Archive for March, 2010

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The Hurt Locker

The Hurt Locker (2009)

The rush of battle is often a potent and lethal addiction, for war is a drug.

What does it take to keep a person running into a burning building even if it’s to save someone’s life? How do police step into dangerous situations every day? What makes a person tick who can risk his or her life repeatedly defusing bombs? The Hurt Locker takes a look at that last question, and does so in a breathtaking, adrenaline rush of a film.

This may be the most exciting film that came out last year. It was far more nail-biting than any ordinary action film that I sat through. Thanks to Kathryn Bigelow’s direction and Barry Ackroyd’s dynamic camerawork, we become a part of Bravo company as they attempt to locate and disarm IEDs in Iraq. Each situation is a little bit worse than the last and we worry a little bit more each time.

The performances are top-notch. Jeremy Renner plays Staff Sergeant William James, a man that is driven to figure out his lethal puzzles despite the qualms of his comrades. This creates tension with the other two members of Bravo company: Sgt. J. T. Sanborn and Spc. Owen Eldridge. Sanborn is a man imbued with a healthy dose of common sense and a natural instinct to survive. He has little patience for James’s insistence on personally disarming every bomb. Poor Eldridge is caught in the middle and has his own issues. A couple of big stars show up for well-crafted cameos: Ralph Fiennes and Guy Pierce. Still, this movie belongs to the newcomers and they rise to the occasion.

Thinking of this film, I was reminded of my younger days as a student in an Electronic Engineering Technology program. I think several of the guys I met during that time would understand James’s addiction to figuring out the explosive devices…how he feels a personal challenge between himself and the bombmaker. I think that under different circumstances one or two of those guys might be another James. I hope they never get there. We need people like James and Bravo company, but I’d like to think that most of them have Sanborn’s healthier attitude toward his job than James’s. Anything else is too sad to contemplate.

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Well, I finally finished my list of the 100 Greatest Love Stories. I hope everyone enjoyed reading it. This is the larger list of 300 movies that I started with before limiting the final product to just 100. I thought people might be interested in seeing it.

Movie Year
Broken Blossoms 1919
Way Down East 1920
Flesh and the Devil 1927
Sunrise 1927
City Lights 1931
Love Me Tonight 1932
Trouble in Paradise 1932
It Happened One Night 1934
Of Human Bondage 1934
The Thin Man 1934
Twentieth Century 1934
Alice Adams 1935
Top Hat 1935
Camille 1936
Libeled Lady 1936
Swing Time 1936
Theodora Goes Wild 1936
Love is News 1937
Shall We Dance 1937
The Awful Truth 1937
Topper 1937
Bringing Up Baby 1938
Holiday 1938
The Adventures of Robin Hood 1938
Dark Victory 1939
First Love 1939
Gone With the Wind 1939
Midnight 1939
Wuthering Heights 1939
All This and Heaven Too 1940
His Girl Friday 1940
Rebecca 1940
Remember the Night 1940
Shop Around the Corner 1940
The Letter 1940
The Philadelphia Story 1940
Waterloo Bridge 1940
Ball of Fire 1941
Meet John Doe 1941
The Lady Eve 1941
Casablanca 1942
Now Voyager 1942
Random Harvest 1942
Woman of the Year 1942
You Were Never Lovelier 1942
Cover Girl 1944
Double Indemnity 1944
Gaslight 1944
Jane Eyre 1944
Laura 1944
To Have and Have Not 1944
Brief Encounter 1945
Christmas in Connecticut 1945
Leave Her to Heaven 1945
Spellbound 1945
Gilda 1946
It’s a Wonderful Life 1946
Notorious 1946
The Best Years of Our Lives 1946
The Big Sleep 1946
The Postman Always Rings Twice 1946
Black Narcissus 1947
Lady from Shanghai 1947
Out of the Past 1947
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir 1947
Easter Parade 1948
Key Largo 1948
Portrait of Jennie 1948
The Red Shoes 1948
Adam’s Rib 1949
The Heiress 1949
All About Eve 1950
In a Lonely Place 1950
Summer Stock 1950
Sunset Boulevard 1950
An American in Paris 1951
People Will Talk 1951
Streetcar Named Desire 1951
The African Queen 1951
Singin in the Rain 1952
The Quiet Man 1952
From Here to Eternity 1953
Mogambo 1953
Niagara 1953
Roman Holiday 1953
Brigadoon 1954
Rear Window 1954
Sabrina 1954
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers 1954
The Country Girl 1954
Guys and Dolls 1955
Lady and the Tramp 1955
Marty 1955
Oklahoma 1955
Summertime 1955
To Catch a Thief 1955
Anastasia 1956
Giant 1956
The King and I 1956
An Affair to Remember 1957
Desk Set 1957
Funny Face 1957
Love in the Afternoon 1957
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof 1958
Gigi 1958
Indiscreet 1958
South Pacific 1958
The Long Hot Summer 1958
Vertigo 1958
North by Northwest 1959
Pillow Talk 1959
Some Like It Hot 1959
The Apartment 1960
Breakfast at Tiffany’s 1961
Splendor in the Grass 1961
The Hustler 1961
West Side Story 1961
Charade 1963
Cleopatra 1963
Marnie 1964
My Fair Lady 1964
The Americanization of Emily 1964
Dr. Zhivago 1965
How to Steal a Million 1966
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf 1966
Barefoot in the Park 1967
Bonnie and Clyde 1967
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner 1967
Two for the Road 1967
Funny Girl 1968
Romeo and Juliet 1968
The Lion in Winter 1968
Anne of the Thousand Days 1969
Cactus Flower 1969
Harold and Maude 1971
Klute 1971
McCabe and Mrs. Miller 1971
The Way We Were 1973
Chinatown 1974
Network 1976
Robin and Marian 1976
Annie Hall 1977
Coming Home 1978
Days of Heaven 1978
Grease 1978
Manhattan 1979
The Empire Strikes Back 1980
Body Heat 1981
On Golden Pond 1981
The French Lieutenant’s Woman 1981
An Officer and a Gentleman 1982
Bladerunner 1982
The Year of Living Dangerously 1982
Romancing the Stone 1984
A Room With a View 1985
Ladyhawke 1985
Out of Africa 1985
Witness 1985
Lady Jane 1986
Dirty Dancing 1987
Fatal Attraction 1987
Moonstruck 1987
Roxanne 1987
Some Kind of Wonderful 1987
The Big Easy 1987
The Princess Bride 1987
The Unbearable Lightness of Being 1987
Bull Durham 1988
Dangerous Liaisons 1988
Tequila Sunrise 1988
Working Girl 1988
Always 1989
Say Anything 1989
sex, lies and videotape 1989
When Harry Met Sally 1989
Dances With Wolves 1990
Pretty Woman 1990
Dead Again 1991
Frankie and Johnny 1991
Enchanted April 1992
Like Water for Chocolate 1992
The Crying Game 1992
The Cutting Edge 1992
The Last of the Mohicans 1992
Benny and Joon 1993
Groundhog Day 1993
Much Ado About Nothing 1993
Sommersby 1993
The Age of Innocence 1993
The Piano 1993
The Remains of the Day 1993
Four Weddings and a Funeral 1994
Legends of the Fall 1994
Queen Margot 1994
Reality Bites 1994
A Walk in the Clouds 1995
Angels and Insects 1995
Braveheart 1995
Carrington 1995
Clueless 1995
Desperado 1995
Don Juan Demarco 1995
How to Make an American Quilt 1995
Leaving Las Vegas 1995
Month by the Lake 1995
Othello 1995
Persuasion 1995
Rob Roy 1995
Sense and Sensibility 1995
The American President 1995
The Bridges of Madison County 1995
Waiting to Exhale 1995
Emma 1996
Hamlet (Branagh) 1996
Jerry Maguire 1996
The English Patient 1996
The Truth About Cats and Dogs 1996
The Whole Wide World 1996
Twelfth Night 1996
As Good as it Gets 1997
Chasing Amy 1997
Mrs. Brown 1997
Oscar and Lucinda 1997
The Boxer 1997
Titanic 1997
Wings of the Dove 1997
Elizabeth 1998
Ever After 1998
Out of Sight 1998
Rushmore 1998
Shakespeare in Love 1998
Sliding Doors 1998
The Mask of Zorro 1998
10 Things I Hate About You 1999
An Ideal Husband 1999
Never Been Kissed 1999
Notting Hill 1999
Runaway Bride 1999
The End of the Affair 1999
The Thomas Crown Affair 1999
Almost Famous 2000
Bounce 2000
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2000
High Fidelity 2000
House of Mirth 2000
A Beautiful Mind 2001
Amelie 2001
Bridget Jones’s Diary 2001
Enigma 2001
Moulin Rouge 2001
About a Boy 2002
Far From Heaven 2002
Possession 2002
Unfaithful 2002
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2002
Big Fish 2003
Cold Mountain 2003
Down With Love 2003
Lost in Translation 2003
Love Actually 2003
Something’s Gotta Give 2003
Under a Tuscan Sun 2003
A Very Long Engagement 2004
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 2004
House of Flying Daggers 2004
Kinsey 2004
Sideways 2004
Stage Beauty 2004
Brokeback Mountain 2005
Match Point 2005
Prime 2005
The Constant Gardener 2005
The New World 2005
Walk the Line 2005
Casino Royale 2006
Miss Potter 2006
Once 2006
Something New 2006
Stranger Than Fiction 2006
The Fountain 2006
The Illusionist 2006
The Lake House 2006
Across the Universe 2007
Atonement 2007
Becoming Jane 2007
Australia 2008
Revolutionary Road 2008
Slumdog Millionaire 2008
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button 2008
The Reader 2008
Wall-E 2008
(500) Days of Summer 2009
Up 2009
Magnificent Obsession 1935/1954
A Star is Born 1937/1954
Pride and Prejudice 1940/1995/2005
Beauty and the Beast 1946/1991
Silk Stockings/Ninotchka 1957/1939
Before Sunrise/Before Sunset 1995/2004

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