I know this is mostly a video game site, mostly?? Movies have been something I’ve always loved as much or maybe even more than video games. We are now in “Award Season” for movies. I’ve watched the Oscars each year as long as I can remember. Even though the movies I enjoy the most don’t get nominated, each year one or two things does and I get really excited. For the past few years I’ve tried to watch each of the movies nominated for Best Picture. This weekend I was able to watch three of them, here are their stories…
Zero Dark Thirty
I have to admit I wasn’t very excited for this movie. I wouldn’t have gone to see it in the theater if it wasn’t up for Best Picture. Kathryn Bigelow’s last movie was The Hurt Locker, which won Best Picture and Best Director in 2010. I was happy she won over James Cameron and Avatar. War movies are not my favorite genre so I didn’t have high expectations for this movie but I didn’t go in with negative thoughts either.
The main reason this movie didn’t appeal to me was because I think it’s a cash grab to make a movie about the raid on Bin Laden. I know they were working on another movie about him when they found out they had caught him they switched gears, that movie will be out in a few years as a sort of ‘prequel’ they say. Shouldn’t this movie be out in ten to twenty years to remember this victory in the war on terror??
The movie starts with a black screen and we hear real phone calls from the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. I know this is used to set up what we are fighting for…but we already know. We’ve all heard the 9-1-1 call of the lady asking if she was going to die while the responder cries. We know what was taken away from us that day and I felt this was a cheap way to start the film.
From there on it’s the Jessica Chastain show. She has a brilliant performance as Maya a Central Intelligent Agent on the hunt for Bin Laden. The only back story about her character is given to us two hours into the movie. The CIA Director, played by James Gandolfini, drops a line about how she was picked out of high school to join the CIA. Up until this point we don’t really know why she is on this case. We know she has lost team members along the way, which fuels her passion to find the top target but I’m still not clear why or how she started the mission. I guess it wasn’t important.
The final thirty minutes of movie is the raid on OBL’s complex. This was done well and kept me on the edge of my seat. This was an action packed scene. It was well paced and held the tension the whole time. I didn’t know a lot of the details of the raid so I interested as it unfolded. They didn’t really lay out the plan in advance so we were along for the ride. When Bin Laden is shot they don’t make a big spectacle of it. There isn’t a large celebration, they continue with the mission. They don’t show a close up of the bullet as it kills him. In fact they hardly show his body. You get long shots of it and you see his beard. The troops were not sure going in on the mission if he was going to be there. It’s a bit after while they are packing up as many files as they can that someone mentions, ‘I fired the bullet.’
I liked the Hurt Locker more than this film. Although the raid was thrilling and fun to watch the rest of the movie really dragged in spots. Jessica Chastain was fantastic and deserves the nomination for Best Actress but the whole thing didn’t capture me like the last thirty minutes or The Hurt Locker did. This is a little long, check back tomorrow for Beasts of the Southern Wild and Silver Linings Playbook