Friday, January 23, 2015

3 Thoughts On: American Sniper

American sniper bradley cooper the wedding crashers
The original members of the SEAL team,
fortunately there was some recasting...
           Despite what your opinions are on Kyle, the War in Iraq, the previous administration, Bigfoot, or the Loch Ness Monster the Oscar gods have determined that this movie is worth a watch... Here's where it stands...

The Bradley Cooper Effect:
In 10 years Cooper has gone from losing the girl to Owen Wilson, to getting his third Oscar nomination in
a row. If this doesn't make him a quality actor, then I don't know what would.

The CGI...:
The CGI in this movie wasn't great. I realize there are some things in movies that warrant using the power of computers, just ask Jurassic Park... But the CGI blood looked cheap. I'll give that giant Mummy sized sand storm a break, but was it really necessary to have two passing shots of a CGI helicopter?

His SEAL Teammates:
American sniper dexter
Dexter was considered for the role of "the Butcher"
due to his experience as the "Bay Harbor Butcher..."
I didn't feel like I got to know his SEAL teammates that well...so when they died, I didn't feel as impacted by it. I realize the movie was about Kyle, but his teammates faces weren't memorable enough (except that guy from The Mentalist, and that guy from The Killing season one). In a stunning twist of fate, they could have made Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn members of the SEAL team (not really).

The History:
It just so happens that I was alive during this time and therefore remember the things this movie touches on. The story line sure made it seem like the War in Iraq was out of reaction to 9/11, which simply isn't true...just saying.

The Message:
Remember how, at the end of Black Hawk Down, Josh Hartnett made us feel kind of bad about war... and how at the end of The Hurt Locker, Jeremy Renner made us feel as addicted to it as he was? Great (recent) war movies like these had a clear message on war... I don't know that American Sniper did. Not only that but this movie's take on good vs evil was more blunt and black and white then True Detective. It made the American soldiers seem more or less like a group of infallible Matthew McConaughey's, while pretty much making the Iraqi people seem more or less like Spaghetti monsters, or Dexter, or the Ice truck killer. Considering that most people will forget why the U.S. went to Iraq in the first place, you would think that would warrant a slightly more complex depiction and explanation of American goals in the country, the Iraqi people, and Kyle's place amongst them.

           There haven't been many solid movies about the War in Iraq, this is a decent enough one, (second only to The Hurt Locker). Was this movie entertaining and emotionally gripping? Yes absolutely. Did it also feel like a sequel to Aaron Eckhart's character from Battle: Los Angeles? yes, that too...
Random Screen Guy Rating: 70.639847