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Hollywood Weekend: Must Rent DVDs



After a week full of hard work you might have plans to enjoy your weekend. Take that Manakamana trip or spend out an afternoon with your friends. If you don’t have anything to do, go to your video parlor (better buy them at Mahaboudha ) and rent a couple of successful movies this season. We bring you a list of movies that has been critically acclaimed in 79th Academy Awards, and we recommend you to watch the masterpiece of movie making business. These movies could leave you wanting for more so make this weekend a perfect date with the stars.

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The Departed


Director: Martin Scorsese

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Martin Sheen, Mark Wahlberg, Alec Baldwin, Kristen Dalton, Vera Farmiga, Anthony Anderson, Ray Winstone

Genre: Crime / Drama / Thriller

Plotline: Two men from opposite sides of the law are undercover within the Massachusetts State Police and the Irish mafia, but violence and bloodshed boil when discoveries are made, and the moles are dispatched to find out their enemy's identities. The Departed is a remake of a 2002 Hong Kong film titled Infernal Affairs, which was a major hit in its country.

Trivia:
This is Martin Scorsese's highest grossing film to date even adjusting for inflation.

Martin Scorsese sent the script to Mel Gibson, offering him an unspecified role. Gibson thought the script was fantastic, but was unable to accept the part because he was starting production on Apocalypto (2006) at the time.

Scorsese said that he made this film to honor crime genre directors such as Robert Aldrich, Sam Fuller and Don Siegel.
  • As research for his character's occupation, Matt Damon worked with a Massachusetts State Police unit out of Boston. He accompanied them on routine patrols, participated in a drug raid and was taught proper police procedures like how to pat down a suspect.

  • Originally, Jack Nicholson turned down his role in the movie, but after a meeting with Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio, he was finally convinced to play the role of Frank Costello.
Because Martin Scorsese was so pleased with technical advisor Tom Duffy, he let him appear on-screen as the Governor of Massachusetts swearing in the new Police Academy graduates.

The word "fuck" and its derivatives are said 237 times throughout the film.

Martin Scorsese had originally wanted to cast a known actress, either Kate Winslet or Hilary Swank, for the part of Madolyn. But he later decided to go with someone new instead (Vera Farmiga).

Originally Brad Pitt was cast as Colin Sullivan, but later dropped out. He continued to produce the film under his (and his then wife Jennifer Aniston's) production company, Plan B.

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Little Miss Sunshine


Directed by Jonathan Dayton Valerie Faris

Cast: Abigail Breslin  Greg Kinnear Paul Dano Alan Arkin Toni Collette
Steve Carell

Genre: Comedy / Drama

Plot Outline:
A family determined to get their young daughter into the finals of a beauty pageant take a cross-country trip in their VW bus.


Trivia
  • The movie took five years to make, mostly due to financial reasons.
  • Bill Murray was the original choice to play Frank. The second choice was Robin Williams.
  • Contrary to popular belief, Frank's last name is not Dr. Greenberg. The released script reveal his last name to be Ginsberg.
  • The studios originally wanted Robin Williams to play Frank.
  • All of the girls acting as participants in the "Little Miss Sunshine" beauty pageant, except Abigail Breslin, were veterans of real beauty pageants. They wore the same costumes, including hair and makeup, and performed the same talent routines as they had in their real-life pageants.
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The Pursuit of Happiness

Directed by Gabriele Muccino

Genre: Biography / Drama

Plot Outline:
A struggling salesman (Will Smith) takes custody of his son (Jaden Smith) as he's poised to begin a life-changing professional endeavor.

Trivia:
Will Smith wanted Gabriele Muccino to direct this movie after seeing his films Ultimo bacio, L' (2001) and Ricordati di me (2003).

Actual homeless people were used in the film, and paid as extras.
The homeless people who worked as extras were paid a full day's minimum wage (which is $8.62/hr ) and given free catered meals as compensation for appearing in the film. For some it was the first money they'd made in a while.

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Dreams Girls

Directed by Bill Condon

Genre: Drama / Musical

Plot Outline:
Based on the Broadway musical, a trio of black female soul singers cross over to the pop charts in the early 1960's.

Cast: Jamie Foxx  Beyoncé Knowles  Eddie Murphy Danny Glover  Jennifer Hudson  Anika Noni Rose

Trivia:
  • Jennifer Hudson is said to have gained twenty pounds in order to play the role of Effie White.
  • Jennifer Hudson beat out 782 other actresses for the role of Effie White, including her former "American Idol: The Search for a Superstar" (2002) rival Fantasia Barrino. Hudson had to audition for the role repeatedly over six months, and after each audition was told she was no longer considered for the role.
  • Beyonce Knowles' , a huge fan of the original Broadway production of "Dreamgirls", so wanted the role of Deena Jones she actually auditioned in full costume and performed with choreography, beating out singer/actress 'Alicia Keys' for the role. Knowles also spent six months working with acting and vocal coaches to prepare for the part. Since then, she has said she considers this her first film as an actress.

  • Anika Noni Rose had to wear six inch heels while filming the title musical number as to appear in frame with 'Beyonce Knowles' and Jennifer Hudson.
    Took the record for the most Oscar nominations (8), without receiving a Best Picture nomination.
Mary Wilson, founding member of "The Supremes" and the basis of the Lorell Robinson character has gone on record as saying the events of this film are "closer to the truth" (that is, the actual story of "The Supremes") than anyone realizes.

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Last King of Scotland


Directed by Kevin Macdonald

Genre: Drama / History / Thriller

Cast: Forest Whitaker, James McAvoy, Kerry Washington, Gillian Anderson

Plot Outline:
Based on the events of the brutal Ugandan dictator Idi Amin's regime as seen by his personal physician during the 1970s






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Apocalypto


Directed by Mel Gibson

Genre: Action / Adventure / Drama / Romance

Cast: Rudy Youngblood, Mayra Sérbulo, Dalia Hernandez, Gerardo Taracena, Raoul Trujillo

Plot Outline:
As the Mayan kingdom faces its decline, the rulers insist the key to prosperity is to build more temples and offer human sacrifices. Jaguar Paw (Youngblood), a young man captured for sacrifice, flees to avoid his fate.

Trivia:

Because of heavy rains in Mexico, the released date had been changed from 4 August 2006 to 8 December 2006.

There was severe flooding in the southern region of the country during filming, which displaced at least a million people. The crew helped with some flood relief.

The teaser trailer for the movie has an almost entirely different cast than the one that ends up in the film.

Due to the unpredictable climate in the rain forest of Mexico, special care was needed to protect the digital cameras. Under extreme heat, they were covered with space blankets to reflect the heat. Temperature was closely monitored via thermometers added to the cameras. While shooting at a waterfall, the cameras were protected in specially built Hydroflex splash bags designed by Pete Romano.

During the course of filming the 170-ft waterfall for the scene in which Jaguar Paw (Rudy Youngblood) jumps to escape the headhunters, a real cow that was attempting to cross upstream went over the waterfall. Remarkably, it emerged from the fall alive and the dazed and confused animal banged with the current along rocks near the bank. Mel Gibson and crew were certain the cow was done for, but after a local man swam into the river and calmed it, the cow climbed up on bank and began eating grass as if nothing had happened.

As a teenager, Mel Gibson was actually once called 'almost' by an older boy, which was a deep insult to him. This inspired the line in the movie in which Jaguar Paw is called 'almost' by one of the headhunters.

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Letters From Iwo Jima


Directed by Clint Eastwood

Genre: Drama / History /

Cast: Ken Watanabe, Kazunari Ninomiya, Tsuyoshi Ihara, Ryo Kase, Shido Nakamura

Plot Outline: The story of the battle of Iwo Jima between the United States and Imperial Japan during World War II, as told from the perspective of the Japanese who fought it.

Trivia:

Originally titled "Red Sun, Black Sand".

Ken Watanabe read actual letters sent by Imperial Japanese Army Gen. Tadamichi Kuribayashi to his family from Iwo Jima while preparing for his role.

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Babel

Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu

Genre: Drama / Thriller

Cast: Brad Pitt Cate Blanchett Mohamed Akhzam Peter Wight Harriet Walter

Plot Outline:
Tragedy strikes a married couple on vacation in the Moroccan desert, touching off an interlocking story involving four different families.

Trivia:
  • Rinko Kikuchi went through a year long audition process before finally gaining the role of Chieko.

  • Boubker Ait El Caid was cast as Yussef, the young Moroccan boy who mishandles the rifle, after director Alejandro González Iñárritu saw him playing soccer at the local town plaza.

  • Brad Pitt gave up one of the starring roles in The Departed (2006) (a film he co-produced) in order to participate in this film, as he's a longtime fan of Alejandro González Iñárritu's films.
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Borat


Directed by Larry Charles
Cast Sacha Baron Cohen . Ken Davitian Luenell

Genre: Comedy

Plot Outline: Kazakh TV talking head Borat is dispatched to the United States to report on the greatest country in the world. With a documentary crew in tow, Borat becomes more interested in locating and marrying Pamela Anderson.

Trivia:

This film broke Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)'s record for the biggest box office opening weekend ever for any film that opened in fewer than a thousand theaters
  • The police were called on Sacha Baron Cohen 91 times during the production of this film.

  • The suit Sacha Baron Cohen wears when playing Borat has deliberately never been cleaned.
The character of "Borat" was heavily criticized by the Kazakh Government, "being a concoction of bad taste and ill manners which is incompatible with the ethics and civilized behavior of Kazakhstan's people".

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The lives of others (Das Leben der Anderen)


Directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

Genre: Drama

Plot line:
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's movie debut focuses on the horrifying, sometimes unintentionally funny system of observation in the former East Germany.

Cast: Martina Gedeck Ulrich Mühe Sebastian Koch

Trivia:
  • The film set a record in 2006 for getting the most nominations (11) for the German Film Awards ever.
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Pan's Labyrinth (El Laberinto del Fauno) nominated for best foreign language category.

Directed by Guillermo del Toro

Cast: vana Baquero, Doug Jones, Sergi Lopez, Ariadna Gil, Maribel Verdú, Álex Angulo

Genre: Drama / Fantasy / Thriller

Plot Outline: In the fascist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter a sadistic army general escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world.

Trivia:
  • Received 22 minutes of applause at the Cannes Film Festival.

  • Mexico's entry to Academy Awards, on the category of Best Film in a Foreign Language (2006).

  • In 2007, this film became one of the few Fantasy films ever nominated in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Oscars.

  • This film was banned in Malaysia by Malaysia Censorship Board for excessive violent scenes.

  • After the first week movie theaters in Mexico had to place signs over the movie posters warning about the graphic violence as parents kept taking small children to watch it.

  • Doug Jones was the only American on the set and the only one who didn't speak Spanish.and had to memorize not only his own lines in Spanish (a language he does not speak) but also Ivana Baquero's (Ofelia) lines so he knew when to speak his next line. The servos in the head piece that made the facial expressions and ears move were so loud, he couldn't hear her speak her lines.
Nicolette Krebitz auditioned for the role of Christa, which eventually went to Martina Gedeck.

 
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