Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Best Wahlberg Brother (As Judged Solely On The Basis of Their Least-Cool Credit on IMDB)

: Wahlberg Style!

At the outset, I will say this: I am entirely in favor of actors working and working and working. Life requires us to make a living and if it's a choice between "starving artist creating works of genius but living in a cardboard box in Stevens Point, Wisconsin" and "Cool house located on one of the nicer islands of Hawaii and a workday that consists of about two hours worth of writing, but also known as the guy who wrote the first ever Ice Cube/Jason crossover horror movie ''Next Friday The 13th" then I will begin outlining that script right now.

So this is not about making fun of the Wahlberg brothers, who don't care what I think anyway, because when they read this (and I'm sure they do), to the extent that they think I'm making fun of them, I'm sure they'll say something along the lines of You know what's really funny? Being a singer and matinee idol beloved by women everywhere and worth millions of dollars.

To which I would respond: Actually, that doesn't sound funny at all. It sounds kind of cool, but not in any sort of humorous way.

And they would say, I imagine: You're right. It is cool.

At which point I would respond: Do either of you think you might want a starring role in "Next Friday The 13th" How about both of you?

What I'm saying, here, is that I think Mark Wahlberg and Donnie Wahlberg and I should hang out.

Also what I'm saying here is that it's great for actors to keep on working and they should. They, like writers and painters and sculptors and cooks and insurance agents should keep busy and work and do what it takes to make a living and enjoy their life and let future generations sort out who contributed something lasting to society and whose stuff was junk. It's important to leave it up to future generations, because current generations have no taste; current generations keep saying things like "I Love Lucy" is a timeless classic when it doesn't hold up all that well at all, and before you can point that out to current generations, they turn television into one vast wasteland of CSI shows. So allowing current generations to judge whether something is art is pointless; they wouldn't know art if it engaged in a grape-stomping contest with Ethel, or whatever the plot of that episode was; and don't let me know if I've got it wrong because the plots were all the same anyway.

But while actors keep working, they keep working on things that make us all say What in the heck was that all about? Not so much about why the actor was in it -- they were in it because they got paid to do it, and I understand that perfectly -- but about how it got created in the first place. Someone, somewhere, had to look at a project and say People will pay us money if we make this. Then they went and paid a Wahlberg brother to be in that, and now the Wahlbergs have to sit and read as their future-good-buddy drags those things out into the light and rates them on it.

First up: Donnie Wahlberg, who you know as the guy that's not Mark Wahlberg and who also was in a couple of the Saw movies even though I believe he was killed in each of them. But I know Donnie Wahlberg as a different guy. I know him as the character "Big Balls" in the 1996 movie "Bullet."

This is what "Bullet" was about, according to the IMDB plot keywords, which are Exhibit 1 in the case for not relying on the general public for your information (right, Wikipedia?). The IMDB plot keywords for "Bullet" tell us that it's about:

"Graffiti Gay Slur Dysfunctional Family Tragedy Boxer"

I've never seen "Bullet," but based on the keywords I am pretty sure it's about [THIS IS ALMOST CERTAINLY NOT A SPOILER ALERT!] a boxer who, driven to distraction by a gay slur he saw graffitied on a wall one day, moves in with a dysfunctional family to try to get his life back together, only to find out that the son in the family is the one who painted the graffiti, at which point he challenges the son to a boxing match which never occurs because Clint Eastwood takes the boxer out to the woods and shoots him, only to find out that the boxer was also Bambi's mother.

And, "Bullet" has a part for a character named "Big Balls," played by Donnie Wahlberg. "Big Balls" may or may not be the gay slur referred to by those ever-sharp IMDB contributors.

The quality of "Bullet" can be judged by the fact that the only person conversant enough with the movie to describe the actual plot wouldn't leave a name; the anonymity of the Internet alone wasn't enough for this person; he/she had to also sign his/her name "Anonymous."

If I may, as an aside, I'd like to inquire this of all the people, including those people who leave comments here on TBOE: Why do you use "Anonymous?" Is your regular email and ID your full name, address and social security number so that you have to be careful what sites you post on? Did you accidentally use your credit card three-digit code as your Blogger ID? Every email I've ever seen is something like "" and I would, frankly, have no idea who that person is. So why the extra anonymity that comes from using "Anonymous?"

Back to our regularly scheduled Showdown. "Big Balls" doesn't get mentioned in the "Bullet" plot synopsis, but it's right there on Donnie Wahlberg's IMDB credit list, and it's the one I picked as being his least-cool credit.

How about his brother, Mark Wahlberg, who you know as the guy who is almost-but-not-quite a lot like Matt Damon, and also as "Marky Mark?" What's he been up to, least-cool wise?

It would be too easy to pick on his part in The Crappening, in which he played the guy who telegraphs the entire plot, then decides to try to avoid murderous plants by going to where there are more murderous plants instead of, say, space or downtown Manhattan, and finally does avoid murderous plants through the clever design of M. Night Shymalan saying "I've got no way to end this except by simply ending it by having a newscaster say it's all over; all right, logic and plot structure be damned -- that's a wrap!"

But that would ignore a more crucially least-cool entry on Mark Wahlberg's IMDB resume: The song "The Illist."

Mark Wahlberg, who I am sure would very much appreciate it if everyone quit calling him "Marky Mark" because he stopped being "Marky Mark" and became a respectable actor, in 1996 was credited with some undisclosed input on "The Illist," a song from the "Fear" soundtrack. You can play that song if you want -- the above clip is a medley of songs from Fear, something you didn't even know needed to exist until now; at one point, you'll hear Mark's way-awesome* rap. (*Note: this is written sarcastically, or would be, but can't, because it's possible to "bold" things and "italicize" things but there's not "sarcasticize" button. There should be, but there isn't.)

Other websites, if you google "Marky Mark The Illist" appear to claim that Mark Wahlberg wrote the song. I'm not sure what there was to write, but the appearance of a claim made by a random website is probably enough to protect me from a libel suit, so I'll just say that Mark Wahlberg wrote "The Illist," which is notable not just for being a rap, apparently, about what a terrible person someone in the movie "Fear" is, but also notable for misspelling "Illist."

Because it should be Ill-est, as in the most Ill of rappers, shouldn't it? The "Ill-ist" makes it sound like he's somebody who can Ill things for others, like an artist arts things and a pharmacist farms.

Unless he really meant that he is somebody who ills others, which is then even less cool than simply misspelling it.

By that standard, then, Mark Wahlberg has by far the least cool credit on IMDB; it's not possible, I think, to be less cool than someone who misspells the title of his own rap, a rap about the role he's apparently playing in a lame movie.

Based on that, then, this showdown goes to Mark. Why? Because both the Wahlbergs are very good actors and have a lot of credibility and all that -- but Mark Wahlberg had a lot more to live down to earn that respect. Sorry, Donnie, but Mark's come a lot farther than you. I imagine it's much much harder to get good roles and the respect of your peers when the casting director looks at you and says lay a little of that Illist rap on me, will you? Based on that, Mark, you're The Best Wahlberg Brother (As Judged Solely On The Basis of Their Least-Cool Credit on IMDB).

Note: There are those who say I could have simply focused on Mark Wahlberg's workout video, Form... Focus... Fitness, the Marky Mark Workout, from 1993-- a project the brothers actually collaborated on. But there is NO WAY I would make fun of the Marky Mark workout. Have you SEEN Mark Wahlberg?

I may just BUY that tape.

is an entire month of categories in which there are only TWO possible nominees! Categories like

The Best Talkin’ Blues

The Best Cartoon Which is Good at Making Funny Barbershop Quartet Songs And Which Features a Fat Dad as a Character

The Best Sneetch

The Best Song From the One/Two Hit Wonder “The Kings” First Single

The Best Show Andy Richter Starred In That Also Had “Andy” In The Title

The Best Man To Claim a World Record Score on Donkey Kong

The Best Song That Talks About Whether The Singer Of The Song Feels Like Dancing Or Not

theBest of Two Freaky Cults Trying to Sell You Something or

The Best Celebrity Who Remains Unspeakably Cool No Matter What He Does.

Click here to see all the other topics I’ve ever discussed!


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