It’s hard to say I loved The Hurt Locker since it is such a disturbing and brutal movie. I will most likely never watch this film again. It’s not the kind of movie you want to re-live over and over again. And, it’s also not the type of film I would usually be drawn to. But, all I know is that I felt moved after seeing it…and that it affected me more than any film has in a long time. I think one of the reasons I was drawn to this film was that no matter what the subject, no matter how brutal or violent, good filmmaking is universal and stands out over all of the hype and other elements of the plot or story. The Hurt Locker is filmmaking at its finest. Never having been to war or even war-torn areas, this film is what I, as a naive civilian, imagine combat to be like. It is gritty and dismal and bleak and, at times, boring. There are men quarreling and having everyday personality issues like you and I do in the workplace. There are anger issues and missing family. There is death. Unlike some war films where the action and personalities of the soldiers and even the violence seems contrived, this film just seemed, to me at least, authentic. Revolving around soldiers in a bomb disposal unit in Iraq, the main character here is reckless and careless. But, he’s good at what he does so others around him are able to mostly excuse his free and easy behavior, especially because they do not want to do what he does. He’s the one who puts on the protective bomb gear and gets up close and personal with bombs. He might be a rebel, but in his dangerous job, rebellion is more of an asset at times than a liability. Like I said, I have no military experience so this feeling of authenticity is not based on anything specific…it’s just what I felt as I was watching the film—that this what be what it is really like over there. Then, on top of the intensity and drama of the film, The Hurt Locker also morphs into a thriller. As nail-biting (probably even more so) as any thriller made in Hollywood today, this war drama will not let up…even after the credits start to roll. With so many trite, predictable films being made today (some even about the war in Iraq), The Hurt Locker stands out among not only other war dramas, but among all other films.
The Hurt Locker: directed by Kathryn Bigelow and starring Jeremy Renner and Anthony Mackie. The Niles Public Library owns copies of this title on DVD.
Posts Tagged: thriller
THE STAFF OF THE ADULT FICTION DEPARTMENT AT NILES PUBLIC LIBRARY HAS CREATED ITS LIST OF THE “BEST NOVELS OF 2009.”
STAFF PICKS—BEST OF 2009
A GATE AT THE STAIRS—MOORE, LORRIE
A SMALL TOWN GIRL WORKS AS A NANNY IN A MIDWEST COLLEGE TOWN
A TRACE OF SMOKE—CANTRELL, REBECCA
SET IN 1931 BERLIN, A CRIME REPORTER SEEKS OUT THE STORY BEHIND HER BROTHER’S DEATH
BEAT THE REAPER—BAZELL, JOSH
A YOUNG HITMAN ENTERS THE WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM AS A MEDICAL INTERN
BEST FRIENDS FOREVER—WEINER, JENNIFER
TWO GIRLHHOD PALS RECONNECT FOLLOWING THEIR HIGH SCHOOL REUNION
BLACK FRIDAY– KAVA, ALEX
FBI PROFILER MUST PREVENT A TERRORIST PLOT TO ATTACK THE MALL OF AMERICA ON BLACK FRIDAY
BORDER SONGS–LYNCH, JIM
QUIRKY BORDER PATROL AGENT’S SUCCESSFUL BUSTS ON THE CANADIAN/US BORDER
FEAR THE WORST—BARCLAY, LYNWOOD
CONNECTICUT CAR SALESMAN IN SEARCH FOR HIS DAUGHTER WHO MYSTERIOUSLY DISAPPEARED FROM HER SUMMER JOB
THE HELP—STOCKETT, KATHERINE
A SOCIAL ACTIVIST COLLECTS THE STORIES OF BLACK WOMEN IN JACKSON, MS. RAISING THE CHILDREN OF WHITE FAMILIES
HEROIC MEASURES—CIMENT, JILL
A WEEKEND IN THE LIFE OF AN ELDERLY COUPLE AND THEIR DACHSHUND HOPING TO SELL THEIR EAST VILLAGE APARTMENT AFTER 45 YEARS
HOME SAFE–BERG, ELIZABETH
A POPULAR AND PROLIFIC WRITER HAS LOST THE ABILITY TO WRITE FOLLOWING THE DEATH OF HER HUSBAND
HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET—FORD, JAMIE
A CHINESE AMERICAN IN SEATTLE IN 1986, HAVING LOST HIS WIFE TO CANCER, REFLECTS ON HIS LIFE IN AMERICA DURING WWII
ICE LAND—TOBIN, BETSY
SET IN ICELAND IN A.D. 1000, THE STORY IS A FLIGHT THROUGH SCANDINAVIAN MYTHS
NEW TRICKS—ROSENFELT, DAVID
DEFENSE ATTORNEY ANDY CARPENTER TAKES ON A CANINE CLIENT WHO IS CONNECTED TO THE MURDER OF AN EXEC. IN THE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY
A RECENTLY RETURNED WWII CORPSMAN TRAVELS TO HOLLYWOOD TO INVESTIGATE THE UNEXPLAINED DEATH OF HIS BROTHER
STILL ALICE—GENOVA, LISA
AN ESTEEMED HARVARD PSYCHOLOGIST COPES WITH THE ONSET OF ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE
SWEETNESS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PIE–BRADLEY, C. ALLEN
IN A SLEEPY ENGLISH VILLAGE IN 1950 AN 11-YEAR OLD SCIENCE PRODIGY DISCOVERS A MURDER AND SEEKS TO SOLVE THE CRIME
TWENTIES GIRL—KINSELLA, SOPHIE
A MODERN STORY ABOUT THE FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN TWO GIRLS. HOWEVER, ONE OF THEM IS A GHOST FROM THE 1920’S
A CORPORATE INTELLIGENCE SPECIALIST INVESTIGATES THE DISAPPEARANCE OF HIS OLDER BROTHER
THE VINTAGE CAPER—MAYLE, PETER
A LAWYER INVESTIGATES THE THEFT OF A FAMOUS HOLLYWOOD LAWYER’S TREASURED AND EXPENSIVE WINE COLLECTION
WOLF HALL—MANTEL, HILARY
THE STORY OF HENRY VIII AND HIS CHALLENGE TO THE CHURCH IN HIS DESIRE TO DIVORCE HIS QUEEN AND MARRY ANNE BOLEYN IS TOLD THROUGH THE PERSPECTIVE OF HIS CLOSEST ADVISOR
WORST NIGHTMARES—BRIANT, SHANE
A SUCCESSFUL WRITER FINDS AN UNSOLICITED MANUSCRIPT THAT TELLS THE STORY OF THE HOMICIDAL ‘DREAM HEALER’ WHO SNARES HIS VICTIMS VIA HIS WEBSITE
Before the Devil Knows Your Dead
The Bourne Identity
The Count of Monte Cristo
In the Valley of Elah
No Country for Old Men
An excellent thriller — my first read from Fielding. It was a true page-turner. I could hardly put it down — even for sleep! About a journalist who gets suckered in to write the memoirs of a sadistic child killer, Fielding really has a way of increasing the suspense as the story progresses. Strong characters and a good, trick ending make it a must read for any thriller fan. Not exactly the most intellectual read ever, but for thriller fans, I would say it’s a must! I’m going to try another Fielding soon and see if she’s always this good!
Those Brits always have the best names! Anyhoo, Barclay, the #1 bestselling crime novelist in Britain, brings us his third novel.
Timothy Blake, a salesman at a Honda dealership in Connecticut, is an ordinary man. He’s middle-aged, has an ex-wife who is living with a car dealer rival, and has a 17-year old daughter, Syd, who might toss him a “Good Morning” on a GOOD day.
Syd is staying with Blake for the summer and has taken a job at Just Inn Time, a local hotel. Syd fails to return home from work one evening and Blake drives to the hotel to find that no one there has ever heard of her. The nightmare begins…..
This compelling and fast paced thriller follows Blake through the fright, fantasies and rage of a parent whose child faces uncertain danger. The plot is plausible and deals with the timely social issue of human trafficking. Several subplot twists in the book that are never resolved in the end may leave the reader a bit disappointed.
All in all, a good and suspenseful read.
In doing some random Hitchcock searching, I happened to stumble across THE ALFRED HITCHCOCK WIKI.
Aside from being totally stunned that I have not uncovered this treasure trove before, I was giddy with excitement at this site. It’s like HEAVEN in a website form for any Hitchcock afficiando (there are other words I can substitute here, but I will skip it).
YOU MUST CHECK IT OUT!
Dr. Tony Hill is a psychologist. A pretty dang quirky one. He talks to himself. He tries to work out his cases by posing as both the criminal and the doctor. He’s a little strange…but boy is he clever. He plods and thinks and analyzes and examines and will not stop until he has solved the puzzle…always one step ahead of both the criminal and the police. Working with him is Detective Chief Inspector Carol Jordan who has a pretty major crush on Dr. Hill (and vice-versa) but neither will ever let anything happen. They are both too professional for that. But, as a crime-solving duo, they work together flawlessly. DCI Jordan calls Dr. Hill in on special cases…stumpers — mostly multiple murder cases or serial killings. Hill can almost “get inside” or see inside the brain of the killer. In the first case, Dr. Hill gets more than he bargains for when he helps DCI Jordan on a serial killing case and he gets targeted by the killer and captured and tortured. Does Jordan save him in time? Well, let’s just say that the series goes on.
A fast-paced, exciting show that keeps the audience on their edge of their seats; this show is about the British organization MI:5…which is the spy agency that handles all activities WITHIN Great Britain (MI:6, where James Bond works, is responsible for the activities OUTSIDE Britain). If this show is even 10% accurate on what a spy goes through and what spies have to deal with, it is frightening. Taking spying into the 21st Century, this show does a great job of utilizing all of the new technological gadgetry and true-life terror threats as background in their episodes. A great cast helps push this show over the top…it’s provocative, insightful, very topical and fascinating.
Dexter is one of those GREAT stories that you just cannot seem to stop watching. Even when it gets a little too gory for my taste, I find myself unable to turn the TV off. Most of this, I would say, could be attributed to the writing. All of the characters are VERY well-structured. Not that this show is realistic…which is really is not…but at least the characters (for the most part) are. Dexter himself, played by Michael C. Hall, is a loveable loser kind of guy…at first. And even when he shows us his darker (MUCH darker) side, we still see him as the perfect underdog. I mean, the guy kills people…yes, only BAD people…but still. He’s a killer. He’s serial murderer. And I still find myself drawn to him. Go figure. Season two seemed even sharper (no “knife” pun intended) than the first…so I have high hopes the remaining seasons of this show will continue to be top-notch.
A fun, big budget romp that was one of the better “disaster” movies of the 1970s…mostly because of Paul Newman and Steve McQueen, who anchor the all-star cast. Not much in the story department here…a fire starts in a high-rise which is poorly built because of cost-cutting. The nature of the “disaster film” beast is that they are not made to be GREAT films…they are made to entertain and thrill. This one does that in spades and even features some strong performances. If you want a good, mindless flick, you really cannot go wrong with this film.