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.

Behind-the-scenes looks at next year’s live-action Beauty and the Beast continue to leak off the animated film’s 25th Anniversary Edition, arriving in September.

Today we have four new previews. This one’s a particular doozy because we get to see a first look (sort of) at Emma Watson as Belle, who has yet to be unveiled in full. The dress she’s wearing in this concept art may be best remembered from the animated movie for its appearance in the scenes surrounding the song “Belle”:

beauty-and-the-beast-belle-emma-watson

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Behind-the-scenes looks at next year’s live-action Beauty and the Beast continue to leak off the animated film’s 25th Anniversary Edition, arriving in September.

Today we have four new previews. This one’s a particular doozy because we get to see a first look (sort of) at Emma Watson as Belle, who has yet to be unveiled in full. The dress she’s wearing in this concept art may be best remembered from the animated movie for its appearance in the scenes surrounding the song “Belle”:

beauty-and-the-beast-belle-emma-watson

Three pieces of concept art appear to have been drawn up for the costume department. We’re also getting a look at Gaston (Luke Evans) and Mrs. Potts (Emma Thompson):

beauty-and-the-beast-mrs-potts

beauty-and-the-beast-gaston

Finally, we have a shot of Luke Evans and a woman rehearsing a dance scene that appears to take place on top of a table. In the background you can see additional concept art depicting Mrs. Potts (in kettle form), Chip, and a piano (who might be played by Stanley Tucci and named Cadenza):

beauty-and-the-beast-belle

Last week we got to see several other first looks from this same behind-the-scenes featurette, including Dan Stevens as the Beast (human form), Cogsworth, and Lumière.

At this rate, the whole behind-the-scenes look may be spoiled by the time the Beauty and the Beast 25th Anniversary Edition is released to the world on September 20.

The live-action Beauty and the Beast arrives this March and is directed by Bill Condon.

90 minutes into an embarrassing year for the MTV VMAs, a bright light appeared: Beyoncé.

Beyoncé’s 2016 MTV VMA performance may go down as one of the best in the award show’s history. The Lemonade singer flawlessly moved through “Pray You Catch Me,” “Hold Up,” “Sorry,” “Don’t Hurt Yourself” (featuring a Cruella de Vil-like wardrobe), and “Formation,” each with their own themes and stunning visuals. (That fire! That broken camera! The feminism!)

Watch Beyoncé’s full 2016 MTV VMA performance below:

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90 minutes into an embarrassing year for the MTV VMAs, a bright light appeared: Beyoncé.

Beyoncé’s 2016 MTV VMA performance may go down as one of the best in the award show’s history. The Lemonade singer flawlessly moved through “Pray You Catch Me,” “Hold Up,” “Sorry,” “Don’t Hurt Yourself” (featuring a Cruella de Vil-like wardrobe), and “Formation,” each with their own themes and stunning visuals. (That fire! That broken camera! The feminism!)

Watch Beyoncé’s full 2016 MTV VMA performance below:

The performance was a bit of a surprise. Though MTV hinted that she’d be showing up, no one expected a 15-minute performance.

The 2016 MTV VMAs were disappointing to say the least. The first two award winners — the only two awards presented in the first 2 hours of the show — weren’t present to receive them (Drake was apparently stuck in traffic, according to P Diddy).

And peppered throughout the performances were Key and Peele, who were playing commentators who just mocked millennials and their lingo. Bizarre, when you realize that they’re just making fun of the show’s core audience for hours.

Then Britney Spears had to follow Beyoncé with a performance of “Make Me” with G-Eazy. Poor Britney! No one should have to follow a Beyoncé performance like the one above.

It’s funny how Beyoncé feels compelled to perform at the garbage that are the MTV VMAs. They don’t deserve her. There are only two legitimate reasons why she could be interested in doing this: To inspire, and to promote the Formation World Tour.

Marvel reveals what Thor was really up to during ‘Civil War’ in amazing new video

"And who's this purple weirdo?"

3:38 pm EDT, August 28, 2016

Have you found yourself curious about just where Thor ended up whilst his team mates were duking it out during Captain America: Civil War? Well, wonder no longer, as Marvel has finally revealed the truth.

We’ve all mulled the question over in our heads, since the line-up for Civil War was revealed. Where were Thor and Bruce Banner hiding out whilst the Sokovia Accords were tearing their team apart?

The answer was revealed in a mockumentary clip, directed by Thor: Ragnarok helmer Taika Waititi, which debuted during San Diego Comic-Con this past summer — where it received an enthusiastic response. But, for those fans left at home, and without a coveted seat in Hall H, the answer still remained painfully out of reach.

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Have you found yourself curious about just where Thor ended up whilst his team mates were duking it out during Captain America: Civil War? Well, wonder no longer, as Marvel has finally revealed the truth.

We’ve all mulled the question over in our heads, since the line-up for Civil War was revealed. Where were Thor and Bruce Banner hiding out whilst the Sokovia Accords were tearing their team apart?

The answer was revealed in a mockumentary clip, directed by Thor: Ragnarok helmer Taika Waititi, which debuted during San Diego Comic-Con this past summer — where it received an enthusiastic response. But, for those fans left at home, and without a coveted seat in Hall H, the answer still remained painfully out of reach.

Until now.

Released in anticipation of the Civil War DVD and Blu-ray release, this short is now available to the masses, and we couldn’t happier — not least because it’s just as hilarious as promised.

Team Thor

See what Thor was up to during Captain America Civil War! Get this and other bonus on Digital HD 9/2. http://bit.ly/293rlyS

Posted by Marvel Studios on Sunday, 28 August 2016

 

That’s right. As Tony and Steve were duking it out, Thor was Down Under, chilling with his new buddy Darryl and engaging in a little community service.

It’s definitely worth checking out for yourself, and we won’t spoil any of the more hilarious touches — especially some of Thor’s… artistic interpretations of certain Avengers team members. We’re definitely not going to be able to look at Nick Fury in the same way, ever again.

(Also, if you’ve been having difficulty tracking the Infinity Stones, Thor has the perfect solution for you!)

Rest assured that, if this mockumentary is anything to go by, Thor: Ragnarok is in very capable hands. We’re certainly looking forward to a Rainbow road bridge-tripping adventure across the universe with Thor and Hulk.

Especially if it allows Chris Hemsworth to show off more of his comedy chops, as seen in the above clip.

Captain America: Civil War is released in Digital HD on September 2, and on Blu-ray and DVD on September 13. Thor: Ragnarok will be heading to theaters on November 3, 2017.

Which ‘team’ are you on now? Team Cap, Team Iron Man, or… Team Thor?