The Hurt Locker (2008)
This is a truly intense tale of three soldiers whose job is to defuse roadside bombs in Iraq. Jeremy Renner is riveting as Sergeant First Class William James, the man who actually does most of the dirty work. His unorthodox methods and casual attitude put him at odds with his more by-the-book compatriots, especially when it becomes apparent that he has become addicted to the adrenaline rush of defusing bombs. As the end of their deployment inches closer and closer, the audience holds its breath, hoping against hope that they will manage to survive each new day. Director Kathryn Bigelow keeps the tension level high throughout the film, deftly conducting the disarming of each new bomb so that each one is unique and has its own brand of terror.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)
Having seen all seven seasons of the television show, I was interested to see "the one that started it all" (sort of). I went in knowing that it would be a far cry from the television show, but even knowing that I was still let down. The comedy fell flat, the drama was unengaging, the villain was yawn-inducing, and to top it all off, Kristy Swanson was completely unconvincing as any kind of superhero, giving me absolutely no reason to care about her as a person.
Coming up next: Two men who find themselves completely out of place.