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Last night at Hollywood’s ArcLight Cinema at an event billed as a ’10th Anniversary’ fan screening of his 2006 slasher masterpiece ‘Hatchet‘ writer/director Adam Green took everyone by surprise and premiered an unannounced new instalment to the franchise titled ‘VICTOR CROWLEY‘!

The film is set a decade after the events of the first three hatchet films films and sees Kane Hodder return as Victor Crowley with Parry Shen (Better Luck Tomorrow) for an all-new, horrifying journey into the haunted, blood-drenched bayou.

Adam Green said:

“I couldn’t be happier to partner with Dark Sky Films and bring Victor Crowley back to horror fans around the world. Resurrecting the series for its tenth anniversary was our way of saying thank you to everyone in The Hatchet Army and beyond who have supported this series since its inception. This bloodbath is for all of you.”

Green had in-fact been teasing an unnamed project for over a year on his podcast ‘Movie Crypt’ that he hosts with fellow writer/director Joe Lynch.

VICTOR CROWLEY screens at Horror Channel’s FrightFest on Saturday 26 August at Cineworld Leicester Sq.

Book tickets here: http://www.frightfest.co.uk/tickets.html

There isn’t a man or woman who doesn’t know of Stephen King these days. And why should that not be the case? While King himself would say otherwise, there is no denying that the man has become one of the greatest and most influential authors of modern times. He has written countless books, namely in the horror genre, and his work has been adapted into countless films and mini-series. There was a time when I would read nothing but Stephen King books and I have seen many of the adaptations of his work – from the amazing The Shining and The Shawshank Redemption to the far from amazing Sleepwalkers and The Graveyard Shift. These days however, I find it hard to get into his work due to the repeat of his stories, which makes sense when you consider how much he’s written.

And one book, or book series, that has fallen victim to my King illiteracy is what many consider his magnum-opus; The Dark Tower.

Years later we now have a film to go with the novels. Although from what I hear, this film is about as accurate to the book as the Percy Jackson films were to the Rick Riordan novels. The story we are presented is that of young Jake, a young kid with strange abilities – you know, maybe it was apt that I mentioned Percy Jackson earlier. This kid has psychic powers, the Shining to be exact, in a pretty cool link to King’s universe. With the Shining, Jake has dreams of a man in a black suit destroying a titanic black tower – and that only a gunslinger with expert marksman skills can stop him. Jake soon finds his way to a different world and must help the gunslinger, and himself, take revenge on the devil in the black suit. For if the tower falls all hell, literally, breaks loose.

When this film started most of my optimism died-out. Why? Because, for the beginning at least, this film follows that formula of late 2000’s-early 2010’s young-adult fantasy adaptations. It felt just like Percy Jackson; like the awful City of Bones; like the more recent (but pretty good) Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. With that, I had a feeling that I knew what I was in for – and boy was I dreading it. With the exception of Miss Peregrine’s, this formula has never worked, and I have no idea why it’s still being used. The acting wasn’t helping either. We hadn’t seen Roland the gunslinger or Walter (yes, Walter) the man in black yet, and everyone before them was pretty awful. The actor for Jake was wooden, and his voice was clearly breaking during the filming. Coupled with messy writing and basic directing, I was taken out of this film very early on. Then we got to the other world.

In this other world, we finally meet Roland and Walter, played by the film’s celebrities Idris Elba and Mathew McConaughey. It here that the film finally starts to feel alive. Almost immediately the directing picks up, becoming more visually interesting and even a little creative. There’s a moment in the ruins of a theme park that feels like classic Stephen King. The acting improves drastically too. Elba stands out here – not only does he look the part, and looks very cool too, he plays it with the right amount of seriousness and satire to the Clint Eastwood westerns. He almost single-handedly carries the film with charisma and gravitas.

Sadly, less positive can be said about McConaughey. Not that he was bad, although he was far from top-form. But he plays the role in a way that anybody else could have. He’s that classic silly villain – while his dialogue and character is pretty well written, he himself is constantly whispering his lines, hiding in the shadows and always has a henchman to take his coat. He is clearly having fun, but is also trying to take things seriously. I don’t know if it’s creative choices, what the director was telling him or if he was just miscast, but something was letting him down here.

For the most part, the film plays like a young-adult adaptation – albeit darker than most. Despite an obvious benefit of a higher rating, we have a 12a film. Censored brutality and mild creeps throughout. There’s a good bit of CGI here, and not all of it is very convincing. The characters are surprisingly fun and engaging, particularly as the film goes on, but are fairly underdeveloped. Some scenes caught me by surprise, but for the most part it follows a very familiar formula.

Where the film really shines is in its action. They actually get away with a few things 12a’s don’t usually do in moments – nothing majorly violent or gory, but a little harder than you’d think. The gunslinger scenes we a constant blast, no pun intended. The man in black gets some pretty awesome and even intimidating moments here and there too. Awesome shoot outs and creative uses of magic help this film out of the hole the story’s in.

While The Dark Tower starts off very poor it ends on an enjoyably thrilling, dumb-fun note. I can almost promise that this is not how the books go, but it’s enjoyable none-the-less.

The Dark Tower might rightfully rub book fans the wrong way, and if I had to hazard a guess I’d say King wouldn’t be overly thrilled with the end result either.

But, if you’re like me and haven’t read the books you may find that there’s some fun to be had once you plough through the opening and switch your brain off. If you look at The Dark Tower on sites like Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic then you’ll see that it’s getting panned. Personally, I wouldn’t be that harsh on it as I found it overall enjoyable, if messy. But at the same time, it’s not the first film I would defend. It’s much better than most of the King adaptations out there. My advice is see it for yourself if you haven’t read the books. If you have, then it’ll probably be best if you leave this one to crumble.

What is it about buddie-action comedies that makes them so forgettable now days? I’m serious, I just saw The Hitman’s Bodyguard and I already can’t remember most of it. How is that managed with this cast? I don’t know, maybe it has something to do with it being directed by the man who gave us the worst Expendables film. Whatever the case, here we are.

The story to The Hitman’s Bodyguard is actually pretty hard to decipher. Not that it’s complicated, it’s just so bland and forgettable. It has something to do with Gary Oldman is an Eastern European dictator who is put on trial by the EU or UN or some other equivalent. But, not being able to find hard evidence, outside of bias witness accounts (like there’s any other form of witness account), the people need someone who has hard evidence against Oldman. Set in Samuel L Jackson, a hitman with a heart of gold. He needs to be taken from Manchester to Amsterdam. Set in Ryan Reynolds, a down on his luck bodyguard with only his dignity left to lose. From there on out we have our buddie-movie.

Let’s all be completely honest; the plot is nothing to write home about. Its only reason for being is to put Jackson and Reynolds together. That’s really what people are coming for; the on-screen duo, some laughs and some action. And, being fair to the film it does deliver what it promises. Jackson and Reynolds have great comedic chemistry, and when they’re both on-screen together the film comes alive. Jackson plays his part extremely well. I would say that this role was written for him, if we didn’t all know how true that is. Everything about this character screams Samuel L Jackson – from quick and philosophising remarks, to his usual parental intercourse catchphrase every three sentences. Reynolds, on the other hand, is a bit more conflicting. He’s hilarious, as Ryan Reynolds is, but he didn’t fit his character. Remember the character of Nicholas Angel from Hot Fuzz? That’s what this character basically is, an over-the-top by-the-book safety nut. But Reynolds plays it more like Deadpool – giving us the comebacks and remarks of Deadpool. Funny yes, but definitely not in character.

Other characters are Reynolds’ ex-fiancée, who was okay in the role but had no chemistry with anybody in the film. Salma Hayek plays Jackson’s wife, and she is easily the best part of the film. She plays this imprisoned woman who claims that she is innocent, as do many others – yet she is anything but. She was also used the appropriate amount throughout the film, as any more and she might have started to grate on our nerves a bit. Other than them there’s not really much point in going on. Pretty much everybody else is completely forgettable here. Even Gary Oldman, who I usual love, barely registered to me. His role could have gone to anyone and not a thing would be missed.

Outside of that, there’s not a massive amount to talk about. Mostly the film is just fine. The music is fine. The acting is fine. The use of locations and sets are fine. The humour is good, but that is mostly because of the actors they have playing these roles. The action is surprisingly strong too, and is certainly more violent than I was expecting. The 15 rating is definitely earned on this one.

The directing was very strange to me. Mostly the film was directed, you guessed it, fine. But, there were multiple shots throughout this film that were really bizarrely done. Remember those J.J. Abrams films and the use of lens-flairs? Well take that, but make it incompetently done. Sometimes the lighting was so over-exposed that it blinded the screen – but even when it didn’t, the over-exposure was really distracting. It looked like a bad phone-pic. And because of this, often in the film the screen felt blurred, sometimes really badly. It is possible that that last point was just my screening, but if it’s not then that is a really strange filming choice to have made. There was only one quicker way to draw me out of the film.

It’s time we talked about this film’s tone. Or lack thereof. The Hitman’s Bodyguard feels like three different films are competing to be viewed.

One is a tribute to the ‘90’s action comedies; such as ConAir, The Rock and Face/Off. The other is an unapologetic, bad taste comedy with dark humour and hilarious violent scenes; not too dissimilar from Peter Jackson’s early films like Bad Taste, Meet the Feebles and Brain Dead. And the final tone is a very dark political thriller, where people feel raw emotion for the dark moments in their lives. It is made even worse by the fact that we get all three of these tones together in the first three scenes of the film. I’m sorry, but I feel I have the right to complain when the first scene of this film has a man getting shot and is played for laughs – which then gets followed almost immediately with a scene where a man watches his wife and child get executed in front of him, and is left to live with that image. Truth be told, the film only really works when it plays by the rules of the bad taste comedy. To me, that pretty much proves what this film should have been all along.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard will entertain you if you know what you’re in for. It’s nothing special, but it’s not terrible either. It’s just mediocre. I guess I can recommend it, but not in the cinema. DVD or TV will do just fine. The tonal inconsistencies are unforgivable, but its biggest sin is that it’s just forgettable. Truth be told, I will have probably forgotten about it completely after the weekend.

Savage Beast Films has launched pre-production of its latest feature HARVEST MOON; and has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise additional funding for the thriller, set to shoot in Telluride, Colorado. The cast list  includes, Robert Englund (A Nightmare On Elm Street), Lance Henriksen (Aliens), Jamie Bernadette (The 6th Friend), Betsy Baker (The Evil Dead), Milo Ventimiglia (Rocky Balboa), Yvonne Strahovski (Dexter), Maria Olsen (Paranormal Activity) and Delpaneaux Wills (NCIS). The project also has on-board SFX legend Robert Kurtzman and composer Harry Manfredini (Friday the 13th)

‘After witnessing a murder in the Colorado Wilderness, travel photographer Kyle Williamson seeks out local law enforcement only to find that the small mountain town is not what it seems’

Harvest Moon is the second feature film from directing/producing team Chris Majors (writer/director) & Meredith Majors (producer). Their debut feature was the psychological horror Lake Eerie which starred Lance Henriksen, Betsy BakerMarilyn Ghigliotti & Al Snow has been well received and picked up several awards during its festival one. We look forward to seeing their latest work.

According to the film-makers the vision for Harvest Moon is to create tension through atmosphere. The mountainous landscape of Telluride, Colorado will become a character within the story itself, and will provide a haunting backdrop for a psychological thriller and was inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s ‘Eyes Wide Shut and Robin Hardy’s ‘The Wicker Man; where the terror is brought to life though the inner demons of real human behaviour.

Please support Harvest Moon on Kickstarter
http://www.HarvestMoonMovie.us 

Here’s the thing about cinema. Movies alone are not enough. Sidestepping arguments about certain films being little more than overblown toy advertisements, it is nevertheless true that many of us are drawn to the ephemera surrounding movies. T-shirts; posters; action figures; replica props; comics, the list goes on. Publishing house Laurence King is no stranger to this fact, and hot on the heels of their Dead or Alive: Gangster Trump Cards, released in July this year, they are releasing two sets of movie trump cards. Set to come out on 28th August 2017, the first set is Love and Romance, while the second is Action and Adventure, both by Magma.

Dead or Alive: Gangster Trump Cards

A motley bunch of criminal low-lifes are brought together in this niftily designed deck. Designed by illustrator and pattern designer Adriana Bellet (JeezVanilla), and written by Stephen Ellcock, the cards are appealing and informative. The set includes many familiar faces, from Bonnie & Clyde to the Kray twins, conjuring memories of their various biopics. The cards are a reminder to re-watch some classics, including Mesrine (2008), Gangs of New York (2002), and American Gangster (2007). They also serve as an index of characters to keep an eye out for in the movies. Who doesn’t love a good gangster flick? Especially when real lives make for more interesting tales than fiction. A case in point is the story of Pearl Hart, famed for being the only woman ever to have been convicted of stagecoach robbery. Screenwriter Jeremy Rafuse’s script about Pearl Hart was an Official Selection at the 2017 Beverly Hills Film Festival. Hopefully that will hit screens before too long.

Love and Romance: Movie Trump Cards 

Love and Romance

Love and Romance

“This selection aims to represent diversity in the genre, rather than personal taste or prestige derived from intrinsic critical value.”

The creators of this set may have been better off avoiding the use of the word ‘diversity’ and gone for ‘variety’ instead. They use the word diversity to explain some of their left-field choices: films by Tarantino and Lynch, standing alongside big hitters (Gone With the Wind, Brief Encounter, anything by Nora Ephron). It is a very white, hetero selection, which is a disappointment – out of 32 cards there are only one gay and two non anglophone romance films. I think we can do better than that these days. Here are a handful I would throw into the mix: Blue is the Warmest Colour; My Beautiful Laundrette; Broken Embraces; Appropriate Behaviour; Ali: Fear Eats the Soul.

The painterly illustrations by Marc Aspinall are stylish, depicting many iconic moments, and the descriptions contain plenty of treasure. Nuggets of obscure information to keep film buffs happy – the kind of gold you want up your sleeve at a film quiz.

Action and Adventure: Movie Trump Cards 

Action Adventure

Action Adventure

For this deck Sam Hausermann (writer/researcher for both sets of cards) teams up with illustrator Luke Brookes. It’s impossible to pick a favourite out of so many striking images, from First Blood to Die Hard; Seven Samurai to Raiders of the Lost Ark, the quality is fantastic. The descriptions are consistent, and illuminating, and both packs are expertly presented with design by Elsa Benoldi. I will leave you with a couple of questions: Which film has the superior trump card – Die Hard or Lethal Weapon? Which film contains more violence – The Fellowship of the Ring or Jaws? The answers might surprise you.

Movie Trump Cards are released by Laurence King Publishing on 28th August 2017

http://www.laurenceking.com

Having food while watching a film is a staple of modern human culture. It can be done by visiting the store and grabbing some stuff before you arrive at a friend’s house, ordering some takeaway directly to you or grabbing something at the counter at the cinema. Food in film can be seen in numerous ways, as it can be used to set the mood, create some comedy or simply give the characters something to do. Restaurants make a great setting for many scenes and there are many famous restaurant moments in films and here are some of the best.

Mrs. Doubtfire

Mrs. Doubtfire

Mrs. Doubtfire

Robin Williams’ 1993 comedy Mrs Doubtfire has achieved a legendary status. It shows off William’s skills as a comic, with him taking on dual roles. Being able to convey two different characters but are still the same person is pulled of masterfully and it is at it’s best at the restaurant scene. William’s character Daniel Hillard finds himself at a restaurant as both his aliases and so must switch between the two when with his family or a potential employer. Putting on the costume and then taking it off, getting the two mixed up and the craziness that ensues makes this one of the most memorable and enjoyable parts of the whole film.

Pulp Fiction

Pulp Fiction was a smash hit in in 1994, making over twenty-five times it’s £8 million budget. It would create a slew of imitators and make director Quentin Tarantino a household name. The twists and turns of a plot in the day in the life of some gangsters, with it’s harsh violence and quick dialogue makes it a great film. The restaurant scene in Pulp Fiction has hit-man Vincent Vega (John Travolta) care taking Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman). The fifties style diner plays an important part as the two exchange words about milkshakes that underlines more lofty ideas. The following dance number is even more iconic.

Goodfellas

Sticking with gangsters, the 1990 Scorsese classic contains one of the best restaurant scenes in any film. The movie covers the story of Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) and his companions over the course of twenty-five years. The most famous bit of the film occurs when the gang are at a dinner and Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci), a violent man who’s quick to anger, asks the immortal question “How am I funny?” This intense scene has the actors show their mastery as they attempt to diffuse the situation and answer DeVito without insulting him. It’s one of the best parts of any film and uses the restaurant setting as a contrast from a light-hearted moment to a dangerous one.

The Lonely Guy

In may not be as famous as the others, but the restaurant scene from 1984’s comedy The Lonely Guy is a simple and funny moment. Steve Martin’s character Larry Hubbard finds himself dining alone in a restaurant and has to deal with the literal spotlight. As he announces he’s eating by himself, every diner stares at him for the rest of the scene, with a light following him to his table. It highlights the awkwardness and almost taboo that can come with eating alone, with Martin staying awkwardly calm and charming throughout a very amusing part of the movie.

In Universal Pictures’ American Made, Tom Cruise reunites with his Edge of Tomorrow director, Doug Liman (The Bourne IdentityMr. and Mrs. Smith), in this international escapade based on the outrageous (and real) exploits of a hustler and pilot unexpectedly recruited by the CIA to run one of the biggest covert operations in U.S. history.

Based on a true story, American Made co-stars Domhnall Gleeson, Sarah Wright, E. Roger Mitchell, Jesse Plemons, Lola Kirke, Alejandro Edda, Benito Martinez, Caleb Landry Jones and Jayma Mays.

The film is produced by Imagine Entertainment’s Academy Award®-winning producer Brian Grazer (A Beautiful Mind), Cross Creek Pictures’ Brian Oliver (Black Swan) and Tyler Thompson (Everest), Quadrant Pictures’ Doug Davison (The Departed), and Kim Roth (Inside Man).  Gary Spinelli wrote the screenplay.

We’ve got 2 gift packs to give away they include a weekend bag, t shirt and sunglasses.

To enter, just email over your favourite Tom Cruise film.  Two winners will be picked at random tomorrow!

After a limited run last December, Your Name is returning to UK cinemas in both IMAX and standard formats. After breaking box office records in Japan, it became a rare international success. It’s not hard to see why: Your Name is a melting pot of conflicting elements, all of which fuse together with invigorating energy and soul.

The film may be jarring for some Western audiences who are unfamiliar with the stylings of Japanese anime. Unlike the more classical Studio Ghibli, it has a pop aesthetic. Your Name begins with an opening credits sequence that is more like the titles of a TV show than anything you’ll find in American cinema. Much of the film sets itself to peppy J-pop; it can feel abrasive, but when embraced, these big-hearted musical choices are an expressive representation of the teenage soul.

Two seventeen year olds divide the screen time, but scarcely share it. Mitsuha lives in a quiet mountain town where the closest thing to a café is the pairing of a bench and a vending machine on the side of the road. She dreams of something bigger and easier: “Please make me a handsome Tokyo boy in my next life!” That frustrated cry into the wind gains a lot more significance than Mitsuha ever anticipated.

We’re presented with vignettes of Mitsuha’s life, often preceded by a black screen and the buzzing of an alarm. It’s not until later that it becomes evident that, during our very first encounter with Mitsuha, she wasn’t Mitsuha at all.

Taki is that very thing that Mitsuha wishes to be: a handsome Tokyo boy, who often frequents a real café with his school friends. After a few seemingly amnesiac episodes, both Mitsuha and Taki realise that what they thought were dreams were actually real: every week or two they randomly switch bodies. Initial alarm fades away, and they gradually work out a way for their unpredictable new situation to function: leaving diary entries on each others’ phones and writing on their hands and faces.

Your Name remains a sweet body-swapping comedy for at least its first half.

There’s no ultimate goal attached to their predicament, so Mitsuha and Taki go about each others’ daily lives, trying to navigate their complications. While neither can talk to the other face to face, their connection to one another’s lives becomes stronger and the film sends us into a time-jumping montage which imagines them talking face to face. They scold each other in the messages they leave behind. They talk with the kind of scornful sarcasm that can only be cultivated between old friends.

It’s in this territory that the movie is most comfortable. A more satisfying third act would have been one that went further with the threads set up at the beginning. Instead, the film feels a need to heighten the stakes to an alarming degree, and it loses sight of what it was trying to say in the first place. New rules are added to the initial sci-fi premise that appear to be rooted in nothing other than a need to push the plot in the necessary direction.

IMAX Re-Release Review: Your Name

It is true that without this sudden shift, the film may not have been able to get to its moving coda. At the very end, Your Name becomes about looking wistfully back on your childhood: to the places you went that you can’t quite remember, and the people you loved whose faces are fading in your memory.

Unfortunately, this emotional gut-punch comes at the expense of exploring more interesting themes.

In its second half, it becomes clear that Your Name is pushing these characters into a romance with each other. This is strange given the dynamics set up earlier which, if explored, could have led to a fascinating exploration of gender. That gendered element is brought to the fore given that this is the story of a boy and a girl taking on each others’ bodies – and their exploration of their new physical forms is given screen time, mostly in the context of comedy. However, with Mitsuha’s romancing of Taki’s female work colleague while in Taki’s body, one thing becomes clear: Taki is falling in love with Mitsuha, but Mitsuha is falling in love with being Taki. It’s baffling that the film decides to leave this unexplored.

In IMAX, Your Name is visually ravishing. The camera often sweeps around its characters as they gaze up at the stars, and we’re left just as astonished as they are. While Your Name is not a clear vision, it is often quite wonderful – and emotionally resonant. Controversially, it failed to earn an Academy Award nomination for best animated feature. While I would count myself as slightly less awed by the film as others are, I wouldn’t hesitate to join the chorus of those claiming it deserved that nomination; this ragged film is more affecting and complex than most commercial animation, even if it has room to be much more of both those things.

If you’re not a football fan what do you do and you’re better half, housemates, family are all about their team what do you do during those 90 minutes.  You could do something mundane like the ironing but what if you want to watch something whilst everyone is cheering on their team?

Our friends over at Amazon Prime have you covered. Here are the 10 of the best 90 minute films on Amazon Prime Video, available to stream and/or download, to keep minority of the nation busy whilst the main TV is occupied.

Like Crazy

90 minutes

A university student (Felicity Jones) falls for an American student, only to be separated from him when she’s banned from the U.S. after overstaying her visa.

Napoleon Dynamite

89 minutes

Napoleon Dynamite, with a red ‘fro, his moon boots and illegal government ninja moves, is a new kind of hero. His family consists of fragile brother Kip, who’s seeking his soul mate in online chat rooms; Uncle Rico, who is stuck in his “glory” days of high school football; and Grandma, who enjoys going out to the dunes on her quad-runner.

Miss Potter

89 minutes

Having turned down many offers of marriage, Beatrix Potter finds herself 30, single and living with her parents. Her friends are the childhood animals she lovingly draws and writes about.

Catfish

83 minutes

Nev, a 24-year-old New York-based photographer, has no idea what he’s in for when Abby, an eight-year-old girl from rural Michigan, contacts him on Facebook, seeking permission to paint one of his photographs. When he receives her remarkable painting, Nev begins a friendship and correspondence with Abby’s family.

Zoolander

89 minutes

When Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller), former winner of the coveted Male Model of the Year award, goes to work for up-and-coming fashion designer Mugatu (Will Ferrell), he has no idea that he is walking into a complex web of political intrigue and murder.

From Paris with Love

88 minutes

James is an aide to the US ambassador in Paris gets in tow with Charlie, an unorthodox spy who takes James on a rollercoaster ride of murder and mayhem. As the bodies pile up does James have what it takes?

Last Night

89 minutes

Joanna and Michael are a married couple in Manhattan who face temptation when they spend a night apart. Michael is away on a business trip with colleague Laura where each moment together brims with sexual tension. And Joanna bumps into her past love Alex, who is still madly in love with her.

The Campaign

85 minutes

When long-term congressman Cam Brady commits a major public gaffe before an upcoming election, a pair of ultra-wealthy CEOs plot to put up a rival candidate and gain influence over their North Carolina district.

Airplane!

87 minutes

Former fighter pilot Ted Striker (Robert Hays) hasn’t flown since the war, when an error of judgement on his part led to the decimation of his squadron.

The Bling Ring

90 minutes

In the fame-obsessed world of Los Angeles, a group of teenagers take us on a thrilling and disturbing crime-spree in the Hollywood Hills. Based on true events, the group tracked their celebrity targets online and stole more than $3 million in luxury goods from their homes.