572. American Sniper

572-american-sniperBackground info

Title: American Sniper
Director: Clint Eastwood
Year: 2014
Run time: 2hrs 13m

“U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle is sent to Iraq with only one mission to protect his brothers-in-arms. His pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and, as stories of his courageous exploits spread, he earns the nickname “Legend.” However, his reputation is also growing behind enemy lines, putting a price on his head and making him a prime target of insurgents. He’s also facing a different kind of battle on the home front: striving to be a good husband and father from halfway around the world.”

Live blog

3:41 – Oof, that’s some tension to kick a film off with.
6:25 – Bradley Cooper in the cowboy hat isn’t quite what I signed up for.
9:08 – “You’re not a cowboy, you’re just a lousy ranch hand.”
12:50 – None of it seems pleasant, but the crawling through mud is baaaad.
14:06 – They were playing darts on his actual back!
19:29 – He has a slight advantage with the whole fair shooting game thing.
20:21 – He’s carrying the bear on his shoulder, the cuteness!
26:31 – “They got sniping in the Olympics now?”
28:54 – Comic book versus graphic novel. The debate rages on.
38:56 – “They are if they think they are.” Hmm.
43:56 – Don’t promise safety, never do that.
46:31 – Would he really make a call in the van like that? Seems a bit Hollywood for her to be left dangling like that.
56:58 – She’s right that the imagination is probably much worse.
59:10 – New playbook, he says. Does it have a silver lining? Ha!
1:11:09 – Knew that woman was up to something. They didn’t even look at her. Women can be evil too!
1:19:30 – Kaiser Sosay reference.
1:37:43 – Big ol’ drone. Must be early days of droning.
1:45:31 – Gotta make some tricksy calls in this business. Get the sniper but give the game away.
1:49:33 – The sandstorm may have upped the tension but I have no idea what’s going on.

Conclusions

I was worried about this one, because for reasons I haven’t quite got to the bottom of, some military films I can watch and some I just can’t. This got off to a seriously slow start, to the point where they clearly thought we had all day, but it gradually got interesting, if going a bit too Hollywood in places.

I thought it did a good job of portraying the horrifying juxtaposition between life on the front line and then life at home, raising a family. When he returned to the bar before going home, I thought that was a really strong scene.

Of all the things I could have predicted would happen, the actual ending took me completely by surprise and made me desperately sad. It was a good film, not the best, but educational and interesting… certainly better than I’d anticipated and one that left its mark.

Rating: 4/5.

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