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#068 Kathryn Bigelow: The Hurt Locker vs. Blue Steel



Download MP3 In today's episode Nate and Austin compare Kathryn Bigelow's best and worst rated films, The Hurt Locker (2008) and Blue Steel (1990), respectively. Nate goes on a rant about Alien: Covenant, Austin has a problem with female directors, and they both hate incompetent people. Check back next Sunday at 7pm PST where we will compare Neill Blomkamp's District 9 (2009) and Elysium (2013), his best and worst rated films.
Also check out this interview with director Kathryn Bigelow about the making of The Hurt Locker: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6I1-C0nX1I

Blue Steel Notes

Worst Rated

PLOT: A female rookie in the police force engages in a cat and mouse game with a pistol wielding psychopath who becomes obsessed with her.
  • Ratings: IMDb 5.6 | RT 71% C / 36% A
  • Released: 1990
  • Director: Kathryn Bigelow
  • Writer(s): Kathryn Bigelow & Eric Red (written by)
  • Cinematographer: Amir Mokri (Man of Steel, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Lord of War)
  • Notable actors: Jamie Lee Curtis, Ron Silver, Clancy Brown, Elizabeth Pena, Louise Fletcher, Philip Bosco, Kevin Dunn, Richard Jenkins, Markus Flanagan, Mary Mara, Tom Sizemore
  • Budget: N/A
  • Box office: $8.2 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • Tom Sizemore's film debut.
    • Was originally set to be released by Vestron Pictures and its offshoot label Lightning Pictures but ultimately acquired by MGM due to Vestron's financial problems and eventual bankruptcy at the time.
    • Philip Bosco plays the father of policewoman Jamie Lee Curtis. In real life, he's the son of policewoman.
    • In Germany, it was distributed as "a film from Oliver Stone", even though Stone was only one of the movie's producers.

The Hurt Locker Notes

Best Rated

PLOT: During the Iraq War, a Sergeant recently assigned to an army bomb squad is put at odds with his squad mates due to his maverick way of handling his work.
  • Ratings: IMDb 7.6 | RT 98% C / 84% A
  • Released: 2008
  • Director: Kathryn Bigelow
  • Writer(s): Mark Boal (written by)
  • Cinematographer: Barry Ackroyd (The Hurt Locker, Captain Phillips, The Big Short)
  • Notable actors: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Guy Pearce, Ralph Fiennes, David Morse, Evangeline Lilly, Christian Camargo
  • Budget: $15 million
  • Box office: $49.2 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • The film was shot on location in Jordan. Part of the shoot (one week) was to take place in Kuwait on a U.S. Military Base; however, access was denied.
    • Kathryn Bigelow claims that no scene filmed was left out of the final cut.
    • The expression "the hurt locker" is a preexisting slang term for a situation involving trouble or pain, which can be traced back to the Vietnam War. According to the movie's website, it is soldier vernacular in Iraq to speak of explosions as sending you to "the hurt locker."
    • It was James Cameron who convinced his ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow to direct this film. She originally had planned on doing another project and wasn't sure about doing this film. Cameron read it and told her to do this film, and it ended up earning her an Oscar nomination and award for Best Director. In fact, the film was nominated in nine categories against Cameron's Avatar (2009), and won six awards, including Best Picture. Cameron himself had said, "I wouldn't bet against her."
    • Jeremy Renner tripped and fell down some stairs while carrying an Iraqi boy on the film's set. Shooting was stopped for several days while Renner's ankle healed.
    • During filming, three, four or more hand-held super 16mm cameras were used to film scenes in documentary style. Nearly two hundred hours of footage was shot at an eye-popping 100:1 shooting ratio (a higher ratio of expended film than the notorious Francis Ford Coppola epic, Apocalypse Now (1979)).
    • Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win the Academy Award, the BAFTA, and the DGA for Best Director, with this film. This is also the first film to win Best Picture that was directed by a woman.
    • Jordan is such a safe location that the actors didn't want to have bodyguards, as was first intended. There was no Jordanian military acting as security for the film. Security, set dressing and onset, was provided by a private company.

Intro music: Calm The Fuck Down - Broke For Free / CC BY 3.0
 

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