April 17, 2014

Tag Archives: Osama Bin Laden

‘Zero Dark Thirty’ Review by Kirk Honeycutt

Kathryn Bigelow’s follow-up to her Oscar-winning best picture, “Hurt Locker,” is an even tougher and more gripping war picture taking place in the world of terrorist-tracking espionage.
This is, of course, her much anticipated depiction of the decade-long hunt for Osama bin Laden, “Zero Dark Thirty.”
Stripped of the usual gung-ho aspects of most war movies or revenge melodramas, the film is a calm, concentrated, densely detailed description of a manhunt on a global scale. It’s moviemaking at its engrossing best.
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Jessica Chastain on Bigelow, Boal and the ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ ending – OSCARS

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: You could say that Kathryn Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty” has encountered choppy waters since experimenting with a limited release at the tail end of last year (so as to be eligible for Oscar consideration).
Not from critics, mind you. Bigelow’s taut, tense depiction of the CIA and U.A. military’s hunt for Osama Bin Laden has been recognized and lauded by virtually every major guild. Just this morning, Bigelow’s name was one of five nominated for the Directors Guild of America’s top prize … a well-deserved nod, in my humble opinion.
But Bigelow has been knocked in the court of public opinion for the film’s depiction of waterboarding, and was even marginally criticized by the government agencies she tried to credit in press releases that aren’t worth the time spent to assemble them. Note to the CIA: Intelligent moviegoers understand “Zero Dark Thirty” isn’t a documentary. Your confirmation is unnecessary.
Jessica Chastain understands why the film’s realism might confuse, though. The actress who plays Maya, the lead investigator on Bin Laden’s trail, spoke with me about the devil in the details of “Zero Dark Thirty” when we sat down for an intimate interview in New York City. We very well may hear Chastain’s name called on Thursday when the Academy announces its Oscar nominations. Here’s my conversation with Chastain, which might help to explain why I think she’s worthy of a Best Actress nomination:
HollywoodNews: When you have a character like Maya, where there’s a lot of information that you can go back and research on your own and dig into to try and better formulate the character, is that something you’re interested in, or do you prefer to keep it to what’s on the page?
I love to do it. You know, if I wasn’t an actor, I would love to be an investigative journalist. Or a spy! I wouldn’t want to kill anyone, but the research and all the details …I find that with a role like this, or any part, doing the research to find out who the character is and what their motivations are – for me, that’s the most fun.
And with this, I’m playing a woman who is trained to be unemotional, and analytically precise. When playing that, I’ve still got to find the humanity inside of her, inside of that arc of where she begins the movie and where she ends. And at that [...]

Central Intelligence Agency says Kathryn Bigelow’s film “Zero Dark Thirty” is not accurate

The Central Intelligence Agency has issued a statement about Kathryn Bigelow’s film “Zero Dark Thirty.” This must be a first. I can’t remember a time the austere CIA said anything about a Hollywood film. But they are not happy. Of course this will probably create more interest in Bigelow’s film about the hunt for and killing of Osama Bin Laden.
Acting Director Michael Morell’s statement follows. He also calls the deceased crazed killer “Usama.” We like “Osama.” (Tomato, Tomatto, let’s call the whole thing off!)
Statement:
“I would not normally comment on a Hollywood film, but I think it important to put Zero Dark Thirty, which deals with one of the most significant achievements in our history, into some context. The film, which premiered this week, addresses the successful hunt for Usama Bin Ladin that was the focus of incredibly dedicated men and women across our Agency, Intelligence Community, and military partners for many years. But in doing so, the film takes significant artistic license, while portraying itself as being historically accurate.
What I want you to know is that Zero Dark Thirty is a dramatization, not a realistic portrayal of the facts. CIA interacted with the filmmakers through our Office of Public Affairs but, as is true with any entertainment project with which we interact, we do not control the final product.
It would not be practical for me to walk through all the fiction in the film, but let me highlight a few aspects that particularly underscore the extent to which the film departs from reality.
First, the hunt for Usama Bin Ladin was a decade-long effort that depended on the selfless commitment of hundreds of officers. The filmmakers attributed the actions of our entire Agency—and the broader Intelligence Community—to just a few individuals. This may make for more compelling entertainment, but it does not reflect the facts. The success of the May 1st 2011 operation was a team effort—and a very large team at that.
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New: Zero Dark Thirty Official Final Trailer

For a decade, an elite team of intelligence and military operatives, working in secret across the globe, devoted themselves to a singe goal: to find and eliminate Osama bin Laden. Zero Drak Thirty reunites the Oscar winning team director-producer Kathryn Bigelow and writer-producer Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker) for the story

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New York Film Critics Circle goes with “Zero Dark Thirty,” Bigelow – OSCARS

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: This turned out to be a very good day to conduct “Zero Dark Thirty” interviews.
As I sat across from Jessica Chastain and Jason Clark to discuss their roles in Kathryn Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty,” the uncompromising thriller about the military’s efforts to unearth Osama Bin Laden was collecting Best Picture votes from the New York Film Critics Circle. The group also handed its Best Director prize to Bigelow while Greig Fraser won for his cinematography contributions. (The final scene, an expertly shot raid on Bin Laden’s Pakistani hideout, alone likely earned him the award.)
Outside of “Zero,” the big winner was Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” which earned acting awards for Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field, as well as a screenplay nod for Tony Kushner. In a bit of a surprise (on both fronts), Rachel Weisz picked up the group’s award for Best Actress for her turn in “The Deep Blue Sea.” And Matthew McConaughey – yes, that Matthew McConaughey – was recognized in the Best Supporting Actor category for his roles in “Magic Mike” and Richard Linklater’s “Bernie.”
The critics groups leading into the end of the year often offer wildly different projections as to what might be leading the Oscar race. A win from a regional critics group certainly helps a film’s momentum … though evidence has shown that they can be misleading. Just ask “The Social Network” how all of its critics’ accolades helped at the Academy Awards.
But for now, wins by “Zero Dark Thirty” has slowed the sudden “Les MIserables” freight train. Expect that campaign to kick back into full swing, however, when the next group – possibly Los Angeles – gives it every honor in every category.
And the awards season marches on…
Read more of our exclusive Awards coverage:
Robert Zemeckis to be honored at Palm Springs.
Our “Silver Linings Playbook” review
Ben Affleck tells us about “Argo” and the possibility of more Dennis Lehane stories
Bryan Cranston calls “Argo” his “proudest moment in motion pictures.”
Helen Hunt opens up about on-screen nudity for “The Sessions”
Amy Adams lends strength to “The Master”
“Arbitrage” director Nicholas Jarecki on Richard Gere and the Oscar race.
Producer Harvey Weinstein
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Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby” exits the Oscar race – ANALYSIS

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Once the awards season gets underway (which annually happens right around this time), we spend a decent amount of our time separating the titles with Oscar potential from the titles with simple Oscar hopes. Usually, this requires a screening of the film, we can judge its awards potential on merit. But every once in a while, a studio makes the decision for us by removing a particular movie out of the Oscar heat, for various reasons.
That appears to be what has happened with Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby,” which officially moved its release date from the Oscar-friendly Dec. 25 to an undisclosed date in Summer 2013, according to a Warner Bros. release.
“Based on what we’ve seen, Baz Luhrmann’s incredible work is all we anticipated and so much more. It truly brings Fitzgerald’s American classic to life in a completely immersive, visually stunning and exciting way. We think moviegoers of all ages are going to embrace it, and it makes sense to ensure this unique film reaches the largest audience possible,” said Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution for Warner Bros. Pictures.
In one sense, “Gatsby” is getting away from some very stiff competition. Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” and Seth Rogen’s “The Guilt Trip” were set to open on that day. They also are arriving in theaters one week after Paramount’s “Jack Reacher” (with Tom Cruise), Judd Apatow’s “This is 40,” and Kathryn Bigelow’s untitled Hunt for Osama Bin Laden thriller.
“Gatsby” also would be competing for Oscar eyeballs against “Les Miserables” (Dec. 14), Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” (Dec. 14), and Focus Features’ “Hyde Park on the Hudson” (in limited release on Dec. 7).
So “Gatsby” is out of this year’s Oscar race, where a colleague and I recently argued it would compete for technical nominations, at the very least, and the big prizes – Picture, Director, Actor and so on – if it connected on all levels.
And the race rolls on.
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“Zero Dark Thirty” by Kathryn Bigelow teaser

by Mark Johnson
HollywoodNews.com: Kathryn Bigelow (deservedly) became the first female to win the Best Director Oscar for her Best Picture winning film The Hurt Locker (2010).
Her controversial follow-up to Locker looks to be just as intense, as she and her Oscar winning scripter, Mark Boal, take us into the mission to kill Osama Bin Laden, a hunt for the al-Qaeda terrorist leader that took a decade to accomplish. Zero Dark Thirty brings us into the backstory of the Navy’s SEAL Team Six, and the gritty and terrifying pursuit of the most wanted man in the history of the United States.
The cast includes Jason Clarke, Chris Pratt, Joel Edgerton, Jessica Chastain, Kyle Chandler, Mark Strong, Edgar Ramirez, Nash Edgerton, Jennifer Ehle, Harold Perrineau Jr., Fares Fares and Mark Duplass. Join the hunt on December 19th.

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George Clooney arrested during protest in D.C.

HollywoodNews.com: George Clooney has been arrested in Washington D.C. while out protesting in regard to the Sudan crisis where innocent men, women and children have been hurt.
Clooney was arrested with a number of other people who were protesting in front of the Sudanese embassy, states TMZ. Clooney was arrested for crossing a police line which is a misdemeanor offense.
His publicist has commented on the arrest: “They were protesting the violence committed by the government of Sudan on its own innocent men, women and children. They were demanding they allow humanitarian aid into the country before it becomes the largest humanitarian crisis in the world.”
Take Action tell your Representative to support new Sudan legislation. National Day of Action for #Sudan: Today, George Clooney was arrested while protesting Sudan’s atrocities at the Sudanese Embassy in Washington D.C.
The rally’s over, but there’s still more work to be done. If you haven’t already, text SUDAN to 30644 to receive our mobile action alerts, and sign our petition to ask your representatives to support legislation for Sudan.

Above George Clooney and His Father Arrested Outside Sudanese Embassy

According to ENOUGHPROJECT.ORG “months of military attacks by the Government of Sudan on their own people have prevented crop production, causing near-famine conditions. The attacks themselves continue to kill, injure, displace and terrorize innocent civilians while the international community continues to stand by.”
On March 7, Rep. Jim McGovern introduced the Sudan Peace, Security, and Accountability Act of 2012. It’s a strong piece of legislation that needs your support to get passed.
“We’re calling on the United States and world leaders to stop the violence and prevent hundreds of thousands of people from starving.”

Photos by ENOUGHPROJECT.ORG
What do you think about his arrest?
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Image by PR Photos

Jessica Chastain up for role in Kathryn Bigelow’s Seal Team 6 thriller

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Jessica Chastain had a massive year in 2011, appearing in multiple Oscar-worthy projects from “The Help” to “The Tree of Life.” She has the potential to carry that momentum into 2012 by picking in-depth, fascinating scripts and directors to work with. Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow certainly qualifies.
Chastain reportedly is in talks to join Bigelow’s military thriller about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, according to EW.com. She wouldn’t play one of the Seal Team 6 members who took the terrorist down. Instead, Chastain would play a field intelligence analyst who helped the team find him in Pakistan.
Bigelow’s project was penned by “The Hurt Locker” writer Mark Boal (who won the Oscar for that effort). Sony plans to release it on Dec. 19, so casting should ramp up very soon if Bigelow is going to hit her mark.
Chastain is the latest rumored cast member, as other reports are linking Joel Edgerton (“Warrior”), Mark Strong and Edgar Ramirez to the ensemble. We’ll bring you updates as they come along.
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Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight.

Kathryn Bigelow’s Bin Laden drama could be pushed to 2013

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Kathryn Bigelow’s follow-up to her Oscar-winning “The Hurt Locker” was going to attract attention mo matter the topic. But when it was revealed that she was mounting a military drama about our nation’s hunt for Osama Bin Laden with “Hurt Locker” screenwriter Mark Boal, our interest level increased tenfold.
This morning, however, we’re hearing that Bigelow’s anticipated and as-yet-untitled Bin Laden drama could be held until late 2012, when our nation’s has moved past what’s shaping up to be a contentious presidential campaign.
The Hollywood Reporter notes that Sony, which had circled an Oct. 12, 2012 release date for the project is now looking at November, December or possibly 2013 as a window for Bigelow’s film. The director has not begin filming yet, and in fact had to make changes to her plot once Bin Laden actually was captured and killed by U.S. forces earlier this year.
The trade emphasizes that Bigelow’s film is not political. Bigelow, herself, says it isn’t focused on current president, Barrack Obama, but rather focuses on a years-ling hunt that spanned multiple administrations.
“Indeed, the dangerous work of finding the world’s most wanted man was carried out by individuals in the military and intelligence communities who put their lives at risk for the greater good without regard for political affiliation,” Bigelow said, putting several minds at ease. Now we just need to wait and see what she and Boal have planned. It sounds like our wait will be longer than we might have hoped.
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