All the Money in the World (2017)

All the Money in the World
Director: Ridley Scott
Writer: David Scarpa
Based on: John Pearson‘s non-fiction book Painfully Rich: the Outrageous Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Heirs of J. Paul Getty
Cast: Michelle Williams, Christopher Plummer, Mark Wahlberg, Romain Duris, Timothy Hutton, Charlie Plummer
Seen on: 1.3.2018
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Plot:
John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer), grandson of Jean Paul Getty (Christopher Plummer), one of the richest men in the world, is abducted. Despite his wealth, Jean Paul Getty is unwilling to pay the ransom, much to the horror of his daughter-in-law Gail (Michelle Williams), mother of John Paul. Instead he sends his security specialist Fletcher (Mark Wahlberg) to oversee things. But as time is running out for the teenager, both Gail and Fletcher get ever more desperate.

All the Money in the World is based on real-life events that happened before my time and I had never heard of the story. But it really is a horrible and in parts mind-boggling story that the film tells mostly well. Nevertheless, it didn’t win me over completely.

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Pain & Gain (2013)

Pain & Gain
Director: Michael Bay
Writer: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Based on: Pete Collinsarticles
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub, Ed HarrisRob Corddry, Bar Paly, Rebel Wilson, Ken Jeong, Michael Rispoli

Plot:
Daniel (Mark Wahlberg) believes in two things: fitness and the American Dream. But his dream awaits fulfillment while he toils away in a fitness studio. When he gets a new client – Victor (Tony Shalhoub), superrich superdouche, Daniel teams up with his best friend Adrian (Anthony Mackie) and the recently released from prison Paul (Dwayne Johnson) to kidnap Victor and take everything he owns.

Pain & Gain was way more fun than I expected it to be. Not only were the performances by the main cast great, but the script was really entertaining and Bay hasn’t directed as well in a very, very, very long time.

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Broken City (2013)

Broken City
Director: Allen Hughes
Writer: Brian Tucker
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jeffrey Wright, Barry Pepper, Alona Tal, Natalie Martinez, Michael Beach, Kyle Chandler, James Ransone, Griffin Dunne

Plot:
Billy (Mark Wahlberg) is a policeman who shot a rapist who went free. During his trial where he claims self-defence, new evidence comes up but is quickly surpressed by Mayor Hostetler (Russell Crowe) and Comissioner Fairbanks (Jeffrey Wright). Despite being found not guilty, Billy is let go and earns his money by doing investigation work from then on. Years later in the middle of election time, Hostetler contacts him again to have him investigate his wife Cathleen (Catherine Zeta-Jones). But there’s apparently more to the story than just mere infidelity.

Broken City was a decent thriller but nothing that really blew me away, apart from Russell Crowe who obviously had fun with this one. The characters are a little too clichéd to work, the story is unfocused and all of that leaves you a little dissatisfied.

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Contraband (2012)

Contraband
Director: Baltasar Kormákur
Writer: Aaron Guzikowski
Remake of: Reykjavík Rotterdam
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Kate Beckinsale, Ben Foster, Giovanni Ribisi, Lukas Haas, Caleb Landry Jones, David O’Hara, Diego Luna, J. K. Simmons

Plot:
Chris (Mark Wahlberg) used to be a smuggler (and a damn good one). But when he got a wife (Kate Beckinsale) and kids, he quit. Unfortunately, his brother-in-law Andy (Caleb Landry Jones) isn’t as smart or as good a smuggler and so he gets into trouble with Briggs (Giovanni Ribisi) who hired him to smuggle drugs Andy promptly had to dump. Briggs threatens Chris and his family and pressures him into a job. And so Chris and his best friend Sebastian (Ben Foster) get their old group together to get counterfeit money into the country.

Contraband is so formulaic, it practically becomes its own archetype. Unfortunately that’s the only thing that stands out about the film.

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The Fighter (2010)

The Fighter is the newest film by David O. Russell, starring Mark Wahlberg, Amy Adams, Christian Bale and Melissa Leo.

Plot:
Micky (Mark Wahlberg) has always stood in the shadow of his older brother Dicky (Christian Bale) who has seen his heyday as a boxer 15 years previously and has since descended into drug addiction. Micky is a boxer himself, but he struggles with it and is much defeated. It’s only when Dicky goes to prison and Micky finds his new girlfriend Charlene (Amy Adams) that Micky comes into his own.

The Fighter has an exceptional cast and a fine story, but it drags a bit and I don’t think I have enough love for boxing to really be able to appreciate this film. [And when I say I don’t have enough love for boxing, I mean that I don’t get boxing. At all. I don’t get how you can do it and I get much less why you would want somebody you love to do it.] It remained a little stale.

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The Other Guys (2010)

[The surprise movie this year at the Viennale.*]

The Other Guys is the newest Adam McKay/Will Ferrell movie, starring Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Michael Keaton, Eva Mendes, Steve Coogan and in cameos Dwayne Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson.

Plot:
Detectives Gamble (Will Ferrell) and Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) are the joke of their precinct. Gamble is an accountant at heart and Hoitz has a short fuse and unfortunately once shot a famous baseball player. By accident, they stumble into a big financial scandal though, helmed by the slippery investor Ershon (Steve Coogan).

I’m not a huge Ferrell fan. He just doesn’t really push my buttons. This didn’t change with this movie, either. Nevertheless, it was quite enjoyable and is surely a fine treat for people who like Ferrell.

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Date Night (2010)

Date Night is the newest movie by Shawn Levy, starring Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Mark Wahlberg, Taraji P. Henson, Mark Ruffalo, James Franco and Mila Kunis.

Plot:
The Fosters (Steve Carell, Tina Fey) are a rather ordinary couple – he is a tax lawyer, she a real estate agent. Once a week, they have their Date Night, which is mostly the same every week. One week, they decide to do something special and have dinner in New York. But they arrive late at this ultra-hip restaurant and don’t get a table. On a whim, they decide to take the reservation of somebody else. Unfortunately these somebodies are in real trouble and now the Fosters get caught up in the whole thing.

Date Night is nothing special, but it has some really awesome moments. It’s fun and it will keep you entertained, as long as you don’t expect a meditation on life and death. [But honestly, who would?]

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The Lovely Bones (2009)

The Lovely Bones is the newest movie by Peter Jackson, starring Saoirse Ronan, Stanley Tucci, Rachel Weisz, Mark Wahlberg and Susan Sarandon.

Plot:
When Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan) is 14 years old, she is murdered by her neighbour (Stanley Tucci). From heaven, she watches over her parents (Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz) in their increasing desperate attempts to cope with her death.

If you’ve read any review of this movie, you’re probably under the impression that it’s the worst movie ever. That’s not true. But it’s also not very good.

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