by Benjamin Wright
May 16, 2012 10:59 AM 20 Comments
“Battleship” helmer Peter Berg certainly has a personality we’d describe as brash, whether he’s spouting out ideas for sequels to “Hancock” or making an argument as to why his upcoming blockbuster has little to do with the board game it shares its namesake with, he’s a filmmaker who likes to have his opinions be heard away from the cinemas where his films are played. While “Battleship” has certainly received some flack for its overtly jingoistic approach to the military, we have to admit that being proud of those in the armed forces is all well and good, until you start forcing your stance on others.
That’s exactly what Berg did at a recent press junket for “Battleship,” where he ranted about the political situation in the Middle East and belittled a 25-year-old Israeli reporter for his lack of military service. You know, everything that should be happening at the press junket for an overblown blockbuster picture based on a board game your parents played. The interview is awkward to say the least, with Berg clearly seeing this as an opportunity to really talk issues, even humorously back tracking into a tirade about his experience with the film – as if to jokingly mock the press day format. Still, it’s the stuff towards the end of the clip that stings, with Berg accusing reporter Danino Holt of being a “draft dodger” since his country requires its citizens to join the military at some point, with Berg telling Holt that “You’ve got to join the army mother f**ker.” He goes on to question his Jewish heritage and other inappropriate topics for this forum, but thankfully Holt takes it all in stride with a smile and impression of someone being bombed in the end. Perhaps Berg is suffering from a little press rounds exhaustion, but is that really an excuse to make this a question and answer session about someone’s service background?
Berg has more military sentiment on the way as he lines up the US Navy Seals actioner “Lone Survivor” with Mark Wahlberg, Ben Foster and Taylor Kitsch in the lead roles. You may remember that Berg was also responsible for “The Kingdom,” which followed a team of U.S. agents who were sent to investigate the bombing of an American facility in the Middle East, so between that, and coming from a military family, presumably he believes he's allowed to lecture others? Even if Berg knows his stuff, we don’t believe this was the right way to handle things. Either way, his film is still a wretched piece of shit. You can watch the video below, courtesy of Pajiba.