Why ‘American Sniper’ is a smash hit

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘American Sniper’ Astounds With $105.3M Over MLK Weekend.

Cooper, who is up for best actor at next month’s Academy Awards, put on more than 40 pounds while eating four times the recommended daily allowance to play late Navy SEAL Chris ‘Legend’ Kyle.As American Sniper picks up steam at the box office (and courts controversy along the way), revisit a conversation with the man whose story inspired the film In late 2011, just before his book American Sniper came out, TIME did a lengthy interview with Chris Kyle.It’s pulling in the takings in the US box office and is nominated for six Oscars, but Clint Eastwood’s film American Sniper has found itself in the firing line for something else – fake babies.This week, Chris Kyle is in the news because American Sniper, the new movie based on his memoir, has broken January box-office records and been nominated for a half-dozen Oscars.

Writer and producer Jason Hall told People: “He was eating about every 55 minutes or something like that, and I want to say it was about 8,000 calories a day.” He added: “Bradley used his own trainer, who was busting on him. In the Iraq-based film there’s a scene in which real-life shooter Chris Kyle, played by Bradley Cooper, and his wife Tyra, played by Sienna Miller, pass the baby to each other during an emotional scene. Pictures) NEW YORK (AP) — Clint Eastwood’s R-rated Iraq War drama ‘‘American Sniper’’ opened in January like a superhero movie in July, taking in a record $105.3 million over the Martin Luther King Jr. four-day weekend. One fan said: ‘Not sure if Clint just skimped on the budget or didn’t trust Cooper with a real baby, but this ‘straight from Toys R’ Us doll’ is painfully obvious.’ Fans have been asking how did such a slip up occur on a multi million pound film with reasons being given that there are strict rules regarding infants on film sets.

TIME’s Mark Thompson profiled the famous gunman shortly after, and the piece provides a slew of answers for any American Sniper viewers curious about the man behind the movie. He was determined to do it naturally, he didn’t want to use any hormones or steroids or anything.” Meanwhile, the Hollywood hunk – who has been sober since August 2004 after struggling with a drug and alcohol addiction – previously revealed he refused stimulants to help him bulk up for the movie role. 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. I wanted to be able to get it out about not the sacrifices that the military members make, but the sacrifices that their families have to go through about the single mothers now raising their children and doing all the day-to-day house choirs. 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.

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. 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. Everybody gets battle stress; maybe not PTSD, but you get a little stressed from constantly being in combat, but then you come home and you recharge your batteries.

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. 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. You know, someone’s not acting right, so that draws your attention to them, and then you start really trying to define exactly what he’s doing and why he’s doing it. It’s interesting that you should say lucky, because a lot of people would feel, I don’t know how lucky that is, to have to be there and kill all those people. You’re there to protect your own guys, and I’m not there just trying to rack up numbers and see how many people I can kill—I’m trying to protect all the troops.

I mean you think you can, but you never know until you’re actually put in that position and you do it, and then you’re double-thinking yourself, like can I really do this? I mean we know the whole country was full of bad guys, and then our guys are constantly getting killed day after day, so we want to do something to make is safer.

The first kill that you write about in the book, you actually kill a woman and she has in one hand the hand of her toddler, and then in the other hand she has a grenade. It also depends on our Rules Of Enagament and at the time anyone with an RPG, or any kind of a crew-served weapon, which meant machine guns or anything, mortars, that you could kill them on sight.

I mean, on my “deployments”, the 300 win mag did become my favorite, until we started getting a 338, but I would look at imagery, try to figure out what my longest shot would possibly be, and if it was you know a thousand or more, I would take my 300 win mag cause of the capabilities of the weapon system. Sometimes you stopped being a sniper and went down on patrol, which I guess people must have taken a dim view of that back at command, because you’re trained to be a sniper and you’re kind of valuable for that. Well that was for Fallujah to where they had a problem with it, and that was just cause the Marine Corps put out a request for forces, and in that request that asked for SEAL snipers. So it was not favorable for my head shed that you know nobody was coming out on the streets anymore that I decided to get down on the streets and help the Marines go through the door.

I still have to keep up with my diving and jumps and do my patrolling and pistol work, everything else, so part of my job is also being down there on the ground. Sometimes you might read a book or watch or TV or something will jog your memory and you think about it right before you go to bed and something will come up. I’ve read tales on the very reliable Internet of snipers leaving their first kill alive so that their buddies come in to help them and the sniper can shoot more evil-doers. How have technology and digital communications changed the way that snipers work since that Finnish guy, I think his name was Simo Häyhä, killed all those Russians?

I’ll take a picture and send it back over satellite, back to my guys so they can see real time the target that they’re fixing to hit or the way the people are where they’re standing, where the guards are, their different routines. So I’m there trying to give them heads up, give them their Intel brief before they get there, to let them know the routes coming in, which ones are safe, which one I wouldn’t take, different obstacles that might be in their way.

Everybody either knows a SEAL or knows someone who is a SEAL, or knows someone who knows someone, and then there’s also a bunch of frauds who are out there saying they were SEALs. You say in your book that most Americans can’t handle the reality of war and the reports journalists sent back, didn’t help us at all, which actually sounds a lot like Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men, did you realize that? “You can’t handle the truth.” Is that how you feel? You have no idea what goes on the other side of the world, the harsh realities that these people are doing to themselves and then to our guys, and there are certain things that need to be done to take care of them. So you don’t think there’s any value at all in… Wasn’t the problem with Vietnam that the American people lost faith in the war and therefore pressured the politicians to get the troops out probably early, in the military’s eyes?

Now when the politicians start hamstringing you by making up these ROES, the rules of engagement, and changing how you play cause they’re sitting in their fat ass in the air conditioned room on a leather chair smoking a cigar and having a drink while I’m out there getting shot at, that doesn’t belong out there. The war has cost $824 billion so far and roughly 4,484 American lives, and then who knows how many Iraqis, and two of those lives were very good friends of yours, Marcus Lee and Ryan Job.

In the military, being enlisted, we like to give the officers crap, and we always frown, make jokes at them and tell them you know I actually work for a living and make fun of them saying they make a million dollars a year, which they don’t. Now, in asymmetric warfare like we practiced in Iraq where one side has much better weapons, much better training, much better organization and much better funding, did you ever find it possible to respect any of your adversaries? I mean it’s a lot easier to respect someone like that who’s actually going to give you a challenge and they’re going to put on the uniform and want to come fight you. You have a God, country, family set of priorities, and in my understanding of the Christian faith, we are all created in the image of God, and we are all fallen from that image, and then we have been redeemed.

The world just kept turning, and it seemed like no one was paying any attention to the fact that guys were overseas dying for us, and then the fact of being in the crowds again. She knows how the kids are operating, you know what they think, how they’re feeling, the best way to get things done, and now she’s going to probably watch over your shoulder to make sure, see how you’re doing it until she finally trusts that, OK, you can handle it.

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