Saturday, February 07, 2009

We Can't Wait #12 The Hurt Locker

Directed by Kathryn Bigelow
Starring Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Ralph Fiennes, Guy Pearce and Evangeline Lilly.
Synopsis An Army bomb squad in Iraq tries not to get blowed up.
Brought to you by Summit Entertainment

Expected Release Date Ummm...

Joe: The Hurt Locker is probably the 2009 title we know the most about, because it played the festival circuit pretty heavily, including Toronto, Montreal, and Venice (where it won an armload of awards, if not the big one). It even nabbed two Independent Spirit nominations. Early word is very good, and Bigelow, who manages to be artful even in her failures, is said to have put together a gorgeous action movie. Nobody will see it, of course, but we can all drive ourselves crazy talking about why!

Whitney: As much as I love that there is a prolific female director working in action, I'm so not interested in this movie. And even when Ralph Fiennes is in some really wonderful films, I just want to punch him in his ugly ugly face. That's right, RaLF!

Joe: Backing away. Waiting to see how JA responds.

Nathaniel:
Is it time for the Bizarrro blog-a-thon again already? Yeah that Fiennes is a dog.
No, no, no. I can't do the Bizarro-thon. I can't. I can't.

See, Kathryn Bigelow makes me feel earnest. I love her. I can't entirely explain it. I like how deadly serious her films are, even when they kinda should be funnier (hi, Point Break). Okay, at least I love the idea of Kathryn Bigelow (stereotype defying action director) even when I don't love some of the films. She'll always have Near Dark and Strange Days! Thus, this goes on my list.

Fox: I side with Nathaniel on being a fan of Bigelow. As for the subject matter ("The Iraq"), I wonder how she'll handle it. Most directors screw it up, but Bigelow seems to be a mature, even-handed lady. I'll freakin' go to war for Point Break. That movie is a joy to watch. And Near Dark? Well, can we just say that it's probably a genre masterpiece? Come on Whitney, just say it! JUST SAY IT!

Whitney: I totally blanked on Near Dark. I'll give you that.

JA: Sorry, it took me a little extra time to get all my rings off so as to deliver a scar-free Ralph-defending righteous beat-down.

Ahem.

Did somebody just go bad-mouthing my Ralph? NUH UH. That's crazy talk. Not just crazy-talk, it deserves extra syllables. Kuh-Razy Talk. And on grounds of him being ugly? Ugly? Have you only seen him in the Harry Potter movies, Whitney? He has a nose in real life, you know - a regal, parochial nose* I want to make love to on its own, at that. Not just a pair of serpentine slits. But He Who Shan't Be Spoken Of, Ralph can defend himself. He's a big boy. A big boy with an oft-deployed serial killer's sexy come-hither-and-be-destroyed stare. Swoon.


This movie didn't make my list, because I am just so over Iraq movies. Unless they can beat Channing Tatum rolling around in his underwear for several minutes, I'm done for the time being. I need a breather. That said, I do like Bigelow, and Ralph (insert fist-to-chest "recognize" thump here), and if I keep hearing that Jeremy Renner - a wonderful actor that does not get the credit he deserves - is great in it, I'll probably see it too.

* Excuse me, in my thunder I named Ralph's nose after a boarding school. I meant "patrician's nose." Do carry on. It's early. Need coffee.

Joe: I kind of like the idea of Ralph having a parochial nose, though. What kind of a nose would that be? The kind of nose that only associates with other noses like it?

Anyway, I feel like I should stick up for Whitney since I too don't find Ralph quite all that, in the looks department. That's right, I'll bear my share of the blowback from this particular explosion, much like Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie and co. will no doubt do in the movie.

And THAT'S how you bring it 'round full-circle.

Nathaniel: Ha! and indeed.

Readers, do I put too much faith in Kathryn Bigelow? Have you taken my unsubtle hints over the past few years and screened Near Dark or Strange Days? Has my unshakeable belief that action films peaked from 1986-1995 -- years which not coincidentally surrounded MIA auteur James Cameron's marriage to Kathryn Bigelow and included both of their best films -- confused my thinking? Do you have any desire to see this or are you, like JA, burnt out on Iraq movies? (Unless Channing Tatum strips in them)

In case you missed any entries they went like so...
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We Can't Wait:
#1 Inglourious Basterds, #2 Where the Wild Things Are, #3 Fantastic Mr. Fox,
#4 Avatar, #5 Bright Star, #6 Shutter Island, #7 Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
#8 Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, #9 Nailed,
#10 Taking Woodstock,
#11 Watchmen, #12 The Hurt Locker, #13 The Road, #14 The Tree of Life
#15 Away We Go, #16 500 Days of Summer, #17 Drag Me To Hell,
#18 Whatever Works, #19 Broken Embraces, #20 Nine (the musical)
intro (orphans -didn't make group list)

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12 comments:

Wayne B. said...

I would say I'm with Nathaniel on this one. Rewatched Strange Days last month and was so surprised at well it had aged. The Iris hotel room scene still made me cringe and want to shut my eyes. As a Basset man, I've always respected Bigelow for giving the great Ms. Angela one of her greatest roles. That goodwill keeps me interested in this one.
I'm not burnt out on Iraq movies, just the bad ones. I think since the war is still going on, discussions are needed about the war itself which, as we all know, movies help facilitate. As long the"hurt locker" has a relevant point of view and a fresh approach, I think it'll be worthy of attention from the general public.

Rob said...

I've seen it, and it's good, if structureless and not quite and blisteringly tense as I'd heard. A few extremely effective sequences though, and overall, I'm glad I saw it. It's worth noting that (a) Fiennes has a mere cameo, and (b) this is barely an Iraq movie. It never mentions the war, or has any sort of commentary about it. It could take place during any war or similar scenario.

Rob said...

*quite as

Wayne B. said...

Rob, maybe it's a good thing that the movie doesn't have any obvious commentary therefore letting the viewer sort out their own feelings on conflicts in general. Kinda shitty about Fiennes cameo, as you say, his involvement was a plus in my column.

Carl said...

I saw "Strange Days" during its original theatrical release back in the day. And I am certainly on board for this one.

A coincidence that Bigelow and Cameron both have major releases due out this year...?

woodstock said...

i know nothing of bigelow but this post already got me dlding her prevrious movies.

Wayne B. said...

Woodstock, I totally recommend Strange Days, definitely a must for any film enthusiast. Strong performances from Bassett, Fiennes and Lewis only sweeten the pot.

Ben said...

I have also had a chance to see it. I thought it was great.

As much as everybody loved Renner (who was great), Anthony Mackie gave the great performance of the film. I was disappointed at the cameo appearances of not only Fiennes, but Guy Pearce and the great David Morse.

The thing that I think will make this great compared to other Iraq movies, is just like Rob said, not about Iraq.

That's what was a big part of the failures of other Iraq movies.

The action was great without being forced and it was very well written and layered for an action film.

Alex in Movieland said...

Iraq movie in front of Nine, woody & pedro?
hell, no. I stopped at Fahrenheit 9/11.

NicksFlickPicks said...

Totally cannot wait. Bigelow devotée. Just like Nathaniel says, even some of her weaker stuff like The Weight of Water is easily re-watchable and full of interesting stuff. Really excited about this one, and as a big Anthony Mackie fan, I've got my fingers crossed for him, too. How many times does he need to excel in a movie before he gets in the center of the Hollywood action?

JA said...

Okay, so I saw the ten minutes or so of this they showed at ComiCon this weekend, and listened to Jeremy Renner talk about the film (sidenote: Renner is crazy hot in person) and now I am really looking forward to this.

Lilliana said...

I can't wait for The Hurt Locker either. Anything starring Jeremy Renner and I'm all over it like flies on sh . . .

JA: You ain't lying about Jeremy being crazy hot in person! When I met him, we were standing so close to each other I swore he was going to set me on fire that's how hot he is.