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.

Nickelodeon debuts action-packed ‘Legends of the Hidden Temple’ trailer at SDCC

The brand new trailer features tons of nods to the original '90s game show!

4:33 pm EDT, July 23, 2016

Get ready for a serious dose of nostalgia, ’90s kids! Nickelodeon just premiered the trailer for the upcoming Legends of the Hidden Temple movie at San Diego Comic-Con and you’re definitely going to want to check it out!

The upcoming made-for-TV movie centers around three siblings who find themselves immersed in the temple after breaking away from a jungle tour. Once inside, they discover all the legends they’ve grown up hearing about the mysterious temple are actually real.

Being trapped in the temple itself may sound cool at the beginning, but the siblings will soon learn that getting out may be tougher than they originally anticipated. They’ll have to follow the map and survive the Temple’s many hidden rooms if they want to make it out unscathed.

Check out the first trailer for Legends of the Hidden Temple below!

Fans of the original game show are sure to recognize quite a few of the most iconic aspects taken from the beloved ’90s series. Olmec aside, the first action-packed trailer includes mentions of the steps of knowledge, the shrine of the silver monkey, and more — they’ve even managed to slip in mentions of some of the old teams contestant were able to play on when competing on the original game show!

The upcoming Legends of the Hidden Temple movie reunites Kirk Fogg (original TV how host) and Dee Bradley Baker (original voice of Olmec), and additionally stars Isabela Moner, Colin Critchley, and Jet Jurgensmeyer.

Legends of the Hidden Temple premieres on Nickelodeon in the fall of 2016.

What did you think of the first trailer for ’Legends of the Hidden Temple’?

Hot off the heels of the Wonder Woman trailer DC has released our first look at the art for Justice League as well as the first trailer!

It’s a very exciting day to be a DC movies fan! After debuting the Wonder Woman trailer earlier today, DC surprised everyone with the first official Justice League trailer which has been simultaneously released publicly during its debut at San Diego Comic-Con. It should be noted that the video, posted on Director Zack Snyder’s Twitter account, includes a title card at the beginning denoting that this video was made specifically for fans at Comic-Con. “The following footage was prepared by the filmmakers as a special look for fans in attendance at Comic-Con 2016.”

Click full screen, turn up your volume, and get ready for this!

The “trailer” (if that’s what we’re calling it) doesn’t give away much about the plot of the movie, however. It features Bruce Wayne checking in and recruiting Cyborg, Aquaman and The Flash – the three of which weren’t as heavily featured in this year’s Batman V Superman.

One of the more thrilling parts of the video is when Bruce Wayne shows up to meet The Flash and throws a Batarang at him. We get to see the slow motion perspective of The Flash while a Batarang whizzes by his face, with him ultimately realizing who has just appeared before him. Before Bruce even has a second to sell him on joining the Justice League, he’s interrupted. “Stop right there. I’m in,” says The Flash.

After the mixed reviews of Batman V Superman from earlier this year, it looks like Justice League might have taken some notes from the massive success of Deadpool’s light-hearted but serious comic book movie template. It already feels like this ensemble cast will lend itself to making up some ground in terms of likability. Ezra Miller’s The Flash is easily the “you-gotta-love-this-kid” character based on his one scene alone. Meanwhile, Aquaman will appeal to those burly, rugged Wolverine style fans. Both character types were missing from the sometimes confusing Batman V Superman.

Check out the full photo of the Justice League featuring our first detailed looks of The Flash, Cyborg, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman together in one place.

JusticeLeagueFULL

We still have a while before we get to hit theaters for Justice League. The superhero sure-to-be blockbuster is set to hit theaters November 17, 2017.

What did you think of your first look at the upcoming Justice League movie?

WB debuted a new trailer for Wonder Woman on Saturday morning at San Diego Comic-Con.

Gal Gadot and the cast of Wonder Woman introduced the new trailer, which offers a massive new look at the first female-led super hero movie (during this new wave of super hero madness, anyway). Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor and Gadot’s Diana Prince seem to have some great chemistry. And unsurprisingly, Wonder Woman gets up to a lot of ass-kicking in the three minute preview. Perhaps one of the coolest moments is when she fends off a lot of fire power, and one of the funniest moments comes at the end, when Diana equates Steve’s secretary to a slave. Watch below:

The movie is directed by Patty Jenkins, who has clearly done an amazing job bringing Wonder Woman to life with Gadot.

A new poster for Wonder Woman was also released, finally revealing her (colorful!) costume:

wonder-woman-2017-sdcc-poster

Wonder Woman hits theaters June 2, 2017. The film’s synopsis reads:

Wonder Woman hits movie theaters around the world next summer when Gal Gadot returns as the title character in the epic action adventure from director Patty Jenkins. Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, when an American pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers…and her true destiny.