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Added by johanlefourbe on 16 Jul 2020 11:56
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A Complete Review of Peter Berg's work

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Cast : Mark Wahlberg, Winston Duke, Alan Arkin, Iliza Shlesinger, Post Malone

What was it about?
When two Boston police officers are murdered, ex-cop Spenser teams up with his no-nonsense roommate, Hawk, to take down criminals.

My two cents:
From the 5 movies that Berg has made with Mark Wahlberg so far, I’m pretty confident that this flick is the weakest of the bunch. I mean, the opening scene was decent enough, at least, until the characters involved started a brawl. Seriously, it has been a while since I have seen such an uninspired fight scene and, unfortunately, I’m afraid it was pretty much representative of the quality of the whole movie. Indeed, even if he is definitely not the greatest actor out there, Mark Wahlberg has a decent comic timing and the guy can be entertaining but, with such a generic material, there was not much the guy could do, I’m afraid. Concerning Winston Duke, I won’t blame him either but their characters barely had any chemistry together. On top of that, to make the main character team up with his roommate - because, well, there was basically no one else available - was rather pathetic. At least, Post Malone was pretty convincing and it would have been neat if they could have managed to expand his part as he only had 2 scenes. Anyway, he was probably the only interesting thing about this movie.

My rating: 05/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 114 Average listal rating (84 ratings) 5.3 IMDB Rating 6.1
Mile 22 (2018)


Cast : Mark Wahlberg, Lauren Cohan, Iko Uwais, John Malkovich, Ronda Rousey

What was it about?
A small team of elite American intelligence officers, part of a top-secret tactical command unit, try to smuggle a mysterious police officer with sensitive information out of Indonesia.

My two cents:
At least, it was slightly better than ‘Spenser Confidential’, the last collaboration of Wahlberg with Peter Berg, but only slightly though. I mean, most of the action scenes were not bad, especially the fighting scenes involving the always awesome Iko Uwais, the badass actor from ‘The Raid’, but that was pretty much the only thing working with this flick. The first thing that really annoyed me was the fact that they tried to make Wahlberg play an incredibly smart man which was rather pathetic. There was also some rather misguided attempt at being humoristic by making some jokes about the fact that the guy was probably bipolar. At least, Wahlberg was lucky enough that Lauren Cohan was also barely convincing. In fact, while it was really ridiculous to try once again to turn Wahlberg into the smartest man in the room, it could have been interesting to have her playing a lethal soldier but, unfortunately, there was not one second I believed in her character. To make things worse, the damned thing was rather pretentious with some fancy editing and some useless debriefing scenes with Wahlberg’s character. I know, I probably make it sound as if the damned thing was awful but, in fact, the concept had some potential, it’s just that the makers made quite a few stupid mistakes.

My rating: 06/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 178 Average listal rating (132 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.4
Patriots Day (2016)


Cast : Mark Wahlberg, John Goodman, Kevin Bacon, Michelle Monaghan, Lana Condor, Melissa Benoist, J.K. Simmons,

What was it about?
The story of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the aftermath, which includes the city-wide manhunt to find the terrorists responsible.

My two cents:
At the time, Mark Wahlberg and Peter Berg's gimmick was to tell together some real-life stories (see also 'Deepwater Horizon' and 'Lone Survivor') and I have to admit that, each time, they really nailed it. In this case, I was actually rather impressed by the beginning scenes. Indeed, Berg gave each set of characters just a few minutes each but he still managed to properly introduce them in a very organic and believable way. To be honest, I was rather surprised that Wahlberg was actually the only one playing a fictional character but it did explain how this cop was pretty much always around at the most crucial moments. At least, he didn't end up playing one of these super-cops solving the whole case by himself, in fact, Wahlberg was actually quite vulnerable in a few scenes and, in the process, he probably gave here one of his best performances. Concerning the story itself, even though I was aware of this tragedy, I didn't really know how it really went down in details and, once again, I was fairly impressed by the approach chosen by Peter Berg. Indeed, it seems that they went really into details to reproduce these events so, at times, it did have a nice documentary feeling, but there were also some really tensed moments so, the end-result was a highly realistic thriller which was quite spellbinding to behold. To be honest, even if I understand why they did add a supplement at the end of the movie where interviews with real life people were shown, it did feel overly patriotic and, somehow, it turned these tragic events into some kind of PR operation for the city of Boston in particular and for the USA in general. Anyway, even if it was maybe not a masterpiece, it was still a very well made thriller based on actual events.

My rating: 07/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 279 Average listal rating (194 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.1


Cast : Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, Gina Rodriguez, John Malkovich, Kate Hudson

What was it about?
A dramatization of the disaster in April 2010, when the offshore drilling rig called the Deepwater Horizon exploded, resulting in the worst oil spill in American history.

My two cents:
I have to admit that I was actually positively surprised by the damned thing. Of course, it was still a rather straightforward disaster flick but the big difference with the other movies in this genre is that it was based on some actual events and, to increase even more its impact, Peter Berg made sure that the whole thing was or, at least, felt really realistic. Sure, there were some moments that I didn't really follow all the technical stuff the characters were talking about but it didn't matter, the set really felt lived in and you really had the feeling that you were on an actual offshore drilling rig. Then, when it did start to go wrong, it was indeed quite spectacular but it felt also terribly dramatic (after all, some real men actually died that day) but Peter Berg really managed to mix both, spectacle and emotion, so it didn't feel awkward at all. On the other hand, even though the cast was fine, they all played some rather steorotypical characters but it is inherent to the genre. Still, it is rather sad to see such a charming actress like Kate Hudson being stuck playing the worried wife at home and it is pretty obvious that her career is definitely going nowhere at this point. On the other hand, it was really surprising and refreshing to see Wahlberg's character completely in shock after surviving this ordeal.

My rating: 07/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 473 Average listal rating (320 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.5
Lone Survivor (2014)


Cast : Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, Eric Bana

What was it about?
Marcus Luttrell and his team set out on a mission to capture or kill notorious Taliban leader Ahmad Shah, in late June 2005. Marcus and his team are left to fight for their lives in one of the most valiant efforts of modern warfare.

My two cents:
Well, it seems that this movie belongs to this sub-genre of the failed military mission based on some true events (the most famous one in this genre must be ‘Black Hawk Down’). In this case, the whole thing turned out to be some kind of mix of ‘300’ with ‘American Sniper’ and, while I did like ‘300’, I can’t say I really cared much about ‘American Sniper’ which must be one of the most overrated movies released recently but, all in all, this movie was not bad at all. To be honest, when they started the movie with some documentary footage of some actual SEALS training, I have to admit that I had some doubts. Indeed, it seemed rather disrespectful to compare some actual soldiers with some actors who would only pretend to be involved in some combat situations. However, it did make sense after all because, thanks to this introduction, you could understand that those guys had received some of the most difficult training ever conceived in order to survive such difficult, even impossible, combat situations.

My rating: 07/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 877 Average listal rating (613 ratings) 5.6 IMDB Rating 5.8
Battleship (2012)


Cast : Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgård, Rihanna, Brooklyn Decker, Liam Neeson

What was it about?
A fleet of ships is forced to do battle with an armada of unknown origins in order to discover and thwart their destructive goals.

My two cents:
Eventually, with this movie, the lack of inspiration in Hollywood had become pretty obvious since, after the sequels, prequels, reboots, remakes, book adaptations, comic-books, tv-shows, the only thing left seemed to be a board game.... Anyway, honestly, I thought the whole thing was pretty boring. Indeed, the introduction was really tiresome and tideous and then the rest was just a mix of various movies going from the obvious 'Transformers', 'Independence Day', 'Predator' and even 'Titanic'. I felt pretty bad for Taylor Kitsch who was supposed to be the next big star but since this movie was rather underwhelming and since 'John Carter' was also a huge flop, I wonder what will happen to him after this debacle. And I felt even worse for Liam Neeson... Such a good actor and such a waste of talent. I know, I shouldn't take this movie too seriously, it was supposed to be a dumb movie and it was indeed very dumb with some decent special effects but this movie was seriously barely entertaining at all.

My rating: 05/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 3119 Average listal rating (2057 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.4


Cast : Will Smith, Charlize Theron, Jason Bateman

What was it about?
Hancock is a superhero whose ill-considered behavior regularly causes damage in the millions. He changes when the person he saves helps him improve his public image.

My two cents:
To be honest, if this movie was released nowadays (circa 2020), I'm pretty sure he would be a big flop. Indeed, back then in 2013, Will Smith finally got his first big flop, 'After Earth' and I'm afraid Will Smith's days of massive box domination are other (ok, 'Wild Wild West' was pretty bad as well but, back then, he did manage to recover from the blow but I don't see it happening this time). Anyway, coming back to our main feature, in my opinion, it was a rather typical Will Smith production. As usual, he picked up a standard blockbuster genre (here, the super hero flick) and managed to add something else to set it apart from the rest. On paper, it sounded half lame and half interesting and it could have been a huge flop but, somehow, it still mostly worked though. Indeed, I thought the whole thing was actually rather intriguing, the way it was dealing with the ups and downs of a basically depressed super-hero. Of course, it was still a blockbuster and the story was therefore far from being really satisfactory or really thoughtful whatsoever. Still, even though it was nothing really amazing, I think it is still a rather well made and fairly entertaining blockbuster.

My rating: 06/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 628 Average listal rating (418 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 7
The Kingdom (2007)


Cast : Jamie Foxx, Chris Cooper, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Jeremy Piven, Richard Jenkins, Minka Kelly

What was it about?
A team of U.S. government agents are sent to investigate the bombing of an American facility in the Middle East.

My two cents:
Eventually, it was not bad at all, actually even rather entertaining but, still, I can't say I was really blown away by the whole thing though. Basically, it all depends how you respond to it. Indeed, on one hand, this movie was very well done and it can be definitely appreciated as an action movie. What's too bad is that they didn't try to make it more than just being an action flick. I mean, they did actually try to have a deeper meaning but eventually that's where the movie failed to deliver. Instead of pushing further into this interesting direction, it seemed that the makers "chickened" out and decided to remain in their "action-movie" comfort zone. As a matter of fact, originally this film was much longer and larger in scope. Indeed, it was supposed to be running approximately two and half hours and this is the cut that Peter Berg wanted to release, which featured more character development and more dramatic overtones to the story. However, Universal balked at the idea and forced Berg to cut down the film to its current length much to his dismay. Maybe this cut was better but I sincerely doubt it though. Anyway, the directing remains pretty solid, there was a nice cast involved and the whole thing was still fairly entertaining.

My rating: 06/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 418 Average listal rating (229 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.2


Cast : Billy Bob Thornton, Lucas Black, Garrett Hedlund, Derek Luke, Jay Hernandez, Amber Heard

What was it about?
Based on H.G. Bissinger's book, which profiled the economically depressed town of Odessa, Texas and their heroic high school football team, The Permian High Panthers.

My two cents:
Sure, the directing was decent and so was the acting but, honestly, there was nothing really original here. It all depends if you're a sport movie fan or not, especially (American) football. In this case, it was even dealing with high school football which is something even more culturally related. Indeed, for an European like me, it seems rather odd to see a town getting so worked up about a high school sports team like this one. Anyway, the interesting thing with this movie is that they didn’t only focus on the football but they also tried to develop the social aspect around the sport and it was fairly interesting. Still, at the end end of the day, it wasn’t really as deep as the makers wanted us to believe (I mean, it was directed by Peter Berg, the guy who eventually came up with ‘Battleship’, so we shouldn’t ask for too much, I guess). Eventually, since this movie was fairly well received, they decided to expand it into a TV show, which I have never seen, and it managed to last 5 seasons. Anyway, even though I thought it was slightly disappointing, I have to admit that it was still a decent watch though.

My rating: 06/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 741 Average listal rating (515 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.7
The Rundown (2003)


Cast : Dwayne Johnson, Seann William Scott, Rosario Dawson, Christopher Walken, Ewen Bremner, Arnold Schwarzenegger

What was it about?
A tough aspiring chef is hired to bring home a mobster's son from the Amazon but becomes involved in the fight against an oppressive town operator and the search for a legendary treasure.

My two cents:
Like anyone else, through the years, I have followed Dwayne Johnson’s status slowly grow and, nowadays, he is definitely one of the biggest movie stars in the world. To be honest, with his first role in the Mummy franchise, I was hardly convinced but it didn’t take long before the big guy displayed his potential. Indeed, within a few years in this new acting career, he showed up in this flick and it was the first time that I thought that this fellow might have what it takes. Indeed, in this movie, you could really feel he could be the next huge action star (which he has pretty much become since then). Anyway, to be honest, the story was nothing great or really original but the movie itself was quite enjoyable and entertaining. For Peter Berg, it was his second directing effort and I thought it was quite an improvement on his debut ‘Very Bad Things’ which is considered as a cult-classic by some but I seriously disagree. Eventually, Berg would keep making bigger and bigger movies until the very lame ‘Battleship’ and since then, he has massively scaled down his movie projects.

My rating: 06/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 384 Average listal rating (250 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 6.4


Cast : Christian Slater, Jon Favreau, Cameron Diaz, Jeremy Piven, Jeanne Tripplehorn

What was it about?
A prostitute is killed during a bachelor party and the attendees turn on each other as the wedding approaches.

My two cents:
10 years before ‘The Hangover’ (which is not really original after all when you think about it), Peter Berg made this flick with quite a similar plot and while it wasn't a commercial success like ‘The Hangover’, it still managed to become more or less a cult-classic. To be honest, even though I thought it was a decent flick, I can’t say I was really blown away though. Basically, the whole thing was just terribly mean and none of the characters had any redeemable features and therefore, it was rather difficult to care about what they were going through. I don’t know, I do like black comedies but, somehow, it didn’t completely work here and the tone felt rather forced, at least, that’s my opinion. Still, it was an interesting directing debut for Peter Berg who slowly increased his status with each movie he directed. Eventually, he even managed to make a big summer blockbuster but, wisely, after ‘Battleship’ was a critical and commercial flop, he took a step back and directed the critically acclaimed ‘Lone Survivor’.

My rating: 06/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:

Since I have finally managed to watch all the movies directed by Peter Berg, I thought I should make one of these lists for this guy as well.

Enjoy!


Added to

43 votes
A Complete Review of various directors' s work (68 lists)
list by johanlefourbe
Published 11 years, 4 months ago 8 comments



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