Tag: Katherine Bigelow

Zero Dark Thirty

January 8th, 2013 — 11:44pm


Zero Dark ThirtyZero Dark thiry

The last time Director Katherine Bigelow and Screenwriter Mark Boal collaborated they made the Hurt Locker which was one of the finest war  films we have ever seen. Since the subject matter this time was the story of the tracking down and killing of Osama ben Laden, it seemed like a natural for them to duplicate their great work.  They ended up doing a very good  job but in our opinion it wasn’t a “repeat”. They initially tug on our emotions by starting the film with frantic phone calls coming from the doomed World Trade Center on 9/11. We then are exposed to the United States  waterboarding suspects who might lead us to Osama ben Laden. This element while uncomfortable to watch, may not be telling the complete story in regard to how key this was to what was to come. The film centers around Maya (Jessica Chastain) a CIA agent who doggedly persists when all the other CIA honchos have their doubts including Leon Panetta CIA director (James Gandelfini)  We are told in the credits that she is a real person who can’t be identified since she is still an active agent. It is too bad that we couldn’t know anything substantial about her other than to watch her determination  despite no one believing her. Nevertheless Ms Chastain carries the film with her riveting portrayal of this American heroine. There also was a great deal of mumbo jumbo on the radio, agents talking back and forth, numerous Arab names mentioned as suspects or people who might have known people. You were never really given enough information to appreciate who they were and what role they played. We also never really get to know the numerous CIA agents, Bureau Chiefs, operatives or whatever. Even the Navy Seal team stays a team and they all blend together in their military fatigues and being viewed through night vision goggles. We will admit that the 2 hours and 40 minutes did go by quite quickly and it was exciting to watch the attack on the compound. It was quite authentic and you felt and thought you were there.  If the real Maya ever writes a memoir, we will be sure to read it and get to know what she was really like and how she brought about the slaying of this dragon. (2012)

Comment » | 4 Stars, Action, Drama, History

The Hurt Locker

September 7th, 2010 — 1:25am

The Hurt Locker* * * * *
The Hurt Locker
– rm – This movie is not about your typical US soldier in Iraq. It is about a young man who may not yet have been successful in life or in relationships but who finds himself very good at what he is doing in the Army. In this case it is in finding and detonating bombs that are left at the roadside to blow up US vehicles and soldiers, or are hidden in the ground or strapped perhaps to unwilling suicidal bombers. The movie focuses on one such soldier, played by Jeremy Renner, and his small group of comrades. He is smart, courageous but capable of being emotionally affected by what he is doing. If anyone had any doubts that a woman could capture the realism of a raw combat zone, Katherine Bigelow, who brilliantly directed this movie, has certainly shattered any such misconceptions. As the days scheduled to remain in Iraq are counted down for this group of soldiers, the viewer can smell the acrid air, feel the sand and most of all sense the almost continual apprehension. It may be hard to believe that in our voluntary army, some soldiers choose to be in this place but this film will make it hard to forget those that do. (2009)

Comment » | 5 Stars, Drama, War

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