"The Hurt Locker" [Spoilers]

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"The Hurt Locker" [Spoilers]

Post by Big Orange »

Last week I've seen the Iraq war movie, The Hurt Locker, and unlike with Revenge of the Fallen I have not regretted it. The best movie I've seen all year, a well deserved 9/10.

Here's the official website. It was directed by Kathryn Bigelow (Point Break) and stars Jeremy Renner and Anthony Mackie, who play US Army bomb disposal sappers in the thick of Iraq's post invasion fuck up. It's kind of a US Military version of The Wire with the semi-documentary feel and nothing conveniently wrapped up within 90 minutes. And while you have cameos from fairly big names such as Guy Pearce, Ralph Fiennes, and David Morse, the central characters being comparative unknowns adds to the realism and you don't sense impregnable character shields.

While the three or prolonged bomb disposal operations make for very tense segments, the most memorable sequence was when the bomb disposal team comes across a team of UK mercenaries (led by Fiennes) and they're all ambushed by very determined enemy insurgents, leading to a hair-raising sniper duel that lasts for what feels like twenty minutes (that is unbearable in a good way). There is a touch of black comedy, when Jeremy Renner's character rambles on about how useless the Bradley and Abrams AFVs parked outside the compound are in the type of war Iraq is, with no Russian tanks in sight to face down.

And then we have the Ice Truck Killer turn up as expendable Westpoint twerp, who gets killed before you can yell "Gorman!". With the way Iraq is now and likely for many years to come, The Hurt Locker was filmed down the road in Kuwait and further afield in Jordan.

And the film's title instantly conjures up this silly metaphorical image. :P
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Re: "The Hurt Locker" [Spoilers]

Post by Raj Ahten »

I saw this movie back when it came out in the states a few months ago. By far the best Iraqi War movie made that isn't a documentary.

I was surprised the movie didn't get a wide release in the US; it was mainly being confined to art house theaters. Its a top notch action film and was much better than other crap like transformers 2 that was on at the same time.
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Re: "The Hurt Locker" [Spoilers]

Post by weemadando »

I saw it a while back too - and posted that everyone should goddamn well see it.

As for why it didn't get a wide release? Because it says bad stuff about the war damnit. And that means that HATE AMERICA AND HATE OUR TROOPS. AND ARE SOCIALIST!

It's an interesting take on it though, even if it does turn in a direction I didn't like after the Mercenary scenes. It could have just kept on being a movie about guys defusing bombs, not turning into some kind of attempt to actionify the final chapter of Apocalypse Now.
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Re: "The Hurt Locker" [Spoilers]

Post by Big Orange »

I can understand why it would be shunned by many cinemas due to its disparaging depiction of the Iraqi situation, in the UK at least it wasn't as callously shunned as the less politically contentious Moon.
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Re: "The Hurt Locker" [Spoilers]

Post by [R_H] »

weemadando wrote:I saw it a while back too - and posted that everyone should goddamn well see it.

As for why it didn't get a wide release? Because it says bad stuff about the war damnit. And that means that HATE AMERICA AND HATE OUR TROOPS. AND ARE SOCIALIST!
There are surprisingly few movies about the Iraq War. The only other one I've seen was the Haditha movie, which I thought was a turd.
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Re: "The Hurt Locker" [Spoilers]

Post by Garibaldi »

It showed on like 500 screens. That's pretty good for an indie, especially one in a subgenre (Iraqi war movies) which has been filled with turds and done zero box office.
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Re: "The Hurt Locker" [Spoilers]

Post by Sea Skimmer »

[R_H] wrote: There are surprisingly few movies about the Iraq War. The only other one I've seen was the Haditha movie, which I thought was a turd.
I don’t know why that’d be surprising,. Between the war being an ongoing thing, and being overwhelmingly the most heavily documented in real time conflict in history it’s not that great a thing to make a fictional movie about right now. Relatively few movies about Vietnam came out during that war as well. The world isn’t that of WW2 anymore when you had a huge market for endless unofficial propaganda films. People usually want to escape reality when they go to the movies, not hear about someone slathered all over the news.
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Re: "The Hurt Locker" [Spoilers]

Post by Big Orange »

Why are the other ficticious movies of the Iraqi War not very good? I heard fairly postive reviews about the TV series Over There though.

And as truly excellent as the sniper duel was, how realistic was it?
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Re: "The Hurt Locker" [Spoilers]

Post by neoolong »

That wasn't a movie technically. And Over There got mixed reviews I believe, and was supposed to be fairly cliched. Generation Kill was great though.
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Re: "The Hurt Locker" [Spoilers]

Post by Edward Yee »

From what I heard, Over There was just "Vietnam War TV series with 21st-century uniforms, different indigenous... and Hueys instead of Blackhawks."
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Re: "The Hurt Locker" [Spoilers]

Post by Big Orange »

Edward Yee wrote:... and Hueys instead of Blackhawks."
Or Blackhawks instead of Hueys. :wink:

Mission Kill is quite recent and ongoing, isn't it?
'Alright guard, begin the unnecessarily slow moving dipping mechanism...' - Dr. Evil

'Secondly, I don't see why "income inequality" is a bad thing. Poverty is not an injustice. There is no such thing as causes for poverty, only causes for wealth. Poverty is not a wrong, but taking money from those who have it to equalize incomes is basically theft, which is wrong.' - Typical Randroid

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Re: "The Hurt Locker" [Spoilers]

Post by weemadando »

Mission Kill?

If you mean Generation Kill, it was a HBO miniseries that ran last year (or was it earlier this year) - and it's run is over.
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Re: "The Hurt Locker" [Spoilers]

Post by Big Orange »

Shite, yet another brain-fart! :banghead:

But there is an obscure Hong Kong movie titled Mission Kill. :P

Ok, here's the official trailer for Generation Kill, it was intended as a mini-series, from the makers of The Wire, and seems similar in tone to The Hurt Locker.
'Alright guard, begin the unnecessarily slow moving dipping mechanism...' - Dr. Evil

'Secondly, I don't see why "income inequality" is a bad thing. Poverty is not an injustice. There is no such thing as causes for poverty, only causes for wealth. Poverty is not a wrong, but taking money from those who have it to equalize incomes is basically theft, which is wrong.' - Typical Randroid

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Re: "The Hurt Locker" [Spoilers]

Post by Knobbyboy88 »

Generation Kill was OK. However, it struck me as rather preachy at a few points and more than a tad unfair in its presentation. As a lower ranking enlisted soldier, I can more or less testify to the fact that we tend to talk a lot of trash about our commanders. Talk about how this officer "doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground" or how LT. What's-his-face "is an incompetent ass" is hardly uncommon. However, at the end of the day, most of us generally accept the fact that the higher ups probably know more about what is actually going on than we do, and we begrudgingly do as we're told even if we're not particularly happy about it. I just kind of got the impression that the show's writers more or less "missed the point" of an otherwise good story by focusing almost exclsuively on the gripes of enlisted soldiers (and portraying just about every other officer on the show as an incompetent buffoon) in order to bash the audience over the head with their anti-war agenda. In a lot of ways, it basically just reinforced the same old tired stereotypes and biases that "civilians" in general and the media in particular have held about the military since Vietnam.

The Hurt Locker was an awesome movie precisely because it largely ignored such moralistic proseltyzing. It chose to focus instead on the soldiers themselves and the kinds of dilemmas they personally faced. It stuck with an extremely hectic "stream of consciousness" mode of story telling which didn't bother with over indulgent exposition or explanation and the result was an intensely riveting and objectively "good" war movie, without the sentimentality or needless melodrama usually associated with the genre.
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Re: "The Hurt Locker" [Spoilers]

Post by The Yosemite Bear »

I wonder how long before we have a group going into Iraq to kill a mercinary comander who caused Al-Q attacks to suddenly drop off in his area, by becoming the most feared thing in Iraq, even more hated then Saddam....

oh and we can play the doors a lot, and Wagner...
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Re: "The Hurt Locker" [Spoilers]

Post by weemadando »

Knobbyboy88 wrote:Generation Kill was OK. However, it struck me as rather preachy at a few points and more than a tad unfair in its presentation. As a lower ranking enlisted soldier, I can more or less testify to the fact that we tend to talk a lot of trash about our commanders. Talk about how this officer "doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground" or how LT. What's-his-face "is an incompetent ass" is hardly uncommon. However, at the end of the day, most of us generally accept the fact that the higher ups probably know more about what is actually going on than we do, and we begrudgingly do as we're told even if we're not particularly happy about it. I just kind of got the impression that the show's writers more or less "missed the point" of an otherwise good story by focusing almost exclsuively on the gripes of enlisted soldiers (and portraying just about every other officer on the show as an incompetent buffoon) in order to bash the audience over the head with their anti-war agenda. In a lot of ways, it basically just reinforced the same old tired stereotypes and biases that "civilians" in general and the media in particular have held about the military since Vietnam.
Perhaps you are unaware of the controversy that Generation Kill (the book) caused on it's initial release. There were (IIRC) multiple disciplinary actions against people who were involved and the USMC had a hissy fit over it, before eventually reversing their policy and introducing it as part of their recommended reading.

There's still plenty of controversy over who's version of the story was right - but really, if you've done much research at all into the invasion and immediate aftermath then you'd realise that what the book and show got right was the utter confusion and chaos of it.

And BTW - I don't know how the writer's of the show can miss the point when the writer of the book was one of the writers of the show and the messages of the book are overwhelmingly carried over to the screen.
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Re: "The Hurt Locker" [Spoilers]

Post by Knobbyboy88 »

No, I'm certainly aware of it. That's part of the reason that I made the comment. It was simply one of the major reasons why Generation Kill didn't really stack-up with The Hurt Locker in my opinion.

While I've never read the Gen Kill book (so please correct me if I am wrong), I was under the impression that the show really dialed up the more "controversial" aspects of the source material. I heard that it was particularlly bad in regard to the show's portrayal of "Capitain America" and a few other officers whose names I can't remember at the moment.
you'd realise that what the book and show got right was the utter confusion and chaos of it
I don't doubt it. Modern "Blitzkrieg" style warfare is extremely chaotic, and it can seem particularly so if you are caught in the middle of it and largely unaware of the "bigger picture" unfolding on the ground. However, I still can't help but feel that Gen Kill made a real point of focusing almost exclusively on the negative and relying pretty heavily on stereotypes.
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Re: "The Hurt Locker" [Spoilers]

Post by weemadando »

I'd say, in fact that many of the officer's come off even worse in the book, because there are so many more examples of their actions and decision making shown.

And I can't help but ask - why the fuck do you think that a non-fiction book and the TV series that it's based off (written by the author and even featuring some characters being played by themselves) would be "relying pretty heavily on stereotypes". Did you ever consider that maybe that stereotype came from somewhere?
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Re: "The Hurt Locker" [Spoilers]

Post by Knobbyboy88 »

why the fuck do you think that a non-fiction book and the TV series that it's based off (written by the author and even featuring some characters being played by themselves) would be "relying pretty heavily on stereotypes"
C'mon man...

The quiet brooding guy who is really "too smart" for the military (*cough, cough* Jarhead *cough, cough*)? The vaguely ethnic guy who talks constantly about the injustice of the "white man?" The runtish (in comparison to other characters at least) comic relief who just so happens to counter and play off of the brooding guy? You can't tell me that they didn't embellish some of that, or at the very least edit things in such a way as to be more convenient with their story.

The only truly original character on the show was "Fruity" Rudy, and that's only because he was playing himself.

This is all IMO of course, and I'll conceed that things might've seemed a bit less cliche if I had read the book first. However, you have to admit that some parts of the story are simply too convenient.
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Re: "The Hurt Locker" [Spoilers]

Post by weemadando »

I think what you fail to understand is that the characters actually were like that, at least according to the book. You know, the military isn't solely composed of lower class white dudes from the midwest and south who dropped out of high school right?
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Re: "The Hurt Locker" [Spoilers]

Post by Knobbyboy88 »

Dude...I'm in the military. I know what the people are like. They are more or less the same as anyone else. While you may run into a few real "characters" every now and then, most people are fairly down to Earth.

As far as I know, Gen Kill's presentations of its characters may have been completely accurate to reality (whether the book itself is accurate to reality or not is another matter entirely). However, I simply find it to be more than a little bit suspect that most of these supposedly "authentic portrayals" tend to come off as simply retelling the same old stereotypes we've seen in war movies for the last 20 years or so.

While The Hurt Locker's main character may have been kind of a cliche himself (the "adrenaline junkie" who is "adicted to war" :roll: ), its portrayals of other characters were pretty spot on as to how actual Army personel act. They seemed like real and believable people, not caricatures.
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Re: "The Hurt Locker" [Spoilers]

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Keep in mind that this movie is to EOD what Bad Boys is to detective work.
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Re: "The Hurt Locker" [Spoilers]

Post by The Yosemite Bear »

Pulp Hero wrote:Keep in mind that this movie is to EOD what Bad Boys is to detective work.
how was the Esoteric Order of Dagon involved in this movie?
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Re: "The Hurt Locker" [Spoilers]

Post by Adrian Laguna »

Knobbyboy88 wrote:While I've never read the Gen Kill book (so please correct me if I am wrong), I was under the impression that the show really dialed up the more "controversial" aspects of the source material. I heard that it was particularlly bad in regard to the show's portrayal of "Capitain America" and a few other officers whose names I can't remember at the moment.
Actually, if anything the TV show dialed a lot of things down, especially in regard to "Captain America", in comparison to the Evan Wright's account, because producers thought audiences might not buy it.

A similar phenomenon occurred with the exploits of a certain GI who got the Medal of Honor while fighting the Nazis in France. They made a movie of it, and he played himself. The film understates actual events, at the request of lead, because he feared being called a liar.

Apparently, reality is unrealistic.
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Re: "The Hurt Locker" [Spoilers]

Post by Pulp Hero »

The Yosemite Bear wrote:
Pulp Hero wrote:Keep in mind that this movie is to EOD what Bad Boys is to detective work.
how was the Esoteric Order of Dagon involved in this movie?
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"It was cut because an Army Ordnance panel determined that a weapon that kills an enemy soldier 10 times before he hits the ground was a waste of resources, so they scaled it back to only kill him 3 times."-Anon, on the cancellation of the Army's multi-kill vehicle.
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