The Big Picture: American Sniper Sucks (And It's Okay To Admit That)

wswordsmen

New member
Mar 27, 2009
33
0
0
jacobbanks said:
Well, Escapists user agreement... Escapist can remove comments for any number of reasons. Me saying Bob should more or less shut up about a movie that wasn't really made for him isn't one of those reasons.
So this movie was made for veterans and not the general public. I didn't know that better tell my friends who have seen it that they shouldn't think about it at all what so ever because it was for the veterans and not them. If non-veterans can't have valid opinions on the film than why was it made by and marketed to non-veterans? While you might have a point that you shouldn't listen to non-veterans about certain things, this movie is not one of them. It isn't a film used by the military to adjust people back into civilian life, it is a movie made to make money from general audiences. It doesn't matter what veterans do, because it is a movie it is not real life. It might depict real life events, but that doesn't change the fact it is a fictional version of them.
 

hentropy

New member
Feb 25, 2012
737
0
0
I think one of the dynamics is that liberals and various other anti-war activists haven't yet had their "Platoon" or "Full Metal Jacket", let alone an "Apocalypse Now". Many of those same people feel vindicated due to how each war played out, and yet it seems even Hollywood seems rather unsure about blatantly waving that fact in front of people, many of who will only begrudgingly accept that the wars (my use of the plural is not a mistake) were a poorly-handled mistake.

This brings us to the sort of "compromise" of the servicemen. We can glorify the servicemen instead of saying anything definitive about the war, that way America can continue to feel proud that we have a competent and very professional military.

I haven't seen the movie and I refuse to make any judgements on a movie I haven't seen positive or negative, however it does seem like this movie is not being judged for what it is but rather what people want it to be based on their politics, and like Patton before it (repeat: I'm not directly comparing the quality of the two movies as I have not seen one), people are projecting whatever message they want it to be about. And in some ways, that could work to be a quality of the movie, more than a detriment. Or maybe not.
 

Truglington

New member
Nov 28, 2007
14
0
0
It's stupid shit like this that makes me come out of lurking...
As a veteran of the Iraq War (affording me infinite film criticism cred) I still think it's a bad film for some of its messages, but mostly because of the absurdly gung-ho reception it garnered. Clearly, something is wrong. On the other hand, I believe the bulk of other critics are correct in thinking it's a technically good movie.
I think Fury, aside from letting the wet blanket live at the end, did a better job.
 

The Rogue Wolf

Stealthy Carnivore
Legacy
Apr 3, 2020
12,213
1,913
118
Stalking the Digital Tundra
Gender
✅
I was inordinately amused by Sarah Palin spouting off about the "Hollywood Left" not valuing veterans. I wonder what she had to say about Michele Bachmann's plan to freeze VA health care spending and cut veterans' benefits?

As for the movie's hot performance, I think there's some deep-seated need for some of my fellow Americans to believe that our people in uniform are pure, unsullied heroes- and sadly, they're not. They're human beings doing a difficult job in a harsh environment, and to romanticize them is to do them a serious disservice, because then we treat these soldiers, sailors, Marines and pilots like some kind of untouchable ascended beings rather than people like us, with pains and regrets of their own. And that only adds to the feelings of exclusion and alienation that too many of our servicemen and women suffer from already.
 

TotalerKrieger

New member
Nov 12, 2011
376
0
0
Nixou said:
If you're not a veteran, then this movie wasn't for you and your opinion of it doesn't matter

Spoken like a true nobility of the sword wanabe

***

Just a question but I don't understand the "Iraq was a mistake" opinion, I mean, Saddam Hussein wasn't known as a really nice person with things like Halabja chemical attack or financing terrorists. It might not be the big bad monster thought originally but people paint it as an utopia invaded by americans for profit.

Iraq was a "mistake" insofar that all the reasons invoked to justify the invasion were lies:
Saddam had no WMD
Saddam was never allied with Al Quaeda
The Bush administration never intended to replace his dictatorship with a democracy: any malleable authoritarian regime would do.

And because the aftermath was catastrophic
Al Quaeda gained a foothold in Iraq
The Iran-backed revanchist Shiite regime which followed Saddam's dictatorship allowed the iraqi shiite to bloodily retaliate against the sunni population, causing among other things ethnic cleansing in Bagdad.
The Sunnis in turn radicalized and many eventually started supporting Daesh: an organization ruled by a guy who had been excommunicated by Al Quaeda: that's as close as voting for Red Skull as you can get in real life.
Daesh's expansion eventually drove the US back into the region: the good news is that western involvement is slowly but surely destroying the organization, the bad news is that its erstwhile victims are themselves starting to indulge in bloody revanchism [http://www.niqash.org/articles/?id=3613]
If you ask me, one of the primary reasons the US gov't went after Saddam is because he started trading Iraqi oil for Euros in early 2000, thus challenging the almighty Petrodollar.

The national disaster resulting from the Iraq war sent a pretty clear message to other oil producing nations: trade in another currency and this is what will happen to you.
 

WarpedLord

New member
Mar 11, 2009
135
0
0
jacobbanks said:
If you're not a veteran, then this movie wasn't for you and your opinion of it doesn't matter. Enjoy the freedom of speech for which you've done nothing to earn.
...or maybe just read the book, which is at least a (probably mostly) true account of Chris Kyle's life (seriously... the book is a good read!) and skip the movie (which is a fictionalized pile of drivel).

Veteran or not.
 

WarpedLord

New member
Mar 11, 2009
135
0
0
Windcaler said:
I am a veteran. I spent 6 years with 10th mountain division and was deployed twice. Once to bosnia with SFOR6 and once to afganistan. When I see comments like these I see the height of arrogance. We all swore the oath of service, to defend our country from foriegn and domestic enemies, but that oath doesnt make us any better then a civilian. Our experiences and expertise is different but that never makes us better then anyone else

If you still serve then you need to get off that high horse before you get yourself or someone in your squad killed. Ive seen that happen before and theres no doubt in my mind that it'll happen again
Thank you both for your service, and your clear head and respectfulness, sir.
 

A_Parked_Car

New member
Oct 30, 2009
627
0
0
I haven't seen American Sniper, and from what I have heard about it I never will. I'm always on the look out for good military history films, but they are really damn rare. I suppose Fury was half decent, as was Unbroken (not really military history though). I have heard that the Imitation Game is an excellent film, but it is also heavily fictionalized. That was something I picked up from watching the trailer, so I gave that one a miss as well. Oh well...I will hold out for the new Spielberg-Hanks miniseries on the 8th Air Force and Spielberg's new film about the Gary Powers U2 flight.
 

debtcollector

New member
Jan 31, 2012
197
0
0
jacobbanks said:
Non war veterans and their opinion of said portrayals don't matter. I'm sure if we we're talking about fixing a car or preforming lab research you wouldn't care about the opinion of a non mechanic or non scientist.
Oh damn it. See, I bought a car the other day, and I tried turning it on this morning, but it wouldn't start. I checked with my roommate--who is an English instructor--and he said that the battery had been removed. Now that sounded plausible to me, especially considering I definitely saw a gap under the hood where the battery could fit, but I guess I need to talk to an actual mechanic, huh?

Look, the idea that the only people who can comment on a field are the ones directly involved in said field is laughably moronic. It flies in the face of just about every form of expression, in fact. For example, why would Clint Eastwood make this movie if only soldiers and veterans are allowed to have opinions on it? Why do artists make art if only artists can comment on it? If my power goes out, do I need to be an electrician to say that the lights won't turn on? Hell, whole fields of marketing are devoted to finding out how other demographics feel about things to improve a product's reach--if anything, feedback from non-veterans is more valuable than feedback from veterans.

And yes, I do enjoy my freedom of speech. It allows me to say that you are not a particularly interesting person, whose worldview is laughably dated and predictable, and who depresses me by reminding me that there is a political majority of people like you across this country. Now, you could punch me in the mouth for saying that, but you won't because 1: you can't find me and 2: if you did, you would be arrested. You see, that's what legal/illegal means. It relies on the individual's restraint to deter crimes. Sure it can't prevent you from punching me in the mouth, but it does ensure that reactionary assholes who lash out with violence at anybody who disagrees with them spend more time in prison, which can only be a good thing.

P.S.--War is nothing to be glorified. Soldiers should be commended for surviving and helping their comrades, but in today's modern battlegrounds, they can hardly be called exemplars of patriotism for fighting politicians' wars.
 

Baresark

New member
Dec 19, 2010
3,908
0
0
The amount of emotional attachment this film has received is truly mind boggling. You can be attached to the guys story, you can feel that what he did was super important, that is fine, but the fact that this movie was about that man does not make it a good movie at all.

jacobbanks said:
If you're not a veteran, then this movie wasn't for you and your opinion of it doesn't matter. Enjoy the freedom of speech for which you've done nothing to earn.
I actually dare say that no one makes movies that are aimed specifically at Veterans. That is not the sole way people who are veterans identify themselves. Not all of them are from the same branch of the military or have even had similar jobs in the military or have even seen active duty. I know people from all branches and one thing they don't do is see eye to eye. Oh, and none of them are so self important as you.

As I said, a bad movie is a bad movie. You can love the guy, you can love the movie, you can love the book, you can love the service. No one is saying that you can't or even that you shouldn't. But to say that this movie was made for veterans actually does a disservice to veterans. You should expect better, not make excuses for the bad bits. When someone says it's not a good movie, they are not indicting the US military, not saying your service isn't respected, not saying that you don't matter, but they can still say it's a bad movie. It's not them taking for granted their freedom of speech or saying that what you did doesn't matter. It's just them giving their opinion, and while you may not like it, it carries as much weight as your own.
 

Evonisia

Your sinner, in secret
Jun 24, 2013
3,257
0
0
Truglington said:
I think Fury, aside from letting the wet blanket live at the end, did a better job.
I'm honestly surprised that Fury basically got ignored, especially when compared to the post-release buzz of American Sniper. I mean, ignore it having one of the most stupid deaths I've seen in a war film (second to last death, the turret one for the record) and it was pretty damn good.

On a barely related note: Fury actually humanises Nazis. American Sniper couldn't even do that to the terrorists (besides giving the secondary villain a wife we see for three frames). It gave me the thought that the director wanted to show that the world's greatest villains are, after all is said in done, just like us civil folk but in a different uniform. It's not original by any means, but it's something I honestly wished American Sniper would try to do rather than having the terrorists just be cartoonishly evil so the audience knows to hate them. They're terrorists, we don't need to see a child's skull get drilled off-screen.
 

happyninja42

Elite Member
Legacy
May 7, 2020
8,577
2,898
118
jacobbanks said:
When it comes to things that are about the effects of coming back from war and the effects of war. Non war veterans and their opinion of said portrayals don't matter.
Then Clint Eastwood's "opinion" on war and the effects of it, presented in this movie don't matter either. Seeing as he never served in the military. So by your very stupid logic, stating that the opinion of anyone who didn't serve doesn't matter, this movie doesn't matter either. Congratulations, you've rendered the movie irrelevant in your patriotic mumbo jumbo.
 

Steve the Pocket

New member
Mar 30, 2009
1,649
0
0
The idea of patronizing a movie, or buying a game, or buying a book or whatever simply as a show of support seems to be a fairly recent one, and it seems to have stemmed from the pro-piracy culture that emerged in the early 2000s. People who had gotten used to cheating their way to free entertainment started feeling bad that certain people they liked and wanted to be successful were being potentially deprived of their livelihoods, and started advocating paying for some of their entertainment as a way of "voting with your wallets". It came to be applied to entertainment that was willfully provided for free, as well, from PayPal "tip jars" on creators' home pages to the recent emergence of crowdfunding sites and Patreon.

And there are problematic aspects to that mentality. For one thing, so far it only really applies to one type of product. You can't pirate food, or electronics. If you want to protest the way Altria or Apple do business by not buying their products, you don't have the option of doing that without also depriving yourself of those products. There's a certain degree of sacrifice involved. But on the other hand we're definitely starting to see more and more people at least consider the implications of buying from certain companies beyond whether or not they want what they're selling. And ultimately, that's a positive.

Where it can potentially go wrong is people using it as a way to support people whose opinions they already agree with and punish those they don't. I'm very much against this idea. People need to be more indiscriminate in what media they consume, in order to become more well-rounded people. The webcomic Unshelved has a slogan that I think fits well here: "Read irresponsibly." I'm not saying everyone has a responsibility to go out and buy a copy of Hatred just to show support for free speech, or something. But if you're not actually going to get anything out of watching a movie, or playing a game, besides a warm fuzzy feeling from having your own opinions "validated" by a single person who happens to know how to make a movie or a game, have they really earned your money? The mark of a good creator is the ability to make people think, to challenge people's ideas about the world. I never felt compelled to buy Spec Ops: The Line, for example, because by all accounts it sounded like it would be really unfun to play, even if I agreed with the ideas behind it and thought Yager were mighty brave for making it. Never bothered to get Gone Home either, since I gleaned everything I could have gotten out of playing it from reading about it.

Creators aren't charity cases. (Except when they are, in which case you're welcome to make a donation without actually buying their product, if they're not too proud to give you a way to do that.) Billion-dollar movie companies and the multi-millionaires who work for them are definitely not charity cases. Buy things because you want to have them. See movies because you want to see them. Not just as an excuse to throw your money at people you like. That's something that both sides of a certain current issue in the gaming community can stand to learn.
 

Ihateregistering1

New member
Mar 30, 2011
2,034
0
0
?An MLK movie is in theaters for MLK weeknd, but U.S. audiences are turning out in droves for a (lousy) movie about headshotting brown people?
-Bob Chipman, on Twitter.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/bloggers/3248210/posts

Got it Bob, so going to see a movie as a "show of support" and giving money to the people who helped make it is wrong and terrible...unless it's a movie you like and starring black people, in which case you should go see it and give them money and show your support.
 

Sniper Team 4

New member
Apr 28, 2010
5,433
0
0
I didn't see the movie. When I first heard about it I thought it sounded fun. I like snipers--as you can tell by my screen name. But when I heard that it was based on a real person, and one I was even aware of, I quickly lost interest. When I saw trailers for it, I lost even more. It just wasn't what I was expecting. I don't know...maybe it looked too serious? But then again, I bought Fury and I own Band of Brothers, so that kind of throws that reason out the window.

The movie just didn't look appealing to me once I realized what it was about. I'm not sure why.
 

tippy2k2

Beloved Tyrant
Legacy
Apr 3, 2020
14,053
981
118
Ihateregistering1 said:
?An MLK movie is in theaters for MLK weeknd, but U.S. audiences are turning out in droves for a (lousy) movie about headshotting brown people?
-Bob Chipman, on Twitter.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/bloggers/3248210/posts
Kind of unrelated but kind of related; I find that quote funny because Chris Kyle specifically tells a Marine in the film that the "legendary Syrian sniper" (although I don't think we knew he was Syrian then since it was just into the first tour in the movie but I'm not 100% sure) wouldn't be doing head shots because a true sniper aims for the center mass.

OT: I'm finding myself disagreeing with Bob more and more lately when he put this and "Interstellar" on his "worst movies of the year" list. American Sniper isn't good enough to win Best Picture (personally I think the only award that it is up for that it should have a chance at is Best Actor for Cooper) but it's not a bad movie. Movie Bob is entitled to his opinion obviously but I stopped watching his movie reviews after that "Worst Movie" episode with how off-the-mark I find him.
 

Haerthan

New member
Mar 16, 2014
434
0
0
jacobbanks said:
J Tyran said:
jacobbanks said:
J Tyran said:
jacobbanks said:
J Tyran said:
jacobbanks said:
its fighters who protect against those who aim to do harm to others.
So when will they be shooting The US and UK governments then? Because the Iraq War has done nothing but put you, me and the whole region in greater danger than ever.
How so? how are we put in danger from the invasion of Iraq?
Not all that up on current events I take it, the region has become the largest breeding ground for terrorists in the world. Far worse than Afghanistan ever was, people have been already been there, radicalised and then taught how to fight by groups that operate in Iraq (amongst other places) and set loose on the streets of Europe where they amassed a tragic body count.

The United States won't be immune from this.
Immune to what? Radicalized Muslims? I see your Charlie guy and raise you one Boston bombing.
Yes, so I'm sure how you can see creating the worst training and creation ground for nutters like this is a very bad thing. There is also the argument the Boston bombers might not have did what they did without the "war on terror" in the first place, hard to say but it seems likely.
You're right, lets go back in time and leave Saddam in power... sounds perfect. He was a shinning beacon of humanity and fair governance. There's always going to be bad guys.
Dude Saddam was an angel compared to what the ISIS is right now. Also I would leave him in power cause he was a counter-balance to Iran. A majority of Iraqis want him back cause guess what: there was order, there was an economy, there was food. Funny how that works. Was he bad? Yea. But there will always be someone worse.

Also guess what: There were no WMDs in Iraq, with the exception of what the US sold him in the 80s. So guess what: The Iraq War was nothing more than a farce. And we are left with the crumbling remains of the place, the fact that we are going to deal with that fallout for a long time.

Also you seem to misunderstand how national security works. It is the NSA that does the protecting nowadays, with the FBI, Homeland Security and police departments that deal with home grown terrorists. Not the army. The army has only one use: Protect from external threats and put down insurrections (if such a thing rears its ugly head in the countries). They are not there to protect your rights. THey are not there to protect and serve. They are not there to spy on people. The army is a tool of the government, to be used by the government. Rarely is the army used against its own citizens.
 

Bizzaro Stormy

New member
Oct 19, 2011
829
0
0
So I've been reading the various posts back and forth and two thoughts occurred to me. The first was that left-wingers keep pitching hissy fits that result in me becoming interested in movies, books, and games that I would normally ignore. Thankfully I usually repress the urge to go get whatever they hate. I'm not made of money so impulse buying is a poor idea. The second is that multiple people have mentioned the movie Fury and I kept misreading it. I was wondering for several minutes why people were talking about a movie called Furry in a war movie discussion. Third thought I should go to bed now.
 

zinho73

New member
Feb 3, 2011
554
0
0
jacobbanks said:
mjharper said:
jacobbanks said:
Izanagi009 said:
jacobbanks said:
If you're not a veteran, then this movie wasn't for you and your opinion of it doesn't matter. Enjoy the freedom of speech for which you've done nothing to earn.
done nothing to earn it huh? so by that definition, anyone who does not want to or can't fight in a war have done nothing to earn a right that was granted to us by the Bill of Rights rectified in 1791, well before you and I were born.

Also, this movie was not given a limited release to VA organizations or military camps but to the public. As such, I would think that the public, having been the people who watch it, can have an opinion on it regardless of if it's about a veteran or not?
Oh you can have an opinion... it just doesn't matter... and yes... compared to the men and women who have died protecting that piece of paper that says you can say what ever you want, Yes! you've done nothing for it.
You signed up just to spark this debate? Well done.

Also, thanks for dismissing 99.9% of the current population of the Earth as having opinions which don't matter. That's cool too.
I actually did... And oh no, you misunderstand. When it comes to things that are about the effects of coming back from war and the effects of war. Non war veterans and their opinion of said portrayals don't matter. I'm sure if we we're talking about fixing a car or preforming lab research you wouldn't care about the opinion of a non mechanic or non scientist.
Without getting into too much into your general opinion, the insight of a third, non-related, party is often necessary to brake paradigms and bring positive change:

If science did not contested religion, we would still think the world is flat. If religion did not influenced politics, some social safeguards would never be implemented in some countries, if civilians dis not contested the military, a lot of countries would be living in a dictatorial regimen and so on.

You don't have to agree with the opinion of everyone, but simply dismissing them will only leave you with tunnel vision.

Bob is criticizing the movie, but he made clear he respects many ideas and ideals attached to it. He says that the movie is an empty template in which people are projecting their ideals. With each of your posts you are just proving him right.
 

zinho73

New member
Feb 3, 2011
554
0
0
Fsyco said:
Windcaler said:
Did I watch a different movie from everyone else? What I saw was a movie with a clear anti-war sentiment buried inside the narrative. Seriously if you put yourself in the shoes of this admitadly romanticized soldier does this honestly make you say "America, fuck yeah!"? Would you want to leave your wife and kid alone over and over and over again to see humanity at its very worst and do some question stuff in the process? Do you feel the desire to slowly have your sanity slip away as you deal with the horrors of war that dont stay on the battlefield and chase you home to invade your dreams and your very soul, putting yourself and your loved ones in danger during what seems like an endless struggle in your own mind?

These are serious anti-war messages guys. Why does it seem like nobody realizes that?
People tend to read messages into movies based on what they want to hear, regardless of the filmmaker's actual intent. Scarface and The Godfather were both intended to be movies about how crime is awful and being a gangster sucks, but most people who saw those movies focused on the positives of the lifestyle (the money, the women, the power, etc) and not the negatives (people's lives being ruined by that lifestyle), which is why you see a distressing number of people trying to emulate people like Vito Corleone and Tony Montana. (See also: Fight Club).

So, nobody realizes it because they don't want to see an anti-war message, or because you do want to see an anti-war message. Not having seen the film myself, I can't really offer much more than that.
Well said - And you cannot create a hero without tragedy, so the message behind the bad stuff happening are often seen as "challenges" and not as consequences.