Thursday, January 22, 2015

American Sniper

Yep, I saw it. Patrick and I went to see this in a packed theater on Monday (that's MLK Jr. day, for those scoring at home - somewhat ironic, or at least interesting that a movie about a trained killer cleaned up the box office on a day we celebrate peace, human rights, civil disobedience, etc etc., but that's probably for a different discussion).

Pat and I left the movie in general agreement that it basically sucked. Pat put it nicely when he said he was already beginning to stand up to leave when the credits began to role. A Rolling Stone review sums up the movie nicely, and I have to agree with most of what Mr. Taibbi wrote - it was just a really dumb movie. It was cheesy and silly, and about as simplistic as you can get. I thought it was like a 2015 version of The Green Berets. Anyway, that's my two cents on the movie - I do not recommend it.

On a side note, that is 0-2 on recent theater movies for me (the other was the final installment of The Hobbit. It isn't even worth ridiculing that movie). I think I need to start reviewing my criteria for picking which movies I am willing to shell out $12 for.


James R said...

Your power of persuasion is great enough that I agree with your assessment without seeing either one.

Some good movies, you may want to try (on Netflix):
"Frequencies" (on Netflix streaming) - original title: "OXV: The Manual". - a sci-fi, philosophic, love story.

"Guardians of the Galaxy" - as everyone liked it

"A Most Wanted Man" - from John le Carré novel


"Mr. Peabody & Sherman" - enjoyable especially if you've watched the "Rock & Bullwinkle" as a kid.

"Cold in July"

"The Lunchbox" is also nice

Big Myk said...

Now, you've left me with a quandary. A guy in my office thought American Sniper was, like, the greatest movie ever made. But I could have told you about the Hobbit and saved you the money.

Here are some movies I've seen this year that I would consider worth $12:

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Snow Piercer

I also saw two documentaries that I thought were pretty good: Particle Fever and Life Itself

I'm still waiting for someone else to see Birdman so I can find out if the movie really was any good, or just a lot of pretension. On Boyhood, I have to put it up there for it's incredible achievement and dedication to a vision. It's a little like Samuel Johnson's line comparing a woman preaching to a dog walking on its hind legs (a quote Dad liked so much): "It is not done well; but one is surprised to find it done at all."
Actually, Boyhood is done well, but, even more incredible, is that it was done at all.

Patty said...

Just saw Birdman last night. I loved it. Pretentious maybe but I liked so much about it - the camera feed, the drums, the "Noises Off" backstage stuff. I did not know what to expect as one of my friends hated it but it had me hooked from the beginning.

James R said...

"The Grand Budapest Hotel" I loved truly, as implied in my post on its properly pretentious poetry.

I also want to second "Particle Fever". It could have been poor to mediocre, but it brilliantly sets the theorists apart from the experimentalists, giving a new level of understanding.

Big Myk said...

OK, Pat, you've got to give me a call to explain the movie to me. I've been desparate to talk with someone who has seen the movie.

There is one thing about the movie, however, that is not hard to sort out, and that is the performances. It's possibly Michael Keaton's best outing ever, and Edward Norton is hilarious. Emma Stone is pretty darn good too.

Of course, one reviewer warns, "the ride in “Birdman” is so thrilling you’ll never wonder what the point is, because the ride itself is the point. " Maybe so, but I'd still like to know what the point is.

James R said...

Tyler Cowen rates American Sniper an "A or A+" and calls it "one of the best anti-war movies I have seen, ever."

As the world, science, life and thought progress, is someone willing to make the argument that, instead of working towards a unified theory of everything, a god, if you will, we are heading in the opposite direction—not chaos, but greater diversity of the world, science, life and thought.

Now I certainly would never make such a claim, especially on the diverse opinion over a movie.

Big Myk said...

When Ellen saw Spike Jonze's Her, she proclaimed it to be one of the greatest movies ever made: a meditation on human and not-so-human relationships.

A month or so later, a fellow in my office saw it as his in-flight movie, and said that it was the stupidest thing he ever saw.

Go figure.