February 9, 2010

The Hurt Locker - 2009

Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Writer: Mark Boal
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty

"This box is full of stuff that almost killed me." Bigelow, ex-wife of director James Cameron, has produced a film (written by a former embedded journalist) following a United States bomb-defusing squad over a 38-day period in 2004, in the early days of post-Saddam Iraq.

I've never been a fan of traditional war movies, even though many of them turn out to be remarkable, mostly because I don't do well with gore, and when bullets fly, there tends to be a lot of graphic bloodshed. That said, Hurt Locker is one of the best movies I've ever seen. A few of the many good points:
  • For a war film, there's surprisingly little gore (aside from one particular scene) or cursing.
  • Between the little-known actors and the cinematography (same guy who shot United 93, and it shows), you're one step away from it being a documentary, much like some scenes in the latter half of Full Metal Jacket.
  • THE SCORE. I don't even know how to describe it.
There's a couple things I didn't like (a big continuity error I noticed, the casting of Ralph Fiennes amongst little-knowns, and some monologues that come out of nowhere near the end), but I'd say everyone needs to see this, and I wouldn't be disappointed if it won every Oscar it's been nominated for, especially if Bigelow's acceptance speech is something along the lines of "SUCK IT, JAMES!" Wait...it's only because of him that she directed this movie? Damn it.

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