Stoney At the Movies 1/13/13
Locker Room, Movie Review

Let's All Go To the Movies.. Or Not: Zero Dark Thirty

1/13/13 in Locker Room   |   The_Real_Stoney   |   24042 respect

Blog Photo - Stoney At the Movies 1/13/13This week’s selection came down to a game time decision between Gangster Squad and Zero Dark Thirty. Having sat through the Broncos self destruction yesterday and nursing a hangover, the movie that fit best into today’s schedule was Zero Dark Thirty. Congratulations. The trailers this week actually looked watchable with the exception of Pain & Gain.  Dead Man Down with Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace looks interesting. Snitch featuring the Rock looks like it will probably do well at the box office but may be a wait till DVD title for me. Iron Man 3 is coming which is a good thing.  And finally we got a tease of the Tom Cruise Sci-Fi action flick, Oblivion, which I am very stoked to see.

Now on to our feature presentation. I was excited about this movie going in as almost all the buzz surrounding it has been good (93% on Rotten Tomatoes) and looking at the Academy Award nominations the movie received my expectations were pretty high.  I thought it was odd that Kathryn Bigelow was snubbed from getting a Best Director nomination, but then I actually saw the movie. This movie traces the events from 9/11 through last year in the hunt for Osama Bin Laden. The movie stops on some key points throughout the decade long manhunt, and it seems Bigelow was almost trying to make the movie itself that long. That was my first main beef with this movie is that the running time of 2:37 is excessive, especially the first tow hours.  I don’t know how this movie got Oscar nominations for screenplay and editing as the dialogue and character interactions seem contrived and the movie is edited in a way that makes you think they forgot some stuff near the end and crammed in scenes that don’t flow with the rest of the film but work to try and keep the story on track. I’ve seen this movie described as an action movie and a thriller, but the only action is the raid on the Bin Laden house, and there is zero tension created to classify this as a thriller. The raid on the Bin Laden compound takes up the last 30 minutes plus of the movie, is very well done and salvages the movie. The other thing that kind of irked me was the fact that Bigelow flirts with a couple storylines, but doesn’t commit to either one enough. That would be the toll this decade took on Chastain’s character and the other is a further look at the shift in policy that no longer turned a blind eye to means of torturing detainees under Obama as opposed to George Bush. I think both were designed to play big parts in this story, but weren’t done very well.  Especially when you consider the movie IS over 2 ½ hours long. Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad movie, but I think it’s overrated.

As far as performances, I think Jason Clarke as Dan nails every scene he’s in.  Unfortunately, he’s not an integral part of the 2nd half of the movie. Jessica Chastain plays the main character, Maya, a woman who sacrificed a decade of having no friends or life to hunt down Bin Laden. According to the movie, she’s allegedly a killer and a bad ass. In reality, Chastain doesn’t really pull that off despite a few cheesy attempts in the back half of the movie. There is one scene with Kyle Chandler she absolutely owns, but for the most part doesn’t do anything spectacular. There are a lot of familiar faces floating throughout this flick. The previously mentioned Kyle (Friday Night Lights Coach) Chandler who continues to be solid in everything he does. Mark Strong is the same way, it’s hard to find a performance he doesn’t nail, and is fantastic in this one  James Gandolfini makes a showing as the CIA director. Mark Duplass gives a little bit of comedic relief in a short stint as an analyst. And Joel Edgerton and Chris Pratt play members of Seal Team 6 in the good half of the movie.
Overall, the movie isn’t terrible and I think a lot of people will love it.  I’m just not a huge fan Kathryn Bigelow’s style of film making and thought The Hurt Locker wasn’t as great as it was made out to be. Zero Dark Thirty misses the mark I’m sure it was going for as far as a tense action/thriller, but that is going to be hard when everyone knows how your movie is going to end. The first two hours drags at a snail’s pace with the exception of some interrogation scenes, but definitely picks up and ends on a high note. Unfortunately, there’s just not enough here to be my pick for best picture winner. While I would recommend that people see it, it may be a better viewing experience in your living room on a comfortable chair or couch.
 
My verdict? B
 
Academy Award Nominations:
Best Picture, Best Actress – Jessica Chastain, Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing,
 
So what did you see this weekend? Anything out there that tickles your fancy? Let me know you thoughts
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1/20/13   |   PurrsAlot   |   1600 respect

well I will politely say I disagree with your review of the movie.  To each his own.  

1/16/13   |   kobe_lova   |   59485 respect

Hey, I saw a more detailed Mama trailer, I would like you to see that. I feel like it's going to be like Don't Be Afraid of the Dark but still...

1/14/13   |   kteacher   |   33986 respect

The_Real_Stoney wrote:
tugging at the heart strings a little bit? I did like her in the hallway with Kyle Chandler and in the meeting room with Gandolfini

Another thing and it's random but just as important-------->I didn't think it was necessary to have what happened happen to those monkeys. That was just MEAN. 

1/14/13   |   The_Real_Stoney   |   24042 respect

kteacher wrote:
I was actually expecting her to participate in some of the torture scenes. I did like her later in the movie scenes.....especially the last one.....when she was going "home."

tugging at the heart strings a little bit? I did like her in the hallway with Kyle Chandler and in the meeting room with Gandolfini

1/14/13   |   kteacher   |   33986 respect

The_Real_Stoney wrote:
I was, and that's one of the things I was disappointed about.  Claire Danes goes full retard with her level of crazy and her quest for truth and it's awesome.  Jessica Chastain was just... meh.. All the supporting characters made her out to be a hard ass and I kept asking the screen if they were talking about the same person I was looking at

I was actually expecting her to participate in some of the torture scenes. I did like her later in the movie scenes.....especially the last one.....when she was going "home."

1/14/13   |   The_Real_Stoney   |   24042 respect

kteacher wrote:
I saw this movie last night, and agree with your review. Really. I have nothing else to add......you nailed it. 

(***Did you keep comparing Chastain's character to Carrie on Homeland? I did. lol)

I was, and that's one of the things I was disappointed about.  Claire Danes goes full retard with her level of crazy and her quest for truth and it's awesome.  Jessica Chastain was just... meh.. All the supporting characters made her out to be a hard ass and I kept asking the screen if they were talking about the same person I was looking at

1/14/13   |   kteacher   |   33986 respect

I saw this movie last night, and agree with your review. Really. I have nothing else to add......you nailed it. 

(***Did you keep comparing Chastain's character to Carrie on Homeland? I did. lol)

1/14/13   |   Nick__   |   28843 respect

Definitely on my watch list, but, since my average movie theater visits are about 2x a year, not sure if I will see this, this year or not.

1/14/13   |   kobe_lova   |   59485 respect

I only skimmed this because I don't feel the need to watch this movie just yet. It's like I feel no need to watch any of the past 9/11 movies. Maybe in a few years. I did see Iron Man 3 up there. Excited for that!