Tag Archive: mark wahlberg


Stars: Baltasar Kormakur (director), Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Paula Patton, James Marsden, Bill Paxton.

Plot: A DEA agent and an undercover Naval Intelligence officer who have been tasked with investigating one another find they have been set up by the mob — the very organization the two men believe they have been stealing money from.

Based on the graphic novel (and what isn’t these days), 2 Guns teams up the unlikely partnership of Washington and Wahlberg. Unlikely but, judging by the trailer, an on screen partnership that is long overdue! It looks like they really hit it off and their chemistry will drive the movie.

However, it does feel like a plot that’s been done before. I don’t know if I’ve seen anything similar or even heard of anything similar but it just seems TOO generic. But saying that, it looks like 2 Guns is going to be a terrific action film. Explosions aplenty!

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Pain & Gain Trailer

UK Release Date: 3rd May 2013

Stars: Michael Bay (director), Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Ed Harris, Ken Jeong, Tony Shalhoub, Rebel Wilson.

Plot: A trio of bodybuilders in Florida get caught up in an extortion ring and a kidnapping scheme that goes terribly wrong.

This is actually based on a true story, how much of that true story remains in the film, however, is up for debate. But with a cast that teams together Wahlberg, Johnson and Mackie then you have my attention, even if it is directed by that horrible man Michael Bay.

There are no huge explosions in the trailer so it looks as though Bay might have to try and prove he can be a good director without so much action which should be interesting; unfortunately it also feels like a role I have seen Wahlberg in many times before. However, it is great that Johnson getting to show off some humour in the trailer.

The trailer looks decent, but that’s about it. There’s nothing that makes me really want to see Pain & Gain because of the trailer but there’s nothing that puts me off it either. It’s an interesting premise and it seems like we’re going to get to see the plan, the extortion and the aftermath which should make for an interesting story. Coming from the writers behind two of the most anticipated sequels in film (Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: Winter Soldier) it should be a good script to work from.

Last week it was rumoured that Matthew Vaughn was being heavily linked with the director’s chair of the new Star Wars film and it has been revealed that the shortlist for a director is now down to just 2 names (we don’t know if Vaughn is one of them but I expect he is). However, the news this week is that Michael Arndt is set to write the script. This is a fantastic choice from a critical point of view: Arndt won an Oscar for best screenplay in 2007 for Little Miss Sunshine and received another Oscar nomination for his most recent feature, the incredible Toy Story 3. Arndt is currently overseeing the writing of The Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire and will then start work on what is sure to be another brilliant script, this time for Star Wars.

Jack Nicholson is being pursued to play Robert Downey Jr’s father in The Judge. Downey has said that he would love to work with Nicholson but the problem is that Jack Nicholson has only made three films since 2003: the critically acclaimed The Departed, The Bucket List and How Do You Know, the latter of the three showing that it is clearly not a quality script that Nicholson is after. The Judge follows a big-city lawyer (Downey) who returns home after the death of his mother only to discover that his estranged Alzheimer’s-ridden father is suspected of murder, so he represents his father in the case. Although this is by no means a done deal I think it would be perfect casting having Nicholson play Downey’s father.

The LEGO movie spoken about so long ago is finally taking shape and two big name actors have joined the cast this week: Liam Neeson and Will Ferrell. Ferrell will be playing the main villain of the film while Neeson lends his voice to the villain’s henchman. The synopsis for Lego: The Piece of Resistance is: an ordinary Lego mini-figure, mistakenly thought to be the extraordinary MasterBuilder, is recruited to join a quest to stop an evil Lego tyrant from gluing the universe together. Ferrell and Neeson join an ever growing cast of Alison Brie, Chris Pratt and Morgan Freeman.

Finally, what began as an internet rumour has this week been confirmed as an official announcement. Transformers 4 has seen the casting of Mark Wahlberg become a reality. And if the Transformers franchise had cast an actual good action star and decent actor in the first place instead of Shia Labeouf and that waste of oxygen Megan Fox then perhaps I would be more inclined to have given them a watch. However, as I have no interest in supporting Michael Bay I am not even sure Wahlberg can persuade me to begin watching this franchise. Transformers 4 will also be taking place 4 years after the previous instalment, Dark of the Moon.

 

UK Release Date: 25th January 2013.

Stars: Allen Hughes (director), Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Plot: An ex-cop trailing the wife of New York City’s mayor finds himself immersed in a larger scandal.

Here is Russell Crowe taking on a very different look and perhaps overdoing the tan to play his character in Broken City whilst Mark Wahlberg just looks the same as he always does. I think these two actors have something in common with one another: they have both made some fantastic movies (The Departed, Gladiator) but both have also made movies that tread the line between bad and mediocre (Contraband, Robin Hood).

It feels like with the Broken City trailer we are being told lots of things but we are actually being told very little. The conspiracy or the ‘larger scandal’ are kept secret which is obviously a good marketing ploy to attract viewers but is the very boring story of ‘find out who my wife is sleeping with then i’ll kill her’ really an interesting in? I don’t think so.

I’m a fan of Russell Crowe and I do really like Mark Wahlberg (the same can’t be said for my feelings on the incredibly annoying Catherine Zeta-Jones and when she finally gets out of movies I will be very happy) so I hope that Broken City is a good film, but I can’t see it escaping the pool of mediocre films and it will surely slip into obscurity.

Ted Reviewed.

It’s a strange career that Seth MacFarlane has had; he wrote for Cow and Chicken, Dexter’s Laboratory, Johnny Bravo; he’s appeared in Gilmore Girls and FlashForward, but it is his more adult animation that he is known for: Family Guy, American Dad and The Cleveland Show. Now Seth MacFarlane has released his first feature film to be written and directed by himself and he also voices the main character: Ted.

Ted is the story of a young boy’s teddy bear coming to life after a special Christmas wish is made. And if the storyline sounds right out of a children’s book the humour is completely grown up, grown up in the sense that it is for adults, not that it is mature. The boy who makes this wish is John Bennett, played by Mark Wahlberg who I had my doubts about when the film was released because he doesn’t seem like the usual go to guy for a comedy but he turns out to be a brilliant choice along with his co-star Mila Kunis who’s relationship with John originally gets in the way of John and Ted’s friendship. The supporting cast is full of people who made their names on sitcoms: Patrick Warburton, Joel McHale, Giovanni Ribisi and a cameo appearance from Ryan Reynolds. There is also a voice over in the wonderful tone of Seth MacFarlane’s unlikely friend Patrick Stewart.

The humour comes in all shapes and sizes; the verbal humour and the physical humour are equally as funny and Ted seems to find the right balance between the two. The conversations between Ted and the supermarket boss are comedy gold, although you might not know if you’re laughing because it’s funny or whether you’re laughing because what Ted is saying is completely outrageous…but as long as you’re laughing, does it really matter?

Basically, watching Ted is a bit like watching a 100 minute long episode of Family Guy. The jokes seem to always be in that vein and you wouldn’t be surprised if they had been used in the television show, there are a lot of references to popular culture figures and there are even a couple of cutaway scenes that Family Guy is famous for. All this is great… if you are a fan of Family Guy, but it isn’t very original if you just take your television show, change a couple of characters and put it on the big screen which is what watching Ted felt like. Luckily though, I really like Family Guy so I didn’t mind at all. Again, I love pop culture references but I think if you insist on making pop culture references then keep them limited or else you are at risk of alienating your audience if they don’t know what you’re on about and Ted had everything from Justin Bieber, Van Wilder, Brandon Routh, Aliens and a hell of a lot of Flash Gordon. There were a lot of jokes that fell dud because of the audience’s lack of knowledge about aspects of popular culture but there was just enough brilliant lines throughout the rest of the film to keep everyone laughing.

I am a big fan of Giovanni Ribisi and I’ve seen a lot of his work and I think he is very funny but I thought the whole storyline with him trying to kidnap Ted seemed a little bit thin and it wouldn’t have really mattered if that never took place. The storyline just existed to give a very cliche ending bringing John and his girlfriend back together and so Seth MacFarlane could make jokes at the expense of an overweight child (not complaining about the last bit, it was really funny!)

Ted is not for the faint hearted but if you like cure, close to the bone humour, then you’ll love it.

My Rating: 7/10.

Last week Kristen Stewart was named as the highest earning actress in Hollywood of the last year, this week it is the turn of the men. Although Stewart earned over $34million her Twilight co-stars Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner earned a lot less only just manage to make it onto the top ten of the highest paid men in Hollywood.

Happier times on screen rather than off screen for Cruise.

He may be going through some rocky times in his personal life right now but Tom Cruise has reason to smile as he has been crowned as the highest paid man in Hollywood of the past year having earned a massive $75million. Cruise’s career has seen something of a turn around recently as he has returned to centre stage in films Rock of Ages and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol with a number of films in the pipeline to keep his mind off his current divorce and custody battle for daughter Suri Cruise. Although Rock of Ages was deemed a box office failure Cruise proved he is cleverer than some people may think he is after deciding to take a pay cut on Ghost Protocol in return for a share of the profits; the film went on to earn over $700million.

In second place there is a tie with last years highest earner Leonardo DiCaprio and an outlandish and outrageous and totally undeserving actor: Adam Sandler. In acting standards there is a huge gap between these two, DiCaprio rarely has a bad film released (although J. Edgar did not do as well as expected) and is widely accepted as one of the best actors working today whilst Sandler’s good films went out with the dinosaurs; he releases awful film after awful film these days and people are actually paying him to do so? DiCaprio and Sandler both earned $37million but you can’t help but feel that money of Sandler’s should have been paid for him to stop acting.

Any excuse to include The Rock.

Another shock name makes the list at number four but this time it is one of a much happier nature. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is Hollywood’s fourth highest earning actor of the last year… can you believe that?! I am a big fan of his but this news surprises me to no end, although he was pretty much single handedly responsible for the success of Fast Five last year.

Other well known names on the list are Ben Stiller at number five and will hopefully see more money when his next film The Watch is released after all the problems so far with its promotional campaign.  Johnny Depp, another Hollywood mega star going through a divorce, is on the list and despite his Dark Shadows bomb this year Depp is the only actor to have three films cross the $1billion mark globally, now THAT is impressive! Will Smith is always a box office draw and is often thought of as one of the most reliable stars in Hollywood as his name and his face brings in audiences no matter the quality of the film.

Here is the complete Top 10 according to Forbes:

1. Tom Cruise – $75million

2. Leonardo DiCaprio – $37million

= Adam Sandler – $37million

4. Dwayne Johnson – $36million

5. Ben Stiller – $33million

6. Sacha Baron Cohen – $30million

= Johnny Depp – $30million

= Will Smith – $30million

9. Mark Wahlberg – $27million

10. Robert Pattinson – $26.5million

= Taylor Lautner – $26.5million

UK Release Date: 3rd August 2012.

Ted is the upcoming live action/CGI animated film that is directed, written and produced by Seth MacFarlane and so if the film goes well, all credit to him, if it goes badly MacFarlance only has himself to blame. Since creating hit animated television shows Family Guy and American Dad, MacFarlane has tasted success but also splits audiences right down the line, for all the fans he has he sure does have his haters too.

Ted is the story of a young boy’s wish coming true. When he was younger, John wished that his teddy bear (Ted) could come to life and talk to him. As John got older, Ted also got older and as an adult John’s attempts to embrace his adulthood and move forward in a relationship with the love of his life, Lori, are scuppered by Ted’s irresponsible and vulgar lifestyle.

For Seth MacFarlance’s live action directorial debut he has got a pretty good cast on his hands. Mark Wahlberg plays John while Mila Kunis plays Lori and the cast is filled out with Giovanni Ribisi, Patrick Warburton and Laura Vandervoort.

Whilst you may not be able to tell this from the trailer, Ted is supposed to be a comedy and not just a piece of rubbish. To say it’s a comedy there aren’t many, if any at all, funny parts of the trailer. Ted himself just comes across as someone you just want to punch and the overall type of comedy just seems immature and dated. I won’t be lining up to see this, that’s for sure.

Doesn't he just seem like a nice guy?

It was recently announced that Dwayne Johnson will be playing the lead role in Brett Ratner’s story of Hercules. He is also the favourite to land the role of Sinbad in another adaptation of a famous story: Arabian Nights. In the next couple of years Johnson looks set to cement his place as a leading action hero among Hollywood’s finest. Not bad for a guy who started out in WWF.

Most people will know Dwayne Johnson by another name: The Rock. He is probably the most famous wrestler ever to grace the ring and has been a fan’s favourite for years. His persona in the ring, his talent, the people’s elbow, ‘can you smell what The Rock is cooking?’ and that weird little thing he did with his eyebrow all memorable traits of his wrestling career. And then the best wrestler in the world made the step into movies.

His acting career didn’t start terribly well with films like The Scorpion King, Welcome to the Jungle and Be Cool. Johnson also didn’t help himself by starring in the very poor movie adaptation of video game Doom, panned by critics.

So, Dwayne, you know that hard man image you use to have? Not so much here.

But Dwayne Johnson did not give up his hopes of becoming an actor and instead of going down the hard man route which was all so easily laid out for him, the man formerly known as The Rock tried his hand at family films. In 2009 he starred in Race to Witch Mountain and the very enjoyable animation Planet 51. What he was thinking when he agreed to play the title role in The Tooth Fairy I don’t think we will ever know but the point is; he was becoming a well-known face on the family film circuit.

 

 

And after his work in Faster and The Other Guys, Johnson was finally given his big break; his chance to make it big as a film star. Dwayne Johnson was cast in Fast Five (or Fast and Furious 5, whichever you like) as Luke Hobbs, starring opposite Vin Diesel and Paul Walker in probably the most predictable franchise of all time. The fourth film in the series gained over $300million at the box office. The addition of Dwayne Johnson to the cast for Fast Five saw box office figures almost double for the fifth film, earning Johnson the unofficial nickname of ‘franchise Viagra’. And to be honest, he was very very good in Fast Five, he completely outshone the rest of the cast in my opinion.

This effect continued with Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, the sequel to Journey  to the Centre of the Earth starring Brendan Frasier (hands up who had forgotten that even existed?). The first film grossed around $240million whilst the Dwayne Johnson led sequel added another $30million onto that. Studio bosses will be hoping he has that same effect again as he has been cast in G.I. Joe: Retaliation with the franchise already in danger of being run out of the cinemas.

One of these men was the real star of Fast Five. Clue: It wasn't the one on the left.

I will openly admit that when it was announced that The Rock would be trying his hand at acting I had my head in my hands. But who would have thought that the hard man Dwayne Johnson would become such a likeable and bankable actor. He is signed on for at least one more Fast and Furious film and will be starring in Pain and Gain with Mark Wahlberg in 2013. Whether it be action films or family films, you’d better get used to seeing Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson on your screens a whole lot more.

Contraband

UK Release Date: March 16th, 2012.

Contraband is the story of Chris Farraday (Mark Wahlberg), a former drug runner who is forced back into the world of running contraband in order to save his family. His brother in law, played by Caleb Landry Jones (X-Men First Class’ Banshee) botches a drug deal and so Chris must do one final deal in the world he worked so hard to escape from otherwise it is his own wife and children that will be in danger.

The premise is promising, it sounds as though it should make a good action thriller and with Mark Wahlberg leading an action movie you would expect it to be good, really. However, the trailer doesn’t do much to hype the interest of the film; it doesn’t make it look action packed, it doesn’t make it look full of suspense, it doesn’t really make it look that interesting.

Having already received mixed to negative reviews in the States it will certainly look to do better over here in the UK, but in order for this to happen they are going to need to put together better trailers that interest the audience more.