New to DVD and Blu-Ray, The Hurt Locker is a look into the world of an elite U.S. Army E.O.D. unit (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) in their last forty days of a one year tour of duty in Baghdad during the second year of the U.S. led coalition occupation. The three man unit consists of Staff Sergeant William James (Jeremy Renner), Sgt. JT Sanborn (Anthony Mackie), and Specialist Owen Eldridge (Brian Geraghty).
Renner’s character is an adrenaline junky who only feels alive when he is in the heat of battle, or when there is the threat of a suicide bomber or roadside bomb detonating. The three men form a strong bond with one another and try to survive their last forty days so they can rotate back home to their wives or loved ones.
Director Kathryn Bigelow who has directed such action films as Point Break and Strange Days gives the film a unique look as if you are a forth member of the unit and are alongside them in the urban combat zones of Baghdad. Cinematographer Barry Ackroyd positions the cameras perfectly, and sets the look of the shots which makes the film a gritty documentary account of the E.O.D. unit and the everyday dangers they encounter.
Special features to consider on the DVD or Blu-Ray are a fantastic behind the scenes retrospective on the film, with interviews from the cast and from Kathryn Bigelow, Barry Ackroyd, and writer Mark Boal who came up with the idea for the film after riding with an E.O.D. unit in Iraq. All the people interviewed share their personal experiences on the film and how they were challenged every day of shooting.
The cinematographer goes into detail on a special high speed camera that shot up to fifty thousand frames a second. This technology provided a sense of realism, which makes you want to dust yourself off after every explosion.
The first explosion scene captures every earth ripple from the detonation and every grain of sand dances on camera. The Hurt Locker is one of the finest films I have seen this year and I thoroughly recommend it to any individual who is a fan of action, or military theme films.