Author Topic: The Hurt Locker--no spoilers  (Read 3740 times)

Offline Front-Ranger

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The Hurt Locker--no spoilers
« on: March 05, 2010, 11:35:57 pm »
This movie is being forecast as the movie with the smallest audience to ever win Best Picture, if it attains that award on Sunday evening at the Academy Awards. It has nine nominations, the same as Avatar, with which it is vying for the award.

I went to the theater tonight to see The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus once again, but it wasn't showing, so I saw The Hurt Locker. Within minutes of the movie beginning, my heart was pounding, and there was scarcely a break in the suspense and horror for the whole movie.

The story, acting, and characters were very believable, yet there was high drama, pathos, and meaning. I caught myself being cynical about the story, which concerns soldiers in Iraq who work in a unit that defuses bombs and IEDs. For instance, when a soldier confessed that he regretted he hadn't married his girl and had a baby with her as she had wanted, I thought, "Uh oh, that guy's never going to make it." When two soldiers developed a hate/love relationship, I thought, "One of them's a goner for sure." But the movie didn't stick to a formula at all.

I found myself dreading the music, wishing I could shut it out. Because the music was so portentious and added immensely to the sense of danger. The cinematography also contributed to the sense of impending danger. The camera would scan the scene, and stop fleetingly on small details. I found myself suspecting everything I saw. Where was the bomb? Was it in that piece of trash? Around that corner? In the minaret? It was coming, I just knew it! I was on the edge of my seat thru the whole movie.

The movie, and the team, went from awful horrible task to task, each one more horrifying than the one before it. And each task presented greater unknowns and unthinkable challenges. Then, suddenly, the deployment was over and the soldier was faced with the daunting task of selecting a cereal box from a seemingly endless row of almost identical cereal boxes. The soldier is putting his son to bed and muses that one day, he will grow up, and maybe there will remain only one thing that he still loves. What is that one thing? It is revealed, and it will surprise you.

No, it was never explained what the hurt locker is, as far as I could tell. I thought it was perhaps akin to the heart locker, a place where you put your heart and your humanity for safekeeping while you had to do unspeakable things. Maybe someone who has read the book can say.
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Offline Clyde-B

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Re: The Hurt Locker--no spoilers
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2010, 11:52:19 pm »
I saw The Hurt Locker a few months ago.

I couldn't wait for it to be over.

Kathryn Bigelow's speciality is in getting the audience to feel what the characters feel, and she's extremely good at it.  This is one long adrenaline rush that just when you think it can't get any worse, it does.  It's 131 minutes of unrelenting tension, disarming bombs, where sudden death may happen at any second, and you have no way of knowing who among the crowds of locals are friend or foe.
   
It's very well made, very effective, but it's not for everybody.

Offline Fran

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Re: The Hurt Locker--no spoilers
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2010, 02:12:04 am »
I just finished watching it.  What an intense movie!  Totally different than what I expected.  I wonder if it will get "Best Picture."

No, it was never explained what the hurt locker is, as far as I could tell. I thought it was perhaps akin to the heart locker, a place where you put your heart and your humanity for safekeeping while you had to do unspeakable things. Maybe someone who has read the book can say.

I was wondering about the meaning of "hurt locker," too.

I found this:

The Hurt Locker : Interview
MARGARET: Well, I'm curious about the title, to start with.

KATHRYN BIGELOW: The Hurt Locker directly translated means the place of ultimate pain and it's a term that Mark Boal, when he was on the embed in Baghdad with the explosive ordinance disposal team, would use from time to time mentioning... "If this particular ordinance were to detonate, we would be in the hurt locker."



Offline Kelda

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Re: The Hurt Locker--no spoilers
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2010, 06:28:33 am »
Its on my list after reading this Lee!
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: The Hurt Locker--no spoilers
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2010, 08:57:09 am »
For instance, when a soldier confessed that he regretted he hadn't married his girl and had a baby with her as she had wanted, I thought, "Uh oh, that guy's never going to make it." When two soldiers developed a hate/love relationship, I thought, "One of them's a goner for sure." But the movie didn't stick to a formula at all.

I loved the way the opening scene plays on the audience's expectations regarding movie characters and actors, setting you up to understand that nobody is safe. Then there's another scene, later in the movie, that does it again.

I thought the hurt locker, at least in the literal sense, was the box that the main guy keeps under his bed.




Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: The Hurt Locker--no spoilers
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2010, 12:33:07 pm »
The opening scenes portray a busy marketplace and as soon as I saw a side of goat or lamb hanging for sale, I steeled myself for a grisly gory movie. But surprisingly there is an absence of gore except for one scene involving a "body bomb." No exploding people with body parts flying everywhere, no decapitations, etc.

Another thing I really liked about the movie was that it just started. No credits, no title till the end.

Here's an article that goes into the controversies surrounding the movie. Caution, there are spoilers:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=124319820&ps=rs
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Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: The Hurt Locker--no spoilers
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2010, 06:09:52 pm »
Another nuance of the meaning of the title could be (Meat) Locker. People as animals, just trying to survive, and people who are powerless in the face of violence and chaos.
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Offline Mandy21

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Re: The Hurt Locker--no spoilers
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2010, 07:04:11 pm »
Lee, I'm glad you started this topic.  I thought it was an important film, but I admit that I wasn't overly impressed with it.  I think there's several movies that have already covered these war scenarios / soldier rivalries / leaving families back at home / readjusting, etc. over the years.  I watched HL three times just trying to figure out why it was nominated for Best Picture, and I still can't quite grasp it.  Maybe I've just seen too many horror films in my life, but I saw right through each of the supposedly-suspenseful scenes.  I did love Jeremy's performance, and I hope that he wins for Best Actor, but other than that, I guess I must be missing something in terms of thinking this might qualify as a Best Pic contender.
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Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: The Hurt Locker--no spoilers
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2010, 09:54:44 pm »
I think there's several movies that have already covered these war scenarios / soldier rivalries / leaving families back at home / readjusting, etc. over the years. 

Which ones did you think were best?
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Offline Mandy21

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Re: The Hurt Locker--no spoilers
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2010, 10:24:11 pm »
Hey Lee, I can't say any of them were "best", but of late, within this genre, I've enjoyed "The Last Detail" with Nicholson, "Three Kings" with Clooney, "Grace is Gone" with Cusack, "The Lucky Ones" with Robbins, "Jarhead" with our boy Jake.  I just enjoyed and got more out of each of them than I did HL.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2010, 07:20:25 am by Mandy21 »
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