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The Hurt Locker (2009)

A 2009 movie directed by Kathryn Bigelow.

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Brilliant! An Honest and Suspenseful Look Into the Thrill of War!

  • Jan 21, 2010
  • by
Rating:
+5
Generally speaking, watching war films isn't always a fun experience.  After wards they can leave feeling down and depressed and while The Hurt Locker is mostly a serious film, it is filled with subtle humor and will leave you at the edge of your seat the minute the film starts.  Being her first major directing job, Kathryn Bigelow did an outstanding job capturing all the nit and grit of the battlefield that is Iraq.  In such a male dominated field (not directing; being a soldier), she seemed to have no problem getting deep into the minds of the faux-soldiers she was filming.  The preview of The Hurt Locker may make the film look like it's just about defusing bombs, but that's simply not the case.  This film is a true and detailed look into the essence of what makes a soldier a soldier and the addiction that takes them over after a while.

When Bravo Team loses their lead bomb technician (Guy Pierce) after a bomb they were sent to defuse goes off, he is replaced by Sergeant William James (Jeremy Renner), an extremely smart yet reckless soldier.  Though put off by his rash and impulsive tactics at first, his team members, Sergeant Sanborn (Anthony Mackie) and Specialist Owen Eldridge (Brian Geraghty) learn to work with James and become a well oiled Explosive Ordnance Disposal machine.  As the team defuses bomb after bomb, they quickly realize that for James, defusing a bomb is a rush for him, something they are not all to comfortable with.  With the days counting down until their tour in Iraq is up, Sanborn and Eldridge wonder if they'll make it to the end...while James cherishes every opportunity he get to be in the hurt locker.

It was surprising how a film that was so serious and dealt with such a delicate subject matter could be so entertaining and also have moments that made you chuckle.  At the end of the film and this isn't giving anything away, it's not like you're giddy and all of a sudden wanting to say "LETS GO TO WAR!", but you definitely feel like you've been on one long thrill ride.  As The Hurt Locker progresses, viewers continue to see why war can become such an addiction and maybe even start to understand it to a point.  James Renner did such a fantastic job playing that kind of solider, the one who is fearless and lives off of the thrill of being in a war zone.  His cast mates, especially Brain Geraghty who played Specialist Eldridge were just as convincing, with Geraghty playing the new recruit who tries to be fearless but is scared to hell and back being in Iraq.  Most of all though, Kathryn Bigelow knew exactly how to film in the Middle East, bringing the streets and slums of Iraq to life.  The Hurt Locker truly is one of the best war films of the decade.

VIDEO:

The video transfer of The Hurt Locker is not your average transfer.  With Blu-ray you expect crystal clear picture, and while the picture is still beautiful, it's a different kind of beautiful.  The Hurt Locker was actually filmed in the Middle East so the picture is purposefully washed out and also very gritty, giving you a feeling as if you were actually there.  Despite the grittiness, the picture and transfer is one of the better ones to date, capturing all the colors of war, from the dirt on soldiers faces to the blood on their bullets.

AUDIO:

The Hurt Locker comes with the DTS 5.1 Master Audio Track.  A nice touch they packed into this Blu-ray was the option of a second Audio Track, Dolby 2.0 Surround Sound.  As my system isn't compatible with DTS, I watched the film using the Dolby track and thought it sounded spectacular.  The track captured every burst of ammunition fired as well as fighter jets flying over Iraq constantly.  It would have been disappointing had I had to watch the film in DTS, but luckily they were smart and added the second track giving the great video transfer and even better soundtrack.

CONCLUSION:

The Hurt Locker is definitely one of the first must own Blu-rays of 2010.  The film itself is a must see and will leave you wondering what's going to happen next for the whole two hour duration of the movie.  Special Features on the Blu-ray include a twelve minute behind the scenes featurette as well as an image gallery and audio commentary with the writer and director.  With the Oscar's coming up, don't be surprised if Kathryn Bigelow and James Renner gets nods for Best Director and Best Actor.  It's hard to come across a good film these days about the war in Iraq, but this one stands out as the best as of right now.  The Hurt Locker is available on Amazon.com on Blu-ray for $22.99.  5/5!
Brilliant! An Honest and Suspenseful Look Into the Thrill of War!

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January 23, 2010
Great flick! I saw this a few days ago and I will purchasing it as soon as I free up some funds. (went wild buying some Asian movies last week) thanks for the review, Julian, and it is always great that you pointed out its technical aspects.
 
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More The Hurt Locker reviews
review by . January 18, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
   We have seen several movies about urban warfare. One of my personal favorites is Ridley Scott’s “Black Hawk Down” that chronicles a harrowing incident in Somalia. With the war in Iraq still going on, filmmakers wouldn’t be hard-pressed to capitalize on today’s current events. Movies such as “Brothers” and “Home of the Brave” are some of the few. Director Kathryn Bigelow with screenwriter Mark Boal now chronicles the experiences of …
review by . April 06, 2010
"The Hurt Locker" currently stands as the most critically acclaimed film of 2009 and after seeing it just this week I'm inclined to agree this acclamation wholeheartedly. This really is a work of art from start to finish and has now been moved to the top of my list of movies to own and cherish forever. Since its release it has won numerous awards and has 9 Academy award nominations which they will undoubtedly win come the ceremony in March. The cast comprises of unknowns, but are ones …
review by . December 07, 2010
   The Hurt Locker represents a turning point for Hollywood: it not only marks the first time a woman has been awarded the Oscar for Best Picture, but also for Best Director, and anyone who has seen this film will surely agree it deserved them both. Bigelow's direction demonstrates a natural command over her subject, despite never having been to war. Her battle scenes deliver tense moments of suspense and terror in this story about a bomb disposal unit, Bravo Company, serving in the …
review by . June 27, 2009
Hurt Locker
 I am still reeling from how good 'The Hurt Locker' is.  It's one of those movies that stays with you and makes you want to talk about it with others - which is why I'm up writing this review.  By far, this film is one of the most intense movies I've seen in a long time.   The writing is superb.  Mark Boal's script flies off the page with a brisk pace and treats the audience as intelligent people who do not need to be force fed.  Tension is the through line here. …
review by . April 15, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: One of the actors was attractive and a couple of explosions are cool      Cons: Grab a thesaurus and pick out 15 words for boring, all of them will apply      The Bottom Line: 30 shades of brown 30 shades of ennui without content.  Don't bother, waiting in line at the DMV is more exciting.      Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. The Hurt Locker is a tepid film. It is inconsistent, …
Quick Tip by . July 29, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Outstanding film. Not a single bad thing about it. One of the best war films in years.
review by . March 09, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Hurt Locker isn't a bad film in itself and the story of the main character is interesting, as is the menace of the bombs and the faceless duel that seems to ensue. I think that part of the film is clever.    The sets are fantastic and have a realistic gritty feel. Now I have not been to Iraq/Afghanistan myself but in my circle of friends there are two that have been there for tour of duty and keeping this in mind I don't think he story is far fetched as some here say. Things …
review by . March 09, 2010
"The Hurt Locker" has just won the Academy Award for Best Motion Picture and it truly earns it. Here is a war movie that takes no real position on war, and especially no position on the Iraq War, and simply shows the mental and physical brutality and beauty of conflict.    You know the story by now. It centers around a bomb disposal and disarmament team in Iraq who throw themselves into harm's way on a regular basis in order to make life safer for their fellow soldiers and civilians. …
review by . March 06, 2010
Hey don't fret, potential enlistee! Hard as it is to discount the evidence of your senses when bombarded with skillful and costly cinematography, the 'gritty realism' of this film is totally unrealistic, full-bore Hollywood. Yeah, there may be scenes of mayhem similar to the scenes in the film at times, but not with such convenient regularity, not even in Baghdad in 2004. And there were innumerable other implausible or outright false details; just look at the one-star reviews here and not how many …
Quick Tip by . June 24, 2010
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About the reviewer
Julian Brown ()
Ranked #34
Hi, my name is Julian Brown. I currently write for The Brotherly Game, a local Philadelphia soccer website where I cover the US Women's National Team and the local WPS Philadelphia Independence. I … more
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Wiki

The Hurt Locker is a 2009 American war thriller directed by Kathryn Bigelow. Shot in Jordan, the film is based on recently declassified information about a U.S. Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) (bomb squad) team in present day Iraq. The Hurt Locker is written by Mark Boal, a freelance writer who was embedded with a bomb squad.

The Hurt Locker was picked up by distributor Summit Entertainment. The film was released in the U.S. on June 26, 2009 in New York and Los Angeles, going wider on July 24, 2009.

The Hurt Locker follows a U.S. Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit as it works to defuse a series of improvised explosive devices (IED) in the streets of Iraq.

When the team's long-time bomb technician is killed, he is quickly replaced with the intelligent but impulsive Sergeant First Class William James. Team members Sergeant JT Sanborn and Specialist Owen Eldridge are initially disturbed by William's reckless behavior, but they learn to work together as a unit. It soon becomes apparent that William actually craves the feeling of mortal danger that he experiences while defusing bombs.

As the unit deals with one explosive device after another, it confronts the unpredictable and extreme violence of a growing Iraqi insurgency. Team members struggle constantly to distinguish enemy insurgents from innocent Iraqis and to protect themselves while avoiding civilian casualties. As the group's tour of duty draws to a close, each member suffers visibly from ...
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Details

Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Genre: War
Release Date: June 26, 2009 
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: January 12, 2010
Runtime: 131 minutes
Studio: Summit Entertainment
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