Excerpt: Since the Iraq War began, numerous films have been made regarding the subject. However, none that I have seen are truly as gripping or as powerful as The Hurt Locker. It tells the story of an EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) unit in Iraq and centers around their new leader, Sergeant James, who seems to embody four words from a quote that opens the movie: war is a drug. A drug indeed, and one that James doesn?t want to put down.
Excerpt: There are a few events in the early lead for this summer's Biggest Hollywood Shame -- Land of the Lost doomed by mismarketing, Eddie Murphy disappearing from the face of the planet, and Kathryn Bigelow's instant classic The Hurt Locker opening in the long, dense shadow of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen .
Conclusion: This film didn’t just live up to the hype it’s been getting, it surpassed it. This movie should have been off the charts with American moviegoers, not off their radar. It certainly wasn’t some cheap budget film, and if it were, the production team got a lot of bang for their buck…literally and figuratively. The cast had chemistry and talent. The story had substance and that’s actually the understatement of the week.
Excerpt: The Hurt Locker’s opening scene is remarkable. Knowing next to nothing about the characters, their motivations, or what their job entails, emotion and tension exists. A military bomb squad begins to dismantle a roadside explosive, carefully cutting wires after a robot fails to perform as anticipated. While the audience sits on edge, the soldiers laugh, smile, and joke with each other. This is normal for them.
Conclusion: Hands down, this is one of 2010's first must own Blu-ray releases. The movie is an absolute, pulse-quickening masterpiece, the disc's audio and video are staggering and the extra features, while not voluminous (it leads me to believe, should the movie get the Academy Awards appreciation that's predicted, we'll see another, fancier version down the line), are really wonderful just the same. This is one disc that deserves to be in everyone's collection.
Excerpt: The Hurt Locker begins with a sequence where every safety practice and careful piece of protocol is seemingly followed while attempting to disarm a bomb on the streets of Iraq. American Army soldiers are shown as disciplined and patient. Only the filmmaking, which asks the audience to absorb this sense of immediacy at the start and even forgoes the use of an opening title screen, warns of the impending disaster. The camera seems nervous and knowing.
Summary: The Iraq War provides the setting for this chaotic film, and while its portrayal of the conflict may be accurate, the repetitive nature of the story, and the lack of real character development are a bit hard to handle.
Excerpt: Director Kathryn Bigelow’s Iraq war movie ignores almost the usual trappings of the by now well traveled modern desert warfare genre in the process accomplishes something almost none of those other movies was capable of: It’s good. Maybe it’s because she’s successfully welded all the harrowing excitement of speed to all the confusion and uncertainty of life in Iraq.
Excerpt: Over the course of the Iraq War, reports of people killed and maimed by the crude roadside bombs known as IED (Improvised Explosive Devices) became commonplace. And yet the people who save lives by defusing such bombs remained largely untrumpeted. Kathryn Bigelow’s nerve-jangling thriller The Hurt Locker seeks to redress the balance, but it wouldn’t be accurate to describe the film as merely a paean to American courage and derring-do.
Summary: It certainly didn't hurt The Hurt Locker that this war story had a war story of its own. Director Kathryn Bigelow fought on the cinematic frontline with her ex-husband James Cameron, whose Avatar lost to the Locker at the Oscars. Regardless, Bigelow's all-too-real account of life for an army bomb disposal unit in the Iraq war was deserving of the win, combining white- knuckle tension, sizzling dialogue and poignant insight into the lives of the bravest guys in Baghdad.