Viewing “The Hurt Locker” in Another Dimension…

Much has been said about the mega-blockbuster, Avatar being available in 3-D (as in third dimension) — a viewing format that requires special glasses.  3-D is picking up steam in Hollywood because it is supposed to be more engaging.

The thing is, I discovered that there is another way to engage the viewer without the need for special glasses.   It all started when “Hurt Locker” came out on DVD and I finally had a chance to watch it.


I came across it when I finally saw “The Hurt Locker” (Netflix, Amazon) when it became available on DVD.  The film itself is very powerful. Watching it via a Blu-ray player on a big HDTV with decent sound, I found that it really pulled me in.  It is the kind of film that find yourself thinking about long after it is over.

One of the first thoughts that crossed my mind is that it was a shame that The Hurt Locker didn’t get big screen/big sound treatment when it was released last summer.

The next day, I put the disc back in the player and clicked on the option for viewing with commentary.  I watched the entire movie again while listening to Kathryn Bigelow, screenwriter Mark Boal (who did time as a journalist embed with an Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit) others describe what was going on and, more importantly, the hurdles they had to jump/mountains they had to climb to get the film made.

There was a little bit of “Bowfinger” in that they leveraged crowds Jordan that had already gathered for temple or other events. Many of the scenes were shot using up to six cameras at times, documentary style.

In his autobiography, “Name Above the Title,” Frank Capra said this about the filmmaking process:

“No two motion pictures are alike in the making. Each film is a living piece of your life in a small unreal world with its own character an integrity; its own new set of memorable experiences and incredible happenings.”

The added dimension that came from listening to the commentary put “The Hurt Locker” way over the top for me.  I didn’t care what awards would come.  I knew I was viewing something special.  Something that came together — like the sun, moon and stars all lining up.  The talent on screen and behind the camera was amazing. You could really appreciate how this film became a labor of love for all involved.

My hope is that more people will have a chance to experience “The Hurt Locker” in both dimensions.  And then, the next time you are faced with a difficult task to do, think about what these folks went through to get that movie made.

“You’ll be bothered from time to time by storms, fog, snow. When you are, think of those who went through it before you, and say to yourself, ‘What they could do, I can do'” — From Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s “Wind, Sand and Stars” (p 7).


Note: If you want a treat, check out the two episodes of Homicide: Life on the Street directed by Bigelow:

Season 6, Episode 22: Fallen Heroes: Part 1
Original Air Date-1 May 1998

Season 6, Episode 23: Fallen Heroes: Part 2
Original Air Date-8 May 1998

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