The Hurt Locker

The other day I went to see “The Hurt Locker“.  There was plenty of hype around this movie – 6 Oscars, 73 other award wins, and 47 nominations for more awards.  Not to mention that the director is Kathryn Bigelow, who is, among other things, an ex-wife of James Cameron.  (And as we know, in many cases, you are who you are married to, and if so, it’s extremely helpful in this case).

Anyways.  Obviously, with all that noise, I’ve heard quite a bit about the film, and I saw the trailer, and I had a slight idea on what it was and how it was.  I went prepared. Or so I thought…

The film turned out to be totally different from what I was expecting.  Actually, I think it turned out totally different from what anybody were expecting.  And that’s a good thing.  Surprise!  Somehow this film is very different from pretty much everything.  It has action, but it’s not an action.  It has drama, but it’s not a drama.  It’s supposedly has documentary, but it’s not documentary.  The storyline is very vague and doesn’t seem to stand out or lead anywhere, but on the other hand the film is rather long and I didn’t get tired of it at all. It’s very natural.

The way it works, I guess, is that this film is using atmosphere to tell the story, rather than dialogs, powerful music, and impressive shots.  As I said, at times you don’t really know where it goes and if it goes anywhere at all.  But yet somehow it all makes sense.  Also, one other thing that I really enjoyed, and which I thought was a cornerstone of this film is simplicity.  The whole situation in Iraq is not simple.  There are many sides to it and many points of views.   But this film drops down to a very simplistic view of the whole picture from the eyes of a few American soldiers.   There is no propaganda, there are no high-flying ideas.  It’s just that simple – a few guys at war.   It’s not about why they are there.  It’s about them actually being there.

The film is not very entertaining, even though it has a few hilarious bits and quite a few action sequences.  It’s simple, and yet deep.  It doesn’t force ideas upon thee, but it does make you think.  And as I said, it’s different from most films I’ve seen, and yet very similar somehow.

Overall, I’ll give it a 4 out of 5, and I would highly recommend it.

House M.D.

House M.D.

It’s my second week now of being hooked to “House M.D.” series.

Yes, I’ve been warned a few times that it is very addictive, and yet I decided to watch a couple of episodes.  Every day now I am staying late and waking up early just to see yet another episode.   The surprising thing is that I tought I’d get bored of it pretty soon – stories in every episode are very similar, characters behave in the same way, and jokes follow the same pattern.  However there is something slightly different about every episode that makes me want to see the next one.

So far, I am up to episode 11 of the 3rd season.  First season was very introductory and fun, except for that episode where Dr.House explains what happened his leg.  That episode alone was an excellent movie in itself, even if just 45 minutes long.  Second season was a bit more boring.  Third season is way more exciting, with this whole cop drama.

Also, I am sort of glad that I have the Russian version of the series.  I can hear how bad the translation is and that it misses quite a bit, but listening to all that terminology in English would really bore me to death.  I can’t undertand that stuff in Russian, but at least I can somewhat guess of the whereabouts.

Anyway, be warned that the series are very addictive and if you get hooked, you’ll spend a lot of time watching it – 6 seasons x 24 episodes x 45 minutes per episode adds up to a lot of time.  But if it happens that you try it and like it, you’ll have quite a bit to enjoy.  Make up your own mind.

Diary of a City Priest

Watched “Diary of a City Priest” on DVD. It is a good drama about a priest in the poor neighborhood’s chuch. He has been there for more than 20 years, serving and helping people and he got tired and started to have difficulties for his inspirations. Basically, he looks a lot like a man with a middle age crisis.

Film is slightly dramatic and slowly paced with some phylosophy to it. There is no intense or suspense. There is nothing you haven’t seen before. There is, simply, nothing special. David Morse did an excellent job with the priest. Photography couldn’t have been enjoyed fully, due to 4:3 ratio, but it looked like there are some really great shots in there. Music was very atmospherical and spiritual – nicely done.

I think I am a bit too young for this film. 6 out of 10.

The Rock

Watched some good old action on DVD – “The Rock“. It is based on an old story of some cool marine kernel stealing some chemical weapons, taking hostages, setting base ins some secure location (like a prison), and demanding some money off the government. The details vary from film to film, but the main story holds still for many movies.

Anyway, the story is not the point of the film, because it is weak and well-known, and everyone can tell that noone is blowing up anything after like 3 minutes of watching it. The point of the film is entertainment. And this film provides a good portion of it. Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage team up nicely against Ed Harris and David Morse. There is plenty of shooting, fighting, and cool talk.

There could have been more destruction and hot women. Patriotic propaganda could have been cut out too without affecting the film that much. Photography and camera work were brilliant. Some frames from the movie could have been done into excellent posters. For example, the fighter jet in the hangar with huge American flag, or the reflection of the flag in the wet tarmac together with few running marines. These were just beautiful. There were plenty more there.

Anyway, I’ll give this film a 7 out of 10, since it measure pretty much to the level it claimed. It could have been better, but I have seen a lot worse.