Why Sarah Palin Takes American Sniper Criticism Personally

21 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Sniper’ success reveals power of conservative audience.

“I am overwhelmed with gratitude and my heart is full,” Taya Kyle wrote on the Facebook page for Chris Kyle Frog, the foundation started in her late husband’s honor to help military and first responder families. “‘American Sniper’ has broken records, which follows such an honest path of Chris’s life,” she wrote. “We never expected anything and were always in a moment of stunned silence at the response from all the beautiful people in this world.” The new flick stars Bradley Cooper as her Navy SEAL husband, who served four tours in Iraq and is widely considered the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history. “The only thing I can say is thank you. “You’re not fit to shine Chris Kyle’s combat boots,” the former Alaska governor and VP candidate wrote on her Facebook page Monday night after Moore, the liberal filmmaker, Tweeted that “snipers aren’t heroes” – which many took as a reference to the Clint Eastwood film starring Bradley Cooper.NEW YORK (AP) — Empty seats were hard to come by at Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper” over the holiday weekend, where the R-rated Iraq War drama — all words seldom attached to “blockbuster” — rolled to the kind of runaway success that makes Hollywood sit up and take notice.

Seth Rogen has moved to clarify his controversial comments about Bradley Cooper’s acclaimed movie “American Sniper,” insisting his remarks have been “blown out of proportion.” The star hit headlines on Monday after he tweeted about the Oscar-nominated drama and appeared to compare it to Nazi propaganda footage shown in Quentin Tarantino’s acclaimed World War II film “Inglourious Basterds.” The post sparked a wave of online outrage, prompting Rogen to return to the site to clarify his comment, writing, “I just said something ‘kinda reminded’ me of something else.Though America can’t seem to make up its mind about what to think of American Sniper’s loose handling of the facts and arguably “jingoistic” message, there’s one thing everyone seems to agree on: The surprise Oscar contender has one embarrassingly fake-looking baby.Fans and critics of the controversial movie – which had a budget of $60 million – have now taken to Twitter to slam its obvious use of a mechanical dummy. “I don’t get all the American Sniper love,” wrote another on Twitter. “But I do understand Bradley Cooper’s [Oscar] nom. The film, which blew away box-office expectations with a superhero-sized $107 million over the four-day weekend, was in many ways an old-fashioned kind of Hollywood hit: It was built on star-power (Bradley Cooper and Eastwood), Oscar buzz (6 nominations including best picture) and a largely adult audience (63 percent over 25 years old). As the film broke box office records in its nation-wide expansion in theaters over the weekend, many moviegoers could not believe just how obvious it was that the baby—which Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller must pretend is their own flesh-and-blood child—was really just a plastic doll.

They met and bonded in 2011, when the retired Navy SEAL was hired to help with security at a movie premiere that Palin, a proud military mom, attended in Iowa. (Her eldest son, Track, was an Army infantryman who served in Iraq.) They remained close as Kyle went on to star with Palin’s husband Todd on the NBC reality series Stars Earn Stripes, where Todd earned the highest of praise from Kyle: “He’s straight-up Rambo. The success has made the latest film from the 84-year-old director — his second in half a year — a flashpoint in Hollywood, Washington D.C. and everywhere in between, sweeping “American Sniper” into the culture wars Eastwood has sometimes engaged. Chris survived his final deployment and returned home to pen his autobiography with writer Jim DeFelice and begin working with Cooper and Jason Hall on the movie adaptation. “To Chris: I miss you and yet I know you are here. The film had played in very limited release two weeks before exploding nationwide. “American Sniper” was trailed by two new releases: the animated adaptation “Paddington” ($25.5 million over four days) and the Kevin Hart comedy “The Wedding Ringer” ($24 million).

Next time I’m in a war, I want Todd Palin on my side.” The Palin family attended Kyle’s 2013 funeral in Texas and Todd dedicated his Iron Dog snow-machine race – and winnings – that year to the Chris Kyle Memorial Trust. As the Hollywood Reporter has noted, film journalist Mark Harris started mocking the doll a few weeks ago, and in a since-deleted tweet, the screenwriter, Jason Hall, replied succinctly: “Hate to ruin the fun but real baby #1 showed up with a fever. So, when Palin tells “Hollywood leftists” they are “spitting on the graves of freedom fighters who allow you to do what you do,” it’s not just right-left rancor.

Dan Fellman, head of domestic distribution for Warner Bros., called conservatives’ embrace of the film “huge,” noting it’s an audience difficult to court. “The audience watched this movie not as a war movie but as a movie about patriotism, a movie about a hero, a movie about family, a movie about serving our country,” said Fellman. “And it struck a chord right across the board.” Most Hollywood heartland hits (like the recent “Unbroken,” or one of films “American Sniper” surpassed to become the biggest R-rated drama debut, “The Last Temptation of the Christ”) have capitalized on faith-based audiences. Real baby #2 was no show. (Clint voice) Gimme the doll, kid.” This may seem rather mortifying to Eastwood and co., but maybe the veteran director did Cooper a favor: When the Best Actor nominee proves his ability to act even when handed a hunk of plastic this fake, Cooper might as well be saying, “Gimme the Oscar, academy.” The widow did not immediately comment on some of the recent controversy surrounding the film, including comments from filmmaker Michael Moore posted on social media. “My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. The top 20 movies at U.S. and Canadian theaters Friday through Monday, followed by distribution studio, gross, number of theater locations, average receipts per location, total gross and number of weeks in release, as compiled Tuesday by Rentrak: Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.

But he kept his aim on Eastwood, blaming the director for characters who kept “calling Iraqis ‘savages’ throughout the film.” He ended saying he still thinks “most Americans don’t think snipers are heroes.” “While I think that all critics of ‘American Sniper’ are absolutely and fundamentally entitled to their opinions, I feel an obligation to supply a little more information so that those opinions can at least be made with some reference on facts rather than fantasies,” he wrote. “If I read the tweets correctly, Mr. Documentarian Michael Moore sparked more uproar when he tweeted unrelatedly about snipers not being heroes, before adding that he thought Eastwood confused Iraq for Vietnam. In the New Republic, Dennis Jett wrote that single-mindedly treating Kyle as a patriot “allows Americans to ignore the consequences of invading a country that had no weapons of mass destruction, had nothing to do with 9/11, and had no meaningful ties to Al Qaeda.” As of midday Tuesday, three “American Sniper” books were on Amazon.com’s best-seller list: A paperback of the original memoir; a tie-in release for which the cover is artwork from the film; and a hardcover “memorial” edition which includes tributes from friends and family members. (Both the original edition and the memorial edition are out of stock.) The film will arrive at the Feb. 22 Academy Awards the far-and-away box-office heavyweight among the best-picture nominees. (Second to “American Sniper” is “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” which made $59.1 million in its entire run.) And Eastwood’s film dramatically stole the thunder of “Selma” ($11.5 million in its second week of wide-release) on the very memorial day of its protagonist, Martin Luther King Jr. “Teens and young adults are abandoning the multiplexes in larger numbers,” said Pandya. “What you’re seeing is that older folks, mature adults, are making up a larger and larger percentage of the box office.

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