Thomas is an artist who's lost his way. Seeking solace he goes into the desert and crashes his car where he meets in dark and illusive man who eventually reveals that his name is Jack. Jack follows Thomas back to LA and is instantly taken in by his privileged life as an artist.
Jack begins to stalk Thomas and threatens to expose Thomas' secret in a bid to take a piece of his seemingly comfortable lifestyle. Pitted against one another and in a battle that threatens to take both men to the edge, it will soon become clear who's really willing to fight for their life.
Mojave was written by The Departed writer William Monahan.
With a strangely simplistic screenplay by William Monahan (The Departed), director Rupert Wyatt and his cast struggle to dig beneath the surface in a meaningful way. Mark Wahlberg does what he can in the lead role as a self-destructive gambling addict, but since he's never remotely likeable it's impossible to care what happens to him. It's decently made, but without strong characters or a resonant message the movie ultimately feels like a vanity project that's gone wrong somewhere along the way.
Wahlberg plays Jim, a swaggering university professor who torments his brightest student Amy (Larson) in front of the whole class. But she knows that he's also unable to pass a blackjack table without losing a small fortune. And it's probably money he owes to someone. Indeed, he's accruing such severe debts to a gangster (Michael Kenneth Williams) that he turns to his millionaire mother (Jessica Lange) for help, knowing that if she gives him the cash he'll gamble it away before settling his accounts. So he also turns to tough loan shark Frank (John Goodman), who stresses to Jim the importance of paying up and getting out of the betting world for good. But Jim seems incapable of even a shred of self-control.
It's virtually impossible to connect with a character this one-sided. Aside from his literary intelligence, there's nothing remotely redeeming about Jim, so it's difficult to escape the feeling that he's getting just what he deserves. And it gets worse when he starts romancing Amy, a nubile girl barely half his age. Wahlberg never plays Jim as anything but an unapologetic loser who has orchestrated his own misfortune. So why should we care what happens to him? At least the side characters interject a bit of complexity, most notably Lange and Goodman, who command the entire film with just a couple of scenes each. The usually terrific Larson barely registers in an underwritten role that makes very little logical sense.
Continue reading: The Gambler Review
Mark Wahlberg is set to star in Christmas Day's remake of 1974's 'The Gambler', and despite being a fan of the original, he reveals how he was excited by the fresh script.
Remaking and rebooting older films is the bread and butter of modern Hollywood. Once in a while, a filmmaker decides to approach a previously known work in order to retell the story in a different way or look at the same themes from a different angle. Sometimes, this approach will land a screenwriter with a serious prize, as William Monahan discovered when he adapted Hong Kong's 'Infernal Affairs' into 'The Departed' and won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Mark Wahlberg in 'The Gambler'
Monahan has returned to write the screenplay for a remake of 1974's 'The Gambler', and lead actor Mark Wahlberg (who also starred in 'The Departed'), couldn't have more praise for the writer. "I mean, I was a really huge fan of the original" said Wahlberg, "but I felt that Bill Monahan did a really amazing job of bringing something different to it."
Continue reading: Mark Wahlberg Praises 'The Gambler' Remake
The Departed is based on the Hong Kong blockbuster Infernal Affairs, in which a cop goes undercover in the mob while the mob places one of their own as a mole in the police force. In Scorsese's version, the scene shifts to Boston, where mob boss Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) puts loyal-from-boyhood employee Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) through police training. As Sullivan rises through the ranks, Special Investigations Unit chiefs Queenan (Martin Sheen) and Dignam (Mark Wahlberg) recruit rookie Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) to get "kicked off" the force and do time to gain Costello's confidence.
Continue reading: The Departed Review
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Thomas is an artist who's lost his way. Seeking solace he goes into the desert...
With a strangely simplistic screenplay by William Monahan (The Departed), director Rupert Wyatt and his...