Paramount Pictures’ The Gambler, a realistic look into one man’s road to freedom, in theaters December 25, 2014
*“It was about the script not the original,” said Director Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) about what attracted him to the Paramount Pictures’ presentation of The Gambler starring Academy Award nominated Mark Wahlberg (Lone Survivor). The Gambler is based on a movie released in 1974, of the same name, of the life of its screenwriter James Toback – a teacher with a gambling addiction. “Monahan (screenwriter) shows us what a gambler is…what we do as gamblers.”
Golden Globe Award nominated Wahlberg plays Jim Bennett a professor caught in the underground life of a high-stakes gambler. In the drama the troubled gambler takes you on a thrill ride as he literally fights, day after day, for his life dealing with his loan-sharks wanting their money back. The gambling circuit that Wyatt expertly directs the cast through gives the audience just enough thrills that non-gamblers may even enjoy the joy the ride. The ride that consists of gambling at the speed of light to a big win, the steep hills of defeat – where you find massive lost and debt, to the curves that loans bring which is needed to get the big win thrill again.
Mark gives a realistic look into one man’s road from desperation to freedom. He even looked the part physically.
“Mark is a very physical actor,” said Director Rupert Wyatt on working with the actor, also known for his roles in Transformer: Age of Extension, Ted and Pain & Gain. “This is more a mental character. It was Mark that got the green light.”
Jim has one ray of sunshine and it’s in a student he trying to help blossom into the writer she believes she is not, that he knows she is. He sees a “second chance” life with Amy Phillips, played by Brie Larson (21 Jump Street). The gambler is betting everything, literally, trying to beat the clock.
“In the original the girl wasn’t a student,” said Wahlberg about Jim’s love interest in The Gambler. “He fell in love with her writing.”
“He used it (gambling) as a special tool to get back to nothing – to start over,” Mark pointed out about his character’s use of his addiction to gambling at the end. “I only gamble when I know I can win,” Mark laughed when asked about his own gambling experiences.
Golden Globe Award winner John Goodman (The Flintstones), Michael Kenneth Williams (12 Years A Slave), and Steve Park (“Law & Order”, “The Mindy Project”) are the believably heartless loan-sharks, and Jim’s mother Roberta, played by two-time Oscar Award winner Jessica Lange (“American Horror Story”), is his unlimited source of funds when in desperate need.
This time he knows it’s the last time he will get a loan from his mother, the clock says his time is up with the loan-sharks. He has to pay back his mother and three loan-sharks, and he has enough money to pay back only one of them, so what does a gambler do? Watch The Gambler to find out.
The Gambler is written by Williams Monahan, and produced by Mark Wahlberg, David Winkler, Irwin Winkler (original producer), Stephen Levinson, and Robert Chartoff (original producer). David Crockett is executive producer. The Chartoff Winkley, Closest to the Hole Entertainment, Leverage Entertainment production is Rated-R. The Gambler arrives in theaters Christmas day December 25, 2014.
HBO, Homeland, House of Cards, Fox Searchlight receives the most SAG Award nominations, airs live on TNT and TBS Sunday, January 25, 2015
*I got up very early to arrive at the SilverScreen Theatre in West Hollywood to hear the nominations for the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAG) to be aired live on TNT and TBS on Sunday, January 25, 2015 at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT. HBO (14), Fox Searchlight (6), “Homeland” (4), “House of Cards” (3) received the most nominations.
SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard introduced the hosts of the SAG Awards nominations announcements Ansel Elgort (“Divergent”) and SAG Award winner Eva Longoria. The SAG Awards will be held at the Los Angeles Shrine Exposition Center.
Legendary actress/singer Debbie Reynolds will be honored with the 2014 SAG Life Achievement Award making her the 51st recipient. Reynolds is an Oscar, Emmy and Tony Award nominee. Neil Patrick Harris is hosting the star-studded red carpeted event.
Other nominees announced included Steve Carell for “Foxcatcher,” Adrien Brody for “Houdini”, Julia Roberts for “The Normal Heart,” Kevin Spacey for “House of Cards,” Woody Harrelson for “True Detective,” Cicely Tyson for “The Trip to Bountiful,” Mayim Bialik and the cast of “The Big Bang Theory,” and Fury (Columbia Pictures).
For more information on the 21st Annual SAG Awards nominees you can log onto www.SAGAwards.org.
(Syndicated Columnist: Eunice Moseley, has an estimated weekly readership of over ¼ million with The Pulse of Entertainment. She is also a Public Relations/Business consult at Freelance Associates, and Promotions Director (at-large) for The Baltimore Times. Her Event/”Uplifting Minds II”: The 16th annual “Uplifting Minds II” free entertainment conference arrives in Baltimore Sat. April 18, 2015 at Security Square Mall. www.UpliftingMinds2.com, www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com.)