Saturday, January 12, 2013

Zero Dark Thirty

My first review of 2013 and what a movie to start out with. I've been looking forward to seeing Zero Dark Thirty ever since they first announced it. It’s been getting a lot of praise lately and after seeing it last night, I can understand why. It’s an excellent movie.

Zero Dark Thirty is about the decade long hunt to track down Osama Bin Laden and the. I really don’t think I have to go into details about the plot since we all know how it turns out. Anyway, in this movie we follow a CIA operative named Maya (played by the amazingly talented Jessica Chastain) who spends several years tracking down leads and doing whatever it takes to find Bin Laden. For those of you going into this expecting some big military action type movie, you might be a little disappointed. To be honest, *POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT* the movie is a little over two and a half hours long. And for the first two hours or so it’s a lot of behind the scenes stuff. It’s not until the last thirty minutes do you actually see the big scene where they infiltrate the compound and kill Bin Laden. *END OF SPOILER*

The director is Academy Award winner Kathryn Bigelow. You might know her from a little film she did called The Hurt Locker, which won the Best Picture award two years ago. She does an amazing job taking you on this amazing journey where you know the outcome, but it has you on the edge of your seat anyway. I honestly think this was better than The Hurt Locker. Which was a good movie don’t me wrong, I just don’t think it was great. Maybe I’m still a little bitter that it beat out Avatar. Moving on.
One of the best parts to me was the performances. As I said before, Jessica Chastain is very talented. I knew when I saw her in The Debt two years ago that she’d be one to watch. I think it’s going to be a tight race between her and Jennifer Lawrence for Best Actress this year. Jason Clarke (Lawless) was my other favorite in this, playing an interrogator named Dan. There are so many other great actors in this as well, their roles are fairly small but memorable- Joel Edgerton, Jennifer Ehle, Edgar Ramirez, James Gandolfini, and many more.

The best scene is of course when they finally infiltrate the compound where Bin Laden is hiding and kill him. Wow!! It’s one of the most intense, well-made scenes I've seen in a movie in a long time. I would love to see Kathryn Bigelow make a movie just about those Navy Seals.

As much as I love this movie, it certainly isn't flawless. There’s very little character development. You leave the theater knowing about as much about the characters as you did at the start of the movie. Of course, I understand why they did this since these are based on real people and a lot of things about all this are still confidential. Also, the movie does drag a bit at times. But it more than makes up for it in the last thirty minutes.

Zero Dark Thirty is a movie I highly recommend to everyone. I have a feeling it’s going to do very well this award season. As I said in my Oscar post, I think it’s going to win Best Picture. Hope you guys enjoy it as much as I did.

My Rating: 9/10

Thursday, January 10, 2013

2013 Oscars: Who Will Win?

Overall I was happy with who was nominated this year. There were a few surprises though. For example, Ben Affleck not getting nominated for Best Director. He did a fantastic job with Argo. At least the movie is nominated for Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor. Another surprise was no Best Actor nomination for John Hawkes. I thought he gave a very touching performance in The Sessions.

I could talk for hours about this so let’s move on. Below I’ve listed the main categories. Just to let you know, it’ll be who I think WILL win, not necessarily who I WANT to win.

Best Picture:

·        Zero Dark Thirty

·        Silver Linings Playbook

·        Les Miserables

·        Lincoln

·        Life of Pi

·        Beasts of the Southern Wild

·        Django Unchained

·        Argo

·        Amour

Best Actress:

·        Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty

·        Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

·        Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild

·        Emmanuele Rina, Amour

·        Naomi Watts, The Impossible

Best Actor:

·        Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln

·        Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook

·        Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables

·        Joaquin Phoenix, The Master

·        Denzel Washington, Flight

Best Supporting Actress:

·        Amy Adams, The Master

·        Sally Field, Lincoln

·        Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables

·        Helen Hunt, The Sessions

·        Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook

Best Supporting Actor:

·        Alan Arkin, Argo

·        Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook

·        Phillip Seymour Hoffman, The Master

·        Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln

·        Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

Best Director:

·        Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

·        David O’Russell, Silver Linings Playbook

·        Stephen Spielberg, Lincoln

·        Ang Lee, Life of Pi

·        Michael Haneke, Amour

Best Original Screenplay:

·        Amour

·        Django Unchained

·        Flight

·        Moonrise Kingdom

·        Zero Dark Thirty

Best Adapted Screenplay:

·        Argo

·        Beasts of the Southern Wild

·        Silver Linings Playbook

·        Life of Pi

·        Lincoln

Best Animated Feature:

·        Brave

·        Frankenweenie

·        ParaNorman

·        The Pirates! Band of Misfits

·        Wreck-It Ralph