to death just to spite the entity that might have got everyone else. It would be foolish to think that, after hearing that explanation, I might be one of the last people left alive on an empty world, hiding in my secure basement room, spiting some unthinkable deceptive entity just by refusing to be captured. It’s a perfect explanation for every single strange thing I’ve seen or heard, and I have every reason in the world to let all of my fears go, and open the door.

That’s exactly why I’m not going to.

How can I be sure?! How can I know what’s real and what’s deception? All of these damn things with their wires and their signals that originate from some unseen origin! They’re not real, I can’t be sure! Signals through a camera, faked video, deceptive phone calls, emails! Even the television, lying broken on the floor – how can I possibly know it’s real? It’s just signals, waves, light… the door! It’s bashing on the door! It’s trying to get in! What insane mechanical contrivance could it be using to simulate the sound of men attacking the heavy wood so well?! At least I’ll finally see it with my own eyes… there’s nothing left in here for it to deceive me with, I’ve ripped apart everything else! It can’t deceive my eyes, can it? Seen with your own eyes don’t trust them they… wait… was that desperate message telling me to trust my eyes, or warning me about my eyes too?! Oh my god, what’s the difference between a camera and my eyes? They both turn light into electrical signals – they’re the same! I can’t be deceived! I have to be sure! I have to be sure!

Date Unknown

I calmly asked for paper and a pen, day in and day out, until it finally gave them to me. Not that it matters. What am I going to do? Poke my eyes out? The bandages feel like part of me now. The pain is gone. I figure this will be one of my last chances to write legibly, as, without my sight to correct mistakes, my hands will slowly forget the motions involved. This is a sort of self-indulgence, this writing… it’s a relic of another time, because I’m certain everyone left in the world is dead… or something far worse.

I sit against the padded wall day in and day out. The entity brings me food and water. It masks itself as a kind nurse, as an unsympathetic doctor. I think it knows that my hearing has sharpened considerably now that I live in darkness. It fakes conversations in the hallways, on the off chance that I might overhear. One of the nurses talks about having a baby soon. One of the doctors lost his wife in a car accident. None of it matters, none of it is real. None of it gets to me, not like she does.

That’s the worst part, the part I almost can’t handle. The thing comes to me, masquerading as Amy. Its recreation is perfect. It sounds exactly like Amy, feels exactly like her. It even produces a reasonable facsimile of tears that it makes me feel on its lifelike cheeks. When it first dragged me here, it told me all the things I wanted to hear. It told me that she loved me, that she had always loved me, that it didn’t understand why I did this, that we could still have a life together, if only I would stop insisting that I was being deceived. It wanted me to believe… no, it needed me to believe that she was real.

I almost fell for it. I really did. I doubted myself for the longest time. In the end, though, it was all too perfect, too flawless, and too real. The false Amy used to come every day, and then every week, and finally stopped coming altogether… but I don’t think the entity will give up. I think the waiting game is just another one of its gambits. I will resist it for the rest of my life, if I have to. I don’t know what happened to the rest of the world, but I do know that this thing needs me to fall for its deceptions. If it needs that, then maybe, just maybe, I am a thorn in its agenda. Maybe Amy is still alive out there somewhere, kept alive only by my will to resist the deceiver. I hold on to that hope, rocking back and forth in my cell to pass the time. I will never give in. I will never break. I am… a hero!

====

The doctor read the paper the patient had scribbled on. It was barely readable, written in the shaky script of one who could not see. He wanted to smile at the man’s steadfast resolve, a reminder of the human will to survive, but he knew that the patient was completely delusional.

After all, a sane man would have fallen for the deception long ago.

The doctor wanted to smile. He wanted to whisper words of encouragement to the delusional man. He wanted to scream, but the nerve filaments wrapped around his head and into his eyes made him do otherwise. His body walked into the cell like a puppet, and told the patient, once more, that he was wrong, and that there was nobody trying to deceive him.

Story 3: Lightning: We had just moved into a little ranch house in the suburbs. Storybook neighborhood – quiet, friendly neighbors, picket fences, the whole nine yards. Suffice it to say that this was supposed to be a new start for me, a recently single dad, and my three-year-old son. A time to move on from the previous year’s drama and stress.

I viewed the thunderstorm as a metaphor for this fresh start: one last show of theatrics before the dirt and grime of the past would be washed away. My son loved it anyway, even with the power out. It was the first big storm he’d ever seen. Flashes of lightning flooded the bare rooms of our house, imparting unpacked boxes with long creeping shadows, and he jumped and squealed as the thunder boomed. It was well past his bedtime before he’d finally settled down enough to go to sleep.

The next morning I found him awake in bed and smiling. “I watched the lightning at my window!” he proudly announced.

A few mornings later, he told me the same thing. “You’re silly,” I said. “It didn’t storm last night, you were only dreaming!” “Oh…” He seemed somewhat disheartened. I ruffled his hair and told him not to worry, there should be another storm soon.

Then it became a pattern. He would tell me how he watched the lightning outside his window at least twice a week, despite there being no storms. Recurring dreams of that first memorable thunderstorm, I figured.

It’s easy to hate myself in hindsight. Everybody assures me there’s nothing I could have done, no way I could have known. But I’m supposed to be the guardian of my child, and these are useless words of comfort. I constantly relive that morning: making my coffee, pouring milk over my cereal, and picking up the newspaper to read about the pedophile local authorities had just arrested. It was front-page stuff. Apparently this guy would select a young target (usually a boy), stake out their house for a while, and take flash photos of them through their window while they slept. Sometimes he did more. My stomach sank as the connection was made.

At the time, it was merely something from a child’s imagination. In retrospect, it is the scariest thing I’ve ever heard. About a week before the predator was caught, my son came up to me in his pajamas. “Guess what?” he asked.

“What?”

“No more lightning at my window!”

I played along. “Oh, that’s nice, it finally died down huh?”

“No! Now it’s in my closet!”

I’ve yet to see the photos police have collected.

And now our final story of the night!!

Story 4: Slenderman: After waking up with a jolt, the girl laid in bed a few seconds longer. Reaching over to switch on her bedside lamp, she tried to remember exactly what had stolen her sweet slumber away. When she couldn’t, the brunette swung her legs over the side of the bed and heaved herself up. Checking the time on her phone, she snorted when she saw it was midnight- the witching hour. Knowing that sleep would only evade her, she left her bedroom for the kitchen, a good cup of coffee on her mind.

As she passed by her front door, a chill spread like liquid fire down her spine. It’s only winter, she told herself, focusing again on the coffee plan. Measuring out scoops, water, and preparing her cup kept her occupied, but as the dark liquid boiled, she had nothing left to keep her mind from wandering off. The chill returned and she couldn’t help but glance behind her to the front door. It stood there innocently enough, just like always. The dead bolt was still in place and she could see nothing amiss with it. Turning back to her coffee, she did her best to forget about the feeling.

With her cup in hand, she started back towards her bedroom. As she walked by the front door, she decided that a quick glance out of the peep hole would help calm her restless mind. The chill worsened with each step she took towards the door and further away from the safety and warmth of her blankets. She pressed her empty hand against the cold, metal door and took a deep breath before leading her eye to the peep hole.

At first, she could only see an inky blackness and somehow seemed to swirl in itself. When she blinked in surprise, the void melted away. She wished it hadn’t. In it’s place, there stood what she could only guess was once a man. The limbs were long and inhumanly awkward, with bulky joints branching off into several arms, not unlike the branches of a tree. The creature was drapped in a black suit, somehow manking the thing more nightmarish to her. The icing on the proverbial cake, however, was what passed as the hellish thing’s face. It was as though her mind blurred the ghastly visage to spare itself further shock and horror.

She shoved herself away from the door with the hand still pressed against it. The scalding mug of coffee fell, the liquid burning her bare legs as she fell backwards and tried to crawl away from the door. She knew, somehow, that her mind hadn’t been playing tricks on her. As she crab walked away from the door, she watched as tendrels as black as the void she first saw snake around through the cracks. The girl was trapped between the instinct to flee and the gut feeling to not turn her back on the door. When the door jolted, the urge to flee overcame her and she slipped in the burning liquid as she tried to make it back to her room.

She knew deep down that she was trapping herself in a corner, but she had to get away from the door. The girl was halfway down the hallway when she heard the previously locked door creak open. She screamed and slipped into a wall, cracking her chin on it and stunning her.

After that, there was only blackness.

“Nicole?” a warm, male voice snapped the woman out of her trance. As she turned around, she was met by one of her sister’s doctor’s. She nodded, not sure if she should say anything, or even if she could find her voice if she did have something to say. That morning, she had gotten an urgent phone call from the hospital, saying that her sister, Lindsay, was there. Before they had even let her see her, the doctor’s had pulled her off to the side and insisted that they talk to her about what might have happened. Phrases like ‘self-inflected’ and ‘assault’ had been thrown around and Nicole felt her mind reel.

She still hadn’t fully understood what they had been saying until she saw Lindsay with her own eyes. Her little sister had a bandage wrapped around her head, covering both of her ears as well as her eyes. They said it was to keep her now deadened eyes from drying out and to try to keep infection out of the wounds Lindsay had made to her ears. The doctors had guessed that either she or someone else had jammed a pencil into them to keep her off balance or to deafen herself against something. There was the mix of first and second degree burns on her hands, legs, and feet, from what was assumed to be the coffee her neighbors found slipped all over the entry to her apartment.

As Nicole walked into her sister’s hospital room the first time, she thought she had spied the silhouette of a man in the window. That, she knew, was impossible. Her sister’s room was on the third story of the hospital.

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Second Chance Romance

"REAL LOVE IS A ROLLER COASTER"

Director: Lasse Hallstrom

Genre:​ Romance/Drama

Date: February 12

Studio: Spark Revolution

Budget: $25 million

Theaters: 3,155

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Score: Mark Isham

Running Time: 1hr 41mins (101 mins)

Cast: -
Synopsis: At eighteen years of age Jade thought she had found the one man she would spend the rest of her life with, Austin Giles. He was her childhood friend and high school lover.

He was perfect... or so she thought.

On a typical southern hot and humid summer afternoon she made the mistake of walking in on him with another woman and found them in a compromising position.

In a matter of minutes, her familiar world came crashing down.

Heart broken and destroyed, Jade leaves her home town determined to make her own way.

Five years later she gets the one call that would change her life in a really big way- her father had passed away.

Now that she is forced to go back home and settle his affairs, how will she handle seeing Austin once again? Can she protect her heart any better this go round or will she relive the same mistakes and lose it all again.
Plot: TBA

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Peeping Tom

Director: Daren Aronofsky

Genre:​ Psychological/Slasher/Horror

Date: December 1

Studio: Spark Revolution

Budget: $15 million

Theaters: 23 (Dec 1), 104 (Dec 8), 1,050 (Dec 15)

MPAA Rating: R

Running Time: 1hr 46mins (106 mins)

Cast: - Martin Short, Maya Rudolph, Olivia Thirlby, William Sadler, Bronson Pelletier, Gemme Arterton, Dreama Walker, Johnny Simmons and Daniel Auteils

Notes: The film is a remake of the seminal 1960 horror classic which is controversially considered the first POV slasher film.

Synopsis: Mark Waters (Martin Short) as a child along with his younger brother Michael (Daniel Auteil) are terrorized as children by their schitzophrenic father who subjected them to horrible to psychological tests to capture their expressions of fear.
The two brothers grow up and Mark comes to be a a theatre hand in 1958 and takes the position of filmmaker.

He breaks under the memory of his father comes to video the murder of a prostitute he picks up.

The violent murder and blood brings out an obsession with striking fear and killing.
Plot: It begins with a city prostitute on a park bench at night looking up at a large clock in the park as it strikes midnight and she then looks down at a piece of paper containing a hotel address and given room.

It then rains down and ruins the paper and she rushes off the bench and out of the park across a street.

This is all captured on cam-corder by the prostitute who as she leaves the park and comes to a street corner pulls the cam-corder up to herself and states "This is insurance."

She is then approached by a slowly moving old man who asks about her camera.

She just explains whilest the camera is still going in her bag that it's for a little project she's doing, he states that it must be something interesting project and compliments her on her looks.

As he prepares to move past her and leave she calls out for him to tell her the address on the partially ruined piece of paper.

He tells her the given Grandville Hotel is two blocks over past the Old Whitmore Theatre.

She thanks him for helping her but he stops her from leaving telling her of how in the day when he was her age that Old Whitmore Theatre was the place to go to for a real good time and that they would play shows where young women like herself would find themselves screaming themselves silly and in situations of full forward fear.

She thanks him once agaiin and then the scene flashes over to her passing the Old Whitmore theatre pulling out the cam-corder from the bag and aiming it over at the abandoned theatre.

She states how the place is definitley creepy like the generous old man she meant on Ellis Street earlier.

She then moves the camera over to the Grandville Hotel next door and then pushes the cam-corder into her bag again.

She enters and is directed to room 306.

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Burnout: Takedown

Genre: Action/Crime

Date: July 29

Theaters: 3,687

Director: Justin Lin

Cast: Taylor Kitsch - Daniel

Paul Walker – Ray

Alexander Skarsgard - Shawn

Jessica Alba - Alice

Gemma Arterton – Isabel

Rufus Sewell - David

Rating: PG-13 for for intense sequences of violence and action, sexual content and some language

Runtime: 106 min

Budget: $90 million

Taglines: "Burn the road” | “This Summer, you will be taken down!”

It is night. We see a car being taken down against the wall. Making a 360 degree turn in the sky in slow-motion over the car that destroyed it. The person inside is screaming. The image turns normal. The car accelerates leaving the other driver stuck inside the car while we see it exploding.

The camera shows the driver in the car that destroyed the other. It is a young man, short hair and smiling thinking on what he has done. He connects the nitro and comes close to the other racer. He takes the car out of his way by hitting it in the back, while the other car makes a 180 degree turn in the road.

The young man wins the race. He gets out of the car with a smile on his face. We see a girl hugging him. “Congratulations Shawn!”. “Thanks Isabel”. Another man is seen coming closer to them. “Great victory today, but we need to get out of here, the dawn is coming very soon”. “Okay David, get into the car!”. The image fades as they drive away.

B U R N O U T: T A K E D O W N

A man gets out of bed and stares at the window. We see lots of people walking and taking a bus, but almost no cars are seen in the streets. “This is the world where I live. A dangerous car race game has been created, called Burnout. People die every night here. The percentage of stolen cars raised greatly in the last few years. Police and other government forces controlled the damages in bigger cities, but smaller ones were left behind, and people stopped using their cars on their daily life. I am Daniel and this is New Bay City”.

We hear a woman talking “Come to bed baby”. Daniel calls her Alice and says he has to go to work. Alice asks when he is getting a new job. He says he is trying but for now the job at the brother’s workshop is the best they got to survive. Daniel gets out of house and goes to the brother’s workshop on foot. While he walks to his destiny, he passes in a store and sees a newspaper and the cover story is a car destroyed after exploding found on the street.

Daniel arrives, and his brother Ray happily receives him. “We have a lot of work today”. A race had been happening in the night before. Four cars full of problems and visually destroyed are seen inside the workshop. “This is dangerous, cops may find us here”. The workshop is hidden from the public, and only the well informed racers know where it is.

“This is dangerous Ray, I need to find a new job”. Ray doesn’t understand why it is dangerous (“Police doesn’t care about this city anymore Daniel”) and just smiles while shakes his head. “Listen man, I found a car when I was coming here. We can enter on these tournaments! Those racers win huge amounts of money!” Daniel doesn’t like his brother’s idea and refuses to do it.

Someone knocks at the door. Daniel asks Ray if he is expecting someone. Ray doesn’t react and shows fear on his face. Ray advances to the door and asks who his knocking. The person says some friend told them this was a workshop and that he needed help to fix his car. Ray let them in. Shawn enters. He says he needs his car ready until Monday in the afternoon, and that if they do a good job they will receive a hefty paycheck. Ray accepts it.

Shawn leaves, but before doing it, he and Daniel exchange glances. David enters with the car. Shawn says David will pass there every day to see how things are advancing on his car. David gets out of the car and leaves with Shawn. Ray closes the workshop’s door. David asks Shawn if those guys are reliable, and Shawn responds affirmatively.

Daniel is disturbed by Shawn’s arrival. He says that he has to go. Ray tries to stop him and asks what is happening but Daniel leaves the workshop without responding. Daniel is running, and stops at a street with nobody. He is in panic and passes his hand through his head and hair. We see Ray thinking about what happened to his brother. He tries to call him but it is useless.

Daniel gets home. Alice asks what happened for him to be so soon at home. “This can’t be happening” mumbles Daniel while he gets on his knees. Alice hugs and kisses him and asks what is happening in panic. Daniel doesn’t answer, leaves Alice and goes to the room.

We see a woman from her back walking. She is getting closer to a bed. She has just a bra and panties dressed. We see she is Isabel. On the bed waiting it is Shawn. Isabel lies on his side and asks why he came back to New Bay City. Shawn says he has some unfinished business to solve with some old friends. Isabel doesn’t seem to care much about that and kisses him. We see he taking her bra, but no nudity is showed. Alice and Shawn continue to kiss each other.

We see Daniel getting out of his house in the middle of the night. He gets his phone. He walks until a zone with nobody. He calls someone and tells him he is already in the combined spot. The person on the other side says he will arrive soon. Daniel waits. We hear a car approaching. Shawn is at the window. He tells Daniel to enter the car, and that is what he does.

“Nice to see you again… brother”. Shawn is Daniel’s half brother (they have a different mom). “I am not your brother” says Daniel. “So you haven’t tell Ray the truth yet”, Daniel says “he doesn’t need to know you are his brother, he doesn’t even know you!” Shawn laughs. “I have no fault our dad was a bastard and betrayed your mom when she was pregnant from Ray, running way with other woman”. Daniel asks where dad is. Shawn says he is in Paradise City.

“How is your mom Daniel?”, asks Shawn. “She died a couple of years ago, but why do you care?” Shawn just says both of them didn’t have much luck in that. Shawn says he needs Daniel back to the races. Daniel says he is out of it. “Burnout is dangerous”. Shawn agrees, but he says that the money they win in those races will give them a rich life until the end of their lives.

“I have a girlfriend now, and don’t want to get back to these races and risk my life”. “You became a romantic now?”, asks Shawn. “What about you… brother?” Shawn says he is still with Isabel. “Really?!”, says Daniel surprised. “You haven’t switched her yet? 5 years have passed after all.” Shawn says he likes her, and that she is great in bed. And that she has the right contacts in the right places. “How do you think I find you Daniel?”

“Enough!” Daniel tells Shawn to stop and gets out of the car. Shawn says they need him to get back to the races game. Shawn says dad needs him. Daniel says his mom also needed dad and he never showed up. Daniel moves away from the car while Shawn looks at him.

In the next day, Daniel goes to Ray’s workshop and tells him almost all the truth. He hides that Shawn is their brother and that their dad is on Paradise City. He also says that only raced when the game wasn’t dangerous and didn’t killed any person like most do today. Shawn arrives and he confronts Daniel. “Did you already tell the truth to our brother, Daniel?” Ray is confused while Daniel walks to Shawn screaming “WHAT DO YOU REALLY WANT?!”.

Shawn says their dad is in trouble. Ray just hears the conversation in shock. “We need a team to save him”. Explain yourself Shaw, says Ray. “I need a partner to go to Paradise City and save our dad. He has been captured by Burnout’s creator Ross, but first we need to win the tournament that is going to happen on Monday in New Bay City to enter in Paradise City race.”

“I thought Paradise City was safe from these races” says Daniel. Shawn says the police also thinks that, and that this race is being organized in secret. Shawn says to Daniel that he knows how to contact him and leaves. Ray says he would like to meet his father. Daniel says that their father left them and never came back, that he doesn’t care about them.

Daniel leaves and Ray is still thinking about his father. Daniel goes home. When he gets there, Alice is very happy. “You are home already? Well, come and meet my sister!” Daniel is shocked. “A man can’t take these many twists in their life in so little time…” Alice’s sister is Isabel.

“Hello Daniel” says Isabel. “Did your brother already met with you?” Alice looks confused to both of them. “Explain yourself Daniel”. Daniel says Isabel she has to go and tells everything to Alice. We see Ray on bed, thinking about all that happened, and he was mixed feelings about his dad.

Three days until Monday.

Daniel goes to the work shop and finds Ray improving a car. It is the car they both spoke about before. “What are you doing?!” says Daniel. Ray says he wants to win that race and go to Paradise City and ask their dad why he left them. Daniel says races are hell and that he is going to die. “So how are you still here?!” replies Ray in an aggressive way.

Daniel says he only raced a couple of times. He had a severe accident and after that he came back to New Bay City. “I was racing alone, but I knew Shawn. He found me and told me the truth, but I never talked to our father in that time”. Ray asks about what type of accident Daniel suffered. Daniel says his car was pushed into a river during a race over a bridge. He never saw the conductor’s face and was saved by Shawn.

David appears to check on the car. “It will be ready by tomorrow” says Ray. David leaves. Ray says he will enter the race and go with Shawn to Paradise City. The next three days pass in a flash. We see shots of Daniel talking to Alice and explaining he has to go, and Alice crying telling him to be careful. Ray improving his car. Shawn looking at his cell phone.

Monday has arrived. We see Ray arriving at a combined spot to meet with Shawn. Daniel also arrives with his car. “What are you doing here and where did you get that car?” asks Ray. Daniel says he has to protect his little brother with a smile on his face, and he also says that was his older race car.

“The first three will pass to the tournament on Paradise City” says Shawn. That will be easy, replies Ray. Daniel smiles and shakes his head. “The plan is to stay together and protect each other” says Shawn. They go the three to the place of the race. When they get there, 7 other contests had already arrived.

A strange woman draws Daniel’s attention. She is masked, and we can only see her eyes. “Remember Fast & Furious Ray?” says Shawn. “Of course!” answers Ray with a smile. “Well… this is nothing like it” says Shawn while smiles. Ray goes serious and doesn’t answer.

There is a man and a woman controlling the race. They say that after the race they will announce the winners that will go to Paradise City. They give each one a card with the route they have to follow. They wish them good luck.

The race begins and immediately two racers go against each other. One of them is able to dominate the other but both go against a tree. Shawn takes the lead with Ray in fourth and Daniel in last. The race follows to a canyon. The strange woman attacks another driver and abuts him against the wall. The road becomes narrower up ahead and the driver goes against the wall.

Shawn is attacked in the back but Ray accelerates and takes the driver out. While the driver tries to go back to the race he is hit by the woman and the car almost falls of the canyon. The driver breathes in relief when suddenly he is hit by another car and falls. Daniel passes by him and watches in terror.

Daniel takes the chance of not having a wall on the right side and sends another driver into a now visible forest. It is clear that he doesn’t want to kill anyone and just win the race. The wall is back and the woman does the same thing Shawn did to the other driver in the beginning of the movie to another driver in this race. The driver goes right into the canyon.

Ray eliminates the last racer by sending him into the forest. He is a bit shocked by doing but continues. Only four remain. The woman tries to attack Ray but it is hit by Daniel in the back. She is stuck between both now. She grabs a gun and shoots against Daniel. He slows down. Shawn looks back and sees what is happening.

The woman now shoots against Ray, but she his hit again by Daniel. Shawn does a spin in the road and he is now driving backwards. He pulls a gun a shoots against the woman. “Look out!” says Ray, “You almost shot me!” says Ray in an angry way. Shawn does the trick again but continues to watch what is happening.

The woman attacks Ray and he loses the control of the car. The car turns. The road in not good and there are lots of holes. Ray looks at Daniel. In that moment, the woman accelerates and Ray’s car goes over her. The car hits the ground. Daniel stops. “FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK” says Shawn as he sees what happened and turns back. He goes against the woman. Pulls out of the gun and shoots against her car. The woman stops and goes around. Daniel goes out of the car and tries to get closer to his brother.

The woman in the car is seen with Shawn behind her. Shawn screams “DANIEL!!!” Daniel runs to Ray and tries to get him out of the car. He is stuck and almost lifeless. A gunshot is heard. Daniel is in front of the car. Ray pushes him to the ground. The woman hits Ray’s car and sends him to down the canyon.

The goes around and continues the race. Daniel watches in terror as can do nothing to save his brother. Shawn pulls him. Daniel cries a lot. Shawn tries to calm him down. We see a tear in Shawn’s eye. Daniel says he wants vengeance. Shawn says he wants the same, and for that they have to finish the race. Shawn gives strength to his brother.

Daniel enters the car, crying. He drives. Shawn does the same. They both get to the end. When they arrive, the woman isn’t there anymore. The man and woman say they are the last two and are both qualified. We see Daniel’s face. He wants revenge. Image fades.

We see the funeral. Shawn, Isabel, Daniel and Alice are all there. 7 days pass. We see Daniel getting his car ready in brother’s workshop. Shawn arrives. Daniel says Ray was a great person. That he grown up without a father. Shawn says he would like to have more time to talk and be with his brother. They both agree on going to Paradise City on the next day.

Daniel says he goes because he wants to kill that woman. Shawn says he goes for both his dead brother and his father. He leaves. Daniel goes home and Alice says she will go with him to Paradise City. Daniel smiles and asks how can he convince her not to go. She says he can’t. They kiss.

In the next morning, Daniel meets with Shawn, both on their own cars. Daniel has Alice on his car, and Shawn has David and Isabel. They connect the cars. Shawn asks Daniel if he is ready. Daniel shakes his head saying yes. They leave. Image fades. End of movie.

MID CREDITS SCENE

We see Ross (Mickey Rourke) saying to Shawn and Daniel’s father (Dennis Quaid) that one of his sons was “already dead, John”, and that the other two were coming to Paradise City. John tries to attack Ross but he is handcuffed. “Leave them alone!” screams John. “Not until they are all finished” replies Ross as he leaves (John is locked inside some sort of prison).

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Killer ComputerGenre: Horror/ComedyDate: January 8Theaters: 1,232Format: 2D and 3DDirector: John GulagerCast: Kelly Brook - MarieMichael Dicarluccio - VinceRiley Steele - AlisonRating: NC-17 for sequences of strong bloody horror violence and gore, graphic nudity, sexual content and languageRuntime: 75 minBudget: $2.5 millionTagline: "Connect it January 8"

Marie and Vince have moved to a new house. They are seen entering the house. The former owners left some stuff, including a computer and some beds and tables. The couple decides to clean everything and keep things for them.Marie and Vince sit in the couch while they talk, kiss and have sex. Vince takes Marie’s shirt and starts to kiss her boobs while continues to go down. We just see Marie’s face, but it is clear that Vince is licking Marie’s vagina and she loves it.In the next morning, Vince looks at the computer and connects it. The computer talks with a robotic voice. Vince is shocked at the advanced technology of it. It starts saying it has everything Vince needs to live.Marie shows up at the door’s room, naked. She goes and sits over Vince, separating him from the computer. After that, she does Vince a blowjob, while the computer turns is light in the button of turn on/off from blue to red. We see it is mad.The computer is not happy that Marie steals Vince’s attention from him, so he starts talking to Vince and convincing him that it has everything he needs, and starts to open some porn sites. Vince looks at the videos, grabs his dick and does a handjob to himself.Time passes and Marie is unhappy, so one day she calls her best friend, Alison. She tells Vince that because he hasn’t giving her attention, she is going to spend the night at Alison’s home. Vince feels bad, but goes back to the computer. Vince goes to internet, play games, sees porn and other stuff, but he keeps thinking about Marie.Meanwhile, at Alison’s house, Marie cries and says that the computer stole his boyfriend. Alison comforts her friend, and says that she will always be present. Suddenly, she kisses Marie. Marie looks at her friend in shock, but we see she wants more. And both of them continue to kiss. They take their clothes of, and start to caress each other’s boobs.Vince tells the computer that he feels bad for what happened, and goes after Marie. The computer doesn’t like and prepares a plan. Meanwhile, Alison and Marie are hugged in bed naked after sex. Marie receives a call. It is Vince saying he wants her back. Marie dresses up, and tells Alison to keep this a secret, while promising she will return.About 30 minutes passed, and someone knocks at Alison’s house. It is Vince, saying he wants Marie back. Alison says Marie received a phone call from him and went to their house, but that she is right there ready to do everything. Vince drops the flowers he had in the right hand and runs back to his house. Vince did not make the call, it was the computer pretending it was Vince. Alison follows him without him getting notice of it.Meanwhile, Marie is at home, and the computer has the screen red. Marie screams to him, “give me back my man!”. The computer asks her if she would like to have the three holes full. Marie doesn’t understand. The computer grabs her with his cables. Rips her clothes apart. We see lots of cables getting into her ass, vagina and mouth at the same time, while two caress her boobs.The cables continue to get more and more inside her, while she tries to scream in despair. The computer starts to sing some crazy lyrics. Vince arrives and sees what is happening, he has an axe in his hand. Alison is behind, peeking without anyone noticing, and she starts to touch herself while seeing what the computer was doing to Marie.Vince tries to attack the computer, but it sends itself against Vince putting him into the ground and making him watch. The computer’s monitor continues to talk, on how Vince prefers Marie even after what it did for him. The cables can’t go much more inside Marie, and they start to rip her body apart. The cables there were caress her boobs start to strangle them, until Marie’s boobs explode, lots and lots of blood is seen.Vince watches in terror, while cables start to rip the rest of Marie’s body. Some start to get out by her belly, and some from her back, while the ones that entered in his vagina go up. Marie gives her last scream while we see the cables getting out from her eyes, nose and the top of her head.Marie has been turned into a piece of blood. The computer grabs her and eats her (his mouth is the screen). After that, it releases Vince. Vince goes back on the attack while crying, but the computer quickly grabs him. It asks “Do you like ass action?”. Terrorized, Vince just feels something up his ass, and we see a massive number of cables entering inside him. Soon, there are some cables going into his mouth, and one of them does a handjob to Vince.The computer asks, laughing “Is it handjob or cablejob? I am pretty sure it is the latter in this case ah ah ah!”. When Vince ejaculates, the computer pulls his dick out of his body, and eats it, while Vince cries and screams for help. The cables that entered in Vince’s mouth start to exit in his ass, and the cables that entered in his ass start to exit in his mouth.In one second, the computer rips Vince apart, and we see his inside body. The computer eats him, and says crying “I lost another brother”. The room is a pool of blood. Alison enters the room with a finger in his mouth and a hand moving her hair, saying “If you do to me what you did to Marie, but without killing me and instead giving me pleasure and fun, I will give you full attention until the end of my days”.The computer’s light button turns into green, and he is really happy, accepting the offer. Alison starts to take her clothes of and she lies down in the floor full of blood, right next to the computer. We see the cables entering inside her, one by one, until all her holes are full. She is loving the moment. The computer finally has found his match. The movie ends with an happy song and the credits roll, while we see the computer and Alison having sex.

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