ZeroDark30 (Without Spoilers, At Lest Initially)


What a terrific Movie...Artistically a tour de force, gripping and visually striking, beautiful in color depth and palate. Many, many surprises...(I might like to go see


It is also an important movie. But it is many layered with emotional and intellectual cut-outs along its way...and it is a long, but well worth, 2 hours and 40 minutes of your time. The movie demands your attention and you surrender willingly to it's narrative force.


It is not as it is being portrayed...that's just stupid. However, I don't want to take away anyone's enjoyment of this Movie and so my thoughts will be in comments, under the fold as it were. I supposed that this will stay on the front page for a while and people can add to this Diary as they wish...or as compelled to post their impressions.


We all know how this movie ends. We all know the events...but seeing them again filtered through someone else's sensibility, that was interesting. Eyebrow raising.


I saw the Movie in Hollywood, opening night, opening night crowd, and for me just the theater was an interesting experience. Buying a ticket was like buying an airline ticket, picking a seat in advance that is reserved for you and then searching for your isle and the specific seat assigned.  I gave the movie a standing ovation, people joined in, reluctantly at first it seemed, but a few seconds later there was a wave of clapping across the theater.


Certain to be nominated for Best Picture, but with Kathryn Bigelow having won everything for Hurt Locker, I am not yet sure if the movie can win it again for her. But Ms. Bigelow sure is a compelling visual talent!


If you can, go see this movie, it will grab you!



Best Wishes, Traveller

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I'm with Alex Gibney on this one.


On the other hand...


Silver Linings Playbook.  One of my favorite movies of the year.

Flight.  Good, sometimes great, then good again.  Unbelievable first 30 minutes.

Argo.  Very entertaining.  But not as much as Ben Affleck running for the Senate.  Finally, the Dems have their very own Scott Brown!!

Django Unchained.  Best movie of the year.  Except I haven't seen it yet. But I will tomorrow.

“Two clichés make us laugh but a hundred clichés move us, because we sense dimly that the clichés are talking among themselves, celebrating a reunion." - Umberto Eco

Rembrandt...Let Me Remind Everyone Again The Film IS Art...




...and needs to be seen in this context. The film is magnificent, it is beautiful, it is thrilling and like a Rembrandt painting, the movie represents a time and an ethos. As Rembrandt created his Art out of the Golden Age of the Dutch Revolution and is reflective of the Mercantilism that gave such riches and power to the Netherlands, so the Movie accurately reflects in many nuanced layers America in the first decade and a smidgen of this new Millennium.


This is Art with a Capital is important and will be remembered for a hundred years as...Great.


The movie does what Art is supposed to moves you, it makes you think, it makes you...more human.


Best Wishes, Traveller



I Really Liked the Ops at Night...Can't See a Thing...



...not really. Of course Seal Team Six had night vision goggles and I've never used them at all, but the movie didn't game this aspect of fighting at is dark and most of the time you are flying largely blind.


This was an honest depiction that was important to me; some of my fondness or most terrifying combat experiences were at night and the movie left this dark...blackish, mere outlines darting about...that's the way it is.


I liked this hewing to verisimilitude.


Best Wishes, Traveller

It's of no real importance,

aireachail's picture

but the title sort of grates on me.


We'd invariably say "O (Oh)-dark thirty" to suggest some absurdly early event. Until this movie, I never seen or heard it noted with "Zero". "Zero" makes it seem oddly stiff...too formal.



Screw it! The end is nigh!!!!!


So here we are with this conversation about how 'zero' isn't used in military time and at 0917 this morning a guy actually says 'Zero-niner-one-seven hours.' in response to somebody asking him the time.  That's right, the 'zero' the 'hours' and the 'er' on the niner, the hat trick. 

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 


aireachail's picture

Now I see what's going on here. We've got folks mixing up two different concepts...citing an actual time of day vs. using a classic slang term.


By way of illustration:


(Ring, Ring, Click): "Capt. Stevens, US Marines. How can I help you?"

"Ron, this is Andy. We've just landed. Picking up our bags now. What time does the old man want the battalion in formation tomorrow?"

"He said that he'll see everyone covered and aligned at zero six fifteen."

"Sweet! You know, Fox Company is hosting a wetting down later tonight. Some of those devilpups are going to love rolling out of the rack at oh dark thirty"

"Ouch! I suggest you pick up some aspirin and breath mints on your way in from the airport."




I think you guys are a bunch of zero dark wankers

HankP's picture

I can't believe there's a whole subthread dedicated to this.


I blame it all on the Internet

Hold up! The #1 definition of wanker is a wanker who


uses the term wanker and who is not a subject of the crown.  Now unless you've been making short trips north to become a member of the commonwealth you're lining up under definition #1. 

The #2 definition of wanker is a ginger who posts short video clips under other people's Forvm comments.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Zero Dork 30

HankP's picture

is your new nickname. And if you keep complaining I'll have Gen. Mrs. Cuddly cut your mead ration.


I blame it all on the Internet

Ok there Hank McWanker


And Gen Mrs Cuddly has been trying to cut my alcohol ration for years.  She comes from a background where unfermented grape juice is an appropriate drink for celebrating the New Year.  I come from a background where a fifth is only one fourth of a good time.  This is total BS too.  Whenever I'm at her parents house I'll eventually ask 'What's a !@#$%^ got to do to get a beer around here?'  and I get nothing but crickets chirping.  Her parents come to my house and her dad always has his a$$ sticking out of my liquor cabinet.

Sorry, I needed a moment to vent.


In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Yeesh. Loosen up

HankP's picture

in-laws are the price we pay for love. Sometimes it's a steep price, but that just shows how much love we get for it. Of course there's always the option of faking your own death if it gets too bad.


Besides, it's Christmas. If they don't serve liquor at their house, make sure that their gift is a nice bottle or two of something you like. Also, protip: if you don't want to see your father in laws ass, take the bottle out of the liquor cabinet and put it on the table.


I blame it all on the Internet

Loosen up? You rotten so and so.


I give you the greatest honor known to mankind, a name that begins with 'Mc' and you snub it.  You're dead to me.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

I did have a sudden, unexplained thirst for Jameson's

HankP's picture

but I marked that up to it being Aoine oíche.


You're burning an awful lot of bridges Darth. First your in-laws, then your best friend on the internet, where will it end?


I blame it all on the Internet

I'd have marked it up to 'Happy New Age'


The Mayans were wronger than all hell, no reason not to celebrate.  And no sense letting Jamesons wait until Fridays, there's six other days in the week where kidneys shouldn't be neglected.



In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

I agree, Hank.

aireachail's picture

I think that the only workable solution is to post armed guards at every diary.


There's just no other way.

LaPierre did say "armed police officers" kiddo

brutusettu's picture

Many other mass shootings had just a single armed guard.  Not armed police officers.  LaPierre is looking out for us all.



Somebody is thinking of the children and making sure none of them have to suffer a fate worse than all the battlegrounds any US troop has been on.



Let's just hope a dog  wagging its tail while trotting  charging toward a cop doesn't start a shootout leaving a trail of wounded people and an uninjured pooch.

I say we take off and nuke the whole site from orbit

HankP's picture

it's the only way to be sure.


I blame it all on the Internet

But Hank...

Jay C's picture

... according to Wayne LaPierre, the only way to keep bad guys from blogging is  to provide the good guys with ....



Wayne LaPierre wants jackbooted thugs in every school

HankP's picture

I smell flop sweat. He and the Republicans seem to think this is "step on your own d!ck" season.


I blame it all on the Internet

"flop sweat"??

Jay C's picture

That would be (IMO, anyway), a vastly more-odorous fragrance emanating from Mr. LaPierre's performance in today's presser than the vile stench it actually produced.


Hopefully, someone in our hugely dysfunctional "mainstream media" will finally realize that today will be recorded as the day when the NRA finally  revealed itself as being a major part of the problem, rather than the delusionary "solution" they've tried to make themselves into...

One can hope:


I find it grimly amusing that someone can call for a federal registry of everyone with a psychiatric diagnosis, but considers a similar registry of assault rifles to be a crime against God and Nature.

"I've been on food stamps and welfare.  Anybody help me out?  No!" Craig T. Nelson (6/2/2009)

That is a Weirdly Interesting Proposition of His...

(#298213) the end, all one can do is shake their heads and hope that saner people prevail. (registering people and the vileness of hard targeting our schools with armed guards...what will 6 year olds take away from this for the rest of their lives?...{the building of an unhappy society to be sure}).


Best Wishes, Traveller

And the


common sense Government Appointed Thug Program will be paid for by tax cuts and slashes to spending.

It is a Navy/Marine and Seals Thing, I am Told They use Zero...


See from IMDB boards....but, in the abstract, I agree with you.


UPDATED Thu Dec 20 2012 05:27:42

I have been around all branches of the military for 30 years now and have never heard anyone say "Zero" anything when speaking of midnight to 9AM. It is always "Oh" five hundred, or Oh three hundred (for 5AM and 3AM, etc). Is this some bizarre Seal thing? I've also heard the phrase "Oh dark thirty" hundreds of times, referring to the early hours when it's still dark, and it means "painfully early" when used in conversation. Hard to take a movie seriously when even the title is wrong. Or am I missing something?

Re: Why Zero Dark Thirty instead of Oh Dark Thirty?
by patriot12 2 hours ago (Thu Dec 20 2012 07:51:37)
Ignore this User | Report Abuse Reply

In the Marines it is drilled into you from the beginning to say "zero", not "oh", maybe it's a naval service thing but in contrast to you the vast majority of the time we use "zero dark thirty" and occassionally you'll hear "oh dark thirty", we also say "zero eight hundred", or just "zero eight" etc etc., and in the Marines you never, never, never say "hours" after the time as in "zero nine hundred hours", that'll earn you a weird look and maybe a pimp slap.


I have, but zero is used infrequently and specifically


When one might have said 'Oh six hundred' the alternative is 'zero-six', but that's about it.  But yeah, if a guy said 'Zero four hundred' he'd be asked if he was a chaplain, he better answer 'yes' quick or he'll get tackled for being an obvious Al Qaeda mole.  Rumor has it that saying 'zero three-one-seven hours' is what really gave Bradley Manning away.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

lol....Zero three-one-seven hours?!?....hee, hee, hee...nt



My dad—


a retired Naval officer— even back in the 70s used to say "Zero Dark Thirty" to refer to early in the morning.

And oddly enough,

aireachail's picture

when you hear a group of enlisted Marines use the word "zero", it's invariably means "officer".


aireachail's picture

I don't know who "patriot12" is but I'm afraid he's off the mark when it comes to Marines and saying "zero" not "oh". He's right about never saying "hours" when noting time, but nope...never in my whole career do I recall a zero anything when talking about time. It's "O".


The guy he's responding to has it just right.


Edit: A helpful concordance

More Interesting Were the Over Arching Themes...



First, that no matter what we might do in this secret struggle, this ongoing war, that all of it was and is necessary and

justified because these are bad people, killers, spillers of blood here, there and everywhere making floors slippery with

death. There is no question about the rightness of killing these killers.

Surprisingly, there was a sub-text that UBL was pulling the strings even from hiding and up to the very end...the Kobar

attack in Saudi Arabia, the July 7, 2005 bus bombings in London with a fleeting shot of an innocent young woman

looking out the bus window before being blown to smithereens.

I don’t know if there is any evidence to substantiate this claim that Bin Laden was the director of these attacks. But it

was a startling reveal, if only implicit,  to me watching this in a movie.

Lastly, ZeroDark30 is relentlessly Pro-American Hegemony, Pro-American Imperialism, Pro-American Military and, it

seems a stretch to make the CIA out and out heros, but this is the movie’s real theme.

I felt like Churchill at Omdurman, but here it is the American Empire is a Noble Profession and I wanted to stand up and

salute to this world order that is perfectly natural and proper.

The movie has a very, very pronounced political agenda....and it makes a powerful case that it is right and correct.


Because this is so far from my personal position that it was surprising to what a large degree the movie convinced me of its rightness.

Best Wishes, Traveller

America has always been about imperialism and hegemony

mmghosh's picture

as the natural and proper order, and the nobility thereof, so I'm not sure why this strikes you as something new.


Maybe the fact that a feminist director has joined the imperialists, rather than the anti-imperialists is new. 


I'm waiting for a Mr Stone to make a movie about the Stryker Kill Team.  Now that would be psychologically interesting.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

I May Have Been too Insular in My Views and Was Surprised to See


...American Imperialism so boldly put up on the wide screen for every one to see. Without apology.


It was also surprising because the movie has been attacked as being Anti-American when in truth the movie is a paean to American Exceptionalism.


Let me also note that I am an American and fully seeped in my culture with and without my permission, willy-nilly I am here, in America, as much as you are there and a product of India.


I am also a soldier...I salute the flag, I will willingly pick up a gun again. These habits are invisible and just surprised me how strongly they are present in me for all My...


....Worldlyness and Liberalism.


I was proud to be an American seeing the Movie...and let's rock some more and harder.




Best Wishes, Traveller



I'm sure you are proud to be American

mmghosh's picture

and of your history - it is what is to be expected.  As patriots in most countries are about theirs.


Why would you think anyone in the rest of the world would consider the majority of your fellows to be otherwise about imperialism - liberal or conservative?


As an example, the Iraq invasion happened as a result of a bipartisan consensus, supported by the majority of Americans at the time as recorded in the polls, and the Administration of the time was re-elected by a  popular and Electoral College majority in the following year.


And about the so-called Afghan terrorists and Mr Laden - there was bipartisan American support for the Afghan mujahedin and Mr Laden in the 1980s and bipartisan support against them 20 years later.  Of note, the Afghan war started as a proxy war between the Russians and Americans - two nations of European descent arguing over two different economic systems.  South Asians simply provided the cannon fodder.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

As to the Torture....(Spoilers)


...the complaints about the torture scenes seem very bogus to me. The scenes are mild at worst...Pifft. I kept waiting for something...striking, something that would make the mind recoil...but Nada.


The torture, such as it is, (it's not like we're cutting off fingers here with with pruning sheers, Now that gets the Subject's attention!), with secret sites is simply true...I just don't get the McCain, Feinstein, Levin whining over this. If they want to maintain that secret sites didn't exist, that we didn't torture detainees, let them have at it. The movie was honest in it's depiction of what occurred.


 No big, nothing startling here to see, though I concede that I've seen a lot of pretty out there stuff in my life, so maybe I'm not shakable in this regards. Eventually I'd like to see what others might venture to say about these scenes.


Best Wishes, Traveller




I haven't seen it yet

brutusettu's picture

One reviewer noted that most of the stuff was deeply implied.

One scene had the beginning stages of a person getting put into a tiny torture box after he said he didn't have any info on an upcoming attack.  Next scene, an attack in Saudi Arabia.  


 That's pretty heavy handed way for a movie of saying the tiny torture box didn't work.   

Yes and No, The Real Effect, on Me At Least, Was....!!!



...we should have tortured the guy more, better...again cutting off fingers or even limbs. The guy had the information and didn't give it up.


Terrible things happened...therefore anything that happens to this guy is just fine. Kill him even. (I know this is dishonorable, but...the movie makes you angry at these f$%&ks, really).


So it may have proved the torture box didn't work...that doesn't mean that the movie doesn't also imply that even more would have been FULLY justified and appropriate.


I have a lot to think about with this movie.


Obviously, I Liked it lot.


Best Wishes, Traveller

So you're pro-torture

HankP's picture

as long as it has good cinematography and a thrilling soundtrack? I'm very disappointed, Trav.


I blame it all on the Internet

They Had The Goods on This Guy, The Detainee...That's What...


...made the moral quandary so VERY interesting.


In truth, Detainees are, I sense, swept up in the being captured net as much by accident as guilt and this is what makes the moral equation so difficult.


The movie doesn't show any of this, doesn't even hint at this in the moral universe as presented by the film, and maybe in real life, if there is opportunity of stopping the London Bus and Tube bombings and killing of complete innocents...and you are in my control and I know you know when and where and who and therefore how to stop the pending disaster... don't want to be my prisoner. Very bad things will happen to you and much worse than what was presented in the movie...and I will take the responsibility for what is done. But you will bleed and very likely die.


This is the moral question presented by the is an interesting one for what is left out.


Best Wishes, Traveller

No, they didn't

HankP's picture

Senators McCain and Feinstein have both said the movie was wrong in how it represented torture and the results we got from it.


The moral quandary isn't a quandary at all, at least it shouldn't be. Outside of fake stories made up by screenwriters, Americans don't torture. Or at least they didn't.


I blame it all on the Internet

As If They Would Tell the Truth and Leave Themselves Open to....


...war crimes prosecution.


It is maybe instructive that President Bush, the Lesser, has not left the country for any reason...he would probably be subject to arrest. Likewise Cheney.


I'm not saying that coercive techniques produced actionable leads to UBL, but I'm not going to believe any Senator as to this....they would be admitting war crimes and trying to justify them with gathered information.


But again, the movie presents the premise that all the bad guys are in fact bad guys...this was the interesting creative choice.


There were no innocent Muslims in the movie...that I saw.


I am good with this artistic choice...but it is a telling detail. Artists are allowed to create art.


Best Wishes, Traveller


HankP's picture

Senators are not in the chain of command. I can't see how they could be liable for prosecution.


I blame it all on the Internet

Point Noted...But I Still Maintain it is as Likely as Not...


...that they are just covering the US's backside.


The torture CD's were destroyed, weren't they?


For a reason.


Best Wishes, Traveller

The torture CDs were destroyed

HankP's picture

by the people who ordered and did the torturing, not by Senators. So I'm not sure what the point is anymore.


I blame it all on the Internet

Go See The Movie, Relax, It is a Fun Intense Ride...



...I may myself have brought too much to the table.


I first sincerely enjoyed this as a movie experience...let us also not lose track of the fact that gripping entertainment is the prime directive here.


Secondly, it was a refresher history lesson...and that was fun, there was a lot I forgot, but also much that I remembered and so when I saw the characters, real people, prepare to do this or that...there was a terrible foreshadowing....because I know what is going to happen. You will know also.


Lastly, the mind upon leaving the theater falls into a rational/cultural/political analysis. I do this with a Jackson Pollack, Braque/Picasso exhibition also....perfectly proper and normal.


No big, enjoy your brain.


Best Wishes, Traveller 

If there's a chance, after they die,

brutusettu's picture

that if we find something they own, speak a few super special incantations, and bam, bad guy is a slave ghost that can only tell the truth, if there's a chance that can happen, we must try.



Unless the torturee had some pals with a bad case of OCD or pals that were clueless someone with detailed knowledge was snatched up instead of followed,  why wouldn't they cover their tracks, change their plans and do something similar at a different place or a lot sooner?  There's no script they have to follow.  No script supervisor to keep track of things.

*Scott Smirks, Then Goes Off To Get Popcorn* -nt-

M Scott Eiland's picture


. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).