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Watch! Dark Zero Thirty Trailer!

So far, Dark Zero Thirty has been a bit of an unknown quantity in the end-of-year Oscar race. Following the team responsible for assassinating Osama Bin Laden, Kathryn Bigalow’s movie has to be on the short-list for awards contention. It received a fairly radical change of course yesterday, meaning that it might not open in the States as early as expected. Instead, it looks like it might be pushed back to January for a wide release, following a more traditional Oscar pattern. It’s a roll-out strategy that was worked quite well for contenders in other years.

Reportedly, the film’s release had been considered for the November elections, but it may now open wide in the States only slightly early than it opens here. (The notion of being used as a political volleyball in various election-related op-eds was probably less-than-appealing to the film.) It releases in Ireland on 25th January 2013, and we have the new trailer below. Bigalow has assembeld one hell of an ensemble, with some fantastic actors putting in appearances. I am very much looking forward to this one. Enjoy.

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The Stars That Never Were: The “Next Big Thing” That Never Quite Happened…

I was watching Safe House over the weekend. It was fairly okay, but I couldn’t get over the fact that I was watching Ryan Reynolds headlining a film with Denzel Washington. It was only last year that it seemed Reynolds was being given a massive push by Hollywood. It’s always interesting to look at the actors who received a very substantial push from Hollywood, only to barely miss their shot at legitimate stardom – those actors and actresses heralded as “the next big thing”, seemingly the subject of every talk show and newspaper clipping for the better part of a year, only to fall a little bit short of the mark and to end up fading. It’s a cruel industry, and it is sometimes a little disheartening to see the way that certain performers get swallowed up whole by it.

Not quite playing it Safe (House)…

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Does Anybody Actually Take the Oscars Seriously These Days?

And people complain that Christmas starts too early! It’s still 2011 and we’re already in the heart of what might be termed “Oscar season”, the spiritual counterpart to the equally expansive “blockbuster season.” Both have very different measures of success. Success in blockbuster season is measured in the words “record-breaking” and “box office” along with various other aggressive adjectives like “smashing”, “breaking”, “crushing” or “dominating.” The winners get their choices of big budgets and high-profile roles and franchises, or the opportunity to risk it all and play again during Oscar season. The rewards at the end of Oscar season are a little gold statue and something like “artistic credibility”, along with the right to stick “Oscar-winner” in front of your name. I’d swear Meryl Streep’s mail is addressed to “Oscar-winner Meryl Streep.”

I might Doubt their credibility...

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Right Here, Right Now: Thoughts on Kathryn Bigalow’s Osama Bin Ladin Project…

It’s interesting that the piece of news which grabbed me most coming out of the whole news cycle around the assassination of Osama Bin Ladin by US troops in Pakistan wasn’t any of the discussion over the legality of the act, nor the debate over whether assassination is now an acceptable tool of foreign policy. It was the near-instantaneous announcement that Kathryn Bigalow would be working on a feature film adaptation of the killing, an adaptation that reportedly has a mostly finished script and a lead actor already. Perhaps it’s a stunning illustration of just how quick the news and media cycle is, but I wonder how quick we feel the need to turn history into cinema.

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Can a Good Talent Be Over-Exposed?

Jeremy Renner is having a good year. Recently confirmed to take over from Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, offered the job of taking over from Matt Damon in the Bourne series, playing Hawkeye in both Thor and The Avengers, and starring in Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, it seems that Renner is on the cusp of being huge. And, for those of us who have noted Renner’s performances in films like The Town and The Hurt Locker, it’s surely well-deserved. However, can Renner be over-exposed?

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Where Have All the Good Movies Come From?

I know I wasn’t alone when I claimed that this summer had been (with a few big exceptions) a massive disappointment for movie fans. In fairness, with a few bright spots, 2009 wasn’t exactly an above-average year either. However, myself and the better half have been going to the cinema fairly consistently over the past number of weeks and I have to admit that I’ve been more consistently impressed by films like The Social Network, The Kids Are Alright, Easy A and The Town than I have by any run of films in at least the last year. Is it just me, or are things finally looking up?

A veritable feast of good cinema...

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Non-Review Review: The Town

It’s interesting to see how well Ben Affleck has redeemed himself as a director. After seeing Gone Baby Gone two years ago, I was willing to forgive the actor his roles in bad films like Jersey Girl, Phantoms and even Daredevil. I know he did Gigli too, but I can never forgive him for that. His second film behind the camera, The Town, demonstrates that he isn’t a one-hit wonder – but I have to admit that perhaps I am a bit disappointed. It isn’t that The Town is a bad or even an average film, it’s just one that I heard so much about that I had almost psyched myself up to watch. It’s a well-made exploration of urban decay which tackles its subjects with what seems (to a guy educated and living in a different country) to be a lot more honesty and neutrality than most films on the same subject matter.

So good it's criminal?

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