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Tag: The Hurt Locker (1-10 of 11)

'Hurt Locker' producer bringing story of Erik Prince to the big screen

Voltage Pictures’ Nicolas Chartier is heading back to the Middle East for his next drama, EW has confirmed.

Chartier shared a Best Picture Oscar for The Hurt Locker, which followed a sergeant assigned to an army bomb squad during the Iraq War. This time, he will bring the story of Erik Prince to the screen, producing alongside Adam Ciralsky and Voltage’s Craig Flores. READ FULL STORY

'Zero Dark Thirty' team says they might still make earlier, scrapped Osama bin Laden film -- EXCLUSIVE


Image Credit: Jonathan Olley

Zero Dark Thirty director Kathryn Bigelow and producer/writer Mark Boal tell EW that they could still return to an earlier hunt-for-Osama bin Laden movie that they had abandoned after the terrorist was killed in 2011. The duo behind Oscar-winning 2010 movie The Hurt Locker say they aren't sure what their next project will be, or even if they'll definitely continue to collaborate ("I hope so," says Bigelow). But they won't rule out the idea of returning to the previous movie at some point. Asked if reviving the film as a sort of ZDT prequel was a possibility, Boal responded, "Yeah, I think so. Why not? But I think the last thing [either of us]

wants to do right now is talk about making another movie.” Bigelow, too, says she would “possibly” be interested in finishing the project.


Tales from the box office: The unbearable profitability of bad chick flicks, and does the 'Oscar bump' still exist?

bounty-hunterImage Credit: Barry WetcherThis weekend, children ruled at the box office, as they so often do. Alice in Wonderland continued to prove that its boisterous, overstuffed, clattery fairy-tale landscape is a giant hit with audiences, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid, with a very impressive opening, made good on its feisty promise of a socially awkward, quick-brained nerd’s dreams of acceptance. Right now, though, I’d like to take note of a few of the other stories that the box office told this weekend. Stories that aren’t necessarily pretty, but that take the temperature of today’s moviegoers in revealing, and even fascinating, ways. So here goes:

If you build a bad romantic comedy, they will come (sort of). We’re obsessed in this culture with “winners” and “losers,” so the big news about The Bounty Hunter is that it was “beaten” by Diary of a Wimpy Kid (i.e., it happened to make four-fifths of a million dollars less). To me, however, the real news is that another cookie-cutter synthetic-screwball dud, with the charming Jennifer Aniston being abused by the charmless Gerard Butler, the two of them skulking through the rituals of romcom banter like grim soldiers being put through a drill, managed to withstand a fusilade of lousy reviews to do — big surprise — just fine in the marketplace. The point? That when moviegoers, like so many of you on this site, complain, “Why can’t the studios make a romantic comedy that isn’t a borderline insult?” the answer is: “Because the romantic comedies that are insults have no trouble finding an audience.” That said, I do buy the argument (or, at least, I would like to believe) that if The Bounty Hunter had actually been a good movie, it might have done even more business. Does anyone remember Jennifer Aniston’s very first romantic comedy, Picture Perfect (co-starring Jay Mohr), from 1997? It was terrific! I’ve been waiting for her to make a romantic comedy that good ever since, but if The Bounty Hunter holds on (which, of course, it may not), she’ll have that much less motivation to break out of the ghetto of ersatz chemistry and plastic squabbling. READ FULL STORY

Kathryn Bigelow: If she wins the Oscar for directing, does that mean it's been a great year for women?

nineImage Credit: David JamesA TV producer interviewed me on camera today for a pre-Oscar story he’s whipping up to run over the weekend. He was very excited. “I mean, Kathryn Bigelow!” he explained. “Meryl Streep! Sandra Bullock! A good year for women or what?!” I wasn’t sure what he was asking me. “You know” he elaborated, “like, on the one hand, I’ve read figures that say women make up only make a small percentage of Hollywood. But then, on the other hand, you know, like Nancy Meyers? Nora Ephron? Good, right? Is this a good sign for the future of women? Or something? Your thoughts?”

Um. I guess every media outlet is trying to fill the hours leading up to the Oscars on Sunday night, aren’t we? So I told the TV producer this: As a movie-lover, I hope Bigelow wins, because of, well, her great directing of The Hurt Locker.  As a woman (and thus, apparently, an oracle for the purposes of his little pre-Oscar feature) I’m aware of and excited about the significance of such a win, since she’d be, oh, the first woman ever to take the trophy in that category (and only the fourth ever nominated). But as a movie-lover, I’d like to think that if a man had directed The Hurt Locker as well as Bigelow did, then he would win the Oscar. I’d like to think that if Bigelow wins, the biggest benefit for women who want to make movies in Hollywood — a Hollywood run, as most of the world is run, by men — would be greater industry-wide recognition that talent comes in all sexes, colors, and sizes. A woman can make an action flick or a war movie; a man can make a feminine romance. All we want is to see stories that move us, excite us, entertain us, challenge us. Sometimes those movies are about alien blue people. More often, those movies are about people with whom we can identify, characters who look as young or old as we are. And as male or female, too.

See that divine bundle of Penelope Cruz, from Nine?  She’s delicious, she’s sexy,  she represents fantasy womanhood on what used to be called the silver screen. Long may she sparkle! But the success of Kathryn Bigelow represents real workplace progress, accomplishment, and the equal opportunity of talent rewarded. Women — and for that matter, humans of every gender — are invited to cheer. I’ll be on my couch on Sunday night, waving a hankie of hope.

An 'Inglourious' victory? The real reason Quentin Tarantino's film is getting its Oscar hype moment

Take a look at the image on the right. That’s Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind — but it might just as well be yours truly trying to figure out the new Academy Awards balloting system, which makes a little less sense to me each time I hear it explained. Okay, I sort of get it: The voters will rank the 10 nominated films in order of preference, which means that to secure a victory, a movie will need to garner a sizable number of second and third place votes on the ballots that didn’t pick it as number one. To me, that would seem to favor The Hurt Locker, a movie that, while “small,” is almost universally admired. The Hurt Locker doesn’t appear to have many detractors; it hasn’t been divisive. Yet according to the Oscar buzz of the week, the new preferential voting system may actually favor…Inglourious Basterds.

That scenario has now been floated, if not flogged, by a healthy handful of entertainment journalists, most relentlessly by Tom O’Neil, who has been pushing his prediction of an Inglourious Basterds triumph for well over a month. (He actually called me out on my “goof” of not including Inglourious on a roster of possible Best Picture winners.) Well, time will tell if O’Neil’s prediction was ahead of the curve, or just bent. What has brought the Inglourious buzz machine to life this week is Harvey Weinstein, who basically decided to go public with the fact that he’s been funneling the movie through one of his legendary if-it-feels-good-it’s-not-overkill Academy Award campaigns. Only a fool would write off a Harvey Weinstein Oscar blitzkrieg. Back in 1998/1999, when he snatched a Shakespeare in Love victory from the jaws of a Saving Private Ryan defeat, it was clear that he’d honed the politics of all this to a new level of Jedi mind-trick effectiveness. READ FULL STORY

Oscars: How a big win for 'The Hurt Locker' could change the Academy Awards

Blogging, with apologies to the gods of journalism, is not an exact science, and trying to blog the Academy Awards through the crystal ball of one’s own expectations is really not an exact science. That said, I committed a major blunder in my attempt to size up the Oscar landscape about a month ago. I said that the Best Picture race would come down to a duel between Up in the Air and Avatar – and, what’s more, that the two movies would be competing in a kind of classic Hollywood culture war, with Up in the Air incarnating the entertainment values of the past (the exquisite humanity of great acting and classically clever writing and staging, all employed in a story at once timeless and timely) and Avatar representing the entertainment values of the future (a new kind of sensually intoxicating spectacle, with a technologically driven art so mesmerizing that it may now threaten to make those intimate storytelling virtues irrelevant). The movie I left out of this equation, of course, was The Hurt Locker. But a critic worth his salt always learns from his mistakes, and my prognosticating flub cues me, I believe, to a fascinating lesson. READ FULL STORY

Oscars: Ten best picture nominees, nine good choices, and one for congeniality

You know us critics, we’re used to shrugging our shoulders about the whole Oscar rigamarole, aware that if we stamped our little feet and huffed, “The great Romanian film Police, Adjective was snubbed, snubbed I tell you!” we’d be kicked out of Starbucks for obnoxious cronyism. (For the record, it was: Police, Adjective is great, and I commend it to your Netflix queue.) But as an on-duty critic, and as an off-duty ticket-buyer, too, nothing that did or didn’t receive an Oscar nomination today surprises me, bothers me, or, for that matter, shakes my confidence in my own taste. You feel the same way, right? You either liked or didn’t like A Serious Man (I loved it); you either think The Blind Side is an uplifting, feel-good drama of hope or a gooey fable (I’m with Team Goo, much as I cheer Bullock). But what the heck, good for them for nabbing Best Picture nominations.

And good for the Wizards of Oscar for doubling the number of Best Picture nominees. Why not? The ten in contention are as reasonable as any to represent a consensus of discriminating-but-not-elitist American movie-going taste in 2009. Without ten slots, Up! wouldn’t have been recognized for the brilliant creation it is, as emotionally rich as any live-action title on the list. (Of course, Up! also received a reality-check nomination in the Animated Feature Film category, so if — er, when a live-action title wins Best Picture after all, Up! still stands to win in Pixar’s more traditional category.) Without ten slots, the utterly original politico-sci-fi serio-comedy District 9 (above) might have been left hovering in the air, awardless, like an alien spaceship stalled over Johannesburg.

And so long as I can sustain this magnitude of something-for-everyone amiability, I can proclaim here with Zen calm that this year’s roster of Oscar nominees for Best Picture is very good. Between now and the Academy Awards on March 7, I might give a passing thought to what the Best Picture list might have looked like if the ballot had been kept to five. (Got any suggestions for me?) But mostly, I’m happy to go about my business, which, between now and Oscar night, involves telling anyone who will listen that it will be the crime of the century if Kathryn Bigelow doesn’t win the Oscar for Best Director for The Hurt Locker.

Really. Don’t mess it up with Bigelow, Oscar voters, or I’ll have to care.

Movie critics: Our advice to friends when we're not on duty

In January, a time warp separates me from my friends and family. I’ve seen everything big now playing at the multiplex; sometimes I’ve seen a movie months ago, and sometimes twice. But everyone else who’s not in the same business as I am is just beginning to have access to those movies, many of which are just going wide now. So, my movie-loving friends and family ask me, “How’s It’s Complicated? What about The Hurt Locker? Have you seen Avatar?” A parent asks, “Can I take my daughter to Fantastic Mr. Fox?” My dentist asks, “What’s worth seeing?”

Thing is, at this time of the year, my own critical assessment has little to do with how I respond. Instead, I become a little bit of a matchmaker, a little bit of a shrink, and a little bit of a listings guide. I mean, I know the value of when to let go of my brilliant argument that Invictus is square and lazy filmmaking, and instead let the cousin who’s a big Matt Damon fan know that she’ll like him as a rugby player. I can talk until I swoon about how much I love The Hurt Locker, but I would never urge it on the friend who hates war pictures and flinches at all scenes of violence; for her, instead, I suggest It’s Complicated — a movie I know she’ll enjoy, much as I harrumphed at it in my review.

So as a service to moviegoing friends everywhere in these first days of the new year — and to my dentist, too — I offer Lisa’s Mild Guide to the Megaplex. And yes, by all means, take your daughter to Fantastic Mr. Fox — it’s great.

Avatar: Big! Blue! Looks great! Forget the script and story!

Crazy Heart: It’s all about Jeff Bridges. Nice music.

Invictus: Morgan Freeman and guys in sports shorts save South Africa!

The Lovely Bones: Have you read the book? Then definitely skip the movie. If not, well, it’s still meh.

Nine: A crazy dull mess. Oh, but you say you liked Chicago? Well, it’s still a crazy dull mess.

The Princess and the Frog: Love it.

A Single Man: Love it. It’s a about a gay man whose lover dies, by the way, whatever the posters suggest.

Up in the Air: Love it. Yes, George Clooney is good.

The Young Victoria: Nice.

The Last Station: Nice, especially for Mom.

Did You Hear About the Morgans?: Awful, especially for humans.

Want to add to my Mild Guide? Here’s your chance.

Image credit: Melinda Sue Gordon

Movie trailers: giving 'em the old razzle-dazzle

This is my last link to That Movie About Oppressed Aliens, I promise–you may be wondering about now whether all of us at EW have been infected by alien ooze–but  I keep thinking about a friend’s response recently when I told him I thought he’d like District 9. “Really?” he said. “The trailer made it look pretty junky.” So I explained that the “junkiness” he saw was an essential part of the movie’s aesthetic and blah blah blah…But  the thing is, if all you had to go on when picking the movies you want to see are trailers running at the multiplex or on TV and YouTube, you’re bound to get a pretty screwy sense of how good–or bad–a movie actually is.

Sometimes, true, you can tell: The duller the romantic comedy, the more likely the trailer is to  tell you the whole story and use up the best scenes. But more often, preview clips rely so much on sensory saturation to convey elements of action, horror, suspense, or whatever, that it’s impossible for a thoughtful moviegoer to grasp the movie’s actual intelligence–or stupidity. I’ve already seen the trailer for Shutter Island two or three times, and I have no clue about the movie’s story or artistic style. I’m really looking forward to this one–it’s made by Martin Scorsese, it stars Leonardo DiCaprio, I’m there–but the trailer is no help to me. You?

I’ve come to accept that the more sophisticated and innovative a movie is, the worse the trailer is likely to  READ FULL STORY

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