“EVENT” MOVIES – PRO OR CON?
“Zero Dark Thirty,” the new movie from Kathryn Bigelow (director of “The Hurt Locker”) about the search for Osama bin Laden is getting lots of attention. It’s a Golden Globes winner and an Oscar nominee. That’s not surprising. Event movies usually are, especially ones about such a powerful topic (unlike, say, “Wayne’s World,” which was also an event movie back in the day, but, yeah, not really the same kind of thing). It’s a movie that puts a huge segment of the shared human experience up on the big screen, gives everyone an outlet for the emotion the last decade-plus have engendered.
And it’s a movie I have no interest in seeing. Not necessarily because of the waterboarding, torture stuff that the film has been accused of validating and/or exploiting. That’s a judgment call I can make for myself if I choose to see the film. And I’m not necessarily anti-war movie. The actors are probably excellent. I know the director is good. On paper, there’s not a whole lot of reason NOT to see the film.
It’s just that I’ve already seen the story of the hunt for bin Laden. It was called the nightly news. And NPR. And newspapers, press conferences, pundits, around the water cooler, and, well, Twitter.
It’s tempting to say I’m just not big on movies about historical events. BUT…I am very interested in “Lincoln”. I liked movies like “Schindler’s List”. Slavery and the Holocaust are not exactly feel-good, “Wayne’s World” type cinematic entertainment. It’s not an aversion to learning something at the movies.
Is it just that the bin Laden stuff is too close in time? Bigelow’s other big current events movie, “The Hurt Locker,” I did see and it was excellent. But there were at least a few years between when the movie came out and the setting of the film. It feels like the bin Laden thing is still front page news.
And I already get a newspaper.
So what say you? Is “Zero Dark Thirty” worth my ten bucks and two hours? Should I wait for it to show up on Netflix? Skip it all together?