Movies

Synopsis Of Always

For all its state-of-the-art special effects, Always is essentially a remake of the 1943Spencer Tracy-Irene Dunne fantasy vehicle A Guy Named Joe–minus the wartime context. Richard Dreyfuss stars as a reckless fire-fighting pilot who is killed in what was to have been his final mission. Ascending to Heaven, Dreyfuss is introduced to businesslike angel Audrey Hepburn (playing the equivalent of the Lionel Barrymore role in A Guy Named Joe). Hepburn instructs the spectral Dreyfuss to pass on his aviation knowhow to his young successor, Brad Johnson. Our ghostly hero also smoothes the course of romance for his earthly girl friend Holly Hunter, who after several months’ worth of grieving has fallen in love with Johnson. John Goodman injects a dose of comedy relief as Dreyfuss’ faithful buddy. ~ Hal Erickson

Synopsis Of Charlie St. Cloud

A young man forms a unique connection to the afterlife after surviving the tragic car accident that claimed his younger brother in this supernatural drama starring Zac Efron, based on the best-selling book by author Ben Sherwood. Charlie St. Cloud (Efron) is an experienced sailor from the Pacific Northwest who has just earned a scholarship that will take him far from home. The light of his mother’s life, Charlie and his little brother, Sam (Charlie Tahan), are driving late at night when they’re involved in a deadly car accident that kills Sam and leaves Charlie forever changed. In the aftermath of the accident, Charlie is wracked with guilt, convinced that if he had just been more careful behind the wheel, Sam would still be alive today. When Charlie begins seeing visions of his younger brother that are just as real as if Sam is actually standing before him, his friends and neighbors all start to think he’s losing his mind. Shortly thereafter, Charlie’s former high-school classmate Tess (Amanda Crew) returns to town unannounced, and together the two old acquaintances forge the foundation of a meaningful romance. But before Charlie can move on with his life he’ll have to first let go of his past, and bid his beloved brother Sam one final, heartfelt farewell. ~ Jason Buchanan

Synopsis Of Ghost

An interesting hybrid of popular film genres, Ghost showcases the talents of its entire cast. While out on the town one evening, New York couple Sam (Patrick Swayze) and Molly (Demi Moore) are confronted by a mugger. After submitting to his demands, Sam is murdered anyway. He then finds himself a disembodied spirit, invisible to the living world, wandering without hope until he finds a spiteful spirit aboard the subway (Vincent Schiavelli) who gives him some helpful pointers on how to co-exist. Soon Sam comes back into contact with those he knew in life, and he begins to learn piece-by-piece of his close friend and co-worker Carl’s (Tony Goldwyn) embezzling plot which caused his death; the apparent mugging was, in fact, a premeditated murder. In the meantime, Carl has designs on Molly, and Sam is determined to extract revenge. He contacts a psychic (Whoopi Goldberg), and together, the two set out to serve justice and stop the maniacal Carl from getting to Molly. Blending comedy, romance, action, and horror, Ghost was a box-office smash and managed to garner five Academy Award nominations, including “Best Picture,” “Best Supporting Actress” (Goldberg), “Best Original Screenplay,” “Best Editing,” and “Best Score”; Goldberg won her first Oscar. ~ Jeremy Beday

Synopsis Of Heart And Souls

Director Ron Underwood follows up his crowd-pleasing hit City Slickers (1991) with this likable, feel-good comedy drama about a selfish businessman who discovers that he’s permanently being followed by a group of ghosts. In 1959, a bus accident links the spirits of four fatally injured passengers to a newborn baby whose birth is caused by the crash. For 25 years, Milo (Tom Sizemore), Harrison (Charles Grodin), Penny (Alfre Woodard) and Julia (Kyra Sedgwick) remain bound to Thomas Reilly (Robert Downey Jr.), who believes the quartet to be imaginary childhood friends that have long since disappeared. When the four spooks suddenly realize that they are meant to use Thomas as a conduit to bring closure to their unfinished corporeal lives, they reemerge, causing Thomas to think that he’s gone insane. As he becomes reattached to his supernatural companions, however, Thomas’ innate decency asserts itself and he begins helping them to right the wrongs in their lives, allowing them to possess his body to achieve their goal of settling accounts and moving on into the afterlife. ~ Karl Williams

Synopsis Of The Sixth Sense

In this tense tale of psychological terror, Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) is a child psychologist whose new patient has a problem far outside his usual area of expertise. Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment) is six-years-old and claims to see the spirits of dead people all around him. It seems that Cole has psychic powers and can channel the ghosts of those who were troubled. Cole doesn’t understand his powers, and he has little control over them; he’s constantly terrified by what he sees, and Dr. Crowe is the only one with whom he feels he can share this secret. However, as the doctor digs deeper into Cole’s strange powers, it leads to strange and unexpected consequences for both of them. M. Night Shyamalan, who wrote and directed the film, has a small role as Dr. Hill. ~ Mark Deming

Synopsis Of Somewhere In Time

Christopher Reeve got away from Superman and related costume roles in this dramatic fantasy film, adapted from Richard Matheson’s 1960s vintage novel Bid Time Return. A young playwright, Richard Collier (Reeve), is approached by an elderly woman on the occasion of his first triumph in 1972 — all she says to him is “Come back to me” and leaves him with a watch that contains a picture of a ravishing young woman. Eight years later, he visits the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island and comes upon a photograph of the same woman, whom he discovers was an actress who made an appearance at the hotel in 1912. He becomes obsessed with the image and what the woman — who died the night she approached him in 1972 — meant by what she said. In a manner somewhat reminiscent of the film Laura, he falls in love with her and her image as he learns more about her life and career. Then he comes upon the suggestion of a professor at his former college that time travel may, in fact, be possible, using an extreme form of self-hypnosis to free the person from the place they occupy in the time-stream. Collier’s feelings for the woman are so strong that he succeeds, bringing himself back to the hotel in 1912 on the eve of her triumph. He meets the actress, Elise McKenna (Jane Seymour), and the two fall in love despite the machinations of her obsessive, autocratic manager (Christopher Plummer), who feels threatened by Collier’s presence. ~ Bruce Eder

Synopsis Of What Dreams May Come

Based on a metaphysical 1978 novel by science fiction and horror author Richard Matheson, this romantic fantasy-drama won an Oscar for its expensive and impressive visual vistas depicting an imaginative afterlife. Robin Williams stars as Chris Nielsen, a doctor who has suffered with his artist wife Annie (Annabella Sciorra) through the devastating loss of their children, Marie and Ian, who were killed in a car accident. Although Annie’s all-consuming depression nearly destroyed their marriage, the couple rebuilt their relationship and are now living out a comfortable middle age. Stopping one night to help a motorist in a wreck, Chris is struck by a car and killed. At first confused about where he is, Chris meets Albert (Cuba Gooding Jr.), a spiritual guide who helps him to realize he’s passed away and that he must move on to the next world. After trying with only limited success to communicate with the devastated Annie, Chris moves on and discovers an afterlife that can become whatever one envisions, where even his pet dog awaits him. What Chris envisions as paradise are the paintings of his wife, and he happily takes up residence there, awaiting the far-off day when Annie will eventually join him. He also meets his children, although they have chosen different appearances than the ones they had in life. Then tragedy strikes when Annie, inconsolable, commits suicide and goes to Hell. Although it is rarely done, Chris insists on traveling there, risking his eternal soul to save the woman he loves. Accompanied part of the way by Albert and a wizened guide called The Tracker (Max von Sydow), Chris finally reaches Annie in Hell, and must convince her of the truth in order to release her from her dark prison. ~ Karl Williams

 

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