HOME   News   Reviews   Adv Search   Features   My DVD   About   Apps   Stats     Search:
  Directed by
  • Widescreen 2.40:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL )
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • English: DTS 5.1 Surround
  • English: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • Deleted scenes
  • Teaser trailer
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Audio commentary - Dir. Kevin Bray & Prod. Matt Alvarez
  • Cast/crew biographies
  • Featurette - From Video to Features; Making the Benjamins; Production Design; Stunts
  • Production notes
  • Music video
  • Gag reel
All About the Benjamins (Rental)
Roadshow Entertainment/Roadshow Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 94 mins . MA15+ . PAL


Right now, you might be asking yourself “Who are the Benjamins? What did the Benjamins do and why exactly should I watch a movie all about them?”

You might be thinking the Benjamins are a secret society of guys who conspire to control the world through a hidden government...

“Hello, are you the Benjamins who conspire to control the world through a hidden government?”
“Er, no, we’re the… Andersons. We want to control... zoos. Yeah. Zoos. Sorry, try next door.”

If this is what you thought, you’d be wrong.

You might think it could be about a family called the Benjamins. Bill Benjamin is the long struggling father who just wants his kids to accept his new wife. Mary Benjamin, the oldest daughter, is angry that her father is marrying so soon after losing his first wife in a terrible road rage/water buffalo accident, and the unfortunately named youngest son, Benjamin Benjamin, just wishes he was dead.

If this is what you thought, again, you’d be wrong.

Click here to enlarge and send to a friend
I dunno, I just thought this pic looked funny.

No, “the Benjamins”, as in Benjamin Franklin, whose noggin adorns the U.S. $100 bill, is actually just another way of saying “the money” in America. Aussies can add this to the growing list of useless trivia that is clogging up our Information 12 Items or Less Lane Express Superhighway. Pop quiz: Who can tell me who features on the Australian $100 note, without looking in your wallet? Bzzzzzzz! Time’s up! You know, it’s sad when we know more about another country than we do about our own. I pity the next generation, for it will be one who believes that President Bush is our leader and he just happens to have an Australian pet dog called John Howard, that NTSC is our system, that all our best actors were born over there, that it’s color not colour, that we use ‘ize’ not ‘ise’, and that it’s okay to pop a cap into your homie’s ass if he messes with your ho or if he looks all sidewayz at your ride while you bounce your gherkin, what ever the hell that means.

But, putting all that aside for the time being lest you think I’ve lost my mind (I haven’t, okay? I just feel very strongly about the future generation, seeing as they’re the one’s who are going to be in the jury at my trial one day), this film is about the American lust for the cold hard dollar. And why is it always ‘cold and hard’ dollars? Why not ‘lukewarm and slightly limp’ dollars? Or how about ‘incredibly hot yet completely flaccid’ dollars? I swear I’ll never understand the American obsession with temperature and rigidity.

Click here to enlarge and send to a friend
LOOK! Look at my forehead! It's HUGE! It looks like an arse!

Now, the film, before I forget about it entirely, centres around a bounty hunter (Ice Cube) who is about to bust small time crim Reggie (Mike Epps) when they cross paths with a diamond heist gone wrong. In the kerfuffle Reggie drops his wallet (which also just happens to contain a 60 million dollar winning lottery ticket), so the bad guys use the wallet to track down Reggie and seek revenge because they think he was in shafting them out of the diamonds. Cube, however, just wants to hunt down the guys that shot at him, and maybe get the diamonds so he can fund his own P.I. biz.

Yeah, I didn’t watch the film for the story either, so don’t lose any sleep if I left something out, okay? This isn’t a plot that is worried if someone comes along and drives a truck through the holes in it. Cube, or more correctly his production company, just needed a rough plot to follow while they ran around Miami’s sun drenched locations showing off the sights, shooting guns, chasing cars and, well, that’s really about all. Like I said, it’s not a complex film. All told, some of it is shot nice, they try to give it a stylish look, it has a good laugh-to-action ratio and at 94 minutes it doesn’t take too long to get it all over with.


There’s probably a really good reason why first time director Kevin Bray and his DoP Glen MacPherson felt that this film needed to be shot in a 2.40:1 aspect ratio; I figure it was to make the film look better than it is, but then it goes and uses some of the uglier locations of Miami. Still, the picture is bright and colourful, with attractive vibrant hues whether inside or out. Blacks are deep and rich, and the print is about as clean as you want. It’s not as detailed as I’d expected, a few notches down from what something like Gangs of New York throws out at you, but it’s still perfectly fine for the film and pleasant to look at, and is 16:9 enhanced.

This DVD is yet another which features a DTS track along with the Dolby Digital 5.1 track, just for all you raving mad Dolby Digital haters, but giving them both a fair run through different sections you’ll be hard pressed to hear any difference or benefit from one or the other. Looking at that positively, it means that both are clear, dynamic and meaty enough to give the more raucous parts of the soundtrack plenty of aggressive thump to pump your sub and speakers. Of course, you could skip these two enjoyable primary tracks and go for the perfunctory Dolby 2.0 surround track instead. But, really, why would you? That would just be insane.

Should this rental release ever make it to sell-thru, this is obviously the whole package that we'll get at that time.

Audio Commentary – Director Kevin Bray & Producer Matt Alvarez
These guys fought a losing battle for my attention, because there was nothing about the film or the production that I thought was worth knowing more about. They try, they discuss scenes and production, forget a lot of names, slap themselves on the back, but I doubt that there’s much here worth revisiting.

Featurette – Shot Caller: From Video to Features (14:20)
With interviews from Cube and people who have taken the trip, this featurette looks at the use of music video directors to debut on feature film productions. Given the time allotted, it covers a reasonable amount of ground, but the point that comes across most clearly in relation to Cube’s production company is that regardless of the justifications given, Ice Cube is always the boss on his set and his word is the final word. Naturally, anyone who has worked for him blesses the ground he walks on when given the opportunity to say so, but you can’t help detecting a sense that they’re being used primarily because they’re cheap and will do whatever Cube says.

Featurette – Strictly Business: Making the Benjamins (12:25)
Everyone slap each other on the back! Yes, you’ve all done a marvellous job, you’re all really really talented, and you bring something unique and charismatic to your performance!

Featurette – Miami Nice: Production Design (08:35)
You don’t just go out on the street and shoot people in their normal clothes, or locations as they look in real life, you have to create a distinctive look that is ‘movie’ real, not ‘real’ real, because real people and real places look, well, too real, which is not as interesting as movie real, which is a little bit better so that’s why you never see extras wearing beige cardigans and moccasins. This featurette is about the look of the sets and the characters’ clothing, if you haven’t already figured that out.

Featurette – All About The Stunts (07:45)
Similarly, when someone goes flying over the bonnet of a moving car, it’s not really the actor, did you know that? I didn’t. Seriously. I thought for 20 million a movie, the director would make the actor actually get hit by a car, because 20 mill seems like a lot of money for just remembering some lines. So apparently, they use “stuntmen”, who, get this, do the stunts, so that the actors don’t hurt themselves! Amazing stuff!

Deleted Scene (02:15)
If this single deleted scene is anything to go by, the shoot was a far more economical one than the extensive waste of celluloid used in The Hot Chick deleted scenes. Can’t see why they couldn’t have left this in, it’s not like the film without it is any better or worse, but at least this would have upped the laughs a notch briefly.

Gag Reel (02:15)
With a lot of improv in the film, there must have been more than two minutes worth of lame flubs to show.

Music Video (04:00)
By someone called Trina. I’m sure she’s not half the stupid vain tart she makes out to be in the clip.

A Teaser Trailer and a Theatrical Trailer each assembled from the condensed best bits of the film. If these kinds of trailers teach us anything, it’s that people make their viewing decisions based on not knowing a thing about the story, rather just going by the number of times something gets blown up or how hard someone gets kicked in the nuts.

Theatrical Press Kit
A whole bunch of text screens for further reading up about the cast, crew, and production.

Easter Egg
You know the drill, go HERE for the instructions and feel like you’ve done something special today.

  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=2740
  • Send to a friend.
  • Do YOU want to be a DVDnet reviewer? If so, click here

    Cast your vote here: You must enable cookies to vote.
  •   And I quote...
    "Ice Cube plays his normal grouchy self in an entertaining generic action comedy rental release that might tickle your fancy, you kinky little devil you."
    - Vince Carrozza
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Sony DVP-525
    • TV:
          Philips 55PP8620
    • Receiver:
          Sony STR-DB1070
    • Speakers:
          Wharfedale s500
    • Centre Speaker:
          Polk Audio CS245
    • Surrounds:
          Wharfedale WH-2
    • Subwoofer:
          DB Dynamics TITAN
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
      Recent Reviews:
    by Vince Carrozza

    20 Million Miles to Earth

    Earth Vs The Flying Saucers
    "The people of Earth face their ultimate threat – not from the DEVIOUS COMMUNISTS! Not from the WILEY CHINESE! Not even from the sinister ROTARIANS!"

    City Under the Sea
    "What, indeed, was the point of this film, and why did they write a part for a bloody rooster?"

    Santana - Down Under Live at Sydney's Hordern Pavilion
    "Fans can look beyond the flaws though and just revel in the Gold FM hits without the annoying ads."

    Phantom of the Opera (1925)
    "It’s your typical ‘lovesick masked psycho meets girl, girl unmasks psycho, psycho goes on rampage” story."

      Related Links
      None listed


    Search for Title/Actor/Director:
    Google Web dvd.net.au
       Copyright DVDnet. All rights reserved. Site Design by RED 5