Sunday, May 05, 2013

Kathryn Bigelow: Directing Gigolo

Sorry, that was just mean.  Frankly, the World Socialists are much worse.  I thought for sure they might hate Zero Dark Thirty a little less than they hated The Hurt Locker, but no!  Just as bad.  I hear what they're saying, but they also refer to Bin Laden as "a sickly old man who had been in hiding for a decade and by all accounts played little or no active role."  C'mon, guys.
So, like Bigelow does, I'm going to sidestep the issues of torture, etc., and just focus on the film itself.  I'll also try to ignore Mark Strong's big Glengarry-esque "Third Prize is you're fired" speech to a bunch of CIA people at one point.  I will say that I liked ZDT as a film much more than The Hurt Locker.  Sometimes you just gotta spring for the 35mm film instead of 16.  One of the more interesting aspects of the film is its timeline.  The film chronicles the period of time from September 11th up to the killing of Bin Laden in 2011 and, if memory serves, we do ten years in the first hour.  Not a lot happened in the first nine years of looking for Bin Laden, apparently.
And apparently we focus on that part of the CIA that didn't have to deal with Dick Cheney and "Scooter" Libby on a regular basis.  The politics of Dubya are also largely glossed over.  Gee, I wonder why?  Maybe Bigelow should do an anti-Dubya movie next, just to balance things out a little bit.
And now, the cast.  Jessica Chastain does her usual solid work.  She also seems to be doing a lot of movies with Aussie actor Jason Clarke.  I couldn't help but think that the Middle East may not hate us for our freedom, but they would probably get tired of being called "bro" real quick.  Some have compared Chastain to Meryl Streep, but it's Jennifer Ehle who's more Streep-like to me.  She seems to be channeling the character she played in Contagion a little bit.  Who else?  Oh, I remembered where I saw Joel Edgerton: in that awful movie Warrior.  And then there's Gandalfini and one of the Duplass brothers.  Well, they do what they can.  And I will hand it to the filmmakers.  They resisted the temptation to show pictures of the actors alongside the real people they portrayed.  That's getting a little old.  I've been seeing that a lot lately.  Argo, Fair Game(2010), what have you.
And I will say that some of the plot points were telegraphed in advance.  Mostly impending explosions, or maybe I'm just getting too jaded.  Arguably, it is a major part of the plot, but still.  So the bottom line is, I was entertained, and I'm still glad Bin Laden is dead.  I hate to go out on a limb like that, but you gotta do that every once in a while.

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

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