Tagged: Peter Berg

Patriot's Day

One of the most powerful films to screen in cinemas in 2017 is Patriot’s Day from director Peter Berg. Over the years Berg has established himself as a filmmaker who can capture realism in a way that very few filmmakers before him have done so. When his television show Friday Night Lights first aired some people thought it was a reality television show in the vein of The Hills or Laguna Beach, that was all down to how realistic the characters and their dialogue were.

In recent years Berg has also made the films Lone Survivor, about the courageous Marcus Luttrell and the bloody fight against the Taliban, and Deepwater Horizon, a dramatisation of the offshore drilling rig disaster in April 2010 that resulted in America’s worst ever oil spill. Now he turns his eyes to the events of the Boston bombing marathon with Patriot’s Day which stars Berg’s regular contributor Mark Wahlberg.

“I was actually in New York when the marathon bombings happened,” explains Berg.  “I remember paying really close attention to it and being very aware and being very touched with the way the city clearly came together.and rallied together to capture these two criminals but to also support themselves so much after the bombings. I was very touched about how the community came together. Something that I was very interested in doing with this film was showing a very positive reaction that law enforcement had and show how helpful law enforcement was and how tireless these men were and how they were willing to put themselves in the line of fire to help the citizens of Boston. On the very edges of this tragedy, we saw some of the best that we can offer as citizens.”

“There were so many citizens,” he goes on. “Whether they were trauma surgeons, workers at the local hospitals, paramedics, firefighters, citizens like Dun Meng, the young Chinese immigrant who was carjacked by the brothers and who used every bit of wit and intelligence that he had to stay alive. He planned and executed a stunning escape, and that took an enormous amount of courage, but he was able to tell the Police where they were and probably more so than anybody else can be given credit for stopping these guys.”

The one thing that Berg says he realised during this film was ‘love wins’. “Love wins,” he says smiling. “When you talk to these survivors, many of which have had amputations or have suffered brain injuries or have been permanently scarred by this event and you ask what is the takeaway? Is it possible to have the ability to contextualise this horrific experience and almost all of them said, love. Love wins! This experience as horrible as it has been has made me appreciate so much my family, my friends, my community. We got blind-sighted, we got knocked down, we got beat up but we came back, we came back together with love.”

Aside from the victims of the horrific events, Berg said he also wanted to pay tribute to those whose work took them into the line of fire. “Characters like Ed Davis who is the Police Commissioner, the head of the FBI, the Mayor – it was a small group of men. People always say ‘thank God it didn’t happen on my watch’, well it happened on their watch. To look at how these men kind of realised ‘well there is nobody else but us, we’ve got to stop this, and we’ve got to fix this, and we need to figure out who did it’. I think watching individuals perform under that kind of duress is quite compelling and that is something we worked hard to capture.

Joining Berg here as not only as a producer on the film but also as his leading man is Mark Wahlberg who plays dogged Police Officer Tommy Saunders who makes it his mission to track down the wanted men in the aftermath of the bombings.

“This movie is not about our own individual experiences as actors,” says Wahlberg. “It is up to us to not only get it right but to honour the victims as well as all the people who worked so tirelessly to offer aid – the EMT’s, the first responders, the Police, the FBI and also going and tracking these guys down to make sure they didn’t cause any more harm. Pete (Berg) cares, and he wants to tell the stories of these heroes, and he is committed to getting it right.”

Like Berg Wahlberg is also full of praise for how Boston pulled together as a community in the wake of the bombings. “When these bombs went off people didn’t run away they ran towards the victims,” he says. “They ran to those that were injured, and that says a lot about the people of the city. Individuals from all walks of life just coming up and stepping up. I mean there were women going out there and using their purse straps as tourniquets, and you are talking about huge acts of heroism that were like awe-inspiring on every level. For somebody to go out there and commit to serving their community or their country that is a big deal, that is a really big deal, and that needs to be recognised. Those heroes and anybody else that would put themselves out of their way and at risk or in harm’s way to help strangers. This was a marathon, we’re talking about mothers, fathers, children to cheer on their loved ones. It is a joyous occasion, you know people don’t expect something like this to happen, and the fact that people all rallied around the way they did was really incredible. Good will always overcome evil. People will continue to do bad things, but they will never dictate how we live our lives. We need to be able to go to a marathon, to a baseball game and we need to be able to go to the movies, and we need to be able to live normal lives, you know. We need to all come together and then good will always overcome evil.

 

Patriots Day is in cinemas now

Deepwater Horizon

Summary: A story set on the offshore drilling rig Deepwater Horizon, which exploded during April 2010 and created the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

Year: 2016

Australian Cinema Release Date: 6th October 2016

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Peter Berg

Screenwriter: Matthew Michael Carnahan, Matthew Sand

Cast: Joel Allen (Old Man Carl), Stella Allen (Sydney), Jonathan Angel (Gordon Jones), Peter Berg (Mr. Skip), Robert Walker Branchaud (Doug Brown), Anthony Centonze (Dan Barron/Roughneck #1), Joe Chrest (Sims), James DuMont (O’Bryan), J.D. Evermore (Dewey A. Revette), Henry Frost (Shane M. Roshto), Douglas M. Griffin (Landry), Garrett Hines (Wyman Wheeler), Michael Howell (Roy Wyatt Kemp), Kate Hudson (Felicia), Jason Kirkpatrick (Aaron Dale Burkeen), Garrett Kruithof (Karl Kleppinger Jnr.), Brad Leland (Kaluza), David Maldonado (Kuchta), John Malkovich (Vidrine), Terry Milam (Keith Blair Manuel), Dylan O’Brien (Caleb Holloway), Mayla Parker (Natlie (voice)), Jason Pine (Stephen Ray Curtis), Gina Rodriguez (Andrea Fleytas), Kurt Russell (Jimmy Harrell), Jeremy Sande (Adam Weise), Juston Street (Anthony Gervasio), Ethan Suplee (Jason Anderson), Deneen Tyler (Paula Walker), Mark Wahlberg (Mike Williams), Ronald Weaver (Donald Clark)

Runtime: 107 mins

Classification: M

OUR DEEPWATER HORIZON REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

David Griffiths:

Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights) has to be one of the most underrated film directors going around. Barring the ill-fated Battleship Berg has created always created films and television shows that felt as natural as can be. Lone Survivor made the audience feel that they were right there on the battlefield while many made the mistake of watching Friday Night Lights and thought they were watching a reality television show about a High School football team. Now Berg has taken that natural style of film-making and introduced it to the disaster film genre.

Deepwater Horizon tells the true story of electrician Mike Williams (Mark Wahlberg – Lone Survivor) who in 2010 left his wife, Felicia (Kate Hudson – Almost Famous), and once again went to work on the oil rig named ‘Deepwater Horizon’ in the Gulf Of Mexico. What he didn’t know was that on that fateful day due to poor work safety practices by BP an accident would occur that would cause the rig to erupt into flames. Suddenly Mike and his colleagues including his boss Mr. Jimmy (Kurt Russell – The Thing), radio operator Andrea Fleytas (Gina Rodriguez – Filly Brown), hard worker Caleb Holloway (Dylan O’BrienThe Maze Runner) and BP representative Vidrine (John Malkovich – Red 2) all find themselves fighting for their lives.

As a filmmaker Berg should be congratulated for his work with Deepwater Horizon. It was no secret that some of the survivors of the real Deepwater Horizon disaster were hesitant in wanting this film to be made, but they need not of worried. Berg certainly doesn’t ‘trivialize’ the memory of the men who died on that fateful day by making this a popcorn action film. Instead he makes this a character drama about not only the men who died on that day but also shows the world the valiant actions of people like Mike Williams whose brave acts saved many of the workers. To his credit Berg also doesn’t hide the facts of exactly what happened that day – no he points the finger firmly at BP without any hesitation even though he wouldn’t have known how the huge corporation would have reacted to it.

Many films these days claim to be suspenseful but few filmmakers have the skills to make the audience feel as part of the action and suspense as Berg does here. While with Lone Survivor the audience felt they were there on the side of the hill during the battle here Berg’s realistic style of directing makes the audience feel you are right there on the rig with Mike… you even at times feel like you can feel the heat of the flames against your skin.

Berg’s filmmaking is also well supported by his screen writers who don’t waste time making this film too scientific. The audience is given bite-sized pieces of information about what an oil rig does and what has gone wrong here but they never forget that at the heart of this film it is a character drama. So instead of focusing on the ins and outs of the rig they concentrate the suspense around a man trying to get home to his daughter and wife and a scared woman trying to survive in order to see her partner again. The fact that little things like a dinosaur tooth for show-and-tell and car problems back home are so seamlessly inserted into the script just go even further into humanizing this story. Having said that though it is also important to point out the Berg and his cinematographer, Enrique Chediak (The 5th Wave), also create some amazing action sequences as the rig burns against a night sky.

As a director Berg also brings the best out in his cast. Here Mark Wahlberg delivers the best of both worlds as he plays the action hero extremely well but also has the dramatic acting ability to pull off the character driven elements of the screenplay as well. Kurt Russell also benefits from one of the more meatier roles he has been given over the years and he is well matched by John Malkovich who is technically this film’s ‘bad guy.’ Despite her limited screen time Kate Hudson is also one of the standouts of the film.

Deepwater Horizon is proof that a modern day disaster film can actually find the right mix of action and character drama. Brilliant directing by Peter Berg makes this one of the must see films of 2016.

Stars(4)

 

 

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(4)

 

IMDB Rating:  Deepwater Horizon (2016) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Deepwater Horizon Reviews: Nil

Trailer:

Lone Survivor

Summary: Marcus Luttrell and his team set out on a mission to capture/kill al Qaeda leader Ahmad Shahd in late June 2005. The team are left to fight for their lives in one of the most valiant efforts of modern warfare.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 20th February, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Peter Berg

Screenwriter: Peter Berg, Marcus Luttrell (book), Patrick Robinson (book)

Cast: Yousuf Azami (Shah), Eric Bana (Erik Kristensen), Johnny Bautista (Lt. Edwards), Dan Bilzerian (Healy), Kurt Carlson (Captain Lovas), Paul Craig (‘EOD’ Paul),  Jerry Ferrara (Hasselert), Ben Foster (Matt ‘Axe’ Axelson), Daniel Fulcoly (Lt. Andrews), Michael P. Herrman (Wallace), Emile Hirsch (Danny Dietz), Joh Hocker (Hocker), Taylor Kitsch (Michael Murphy), Robert Loerke (Captain Jacoby), Alexander Ludwig (Shane Patton), Zabiullah Mirzai (Zabi), Henry Penzi (Penzi), Sammy Sheik (Taraq), Ali Suliman (Gulab), Rich Ting (James Suh), Mark Wahlberg (Marcus Luttrell)

Runtime: 121 mins

Classification:MA15+

OUR LONE SURVIVOR REVIEWS & RATINGS

Adam Ross: Stars(3)

Please check Adam’s Lone Survivor review of that is available on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #68

Greg King: Stars(3.5)

Please check Greg’s Lone Survivor review of that is available on www.filmreviews.net.au

David Griffiths:

War films are a dime-a-dozen… bad war films are even more common. It’s for that reason that is okay to be a little nervous when approaching Lone Survivor. Even the fact that it has a known actor like Mark Wahlberg in it doesn’t make necessarily a good film either… after all the man formerly known as Marky Mark has delivered some pretty bad turds over the years. Then there is the Peter Berg factor, yes Berg has shown over the years that he can create some masterpieces, just as he did with Friday Night Lights, but then he was also the man responsible for Battleship.

Luckily for movie fans out there Lone Survivor falls into the realm of good war films. So good in fact that it deserves to be mentioned alongside films such as The Hurt Locker and Black Hawk Down. Yes Peter Berg served his time with the studio and worked on Battleship and has now once again been allowed to show the world what a fine filmmaker he really is.

The film itself is based on actual events that happened to Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg) during a daring raid in Afghanistan to capture notorious Taliban leader Ahmed Shah (Yousuf Azami). Soon Luttrell’s group, which also contains Michael Murphy (Taylor Kitsch) and Matt Axelson (Ben Foster) find themselves deep under enemy fire after having to make a huge moral call. Worse still is the fact that they are cut off by their leader, Erik Kristensen (Eric Bana) as their communications have all gone down.

There is little doubt that this is film is made ten times better under the direction of Peter Berg. Just like he did with Friday Night Lights Berg makes Lone Survivor feel like you are watching a documentary. The dialogue was his script his natural and just because he has a big name like Eric Bana in a role doesn’t mean that Berg decides to give his A-lister any extra on screen.

Likewise Berg doesn’t hold back on the violence in this film. The film is set on the battlefield and it is obvious that Berg not only wants his audience to see that the men involved in this mission were not only heroes but he also wants people to realise just how tough it is for men and women on the front line. Not only does he show this with some very confronting war violence but also by some extremely intense scenes that show the moral decisions that soldiers have to make while going about their jobs.

In fact the highlight of Lone Survivor is the scene where Luttrell and co are faced with a very big ethical dilemma. Do they shoot dead some unarmed young Afghanis or do what the law says and let them go, knowing full well that the latter option is likely to bring even more repercussions for the soldiers. As the soldiers discuss what is best to do Berg heightens the tension to a level that most filmmakers can only dream about achieving.

Lone Survivor really isn’t a film about the actors in it, which is made obvious by the fact that an actor of the calibre of Eric Bana is in a pretty much ‘blink and you’ll miss him’ role while the likes of Ben Foster and Emile Hirsch are also in restricted roles. To his credit Mark Wahlberg delivers even when some of the scenes seem to be above his usual acting talent, while Taylor Kitsch again silences his critics with a worthy performance as well.

This is one film that is certainly a gripping, yet also very tough watch. The violence is unrelenting but Peter Berg does what he sets out to do and that is show the audience just how brave the men involved in this raid were. Lone Survivor is one of the finest war movies you will ever see.

Stars(4)

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(3.5)

IMDB Rating:  Lone Survivor (2013) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Lone Survivor′: Please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #68 for our full Lone Survivor review.

Trailer:

Twilight Breaking Dawn Feature Pic

The 2012 Golden Razzie Nominations are in… here they are:

Worst Picture
Battleship
The Oogieloves in Big Balloon Adventure
That’s My Boy
A Thousand Words
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2

Worst Director
Sean Anders – That’s My Boy
Peter Berg – Battleship
Bill Condon – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2
Tyler Perry – Good Deeds / Madea’s Witness Protection
John Putch – Atlas Shrugged: Part II

Worst Actress
Katherine Heigl – One for the Money
Milla Jovovich – Resident Evil: Retribution
Tyler Perry – Madea’s Witness Protection
Kristen Stewart – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 and Snow White and the Huntsman
Barbra Streisand – The Guilt Trip

Worst Actor
Nicolas Cage – Ghost Rider 2: Spirit of Vengeance / Seeking Justice
Eddie Murphy – A Thousand Words
Robert Pattinson – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2
Tyler Perry – Alex Cross / Good Deeds
Adam Sandler – That’s My Boy

Worst Supporting Actress
Jessica Biel – Playing For Keeps / Total Recall
Brooklyn Decker – Battleship / What to Expect When You’re Expecting
Ashley Greene – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2
Jennifer Lopez – What to Expect When You’re Expecting
Rihanna – Battleship

Worst Supporting Actor
David Hasselhoff – Piranha 3-DD
Taylor Lautner – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2
Liam Neeson – Battleship / Wrath of the Titans
Nick Swardson – That’s My Boy
Vanilla Ice – That’s My Boy

Worst Screen Ensemble
Battleship
The Oogieloves in Big Balloon Adventure
That’s My Boy
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2
Madea’s Witness Protection

Worst Screenplay
Atlas Shrugged Part II
Battleship
That’s My Boy
A Thousand Words
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2

Worst Remake, Rip-Off, or Sequel
Ghost Rider 2: Spirit of Vengeance
Piranha 3-DD
Red Dawn
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2
Madea’s Witness Protection

Worst Screen Couple
Any two cast members from Jersey Shore in The Three Stooges
Mackenzie Foy and Taylor Lautner in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2
Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2
Tyler Perry and his drag in Madea’s Witness Protection
Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg, Leighton Meester, or Susan Sarandon in That’s My Boy