“The Hurt Locker” Redux

Okey-dokey, no one read self’s impressions of the aforementioned movie. So self will defer to a writer whose words are far more eloquent than self’s. And will quote from his review, which appeared in the Wall Street Journal of 26 June 2009. And by the way, dear blog readers, self thinks this movie is good enough to be short-listed for the Oscars. The films self enjoyed the most, thus far in 2009, are:

  • Fighting (The New Yorker on Director Dito Montiel: “He’s no Scorsese, but he roughens the surface of his scenes, letting characters interrupt and talk over one another. He also gets an interesting performance out of Terrence Howard, as a saddened, philosophical hustler … a gent who barely survives in the urban muck.”)
  • Land of the Lost  (So what if almost no one agrees with self?  She laughed, heartily, at almost every scene)
  • Moon
  • Star Trek
  • The Hurt Locker

The ones that annoyed her the most?

  • Angels and Demons
  • Easy Virtue
  • The Brothers Bloom

Without further ado, an excerpt from Joe Morgenstern’s review of “The Hurt Locker” :

Kathryn Bigelow’s film, which was written by Mark Boal, manages to be many things at once —  a first-rate action thriller, a vivid evocation of urban warfare in Iraq, a penetrating study of heroism and a showcase for austere technique, terse writing and a trio of brilliant performances.  Most of all, though, it’s an instant classic that demonstrates, in a brutally hot and dusty laboratory setting, how the drug of war hooks its victims and why they can’t kick the habit.

The focal point is a three-man bomb squad working bravely and meticulously, on the streets of Baghdad in 2004, to disarm a succession of the improvised explosive devices that are killing civilians and soldiers alike. While all members of the squad are skilled professionals, one of them, Staff Sgt. William James (Jeremy Renner), has a special relationship with bombs. He loves the circuits that must be decoded, the detonators that must be disconnected. He loves the challenge presented by each bomb, the chance to taunt fate and come up a winner or go up in flames; it’s the ultimate form of a gambler’s high.

Got that, dear blog readers?  Go out and see this movie!

The Phenomenon

While self was with son in Stafford Park yesterday evening, listening to a very cool band play Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” son said that he’d taken a look at self’s ex-Stanford classmate Jeffrey Eugenides’ book, Middlesex, while at the local Barnes & Noble. “I read the beginning, a point in the middle, and the end,” son said. He wrinkled his nose. “Didn’t like it.”

“Why’d you read the end?” self said, aghast. “You don’t read the ends of novels! And, that was a very good book! It was about a man with an unrequited crush on a Japanese schoolgirl!”

Son’s taste in reading usually runs to R. A. Salvatore and Orson Scott Card, the guy who writes those Ender novels, so it is a major accomplishment for him to Read the rest of this entry »

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