Tagged: Slumdog Millionaire

Win a Copy of Trance!

TranceDanny Boyle’s Trance is now available on DigitalHD and will debut on Blu-ray add DVD July 23. To celebrate, we have 1 copy of the disc to giveaway to a lucky reader.

Trance brings us tons of twists and turns in the plot as multiple layers of backstabbing occur.  Movies with unexpected turns have become a favorite of audiences. It’s a difficult task to make sure that the twist is unpredictable, but when it is done correctly, double-cross heist films make great additions to movie history. Here, we lay out some of our favorite twisty-turny heist films.

From Academy Award-Winning director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) comes an “exhilarating brain-twister” (New York Post)! After a blow to the head during his attempted robbery of a $27 million Goya painting, Simon (James McAvoy, X-Men: First Class), a fine-art auctioneer, awakens to find that the painting – and his memory – are missing. Forced by his ruthless crime partner Franck (Vincent Cassel, Black Swan) to undergo hypnosis, Simon enters into a deadly love triangle with his seductive hypnotist (Rosario Dawson, Sin City). As the plot twists, the line between reality and dream becomes blurred in this fast-paced, unpredictable, “sexy and suspenseful” (Empire) thriller.

Heat

HeatA series of unexpected changes puts the police close on the trail of Neil McCauley and his crew as they plan yet another bank robbery. After a brutal beating to the crew, only a few are left to carry out the plan. McCauley goes through a lot of difficulties and even develops a mutual understanding with Lieutenant Hanna. In the end, this heist may prove to be too difficult and could be the last string for the crew.

The Bank Job

The Bank JobTerry, Kevin, Dave, Bambas, and Guy thought they had it made when they were given the chance to rob a London bank for millions. The job seemed simple enough for the crew, who made plans to dig a tunnel and empty the bank’s safety deposit boxes. Things got a little more complicated once they realized one of the boxes held scandalous photos of British Royalty, Princess Margaret.  Through a series of twists and turns, members of the crew were tracked down and only a few made it out alive.

Training Day

training_day-300x210Jake Hoyt had no idea what he was getting himself into when he started his first day of work as a narcotics officer.  His new partner, Detective Alonzo Harris, has planned to steal millions of dollars from a drug dealer and save himself from the Russian Mafia. Alonzo may have surprised the audience with his scheming, but in the end a plot twist leaves the money in the hands of Jake.

The Score

The ScoreBack from retirement, Nick Wells plans to steal a scepter and complete one final heist. He teams up with another robber, Jack Teller to complete his plan. It turns out that Jack and Nick do not make such a great team. Both the robbers become selfish and want the scepter for themselves. In the end, Nick has much more experience and is one step ahead of his partner in crime.

After The Sunset

After the SunsetMax Burdett and his wife Lola promised to retire from the business forever and moved to a tropical island.  An FBI agent who had been trying to convict the couple for years followed them to the island, but unknowingly became friends with the retirees.  When a cruise ship with a large diamond is scheduled to visit the same island, the stone is taken by a well-planned heist. In the end, the diamond ends up in the hands of the person who is least expected after a few series of back-stabbing situations.

The Trance Blu-ray offers up the following  Special Features:

BD Exclusive Features

●    Theatrical Feature Blu-ray

●    Deleted Scenes
●    Trance Unraveled (Easter Egg)
●    The Power of Suggestion-Making Trance
●    Kick Off
●    Danny’s Film Noir
●    Hypnotherapy
●    The Look
●    The Final Rewrite
●    Danny Boyle Retrospective
●    Short Film: EUGENE by Spencer Susser
●    Theatrical Trailer
●    UV Copy

DVD Exclusive Features

●    Theatrical Feature
●    Hypnotherapy
●    The Look
●    The Power of Suggestion-Making Trance
●    The Final Rewrite
●    Theatrical Trailer

To win, tell us which feature film James Marsden has not appeared in:

  • Enchanted
  • Superman Returns
  • Looper
  • Hairspray

You must have your answer submitted no later than 11:59 p.m., Sunday, July 6. The decision of ComicMix will be final.

REVIEW: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Your first thought at seeing this review is: “Why on earth is ComicMix reviewing this?” First of all, we’re a pop culture site; but more importantly, this is a film filled with marvelous British actors we have enjoyed in countless genre offerings. They deserve to be seen in just about anything they do and when you put them all together, it’s a British version of The Expendables, the geriatric edition. When you have Judi Dench (the current Bond films), Maggie Smith (Harry Potter, et. al.), Bill Nighy (the Pirates of the Caribbean series), and Tom Wilkinson (Batman Begins) acting together, you sit down and pay attention.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a charming, well-written, well-acted film that is actually about something. It was directed by John Madden (Shakespeare in Love) and based on Deborah Moggach’s novel These Foolish Things. The cast is fortunate to still be working, but many of their peers – and many of us – are not working as we age, and our future has come into question. The film follows these Brits as they decide to relocate from their homeland to a more affordable retirement community in India. They were suckered into believing the glossy brochure, without stopping to investigate. The reality, of course, is far worse than imagined and now they have to deal with the decisions they have come to make.

The film, now out on DVD from 20th Century Home Entertainment, plays things with a light touch while the subject matter is fairly heavy and resonates with our aging elders here, too. There’s Dench as a recently widowed woman who finds 21st Century technology baffling, and Wilkinson, who lived in India as a young man and has desired for a return. Nighy and Penelope Wilton (Shaun of Dead) blew their retirement savings on funding their daughter’s failed start-up so make this move out of desperation. And there’s Smith, playing a racist who only came to India for a quick and cheap hip replacement operation. It’s not all bleak as Ronald Pickup plays a retiree hoping to score with some of his compatriots, his ardor still running hot.

Sharp contrasts are drawn between the characters and their motivations for making such a major move so late in life. How they react to the decrepit hotel, run by the charming, enthusiastic and overwhelmed Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire) propels much of the story. Jaipur, where the story takes place, is beautiful and squalid, a composite of modern day India.

The film follows the characters and over time we watch some adjust, some struggle, and many fight. It’s a school of fish out of water, prompting a lot of cultural miscues and comedy, but it overlays a poignancy that this stellar cast projects in a nice, subtle way. They learn things from the local people, and each other, while they also teach Sonny a thing or two, letting him finally take the belated steps towards a mature adulthood.

The film has its predictable moments but you’re smiling through most this and you want a happy ending for all concerned, which you (for the most part) get. It’s immensely satisfying and worth a look.

The transfer to Blu-ray is good, not great, and has fine audio. There are a handful of perfunctory extras that are too short for the subject matter, such as Behind the Story: Lights, Colors and Smiles (2:34) and Casting Legends (3:55). The exotic and picturesque locales get their due in Welcome to the “Real” Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2:55) and Trekking to India: “Life is Never the Same” (2:45).

‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ workprint hits Internet a month before release

‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ workprint hits Internet a month before release

And now, all the stories that we couldn’t run yesterday because people would think it’s another prank. I don’t blame them, I barely believe this one myself.

The statement from 20th Century Fox says it all:

"Last night, a stolen, incomplete and early version of X-Men Origins: Wolverine was posted illegally on a website. It was without many effects, had missing and unedited scenes and temporary sound and music. We immediately contacted the appropriate legal authorities and had it removed. We forensically mark our content so we can identify sources that make it available or download it. The source of the initial leak and any subsequent postings will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law – the courts have handed down significant criminal sentences for such acts in the past. The FBI and the MPAA also are actively investigating this crime. We are encouraged by the support of fansites condemning this illegal posting and pointing out that such theft undermines the enormous efforts of the filmmakers and actors, and above all, hurts the fans of the film."

The economic impact cannot be underestimated here, both to Fox and to Marvel, which had pegged May as the month to publish alternate Wolverine covers on every single title. We can assume that word-of-mouth attendance on the film’s opening weekend is going to be hurt. Remember that this was probably going to be Fox’s major money maker for the year– now they have to hope that nobody leaks Night At The Museum 2 or the next Ice Age film.

Between this and a bad batch of Slumdog Millionaire DVDs released without the special features advertised on the box, Fox is not having a good week.

Review: ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ on DVD

Review: ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ on DVD

Pop culture is influenced by so many different factors and timing determines what will catch on and endure while other things, quality be damned, wither and die.  A perfect example is the Award-Winning darling of 2008, Slumdog Millionaire.

Based on the 2005 novel by Q & A by Indian author and diplomat Vikas Swarup, it was optioned for film by British production companies Celador Films and Film4 Productions who hired Simon Beaufoy to adapt it. By the time director Danny Boyle read the script and accepted the assignment, it was 2006. The budget was set at $15 million, meaning the producers needed a partner – enter Warner Independent which gambled $5 million for the right. Shooting began in November 2007 and it spent much of 2008 being screened at festivals starting with Telluride and the Toronto International.  But, a Warner Bros. exec saw the finished product and felt that once you added in prints and marketing, it was not likely to recoup its costs.

A different exec at 20th Century-Fox saw it but saw something different and bought the film from Warners and scheduled it for late in the year. By the time it opened on November 12, the economy tanked and people were in a mixed state of financial panic and political euphoria.  People wanted something to latch on to, something to make them forget the scary real world, at least for two hours.

[[[Slumdog Millionaire]]] was the perfect antidote for what was ailing our psyche. As a result, it has earned, through this past weekend, worldwide revenues of $268,103,477 making it hugely profitable and turning the stars Dev Patel and Freida Pinto into celebrities. Pretty heady stuff.

The movie, coming out on DVD Tuesday, is incredibly moving, exciting, funny, poignant and very predictable. While it was the Feel Good Movie of the Year and therefore swayed voters into giving it many prizes, it is not the greatest film of the year.  In addition to the enjoyable story, it also shined a documentary-style eye on India’s slum life and we watched in gaping fascination. This was not Bollywood or some idealized view of life, but the actual way the majority of the people lived in the heavily populated country. This, more than the story, may be one reason it was so well-received around the world.

(more…)

The Dark Knight officially does a billion dollars in box office

The Dark Knight officially does a billion dollars in box office

Wayne Enterprises has another billion in the bank.

According to Box Office Mojo, The Dark Knight has officially reached $1 billion in worldwide box office revenue, distributor Warner Bros. announced today. The Batman sequel is the fourth movie in history to hit the mark, right behind Titanic, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest:

Breaking the worldwide gross down, The Dark Knight has made a phenomenal $533.1 million domestically and $468 million overseas. It’s the only movie in the Top 20 of the all time worldwide chart where the domestic gross exceeds the foreign gross, which is a common trait among comic book-based pictures. On the all time domestic chart, The Dark Knight ranks second to Titanic, while it stands at No. 22 on the all time foreign chart. Warner Bros. noted that The Dark Knight‘s total includes the highest-grossing two-dimensional re-mastered IMAX release ever at $49.6 million domestic and $15.3 million overseas.

For another point of comparison, this year’s five Oscar nominees for Best Picture, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Slumdog Millionaire, Milk, Frost/Nixon and The Reader ,have only grossed $481,205,302 worldwide combined so far. Gee, why would Warner Bros. announce that the day before the Oscars…?

‘The Last Airbender’: Dev Patel in, Jesse McCartney out

‘The Last Airbender’: Dev Patel in, Jesse McCartney out

They must have been reading our comments thread.

Now it’s Dev Patel, who’s getting all the buzz in Hollywood for starring in Slumdog Millionaire, who will be playing Zuko in writer/director M. Night Shyamalan’s live-action feature film The Last Airbender, according to Variety.  Patel takes on the role of the Fire Nation’s evil Zuko, which was originally to be played by Jesse McCartney until "schedule conflicts arose", which could be code for "cast at least one non-white actor in a film about Asians, please".

Exiled from the Fire Nation by his father, Zuko is sent to capture the Avatar in order to restore his honor and right to the throne.

The Last Airbender, based on Nickelodeon’s Avatar anime, will still be released July 2, 2010.

‘The Spirit’ Tanks at Box Office

‘The Spirit’ Tanks at Box Office

The Spirit earned a mere $6.5 million during the three day holiday weekend, good for just ninth place on the top ten.  Based on numbers from Box Office Mojo, the Lionsgate film earned an average of $2595 per screen compared with the number one film’s $10.632.

Marley & Me, like The Spirit, earned lackluster reviews but given an adorable dog and Jennifer Aniston, the movie was essentially critic proof and just the kind of warm, cuddly feel-good film audiences have been craving since the economic downturn began this fall.  The movie exceed expectations by about $10 million and took in $37 million. It also broke the previous Christmas Day record, talking in $14.7 million.

In comparison, Frank Miller’s interpretation of Will Eisner’s classic character met with horrified reviews from those familiar with the source material and poor reviews from everyone else.  Even factoring in Christmas Day, the film earned a mere $10,352,000 and is considered the second straight misfire for Lionsgate, which also flopped with Punisher War Zone at the beginning of the month. It already left theaters by Christmas Eve and was not tracked in the top 50 films.  Since its opening, the $35 million production earned only $8,050,977   domestically.

Adam Sandler’s comedy Bedtime Stories took second place, earning $28.1 million while Aniston’s ex, Brad Pitt, saw his Curious Case of Benjamin Button grab the third slot with an opening weekend gross of $27 million, exceeding expectations. The latter film is already appearing on 10 Best lists and has earned multiple awards nominations.

Fourth place went to Valkyrie which, despite mixed reviews, also exceeded expectations with $21.5 million in ticket sales. Yes Man fell from first place to fifth in just one week, taking in an addition $16.5 million and a 10 day gross of $49.6 million.

Will Smith’s charm may prove more of a draw than expected as his Seven Pounds saw it drop a mere 9.8% and it took in another $13.4 million, raising its two week total to $39 million. The Tale of Despereaux also saw a slight dip from its opening weekend, a mere 7.3% slide and earned an addition $9.368,000. Keanu Reeve’s The Day the Earth Stood Still, dropped 20% and took in just $7.9 million, good for $63,615,000 after three weeks.

Twilight is slowing down gently but with $167 million, it has more than earned a tidy profit for Summit Entertainment.

Disney’s rollout of sleeper hit Slumdog Millionaire continues to grow and has earned $19,661,000 as it widens its reach while continuing to hit top 10 lists.

A lot of the other serious fare continues to perform in limited release and will more than likely dominate the charts in January as the platform release patterns grow.

Drab ‘Earth’ Remake Nabs OK $31 Million

Drab ‘Earth’ Remake Nabs OK $31 Million

Klaatu returned to earth and audiences came to see him to the tune of $31 million in weekend estimates from Box Office Mojo.  The Day the Earth Stood Still was estimated to do as high as $36 million but the mostly negative reviews no doubt caused 20th Century-Fox to revise those estimates. While good for first place, it still proved unexciting which does not bode well in coming weeks.

The other new release this week, Nothing Like the Holidays, was marked return to sender with just $3.5 million in box office receipts. Limited releases Gran Torino, with Clint Eastwood, and The Reader, with Kate Winslet, each had excellent per screen averages but the true test is when they go wide over the next few weeks.

The remaining top five releases saw Four Christmases continue to pack them in, grabbing an addition $13,270,000 for a three week total of $87,972,000.  Third place went to Twilight which topped the $150 million total as tweens can’t get enough of the vampire romance.  Bolt thrilled families, good for fourth place, and $7.5 million for the weekend. The romantic drama Australia took fifth place, with $4,285,000 but its steady decline, down 39.2%, means the $130 million film may prove a disappointment for Fox.

Other films trending down already, in a saturated market that will get fuller between now and New Year’s Day are Quantum of Solace, which has failed to captivate in the same way Casino Royale did.  The movie is performing better overseas where 69.4% of its global take of $515,588,687 has originated. Cadillac Records is also looking soft with just $5,924,000 to show after two weeks.

There have been clear hits, too, with Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa making DreamWorks and Paramount very happy with its total haul of $170 million after the weekend. Slumdog Millionaire, which continues to roll out slowly across the country, has been earning accolades and awards, seeing its audiences grow.  The $5 million film is likely to prove most profitable. Frost/Nixon and Milk both should see similar growth over the next month.

Golden Globes nominees did not see substantively increased audiences in the days following the announcement. Studios are hopeful people will flock to check out the winners come January.

Now that critics and audiences declared Punisher: War Zone DOA, it saw a 67.7% decline after one week and took in a mere $1.3 million.

Thanksiving Good for the Box Office

Thanksiving Good for the Box Office

The Thanksgiving weekend gave Hollywood plenty to be thankful for as the top dozen films took in $223.7 million from Wednesday to Sunday, the second best holiday weekend in history according to the Associated Press.

Twilight did not manage to stay atop the charts during its second week but actually saw a rather steep drop of 62.1%, taking in just $26,370,000 for a total of $119,688,000.  Without merchandise revenue, the film is already profitable more than justifying the sequel but clearly the tween audiences have seen it often enough.

The top film proved to be Four Christmases with Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon.  The Warner Bros, comedy, the only holiday-themed film currently in release, nabbed $31,680,000.  In second place was Disney’s Bolt, the well-received animated tale, taking in $26,596,000.

Fourth place belonged to Quantum of Solace, dropping another 27% and showing $142,056,000 after three weeks in domestic release.

Baz Luhrman’s Australia pleased crowds more than critics, roping  $14,815,000 and a solid per screen average of $5,607 and taking fifth place.

The new film in wide release did less well with Lionsgate’s Transporter 3 taking in $12,330,000. Milk is in limited release had a terrific per screen average of $38,361.

Slumdog Millionaire, made on a miniscule budget, has gained word of mouth cred and has seen its audience grow, with total revenues of  $3,565,000 while still in limited release. Other films saw varying drop offs with Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa dipping a low 7.4% and totaling  $159,511,000 after four weeks. The other big drop went to Universal’s Changeling which fell another 55.2% and is rapidly running out time to make a connection for Oscar consideration.