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View Poll Results: Rate "Zero Dark Thirty"
10 2 14.29%
9 3 21.43%
8 5 35.71%
7 4 28.57%
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:25 PM   #1
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Default Zero Dark Thirty - Review Thread



Originally posted at: http://evantvmoviegames.tumblr.com/p...rkthirtyreview

The final month of 2012 is brimming with highly anticipated films for almost every kind of person. The one that’s most surprising to me is the unanimous praise, among both critics and award voters, that Kathryn Bigelow’s newest film, Zero Dark Thirty, has garnered. On one hand, I shouldn’t necessarily be that surprised, seeing that Bigelow’s previous film, The Hurt Locker, received almost identical praise. Then again, my indifference towards that film could have resulted in my overlooking Zero Dark Thirty as a potential powerhouse. Following the events of 9/11, Zero Dark Thirty chronicles the decade-long manhunt for Osama bin Laden and one woman’s key role in the operation.

There was just something that put me off about The Hurt Locker when I first saw it. It wasn’t able to grab me in the way that it seemed to for many other people. It could have been that problem of waiting around to watch it and in that time hearing it being praised almost nonstop, continuing to build my expectations. Zero Dark Thirty had that going in simply by being released in December, which didn’t apply to The Hurt Locker. The great thing about Zero Dark Thirty, unlike Bigelow’s previous picture, is that it’s incredibly dense with information and facts.

Where The Hurt Locker relied on an unknown story of an unknown person, Zero Dark Thirty goes in a completely different direction, chronicling one of the biggest events to happen in the 21st century. There’s that sense of familiarity that’s there from the start when it comes to this film, unlike the other. Because of that it allows the audience to connect even quicker with what’s happening on screen, essentially allowing tons of character development to happen. That’s not to say that Bigelow shy’s away from any of the facts, because they’re definitely there. There’s so much information that comes your way that it can actually be a bit disorientating if you haven’t been following the news closely.

This can be said about the cast as well. It’s like watching a revolving door of talented performers, with various actors from television shows (John Barrowman, Mark Duplass) showing up as well as excellent actors who aren’t widely known. That connects to Edgar Ramirez, who showcased his talents brilliantly in Carlos, and is just as charming and effective here.

When Jessica Chastain came onto the scene last year in The Tree of Life, it was like you were watching a star in the making. With Zero Dark Thirty, only a year and a half after her big break, it seems like that star has formed. She’s strikingly good in the lead role here, and it’s going to end up being between her and Marion Cotillard in Rust and Bone as far as the Best Actress Oscar goes. Cotillard had two scenes in her film that were astonishingly poetic, which focused on her running through her old routine and subsequent visit to her place of work. Chastain matches that in a fiery exchange with Kyle Chandler that’ll have audiences cheering. The audience is able to take a journey with this character who has all the reason in the world to stop searching, yet never does. She gets beaten down emotionally and physically, and Chastain portrays that effortlessly.

Bigelow opens the film in a very effective way. She’s not relying on a big action scene or fireworks to grab the viewer’s attention. She throws the audience head first into the movie, clearly showing what the picture is going to be about, and how these events are going to shape later conversations and scenarios. She’s exposing the audience to one of the darker sides of the story, and letting us know who these characters are right off the bat rather than sugarcoating it. She let’s you judge them over the course of the film and never tries to sway you one way or the other regarding what your standing and beliefs should be toward them.

As good as the inner workings of the agency and Chastain’s journey are, on the surface it seemed like big payoff would be the raid on bin Laden’s compound. Surprisingly enough, it doesn’t always work. It’s oftentimes confusing and very disorientating. Thankfully Bigelow doesn’t feel the need to continuously check up on those who aren’t present for the raid, and just focus on the SEAL Team Six. The buzz (both good and bad) surrounding Zero Dark Thirty has been massive. While it lives up to the hype on many levels, certain aspects don’t end up working. She relies too much on the raid, and when it doesn’t fully work, it stumbles. As it is in the rest of the picture, the movie ends on a high note thanks to two flawless scenes involving Chastain.

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Old 12-27-2012, 02:45 PM   #2
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Loved it. This and Django are my one and two of the year.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:26 PM   #3
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This can't open here soon enough.
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:54 PM   #4
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so just tell me, if you have seen the movie, does bigelow imply that torturing people lead to direct information about bin laden's location? or does she just use it to show the desperation of the search?
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FranklinTard View Post
so just tell me, if you have seen the movie, does bigelow imply that torturing people lead to direct information about bin laden's location? or does she just use it to show the desperation of the search?
Desperation in the search. I get the criticisms, but they don't glorify anything in this movie, even UBL's death.
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:14 PM   #6
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The Senate is investigating the movie. Your tax dollars at work, gentlemen.
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:29 PM   #7
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The Senate is investigating the movie. Your tax dollars at work, gentlemen.
Frick, really?
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:34 PM   #8
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The Senate is investigating the movie. Your tax dollars at work, gentlemen.
Anything to avoid doing actual work.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:11 AM   #9
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seems to be some leakage around the internet...
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:31 PM   #10
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I shall be seeing this soon, most likely tomorrow.
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Old 01-05-2013, 02:18 PM   #11
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Well fuuuuck best film of the year Period. Totally wasn't expecting that...

will write a review eventually

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Old 01-05-2013, 05:11 PM   #12
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Fascinating.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:34 PM   #13
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Saw this film as a result of my friend having awesome connections and getting his hands on an Oscar "for your consideration" version. Sweeeet. Anyways, this is certainly quite the film. Right off the bat I'll say that I'm judging the film based on cinematic qualities and not "oh that's not how it's done in the military" or the accuracy of the details. People who want those movies should stick to "Act of Valor" and watch pure ****. The movie consists of a lot of discussion amongst the characters; how to acquire more targets, where Bin Laden is hiding, and the morality of torture. This is all highly, highly interesting. It's not simply just dialogue going on here, there are some very well executed sequences that keep the adrenaline pumping despite a majority of the film being federal discussions. This only makes the scenes of torture and the ultimate raid of the Bin Laden compound all the more exciting. It takes awhile (obviously) to get to the climax of the raid, but when it gets there wow is it great. Bigelow's direction is fantastic, blending night vision POV shots with dark interiors all of which is done without being overly sensational. Each turn in the compound is thrilling, and while the sequence is relatively short it's a complete rush towards the end of the film that grips and doesn't let go. This is certainly a film I need to see again, and since many are going to obviously compare it to "The Hurt Locker" I'll say that "Zero Dark Thirty" is slightly better. It certainly tackles a more controversial and difficult subject, and while it doesn't have as many thrills at the 2009 Best Picture winner, the characters here, namely Chastain who is wonderful, are more fleshed out and developed and the plot unravels with more intellect and intrigue. Many questioned Bigelow for making the film so soon, but I'm not sure if anyone could have made a more tasteful and unsensationalized film than this one surrounding the subject matter. The film is loaded with debate and discussion both cinematic and political, and it's certainly going to be a big favorite heading into Oscar season.

8/10
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Old 01-05-2013, 06:17 PM   #14
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yea those pirates over at the bay sure have 'awesome connections'...
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:01 PM   #15
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I always find places to 'stream', never 'DL', so those pirates are never for me.
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:16 PM   #16
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Yeah, I'm not a fan of downloading either.
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:39 PM   #17
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Saw this last night, they had a sneak preview at the Irvine Spectrum.

I'm sorry, but I really just didn't think that this worked very well as a film. Personally, the way the film handled all of its characters besides Maya was incredibly strange to me.

The way they handle the character of Dan, in particular, is pretty baffling. He's the first person we really see in the film, we spent a ton of time with him early on, and it seems like he's at least the co-main character along with Maya. He gets little personal moments like with the monkeys and the ice cream cone. And then he basically disappears halfway through the film (and yes the movie gives a reason for him to disappear, but I mean from a film making perspective) until he gets one scene later, and then after that he appears as an extra with no dialogue for the last hour. What? That makes no sense from a storytelling perspective.

And then the movie frustratingly keeps adding new characters without explaining who they are, what their jobs are, or why they're important. It seems like we're in a pattern of "Meet a character, then meet their boss, then meet THAT guy's boss, and now we meet HIS boss..." I mean I know that's sort of how it works in the government, but from a film perspective it wouldn't have been hard to give personalities to more than three of the characters or at least have something telling us what job description the more prominent supporting characters have.

Some new character just walks up and starts saying "Bloo bloo bloo, our intelligence says.." and it made me want to yell at the screen "Hey, hold on one second, can you please take a second to tell me who this person is?" You can't just have, I dunno, Pete from the League just randomly show up and start saying stuff and the other characters react to him like he's been there the whole time.

I also would have liked to see something resembling a personality from at least one of the Navy SEALs besides Chris Pratt. You know, considering that they're the ones who are onscreen by themselves during the climax and most important moment of the film, it would have been kind of nice to get something resembling a personality from more than one of them.

A lot of the moments and elements worked quite well, the visuals were good, and the character of Maya was good, but the way the film handled every single other character was just totally uncinematic to me and didn't work from a storytelling perspective.

I know the counter argument is that "Oh, this is about the process of capturing bin Laden, the characters don't really matter..." Sorry, but to me, if you're making a movie, the characters have to matter. If you just want to talk about the process then make a documentary.
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:10 AM   #18
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Mark duplass is truly in everything. Hate his face so much.
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:11 AM   #19
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I was at the Irvine Spectrum too last night.

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Old 01-06-2013, 04:17 AM   #20
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Mark duplass is truly in everything. Hate his face so much.
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:05 PM   #21
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I wouldn't call it the best movie of the year. It would be a stand out 3 hour miniseries, but as a film I'm not sure it works completely. That said I did enjoy the movie the entire time, and I felt it was pretty evenly handled by bigelow, I understand the character complaints but that is what happens in the military and govt organizations, promotions transfers and everything else, so the same people cant stick around forever, particularly if they have made an impression one way or another, which is alluded to in a scene with chastain's character with gandolfini.

In the final scenes I found myself empathizing with the children actually, particulalry ubl's 'daughter'. Great scene though, stuff of nightmares too though, that guy just whispering his name repeatedly. I agree with others that bigelows handling of this scene was pretty awesome overall.

7/10
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:48 PM   #22
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The last half hour with those choppers sweeping in and with precision taking out each floor of the house.

I haven't seen anything like that in a film... It so well thought, constructed, and filmed. With the inclusion of those great performances and interregation scenes i stopped caring how accurate this is and more to do with what Mark Boal and Bigelow were trying to get out of the audience.

It is easily gets a top nominaton of best film because the endless debates you can have.

There is even at times parts where you feel like Bigelow is sympathizing with the torture scenes and that without them we wouldn't have gotten the biggest Terrorist in recent History.
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Old 01-06-2013, 03:02 PM   #23
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Torture scenes were unbelievably hard to watch. Great ending, too.

Rating: B+
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:41 PM   #24
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Not the best film of the year, but it is pretty damn good. I did not fall in love with any of the characters, nor find myself attached to really any of them. Chastain is fine and has one really good scene, but everything else is just that. The plot is narrative driven, rather than character driven and that works fine for something of this nature. I can see why people who don't like America would hate this film and why people who love America love this film. The interrogation scenes were pretty harsh (Django was worse) and the scene with the clear out of the compound was great, definitely the best scene of the film. I'll write up a lengthy review later, but for now, go see it. I definitely understand the reasons for complaints as well as controversy.



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Old 01-07-2013, 07:38 PM   #25
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Zero Dark Thirty was always going to find it tough to blow my socks off. Mainly due to the fact of a very in depth documentary I watched a year or two ago on channel four called "Shoot to Kill". This documentary covered a lot of the ground that Zero does but in a documentary format.

That being said I still enjoyed the film. I enjoyed following the career of Maya who I related to in her stubbornness to be swayed from something she knew to be right. I particularly liked the scenes where she would write the days of inaction on Mark Strongs window (made me chuckle more as a director in my workplace got sacked for writing on his office window......).

Knowing everything that was going to happen and anticipating the parts I didn't, the bombing in the base and attack on Maya, did detract from the overall experience a little. The scene of the raid is very well done but I think the praise in this thread for that scene is a little OTT. It's a by the numbers raid and from the docu I saw its pretty much a like for like reselling of what actually happened. Granted it had to be executed well which it definitively was.

Definitely worth the watch as it is very interesting to see everything that led to the iconic shots but as a movie The Hurt Locker trumps this.

7/10
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