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Zero Dark Thirty - 3/1/2013 9:45:51 PM   
Empire Admin

 

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Post #: 1
Oscar... Really? - 3/1/2013 9:45:52 PM   
J_BUltimatum

 

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Saw this in America and have to say it is a solid 3 star film. That is all that can really be said about this film. While enjoyable I wouldn't recommend this over any other movie. Since Hurt Locker though, it seems that Bigelow and anything which she touches is gold in critics eyes (let us not forget that this is the director that brought us K19!!) add to that " but we get a sense of the decade-long tangle of scraps of information gleaned from interrogations and surveillance which makes for a mystery that constantly simmers but threatens never to come to the boil.". I certainly didn't feel that. I would be happy with this as a stocking filler at Christmas, but that is as far as I would go with this one. I really hope this doesn't win an Oscar as there are at least 30 films miles above this!

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RE: Oscar... Really? - 4/1/2013 3:43:13 PM   
UTB


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Looking forward to this.

Although I agree with the poster above in that there seems to be a large Bigelow-boner thrusting its way around the critics circle.

In any other review the following would have been classed as a lack of characterisation:

"A more conventional movie would have given its lead actress an Oscar clip speech here about a loved one lost in the struggle, or a commitment to country and cause but director Kathryn Bigelow and writer-producer Mark Boal remain as tight-lipped as any spook. "

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Post #: 3
Vile propaganda - 6/1/2013 5:50:56 AM   
spamandham

 

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An awful, disgusting propaganda film lying for and excusing torture and war crimes. Bigelow is the fifth rate hollywood answer to Leni Riefenstahl.

For an intelligent review, which you wont find in empire, see here http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/14/zero-dark-thirty-cia-propaganda

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Post #: 4
RE: Vile propaganda - 6/1/2013 10:51:33 AM   
Rebel scum


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So, um, this is despite

SPOILERS HIDDEN IN WHITE


some very early scenes outright showing that torture is morally repugnant and, crucially, fails to work?


< Message edited by Rebel scum -- 6/1/2013 10:52:08 AM >


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RE: Vile propaganda - 6/1/2013 11:22:41 AM   
elab49


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Spoilers for anyone who doesn't know what happened to Bin Laden but, heck, if you don't want to read about the film don't read a review thread before you've seen it

But if it then goes onto to show that not only can it work but it was directly linked to a successful objective, I'm not sure an initial failure mitigates that.

And I think too many people have said that's exactly what that scene does - to the extent of it becoming a political issue and the CIA themselves being questioned on issues surrounding their links to the film.


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RE: Vile propaganda - 6/1/2013 11:34:28 AM   
Rebel scum


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More spoilers 'n' shit

From what I've read (I have yet to see the actual film, so I could be wrong) they finally get the intelligence they need by changing tactics, inviting the previously tortured man out into the sun, giving him a good meal and attempting to tease information out of him by claiming that - in his battered stupor - he had given up "the date," that they'd thwarted the attack and that he no longer had anyone or anything to protect.

NOT torture, which had failed to give the information necessary and had failed to halt the attack.

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RE: Vile propaganda - 6/1/2013 11:52:08 AM   
elab49


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It seems odd that so many places are referring to it differently, including the concern over misrepresenting the actual source of the info they used. I guess that could be political as well?

I wasn't really going to bother going to the cinema to see it as I didn't rate Hurt Locker. Maybe I'll use a free screening.


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


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Post #: 8
RE: Vile propaganda - 6/1/2013 12:07:26 PM   
Rebel scum


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I reckon any mention or portrayal of torture in a film about the killing of Bin Laden would have led to people complaining. I do want to check the film out though, if only to see what specifics everyone's wringing their hands over.

That reminds me, I still need to watch Hurt Locker, I spy a double-bill opportunity.

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Post #: 9
RE: Vile propaganda - 6/1/2013 1:15:08 PM   
elab49


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I don't know. This sounds like a bit more than an easily dismissed hand-wringing 'liberal' usual suspects. Some of the initial complaints I read were disputes from the CIA that the juxtaposition in the film was mis-used. Beyond what people on either side in the US feel about the tactics used, and their success or other, it seemed more a question of facts?

But as you say - it's one to try to see to see what's actually on screen and whether that's been mis-represented.


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


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Post #: 10
RE: Vile propaganda - 6/1/2013 1:19:07 PM   
rawlinson

 

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The thing is though, you also have the former chief of the CIA on record saying torture... oops, sorry "enhanced interrogation techniques" not only happened but also provided useful information.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/al-qaeda/8491509/Osama-bin-Laden-killed-CIA-admits-waterboarding-yielded-vital-information.html

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Post #: 11
RE: Vile propaganda - 6/1/2013 1:19:24 PM   
Rgirvan44


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If it turned out that torture in this case did result in Bin Laden being killed, then I am not sure how it can be called propaganda.

Sadly the world isn't black and white, and perhaps the movie is asking the audience to look at this with a mature approach?

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RE: Vile propaganda - 6/1/2013 1:58:20 PM   
horribleives

 

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I haven't seen the film yet but why does everything have to be pro or anti? Can a film not just depict something that happened without being overtly for or against it and, y'know, treat the audience like adults? It's funny how critics generally applaud films that make no moral judgement on characters' actions but then expect a filmaker to do just that when dramatising something that doesn't fit into some cosy liberal bubble.
And I'd put little faith in that Guardian article as it's quite appallingly written.

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RE: Vile propaganda - 6/1/2013 2:22:07 PM   
elab49


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But isn't the suggestion here that a filmmaking decision to juxtapose certain scenes is implying something that isn't factually correct? A filmmaker always chooses where to put their camera, there is always a construction of sorts, whether you call it an agenda or not.

The Senate Committee examination on this

quote:

"CIA did not first learn about the existence of the UBL (bin Laden) courier from detainees subjected to coercive interrogation techniques. ... Instead, the CIA learned of the existence of the courier, his true name and location through means unrelated to the CIA detention and interrogation program. ... The CIA detainee who provided the most significant information about the courier provided the information prior to being subjected to coercive interrogation techniques."


(quote taken from the Daily Beast summary of the Senate report).

The article linked to above summarises this part of the film, the key info that led them to Bin Laden (again, this may be unfair but the repeated implication elsewhere is there is this direct link)

quote:

The key evidence - the identity of bin Laden's courier - is revealed only after a detainee is brutally and repeatedly abused. Sitting at a table with his CIA torturer, who gives him food as part of a ruse, that detainee reveals this critical information only after the CIA torturer says to him: "I can always go eat with some other guy - and hang you back up to the ceiling." That's when the detainee coughs up the war name of bin Laden's courier - after he's threatened with more torture - and the entire rest of the film is then devoted to tracking that information about the courier, which is what leads them to bin Laden.But the film touts the value of torture in all sorts of other ways. Other detainees whose arms are shackled to the ceiling are shown confirming the courier's identity. Another detainee, after being threatened with rendition to Israel, pleads: "I have no wish to be tortured again - ask me a question, and I will answer it."


Panetta's comments might feed into the more general depiction of the use of torture techniques (and the Bush administrations claims to have been part of the final capture because they tortured people left right and centre) which Bigelow might have tried to represent. But the discussion seems more specific to where and for what, I think.





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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


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Post #: 14
RE: Vile propaganda - 6/1/2013 2:54:41 PM   
Rebel scum


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Ah, because what I read was (Spoilers, obviously):

quote:


Here is the controversy, in a nutshell: The film effectively begins (after an audio-only opening featuring an "sound collage" of 9/11 related sound clips played over a black screen) with its main character, Maya (Chastain) observing the interrogation of a captured terrorist. During the interrogation, the agents - primarily one played by Jason Clarke - try to extract information from their prisoner using sleep deprivation, waterboarding, sexual humiliation (specifically, they take away his pants while Maya is present) and, finally, folding him into a box roughly the size of your average family camping-cooler for an undisclosed period of time. Among other questions, during the waterboarding, he is repeatedly and loudly asked "When was the last time you saw bin Laden?" The audio (but not the video) of that moment became the rhythmic background noise of the film's first trailer.

It's a tough scene. Hard to watch, impossible to be "happy" about even when you already know (as we do here) that the guy is a terrorist. In fact, in cinematic terms he's unnervingly close to sympathetic. While being boxed up, he's given one last chance to give them "the date" ... and instead rattles off every day of the week in a moment of "you can't break me!" defiance not all that dissimilar to displays of the same by good guys in other movies.

Except, as it turns out, the information he was withholding was the date and location of The Khobar Massacre in Saudi Arabia. "When was the last time you saw bin Laden?" was an extra bit thrown into the mix by the interrogator, but preventing this imminent attack was the primary goal - which they don't accomplish and which goes off according to plan, resulting in horrific murders. For those of you playing at home: the torture didn't work

To me, this should be "Case closed!" on the whole controversy. In the film's "set piece" moment of so-called enhanced interrogation, the brutal techniques are shown to fail. Furthermore, later on they do get good intelligence from the tortured man by switching tactics. Assuming that, as a captive, he can't possibly have known that his allies' attack was successful, Maya and the agents invite him out into the sunlight, offer him his first actual meal in ages and attempt to tease information out of him by claiming that - in his battered stupor - he had given up "the date," that they'd thwarted the attack and that he no longer had anyone or anything to protect. This technique works, and hands Maya a few more scraps of data to continue her quest. I can't imagine a more thorough rebuke of enhanced interrogation short of the characters turning toward the audience and gravely intoning, "This. Is. Wrong!"


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Post #: 15
RE: Vile propaganda - 6/1/2013 3:36:26 PM   
rawlinson

 

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I'm really hoping the film is as dispassionate as the reviews would suggest. The fact that the film can provoke both the cinematic Godwins of "She's like Riefenstahl" and the far more intriguing comment that it's a film about war crimes told from the point of view of the criminals suggests something very interesting.

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RE: Vile propaganda - 6/1/2013 4:19:36 PM   
elab49


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I was wondering, given they apparently started it not knowing he'd be caught by the end (have I read that right?) if it's possible to see a change a direction/tone in it. That'd be quite interesting. Or whether the edit smoothed the whole. 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


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RE: Vile propaganda - 6/1/2013 4:33:50 PM   
Deviation


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As far as I know, Boal started making a script about the failure to catch bin Laden in Tora Bora, but had to change it because SPOILERS, they killed him in Abottabad. The filming itself started afterwards.

< Message edited by Deviation -- 6/1/2013 4:36:20 PM >


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ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

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RE: Vile propaganda - 6/1/2013 4:39:22 PM   
elab49


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Ah - thanks for that. Saves me looking out for something that isn't there!

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


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RE: Vile propaganda - 6/1/2013 4:55:43 PM   
Deviation


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My biggest anticipation for this film, for some reason, is if they will actually show bin Laden being shot or in person or show it off screen during the attack.

< Message edited by Deviation -- 6/1/2013 4:56:09 PM >


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

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Post #: 20
RE: Vile propaganda - 6/1/2013 4:59:13 PM   
rawlinson

 

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They were about to start filming, I think, then the raid happened and they had to start over.

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Post #: 21
RE: Vile propaganda - 6/1/2013 5:24:16 PM   
Deviation


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I remember hearing the news of the film after he was shot, but the original script was defo finished. It's interesting though, on one side we have a movie about the pressure when the hunt was failing, then the pressure of when he is thought to be found and the mission itself. I think she could have her Zodiac and Memories of Murder with a "happier" ending here if the result comes out grand, and the reception suggest it is.

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

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Post #: 22
RE: Vile propaganda - 6/1/2013 7:14:05 PM   
garvielloken


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I was going to say something about Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will being an excellent film but then I remembered the word fascist is being thrown around a lot here recently.

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Post #: 23
RE: Vile propaganda - 7/1/2013 12:17:16 AM   
Deviation


Posts: 27284
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quote:

ORIGINAL: garvielloken

I was going to say something about Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will being an excellent film but then I remembered the word fascist is being thrown around a lot here recently.


Nazi.

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

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Post #: 24
RE: Vile propaganda - 7/1/2013 9:26:27 AM   
garvielloken


Posts: 1189
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation


quote:

ORIGINAL: garvielloken

I was going to say something about Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will being an excellent film but then I remembered the word fascist is being thrown around a lot here recently.


Nazi.


Communist

_____________________________

Exactly six miles north of Skagg Mountain in the Valley of Pain, there lives an evil devilmonster. His name is Bingo Gas Station Motel Cheeseburger With A Side Of Aircraft Noise And You'll Be Gary Indiana.

Razzle them, dazzle them. Razzle dazzle them.



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Post #: 25
RE: Vile propaganda - 9/1/2013 6:47:56 PM   
Coyleone


Posts: 569
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The film was really good, but my god is it overhyped! 5 stars is much too high, I'd be pushing it saying it's a 4 star movie. It's quite gripping and has some very good tense scenes, the story is well told and the acting is terrific from Chastain, but there is absolutely nothing in it from a film-making standpoint that elevates it above a film like Argo (or a lot of other films from 2012), which as a true to life thriller is so much better. There's nothing likeable about any of the characters, not even the lead, and the first hour or so isn't great. After a certain attack scene though it gets so much better and from that point on it's pretty great stuff and quite enjoyable as a thriller. It's very matter of fact and episodic, and it's very straight forward in it's approach, 'this happened, then this happened, then this' etc, and that's fine, but I wanted more than that. Not something I'd watch again, that's for sure.

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Post #: 26
RE: Vile propaganda - 9/1/2013 7:24:38 PM   
chris kilby

 

Posts: 1374
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quote:

ORIGINAL: garvielloken


quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation


quote:

ORIGINAL: garvielloken

I was going to say something about Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will being an excellent film but then I remembered the word fascist is being thrown around a lot here recently.


Nazi.


Communist


DJ.

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Post #: 27
RE: Vile propaganda - 9/1/2013 8:53:01 PM   
UTB


Posts: 9992
Joined: 30/9/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: Coyleone

The film was really good, but my god is it overhyped! 5 stars is much too high, I'd be pushing it saying it's a 4 star movie. It's quite gripping and has some very good tense scenes



This is the Zero Dark Thirty thread, not the Hurt Locker thread, dumba... oh.

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Post #: 28
RE: Vile propaganda - 10/1/2013 12:57:34 AM   
Coyleone


Posts: 569
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I probably liked The Hurt Locker more if I'm being honest.

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Post #: 29
Zero Dark Thirty - 15/1/2013 5:28:54 PM   
ajm1991

 

Posts: 22
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Kathryn Bigelow's streamlined dramatization of the manhunt with a documentary approach makes 'Zero Dark Thirty' spellbinding. But ultimtaely its the show of Jessica Chastain. Thanks a ton to Mark Boal for the subtle writing and mezmerizing performance of Jessica. Undoubteldy one of the best films of 2012. My Detailed Review Here: http://www.filmwaves.in/2013/01/zero-dark-thirty.html

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