#1  
Old 12-07-2012, 08:51 AM
Zero Dark Thirty

Directed: Kathryn Bigelow
Written: Mark Boal

Plot: the hunt for Osama bin Laden and the 10 years in between

Cast: Jessica Chastain, Kyle Chandler, Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt, James Gandolfini, Mark Duplass, Mark Strong, Frank Grillo

Trailer - http://afterthecut.com/2012/10/12/tr...dark-thirty-2/

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Saw it last night: Zero Dark Thirty was awe inspiring. Unlike anything you will see this year or in the future. It captured a moment in history that defined a generation and fortified a country. It's the best film of 2012, and frankly, it's not even close.

Mark Boal did a Q & A after the film, met him when it was all done and shook his hand and said thanks for making this movie. We chatted a bit he was a real cool guy.

Review: Zero Dark Thirty - the hunt for Osama bin Laden right before your eyes. Jessica Chastain gives a heroic performance in the hands down most tense, harrowing and triumphant film of the year - http://wp.me/p2CCWq-2qU

I'll answer any questions you guys have.

Last edited by P1NSTR1PEZ; 12-07-2012 at 12:32 PM..
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  #2  
Old 12-10-2012, 11:37 AM
Listen: Alexandre Desplat's score for Zero Dark Thirty - http://wp.me/p2CCWq-2rY

Last edited by P1NSTR1PEZ; 12-10-2012 at 09:38 PM..
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  #3  
Old 12-10-2012, 01:37 PM
This film is my guess for best picture winner of the year.
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  #4  
Old 12-14-2012, 10:08 PM
http://www.flavorwire.com/355764/fla...lm-of-the-year

The last paragraph has me anxiously awaiting this film, "the process becomes the story."

I'm in.
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  #5  
Old 12-14-2012, 11:54 PM
I want to see this so badly. It really sucks that I'm most likely not gonna be able to see it until January.
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  #6  
Old 12-15-2012, 07:01 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by creekin111 View Post
This film is my guess for best picture winner of the year.
Same, as well as another Best Director for Kathrine.

I'm so excited for this! I'm not typically into conspiracy or war films, but this looks intense--especially the moment with the soldiers (?) surrounding someone with AK-47s while wearing burqas.
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  #7  
Old 12-15-2012, 07:35 AM
after watching it I had it down for 4 Oscars - Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Actress in a Leading Role
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  #8  
Old 12-15-2012, 11:13 AM
I'm gonna be traveling to New York for Christmas and one of the motivating factors is watching this, since it opens Dec 19th in the States. Can't believe that Canada will only get this movie January 11th?! WTF.

I have a feeling that the critics' love for this movie is going to simmer down a bit in the next month or so, Lincoln is looking stronger now. Screenplay, Actress, Editing, Score (maybe) should get the gold, Best Director and Picture will go to Spielbergio and his great portrayal of America's best prez.
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  #9  
Old 12-15-2012, 11:32 AM
I have 0 interest in this movie , IMO it's to quick and I also don't believe the official story of this whole Bin Laden the boogie man hunt.
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  #10  
Old 12-16-2012, 12:27 AM
I've been a big Kathryn Bigelow fan ever since Point Break (and Strange Days is in my all time top ten), so I'm really glad to see her have this big second act to her career that could have easily been killed for good by K-19: The Widowmaker bombing. I'm holding off on making a top ten of 2012 specifically because of this movie.

EW gave it a perfect A score, calling the final raid on the compound a masterwork of suspense. I'm sure it will be great.
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  #11  
Old 12-16-2012, 02:35 AM
Dying to see this. Doesn't get released in NZ until January 31
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  #12  
Old 12-20-2012, 01:28 AM
I have a lot to say about this, but for now I will simply say that it's absolutely excellent. Impossibly good.
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  #13  
Old 12-20-2012, 10:41 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpikeDurden View Post
I have a lot to say about this, but for now I will simply say that it's absolutely excellent. Impossibly good.
Glad you liked it dude. Really looking forward to your review
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  #14  
Old 12-20-2012, 07:27 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by echo_bravo View Post
Glad you liked it dude. Really looking forward to your review
Thanks! And here it is... (Mild spoilers only if you are unfamiliar with factual news/events regarding the past 10 years and terrorism)

It would be easy to assume that a film with the subject matter of Zero Dark Thirty would preach, proselytize, and politicize. Much debate has already been spurned in the media (both entertainment and political) over the film’s portrayal and treatment of torture. Yet Zero Dark Thirty is not a film of emotion or extreme manipulation. It does not attempt to convince the audience to agree with its characters or present events with a jingoistic slant. Instead the film is a procedural – highly intelligent, meticulously crafted, almost journalistic in integrity. The film begins by informing us that it is based on events from first hand accounts. It attempts to create a vivid and accurate account of the events leading to the death of Osama Bin Laden, and it does so with great vigor and skill. Let me be clear, though. This film cannot actually be considered as a piece of journalism nor should it all be taken as fact. There is a subconscious contract that an audience member makes with a fictional film depicting real events; we know that certain facts may be missed or certain truths stretched in order to maximize the dramatic impact. Regardless (or perhaps because of this), Zero Dark Thirty is quintessential and important. It places a human and morally ambiguous face on the decade long, post 9/11 “War on Terror” that haunts, engages, and makes us question the tactics and violence utilized through self reflection.

The film unfolds as an investigation. Like a great detective novel, we observe with great detail and complexity the efforts that are undertaken in order to find details on the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden. It begins with the hotly debated torture – scenes presented without music or flourish but instead harsh reality – as Dan (played with gravitas, humor, edge, and vitality by Jason Clarke who’s evolution as a character makes him one of the film’s best and most unsung assets) does what it takes to get information from a prisoner. This evolves into more intellectual means of information gathering. Questioning, following, photographing, comparing notes and videotapes – these CIA agents use meticulous means to uncover the truth, and the film follows suit. Rigid, cold, and emotionless yet filled with life, the film lives in the subtlety and nuance of the character’s actions. From the waterboarding in the opening act to the frustrations some face when they must resort to other means ,the film asks us to reflect upon our own feelings and weigh the morality and implications of the use of violence as a means of achieving justice and revenge. We move quickly through a 10 year period and hit major events of terrorism along the way (the London bus, the Times Square car, etc.) and allow our characters to be affected and reflect upon these moments and how their work relates. This is a film that is designed to be controversial and inspire conversation and reflection. This is far more exciting and relevant than a film that gives opinions or answers would have been. Separated into titled chapters, this is a fascinating and adept approach to a film. Screenwriter Mark Boal’s use of chapter and language, of subtle humor and investigative and journalistic technique, is highly impressive.

Although quite brainy, Bigelow maintains a high level of relentless suspense throughout the film that makes the nearly 160 minutes move without hesitation. She has matured into a master craftsman, and although the film is even-keeled it pulsates with an assured intensity and attention to detail, complimented by Alexandre Desplat’s subtle and effective musical score. The film is sturdy and stunning, impeccably and cleanly shot by Greig Fraser who is evolving into one of the most exciting cinematographers working today. As we move into the final act, consisting of the infamous raid on Osama’s fortress, we marvel at Fraser’s use of light (or lack thereof) and night vision to achieve maximum intensity. This sequence is incredibly well constructed and designed, with a perfect sense of geography and realistic warfare. In these scenes we focus on the Seals – played by familiar faces such as Joel Edgerton and Chris Pratt, who bring humanity and warmth to otherwise unknown characters – as they got the job done, and a single image of overwhelming violence says it all.

Most important to the film is Maya, our lead character and our window to the world. Like many of the film’s other characters, played by a phenomenal ensemble of recognizable actors such as Kyle Chandler, James Gandolfini, Harold Perrineau, Jennifer Ehle, Edgar Ramirez, Mark Duplass, Mark Strong, and many others, that are able to bring spark and character to limited roles, Maya is defined by her work and her actions. Maya has no life beyond her singular determination and attachment to her job, and it is her desire and goal for revenge that drives her. Jessica Chastain is simply extraordinary and we watch her evolve from a young and unsure CIA agent into an incredibly strong, determined, and ultimately frustrated woman fighting for the continued following of her leads. Although Maya has few attachments, Chastain is able to craft a knowable and understandable character that allows for easy attachment and is a true force. Her evolution is highlighted by the film’s closing moments where we don’t get uplifted or a sense of catharsis but rather a quiet, isolated moment in which we are left stunned and questioning our experience in powerful and haunting fashion. This film is not fun entertainment, nor is it action packed or funny (or any other sort of buzzy words that often get applied to films), but it is without doubt one of the most accomplished and rewarding films of the year.
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  #15  
Old 12-20-2012, 07:51 PM
Great review Spike!

Yeah, can't make it NY for Xmas so I'm stuck in Canada, waiting to watch this in January. Have to hold off making my top ten list of 2012 just because of this movie, which pretty much every single person who's seen it seems to either like, love or worship. Anticipation is beyond control.
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  #16  
Old 12-20-2012, 08:13 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaMovieMan View Post
Great review Spike!

Yeah, can't make it NY for Xmas so I'm stuck in Canada, waiting to watch this in January. Have to hold off making my top ten list of 2012 just because of this movie, which pretty much every single person who's seen it seems to either like, love or worship. Anticipation is beyond control.
Thank you kindly. Sorry you can't make it to NY, but the film is worth the wait.
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  #17  
Old 12-23-2012, 07:20 AM
Yeah, I agree that it's a technically well made film with great casting, dialogue, acting, cinematography, etc. I realize why they followed 1 or 2 characters, who actually represent all the people who helped track down UBL. I was thoroughly engrossed in the film even though a lot of the film is just going through the various well known facts and events surrounding the killing of UBL.

The film really didn't have any heart since the main character isn't like a real person...she is like some sort of UBL hunting robot. It's like they had a check list of facts and events they needed to get through. The film makers are veterans, so they apparently did this on purpose, but I'm not sure why. Even some of the peripheral characters were a lot more interesting than the main one.

I think the main reason they didn't want to get into the head of the CIA analyst is because it would have gone against the political agenda of the film. When she discusses being recruited, it was a perfect time to discuss why she joined the CIA, etc. The political bias of the film is subtle and not in your face...but the liberal agenda is definitely there. A conservative filmmaker would have made the film very differently. If s/he showed a torture scene, s/he would have also given the reason why it was carried out. Since this film is exclusively from the perspective of this 1 CIA analyst, who is a robot, we don't really get to see the full picture.

Overall, I'm going to have to give this film a flunking grade. I'd like to see another movie about these events from the perspective of the operators who carried out the missions. The people who gave this film high marks will all lower the grade after a second viewing. I don't think this film will be the ultimate telling of the story. It was rushed so that it could be first...but it just needed more time to gestate.

Last edited by markbot; 12-23-2012 at 07:40 AM..
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  #18  
Old 12-23-2012, 07:40 AM
Oh yeah, waterboarding isn't torture, BTW. It's always amusing when I see it in a film and they make it out to be this big thing....like in that Denzel Washington movie. It's the equivalent of dunking a guy's head in the toilet a few times. Sure, it's unpleasant but it's not the equivalent of putting a guy in a small box for 3 days....now that is torture. I mean, giving a guy nothing but bread and water to eat for 1 month is probably far more psychological torture than water boarding. Personally, I think these are all just standard interrogation tactics. it's not like these war criminals are in real physical danger. Plus, they are allowed to be coerced according to the Geneva convention because they are unlawful combatants. I think we should all keep in mind that these war criminals could have just been shot dead. They were only kept alive so that they could provide intel. What is worse? Killing someone or keeping them alive in an uncomfortable state so we can save lives with the intel?

Last edited by markbot; 12-23-2012 at 08:12 AM..
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  #19  
Old 12-24-2012, 07:07 AM


Most people thought and said Osama bin Laden's capture or death by the hands of those hunting him would never happen.
In fact the it became the punchline of many comedic routines ........but they still cant find bin Laden......it's easier finding
bin Laden.Those that dedicated their lives to finding him,never got the those punchlines,he became their obsession for
10 years and the film Zero Dark Thirty is a well crafted,intense and suspenceful view of The Greatest Manhunt in History.


Director and producer Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal instantly involve the audience with a dark screen
and only chilling audio from 9-11.The film mainly focuses on C.I.A operative Maya( an excellent Jessica Chastain) and her
gathering of intel on locating bin Laden.At first she seems stand offish,or taken aback by the interrogation tactics of fellow
operative Dan (the great Jason Clarke),but soon displays her defiant and relentless nature.
Not only does she have to get intel from shadowy figures connected to bin Laden,but deal with the politics and red tape involved
when fellow operatives begin to focus on the terrorist activity of the day,or feel the intel on bin Laden isnt accurate enough.

ZDT is right up there with ARGO as an involving look at a historic moment.The audiences knows the outcome,but it still manages
to stir them,and leave them in suspense.Lulled into a sense of security due to the casualness of a scene only to be completely shaken and riveted
within minutes.Every scene is detailed and crafted to involve ,mixing chilling real footage of old and recent terrorist activity.

The C.I.A and government higher ups have disavowed the film,saying its non factual particularly when it comes down to the
torture tactics displayed in several scenes in order to get intel on bin Laden,but there is no denying ZDT is a great and impressive
procedural and one of the best films of 2012

Scale of 1-10 a 10
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  #20  
Old 01-05-2013, 03:04 AM
Well.

It's a blisteringly entertaining film; compelling from start to finish. With every excuse to have a few patches of dry spots -- an issue I had with The Hurt Locker -- it's remarkably well balanced and relentless in its forward-movement.

On that note, a viewer probably enjoys it more the more they know of the events surrounding the raid. Not because of the truthfulness, of course, but rather because it avoids confusion: I credit Bigelow for pushing forward, never stopping to have an operative explain something to someone purely for the sake of the audience, but there might be a moment or two of confusion as the story hops around places and time. Perhaps I'm wrong, and a touch of mystery isn't a bad thing, but just something I thought about as it unfolded.

Chastain is great in a pretty thankless part, and Jason Clarke is also pretty wonderful. But this isn't an actor's movie. What it best accomplishes is a believable understanding of how the whole thing went down. The trajectory is never totally clear and the transformation of characters and situation is (purposefully and properly) under-explained. This is a movie about the killing of OBL and nothing more.

On that front, I have no idea how to rate the damn thing. In terms of flawless craftsmanship and entertainment it is better than anything I saw in 2012 or 2011. In terms of substance? Hard to say. I'll need to see how it all sinks in. But it deserves your time and money -- even if you don't think you like this sort of thing.
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  #21  
Old 01-10-2013, 03:16 PM
When dealing with a Procedural Film, certain aspects must be made for the audience. The story must be made clear and understandable, there should be an anchor that drives the viewers forward and makes them invested in the events that have followed, and the direction and screenplay must be engaging. We’ve had a previous film, Ben Affleck’s Argo, which handled that type of film well enough through absolutely great direction. But Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty, a film about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, goes above and beyond on what a procedural film entails. Absolutely seamless, exciting, and a fantastic lead performance in Jessica Chastain, this is a film that just feels effortless.

Bigelow has gone down this route before, in terms of political films, with the more action-geared Hurt Locker. This was a film that retained Bigelow’s ongoing thematic ideals in many of her films of what drives a human to do the things that they do, the metaphorical drug that keeps them going in life. With Zero Dark Thirty, this next step feels like an absolute leap. Bigelow now has a drive in letting the story be told thoroughly, as well as convincingly. A story detailing the hunt for Osama Bin Laden could very well be a “walking on eggshells” scenario, but the storytelling done by Bigelow and her screenwriter Mark Boal do not take unnecessary detours and pit stops to keep this film from crashing.

Zero Dark Thirty is simply a train, in that it moves forward without absolutely no intention of stopping until its 157 minutes run time has ceased. The information given to the audience isn’t very “hold your hand” type of storytelling, but handled well in that it has the audience be engaged in what the characters are saying, or even thinking. Bigelow handles most of these scenes in more or less “acts”, given a simple title of where the story is going to be in regards to timeline, as well as what scenario the CIA is now dealing with in terms of Osama Bin Laden. Nothing feels out of shorts when the film switches gears to the next following mission, as Bigelow perfectly utilizes the real-world events of terrible terrorism that have been orchestrated by Bin Laden and his Al Qaeda group. There also isn’t the need to make some sort of political statement, much like her previous film The Hurt Locker, only to have the details brought to the audience and have them come out of this film with their own thoughts.

As for the performances, everyone is pretty much excellent across the board, but its Chastain that walks away from this film a complete and utter winner. She is Maya, the CIA operative that the audience follows right as she becomes involved with the Bin Laden manhunt. Most of the film Chastain brings a more subdued performance in the first acts, a quiet, intelligent storm that observes the things around her as a hopeful means to get Bin Laden. But, but by the middle and final act, she’s a fire cracking hound that will always be known and never ignored. This job is her “drug”, and she won’t recover from it until Bin Laden or any of his operatives are captured or dead.

The rest of the cast are more supporting players, with the most notable being Jason Clarke as a CIA operative in the middle of torturing prisoners who were associated with the Al Qaeda group. He brings a sense of exasperated vulnerability to the role, a man simply doing his job the only way he knows how. The rest of the cast play more of a bit part, from Mark Strong to James Gandolfini, and are all great in the scenes that they are a part of. The ensemble is just tremendous, especially the investment that they are given with the limited screen time that they have.

Zero Dark Thirty is this year’s Zodiac for me, another procedural film made in 2007 by director David Fincher that also knocked it completely out of the park. Bigelow made a film that knows where to trim the fat, but also allow exposition for the story and characters so nothing feels left out or forgotten. Kathryn Bigelow has simply a masterpiece in cinema and procedural films that is so utterly engaging and never boring, especially when the conclusion of this story is so well known.

10/10
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  #22  
Old 01-11-2013, 01:21 AM
A freaking masterpiece!

Much like Argo, the last 30 minutes of this movie create such amazing tension and edge of your seat/ bated breath excitement it is almost unreal. Argo and this movie are both based on true events, and even though we know the ending to each historical event, these movies presented the events in such a master way that their (Affleck & Bigelow) snubbing at this years Academy Awards is more than baffling, they go on my list of biggest snubs ever, up there with Jim Carrey for Man on the Moon!

It is such an entertaining movie, and the truth of the story just adds so much more to the experience.

Acting is all top notch (I especially loved seeing Mark Duplass in there for a small supporting role)

go see this movie... it is worth every penny.
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  #23  
Old 01-11-2013, 02:10 AM

Great reviews guys. Can't wait to see it this weekend
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  #24  
Old 01-11-2013, 07:30 AM
Well if this is truly the best film of 2012, I'd have to say 2012 is a pretty lame year. Luckily it is not as 2012 delivered some real knockouts like The Raid and Killer Joe. I must say though I do feel lied to as all the talk was that this was the shoe-in for best picture. All I can say about that is WTF?!?!?!?

Talk about heavy handed, talk about forced and out of place, talk about trying to hard, this film is all of that and then some. I wanted to like this so much. I had such high expectations here, Hurt Locker easily being among my top 5 of the past decade and all the "best of the year" hype. But IMO, Bigelow missed the mark here.

In Hurt Locker Bigelow and Renner deliver an intimate portrayal of an incredibly compelling, conflicted, unhinged, and ambivalent character that ranks among the best of the past 20 years or so in Sgt William James. In Zero Bigelow and Chastain give us Maya who is just a straight forward, driven, and, focused do-gooder. Nothing but a one trick pony. This is not to say Chastain was bad, the character just isn't that interesting. This is not to say that Zero is a BAD movie, it is just not a great movie.

Everything is in place here, everything is as it should be. I won't say that the actors or script had me thinking "these aren't really government agents, government agents wouldn't do that". It's just they were portrayed as every other government agent has ever been portrayed in every other movie containing government agents ever in history. Basically they were paper thin, one dimensional, and uninteresting. I take one thing back, during one of Chastain's many "rants/tantrums" directed at a superior, after about a half a dozen of the same "rant/tantrum" directed at other coworkers/superiors over and over again, I thought to myself no way would that shit fly. She would be F-I-R-E-D or discharged or whatever the fuck they do to can people. But it was really only a brief moment and not the major reason I feel this movie is OVERRATED.

In the end if Maya had more sides to her personality, if she did more than just rant and throw tantrums, if she was even remotely interesting to watch, this may have been a really good movie. Would that make it great, would that put it on the level of Hurt Locker? No, there are a few other places where it falls short as well but the lack of a compelling character is certainly the main flaw here and having one would certainly make it a lot better.

As for the seal team and their raid which make up the final 20 mins of the film, I will say I would have liked to see more of these characters. In their brief screen time, Joel Edgerton and his band of merry men were twice as entertaining as the suits. It could be said they were portrayed as the cliched cocky Navy Seal's but at least that is a fun cliche to watch.

The raid in the end, the big pay off was pretty dull too. I had also heard a little bit of chatter about how good it was and was expecting something along the lines of the opening action sequence from The Kingdom. Nope, nowhere near as intense and another pretty big letdown here now that I think about it.

In this genre, there have been several movies that have done the same one dimensional government agent and done it better. A few recent ones off the top of my head are Spy Game, Syriana, The Good Shepherd, and Breach. With Breach probably being the best of the bunch. I feel let down by this movie and wouldn't strongly recommend it. Again, it's not a bad movie it's just not great. 6/10 because I expected much more of Bigelow.
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  #25  
Old 01-11-2013, 09:25 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by rustysyringe View Post
In the end if Maya had more sides to her personality, if she did more than just rant and throw tantrums, if she was even remotely interesting to watch, this may have been a really good movie. Would that make it great, would that put it on the level of Hurt Locker? No, there are a few other places where it falls short as well but the lack of a compelling character is certainly the main flaw here and having one would certainly make it a lot better.
I wasn't settling with Chastain to begin with, but I begun to grow fond of her character as the film ticked on. Some are grumbling that there is a lack of development with the Chastain. Firstly, I don't think there is much complexity to this character. This is hinted at in a dinner scene with Jennifer Ehle (reminiscent of Meryl Streep in one's salad days?) when she attempts to dig around for a personal background. She jokes, "Do you even have any friends?", which seems to weaken Chastain. She falls silent. In another, James Gandolfini attempts to plug her for the same, to which she rebuffs. However, we do find out that she was recruited in High School. High School. This woman wasn't given the chance to develop a life outside of the C.I.A. As far as the film is concerned this woman has no past, no friends, and no consideration of what lies ahead for herself. She lives in the now. This is also communicated at the very end of the film SPOILER when the pilot asks her "You must be pretty important, you got the whole plane to yourself! Where do you wanna go?". Chastain looks, staring right through him. An unambiguous question becomes incredibly personal to her. Where does she want to go? The sadness is in the truth...to the next assignment./SPOILER

I feel that the final scene speaks volumes through its silence.

I found almost every minute of ZDT riveting. Not at one point did it stall or splutter, which sees credit due to well-conducted, thorough research, cutting and pasting of the events (wholly true or otherwise, we will never know), and knitting it so tightly together. The film consistently builds on suspense and sustains right up until the last minute of the 20min+ compound attack, which I see as large accomplishment seeing how it was no surprise as to the outcome. I was on tenterhooks.

The year's best American film.

Whoever nixed Bigelow for the Direction nom deserves a clouting.

Last edited by viceus; 01-11-2013 at 09:55 AM..
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  #26  
Old 01-11-2013, 10:04 AM
Worst. Snub. Ever.
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  #27  
Old 01-11-2013, 10:14 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by viceus View Post
I wasn't settling with Chastain to begin with, but I begun to grow fond of her character as the film ticked on. Some are grumbling that there is a lack of development with the Chastain. Firstly, I don't think there is much complexity to this character. This is hinted at in a dinner scene with Jennifer Ehle (reminiscent of Meryl Streep in one's salad days?) when she attempts to dig around for a personal background. She jokes, "Do you even have any friends?", which seems to weaken Chastain. She falls silent. In another, James Gandolfini attempts to plug her for the same, to which she rebuffs. However, we do find out that she was recruited in High School. High School. This woman wasn't given the chance to develop a life outside of the C.I.A. As far as the film is concerned this woman has no past, no friends, and no consideration of what lies ahead for herself. She lives in the now. This is also communicated at the very end of the film

I feel that the final scene speaks volumes through its silence.
My point is not about her having no friends, no social life, consumed by her work. I am fine with all that. In fact that is probably the strongest point of the script. My problem is THAT'S THE ONLY SIDE THEY SHOW OF HER. Just because one has no friends and is consumed by work does not mean they are one sided and lack any sort of complexity of character. There was no dichotomy here, no juxtaposition between any of the government types. They were all the same, they were as I stated above, the same we have always seen portrayed in movies. Cookie cutter characters.......ZZZZZZZZZZZ.....puts me to sleep every time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by viceus View Post
I found almost every minute of ZDT riveting. Not at one point did it stall or splutter, which sees credit due to well-conducted, thorough research, cutting and pasting of the events (wholly true or otherwise, we will never know), and knitting it so tightly together. The film consistently builds on suspense and sustains right up until the last minute of the 20min+ compound attack, which I see as large accomplishment seeing how it was no surprise as to the outcome. I was on tenterhooks.
It is the same formula used in all of the spy thrillers I mentioned above only they did it better. No new ground here either. Again, IMO, Bigelow took no chances here whereas with Hurt Locker she really took big chances and delivered a completely complex and compelling character and story. A fresh look. Zero Dark felt very same 'ol, same 'ol to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by viceus View Post
The year's best American film.

Whoever nixed Bigelow for the Direction nom deserves a clouting.
I guess that's why they call it taste and why so many people complain about the Awards. Of all the best pic noms I would say three are decent and entertaining but none would I consider even close to the best of the year or best American film by a long shot.
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  #28  
Old 01-11-2013, 12:02 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by rustysyringe View Post
My point is not about her having no friends, no social life, consumed by her work. I am fine with all that. In fact that is probably the strongest point of the script. My problem is THAT'S THE ONLY SIDE THEY SHOW OF HER. Just because one has no friends and is consumed by work does not mean they are one sided and lack any sort of complexity of character. There was no dichotomy here, no juxtaposition between any of the government types. They were all the same, they were as I stated above, the same we have always seen portrayed in movies. Cookie cutter characters.......ZZZZZZZZZZZ.....puts me to sleep every time.
If you knew the amount of research that went into this movie, you would be retracting pretty much every statement you just made. How is there no juxtaposition when

Spoiler:
We are shown pretty much every facet of government through the various characters and how they all exit (transfer out like Dan, get screwed over by other agencies like the Security Chief, die on the field like her friend (she did have friends by the way...) except for her, the one constant and what that did to her as a person?
Through all the characters from the interrogator, to the chief in Pakistan, her friend played by Jennifer Ehle, her boss Mark Strong, his boss Gandolfini - everyone represents one part of government and they are all compared and contrasted with HER.


Whether you have seen anything like those characters before or not doesn't take away from the fact that they are realistic. Again, if you knew about the research that was done, you'd take that statement back. I think so anyway, maybe you wouldn't but that would be your issue.

Quote:
It is the same formula used in all of the spy thrillers I mentioned above only they did it better. No new ground here either. Again, IMO, Bigelow took no chances here whereas with Hurt Locker she really took big chances and delivered a completely complex and compelling character and story. A fresh look. Zero Dark felt very same 'ol, same 'ol to me.
Same ol same ol true story about all the important points of leading up to the killing of Bin Laden that's been done so many times before. LOL. Are you serious? New ground is that no other director would probably come close to this kind of subject, things have been brought to light, we see the mistakes people made, the determination from others.. I mean, you can say that you've seen all that kind of stuff before in other movies but the point is that the film is meant to bring you a slice of recent (sorta important) history and present it to you in a way that you understand who was involved, and how people were affected. Namely, one person since the film can only be so long.

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I guess that's why they call it taste and why so many people complain about the Awards. Of all the best pic noms I would say three are decent and entertaining but none would I consider even close to the best of the year or best American film by a long shot.
Thank God for taste, that we can agree on. What's your favorite American movie, out of curiosity? Killer Joe? I loved Killer Joe, it's in my top ten, but that's pure entertainment and little else. Is that the only thing you look for in movies?
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  #29  
Old 01-11-2013, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by DaMovieMan View Post
If you knew the amount of research that went into this movie, you would be retracting pretty much every statement you just made. How is there no juxtaposition when
I have no doubt they researched the facts diligently. I do not question this films presentation of the facts. So no, knowing the amount of research they put into this is not going to change my opinion of it.

There was no contrast in the government agents, they were all pretty much the same. By that I don't mean their opinions (I realize everyone disagreed with Maya). I mean in how they were portrayed. Very cookie cutter, no depth, no complexity, just straight-forward secret agent man. Btw, you do know there was a news story out recently about the amount of porn the employees at the dept of defense were viewing don't you? Why not throw something like that in there? Come on man show me some of these fools surfing porn at work and getting busted, show me some of their dirt or it comes across as very fake IMO. And it doesn't have to be porn related there just happened to be a major story about that recently is why I used that as an example. Basically, show me their human side. An excellent example would be how the character of Tony Mendez was portrayed by Affleck in Argo. Just don't insult my intelligence, show me these people are human.

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Originally Posted by DaMovieMan View Post
Whether you have seen anything like those characters before or not doesn't take away from the fact that they are realistic. Again, if you knew about the research that was done, you'd take that statement back. I think so anyway, maybe you wouldn't but that would be your issue.
Really, you believe that they are realistic? You believe that what we saw is all there is to these characters? It was only one side of them, ZERO depth here other than Jason Clarke as Dan. He had a couple layers but not much really. Not near the levels of complexity displayed by Renner's character in Hurt Locker. That's what I want and what I am talking about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaMovieMan View Post
Same ol same ol true story about all the important points of leading up to the killing of Bin Laden that's been done so many times before. LOL. Are you serious? New ground is that no other director would probably come close to this kind of subject, things have been brought to light, we see the mistakes people made, the determination from others.. I mean, you can say that you've seen all that kind of stuff before in other movies but the point is that the film is meant to bring you a slice of recent (sorta important) history and present it to you in a way that you understand who was involved, and how people were affected. Namely, one person since the film can only be so long.
OK, first of all there would be directors lined up around the corner if you want a movie made about the hunt down and killing of Osama. The most hated and hunted man on the planet, maybe the only bad guy since Hitler pretty much EVERYONE has actually said deserved to die. And you think that's a risk? Are you joking? Seriously, we (America) get bashed for A LOT of things (many, rightfully so) in regards to our foreign policy. But hunting down and killing Osama was the one thing EVERYONE (outside of Jihadists of course) was 100% behind us on. If any story posed zero risk and an almost absolute certainty of success, it is this one.

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Originally Posted by DaMovieMan View Post
Thank God for taste, that we can agree on. What's your favorite American movie, out of curiosity? Killer Joe? I loved Killer Joe, it's in my top ten, but that's pure entertainment and little else. Is that the only thing you look for in movies?
A quick list of my faves of the year would have to include an asterisk as I haven't had the pleasure to see The Master yet. I have a feeling it will be my #1 for the year. Anyway, here is my list for favorite American movies of the year.

1. Killer Joe
2. Flight
3. The Paperboy
4. Killing Them Softly
5. Argo

My current favorite overall film of the year is not an American movie though. IMO, the best movie of the year hands down is The Raid. But like I said, haven't seen The Master yet.
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  #30  
Old 01-11-2013, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by rustysyringe View Post
Come on man show me some of these fools surfing porn at work and getting busted, show me some of their dirt or it comes across as very fake IMO. And it doesn't have to be porn related there just happened to be a major story about that recently is why I used that as an example. Basically, show me their human side.
I thought every single moment of this film was crucial and it clocked in at 150mins or so, right? If you wanted to flesh out all of these characters with subplots and whatnots, you'd be pushing the 3hr mark. There's room for it in Homeland, but not here. The film was so taut and I feel that any attempt to do so would deter from that and totally knock the pacing off.

Last edited by viceus; 01-11-2013 at 01:45 PM..
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  #31  
Old 01-11-2013, 02:01 PM
I think the best part about this movie was handling the character and the overarching story of Osama Bin Laden's capture beautifully. The mission is at hand, while also giving enough exposition to develop a friendship with Chastain and Ehle's characters (in the beginning, they seemed a bit contrasting to one another). The final raid at the end is happening, and yet Bigelow allows time to get us to know some of the more prominent soldiers in the film.

Everything felt molded to bring quality storytelling in my opinion, giving fully formed characters with personality and relationships, while also keeping the focus tight on the years on finding Bin Laden.
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  #32  
Old 01-11-2013, 02:11 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by rustysyringe View Post
I have no doubt they researched the facts diligently. I do not question this films presentation of the facts. So no, knowing the amount of research they put into this is not going to change my opinion of it.

There was no contrast in the government agents, they were all pretty much the same. By that I don't mean their opinions (I realize everyone disagreed with Maya). I mean in how they were portrayed. Very cookie cutter, no depth, no complexity, just straight-forward secret agent man. Btw, you do know there was a news story out recently about the amount of porn the employees at the dept of defense were viewing don't you? Why not throw something like that in there? Come on man show me some of these fools surfing porn at work and getting busted, show me some of their dirt or it comes across as very fake IMO. And it doesn't have to be porn related there just happened to be a major story about that recently is why I used that as an example. Basically, show me their human side. An excellent example would be how the character of Tony Mendez was portrayed by Affleck in Argo. Just don't insult my intelligence, show me these people are human.



Really, you believe that they are realistic? You believe that what we saw is all there is to these characters? It was only one side of them, ZERO depth here other than Jason Clarke as Dan. He had a couple layers but not much really. Not near the levels of complexity displayed by Renner's character in Hurt Locker. That's what I want and what I am talking about.



OK, first of all there would be directors lined up around the corner if you want a movie made about the hunt down and killing of Osama. The most hated and hunted man on the planet, maybe the only bad guy since Hitler pretty much EVERYONE has actually said deserved to die. And you think that's a risk? Are you joking? Seriously, we (America) get bashed for A LOT of things (many, rightfully so) in regards to our foreign policy. But hunting down and killing Osama was the one thing EVERYONE (outside of Jihadists of course) was 100% behind us on. If any story posed zero risk and an almost absolute certainty of success, it is this one.



A quick list of my faves of the year would have to include an asterisk as I haven't had the pleasure to see The Master yet. I have a feeling it will be my #1 for the year. Anyway, here is my list for favorite American movies of the year.

1. Killer Joe
2. Flight
3. The Paperboy
4. Killing Them Softly
5. Argo

My current favorite overall film of the year is not an American movie though. IMO, the best movie of the year hands down is The Raid. But like I said, haven't seen The Master yet.
Just seems like we watched different movies. You're talking about introducing porn or some other left-field controversial subject about the government in a film that has a hard enough time to deal with one subject. Just sounds like your expectations for this movie were something way beyond what the film actually wanted to talk about. If you didn't think Maya's, Jessica's and Dan's characters were human, then again, sounds like you wanted a 5 hour film or a mini series, or a TV show like Homeland where there is enough time to cover everything and make every character three-dimensional.

But anyways, if your favorite film from the whole year is The Raid (which is pure action entertainment, and nothing else) and you have The Paperboy and Flight in your top 5 American films....you've got a very peculiar way of thinking about what's good and what's not good in movies. Just sounds like you want entertainment which, by the way, doesn't bode too well for The Master. Don't be surprised if you hate it.

Last edited by DaMovieMan; 01-11-2013 at 02:43 PM..
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  #33  
Old 01-11-2013, 02:20 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.HyDe807 View Post
I think the best part about this movie was handling the character and the overarching story of Osama Bin Laden's capture beautifully. The mission is at hand, while also giving enough exposition to develop a friendship with Chastain and Ehle's characters (in the beginning, they seemed a bit contrasting to one another). The final raid at the end is happening, and yet Bigelow allows time to get us to know some of the more prominent soldiers in the film.

Everything felt molded to bring quality storytelling in my opinion, giving fully formed characters with personality and relationships, while also keeping the focus tight on the years on finding Bin Laden.
^ More or less sums up my feelings about it.

8/10
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  #34  
Old 01-11-2013, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by DaMovieMan View Post
sounds like you wanted a 5 hour film or a mini series, or a TV show like Homeland where there is enough time to cover everything and make every character three-dimensional.

Just sounds like you want entertainment which, by the way, doesn't bode too well for The Master. Don't be surprised if you hate it.
It would have fit just fine. We didn't need a huge back story, just a few minutes with each character, show a few flaws, show them as human. Saying it would take 5 hours or a mini series is poppycock. Worked just fine in Argo and that was certainly just as difficult a situation to cover as this was.

As to The Master, I love compelling characters and from what I've read none are more so this year than Phoenix's Freddie and Hoffman's Dodd. In fact it sounds right up my alley. Besides TWBB is my #1 of the past decade. Boogie Nights is among my top 3 of the past 25 years. PTA is my favorite director and writer. I have complete faith this will not disappoint me and will, as you say, entertain me.
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  #35  
Old 01-11-2013, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by markbot View Post
Oh yeah, waterboarding isn't torture, BTW. It's always amusing when I see it in a film and they make it out to be this big thing....like in that Denzel Washington movie. It's the equivalent of dunking a guy's head in the toilet a few times. Sure, it's unpleasant but it's not the equivalent of putting a guy in a small box for 3 days....now that is torture. I mean, giving a guy nothing but bread and water to eat for 1 month is probably far more psychological torture than water boarding. Personally, I think these are all just standard interrogation tactics. it's not like these war criminals are in real physical danger. Plus, they are allowed to be coerced according to the Geneva convention because they are unlawful combatants. I think we should all keep in mind that these war criminals could have just been shot dead. They were only kept alive so that they could provide intel. What is worse? Killing someone or keeping them alive in an uncomfortable state so we can save lives with the intel?
Water boarding is most definitely torture. The severity of water boarding as compared to other forms of torture is irrelevant. The fact of the matter is that holding someone captive and abusing them to any degree physically or mentally constitutes torture, so I wouldn't downplay it.

Anywho, looking forward to seeing this sometime soon. I enjoyed the hurt locker, (although several of my veteran friends informed me that it wasn't exactly an accurate portrayal of how explosives are handled in the military) and I'm thinking that i'll probably enjoy this.
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  #36  
Old 01-11-2013, 03:22 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by rustysyringe View Post
It would have fit just fine. We didn't need a huge back story, just a few minutes with each character, show a few flaws, show them as human. Saying it would take 5 hours or a mini series is poppycock. Worked just fine in Argo and that was certainly just as difficult a situation to cover as this was.

As to The Master, I love compelling characters and from what I've read none are more so this year than Phoenix's Freddie and Hoffman's Dodd. In fact it sounds right up my alley. Besides TWBB is my #1 of the past decade. Boogie Nights is among my top 3 of the past 25 years. PTA is my favorite director and writer. I have complete faith this will not disappoint me and will, as you say, entertain me.
Hehe, ok man. There were flaws in enough characters in ZD30, just wasn't as on the surface as it was in Argo (which is still a great film btw, also among my favorites - but a completely different, much lighter and breezier approach to a similar subject).

Nice to hear that you like PTA so much though, TWBB is also one of my favorites from the past decade. The Master might still disappoint you though, coz it's a bit of a step down from TWBB.

Anyway, one thing's for sure. You've got strange taste Which is pretty awesome.
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  #37  
Old 01-11-2013, 03:51 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaMovieMan View Post
Hehe, ok man. There were flaws in enough characters in ZD30, just wasn't as on the surface as it was in Argo (which is still a great film btw, also among my favorites - but a completely different, much lighter and breezier approach to a similar subject).

Nice to hear that you like PTA so much though, TWBB is also one of my favorites from the past decade. The Master might still disappoint you though, coz it's a bit of a step down from TWBB.

Anyway, one thing's for sure. You've got strange taste Which is pretty awesome.
I dug Argo too. I would categorize Affleck's approach as more human. Well, Goodman and Arkin were a bit over the top. But Affleck's Mendez was every bit as serious about his job as Chastain's Maya. He was every bit as passionate about his idea and purpose. He just came off as more likable and believable to me because he showed more flaws, more facets. That's what I mean. I like when characters show flaws, when they are multidimensional. To me, the more flawed the better because its more real, I feel more of a connection to them. I liked Zero, it was a decent flick. But it sorely lacked this aspect IMO. Only flaw Chastain showed was the fact she was consumed by work and had no social life. Not surprisingly, this was also my favorite aspect of the movie.

Bigelow and Renner gave us a heavy dose of this in Hurt Locker. Renner's Sgt James absolutely blew me away and I wanted more of that. Talk about a great character, ranks up there with Daniel Plainview IMO.
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  #38  
Old 01-11-2013, 04:59 PM
Definitely a solid film that will get plenty of Oscars. But I agree with others on here that something was missing; and that something could very well be character depth. I don't believe in this version of the events that we are told happened(as with United 93); but I can separate the work from the matter. After all, make believe is a component in almost all of my favorite films.

A fabrication but a solid film in short. But nothing really stands out from the solidity for me to rate it any higher.

8/10
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  #39  
Old 01-11-2013, 07:21 PM
MEH
I liked the Hurt Locker better

7/10
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  #40  
Old 01-12-2013, 02:07 AM
This movie did nothing for me. I didn't dislike it, but only because it inspired no strong feelings in me whatsoever. I don't think there was a single great scene. The dialogue, the characters and their interactions, the presentation of everything was just so incredibly flat and perfunctory. "This happened, then this happened, then a couple years later this happened." There was no escalation, no momentum, nothing and no one to invest in. Things picked up a little bit in the last half hour by virtue of the fact that a raid is sort of inherently exciting, but otherwise I thought there was no tension or drama the whole way through. Maya was also a completely boring, one-dimensional protagonist we've seen a million times before.

The biggest disappointment of the year by some margin, particularly given the remarkable praise it's received from nearly all critics and the fact that I loved The Hurt Locker.

6/10.
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