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
May 20th, 2009-
This Wednesday morning at 8:30 a.m. Quentin Tarantino, the rabid dog of extravagant, pop-indulgence himself, presented his Inglorious Basterds to the Cannes audience. The new film stars Brad Pitt and follows a militia of Jewish soldiers sent out to strike fear and collect scalps among the Third Reicht, with the finale taking place in a movie theater with Hitler himself in attendance. The trailer made it look like more of the wacky same from Tarantino, who I personally find to be frustratingly inconsistent. His original Pulp Fiction, which won him the Palme D’ or at Cannes back in 1994, is an original and energetic work and I’m quite fond of Kill Bill but most everything else that Tarantino has done has fallen short for me, especially the tedious and overblown Death Proof.
As for this one, I’m not sure. Tarantino will most certainly be drawing from war pics and sphagetti westerns and if he conjures as much fun as he did with Bill’s martial arts influences then count me in. For now though, the most compelling part of the film’s trailer is Pitt’s crazy line: “I want my scalps!” Heres are some links to the early reviews and three clips from the film:
Variety review is up HERE.
Roger Ebert offers some thoughts HERE.
Michael Philips gives a somewhat mixed review HERE.
The Guardian is appalled HERE.
See 3 new clips from Inglorious Basterds HERE.