Saturday, January 31, 2015

MINI-REVIEW: American Sniper

American Sniper

Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller


December 25, 2014 (NY/LA)
January 16, 2015 (WIDE)

Clint Eastwood

Warner Bros. Pictures

2 hours 14 minutes



When looking at the poster and trailer for "American Sniper," it's pretty easy to automatically stamp the words "American Propaganda" to it.  So many people have done this all ready, and to be honest, that's kind of what I was expecting going into this film.  However, I'm happy to report that my preconceived notions were totally wrong about what I was getting.  The film I got was not only the farthest thing away from a propaganda piece, but it also happened to be a damn great movie about a flawed yet heroic man who risked his life to defend this country.  Intense, thrilling, and brutal, "American Sniper" is a fantastic film that totally deserves all the success it has gotten.

Bradley Cooper's portrayal of the late Chris Kyle is, in my eyes, the best performance he has given in his career thus far.  People were very shocked when Cooper was nominated for Best Actor at this year's Academy Awards over such actors as David Oyelowo in "Selma" and Jake Gyllenhaal in "Nightcrawler."  Me personally, I think Cooper deserved the nomination.  As great as Oyelowo and Gyllenhaal were in their respected films and did deserve to be nominated just as much as those who were, I feel like Cooper transformed himself into this character both physically and mentally, as we get to see Kyle in every stage a soldier goes through.  I was always fascinated with what was going to happen next with this guy, and even though some of it seems like it's making him look like this god-like hero, I always was rooting for him overall.

Coming off of the disappointments that were "J. Edgar" and "Jersey Boys," I was pretty worried about how this was going to go for Clint Eastwood.  Luckily, his direction is absolutely fantastic here.  He takes us into the harsh and sad world that war is based in, and he also manages to humanize a person who is trying to fight for his country while also caring for a wife and children.  In that regard, I think "American Sniper" is a huge success.  At 134 minutes, the film never drags, which is surprising giving how Eastwood's last two films did just that.  The performances are great, the story is captivating, and as a whole I believe that this is something that people should really check out.  Is it going to connect with everyone the way it connected with me?  Not at all, but it may connect with you, so you might as well give it a chance.  Even if you don't like the film, you'll still have the fake baby to laugh at after it ends.  When you see the film, or if you google it right now, you'll know what I'm talking about.


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