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

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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?

jacobbanks:
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 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

I never understood the US's obsession with the military and creating heroes out of murderers. It's just baffling to me.

I haven't seen American Sniper. I have no particular interest in seeing American Sniper. I might watch it if I had two hours to kill and it showed up on Netflix; otherwise, I have slightly less interest in seeing American Sniper than I do in Fifty Shades of Grey, which will probably be painfully stupid but may at least have the benefit of featuring some attractive naked people. (And no, that doesn't mean I'm itching to see FSOG.)

...All that said?

American Sniper is at 73% on Rotten Tomatoes. The blurbs that favor it say things like "a damn good film", "a smart, complex portrait of a man", and "Eastwood is good at making it seem raw and personal".

I think it is well and good to consider if audiences are picking it up for the curious reasons, if it's become a kind of banner for some perplexing sentiments, if that was the intent of the director or the marketing. I think there are certainly reasonable discussions to be had on such matters, preferably without unnecessarily painting people as jingoistic rednecks or emasculated communist sympathizers.

...But I think Bob needs to consider the possibility that his personal circle of critic friends and associates isn't necessarily indicative of the opinions of either the greater viewing audience or the greater critical audience.

This is not to say that he, or his associates, is wrong. The torch-bearing mob may be the majority, but that doesn't inherently make them noble. But it does mean one has to look askance at presuming to speak for a majority. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and argue on the basis of being right for reasons you're willing to defend, not for having people who agree with you willing to retweet your awesomeness.

jacobbanks:
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.

As I walk into this thread and see all of your comments,

Why so serious? To the dear veteran who has somehow put himself on to some high platform and look down upon everyone who has not served their country and say their opinions on military matters don't matter at all... enough already. What game are you wishing to play with people here? Superiority? The know it all that has to have the higher ground over the internet? Do you enjoying getting people frustrated and angry? Does it get you off in some way? Or are you just offended that people are challenging and criticizing their government on the international decisions they make than can affect everyone? I could easily call you the "T" word but that is what you want isn't it? To play a card that you know oh so well and make it look like everyone is attacking you cause YOU have the right to do what you feel and others should listen. "FREEDOM OF SPEECH", right? Right.

I could have addressed your quote on Saddam but I just remembered that my views just don't matter to you. Oh heck, anything I say right now means... nothing.

Windcaler:
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.

deathbydeath:
Hey Bob, are you still pretending The Winter Soldier was at all relevant to American politics? Because while I don't doubt Sniper isn't too relevant either, at least it doesn't drop its plot halfway through and say "Post-911 Right = Nazis lol" in one of the most jarring and stupid plot holes this side of ME3's ending.

Also, I sincerely doubt 50SoG is going to be successful. Shooting it cost $40 million and while the book sold like hotcakes, very few people bothered to finish it; they just picked it up to see what the fuss was about and put it down soon after.

Winter Soldier is CULTURALLY relevant to contemporary Americans. Politicians and public policy in general are (and ought to be) indifferent to it, but the idea of a shadowy militaristic police organization that doesn't answer to any sort of democratically appointed oversight having too much power, that is relevant to the those people with anxieties about domestic spying, which is much of the country across many political demographics.

Also, enough people read and enjoyed 50SoG that both of its (similarly bad) sequels were extremely successful. And given people's preference for film over literature, plenty of those who didn't bother finishing the book would still be willing watch the movie version. The film is going to be successful, the question is simply by what margin. And the low budget (of course how expensive could such a movie be to film; it looks like an episode of White Collar) only further lowers the bar for its success.

jacobbanks:

J Tyran:

jacobbanks:

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.

Saddam was a menace but a limited one, he was almost spent after Western nations stopped supporting his efforts against Iran and the first Gulf War completely ended any ambition to cause trouble beyond his own borders the man had. Worse dictators around the world are left alone, there are always going to be dictators and deliberately toppling a bad but stabilising influence and eventually creating a far greater global threat has made the world far less safe.

Saddam would never have been a threat as great as that, even at the height of the Iran-Iraq war and his massacre of the Kurds didn't cause as many casualties as the US-UK campaign in Iraq and the subsequent explosion of Jihadist activity.

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

Whenever I see Sarah Palin giving a speech it always gives me the impression that she's recovering from a stroke and hasn't fully re-learned how to construct sentences yet.

I don't mind US soldiers and people who support US soldiers disagreeing with anti-war sentiment- I'm mean it's pretty expected- but I have never understood the "if they weren't out there fighting you wouldn't be free to say that/enjoy the free speech we got for you asshole" sentiment. None of the US's recent wars have had anything to do with freedom of speech. If the soldiers weren't in Iraq and Afghanistan, the ability of Americans to practice free speech wouldn't change in the slightest. In fact I'm having a lot of trouble coming up with *any* war that literally involved soldiers defending free speech, apart from parts of World War II in the sense that the allies were fighting a regime that was fond of squashing the free press and dissenting opinion in countries it conquered.

If you want to argue that America's recent military efforts have protected national security that's a more sensible (although still muddled) issue to talk about, but even then there is no realistic way any of the belligerents in those conflicts could have actually impacted the American right to free speech- not even more large-scale terrorist attacks would have done it. In case people didn't notice, 9/11 was not exactly followed by a time where people were afraid to express their opinions.

Basically, this is just intended as a way to shut down any conversation critical of the military.

I think Bob is mostly correct but he is seeing things through his ideological lens. Michael Moore's criticisms were rather idiotic and probably incensed people into seeing the movie.
But ultimately I think it has more to do with people liking the Hero (whether Kyle earns that distinction or not is another matter) of the story and wanting to support a man who died too soon.

One thing though, those 4 kill da ay-rab tweets. Those are very cherrypicked. I went through the tags and most were generic support. I would venture to guess the article that displayed those tweets only had those 4 to work with, hence why I keep seeing them.
I also don't care because the 'opposing' faction has its own radicals that everyone loves to write off as just kooks. Referring to Islamists in this.
Like Anjem Choudary
http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/01/07/islam-allah-muslims-shariah-anjem-choudary-editorials-debates/21417461/
http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/01/14/radical-imam-anjem-choudary-calls-charlie-hebdo-front-page-act-of-war/

And others
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/08/world/british-principal-who-resigned-believes-he-was-seen-as-a-threat.html?_r=1
http://www.atheistrepublic.com/news/muslim-sex-groomers-uk-raping-girls-religious-requirement
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-01-14/danish-mosque-linked-to-islamic-state-is-targeted-by-lawmakers

Purely because they are designated as belonging to a persecuted minority is this given a pass.
The minority part puzzles me because there are 1.6 billion Muslims and 1.1 billion Whites. And Muslims have more kids. So I think minority can go, persecuted may stay but I would argue it is tenuous.

ryukage_sama:
Winter Soldier is CULTURALLY relevant to contemporary Americans. Politicians and public policy in general are (and ought to be) indifferent to it, but the idea of a shadowy militaristic police organization that doesn't answer to any sort of democratically appointed oversight having too much power, that is relevant to the those people with anxieties about domestic spying, which is much of the country across many political demographics.

Except TWS isn't about that; TWS is about Nazis trying to kill a bunch of people so they can rule the world.

Sure, the first half sets up the question of "do the ends* justify the means" fairly well, but once Steve and Scarlet find Zola the entire conversation is dropped. The helicarrier triplets become an undeniably bad thing and it is impossible to argue the merits of a police state making the world better, because the world would no longer be better as it would be Nazi instead.

If you want a modern-day superhero story with legitimate cultural relevance, read Worm. It's a fine critique of institutionalized morality (among other things), pointing out how it falls apart once you put some stress on it. Plus the main character actually undergoes a character arc unlike Cap, people have superpowers that aren't "punch hard", and the Ethically Dubious Anti-Antagonist doesn't immediately abandon their ideals when threatened.

*- Even though it's never actually specified what the endgame actually is. All they say is that they are making a better world, but that's so vague as to be useless. If they want to make a better world, they could have just as easily eliminated poverty in Africa for a lot less money and ethical qualms than building three micro-Death Stars under the Potomac.

ShadowRatchet92:
Couldn't it just be that People just liked the movie? Is it really that hard to admit that the reason it's a big success is because people just liked it. I think the problem with the video, and how Movie Bob comes of when making any of his video's, is that he says his thoughts on something, it is fact, not an opinion.

I suppose the movie's success could be some sort of statistical anomaly. Everybody likes a certain percentage of films they see. Maybe the dice fell so that this one is a hit, and there isn't any sort of underlying reason or pattern.

The movie really sent mixed messages to me.

While there were parts where the movie seemed to sincerely push the jingoistic "fuck yeah america" agenda, there we other parts which seemed to inch on self-awareness and acknowledged where the main character's black and white ideology breaks down. But then it oscillated back to pro-Muricanism for a few scenes before showing that doubt again.

I suppose the real success of the movie is that you can glean whatever message you want to see in the movie.

deathbydeath:
Hey Bob, are you still pretending The Winter Soldier was at all relevant to American politics? Because while I don't doubt Sniper isn't too relevant either, at least it doesn't drop its plot halfway through and say "Post-911 Right = Nazis lol" in one of the most jarring and stupid plot holes this side of ME3's ending.

Also, I sincerely doubt 50SoG is going to be successful. Shooting it cost $40 million and while the book sold like hotcakes, very few people bothered to finish it; they just picked it up to see what the fuss was about and put it down soon after.

You must not work in an office with many women. I can say, nay, I will bet you Scrooge McDucks vault, that 50 Shades of Abuse will make it's money back plus enough money to drown a small city.

OT- I agree. Saw the film, thought it was boring, and forgot about it. Until my Rush Limbaugh listening, Fox News watching dad saw it and declared it the best movie ever.

That's great Bob. Can we now openly admit that the rest of the seasons Oscar Bait movies are utter trash as well? That Selma is an abject failure because it tries to spin a narative rather than focusing on the actual world changing history, and as a result will be relegated to the dustbins and bargain tables alongside any number of Oliver Stone movies that took the same loose disrespectful approach to the historical record, while participants in said record were still alive. And let's not leave the gimmick filming project off the list. What was it? "Watching grass grow? No that would have been more interesting, oh yeah Boyhood. Can we hate that one as well? I would hate on the rest but honestly neither I, nor most consumers of the industry honestly know what they are or have any interest in watching them. Boring pretentious crap across the boards.

American Sniper was an OK 3 out of 5 stars movie.

That's it. It wasn't groundbreaking at all.

It wasn't terrible and it certainly doesn't deserve the Oscar nominations it got. I'll be surprised if it gets any Oscars at all.

That being said,

Movie Bob's assertion that is was a terrible movie irks me as I sense some anger about the movie and some political bias. Some of the claims from liberal left (Michael Moore as an example) that the movie "glorifies war" drives me even more crazy. Did they see the same movie I did? It doesn't glorify war at all!!!!

American Sniper is a movie about 1 guy's perspective of the war. Sadly, the story is not cohesive enough to get its' overall point across. The guys that went to Iraq were changed and were never the same again. Period. That is the entire movie right there in a nutshell! It doesn't glorify war or patriotism but gives a perspective of the true costs of war. Chris Kyle suffered from PTSD. Some of the guys he tried to help ALSO suffered from PTSD. Chris Kyle was KILLED by a man who suffered from PTSD.

Seriously, stop talking about how bad the movie is (which it is mediocre in my opinion) but talk about what the movie was trying to convey. Talk about how military service can cause personal problems. Join the military and this sort of thing might happen to you.

I'm also irked by the fact the conservative right is championing this movie as some sort of patriotic flick, standing for moral correctness. It fails completely on that front as well. I'm a conservative but I hate the talking heads over at FOX. They just look stupid every time I see them. Please stop putting Sarah Palin out in front. It's not helping us at all.

I won't argue whether the movie was "good" or "bad", but I will vehemently argue with MovieBob that he has completely missed the point of the movie. Growing up in Texas on the largest army base in the nation, I had friends and family doing multiple tours in the Middle East after 9/11; many never returned. Those that did return were changed...and that was the point of the movie to me. It showed war to be what it is: ugly. Visceral and real. In your face and not apologizing for it. The stories that I've heard from guys in Vietnam and even WWII lend me to believe the depiction was as accurate if not more so than Saving Private Ryan. This movie was about how the war changes the soldiers, how families are dealing with their loved ones stricken with PTSD, and how they put the pieces back together again. Even in Texas Kyle wasn't a household name until well after he died. It may be okay for Bob to think this movie sucks, it's also okay to see the parts of the movie that absolutely do not.

jacobbanks:
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.

Yeah, see, the thing about freedom of speech being a right guaranteed by the constitution is that you don't HAVE to do anything to earn it. You have it by default.

Also, the percentage of the population that is a veteran is actually fairly small compared to the broader population to whom movies generally need to appeal, and it also doesn't include the majority of the people who are actually praising the movie. So what you're saying is this movie is for a very small audience that alone probably wouldn't even turn out in the numbers required to make the movie a financial success, and even the majority of its proponents have no valid opinion on it.

Which is bullshit of course.

EDIT: Comment retracted.

Ickabod:
For some reason I just think it's kind of funny that this is turning into a propaganda movie, where you either love it or you're unmerican. Wasn't the propaganda movie in Inglorious Bastards about a sniper too.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand Godwin's law at full force now. "Hurr, they're both vaguely nationalistic movies about snipers so that must mean that Murica is the Nazis!"

jacobbanks:
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.

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.

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.

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.

Nixou:

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

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.

jacobbanks:
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.

Windcaler:
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.

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.

jacobbanks:
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.

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:
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.

Truglington:

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.

jacobbanks:

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.

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.

"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.

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