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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Trailer: Zero Dark Thirty

13 Responses to “Trailer: Zero Dark Thirty”

  1. PcChongor says:

    Taken solely as the trailer to a much anticipated action flick, it definitely hits all the right notes and then some.

    However, taken in its real world context of, more likely than not, planted DoD “rah, rah, rah” propagandist half-truths and a fundamentalist Muslim world that’s already set fire to the world in protest against a mere YouTube video, things don’t seem to bode nearly as well for it.

    Sweet commando-style Burka ambush, though. Fox is probably already getting ideas for what their next female driven half-hour procedural could be.

  2. Ohnotheydid says:

    So spoil it for me, do they get Bin Laden?

  3. sloanish says:

    Pc, I’m wondering how rah rah you felt Hurt Locker was. This is a movie that is probably going to be as truthful a military film as we get.

    Also, considering that the vast majority of the ME is not al queda or a supporter of terrorism, I don’t know why this would have any more of an effect than that Peter Berg movie did. Sounds like you bought into some propaganda of your own and don’t believe Muslims will be able to deal with anything reasonable.

  4. movieman says:

    Loving me some Chris Pratt right about now!

  5. PcChongor says:

    -Sloan

    While “Hurt Locker” was certainly no “Act Of Valor,” I did think that the film was by and large sold to the general movie going public on the basis of its fantastic slow-mo bomb diffusion and sniper scenes (the latter of which I wouldn’t exactly call the height of military realism).

    It’s overall thematic message was anything but “rah, rah,” and very much worth exploring, but its execution felt lacking due to several rather obvious and hokey plot developments (and also, if your film can be completely summarized by an opening quote, why make the film in the first place?). So no, I wouldn’t describe “Hurt Locker” as being pumped full of any propaganda, so much as it is a very well made action film that tries a little too hard to be taken seriously (a description that I think applies to most of Bigelow’s other films as well).

    Where “Zero Dark Thirty” differs, is that the beautifully shot action is now centered around actual events that still largely remain classified (and keep in mind that many OSS related WWII documents were only declassified in 2005 after years of lawyer-churning legal battles). So when you take into consideration that the build-up and aftermath to the assault on the Bin Laden compound was (and still is) one of the most covert operations undertaken in modern U.S. history, and the fact that the Department of Defense has the right to vet and block any book or film which they believe has “the potential” to reveal “state secrets,” I’d be especially wary of any film purporting to give a completely accurate summation of said still secret events just one year after they took place (also, the governmental hoops a production has to go through just to include a shot of the NSA building in a film [as shown in the above trailer] are just short of mind bottling, and also don’t bode well with the filmmakers’ claims of providing a supposedly raw and unfiltered look into the Zero Dark operation).

    And as to any political backlash against the film, I’m not so much concerned about the general Muslim world, as I am the much smaller, but also much, much more vocal, slice of Fundamentalists, who have historically had a definite proclivity towards being easily influenced by agenda driven clerics and imams (who are now seen as the ones largely responsible for the rise and eventual violent escalation of the “Innocence Of Muslims” protests). Granted, the film will probably have little to do with any or sort of portrayal, of the Islamic faith, but devoting a large Hollywood expose on the take down of the man who many of the most fervent and violent fundamentalists still consider to be their supreme leader and ultimate martyr just might have the potential to generate some retaliatory blowback. Afterall, the President wasn’t just being coy when he decided against releasing the pictures of Bin Laden’s corpse to the public.

  6. Tuck Pendelton says:

    Looks ok. But I’m not doing cartwheels yet…

    I always chuckle at the “Director of Hurt Locker”

    how about the “Director of Point Break!”

  7. PcChongor says:

    P.S.

    I don’t know how much more “rah, rah, rah” a supposedly grounded and balanced film can make itself out to be than by releasing an “Osama Compound” branded map pack for an upcoming modern warfare styled FPS:

    http://www.gamezone.com/products/medal-of-honor-warfighter/news/bin-laden-themed-zero-dark-thirty-map-pack-announced-for-medal-of-honor-warfighter

    P.P.S.

    I think this Vice piece provides a candid glimpse into the surrounding area of the actual Bin Laden compound, and tells a far more interesting tale of how the world’s most wanted man could spend so many years hiding in relatively plain sight.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-W_kAfRLlQ

  8. movielocke says:

    I liked the first trailer but this trailer is worrisome, the VO seems to imply that the film is firmly on the torture-worshipping bush bandwagon, I hope that’s not the case and they show interrogation that is realistic and not 24 style bullshit.

  9. Mike says:

    The thing is, Hurt Locker had characters and something to say. This is just a procedural about getting a guy, which we all know the end to.

    Not saying it won’t be good, but I’m concerned that they spent too much time and energy getting the details right that they didn’t bother to get the story right.

  10. Gus says:

    I thought the ending of this was the best money shot I’ve seen in a trailer in as long as I can remember.

  11. Rashad says:

    looks awful

  12. Ohnotheydid says:

    I can already hear the sound of empty cinemas

  13. leahnz says:

    go k-big. it’s not really a secret that the story focuses mainly on how they got the intel that led to bin laden’s location – from what i remember they were already well into pre-production with a completed story when bin laden was found and whacked, really just a happy accident for the movie that they were then able to put the ultimate exclamation point on the tale. it looks quite procedural and focused on chastain’s character, which is fine by me because she’s the real deal.

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MAMET
Well, that, to me, is always the trick of dramaturgy; theoretically, perfectly, what one wants to do is put the protagonist and the audience in exactly the same position. The main question in drama, the way I was taught, is always what does the protagonist want. That’s what drama is. It comes down to that. It’s not about theme, it’s not about ideas, it’s not about setting, but what the protagonist wants. What gives rise to the drama, what is the precipitating event, and how, at the end of the play, do we see that event culminated? Do we see the protagonist’s wishes fulfilled or absolutely frustrated? That’s the structure of drama. You break it down into three acts.

INTERVIEWER
Does this explain why your plays have so little exposition?

MAMET
Yes. People only speak to get something. If I say, Let me tell you a few things about myself, already your defenses go up; you go, Look, I wonder what he wants from me, because no one ever speaks except to obtain an objective. That’s the only reason anyone ever opens their mouth, onstage or offstage. They may use a language that seems revealing, but if so, it’s just coincidence, because what they’re trying to do is accomplish an objective… The question is where does the dramatist have to lead you? Answer: the place where he or she thinks the audience needs to be led. But what does the character think? Does the character need to convey that information? If the answer is no, then you’d better cut it out, because you aren’t putting the audience in the same position with the protagonist. You’re saying, in effect, Let’s stop the play. That’s what the narration is doing—stopping the play… It’s action, as Aristotle said. That’s all that it is—exactly what the person does. It’s not what they “think,” because we don’t know what they think. It’s not what they say. It’s what they do, what they’re physically trying to accomplish on the stage. Which is exactly the same way we understand a person’s character in life—not by what they say, but by what they do. Say someone came up to you and said, I’m glad to be your neighbor because I’m a very honest man. That’s my character. I’m honest, I like to do things, I’m forthright, I like to be clear about everything, I like to be concise. Well, you really don’t know anything about that guy’s character. Or the person is onstage, and the playwright has him or her make those same claims in several subtle or not-so-subtle ways, the audience will say, Oh yes, I understand their character now; now I understand that they are a character. But in fact you don’t understand anything. You just understand that they’re jabbering to try to convince you of something.
~ David Mamet

INTERVIEWER
Do you outline plays before you start to write them?

PINTER
Not at all. I don’t know what kind of characters my plays will have until they…well, until they are. Until they indicate to me what they are. I don’t conceptualize in any way. Once I’ve got the clues I follow them—that’s my job, really, to follow the clues.

INTERVIEWER
What do you mean by clues? Can you remember how one of your plays developed in your mind—or was it a line-by-line progression?

PINTER
Of course I can’t remember exactly how a given play developed in my mind. I think what happens is that I write in a very high state of excitement and frustration. I follow what I see on the paper in front of me—one sentence after another. That doesn’t mean I don’t have a dim, possible overall idea—the image that starts off doesn’t just engender what happens immediately, it engenders the possibility of an overall happening, which carries me through. I’ve got an idea of what might happen—sometimes I’m absolutely right, but on many occasions I’ve been proved wrong by what does actually happen. Sometimes I’m going along and I find myself writing “C. comes in” when I didn’t know that he was going to come in; he had to come in at that point, that’s all.
~ Harold Pinter

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