Tuesday, May 26, 2015

American Sniper - the movie

American Sniper, the movie, is incredible.  I expected as much when I saw that Clint Eastwood was the director. His Gran Turino movie is one of my all time favourites.  Bradley Cooper stars as  Chris Kyle in this movie which is based on Chris Kyle's life.  Chris Kyle was the American Navy Seal credited as the deadliest sniper, with 255 kills of which 160 were officially confirmed,  in the Iraq War.  Chris Kyle did 4 tours and returned home to be killed by another Veteran who he was helping.  His wife Taya Renae Kyle is played by the extraordinary Sienna Miller.
The amazing story and direction breaks the movie up into matching frames with Chris Kyle in Iraq and Taya his wife at home.  In one poignant scene he comes under attack while talking on a satellite phone to Tayal.  Sienna Miller's acting in this part of the movie is deeply beautiful.  Chris Kyle did 4 tours. By the fourth he's experiencing symptons associated with PTSD.  It's his last tour.  His bravery and the extraordinary dangers and threats he and his team faced in Iraq are so alien to the world at home.  The movie shows this well.  There's an amazing juxtaposition of Chris Kyle fighting against the Olympic athlete sniper who serves the Iraqui's.  Two pees in a pod who each sees themselves as protecting their fellow soldiers.  Each amazingly disciplined and skilled.  The fanaticism of the enemy is captured well.  Chris Kyle's simple service and explanation for his work is that he's there to protect his comrades.  He's a hero.  A man's man. A soldier's soldier. He's a big brother and his little brother joins the marines.  Chris Kyle is the big brother one wants.  He's a devoted husband but his work makes family life difficult.  The movie captures this so well.  All in all it's a great movie of a great man.
Chris Kyle is to the work of a sniper what Einstein was to the work of physicists.  He's like a Muhammed Ali with a rifle.  An amazing superhuman disciplined force of nature.  A genius like Billy Bishop who shot down the Red Baron. He's an American Hero.
The movie is great.  Clint Eastwood is amazing. The writer Jason Hall is amazing too.
That said I was appalled to read some of the critics of the movie, arm chair critics mind you, some who'd not even seen it, some who criticized Chris Kyle, and they themselves had achieved nothing significant in their lives except maybe got drunk and smoked some pot. It was a sad reflection on Facebook and Social Media to see the negativity and 'haters' and those whose envy of greatness had them spouting all manner of nonsense.
Yes, war is horrible.  Yes America is an empire like the British before them and the Roman's before them and the Russians and the Turks and the Azteks and the Moghuls and all the world's empires. And yes there are soldiers.  And yes soldier fight and compete with other soldiers who would have what the people inside empire's have.  So the Nazi's fought all of Europe to establish the Nazi empire and the Communists of Mao tse Tung fought all the Chinese to get their empire. Now all the military's of the world stand ready to fight each other.
Of course like John Lennon, I  say  "Give Peace a Chance."
Every adolescent boy and protected girl knows what everyone should do. Of course we should stop fighting and ISIS should stop chopping peoples heads off.
Everyone has great ideas and they pass a bottle of wine and a bong and talk big talk.  Tibet and Nepal are wonderful places where the very spiritual meditate but then the Chinese Communists, one of lowest forms of humanoid uncivilized bullies arrogant psychopathic sorts not even toilet trained no better than the raping Russian peasant soldiers who destroyed warsaw, while these Chinese thugs killed the monks.  The Buddhists fight Buddhists, Moslems fight Moslems and Christians Christians and Jews Jews and sometimes they fight each other.
War is a basic.
Soldiers have served to protect the rest of us who don't want to face bullets and bombs up close and real.  Van Gogh was a great painter. Chis Kyle was a great sniper.  The world is full of talkers.  I'm personally still impressed with great orators but not the stuff that was written like spewed garbage by the critics of Chris Kyle.  He's an American Hero and lots  of people today make a 'troll' life for themselves 'chopping off the heads of others in an attempt to make themselves taller.'
I accept the need for law and order and military actions if only because as I've got older I've seen that 'polyannaism' leads to the Chamberlain like silliness that starts wars.  Animals attack when they think they have an advantage.  That's the way of predators.
I'm as much an idealist as the next guy but I'm not smoking marijuana and not on crack so I can ask the simple question who would have saved the lives that Chris Kyle saved better than the best like he was.  Who would you as a soldier want having oversight on your walking through the valley of the shadow of death where women and children are used as combatants.  Personally I'd always want Chris Kyle on my side in a war.  He embodied excellence.
So thank you Chris Kyle for your bravery, discipline, service and sacrifice. Thank you the wife and children of Chris Kyle for your sacrifice.
Thank you Jason Hall and Clint Eastwood this incredible story.  And thank you Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller for such great acting that I feel I got a glympse into the reality of the sacrifices that soldiers and their families make so that we can be safe.  


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