Hypable Movie Review: ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

6:40 pm EDT, January 11, 2013

At this point it’s impossible to write about Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal’s portrayal of the hunt for Osama bin Laden without addressing all the controversial baggage that has come along with its release. Yet it’s more important to address it as a piece of filmmaking, to which it is a masterful, towering achievement.

Zero Dark Thirty packs a massive punch as it distills the 10 year hunt for bin Laden into a 157 minute procedural that ends spectacularly. Cold and uncompromising throughout, the film will likely turn some off as from the start it is perhaps an overly intense experience. Much has been made of the film’s opening moments, which sees CIA interrogator Dan (Jason Clarke) using “enhanced interrogation techniques,” (read: water-boarding and sleep deprivation) on a detainee. The film’s central character, Maya (Jessica Chastain), watches in the background during what boils down to an extended torture sequence.

Zero Dark Thirty

It’s brutal to watch and immediately sets the stakes as high as possible, regardless of the fact we know the outcome of the film going into it. To address the controversies surrounding the inclusion and use of torture in the film, I’ll simply say by having it in the film, Bigelow and Boal are definitely not endorsing torture or even saying it works. Instead, it’s much more of a journalistic approach, and definitely doesn’t play fast and loose with it, rather letting history (or their interpretation of it) speak for itself.

Jessica Chastain is stunning as Maya, a character that constantly surprises. She is a terrifically written character which Chastain brings a quiet power to that perfectly matches the tone of the film. The film shifts between different chapters of the decade-long search, as the likes of Kyle Chandler, James Gandolfini, Mark Strong, Edgar Ramirez, Mark Duplass and Jennifer Ehle appear in supporting roles as various CIA operatives and higher-ups.

These performances are all solid, as are Chris Pratt, Joel Edgerton and others as members of SEAL Team Six, but it’s Chastain and Clarke who stand out of the crowded ensamble piece. Maya’s tenacity and determination to find bin Laden fuels much of the energy of the film, which unfolds in detailed, procedural fashion. Her character arc is interesting to behold, as it occurs over the course of a decade. Clarke’s is also quite interesting, as early on we see him as the instigator of torture and ends up as a man behind a desk in Washington.

Zero Dark Thirty

Just as Boal wrote an impeccably crafted, impossibly detailed account of the search for bin Laden, Bigelow proves once again to have a command over her material, creating visceral, adrenaline-pounding sequences to balance out with the years of searching. While Maya is at the center, Bigelow impressively captures just how much of an effort the hunt was, while creating a chilling portrayal of al-Qaeda.

The attention and commitment to detail is impressive to say the least. Bigelow does an impressive job of keeping the audience with the film for the first two hours-plus of its running time, before SEAL Team Six arrives on the scene and delivers an impressive, breathtaking final act that will keep you on the edge of your seat, again, despite the fact that you know the outcome.

As Zero Dark Thirty comes to a close, Bigelow adds the right touches to make the film come together as well, if not better, than it started. There isn’t as much of an emotional impact here as with many other films of the year, however the result is just as impressive as any and all of them. It’s a remarkable achievement on multiple fronts, but perhaps more impressive of all is what is ultimately delivered: a dramatic retelling of recent moments in history of the highest order.

Grade: A

Rated: R (for strong violence including brutal disturbing images, and for language)

Zero Dark Thirty expands nationwide on January 11, 2013.

With Captain America: Civil War coming to theaters this week in the U.S., the Russo brothers are teasing their plans for Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 and Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2!

In an interview with Uproxx, the Russo brothers revealed that they believe that the current titles for the next Avengers films are misleading. Joe Russo stated, “The movies are two very different movies.” However, the current title makes it feel as though it’s the same story just split into two different films. It looks like that’s not what they’re going for, though.

“The intention is we will change it, we just haven’t come up with the titles yet. But, yes, we will change it. And, yes, that is a scoop: we will retitle them,” Joe Russo went on to say in the interview. Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 is currently scheduled for release on May 4, 2018 so it may be quite a while before we learn what the new title is. Thanos will be serving as the main antagonist in both of the films, with the conflict revolving around the Infinity Stones.

Before we even get to Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1, Marvel still has several movies to release. Including, Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok, and Black Panther.

Marvel recently pulled Inhumans from their upcoming Phase Three slate. It was supposed to be released July 12, 2019 after the release of Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2. It’s still unclear whether the film is cancelled entirely or if it is simply being pushed back.

Are you glad to hear ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ will be retitled?

Cami O’Connell has always been wise beyond her years and station on The Originals, and we will carry her most important words with us for a long time to come.

Cami O’Connell may not have survived Lucien’s bite on The Originals season 3, episode 19, but her words and wisdom will never be forgotten. She helped Klaus find peace and goodness in the world, she showed Davina that she is powerful enough to make her own destiny, and she constantly reminded everyone on that show that rising above one’s circumstances and being a good person is completely possible, even in the supernatural world.

Thinking back to all the incredible moments we had with Cami over the three seasons she was a part of The Originals, we tried to find a worthy enough way to pay our respects to her character. She was constantly dishing out incredible advice and knowledge, some of which is applicable to the world at large. Here are a few of our very favorite Cami quotes:

‘The Originals’ season 1, episode 4, ‘Girl in New Orleans’

“People are not awful. They want to be good. Something makes them bad, makes them snap. There are always signs. Symptoms before someone has a psychotic break.”

Cami The Originals season 1 episode 4 Girl in New Orleans edit

‘The Originals’ season 1, episode 8, ‘The River in Reverse’

“You are the architect of your own happiness.”

Cami The Originals season 1 episode 8 The River in Reverse edit

‘The Originals’ season 1, episode 16, ‘Farewell to Storyville’

“No one can control you unless you let them.”

Cami The Originals season 1 episode 16 Farewell to Storyville edit

‘The Originals’ season 2, episode 4, ‘Live and Let Die’

“This is a city of death, fires, floods. To say nothing of the violence we do to each other. We may laissez les bon temps rouler, but really we’ve turned life into one big party to distract ourselves from a single, unavoidable truth: We’re all going to die.”

Cami The Originals season 2 episode 4 Live and Let Die

“There’s more to life than the pain they made you feel. A cold beer, a slow song, a good friend. There are good things, Klaus, and you need to see that, too. There’s no real peace in revenge.”

‘The Originals’ season 2, episode 6, ‘Wheel Inside the Wheel’

“You know, sometimes I ask myself why I let people like Klaus into my life. I have this destructive pattern. I’m always drawn to the bad boys. Maybe deep down, I feel like that’s what I deserve.”

Cami The Originals season 2 episode 6 edit

‘The Originals’ season 3, episode 19 ‘No More Heartbreaks’

“I was never naive enough to think that I was your light, but there is light in you. All that anger, the cycle of abuse that Mikael began, you can end it. You have to, so you can be the light for your little girl. For Hope.”

Cami The Originals season 3 episode 19 No More Heartbreaks Leah Pipes edit

“Love will make you strong. It will make you the man that I know you want to be, and you have to remember that because I won’t be here to remind you.”

Which quote will you remember Cami for?

Another nail has just been placed through the cable box coffin: Hulu has just confirmed reports that they’re putting together a live TV service.

Speaking in front of advertisers on Wednesday morning, Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins said that live TV on Hulu is in the pipeline and will offer consumers a way to watch network and cable channels live via Hulu’s suite of apps.

Hopkins’ comments arrive on the heels of a report in the Wall Street Journal which first revealed the streaming service’s plans. According to that report, ESPN, ABC, Disney, Fox News, FX are the first channels set to join Hulu’s live TV service. Hopkins didn’t confirm any channels during his presentation this morning.

When it launches, Hulu will likely have one of the best shots at making a live TV streaming service take off, and it may seriously disrupt the traditional cable box business. The only other major service currently offering live TV via streaming is Sling TV (with plans starting at $20/month), but unlike Hulu, Sling lacks brand recognition.

Over the past couple of years it’s been widely report that Apple has made several attempts at creating a live TV service like the one Hulu is trying to put together, but the iPhone maker has run into trouble striking deals with the various networks.

Hulu’s current packages allow consumers to watch TV shows from most of the major channels the day after they air on traditional television. Plans start at $7.99 per month.

For some fans, watching TV shows live is important so they can live tweet or discuss their shows elsewhere online immediately after they air. A live TV service from Hulu could cause many people to get rid of their traditional cable boxes, which tend to come saddled with bad user interfaces and extra fees.

Are you tentatively interested in Hulu’s live TV service?

The price of the service will be an important factor in how many people subscribe, of course. Hopefully it’s cheaper than most cable subscriptions.