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LONE SURVIVOR Post-Release Thread
#36

There's a preview/behind the scenes clip for this online that has the parents of the fallen soldiers each talking about the film and the ways it honors their children. One mother said that it was nice to get to spend a little bit more time with her son.



I get the grief, I get the mourning, I get the tragedy over this totally botched, fucked-up mission. It's awful. Axelson, Dietz, and Murphy all died terrible deaths that I would not wish upon anyone. But that's it. They didn't die heroically. They didn't die doing anything especially brave, apart from fighting to protect each other. They just fucking died, and in brutal, ignominious ways. And that's sad. But I don't think it begets upwards of 2 hours of fetishizing the pain they endured and the horror they had to contend with out in the field before losing their lives in the name of a failed operation.



While I have complicated feelings toward America's military, I respect them enough to look at Lone Survivor and bristle at how little it gives a shit about their sacrifices and the danger they committed themselves to face down every single day. This is not how we honor our soldiers. Fuck you, Berg.

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#37
Quote:

Originally Posted by Merriweather View Post
 

But there's a gulf between, say, THE LONGEST DAY, and making a rah-rah pro-military politics-free war film about the shit that's happened in the last ten years. It speaks volumes about how America has shifted over the last few decades that such naked, immediate propaganda is tolerated and even lauded in the face of all that we know about the conflicts of the last ten years. Can you imagine a major studio churning out a big-budget heroic actioner about the true courage of a bunch of US soldiers shooting their way through a Vietnamese village, and releasing it in 1978?



That's 9/11 for you, I guess. The American psyche is probably never going to recover.



And having just re-read Devin's review, there is nothing, NOTHING in there to make a comparison with the Right's response to the criticism of the film. He points out uncomfortable truths, and makes some damn good points about the types of heroism that films like LONE SURVIVOR chooses to underplay.



It's tougher to debate these points with someone who hasn't seen the film.  Devin has, in what I've seen linked of his, in no way been fair in his assessment of this film.  He was calling it horrible before he even saw a screening; he compared it to The Green Berets.  But the analogy doesn't hold.  This isn't about a band of guys who merrily gun their way through Afghanistan.  They make a choice not to kill someone, and then they are hunted down and killed.  Were they heroic? Can a painful, bloody death in pursuit of a larger, futile cause be heroic? That's a larger question.  One thing, unfortunately, the movie-going public has, I think, become accustomed to pretty clear, black and white depictions of heroism onscreen.



And as for the over the top reaction to criticism of the film, yes, there has been that and it has been ugly and in some cases unconscionable.  But when you have a film that pretty evenly - and yeah, it is pretty fair - depicts the life of servicemen overseas, and it winds up being labelled 'war-porn' or other facile terms, you should remember that there are millions of military families out there that may take issue.  Yeah, they should be more upset with TPTB.  But overall tit's a shame the discussion on both sides hasn't been more mature.



And as Berg said himself, for those who do feel strongly about what's happened in Iraq or Afghanistan over the past ten years and want the troops home, and even hate Lone Survivor - they are hopefully doing something about it.  And not just posting stuff online, because that accomplishes pretty much zero. 

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#38

What do you think is unfair about his actual published review of the film? I'm genuinely curious.



As for the military families being upset...well, again, see my comments about using the last ten years of horrors as propagandized entertainment. Those on the Left criticizing the movie and the policies that led to the events depicted in it aren't the ones who put their loved ones in the morgue, and they aren't the ones using their deaths to gloss over the sins of America abroad.

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#39

This whole thing is giving me a headache.  That Glenn Beck and National Review (among others, I assume) are attacking these critics in order to manufacture a story is really low.



They're engaging with the critics as if they're critiquing reality, rather than the film.  (I mean, it's beyond insulting to the soldiers to act as if the film is 100% the truth, to say nothing of the Afghans caught in the middle, but whatever.)  For example, when Amy Nicholson says "As the film portrays them, their attitudes... were simple: Brown people bad, American people good. " she is not saying the SEALs themselves are racist.  She's saying the film is quite possibly distorting reality by oversimplifying the truth in the name of drama.  But people like Beck would have us believe she's attacking the character of the military.  Disgusting.

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#40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freeman View Post
 

You go through what he did and lets see if you're not a little bias.  I'd be pissed I didn't kill the goat herders too if I had to go through that.



"A little biased"?



If I served and came out sounding like an uninformed dick defending torture, I hope I'd be called out for it by others.

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#41

Actually, I'm pretty sure Luttrell felt that way before Operation Red Wing.  A guy who grew up in West Texas, probably wouldn't happen any other way.



And Bailey makes good points - but they apply to critics on both sides.  People seem bring a tremendous amount of baggage to this film, and what could be an opportunity for debate or discussion devolves into acrimony.

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#42

Again, what was so offensive and unfair about Devin's review that I linked to? Or Nicholson's, for that matter? This seems to be yet another case of claiming "both sides are doing it!" when one is challenging the material being presented and the other is hurling personal insults and bile.

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#43
Quote:

Originally Posted by Subotai View Post
 

Actually, I'm pretty sure Luttrell felt that way before Operation Red Wing.  A guy who grew up in West Texas, probably wouldn't happen any other way.



And Bailey makes good points - but they apply to critics on both sides.  People seem bring a tremendous amount of baggage to this film, and what could be an opportunity for debate or discussion devolves into acrimony. 


Ha, indeed. So what did you think of Merriweather's question?



Quote:

 What do you think is unfair about his actual published review of the film? I'm genuinely curious.
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#44

Well, I found, and a good many mainstream reviewers have found, the film is surprisingly objective and non-partisan.  Glenn Beck and his ilk have used it as a rallying point and that's unfortunate.  But when Devin says this is a recruiting film, young men will walk out of the theatre and head to their closest recruiting post, that's a little silly.  There is a middle ground.  I've seen the film twice, and at the end no one seemed to be turned on or more likely to join the military.  There was actually a dead silence in the air, a sense of gravity, like after Bruce McGill's outburst in The Insider.  In fact, I teach two classes of 17-18 year olds, and I asked them if the heavily-torrented film made them want to become a soldier, join a gun club, see how long they could hold their breath underwater, etc.  Not one - not one - replied in the affirmative (although a couple did say the movie was 'awesome').    



But Lone Survivor is not Passion where every wound happens in excruciating slo-mo or is lingered over.  Most of the wounds suffered on both sides happen so quickly you don't even realize they've been mortally wounded until, in the SEALs' case, they have time to stop and take a breath.  The reason the SEALs kill with one or two shots is they are better shots.  There are a couple of instances, like when Kitsch is killed, that are played out a little longer, and this is to the film's detriment.  Again, the final rescue scene is a creation.  But for the most part these scenes go down the way they appear to have gone down, based on Luttrell's accounts, the Taliban videos, and the autopsies.  Devin notes that the SEALs are exceptionally well-trained, but he didn't seem to get that Berg attempted, and I think succeeded, to show that the less-trained but field-tested Taliban are almost equally impressive fighters on their own ground, and this whole fiasco, when viewed objectively, was a wake-up call to the military about the chances of long-term success for Operation Enduring Freedom.  If Berg doesn't spend as much time focusing on the deaths of the Taliban, well, they aren't the ones fighting for their lives.  They're the ones on the hunt; it's Wahlberg and Co. trying to escape alive.  But Berg doesn't dehumanize them, and he deserves credit for that.  Even when the Taliban loot the dying Hirsch, they aren't disrespectful (although I did laugh at the look the one Taliban give Hirsch when inspecting his paint charts).   



The film is compared to BHD and SPR, particularly in terms of action - but SPR, while very entertaining, has a completely contrived story which even in its final harrowing battle is pretty laughable in retrospect.  And never is brought up the fact that BHD's well-orchestrated, much-praised battle scenes ignored the fact that the task force in Mogadishu mowed down dozens of unarmed civilians that day.  Mark Bowden brings up the point in the book, but in none of the many reviews which compare Lone Survivor to BHD do they mention the fact that Scott decided to excise the shooting of unarmed women and children.  Maybe he hasn't read the book, I don't know. 



Some of the many criticisms Devin and others made elsewhere didn't make it into his review - like the repeated claim of the exaggerated number of enemy the SEALs fought.  That wasn't in the film. Berg wisely trimmed it down (from what I've read, the hundred or so Luttrell claimed they fought was on the high side, and the 10-15 claimed by others is low).  But Berg always wears his emotions on his sleeve, and that may make it difficult to view the film objectively.  His objective was to drop the audience into these guys' lives for the final few days, and I think he succeeded.



 



I doubt :

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#45

Devin and I share an affection for John Carter, though.

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#46

As all right-thinking people should.

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#47
Quote:

Originally Posted by Subotai View Post
 

Well, I found, and a good many mainstream reviewers have found, the film is surprisingly objective and non-partisan.  Glenn Beck and his ilk have used it as a rallying point and that's unfortunate.  But when Devin says this is a recruiting film, young men will walk out of the theatre and head to their closest recruiting post, that's a little silly.  There is a middle ground.  I've seen the film twice, and at the end no one seemed to be turned on or more likely to join the military.  There was actually a dead silence in the air, a sense of gravity, like after Bruce McGill's outburst in The Insider.  In fact, I teach two classes of 17-18 year olds, and I asked them if the heavily-torrented film made them want to become a soldier, join a gun club, see how long they could hold their breath underwater, etc.  Not one - not one - replied in the affirmative (although a couple did say the movie was 'awesome').    


I do agree with this. During the film, as I was watching these soldiers struggle to survive and hurl themselves down a mountain armed only with faulty equipment, I primarily thought "Yep, war sucks, war is madness, and I don't ever want to experience it."



I feel that the criticism of this movie and Wolf of Wall Street are coming from a similar place, which is "what if people see this film and are inspired by that behavior," and in both instances I think a person would still be that way regardless of what they saw in a movie.

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#48
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jacob Singer View Post
 

As all right-thinking people should.



You, me, and McNooj, Singer.  And Devin.

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#49
AI think if after seeing Ben Fosters liquidy, rattling painful looking death you think the movie is a recruiting tool then you're trying to push an agenda the film doesn't support. If anything it's a "support these men and women because look at the kind of positions they get put into" film.
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#50

Foster was definitely the stand-out of the film.  Really looking forward to what he does with Lance Armstrong.  And he just got hitched to Robin Wright.

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#51

I have to admit the film did work on me as a recruitment tool. I enlisted the day after I saw it. In addition I joined the mob after watching GOODFELLAS, became a pornographer after seeing BOOGIE NIGHTS, and domesticated a sasquatch after seeing HARRY AND THE HENDERSONS.

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#52

You would've done that stuff anyway, Molt. Don't blame the movies.

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#53
Quote:

Originally Posted by Moltisanti View Post
 

I have to admit the film did work on me as a recruitment tool. I enlisted the day after I saw it. In addition I joined the mob after watching GOODFELLAS, became a pornographer after seeing BOOGIE NIGHTS, and domesticated a sasquatch after seeing HARRY AND THE HENDERSONS.



In succeeding difficulty. Impressive.

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#54
Quote:

Originally Posted by agracru View Post
 

There's a preview/behind the scenes clip for this online that has the parents of the fallen soldiers each talking about the film and the ways it honors their children. One mother said that it was nice to get to spend a little bit more time with her son.



I get the grief, I get the mourning, I get the tragedy over this totally botched, fucked-up mission. It's awful. Axelson, Dietz, and Murphy all died terrible deaths that I would not wish upon anyone. But that's it. They didn't die heroically. They didn't die doing anything especially brave, apart from fighting to protect each other. They just fucking died, and in brutal, ignominious ways. And that's sad. But I don't think it begets upwards of 2 hours of fetishizing the pain they endured and the horror they had to contend with out in the field before losing their lives in the name of a failed operation.



While I have complicated feelings toward America's military, I respect them enough to look at Lone Survivor and bristle at how little it gives a shit about their sacrifices and the danger they committed themselves to face down every single day. This is not how we honor our soldiers. Fuck you, Berg.



I'm with you 1000% on this. I finally watched this last night, and was honestly disgusted in the way it seemed to revel in the pain and death of the soldiers. These were real life people, and do we really need to see their bodies riddled with bullets in slow motion?/ This was some Michael Bay "Peral Harbor" level of tone deafness. I watched it with some friends who are all right wing, pro gun guys, and they laughed and said I was too soft. Maybe I am, but I just found this film to be absolutely disgusting.

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#55

I honestly didn't feel the "fetishizing of pain" that others have noticed*, nor did I view the film as a recruitment tool. My main takeaway from the movie was "War is awful, and thousands of decent people have died ignoble, painful deaths as a result." The action might have been exhilarating in the moment (although I mostly flinched), but in the end I was left depressed at the prospect of endless war.



It didn't make me want to be a soldier, but it did make me want to buy some vets a drink or two.



* although their tumbling down the hill was unsettlingly similar to that scene in Hot Rod

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#56

http://www.newsweek.com/2016/05/20/moham...58139.html



An article that chronicles the falling out between Luttrell and Mohammad Gulab, the guy that rescued him.



Basically Luttrell "fudged' some of the facts of what happened in the book. Gulab called him out on it and now Luttrell has cut him off.



It also talks about the multiple times that the Taliban has tried to kill him and his family after he saved Luttrell, and his struggle to get him and his family out of Afghanistan.

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