By Josh Brown The Virginian-Pilot May 13, 2012 By Josh Brown The Virginian-Pilot VIRGINIA BEACH The director of the sci-fi action film "Battleship" madean appearance Saturday at a sneak preview hosted at JointExpeditionary Base Little Creek for hundreds of military servicemembers and their families. Peter Berg's film depicts a naval fleet fighting off an invasion ofaliens. The director chatted with media and introduced the film toa crowd of more than 1,500. "What you're about to see now is kind of the first stage of atwo-movie journey that I'm on to pay my respects to the Navy,"Berg said. "This is meant to be a big fun family adventuremovie." As the lights dimmed, images of Navy warships appeared on thescreen to cheers from the audience. |
The show was open to active and retired service members and theirfamilies. Among them at the Gator Theater were Scott Renshaw andhis wife, Valerie, of Virginia Beach and their six children. Renshaw said it was a special treat for the director to come to thebase for the preview. The 37-year-old chief sonar technician in the Navy has spent 18years in the military, including seven years on two ships. He andhis wife said it was nice how integral the Navy was to the movie'sstory line.
"A lot of civilians don't understand what they gothrough," Valerie Renshaw said. "They work really hard,and a lot of it goes unnoticed." The movie also featured a local tie. Army Col. Gregory Gadson, whogrew up in Chesapeake, played the part of a wounded Army servicemember. Gadson is a double amputee.
He lost his legs after aroadside bomb blew him from his vehicle in Iraq in 2007. "One of the great things about getting to make movies is, youget to bring your own personal passions into the films," Bergsaid before the show. "I'm also public about the fact that Ithink we could all do more to pay attention to our veterans." He said he wrote a wounded soldier into the movie with that inmind. "A solder who had experienced an injury and trying to figureout who he was," he said. "I didn't want an actor to playit." Berg said he came across a National Geographic magazine picture ofGadson, who is director of the Army's Wounded Warrior Program, and"I was mesmerized." Throughout the film, the crowd cheered, including a scene in whichGadson's character gets in a fight with one of the alien invaders.
After the credits rolled, the Renshaws said they enjoyed the film. "I liked how they showed a strong female in the Navy,"said Valerie Renshaw, referring to a role played by music starRihanna. "That's something you don't always seeportrayed." Donald Williams, 30, a chief petty officer in the Navy, alsoenjoyed the film. "I liked the nod to the board game," he said. Josh Brown, 757-446-2318, email@example.com.
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