It’s funny how time really can change one’s perception. I was once asked by some friends if I have ever gone back and re-watched a film and had my opinion changed. Usually I don’t find this happening very often, so my initial response was no. While there are times when, over the years, a film can become a product of its time or something of a personal cult classic where you gaze in wonder and ponder what you liked in the first place, rarely have I had this happen with something I first saw only a few months ago.
The first time I sat down in a theater to see Kathryn Bigelow’s Iraq war drama, The Hurt Locker was over the summer when it was finally released locally here in Salt Lake City, Utah. I remember the sheer shock and awe of scene after scene jam-packed with so much suspense the runtime of 131 minutes seemed to fly by. While not necessarily what one could call an extremely entertaining movie, it was definitely a highly engaging movie — at least upon my initial reaction.
The Golden Globes have now come and gone and everyone was positive that The Hurt Locker would be a shoo-in for at least one of its three nominated categories. Bigelow lost out to ex-husband James Cameron in two categories (Best Director and Best Motion Picture – Drama) and again the film lost out for Best Screenplay (Mark Boal). For some it was simple shock as most consider The Hurt Locker to be exceedingly better than Avatar. While The Hurt Locker obviously didn’t have the box office receipts ($12 million for The Hurt Locker to the daily-growing current take of $509 million at the time of this writing for Avatar), time will tell as to whether the Academy decides who will be taking home the coveted Oscar statues come March 7, 2010.
It’s 2004 in Baghdad and SSgt. William James (Jeremy Renner, who at least deserves a nomination of his own for his spectacular performance here) loves nothing more than disarming bombs. Having just been assigned to Camp Victory under the tutelage of Sgt. JT Sanborn (Anthony Mackie), James expresses that he in no way wants to seem like he wants to take the place of recently blown up Sgt. Matt Thompson (Guy Pearce in a great cameo). All he wants to do is do his best and get to some dismantling.