Instead of watching President Obama’s recent State of the Union Address, my son and I paid some of our hard-earned cash to see American Sniper.
In retrospect, I’d have to say our money and time were wisely spent.
It’s probably a little too soon for me to write a full review of the film…to be perfectly honest, at the moment I’m tempted to declare it the best movie ever made in the history of Hollywood.
That degree of adulation may be a tad premature. Only time will tell, after the impact of watching the movie fully sinks in. I’d really like to see it at least one more time before going completely overboard with my praise.
It surely jaded my opinion that we were watching American Sniper in IMAX, which seemed to turn what would normally be just an emotionally draining ordeal into an absolutely surreal experience.
As of this writing, my emotions are simply still too raw.
If I may borrow a line from the movie, “I guess I just needed a minute” or more accurately in my case, a couple of days to recover.
Even so, I can offer a few of my thoughts on the film with anyone who might be interested.
For example, there is no doubt in my mind that Chris Kyle was truly an American hero. End of debate. The cruel irony that Kyle survived four tours of combat duty serving in Iraq only to be murdered by a fellow veteran he was trying to help recover from post traumatic stress disorder has been a bitter pill to swallow.
I can easily say that American Sniper may be the very best movie I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen quite a few over the years. I actually know a little bit about the art of filmmaking, having taken several courses on cinema in college.
American Sniper definitely bumped Saving Private Ryan and Patton from being the top contenders for best “war” movie of all time. Unbroken was excellent as well.
But those films simply don’t compare.
Right now I can already say American Sniper will fit somewhere in my list of the top five films of all time, ranked with true classics like The Princess Bride, Memento, and As Good As It Gets.
Furthermore, I can safely say that Michael Moore is a complete idiot.
However, I knew that a long time ago, when I watched his ridiculous faux “documentary” of revisionist history titled Fahrenheit 9/11.
To be brutally honest, Michael Moore doesn’t deserve to even be mentioned in the same article as Chris Kyle, but he opened his big mouth and described all snipers as cowards that shoot people in the back — and that merits rebuttal.
I would like to point out that Mr. Moore would not be able to denigrate the memory of brave soldiers if these men didn’t risk their lives to preserve our freedom. If Moore had actually bothered to watch American Sniper, he’d know that men like Chris Kyle have suffered when they have been forced to kill to save a fellow soldier.
They don’t take death lightly, nor do they take pleasure from ending the life of another human being.
But these men and women were sent to Iraq to defeat evil men known to brutally torture and murder innocent children using cordless electric drills.
Just try to wrap your mind around that incomprehensibly horrible thought for a moment. Think about that, and then try to remember it because that’s the exact same sort of evil our troops will be fighting against, when they eventually confront ISIS.
Before this article turns into an anti-liberal rant against Hollywood elitists like Michael Moore and Seth Rogen, let me just make a couple of brief observations about this cinematic masterpiece and be done.
First, let me say that my perception of Bradley Cooper as an actor has been completely reversed from his days in the Hangover movies, and light romantic fare such as Silver Linings Playbook — which I didn’t even bother watching.
He will never again be considered a lightweight actor with limited range that one typically expects to see in mostly forgettable, “fluff” movies, at least not in my esteem.
Cooper previously captured my attention in American Hustle, which starred Christian Bale at his very best and featured a stellar cast including Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Jennifer Lawrence.
In a cast loaded with talented actors, Bradley Cooper’s performance in American Hustle stood out.
And now American Sniper will turn Cooper into a superstar, assuming he wasn’t one already. He absolutely blew me away.
People like me — movie goers who care more about talent than seeing a pretty face — will take Bradley Cooper very seriously going forward, as a lead actor not only capable of starring in a film, but carrying it if necessary.
I predict he’s about to become the one guy in Hollywood that you can’t wait to see in his next movie.
Second, the “controversy” over the fake baby used relatively early in the film is simply absurd nonsense. The not-very-lifelike doll was on-screen less than a minute, a few seconds at most. It’s much ado about nothing, really.
If the doll’s appearance hadn’t been blown completely out of proportion with a barrage of snarky public comments by media types, I seriously doubt I would have paid any attention to it during the movie — even in IMAX.
The explanations that have been offered why director Clint Eastwood chose to use the prop instead of a live baby more than satisfied me — according to some reports, stupid legal restrictions that would have adversely impacted scheduling when the infant hired to fill the role became sick and was unable to “work.”
Such snarky criticism smacks of desperation in those who look for something to complain about.
Finally, I should say one other thing about critics of the movie, or those who would impugn the character of Chris Kyle, which is this: If it weren’t for people like Chris Kyle bravely serving in our military, bloviating know-nothings like Rogen and Moore wouldn’t have the freedom to criticize our country that has allowed both of them to become wealthy men.
In short summary, I haven’t said that American Sniper is the best movie of all time. At least not yet. Not until I’ve seen it again.
But I can most enthusiastically recommend that you go see it.
Then you can decide for yourself.