Lost Password

The Hurt Locker [ Blu-ray Review ]

Studio: Summit Entertainment
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty,Guy Pearce, Ralph Fiennes, David Morse
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Rated: R
Running time: 130 mins.

Back Cover

War is a drug. Nobody knows that better than Staff Sergeant James, head of an elite squad of soldier’s tasked with disarming bombs in the heat of combat. To do this nerve-shedding job, it’s not enough to be the best; you have to thrive in a zone where the margin of error is zero, think as diabolically as a bomb-maker, and somehow survive with your body and soul intact. Powerfully realistic, action-packed, unrelenting and intense. The Hurt Locker has been hailed as “an adrenaline-soaked tour de force” (A.O. Scott, The New York Times) and “one of the great war movies.” (Richard Corliss, Time)


When I received this disc for review, The Hurt Locker was still an unknown to me. I knew it had won 6 Oscars for Best Picture, Director, Editing, Sound, Sound Editing, and Best Original Screenplay. Also knew that it was a war picture situated in the Iraqi War. So I settled in for the next Apocalypse Now or Platoon. The next BIG war movie. Imagine my surprise when The Hurt Locker turned out to a Lethal Weapon action movie Trojan Horsed inside a war movie.

Which makes it win as the Best Picture for 2009 all the more surprising and unfathomable. This picture really reminds of this year’s most technically proficient Oscar candidate, Inception. Whereas Inception excelled in the technical areas it also had a tight and slick script. The Hurt Locker does not. At best it is an average actioner screenplay. Whatever dramatic weight the movie generates is from the technical aspects and the isolated set pieces that are very gripping. But they are all variations on the bomb defusing scenario which has always made for engrossing cinema.

This movie really follows the conventions of action movies to a T with Jeremy Renner playing the renegade rule breaking Bomb Disposal Expert – Sergeant First Class William James – who does things his way. Hello Sergeant Martin Riggs, anyone? All that is missing are the requisite chewing out scenes by a superior officer. The trio of squad mates that include Sergeant JT Sanborn(Anthony Mackie) and Specialist Owen Eldridge(Brian Geraghty) seem to operate in a vacuum only peripherally interacting with anyone else in their unit. None of the characters are given much in terms of dimensionality and their stories leave little emotional impressions.

Who knows why the Academy voted it the best picture of 2009. Maybe they were on a BioShock gaming high and the Big Daddy like bomb disposal suits featured heavily in promotional images swayed enough of them to vote for it?

Crave Factor – 8


The movie was shot on Super 16 and HD, and was digitally blown up to 35mm. Presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen the image is clear and free of any defects. Artistically this film was shot in documentary style in a desert environment and as such does not impart itself to a cinematic feel. What it does do is feel real and gritty.

Crave Factor – 9


Along with the video the audio on this track is a technical marvel. The main track is a lovely lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sonic symphony. Directionality is a total 360 degrees sonic field of immersion with supporting dimensionality.

As expected with a movie dealing about bombs there is low end bass here that will allow your subwoofer to emit a vividly vibrant presentation.

Also included are:

  • English 2.0 Dolby Surround
  • Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks

One of the best Home Theater audio presentations ever.

Crave Factor – 10


The disc comes with 3 features all pretty standard in length and content with the exception of the Image Gallery. This has an additional option of listening to a Q&A as the slide show plays. First time I have encountered this and a feature that is worthy of further use in other releases.

  • Audio Commentary with Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal
  • The Hurt Locker: Behind the Scenes I
  • Image Gallery with Q & A

Crave Factor – 8

Menu & Packaging

A standard Amray case. No booklet is enclosed.

Annoying forced trailers are present on this disc. The only way to get through them is by the chapter skip button. Please allow for menu button bypass!

Crave Factor – 7

Conclusion & Final Thoughts

The Hurt Locker is in no way the next big war movie. It is an expertly crafted above average actioner. A cinematic rendition of the board game – Operation. 

Overall Crave Factor – 8

Spread the love

Related Posts


    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Thanks for submitting your comment!