Happy 60th birthday, Kathryn Bigelow

The Hurt Locker (2008) directed by Kathryn Bigelow
David Morse as Colonel Reed and Jeremy Renner as Staff Sergeant William James

Colonel Reed: What’s the best way to go about disarming one of these things?
Staff Sergeant James: The way you don’t die, sir.

9 Responses to “The Hurt Locker (2008)”

  1. I know I’m on the outside on this front but I never knew why this film garnered such a high level of praise. I get that it was well crafted, Renner was outstanding in the role, and there is tension aplenty to go with defusing bombs in hostile territory. But at its core was an overly familiar and not particularly convincing psychological arc story.

  2. You’re not alone Sartre. I was mystified by the overheated praise as well, though it was still a very solid film. I can’t stand Bigelow’s Point Break and Near Dark didn’t hold up as well as I remembered it and I didn’t feel like watching Strange Days so this was the choice for her birthday.

    At the time of Oscar, I was just glad this beat Avatar.

  3. At the time of Oscar, I was just glad this beat Avatar.

    That was my feeling exactly.

    To be fair, I thought this was a good movie, but the praise was overheated. I think the win had as much to do with zeitgeist as anything.

  4. Yes it played into the whole woman vs. man and blockbuster vs. indie thing.

    Which is fine, because the good guy (er woman) won.

  5. Strange Days is an odd film. It’s incredibly violent and disturbing, and much of the violence perpetrated against the female characters is stomach-turning and difficult to watch. My biggest dig against it is that I really don’t like any of the characters other than Angela Bassett’s Mace, and even she is irritating for her inexplicable devotion to Fiennes’ slimy Lenny. But what really kills this film for me is Juliette Lewis. Lenny’s devotion to her is the crux of the plot, but I just couldn’t stand her. It doesn’t help that her rock stardom as a glammy Courtney Love doing covers of PJ Harvey songs was wildly off the mark.

    But it’s overall well-made and tightly paced, and much of the action is coherent and intense. I just don’t enjoy watching it.

  6. “I just don’t enjoy watching it”

    Exactly. I had no intention of sitting through it again for quote purposes. I did actually sit through much of Point Break though just to see if maybe I’d been too hard on it over the years. I know it has a huge cult following, but I still couldn’t stand it.

  7. “the good guy (er woman) won”

    Not really. Quentin Tarantino and Inglourious Basterds should have won BP and Director over Hurt Locker and Avatar at the Oscars and Globes.

  8. That was my pick too, but I never really thought it had a chance. Between the two supposed frontrunners, my vote was with this one.

  9. “I did actually sit through much of Point Break though just to see if maybe I’d been too hard on it over the years. I know it has a huge cult following, but I still couldn’t stand it.”

    Point Break is a movie I enjoy as a guilty pleasure. It’s ridiculous and silly and has little or no internal logic, but I enjoy it on some weird level. And it has nothing to do with Keanu Reeves. I like everyone else in the film except him. Keanu is fairly awful in Point Break, a movie sort of tailor-made to capitalize on his persona. Somehow he lucked into The Matrix and somehow, I don’t mind him all that much in that, but even in The Matrix he’s just not very good.

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