The Hurt Locker (R) 130 min. Directed by:Kathryn Bigelow. Written by:Mark Boal. Starring:Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Guy Pearce, Ralph Feinnes, David Morse, Evangeline Lily. Cinematography:Barry Akroyd. Original music by:Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders.
Despite the glut of films centered around it over the past few years, the Iraq War has not exactly made for compelling cinema. Tangled in extreme political stance or statement, or designed around a general cluelessness about the way the actual battle itself is being fought, previous pics like The Valley of Elah, Lions for Lambs and Redacted were dead on arrival. Now, Kathryn Bigelow, director of Point Break and Near Dark, enters the Iraq conflict with The Hurt Locker;an expertly crafted thriller that leaves behind politics and posturing and brings the viewer onto the grimy, narrow streets of downtown Baghdad. With a singularity of vision and a documentarian’s eye for extreme and seemingly inconsequential detail, Bigelow transcends not only her own previous films but typical action cliches to deliver one of the most suspenseful and intense cinema experiences I’ve ever had. Continue reading
Well, here it is, the latest Boll movement. And y’know what? I’m legitimately intrigued by it.
We finally have a trailer for a Uwe Boll movie and it actually looks interesting in a non-trainwreck sort of way. The German maestro of stultifyingly sub-moronic video game adaptations and low-rent trash has seemingly made a movie with a somewhat original story and actual mood and atmosphere.
The Final Storm, or Storm as it appears in the trailer and promos, isn’t distinguished by its cast (Lauren Holly and Luke Perry aren’t exactly draws unless you are airing on Sy-Fy) but by its premise and a creepy visual style that screams psychological thriller or grim post-apocalyptic drama.
A farmer and his family start noticing strange celestial events like blood covering the moon and ominous portents of a biblical nature. Then, everything goes quiet and most of Earth’s population seem to be absent. Enter Perry as Silas, a man who may know more than he lets on and is adamant that this is the Christian end times after the Rapture and they have all been left behind. Faster than you can say Mike Siever, things are going crazy wrong and I felt like I was seeing excerpts from The Road. Continue reading
What is it that makes a film ‘scary’? I don’t mean simple jump thrills or a little bit of goose-pimples. What I’m talking about is that tight-chest, metallic taste in the mouth, primal fear that gets a hold of you and doesn’t let go. It’s the kind of anxiety one starts to feel when the car breaks down late at night on the side of the highway, or that tension that mounts when you realize your child is no longer next to you in the grocery store. It’s based off a moment of panic, and let’s face it, film as a medium isn’t always capable of evoking the feelings it shows on screen. We can enjoy a romantic comedy but there aren’t many that can elicit a feeling at all similar to actually being in love. The same goes for fear and terror. They are hard to quantify and characterize on film in such a way that their essence is echoed in an audience’s reaction. Over the years, maybe a handful of horror pics have done that for me. Mute Witness is one of them. Continue reading
So, this is the movie responsible for Predator, Die Hard and Hunt for Red October? In a way, yes it is. Those three films are all pinnacles of the action genre; peerless giants, and all three were directed by John McTiernan. Predator, in fact, would be made one year later and it’s this little supernatural thriller that nabbed John the job to helm that film. So, if you give it nothing else, give it that: it jumpstarted McTiernan’s career and got him a gig directing one of the seminal sci-fi action pics of our time. The good news is that Nomads is also a highly creepy, engaging thriller, well worth seeking out if you haven’t seen it. Continue reading