Mark Wahlberg

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Michael Bay‘s wacky true-life passion project, Pain & Gain, is finally set to explode on to our theater screens in a mess of steroids, sweat, tank tops, fire, blood, and greyhounds later this month, and if you’re still unconvinced that this thing is going to be some sort of insane masterpiece, we’ve got a batch of new stills for you to eyeball. This new gallery includes plenty we’ve seen before – Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson looking swoll (as the kids say), Anthony Mackie looking ever-so-slightly dubious, Rebel Wilson looking like she’s having the best time ever, and Tony Shalhoub getting the crap kicked out of him – but it also comes complete with some new stuff, like said greyhound. Seriously, if you came up with a harebrained scheme to knock over a rich guy, wouldn’t you celebrate by buying a new purebred pup? Of course you would. After the break, soak up some roid-laced rays with a fresh look at Pain & Gain and its inherent nuttiness.

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trailer 2 guns

Hey everyone… we’re finally getting a new buddy cop movie! Kind of. The genre was an industry unto itself throughout the ’80s and into the ’90s, but somewhere along the line Hollywood stopped producing them. Or they at least stopped producing good ones. (I’m looking at you Cop Out.) The drought may be ending this summer though as we’re getting two high profile buddy cop flicks. First up is the Sandra Bullock/Melissa McCarthy comedy The Heat on June 28th, and then in early August things kick in to high gear with 2 Guns. The Baltasar Kormákur-directed film stars Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg as good guys playing bad guys who don’t know that the other is actually a good guy too. Crazy! An assignment goes awry, and the two are forced to work together to bring down the real bad guy. Explosions and insults ensue. Check out the first trailer for 2 Guns below, but be warned… it’s the entire movie in three minutes.

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Pain and Gain Red Band

While the original trailer for Michael Bay’s upcoming project, Pain & Gain, revealed that it was telling a story that was too bizarre not to be true, it didn’t do all that much to actually sell the movie. Sure, Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson playing a couple of insecure meatheads who find themselves in over their heads while planning a heist is an amusing concept, but the trailer seemed to try to sell the film as an aspirational story about struggling characters trying to make their way in the world—and that is not what we go to see Michael Bay movies for. We go to see Michael Bay movies because they’re ridiculous. There’s no need to worry though, because a new red band trailer for Pain & Gain is here, and it reveals that this story of testosterone-soaked goons in silly outfits trying to become elite criminals isn’t being played nearly as dramatically as we may have first feared. This trailer focuses almost exclusively on the film’s comedy, and it turns out there’s a ton of stuff in it to laugh about. Wahlberg is always at his best when he’s playing clueless, and, given his professional wrestling experience, Johnson is presumably at his best when he’s tossing midgets, so this one is allowing both actors to work right in their comfort zones, which seems to have paid off, because their chemistry is palpable. Throw in some strong deliveries from comedic powerhouses like Rebel Wilson and Rob Corddry, and suddenly I’m on […]

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Entourage Cast

The spectre of an Entourage movie has hovered over the film fan world since even before the show ended in 2011, but even though Mark Wahlberg threatened to make it even if he had to finance it himself, he hasn’t made good on that yet. Enter Warner Bros. According to Deadline Hollywood, the studio has officially greenlit the project that will see Vinnie Chase, Eric, Turtle, Drama and Ari return to our lives like that infection you thought was all cleared up. To be fair, there’s something inherently compelling about the consequence-free show, which is why it held on for 7 1/2 seasons, but what’s really exciting about the prospect of a movie is how the hell they’ll pull off a storyline interesting enough to warrant an hour and a half and placement on the big screen. This show was perfect for HBO and television because of how easily digestible it was, but it seems wholly wrong for film unless they greatly change the tone. The plot can’t simply be that Vince bones some hot strangers, Eric and Ari struggle to secure the film role he’s lost and re-won several time while Drama gets a parking ticket. There’s something to that challenge. Hopefully they’ll meet it, because the world doesn’t need another in-joke comedy about the world of filmmaking, let alone one featuring these guys, but the potential for something surprising is real. On the other hand, it would be much, much cooler if we got Medellin, Smoke Jumpers and Ferrari instead.

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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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Jack Reynor

What is Casting Couch? It’s a casting roundup that’s knee deep in nostalgia as it reports on movies based on comic books and toys from its childhood. Due to a little bit of inspiration from the Internet, Michael Bay gave Mark Wahlberg a pretty big part in his upcoming fourth Transformers movie. It’s always been understood that Wahlberg was playing a placeholder character though, who would pass the franchise off to a couple of young kids who would be pushed into the forefront as it went forward. Well, today Bay announced that he’s found the male half of this new duo. Apparently little known Irish actor Jack Reynor is his guy. Bay says that he saw Reynor in an Irish movie called What Richard Did, which a quick Googling tells me has nothing to do with acting opposite giant robots, so let’s all hope he knows what he’s talking about.

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Pain & Gain

“I’ve watched a lot of movies, Paul, I know what I’m doing!” If you think that the plot of Michael Bay‘s Pain & Gain is insane, or clearly just rooted in action cinema lore, or too damn bizarre to be true, that’s completely understandable – which is why Bay has splashed the film’s first trailer with a big, bold, brazen “THIS IS A TRUE STORY.” Because it is. Don’t believe us? Check out the original Miami New Times report that Bay based his film on. It’s okay. We’ll wait. Now treat yourself to the film’s first trailer after the break. We are so pumped.

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Michael Shannon

What is Casting Couch? It’s the roundup of casting news that knows what Gillian Jacobs is going to be doing with her upcoming break from Community. All that time in the bushes finally paid off. Most people probably thought Wild Things director John McNaughton’s career hit its zenith when he directed Wild Things. That movie was basically the most ’90s thing ever, and it practically introduced the concept of the three-way to the square community through the communicative power of Denise Richards’ boobs. He may yet top that work though, because Deadline reports that he’s just recruited the best actor in the world, Michael Shannon, to star in his upcoming thriller The Harvest. The film will star Samantha Morton as a successful heart surgeon and Shannon as her co-dependent husband. Its conflict comes in when their sick son meets a new friend, and suddenly the very controlled routine that Morton’s character has created starts to break down. Sounds like a creepy mom.

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Drinking Games

When you grew up, did you have that special toy that you believed was actually alive? We all did, but usually those toys didn’t follow us into adulthood, at least not for those of us who aren’t schizophrenic. Seth MacFarlane explores what would happen if that toy grew up like you did, probably having more sex and smoking way more pot than you do, in the film Ted. Available on DVD and Blu-ray this week, Ted pours raunchy jokes and inappropriate humor. Knock back a couple during the course of this film, and you might just believe that your teddy bear can talk. Knock back more than a couple, and you might just believe that you’re in the Flash Gordon film from the 1980s. Either way, it will be a magical night. (And if you feel up to it, you can watch that movie and play our Flash Gordon drinking game, too.)

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Pain and Gain Poster

Sometimes, Michael Bay‘s balls-to-the-wall, guns-blazing, explosions-popping approach to filmmaking really does work out. And working out in its many forms is at the heart of his new project, the Dwayne Johnson- and Mark Wahlberg-starring Pain & Gain. In case you haven’t quite caught on just yet, Johnson and Wahlberg play body builders in the deranged true-life tale of crime gone buff…and stupid. Seriously, have you read the original Miami New Times report that Bay is basing his film on yet? Do that now. The film’s first poster took a similarly yoked-up approach to the material, so now is perhaps a good time to just get comfortable with seeing guns blazing when it comes to this project. The film also stars Anthony Mackie, Ed Harris, Rob Corddry, Tony Shalhoub, Bar Paly, Rebel Wilson, Ken Jeong, and Yolanthe Cabau. Pain & Gain arrives in theaters on April 26, 2013. [Paramount Pictures]

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Benedict Cumberbatch

What is Casting Couch? Today it’s a casting column that’s debunking a couple of rumors that will probably come true anyway. Absolutely Anything is a project that’s long been on comedy nerds’ radars, not only because it’s being directed by Monty Python member Terry Jones, but also because the film will see Jones re-teaming with the other members of his legendary comedy troupe to do voiceover work. According to The Wrap, filming is looking to get underway on this one soon, Gemma Arterton has joined the cast, and Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) is currently negotiating to come on board, as well. The story is about a bumbling but magical school teacher, something that Cumberbatch would likely knock out of the park; which is one more positive that will help you forget Robin Williams is also going to be doing his voiceover thing here.

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Bay and Wahlberg

If you can’t beat the Internet, join them! At least, that seems to be Michael Bay‘s mentality when it comes to his (good God) fourth Transformers film. Late last month, a rumor broke free from the gnashing, mewling, almighty Internet machine that held that Bay was looking to his Pain and Gain star, Mark Wahlberg, to lead the latest installment of your little brother’s favorite franchise. At first, Bay was like “oh, no, that’s totally not going to happen. Nope, not at all,” but let’s get real – this is totally going to happen. Bay has now posted about the speculation on his website (via ComingSoon), writing: “I squashed a rumor that was on the internet last week. It was about Mark Walhberg. Mark was rumored to be staring in Transformers 4. We are working on another movie together, not T4. I had such a great time working with Mark on Pain and Gain, and he gave such a great performance – well let’s say that very internet chatter gave me some ideas. We are at the inception of our story process right now on T4. Let’s say some ideas are gaining traction with me and my writer – so I’m here to say thanks internet chatter.”

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Wahlberg and Bay

Though Michael Bay was initially reticent to commit to making a fourth installment of his hugely successful Transformers franchise, the money in these things is just too good, so it was really only a matter of time before he relented and agreed to sign on for a fourth. And though the news of another Bay-directed Transformers movie is going to be enough to earn groans from a lot of film fans, there have been some promising indications that a fourth film could be the best yet, even with the same director in place. From the very beginning, Transformers 4 has been thought of as a retooling of the franchise. Gone would be the north of $200m budgets and focus on Shia LaBeouf’s goofy Sam character and his ridiculously annoying family, and in their place would be a more traditional action plot starring a more traditional action actor. Heck, at one point it was even rumored that the studio was going after Jason Statham to star. Say that Bay made a Transformers movie without a focus on all of that family-friendly humor, with a budget that forced him to rely a little less on technical wizardry and a little more on his ingenuity…that could result in a watchable movie, right? The final battle of Transformers 3 was a lot of fun to watch, what if that were the whole movie?

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Continuing a yearly tradition that began at the defunct movie blog Spout, this is my 5th annual list of mostly original yet highly unlikely Halloween costume ideas. You can take any of these suggestions if you want, especially if you want to avoid having the same outfit as another person at the party you attend, and particularly if you want something that needs a lot of explanation — these tend to be good conversation starters for people looking for excuses to hit on you. Mostly, though, the following ideas are not to be taken too seriously. Some are really just stupid jokes. But they’re primarily intended to visually remind us of some of the trends, criticisms, immediate icons and zeitgeist of the past year in film. For instance, last year‘s “Forrest Gump wearing an X-Men uniform” costume illustrated 2011’s penchant for Gump-like revisionist history in blockbuster movies. And back in 2008, there was a costume called “Nuke the Fridge.” Sadly, in looking over 2012 for this year’s ideas, I realized that it’s been a very weak year for movie references worth calling back. Where are this year’s “nuke the fridge,” Antichrist fox, “Why cookie Rocket?” and “Winklevi”? Before too long, I might need to spin-off a TV version of this tradition to make it easier on me and more interesting to readers. Because we all know film culture is dead anyway, right?  

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Broken City Trailer

There are two kinds of dangerous men in the world: those that have been treated like they’re important for so long that they start to feel like the rules don’t apply to them, and those that have been beat down for so long that they stop caring about the consequences. In Allen Hughes’ (of The Hughes Brothers fame) new film Broken City, Russell Crowe and Mark Wahlberg are called upon to play one of each. Crowe’s character is a well-manicured but corrupt big city mayor who does what it takes to get what he wants. Wahlberg’s is a scruffy, down-on-his-luck ex-cop turned private dick. The intrigue of the film comes when Crowe’s character hires Wahlberg’s to tail his wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and get some evidence that she’s been cheating. Once he does, that’s when the murders, cover-ups, and dirty pool starts happening. Suddenly Wahlberg is sucked into a downward spiral of noir badness, and Broken City becomes a battle of brains vs. brawn between its two stars.

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Pain and Gain

Michael Bay has stepped away from massive blockbusting in order to get a bit more intimate, but as with all things Bay, even intimacy gets steroids. With a smaller budget and no transforming robots, Pain & Gain tells the story of two body builders – played by Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson – who get caught up in a world of extortion and kidnapping and cooking human hands. What will those Hollywood writers think of next! Oh, and it’s based on a true story. The movie hits theaters April 12, 2013, but it has a poster that will make you fail a urine test. Check out the supplemental one sheet for yourself:

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All right, all you great big, bright, shining stars out there. It’s time to hear what Paul Thomas Anderson has to say. With recent movies like There Will Be Blood and his latest, The Master, the director is smack in the middle of a stretch in his career in which he’s defining a new genre called Discomfort. Boogie Nights looks downright cheerful by comparison, so it’s nice to go back and listen to the writer/director discuss his great, early achievement. And here we have it, all 37 things we learned listening to PT Anderson talk about Boogie Nights. You got the touch…!

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Eric Bana in Lone Survivor

Though there weren’t many people out there who appreciated Peter Berg’s recent board game cash-in, Battleship, he was generally a well-regarded director before he laid that one on us, so there should still be interest out there for what he’s doing next. Especially since he’s already assembled a fairly impressive cast for it. The film is called Lone Survivor, and it tells the true story of a Navy SEAL mission in Afghanistan gone bad, as adapted from the biography of soldier Marcus Luttrell. While on a reconnaissance mission along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, Luttrell and three of his fellow SEALs made a fatal error. After showing a bit of compassion and letting an old man and three boys who came upon them walk away, they soon became victims of a Taliban ambush, which took the lives of every member of the team other than Luttrell, the titular lone survivor.

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Seth MacFarlane is one of those hit-or-miss type guys who seems to have been missing a lot more than hitting lately. Though his big TV show, Family Guy, started off well, the most recent seasons have succumbed to format fatigue. The show’s penchant for cutting away to complete non sequiturs has worn out its welcome and, even worse, it’s committed the cardinal sin of comedy – it’s just not funny anymore. Add to that his attempts to recapture the original Family Guy magic with shows like American Dad and its spin-off The Cleveland Show, and it would be easy to say that MacFarlane is kind of stuck in a rut. So why not try a feature film? MacFarlane’s predominantly a TV guy, and one who’s been down on his laughs recently so, despite its hilarious trailers, the odds seemed to be stacked against his new film Ted. In case you happened to have missed the aforementioned hilarious trailers, Ted is a movie about a young boy who wishes for his teddy bear to come to life. John Bennett is not exactly the most popular kid on the block. Even the little Jewish kid who gets his ass kicked every day hates John Bennett. The poor kid just doesn’t have any friends. So when his parents give him a big stuffed teddy bear for Christmas, he names it Ted and wishes that Ted could come to life and be his best friend forever.

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An array of familiar faces flitter in and out of Lorene Scafaria‘s directorial debut. Be it Rob Huebel or Patton Oswalt, they all have a minute or two to shine before the apocalypse strikes the world at play; amongst some of those soon-to-perish characters is Rob Corddry, an actor well-known for bit parts and the “asshole” role. In Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Warren, played by Corddry, briefly revels in his final days, and in the way we’d hope to see him do onscreen. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World also shares a connection to another film Corddry has coming up: Michael Bay‘s Pain and Gain, based on a true (and insane) story. The doomsday bit isn’t the common thread, but the voices behind them are. Scafaria’s voice is shaping up to be a notable one, as Michael Bay’s is globally known. We’ll see Bay stretch some storyteling muscles the next time out, but, as Corddry tells us, his behind-the-scenes methods remain both the same and beneficial. Here’s wha Rob Corddry had to say about the crux of over-preparing for roles, having no frame of reference in acting school, and why Ed Harris was smashing a lot of phones for Michael Bay:

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