Author Topic: American Sniper  (Read 2806 times)

Offline willwallace

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American Sniper
« on: January 19, 2015, 05:30:06 PM »
I'm sure we're all familiar with the true life story of Chris Kyle, the Navy SEAL who was a sniper in Iraq and had the most confirmed kills in the history of the US military.  The movie is based on his best-selling autobiography.  I went to go see it with my wife and 16 y.o. son, both who had read the book (I did not).  They said it tracks to the book, but not exactly and some of the scenes appear to have been embellished a bit.  Still, it was a gripping movie that ping-pongs back and forth between Kyle's deployments (he did 4 tours in Iraq) and his time spent state-side and how he struggles to reconcile the two.

Synopsis:  The movie begins with Chief Petty Officer Kyle sitting on a rooftop providing top-cover (aka over-watch) to a platoon of Marines that are going door to door during the height of the Iraqi War.  It is the scene from the commercial where a mother hands her young son a grenade and Kyle has to make the decision on the boy's intent and what to do about it.  Then we fade to Kyle's first kill, a deer while he's out hunting with his dad.  And from there, we follow his journey from drunken cowboy to the most lethal sniper on record.   As Kyle's dad explains to his two sons one night at the dinner table, the world is divided into three kinds of people: sheep, wolves and sheep dogs.  Kyle grows into a most deadly sheep dog, watching over his flock and protecting them from the barbaric wolves who attempt to prey on them.  But the things Kyle must do begins to take a toll on his humanity.  In the movie, we join Kyle, his wife Taya and his fellow SEALS as he saves lives while taking them and loses his tether to life outside the battlefields of Iraq and then finds it again.

Review:  Chris Kyle's nickname was 'Legend'.  Not only his fellow SEALS, but every one of his fellow war fighters called him that.  This movie gives us a glimpse into why that was.  Kyle was a true patriot.  His sense of duty and honor is just something that we don't see much of anymore.  I would expect that during WWII, Kyle would be exceptional still, but not near the outstanding role model that he is in our modern times of selfish me-ism and no sense of self sacrifice.  Several times in the movie Bradley Cooper, who does a great job in letting us see what a great man Chris Kyle was, bemoans how no one back home is even paying attention to the men and women serving and dying to keep the country safe.  Even when his fellow SEALS begin to question the mission, Kyle stands firm.  He won't quit, almost to the point that it cost him everything.

The movie, directed by Clint Eastwood, does an excellent job of showing how Kyle leaves more and more of himself in Iraq every time he comes back home to his wife and kids.  Kyle served 4 tours and each time, he comes back more distant and more detached from his wife Taya.  Hats off to Cooper for doing such an outstanding job in this role.  He captures Kyle going from a fun-loving thrill seeker to a dedicated husband and father to a killing machine who will do whatever it takes to bring his boys back home alive and ultimately, the devastating effects of PTSD on even our strongest.  Plainly put, Kyle is a bad-ass badass.  I don't know the truth of what happened between Kyle and Jessie Ventura, but I have no doubt that if Kyle got in a fight with Ventura, Ventura would have ended up on the floor.

The final scenes are the most moving.  Kudos to Eastwood for tugging at your emotions one more time as the credits begin to roll.  It seals the point that Chris Kyle was not just an American Sniper, but a true American Hero as well.

4½ out of 5

 $$@&% $$@&% $$@&% $$@&% $$@&$
« Last Edit: January 19, 2015, 05:45:24 PM by willwallace »

Offline gitano1

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Re: American Sniper
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2015, 05:52:37 PM »
Thank you for an extremely thoughtful and well written review. This is the kind of movie I find very difficult to review. You did a marvelous job! ^^^
Gitano
"Race has now replaced rule of law officially. In one speech our president has reversed 60 years of healing the racial divide and destroyed the dream of Dr. King. The result will be an exact reversal of the conditions existing before The Civil Rights Act. And the hardest hit will be the children in whose name the left always claims to act. Well done Obama". - Pendark

Offline willwallace

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Re: American Sniper
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2015, 05:35:57 PM »
Hey Gitano,

I should have mentioned a couple of other things:

  • We went to the IMAX showing.  The sound was incredible.
  • The reason we went to the IMAX showing was because all the regular showings were sold out at the theater we went to.  So if you want to go see this, you might want to get your tickets on fandango and arrive early.
  • If you want to see this movie, do see it in the theater.  This type of movie is made for the big screen.  Our local movie critic, Kevin McCarthy, saw the screener on his small set at home and gave this movie 4 stars out of 5.  Then he went to go see it in the theater (on IMAX) and raised his rating to 5 stars and said it was one of the best movies of the year.

Eastwood deserved at least a nomination for director.  My wife and I saw Grand Budapest Hotel (Redbox) and we turned it off after a hour it was so stupid.  It should never be mentioned in the same paragraph as American Sniper.

And one last thing: The trailer for Avengers - Age of Ultron was awesome in IMAX.  I can not wait for that movie to come out!
« Last Edit: January 20, 2015, 05:57:17 PM by willwallace »