Leading ladies Sandra Bullock and Rihanna were among those feted with top honours at the annual 2014 Guys Choice Awards. The ceremony, honouring all things men love, was filmed on Saturday (07Jun14) in Culver City, California, and aired in America on Wednesday (11Jun14) to reveal the full list of winners, which included some of Hollywood's standout women.
The first award of the night went to Rihanna for Most Desirable Woman, and during her acceptance speech she quipped, "Thank you for voting me for this at 26 (years old) because it all goes downhill from here."
Oscar winner Bullock was lauded with the biggest honour of the night with the Decade of Hotness award, and three of her former leading men, Matthew McConaughey, Hugh Grant, and Keanu Reeves, were on hand to present her with the trophy.
Accepting the prize, Bullock said, "I feel like I'm at my funeral. Decade of hotness? My question is, what decade? Because I have several under my belt.
"It really should be Decade of Hot Mess, that I can own. I do that well. And I'm still convinced because someone dropped out."
Bullock's A Time To Kill co-star McConaughey was voted the Guy of the Year, while Johnny Knoxville earned the Guycon - Guy Icon - prize, Kevin Hart won King of Comedy, and The Walking Dead's Norman Reedus was named the Biggest A** Kicker.
Other winners included Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Andy Samberg (Primetime), comedy duo Key & Peele (Hottest Couple), Blurred Lines video vixen Emily Ratajkowski (Our New Girlfriend), and Sports Illustrated swimsuit models Chrissy Teigen, Nina Agdal and Lily Aldridge (Holy Grail of Hot).
Mark Wahlberg earned two prizes, with the Brotherly Love trophy along with siblings Donnie and Paul Wahlberg, and the Troops Choice, which was voted by members of the U.S. military, honouring him and Lone Survivor author Marcus Luttrell.
Stars including Aaron Paul, Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel, Kit Harrington, and Jessica Alba turned out to the ceremony, where golden antler statues were handed out to the winners.
Actor Mark Wahlberg signed up for a role in war movie Lone Survivor to boost his career but the movie is so emotional he cries whenever he watches it. The 2013 drama stars Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch and Emile Hirsch, and chronicles the real-life story of a soldier stranded behind enemy lines in Afghanistan.
Wahlberg originally took on the role for career reasons but studying for the part affected him.
He tells the Sydney Daily Telegraph,"To be honest, when I decided to do Lone Survivor it was because I thought it'd be a really showy role for me. Playing this Navy SEAL guy from the Operation Red Wing mission would be a good career move, but from the first second of being on set, all that went out the window. I realised that doing this movie wasn't about me any more.
"Lone Survivor is about true acts of heroism, and I have to admit, it's never happened to me where each time I've watched the movie, I've just sat there at the end crying like a baby. Playing Marcus Luttrell has made me a better person, a better husband, a better father."
Universal via Everett Collection
Lone Survivor isn't a film for the faint of heart. It's a film that beats you down and only lets you up for a few precious moments before the credits roll, but that emotional throttling is what helps make the film such a powerful experience.
Peter Berg's Lone Survivor tells the story of Operation Red Wings, primarily focusing on a group of four Navy SEALs who are sent to the mountains of Afganistan to capture or kill a member of the Taliban. The plan goes wrong, and the team has to fight for their lives to escape the enemy-infested area. The film does a marvelous job of ratcheting up the tension before collapsing into its main action sequence, one that is as thrilling as it is unsettling. The long sequence brings forth memories of the infamous D-Day opening of Saving Private Ryan, except this film's fire-fight stretches out the violence like a medieval torture device. The langourous scene is, at times, hard to sit through. Each moment slips by in coiled tension. It's undoubtedly uncomfortable, and the film makes a point to never make the violence fun or enticing. The action isn't consequence-free, and every bullet fired carries weight, making the scenes brutal and unrelenting because of it. The film takes on the aura of a horror movie that wants you to feel every second that ticks by, and director Berg makes sure that a pressing hopelessness starts to weigh on the viewer just as it does on the soldiers.
Mark Wahlberg is plenty capable as Marcus Lutrell, a member of the SEAL unit that is sent on the mission. The supporting cast plays its parts admirably by believably infusing a diverse set of personalities and values into the soldiers, while still keeping them in tune with the same military culture that governs much of their thoughts and actions. There's a great scene where a difficult decision has to be made, and the viewer gets to see the different directions to which some of the character's moral compasses are tuned. Sometimes the right thing can mean different things to different people when the risk of death is on the table. The real standout in the cast is Ben Foster, whose SO2 Matthew Alexson swirls with barely contained fury. He is darkly intense and has electric screen presence that really starts to manifest when the bullets star flying and things become dire.
Universal via Everett Collection
For all the good will that the film builds up in its first and second act, the final third of the film hits some snags as history demands that the story take itself to a different location, sacrificing some of the tension that it has built up. In the last 30 minutes of the film, there are some odd tonal choices that don't gel with the tension brimming in the first half. A comedic scene involving a language barrier stands out in particular.
The movie makes a point to steer clear of any political judgment, and it doesn't try to lay blame for the botched mission on any one head. And while the film never outwardly states and opinion on the conflicts that America found itself embroiled in during this time period, the searing brutality depicted in the movie highlight that no one should be subjected to the pain that these men were faced with. Made abundantly clear is the soldiers' willingness to drop everything and serve their country the best way they know how. Lone Survivor tries to honor the soldier, but not glorify war.
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Lone Survivor is at its best when it makes you feel the worst. It gives soldiers their due reverence by showcasing the true terror of the battlefield, and while the film does start to sag a bit in its third act, it's still more than worth the experience in order understand the consequences of war, and its toll on the people in the trenches.
Mark Wahlberg refused to read the book which inspired his new U.S. Navy Seal action drama Lone Survivor, because he did not want to second guess what information writer/director Peter Berg had decided to leave out of the film adaptation. The Fighter star portrays real-life war hero Marcus Luttrell in the movie, which documents the failed 2005 Operation Red Wings mission to capture Taliban leader Ahmad Shahd, but he decided against checking out the combat survivor's own account of events in favour of just spending time with the special operations soldier.
He says, "I don't read the books before I make the movies. I've been in situations many times where you've adapted a piece of material and you always feel like something's been left out. I thought Pete did a great job of writing the screenplay. I was completely immersed in the world and felt it.
"I didn't want to then go back and read the book and start complaining about why this wasn't in there or what isn't there. You could debate that for hours."
Wahlberg insists having Luttrell on hand for advice throughout filming proved to be an invaluable source of inspiration: "For me, I was fortunate to meet the guy I was playing - spending time with him, having him throughout the entire process and helping me with anything I needed. He's a very special individual. To see the kind of man he is - I'm certainly inspired to be a better man."
When Peter Berg and Marcus Luttrell sat down in front of the press to talk about Lone Survivor, it was immediately clear that these two men couldn't be any more different from one another. One was an acclaimed director of several successful Hollywood films, while the other was a war veteran and the survivor of a horrific tragedy. But there was a clear understanding between the two. And it is this very understanding, specifically of Luttrell's experience at war, that Peter Berg sought to pass on in his latest film.
Lone Survivor, starring Mark Wahlberg, Emile Hirsch, and Taylor Kitsch, primarily tells the true story of Luttrell and his three brothers in arms. The men are sent on a mission that quickly goes south, and the four of them are slowly hunted down by the Taliban on the rocky cliffs of Afghanistan. But surprisingly enough, Peter Berg isn’t interested in the political and moral motives that sent those men up that mountain that day. Instead, his main goal is to impart understanding to the viewer of what Luttrell and the others went through in those trying hours. To convey, through film, the understanding that he's gained from Luttrell in making this movie. Berg want to inform viewers that they'll never truly know, never really feel or experience what it was to be Marcus Luttrell on that day, but for the next two hours, they'll, at the very least, understand.
This idea of gaining an appreciation for the sacrifice of the men behind the story of Lone Survivor was something on Berg's mind from the very beginning, and the filmmaker spent a great deal of time immersing himself in the culture of Navy SEALs before filmming. According to Berg, "Marcus made sure that I understood as much as I could, not by talking but literally by spending the time to be with those communities to understand, not just how they hold their guns, and how they put their equipment on, but how they talk about each other, and how they feel about each other, and he wanted me to get as comprehensive of an understanding of what that culture is." But understanding what it's like to be a Navy SEAL isn't for the faint of heart, and Berg wasn't given any special treatment when he signed on for the film. Berg says, "Next thing I know, I’m in a military plane with three marines sleeping on top of me, flying for 18 hours with an outhouse on board as a bathroom. Thank you, Marcus, for that." Clearly, Berg had to earn the right to make this film.
And there is certainly a sense that Berg and the rest of the crew had to work for their stripes when shooting this film. The crew treated this project like something bigger and more sacrosanct than just another job. They regarded it as a privilege and a duty to serve the soldiers that have risked life and limb to serve them. The stuntmen especially felt the pressure to give their jobs their all, especially during the film's gruesome cliff jumping scene. Berg says, "Because Marcus and other SEALs were there, these stuntmen wanted to push a little harder than they might normally. Often times, a lot of my job ended up being to calm people down because everybody wanted to get it right, and those stunts were done without any dummies, without any wire work. Those were human beings literally throwing themselves off of cliffs, and you know, some guys got hurt and some guys got bumped up, and a rib was broken, and a lung was punctured, some concussions, but these guys were determined to try and do everything they could to capture what Marcus described in the book."
Even the actors themselves wanted in on the action. Berg goes on to say, "The actors would try and sneak in... I’d get a call that Ben Foster snuck in there and he’s trying to jump. We'd have to run over there and tell Ben 'no.' And then Marcus is of course going, 'Go on, Ben, do it, do it.' Everybody wanted to do it right. We knew we could never be Navy SEALs, we don’t have that ability, that’s not who we are, That’s who [Marcus] is, but we do have the ability to imitate and try and mimic, and that’s what we tried to do." According to Berg, this strive toward authenticity is something that informs every frame of Lone Survivor.
But foremost, Berg doesn't want to proselytize or preach with this film. When asked about any message that he hopes to express, he says, "I never really go into a film and say 'Okay, here’s the grand thesis, here’s my goal.'" He wants to show, as purely as he can, what Luttrell and his fallen friends have sacrificed, and maybe give them a chance to show their gratitude "One thing that I think Lone Survivor does, and certainly its book did is give the audience a chance, in its own way, to acknowledge what these guys are doing and pay respect. To give people the opportunity to say, 'Wow, thank you and I understand a little bit about what you may have gone through.'"
Filmmaker Peter Berg became the first civilian to join an active Navy Seal unit while he was preparing to shoot the film adaptation of Marcus Luttrell's book Lone Survivor. Luttrell gave Berg the rights after turning down several directors and then went out of his way to make sure the moviemaker knew exactly what it meant to be a Seal.
He tells WENN, "For me research was everything. The Navy Seals are not shy and if you get it wrong they will not hesitate to tell you, particularly when you're portraying their brothers who are dead.
"It took a long time to make this film because I needed to have as good an understanding of what their world was before I felt confident enough to go on the set. When Marcus told me he was gonna let me do his film, it was a great honour. He made it very clear that I would understand who he was and who these men were.
"Marcus arranged for me to meet all the families of the soldiers who were killed. He arranged for me to spend a lot of time with the Navy Seal community. I got to go to some pretty classified facilities where Seals were training. He arranged for me to get an embed with a Seal platoon in Iraq. I was the first civilian to ever embed with an active Seal team.
"The next thing I know I'm in a military plane with three Marines sleeping on top of me, flying for 18 hours, with an outhouse on board as the bathroom! Thank you Marcus for that plane ticket."
Marcus Luttrell, the former U.S. Navy SEAL whose heroics inspired Mark Wahlberg's new movie Lone Survivor, has heaped praise on one of the film's stars, insisting he has what it takes to become a real-life war hero. Wahlberg portrays Luttrell in the film, based on his book about the failed 2005 Operation Red Wings mission to capture Taliban leader Ahmad Shahd, but it wasn't The Fighter star who impressed the real-life combat survivor the most - it was actor Ben Foster.
Luttrell tells WENN that the 3:10 to Yuma star's dedication and intensity really left a mark on him.
He explains, "(Director) Peter (Berg) picked Mark Wahlberg to play me and I didn't have a problem with that because when it came down to it, he's the professional at what he does. It's like telling a heart surgeon how to work on your heart.
"But Ben Foster was the guy that I really gravitated towards. He's probably one of the best actors in Hollywood and nothing against Taylor (Kitsch) and Emile (Hirsch); I love those guys like brothers for what they did, but there's something about Foster and his portrayal of Matt Axelson; that's him when you see him on the screen. He's just like Ben Foster, real quiet but when he threw his kit on and grabbed a rifle he was the most lethal man you've ever met.
"Ben, with all his talent, had attention to detail which really does mean something in the SEALs. He captured that and was always asking those questions. When we got done filming, if we got into a scrape and something went down, I could throw Ben a rifle and he'd go to work.
"When we put a live weapon in his hand, shooting at a target at 25 metres and I challenged him to hit it at 700 metres... When we got done he was shooting targets at 800 metres."
And Wahlberg admits he had to fight to get Foster in the film, giving up part of his salary so Berg could hire the actor to portray the heroic Navy SEAL who died in combat.
He tells Entertainment Weekly magazine, "I was with the Axelson family and I said, 'If you think people know who your son is now, just wait. Ben Foster just brought your boy back to life'."
Mark Wahlberg has blasted pampered actors who compare shooting war films to fighting in real combat zones, insisting they have no idea how difficult life in the armed forces really is. The actor is on the promotional trail for his new film Lone Survivor, the big screen adaptation of soldier Marcus Luttrell's account of his Navy SEALs mission in Afghanistan in 2005.
Wahlberg plays Luttrell, while Taylor Kitsch, Eric Bana, Emile Hirsch and Ben Foster play his comrades, but The Fighter star is adamant their experiences on set were nothing compared to the reality of being at war.
Speaking at the AFI Fest film festival in Los Angeles on Tuesday (12Oct13), he said, "For actors to sit there and talk about 'Oh, I went to SEAL training'? I don't give a f**k what you did. You don't do what these guys did. For somebody to sit there and say my job was as difficult as being in the military? How f**king dare you, while you sit in a make-up chair for two hours.
"I don't give a s**t if you get your a** busted. You get to go home at the end of the day. You get to go to your hotel room. You get to order your f**king chicken. Whatever the f**k it is... I've done the movies where I talk about...'God, I trained for four and a half years and I was The Fighter' and f**k all that. It really means nothing. I love Marcus (Luttrell) for what he's done and I'm a very lucky guy to do what I do and I'm proud to have been part of it, but it's just so much bigger than what I do."
Wahlberg later apologised for his rant, adding, "I'm sorry for losing my s**t."
With his nautical Transformers knockoff Battleship in the can and ready to hit theaters in May, director Peter Berg is busy lining up the pieces for his next project, Lone Survivor. Based on the memoir from Marcus Luttrell, Lone Survivor chronicles the harrowing true tale of a team of Navy SEALs who were ambushed by Taliban fighters while on a covert mission in Afghanistan's Hindu Kush in 2005.
Deadline.com reports that the project is ready to move forward with funding from Emmett/Furla Films, and that Berg is eyeing some pretty big names to star. Mark Wahlberg, Ben Foster, and Battleship star Taylor Kitsch are said to be in negotiations to play three of the film's four main characters, with Wahlberg up for the lead role of Luttrell.
Recent box-office results suggest audience interest in Lone Survivor could be significant. Relativity Media's action-thriller Act of Valor, featuring real-life Navy SEALs playing themselves, earned $24.5 million last weekend, according to Hollywood.com box-office guru Paul Dergarabedian, beating out all other new releases by a wide margin.
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Check out the trailer for Battleship below:
Nearly every American film in recent years that was even remotely related to the war in the Middle East has failed, from Stop/Loss to In the Valley of Elah to Lions For Lambs and countless other titles in between. But the death of Osama Bin Laden has renewed interest in telling stories about our country's controversial campaign overseas, and just like that a handful of topical projects have become high-priorities in Hollywood. Chief amongst them is Kathryn Bigelow's buzzworthy film about the Navy SEAL team that took the high-ranking terrorist out, but director Peter Berg also has one in development based on a book called Lone Survivor, and Universal Pictures is on board.
Deadline reports that the film, which is based on Marcus Luttrell's novel that tells the story of how he and his Navy SEAL team members fought to stay alive after being ambushed in Afghanistan in 2005 by Taliban forces during a covert mission in the Hindu Kush mountain region, is now a hot property for the studio, though it's been a long time coming. Universal had originally made a deal with Berg to make the movie over two years ago, but there was a catch: he'd have to helm a major tent pole first. That big-budget project was Battleship, which began shooting in late August 2010 for a May 18th 2012 release. Now that that film is moving steadily along through its production schedule (it's currently in post-production and should make a stop at Comic-Con in July), Berg is ready to lay the groundwork for Love Survivor. He's even bringing his Battleship lead Taylor Kitsch along for the ride; the rising star is his top choice to play Lutrell (and also just trained with SEAL's for another new film, Oliver Stone's Savages).
"Bin Laden's death has cleared the way for this," said Berg, "a movie that will be an unapologetically patriotic film that honors and pays homage to an incredible group of badass guys who do this." He went on to compare the picture to Black Hawk Down in tone, though Lone Survivor will center on a quartet of soldiers rather than a whole squad. The filmmaker is incredibly passionate about the story, so much so that he spent a month in Afghanistan with a SEAL team so that he could accurately dramatize their heroic efforts. That kind of enthusiasm usually leads to a well-made, authentic film, so I'm all for Lone Survivor, even if the narrative will seem somewhat similar to Ridley Scott's action-packed 2001 film.
I equate this rush to produce Middle East war movies to the flux of WWII films from the late '40s and '50s. After the USA emerged victorious from the bloody battles in Europe and Asia, there was a surge in production on these types of films because national morale was so high. Every American wanted to see their heroic marines blast fascists to high hell on the big screen once the, ahem, mission was accomplished. Maybe the reason that audiences haven't yet taken to films about the current conflict overseas is because there hasn't been anything to celebrate. Now that there is, it's possible that could see war movie renaissance in Tinsel Town.