The nautical heist thriller Contraband is a remake of Reykjavik-Rotterdam an Icelandic film from 2008 which admittedly I’ve yet to see. (It’s curiously difficult to find stateside.) Presumably there must have been something about it that was compelling enough to warrant the effort and expense of an American adaptation. Whatever it was it didn’t survive the no doubt complicated process of translating it into a proper Mark Wahlberg vehicle.
Wahlberg plays Chris Farraday once a legendary New Orleans smuggler but now happily law-abiding as a home-security contractor. The same however cannot be said of his punk brother-in-law Andy (Caleb Landry Jones) who runs illegal shipments for a tattooed hoodlum named Tim Riggs (Giovanni Ribisi). When Andy makes the unwise decision to dump his valuable narcotics cargo in advance of a Customs raid earning the dreaded pay-up-or-die ultimatum from his unsavory boss Chris tries in vain to intervene on his behalf only to be rudely rebuffed. Which leaves him with only one option to save Andy’s skin: One Last Job.
The director of Contraband Baltasar Kormakur actually starred in Reykjavik-Rotterdam – a piece of trivia which unfortunately proves far more interesting than anything found in his remake. It seems his familiarity with the material bred banality if not necessarily contempt. His approach is a kind of Bourne-lite: the shaky-cam is restrained enough to minimize audience headaches but the ultimate result is stultifyingly generic.
Essential to any successful Mark Wahlberg film from Boogie Nights to The Fighter has been to surround Wahlberg with more accomplished and versatile actors thereby allowing him to focus on his core competencies of scowling cursing and otherwise radiating his unique brand of low-watt charisma. Kormakur assembled capable-enough performers for Contraband only to saddle them with uniformly bland characters.
Having grown accustomed to Kate Beckinsale as the leather-clad heroine of the Underworld films I found it odd – and a bit disappointing – to see her reduced to the role of the protagonist’s fretful wife. Ribisi’s novel strategy for transcending his miscasting as a clichéd white-trash villain is to adopt a bizarre high-pitched accent presumably Southern in origin but unlike any Southern accent I’ve ever witnessed. Ben Foster plays Wahlberg’s best friend an ex-con and recovering alcoholic who seems doomed to relapse on both fronts if only because he’s being played by Ben Foster. Diego Luna J.K. Simmons Lukas Haas are underutilized in one-note roles.
I confess to be unfamiliar with the vagaries of illicit foreign-goods transport but I have to think it’s more exciting than what unfolds in Contraband. No one expects it to rival the glamour and of say casino robbery but Kormakur depicts smuggling with all the verve and panache of a tax audit. The film’s lone fireworks occur on land during a stop-off in Panama City when Wahlberg’s character is forced by the local crime boss (Luna) in an armored-car hold-up. A heist-within-a-heist if you will. But soon it’s back on the boat where the momentum ceases and the movie sinks.
Justin Williams is unsure if the baby model Kari Ann Peniche is carrying is his - and he is asking a judge to order a DNA test to determine if the unborn child is "a child of the marriage" as part of his divorce petition, according to TMZ.com.
Peniche, who was briefly engaged to pop star Aaron Carter, has been treated for sex addiction in the past, and she hit the headlines in 2009 when footage from a candid home video featuring Hollywood couple Dane and Gayheart was leaked to website Gawker.com.
The model wed Williams in February (11).
The Celebrity Rehab star, who was previously engaged to singer Aaron Carter, wed boyfriend Justin Williams on Sunday (13Feb11) at a chapel in San Diego, California.
Peniche and Williams were married by spiritual guru Shaman Durek in front of around 100 guests, reports TMZ.com.
The former beauty queen infamously appeared in a 12-minute video with Dane and Gayheart, which leaked online in 2009.
The actors were furious when footage of them frolicking nude with former Miss Teen USA Kari Ann Peniche hit the internet last August (09) and they filed suit against Gawker.com, claiming the website's bosses unlawfully posted footage and "maliciously" distributed the video.
The legal battle was settled this week (beg02Aug10), with executives at Gawker agreeing to take down the video and pay an undisclosed sum to the couple in exchange for no further legal action.
A statement from Gawker boss Gaby Darbyshire, released to the Hollywood Reporter, reads, "Although we are confident that our use of the video on Gawker was protected fair use, because the posts already had been available to our readers for nearly a year, and because we already had won an important decision from the court striking large parts of the plaintiffs' damages claims, we agreed to remove the posts as part of a global settlement to avoid the burden of further litigation."
The pair hit the headlines this summer (09) when naked footage of them and former beauty queen Kari Ann Peniche started circulating on the Internet.
And now Dane and Gayheart have filed suit in Los Angeles against Gawker.com, claiming the website's bosses unlawfully posted footage from the private video and "maliciously" distributed the video.
The couple has hired top celebrity lawyer Marty Singer.
They are demanding more than $1 million (£666,600) in damages and an injunction on the video, according to TMZ.com.
Hollywood couple Eric Dane and Rebecca Gayheart have filed a lawsuit against the Web site they're holding responsible for unlawfully posting a threesome video featuring them online.
The pair hit the headlines this summer when naked footage of them and former beauty queen Kari Ann Peniche started circulating on the Internet.
And now Dane and Gayheart have filed suit in Los Angeles against Gawker.com, claiming the Web site's bosses unlawfully posted footage from the private video and "maliciously" distributed the video.
The couple has hired top celebrity lawyer Marty Singer.
They are demanding more than $1 million in damages and an injunction on the video, according to TMZ.com.
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MORE NEWS: Law Is Dad to a Baby Girl
Dane and his wife Rebecca Gayheart hit the headlines in August (09) after a clip of their naked romp with beauty queen Kari Ann Peniche began circulating on the web - and Wilson couldn't help but defend for her friend.
She tells Access Hollywood, "My whole maternal thing comes out and I just (want to) take care of my baby. That’s it."
The actress refused to give Dane any advice and instead she said "the things you’re supposed to say... 'I love you,’ really. That kind of stuff."
September 03, 2009 10:00am EST
The actors have become tabloid fodder in recent months with details emerging about their sex lives and reported drug taking.
The latest report in the National Enquirer suggests Dane and Gayheart were spotted snorting a white powder at a bash in the Hollywood Hills in late 2008.
A source tells the publication, "I think Eric and Rebecca were there to get high. It didn't take long before she asked where the coke was. They went into another room and started snorting lines of cocaine. I watched them do it... I saw Rebecca snort lines a couple of times - and Eric at least once."
But the couple has slammed the allegations, blasting the insider's account as a "bunch of lies".
Their representative tells GossipCop.com, "It's mean and untrue. If it happened, where are the photos?"
Dane and Gayheart made headlines last month (Aug09) when home video footage of the pair frolicking naked with pal Kari Ann Peniche leaked online.
The video featured the seemingly intoxicated threesome passing a camera around and dreaming up porn names for each other.
Kari Ann Peniche made headlines last week (ends21Aug09) when footage of her frolicking naked with the acting couple at their home leaked online - and now there's even more scandal coming her way.
Country star McCready, who shared a room with Peniche on Celebrity Rehab, has revealed the brunette beauty once told her about her sordid past.
McCready, tells the New York Daily News, "Did she say she'd been a madam? She sure did."
Her claims are echoed by author Mark Ebner, who alleges Peniche told him she "subcontracted" for madam Michelle (Nici) Braun. Braun pleaded guilty to money laundering and prostitution earlier this year (09).
Ebner says, "Kari Ann said that, unlike Nici, she'd only take 40 per cent of what a girl brought in."
McCready's accusations have also been backed up by bodyguard Joey Gonzalez, who claims Peniche attempted to hire him during her alleged time as a sex worker.
Gonzalez adds, "Kari Ann wanted to hire me to follow a girl who worked for her - who she said was skimming (stealing) money and stealing clients. I declined. But she bragged about how her girls could make $15,000 (GBP10,000) a month. She introduced me to one girl who told me she'd just gotten a boob job Kari Ann had paid for."
Peniche and her manager, David Weintraub, have declined to comment on any of the charges. Weintraub adds, "I don't know her whole past."
Peniche, who was briefly engaged to pop star Aaron Carter, recently insisted she is not part of the police investigation into alleged possible illegal activity surrounding the leak of the Rebecca Gayheart / Eric Dane naked romp tape, stating, "Nobody raided my house; I haven’t had any contact with LAPD."
Reports have suggested McCready stole the hard drive from former beauty queen Kari Ann Peniche, who also appears naked in the threesome footage, when the pair was roommates on reality TV show Celebrity Rehab.
But McCready is firing back, blaming Peniche for spreading vicious gossip about her.
She tells U.S. news show Access Hollywood, "I did not want to be dragged into all this. I did not want to be a part of this.
McCready denies leaking the tape, which is now at the centre of a police investigation, and she suggests Peniche is the one behind the scandal, adding, "She is evil personified, she is evil in human form. She will hurt anyone she can to make money.
But in an upcoming interview with E! News, which is set to air on Monday (24Aug09), Peniche also denies leaking the footage, insisting she had no knowledge of it until Dane called her last week (beg17Aug09).
She says, "I got a call from Eric, obviously upset... I was like, 'I should go home and check.' If I was going to leak it, I would have done that a long time ago.
Peniche, who was briefly engaged to pop star Aaron Carter, insists she is not part of the police investigation into alleged possible illegal activity: "Nobody raided my house; I haven’t had any contact with LAPD.
The trio involved in the footage and their lawyers have been keen to point out the leaked romp is not a sex tape, but a "naked tape".
The footage shows the naked threesome having fun at home, joking about porn star names. It also features Gayheart and Peniche sharing a bath together as Dane plays cameraman.