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Furious Movie News 12.16.10: The That’s Torn It Edition

December 16, 2010 | Posted by Arnold Furious

Furious Movie News 12.16.10: The That’s Torn It Edition

Rip Torn guilty, yet more Ridley Scott movies, Ryan Reynolds & Scarlet Johansson split, Pete Doherty turns to acting. Plus trailers, charts, awards and more!

Furious on Film 208

On the back of this week’s big news it was officially 100% confirmed yesterday that Jon Favreau will not be directing Iron Man 3. Apparently he has other avenues to explore and isn’t interested in returning. This has lead to speculation regarding Marvel’s control over the project and that Favreau wasn’t happy with Iron Man 2 turning into a glorified shill for the Avengers movie. Marvel is having issues like this crop up where they don’t want to pay for anything and if someone’s price goes up they lose interest in them. Like changing Rhodey’s between IM & IM2. My biggest concern is that they may have to re-cast Happy Hogan.

NEWS!

Contrasting fortunes for Hollywood couples

Continuing the Iron Man theme.

Hollywood romances tend not to last but there are exceptions. This week we saw the contrasting fortunes of Hollywood’s leading men and ladies as two couples had very different announcements. Firstly Ryan Reynolds and Scarlet Johansson (above) announced that their marriage was over. The pair married in September 2008 but that seems to have come to an end. Reynolds and Johansson are no strangers to tabloid relationships. Reynolds was previously engaged to Alanis Morrisette while Johansson has been involved with Jared Leto and Josh Hartnett in the past.

Meanwhile across Tinseltown happier news for another Hollywood couple. Paul Bettany and his wife Jennifer Connolly announced they were due to add a third child to their Hollywood family unit. The couple were married in 2003 and have a son called Stellan. Connolly brought a son into the marriage from a previous relationship. Being married for 7 years is a major success story in terms of Hollywood relationships.

Rip Torn enters guilty plea

Mug shot.

Another interesting Hollywood trend is how much jail time various celebrities seem to be getting these days. The latest star to get into a spot of bother with law enforcement agencies is Rip Torn. Normally Hollywood crimes involve drinking and driving or drugs or not paying your taxes. Not very rock n’ roll. Hollywood of old would be disappointed. But not with Rip Torn. Although he may well have done some drink driving to get there (as he’s been arrested 3 times in 5 years for drunk driving) Rip’s main crime was BREAKING INTO A BANK WITH A LOADED GUN. Rip even had a perfectly justifiable excuse for doing so. He thought it was his own house. Because after a few drinks too many…and then a few more drinks we all mistake someone else’s house for our own. Hell, all buildings look the same after 20 shots of Jim Beam.

Initially Rip figured this bullshit excuse would get him out of jail…until he found out he’d probably lose in court and pleaded guilty to get a reduced sentence. Because he’s 80 years old and probably isn’t going to try and rob another bank he’s been given 2 ½ years as a suspended sentence. The part of the deal he won’t enjoy quite so much is random alcohol and drug tests that he’ll have to pass to stay out of prison. He’s also banned from owning firearms in case he does get loaded and tries to break into some other building. Like a liquor store.

Ridley Scott eyes Western

Why is it that every week and every news report Ridley Scott seems to have something new lined up? Is he just fucking with us? When he’s going to stop and just go and make the Alien (above) prequels? Ridley’s latest pitch that he’s considering making is The Colour of Lightning. Written by Paulette Jiles it details a freed slave who moves his family to Texas only for Injuns to kill his son and kidnap the rest of his kin. Ridley is definitely producing the film but may also direct if he can ever make his mind up as to what project he wants to do next. Let’s quickly look at the list shall we. Lined up for Ridley Scott are…

• The Kind One. A prohibition era gangster film starring Casey Affleck. This was originally going to be shot and released this year. Its now been pushed back to 2012 and he still hasn’t confirmed that he’s going to make it.
• Alien Prequels. Not one but two of these that are due in 2013 & 2014. He seems to have a plan but can’t stay focused on it for long enough to actually get casting and script locked down.
• Forever War. He waited 25 years for the rights to become available and starting getting very excited about shooting it in 3D because the epic sci-fi nature of the film would suit 3D to a treat. This was before the Alien prequels were announced and its gone awful quiet on that front since.
• Brave New World. This one has been on his slate for ages too. Leonardo DiCaprio agreed to star in the Aldous Huxley adaptation and Ridley still hasn’t got around to it.
• Red Riding. Last year Ridley announced he was going to direct a movie based on the TV show based on the book spanning a series of crimes between 1974 and 1983. Again, as soon as it was announced updates have slowed down.

So as you can see Ridley, should he actually shoot all of these, will be working solid until 2018 and he’s 73 now. I think it may be time to make some very hard decisions about what he really wants to do with the rest of his life. I really can’t see him finding time for all of these projects.

Pete Doherty to turn to acting

Controversial musician/heroin addict Pete Doherty is probably more famous for his drug taking than his music but that doesn’t make him any less of a celebrity. At least not in the eyes of Hollywood. Or rather not Hollywood as the French have come calling. Doherty is set to star in a film about Alfred de Musset; a 19th century French poet. It seems the French have rather more tolerance for Crackhead Pete than the Brits who’ve waved goodbye to the singer (or perhaps au revoir) after his failure to attend his own gigs and making the tabloid headlines for all the wrong reasons. Usually with a needle sticking out of his arm and a crack pipe out of his mouth. Doherty has become a figure of derision and rightly so. But the French see his failings as part of his overall talent. Mixing the drugs with the music like the Beatles. Of course Doherty isn’t particularly talented but the French seem willing to overlook this and help him reach the next level by turning him into an actor as well (he’s already credited as a painter and poet). This is a serious production as he’ll be starring opposite Charlotte Gainsbourg. She’s the daughter of another famous gadabout; Serge Gainsbourg. She’s also a singer turned actress who won best actress at Cannes last year for Antichrist. They begin filming before the year is out. Providing Pete can make it to the set by then.

Deals

We’ll get your people to call our people

Simon West’s thriller Medallion has found its lead; Nic Cage. The plot sees Cage, a former thief, trying to locate his daughter who’s locked in the trunk of a taxi cab…somewhere in New York. Good luck that one, chief.

Mila Kunis looks to have scored the lead on Seth McFarlane’s movie Ted. For those who missed the details on this one; its about Mark Wahlberg as a grown up who, as a child, wished his teddy bear would come to life and be his best friend. But now the bear has become belligerent and chain smokes much to the annoyance of his girlfriend…played by Mila Kunis. Should be good for giggles.

TRAILERS

A proper trailer for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides this week after the Johnny Depp to camera as Jack Sparrow last week. While I’m disappointed some of the supporting cast will not be returning almost all of the original cast had their storylines completed by the end of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. There’s really only Jack Sparrow left. His adventures could go on forever as long as there’s an audience for them. Depp seems to have lost none of love for the character. If Ian McShane and Penelope Cruz do a good job this could be a worthy addition to the series.

Also with Johnny Depp is his work on animated film Rango. Which combines Pirates director Gore Verbinski and a talking animal version of a Western. I also like that the visuals play towards the opening of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I also like that this is way better than the first teaser. It shows we’ll actually be getting something structured and that Depp is into the role. Bonus.

Vin Diesel seems happy with himself as they’ve just wrapped Fast and Furious 5 (or Fast Five as it seems to be named). Don’t believe me? Well, he’ll tell you himself. Personally I can’t believe how many movies are in this franchise. And that having dumped it years ago Vin Diesel is now stuck making sequels on it. The amazing thing about this movie is that a decade ago The Rock and Vin Diesel were being pimped as the next generation of action movie stars and now they’re both stuck in the same movie. A fourth sequel no less. How the mighty have fallen.

Topher Grace comedy Take Me Home Tonight has a trailer. That 80s retro deal hasn’t worn off yet has it? That’s the problem with filmmakers wanting to make movies about when they were young and fun. It takes us all back 20 years. I guess I hate the 80s less retroactively. They were fun compared to what’s been since. Anna Faris looks good in this btw. I can’t take her seriously normally but maybe she has a shot at improving. Plus I dig Dan Fogler and he’s due a good movie. The man is funny and he keeps ending up in shitty projects. Fanboys excluded.

CHART WATCH

New Releases

I actually boo this logo when I see it now. The very definition of a company gone down the shitter.

Two newcomers this weekend and they debut at #1 and #2 and yet both films have disappointed out of the gate. Top of the pile is Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader but with a weak $24M weekend. The film was budgeted at $155M. Both previous entries performed below Disney’s lofty expectations leading to the franchise being dumped. Fox, not known for their smart decision making, picked the franchise up and the resulting opening weekend will not have pleased whoever was responsible for that call over at Fox. To put into perspective how poor $24M is for a major picture. Look at the opening of Prince Caspian just two years ago; $55M. That was described at the time as “underwhelming”. If that’s underwhelming then this is into panic stations. Caspian ended up run with $141M in the US and $419M combined with overseas. It was another big picture saved by foreign grosses. Thing is: this film now desperately needs huge foreign grosses or Fox may have to pull out thus signalling the curtain call for this franchise. The only thing in the favour of Dawn Treader is that it opens just ahead of the Christmas season when people do tend to go to the cinema. It could well pick up cash over the festive weeks ahead. If it can repeat the success of The Polar Express, which had an equally weak opening but went on to gross $181M, it might still pull this one out of the fire. But executives at Fox are probably already looking at ways to get out of this contract and reduce spending on the next film if they can’t ditch it altogether. Clearly the wind is gone from the Dawn Treader’s sails…

Meanwhile an even less convincing debut for The Tourist. Hyped as a star vehicle for Johnny Depp & Angelina Jolie it was plagued by reports of the two megastars not getting along and reviews cite a lack of chemistry between the leads for a poor movie. Just 21% fresh over at RT. That’s not good. Especially considering the director’s pedigree and the massive hits both stars are using to. With a budget set at $100M it’ll need strong performances in foreign markets to recapture that and it has only $17M in the US so far. I wondered about this being perhaps Depp’s biggest flop and had to go back as far as 2001 before discovering the inferior take on From Hell. But that was pre-Pirates of the Caribbean! Make no mistake about it, this is not a good box office take for the Deppster.

Holdovers

I’ll start with the most talked about movie on the chart this week. It finished 6th over the weekend despite only being available in 90 theatres. I’m talking about Black Swan. Aronofsky’s ballet movie took $3.3M over the weekend @ 37k per theatre. 37k! There’s no doubt people have cottoned on to this one and could blow up nationally and expand into more markets. To get an idea of how insane this is; Paranormal Activity 2 has more screens this weekend than Black Swan. Seeing as we’re entering into the awards season anything that starts picking up gongs is going to get interest. Black Swan leads the way right now but The King’s Speech is now available in 19 theatres and The Fighter opened in four locations. These are movies that will find an audience sooner or later. Regardless of what Hollywood wants to push. With Black Swan Fox Searchlight is going to have use its push to get that movie out there into more screens. Its potentially a money maker and potentially an award winner. Watch this space.

Watch out; angry ginger!

Harry Potter continues to make money. $777M in all territories and the film has now made more cash than all the releases of Star Wars. That’s without adjusting for inflation, naturally. While the film has performed well in the US its performed even better in foreign markets and is number one globally. Domestically its slowing down so the coming weeks the cash total will be raised overseas. In the US it has $257M, which puts it over Despicable Me but still lagging behind $292M of Inception. It’ll need to improve its holds if it has any intention of breaking into the top movies of the year. Which is weird considering how epic the opening weekend was.

Tangled continues to trundle on too. Showing spikes at the weekend when all the kids are out in force. $115M domestic and nearly $200M worldwide already. Despite bizarre reporting on the budget continuing I think its safe to say this will be a hit. Eventually.

Rest of the Ten

Unstoppable has $74M, which is still short on the budget but is more than I expected after a slow start. A lack of adult action movies over the past 5 weeks has allowed it to hang on. Its done ok overseas and should just about turn a profit. I still think they’re giving Tony Scott too much money to make movies considering his track record but this one has worked out better than expected.
Burlesque has $32M. Production budget was a steep $55M. But unlike Unstoppable this can’t be rescued by foreign markets. Those markets tend to respond to wider concepts like action and recognisable characters. While Burlesque easily qualifies as ‘high concept’ its unlikely to see a cash return. Not a total bomb for Christina Aguilera but probably not the hit she was hoping for.
Love and Other Drugs has $27M but a low $30M budget. It should reclaim that in the coming weeks as it disappears off the chart and plays at discount movie renews. It might just about squeak out a hit for Fox. God knows, they need them.
Due Date has $94M for Warners. Now there’s a studio that makes money! The budget was $65M and its also performing well overseas. What initially looked like trouble (not a great opening, bad reviews) has been turned around by relatively positive word of mouth and a lack of competition in the adult comedy genre. We have a hit.
• Finally Megamind is on its last week on the chart. $140M is a decent return but the $130M budget has eaten a sizeable chunk of that. Its only just gotten released in foreign markets and its doing ok there. But with the likes of Potter and Narnia to contend with I don’t see it making a lot of money outside of the States. Odd marketing on this one. They should have gotten the global release in ahead of Potter’s release.

Going, going…gone

• Flop One: Faster. Dwayne Johnson’s action thriller with a revenge motif clearly didn’t capture the imagination of the American public. A duff trailer didn’t help. It hasn’t come up short on the budget by much though and might well sell on DVD.
• Flop Two: The Next Three Days. Surely teaming Russell Crowe with Crash director Paul Haggis would be good? No? Unfortunately they went away from Haggis’ usual and grittier style to shoot a ludicrous prison escape movie. Not well reviewed and I don’t think this will make it onto anyone’s lists of favourite movies this year.
• Flop Three: Warrior’s Way. Now we’re talking! Budgeted at $42M this has failed to make it to $5M so far. Bomb!

Next Week

Three releases this coming weekend.

1. Yogi Bear. A live action version of the classic children’s cartoon starring the voice of Dan Aykroyd. The trailer is a little cringeworthy and I’m actually hoping this goes the same way as Marmaduke. Unless it turns out to be great. What? It could happen.
2. Tron Legacy. The advertising has kicked into full pelt for this one. You can’t go anywhere without being reminded of Disney’s intentions.
3. How Do You Know. A James L. Brooks comedy starring Paul Rudd, Jack Nicholson and Reese Witherspoon. It has the smallest opening of the three.

My pick is Tron Legacy. People seem genuinely enthused by the idea of the movie while Yogi Bear is only likely to attract the family crowd. They’re only watching the movie to shut the kids up.

AWARDS WATCH

Golden Globe Nominations

The Golden Globes are usually a pretty good guide to what is going to be in the Oscar nominations. Here are the big categories…

BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
Black Swan
The Fighter
Inception
The King’s Speech
The Social Network

For me its currently a 3-horse race for best picture with Black Swan, King’s Speech and Social Network all being possible winners. Although its even more likely to come down to a straight out battle between Social Network and The King’s Speech. The Fighter is perhaps a surprise and hasn’t gotten a lot of love from other awards ceremonies so far apart from some love for Christian Bale. He’s likely to get supporting actor nod for an Oscar nom but the movie is highly unlikely to get an Oscar nomination itself.

Notable absentees: True Grit. No love for the Coen’s. The Town was getting early awards buzz but it seems no one likes it that much. Only Jeremy Renner was nominated. Toy Story 3 once again proved its almost impossible for an animated film to get a best picture nod. Not even nominated below in the best comedy or musical category. 127 Hours was also omitted. Although Franco was nominated.

BEST MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Alice in Wonderland
Burlesque
The Kids Are All Right
Red
The Tourist

This award is a bit of a joke. Always has been. Nominating bad movies like, well, most of them, doesn’t help. The Kids Are Alright should win here and the only one likely to get an Oscar mention. The only spoiler being Alice, maybe, because it made a shit-tonne of money and the Globes went for Avatar last year.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
Halle Berry – Frankie and Alice
Nicole Kidman – Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence – Winter’s Bone
Natalie Portman – Black Swan
Michelle Williams – Blue Valentine

Interesting to see Halle Berry nominated. I thought she might get in there. Jennifer Lawrence is making waves and could well take home a major award for Winter’s Bone. Natalie Portman is also getting some love and could be a major spoiler. This is a tough one to call right now. Same for the Oscars. These are five good performances.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
Jesse Eisenberg – The Social Network
Colin Firth – The King’s Speech
James Franco – 127 Hours
Ryan Gosling – Blue Valentine
Mark Wahlberg – The Fighter

More love for the Fighter with Wahlberg getting a surprise nod. Jesse Eisenberg is getting some respect on the awards circuit but I’ll be shocked if anyone other than Colin Firth wins in a film that could sweep the major awards at the Oscars. But then so could Social Network.

BEST DIRECTOR – MOTION PICTURE
Darren Aronofksy – Black Swan
David Fincher – The Social Network
Tom Hooper – The King’s Speech
Christopher Nolan – Inception
David O. Russell – The Fighter

Again The Fighter gets a major nomination. While Tom Hooper has made a fine film I don’t think he’ll win best director. Everyone else is due. Literally; Aronofsky, Fincher and Nolan all about due a major directing award and one of them will be winning this year. My money is on Fincher.

LA Film Critics

This is the start of a landslide of voting events in which Colin Firth is taking home best actor awards. He won here. Last year LA film critics started the deluge of love for Jeff Bridges. LA critics also got best director and best picture right last year. This year The Social Network won both. That makes it favourite for the Oscar and Fincher favourite to win best director. Of course there’s still a lot of time to go before the big night and plenty of voters to be influenced. But this is an important early victory for the Fincher camp. Sorkin also won for screenplay, which puts this movie even above The Hurt Locker last year where Mark Boal eventually won the Oscar but wasn’t winning as many awards in the lead up to the big night.

Jacki Weaver is a name that’ll become more familiar to you over the awards season. She’s already won a couple of Indy gongs and she won best supporting actress for Animal Kingdom at the LA awards defeating Olivia Williams in The Ghost Writer. In the main actress award Kim Hye-ja won but the LA awards don’t always get the actress awards right. They were off last year for example. Kim hasn’t been nominated for a Golden Globe but the runner up was Jennifer Lawrence who I think is about to start getting momentum going for the major awards ceremonies.

San Francisco Critics

This isn’t a major award either but its interesting to see how many similar names are popping up and trending. Colin Firth won again here. He’s starting to look strong. Plus he’s been nominated before. Interesting to note best director was a tie between David Fincher and Darren Aronofsky. Which shows that Black Swan has to be close to The Social Network on some people’s voting. But best film was The Social Network. There were a couple of acting upsets with Michelle Williams taking home best actress for Blue Valentine and Winter’s Bone scooping a different gong with John Hawkes claiming best supporting actor. Both surprises. Hawkes isn’t seeing much mainstream love.

New York Film Critics

Usually if you’ve got the NYC market as well as the LA market down then you’ve got a great shot at the Academy Award. Well; best picture was The Social Network. Which makes me think that’s a STRONG favourite for best picture at the Academy Awards. The Hurt Locker won both LA & NY film critics awards for best picture last year. That said winning both or either isn’t a guarantee. But it’s a great marker. Fincher also won best director.

I think the most interesting Academy Award could be best actress because no one seems to be winning more than once. Annette Benning won at the NYC critics awards. Mark Ruffalo scored best supporting actor for The Kids Are Alright. Melissa Leo won best supporting actress for The Fighter.

Boston Film Critics

While it was much the same story in Boston as elsewhere, with The Social Network cleaning up, there were a few upsets. Juliette Lewis most notably as she scored best supporting actress for Conviction while Natalie Portman scored her first big win for Black Swan. With the movie gathering pace this could be the first sign of a big run for her. As I said to begin with though it was another big night for The Social Network. Best picture, best director for Fincher and Jesse Eisenberg even took home best actor over Colin Firth.

So, for shits and giggles, here’s my super early predictions for Oscar winners.

Best picture: Social Network
Best director: David Fincher
Best actor in a leading role: Colin Firth
Best actress in a leading role: Natalie Portman
Best actor in a supporting role: Christian Bale
Best actress in a supporting role: Jacki Weaver

These could well, and probably will, change. But hey, I thought I’d give it a shot.

English Premier League: Player of the Week

WEEK 16

Gerard O’Neill

1. Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United)
2. Yaya Toure (Man City)
3. Andy Carroll (Newcastle United)
4. Stuart Holden (Bolton)
5. Leighton Baines (Everton)

David O’Loughlin

1. Park Ji Sung (Manchester United)

I went over in my head back and forth. who to give the number one spot to. Its been one of those weeks where no team has been amazing and so it took special moments from special players to win games and points. Park Ji Sung has always been underrated. He was a star at PSV and when he came to Manchester United, the cynical fans ignored that and said he was bought to sell shirts. Well so was Dong Fangzhou and we saw how well he got on. Park never complained, never whined when he was dropped after giving everything he could. Is he a world class player? Not at all. His touch and balance can sometimes be terrible, but one thing he has a bit of a knack for is popping up with important goals. Especially against Arsenal! Park Ji Sung is a big game player, a true team man, the kind of guy dropped for Champions League finals but will never let it get to him. When you compare Park, a squad player, to the captain of the team across the city of Manchester you can see why United are number one. Park’s great goal, the winner, in the biggest match of the weekend, to put his team back to top of the league makes him the Player of the Week for me.

2. Joey Barton (Newcastle United)

Ugh… It pains me to put this guy here, it really does. Just like it pains me that I was thinking of putting him first. Joey Barton is simply scum. He is a thug, a dangerous player and just a gowl. But he can play football. Newcastle are a team on the verge of crisis 100% of the time, any day, week or month Newcastle can collapse, but they’ve a core of players holding them up at the moment. Andy Carroll, Kevin Nolan and this man. With a new manager, any bad result this weekend could see the collapse of Newcastle’s season. The fans would be furious, the players, who have seen the man who got them back to the top league fired would probably stop caring, but when it went 1-1 and Liverpool looked to be about to take control, up popped this man with a great finish. Carroll’s goal may have been better, Nolan’s goal may have been the opener, but Barton’s was the winner. The fact that he told the Ladyboy Torres that he could suck his d*** only adds to his weekend in my eyes.

3. Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United)

Last season United lost the league by just one point. Despite how it sometimes seems to be reported, Chelsea did not steamroll the title race. They were probably deserved winners, but it was hard watching the Rent Boys lift the trophy knowing that it could have been so different if this man had been available all season. Injuries are a part of the game, they are no real excuses, but the defence that United had to field at times was unbelievable, Carrick at centre back? Fletcher at right back? What they needed was Rio Ferdinand. So doubted and criticised, the man is a defensive colossus. Two years ago, he, Vidic and Van Der Saar helped create a new defensive record, last season his only record was amount of hours on the physio’s table. Against Arsenal he was a rock. Van Persie, Nasri, Walcott, Arshavin, Wilshire, Rosicky etc. Arsenal are not short of good attacking players and yet Ferdinand, along with his partner Vidic marshalled them so that Arsenal had one shot on target and basically no chances. United’s defence set the foundation that allowed them to retain first. If Ferdinand can stay fit all season his team will be crowned champions.

4. Stuart Holden (Bolton)

I know we don’t usually comment after three, but thirty seconds after his opponents equalise, he volleys in a winner. Amazing.

5. Ali-Al Habsi (Wigan)

Arnold Furious

1. Yaya Toure (Man City). I’ve knocked City’s lack of ambition during games of late. Their defensive wall + Tevez running around up front was getting really boring. So just as I’m getting sick of Man City both David Silva & Yaya Toure start justifying their enormous salaries. Silva has been exciting and was again at the weekend but Yaya is starting to show what he wasn’t able to do at Barcelona; score goals. He’s far more prominent as a talent in this City line up and he’s taking the chance he’s been given…finally. The idea of Yaya Toure being the best player on display during any weekend at the start of the season would have been a joke so he’s come on nicely.

2. Andy Carroll (Newcastle). The Toon welcomed new boss Alan Pardew with an excellent drubbing of Liverpool and then dedicated the win to former manager Chris Hughton. Carroll’s goal was a demonstration of how far Newcastle came under Hughton; from a weak Premier League side to a decent one courtesy of a year of seasoning in the Championship. Carroll exemplified that going from a mediocre forward player to the archetypical Newcastle number 9. And against Liverpool he showed he had more than that to his game with a long range drive past one of the best keepers in the league.

3. Ben Foster (Blues). While Birmingham got nothing from Molyneux and deserved even less they did have one player on quite exceptional form; their stopper. Foster dealt with the multitude of Wolves efforts at his goal with the same attitude he usually manages. He’s quickly rebuilding his reputation as a top flight keeper after an injury ravaged Man Utd career. A few weeks ago I gave him player of the week and he’s on wonderful form right now.

4. Joey Barton (Newcastle)
5. Mark Albrighton (Aston Villa)

So with the votes in place here’s the Final Five:

1. Yaya Toure 9
2. Rio Ferdinand 8
3. Andy Carroll 7
4. Joey Barton 6
5. Park Ji Sung 5

Perhaps not a surprise that two Utd players make the final five after their 1-0 win over Arsenal was the most important game of the weekend. I know I didn’t vote for either of them but that’s mainly because I still haven’t seen any part of the game so I find it hard to vote based on other people’s opinions. I guess Park scoring the winner would have been worth something but I decided to stick with games I actually saw. Two Newcastle in there is indicative of them having a terrible week with all manner of disastrous off-field antics only to stomp Liverpool on Saturday. You can’t argue with that. Top ten on the season…

1. Dimitar Berbatov 22
2. Darren Bent 20
3. Andy Carroll 19
4. Carlos Tevez 18
5. Gareth Bale 16
6. Samir Nasri 16
7. Didier Drogba 12
8. Asamoah Gyan 12
9. Rafael van der Vaart 11
10. Joe Hart 10

Berbatov continues to blow hot and cold. Nothing doing for him this week. Bent has been quite since being injured. Andy Carroll makes the biggest climb of the week jumping up from 6th place to 3rd. Ahead now of season success stories Nasri, Bale and Tevez. Well, the latter has perhaps blemished his copybook somewhat by asking for a transfer and threatening to quit football if he doesn’t get it. It’s a funny old game.

One for the road. Do we need any oranges Gary Busey?

He sure loves Calvin & Hobbes.

Until next time I’m Arnold Furious and you’re not.

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