Friday, June 13, 2008

Marking "The Happening"

Anthony Quinn, Faye Dunaway and even Milton Berle were part of the last “Happening,” a 1967 comedy bomb whose only claim to fame was its theme song, a No. 1 hit performed by the Supremes.
Mark Wahlberg doesn’t expect the same fate for his latest film, also called “The Happening,” but you never know with its Friday the 13th opening.
Wahlberg had a week left in shooting earlier this year when he talked about writer/director/producer M. Night Shyamalan’s first R-rated film.
“Night has it all laid out and knows exactly what he wants,” Wahlberg said during interviews for “We Own the Night” last February. “Working with him is awesome. I’m glad I got to do that before I try to venture off into directing myself. He brings a whole other element to the game. It's very impressive to see.

“I haven't really figured out the best way to explain it, but I
can give you an example: The first scene we shot was a five-page scene set in a classroom. Any other director I've worked with would have taken three days to shoot it, and we shot it by lunch.

“It's beautiful,” Wahlberg continued about his director. “He just knows what he wants, and it's all thought out. I've never
walked into a trailer and your sides are there. There are also
storyboards for the day, and that's what you're going to be shooting.
You never know until it's done, but it feels pretty special.”
The action star added how “thrilled” he was to play what he called a “nerdy science teacher from Philadelphia.” (Where else would a Shyamalan movie take place?)

“It is a complete departure for me,” he said. “My wife, played by Zooey Deschanel, is a therapist, and the movie is really about our relationship and the conflicts that we are having.
“It's set in this horrific disaster that is happening. I'm very
intimidated by my wife and I can't connect outside of the classroom.
I'm the best teacher you have ever seen. I'm like one of my students, they love me, and we have this great connection.
“I am extremely passionate about what I do but I have some difficulties in other departments -- being a man, trying to be the man she wants me to be. I am extremely positive and optimistic and she is the opposite."
Will Wahlberg remain so positive once the critics speak? Read my review at Cleveland.com/sun.
The Incredible Hulk,” a terrific popcorn movie with some nifty cameos, also opens today. Look for my discussion with William Hurt (Gen. “Thunderbolt” Ross) at MovieZen.

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