Mark Wahlberg

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Posted by bender 04/26/2009 @ 18:07

Tags : mark wahlberg, actors and actresses, entertainment

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Mark Wahlberg Movie Casting Call in Lowell - News
Lowell, MA - On Saturday, May 30th, Boston Casting, a local feature film casting company, is holding an open casting call at the Lowell VFW Hall for a new Mark Wahlberg film, The Fighter. The casting call will be held from 10 am – 4 pm, and is open to...
Melissa Leo signing on for "The Fighter"? - Boston Globe
Variety reports that Leo is in talks to star opposite Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg in the film about Lowell-bred boxer "Irish" Mickey Ward (Wahlberg) and his brother Dicky Eklund (Bale). In the movie being directed by David O. Russell,...
We Hear: Kevin James, Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale and more... - Boston Herald
That Boston Casting will hold an open call for “The Fighter,” a flick starring Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale, on May 30 at the VFW Hall on Plain Street in Lowell. The casting peeps are looking for boxers and fighters in their 20s and 30s; trainers;...
Hanging with their Buddies - Boston Globe
Variety reports that Leo is in talks to star opposite Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg in the film about Lowell-bred boxer "Irish" Micky Ward (Wahlberg) and his brother Dick Eklund (Bale). In the movie being directed by David O. Russell, Leo would play...
A Beverly Park Land Deal - Mosnar Communications Inc Blog
About the time Mister Bisno was putting his big ol' Beverly Park manse on the market in late 2008, rapper/underwear model turned Oscar nominated actor (The Departed, Boogie Nights, The Basketball Diaries) and tee-vee producer Mark Wahlberg (Entourage...
Auditions announced for upcoming Wahlberg film - Amesbury News
Boston Casting is holding an open call audition for the new feature film “The Fighter” starring Mark Wahlberg, on Saturday, May 30, 10 am to 4 pm at the VFW Hall, 190 Plain St., Lowell. · Residents 18 years and older from Lowell and surrounding...
Deep Inside Hollywood - pride
So it's exciting to hear that he's considering teaming up with Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg for the action movie "Prisoners." Taking a page from the Liam Neeson extravaganza "Taken," one of the year's biggest hits so far, this movie would star...
Casting Alert: Marky Wahlberg calling all meatheads (and their ... - The Phoenix
"Hi, it's Mark Wahlberg. We're making the Irish Rocky. Can you get me every meathead within 20 miles of Lowell? ASAP? Oh, and I'm gonna need their girlfriends, too . . ." At least that's how we imagine the conversation must've gone when someone decided...
We Hear: Matt Damon, Danny Glover, Mark Wahlberg and more... - Boston Herald
That Dorchester homey - and confirmed bachelor - Mark Wahlberg finally has decided to walk down the aisle with his longtime baby mama, Rhea Durham, after his 5-year-old daughter, Ella, started demanding to know why mommy and daddy weren't man and wife....
Spotted: Mark Wahlberg -
Mark Wahlberg was seen picking up food at one of his favorite spots, Madeo in Beverly Hills on May 16, 2009. The actor is rumored to marry his girlfriend/baby momma Rhea Durham this August at the request of his 5-year-old daughter Ella....

Mark Wahlberg

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Mark Robert Michael Wahlberg (born June 5, 1971) is an Academy Award-nominated, BAFTA-winning American actor, former rapper and producer of film and television. He was known as Marky Mark in his earlier years and became famous in his 1991 debut as a rap musician with the band Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. He was named #1 on VH1's 40 Hottest Hotties of the 90's.

Born in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, he is the youngest of nine children, with siblings Arthur, Jim, Paul, Robert, Tracey, Michelle, Debbie, and Donnie. His mother, Alma Elaine (née McPeck), was a bank clerk and nurse's aide, and his father, Donald E. Wahlberg, was a Teamster who worked as a delivery driver; the two divorced in 1982. Wahlberg had a Catholic upbringing and attended Copley Square High School (but never graduated) on Newbury Street in Copley Square in Boston. The campus now houses Muriel Snowden International School.

As a teenager, Wahlberg was implicated in several acts of violence and vandalism. At fifteen, he was amongst a group who threw rocks at a group of African American school children on a field trip while shouting racial epithets; the rocks hit their targets and caused several injuries. The following year, Wahlberg robbed a pharmacy while he was under the influence of PCP. During the commission of the crime, he again used racial epithets. He knocked one middle aged Vietnamese man unconscious and permanently blinded another in one eye before he was arrested by the police. Wahlberg was tried as an adult and charged for attempted murder. Pleading guilty to the lesser charge of assault, he was sentenced to two years in jail at Boston's Deer Island House of Correction, of which he served 45 days. In yet another incident, the 21-year-old Wahlberg fractured the jaw of a neighbor in an unprovoked attack.

Wahlberg first came to fame as the younger brother of Donnie Wahlberg of the successful 1980s and 1990s boy band New Kids on the Block. Mark, at age thirteen, had been one of the group's original members, along with Donnie, Danny Wood, Jordan Knight, and Jonathan Knight. Uninterested in the group's bubblegum pop and squeaky-clean image, however, he soon quit. It was his departure that eventually allowed Joe McIntyre to take his place as the fifth member of the group.

Wahlberg began recording as Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, earning a hit with "Good Vibrations" from the album Music for the People. The record was produced by brother Donnie and later hit #1 on The Billboard Hot 100, later becoming certified as a Platinum single. In the video, widely broadcast on music video channels, Mark was shown boxing, lifting weights and showing off his bare, well-muscled torso. The second single, "Wildside," peaked at #5 on Billboards Hot Singles Sales chart and at #10 on The Billboard Hot 100. It was certified as a Gold single. Marky Mark opened for the New Kids on the Block during their last tour. The second Marky Mark LP, You Gotta Believe, wasn't as successful as the prior, yielding only a minor hit single in the title track. Wahlberg later collaborated with reggae / ragga singer Prince Ital Joe. The project combined rap and ragga vocals with strong eurodance music (as in the singles Happy People, United, Life in the Streets, and Babylon) courtesy of Frank Peterson and Alex Christensen as producers.

He briefly became embroiled in controversy when he appeared to endorse the homophobic comments made by Shabba Ranks when they appeared as guests on the British chat show The Word.

Mark's cocky, street-wise persona contributed to his fame. During concert performances, he was known for stripping to a pair of white briefs, gyrating his hips and rubbing his crotch. In the dedication of his 1992 book Marky Mark, co-authored with photographer Lynn Goldsmith, Wahlberg says in the preface that "I wanna dedicate this book to my cock".

Wahlberg is known for his impressive physique. He first displayed it in the Good Vibrations music video and most prominently in a series of underwear ads for Calvin Klein shot by Herb Ritts, following it with Calvin Klein television ads. In 1992 the Calvin Klein billboard in New York's Times Square featured Wahlberg exclusively. Magazine and television promotions would sometimes feature him exclusively or accompanied by model Kate Moss. Annie Leibovitz shot a famous session of Mark Wahlberg in underwear for Vanity Fair's annual Hall of Fame issue. He made a workout video titled The Marky Mark Workout: Form... Focus... Fitness (ISBN 1-55510-910-1). Although Wahlberg made several sexual references in the video, it was passed as exempt from classification because he was able to disguise them with hip hop slang. Notably, he says to a female participant before doing an exercise, "If I get diesel (muscular), maybe I'll get some skins" (a reference to the labia). He says "I can't get no coochie (a reference to a woman's vagina) without no Gucci", which was a phrase that Mark heard from a toilet attendant during his visit to London.

Wahlberg then began an acting career, making his debut in the 1993 TV movie The Substitute. His big screen debut came the next year, with the Danny DeVito feature Renaissance Man. A basketball fanatic, he caught the attention of critics after appearing in The Basketball Diaries in 1995, playing the role of Mickey alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, in a film adaptation of the Jim Carroll book of the same name. He also starred in the 1996 James Foley thriller Fear.

He earned many positive reviews after successful movies like Boogie Nights as Dirk Diggler, Three Kings, The Perfect Storm, The Italian Job, and Four Brothers. His performance in I ♥ Huckabees was voted best supporting performance of the year in the 2004 Village Voice Critics Poll. Wahlberg was originally cast as Linus Caldwell in Ocean's Eleven; Matt Damon played the role instead. The two later worked together in The Departed. Wahlberg was also considered for a role in the film Brokeback Mountain. It was originally intended to star him and Joaquin Phoenix, but Wahlberg was uncomfortable with the film's sex scenes and his role ultimately went to Jake Gyllenhaal.

Wahlberg starred in the American football drama Invincible, based on the true story of bartender-turned-Philadelphia Eagle Vince Papale. He is also the executive producer of the HBO series Entourage, which is loosely based on his experiences in Hollywood. He also appeared as a foul-mouthed Massachusetts State Police detective in Martin Scorsese's critically acclaimed thriller The Departed in 2006, for which he won the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor and netted him nominations for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture.

Wahlberg has confirmed that he was approached to star in a sequel to The Departed, but it is still early in development. The sequel would reportedly revolve around the Staff Sergeant played by Wahlberg.

To prepare for his role in Shooter, Wahlberg attended long-range shooting training at Front Sight Firearms Training Institute near Pahrump, Nevada, and was able to hit a target at 2000 yards on his first day, a feat which took his instructor about six months to achieve. He has said in a number of interviews that he will retire at the age of 40 to concentrate on parenthood and professional golf. However, in early 2007 he indicated that the latter was no longer the plan as "his golf game is horrible". He stars as Jack Salmon in Peter Jackson's film of The Lovely Bones. In 2007 he starred opposite Joaquin Phoenix in We Own the Night, a movie about a family of police officers in New York City. The movie also stars Robert Duvall and Eva Mendes.

Wahlberg will play drug kingpin Jon Roberts in the remake of the 2006 documentary Cocaine Cowboys, which chronicles the story of the largest cocaine trafficker in Miami in the 1970s and 1980s, and has persuaded Leonardo DiCaprio to play the supporting role.

He starred in M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening as Eliot Moore, which opened in movie theatres on June 13, 2008. The same year, he played the title role in Max Payne, based on a video game of the same name. While promoting Max Payne, Wahlberg became involved in a feud with Saturday Night Live's Andy Samberg and threatened to "crack that big (bleep)ing nose of his." Samberg had done an impression of Wahlberg in a Saturday Night Live skit titled "Mark Wahlberg Talks To Animals." However, Wahlberg later appeared in a follow-up skit parodying both the original skit, Samberg's impression of Wahlberg, and his own threats to Samberg.

Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch had their own video game in the Marky Mark: Make My Video game series on the Sega Mega-CD. Using various effects, the player is supposed to produce new versions of the videos to Marky Mark songs like "Good Vibrations" and "I Need Money". PC listed it as the eighth worst video game of all time. Recently, Wahlberg played the titular character in the Max Payne film based on the popular video games. Even though he played the character in the film, he has stated that he is not going to play the games.

Wahlberg is a practicing Roman Catholic. He dated actresses Jordana Brewster and China Chow, his co-star in the film The Big Hit. Wahlberg and model Rhea Durham have been together since 2001, and have three children, Ella Rae (born September 2, 2003), Michael (born March 22, 2006) and Brendan Joseph (born September 24, 2008). Though no formal announcement has been made, Wahlberg and Durham are rumored to have wedding plans for the summer of 2009. He has been heard in interviews and at The Happening premiere calling her his future wife and fiancée.

Actively involved in charity, Wahlberg established the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation in May 2001 for the purpose of raising and distributing funds to youth service and enrichment programs.

Wahlberg has four tattoos done by various artists including Paul Timman. The tattoos include Sylvester the cat with Tweety in his mouth on his ankle, a tattoo of his initials MW with Wahlberg through them on his upper right arm, and a Bob Marley tattoo with "One Love" on his upper left arm. The final tattoo, which Wahlberg holds as his most meaningful, is the rosary tattoed around his neck, with a crucifix and the words "In God I Trust" resting over his heart.

His father, a US Army veteran of the Korean War, died on February 14, 2008.

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Boogie Nights

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Boogie Nights is a 1997 American drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. Set in Southern California in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the screenplay focuses on a young nightclub dishwasher who becomes the popular star of pornographic films and finds himself slowly descending into a nightmare of drug abuse when his fame draws him into a crowd of users and abusers.

Handsome but naïve high school dropout Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg), emotionally abused by his domineering, alcoholic mother, is discovered by porn director Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds) at a suburban club owned by Maurice Rodríguez (Luis Guzmán). He then gives himself the screen name of Dirk Diggler, whose extraordinary endowment and youthful charisma make him an instant award-winning star in the adult entertainment business. His success allows him to buy a new house, an extensive wardrobe, and his most prized possession: an orange Chevrolet Corvette. Aware of Jack's goal of making films that draw audience members with their plots as much as their sex scenes, Dirk and his best friend/fellow porn star Reed Rothchild (John C. Reilly), who aspires to be a magician, suggest a series of action films starring themselves as Brock Landers and Chest Rockwell. The film series become a runaway success.

Assistant director Little Bill (William H. Macy) is married to a porn star (Nina Hartley) who constantly humiliates him by having sex, frequently in public, with other men. At a New Year's Eve party marking the start of the 1980s, he shoots her and her lover and then turns the gun on himself in front of the guests. This marks a major turning point, as most of the characters' lives take a turn for the worse as the new decade begins. The film moves from one character to another, showing their attempts to make lives for themselves in the adult film industry and their failures when they leave it. Jack's porn empire flounders after his main source of funding, Colonel James (Robert Ridgely), is imprisoned for possession of child pornography. His new financier, Floyd Gondoli (Philip Baker Hall), insists on cutting costs by shooting on videotape, a format that Jack detests. He is also unhappy with the lack of scripts and character development in the projects Gondoli expects him to churn out as quickly as possible. He tries to revitalize his career by having Rollergirl (Heather Graham) ride with him in a limousine while they search for random strangers to have sex with her in the back seat while a crew tapes it. When the man they choose insults Rollergirl and rudely tells Jack his movies aren't good anymore, Jack and Rollergirl severely beat him and leave him bleeding and half-conscious on the street.

Leading lady Amber Waves (Julianne Moore), who took Eddie under her wing when he joined Jack's stable of actors, finds herself in a nasty custody battle with her former husband. The court determines she is an unfit mother due to her involvement in the porn industry, her prior criminal record, and her addiction to cocaine, leaving her emotionally distraught. Buck Swope (Don Cheadle) marries fellow porn star Jessie St. Vincent (Melora Walters), who shortly thereafter becomes pregnant. After being denied a bank loan to open a store specializing in stereo equipment, Buck stops at a donut shop and finds himself in the middle of a holdup. The clerk, thief, and a gun-wielding customer who tries to stop the robbery kill each other, and Buck escapes with the money the thief had stuffed into a paper bag. He uses it to finance his store and becomes a successful businessman.

Now addicted to cocaine and methamphetamine, Dirk finds it increasingly difficult to achieve an erection and frequently falls into violent mood swings. He has a falling out with Jack during a film shoot, and he and Reed decide to pursue their dream of rock and roll stardom, a move supported by Scotty (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a gay boom operator who adores and emulates Dirk. However, their addictions lead them to squander all their money and render them unable to pay the recording studio for the demo tapes. Desperate for money, Dirk tries to prostitute himself with a man, but he is assaulted and robbed by a gang of thugs in a homophobic assault. Dirk, Reed and their friend Todd (Thomas Jane) attempt to scam Rahad Jackson (Alfred Molina) by selling him a half-kilo of baking soda disguised as cocaine for $5,000, and Todd is killed in an ensuing gunfight. Frightened by his brush with death and weary of his wasteful existence, Dirk reconciles with Jack. The film ends with several characters living in Jack's house as their own version of a family.

The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was shown at the New York Film Festival before opening on two screens in the US on October 10, 1997. It grossed $50,168 on its opening weekend. Three weeks later it expanded to 907 theaters and grossed $4,681,934, ranking #4 for the week. It eventually earned $26,400,640 in the US and $16,700,954 in foreign markets for a worldwide box office total of $43,101,594.

Two Boogie Nights soundtracks were released, the first at the time of the film's initial release and the second the following year. Although the two albums encompass nearly every major song featured in the film, they did not include "99 Luftballons" by Nena, "Lonely Boy" by Andrew Gold, "Fat Man" by Jethro Tull, "Sunny" by Boney M., and "The Sage," a cello piece by Chico Hamilton.

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Max Payne (film)

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Max Payne is a 2008 American noir action film based on the 2001 video game by Remedy Entertainment. It was writer Beau Thorne's first screenplay and was directed by John Moore. The film stars Mark Wahlberg in the title role, Mila Kunis as Mona Sax, and Beau Bridges as BB Hensley. The film centers on a cop's journey through New York City's criminal underworld as he investigates the deaths of his wife and child.

Filming took place in early to mid-2008, and extensive visual effects were used for many scenes throughout the film. Max Payne was released on October 16, 2008 in Australia, one day prior to the United States release date. Reviews were mostly negative, and some critics cited the film's numerous differences from the video game that it is based on. Despite the negative reviews, the film was able to take the top spot in the box office in its opening weekend and gross over $108 million worldwide. The home video release for Max Payne was released on January 20, 2009.

In New York City, detective Max Payne is a three-year veteran in the Cold Case unit. He is consumed with investigating and finding the murderer of his wife, Michelle and infant son. Trevor, Max's snitch, supplies him with information that leads him to three drug addicts in an empty train station. They attempt to hold up Max in a bathroom; instead Max interrogates one of them about his family’s murder, with no results. Next he visits Trevor's apartment where Natasha Sax takes an interest in him. Natasha and her sister Mona Sax get into an argument and Natasha disappears. Max goes looking for her near a back room where people are using the drug "Valkyr" and is silently confronted by Jack Lupino, but Natasha takes him away. Max noticed Natasha’s tattoos and wants information so he invites her back to his apartment. However, after Natasha tries to seduce him and makes insensitive comments about his wife, Max kicks her out.

The next morning Natasha turns up dead with Max's wallet at the crime scene. Max becomes the prime suspect with his old partner Alex Balder on the case. Alone in his office, Alex notices the tattoo on Natasha's arm is similar to one found in the case file of Max's wife. Alex tries to contact Max, but with no luck he quickly leaves for Max's apartment. Max arrives to find the door is ajar and his place a mess with Alex dead inside. Someone attacks Max and knocks him unconscious.

Max wakes up in a hospital beside his trusted friend BB Hensley, his father's former partner in the NYPD. BB is now head of security of the pharmaceutical company Aesir Corporation. Max decides to pay his respects to Alex but is kicked out by his upset wife, Christa. While being questioned by Lieutenant Jim Bravura of Internal Affairs, Max storms out and searches Alex's desk, finding Owen Green's name in Natasha's case file. Later, Max is confronted by Mona who assumes Max killed her sister but is persuaded to team up with Max and find the true killer. Max and Mona find Owen Green but can't save him as he falls out of the building to his death.

Max and Mona visit Natasha's tattoo parlor. The tattoo artist tells them Natasha’s tattoo represents the wings of a Valkyrie which in Norse mythology is for protection in battle. Max takes some of Michelle's belongings out of storage and comes across documents from the Aesir Corporation, the company she worked for. Taking some of the Aesir documents, Max meets BB at a diner and demands the name of Michelle's old supervisor, Jason Colvin.

After interrogating Jason, Max learns that Michelle's death had something to do with a government contract to create super soldiers. Few subjects showed results from the addictive drug while the remaining went insane, thus shutting down the project. Jason agrees to testify for protection, but as they try to escape, Aesir security forces, heavily-armed, kill Jason. Max escapes the gunfight and shows the video to Mona at her place. It explains the Valkyr project with a testimonial by Jack Lupino where he explains that on the drug he feels invincible with no side effects. Max goes to Jack's hideout, Ragna Rok, and is losing to Jack when BB arrives and kills Jack. While escaping Max is knocked unconscious.

BB tells Max that he is selling Valkyr and that he killed Michelle and her baby because she inadvertently came across documents that incriminated him. He plans to drown Max in the river with Valkyr in his pocket, hoping to make it look like a drug-induced suicide. Max escapes before he can be tied to the weight, and jumps into the icy river to avoid being shot. He swims to shore and to prevent hypothermia consumes both vials of Valkyr, transforming into a super soldier with visions of Valkyries. Max follows BB back to the Aesir building and confronts him on the building's heliport where he shoots BB dead and then is surrounded by the police.

After the film credits Max is shown arriving at a bar where he meets with Mona. She shows him a newspaper article about Aesir's stock prices rising, next to a photo of Aesir CEO Nicole Horne.

The 2001 video game Max Payne was optioned by the production company Collision Entertainment to produce a live-action film adaptation. By April 2002, distributors Dimension Films and Abandon Entertainment were attached to the project. Shawn Ryan, the creator of the television series The Shield, was hired to write a script for the planned film. By June 2005, without production starting, Collision Entertainment had taken the project to 20th Century Fox. In November 2007, with a script written by Beau Thorne, Fox announced John Moore as the director and Mark Wahlberg as the star in the titular role.

Filming began in Toronto on March 2, 2008 and wrapped by May 9, 2008. Shooting the film in 35mm 3-perf, several different areas around Toronto were used multiple locations in the movie. It took a full week to shoot just the final gunfight inside the Aesier Headquarters using over 6,000 squibs.

Upon finding the building for the Aesir Headquarters it took eight weeks in pre-production to build the set and another week for the special effects team to install the squibs. The outside top half of the building was completely made of CG, by Mr.X, giving it a more high tech look. Using Google Earth they were able to find out the building's geometry. No location could be found for a rooftop helipad so a set was built in front of a green screen. Soho VFX attached the helipad to the building and set it atop New York City.

In order to recreate the bullet time used in the games without using a complex camera setup, the technique he used is called "Boom Vision". Moore used Vision Research’s Phantom HD digital camera which takes 1,000fps, when the video is played back it gives the illusion of slow motion, a method of high speed photography. The technique was used for two action scenes and required that a special rigging be built. The rigging had the camera on a propeller that spun at two revolutions per second. The crew was not allowed near it while it was being used for fear of damaging the camera or getting hurt themselves. Soho FX then blended the thousands of shots into the other footage during post production.

Moore gave the approval on Valkyrie designed by illustrators Chris Roswarne and Rob McCallum. As a point of reference and to limit the use of CG a Valkyrie suit and make up were worn by performer Mako Hindy. Moore "wanted the Valkyries to have a slow motion quality to them, almost as if they were underwater." During the 15 weeks of post-production the Valkyries were further developed by Spin to support this. Using Maya, 3DS Max, and ZBrush they were able to create the Valkyries and have control over their wings. The artists sometimes had full control over each individual feather. They had to overcome the darkness of the film as it made it more difficult to track each object. Spin also handled atmospheric CG and the CG matte backdrops elements.

The film is rated PG-13 in the United States, a departure from the M-rated video game series. Mila Kunis said of the tone-down, "It's incredibly dark. You still get the gist of it. The only difference between R-rated and PG-13 is you might not see as much blood. You might not see blood squirting everywhere, but as far as the sadness and the darkness of it and the distraught of these human beings is very much captured in the film." The film was given the 15 rating in the United Kingdom, for "strong violence" and MA 15+ in Australia for "Frequent violence and drug use".

The film has been panned by critics and has received numerous negative reviews, with an 18% "rotten" rating at Rotten Tomatoes, based on 117 reviews, and a consensus opinion that "While it boasts some stylish action, Max Payne suffers severely from an illogical plot and overdirection." Another review aggretator, Metacritic, gave the film a 35/100 approval rating based on 25 reviews falling under the "generally negative reviews" category.

One of the harshest critics of the film was 3D Realms CEO Scott Miller, one of the game's producers, who cited fundamental story flaws "that have me shaking my head in bewilderment," including the game's opening scenes being instead placed in the middle of the film. After the film's #1 opening weekend, however, he retracted his comments, saying that he was now "proud of the film," and that "This kind of opening brings us a lot closer to the reality of a sequel," to the long-stalled video game franchise.

Despite negative reviews from critics, Max Payne opened #1 in the box office with $17,639,849 on its first weekend. As of February 2009, the film has grossed $40,689,393 domestically and $44,677,000 internationally making $85,366,393 worldwide. While it is not considered an overwhelming success, its U.S. gross was around the same range as other video game adaptions such as Hitman, Silent Hill, and Resident Evil. Its international gross was lower than both Silent Hill and Hitman, and significantly lower than that of the three live action Resident Evil films released to date. The film also ranks ninth in U.S. box-office gross revenues for video game adaptions.

The film was released on DVD and Blu-Ray on January 20, 2009 and as of April 2009 generated over $22 million. All versions contain the theatrical and the uncut versions of the film, and the Blu-Ray and the 2-disc DVD contain the "Michelle Payne Animated Graphic Novel" as well as a digital copy of the uncut version of the film. The uncut version features only 3 minutes of additional footage compared to the theatrical release; the most notable difference is the extra CGI blood. Only the Blu-ray release features a D-Box motion code. It went on to receive a score of 7 out of 10 on IGN, being described as "a first-rate transfer that manages to show off the range of the high-definition format with few, if any, real weaknesses.

The film is loosely based on the video game of the same name developed by Remedy Entertainment in 2001. The amount of differences between the game and the film caused the CEO of 3D Realms and producer behind the game, Evan Scott Miller, to make a public statement against the film. Miller did not approve of the fact that the film's audience does not know why Max is seeking revenge. A flashback scene where Max finds his family murdered was right at the beginning of the game but in the film it was shown mid-film. He was also surprised that one of the story's main villains, Jack Lupino, is killed by BB where in the game Max finishes the job personally.

Many people were confused by the addition of the demon creatures. Though Valkyries are from Norse Mythology, a theme throughout the game, they are not actually in it. The film has a much larger element of the supernatural than the game as it was never revealed in the film if they were part of the hallucinations. Max takes the drug in the film to prevent the onset of hypothermia. However, in the game he was forced to take it by Nicole Horne and left for dead.

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The Italian Job (2003 film)


Most of the film was shot on location in Venice, Italy and Los Angeles. Produced by Paramount Pictures, The Italian Job had a successful theatrical release in the summer of 2003, and grossed over $170 million worldwide. Critical response was generally positive. A sequel has reportedly been in development since 2004, but has yet to be produced as of 2009.

In Venice, Italy, retired safecracker John Bridger (Donald Sutherland) calls his daughter Stella Bridger (Charlize Theron) and tells her that he is participating in what will be his final heist. John then meets up with Charlie Croker (Mark Wahlberg) before setting the heist into motion. Their team consists of themselves and four others: Steve (Edward Norton) is the "inside man", Handsome Rob (Jason Statham) is a getaway driver, Left Ear (Mos Def) is an explosives expert, and Lyle, who later demands the handle "Napster" (Seth Green), is a technical expert. The heist is a success, but Steve betrays them all by taking the gold for himself; he also kills John Bridger and leaves the rest of the team for dead.

A year later back in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Stella is using her safecracking expertise to break into vaults as an assistant to law enforcement personnel. The team has tracked Steve down, and Charlie recruits Stella to participate with the team in stealing the gold from Steve since she has the required skill and motivation. The team travels to Los Angeles, California to begin their surveillance of Steve's house and plan the heist. Meanwhile, Steve attempts to sell his gold through a money launderer, but kills him when the launderer begins asking questions about the source of the gold. However, the money launderer is a cousin of a local Ukrainian gangster, who subsequently seeks vengeance for his cousin's murder. The team's initial plan is to have Steve stood up on a date with Stella—who posed as a cable repair woman to get into Steve's house and locate his safe—while the team would break into Steve's house, load the gold into three enhanced Mini Coopers modified by Rob's mechanical friend Wrench (Franky G), and use hacked traffic lights to make their escape. However, Charlie is forced to call it off because of a local party, which would witness the heist's execution. To maintain her cover, Stella goes on the date with Steve, but he figures out her real identity. Charlie then confronts Steve and promises that he will take back the stolen gold.

Now aware that Charlie and his team are alive, Steve makes preparations to move the gold. He obtains three armored trucks and a helicopter from which to monitor the trucks' transit. To counter the shell game, Charlie uses his control over the Los Angeles traffic system to isolate the one truck containing the gold, which Lyle manages to find, and gridlocks the entire city. The team then steals the gold from the truck and escape in their trio of Mini Coopers. Steve and his hired security guards pursue them through Los Angeles, and the team manages to lose them all, except Steve. He follows Charlie, but falls into a trap: Charlie has already convinced the Ukrainian that Steve is the man they want, and Charlie gives the Ukrainian a portion of the stolen gold. Steve is taken away by the gangster, and the team split up the remaining gold and raise a toast to Stella's father as they leave Los Angeles on the Coast Starlight. During the credits, it is shown what happens to each of the main characters afterwards.

Screenwriting team Donna and Wayne Powers had not seen the original 1969 film prior to their commission to write a remake. The duo viewed the film only once "because wanted to get a sense of what it was about" in regards to its tone, and over the course of two years they developed a screenplay which was described by director F. Gary Gray as "inspired by the original." Gray, Powers and Powers, and executive producer James Dyer identified the most prominent similarities as the trio of Mini Coopers used by the thieves, as well as the titular heist involving the theft of gold bullion. Some sequences of the film were storyboarded and previsualized by Gray before production began.

Gray had been interested in working with Wahlberg since seeing his performance in Boogie Nights (1997). After reading the script for The Italian Job, Gray contacted Wahlberg, who "fell in love with it" after reading it himself. Green was also attracted to the project because of the script. Theron was Gray's first choice for the character of Stella Bridger, and Wahlberg also recommended her for the role. She spent time with a safecracker in preparing for the role. Gray's casting director suggested Statham for the role of getaway driver Handsome Rob, and Gray agreed with her choice. Norton took the role of Steve Frazelli due to a contractual obligation he had to fulfill. Wahlberg, Theron and Statham attended a special driving school for nearly a month during pre-production.

Most of The Italian Job was shot on location, at sites scouted by cinematographer Wally Pfister over 12 weeks during pre-production, but some scenes were filmed on sets. The Venice building where the film's titular, opening heist sequence takes place, the van from which the thieves survey Steve Frazelli's mansion, a hotel room, and the LACMTA Red Line subway tunnel were sets constructed at Downey Studios in California. For the scene in which an armored truck falls through Hollywood Boulevard and into the subway tunnel below, Pfister set up seven cameras to capture the vehicle's ~ 30 foot (9.1 m) descent. Three hundred cars were used to simulate the traffic jam at the intersection of Hollywood and Highland, which was controlled by the production crew for a week. Three of the 32 Mini Coopers used during principal photography were fitted with electric motors since combustion engines were not allowed in the subway tunnels where some scenes were shot. Other Mini Coopers were modified to allow for camera placement on and inside the vehicles.

Gray wanted the film to be as realistic as possible; accordingly, the actors did most of their own stunts, and computer-generated imagery was used very sparingly. Filming on location posed some challenges. The opening heist sequence in Venice, Italy, was strictly monitored by the local authorities due to the high speeds the boats were driven at. The frigid temperatures of the Italian Alps created problems during production: "The guns would jam, and if you could imagine not being able to walk 40 feet with a bottle of water without it freezing, those are the conditions we had to work in," Gray remarked. Also, pedestrians had to be allowed to use the sidewalks of Hollywood Boulevard between takes.

The Italian Job premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on May 11, 2003, and was theatrically released in the United States on May 30, 2003. In its opening weekend, the film grossed $19,457,944, placing third in the box office. Paramount re-released the film on August 29, and by the time its theatrical release closed in November 2003, the film had grossed $106,128,601 in the United States and Canada and $69,941,570 overseas—$176,070,171 worldwide. It was the highest-grossing film produced by Paramount in 2003. The Italian Job was released on DVD by Paramount Home Entertainment October 7, 2003, and includes five bonus features on different aspects of the film's production, in addition to six deleted scenes. It was released on Blu-ray disc October 24, 2006, and on HD DVD August 8, 2006.

Based on 174 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, The Italian Job has an overall approval rating of 73 percent, with a weighted average score of 6.4/10. Among Rotten Tomatoes' "Cream of the Crop", which consists of popular and notable critics from top newspapers, websites, television and radio programs, the film holds an overall approval rating of 82 percent, with a weighted average score of 6.8/10. By comparison, Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating to reviews from mainstream critics, calculated an average score of 68 out of 100 from the 37 reviews it collected.

Stephanie Zacharek, writing for, liked the reinvention of the plot and the style and execution of the action sequences, specifically those involving the trio of Mini Coopers, which she wrote were the stars of the film. BBC reviewer Stella Papamichael gave The Italian Job 4 stars out of 5, and wrote that the "revenge plot adds wallop lacking in the original". Los Angeles Times reviewer Kevin Thomas praised the opening Venice heist sequence and the characterization of each of the thieves, but felt that the Los Angeles heist sequence was "arguably stretched out too long". Roger Ebert gave the film 3 stars out of 4, writing that the film was "two hours of mindless escapism on a relatively skilled professional level." Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle concurred, describing The Italian Job as pure but smart entertainment "plotted and executed with invention and humor". Reviewer James Berardinelli also gave the film 3 stars out of 4, and said that Gray had discovered the right recipe to do a heist movie: "keep things moving, develop a nice rapport between the leads, toss in the occasional surprise, and top with a sprinkling of panache." Variety's Robert Koehler compared The Italian Job to The Score (2001), another "finely-tuned heist pic" which also featured Edward Norton in a similar role. David Denby, writing for The New Yorker, praised Norton's performance, as well as those of Seth Green and Mos Def, and the lack of digital effects in the action sequences. Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a B− grade, comparing it positively to the 2000 remake of Gone in 60 Seconds, as well as the 2001 remake of Ocean's Eleven. New York Daily News reviewer Jack Matthews gave The Italian Job 2.5 stars out of 4, writing that the action sequences and plot twists were a "vast improvement" from the original, and that the Los Angeles heist sequence was "clever and preposterous". Matthews concurred with Zacharek on the use of the Mini Coopers in the film as a connection to the original, and as product placement for BMW. Mike Clark of USA Today also questioned the probability of the Los Angeles heist sequence and wrote that the film was "a lazy and in-name-only remake", giving it 2 stars out of 4. Peter Travers, writing for Rolling Stone, gave The Italian Job 1 star out of 4, describing the film as "a tricked-out remake of a heist flick that was already flat and formulaic in 1969." Travers enjoyed the comic relief in Green's and Def's characters, and added that Norton's was "he most perversely magnetic performance" outside of the Mini Coopers, but felt that there was a lack of logic in the film.

Director F. Gary Gray won a Film Life Movie Award for Best Director at the 2004 American Black Film Festival. Clay Cullen, Michael Gaines, Jean Paul Ruggiero and Mike Massa won an award for Best Specialty Stunt at the 2004 Taurus World Stunt Awards for the boat chase through the canals of Venice.

A sequel to The Italian Job, tentatively titled The Brazilian Job, was in development by the summer of 2004, but has faced multiple delays. Principal photography was initially slated to begin in March 2005, with a projected release date in November or December 2005. However, the script was never finalized, and the release date was pushed back to sometime in 2006, and later summer 2007. Writer David Twohy approached Paramount Pictures with an original screenplay entitled The Wrecking Crew, and though the studio reportedly liked the idea, they thought it would work better as a sequel to The Italian Job. Director F. Gary Gray was expected to return, as well as most, if not all, of the original cast. At least two drafts of the script had been composed by August 2007, but the project had not been greenlit. In a March 2008 interview, Jason Statham said that "somebody should just erase it from IMDb.... and put it back on there when it's fully due and ready. It's one of those things that's just sitting around." Green also stated, in September 2008, that the sequel is unlikely in the near future. However, producer Donald De Line revealed on March 9, 2009, that "e have a version at Paramount that we're talking very serious about", additionally mentioning that the cast were interested in the project.

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M. Night Shyamalan


Manoj Nelliyattu Shyamalan (pronounced ; Malayalam: മനോജ് നെല്ലിയട്ടു ശ്യാമളന്‍ ; born 6 August 1970), known professionally as M. Night Shyamalan, is a two-time Academy Award nominated Indian-born American filmmaker and script writer of major studio films, known for making movies with contemporary supernatural plots that usually climax with a twist ending. He is also known for filming his movies (and staging his plots) in and around Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he was raised. Shyamalan released his first film, Praying with Anger, in 1992 while he was a New York University student. His second movie, the major feature film Wide Awake, made in 1995 but not released until three years later, failed to find financial success. Shyamalan gained international recognition when he wrote and directed 1999's The Sixth Sense, which was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. He followed The Sixth Sense by writing and directing Unbreakable, released in 2000, which received mixed reviews. His 2002 film Signs, where he also played Ray Reddy, gained both critical and financial success, but The Village (2004) was a critical disappointment whose box office fell hard after a strong opening weekend, and Lady in the Water (2006) performed even worse. His latest film, The Happening (2008), did financially better than his previous effort but was also panned by critics; in its entire American run, it grossed only slightly more than Signs made its opening weekend.

Shyamalan was born in Mahe, Pondicherry, India. His father, Nelliyattu C. Shyamalan, a physician, is a Malayali Indian, and his mother, Jayalakshmi, is a Tamil Indian and an obstetrician and gynecologist by profession. In the 1960s, after medical school (at the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research in Pondicherry) and the birth of their first child, Veena, Shyamalan's parents moved to the United States. Shyamalan’s mother returned to India to spend the last five months of her pregnancy with Shyamalan at her parents’ home in Chennai (Madras).

Shyamalan spent his first six weeks in Pondicherry and then was raised in Penn Valley, Pennsylvania, an affluent suburb of Philadelphia. He attended the private Roman Catholic grammar school Waldron Mercy Academy, which his parents chose for its academic discipline, followed by the Episcopal Academy, a private Episcopalian high school located at the time in Merion, Pennsylvania. Shyamalan went on to New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, in Manhattan, graduating in 1992. It was here that he made up his middle name.

Shyamalan had an early desire to be a filmmaker when he was given a Super-8 camera at a young age. Though his father wanted Shyamalan to follow in the family practice of medicine, his mother encouraged Shyamalan to follow his passion. By the time he was 17, Shyamalan, who had been a fan of Steven Spielberg, had made 45 home movies. Beginning with The Sixth Sense, he has included a scene from one of these childhood films on each DVD release of his films, which he feels represents his first attempt at the same kind of film (with the exception of Lady in the Water).

Shyamalan made his first film, the semiautobiographical drama Praying with Anger, while still an NYU student, using money borrowed from family and friends. It was screened at the Toronto Film Festival on September 12, 1992, and played commercially at one theater for one week. When the film debuted at the Toronto Film Festival, Shyamalan was introduced by David Overbey who predicted that the world would see more of Shyamalan in the years to come. Praying with Anger has also been shown on Canadian television. Filmed in Chennai, it is his only film to be shot outside of Pennsylvania.

Shyamalan wrote and directed his second movie, Wide Awake, in 1995, though it was not released until 1998. His parents were the film's associate producers. The drama dealt with a ten-year-old Catholic schoolboy (Joseph Cross) who, after the death of his grandfather (Robert Loggia), searches for God. The film's supporting cast included Dana Delany and Denis Leary as the boy's parents, as well as Rosie O'Donnell, Julia Stiles, and Camryn Manheim. Wide Awake was filmed in a school Shyamalan attended as a child and earned 1999 Young Artist Award nominations for Best Drama, and, for Cross, Best Performance. Only in limited release, the film grossed $305,704 in theaters.

That same year Shyamalan wrote the screenplay for Stuart Little.

Shyamalan was a winner of Padma Shri Award in 2008 .

In 1993, Shyamalan married Indian psychologist Bhavna Vaswani, a fellow student whom he met at NYU and with whom he has two daughters. As of early-2008, the family resides in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania, near Shyamalan's usual shooting site of Philadelphia. His production company, Blinding Edge Pictures is located in Berwyn, PA.

Praying with Anger was Night's first work as a young director and was released in 1992. The movie tells the story of a young man named Dev Raman (played by Shyamalan) who returns to India to explore his heritage. During the course of the movie, Dev learns that his cold and distant father, now deceased, actually cared for him a great deal before his passing. The title of the movie comes from a moment in the film when the protagonist learns that he is able to pray to Hindu deities with almost any emotion except indifference. Upon realizing this, Raman finds he is only able to pray with anger.

Wide Awake, Shyamalan's first major feature film, came from a screenplay written by Shyamalan that was purchased by the then up-and-coming independent film studio Miramax. A provision was added to the sale that Shyamalan could direct the film and shoot it in Philadelphia. It was produced by Cary Woods and Cathy Konrad. The film starred Joseph Cross, Rosie O'Donnell, Dana Delaney, Denis Leary, and Robert Loggia. Wide Awake also featured Julia Stiles in one of her earliest roles as Josh's teenage sister, Nina. The film follows a young boy's search for God after his grandfather dies, a story told quietly, driven by dialogue.

The film is similar to later Shyamalan films with a theme of crises of belief, a supernatural sub-plot, and a twist ending that sums up the ideas presented in the film. Although Wide Awake was made in 1995, it was not released until 1998 where it grossed a total of only $288,000 against a production budget of $7 million.

Shyamalan achieved commercial success in 1999 when he wrote and directed The Sixth Sense, a supernatural drama about a psychologist (Bruce Willis) who blames himself for a patient's suicide and his own broken marriage. Upon meeting a disturbed child (Haley Joel Osment) who claims to see people who have died, the psychologist feels he has a chance to redeem himself. According to the book DisneyWar, David Vogel of The Walt Disney Company read Shyamalan's script and, without obtaining approval from his superiors, bought the rights to it for a high $2 million and allowed Shyamalan to direct. Vogel's bosses, disagreeing with his decision, sold the profits to Spyglass Entertainment and kept only a 12.5 percent distribution fee for itself.

The film had a $40-million budget, and grossed over $600 million at the box office worldwide.

The Sixth Sense was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Editing, Best Supporting Actor for Osment, Best Supporting Actress for Toni Collette, Best Director, Best Picture, and Best Original Screenplay. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America awarded it a Nebula Award for Best Script of 1999.

Unbreakable is a superhero drama about David Dunn (Bruce Willis), the sole survivor of a train crash, and his encounters with comic book collector Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), who is convinced that Dunn has latent superpowers. The movie opened to mixed reviews with many comparing it to "The Sixth Sense" and noting its slow pace and somber atmosphere. With a budget of $73.2 million, the movie failed to make a net profit domestically with a total box office gross of $95 million. It went on to collect another $154 million worldwide.

In interviews with M. Night Shyamalan, "Unbreakable" has been characterized as his "personal favorite," among the films he has made.

Opening in August 2002, Signs is a science fiction drama of a rural Pennsylvania Episcopal priest (Mel Gibson) who has lost his faith after his wife's death and regains it with his family as they witness the worldwide events of an alien invasion. Joaquin Phoenix, Rory Culkin, and Abigail Breslin also star. Budgeted at $72 million, Signs grossed $227 million domestically and $408 million worldwide. It was the highest-grossing film as well as the highest opening-weekend gross ($60 million) of Gibson's career as an actor.

The film received a generally positive reception. Most notably of which was Roger Ebert's four-star review, stating, "M. Night Shyamalan's Signs is the work of a born filmmaker, able to summon apprehension out of thin air. When it is over, we think not how little has been decided, but how much has been experienced".

Shyamalan also said that originally, there was going to be very little music in the film, but that composer James Newton Howard's intense and emotional compositions reminded him of a Bernard Herrmann (Alfred Hitchcock's frequent composer) score (Psycho) and prompted him to change his mind.

Drawing on Wuthering Heights after being offered to pen a screen adaptation, Shyamalan went to work on what was originally titled The Woods. The Village was released in July 2004. A drama starring Joaquin Phoenix, William Hurt, Sigourney Weaver, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Adrien Brody, it tells of a small, 19th-century community run by a group of "Elders" who seem to be content in their isolation from the outside world. The village is encircled by a forest said to be filled with mysterious and threatening creatures. Even as an uneasy truce between the villagers and the creatures seems to be falling apart, one villager (Phoenix) starts to question their forced isolation.

With total production costs of $71.6 million, the film grossed $114.2 million domestically ($50 million in its opening weekend) and a further $142 million in non-USA receipts. Its successful opening weekend in America was followed by a severe dropoff of 67%, and the film is generally considered to be a commercial disappointment. Critical response was mostly negative: Desson Thomson of The Washington Post called it "a bewildering disappointment"; Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times said, "It's tedious instead of provocative and so unconvincing as to be preposterous." Roger Ebert, who had previously praised Shyamalan, called the film "a colossal miscalculation, a movie based on a premise that cannot support it, a premise so transparent it would be laughable were the movie not so deadly solemn. . . . He is a director of considerable skill who evokes stories out of moods, but this time, alas, he took the day off".

Shyamalan expressed a great deal of regret in the way the film was marketed, telling producing partner Sam Mercer, while overseeing the editing of the teaser trailer for Lady in the Water, that he had wished for The Village to have been sold as a period romance with a scare only at the end of the trailer. Shyamalan is also said to have thought that the shift in the main theme of faith from his previous films to that of deception resulted in the mixed-negative response. Citing that his other movies set out to make an audience believe in the supernatural, The Village set out to do the opposite.

The Village earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score.

Lady in the Water received four Golden Raspberry Award nominations, three of which were for Shyamalan himself (Worst Supporting Actor, Worst Director and Worst Screenplay), as well as Worst Picture.

As of September 14, 2006, the film made $42.3 million domestically and $30.5 million in the foreign box office, totaling $72.8 million. Combined production and marketing costs amounted to approximately twice this figure. DVD rentals of the film have earned it another $19.96 million as of February 18, 2007.

On January 29, 2007, Variety reported that Shyamalan showed a new script titled The Green Effect to studio executives but no major studios were interested in greenlighting the film. A little over a month later, the same magazine reported that Shyamalan's spec script (now titled The Happening) had been sold to 20th Century Fox after an extensive rewrite.

The plot involves a mysterious substance in the form of a neurotoxin released by plants. When a human comes into contact with this substance it results in a horrific death caused by the person committing suicide. The protagonist, a science teacher named Elliot Moore (Mark Wahlberg), attempts to escape from the substance with his wife and friends as hysteria grips the East Coast of the United States.

Despite the hype of being M. Night Shyamalan's first R-Rated film, it failed to impress most notable critics. The film is produced by Shyamalan, Sam Mercer, and Barry Mendel, and was released in the U.S. on Friday the 13th of June, 2008.

On January 8, 2007, it was announced that Shyamalan would write, direct and produce the live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender, an animated TV series on the children's cable channel Nickelodeon, a series influenced by Asian art, mythology and various martial-arts fighting styles. The movie will be produced for Paramount Pictures' MTV Films and Nick Movies. The trade paper Variety later reported Shyamalan would film Avatar after The Happening.

According to an interview with the co-creators in SFX Magazine, Shyamalan came across Avatar when his daughter wanted to be Katara for Halloween. Intrigued, Shyamalan researched and watched the series with his family. "Watching Avatar has become a family event in my house ... so we are looking forward to how the story develops in season three," said Shyamalan. "Once I saw the amazing world that Mike and Bryan created, I knew it would make a great feature film." According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Shyamalan will begin filming Avatar: The Last Airbender in May 2009; he will need four or five huge soundstages in the Philadelphia area to produce this film. On April 15, 2008, Paramount and Nickelodeon announced the official title for the film will be The Last Airbender. Also announced was the release date, July 2, 2010. The Last Airbender is currently the only movie announced for the July 4th holiday weekend of that year.

In July 2000, on The Howard Stern Show, Shyamalan said he had met with Spielberg and was in early talks to write the script for the fourth Indiana Jones film. This would have given Shyamalan a chance to work with his longtime idol, Steven Spielberg. After the project fell through Shyamalan later said it was too "tricky" to arrange and "not the right thing" for him to do.

Shyamalan's name was linked with the 2001 film Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, but the project seemed to conflict with the production of Unbreakable. In July 2006, while doing press tours for Lady in the Water, Shyamalan had said he was still interested in directing one of the last two Harry Potter films. "The themes that run through it...the empowering of children, a positive name it, it falls in line with my beliefs", Shyamalan said. "I enjoy the humor in it. When I read the first Harry Potter and was thinking about making it, I had a whole different vibe in my head of it".

After the release of The Village in 2004, Shyamalan had been planning a film adaptation of Yann Martel's novel Life of Pi with 20th Century Fox, but later backed out so that he could make Lady in the Water. "I love that book. I mean, it's basically a kid born in the same city as me — it almost felt predestined", Shyamalan said. "But I was hesitant because the book has kind of a twist ending. And I was concerned that as soon as you put my name on it, everybody would have a different experience. Whereas if someone else did it, it would be much more satisfying, I think. Expectations, you've got to be aware of them. I'm wishing them all great luck. I hope they make a beautiful movie".

In July 2008 it was announced that Shyamalan had partnered with Media Rights Capital to form a production company called Night Chronicles. Shyamalan would produce but not direct one film a year for three years. The first of the three films will be Devil, a supernatural thriller to be directed by siblings John and Drew Dowdle. The script will be written by Brian Nelson and based on an original idea from M. Night Shyamalan.

In 2004, Shyamalan was involved in a media hoax with the Sci Fi Channel, which was eventually uncovered by the press. Sci Fi claimed in its "documentary" special — The Buried Secret of M. Night Shyamalan, shot on the set of The Village — that Shyamalan was legally dead for nearly a half-hour while drowned in a frozen pond in a childhood accident, and that upon being rescued he had experiences of communicating with spirits, fueling an obsession with the supernatural. The Sci Fi Channel also claimed that Shyamalan had grown "sour" when the "documentary" filmmakers' questions got too personal, and had therefore withdrawn from participating and threatened to sue the filmmakers.

In truth, Shyamalan developed the hoax with Sci Fi, going so far as having Sci Fi staffers sign non disclosure agreements with a $5-million fine attached and requiring Shyamalan's office to formally approve each step. Neither the childhood accident nor the supposed rift with the filmmakers ever occurred. The hoax included a non-existent Sci Fi publicist, "David Westover", whose name appeared on press releases regarding the special. Sci Fi also fed false news stories to the Associated Press and, among others. A New York Post news item, based on a Sci Fi press release, referred to Shyamalan's attorneys threatening to sue the filmmakers; the attorneys named were non-existent.

After an AP reporter confronted Sci Fi Channel president Bonnie Hammer at a press conference, Hammer admitted the hoax, saying it was part of a guerrilla marketing campaign to generate pre-release publicity for The Village. This prompted Sci Fi's parent company, NBC-Universal, to state that the undertaking was "not consistent with our policy at NBC. We would never intend to offend the public or the press and we value our relationship with both." Despite his office's disclosure-agreement requirement and approvals of each marketing step, Shyamalan told the AP, "I was, of course, involved in the production of the special but had nothing to do with the marketing of it. If the Sci Fi Channel erred in their marketing strategy, it was totally out of enthusiasm." Other critics have since deemed viewers to be victim of a somewhat 'cheap' promotional trick which went too far.

In recent years, M. Night Shyamalan has been accused of plagiarism. Robert McIlhinney, a Pennsylvania screenwriter, sued Shyamalan over the similarity of Signs to his unpublished script Lord of the Barrens: The Jersey Devil. Margaret Peterson Haddix noted the The Village had numerous elements found in her children's novel Running Out of Time and publisher Simon & Schuster had talked about bringing a lawsuit but it was never filed.

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The Departed

The Departed cover

The Departed is a 2006 American crime-thriller film remake of the 2002 Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs. The Departed was directed by Martin Scorsese, written by William Monahan and stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin, Mark Wahlberg and Ray Winstone. The film won four Academy Awards at the 79th Academy Awards, including the Best Picture, and a Best Director win for Scorsese.

This film takes place in Boston, Massachusetts, where notorious Irish Mob boss Francis "Frank" Costello (Nicholson) plants Colin Sullivan (Damon) as an informant within the Massachusetts State Police. Simultaneously, the police assign undercover cop Billy Costigan, Jr. (DiCaprio) to infiltrate Costello's crew. When both sides of the law realize the situation, each man attempts to discover the other's true identity before being found out.

The film begins in South Boston and Charlestown, where Irish mob boss Francis "Frank" Costello (Nicholson) beguiles a young neighborhood boy named Colin Sullivan (Conor Donovan), who enters into Costello's criminal underground at a young age. Years later, Colin (now played by Damon) completes his training for the Massachusetts State Police, graduating as a state trooper. Colin, who quickly distinguishes himself, is assigned to the Special Investigations Unit ("SIU") of the State Police by SIU's Captain Oliver Queenan (Sheen) and Staff Sergeant Sean Dignam (Wahlberg). However, Colin's expressed intent is to serve as a double agent for Costello within the police force.

In another State Police training program is William "Billy" Costigan Jr. (DiCaprio). After his graduation, Queenan and Dignam interview Billy, convinced that his family ties with the Boston underworld make Billy unsuitable for anything other than undercover work. Billy agrees to work for Queenan and Dignam's undercover division of SIU and become a mole in Costello's crime family. To make his new identity believable, SIU creates a false assault conviction for Billy; he serves a jail sentence, is placed on probation, and attends mandatory psychiatry sessions. Billy's police academy record and file are concealed from the department, leaving only Queenan and Dignam with any knowledge of his true identity. In the meantime, Billy's relationship with his psychiatrist and Colin's girlfriend, Madolyn Madden, also deepens and the two eventually sleep together.

Both Colin and Billy are able to infiltrate their chosen organizations, with Billy being initiated in with Costello after a particularly brutal torture by Costello's right hand man, Mr. French (Ray Winstone). However, the intelligence they provide soon alerts both SIU and Costello that their groups contain double agents. To catch his group's "rat," Costello requires his enforcers to submit their biographical data to him, and transfers the data to Colin in SIU for a records check. The information, including social security numbers, is collected on paper and placed in a distinctive envelope. Billy follows this envelope, predicting it will lead him to SIU's mole, and observes the handover between Costello and his mole (Colin) in a porno house. Because of where he's sitting, though, Billy, cannot directly identify Costello's mole, and is forced to follow him out into the streets into the Chinatown district, where Colin becomes alerted to Billy's presence. Despite a protracted game of hide and seek leading to Colin stabbing a bystander, neither man is able to positively identify the other.

SIU initiates its own measures to capture the moles in its division. Organized Crime's Captain George Ellerby (Alec Baldwin), beguiled by Colin's "immaculate record," assigns him to investigate SIU troopers and locate the moles. Colin uses his new authority to instead target Costello's rat. He orders SIU troopers to follow Captain Queenan, which eventually leads them to a clandestine meeting. Colin, realizing Queenan must be meeting with Costello's rat, calls in mob enforcers, who arrive before Billy and Queenan can escape. Queenan orders Billy to flee, and stays behind to confront Costello's crew alone, leading to his death when he is beaten and thrown out of an upper story of the building.

In the aftermath of Queenan's death, Colin orders Dignam to "unlock" the files on undercovers for him; Dignam, knowing that this will expose Billy's identity, refuses violently. Ellerby steps in and places Dignam on a two week probation with pay, but Dignam chooses to resign in protest instead. Colin then opens the box of evidence retrieved from Queenan's murder scene, and finds a scribble in Queenan's personal notebook indicating that Costello might himself be an informant for the FBI.

Costello is later tailed by SIU to a Sheffield warehouse where he is to acquire packages of cocaine for distribution. Colin, disturbed by the possibility of Costello's informant identity, stages a police ambush there (using intelligence from SIU's mole, Billy). Costello's entire crew is killed, Mr. French committing suicide after crashing his car, and he himself is badly wounded, but he manages to slip away and attempts to contact Colin for aid. Colin, however, confronts Costello about his status as an informant in the FBI, and demands to know whether Costello has alerted the FBI to Colin's criminal activities. After a heated exchange, Costello attempts to kill Colin with a concealed pistol, but Colin shoots first, killing him after emptying his magazine on Costello.

At the station, Colin is showered with praise from his co-workers. Billy, who has come in after Costello's death to regain his identity, meets with Colin for the first time. While Colin leaves the room to retrieve Billy's file, Billy notices the distinctive biographical-information envelope on Colin's desk; he flees the station. Colin, upon realizing he's been discovered, erases Billy's police record and file from the department database.

Colin receives a piece of mail from "WM Costigan," containing audio recordings of Colin and Costello's private conversations, along with Billy's phone number. When called, Billy explains that the tapes, Costello's immunity from prosecution insurance should he be arrested, had been bequeathed to him upon Costello's death, as Billy was the only man Costello truly trusted. Using the tapes as leverage, Billy orders Colin to meet him later that day at the building where Queenan was killed.

On the building's rooftop, Billy confronts and handcuffs Colin, intending to arrest him and reveal his part in Costello's organization. Billy is determined to do so even as Sullivan reveals that he has erased his record. Though Colin's SIU colleague, Trooper Brown (Anthony Anderson), arrives and demands that Billy stand down, Billy tries to convince Brown (his former classmate in MSP training) that Sullivan is the mole and backs Colin into an elevator at gunpoint. On the way down, Sullivan boastfully claims that Costigan will never be able to explain his case to Internal Affairs, before his hard exterior melts and he begs Billy to just kill him then and there. Costigan replies bluntly: "I 'am' killing you". When Billy's elevator reaches the ground floor, though, he is gunned down by Trooper Barrigan (James Badge Dale), who then proceeds to shoot and kill Trooper Brown. Barrigan explains that he too was in Costello's employ, and appeals to Colin for solidarity, stating that they "gotta take care of each other" to survive. Instead, Colin executes him and then manipulates the crime scene. Colin's official report states that Barrigan, Costello's lone mole, entered the building and shot both Billy and Brown, whom Colin was unable to save. Colin closes by recommending William Costigan Jr. for the department's Medal of Merit.

After attending Billy's funeral, Colin returns home to find Dignam waiting in his apartment. Dignam, knowing of Colin's treachery and escape from punishment, shoots him through the head with a suppressed pistol, then exits the apartment. The film ends with a lone rat crawling on the apartment's balcony railing, which frames the gold dome of the Massachusetts State House in the background.

The father-son relationship is a motif throughout the film. Costello acts as a father figure to both Colin and Billy while Queenan acts as Costello's foil in the role of father-figure presenting both sides of the Irish-American father archetype. Colin also refers to Costello as 'Dad' whenever he calls him to inform him of police activities.

In Rolling Stone magazine, Scorsese linked the zero-sum feeling of the end of his movie to real-world feelings toward terrorism and the war on terrorism.

Born to an Irish-American family in the Boston neighborhood of Dorchester, Massachusetts, William Monahan (who adapted the screenplay from Infernal Affairs) incorporates the culture and history of Boston heavily into the film. The first images are news clips from the busing riots of the 1970s, over which Costello muses about the city's troubled racial history. Several times, Dignam refers to Billy as "lace curtain," a term used primarily in the Boston metropolitan area by working-class Irish-Americans to disparage upper-middle class Irish-Americans who have "strayed from their roots" in their attempt to better themselves.

The majority of the characters have the non-rhotic Boston accent. The Massachusetts State House is also featured in the film as a symbol of Colin Sullivan's ambition. Boston Red Sox apparel is seen and worn, including the appearance of a now-out-of-print "Reverse The Curse" bumper sticker on the wall at SIU headquarters. Also, in a bar scene the logo of the Harpoon Brewery, which has locations in Boston and Windsor, Vermont, is clearly seen. Costello and his gang drive over the Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge in one scene. The building off which Queenan is thrown (and where Billy and Colin later meet) is in the Fort Point section of South Boston with the downtown skyline as backdrop (the fictitious "344 Wash" is actually an alley between Farnsworth Street and Thomson Place). The John Hancock Tower is referenced by Costello, who also makes an obscure but, according to urban legend, accurate reference to "the Fens"--a section of the Fenway--as a popular spot for gay cruising. Boston's Chinatown is also portrayed in a crucial scene which is somewhat inaccurate, as the neighborhood is no longer home to pornographic movie theaters. Characters are shown working in the striking, Brutalist Government Service Center downtown. The film includes the song "I'm Shipping Up To Boston" by the Dropkick Murphys, an Irish-American punk rock band formed in Quincy, Massachusetts.

Other references include state locations such as Route 128, regions such as the North Shore, there is a shot of the Park Street and South Station MBTA Red Line stops, local towns such as Brockton, Worcester, Gloucester, and Somerville while having turf wars with crew from nearby Providence, a cameo by the Lynn police, mention of the Dedham Mall (located in Dedham just southwest of Boston), and state slang like "Staties," a local nickname for Massachusetts State Police troopers. Also, Deerfield Academy, a boarding school in Deerfield, Massachusetts, is referenced when Dignam points out that Billy was expelled from the school after assaulting the gym teacher (though in reality Deerfield, like most Independent Schools, has no gym class). Additionally, the label on Billy's prescription bottle shows a Beverly Street address in Boston.

The character Frank Costello was largely based on James "Whitey" Bulger, a real life Irish-American mobster in Boston who was secretly an FBI informant for over three decades. The revelation that the FBI had long protected Bulger and his gang from prosecution caused a major scandal in Boston law enforcement. Bulger was believed to have been seen coming out of a theater showing the film in San Diego in November 2006. Matt Damon's character is based on John Connolly, the FBI agent who tipped off Bulger for years, allowing him to evade arrest. In real life, Bulger went into hiding and is still presumed to be at large, currently occupying a spot on the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list; Connolly is currently imprisoned for his role in Bulger's criminal activities. Billy's undercover role as a former State trooper who joins the Irish mob parallels the story of Richard Marinick, a former State trooper who later joined Whitey Bulger's crime syndicate. Billy also lives in Somerville, where Bulger's Winter Hill Gang began. Thomas Duffy, the film's technical advisor (he also plays the Governor at the State Police Academy graduation ceremony), is a former MSP major who was assigned to investigate the Irish mob upon making detective.

The Departed was highly anticipated when it was released on October 6, 2006 to overwhelmingly positive reviews. The film is currently one of the highest-rated wide release films of 2006 on Rotten Tomatoes at 92%.

Popular critic James Berardinelli awarded the film four stars out of four, praising it as "an American epic tragedy." He went on to compare the film favorably to the onslaught of banality offered by American studios in recent years. "The movies have been in the doldrums lately. The Departed is a much needed tonic," he wrote. He also went on to claim that the film deserves to be ranked alongside Scorsese's past successes, including Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and Goodfellas.

Andrew Lau, the co-director of Infernal Affairs, who was interviewed by Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily, said, "Of course I think the version I made is better, but the Hollywood version is pretty good too. made the Hollywood version more attuned to American culture." Andy Lau, one of the main actors in Infernal Affairs, when asked how the movie compares to the original, said, "The Departed was too long and it felt as if Hollywood had combined all three Infernal Affairs movies together." Lau pointed out that the remake featured some of the "golden quotes" of the original but did have much more swearing. He ultimately rated The Departed 8/10 and said that the Hollywood remake is worth a view, though "the effect of combining the two female characters in the into one isn't as good as in the original," according to Lau's spokeswoman Alice Tam.

The film also evoked some controversy in Boston. Michael Patrick MacDonald, author of the Southie memoirs All Souls and Easter Rising, wrote an op-ed piece for The Boston Globe praising the film's ability to recreate the "strangulating" culture created by Boston gangsters, politicians, and law enforcement officials at all levels of local, state, and federal government - a culture of violent death and silence that led to years of young suicides and an epidemic of painkilling through heroin and OxyContin, the latter even shown in the film. The op-ed piece caused a stir in Boston, eliciting a missive from a South Boston state senator as well as letters from South Boston real estate agents concerned about the "negative" depiction of the "trendy" neighborhood of South Boston.

The film grossed $26,887,467 in its opening weekend, becoming the third Scorsese film to debut at #1. The film saw small declines in later weeks, remaining in the list of top ten films for seven weeks. The film grossed $132,384,315 domestically and $289,835,021 worldwide. Budgeted at $90 million, the film is believed to be the most commercially successful of Scorsese's features and is his highest-grossing film to date, easily beating The Aviator's previous record of $102.6 million.

The film won four Academy Awards at the 79th Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director (Martin Scorsese) (The latter was thought to be long overdue, and some entertainment critics subsequently referred to it as Scorsese's "Lifetime Achievement" Oscar), Best Film Editing (Thelma Schoonmaker), and Best Adapted Screenplay (William Monahan). Mark Wahlberg was also nominated for the Best Supporting Actor award for his performance, which he lost to Alan Arkin for Little Miss Sunshine.

The film appeared on many critics' top ten lists of the best films of 2006.

Carrie Rickey of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal, Ruthe Stein of the San Francisco Chronicle, and Steven Rea of The Philadelphia Inquirer named it one of the top ten best films of 2006. Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times named it the best film of 2006.

There were two albums released for The Departed, one presenting the original score composed for the movie by Howard Shore, and the other featuring earlier recordings, mostly pop/rock songs, which were used on the soundtrack.

The film opens with "Gimme Shelter" by The Rolling Stones and prominently plays "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" by Dropkick Murphys with lyrics written by Woody Guthrie, which gained the band some popularity. "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" was also used in the CBS News radio brief the morning following the Oscars, with the intro of "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" playing in the background as the awards were announced. Similarly, in an episode of The Simpsons ("The Debarted"), the song was used multiple times. The film also features a live version of "Comfortably Numb" by Roger Waters and Van Morrison from the 1990 Berlin Wall Concert which was originally by Pink Floyd.

Although "Gimme Shelter" is featured in the film, the song does not appear on the album soundtrack. Also heard in the movie but not featured on the soundtrack is "Thief's Theme" by Nas, "Well Well Well" by John Lennon, "Bang Bang" by Joe Cuba and the Act II Sextet from Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor.

The movie closes with a cover of Don Gibson's "Sweet Dreams," interpreted by Roy Buchanan.

The film score for The Departed was written by Howard Shore and performed by guitarists Sharon Isbin, G.E. Smith, Larry Saltzman and Marc Ribot. The score was recorded in Shore's own studio in New York State.

The Departed was released by Warner Brothers on DVD on February 13, 2007 in Region 1 format and on February 19, 2007 in Region 2 format, and has also been released on March 14, 2007 in Region 4 format. The film is available in a single-disc full screen (1:33:1), single-disc widescreen (2:40:1) edition, and 2-disc special edition. The second disc of this film predominately contains features that concerned the crimes that influenced Scorsese with deleted scenes being the only feature that are actually film related. The Region 1 version has three available audio tracks: English, Spanish, and French (all of which are in Dolby Digital 5.1), and also three subtitle tracks (English, Spanish, French). The film was also released on HD DVD and Blu-ray at the same time as the standard-definition DVD. The 2-Disc Special Edition was also packaged in a Limited Edition Metal Steelbook. It also marked the first time that an Oscar winning Best Picture was released to the home video market only in the DVD format, as VHS was totally phased out by the start of 2006; the 2005 Best Picture, Crash, was the last Oscar winner to be issued in the VHS format.

However, the film is said to be on hold, due to producer Brad Grey's involvement since he's now the head of Paramount Pictures and the film is a Warner Bros. project. A prequel has also been mooted several times.

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Source : Wikipedia