Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while grappling meaningfully with some very big topics. Set in present-day America, it's a story for today's social climate, but it feels like a classic Western in the way a pair of desperado bank robbers are pursued by a sly detective. It's also beautifully directed and skilfully acted to pull the audience all the way in.
In rural Texas, Tanner (Ben Foster) has just been released from prison when he agrees to help his brother Toby (Chris Pine) stage a series of small bank robberies to earn enough cash to guarantee a future for Toby's sons. Their mother has only recently died, and both are feeling a sense of pointlessness about life, willing to risk everything for a shot at something. But while Toby plans the heists carefully, Tanner is a hothead who continually attracts attention. Sure enough, Ranger Marcus (Jeff Bridges) catches their scent, working with his loyal but sarcastic partner Alberto (Gil Birmingham) to try to get one step ahead of the crimes. And since he's not looking forward to his impending retirement, Marcus is in no hurry.
Thankfully, director David Mackenzie (Starred Up) is in no hurry either, steadily building the suspense with each step in the story, keeping the focus tightly on the characters. This means that several scenes are breathlessly intense. There are so many intriguing things going on here that the film nearly bursts with resonance, from the old-versus-new world themes to the economic reality that has put Toby in this mess to begin with, and the corporate greed that's offering him a way out. Pine and Foster are perfectly cast in these roles, and both deliver layered performances that suggest at a more complex back-story than the one we learn. Opposite them, Bridges is the picture of calm, a terrific role that he seems to glide through effortlessly. But this is a carefully gauged performance that nails the tricky balance between tenacity, intelligence and grit.
Continue reading: Hell Or High Water Review
Mark Wahlberg is ready to take on the role of Steve Austin - probably after the comedy 'Daddy's Home' and the 'Blackwater Horizon' movie.
Mark Wahlberg is teaming up with Lone Survivor director Peter Berg for a feature-length version of the 1970s TV series The Six Million Dollar Man - inflated to The Six BILLION Dollar Man for a modern audience.
Wahlberg will play Steve Austin, former astronaut who, after a horrific plane crash, is saved by doctors and fitted with bionic replacements for both legs, his right arm and left eye. Austin suddenly becomes a force to be reckoned with and begins work as a secret agent for the Office of Scientific Intelligence.
'The Leftovers' could be the next big thing.
Fans of Game of Thrones who bothered to pay attention to the ads before last night's season premiere were treated to a preview for HBO's new show The Leftovers, which looked pretty awesome. The handy work of Lost's Damon Lindelof, the forthcoming drama series is based on the bestselling 2011 novel by Tom Perrotta.
Justin Theroux Stars in 'The Leftovers'
It stars Justin Theroux as police chief Kevin Garvey who attempts to maintain calm in the wake of a global Rapture that causes two per cent of the world's population to suddenly disappear. The show focuses on the members of Garvey's suburban community, who are left confused, angry and traumatised by the disappearance of their loved ones.
Continue reading: Is HBO's 'The Leftovers' The New Breaking Bad, True Detective, Etc?`
The Afghanistan-based war drama starring Mark Wahlberg has impressed some, but it might not have made the mark for widespread success
Lone Survivor is director Peter Berg's attempt at turning former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell's harrowing tale of survival inside enemy territory into a major motion picture, one that initially looked as though it had a very serious claim for Oscar recognition come March. With the film due for a wide release at the end of January, there were hopes that the new Hurt Locker or Argo had arrived, but in the first round of reviews critics have't been left as blown away as initially hoped.
Starring Mark Wahlberg alongside Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch and Ben Foster, the film recalls the botched 2005 covert mission to neutralised an area in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan that had fallen under the rule of a high-ranking Taliban official. Adapted from the real, best-selling account from Luttrell, played by Wahlberg in the film, the film has so far split movie critics between loving and loathing the it and ultimately its once clear-looking chances of potential Oscar recognition are looking less and less likely.
The title kind of gives away the ending of this harrowing true story, which is worth a look despite its tendency to exaggerate the heroics. But it's also an unusually well-made military thriller that throws us right into the middle of the chaos with visceral filmmaking. And it's impossible to miss the point that these men rely on each other every moment of every day: they certainly can't survive alone.
The events take place in 2005 Afghanistan, where a Navy Seal team is sent into the mountains to find a feared Taliban leader (Azami). These men are like brothers, with Marcus (Wahlberg) leading Mike, Matt and Danny (Kitsch, Foster and Hirsch), under the command of Erik (Bana) back at the base. As they head out on their mission, everything goes to plan until they run into a group of innocent goatherds. Letting them go will compromise their mission, but it's clearly the right thing to do. And this decision sparks an escalating situation that seems increasingly hopeless.
From the very start, we know these Seals aren't normal soldiers: they undergo especially gruelling training and then bond tightly as colleagues, relying on their ruggedness, tenacity and camaraderie. Which of course allows writer-director Berg to portray them as superheroes. This is a problem, because it reduces the Afghans to faceless, murderous villains, at least until the much more complex final act in which an entire village risks its life to save an injured American soldier. And this strikingly moving sequence is the one we remember much more than the chest-pounding patriotism.
Continue reading: Lone Survivor Review
The actor went off on one about actors who compare their jobs to working in the armed forces...
Mark Wahlberg appeared at the AFI Festival in Los Angeles on Tuesday (12 Nov.) night, where his latest film, Lone Survivor, was given its festival premiere. An adaptation of Petty Officer Marcus Luttrell’s account of his July 2005 Navy SEALS mission in Afghanistan, director Peter Berg has created a harrowing and very real account of life on the front line, but as Wahlberg was keen to point out during his post-screening Q&A with Berg and Luttrell, it was in no way comparable to actually being out in the line of duty.
Wahlberg with co-stars Taylor Kitsch, Ben Foster and Emile Hirsch
Looking distracted for most of the Q&A session, allowing Berg and Luttrell to do most of the talking, he was put on the spot when Festival Director Jacqueline Lyanga asked him what the rigorous filming schedule was like. Wahlberg's response was a nearly five-minute rant in which the actor slammed any other thespians who complain about the difficulties they face in their job, and he was especially angry at those who say acting is more difficult than serving your country. His rant, although not directed at anyone whilst he was giving it, has cause a stir as people have put two and two together and gotten Tom Cruise.
'Lone Survivor' has thrown its hat into the ring for the Oscars 2013.
While all the talk so far has centered on 12 Years a Slave, Gravity and Captain Phillips, a new and very serious contender for Best Picture at the Oscars has emerged in the form of Peter Berg's Lone Survivor. Based on the war memoir by ex-Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, the movie starring Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch and Emile Hirsch is an intense visualization of a botched SEALs raid in Afghanistan.
Mark Wahlberg as Marcus Luttrell and his team in Peter Berg's 'Lone Survivor'
Berg reportedly underwent SEALs initiation in preparation for the film and - according to the Hollywood Reporter's review- the rigorous training on display is "infectious" early in the film. These guys are the most physically fit, best armed guys in the army with ultra-survival skills. They do let each other down.
Continue reading: Wait, Could 'Lone Survivor' Win Best Picture At The Oscars?
Walhberg's latest epic looks exactly that... epic
Based on Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10, the book by Marcus Luttrell, Lone Survivor sees Mark Wahlberg (Lutrell), Taylor Kitsch, Eric Bana, Emile Hirsch and Ben Foster go after a wanted Taliban leader.
The mission is plunged into hot water when an unsuspecting child gets caught in the middle. The group are faced with a dilemma: kill the unarmed kid, who appears to be transporting livestock across the arid land, or let him go and risk him being an informant, essentially placing them – a four man squad – at the mercy of two hundred men.
Like many trailers, this one gives away a fair chunk of the plot; for instance, the kid is a little spy, and he does indeed draw attention to the presence and whereabouts of our understaffed US Navy Seal squad. In turn, they are involved in what becomes an escape mission, outnumbered and outgunned.
Continue reading: Mark Wahlberg Is 'The Lone Survivor' In Peter Berg's New Film [Trailer]
Marcus Luttrell is a member of Navy SEAL Team 10 during a military mission dubbed Operation Red Wings. He and three other SEALs, team leader Lieutenant Mike Murphy, Petty Officer Danny Dietz and Petty Officer Matt Axelson, are charged with reconnaissance and surveillance of brutal Senior Taliban Commander Ahmad Shah and his group of men in the operation which plans to capture or kill him following his killing around 20 marines in the previous weeks. However, it soon becomes obvious that the mission is compromised when Shah's 'small' group of men appears to be more of an army and, when the SEALs attempted to launch a surprise attack on a small group in a nearby woodland, they are forced to liberate them when they realise they are civilians in spite of the obvious danger. When the SEALs find themselves ambushed, they are forced to do everything in their power to protect one another.
'Lone Survivor' is a new war drama based on a true story documented in the book 'Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10' by the real Marcus Luttrell. It has been directed and written by Peter Berg ('Hancock', 'The Kingdom', 'Battleship') and is set for UK release on February 21st 2014.
It's that time of year again! The nominations for this year's Razzies have been announced, with Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 - which made a ridiculous $814 million at the box office - leading the way with 11 nominations, including Worst Film and Worst Sequel. A spoof of the Academy Awards, this year's Razzies' picks arrived just one day before Thursday's Oscar nominations. So which directors, actors and actresses will have let out a giant, "NOOOOOOOOOOOO" when catching wind of the infamous nominations today? And perhaps more importantly, who should win (or lose). Which movies and performances really were the worst of the worst? Here goes.
Continue reading: Razzies Nominations: So, Who Made The Worst Movie Of The Year?
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