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`Shooter' takes aim for its second shot

June 24, 2007|Susan King

The Life After: "Shooter," which arrives Tuesday on DVD, was Mark Wahlberg's first film to be released since receiving a supporting actor Oscar nomination this year for "The Departed."

Though "Shooter" received generally mixed reviews, Wahlberg was singled out for his strong performance as Bob Lee Swagger, a former Marine Corps sniper who leaves the military after his buddy is killed in a mission that goes awry.

He comes out of retirement, though, to help thwart a supposed assassination attempt on the president. But the men who hired him, lead by an oily government operative (Danny Glover), have set up Swagger as the killer.

Directed by Antoine Fuqua, the revenge thriller features more than its share of blood, guts and gunfights. With Wahlberg's firepower, the movie opened with a "bang" at the box office. But the audience soon trailed away and "Shooter" made only $47 million in the U.S.

TJ's TV days

Couch Potato: Tom Jones, whose voice and hips are going strong at 67, was all of 29 when ABC gave him his variety series, "This Is Tom Jones," in February 1969. The hourlong show featured Jones swiveling his hips to hits such as "What's New Pussycat?" and "It's Not Unusual" and welcoming big singing acts of the day. The three-disc set of the series, which arrives Tuesday, features Jones and such guest performers as Burt Bacharach, the Moody Blues, the Who, Janis Joplin, Little Richard, Steve Wonder, who performs "Uptight" with the host, and Aretha Franklin, performing "Call Me" with the Welshman. Jones also croons songs such as "Help Yourself," "Danny Boy," "Love Me Tonight," "You Came a Long Way From St. Louis" and "In the Midnight Hour."

During the second season, the improv comedy troupe the Ace Trucking Company (including a fresh-faced Fred Willard) was added to the mix and the Johnnie Spence Orchestra took over for Jack Parnell's.

At the end of each episode, Jones bid farewell in Welsh: "Gwyn eich byd a dymunaf i chwi lawenydd bob amser," which means, "May you always be well and be happy." Jones said goodbye to viewers for the last time on Jan. 15, 1971.

-- Susan King

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