The Real Star of American Sniper Is Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller’s Fake …

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

American Sniper: Political Rorschach Test.

Clint Eastwood’s biopic of Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history, has been branded jingoistic and anti-war. might have opened up to record numbers and might have pulled in six Oscar nominations including Best Picture, but there’s one thing that people won’t drop: the fake baby. “Hate to ruin the fun but real baby #1 showed up with a fever.For the three-day weekend, the Clint Eastwood movie that stars Bradley Cooper as the screen version of the true-life Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle earned $105.3 million. “You have to do a double take,” said Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst with the box-office tracking firm Rentrak. “We’re not accustomed to seeing those kinds of numbers in January.” We’re also not entirely used to watching as a mainstream movie turns into a firefight on social media, but that also happened as the weekend unfolded.MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – In the wake of the growing controversy over her late husband’s memoir, the widow of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle has decided to stay out of the limelight.

Fans on Twitter and Facebook expressed their support for the film in mostly positive ways, though there was some ugliness, too, with racial and religious slurs and threats of violence in the mix. The gulf accommodates hindsight since, in the words of Benjamin Franklin, “Wars are not paid for in wartime, the bill comes later.” It also allows the spectator to digest it in palatable, abstract terms, since the true horrors of war cannot be fathomed by the uninitiated mind. Despite the explanation, critics and moviegoers are still panning the plastic doll, with an audience even laughing out loud in one theater when the now-infamous toy hit the big screen. Chris Kyle’s role in killing a record number of people as a sniper in Iraq is causing controversy among some in Hollywood for its perceived pro-war message.

Critic Camilla Long wrote in her review for the Sunday Times that she had “never seen so many terrible fake babies in one film.” Victoria Alexander of the Las Vegas Informer believed that the movie would be so much better if Eastwood had “left out the annoying, under-written personal story – and the glaring fake babies. A canny marketing strategy that banked on a bit of Oscar love helped (the movie grabbed six nominations Thursday), as did a bit of distance from the peak of the fighting in Iraq where Kyle served, some observers said. It took three to four years from the fall of Saigon for movies like Deer Hunter, Coming Home, and Apocalypse Now to examine the costly toll of the Vietnam War. In some ways, though, it’s as simple as this: “American Sniper” turns out to be the movie that audiences want, or maybe need, to see now, in 2015, with the official wars in Iraq and Afghanistan winding down but the threat and images of terror still vivid. “Creatively, it’s just a terrific movie,” said Tom Nunan, a longtime studio executive and producer who also teaches in the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. “It’s based on a remarkable best-seller by Chris Kyle. And it subverts our expectations.” “The singular focus of ‘American Sniper’ and the singular journey of this one character I think makes a very foggy war slightly clearer for the rest of us,” Nunan said. “American Sniper” opened in a handful of theaters at the end of December to qualify for the Academy Awards, but even from those very limited runs over the past three weeks it was clear that the word of mouth was terrific. (On Thursday, “American Sniper” earned Oscar nominations for best picture, best actor for Cooper, best adapted screenplay for the work Jason Hall did with Kyle’s memoir, but not a best director nomination for Eastwood.) “What they discovered with limited release was that people loved this movie,” Nunan said. “And if they can get some award ads going with it to accompany the wide release then they can hit the jackpot.

On February 2, 2013, the warrior was gunned down at a shooting range in his native Texas by Eddie Ray Routh, a PTSD-stricken Marine Corps veteran who later made off with Kyle’s Ford F-350. “I traded my soul for a new truck,” Routh reportedly told his sister following his arrest. The Clint Eastwood-directed biopic starring Bradley Cooper debuted with a limited release on Christmas Day, the same day “Unbroken” opened nationwide. “My shots saved several Americans, whose lives were clearly worth more than that woman’s twisted soul,” he wrote. “I can stand before God with a clear conscience about doing my job. New York Magazine branded it “a Republican platform movie,” while The Hollywood Reporter saw it as “a companion piece—in subject, theme and quality—to The Hurt Locker.” Meanwhile, “Hanoi Jane” Fonda came away impressed, labeling it “powerful” and “another view of Coming Home,” whereas Michael Moore, who famously denounced the Iraq War and then-President George W.

Still, the Internet throughout the weekend saw plenty of arguments over whether he was a hero or a murderer, which in typical online fashion involved plenty of ugliness. “American sniper makes me wanna go shoot some … I hate it to this day.” In the film adaptation, Kyle is visibly moved by his first shot and later mentions meeting his maker and justifying each shot he took. Bush while accepting an Oscar in 2003, said, “I think most Americans don’t think snipers are heroes.” This is Eastwood’s view of the world laid bare, with Kyle assuming the role of the existential hero, like The Man with No Name, Harry Callahan, and Will Munny before him. Arabs,” read a comment on Twitter that’s representative of the minority of the film’s fans who made ugly comments. “If you forgive the expression, ‘American Sniper’ is an easy target,” Nunan said. “What I mean by that, it acts as somewhat of a Rorschach test for people who have strong feelings about our intervening militarily as a response to terrorism.” In other words, many will be predisposed to like or hate the film because of their personal beliefs, despite Nunan‘s feeling that it’s not “a dumb propaganda film” to promote the military. “The movie just offered up something that moviegoers wanted to see right now,” Dergarabedian said. “A story of valor and courage, and no matter what side of the aisle you’re on, you have to respect what these soldiers go through.” Two-and-a-half years ago, Eastwood took the stage at the Republican National Convention and, over the course of 12 mystifying minutes, addressed an empty chair representing President Barack Obama. “And when somebody does not do the job, we got to let ‘em go,” he said to Imaginary Barry, before capping things off with his infamous Dirty Harry quote.

Film critic Roger Ebert called the improvised speech “sad and pathetic,” while Ben Affleck told this very reporter, “He didn’t kill with the speech, but I by no means thought it was a huge embarrassment.” And in Double Down, a book chronicling the 2012 Republican campaign, it was revealed that during Eastwood’s soliloquy, one of Mitt Romney’s senior strategists had to excuse himself to vomit in a trash can. American Sniper is Eastwood’s first directorial effort since that highly publicized gaffe to be viewed through this hyper-politicized lens (you’re better off forgetting Jersey Boys ever happened). Ron Paul, R-Texas, sparked a backlash after he tweeted a biblical reference: “he who lives by the sword dies by the sword.” Kyle was no straight-laced Christian.

Its opening ritualistic chant of Allāhu Akbar is designed to send chills up people’s spines, and before you can say, “welcome to hell,” we’re dropped into the heart of the Iraqi insurgency. If I had to order my priorities, they would be God, Country, Family,” Kyle wrote. “There might be some debate on where those last two fall — these days I’ve come around to believe that Family may, under some circumstances, outrank Country.

Like any first-person shooter game, we assume Kyle’s POV through his sniper scope—a perspective boosted by a match cut to a 10-year-old Kyle picking off a deer. My dad was a deacon, and my mom taught Sunday school,” Kyle wrote. “I remember a stretch when I was young when we would go to church every Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday evening. He may hold me back until last and run everybody else through the line, because it will take so long to go over all my sins.” “But what I lean toward is that you know all of your sins, and God knows them all, and shame comes over you at the reality that He knows.

I believe the fact that I’ve accepted Jesus as my savior will be my salvation,” he wrote. “But in that backroom or whatever it is when God confronts me with my sins, I do not believe any of the kills I had during the war will be among them. He shoots her. “There was a kid who barely had any hair on his balls, his mother gives him a grenade and sends him out there to kill Marines,” a shaken Kyle says ex post facto. “Dude, that was evil like I’d never seen before.” Here is where critics of the film have an ax to grind. Kyle and his fellow cowboys constantly refer to their enemies, who are all seemingly al-Qaeda, as “savages.” The “savages” consist of al-Zarqawi, who’s introduced via the infamous clip of him decapitating Nick Berg; his No. 2, “The Butcher,” who brutally executes an informant’s young son by drilling his head with a power tool, and stores people’s heads on shelves; and Mustafa, a Syrian Olympic sharpshooter who videotapes his kills and hawks bootlegs of them on the street. Mustafa is, like all classic villains, dressed in black, doesn’t utter in a word, and is single-minded in his pursuit of Kyle—he has a poster of Kyle’s bounty, $180,000, on his wall, and spends his spare time spinning an armor-piercing bullet on a table. His PTSD at first manifests itself in high blood pressure, and complaints to Taya of how everyone in suburbia is living their lives blissfully unaware of the chaos unraveling overseas, and the men laying down their lives for their country.

American Sniper’s final 15 minutes attempts to portray the psychological traumas of war, with Kyle silently weeping at a bar, sitting in a loveseat and staring at a blank TV screen while hearing gunshots, cries for help, and the awful sound of that power drill, and nearly striking a dog that’s mauling his son (which seems like pretty understandable behavior even for someone not suffering from PTSD). Kyle gets better after visiting the VA and helping injured veterans shoot—a process called “exposure therapy,” subjecting the patient to the feared object or scenario without any danger so that they’ll conquer their fears. We see Taya slowly closing the door on Kyle and Routh as they get in his truck and head towards the gun range, and then the film cuts to black, followed by the message: “Chris Kyle was killed that day by a veteran he was trying to help.” The closing credits are accompanied by moving footage of Kyle’s real-life funeral procession and images from his memorial service at Cowboys Stadium. They’ll wonder how Clint “we’re always hoping every [war] is the last one” Eastwood could helm a film that is, as The New Yorker called it, “both a devastating war movie and a devastating antiwar movie.” But American Sniper isn’t a documentary.

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