Monday, 15 March 2010
THE HURT LOCKER BLU-RAY
Kathryn Bigelow first came to my attention by way of NEAR DARK: a modern day interpretation of things that go bite in the night that - for me- is right up there with other genre heavyweights from Ferrara, Romero and Jordan.
Since then, she's moved onto far more populist areas of cinema, en route to the ultimate accolade for any director.
Set in Iraq, THE HURT LOCKER centres on bomb disposal in one of the most dangerous places on earth, with Bravo Company facing one more month in their tour of duty.
William James (Jeremy Renner) arrives to replace a colleague he never knew,who died attempting to diffuse an explosive device. James quickly demonstrates his ability and courage, whilst also exhibiting a reckless spirit that may well put more than his own life at risk.
Of course, just about every Oscar success story has its own band of detractors and while Bigelow's film has received much critical acclaim, there have been a good number of pointed fingers signaling this film is over-hyped and delivers a disappointing ending.
For me, THE HURT LOCKER is absolutely solid on the acting front, and beautifully paced with nerve-shredding situations punctuating the comaderie and tensions that exist between the troops: just like the hell hole it depicts, an attack can come at any time in Bigelow's film and careful deployment of the savage fire of conflict or the carnage caused by explosions make them hit home all the harder. As far as the ending is concerned, all the information you need has played out in the preceding 2 hours and makes perfect sense.
Having reluctantly missed this film during its theatrical run, I plumped for a rental copy of the UK Blu-ray release, and found the transfer to be first-rate. Skin tones are realistic, there's bags of detail in the night-time scenes, while colours pop when they should. In fact there's little or nothing to criticise here, but the same cannot be said for the paucity of additional material. One would hope that a more loaded special edition will surface in the not-too-distant future, and I'm sure that will indeed be the case.