Mark Wahlberg famously lost 60 pounds (going from 197 to 137, reportedly) to star in The Gambler, a remake of a James Caan film from 1974, but as Wahlberg freely admitted, an even bigger challenge was that his character was supposed to be a professor. Not an easy task for a former delinquent who graduated the school of hard knocks with an advanced degree in touching his cock.
Test audiences were supposedly enthusiastic about Marky Mark’s pahfahmance (not that anyone in your average test audience has ever seen a professor), but in the first trailer, Wahlberg mostly listens, to his A-list co-stars Jessica Lange, Michael K. Williams (aka Omar from The Wire), my future lover Brie Larson, and especially John Goodman. You can never have too much John Goodman, I always say, unless he’s blowing up your toilet. The Gambler is directed by Rise of the Planet of the Apes‘ Rupert Wyatt, from script by The Departed‘s William Monahan, adapted from the 1974 script by epic blowhard James Toback, who also produces on the remake. Can you imagine taking meetings with that guy? I imagine him dribbling mussel broth onto his bib for hours on end while everyone else at the table falls fast asleep.
Anyway, I liked ROTPOTA, in a bad-good kind of way, but the jury’s still out on Rupert Wyatt for me, and there isn’t much to go on in this first trailer, other than that it’s about men in dark rooms saying “f*ck you.” Or as we Italian-Americans like to call it, every holiday.