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The Hurt Locker

The Hurt Locker

After seeing previews of this movie I really had little to no desire to see it. However after rave reviews from friends and seeing the a copy of the film appear on Easter morning I decided I would give the academy award winner a viewing. One of the elements that I wasn't looking forward to in this movie was the amount of emotional energy it would take out of me. I like comedies and movies that make you think but the cinematography in this movie was really impressive. When the charters were in a hostel situation in the movie you as a viewer felt you were there. The environment in which the movie takes place gave the director a lot of good opportunities for unique shots and she took full advantage of that! When the main character was out in the open in many of the scenes and you got to experience his vulnerability through the directors creativity. Every slow step the actor took in his massive body armor made you feel uneasy because there were civilians all around watching from different vantage points. What also made the action scenes so personal was the fact there was really only three soldiers handling the situation. You got to know each individual soldier and were just hoping everything would go smoothly. It would be hard for someone to view this movie and not be on the edge of their seat, so I think the director was extremely successful in terms of cinematography.

Das Boot By Wolfgang Peterson

For anyone who has seen this movie the dramatic sequences, one of which I will critique, are so great because of the build up to them. I cannot do the scene I am about to describe justice without first mentioning the emotion that is built prior to the action. You get to see the soldier's human side before they go into war and see the toll their experience has on them throughout the movie. Seeing this transition of human emotion is what makes a war movie powerful and this movie does it better than most of the war movies made in the last twenty years. The unique element of this film is the fact the almost the entire movie is shot in a World War Two U-boat. Needless to say today's high tech nuclear submarines don't have much extra room, now imagine one of the first submarines ever created! Not to mention no radio or radar! The scene I have chosen to analysis happens when the enemy ship first attacks the U-boat. After the first wave of depth charges the director does a close up of individuals on the submarine. This really shows the fear the men have but the Captain remains calm. The director uses close ups during the individual shots. The Captain tries to out smart the destroyer boat but has no success and they continue to be hit. Each hit violently shakes the sub and warning bells are heard throughout the sub. The only choice is to dive deeper and deeper causing horrific sounds from the U-boat's structure. At this point the men's faces have turned from fear to terror. The camera pans from the close up of the individuals to the depth meter, which continues to drop towards the danger level. They can hear the boat above but finally it seems to pass and a general level of calm returns to the men's sprit. A frantic celebration ensues over the enlisted men while the higher ups seem more concerned for the challenges ahead. The camera then focuses on the "good meat" in which the officers are enjoying, it is discolored and has hair growing from it. The submarine then surfaces and there is a shot of the entire U-boat being tossed in the rough sea. A few of the officers are above deck enjoying the storm and seem almost mad laughing and joking while 20 foot waves blast the vessel. The changes in human emotion in this 30 minute scene are vast!

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