Sergio Leone Web Board
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
October 22, 2018, 03:45:51 PM
:


+  Sergio Leone Web Board
|-+  Other/Miscellaneous
| |-+  Off-Topic Discussion (Moderators: cigar joe, moviesceleton, Dust Devil)
| | |-+  American Sniper (2014)
0 and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 7
: American Sniper (2014)  ( 11140 )
drinkanddestroy
Global Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8751

trust a man who wears both a belt and suspenders?


« #15 : January 05, 2015, 05:55:09 PM »

Okay, so now I have a little more time to discuss this movie a little more.

As I mentioned in the previous post, I give it an 8/10

I was hoping for a great movie, this one is very good. But I definitely want to see it again (and while I hate when others say "a re-watch may increase the rating," cuz I think that's usually a stupidly useless thing for the reader, this is one instance where I have to say it: I could see this rating going up on a re-watch. Point being, the 8/10 rating is the floor for this movie. It can only go up.)

The previews are a bit misleading - don't assume that when Kyle has to fire on a kid, there are clips of his own children flashing there in front of his eyes. That's all done for the preview. Also, don't assume that there is any agonizing over his job. Kyle seems absolutely convinced in the correctness of what he is doing and that is all, plain and simple. There is very little moralizing, debating, questioning, about whether a man can kill over 160 people and still be a good person and doing the right thing. (And there's no political stuff, like whether the war in Iraq is a good thing of bad thing. That political stuff is virtually never addressed - and that's a good thing.) I did not read the book, but according to the movie, Kyle joins the military after the U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. He believes in protecting America, when in Iraq he says things like "there's a lot of evil in this place" and that's all. This movie is not really about agonizing over whether or not Chris Kyle is doing the right thing that is never questioned.
After he returns from his tours of duty in Iraq (I believe four in total) he begins growing distant from his wife and family. Seems like he is just passing time before his next tour of duty. But the scenes with his wife, played by Sienne Miller, are not in any way gratuitous. While Kyle doesn't seem to be traumatized or suffering from post traumatic stress disorder himself, he is certainly affected by the war and it's not like he can just come back from the tours of duty and be exactly the same man as if he never left.
This movie sorta gives you the facts and doesn't go to deeply into exploring the Why.

Bradley Cooper is marvelous as Chris Kyle. Don't be surprised if he gets an Oscar nomination.

The action/violence is a great triumph. Everything feels incredibly real; (I don't know if people who actually fought in the military would agree, but) at no point did it feel like movie bullshit. The guns, the shootings, the bombings, the blood, the explosions, all feel amazingly real, as do the locations. Incredible work on that front.

I don't love the color, everything feels so impossibly white, I mentioned in the first post of this thread that I wish they'd used more realistic color here. I have no idea why everything is so white, Eastwood seems to be in love with screwing around with color, but whatever, I'll have to live with that.


BOTTOM LINE:

A) Watch this movie
B) trust me on this: if you haven't yet read the book or read about Chris Kyle, DO NOT read anything about him, don't even go on his wikipedia page, before you see this movie. trust me. There are certain things that reading about him will spoil. Don't read anything at all about him before you see this movie.


I'll leave you with one thing: I saw this movie on New Years Eve, at a sold out theater in Union Square. The movie ended half an hour before midnight.
At the end of the movie, there is some documentary footage and photographs that flash by with the final credits. Not a single member of the audience moved from his/her seat until that sequence was done. I have never seen that in my life even once the closing credits began, and it became a split-screen between closing credits and a section of documentary photo/video/text, not a single person stirred until that split-screen was gone. Half an hour before midnight on New Years Eve, nobody was rushing to leave the theater.


There are three types of people in the world, my friend: those who can add, and those who can't.
dave jenkins
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 14096

"One banana, two banana, three banana, four...."


« #16 : January 11, 2015, 06:09:07 PM »

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/American-Sniper-Blu-ray/ref=%26%2574%2561g%3d%2562l%2575r%2561y%252d017%252d20?SubscriptionId=AKIAIY4YSQJMFDJATNBA&tag=bluray-017-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B00RGZ915C&ASIN=B00RGZ915C&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER

Yikes, I hope that $31.47 asking price comes down.
Yikes, now they want more than $40 for it! :o



That's what you get, Drink, for not appreciating the genius of When You Read This Letter.
PowerRR
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3114


« #17 : January 19, 2015, 09:33:31 AM »


I'll leave you with one thing: I saw this movie on New Years Eve, at a sold out theater in Union Square. The movie ended half an hour before midnight.
At the end of the movie, there is some documentary footage and photographs that flash by with the final credits. Not a single member of the audience moved from his/her seat until that sequence was done. I have never seen that in my life even once the closing credits began, and it became a split-screen between closing credits and a section of documentary photo/video/text, not a single person stirred until that split-screen was gone. Half an hour before midnight on New Years Eve, nobody was rushing to leave the theater.

Same with my theater. Where I live, it's not often that a theater is absolutely packed... this was. Completely full theater didn't move or say a word til that footage was over.

Really an incredible movie though. I think the only reason that it doesn't have overwhelming reviews is because of the slightly conservative tone I mentioned - probably doesn't sit well with film critics. But as you mentioned, the movie overall does a remarkable job of not taking sides politically.

But, no, f*cking Selma REAAALLY deserves its 99% on rotten tomatoes.

drinkanddestroy
Global Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8751

trust a man who wears both a belt and suspenders?


« #18 : January 19, 2015, 09:39:19 AM »

yeah, I think this movie may have a tough time winning an Oscar cuz there will be some liberal voters who won't vote for a movie they see as conservative.


There are three types of people in the world, my friend: those who can add, and those who can't.
dave jenkins
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 14096

"One banana, two banana, three banana, four...."


« #19 : January 19, 2015, 10:28:53 AM »

yeah, I think this movie may have a tough time winning an Oscar cuz there will be some liberal voters who won't vote for a movie they see as conservative.
Yeah, but the liberal votes will be split among all the other candidates. The conservatives (of which there are many) will vote as a block and win. Well, that seems possible, anyway.



That's what you get, Drink, for not appreciating the genius of When You Read This Letter.
dave jenkins
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 14096

"One banana, two banana, three banana, four...."


« #20 : January 19, 2015, 02:50:08 PM »

"Clint Eastwood's Fistful of Dollars": http://deadline.com/2015/01/weekend-box-office-american-sniper-kevin-hart-the-wedding-ringer-paddington-blackhat-martin-luther-king-jr-1201349929/



That's what you get, Drink, for not appreciating the genius of When You Read This Letter.
drinkanddestroy
Global Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8751

trust a man who wears both a belt and suspenders?


« #21 : January 23, 2015, 12:35:08 PM »

So I saw American Sniper for the second time last night, again at the Regal in Union Square.

This movie is a 9/10

Nobody who hasn't seen it should be reading this thread. There will be spoilers. For the last time, don't read this thread (or any thread devoted to a particular movie) if you don't want it to be spoiled.

Bradley Cooper gives an incredible, incredible, incredible performance here. Sienne Miller is good, though there is one real emotional crying scene she has (when they are in bed together) in which I didn't like her performance, she doesn't seem convincing; other than that one scene, she is very good.

The violence is amazing. Everything seems absolutely real. (No, Thank God I was never in a war so I can't tell you what it looks like when someone gets blown up, but) there wasn't a moment where I said, "That looks phony," or, "That looks like obvious CGI," or, "That's bullshit" or whatever. Everything seems absolutely real.

At the end, when the words come up on the screen informing us that Chris Kyle was killed, a gasp went up from the audience. And then, as the final credits flash by with a split-screen of the images from Kyle's funeral, the same thing happened that happened the first time I saw this movie: Not a single member of the audience stirred or made a sound throughout the entire sequence. Nobody got up from his/her seat, nobody moved, nobody started talking or gathering their bags; everyone stayed firmly in his/her seat until that entire final sequence was over. It was very emotional in the theater.

I totally disagree with RRPower's criticisms of the first 20 minutes; IMO it tells you the backstory in a very economical way, tells you everything you need to know about the backstory and is never boring.
There's nothing too deep about motivations here little psychological or moral stuff or anything like that. Kyle plain and simple believes he is protecting the greatest country on earth and that he is on the side of good and the other side is evil. There is very little moralizing or political stuff. It's the story of a soldier, not a politician.

I read somewhere, I forgot who wrote it, some critic wrote in his review that he wishes that the movie had maybe gone into the technicalities of the sniper, not just telling us THAT Kyle was the greatest sniper but telling us HOW: going into the technicalities of what made him great, what he did better than others, etc. I'm not sure if there is a way that can be explained to civilians but if there is, then I agree, maybe the movie should have shown us the HOW. But I have very few criticisms of this movie. Watching it is a wonderful experience.

I have to re-emphasize: A) Amazing performance by Bradley Cooper; B) the violence was incredibly well-done.

p.s. i don't recall any music. Is there any music at all in this movie?



There are three types of people in the world, my friend: those who can add, and those who can't.
dave jenkins
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 14096

"One banana, two banana, three banana, four...."


« #22 : January 31, 2015, 01:50:08 PM »

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/box-office-american-sniper-targets-768784

Quote
Clint Eastwood's American Sniper has set its sight on another record the biggest Super Bowl weekend gross of all time. That is, if it can best the $31.1 million earned in 2008 by Hanna Montana/Miley Cyrus: The Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour.

On Friday, Sniper stayed No. 1 with a mighty $10 million from 3,885 theaters for a domestic cume of $227.1 million for Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow. Projections show the film earning as much as $32 million for the weekend, pushing its total to just shy of $250 million. This past week, the Oscar-nominated Sniper became the biggest war-themed film of all time, eclipsing the $216.5 million earned by Saving Private Ryan, not accounting for inflation.



That's what you get, Drink, for not appreciating the genius of When You Read This Letter.
Groggy
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 11458


This post gets Agnew's stamp of approval!


« #23 : February 08, 2015, 08:18:15 AM »

Since everyone else has written overlong pieces on American Sniper, why not me? Drink's commentary is mostly spot-on, though I wouldn't be surprised if non-American viewers don't dig Sniper the same way.

Quote
Clint Eastwood's American Sniper (2014) is this season's Gone Girl, an unassuming genre flick generating a thousand think pieces on its cultural significance. Eastwood's movie has more cause, drawing on a real person whose life and actions remain controversial. Nonetheless, it's an entertaining war movie with an excellent lead performance.

Spinning his wheels in 1990s Texas, Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper) joins the Navy SEALS after witnessing al-Qaeda's 1998 African Embassy bombings. When the US invades Iraq, Kyle becomes a front-line sniper, gaining a reputation as "The Legend" for his impossible marksmanship. Kyle's colleagues die around him, and Kyle grows wary of the seemingly-endless conflict. His home life also suffers, with wife Taya (Sienna Miller) chafing at his long absences and inability to connect. Kyle tries coming home, yet whether through duty, habit or post-traumatic stress he repeatedly returns to Iraq.

American Sniper starts from the Sergeant York vein before turning darker. Its hero is a bumbling, none-too-bright Everyman who washes out of school and bull-riding until finding the Navy. His simple, right-and-wrong worldview meshes well with the military: he's a hero protecting America from its enemies. He relishes camaraderie with SEALS and Marines alike, finding military brotherhood simpler than family complications. Yet he becomes increasingly defined by killing people: at one point, a personal vendetta overtakes tactical considerations.

Eastwood packs Sniper with graphic battle scenes, exciting individually but cumulatively exhausting. Iraq is an anarchic wasteland where everyone's a potential enemy, with even children toting grenade launchers. This is less demonizing Arabs is than a product of limited perspective: Kyle's patriotism doesn't question the war's righteousness, measuring its human cost in lost colleagues rather than Iraqi lives. Kyle himself isn't above stupid mistakes that endanger his colleagues. Like Sniper's hero, we soon grow exhausted with the endless carnage.

Sniper intersperses combat with Kyle's spells at home. These scenes are problematic. On the one hand, Eastwood handles Kyle's PTSD with sensitivity: he can't adjust to civilian life, wracked by guilt and painful memories. His instincts kick in at the worst time, when a neighborhood dog plays too rough with his kid. His scenes with Taya, however, provide another wife who can't understand the hero's suffering. A shame, as Taya's early scenes suggest a more complex spousal figure than war movies usually provide. Fortunately, Kyle finds solace helping other veterans adjust.

Unsurprisingly, Eastwood takes liberties with the truth. There's Kyle's ongoing rivalry with Mustafa, an al-Qaeda marksman mentioned only in passing in Kyle's book. Worst is a melodramatic scene where Kyle chats with Taya during a ferocious firefight, which never happened and plays incredibly false. And Kyle was hardly as disillusioned as Sniper's later scenes depict. Then again, Kyle himself was prone to brazen exaggeration, whether cold-cocking Jesse Ventura or shooting looters after Hurricane Katrina. Eastwood's dramatic fictions seem less egregious than Kyle's own.

Really, liberal criticism of American Sniper centers around it not loudly condemning the Iraq War and Kyle himself as a war criminal. Criticizing a movie's politics is fair game, but Sniper isn't more odious than 1,000 other war movies you'd care to name. Perhaps these commentators are just upset that it's better than all the ponderous anti-Iraq War flicks which have come and gone without notice. Five years after it won Best Picture, who even remembers The Hurt Locker?

Bradley Cooper helps with a complex turn. Beefed up and sporting a passable Texas accent, he catches Kyle's redneck homeliness without denigrating the character. Cooper doesn't get the powerhouse moments that Oscar voters love, conveying Kyle's torment instead through muttered lines, avoided glances and facial resolution. Kyle isn't a character given to angry outbursts, channeling his pent-up rage into combat. Cooper makes Kyle complex and sympathetic, a believable hero with rough edges and credible failings.

American Sniper is an old-fashioned combat picture that's provoked an unexpectedly fierce debate. It's fair to question whether the genre's flag-waving hero worship isn't hopelessly anachronistic in 2015 - especially for a war as messy as Iraq, and a man like Chris Kyle. Comparing Sniper to Leni Riefenstahl is dense and provocative.  8/10

http://nothingiswrittenfilm.blogspot.com/2015/02/american-sniper.html



Saturday nights with Groggy
Groggy
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 11458


This post gets Agnew's stamp of approval!


« #24 : February 08, 2015, 08:19:37 AM »

But, no, f*cking Selma REAAALLY deserves its 99% on rotten tomatoes.

Selma deserves to be watched, enjoyed (while playing), then filtered away with all the other Oscar bait biopics of the past 20 years. I suspect I'll think about it as often as I do The King's Speech or The Queen.



Saturday nights with Groggy
drinkanddestroy
Global Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8751

trust a man who wears both a belt and suspenders?


« #25 : February 08, 2015, 10:08:46 AM »

Enjoyed your review, Groggy.
This is one of your best-written, most-well-thought-out ones. Nice work :)
I haven't read Kyle's book so I have no idea about what's true and what's not. All I know is, I couldn't believe a sniper would be chatting with his wife on the satellite phone while looking through the spyglass. It works dramatically if you completely close your eyes to what is true/plausible.

Did someone really compare this movie with Leni Riefenstahl?

Truth is, even if you are a big liberal, there is no reason to hate Kyle more than any other soldier. He did what everyone else fighting the war was trying to do - only he was the best at it. No reason to hate Kyle more or less than any other soldier.

I'm not one to blindly use the term "hero" in referring to military members, nor to wave the flag and blindly support the military or wars or whatever, but I was genuinely saddened when I read on the screen that Kyle died. I'm sure it was a combination of the screen character and thinking about what it must have been in real life, but bottom line is he can't be compared with the terrorists. Even if the US invading Iraq was a brutal mistake, there's still no doubt that al-Quada in Iraq and the various other terrorist groups are deranged and the US isn't giving grenades to kids to be suicide bombers. In other words, even if I was a vigorous opponent of the Iraq War, I'd have little problem rooting for Kyle here.

As to the question of the war .... I (along with the rest of America) must have spent at least 5 years in fierce debate over whether or not the war is justified, and I have neither energy nor interest to revisit that. I don't think about that anymore. All I know is, Thank God Sadaam Hussein is dead and Thank God we are (mostly) out of there. At this point, what I think won't change anything so I don't think about it too much.

Anyway, here is an interesting point to ponder: If Kyle had been in Afghanistan instead of Iraq, would he be hailed as a hero by all Americans?

« : February 08, 2015, 04:54:29 PM drinkanddestroy »

There are three types of people in the world, my friend: those who can add, and those who can't.
dave jenkins
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 14096

"One banana, two banana, three banana, four...."


« #26 : February 08, 2015, 12:19:35 PM »

As to the question of the war .... I (along with the rest of America) must have spent at least 5 years in fierce debate over whether or not the war is justified, and I have neither energy nor interest to revisit that. I don't think about that anymore. All I know is, Thank God Sadaam Hussein is dead and Thank God we are (mostly) out of there. At this point, what I think won't change anything so I don't think about it too much.
Absolutely right. Keep your energy focused on our upcoming wars. Like the one we're about to have with Iran. I say, don't just take out targets that directly impede their nuclear program. Go after all infrastructure. Roads, railroads, bridges . . . and especially rich targets connected to petroleum production and storage.

But who am I kidding? President Candy-ass isn't going to do anything. Which means we can't possibly get going until 2017. And now I hear they're planning to junk the A10 Warthog, the best tank killer in the world. It's all beyond pathetic. After we get done fighting ourselves, will we have anything left for our enemies?



That's what you get, Drink, for not appreciating the genius of When You Read This Letter.
Groggy
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 11458


This post gets Agnew's stamp of approval!


« #27 : February 08, 2015, 12:33:49 PM »

Thanks, Drink.

Did someone really compare this movie with Leni Riefenstahl?

To be fair, mostly internet loudmouths, no big journalists. Invoking Riefenstahl is the cinephile equivalent of Godwin's Law. It's only tangentially appropriate and doesn't really make sense. American Sniper is not a two hour pseudo-documentary, after all.

Quote
Truth is, even if you are a big liberal, there is no reason to hate Kyle more than any other soldier. He did what everyone else fighting the war was trying to do - only he was the best at it. No reason to hate Kyle more or less than any other soldier.

I think the controversy involves a) Kyle being a sniper (hence, allegedly, not a frontline infantryman - which is garbage, but you'll be surprised how often that crops up) or b) his being a truth-twister, which is easier to substantiate. The latter's more valid, but comes with the territory with memoirists, be they soldiers or journalists or politicians.

Presenting him as an American Every soldier - well, in memoirs and interviews he's rather extreme in his gung-ho attitudes towards combat. But by eliding that stuff, Eastwood's prettifying Kyle, not condoning that attitude. Seems like an odd criticism to advance.



Saturday nights with Groggy
drinkanddestroy
Global Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8751

trust a man who wears both a belt and suspenders?


« #28 : February 08, 2015, 05:04:33 PM »



Presenting him as an American Every soldier - well, in memoirs and interviews he's rather extreme in his gung-ho attitudes towards combat. But by eliding that stuff, Eastwood's prettifying Kyle, not condoning that attitude. Seems like an odd criticism to advance.

what did you want - Eastwood should have endless scenes of Kyle moralizing?

I am very glad that Kyle presenting his political views was kept to a minimum in the movie. The point is showing the story of his snipering and the effect it had on his life and that of his family; the point isn't his political views. I don't give a damn about Kyle's political views; the story of his being a sniper and the effect it had is very interesting. So Eastwood has a couple of brief moments where we see that Kyle has a clear conscience, we know his view and it isn't belabored, and we get on with the important stuff. This is really not a political movie and I think Eastwood and the screenwriter handled it very well.

BTW, you can make a case that BOYHOOD is as much (or more) blatantly political than AMERICAN SNIPER is. Ethan Hawke's character goes on and on about Iraq being Bush's lie and Linklater said that was a deliberate attempt to get his criticism of the war into the record. Of course, (at that point in time) the Hawke character is a flake and he even steals a McCain sign off a neighbor's lawn! But when the kids ask neighbors if they can hang an Obama sign on their lawn, the friendly neighbor of course is the Obama supporter, while the man who says no of course has to invoke the "Barack HUSSEIN Obama" name and says "I can shoot you" for coming onto my property and of course has a Confederate flag. So remember, McCain supporters can't just be nice people who believe in more of a free market or lower taxes than Obama wants. No, McCain supporters are racist gun-carrying Confederates.
Yes, BOYHOOD is as political a movie as AMERICAN SNIPER.  ;)


There are three types of people in the world, my friend: those who can add, and those who can't.
drinkanddestroy
Global Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8751

trust a man who wears both a belt and suspenders?


« #29 : February 08, 2015, 05:07:36 PM »

Absolutely right. Keep your energy focused on our upcoming wars. Like the one we're about to have with Iran. I say, don't just take out targets that directly impede their nuclear program. Go after all infrastructure. Roads, railroads, bridges . . . and especially rich targets connected to petroleum production and storage.

But who am I kidding? President Candy-ass isn't going to do anything. Which means we can't possibly get going until 2017. And now I hear they're planning to junk the A10 Warthog, the best tank killer in the world. It's all beyond pathetic. After we get done fighting ourselves, will we have anything left for our enemies?

Luckily, Israel won't stand by while this happens (I hope). If Iran crosses that red line (especially if Netanyahu is still Prime Minister), Israel will do to Iran what it did to Iraq in 1981. And just like then, America will condemn Israel's action, but eventually realize that Israel did the world a favor.
Hopefully, it won't get to that.


There are three types of people in the world, my friend: those who can add, and those who can't.
: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 7  
« previous next »
:  



Visit FISTFUL-OF-LEONE.COM

SMF 2.0.15 | SMF © 2017, Simple Machines
0.06138