Zero Dark Thirty Made Me Feel Old & Lucky

February 15, 2013 at 12:29 am

Zero Dark Thirty Made Me Feel Old & Lucky

9/11

On September 11, 2001 I was 18 years old and in my final year of high school.  I was in English class mildly engaged in the customary 20 minutes of ‘journal/reading’ time.  We began each class that way I suspect to allow our teacher time to surf the net and catch up on current events.

That was how I found out the first plane hit the World Trade Center.  Our teacher stood up from her desk and told us what she had read online.  We thought what many thought in the early moments of that terrible attack.  Perhaps it was just a freak plane crash?

It wasn’t long before the second plane hit the Twin Towers and the world realized what was happening.  Class didn’t matter for the rest of that day.  Every conversation was dominated by the people who lost their lives that fateful day.

That night, my volleyball team was supposed to play but the games were cancelled.  It didn’t feel right anyways.  I spent that night glued to the television trying to make sense of a senseless act.  In the coming weeks, the name Osama Bin Laden became infamous.

In the years that followed, there were several adaptations of that horrific day.  Stories told from many heart wrenching perspectives.  Unbelievable stories about courage but also loss.

I’ve seen them all but none of them affected me quite like Zero Dark Thirty.

THE DAY THEY GOT HIM

On May 2, 2011 I was 27 years old and working in television.  During my shift news broke that American soldiers had killed the man responsible for 9/11.  It was another day when sports (I work in sports) didn’t seem to matter.  This was bigger than any story.  In a way, I got a small glimpse of what it must have been like in newsrooms around the world that night.  (HBO’s The Newsroom captured that night perfectly.  If you haven’t seen that show, I highly recommend it.)

To a certain extent, a major chapter in our history had ended.  Yet, to this day, victims and family members still suffer.  It’s still impossible to comprehend the magnitude of what was lost that day in 2001.  Time has distanced us from 9/11.  I’m lucky to have been far away from the attacks.  I can’t imagine what it must have been like for people connected directly (or indirectly) to the crashes.

ZERO DARK THIRTY

I’m nearly 30 now.  Recently, I got my chance to see Zero Dark Thirty.  In my review, I wrote about the true stories we will never forget.  Since then, I’ve come to realize just how long ago 9/11 was.

Growing up, I always found true stories fascinating.  They had a unique element of discovery because I wasn’t alive when the real events unfolded.  Argo is another example of this.  It’s a phenomenal movie because I didn’t know what was going to happen.  Arguments can be made about the historical accuracy of these films but they still opened my eyes to stories beyond my years.

Zero Dark Thirty gave me an entirely different perspective on cinematic true stories.  For the first time, I truly realized the impact a story can be when you can picture exactly where you were when it happened.

Suddenly, over a decade flashed before my eyes.  I’m getting older now and stories depicting our world from 1983 forward are resonating more and more.

The combination of getting older and thinking about such a tragic event really makes you cherish every day even more.  It’s hard to believe it’s been so long since that day.  It makes you appreciate what you have.  I’m lucky to even have the opportunity to watch movies on a regular basis.  That’s the key.  Know where you’re lucky and appreciate everything you’re lucky enough to love.  Friendship, love & passion.  Three things.

Click here for my Zero Dark Thirty review

Click here for my Argo review

Eric’s Top 10 Films of 2012

January 23, 2013 at 7:55 am

Eric's Top 10 Movies of 2012

List by Eric Gamache

I’ve known Eric a long time and always look forward to his best of lists.  Most of the time our lists are very different but this year there were many we agreed on.  Over the years, he’s introduced me to countless classics I may have missed and I’ve grown to truly respect his taste in movies.

Here they are his favorites of 2012:

10. SKYFALL

9. ARGO

8. LOOPER

7. SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK

6. DJANGO UNCHAINED

5. THE MASTER

4. ZERO DARK THIRTY

3. LINCOLN

2. MOONRISE KINGDOM

1. AMOUR

XTRA | Four movies he missed: Anna Karinina, Cloud Atlas, Flight, The Impossible

XTRA | Check out Eric’s site here.

Check out my 9 part recap of 2012 including my favorites of the year here.

Click here for more Movie Countdowns

 

Eric's Top 10 Movies of 2012

ARGO See This Movie

October 21, 2012 at 1:08 pm

ARGO See This Movie | Argo Review 2012

JOHN GOODMAN & ALAN ARKIN STEAL THE SHOW

Ben Affleck directed one of my favorite movies to come out in the last few years:  The Town.  I’m a big fan of that movie.  Going into Argo, I was expecting another solid film and that’s exactly what I got.  Three in a row Mr. Affleck (Including Gone Baby Gone of course).  Argo is a tense telling of an extremely dangerous and remarkably true story.  Right off the bat, I couldn’t imagine what it must have been like to be surrounded by thousands of angry people set on sending a violent message to the world.

It takes two minutes to understand the impossibly high stakes these people faced in Iran.  When 6 people take refuge in a Canadian Ambassador’s home, it’s up to Ben Affleck’s Tony Mendes to get them out.  The plan?  Create a fake movie production company and convince the Iranians that the 6 Americans are actually Canadian filmmakers.

Getting the 6 people out of Iran was an intense journey highlighted by a trip to the town square surrounded by a mob hoping to find and kill Americans.  It’s hard to believe these people actually took the risk and posed as filmmakers.

The intensity on one side of the world is balanced by scene stealing performances by John Goodman & Alan Arkin on the other.  They are absolutely phenomenal as Hollywood pros who help set up the titular fake science fiction movie.  Every single scene involving these two was fantastic especially Arkin’s exchange with a producer for option rights to the script.

Honestly, I can’t think of a single movie featuring John Goodman that I didn’t enjoy.  Or at the very least enjoy his performance.  I can say the same for Affleck’s directing efforts.

It was surprising that a movie centered on a truly terrifying situation could also contain well placed comedic moments.  The film even boasts a fitting catch phrase:

“Argo f*ck yourself”

Argo successfully balances terror, drama, comedy and all the fascinating elements you’d expect from a true story.  I think it’s that balance that makes Argo a wonderful achievement and one of the best movies of the year by far.

Click here for more reviews.

ARGO See This Movie | Argo Review 2012 | Goodman & Arkin Steal The Show