Based on true events (although some of their information seems questionable), Zero Dark Thirty traces the search for Osama bin Laden after the tragic events of September, 11, 2001. Beginning in 2003 a young CIA agent named Maya (Jessica Chastain) joins the team in Pakistan, and over the years she becomes obsessed with finding a man known as “Abu Ahmed”, believed to be bin Laden’s personal courier and therefore the key to finding the al-Qaeda leader himself. She tracks down various leads and participates (though somewhat reluctantly) in interrogations involving torture. Her search culminates in a raid on a fortified mansion believed to be bin Laden’s residence.
Ok. A douchey British guy known only as John (Scott Adkins) watches his family get super murdered and is thrown into a coma. When he wakes up he’s got amnesia and doesn’t remember much about who he is, except for the traumatic events just before was knocked out. An FBI investigator is trying to find his attacker, a crazed killer named Luc Deveraux (Van Damme), and hopes John can help track him down. But John has other worries as he tries to reclaim his memories, especially since some huge dude (Andrei Arlovski) keeps trying to kill him for no apparent reason.
I’ve missed a lot of 2012 releases but I’ve been trying to make up for it this month, and while there are still a couple I’m missing (most notably Holy Motors and Cosmopolis), I feel like I can do some sort of list for myself, as has become my custom. I think I’ve said it before but just to reiterate, I’m never a person to declare something “best”, I think all taste is subjective so all I can do is list my personal favorites- movies I want to watch again and again, ones that affected me on an emotional level, and ones I found most memorable. For this reason my lists typically don’t have the prestige-type films that I often see on other lists, but hey, I haven’t seen most of them this year anyway!
After reading several articles about it and having multiple real-life friends want to discuss it with me, I figured I should finally see Tarantino’s latest revisionist period piece, Django Unchained. Jamie Foxx stars as the titular Django, a freed slave who teams up with chatty German bounty hunter King Schultz (Christoph Waltz). After brutally destroying three sadistic overseers who were wanted for murder, the two plot to rescue Django’s still-enslaved wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) from the clutches of Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), a malicious plantation owner whose delusions of highbrow pretension make him easy to manipulate.
A polite, effusive, intelligent assistant funeral director, Bernie Tiede (Jack Black) is beloved by all in the small city of Carthage, Texas. He is very socially active in the community, especially in church and theater, but it is his unlikely friendship with wealthy, surly widow Marjorie (Shirley MacLaine) that eventually immortalizes him. The questions surrounding their relationship (at times manipulatively romantic, at others bordering on indentured servitude) are explored, as are the strange events surrounding Marjorie’s (premeditated?) death at the hands of Bernie himself.