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Harry says that THE HURT LOCKER is the better military and robot film this weekend!

I loved Kathryn Bigelow's THE HURT LOCKER, but then... I'm a huge fan of Kathryn Bigelow's career. I love THE LOVELESS, NEAR DARK, BLUE STEEL, POINT BREAK, STRANGE DAYS, K-19: THE WIDOWMAKER and I really love THE HURT LOCKER. I saw this and TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN in the same day - and the common thought would be that Michael Bay would be where I got my testosterone fix, but if anything - Kathryn Bigelow made Bay look dickless by comparison. Sure Bay has the bigger explosions, more outrageous action - but none of that reveals an ounce about being a MAN - on the contrary, it only reveals one's insecurity regarding manhood. Kathryn Bigelow loves her male characters - and she effortlessly knows how to make men be the sort of men we all look to as being the prototypes of manhood. The best of whom I feel is Steve McQueen. For me, the most awesome MAN in film history is Steve McQueen. Because Steve could handle his action, but more than that - his face judged his situation, his actions were honorable, yet macho. He had a brilliant way of not giving a shit, that made us give a shit. And all of that is fused into Jeremy Renner's portrayal of Staff Sgt William James. But more on him later. In many ways, this is the first apolitical IRAQ war film. It doesn't judge the war, it doesn't politicize the war, it doesn't disgrace our involvement, it just deals with the working lifestyle of War. In this case, it is about an Army Bomb Squad unit that is on the tail-end of its rotation in IRAQ. The team finds itself with a new leader in Jeremy Renner's James - and he's counter to everything they knew from their previous leader. Gone is caution. Instead, you have a man that likes to beat the bomb. He knows every moment may be his last, but he's ok with that. He knows he's smart enough to survive his encounters with bombs, if he just does his job and defuses the situation. His second in command, Sgt Sanborn, played by the amazing Anthony Mackie... well, Sanborn and James are not birds of a feather. The risks seem to continually ramp up, and each time we see James heading to meet it face to face. Now the greatest thing about this film is that these guys are not being challenged by a single mad bombing mastermind that they'll track down and defeat. This isn't a procedural investigation film, it is about doing this very specialized and life-saving work in the tensest working conditions imaginable. This is where I go into a personal story that many of you just won't believe. Prior to AICN, I sold collectibles - sometimes at a place called CITY WIDE GARAGE SALE here in Austin. And I made friends with an off duty officer that used to hang out and chat about all manners of subjects during the boring hours of work that we both faced. He was actually the senior officer that worked with Austin's BOMB SQUAD. I remember being shocked at how much BOMB diffusing he had to do in a given week in Austin. It seems Meth-labs in particular have bombs triggered to blow the labs, and he and his team always got called in. Then there's just all sorts of WAR memoribilia that they have to explode. But he always described to me how awful it felt to get in the "suit," how sweaty and nerveracking the work was. But he did it. I really admired him. And in watching this movie, I found myself admiring the work these guys do over there. They're not just saving American military, but Iraqis too. These guys are doing work with pure evil. Bombs that are meant to indescriminately kill whomever may be around when they go boom! I also love Guy Pearce, Ralph Fiennes and David Morse in this film. They have small, but key parts - and it is very very realistic. However, the centerpiece sequence is the sniper scene. The back and forth in this sequence is so tense, that you could feel yourself working up beads of sweat - even whilst sitting comfortably in air-conditioning. I also feel that the scene is THE turning point in Sanborn & James' relationship - and it is all about the Capri-Sun. Watch the scene and see if you agree. There's something awesome about how that is handled that I just love. Here, you have riveting tension, without sacrificing logic, sense or reality. You have real heroes, that never beat their chests or brag. It's just a job, they're not saving the world, they're just trying to survive the day - and that is one of the great truths to heroes. For so many, it is just the job they do. Lastly, Kathryn Bigelow. Thank you for showing men that are not assholes, womanizers or jerks. They're just men. Men that dream of families and lives that they've yet to live. They're men worried about surviving every day, but not whining about it constantly. They just are cognizant of the situation they are in. Also, thank you for giving me a good movie to see today that shows men and robots and wasn't painfully offensive, retarded or insulting. You know... thanks for making a wonderful film!

Readers Talkback
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  • June 24, 2009, 1:36 a.m. CST

    first locker

    by ironic_name

  • June 24, 2009, 1:39 a.m. CST

    fatharry talks about himself again

    by ironic_name

    I wonder if his autobiography would be just film reviews. <P> no one cares tubby!

  • June 24, 2009, 1:46 a.m. CST

    Christ Harry, you can't write worth a shit

    by Kief_Ledger

  • June 24, 2009, 1:46 a.m. CST

    I want to see this movie.

    by mitortilla

    I've always seen tons of potential in Jeremy Renner, since National Lampoon's Senior trip.

  • June 24, 2009, 2:08 a.m. CST

    Good film!

    by kinanswer

    Had the chance to see it a few months ago and enjoyed it. Tense stuff, and some great "blink and you'll miss them" cameos.

  • June 24, 2009, 2:19 a.m. CST


    by Fortunesfool

    And said as much in a review I sent in. I was less kind about the 'shaky-cam hacks who need to watch this film and learn some stuff' though. It's one of the best of the year though and genuinely palm-sweatingly intense.<p>And yes, the sniper sequence is a shoe-in for scene of the year.

  • June 24, 2009, 2:38 a.m. CST

    she made Point Break! Im so there!

    by BMacSmith

    just kidding, her movies sucked. except Point fucking Break.

  • June 24, 2009, 2:58 a.m. CST


    by C0ns

    Actually this was a pretty good written review, i'd say.

  • June 24, 2009, 3:21 a.m. CST

    i enjoyed this film

    by TheExterminator

    it doesn't pull for the hearts strings in a melodramatic and overly sentimental way and that's a good thing

  • June 24, 2009, 3:22 a.m. CST

    Thanks Harry

    by antonphd

    And thanks for the warning about TF2. By the way, have you seen The Hangover yet? I'm still waiting for your review. Tell me you've seen it.

  • June 24, 2009, 3:24 a.m. CST

    the sniper scene is the worst bit

    by TheExterminator

    ?!?!? it's retarded...the guy takes up a sniper position that has already been zeroed in and then proceeds to sit there as someone cleans the ammo. it could have been handled so much better.

  • June 24, 2009, 3:25 a.m. CST

    Bigelow's a vastly underrated shooter...

    by KillaKane

    Been a fan of her work way back since I first saw loveless, Near Dark and Point break still hold up well. This sounds interesting, although the subject matter is a bit of a turn off given the current climate, I think there's a prevalent sense of cinematic fatigue where the Iraq War is concerned.

  • June 24, 2009, 3:29 a.m. CST

    now HERE is someone who knows how to stage action

    by Mr Gorilla

    You know, the action in POINT BREAK is more kinetic and frame-fucking than Michael Bay will ever manage. The nasty stuff in STRANGE DAYS is nastier than Bay will every be able to conceive. But best of all, behind this is, as Harry writes (rather beautifully), a sensibility that believes than people, and men especially, can be more than dickheads. Thank you, Kathryn Bigelow, and welcome back!

  • June 24, 2009, 3:31 a.m. CST

    Thats the probem Kane

    by Fortunesfool

    Its being pushed as an 'iraq war' movie when it should be sold as a summer action movie. It's the most exciting summer movie in years but, without a big studio backing it up, its languishing in 'art house' hell. In such a vapid summer it'd be a great wake up call to Abrams, McG et all as an example of how to make a real film.

  • June 24, 2009, 3:31 a.m. CST

    And I'm not a TOTAL lover

    by Mr Gorilla

    Just in case you think I'm using Bigelow as a stick to beat Bay with (well, I kind of was) - I should say that while I love POINT BREAK, BLUE STEEL, STRANGE DAYS (blu-ray soon, please) and NEAR DARK, I think that films like K:19 and THE WEIGHT OF WATER sucked.

  • June 24, 2009, 3:35 a.m. CST


    by Mysterious_Volvo

    or they make a little money, but nothing more than they were going to make anyway, such as Rocky and Rambo. but they were low budget movie. please stop trying to endorse THE EXPENDABLES and THE HURT LOCKER. because Hurt Locker is a good movie and expendables will be awesome and if you leave them alone they might, MIGHT have a chance.

  • June 24, 2009, 3:50 a.m. CST

    Aye, it's quite the movie

    by Bruce of all Trades

    Strong characters and some great and tense scenes involving the Renner & Co. doing their jobs.

  • June 24, 2009, 3:51 a.m. CST

    Also, great cameos by

    by Bruce of all Trades

    Guy Pearce, David Morse and especially Ralph Fiennes

  • June 24, 2009, 4:04 a.m. CST

    My favourite movie of the year so far...

    by masteryoda007

    Renner fucking rules this movie. He is all kinds of bad-ass in this flick, all you guys should check it out while you can. This is a great story with some excellent cameo work by Fiennes and Pierce. Bigelow were have you been my dear? Welcome back baby.

  • June 24, 2009, 4:06 a.m. CST

    Why is it. ....

    by Badlieutenant

    That every movie that people lost their shit over at SXSW fucking sucked. I'm still hopign that Daytime Drinking finds a distributer.

  • June 24, 2009, 4:06 a.m. CST


    by lockesbrokenleg


  • June 24, 2009, 4:37 a.m. CST


    by Hellbastardo

    hey way to be a complete idiot dude good job!

  • June 24, 2009, 4:58 a.m. CST

    Strange Days

    by zed261

    what a great movie, thanks for reminding me, I have to find DVD and see it again... I have seen it only once, I can't believe it's almost 14 years.

  • June 24, 2009, 5:11 a.m. CST

    Why compare the 2 movies?

    by TiNSeLToWN TeRRoR

    To bash Revenge of the fallen some more? Class act babycakes, class act.

  • June 24, 2009, 5:20 a.m. CST

    Mysterious Volvo


    right, because the movies I've given a resounding endorsement of this summer were STAR TREK & UP. I loved DRAG ME TO HELL, but the campaign behind it was not quite all that, plus I really feel they released it in the wrong season. I liked LAND OF THE LOST, but didn't love it.

  • June 24, 2009, 5:34 a.m. CST

    good call

    by aabiohazard1972

    Having worn the bomb suit myself (training environment only though)I can say that that job is uniquly challenging, good review Harry I will go see this if for no other reason than your review was spot on and I am eternally tired of war movies with an agenda; nice to see one showing "the mission" of the Men that have to fight the wars and not the politics that create the situations, again good call

  • June 24, 2009, 5:53 a.m. CST


    by The InSneider

    great review. it's my favorite of the year. and i loved your observation about the capri-sun as the turning point. well said. puts bay's sequel to shame. renner and mackie were sofa king good.

  • June 24, 2009, 6:07 a.m. CST

    You're comparing Katheryn Bigelow to Micheal Bay....

    by theycallmemrtibbs


  • June 24, 2009, 6:29 a.m. CST

    The Bluray of the Hurt Locker

    by syn_flood

    is already available.

  • June 24, 2009, 6:30 a.m. CST

    Katheryn Bigelow knows how to stage action

    by barnaby jones

    Take note Mr Bay.

  • June 24, 2009, 6:51 a.m. CST

    syn_flood - tell me more...

    by barnaby jones

  • June 24, 2009, 6:59 a.m. CST

    "I go into a personal story that many of you just won't believe.


    It involved Harry and collectables.<p>I managed to believe it.

  • June 24, 2009, 7:02 a.m. CST

    Ralph Fiennes

    by johnnylawless2

    is badass in this.

  • June 24, 2009, 7:05 a.m. CST

    Great movie

    by m_reporter

    It's probably the best movie I've seen so far this year. Gonna go see it again this weekend.

  • June 24, 2009, 7:06 a.m. CST

    How are you barely seeing this if you are a fan of Bigelow?

    by dailysportspages

    I saw this a long ass time ago.

  • June 24, 2009, 7:09 a.m. CST

    The surfing scenes in POINT BREAK were awful

    by ZombieHeathLedger

    mainly because none of the leads could actually surf so Bigelow had to cheat it with shadowy silhouettes and lots of waves. Today they would just CGI Patrick Swayze's face onto Kelly Slater. I'll catch HURT LOCKER on dvd, this isn't a movie that seems to have cinematography that begs for it to be seen on the big screen which isn't my only criteria for seeing a movie in the theatres but it's up there.

  • June 24, 2009, 7:12 a.m. CST


    by m_reporter

    Dude, you have no idea how wrong you are. The 1st bomb explosion and the sniper scene are some of the best shot scenes in years.<p> The 16mm photography in this movie is just sublime.

  • June 24, 2009, 7:17 a.m. CST

    Kathryn Bigelow made Bay look dickless by comparison

    by Lashlarue

    Harry, I love you.

  • June 24, 2009, 7:18 a.m. CST

    So that means the men are boring?

    by terry1978

    In fiction land, if your male character ain't one of those three, that's what they come across as.

  • June 24, 2009, 7:28 a.m. CST

    K19 was a joke. But this looks BADASS.

    by phallix trebek

  • June 24, 2009, 7:48 a.m. CST

    K-19 Is SO Underrated

    by SamuelLappDance

    I thought that was a fairly gutsy production. A big-budget studio movie released in the summmer of "Spiderman" and "Attack of the Clones" about Soviet Russians preventing a nuclear disaster decades earlier? Try and get a film like that green-lit today. Say what you want about Harrison Ford's accent in the film (a decent attempt, I thought ... the world just knows that voice too well). But those who bag on him for never stretching as an actor don't give him any credit when he actually does try and step out of his comfort zone as he did here. Sure, Stellan Skarsgaard might have been better in the role. But SS doesn't have the star power to get a film like that made. "K-19" was tense, well directed by Bigelow, and it told an episode of history few outside of Russia know about. And, hey, it had Han Solo and Qui-Gonn Jinn going toe to toe.

  • June 24, 2009, 7:49 a.m. CST

    Harry = Professional

    by Stuntcock Mike

    Kathryn is the goods. Looking forward to this.

  • June 24, 2009, 7:51 a.m. CST

    Good one

    by one_guy_from_andromeda

    A fun time at the movies, i really liked this one. Not too many stupid moments, and some really great ones. You gotta love David Morse - he's in it for something like 40 seconds but he steals the movie.<p> A point nobody talks about though is that it goes much deeper than being "the first realistic Iraq war movie that shows nothing but soldiers doing their work". If you think about it the main character is a deeply fucked up person...

  • June 24, 2009, 8:02 a.m. CST

    STRANGE DAYS = movie masterpiece

    by Motoko Kusanagi

    which is no surprise: it was written by Iron Jim<p>Mr. Cameron, welcome back. We missed you.

  • June 24, 2009, 8:16 a.m. CST

    Jeremy Renner

    by Bladernner79

    I dont know why this guy isnt in more movies he has a certain quality i can't put my finger on and is a good actor, i mean how much shia do we need to see , i think the kid is good and in time will drop some of the acting crutches he has but he doesnt need ot be in everything. Check out 28 days later renner is the best part of the film and assasintation of jessy james

  • June 24, 2009, 8:18 a.m. CST

    Can't Wait

    by Cobbio

    Thanks, Harry! I can't wait to see this. An uncompromising war film with great characters, dicey predicaments, and true R-rated intensity. Love it.<p> As soon as it hits my area of the country, I'm there.

  • June 24, 2009, 8:41 a.m. CST

    Will defintely be seeing this

    by zapano

    It's been while since I last felt comfortable walking into a Bigelow film. I really like strange days and point break and this sounds quite promising

  • June 24, 2009, 8:54 a.m. CST

    What? No "Iraq" war is Bush's fault bullshit"?

    by Rolling_Stone

    It's not you to actually portray our soldiers in a good light Harry. You've praised every anti-Iraq anti-U.S. soldier film that has come down the pipeline and right into the Blockbuster discount bin for years. Someone place a pod under your bed last night Harry?

  • June 24, 2009, 9:33 a.m. CST

    Jeremy Renner

    by skimn

    When I saw the promos for The Unusuals (was that the name of the now canned ABC series?), I thought, "who is that guy and why does he look so familiar". Hopefully enough suits will see this, and cast him in more leading roles. And welcome back Kathryn Bigelow. I was afraid you'd be delegated to the HBO/Showtime directing pool...

  • June 24, 2009, 9:47 a.m. CST

    Great review, Harry! Seeing this!

    by fassbinder79

  • June 24, 2009, 9:59 a.m. CST


    by AyatollahSexyBack

    Someone mentioned it last night and I was intrigued. Knowing Obama is acting responsibly has made many of us antiwar folks complacent. I don't want to be that guy. I want our troops safe, and home ASAP.

  • June 24, 2009, 10:10 a.m. CST

    Blue Steel was awful

    by ebolamonkey

    Just awful. There's no way that Harry or anybody else for that matter just drops Blue Steel in the player and watches it for fun. Makes JLCs work in the Activia ads look like Kane.

  • June 24, 2009, 10:18 a.m. CST

    it doesn't disgrace our involvement

    by Harry Weinstein

    That our involvement was a disgrace is now simple and demonstrable fact, so it would be redundant for the film to waste valuable time on that idea.

  • June 24, 2009, 10:43 a.m. CST


    by DanielPlainview

    I had to see K-19 over Road to Peridition because my parents wouldn't let me see an R back then. My god I still remember how awful that movie was, and how I'm still pissed I missed Road to Periditon in theatres.

  • June 24, 2009, 10:54 a.m. CST

    K19 or Perdition

    by Mr Gorilla

    What a terrible choice. Couldn't you have just gone out and sat in the toilets for 2 hours?

  • June 24, 2009, 10:55 a.m. CST


    by skimn

    What an awful title. Was WD40 taken? Could never sit and watch that movie just because of Harrison Ford's "Russian" accent.

  • June 24, 2009, 10:58 a.m. CST

    What a disgrace

    by SmokingRobot

    That Harry Weinstein lets his politics overwhelm his sense of reality. If Bill Clinton had started the Iraq war the liberals would be all for it.

  • June 24, 2009, 10:59 a.m. CST

    Easily My Favorite Movie the Past Couple Years

    by chaplinatemyshoe

    Glad to see you give it some hype, Harry. Hopefully this one gets marketed right and does great business.

  • June 24, 2009, 11:06 a.m. CST

    hurt locker is worth your time and bucks to see

    by palewook

    Kathryn Bigelow tends to make solid movies. wish she worked a little more often, but each to their own.

  • June 24, 2009, 11:51 a.m. CST


    by uberman

    It's got my interest.

  • June 24, 2009, 12:24 p.m. CST

    This movie is so badass...

    by thesinofthesky

    that even though I already have it saved on my PS3, I'll pay to see it in the theater, with proper surround sound and what not.

  • June 24, 2009, 12:37 p.m. CST

    Kathryn Bigelow is Awesome!

    by SSCam99

    I will unabashedly say that I truly believe The Hurt Locker is Kathryn Bigelow's best film yet. I saw the film this past April at ShoWest and even had the honor of meeting Ms. Bigelow and speaking to her twice briefly. She is not only a great film maker but a nice person!

  • June 24, 2009, 12:40 p.m. CST

    "Point Break" is awful

    by DennisMM

    It stars two men who have between them the talent of one-half a passable actor. Gary Busey exits early in the film. Only the so-called action sequences are any good, and they're ridiculous.

  • June 24, 2009, 12:44 p.m. CST


    by thesinofthesky

    Busey does not exit early in the film. He doesn't die until the final confrontation at the airport.

  • June 24, 2009, 12:45 p.m. CST

    Men AND robots but not stupid?! I have hope . . .

    by Royston Lodge

    . . . for the cinema again.

  • June 24, 2009, 12:48 p.m. CST

    Great movie with WTF ending

    by elBox

    Nobody talks about the last scene in the movie when they review it. I won't ruin it for those who haven't watched it yet but it sticks out like an awkward boner. It glorifies all the horrible shit that happened to him and appears to be a lame excuse to make Renner look badass one more time. The guy is already as badass as they come. The last scene doesn't ruin the whole movie, it just doesn't fit.

  • June 24, 2009, 12:53 p.m. CST

    prototypes of manhood

    by Series7

    Steve Buscemi?

  • June 24, 2009, 12:56 p.m. CST

    Jeremy Renner

    by Series7

    Really likes wearing a suit. And I notice he plays the same guy in a lot of his things. Like his 28 Days Later and The Unusuals (which turned out pretty good, especially using the Hit Classic hindi song Tunuk Tunuk Tun, which is the best song ever) are the same guy. But I like it, there is something different about it.

  • June 24, 2009, 12:59 p.m. CST

    This is where I go into a personal story

    by Series7

    I had a friend who was one like final month or two in Afgan or Iraq, can't remember. And he was so bored he joined the bomb squad team. He said it was a lot of fun.

  • June 24, 2009, 1 p.m. CST

    Guy Pearce, Ralph Fiennes???

    by Series7

    What do they do? Play some Blimy Queens rule folk who call America and ask for us to save the world again?

  • June 24, 2009, 1:02 p.m. CST

    I saw the trailer for this and though it

    by Series7

    Was an episode of that Discovery channel show, Time stoppers are something.

  • June 24, 2009, 1:14 p.m. CST

    Fuck yeah Katharine Bigelow!!

    by kateowyn

    Can't wait to see this!!!

  • June 24, 2009, 1:26 p.m. CST

    This movie

    by Toonol

    Is the first war movie I've been interested in seeing in a long time, and I LIKE war movies. I just don't like the guilt-ridden, pussified, preachy crap that's come out in the last five years.<p> The vast majority of our soldiers (and by that, I mean 99%+) perform exemplary duty over there. I want to see a movie about that... not one that pretends US soldiers are neurotic, barbaric, bastards.

  • June 24, 2009, 2:15 p.m. CST

    I like Harry's negative reviews better

    by Glory_Fades_ImMaxFischer

    he leaves out his yearning of being a child and all the pointless stories of his life NO ONE CARES ABOUT

  • June 24, 2009, 2:24 p.m. CST

    f all of you

    by shadydave

    crappy review. crappy comments.

  • June 24, 2009, 2:25 p.m. CST


    by Sailor Rip

    I looked him up after you all shot loads about him and the only movie I ever saw him in was Dahmer. <p> Ever see it? I can't watch this guy without visualizing the montage of him raping drugged black men to the beat of "More, more, more, how do like it, how do you like it..."

  • June 24, 2009, 2:46 p.m. CST

    So how is this a better ROBOT film?

    by REVENGE_of_FETT

    Did I miss it somewhere? I haven't seen any trailers for this film but it sure doesn't sound like robots are involved in any way shape or form from Harry's description.

  • June 24, 2009, 2:55 p.m. CST

    Emotional distressed locket

    by krod

  • June 24, 2009, 3:09 p.m. CST

    Should I take my brother to see this?

    by Toe Jam

    He gets back from his second tour of duty in Iraq in just a few days, and he'll be visiting just as this film opens locally. I don't want to give him any flashbacks or anything, though. He seemed to enjoy "Call of Duty 4" after his first tour.

  • June 24, 2009, 3:47 p.m. CST

    elBox: Regarding the last scene

    by chaplinatemyshoe

    I got the exact opposite impression. It actually tied into the theme of the movie: the addiction of warfare. Renner is an addict. That is why the last scene is important.

  • June 24, 2009, 3:52 p.m. CST

    Drag Me to Hell should've been released in Halloween

    by mitortilla

    Dumbfuck move.

  • June 24, 2009, 4:07 p.m. CST

    Revenge of Fett

    by Fortunesfool

    The opening scene has a bomb disposal robot. <p>And the last scene is really cool. One of the best movie endings in recent memory.

  • June 24, 2009, 4:26 p.m. CST

    Far better then Blackhawk down.

    by bioforge

    She made Ridley look dickless.

  • June 24, 2009, 4:27 p.m. CST

    This move is a fucking masterpiece

    by drturing

  • June 24, 2009, 4:33 p.m. CST

    Is this playing in Austin?

    by SaraW

  • June 24, 2009, 5:03 p.m. CST

    Best film of the year

    by kwisatzhaderach

    til Avatar of course. Can't beat Bigelow/Cameron. <p> Did you know that Cameron wrote Point Break too?

  • June 24, 2009, 5:06 p.m. CST

    Fortunesfool is right

    by kwisatzhaderach

    The ending is brilliant, there is a really great match-cut.

  • June 24, 2009, 5:14 p.m. CST

    Steve Mcqueen WIfe Beater

    by Castiel

    No. Not fucking cool.

  • June 24, 2009, 5:28 p.m. CST

    sailor rip

    by martinlutherkrangjr

    renner is dahmer to me. everytime that i saw him in jesse james i thought of him taking pictures of dudes with their shirts off and wrestling around with young men.

  • June 24, 2009, 6:02 p.m. CST

    it's true

    by frank cotton

    that man has no dick

  • June 24, 2009, 6:25 p.m. CST

    Re: zed261/STRANGE DAYS DVD

    by ArmageddonProductions

    zed, you might wanna hold off on that DVD purchase until Fox takes a hit off the Clue Bong® and re-releases STRANGE DAYS in fucking 16x9-compatible format. Every time I pop in my old DVD and have to switch over my player to 4x3 just to watch it full-screen on a HD set, it kills me. Unfortunately, since I think SHOWGIRLS and HALLOWEEN 6 both clobbered it at the box office, Fox probably considers the movie a write-off and it might be a good long while before they get around to it.

  • June 24, 2009, 6:33 p.m. CST

    On The Other Hand ...

    by ArmageddonProductions

    ... while you're waiting for STRANGE DAYS, check Anchor Bay's NEAR DARK Special Edition -- it gets pretty much the treatment I hope STRANGE DAYS will someday get but actually won't.

  • June 24, 2009, 7:35 p.m. CST

    Ralph Fiennes

    by johnnylawless2

    plays the leader of a bunch of contractors hunting some of the most wanted. Plus he gets to have a go on a Barrett 50 cal....

  • June 24, 2009, 8:50 p.m. CST

    Harry, how can you go and call a movie RETARDED?

    by robertplant

    "Also, thank you for giving me a good movie to see today that shows men and robots and wasn't painfully offensive, retarded or insulting. You know... thanks for making a wonderful film!" That's just another one of your blatant hypocrisies. If you're going to bitch about things that offend you, realize that people are actually mentally challenged, and their relatives more than likely view your site. They take offense to that.

  • June 24, 2009, 9:09 p.m. CST

    you want PC

    by frank cotton

    on this site? is this your first visit?

  • June 24, 2009, 9:13 p.m. CST

    TF < HL

    by 2007

    if only bay WROTE his summer movie the way this was written. introspective talks among soldiers(for fanboys to bitch about) introspective tension building bomb diffusing scenes that don't go anywhere and you know the main character isn't going to die before 3/4 of the movie good film but fuck all this agenda driven crap on these genre sights any more promotion for star trek this week and i'll be sick I honestly doubt the 8 year old harry would give TF the same review as the 40year old one and that's the point.

  • June 24, 2009, 9:36 p.m. CST

    Harry says

    by enough22

    No dvd section, so fuck you all AICN readers because once again I disrespect you and show you that I really do not give a shit about any of you my loyal supporters. Thank you, Harry, you are the man.

  • June 25, 2009, 1:35 a.m. CST

    @ironic_name...being that stupid, who ties your shoes?

    by MacFaux

    ironic, buddy, control your vapid and your vain and watch your based on the anti-genius of the few lines you offered. Well. You are not much liked in the world I feature. So, I understand and pity your petty.<br><br> Harry is a lovely fellow and if you don't dance to his groove..then away you, as fast as you can. Start your on million dollar site and see if any one comes to your party.<br><br> I wager not. You wee small child. Scorn. Contempt. Slight regard.<br><br> Jeez, but there is a lot of angry out and about on this site of late.

  • June 25, 2009, 2:48 a.m. CST

    She should have directed Terminator Salvation

    by theplant

    Imagine the geekgasm --

  • June 25, 2009, 2:56 a.m. CST

    only way to know which is better

    by Boborci

    is to see BOTH!

  • June 25, 2009, 3:02 a.m. CST

    But you're a "big fan of 'Point Break'?!"

    by Rowsdower.ZabRowsdower

    Maybe it's because "Hurt Locker"'s production company ponied up the $40 g's to run the banner ad on your site? Weren't you, and your reviewers, all over Bay's jock a couple years ago? POINT BREAK? Pearce, Morse and Fiennes... yes, yes and yes as far as wonderful, underrated actors go. Harry... hate to be one of those... but, *ahem*, you're a "big fan" of everything. This was a dickless lay-up of a review. Sure, remind the online masses of your cinema cred by bagging one which was once your bay, er, boy, by going the 40-screen indie route pick whilst eschewing the big, dumb popcorn flick of the summer. Everyone look at your hands... it's the safety dance. Politics and popularity contests aside, I'm sure, without even seeing either yet, that "Hurt Locker" is the far superior of the two... just remember that you're bagging one project (apples) while easily distancing yourself from another which was once adored all over this site by you and all your staff (pad thai). And, in case anyone missed it... POINT BREAK?!! You need to change the murky waters of your sitz bath, dude.

  • June 25, 2009, 4:14 a.m. CST

    Needs more GIANT PIG

    by GIANT_PIG

    GIANT PIG!!!

  • June 25, 2009, 4:40 a.m. CST

    Does Harry also say when this week's bloody DVD column

    by half vader

    is coming? Come ON man!

  • June 25, 2009, 5:29 a.m. CST


    by kwisatzhaderach

    Point Break is awesome. What's your point exactly?

  • June 25, 2009, 5:30 a.m. CST


    by kwisatzhaderach

    Have you no shame?

  • June 25, 2009, 6:06 a.m. CST

    Orci has no shame.

    by Fortunesfool

    Why would he, he has lots of money and Hollywood knocking on his door shouting 'Bob, write us another lame screenplay on that amazing 'scriptwriting for morons' machine of yours. All the pot smoking, ADD kids in the 14-20 year old demogrpahic are lapping them up'<p>Orci - 'Wow. I really am a great writer'<p>Hollywood - 'No one said that. But the stuff you write makes shitloads of money. Who needs talent when you have success!'

  • June 25, 2009, 6:08 a.m. CST

    Harry loves K-19?

    by vvrinne

    Lol.. just lol..

  • June 25, 2009, 7:38 a.m. CST

    this Renner guy

    by BizarroJerry

    It's a damn shame this movie didn't come out sooner. Maybe it would have helped get The Unusuals a little more attention. He's more or less the star of the show. And I'm sorry to see it die an early death with little chance to survive in the first place.

  • June 25, 2009, 9:27 a.m. CST

    can not wait to see this

    by Crow3711

    ever since the first trailer I saw I've been dying, this shit looks amazing. Fuck all these haters Harry, I'm glad you choose to publicly support these movies. Someone needs to. Ignore the malcontents.

  • June 25, 2009, 10:12 a.m. CST

    David Morse is in it?

    by KazamaSmokers

    I'm there. Inside Moves, 12 Monkeys, St Elsewhere, Hack... David Morse rules.

  • June 25, 2009, 10:35 a.m. CST

    Harry - DVD release column??

    by Kaiser Soze

    What's up with this week's DVD/blu-ray column, Harry? too many crappy releases to do it this week? it was a slower week

  • June 25, 2009, 10:36 a.m. CST

    Are there robots in this film?

    by Animation

    The title says something like the better robot film, but the review makes it seem like a modern military film. What's up?

  • June 25, 2009, 11:09 a.m. CST

    Animation re: Robots

    by Crow3711

    well, its about a bomb defuser, so I think it means more that he uses those robotic arm things and explosive robots at time to defuse/detonate the bombs probably. More realistic robot action than Bayformers, is what I think it means. So yes, there are "robots" in this movie, they just don't talk or reinforce racial stereotypes.

  • June 25, 2009, 11:14 a.m. CST

    Bigelow is one of the most vital action directors around...

    by shaneo632

    Considering she's pretty much the ONLY consistent female director of action films mainly centered around men, it's only too relevant how much she explores male anxiety. I thought the Hurt Locker was awesome in this regard. Lacked the cheesy homoeroticism of Point Break and was just a very compelling, incredibly tense film about men in crisis. Sadly overlooked film.

  • June 25, 2009, 11:29 a.m. CST


    by Tin Snoman


  • June 25, 2009, 11:45 a.m. CST


    by BrooseTheScharuk

    The person who mentioned the addiction aspect of Hurt Locker was absolutely right, and I am a little surprised that it didn't get mentioned in Harry's review. Jeremy Renner's character is an absolute junkie for his job and the adrenaline that comes with it. He takes unnecessary risks, and -- as we find out toward the end -- his value system has been twisted by his addiction. I would even say that this movie is much more about addiction than it is simply about "heroes" and "the job they do".

  • June 25, 2009, 12:11 p.m. CST

    Loved this film.

    by gotilk

    And I'll be seeing it again if I can find it on a screen in my horrible town. Seriously, calling this the best action film this summer is NOT an exaggeration. Easily.

  • June 25, 2009, 12:27 p.m. CST

    Sounds good.

    by shrubbery

    Is it in limited release right now?

  • June 25, 2009, 1:03 p.m. CST

    Oh, and I forgot to mention...

    by BrooseTheScharuk

    ...pretty much the best movie I've seen this year. Easily Bigelow's best. Considering the fact that she's screwed up the endings of a lot of her films, I don't think this one could end any better than it does.

  • June 25, 2009, 1:09 p.m. CST

    you liked K-19???


    Lemme tell you something are becoming more and more of a joke every time you post a review. I'm beginning to think that you wouldn't know a good movie if it bit you on the ass (UHGG...what a sick thought...). K-19 THE WIDOW-MAKER was a totally suckass movie. Liam Neeson and Harrison Ford were woefully miscast in it and the story wasn't compelling in any way shape or form. Maybe the twonkies are rotting your brain or something...

  • June 25, 2009, 1:39 p.m. CST

    Her 3 Homicide Episodes Remain her Best Work

    by mjgtexas

    I think the Ron Eldard hostage episode has been the most claustrphobic, perfectly edited episode in tv history.

  • June 25, 2009, 2:44 p.m. CST

    I'm really interested in seeing this, eventually

    by SoylentMean

    After having almost zero fun with Transformers 2: What the Fuck Just Happened?, I need a coherent story with characters I care about. Unfortunately, this will most likely be seen by me on DVD.

  • June 25, 2009, 4:58 p.m. CST

    Legitimate question about bomb diffusing

    by jimmy_009

    So the trailer of this rocks, but while watching it I couldn't help but think: "Why not just get everyone away and fire an RPG at it?" Yeah they'll be some property damage, but that's nothing compared to losing lives. Maybe this will be explained in the movie, which I can't wait to see. I hate limited release openings.

  • June 25, 2009, 5:09 p.m. CST

    Great piece of work. Agorophobic and claustrophobic

    by SID 8.0

    at the same time. Best line in the movie Anthony Mack to the SAS soldier " You know you can shoot people here, you don't have to throw wrenches at them." SAS shooter "Fuck off!" Hilarious. Jeremy Renner should be a bigger star no doubt. Throw him in there Michael Jai White and Ryan Reynolds who seems like he's about to go supersonic. Right after Renner's character died in 28 Weeks Later the movie did too.

  • June 25, 2009, 8:55 p.m. CST

    Kathryn Bigelow is kinda hot. . . .

    by Mundungus

    Is pointing that out foremost too shallow? I guess, but it was the first thing I thought while checking out some press clips. Seems mighty bright as well.

  • June 25, 2009, 9:41 p.m. CST


    by _screamster101

    hey! me again. I was first to say first in the michael jackson death article. i know, i'm a douche. but i was first. don't worry though - my penis is smaller than a vienna sausage.

  • June 26, 2009, 1:09 a.m. CST

    I heard....

    by planescrashdown

    .... that Kathryn Bigalow created a machine that sucked all the ego out of Jim Cameron while they slept, and distributed itself back to the earth as methane. Once converted the machine would suck all the methene up from the room and condence it into a perfect 128 minute script that could never get greenlit. Like a 2 hour script about midget vampires, but with great dialogue. and set pieces. ING described the contraption as "basic" and "Depthless" make of that what you will.

  • June 26, 2009, 9:50 a.m. CST

    Hasnt the DVD For this been out for AGES?

    by Ash0k

    Movie looks great, I'm just surprised its taken this long for people to start talking about it.

  • June 26, 2009, 11:39 a.m. CST

    I'd LOVE to see this right now, but

    by The Reluctant Austinite

    only places like Austin get movies like this. Here in Louisville we have a ridiculous number of theaters and screens, but most of them are filled up playing "Transformers." All of our arthouse theaters have tanked, and even when the second run/ arthouse theater in town plays non-mainstream films, they never get anything cool like this. They never book underground action, horror or sci-fi (I guess the distributors actually want to be PAID for booking these types of films). They'll only book French art films or gay/lesbian interest films. I love when AICN gives attention to films like this; I only wish I could actually go out and support them.

  • June 26, 2009, 12:54 p.m. CST

    The Reluctant Austinite

    by Ash0k

    Read my post above. You CAN see this today, even if you live in Zimbabwe. ;-) <p><p> (hint: xvid screener)

  • June 26, 2009, 2:58 p.m. CST

    Can't see this in Austin or a lot of places

    by scanlon

    Same old stupid fucked up platform releases. Hey let's blitz the media and web for weeks with interviews and reviews for a movie no one can actually see in a theater. The Hurt Locker and Moon are still not available even in Austin this weekend. I can't imagine even smaller markets will be seeing this soon. Seriously, who is in charge of this kind of shit? Why spend the advertising dollars if you are sitting on the product. It's not called building buzz. it's called losing buzz. Because by the time its available, they'll something else to competing for your movie attention. This is another reason some people download the movie.

  • June 26, 2009, 5:56 p.m. CST

    Good review

    by purplepurple

    Movie sounds interesting, will check it out

  • June 26, 2009, 6:28 p.m. CST

    Republicans are cute

    by Harry Weinstein

    "That Harry Weinstein lets his politics overwhelm his sense of reality. If Bill Clinton had started the Iraq war the liberals would be all for it."<p><p>I wouldn't expect a Republican to understand why it's bad to go to war based on false information obtained using torture, regardless of what party is controlling all three branches of government at the time. It's complicated stuff; fortunately grownups are in charge now.

  • June 26, 2009, 7:55 p.m. CST

    Liberals are cute

    by Ash0k

    I guess when you know that Al Qaeda is in Iraq, and you know Saddam had WMDs because he used them against his own people, and you deploy the US military to Iraq to contain a known security threat --- you have to whine and groan if you are a sissy liberal. Thank God that from 2000-2008, the grownups were in charge and defended the nation they swore to protect, regardless of the flack taken from crybaby KoolAid sipping moonbats. <p><p> Meanwhile the winners in the House pass the largest tax in American history. RIP economy.

  • June 26, 2009, 10:48 p.m. CST

    Kathryn Bigelow made Bay look dickless by comparison.

    by GQtaste

    I gotta give credit where credit is do. That was one hell of a line there Harry. And a true one at that. Good job sir.

  • June 26, 2009, 11:32 p.m. CST


    by CB87

    You're a dumbass Harry

  • June 26, 2009, 11:36 p.m. CST


    by Johnnie Walker

    Amazing director. Amazing cast. And made totally independently. It redeems an otherwise extremely disappointing summer.

  • June 27, 2009, 1:43 a.m. CST

    Thanks for putting yr money where yr mouth is

    by Mr Gorilla

    ...and keeping these Hurt Locker posts up top, even though everyone really wants to talk TRANSFORMERS. (Why? Just don't see it!) Now can we lobby for a really great Strange Days blu-ray release?

  • June 27, 2009, 10:53 a.m. CST

    Who says Michael Bay Even Has A Dick?

    by EbertsFatThumb

    Another example of a shitty director who keeps making mediocre movies. Take out the slow-mo and explosions and you can reduce his 2 1/2 movie down to a commercial.

  • June 27, 2009, 6:23 p.m. CST

    That ending...

    by slapshot probably one of the best in recent memory, if only for what it means in relation to the scene that immediately precedes it. "Sometimes, you realize you only love one thing"... and the one thing isn't the person he says that to. <P> (Btw, the DVD is/was available on certain non-Michael "bay" places. Apparently there was an Italian release of some sort nearly a year ago; the discs are Region 1, the menus are in Italian, the movie is in English, and the packaging is in Korean. Go figure. This, studios, is what happens when you do that fucked-up "platform release" shit, preventing the majority of us from seeing a movie opening weekend or even opening month. We're Americans, we demand to be entertained, RIGHT FUCKING NOW.)

  • June 27, 2009, 6:50 p.m. CST


    by jdb1972

    The tagline is "War is a drug." David Morse's character lets a civilian die for no good reason. The writer's last job was the horrid "In the Valley of Ellah." It's explicitly stated that soldiers' treatment of Iraqis caused them to become insurgents. And so on. This is apolitical only in very relative contrast to Hollywood's other Iraq War excrements.

  • June 28, 2009, 1:20 a.m. CST

    Good War Flick

    by EbertsFatThumb

    The Hurt Locker was a really good war film. Not sure I rank it as an all time great war film but it definitely kept you focused. Pretty intense and just enough dialogue to move the story. I was in high school band for six years and this brings back the memories.

  • June 28, 2009, 5:15 p.m. CST

    harry, your fatass

    by manbat33

    sweats anyway even by just sitting there.

  • June 28, 2009, 11:18 p.m. CST

    so far - BEST PIC 2009- go see it!!!!

    by soloaj

    Went to NYC on Sat and saw the movie with Q&A afterwords with Director. All the Good Reviews - a tight thriller & Great War Movie! When this goes wide I urge you to see this film. When the director came out for quick Q&A I was surprised to see tall, slim, soft spoken lady - expected something totally different :). She and her crew deserve much credit in making a great movie that a fresh breath of air. GO SEE IT ASAP!

  • June 29, 2009, 2:23 p.m. CST

    Best Pic 2009......I agree

    by Black_Towr

    I saw this on wednesday of last week and it was amazing. Very intense film.

  • June 30, 2009, 8:13 a.m. CST


    by Dr Strangeface

    Way to show your true credentials as a complete fuckwit. I just love it when loudmouth shit-for-brain assholes like you (and there are many of you on this site for some reason) come along proclaiming yours as the only valid viewpoint. Film, as with all media, is subjective. Now go and look up 'subjective.' Rant over.

  • June 30, 2009, 10:41 p.m. CST

    Are You kidding me?

    by Karimkai

    Harry, what is your malfunction? The Hurt Locker, probably is a good film and I'm gonna check it out(the trailer was awsome), but using every review to attack TF:ROTF is very immature. I have to agree with a few on here that say that the forums here are filled with a bunch of hateful, bitter, SOB's who are puppets with no autonomy who follow the crap you spew. Form an independent opinion, much like the audience that made TF2 a 200 mil+ grosser. It's like some real Bill O'Reilly, "I yell louder so I'm right" shit on the AICN forum. What a joke

  • July 1, 2009, 12:03 p.m. CST

    saw it last nite....

    by massolit

    very good movie... but now just waiting for MJ: (un)cut starring johnny depp.

  • July 1, 2009, 1:47 p.m. CST


    by Stanbee54321

  • July 1, 2009, 1:47 p.m. CST


    by Stanbee54321

  • July 1, 2009, 1:47 p.m. CST


    by Stanbee54321

  • July 1, 2009, 1:47 p.m. CST


    by Stanbee54321

  • July 1, 2009, 7:35 p.m. CST

    Harry sucks dick

    by jake122683

    Harry ruins this website. I know it is his but he makes it suck.

  • July 3, 2009, 10:48 a.m. CST

    Finally saw the trailer...

    by Logan_1973

    Quite frankly I don't see what there is to get excited about...

  • July 6, 2009, 9:51 p.m. CST

    Just saw this...

    by StrokerX

    Effing LOVED freakin stressful!

  • July 7, 2009, 9:43 a.m. CST

    Yes extremely good film

    by Rupee88

    When you see Guy Pearce in a cameo, that is usually a good sign. But great acting and action in this one.

  • July 16, 2009, 1:25 a.m. CST

    Findally found a theatre showing this

    by growltiger

    And it blew me away. The sniper watch on the berm scene kept me on the edge of my seat. Guy Pearce AND Ralph Fiennes offer brilliant turns to support the excellent trio of bomb experts.

  • July 16, 2009, 1:26 a.m. CST

    Findally --> finally

    by growltiger

    Although trying to find a theatre offering this film did require an ally.

  • July 30, 2009, 10:23 p.m. CST

    Saw it today. Dug it well enough.

    by Autodidact

    I found it quite absorbing, although I'm just going to stop going out to movies altogether, because every single time there is something fucked up, either with the audience or the film presentation or both. Today it was the presentation. The film was so poorly framed on the screen that whenever one of those titles that said "number of days left in Bravo Company's rotation: X" the number was mostly off the fucking screen.. you could see it projecting onto the paint between the screen and the stage. And the fucking picture was so far off the screen at the sides I swear you could see picture on the goddamn exit sign. Fuck you Cineplex. <p>Anyway, good job Kathryn Bigelow. I also liked K-19: Widowmaker and Strange Days was the first movie I ever reviewed for a publication. Gave it a big ol' thumbs up.

  • July 31, 2009, 4:19 a.m. CST

    Incredible Film

    by Posthumos1

    I just saw this movie. It is amazing. There is a tension here that just holds your chest and makes you not dare to breathe. The character development is great and the paranoia factor is unrelenting. This movie made me feel like watching an entire season of The Shield all at once. Bigelow has an eye for stress and also has a very subtle almost sneaky eye for romanticizing addiction. A couple of people hit the nail on the head with the addiction thing. It should be noted that the Movie starts with the quote "War is a drug.". The Hurt locker should be nominated for best picture, it may not win (mostly due to the Academy HATING War movies), but it is probably the most honest filmmaking I have seen in a few years in terms of reality. Great job Ms. Bigelow.

  • Aug. 2, 2009, 11:53 p.m. CST

    Insulting and cliche ridden.

    by Saurdaukar

    Just saw this tonight with two other vets. Riddled with technical inaccuracies (I can overlook those) and out-right absurdities (single-truck convoys, EOD becoming snipers, destruction of actionable intelligence, the rogue trip outside the wire to find Beckham, soldiers abandoning humvees and hiding around corners)... My friends and I laughed the whole time. It's a war movie written by people for people who haven't been to war, don't know anyone who has, and only want to reinforce the same anti-war anti-US narrative. If you like the movie, fine, but don't try to pass it off as anything approaching realistic. This is a cartoon. Hell, PLATOON is more accurate than this, and that isn't saying much. Stick with GENERATION KILL.

  • Aug. 7, 2009, 9:08 p.m. CST

    I was never in the Army

    by interneti

    And I could tell this movie was unrealistic. Anyone that watches war or police movies knows these guys always report back. No such thing. The sniper scene has already been trashed. She couldn't buy lunch for an Iraq War veteran and get their opinion?

  • Aug. 8, 2009, 4:52 a.m. CST

    Saw it last night (slight spoilers)

    by ZombieHeathLedger

    I was right when I said back in June, that the cinematography here does not beg for it to be seen on the big screen. It is very thrilling for the for the first two acts. It's great that the cameos are here and gone because given the names you expect them to stay around and when they don't it's quite a shock. I was reading the above comments by some vets and the vets made total sense of some of the probs they've had with some of the scenes and I'm really surprised because this movie was supposedly based on declassified information, written by a guy who was imbedded with a bomb squad in Iraq and they filmed in Jordan with actual Iraqi refugees and soldiers around so it's puzzling how they still managed to get things wrong. My biggest problem with it though was it has no third act. The first act is even rather short, it's the bomb squad without Renner, the second act is the bomb squad with Renner, I suppose the third act is supposed to be about the kid, Beckham but it seems more just a slight extension of the second act. In fact the whole move just feels like an extended second act with an epilogue. I liked the epilogue and the idea of the addiction to war and it's terrible effect on the family lived of the soldiers but Bigelow just doesn't make you give a shit enough about the family to care about what Renner does at the end. In fact, I was like, "Oh cool, we're back to the bomb shit" which I guess is how Renner feels, too. This film has no climax unless you count the sniper scene which happens about two thirds the way in and then you would have an entire third act denoument? If this movie had a stronger ending and THEN the epilogue, I would recommend it higher as the first hour and a half were riveting but it just sort of fizzles out. Catch it on DVD.

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