Archive for the ‘“The Hurt Locker”’ Category

The Hurt Locker- Terrorism Undefined

Although portrayed from the viewpoint of a soldier, Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker initially appears to be decidedly against the war and confronts the issue of what the definition of terrorism is. Read more

The Hurt Locker: A Tale of Hidden Truth

In 2008, director Kathryn Bigelow awed not only moviegoers, but also citizens across the nation with her innovated, and inventive war film, “The Hurt Locker”.  For the past decade films depicting the war in Iraq, and other politically war-centered films have taken a plunge in the box office.  Films like “In The Valley of Elah” saw depressing reviews and a small fan base.  While “The Hurt Locker” has become well known for its historical war tale, its unique angle made it a “must see” movie of the year.  Surprisingly, the aspect of the film that drew viewers in the most was its lack of controversy.    Watching the film it is quite evident that the story represents those of men fighting “the war on terrorism” in Iraq, however there is not even a single mention about politics or government.  Film blogger, Michael Cusumano, comments, “The Hurt Locker was marketed as a film with all of the excitement of war films with none of the preachiness, and the ecstatic reviews greeting the film focused mainly on Bigelow’s filmmaking prowess with the action scenes.”  However, despite the lack of direct correlation between the film, and the war in Iraq there seems to be something utterly realistic about its story.

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Pen pal: Hurt Locker realistic portrayal

“Hi Zach,

Yes I have seen the movie, I saw it a while ago though. I thought it was very interesting to see the inner workings of the war and I felt this movie really portrayed the true emotions of the soldiers instead of just the cliche war movies I have seen before. I feel this movie actually gave a realistic picture of how the war in Iraq really was/is.

I really would have to watch the movie again to judge how the west is portrayed, but some scenes that really stuck with me were how the soldiers behaved. One was the scene where the got drunk in their cabin, I felt like you could really see the psychological tole that the war is having on these men and how they are not just a figment of war, but human beings with true emotions and problems.”

Hurt Locker Sheds no Light on Terrorism

 In Hurt Locker, an American bomb disposal team leads the audience into a day in the life of a US military insurgent where roadside bombs are covered with plastic bags and any Iraqi man with a cell phone is a security threat. “Every time we go out its life or death,” one soldier says to another as their Humvee leaves the American base for the center of Iraq (Bigelow, 2009). The film’s controversial subject matter, the Iraq War, inevitably scrutinizes the nature of terrorism; its stakeholders, its definition, and its elusive solution. However, Hurt Locker fails in that it simplifies rather than clarifies the nature of terrorism. Read more

Penpal: Hurt Locker

I guess I forgot to do this one because my penpal actually asked me if I had seen the move before I had.  Though in Greece it had only come out recently so it took about a year and half or so to make it over.

What I found interesting is that he viewed it as a more realistic and useful view of war than I did and really enjoyed the film.  Here’s a quick summary of what Geoge’s review, call it the one minute summary.

March  6, 2010

I saw the film today and I think it was a good one . The main character is very actor he is the main reason to see this film . The plot is intersting and the music is excelent . There were also some funny sub-plots that tried to add authenticity to a storyline based on fiction .

Ironically, most of the reasons he mentioned above are reasons are did not like the film.  The actor playing the main character is good I admit, but the character he plays is a caricature of stern heroism.  I found the sub-plots more painful than good, with large exaggerations, though some were based in fact.  The “body bomb” idea was taken from a failed attempt to assassinate a minister in SaudiArabia: A quick excerpt:

It has emerged that an al-Qaeda bomber who died last month while trying to blow up a Saudi prince in Jeddah had hidden the explosives inside his body.

Only the attacker died, but it is feared that the new development could be copied by others.

Experts say it could have implications for airport security, rendering traditional metal detectors “useless”.

It would have been an awfully painful way to die though.  The physics equations resolve into a situation in which your organs are liquified, bones turn to ash, and inner skin burned while absorbing the shockwave thereby preventing anyone from getting hurt – well, other than yourself.  Not surprisingly, no one has tried to repeat it since.  What has been much more common has been for insurgents to strap bombs onto donkeys and then claim to the local residents it was the Americans who killed their work animal.

The film overall was too heroic for my taste despite the psychoses evident in all the soldiers.

A Band-Aid on a Bullet Wound: “The Hurt Locker”

         On March 7th, 2010, Kathryn Bigelow walked home with 6 golden statues and the title of first female director in history to take home an Oscar of “Best Director”. Sergeant First Class William James, the main character in The Hurt Locker conveys to the audience what it is like to take part in one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, disarming bombs. The bomb specialist, through instilling great amounts of fear, drove this film to honor however, of the many depictions created on the war on Iraq, why was it that this movie took home the majority of the Oscar pie? Character development and cinematic elements placed the viewer between the detonation wires but may have also placed a barrier between the sensationalized story and harsh realities that have taken place during the war. Read more

The “360 Degree Threat” – A response to Hurt Locker

The 360 Degree Threat

“Sarver, 33, in wraparound shooting shades that make his baby face look even younger, takes a second to consider the possibilities: Is it real or a decoy to lure him into the kill zone of a second bomb? Is it a hoax designed only to pull him into the shooting range of a sniper? Is it wired to a mine or daisy-chained to a series of IEDs? Is it wired at all or remote-controlled? Is it on a mechanical timer ticking down? Wired in a collapsible circuit that will trigger the explosion when he cuts it? He runs back to his truck, a few inches of bellyfat moving under his uniform. He keeps his time on the ground to a minimum because it is impossible to tell whether that Iraqi in the dark suit with the cell phone is calling his wife or transmitting Sarver’s position to a sniper team. This is a job so dangerous that bomb techs in Iraq are five times more likely to die than all other soldiers in the theater.” (Tapley, 2010)

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The Hurt Locker Reflections

Movie Reflections: The Hurt Locker
Me, Me, Me: The Human Perspective
Humans are consistently plagued by self centered thinking. What can I do today that will give me the most expected satisfaction? What should I know that is going to affect me directly? Even the way we consume news is affected by this narcissism: Barnett and Reynolds in Terrorism and the Press say that “studies have shown that journalists report more extensively on events and issues that directly affect them” (Barnett 117). This has been a powerful force for our survival and evolution but in the global and technological world of today, it can be a burden to overcome our own nature. And it is important to break free of our inherent narcissism at times. It is with this view that I want to approach The Hurt Locker, war and terrorism. Read more

Ilias thoughts on Terrorism in film

Unfortunately, Ilias did not see Hurt Locker or any other film focusing on terrorism but here are his brief thoughts on the matter. The conversation was necessarily cut short because it was 4am his time.

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“Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.” –Albert Einstein

“Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.”

–Albert Einstein

Even though Albert Einstein was alive during the days of a different war, his insight is still proved relevant today.  The movie The Hurt Locker could easily be mistaken for news coverage or even a promotional campaign from the army.  It is this realistic, tangible perspective that pulls the audience in as they choke on the breath of fresh air that is– The Hurt LockerRead more

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Terrorism and the Press

This blog is an integral part of a special section of Honors 394 Spring 2010, Arizona State University. Rather than a routine history course this dynamic, interactive seminar explores the interplay between terrorism and television, and other media sources on-line and in print. 26 students and their global pen pals comprise the bloggers. We welcome all to share their opinions, pertinent observations, insights, comments, feedback. Please post in a responsible manner.