07 March 2010

Hurt Locker

I wanted to get a full review of The Hurt Locker up before the Oscars tonight, but I won't get around to it, so here are some thoughts. Hopefully I'll have a couple of minutes to make some Avatar comments too, because obviously the internet has a serious deficiency of people discussing that movie.

Executive Summary: See Hurt Locker. It was excellent.
  • This movie has the first explosion I've rewound to watch again since Die Hard, and I've seen plenty of movies with explosions. Directors have spent 20 years trying to make bigger, fiery explosions, and Kathryn Bigelow manages to outdo them all with a plume of gravel and excellent use of high speed photography and varying frame rates.

  • The camera work and editing are outstanding in the non-explosion shots too, of course. Very judicious and well-orchestrated use of what is often gratuitous camera motion (shaking, racking focus, etc.). As far as handycam effects go, this is the jazz to District 9's rock. The camera is actually moving the way an observer's head would, not just shaking around.

  • The sound engineering is very good too, and I don't often appreciate sound design.

  • The script itsn't afraid to just shut up and let people be quiet.  That really helped to keep the suspense up the whole time and push that feeling of isolation.  They play that "it's quiet ... too quiet" thing well.

  • The intensity stayed high the whole time.  Not to the level of There Will Be Blood or No Country for Old Men, but still a pretty tense ride.  (Come to think of it, both of those movies use silence really well too.
I would be happy with the Best Picture award going to Hurt Locker (or Up, or Moon, even though it didn't get nominated (!!!), or District 9, or really anything that isn't Avatar or The Blind Side).

No comments:

Post a Comment