A stand-up comedian is his or her own writer, director and star performer. Unlike any other art form, there is no safety net. In its singular realization, comedy thrives on a stage—often in front of hostile audiences. For most people, baring your soul and being heckled would be a life-changing trauma. For stand-ups, it’s just part of the routine.
In 2005, Steve Lopez (Robert Downey, Jr.) is a journalist working for the L.A. Times. He is divorced and now works for his ex-wife, Mary (Catherine Keener), an editor. A biking accident lands Lopez in a hospital.One day, he hears a violin being played beautifully. Investigating, he encounters Nathaniel Ayers (Jamie Foxx), a homeless schizophrenic, who continues to bother Lopez until he introduces himself. During the conversation that follows, Lopez learns that Ayers once attended Juilliard. Curious as to how a former student of such a prestigious school ended up on the streets, Lopez contacts Juilliard but learns that no record of Ayers graduating from it exists. Though at first figuring a schizophrenic who’s talented with a violin isn’t worth his time, Lopez soon realizes that he has no better story to write about. Luckily, he soon learns that Ayers did attend Juilliard, but dropped out after two years.
Capitol Policeman John Cale has just been denied his dream job with the Secret Service of protecting President James Sawyer. Not wanting to let down his little girl with the news, he takes her on a tour of the White House, when the complex is overtaken by a heavily armed paramilitary group. Now, with the nation’s government falling into chaos and time running out, it’s up to Cale to save the president, his daughter, and the country.
THUNDER SOUL tells the true story of Conrad O. Johnson and the legendary Kashmere Stage Band. It was afros, pleated pants and platform shoes; James Brown, Sly Stone and Bootsy Collins. It was the ’70s, and an inner-city Houston high school was about to make history. Charismatic band leader, Conrad “Prof” Johnson would turn the school’s mediocre jazz band into a legendary, world-class funk powerhouse. Now, 35 years later, his students prepare to pay tribute to the man who changed their lives, the 92-year-old Prof. Some haven’t played their horns in decades, still they dust off their instruments determined to retake the stage to show Prof and the world that they’ve still got it.
Annie is a young, happy foster kid who’s also tough enough to make her way on the streets of New York in 2014. Originally left by her parents as a baby with the promise that they’d be back for her someday, it’s been a hard knock life ever since with her mean foster mom Miss Hannigan. But everything’s about to change when the hard-nosed tycoon and New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks – advised by his brilliant VP, Grace and his shrewd and scheming campaign advisor, Guy – makes a thinly-veiled campaign move and takes her in. Stacks believes he’s her guardian angel, but Annie’s self-assured nature and bright, sun-will-come-out-tomorrow outlook on life just might mean it’s the other way around.
More than a dozen Angelenos navigate Valentine’s Day from early morning until midnight. Three couples awake together, but each relationship will sputter; are any worth saving? A grade-school boy wants flowers for his first true love; two high school seniors plan first-time sex at noon; a TV sports reporter gets the assignment to find romance in LA; a star quarterback contemplates his future; two strangers meet on a plane; grandparents, together for years, face a crisis; and, an “I Hate Valentine’s Day” dinner beckons the lonely and the lied to. Can Cupid finish his work by midnight?
For Peter Parker, life is busy. Between taking out the bad guys as Spider-Man and spending time with the person he loves, Gwen Stacy, high school graduation cannot come quickly enough. Peter has not forgotten about the promise he made to Gwen’s father to protect her by staying away, but that is a promise he cannot keep. Things will change for Peter when a new villain, Electro, emerges, an old friend, Harry Osborn, returns, and Peter uncovers new clues about his past.
In 1964, a brash new pro boxer, fresh from his olympic gold medal victory, explodes on to the scene: Cassius Clay. Bold and outspoken, he cuts an entirely new image for African American’s in sport with his proud public self confidence and his unapologetic belief that he is the greatest boxer of all time. Yet at the top of his game, both Ali’s personal and professional lives face the ultimate test.