Barry Pepper

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What is Casting Couch? It’s diligently gathering together all the last bits of casting news that are hitting before Comic Con starts up later this week and takes over everyone’s attention with its water cooler-worthy sneak peaks and complaint-inducing lines. Read on for news regarding Juno Temple, an English-language voice cast for a Spanish movie, and Paul F’n Reiser. It’s hard to say which has been more on fire lately, Jason Clarke’s career or Child 44’s casting process. Probably that’s a debate we don’t need to have though, because the two have just converged and are now fighting for the same side. Heat Vision is reporting that Clarke is negotiating to join director Daniel Espinosa’s tale of Soviet-era child murders and coverups, in the role of a shady character named Brodsky who just may be a traitor. If Clarke’s involvement becomes official, he’ll join his Lawless co-stars Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman, as well as the already cast Noomi Rapace, Joel Kinnaman, Paddy Considine, and Philip Seymour Hoffman, which is just ridiculously impressive.

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Snitch is “inspired by true events.” Which is to say, it centers around a real-life choice mandated by the justice system for prisoners arrested on drug charges: become an informant, or face lengthy jail time. This preface gives the wrong impression though since the characters in this film don’t exactly have real-life counterparts. If they did, well… then they would probably have to be as jacked as Dwayne Johnson. Snitch, directed and co-scripted by former stuntman Ric Roman Waugh, may have cheated somewhat with this veil of supposed truth, but he does succeed in making a consistently entertaining film that certainly delivers with its action sequences and many winning performances from its very strong cast. Unfortunately it also falls short plot-wise, somewhat detracting from its overall action film bravado, and has some pacing issues too thanks to staggered action sequences.

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Broken City Trailer

Broken City seemingly has all of the ingredients to be one of those action/dramas that is so cheesy it delivers – there’s Mark Wahlberg being tough, there’s Russell Crowe with a horrendous spray tan and a Donald Trump-lite combover, there’s Catherine Zeta-Jones with an equally horrendous spray tan, and there’s director Allen Hughes, who has some street cred as one half of The Hughes Brothers directing team. And corrupt politician dramas are usually fairly entertaining, right? Not so much here. Broken City, instead, is largely a misfire. The film’s plot meanders and leaves many open threads, likely the result of re-edits, and none of the characters are particularly likable. There’s just so much a balls out Russell Crowe performance can save a movie, and shockingly enough, Crowe doesn’t even have all that much screen time. The film opens with Wahlberg’s NYC Detective Billy Taggert shooting someone in the head in a NYC housing project, Bolton Village – he has a beard, so clearly, he is coded as being troubled. He is tried (now beardless), since his self-defense plea is questionable at best. There is evidence that surfaces that can put him away, but Republican-seeming Mayor Nicolas Hostetler (Crowe) decides to keep that evidence for his own eventual gain, allowing Taggart to go free, albeit without his job.

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It’s been a long, winding road to get Disney’s new version of The Lone Ranger to the big screen. We went through the whole casting process, we went through a phase where everybody was waiting to see if Gore Verbinski would come on to direct, we were told that Disney had canned the movie due to its budget being out of control, and then there was a whole series of will-they-won’t-they back and forths where Verbinski kept trying to cut money from the budget to save the film and nobody knew whether or not each cut would be enough to do the job. But, finally, after what feels like years of reporting on this movie already, Deadline Tioga is saying that it’s actually set to go in front of cameras in February. The amazing thing is, despite all of the delays and uncertainty, The Lone Ranger still has the original cast it put together in place. Armie Hammer is still going to be the title character, Johnny Depp is still going to be Tonto, and they’ve even now got Tom Wilkinson signed, sealed, and delivered to play the film’s villain, Latham Cole, and Ruth Wilson locked in to play the female lead, Rebecca Reid. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, there’s also a strong supporting cast featuring names like Barry Pepper and Dwight Yoakam that are still on board.

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Barry Pepper makes everything better. You might say he’s the salt of character acting. Now he’s going to be adding his particular spice to two more projects. According to Variety, Pepper is joining the cast for Snitch – the drama starring Dwayne Johnson as a man who goes undercover to help out a son facing drug charges – and Broken City – the Allen Hughes project where Mark Wahlberg plays a private investigator trailing the philandering wife played by Catherine Zeta-Jones of a politician played by Russell Crowe. In Broken City, Pepper’s character will be running for mayor against Crowe’s, and he’ll no doubt pull from his Emmy-winning performance as Bobby Kennedy to sharpen his role. There’s not much to say beyond all of this because Pepper is amazing. If he and William Fichtner co-starred in something together, I’d watch it 18 times. So, yes, this news is reason to celebrate.

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Editor’s Note: This article will be updated in real time as the winners come in during the Primetime Emmys broadcast. Winners will be highlighted in bold and you can check out the winners that were already announced at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards. The very first Emmy Award was given to a ventriloquist named Shirley Dinsdale who worked with a puppet called Judy Splinters. Is that significant? Of course it is. That fact coupled with the design of the award itself – a woman holding an atom – represent the true heart of television’s most significant celebration: artistic inspiration, scientific technology, and wooden humanoids that only talk with a hand shoved up their back. Ponder that while you bask in the glory of the victorious. Here are the winners of the 2011 Primetime Emmy Awards.

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For a while, the only thing we really knew about Disney’s upcoming The Lone Ranger is that Johnny Depp would be starring, curiously enough, as Tonto. Then, as the project began to take shape, we learned that he would be re-teaming with his Pirates of the Caribbean and Rango director Gore Verbinski, who came on to helm things. Then the third big piece of the puzzle came into place when The Social Network’s Übermensch Armie Hammer signed on to play The Lone Ranger himself. And now that the big names are in place, it has come time to begin filling out the rest of the cast.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr dresses up in a big red suit and sneaks into people’s houses. The only difference is that he sneaks into the houses of all the naughty girls. But before he can manage that undertaking, he sets his sights on the last wash of movies hitting the multiplexes this season. He travels with Jack Black to the Bermuda Triangle in Gulliver’s Travels then heads out west to catch a killer with True Grit. Finally, he brings his Christmas movie watching to a close by stabbing himself in the face with Little Fockers. Ho ho ho, the humanity!

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Barry Pepper seems to be having one of the best years of his career. He’s got two films in theaters right now: the Coen brothers’ True Grit and the Jack Abramoff rise and fall story, Casino Jack. One being a near-masterpiece, guess which one, and the other being a fun satire. In True Grit, he plays a logical and almost likable lead antagonist, but as Michael Scanlon in George Hickenlooper‘s final film, he couldn’t be further from playing logical. Barry Pepper seems to be very comfortable at playing slimy. He did the perfect type of sympathetic slimy in the 25th Hour, and in Casino Jack, he does the same. And to top off having two films in the cineplex at one time, he also recently got to work with Terrence Malick… ever heard of him? Well, Pepper couldn’t talk at great length about that untitled project, but he did open up about the experience of working with Malick. As always, Malick is described as the type he always is labeled as: the genius kind. Pepper and I started off discussing True Grit, even though we were really on the phone to talk about Casino Jack. But Pepper seemed more than happy to talk about his experience with the Coens and his reaction to the film.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr enters the grid (which is what he likes to call his local IMAX theater) to try and find an old and hairy Jeff Bridges amidst a bunch of young-looking sexy-time people in tight body suits. Afterwards, he has a pic-i-nic at Jellystone Park and faces a bear attack. It’s a good thing he had his hunting rifle with him… but he still wonders why that grizzly he shot was wearing a hat and tie. Finally, he hands out some grades on two limited release award flicks that really don’t jazz him as much as a big, dumb IMAX 3D movie.

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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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