Mark Wahlberg and director Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) have crafted a remake of the 1974 James Caan movie of the same title, which will thrill lovers of intense dialogue full of literary imagery, in other words, English Majors. Wahlberg plays a semi-successful novelist/college English professor. The Boston actor works hard to keep his native Bostonese (SNL meme:” Say hi to your Mutha”), from creeping in to his great college English Class lectures. His character, James Bennett, also happens to be a seemingly incurable gambler who is in such a hole with the loan sharks that he appears to be suicidal. Bennett has 7 days to repay several unsavory characters, including John Goodman, who always holds your attention with a series of gritty monologues, and “Boardwalk Empire’s” Chalkey, Michael K. Williams as the most dangerous of the street lenders. The fact that Bennett comes from a very wealthy family with an icy matriarch (Jessica Lange as the deliciously distant mother) does not appear to give Wahlberg’s Bennett any hope of escaping his fate. The talented Brie Larson (“Short Term 12”) plays his most promising student and potential savior, but it all comes down to the final 7th day before we learn his fate. The film has great acting, a very cool soundtrack, and some nice cinematography, but it won’t be for everyone: action fans may find it too talky but “The Professional Organization of English Majors”, P.O.E.M, will gobble it up.
My GPA: 3.5