Oscar News You Can Use

March 8, 2010

All Posts, News

The big winner at the Oscars last night was a surprisingly hot 58-year-old director named Kathryn Bigelow. Bigelow won for directing a film named The Hurt Locker which is about the never ending war in Iraq.

Not many people have seen The Hurt Locker but it won six Oscars including best picture anyway. It is already out on DVD and it is controversial. For one thing, the film was made without the approval of the Department of Defense.

Time Magazine called it a “near perfect war film.” But Paul Rieckhoff, who founded a group called Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America said on his Facebook page, “I don’t know why critics love this silly, inaccurate film so much.”

Too Realistic

Rieckhoff also said in an interview that he objects to the film’s main character, a Sergeant E-7 named William James, who is so rowdy and reckless that the rest of his squad fears he will get them killed. “Films,” Rieckhoff explained, “almost more than anything, will be the way Americans understand our war. So we feel that there is a responsibility for filmmakers to portray our war accurately. We see ourselves as watchdogs. . . . When he (Sergeant James) puts a hood on like Eminem and starts roving outside the wire, it’s ridiculous.”

Meanwhile an Iraq War veteran named Jeffrey S. Sarver is suing the producers of the film because he thinks it stole his life for a story. Sarver’s lawyer has issued a statement that “virtually all of the situations portrayed in the film, were, in fact, occurrences involving Master Sergeant Sarver that were observed and documented.” Sarver also says that he coined the phrase, “the hurt locker.”

Whether she got it right or not, it is obvious that Bigelow has an itch for men of action. A film she made about surfers named Point Break got a lot wrong, too. But it still might be the best film drama made about the rough side of surfing. And at least it had some shots of a real bar on Pacific Coast Highway named Neptune’s Net where real bikers and real surfers stop to eat. If Point Break is a failure it is an interesting failure.

The Loveless

And, the same thing might be said about Bigelow’s very first film, The Loveless, which has been called a lot of things. One critic even called it “the thinking man’s biker movie.”

Bigelow produced and directed her biker film while she was a graduate student at Columbia University and the star is Willem Dafoe in his very first credited role. Dafoe leads a merry band of motorcycle outlaws who break down in a little redneck town on the way to Daytona. The film was shot on location on U.S. Highway 17 shortly after much of that road was abandoned to make way for I-95. It features slow motion menacing and a classic example of jail bait named Sportster Debbie. If you have ever seen a biker movie you will not be shocked to learn that Debbie has a psychotically evil father.

Bigelow and Dafoe would probably just as soon forget they ever made this thing. Bigelow once explained that she was younger then and what she was trying to do was make an homage to the Robert Corman biker films of the 60s.

When the film opened in New York in 1984, Janet Maslin, writing in the Times, called it, “a slavish homage to The Wild One…full of peach and aqua luncheonette scenes, which give it some minuscule visual edge over the original. But otherwise, it’s no improvement. Its evocation of tough-guy glamour is ridiculously stilted. (‘This endless blacktop is my sweet eternity,’ says the not-very-Brandoesque hero.) And it regards the past with absolutely no perspective or wit.”

That un-Brandoesque hero would have been Dafoe. And, Maslin was writing 25 years before the invention of Sons of Anarchy –which many viewers seem to think is at least cinema verite if not actual art. So, if you like that show it is hard to imagine what possible objection you might have to watching The Loveless, which was released last year on DVD.

“I’m a regular Joe,” Dafoe explains near the beginning of the film. “I’ve got an itch between my legs, and an afternoon for a heart.” When was the last time somebody said that to Katie Sagal?

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21 Responses to “Oscar News You Can Use”

  1. Verk Says:

    Well i agree that there is no perfect war movie, there are accurate movies. Hurt Locker wasnt accurate whatsoever! They made EOD look like this 2 humvee rogue manuever platoon. i tell you what, those guys woundnt be going anywhere alone. Also as far as sneaking outside the wire, that did happen. I was deployed to the Triangle of Death region south of Baghdad where a little incident that involved PFC Stephen Green and his cohorts gangbanging a 14 year old and murdering the family. just one incident……. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahmudiyah_killings

  2. Grumbler Says:

    Haven’t seen Loveless. Point Break was a good one, and heard that there’s a sequel coming out. Hurt Locker was pretty good although I enjoyed The Boondock Saints II as comical mayhem loaded with F-bombs rocks my world.

  3. sled tramp Says:

    sin loi?…..(muffled footsteps..,sound of door closing off stage..)
    YER PAL,

  4. Rebel Says:

    Dear Sled Tramp,



  5. fayettenamhoe Says:

    there is no perfect war movie,

  6. sled tramp Says:

    Mine was in the bay around 1980.I’m thinking May?
    No, not SOG, I was not somewhere else and nobody saw me.My 1-1 was with them two tours though.And troyez? That man be bo coo dinky dau.I’m not old enough for ‘Nam deployment with the 5th.
    P.S. Despite the same headgear,you know the difference between the Girl Scouts and S.F.?
    The Girl scouts have adult leadership.
    One of my son’s Godfathers was LURP 101 in 1969.I have the highest respect for anyone that walked through the A Shau and still lived to talk about it.He did it three times,carried a earned AK,and was hard as nails.

  7. troyez Says:

    Sled the blanket head,
    There was a mine in Monterey Bay?!?! When was that? I knew there was a good reason not to try snorkeling there (aside from the cold-ass water and big sharks)!
    Man, I never knew you were with SF! Was it MACV-SOG? Much respect to you Sir.

  8. RVN69 Says:

    Rebel, sometimes I feel every minute of these 60 years, but considering the alternative it ain’t so bad! Never thought all those years ago, that one day I would live long enough to be a graybeard.

    Vacuus Cura, No disrespect taken, but no link yet, only private showings to limited groups, I have a small cave.

    Sled, Wore one of those funny green hats did ya, worked with a few SF guys, all top notch people.

    Respect to all that have earned it
    Si vis Pacem, Parabellum.

  9. Vacuus Cura Says:


    No disrespect intended of course, but please post a link to your cave drawings.

    Vacuus Cura

  10. Rebel Says:

    Dear RVN69,

    It is a bitch to get old, or at least I have been told. On the other hand you are walking, living, breathing proof that nothing can kill you. Fuck ’em all but nine.

    your pal,

  11. sled tramp Says:

    Yeah,as a matter of fact, that night any on call had to suit up and parachute off Monterey Bay at 0200 to get a WWII mine that had surfaced and entangled itself in the net of a VERRRRRRRYYY nervous fishing boat.
    EOD Det 1 was a good bunch of guys. Airborne.
    De Oppresso Liber,
    sled the blanket head

  12. Possible Fucktard Says:

    Haven’t seen the movie. Never served in the military. Don’t claim to know shit about that. But those who do might find it interesting that General Ordierno – current US head honcho in Iraq – was interviewed on CNN yesterday. He praised the movie and said he highly reccomends it. Based on my direct experience in civilian high risk occupations – logging and deep mining – you get into it seeking thrills/attention and rapidly learn to get over all that if you want to last long enough to become a true professional. Kinda like riding motorcycles in that way.

  13. RVN69 Says:

    Vacuus Cura: While I’m clearly not as old as RVN69, I’ve heard the term “hurt locker” used for many years.
    Damn, that hurt!! Guess I gotta go back in my cave and paint on the wall!
    Nookster: as one of my brothers says, “If it weren’t for flashbacks I wouldn’t have any memories!”
    Sled Tramp: I wouldn’t expect any other kinda behavior from people who tinker with boobytrapped explosives while the rest of us are hiding behind shit we hope is big enough or far away enough to protect us!
    Respect to all that have earned it
    Si vis Pacem, Parabellum.

  14. GUSTO Says:

    i think the hurt Locker was entertaining. Realistic? No. Im in the service too and when i saw the movie i would say to myself that some stuff would not happend. Like being reckless in doing your job? No. They’ll pull you away and probably take your rank. Sneeking outside the wire? Hell No that wouldnt happend!!

  15. Grumbler Says:

    sled tramp – did the nude sunbathing thing for a very brief time a whole bunch of years ago. Was half asleep when I felt this pleasurable sensation on my member. Ahhh. Opened my eyes, and it was my Siberian Husky bitch licking away. That put an end to it for good.

  16. sled tramp Says:

    I once lived across from a large apartment building in a navy town.I had met a couple of E.O.d. guys and was invited to a little party they were throwing.Turned out,they had access to the roof-nodody else apparently did-so I bought a case and went over.After getting up to the roof and doing the regognition nod thing etc..something kind of bothered me…looking around I realized that to a man, these guys were naked.Lying in their lounge chairs,tanning,drinking,smoking doobs.
    About then, my then wife comes up,see’s the situation,shrugs and pulls off her top.
    Now i know what they mean when they say,”E.O.D. up”….

  17. Nookster Says:

    Your right man, I saw that and I was thinking, wait a minute, I think “hurt locker” went back to atleast the nam era. But I wasn’t sure if it was just another one of those obscure flashbacks from back in the day. LOL……

  18. Vacuus Cura Says:

    While I’m clearly not as old as RVN69, I’ve heard the term “hurt locker” used for many years.

  19. Rashomon Says:

    I thought Hurt Locker was a pretty decent movie. The main guy definitely seemed a bit crazy and his buddies were understandably pissed off about the fact that he would get them all killed but they stuck with him and when they all went home he found that he couldn’t fit in anymore so he signed up for another tour – he could have just as easily joined a bike club. Is it slightly embellished – I hope so – could it be true – why not – did I buy the DVD and enjoy watching it – yup.

  20. RVN69 Says:

    No disrespect to MSGT Sarver, but we used “hurt locker” in the Corps in Vietnam.

  21. RVN69 Says:

    Yeah Rebel, but it does have a couple of nice Pan’s I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on.

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