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‘American Sniper’ Offers Realistic Portrayal

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In the movie “American Sniper” that Clint Eastwood directed and produced, his grit is evident in both the script and that classic traditional American cinematography. The script is realistic (almost to the point of awkwardness sometimes), so that’s neat. Bradley Cooper did a pretty good job of portraying Chris Kyle. Whoever Cooper was trying to be in this movie, it was good. Believable. The movie was accurate. I spent a lot of the time counting shots, and for the most part the gunplay was realistic. It was a solid military picture.

The depiction of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is heart-wrenching. The “subtle insanity” in some of the scenes, namely the nursery scene, was nerve-wracking. It was disturbing, fast, and scary. It challenged my capacity for the uncanny valley and ambiguity.

That was the good. Let’s talk about the bad. The scenes involving the oh-so-emotional housewife weren’t fun. The lack of fun wasn’t the problem; these scenes were too drawn out and mediocre in terms of acting to keep my interest. Maybe I’m just too critical, but Sienna Miller was stiff and I didn’t want to hear from her. I saw her in Foxcatcher and the Edge of Love and I had the same complaint there. Bradley Cooper turned into Chris Kyle for the role. Sienna Miller played Sienna Miller.

Also, that maudlin, uninteresting exposition in the beginning of the movie involving a young Kyle and his brother was really, really poorly acted. His brother (played by Max Charles) seemed to be a pretty integral part of the story, but he might have had five minutes of screen time.  Budgeting time for such a large scale movie can be difficult, I understand, but I’d rather have just not seen Kyle’s brother at all.

That’s it. It’s a Blockbuster movie, and you’ll like it. It’s not the best movie made in ten years, and it’s far from the worst. It isn’t as ambitious as this quarter’s titles like Birdman or Inherent Vice, but because of its mass appeal, it’s going to snub those other titles in the box office and at the “prestigious” Academy Awards. Go see it.




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‘American Sniper’ Offers Realistic Portrayal