March 12, 2010
On the Big Board
||For the third time, Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass tell a story that captivates me. I particularly appreciate the cynical climax.
||Disappointing given the people involved, but it's still watchable. The dialogue feels like it was just converted from a Democrat's history book.
Before I talk about the movie Green Zone, I would like to travel back in time and present to you a little history lesson.
From 1979-2003, Saddam Hussein was the President of Iraq. During this time, he was considered a dictator and committed crimes against humanity. Also during this time, Saddam ruled from a section in Baghdad (Iraqi capital), with many important buildings.
In 2003, George W. Bush and America perceived that Iraq had "weapons of mass destruction," and invaded Iraq. Some of the heaviest fighting of this invasion came when America took over the previously mentioned section of Baghdad.
This section, a 3.8 square-mile area in Baghdad, became the center of the Coalition Provisional Authority. In other words, this area became the headquarters for American (and other countries') troops in Iraq. Because this was the main area of occupation, it developed the nickname the Green Zone. (The Red Zone would be areas not on military posts, especially the area right outside of the Green Zone.)
In 2006, Rajiv Chandrasekaran, an American-Indian journalist, wrote the book Imperial Life in the Emerald City. The book looks at the area of the Green Zone from the time of the invasion until some of the official governing power was handed back to the Iraqis, and all of the turmoil in between. He says his book does not have a pro or anti-American bias, but it just is truthful in the events that happened. His book went on to win a ton of non-fiction book awards.
On January 1st, 2009, the Green Zone was handed back to Iraqi security forces.
In 2010, the movie Green Zone will be released into theaters. The movie will be an adaptation on Chandrasekaran's book. The book was adapted into a screenplay by Brian Helgeland, who has written A Knight's Tale and Mystic River. Two interesting facts about Mr. Helgeland. 1. He co-wrote the screenplay for The Bourne Supremecy, but is uncredited! 2. He once was the only person to win an Oscar (writer of L.A. Confidential) and a Razzie (for The Postman) in the same year. He is one of a handful of people to have picked up their Razzie in person. This movie will be directed by Paul Greengrass, who was nominated for an Oscar for directing United 93. He has also directed all of the Bourne movies. What was the moral of this paragraph? Between Helgeland and Greengrass, the movie will be well-made.
Matt Damon (from the Bourne movies) will play a warrant officer helping the CIA locate weapons of mass-destruction. Amy Adams (nominated for a very dramatic Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Gone Baby Gone, and plays the very funny Holly on The Office) will play a journalist investigating these weapons of mass-destruction claims. Greg Kinnear (from Little Miss Sunshine and nominated for Best Supporting Actor in As Good As It Gets) will be a Special Intelligence agent.
How do these facts predict how the movie will do at the box-office? The good news is the movie has Matt Damon. When you average his 26 movies together, they have an opening weekend average of $20 million and a domestic total average of $77 million. Clearly, he has a bunch of movies that make a lot less, but this average isn't anything to sneeze at.
The bad news, however, is that this is a movie about the Iraq war.
Here are the majority of the Iraq films that have been released and their domestic totals:
Grace is Gone with John Cusack: $50,000
Home of the Brave with Samuel L. Jackson: $50,000
The Hurt Locker, nominated for every award for 2009: $12 million
The Valley of Elah with Tommy Lee Jones: $6.5 million
Stop-Loss with Channing Tatum: $11 million
Even other movies about soldiers in the Middle East haven't done well at the box-office (like Reese Witherspoon and Meryl Streep's Rendition). Movies about Iraq do not do well at the box-office.
However, there are two reasons why I cannot yet write the final section of this time-line about the Green Zone. The first reason is that at the time this report was written, the movie Green Zone had not been released into theaters, and I do not know how it will do at the box-office. The second reason is that the Green Zone is an actual place, filled with recent activity of war, and other events (hopefully peaceful) might be worthy to be added to this report as well. (Curt David/BOP)