Screen Junkies » kathryn bigelow http://www.screenjunkies.com Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Mon, 25 Aug 2014 22:42:46 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 The 7 Greatest Undercover Badasses in Movie History http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/the-7-greatest-undercover-badasses-in-movie-history/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/the-7-greatest-undercover-badasses-in-movie-history/#comments Fri, 01 Feb 2013 02:04:32 +0000 Lee Keeler http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=253225 In honor of the crime thriller Snitch...

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Back-stabbing revenge, gut-wrenching suspense and putting a bullet in a trusted confidant: all in a day’s work for an undercover badass. From Serpico to Donnie Brasco, the hallmarks of the covert hero require deep emotional commitment, a versatile wardrobe and the ability to blend in with questionable fortitude. That ability will come in handy for Dwayne Johnson’s character in the upcoming action-thriller Snitch. In the film, Johnson plays a father who is forced to infiltrate a drug cartel in order to clear the name of his wrongly convicted son. And as with the other undercover badasses on this list, one wrong move could cost him his life.

In celebration of the release of Summit Entertainment’s crime thriller Snitch, opening in theaters February 22nd, we’re proud to bring you seven of the greatest undercover badasses in movie history.

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Departed

By the time the American remake of Infernal Affairs rolled around, DiCaprio was already widely-celebrated for his skills; but it wasn’t until audiences saw him doing push-ups between prison bunks that he carved out his first proper badass. Given the circumstances, it could have been easy for any actor to overplay the role of William Costigan, but DiCaprio brings a level of grace and sadness to level off the character’s grit and ferocity. Even more badass: DiCaprio actively declined campaigning for any awards for Best Supporting Actor that year as to avoid stepping on the toes of his co-stars.

Johnny Depp, Donnie Brasco

Getting in “too deep” is a common theme in many undercover films. After all, putting yourself at risk is what going undercover is all about. But what happens when you form a legitimate friendship with the men you’re supposed to be infiltrating. Things quickly get complicated for Donnie Brasco when he realizes that doing his job will most likely result in his friend’s death.

Toshiro Mifune, The Bad Sleep Well

Mifune’s performance as Koichi Nishi is a rarity in that it doesn’t employ the slam-bang tactics of many of his cohorts seen on this list. His stoic nerd slowly unveils the vengeance of a son scorned by one of the most powerful corporations in Japan through tactics of seduction, espionage and psychological torture. Mifune played numerous lively punkers in his lifetime, particularly in the realm of samurai lore, but this character seethes in his rage, striking only after his prey is at the brink of madness. Case in point: Nishi corners one of his targets on the window ledge from which his father died, calming the man down by offering whiskey that he later reveals is “poisoned”. The mark collapses, driven insane by the ordeal. Nasty!

Keanu Reeves, Point Break

This is simple story about a former Ohio State quarterback named Johnny Utah. For an F-!B-!I!-Agent!, Johnny maintains the most suspicious bromance with Patrick Swayze’s Bodhi this side of “Brokeback Mountain”. He allows his bleach-blonde nemesis to escape an aqueduct face-off, jump out of an airplane and eventually surf himself to death. At various points in the film, Bodhi’s potency in performing extreme sports counteracts the hobbling ethics of Reeves’ lawman. Johnny, like, totally buries his heart at wounded knee.

Kevin Spacey, The Usual Suspects

Have you ever seen Kevin Spacey try to act like a badass? It doesn’t work. But Spacey as a schlepp? That’s Oscar gold. The writing/directing on “Suspects” lay formidable groundwork for Spacey to perform as the keystone for an impeccably oddball cast. His bumbling Verbal Kint acts as a tender foil to a constant stream of roughneck freakouts. With little more than his wits, this badass knows that the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing Chazz Palmenteri that he didn’t exist.

Chevy Chase, Fletch

Light years ahead of the Twitter-quip generation, Chase is at the peak of his powers, dishing out maximum smarm before turding up his career with JTT movies. What makes this role fairly badass is that it is one of the last of a dying breed: that of the snoopy, investigative newspaper reporter. What makes it particularly badass is that Chase has a ball conjuring up characters with names like Dr. Rosenpenis, Dr. Babar and Mr. Poon. The actor has gone on record as saying this was his favorite role, given that director Michael Ritchie often took multiple takes and allowed Chase to riff with whatever came off the top of his dome.

Nicolas Cage, Face/Off

“Castor Troy” is a pretty distinct – if not altogether awful – name. Despite this and other cringe-worthy moments that face-swipe to show affection, Nic Cage keeps John Woo’s ‘97 hit from teetering into cornball territory. Cage’s Castor Troy is the kind of guy who can talk an undercover agent into sucking his tongue. He poses as a priest so he can plant a dirty bomb and goose choir members. He switches sunglasses for no reason. And he delivers a more badass John Travolta impersonation than Dana Carvey.

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‘Zero Dark Thirty’ Teaser: Just Where The Heck Is That Bin Laden? http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/zero-dark-thirty-teaser-just-where-the-heck-is-that-bin-laden/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/zero-dark-thirty-teaser-just-where-the-heck-is-that-bin-laden/#comments Mon, 06 Aug 2012 18:50:16 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=video&p=250169 When they find him, they're gonna be really mad.

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The teaser for Kathryn Bigelow‘s hunt for Osama bin Laden film, Zero Dark Thirty, is online and drops the curtain to reveal just how the heck to find a guy. Apparently it involves billions of dollars, staring at maps, and loudly yelling questions about your target’s whereabouts.

This just proves that Out for Justice really was a film ahead of its time.

 

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We Now Know Who’s Playing Osama Bin Laden In ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/we-now-know-whos-playing-osama-bin-laden-in-zero-dark-thirty/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/we-now-know-whos-playing-osama-bin-laden-in-zero-dark-thirty/#comments Fri, 15 Jun 2012 17:02:41 +0000 Joseph Gibson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=249251 It's ... probably not anybody you know.

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King Lear. Hamlet. Lady Macbeth. The Incredible Hulk. Osama Bin Laden. These are the parts that every self-respecting thespian dreams of playing, so that they can show off their acting abilities in the grandest possible tradition. So the question of who will land these classic characters in each new movie version gets a lot of buzz, and now we know who will be playing Bin Laden in the upcoming “kill Osama Bin Laden” thriller from Kathryn Bigelow, director of The Hurt Locker: Ricky Sekhon, who you may know from … well, not much. His IMDb page only has two credits, so his work as Bin Laden will likelier than not be the first time you see him.

But don’t let that make you think the coveted role of Osama Bin Laden has fallen into unworthy hands: In addition to the natural resemblance, Sekhon has reportedly lost more than 25 pounds to get his frame into the Bin Laden range of about 165 pounds. Interestingly, despite the recent report that Sekhon will be Bin Laden in the movie, he has reportedly already finished all his work on the film, but says he’s “on quite a big non-disclosure agreement” that keeps him from discussing his role further.

He’s joining a pretty impressive ensemble cast, which includes Chris Pratt, Kyle Chandler, Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong, and many more. I can’t wait to see how he pulls off the beard! (The Playlist)

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‘Point Break’ To Be Remade Because The Universe Hates Us http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/point-break-to-be-remade-because-the-universe-hates-us/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/point-break-to-be-remade-because-the-universe-hates-us/#comments Mon, 12 Sep 2011 23:47:09 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=228083 Let's go get drunk.

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20 years is the amount of time we were able to spend enjoying Point Break and it’s dumb-but-not-really action movie legacy. Alcon Entertainment will be updating the 1991 film, setting in the more general world of “extreme sports” rather than surfing.

Instead of making a joke here, I’m just going to go on record as saying this is a very bad idea.

The scribe behind Salt, Kurt Wimmer, will be putting together a film that incorporates a bunch of contemporary bullshit into a movie that was just fine to begin with. Whoever is behind this clearly holds nothing sacred and will put together a film that falls way short of the original, but I would like to chip in my two cents to make sure the remake is as ephemeral and awful as possible.

Cast:

Johnny UtahTobey Maguire

Bodhi – Dax Shepard

Tyler – Katy Perry

Pappas – Jon Cryer

featuring an original soundtrack by Bruno Mars.

In closing, I leave you with this quote from producer Michael DeLuca. Feel free to read it then go take a shower: “Point Break wasn’t just a film, it was a Zen meditation on testosterone fueled action and manhood in the late 20th century and we hope to create the same for the young 21st!”

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Jose Padilha To RoboDirect ‘Tri-Border’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/jose-padilha-to-robodirect-%e2%80%98tri-border%e2%80%99/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/jose-padilha-to-robodirect-%e2%80%98tri-border%e2%80%99/#comments Thu, 26 May 2011 03:35:48 +0000 Geoffrey Golden http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=213696 Brazilian director Padilha (the 'Robocop' remake) is going into dangerous territory. Like, future Detroit dangerous.

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Brazilian director Jose Padilha (the Robocop remake) is going into dangerous territory. Like, future Detroit dangerous.

Padilha and writer Nick Schenk (Gran Torino) are collaborating on a film called Tri-Border, about the dangerous, crime-ridden border area between Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. The two of them are doing research there now. Hopefully they’ve got a RoboGuard or something with them. The script follows a Boston-born DEA agent who’s forced to go to Tri-Borderville, in order to track down a top drug dealer.

Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal were prepping a thriller for a year called Triple Frontier, about the same location. However, they also had a project in storage about some guy named Osama bin Laden, which for some mysterious reason has taken precedence for them now. (Hollywood Reporter)

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Sony Wants Kathryn Bigelow To Shoot Osama Bin Laden http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/sony-wants-katheryn-bigelow-to-shoot-osama-bin-laden/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/sony-wants-katheryn-bigelow-to-shoot-osama-bin-laden/#comments Wed, 25 May 2011 01:52:09 +0000 Geoffrey Golden http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=213549 Columbia Pictures has grabbed the US distribution rights for the film, to be written by 'The Hurt Locker' scribe Mark Boal. It's a regular Hurt Lockereunion.

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The Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow had a project in development about hunting down Osama bin Laden, which wasn’t going anywhere fast, until something happened. Of course, you know what I’m talking about: Donald Trump asked President Obama for his birth certificate. Or rather, the thing that happened after that. The bin Laden thing.

Now Columbia Pictures has grabbed the US distribution rights for the film, to be written by The Hurt Locker‘s Mark Boal. It’s a regular Hurt Lockereunion. Sony Pictures Co-Chair Amy Pascal said the following about the sale:

“With the death of Osama bin Laden, this film could not be more relevant.”

Wait a minute… Osama bin Laden is dead? You don’t say. I guess that probably explains other competing Osama-killing movies in the works from George Clooney and Oliver Stone. (TheWrap)

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Joel Edgerton Dumps Kristen Stewart To ‘Kill Bin Laden’ With Kathryn Bigelow http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/joel-edgerton-dumps-kristen-stewart-to-kill-bin-laden-with-kathryn-bigelow/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/joel-edgerton-dumps-kristen-stewart-to-kill-bin-laden-with-kathryn-bigelow/#comments Fri, 06 May 2011 04:28:45 +0000 Geoffrey Golden http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=210853 As writer Mark Boal furiously adds a happy ending to the script, 'Kill Bin Laden' has found one of their leads: Australian actor Joel Edgerton.

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Director Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) has seen a sudden spike of interest in her once dormant project, Kill Bin Laden. I can’t imagine why, but then again, I don’t watch the news, read the news online, and I zone out whenever anyone tells me the news in person.

Anyway, as writer Mark Boal furiously adds a happy ending to the script, the film has found one of their leads: Australian actor Joel Edgerton. You may know him as a guy who was almost the guy replacing Matt Damon in The Bourne Legacy. He’ll play a secret operative as part of a group of kickass, Osama-slamming warriors.

To take the role, Edgerton reportedly passed on the part of The Huntsman in Snow White and The Huntsman, one of three million Snow White movies coming out. He would have starred opposite Kristen Stewart. Maybe he’s not into that twitchy way she does everything. In the end, it probably came down to how little Bin Laden murdering is in Snow White and The Huntsman. Sometimes a guy’s gotta kill some Bin Laden. Sam Claflin will reportedly take the Huntsman role.

Kill Bin Laden is looking to start shooting this Summer. (LA Times)

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UPDATED: Movie Studios Scrambling To Capture Some Of That Dead Bin Laden Magic http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/movie-studios-scrambling-to-capture-some-of-that-dead-bin-laden-magic/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/movie-studios-scrambling-to-capture-some-of-that-dead-bin-laden-magic/#comments Mon, 02 May 2011 23:55:05 +0000 Joseph Gibson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=209948 Osama bin Laden is so hot right now.

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UPDATE: In light of the revelation of bin Laden’s death, the script is being quickly rewritten to include his death, probably in an effort to simply not appear anachronistic. No other details have been given.

You might vaguely remember hearing about one or two projects in the works detailing the hunt for Number One Terrorist Guy Osama bin Laden. Now, after last night’s news that Osama’s star power in Hollywood has increased significantly, the question over how these projects are going to be handled in up in the air.

The most recent project is the black ops thriller tentatively titled Kill Bin Laden from The Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow. It’s been stalling, but now that there’s a pre-packaged “happy ending” to the story, maybe Kill Bin Laden will get fast-tracked, perhaps under the new title Killed Bin Laden.

The other movie is a project based on the book Jawbreaker, about “the December 2001 American-led military mission to hunt and kill Bin Laden right during the opening stages of the 9/11-prompted invasion of Afghanistan that the author as the CIA pointman had helped coordinate with Special Operations Forces.” Oliver Stone was reportedly interested in it, but it never gained much traction – it’s safe to say that’s about to change.

Anyway, both of these movies’ stocks have probably increased significantly in light of bin Laden’s death. Stay tuned for any official announcement about these projects, or any other new bin Laden-related movies. Perhaps in an announcement from the White House at 11:30 PM. (Deadline)

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UPDATED: Kathryn Bigelow Might Join Hunt for Osama http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/kathryn-bigelow-might-join-hunt-for-osama/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/kathryn-bigelow-might-join-hunt-for-osama/#comments Thu, 13 Jan 2011 23:45:57 +0000 Joseph Gibson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=16044 Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) might have Public Enemy Number One in her sights for her next project.

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UPDATE: Variety is now reporting that the narrative concerns black ops and is based on a true story that has appeared in printed form. The pic does not, as previously indicated, directly revolve around Osama bin Laden.

Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) might have Public Enemy Number One in her sights for her next project. No, she isn’t working on a Cat Stevens biopic with Osama bin Laden – the as-yet-untitled low-budget black ops thriller that’s been reported on earlier might center around efforts to nab Osama.

This isn’t the only project on Bigelow’s plate, though. She’s also working on Triple Frontier, which is set to begin shooting sometime this year. The jury’s out on which of these projects is actually going to be released first. Since the black-ops bin Laden movie is reportedly a small, low-budget affair, it might get banged out before the larger Triple Frontier, or it might be serving as a tentative back-up plan in case the bigger project falls through or is delayed. Either way, a movie about the hunt for Osama bin Laden is sure to be controversial, although in the case of war movies like The Hurt Locker, controversy doesn’t always translate to box office success. The prospect of seeing Sam Worthington or somebody spit out a witty one-liner before shooting Osama in the face might be enough to break some box office records, though. Free suggestion re: one-liner – “Where you’re going, you won’t have Been Laid In a very long time!” Send my residual checks to Screen Junkies. (SlashFilm)

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Kathryn Bigelow To Squeeze In A Tiny International Thriller Before ‘Triple Frontier’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/kathryn-bigelow-to-squeeze-in-a-tiny-international-thriller-before-triple-frontier/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/kathryn-bigelow-to-squeeze-in-a-tiny-international-thriller-before-triple-frontier/#comments Mon, 06 Dec 2010 22:55:57 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=11141 Kathryn Bigelow will have to wait longer than planned to tactfully ask Triple Frontier's make-up stylist to apply extra powder to Tom Hanks's giant forehead. That project has encountered complications and will be pushed back to Fall 2011.

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Kathryn Bigelow will have to wait longer than planned to tactfully ask Triple Frontier‘s make-up stylist to apply extra powder to Tom Hanks‘s giant forehead. That project has encountered complications and will be pushed back to Fall 2011. Well, she ain’t just going to sit on her hands. This is Kathryn Bigelow we’re talking about here. If she wants to film an international thriller, she’s going to film a damn international thriller. So, in the meantime, up next for Bigelow is a smaller “international thriller.”

The project name hasn’t been released yet but the story is reported to be based on a true story centering around black ops. Not to be confused with Bad Boys, which centered around black cops. (Variety)

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Tom Hanks Heads for the ‘Triple Frontier’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/tom-hanks-heads-for-the-triple-frontier/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/tom-hanks-heads-for-the-triple-frontier/#comments Tue, 30 Nov 2010 13:04:57 +0000 Jame Gumb http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=9368 There are rumors that the title will be changed to Sleeping Dogs. If these rumors prove true, could we be looking at the long-awaited followup to Turner and Hooch? All signs point to yes.

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Hollywood’s nicest man is heading for a part of the world that is anything but. Tom Hanks has been cast in Triple Frontier, which takes place in one of South America’s most dangerous regions. And that really means something, considering South America has more than its fair share of dangerous regions.

The film, the follow-up from The Hurt Locker director and writer Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal, is an ensemble picture set in the notorious border zone between Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil where the Igazu and Parana rivers converge — making “la triple frontera” difficult to monitor and a haven for organized crime.

So far, Hanks is the only confirmed cast member, and I’m assuming he will play a law enforcement official. Also, there are rumors that the title will be changed to Sleeping Dogs. If these rumors prove true, could we be looking at the long-awaited followup to Turner and Hooch? We’ve got a possible cop, and the word “dogs” in the title, so all signs point to yes. (Coming Soon)

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James Cameron’s Forgotten Western Classic http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/james-camerons-forgotten-western-classic/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/james-camerons-forgotten-western-classic/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 Back in 1988 James Cameron made a terrible decision to direct a music video for Bill Paxton's band Martini Ranch. I'm sure the final product has been haunting him ever since, a horrible display of mariachis and teased hair that not even his domination at the box office can banish from his mind's eye. Ooooo is that Kathryn Bigelow?! Why in God's name don't they show more of her? And why is she wearing so many articles of clothing? Bustiers abound in this P.O.S. and Cameron doesn't slap one on Kathryn. If I wasn't so terrified of you, James, I'd give you angry fist shake. (Cinematical) 

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Back in 1988 James Cameron made a terrible decision to direct a music video for Bill Paxton‘s band Martini Ranch. I’m sure the final product has been haunting him ever since, a horrible display of mariachis and teased hair that not even his domination at the box office can banish from his mind’s eye. Ooooo is that Kathryn Bigelow?! Why in God’s name don’t they show more of her? And why is she wearing so many articles of clothing? Bustiers abound in this P.O.S. and Cameron doesn’t slap one on Kathryn. If I wasn’t so terrified of you, James, I’d give you angry fist shake. (Cinematical

 

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Road to Oscar: Cameron vs. Bigelow http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/road-to-oscar-cameron-vs-bigelow/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/road-to-oscar-cameron-vs-bigelow/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 BEST DIRECTOR SHOWDOWN This year’s Oscar nominations have been announced, which means it’s time to take the frontrunners from each category and throw them into the Thunderdome where they’ll wage...

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BEST DIRECTOR SHOWDOWN
This year’s Oscar nominations have been announced, which means it’s time to take the frontrunners from each category and throw them into the Thunderdome where they’ll wage a bloody battle to the death for the honor of taking home a Shiny Gold Dude.  Alas I’m speaking metaphorically, though I suspect this scenario wouldn’t be beyond the realm of possibility for our Best Director frontrunners, Kathryn Bigelow and her ex-husband James Cameron.  Yes, the directors were once married.  It’s almost like something out of a movie, though not one either Cameron or Bigelow would direct. We’ll leave that to some hack like Mark Steven Johnson.  If this were a Mark Steven Johnson movie the pair would spend the first ac fighting and the second act rekindling their love, followed by a big misunderstanding to kick off the third act that would culminate in them either co-winning the award or both refusing to accept it.  Thankfully this isn’t a Mark Steven Johnson movie (too bad the same couldn’t be said for When in Rome, Ghost Rider or Daredevil).  This is real life, which means on March 7th one director shall emerge victorious, while the other must suffer the indignity of losing to someone they used to bang.

KATHRYN BIGELOW

When I was told that Kathryn Bigelow was working on The Hurt Locker I was certain I’d heard wrong.   “Did you say she’s working at The Foot Locker?”  An easy mistake:  While Bigelow was responsible for one of the greatest action movies of all time — Point break — she’d all but disappeared from showbiz after the Clinton years.  Still, Hollywood does love a comeback and I’d be hard pressed to name a more impressive comeback than Bigelow’s.  But is it enough for her to win Best Director?

PRO:  The Hurt Locker is an actual good film.  Not that Avatar is bad, but Cameron’s Dances with Smurfs should not be confused with high art.  By way of comparison, Star Wars was nominated for a bunch of Oscars in 1978 but only managed to win in the technical categories — because it was up against Annie Hall.  Of course in 1978 most Americans still had functioning cerebral cortexes so this comparison may not be apropos.

PRO: Looks matter, and Kathryn Bigelow is quite possibly the most attractive 58-year-old woman on earth.  Cut her age in half and she’d still be over-the-hill per my usual standards.  I’ve never been all that into post-menopausal women… hell, I’ve never been all that into post-pubescent women.  But there’s something about Ms. Bigelow that makes me want to don the old ski mask, fire up the windowless van and treat her to an unsolicited romancing she’ll never forget.  Believe me, when I was through with her “The Hurt Locker” wouldn’t just be the name of her movie, it would also be our pet name for her neener. 

James Cameron meanwhile, despite possessing enough money to have every internal organ in his body replaced three times over, has not aged nearly so gracefully.  While his ex-wife looks like the centerfold from GILF Magazine, Cameron looks like a half-melted stick of butter wearing a hobo wig.  It’s like he’s not even trying to look ALIVE anymore.  He has so much money and power that he can look like something that washed up on shore — say, a rotting seal carcass — and A-list actresses will still line up to give him oral.  But that doesn’t mean anyone wants to see him on TV.  His “I’m the king of the world!” speech was almost endearing in 1998, but twelve years later it’ll look like grandpa forgot to take his meds again. 
 
PRO: Kathryn Bigelow just won the DGA Award, the first women to do so since… since… well, forever.  That her peers chose to recognize her is indeed impressive, but it also must be taken with a grain of salt.  Consider that most directors are male, unkempt and somewhat dorky.  And that Kathryn Bigelow is a stone-cold fox.  She’s like the cute girl in the IT department surrounded by the gaggle of mouth-breathing Poindexters.  Those dweebs will do ANYTHING to get in her pants.

CON: She’s a woman.  The male members of The Academy are huddling together on the glass ceiling, making sure Kathryn doesn’ break through in to their club. 

JAMES CAMERON

Believe me; no one wanted to see James Cameron fall on his face more than me.  Not that he hasn’t made movies I genuinely love.  Terminator is my favorite film plagiarized from the works of Harlan Ellison, and Aliens is a bonerfide masterpiece.  But post-Titanic, it seemed that the director’s ego had inflated like a hot air balloon and carried him off to the same land of oblivious delusion where George Lucas currently resides.  That he was due for a face plant was only further reinforced when I saw the Avatar trailer, which reminded me of a videogame cut-scene, only without a red X button to mash so I could skip ahead to the end-of-level boss.  However the moment I strapped on the 3D glasses to actually watch Avatar I knew that bastard had gone and done it again.  It was unlike anything I’d ever experienced, and I’ve been in a Tijuana prison on mushrooms.

PRO: Avatar is a game-changer, probably the first of its kind since The Jazz Singer proved that Neil Diamond could actually act.  Or perhaps I’m thinking of that OTHER The Jazz Singer, the one that introduced sound to moving pictures for the first time.  Regardless, what Cameron accomplished with Avatar belongs in the history books.  Not that anyone will know how to read in the future, but at least the information will be there for our alien overlords to peruse when they’re not busy turning us into zombie slaves for their salt mines.

PRO:Avatar is the highest-grossing film of all time.  In a utopian society with universal healthcare and copious leisure time, where art, love and life are put on a higher pedestal than commerce – you know, France – the amount of money Avatar made at the box office wouldn’t matter.  But this is AMERICA, damn it.  Our Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science is a professional society dedicated to advancing the motion picture INDUSTRY.  In other words: this is business, kids, and keeping James Cameron happy is good business.    

PRO: James Cameron is a man.  And making movies — like getting married to five different women and cheating on every one of them — is man business.

ADVANTAGE: CAMERON

Kathryn Bigelow deserves every bit of the praise she’s received for The Hurt Locker.  She deserves the resulting resurgence of interest in her directing talents, and she deserves the dedicated lovemaking skills of a younger man who only cares about her pleasure, and who happens to be wearing a ski mask and who owns a blacked-out van.  But alas I don’t think she’s going to win a Best Director Oscar. 

The Academy Awards – like the Grammys and every other televised awards show – is ultimately a populist affair.  And at the end of the day your average shlub would rather watch a fantasy movie about a war in a far-off land driven by evil corporations seeking to pillage the natural resources of its indigenous people…. than one about an ACTUAL war in a far-off land driven by evil corporations seeking to pillage the natural resources of its indigenous people.  Iraqis aren’t blue, feline-esque and oddly arousing to look at.  But beyond all that, what Cameron accomplished with Avatar was more than simply making a great film.  He brought back the spectacle, the magic, and in so doing reinvented the medium.  Also, he is a man. 
 

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