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Blu-ray Shopping Bag: Lone Survivor

A tough one

By Robert T. Trate     June 03, 2014
Source: Mania.com


Mark Wahlberg in Lone Survivor
© Universal Studios

Movies about men in combat are tough ones to review. Most of the time, these stories are based on “true events” or actual missions. My personal favorite is Sam Fuller’s The Big Red One (1980). I know that all that is shown isn’t fact, but the writer and the director are the same guy, who served in WW2. It might be as close as we ever get to a real men-in-arms picture. Today, Lone Survivor arrives on Blu-ray and DVD. It is based on the true story about four Navy Seals who try and neutralize a high-level al-Queda operative. They are portrayed by the likes of Mark Wahlberg (The Fighter), Emilie Hirsch (Speed Racer), Ben Foster (3:10 to Yuma), and Taylor Kitsch (John Carter). It is tough to ignore the political ramifications of all that is going on here. It is also tough to watch it as an American and not get incredibly angry. Yet I was reminded that in 100 years Lone Survivor will still exist as a film, a piece of entertainment based on factual deaths and a time when the world was in chaos. I had to remind myself to watch it as such. 

We are given all that we need to know and care about for our four Navy Seals. Each one has some little thing that is really nothing in the overall scope of what there mission is about. Kitsch’s Michael Murphy wants to get is fiancée an Arabian Horse for their wedding. Hirsch’s Danny Dietz has a wife who is needs his opinions on what color to paint the walls. Just every day things for men who have pushed themselves further than most have dreamed to become Seals. 

We get a sense of their training to become Seals in the opening title sequence. Outside of director Peter Berg’s major misfire with Battleship, Lone Survivor is another great portrait of the United States Military and the comradery between soldiers in arms. If you need a “Band of Brothers” moment to help you through this picture, there are plenty to go around. 

As I mentioned before, the Seals are on a mission to stop a high-level al-Queda operative. The mission is loaded with too many “moving parts”. The probability that something will go wrong is high. Yet it isn’t a radio malfunction or guard spotting them that gives the men away. Here, it is doing the right thing that gets the Seals in trouble. The four Seals are discovered by goat herders who they believe are connected to al-Queda. They can’t prove it and instead of silencing the herders, they opt to leave, thus scrubbing their mission. The first bit of real tension comes when Foster’s Matt Axelson runs down their options. They know that, as soldiers, they have to follow the commanding officer’s decision, but when Murphy makes his choice, you are suddenly reminded of the title. 

In a lot of ways, the title gives away too much of the film, not to mention who is on the box (see below). Perhaps if the film was called “Operation Red Wings” or “Seal Team FOUR” the film, as a piece of entertainment, would have held some surprises. Instead, every character not featured on the poster or box has a counter over their head. How long will Ben Foster live, how long for Taylor Kitsch, and so fourth. Again, this is a tough picture to review as just a piece of entertainment.

 

Peter Berg is a master storyteller when it comes to gritty hard hitting dramas. I highly recommend Lone Survivor for the story about this band of brothers and those that sacrifice so much to keep us safe. If anything, it gives you a better appreciation of what they sacrifice for the greater good. However, this isn’t the kind of film you watch more than once. 

Top 5 Picks of the Week:
1. Lone Survivor (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD with UltraViolet)
2. Robocop [Blu-ray]
3. Breaking Bad: The Complete Series [Blu-ray]
4. Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History Of Friday The 13th
5. Alexander: The Ultimate Cut [Blu-ray]

ACTION / ADVENTURE / KUNG FU/ THRILLERS / WESTERNS

Barbary Coast

Big Country / Horse Soldiers / Long Riders

Black Out [Blu-ray]

Goodbye World

Goodbye World [Blu-ray]

Great Escape / Magnificent Seven / Thomas Crown

In the Blood [Blu-ray]

Lone Survivor (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD with UltraViolet)

Lone Survivor

Magical Warfare 1 [Blu-ray]

Magical Warfare 1

Man of the West / Red River / Return of the

Martial Arts Triple Feature (The Medallion, Once Upon a Time in China, Legend of the Red Dragon)

Ravenous [Blu-ray]

Xpress Train

ANIME

Amnesia: Complete

Amnesia: Complete [Blu-ray]

Attack on Titan, Part 1 (Blu-ray / DVD Combo)

Hentai Prince & The Stony Cat: Complete [Blu-ray]

Hentai Prince & The Stony Cat: Complete

CARTOONS

All Dogs Go to Heaven / Igor / Pebble & Penguin

CLASSICS

12 Angry Men / In the Heat of the Night / Marty

King & Country [Blu-ray]

King & Country

Notorious / Rebecca / Spellbound

COMEDY AND LOVE Mania Style

Birdcage [Blu-ray]

The Break-Up (Blu-ray + DIGITAL HD with UltraViolet)

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason - 10th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray + DIGITAL HD with UltraViolet)

Ringer [Blu-ray]

You, Me and Dupree (Blu-ray + DIGITAL HD with UltraViolet)

HORROR

Blood Widow

Breeding Farm

Carrie / Misery / Silence of the Lambs

Cowboys vs. Zombies

Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History Of Friday The 13th

Death Bed: The Bed That Eats [Blu-ray]

Ghostlight

Junk Films: The Collected Short Shockumentaries Of Tsurisaki Kiyotaka

TALES OF MYSTERY AND IMAGINATION

Werewolf

SCIENCE FICTION / FANTASY

Alexander: The Ultimate Cut [Blu-ray]

Escape From New York / Road House / Terminator

Lost Future [Blu-ray]

Knight Templar [Blu-ray]

Parts Per Billion

PARTS PER BILLION [Blu-ray]

Robocop [Blu-ray]

Robocop

TV LAND

Breaking Bad: The Complete Series

Breaking Bad: The Complete Series [Blu-ray]

Graceland: Season 1

HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN: Season 4

The Killing: Season 3

Jugface - The Pit [Non USA PAL Format]

Law & Order: The Third Year

Law & Order: The Fourth Year

New Tricks, Season 10

Rawhide: Eighth & Final Season

The Glades: Season 4

The Walking Dead SSN 1-3 with Limited Edition T-Shirt [Blu-ray]

Workaholics: Season 4

Workaholics: Season 4 [Blu-ray]

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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1 
hanso 6/3/2014 7:05:46 AM

Picked up the Lone Survivor steelbook at Target, and Robocop too.  Haven't seen them, hopefully they don't suck.

True Blood season 6 is also out today.

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