Tag Archives: The Hurt Locker

Jeremy Renner’s 10 Best Movies

Jeremy Renner

Jeremy Renner has become one of Hollywood’s most consistent leading men over the last decade.  Since hitting A-list status with back-to-back Oscar nominated performances in The Hurt Locker and The Town, Renner has continued to pump out both quality dramas like Wind River, American Hustle, Arrival, and Kill the Messenger.  He’s also part of both the Mission Impossible and Marvel Cinematic Universe franchises, contributing to some of the biggest blockbusters of the last few years.  He’s a solid leading man and action star with a talent for portraying everyman characters in the tradition of Harrison Ford.
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My Favorite Scene: Zero Dark Thirty (2012) “Bring Me People To Kill!”

After Kathryn Bigelow gets Detroit out this week, following The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, the woman really needs to mellow out and make a movie about animated ducks or something.  She is possibly the most INTENSE director about unflinchingly taking on controversial, contemporary issues working today, and my first sentence was flippant, because we need someone doing that.  Hollywood doesn’t really finance many message pictures anymore, any issue pictures, and that’s what Bigelow brings to the table.

Zero Dark Thirty is a controversial movie for a lot of reasons, not the least of which the graphic torture depicted (which happened), but also because it was made so soon after the killing of Osama bin Laden.  The “War of Terror” is so frustrating because it isn’t traditional warfare.  Our enemies don’t wear uniforms, adhere to a country, or even a single doctrine.  It’s more a war against a sick madness and how do you fight that?  The hunt for bin Laden was so important to Americans because he was the face.  He was the uniform, the symbol, the figurehead.  There are a lot of powerful scenes in the film but I like this meeting at the beginning with Mark Strong (tremendously underrated actor) painting the picture of frustration of the American people that this man had eluded the largest manhunt in history for a decade and sets the stage for everything to come.

Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty

Detroit Trailer #2 (2017) “I Need You to Survive the Night”

A police raid in Detroit in 1967 results in one of the largest and most intense riots in United States history, leading to the federalization of the Michigan National Guard and the involvement of two Airborne Divisons of the United States Army.

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, you’d think director Kathryn Bigelow would want to make a comedy or a film about ducks, but instead it looks like she’s shining a light on another controversial subject.  That’s not a criticism.  Hollywood doesn’t take risks with films that might offend or challenge people very often.  After tackling the Second Gulf War and the hunt for Osama bin-Laden, Bigelow now highlights a forgotten chapter from one of America’s darkest periods.  The phrase “we live in racially charged times” could be applied to literally any decade of American history, but the 1960s were probably the most frightening and volatile.  Bigelow highlights the 1967 race riots in Detroit, and the film will vie with The Dark Tower for primacy during the first weekend in August.  Starring John Boyega, Anthony Mackie, Will Poulter, and Algee Smith, Detroit opens in theaters August 4, 2017.
Theatrical Poster for Detroit

My Favorite Scene: The Hurt Locker (2008) “Secondary Devices”

The Hurt Locker is a film I feel I need to go back and revisit.  It had been so built up by the time I saw it in 2008 that I don’t know that anything could have matched the hype.  Enough time has passed now that I think it’s worth going back and checking it out again.  The first time through, though, there was one scene that had me; HAD ME.  For lack of a better term, I’m calling it “The Secondary Devices” scene, because that’s the moment, when he pulls up all the other bombs, that the tension in the scene shot past 11 somewhere on its way to googleplex.  Expertly acted by Jeremy Renner and directed by Kathryn Bigelow (who, in just two films, has made herself a director that commands your attention) this scene was the best from the Academy Awards’ Best Picture that year.

Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker

Top 5: War Movies

Top 5

This weekend it’s Memorial Day here in the States and we remember those who fought in wars foreign and domestic so that we might enjoy the freedoms we have today.  The war movie has been a part of film since the beginning.  A staple of cinema through the early 1970’s, the genre virtually died off until it was redefined and revolutionized by one of the most important films ever made: 1998’s Saving Private Ryan.  Continue reading Top 5: War Movies