Zero Dark Thirty with Mama

Nominations: Best Picture, Actress (Jessica Chastain), Original Screenplay, Film Editing, Sound Editing.

“Zero Dark Thirty” starts with a black screen. Only voices are heard. It lasts for, I think, more than a couple of minutes that eventually you’d think, Hey, is there something wrong with this copy. I actually did.

And then it continues with a torture scene with a lone CIA woman officer portrayed by Jessica Chastain. I read about her being one of the fine actresses in this generation. I wanted to prove that with the movie about how Bin Laden was captured. But, fifteen minutes into the film, I couldn’t still see the point of watching how they actually did it. All I get from this brutal torturing is the relief that I don’t work for the CIA. “Zero Dark Thirty,” by the way, means 30 minutes after midnight in CIA jargon, the time Osama was captured/killed.

And so I stopped. If there’s gonna be one film I would not want to continue watching from the Oscar nominees (including “Snow White and the Huntsman”, which is such a bore), this is it. Sure, Kathryn Bigelow impressed me with her award-winning “Hurt Locker” and for being the first woman who bagged the Best Director Oscar award in 2010. But, her latest film about war just didn’t capture my interest.

Jessica Chastain did, though. And so I watched “Mama” instead.

I won’t elaborate on this horror movie produced by Guillermo del Toro and directed by the Spanish Andrés Muschietti. If you want to get a good scare, watch it.

I am not really a fan of horror movies made for the American market, but put kids in it and I just might like it. “Sixth Sense” still gives me the creep every time. I don’t know but it fascinates me (which makes it convincing most of the time) what kind of method directors use to get kids act the way they do in scary movies. “Dark Water”, the Japanese version, is one hell of a good example, too.

Anyway, back to “Mama”. Go watch it. It’s scary enough. I now understand why Jessica Chastain is the “It” actress today with this movie. It’s nice to see her in varied roles. I also enjoyed ogling watching Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. The CGI Mama could turn you off a bit, though. Some scenes also reminded me of Tim Burton.

Thanks to Nerissa for recommending that I watch the short that inspired this full-length feature, also by the director. You might want to check it out here, too. It’s spookier.

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