John Serba: My ‘American Sniper’ review was commentary on the movie, not the …

22 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘I hope both of you catch a fist to the face': Kid Rock blasts American Sniper critics Seth Rogen and Michael Moore in profane blog post.

I watched “American Sniper” in early December, before it became a political hot potato. WASHINGTON—Clint Eastwood’s hit film “American Sniper” has reignited a bitter debate about the US invasion of Iraq and one of its most famous warriors, with conservatives hailing the movie as a long overdue tribute to veterans.Kid Rock is making sure his fans know exactly where he stands on the controversy surrounding box office champ ‘American Sniper’ with a profanity-laden tirade aimed at the film’s critics.LAS VEGAS — A close friend of Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle told The Daily Caller that warriors like Kyle died so that Hollywood big-wigs like Michael Moore could enjoy freedom of speech. My typical routine for viewing a movie I’ll be reviewing is to do my best to avoid any pre-release discussion, trailers or articles, in an attempt to keep the experience pure, cluttered with as little baggage as possible.

While critical reviews have been generally positive and the movie has been nominated for Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Actor, it has also drawn fire for being jingoistic or propaganda for the U.S. military. Brian Sain is a founding member of AmericanSnipers.org and a “personal friend” of Kyle, and he spoke with TheDC at the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s annual Shot Show on Tuesday. Directed by Eastwood and starring Bradley Cooper, the film has broken box office records and is based on Kyle’s best-selling memoir, in which he expressed no regrets for the lives he extinguished as a sharpshooter in the war. “The movie gives America something it’s lacked since the start of the war — a war hero on a truly national, cultural scale,” David French wrote. Moore, a documentary film director and liberal activist, and actor Seth Rogen recently made headlines for disparaging Clint Eastwood’s box office hit “American Sniper,” which tells the story of Kyle’s life.

Moore called snipers “cowards” while Rogen tweeted that the movie reminded him of the “fake Nazi propaganda” movie in the third act of Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglorious Basterds.” “Those gentlemen live in the United States of America, and I would hazard that neither one of them has ever been in harm’s way,” Sain told TheDC. “So the very right they have to make those comments was afforded by someone else like Chris, who was spilling their blood and spilling their guts and leaving their family, while those individuals were safe and sound behind their keyboards or whatever they do.” Kyle, who is played by actor Bradley Cooper in “American Sniper” and was killed two years ago, is considered a “legendary” marksman among the sniper community. “We were very close friends. Rogen, the star and director of the almost-banned comedy The Interview issued a statement about this weekend’s blockbuster hit American Sniper, comparing the Clint Eastwood-directed film to Nazi propaganda. The unavoidable baggage: I tend to like Eastwood’s directorial efforts (“Unforgiven” is a classic), and Cooper has established himself as a considerable talent (“Silver Linings Playbook” is his best).

In his memoir, Kyle — a Texan and former professional rodeo rider — expressed only pride about his war record and his targeting of what he called “savages.” He is believed to have taken out 255 people with his rifle, and the Pentagon officially credited Kyle with 160 confirmed kills — making him the deadliest sniper in American military history. Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorius Basterds culminates with an assassination attempt on Adolph Hitler at the premiere of a fictional propaganda film called ‘Stolz der Nation’ which translates to Nation’s Pride. My review of the film – “not quite on target” read the newspaper headline; “Cooper wrangles moral ambiguity in uneven portrait of U.S. soldier” the headline on the web reads – was middling to positive. Paul Rieckhoff, an Iraq war veteran and head of the Iraq Afghanistan Veterans of America, said the movie reflected how many soldiers thought about the war. “Kyle, much like many I served with, and our president himself during most of the Iraq War, held a very black-and-white view of the conflict. I kept thinking about “The Hurt Locker” while I watched “Sniper,” and I liked the 2009 film better (it went on to win the best picture Oscar).

Rogen has since elaborated that just because he was reminded of the Tarantino scene does not mean that he was drawing any comparison between Kyle and Nazi, and that he even enjoyed the film. ‘But if you were having a slow news day, you’re welcome for me giving you the opportunity to blow something completely out of proportion,’ he added, on Twitter. We talked about everything that’s in that movie, because I was having similar stuff going on from a law enforcement perspective.” Sain helps train police snipers in Austin, Texas, while Kyle helped train Dallas police snipers. Prior to seeing the movie, I didn’t know Kyle was murdered in 2013, and thought Eastwood’s handling of his death as a postscript, not something to be dramatized with actors, as curious.

Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore caused an online debate when he tweeted about how he was raised to believe snipers were ‘cowards’ since his uncle died by a Japanese sniper shot in World War II. He recalled the last conversation he had with Kyle before his friend was shot and killed at the Rough Creek Ranch-Lodge-Resort shooting range in Erath County, Texas in February 2013. “He and I were working on a project together to donate a rifle to a raffle to raise money for our troops,” Sain said. “He got famous after that and he said, ‘Hey man, we need to get on that raffle project.’” “I was eating supper and the Austin guys called me and said, ‘Chris was just murdered. I only retroactively understood the last goodbyes Kyle said to his family, not comprehending it in the moment. (Maybe not knowing Kyle’s fate beforehand is my failing, but letting the film surprise me was my choice.) I chose not to discuss this point in the review, fearing I would spoil the ending of the movie for others like myself. Just like the war has for us.” Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. The guy stole his truck and may be coming down this way.’ And then they caught him shortly thereafter.” Sain sought to clear up misconceptions about who American military and law enforcement snipers are and what these individuals go through on and off the job. “Most of us are fathers,” he explained. “Most of us are family people.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here. That can be problematic when reviewing a film that’s “based on a true story.” So many will draw comparison to the source material and point out a movie’s flaws – a valid perspective, but one I most often choose not to engage in. I treat movies such as “Sniper,” “Foxcatcher” and “Unbroken” as historical fiction, because the artifice of moviemaking is unavoidable: actors do their own interpretation of a character.

Rogen’s other film The Interview, nearly banned for fear that screenings of the North Korean-set comedy would be targeted by terrorists, was not eligible for the Oscars since it was released online a day before it premiered in theaters. In light of my perspective outlined in the previous paragraph, “American Sniper” is not a documentary, and my commentary was not an analysis of the military or Chris Kyle, the real man, but Cooper’s version of him (and I worded my prose carefully to avoid that).

Can you give me that?’ And I’m not talking about weapons and suppressors and stuff — just backpacks, body armor — that kind of stuff,” Sain said. Sain didn’t have the money to buy it himself, so he and others started raising money in the community to get them what his friends in the field needed. Cooper’s movie version of Kyle is, through my personal lens, conflicted, and likely wearing his game face to deal with the traumatic experiences of war combat. Some have criticized Eastwood and Cooper for not discussing politics in the wake of the film’s success – six Oscar nods, more than $100 million at the box office in the first few days of release – or for whitewashing Kyle by selectively ignoring his more troublesome personal traits. Sure, film criticism sometimes leads to discussions larger than just plot holes and character arcs; the best films engage our intellect or our emotions, or have something to say about the human condition.

Film – and storytelling in general – is necessarily larger than reality, something that delivers the extraordinary to us, whose lives are comparatively ordinary.

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