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American Sniper - Some Thoughts

Before anything else, I want to note that I went to the first showing of the movie yesterday, and that the theatre was almost full.  It was clear that a number of people there were prior service, and that many of those attending had brought the family with them.  It was the most respectful, quiet, and polite audience I have ever experienced in a theatre, and once the movie started not a single cell phone rang, pinged, or made any noise.  It was also clear that the dust in the theatre got to most there, and even as the silent credits rolled, the politeness and respectful tones continued.  I noted more than one parent talking to their children afterwards, and that such conversations were exploring some very complex topics and helping children (and others) explore some difficult concepts and emotions.  

The movie is powerful, extremely well done, and respectful to the subject and the subject matter.  It was fairly accurate to the book, and while some liberties were taken for dramatic purposes, it was done with respect and with consideration of the whole.  Frankly, they were small change in comparison to the faith given the true tale.  

The acting is superb, and it was almost scary how much Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller look like Chris and Taya.  That, in many ways, was just the start of the level or realism to the film.  The directing and production were amazing, as was the cinematography.  The silence of the credits was a truly masterful touch, one of many in the movie.  

As for those seeking to tear down the movie and Kyle, most of whom have not seen it (including one major reviewer), well, most here have sworn to (and fought for) their freedom of speech.  However, while their right to it is one paid for by those here, there is no obligation to respect ignorant and bigoted opinions, nor the miserable and degraded creatures that hold them.  The one review that matters to me comes from Taya, who says they got it right.  

The movie is powerful, well done, and respectful.  It conveys almost frightningly well the cost and pain of war, and of coming home.  Bradley more than deserves his Oscar nod, and I have not seen an actor convey so much with just his eyes since Edward Woodward in his prime.  Both he and Sienna did so much with just eyes and expression, and in so doing made for truly powerful portrayals.  

Go. See. It. Now. 

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