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

The Top 5 Movies of 2012

January 13, 2013 at 9:58 am

The Top 5 Movies of 2012

MY FAVORITE MOVIES OF 2012

2012 is over and I’ve finally caught up enough to make my ‘best of’ picks.  There are some movies I regret missing but overall, I saw more than 30 movies released in 2012.

Before I mention my top 5, I wanted to acknowledge some awesome movies that just missed the cut.

ARGO | Review

LIFE OF PI | Review

DJANGO UNCHAINED | Review

SINISTER | Review

TED | Review

Click here for a complete list of all my 2012 reviews.

THE TOP 5 MOVIES OF 2012

5. SKYFALL

Click here for my review.

Skyfall narrowly edged out Django Unchained purely because of the nostalgia it brought back to the Bond franchise.  Casino Royale is one of my favorite movies period but Skyfall felt like a better reboot.  Classic James Bond movie.

4. LOOPER

Click here for my review.

I was blown away by Looper’s style and originality.

3. ZERO DARK THIRTY

Click here for my review.

A smart and fascinating look behind the scenes of one of the most important events in recent memory.

2. THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

Click here for my review.

The end of an era.  Though the film didn’t rise above The Dark Knight, it still wrapped up a legendary film series I’ll cherish forever.

1. THE AVENGERS

Click here for my review.

I saw The Avengers 3 times in 7 days.  Two of those were matinee viewings before work…  By myself.  I absolutely adored The Avengers.  It was, by far, the most fun I had in theaters in 2012.

Bring on 2013!

Click here for the review archives.

Click here for The Bottom 3: The Worst Movies of 2012

The Top 5 Movies of 2012 | The Athletic Nerd

Zero Dark Thirty & The True Stories We’ll Never Forget

January 12, 2013 at 9:32 am

Zero Dark Thirty & The World We Live In | Zero Dark Thirty Review 2013

THE IMPACT OF MOVIES BASED ON TRUE STORIES

Quite frankly, I don’t have access (or the clearance level) to know if the events of Zero Dark Thirty are 100% accurate or not.  Like Argo, I was simply aware of the broad strokes.  In this case, I’ll always remember where I was the day President Barack Obama stood in front of a camera and said:

For months after that day, we learned about the heroic team who infiltrated that compound and the intelligence that led to it’s discovery.  Zero Dark Thirty offers a glimpse at the dedication of Maya, an agent tasked with finding Osama Bin Laden.  After being recruited in High School, Maya (Jessica Chastain) thinks of nothing else.  Every lead is important.  Every detail must be dissected and analyzed.  Every suspect hunted down and questioned.  Her relentless pursuit is the driving force behind Zero Dark Thirty’s brilliant and tense narrative.

WE ALREADY KNOW HOW THE STORY ENDS

Katherine Bigelow did a phenomenal job directing a movie that avoids the pit fall of famous true stories.  How do you create tension when everyone in the world was watching the day he was killed?  The director succeeds by drawing you into a 10 year journey filled with disappointment and failure.  It’s Maya’s passion that keeps things moving until the armed forces take over for the film’s awesome finale.

During the final moments of the movie, I kept thinking about 9/11 and the desperate search for Bin Laden.  The worlds most wanted man.  What it must have felt like to finally have solid evidence of his whereabouts.  The sleepless nights and the crippling anticipation in the days leading up to that mission must have been unbearable.  Is he actually there?  Have we finally found him?

Zero Dark Thirty & The World We Live In | Zero Dark Thirty Review 2013

These are the essential themes that keep you focused as the movie digs deeper into the search.  Zero Dark Thirty was fascinating. 

I loved The Hurt Locker because of it’s uncompromising look at dedication and bravery on the battlefield.  Here Katherine Bigelow shows us the commitment of an intelligence agent focused on finding the one man that no one else can find.  I’ll probably never know who the real ‘Maya’ was or if the movie truly tells the whole story.  That doesn’t change the fact that Zero Dark Thirty is, hands down, one of the finest films of 2012.

The Title | Katherine Bigelow has explained that Zero Dark Thirty “is a military term for 30 minutes after midnight, and it refers also to the darkness and secrecy that cloaked the entire decade-long mission.” (Wikipedia)

Click here for more Reviews.

Zero Dark Thirty & The World We Live In | Zero Dark Thirty Review 2013