Davis: Pain & Gain based on true crime

Pain & Gain has high-priced names in low-budget movie.

Mark Wahlber (left) and Dwayne Johnson star in Pain & Gain.

Mark Wahlber (left) and Dwayne Johnson star in Pain & Gain.

Director Michael Bay is best known for big budget action films like Pearl Harbour, Armageddon and Transformers. However, at an estimated $25 million, Pain & Gain is his lowest budgeted movie since Bad Boys.

Not that it looks low budget with both Dwayne Johnson and Mark Wahlberg starring with Ed Harris, Rob Corddry, Rebel Wilson and Ken Jeong in the unbelievably true story of bodybuilders who turn to a life of crime.

Wahlberg plays a gym monkey who is sick of living the poor life and concocts a plan to kidnap a rich and spoiled businessman (Tony Shalhoub) and extort money from him by means of torture.

With the help of a recently released criminal (Johnson), the “Sun Gym Gang” successfully gets the businessman to sign over his finances.  However, the businessman survives the ordeal and sets out for revenge.

The movie is based upon a series of Miami New Times articles in 1999 surrounding an organized group of criminals that included a number of bodybuilders.

Trance is the latest from director Danny Boyle (127 Hours, Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting) about a fine art auctioneer (James McAvoy) who teams up with a criminal gang to steal a painting worth millions of dollars. But after suffering a blow to the head during the heist, he awakens to discover he has no memory of where he hid the painting.

When physical threats and torture fail to produce answers, the gang’s leader (Vincent Cassel) hires a hypnotherapist (Rosario Dawson) but unravelling his broken subconscious blurs the lines between truth, suggestion and deceit.

A must-see for fans of Boyle’s work.

The Big Wedding is an ensemble comedy starring Robert De Niro, Katherine Heigl, Diane Keaton, Amanda Seyfried, Topher Grace, Ben Barnes, Susan Sarandon and Robin Williams.

Based upon the 2006 French film Mon frère se marie it is the story of a divorced couple who are forced to pretend that they are still happily married at their adopted son’s wedding. His biological mother, a conservative Catholic from Colombia, is also attending, and has not been told that her son’s foster parents are divorced.  Family and friends must work together to pull off the hoax which has the potential to snowball into a full blown family fiasco.

Revolution is Rob Stewart’s follow-up to Sharkwater, his 2006 documentary which sought to change people’s attitudes about sharks and how much indiscriminate poaching of the misunderstood animals was affecting the oceans.

He expands beyond the oceans and travels to 15 countries, to examine how our actions are interconnected to environmental degradation, species loss, ocean acidification, pollution and scarcity of food and water are limiting the Earth’s ability to support humans. However, Stewart also finds encouragement and hope, pointing to the revolutions of the past and highlighting the current work of selected people.

The summer movie season officially begins next Thursday with sneak previews of Iron Man 3. Advance tickets are on sale now at www.landmarkcinemas.com.

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