Slumdog Millionaire

The King

A few weeks ago, I saw and greatly enjoyed American Hustle. It’s all surface and doesn’t really add up to anything profound, but I was at a mall on Cape Cod with my mom, whom I was visiting for Christmas. We didn’t need, nor were we expecting, any great masterpiece, and I wasn’t on the hook to review the movie for anyone, so we went to the movies and had a grand old time. This reaction was by no means universal. A whole lot of people don’t like the movie, and a number of critics found it infuriatingly insubstantial and sloppy. It was ever thus. But, when I’m not serving as the model of critical equanimity, I spend my days in a state of nervous terror, brought on by an acute fear of “being wrong” whose scale is frankly silly in its enormity, which is why it may be a very long time, if ever, until I can rewatch American Hustle. Here are 5 more films that induce that same state:

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SXSW Danny Boyle

So far one of the highlights of SXSW was the panel featuring director Danny Boyle. The enthusiasm he shared with us about the event was evident during his Q&A. Even when the nifty “Danny Boyle’s Filmography” montage Fox Searchlight cut together was playing we saw Boyle dancing to it. He was happy to be there, and so were we. While the Slumdog Millionaire director was there to promote Trance, Boyle discussed many of his films, and the lessons he learned from them. Unfortunately he didn’t have time to reminisce about all his movies, but what the director of Trance did talk about was noteworthy. That’s why we took notes:

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Pitch of the Week is a regular feature in which we pitch a movie to Hollywood. These are not original ideas but rather desires for adaptations, remakes, sequels, biopics, films based on true stories and other works involving pre-existing or real-life source material. It’s a chance to highlight things besides movies, albeit in a way that we’re able to tie it to potential movies. The inspiration for this inaugural pitch comes from part of an article titled “Everyday Royals” in the latest issue of Mental_Floss magazine (Dec. 2012), which revisits an interesting news story from five years ago about an alleged heir to the throne of France. The interesting thing about this descendent, whose name is Balthazar Napoleon de Bourbon, is that he’s Indian and can hardly speak the language of the people he’s in line to rule over. A lawyer from Bhopal, he was discovered by Prince Michael of Greece, who wrote a historical novel that traces a lineage from Henry VI to the unlikely but potentially rightful monarch. From the magazine: In doing some family research, Prince Michael, who also hails from the Bourbon clan, discovered that a swashbuckling nephew of Henry VI named Jean de Bourbon had worked his way to India. Jean had fled France after killing a nobleman in a duel. But on his journey, he was kidnapped by pirates, sold as a slave, and served in an Ethiopian army before eventually making his way to Goa, India. From there, he met Mughal king Akbar and served in […]

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Culture Warrior

Last week, as I watched Quentin Dupieux’s Rubber, I noticed that the trailers on the rental Blu-Ray were all of titles sharing space at the top of my queue: titles like Takashi Miike’s 13 Assassins, Kim Ji-woon’s I Saw the Devil, and Jason Eisener’s Hobo with a Shotgun. All, I quickly realized, had been released by the same studio, Magnet Releasing, whose label I recalled first noticing in front of Nicolas Winding Refn’s Bronson. After some quick Internet searching, I quickly realized what I should have known initially, that Magnet was a subsidiary of indie distributor Magnolia Pictures. The practices of “indie” subsidiaries of studios has become commonplace. That majors like Universal and 20th Century Fox carry specialty labels Focus Features and Fox Searchlight which market to discerning audiences irrespective of whether or not the individual titles released are independently financed or studio-produced has become a defining practice for limited release titles and has, perhaps more than any other factor, obscured the meaning of the term “independent film” (Sony Pictures Classics, which only distributes existing films, is perhaps the only subsidiary arm of a major studio whose releases are actually independent of the system itself). This fact is simply one that has been accepted for quite some time in the narrative of small-scale American (or imported) filmmaking. Especially in the case of Fox Searchlight, whose opening banner distinguishes itself from the major in variation on name only, subsidiaries of the majors can hardly even be argued as “tricking” audiences into […]

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Not pictured: Heath Ledger

Arriving with the loud crash of silence, the MTV Movie Awards seem to have been taken over by the Disney Corporation this year. Most of the awards seem fair, but Best High School Musical Movie seems to be a loaded category. Complete winners inside!

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earlyedition-header

Today’s Early Edition may not be as early as it normally is, but it is still morning in California — and since much of our readership is out there on the West Coast, I’m not ready to title-swap to “Not-So-Early Edition” just yet.

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bdreport-slumdog

Once again we’re playing catchup with The Blu-ray Report, but unlike previous week’s I am happy to go back and take a look at 8 new Blu-ray releases — some from this week and some from last week — that are currently all rocking my world to some extent.

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DVDs I Bought This Week!

Brian Gibson loves to buy DVDs. Come with him on his weekly journey into the depths of credit card debt as he tells you what to buy, rent and avoid.

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rr-watchmen

It’s the week of Watchmen here at the Reject Report! That’s right, the most highly-anticipated movie of 2009 — at least, among the comic-book geeks — is finally upon us with Watchmen, based on the celebrated limited series comic book of the same name.

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slumdog-millionaire-header

The fine folks over at Fox Home Entertainment have dropped some awesome little bits of knowledge on us this afternoon regarding the release of the Best Picture winning film Slumdog Millionaire.

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rr-jonasbros

Well, once again I look dumb here at the Reject Report, and it’s all because of the Jonas Brothers. You know that Jonas Brothers movie that I had picked to win the weekend? Turned out it was Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail that won the weekend with $16.5 million dollars.

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rr-jonasbros

Well, it’s all about the Jonas Brothers this weekend, both at 3-D movie houses and here at the Reject Report. I mean, really, that’s the only excitement in store at the box office — unless you count Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, which is the other new release this weekend.

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So here we are in the official Hollywood hangover week. Hugh Jackman was praised for doing less than anyone else had in the past. We have only two non-reviewed movies releasing this weekend. And Tyler Perry in a fat suit is box office gold.

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We Learned a Lot.

Besides the mandatory Defensive Driving Class I had to take, The Oscars was the most educational experience of my year so far. Hopefully, you caught the same things I did. Or we’ll have to fight back behind the playground later.

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bp-brokenoscar

If you missed our live blog during the Academy Awards, fear not – Robert Fure saved you some RAGE.

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Slumdog Millionaire

For those of you not paying attention, there appears to be one little film that is tearing its way through awards season — and it isn’t that big Batman movie or that curious case. It is this little rags-to-riches tale from the slums of Mumbai in India, envisioned by a brilliant British director and adapted by a now red hot screenwriter.

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Profanity is no longer a problem in today’s society. Instead of the censors clipping around real swear words, they’re on the look-out for the new seven dirty words, the heavy seven that will infect your soul, curve your spine and keep the country from winning the war on terror.

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devpatel-2

Over the course of the last few months we’ve received somewhere in the vicinity of 9 million emails from activists groups complaining about the casting of M. Night Shyamalan’s live-action adaptation of the hit Nickelodeon cartoon The Last Airbender. They want more Asian castmembers. Well now Dev Patel has been cast… is that good enough?

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rr-taken

Suffice it to say that Our Long National Nightmare is Over. Paul Blart: Mall Cop has been taken down at the box office by, well, Taken.

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Danny Boyle Takes DGA

Congratulations are in order for Danny Boyle. Consolation prizes are in order for Ron Howard and David Fincher.

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