Tag Archives: Mark Wahlberg

My Thoughts on: The Italian Job (2003)

I’ve been told for years that The Italian Job is a film that I should see, and last night I finally got around to seeing it. First thing I have to say is, I am so glad I did, because The Italian Job is a great movie! It does show its age here and there (the dated technology, the fact that the film has opening credits) but overall it holds up pretty well for a film that’s 16 years old.

If you’re not familiar, The Italian Job is loosely (very loosely) based on the 1969 film of the same name, and follows a tight-knit group of thieves as they seek vengeance after a gold heist in Venice goes sideways. The film stars Mark Wahlberg, Donald Sutherland, Charlize Theron, Edward Norton, and Jason Statham (who has actual hair on his head, that’s how old this movie is!) It’s an all-star cast, and I admit I had a lot of fun watching the different characters interact, particularly Jason Statham as Rob. Honestly, any film that has Statham in it, I’m probably going to like (it’s partly his accent, accents are my weakness).

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Actually, this movie reminded me more than once of Ocean’s 11 (2001) and I don’t mean that in a bad way. You have to admit they are somewhat similar: an all-star cast playing rogues and thieves out for righteous vengeance (admittedly that’s closer to Ocean’s 13 (2007) but I digress), the insanely detailed planning of the heist, last minute twists that “change the plan but it STILL works out,” and the biggest similarity: the humor, which is there in spades. Though, while similar, the two films are not identical, as I think The Italian Job is much darker in tone than any of the Ocean’s 11/12/13 films (especially that part at the beginning).

Part of the reason I picked up this film at all is because of the MINI Cooper chase that the film is known for. I’d heard from somewhere that this was regarded as one of the best car chase scenes ever filmed, and whoever said it is right. The entire sequence is phenomenal, and I may never look at those cars the same way again. It’s tense, but fun, and it’s great to see them running circles around their nemesis.

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Last, but not least, I need to talk about Edward Norton. If I hadn’t read beforehand that Norton didn’t want to be in the film, I think I still would’ve figured it out. Norton’s attitude stands out throughout the entire film, and not in a good way. Granted, I believe he’s meant to be playing an asshole character, but the way he does it is a complete turn-off. You can just tell, from his snark to the look on his face, he does not want to be there, and he doesn’t care who knows it.

Actually one final thought: how is it that this film has never gotten a sequel? After the film, I read about ‘The Brazilian Job,’ a would-be sequel that never got off the ground, but  even with that film failing I find it hard to believe that no one in Hollywood has come up with a sequel. With that cast, I would be more than happy to watch a sequel follow their continuing adventures. Well, I’m sure if we wait a few more years someone will come up with the idea to reboot the film into a franchise. And truthfully, as long as they find a way to put Jason Statham into it, I wouldn’t mind all that much.

If you haven’t seen The Italian Job, go see it. It’s an older heist film now, but it still holds up and is very entertaining. I feel a little bad that I put off seeing this film for so long, however it was totally worth the wait.

Let me know what you think about The Italian Job in the comments below and have a great day!

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Film Reviews

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Danny Elfman “Planet of the Apes” scoring session (2001)

*warning, extreme plot spoilers for this film and the 1968 original appear below

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Danny Elfman “Planet of the Apes” scoring session

There are two iterations of the Planet of the Apes franchise that most people know very well. The first is the original film series led by Charlton Heston beginning in 1968. This was the first of a series of five films created between 1968 and 1973. The other is the ongoing reboot that began with Rise of the Planet of the Apes in 2011. Inbetween the two is the sometimes forgotten (at least by me) remake Planet of the Apes that launched in 2001.

The 2001 Planet of the Apes was directed by Tim Burton and starred Mark Wahlberg as the astronaut who finds himself stranded on “the planet of the apes,” where apes (gorillas, chimpanzees, etc.) are the dominant species and humans are treated like animals. Unlike the 1968 original, which ends with Charlton Heston’s astronaut discovering that the “planet of the apes” is in fact the planet Earth in the distant future (he finds the twisted remains of the Statue of Liberty on a beach and realizes this is the ruins of Manhattan), the 2001 film ends with Mark Wahlberg’s astronaut using a space pod to launch himself back to his own time. Except, when he crash-lands in Washington D.C., everyone is still an ape (an ending that is never fully explained and was criticized by some for being too confusing).

Though the 2001 film was a financial success, Fox decided to not make any sequels and instead rebooted the series in 2011 with the hit “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” series starring Andy Serkis.

The music for this film was composed by Danny Elfman (of Batman fame), as Tim Burton was directing and the two are well-known for their collaborations. The above clip is a short excerpt from a recording session of the film’s soundtrack. It seems to focus primarily on the brass section, which is great because the music is stunning. I hope you enjoy this brief look at the music of Planet of the Apes (2001)! -Becky

See also:

Danny Elfman talks Batman (1989)

Danny Elfman talks Batman Returns (1992)

Danny Elfman talks Spider-Man (2002)

Danny Elfman talks Meet the Robinsons (2007)

Danny Elfman talks Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Danny Elfman talks Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)

Danny Elfman talks Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

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Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

*poster image is the property of 20th Century Fox