Tag: The Rock

Dwayne Johnson’s “Ballers” Renewed for 2nd Season by HBO

ballers hbo

HBO has ordered a second season for its scripted half-hour series “Ballers,” starring Dwayne Johnson as a retired NFL player attempting to reinvent himself as a financial manager for current players in Miami.

According to HBO, the June 21 premiere of the current 10-episode season drew 8.9 million viewers across HBO-owned platforms, making it the most watched half-hour premiere for the network since 2009. The episode has also been viewed 5.6 million times on Johnson’s Facebook page.

“The charismatic and hugely talented Dwayne Johnson, along with the rest of the ‘Ballers’ cast, has truly struck a chord with the HBO audience,” HBO programming president Michael Lombardo said in statement Friday. “We are thrilled with the overwhelming response the series has received and look forward to another exciting season.”

Rob Cordry, John David Washington, Omar Miller, Donovan W. Carter, Troy Garity and London Brown round out the cast.

“Ballers” airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on HBO.

article via eurweb.com

Denzel Washington, The Rock Among Top 10 Highest-Paid Actors in Hollywood

In this handout production photo provided by Sony Pictures Entertainment, Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg portray Bobby and Stig in '2 Guns'. '2 Guns', a film directed by Baltasar Kormakur, is about a DEA agent and a naval intelligence officer who investigate each other and tackle the mob on April 20, 2013. The film is set to be released in August 2013. (Photo by Sony Pictures Entertainment via Getty Images)
Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg portray Bobby and Stig in ‘2 Guns’, set to be released in August 2013. (Photo by Sony Pictures Entertainment via Getty Images)

Forbes magazine has released its annual list of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood.  This year, Robert Downey Jr. topped the list with $75 million in earnings from his work in the mega-blockbusters Iron Man 3 and The Avengers.  Denzel Washington and The Rock were the two performers of color to make the top 10.  For 1o straight weeks in 2013 Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson had a film in the top 10 of the box office.  This year he headlined hits like GI Joe: Retaliation and Fast & Furious 6.  He earned a whopping total of $46 million this year, placing him at #5 on the list.

Washington is on an upswing following his 2012 hits Safe House ($126 million at the box office) and Flight ($93 million). His deal for back-end profits on the latter film, which earned $162 million worldwide on a $31 million budget, paid off for the actor. He earned $33 million last year, ranking him at #9 on Forbes‘ list.  Washington is poised to capitalize on his A-list status again this summer with his highly anticipated action film 2 Guns, co-starring Mark Whalberg, which opens August 2nd.

article via thegrio.com

TV Review: Dwayne Johnson Rocks New Reality Series “The Hero”

The Hero Season 1 - Ep 101 Ph: Frank Masi Panama City, Panama

The Hero (8pm Thursdays, TNT)

Host:  Dwayne Johnson

I’ve got to give it to the folks at TNT – it was a smart choice to air a competition reality show hosted by wrestler-turned-movie-star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. It’s completely entertaining, mainly because The Rock reminds the viewer very early on, well…that he’s got charisma in spades.

The Hero takes nine contestants and makes them endure physical challenges as well as ethical mind games while attempting to gain enough viewer appeal to be voted into the final where the winner’s pot could reach up to one million dollars. I usually get frustrated with the whole audience voter scenario, but The Hero has thrown in measuring a person’s moral compass, and that makes what the home audience thinks a little more appealing.

On top of jumping, rappelling, crawling, and conquering real fears, the participants have their principles tested with offers of cash on the sly.  In other words, the show asks each of them the question: “If no one’s looking, how greedy will you be?”  If every contestant selflessly resists the chance to pocket easy money when it’s offered in private, then it all goes into the team pot.  The way the money is earned and the challenge scenario is tiered and a bit confusing.  Nonetheless it’s easy to grasp that there is a one in nine chance to win up to a million dollars.

James Bond himself doesn’t have to do half the stuff these contestants do.  And the casting is genius.  They’ve got contestants with serious phobias. One can’t handle heights, another freaks out in the dark…um, hello…you signed up for a show called The Hero hosted by the Rock…and you’ve got phobias?  It’s such a fun twist I was sucked into watching human behavior at its rawest.

In a pretty hilarious segment, a female contestant who is terrified of heights is asked to join The Rock atop the roof of a skyscraper. He eagerly awaits her as she chants, “I’m not going to fail … I’m not going to fail.” As she walks up two flights of stairs (yes, only two) to get to him he utters, “You’re not going to fail.” It’s just some stairs and there is railing but she is terrified. She makes it and leaps into the Rock’s bulging , welcoming arms. It’s a terrific human moment. He smiles, hugs and encourages her, but then offers her some money to pocket for herself or put in the pot. A moral dilemma ensues.

It’s a provocative scenario each time it occurs: “You’re broke…here’s some money and you need it… take it or put it in the pot.” As one contestant puts it (I’m paraphrasing here): “These people are not saying no to the money because they are good people. They are saying no because they want to appear to be good for the audience that votes so they will be voted to go to the end and have a chance at a more money.”

All on all, The Hero is a thoroughly watchable show, although I can’t say the title works. Are these people actually heroic? Not really. But Dwayne in all his Rockness and the challenges make for a fun summer series. Set in Panama, I’m not sure they’ll find a “Hero”… but they may just find the ratings.

Lesa LakinReviewed by Lesa Lakin

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson: Savior of Film Franchises

Dwayne Johnson

LOS ANGELES (AP) — When your film franchise has gotten tired — the Fast aren’t quite as Furious, the Mummy needs a reason to Return — Dwayne Johnson is the guy to call.

The 40-year-old actor has become a savior of stale film series, injecting new life into “Fast Five,” ”The Mummy Returns,” ”Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” and now “G.I. Joe: Retaliation.” The former professional wrestler rocks established franchises by joining them on the second or subsequent installment and boosting the property’s box office.

“Fast & Furious 6″ and “Journey 3″ are on the way, and Johnson’s ”Mummy” character got his own spinoff film, “The Scorpion King.”  “We call him franchise Viagra,” said “Retaliation” director Jon M. Chu. “He comes in and he elevates everything, not just physically, but energy-wise… He was the only one in our minds that could reinvent G.I. Joe and carry the franchise forward.”

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