‘American Sniper’ Generates Off-Screen Controversy

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘American Sniper’ astounds with $105.3M over MLK weekend.

Clint Eastwood’s Iraq war drama, American Sniper, earned an astonishing $90 million on its opening weekend, making it the most successful winter movie release in history. Left-leaning Hollywood moviemaker Michael Moore backed off critical comments he tweeted shortly after “American Sniper” hit the theaters, saying that his snipe about snipers being “cowards” was not aimed at Chris Kyle — and that, in fact, he never mentioned the U.S. shooter by name. “Hmm.

Sarah Palin slammed Hollywood as headquarters for America’s sissies after Michael Moore and Seth Rogen mocked the country’s adulation for Chris Kyle, the slain Navy SEAL portrayed in the new film “American Sniper.” “Hollywood leftists: While caressing shiny plastic trophies you exchange among one another while spitting on the graves of freedom fighters who allow you to do what you do, just realize the rest of America knows you’re not fit to shine Chris Kyle’s combat boots,” Palin wrote in a Facebook message late Monday.There’s a big controversy brewing over the six-time Oscar-nominated movie “American Sniper.” It’s all about the film’s littlest star, and it’s got audiences mocking the movie mercilessly. Palin was among the conservatives defending the film from critics who said the new Clint Eastwood film, starring Bradley Cooper as Kyle, glorified war. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Routh, who confessed to shooting Kyle and Kyle’s friend Chad Littlefield two years ago at a rifle range in Glen Rose, south west of Dallas. Moore tweeted, in response to the criticisms that have swirled over his earlier tweet. “I said my uncle killed by sniper in WWII; only cowards would do that 2 him, others.” But his most recent Twitter messages are somewhat of a backtrack of his earlier ones, which readers and media members alike took as his assessment of “American Sniper” and Mr.

Routh’s defence team plans to introduce evidence that the defendant, an Iraq War veteran who was 25 at the time of the killings, was experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder. The opening sequence of the movie, also featured in a trailer, depicts Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper) with his sights trained on a street in Iraq ahead of a marine convoy.

The resounding wide-release opening is also tops for the 84-year-old Eastwood, whose previous best weekend was the $29.5 million wide release of 2009’s ‘‘Gran Torino. American Sniper, which is based on Kyle’s best-selling autobiography, does not depict the death of its subject, and instead simply states at the end of the film that Kyle was killed by a veteran he was trying to help. While the movie does show real babies in an early nursery scene, viewers and critics alike were not fooled later on when Cooper’s character holds the baby for the first time. And it, in one weekend, gives the Oscar best-picture race something it was lacking: a big ol’ box-office hit. ‘‘American Sniper, nominated for six Academy Awards, immediately becomes the top grosser of the best-picture nominees. After the comments ignited controversy on social media, Rogen and Moore tried to backtrack and explain that they actually liked the movie, but conservatives weren’t hearing it.

The film “is going to be an issue,” according to Routh’s attorney, J Warren St John, who posed the question “Can there be a fair trial?” in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar (R) also took to Facebook praising the movie, highlighting the service of Sean Johnson, a former Marine who works in Gosar’s office as a veterans liaison. “I personally know what our snipers do.

While serving his country, Kyle accumulated 160 confirmed kills out of 255 probable kills and was proclaimed by the Navy Seals as the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history. That slow release pattern helped stoke demand for the film, in which Bradley Cooper stars as Navy SEAL marksman Chris Kyle. ‘‘It’s become a cultural phenomenon,’’ said Dan Fellman, head of domestic distribution for Warner Bros. ‘‘The movie reached an audience that’s very hard to tap into. St John also spoke about his fears that promotional interviews given by Chris Kyle’s widow Taya Kyle (portrayed by Sienna Miller in Eastwood’s film) might be in violation of the judge’s order. In both red and blue states, small and large cities, tiny towns — everywhere we went — it broke records.’’ Going into the weekend, optimistic predictions for ‘‘American Sniper’’ were closer to $50 million, which still would have been an enormous success, particularly considering how little appetite audiences have had for movies about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. ‘‘This was maybe the most underestimated film of all time, considering that it did about twice what estimates predicted,’’ said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office firm Rentrak. ‘‘This just doesn’t happen.’’ But the film was warmly embraced by conservatives, which Fellman said was a ‘‘huge’’ factor. In a Los Angeles Times story earlier this month, Kyle spoke about Routh, stating: “To try and even find an excuse is disgusting. … I know people with PTSD, and it’s very real and very hard.

Real baby #2 was no show. (Clint voice) Gimme the doll, kid.” (The tweet has since been deleted.) The controversy almost certainly won’t make Eastwood’s day, but the movie’s box office might: Thus far, “American Sniper” has earned over $134M worldwide. If anyone knows cowards it might be him…pray for Michael Moore to one day understand that his liberty to attack snipers like Chris Kyle is only possible because of these brave patriots,” Johnson wrote.

Dergarabedian said ‘‘American Sniper’’ resonated with audiences craving a celebration of valor, courage and patriotism. ‘‘American Sniper,’’ once pegged for release in late 2015, was moved up to qualify for this year’s Oscars. Last week, VIce President Joe Biden saw the film at a D.C. premiere with Cooper and was reportedly moved to tears, telling reporters after the movie – “it’s intense.” After Eastwood’s other 2014 release, ‘‘Jersey Boys,’’ struggled in its June release, totaling $47 million, ‘‘American Sniper’’ — a $58 million co-production between Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow — was tossed into this year’s Christmas mix. The remarkable success of ‘‘American Sniper,’’ which made $89.5 million over the three-day weekend, didn’t appear to hurt the business of other releases. Director Clint Eastwood – last seen at the Republican national convention in 2012, telling off an empty chair for invading Afghanistan – reduces everything here to primary colours and simple shapes.

When he gets to the frontline, all Iraqis resisting the US occupation are unquestionably identified as AQI (al-Qaida in Iraq), making them legitimate targets. In its fourth weekend of release, the civil rights drama ‘‘Selma’’ took in $11.5 million on the holiday weekend that honors its protagonist, King. There is a mostly fictional sniper named Mustafa (Sammy Sheik), a former Olympic marksman, who is mentioned in one paragraph of Kyle’s book but in the film becomes his sharp-shooting, marine-murdering nemesis. The film landed two Oscar nominations on Thursday, including best picture, but the snubbing of its star, David Oyelowo, and director, Ava DuVernay, drew widespread outrage. They’ve taken so much from me.” Kyle suffers after his tours of duty, but only, he says, because he wanted to kill more bad guys to save more marines.

As for non-savage Iraqis who may have reasonable grounds to complain about what happened to their country following the invasion, they must be in some other movie. Kyle further claimed that he and another sniper had sat on top of the Superdome in New Orleans during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and killed 30 armed civilians he thought were making trouble. It was possible to see these stories as evidence of vainglory; it was also possible to see them as attempts by a struggling man to maintain an invincible persona.” Maybe some of these brags were true, and maybe they weren’t. A lot of this film certainly isn’t – and all the complicated questions it leaves out would have made it a much more interesting story than the Bush-era propaganda it shovels in.

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