American Sniper

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Wabash
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American Sniper

Postby Wabash » Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:33 am

Saw it. Eastwood, Cooper, and Miller hit it out of the park on this one.

It is an awesome commentary on the impact of war on both the combatants and the family back home.

It also does a great job of portraying the ambiguity of the war in Iraq without being political.

I give it a thumbs up and a must see.

If one chooses to respond to this thread please refrain from mentioning Michael Moore's remarks. They are off base and irrelevant to the topic.


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crayegg
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Re: American Sniper

Postby crayegg » Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:29 am

Michael Moore, Sarah Palin, etc., and the controversy around this film are part of the topic thank you very much.

That said, I'll probably not see it until it's on TV.

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Re: American Sniper

Postby sbayhills » Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:05 am

I saw it last night to a packed theater. I've never had to sit so close to the screen because of the crowds, or seen some showing times SOLD OUT. I've rarely seen a crowd react to the end of a movie like this. Applause, and then a reverential silence as the credits roll.

Crayegg, I think this is one you should see on the big screen.

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Parrotpaul
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Re: American Sniper

Postby Parrotpaul » Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:21 am

What is it about the film that causes such a crowd reaction?
"I think I may say that of all the men we meet with, nine parts of ten are what they are, good or evil, useful or not, by their education." John Locke

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Re: American Sniper

Postby sbayhills » Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:39 am

Good morning Paul. That would not be proper to say for those who have not seen it.

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Re: American Sniper

Postby sbayhills » Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:41 am

BTW, it's pretty obvious to me that some of the controversies surrounding the movie were generated by people who commented before they saw the movie.

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Parrotpaul
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Re: American Sniper

Postby Parrotpaul » Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:44 am

So, generalize, sbayhills...I'm with Crayegg...if I see it at all it will be on TV. What do you see as being a good reason for people to see the film...and on the big screen. That's not an unfair or pointed question?

Here is an Salon story that contends the film tells lies and pushes myths about the Iraq war...granted it's a leftist site, but not everyone agrees it is a fine film....are there any areas of this story anyone who has seen the film might dismiss or suggest something different?

The film American Sniper, based on the story of the late Navy Seal Chris Kyle, is a box office hit, setting records for an R-rated film released in January. Yet the film, the autobiography of the same name, and the reputation of Chris Kyle are all built on a set of half-truths, myths and outright lies that Hollywood didn’t see fit to clear up.

Here are seven lies about Chris Kyle and the story that director Clint Eastwood is telling:

1. The Film Suggests the Iraq War Was In Response To 9/11: One way to get audiences to unambiguously support Kyle’s actions in the film is to believe he’s there to avenge the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The movie cuts from Kyle watching footage of the attacks to him serving in Iraq, implying there is some link between the two.

2. The Film Invents a Terrorist Sniper Who Works For Multiple Opposing Factions: Kyle’s primary antagonist in the film is a sniper named Mustafa. Mustafa is mentioned in a single paragraph in Kyle’s book, but the movie blows him up into an ever-present figure and Syrian Olympic medal winner who fights for both Sunni insurgents in Fallujah and the Shia Madhi army.

3. The Film Portrays Chris Kyle as Tormented By His Actions: Multiple scenes in the movie portray Kyle as haunted by his service. One of the film’s earliest reviews praised it for showing the “emotional torment of so many military men and women.” But that torment is completely absent from the book the film is based on. In the book, Kyle refers to everyone he fought as “savage, despicable” evil. He writes, “I only wish I had killed more.” He also writes, “I loved what I did. I still do. If circumstances were different – if my family didn’t need me – I’d be back in a heartbeat. I’m not lying or exaggerating to say it was fun. I had the time of my life being a SEAL.” On an appearance on Conan O’Brien’s show he laughs about accidentally shooting an Iraqi insurgent. He once told a military investigator that he doesn’t “shoot people with Korans. I’d like to, but I don’t.”


<snip>

http://www.salon.com/2015/01/23/7_enorm ... a_partner/
Last edited by Parrotpaul on Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:54 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: American Sniper

Postby sbayhills » Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:49 am

It is an awesome commentary on the impact of war on both the combatants and the family back home.

It also does a great job of portraying the ambiguity of the war in Iraq without being political.


I will defer to Wabash's original statement and would add that the story of our Seals is very enlightening.

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Re: American Sniper

Postby Parrotpaul » Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:57 am

Sounds as if the screenwriter might have taken some liberties with the factual material from the book...nothing wrong with that...that's what story-telling is all about. Hopefully all who watch the film will read the book.

Here's the link to the Google page on Navy Seals Youtube videos...lots of great info there as well.

https://www.google.com/search?q=navy+se ... gws_rd=ssl
"I think I may say that of all the men we meet with, nine parts of ten are what they are, good or evil, useful or not, by their education." John Locke

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Re: American Sniper

Postby Fordama » Sun Jan 25, 2015 10:08 am

It's a very good movie. However, like almost every single movie about real events, there are omissions, dramatizations, exaggerations, and a little bit of plain ol' made up stuff. It's entertainment, not documentary.

They left out some good stuff, and some bad stuff about Kyle and his life. My favorite Kyle incident is when they encountered insurgents crossing a river. Many could not swim, so they were using beach balls to get across. Kyle didn't shoot the insurgents, he shot the beach balls and those guys drowned. Morbid, but in a funny way!

Here's a great read on "history vs. Hollywood" in this movie.

http://www.historyvshollywood.com/reelf ... an-sniper/

There's another good article about war films that I can post when I get home from work tonight.

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Re: American Sniper

Postby MDDad » Sun Jan 25, 2015 10:58 am

Paul and Ford, you're both right. Movies that are fictionalized accounts of real events, as opposed to documentaries, have always taken poetic license with the truth. "Sniper" is just the latest example.

"Lincoln" completely omitted the role Frederick Douglass played not only in the emancipation of slaves, but in the treatment of blacks as Union soldiers. "Selma" portrays LBJ as an opponent of civil rights, rather than as the supporter he actually was. Reese Witherspoon's 1,100-mile nature walk in "Wild" has many inconsistencies with Cheryl Strayed's actual account. And Oliver Stone's "JFK" is an encyclopedia of inaccuracies. It's just the nature of storytelling and moviemaking.

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Re: American Sniper

Postby Wabash » Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:17 am

Fordama wrote:It's a very good movie. However, like almost every single movie about real events, there are omissions, dramatizations, exaggerations, and a little bit of plain ol' made up stuff. It's entertainment, not documentary.

Fordama


Which is unfortunate. I thought Kyle's story is compelling enough without the embellishments.

Eastwood was the perfect person to direct this film. His conservative creds are well established and he as gone on the record that he opposed the Iraq war. The story wasn't about the war as it was about Kyle and his family.
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Re: American Sniper

Postby afan95 » Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:09 pm

Just saw the movie this afternoon...packed house, applause, and one man yelling "America" at the end of the movie.

I certainly didn't get the feeling that the movie made him feel tormented by his actions. Uncomfortable about being called a hero, wishing he could have done more to help his fellow soldiers...but not tormented by his actions.
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Re: American Sniper

Postby Omar Bongo » Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:31 pm

A scrubbed and sanitized account of a soldier in an occupying army who killed hundreds of locals.

I can't help but find it strange that people call him a hero and I shake my head knowing that people pay for and cheer this kind of flag-wrapped pap when they're casting about looking for something to feel good about.

If you want to see a movie about a true American war hero, see Unbroken. Its protagonist gets the "Hollywood treatment" as well, but at least he wasn't a mass-killer.
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Re: American Sniper

Postby Tommy Tar » Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:01 pm

Saw it today at the Big Newport. Very good movie. So sad what we put these kids through.
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Re: American Sniper

Postby Luca » Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:35 pm

Omar Bongo

A scrubbed and sanitized account of a soldier in an occupying army who killed hundreds of locals.

I can't help but find it strange that people call him a hero and I shake my head knowing that people pay for and cheer this kind of flag-wrapped pap when they're casting about looking for something to feel good about.

If you want to see a movie about a true American war hero, see Unbroken. Its protagonist gets the "Hollywood treatment" as well, but at least he wasn't a mass-killer.


I assume that the reason people call him a hero is because:

One). He was a Navy SEAL who did four combat tours of duty.
Two). He saved the lives of many US Marines and soldiers, which is why he was nicknamed "the legend." (You may have a romantic affinity for "locals", but for soldiers in a war zone those who carry weapons and shoot at them are referred to as "the enemy".
Three). He was a highly decorated combat veteran with two Silver stars and five Bronze stars, among other decorations.
Four). He was the most lethal sniper in American military history.
Five). He died trying to help a fellow veteran having post-combat symptoms.

Given the above, if you find it "strange that people call him a hero" perhaps you might wish to direct that glib pop psychology analysis at yourself. They seem to be able to figure it out.

What I believe most of us would find strange is that you consider Louie Zamperini a hero for surviving captivity, but not the guy who put his life on the line over and over again, saving American lives with unprecedented success.............Luca

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Re: American Sniper

Postby Bubba#35 » Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:57 pm

Well said Luca, thank you. As to the movie I have yet to see it but plan to. I did read the book and highly recommend it. I generally find books better than Hollywood's renderings. I can confirm that there was no mention in the book of the hero anguishing about his time in combat,

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Re: American Sniper

Postby Omar Bongo » Mon Jan 26, 2015 1:38 am

Well, if you're saying that volunteering to go to a stone age country and shoot people in the head from a mile away makes you a hero, I concede the point.

Comparison with Zamperini? There is none.
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Re: American Sniper

Postby afan95 » Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:43 am

When those people a mile away are planning to kill a fellow soldier, yeah, he's a hero for killing them and saving OUR soldiers.

IMO, that's what motivated him the most...saving the soldiers that were in combat with him.

And regarding the locals that he killed, how do you know how innocent they were? I certainly didn't get the impression that he just saw a man or woman or child walking down the street and shoot them without cause. If it were truly a stone age country that we occupied, it would have taken a week to make it ours. The mideast is not stone age...look at the artillery those locals are using to kill OUR soldiers and then tell us again how stone age it is.

I also saw Unbroken and have read the book as well. Zamperini is equally a hero. There was a teenage kid who sat forward in his seat the entire time captivated by the story and I've never seen that in any movie I've gone to.
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Wabash
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Re: American Sniper

Postby Wabash » Mon Jan 26, 2015 8:00 am

Omar Bongo wrote:I can't help but find it strange that people call him a hero and I shake my head knowing that people pay for and cheer this kind of flag-wrapped pap when they're casting about looking for something to feel good about.


Omar, I am sure there are people who walk out of the theater feeling the way you describe. I wasn't one of them. I thought the movie did a great job of showing the toll the war took on Kyle and his family. It did a great job of depicting the ambiguity of the Iraq War.

If anyone should be called blood thirsty killers it should be the individuals who sent him there with a flawed mission supporting a flawed policy. Eastwood,who opposed the Bush/Cheney invasion of of Iraq, as he opposed the big Obama escalation in Afghanistan, doesn't editorialize about what a non sequitur it is to take down Saddam Hussein's regime after 9/11. This isn't the tale of a war protester. Instead, Kyle and his compadres find themselves struggling over time to explain to themselves and their families just what the hell they're doing in Iraq.

The reason why Kyle is a great figure of the Iraq War in spite of the Iraq War is that he was an extraordinarily effective sniper. Kyle significantly limited the tragedy of lost American lives, and catastrophically altered American lives, in Iraq.

I would not consider anyone in the military be accused of being blood thirsty killers. We take young men and women and teach them how to fight and kill to protect our nation. We instill them with the ethic that they are being trained to protect our nation and its citizens.

It's a useful and valuable ethic for those who would defend society, especially an advanced industrial society. It's a very valuable ethic for the United States Armed Forces.

But it's an ethic which can be manipulated and subverted by those who don't honor its essence. As was the case with the Iraq War. I don't blame those in uniform. I blame the policy makers who ordered their deployment.
They told me if I voted for Hillary Clinton the president would be emotional, impulsive, and unpredictable. They were right. I voted for Hillary Clinton and got a president that is emotional, impulsive, and unpredictable.

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