Mark Wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg seems to be busier now than ever before, and while some people may find that news to be unfortunate I myself am happy to see it happening. (Not to be mistaken with me being happy to see The Happening…) He’s a charismatic actor, and his limited range rarely prevents him from being entertaining at the very least. He released the mild hit Contraband earlier this year, is in post-production on two films and is already potentially attached to another four including Michael Bay’s first non-robot movie in seven years, Pain and Gain. Headhunters is a blackly comic thriller from Norway about an insecure corporate headhunter who moonlights as an art thief. His casually extravagant life takes a dark turn when a robbery goes awry and he finds himself double-crossed and on the run. The film, based on the slim novel by Jo Nesbø, is a an absolutely fantastic ride and was one of my personal favorites from last year. It’s funny, violent, and constantly surprising…and Summit quickly snapped it up for a US remake with Sacha Gervasi attached to helm. According to Shortlist, Wahlberg recently fell in love with the Norwegian film and apparently made a personal appeal to Gervasi to be a part of the remake. It’s assumed Wahlberg is interested in playing the lead role for three reasons. One, it’s the lead. Two, he’s the closest thing there is to a sympathetic hero in the film. And three, a big part of the character’s motivation and […]

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Goddammit, Michael Bay. All I want to do is make fun of you for your stupid TNT-rigged and robot-starring Transformers franchise and you just won’t let me. While we all know by now that Bay is indeed resurrecting his never-dead-to-begin-with Transformers series for Paramount, we also know that he won’t get to it until he finishes his next project – a true-life tale that is going by the title Pain and Gain. The problem with Pain and Gain? It’s that there is no problem – it’s a phenomenal story that’s perfectly suited to a cinematic adaptation and Bay is stacking his film’s cast with solid talent that are more than just appropriate for their roles. Dammit, Bay, you might make a fan out of me. Pain and Gain is the unbelievable true story of a pack of Floridian bodybuilders that get involved with extortion, kidnapping, and murder, among other things. Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson are already slated for starring roles in the film, and now Bay is apparently looking to bring on Anthony Mackie to play Adrian Doorbal, another one of the dumb-bell bodybuilders who get tangled up in a messy scheme that leads to all kinds of crime. The tone of the film has been compared to something like Fargo, and while other outlets might just be calling the film a comedy, it’s not – it’s a dark comedy. Really dark.

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Oftentimes, when we post these “Because You Asked For It” posts, readers will inevitably weigh in with various calls of “no one asked for this!” or “I didn’t!” No, this time, you all asked for it – by allowing the Transformers franchise to make over a billion dollars at the worldwide box office. Your reward? More Transformers from Michael Bay. After lots of chatter on the ol’ Internets this afternoon, most of it sparked by producer Lorenzo DiBonaventura announcing in an MTV interview that a fourth Transformers film was coming in June of 2014, complete with director Bay back for still more robots. Beyond that, we don’t have a whole lot of information on the project, as DiBonaventura said, “I think the challenge there is we really are going to do a reboot there, and what that’s going to be we don’t even know yet.” A reboot! Of course! And what about cast and story? “No, it’s so silly. We gotta get a story first. You can’t pick characters until you have a story…there’s still continuity that’s going on. There’ll be a lot of new cast, whether there’s anyone from the first we don’t even know yet. The truth is, there’s going to be a whole new story. The characters that will come along will be Optimus and Bumblebee, I’m sure.” What’s most shocking about this news? That the film’s creative team thinks that they need a story to make another Transformers. Did they not see Transformers: Dark of the Moon?

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Lots of actors have a niche they like to call home, and while it’s sometimes fun to see them stretch outside their comfort zone they often do their most relaxed and assured work with material that feels the most familiar. For Mark Wahlberg that zone is “nice guy committing criminal acts while remaining pretty damn charming.” When he sticks to it we get fun films like Three Kings, Four Brothers, The Italian Job, Shooter and more. When he veers too widely away though we get The Happening. Lucky for us Contraband falls into the former category of fun, lightweight films that take full advantage of Wahlberg’s physical appearance, under-utilized sense of humor and charismatic charm (that falls somewhere between a George Clooney and a Michael Shannon).

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Kevin Carr

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr recovers from his colossal failure in getting any of his votes in the Critic’s Choice Movie Awards to count (except for A Separation for best foreign film, but who didn’t think that would win?) by engaging in therapy via multiplex. Unfortunately, it’s January, and his only choices were Marky Mark and the Smuggling Bunch or Queen Latifah going mano-y-mano with the robot Dolly Parton. He opts for the action film, but he may have also fallen asleep during it. How soon until good movies are released again?

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Justin Bieber

News popped up last spring that Mark Wahlberg was planning to make a dramatic movie with tween pop sensation Justin Bieber. It seemed a little ridiculous at the time, because why would Mark Wahlberg, an actor who spent years trying to shrug off his own reputation as a music industry pop act, want to dive back into that can of worms by appearing in something alongside the current flavor of the week? He must have his reasons, however, because MTV recently asked the actor/producer a few questions about the project, and it sounds like it’s still on.

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Dwayne The Rock Johnson

I don’t know which movie sounds weirder, a Michael Bay directed dark comedy or a Michael Bay directed movie that only has a budget of $20 million, but Variety is saying his next film, Pain and Gain, is going to be both of those things rolled into one. The movie is based on an article published in Miami New Times back in 1999 about a pair of bodybuilders responsible for a series of kidnapping and extortion plots. The script was penned by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, who describe it as having a tone similar to Fargo. So I guess you can throw that on the pile too: a Michael Bay directed movie that’s like Fargo.

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The first trailer for Mark Wahlberg’s upcoming team-up with Icelandic director Baltasar Kormákur, Contraband, has hit, and it packs just about every action movie trope that you can think of into two and a half minutes. First off, Wahlberg plays a former criminal, who “got out of the life” and started a family. Then there’s the matter of a trouble-making brother (or in this case brother-in-law) who does something stupid and draws the protagonist back into doing “one last job.” We get the development of the wife and family being kidnapped, and even a Mexican stand-off with everybody pointing guns at each other. Pretty much this movie has everything an action fan could want. Check out the first trailer after the break.

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I remember back in 2008 I had only heard of Entourage in passing. While growing up in Long Island, some of my High School classmates were obsessed with it, and when I got to college my roommate wouldn’t stop talking about it. So in December of 2008 I finally watched the series… I went through the first five seasons in one week, the third season in one day… I was almost immediately (minus that awful pilot) consumed by the show. Vinny’s strive to always provide, Johnny’s constant need for fame without understanding how good he has it compared to most actors in the business, Turtle’s drive to be his own man, E’s desire for a normal life and of course Ari’s need for total control. All these things, despite what some may snark at, served to make something that was more than the glamour-filled exterior that the show sat within.

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There was more than a little confusion when Bradley Cooper was all but signed on to appear as the dark hero of The Crow. For one, the weariness of the remake onslaught is enough to make any recycled narrative raise eyebrows. For two, this was like hiring the high school quarterback to play Puck in the school’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It was either staunchly experimental or profoundly bad casting. Either way, none of that matters now because The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Cooper is not going to be involved in the project due to a scheduling conflict with Silver Linings Playbook and Paradise Lost. So now Relativity Media has a clean slate to work with, so of course the two names hovering over the carrion are Mark Wahlberg and Channing Tatum. Because when you think The Crow, that’s…who…you think…of. Apparently. Hopefully those names are part of the “Anytime We Make a Movie And Need a Male Lead Wish List” because if the counter-instinctual casting continues beyond Cooper, it’ll prove that someone involved in the production has a deep, deep misunderstanding of the character. Sadly, that might be the case because the role was once Wahlberg’s to turn down. It’s unbelievable to think it, but if those are really the frontrunners for the job, it’s a shame Bradley Cooper’s not still on board.

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“If I had to finance it myself, I would do it.” That’s Mark Wahlberg crushing the speculation that Entourage would end up on the long list of television shows that won’t ever be translated to the big screen. The show ends its television run with a short season (that’s currently airing), but like most fan favorites in their twilight year, Entourage seeks to live on, and making a movie seems like the most obvious way to do that. It’s unclear what kind of draw Vincent Chase’s first real movie might be for studios, but it could be done without much expense, and it has a built-in audience (which seems to be the key to signing on a dotted line). So, who knows. On the other hand, it seems that if no one else wants to finance it, Wahlberg will just make it happen himself. He might also be blowing smoke. What might be most interesting is to see what people who haven’t seen the show think of all this. Is this the kind of thing that has cross-over appeal? Would someone who’s never seen an episode want to go see the gang in theaters? Would the inevitable R-rating for copious breasts yet PG tone to the whole thing translate to gaining a bigger audience or would it just be a mess?

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If you love video games and hate David O. Russell, then boy do I have some good news for you. You might have to help me on this one, I don’t really know video games, and I’m not sure what “Uncharted” is all about. But it was my understanding from being around a lot of movie buzz that fans weren’t too happy with Mark Wahlberg starring as Uncharted’s protagonist Nathan Drake. And I also heard some rumblings that O. Russell was taking the property in his own direction and not paying much heed to the source material. While that might have made a good movie, it wouldn’t have done much for video game fans. They need not worry though, because O. Russell is out, Limitless director Neil Burger is in, and it looks like this entire video game to movie adaptation process is starting over.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news round-up that finds the darndest things. Like Sacha Baron Cohen’s beard, creepy Musketeer posters, Mark Wahlberg, Simon Pegg, Paul Walker and a way to make your tweets into epic cinematic adventures. You need this and you know it. We begin tonight with Sacha Baron Cohen looking crazytown as The Dictator, his latest mockumentary prank film. Only this time, it’s got a more concise narrative. Cohen will play the dual roles of a ruthless dictator who heads to the U.S. for a meeting at the United Nations and finds that his number two has replaced him with an unsuspecting sheepherder lookalike. The big guy has sort of a Cosmo Kramer meets Mr. T vibe going on, with all the frills of the late Saddam Hussein. That feeling deep in your loins is unbridled excitement. That’s a good thing.

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In a recent addition of Movie News After Dark the honorable Neil Miller let us all know about a new Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell comedy called Turkey Bowl that suspiciously sounded like an already existing indie film called, well… Turkey Bowl. In an interview with Inside Movies producer Adam McKay dished out some more details about the impending project. Firstly, the film was originally conceived as a vehicle for Wahlberg to reteam with Alec Baldwin and rekindle some of that meathead chemistry that they had going on in The Departed. It wasn’t until later that Ferrell heard about the project and it also became a reteaming of he and Wahlberg. Baldwin will play the Kennedy-family-obsessed patriarch of a clan of misfits who organizes a touch football game every Thanksgiving with the snooty family from across the park. His dream is to one day take the rich folk down and recreate his own little version of the Kennedy dynasty. Ferrell is going to be the father of the opposing family, one in which all of the children are going on to do successful things. Wahlberg is playing Baldwin’s eldest son, the one who gets tasked with putting back together his family of addicts and cons and finally getting one over on the folk from across the way. It’s Baldwin’s last wish after he goes down from a heart attack. Oh, and Rob Riggle will play a ringer who has been ejected from the family due to gayness, but who must […]

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Seth McFarlane needs to run a tighter ship because details are starting to leak out about his upcoming feature film Ted. Flash Gordony details. Secret informants have told Flixist that Ted makes several references to the 1980 version of the intergalactic epic. They’ve even recreated one of the vehicles from that film and have gotten Sam J. Jones to sign on and make a cameo.  What does the 80s version of Flash Gordon have to do with a film about a Teddy Bear come to life? You’ve got me, but it sounds like this movie is going to have all sorts of crazy crap in it. For those uninitiated, Ted is the story of a young boy who wishes that his stuffed bear would come to life and be his friend for real. Though the wish is granted, the results are not what the kid expects. The boy grows up to be Mark Wahlberg, and the bear grows up to be still a living stuffed animal that just won’t go away. To make that situation sound even weirder, those anonymous tipsters have tipped that Ted also works in a convenience store. Filming was done recently on a scene where Ted takes a lady back into the storeroom and gives her the business end of his fluffy package. How the logistics of a stuffed bear working at a convenience store or sexing up a lady work out is a mystery to me, but then again this is a movie that has […]

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly column dedicated to things happening in the world of entertainment. It’s also deathly afraid of Kevin Bacon. It would like to reassess it’s number of degrees and somehow increase from its usual 2 to at least 8. That way Mr. Bacon and his X-Men character can’t clamp its nether regions in the contraption above. At least we think that’s what that thing is. We begin our night with X-Men: First Class and a massive dump of images over at Gamma Squad. From high-res shots of the meticulously crafted costumes to high-res shots of cool CGI mutants to a high-res shot of whatever the hell Kevin Bacon is doing in the photo above. I almost don’t want to know. But I do, because this movie continues to look better and better with every little marketing bit.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that enjoys having Saturdays off. But it’s not Saturday yet, is it? That means it’s time for another round of the best movie-related links from around the web. So lets get on with it. We lead tonight with the first shot of Bruce Willis in Rian Johnson’s Looper, which includes a look at Willis likely eviscerating something or someone. This one comes to the world via Empire, who has promised that they will be bringing you some news from the set. I’ll read that.

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Go tell your mother that Mark Wahlberg has developed a film with Justin Bieber over at Paramount that will see Wahlberg playing mentor figure to a basketball playing Bieber. According to Deadline Lawrence, the tone of the film has been described as The Color of Money meets The Karate Kid. The remake or the original? Why don’t they clarify? It matters! This is a perfect moment of reflection for Wahlberg. He started as a pop star, transitioned into serious acting while holding a basketball (and while playing yet another character named Mickey), and here’s a chance for him to come full circle with a kid who’s a pop star but clearly wants to enter the world of acting. Ladies and gentlemen, Justin Bieber is this generation’s Mark Wahlberg. Does that mean that in a few years, Bieber will play a porn star in a tragedy, then a soldier in the Middle East, then get a role on a Planet of the Apes movie, then alternate action roles with existential comedies on the road to two Oscar nominations? Yes, yes it does.

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What is Movie News After Dark? Someone said something nice about it the other day, so it’s feeling sort of full of itself. Luckily this means that there will be more news, more snark and even a few surprises in tonight’s entry! There really is nothing like a self-aware movie news column with a sense of purpose. In addition to the surprisingly dark first trailer, Fox has released some HD concept art for the ineptly titled Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The art is also quite stunning, showing off some large scale scenes. Most interesting is the fact that it hints at a movie that focuses much of its time on the actual ape uprising, rather than the build-up. I’m ready to see humanity swallowed by simian rage. Aren’t you?

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It’s being reported by Variety that Mark Wahlberg is soon going to be starring in another comedy. Universal has attached him to a spec script written by a guy with no previous credits named Matthew J. O’Neill that is titled Bait and Switch, and is described as being an “action-comedy.” We already know that after this year’s Contraband Wahlberg is set to star in the teddy bear come to life movie Ted by Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane, and that he is looking to get together a sequel for The Fighter, so presumably this film would either be sandwiched in between those projects or come right after them. I guess my biggest question is how I feel about Wahlberg doing another comedy. For the longest time he was doing pretty straight dramatic stuff, but now he seems to be looking to reinvent himself a bit. We’ve already seen him in another “action-comedy” alongside Will Ferrell with The Other Guys, and I was pretty lukewarm about that. I guess whether or not Ted is able to produce the laughs will be my deciding point on whether or not Wahlberg has what it takes to become a comedic actor. I’ve laughed at him a little bit when he plays the clueless doofus in otherwise dramatic movies like Boogie Nights or I Heart Huckabees, but I’m just not sure if I’m ready to accept him in a strictly comedic role. The dude modeled in his underwear. Leave comedy for the weird looking, gangly […]

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published: 04.16.2014
B-
published: 04.14.2014
B
published: 04.14.2014
A-
published: 04.14.2014
C

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