Five for the Fifth: JUNE 2013 edition

fiveforthefifth

Hello folks, welcome to the 6th Five for the Fifth of the year!

As is customary for this monthly feature, I get to post five random news item/observation/poster, etc. and then turn it over to you to share your take on that given topic. You can see the previous five-for-the-fifth posts here.

Wahlberg_2Guns1. Today Mark Wahlberg turns 42! It’s funny how I first noticed this Boston-native when he was still Marky Mark & The Funky Bunch. Well, he’s certainly has come a long way from that as he’s now been quite a force to be reckoned with as a movie star, even garnering critical reception with not one but TWO Oscar nominations for The Departed and The Fighter.

Now, I haven’t seen any of his latest films, I mean Broken City and Pain & Gain just didn’t appeal to me. I might rent the later as it looks pretty hilarious. Interestingly enough, Wahlberg’s latest films have consist of him being paired with another movie star. Russell Crowe in Broken City, Dwayne Johnson in Pain & Gain, and now he’s paired up with Denzel Washington in what appears to be an action comedy where he & Denzel played A DEA agent and an undercover Naval Intelligence officer being set up by the mob.

Check out the trailer:

Looks like it’s more of a rental for me. I’ve only seen about 10 of Wahlberg’s movies so far, and I think my favorites are The Fighter and The Other Guys, yes I know, it couldn’t be more different from each other, but I actually think Wahlberg’s quite fun to watch in comedies, though generally he doesn’t really have much range, ahah.

So what’s YOUR favorite Mark Wahlberg’s movie? Will you be watching 2 Guns?

……


2. Now, for my second question, I’m actually borrowing from the Twitter #MTOS series (Movie Talks on Sunday) which you should absolutely follow if you haven’t already. This past weekend, the focus was on Christopher Nolan, hosted by @Pandadeer. I particularly like this question:

Nolan is known for returning to the same pool of actors; who would you like to see added to it?

Nolan_TDKRCast
Nolan with his Batman posse

I like Andrew’s answer below, esp. one about Lazenby:

Recently Matthew McConaughey and Jessica Chastain have joined Nolan’s upcoming sci-fi film Interstellar. Though of course he still has his regular go-to actor Michael Caine in his cast. Now these would be my top 5 wishlist for Nolan to consider: Richard Armitage, Clive Owen, Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch and Helen Mirren.

What about you? Which actors would you like to see working with Chris Nolan?


3. It’s been a while since I talk about Bond on this blog! Well, there have been some developments on Bond 24. As you might’ve read on Terrence’s Movie News Monday, Sam Mendes is expected to return in the director’s chair for both Bond 24 and Bond 25, so probably until the end of Daniel Craig’s reign as Bond.

Mendes_Cruz_Bond24

Now, we’ve also got news that Spanish beauty Penelope Cruz has been cast as Bond girl! Wow, so they’re upping the ante as far as getting more quality performers in Bond movies. I mean, Cruz is an Oscar winner for Vicky Cristina Barcelona and has been nominated three times for an Academy Award. Funny that Daniel Craig is probably the first Bond ever to be seduced by a team of husband and wife, ahah. Cruz’s real-life hubby Javier Bardem sort of put the moves on Bond in Skyfall, remember? 😀

Well, most of you might not know this, but this won’t be Cruz’ first time appearing with a Bond actor. As a Timothy Dalton fanatic, I also noticed her brief appearance as Dalton’s girl in the British miniseries FRAMED back in 1992. As Lola Del Moreno, her character name is almost Bond Girl-ish too, no? It’s a great crime/thriller series if you haven’t seen it, fantastic performance by Dalton and David Morrissey.

Dalton_Cruz_Framed

In any case, what’s your thoughts on Mendes coming back and Cruz as the next Bond girl?


4. Now this is a film that wasn’t on my radar previously but boy, I love the pairing of Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall in this intriguing crime drama CLOSED CIRCUIT.

ClosedCircuit

Martin and Claudia are lawyers — and ex-lovers — who find themselves put at risk after they join the defense team for an international terrorist’s trial.

I was quite impressed with director John Crowley, who did this great indie Boy A with Andrew Garfield (which could be his breakthrough role) and Peter Mullan. We’ve also got the script by Steve Knight (Amazing Grace, Eastern Promises) and a slew of great character actors Ciarán Hinds, Riz Ahmed, Anne-Marie Duff, Julia Stiles and Jim Broadbent. I was VERY impressed by Ahmed in The Reluctant Fundamentalist, so I’m looking forward to seeing him in another film.

What do you think of this  movie? Does it appeal to you?


5. Now, last but not least. Time for some TV updates. Yes, I know I’m quite terrible with keeping up with TV shows, but with Karl Urban, this just might be the new show I’d be [trying] to watch regularly this Fall.

AlmostHumanFOX

We’ve got some detailed synopsis from Teaser-trailer.com:

The year is 2048. John Kennes (Urban), a cop who survived one of the most catastrophic attacks ever made against the police department, wakes up from a 17-month coma, he can’t remember much – except that his partner was killed. Because of the attack he lost one of his legs and is now outfitted with a highly sophisticated synthetic appendage.

Now by mandate, every cop must partner with a robot. And despite his passionate aversion to androids, John is paired up with Dorian (Michael Ealy), a discontinued android with unexpected emotional responses. Although such responses were deemed flaws, it is in these ‘flaws’ that John relates to Dorian most. After all, John is part-machine now, and Dorian is part-human. John and Dorian’s understanding of each other not only complements them, it connects them.


This definitely looks very promising and the set pieces looks pretty sleek. I do realize that with a lot of these shows, the premise and promo seems to be more compelling right off the bat. The show’s created by the same folks behind the popular FOX sci-fi Fringe, J.H. Wyman & J.J. Abrams.

I’ll definitely give this one a shot. I mean a futuristic sci-fi + Karl Urban already sounds like a winner to me 😀

Well, now my last question to you is two-fold: Are you excited about this show? Otherwise, what’s the TV show you’re looking forward to most this coming Fall season?


That’s it for the JUNE 2013 edition of Five for the Fifth, folks. I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of these subjects.

FlixChatter Review: The Other Guys

It’s a super hot Saturday afternoon and all I wanted to do was cool off in a movie theater and watch a Summer popcorn flick! I saw the trailer when I posted it on the Mark Wahlberg’s spotlight post and I found it pretty funny. Well, I’m happy to report that the movie lived up to it and its surprisingly fresh rating on rotten tomatoes.

The Other Guys as it’s aptly called, is a reluctant buddy cop comedy of two guys who can’t be more different from each other. For as long as these two have been on the force, detectives Allen Gamble (Will Ferrell) and Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) have always worshiped the best and most famous cops, known for their relentless ways to capture the bad guys, even if it cost the city $12 million in property damage involving a misdemeanor drug offense. The bad ass cops, played with glee by Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson set up the hilarious opening sequence, full-throttle action and packed with ridiculous, logic-defying action sequences that’s fun to watch. But when their enormous ego and lack of common sense got the best of them, Hoitz got antsy to jump at the chance to fill the giant shoes that the two ‘city heroes’ left. That is when he’s able to persuade the happy-go-lucky, content-to-work-the-desk-job partner to join him. Wahlberg’s character was once a rising star whose colossal blunder he once made at the World Series for which made him the laughing stock of the whole precinct (and the entire city) and chained him to his desk job.

I’m not exactly a Will Ferrell fan, so I had no idea writer/director Adam McKay had worked with him several times previously: Anchorman, Talladega Nights, and Step Brothers. I can’t say if this is their best collaboration yet as I haven’t seen all of them, but I’d think it’s right up there. Ferrell is best when he’s playing it straight, such as in Stranger than Fiction, which I adore and wish he does more roles like this. Here, his deadpan delivery and mild-mannered persona was perfect and perfectly funny! He offered such a contrast to the macho, short-tempered Wahlberg that their loud banter delivered the biggest laughs. It’s amazing how the two could keep a straight face during the lion and tuna repartee, I wonder how many takes that took but it was destined to be a classic!

I’ve always liked Wahlberg even if his movies are hit and miss. He is hilarious here whilst still manage to deliver what we expect a Mark Wahlberg movie, plenty of bombastic action! He isn’t a natural comedian, but the script brings the best of his comic timing. That ballet dancing scene is a hoot, as well as when he was blatantly ogling Ferrell’s buxom wife Eva Mendes. The supporting performances aren’t bad, either. The always watchable Michael Keaton was terrific as the NYPD Captain, as did Steve Coogan adding his bursts of British sarcasm as the remorseless Bernie Madoff-like tycoon. Mendes’ chest did most of the acting again here, but that was really all that was requested of her.

I laughed from start to finish, and though I came in with pretty high expectation, I was still surprised by how much I enjoyed it! If I could nitpick however, the scenes between Ferrell and Eva where she sent her mother to talk to him was drawn out far too long. It’s just exasperating and pointless. I think the Eva scenes were funniest whenever Wahlberg’s around drooling over her. The timely plot involving Ponzi-scheme corporate corruption is a serious one, as the end credits made it out to be, but served with tongue firmly in cheek.

As this movie de-throned Inception from box office top spot this week, I’m sure I’m not the only one who saw this. Well, what did you think?

Chat-worthy actor: Mark Wahlberg

Ok, this is an unusual one. I got inspired to write this post because for the life of me I couldn’t figure out why this one photo I used to accompany a news posting about Entourage gets sooo many clicks! I’m just baffled how it gets sooo much traffic, and he’s not even shirtless! 🙂

I figure it’s kinda timely to feature him today for two reasons: Date Night was number one at the box office this past weekend — where Wahlberg and his six-pack guest-starred — and a trailer of his new action-comedy The Other Guys has just been just released (see below), it actually looks like fun!

I must say I’m impressed by Wahlberg’s career longevity and what a Hollywood’s powerhouse he’s become. I’ve known about the Boston-bred actor since his Marky Mark days when I was a 15 year-old going nuts over New Kids on the Block [wince] … I know, I know, but what choices/decisions of your teenage years don’t leave you scratching your head in hindsight, right? Anyway, I can’t say I was much of a fan of Mark’s music but as an actor, however, he’s actually quite watchable. I’m not exactly sure what’s the first movie of him I saw, it might’ve been Three Kings, and I thought, “he’s not the best actor out there, but this guy’s got charisma.” That’s how I felt about him when I saw The Italian Job, too, in fact, perhaps that very reason is what makes Wahlberg one of those critics-proof actors. No matter how critically-panned his movies are (i.e. The Happening, Max Payne), he’ll always come out unscathed.

Wahlberg in The Departed

I just found out about this recently — as I didn’t even know he was in that movie — but the former Calvin Klein underwear model was nominated for Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in The Departed. Working for Scorsese must be considered a career highlight for any actor, let alone being recognized for it, especially among a cast that include Jack Nicholson, Alec Baldwin, Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon. Then there’s the smashing success of Entourage that he executive-produced, the HBO show which premise is loosely based on his own experiences as an up-and-coming film star. According to the man himself, the movie version is currently in the works.

Wahlberg & Bale in The Fighter

Right now he’s starring on a boxing biopic with Christian Bale called The Fighter, reuniting him with the temperamental director David O’Russell whom he worked with on Three Kings. According to SlashFilm, the film tells the story of Dicky Eklund (Bale), a real life boxer-turned-trainer who rebounded after a run of drugs and crime. Shepherded his half-brother “Irish” Micky Ward (Wahlberg), Dicky had a Rocky-like rise to the world lightweight championship. Ward fought throughout the mid-’80s and ’90s, but he’s best remembered for three battles with Arturo Gotti, two of which went down as the greatest in the history of the sport. One reader of Slash Film had the pleasure of seeing the flick on advance screening and said that it’s “… a movie to be reckoned with in 2010” and went on to praise the story, pacing, as well as the performances (mostly for Bale – oh, I sure hope the Brit will FINALLY nab an Oscar nomination, it’s darn well overdue!).

The Mickey Ward role looks like it’s tailor-made for Wahlberg, and I don’t just mean that physically. I’m looking forward to see him share the screen with Bale, one of my all-time fave actors. That movie certainly earns a spot in my inevitable Top Ten Most Anticipated 2011 Flix list!

Anyway, here’s The Other Guys trailer with Wahlberg and Will Ferrell:

I’m not a huge Will Ferrell fan, but him and Wahlberg as buddy cops actually looks pretty darn funny, maybe ’cause I don’t expect such pairing. But Sam Jackson and the Rock totally kick ass!

Christian Bale – skinny again for “The Fighter”

Bale as Dick Englund
Bale as Dick Eklund (left) in “The Fighter”

Damon got fat, whilst Bale got skinny (again!). I was reading a couple of articles where Matt Damon told reporters how fun it was for him to gain 30 pounds to play Mark Whitaker, the corporate VP whistle blower in The Informant!. He basically stopped going to the gym and ate everything in sight. Christian Bale on the other hand, looks scrawny again for his role in The Fighter, though not as scarily skeletal as he did for The Machinist when he lost a third of his body weight. I don’t even want to know what his regimen must be like, that kind of intense weight yo-yo-ing can’t be good for his body. The last time he lost a massive amount of weight was in Werner Herzog’s Rescue Dawn in 2006.

The Fighter is a boxing drama directed by David O. Russell (watch the trailer), a project he inherited from Darren Aronofsky (perhaps he just didn’t want to do another violent contact sport right after The Wrestler?). Mark Wahlberg plays the boxer “Irish” Micky Ward and Bale plays his half-brother Dicky Eklund, Ward’s sometime trainer and small-time criminal. Eklund was featured in the 1995 documentary High on Crack Street and has battled drug addiction for years, hence Bale’s crackhead, balding look. A method actor that Bale is, he apparently refused to be seen whilst he isn’t filming. According to azcentral site, Bale bewildered his costars — which also include Melissa Leo and Amy Adams — by going missing constantly from the set. A source told ‘E!’: “You only see him when it’s time for his scenes. Other than that, no one has any idea where he is. He just goes missing.” I like Bale, but boy is he one eccentric actor.

But before you think this guy can’t have any fun, I stumbled upon this pic whilst perusing Bale’s forum on IMDB:

Bale at Pirates Day B'day Party
Bale with the Pirates For Hire at a friend’s b’day Party on Sept. 19

Apparently he was at a friend’s daughter’s birthday party in California where they hired Pirates for Hire to perform. Someone posted this excerpt on ‘Where’s Christian Bale?’ thread from someone’s blog who happened to be at the event. It’s a pretty cute story:

“… one of his pirate friends said to Christian (not realizing it was really Christian Bale standing there– and all being actors who make their living acting like other celebrities and such) “Omg! You could totally make a living playing Christian Bale for parties.” Christian smiled and said “thanks,” and walked away. They then kind of realized that it was in fact Christian and there was some debate since Ted (who I spoke with) said he was a bit surprised by Christian’s size. He said he was pretty thin and his hair is buzzed so he ‘didn’t look like Batman’. LOL! Once he heard his voice though he knew it was him.

Bale also got a kick out of a little-known fact that one of the ‘pirates’ knew about him:

So they are there doing the party, and he said the backyard where they all were having the party (which also had a huge pirate ship for the kids to play on, and face painting and such) was two levels, one higher up than the other, and he was watching Christian walk by to go to the other level. He said his one friend (who was playing a pirate as well) told him that Christian Bale played Jim Hawkins in Treasure Island (I had to look that one up. It’s a TV movie starring Charlton Heston. Wow, I had no idea!). So as Christian is walking close to them, one of them calls out “Well if it isn’t the young Jim Hawkins all grown up now!!!” and the other chimes in “Aww, no, he is nothing but a scallywag now!” (basically just ribbing him as pirates) and he said Christian turned around totally amused and stunned, cracking up laughing and said “You guys are incredible!!” He then walked over to them and kept laughing, saying “NO ONE would’ve known that!” (And was cracking up that they called him out for his role in Treasure Island) They just said “we’re pirates! And we’re fans!” He said it was then that Christian said “can I get a picture with you guys?” and whipped out his own camera. They responded “Can we get a picture with you??”

Nice to see Bale smiling and goofing off for a change.

Happy Monday, folks, I thought we all could use a bit of fun!