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Thomas coupling
2nd Feb 2015, 14:40
Good, Bad or Ugly [A film by Clint Eastwood] :D

Wadda you think?
Did commercial pressures override the subliminal messages this film was pushing out?
Was it politically correct to brag about this man's profession by showing him killing women and children?
Or
Did Clint genuinely believe the story was not only a great true story but one which needed telling in this way?

rgbrock1
2nd Feb 2015, 14:51
I read the book and just saw the film. The book was written by Chris Kyle and a co-author. The film was made without any input from Chris Kyle.
Thus, the two are quite different in many ways.

Lonewolf_50
2nd Feb 2015, 14:55
TC:
You and I saw the same movie, and it seems that we saw a different story on the screen. The movie is based on a real person's life and his own memoir (which has in some circles been criticized as less than awesome with truthfulness on various details.) The harsher elements of war are certainly portrayed in this film.

RG:
I believe that Chris Kyle was involved (before he got shot and killed) in the early work of translating his book into a movie. Saying he had no input seems an overstatement.

Both:
Eastwood is a very good director who tells stories about imperfect people. The movie was pretty good, but you could now and again look at a moment and shout "Hollywood moment!" more often than in his best work. (For example, this movie wasn't as good as Gran Torino).

TC:
Something a lot of folks don't "get" is that to be any good at that military stuff for real, one has to get into it. Total immersion, if one is to be any good. (The SEALs are an extreme case even of that, in some ways). War is a disturbing human phenomenon, being an exercise in intramural homicide, so one should not be surprised that a film about a war will have disturbing scenes/moments. To the point of your kvetch ... if the kid has the grenade and is going after friendlies, he's a hostile combatant. You might want to learn the Laws of Armed Conflict before you go off on that topic. You will note that the director covers the follow up of that particularly jarring introduction to urban combat if you were paying attention to the film. Maybe you didn't.

Point second: if a guy is trained as a sniper, then one would expect his story to be about sniping -- which it is, but the story is more rounded than that.
Eastwood spends less time on the phony moralizing that you are looking for.
Your soap box is noted.

tony draper
2nd Feb 2015, 15:02
Reckon Jack says it all here.:rolleyes:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnBD16IHHTs&list=PLM1uJlfSdBmr0FgVPvJ2wpGiKLft9wkkn&index=3
But then Marlon gives him the perfect answer.

Fox3WheresMyBanana
2nd Feb 2015, 15:09
Movies are made to make money.

The number made to tell a true and accurate story is almost zero.

In War movies, truth is the first casualty.

Hempy
2nd Feb 2015, 15:21
If you want to make a war movie you get Spielberg to direct it.

tony draper
2nd Feb 2015, 15:32
Or Sam Peckinpah.:uhoh:

superq7
2nd Feb 2015, 15:45
Hmmm seems like we can more than match the American chap, see link.


British Royal Marine is world's deadliest sniper - Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/11383552/British-Royal-Marine-is-worlds-deadliest-sniper.html)

rgbrock1
2nd Feb 2015, 15:52
The longest-range kill is held by a Canadian sniper. 2,430m.

Been Accounting
2nd Feb 2015, 16:22
Simo Häyhä - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simo_Häyhä)

http://www.simohayha.com

MG23
2nd Feb 2015, 17:32
If you want to make a war movie you get Spielberg to direct it.

God, no. Saving Private Ryan was twenty minutes of impressive effects with two hours of schmaltz tacked on the end.

Now, if Peckinpah had directed it...

Lonewolf_50
2nd Feb 2015, 17:45
The longest-range kill is held by a Canadian sniper. 2,430m. Nice piece of shooting, that. :ok:
Fox:
Movies are made to make money.
Aye. Mission Accomplished.
The number made to tell a true and accurate story is almost zero.
All a matter degree: how close to true? How close to accurate? Some better than others, none "bat a thousand."
In War movies, truth is the first casualty. Among the walking wounded, to be sure.

Ref the Royal Marine Sniper: Oy, there's some good shooting as well. :ok:

Fox3WheresMyBanana
2nd Feb 2015, 17:48
One of my former colleagues graduated to killing Afghan and Iraqi terrorists whilst sipping coffee in a drone control hut 12,000 miles away in Nevada - now that's my idea of a long range kill :E

Lonewolf_50
2nd Feb 2015, 17:51
Fox, my one regret is that I did not vigorously pursue that as a post retirement option when I left the service. I had no idea how much that was a "growth industry" when I was involved with folks in your chum's position.

G-CPTN
2nd Feb 2015, 17:59
The facts of the Finnish Sniper (and the associated conflict against the Soviets) makes interesting reading.

Impressive!

More here:- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_War

main_dog
2nd Feb 2015, 18:38
I usually love Eastwood directing but there were times when American Sniper felt like "Team America"...

Lonewolf_50
2nd Feb 2015, 19:15
I usually love Eastwood directing but there were times when American Sniper felt like "Team America"... How much time did you spend
-- in uniform in the Middle East?
-- in uniform at all?
--
Just curious. I had a similar criticism of SACEUR and his crew during the Kosovo op wherein NATO and the US bombed Serbia for over 70 days. His name was Clark.

One of the great strengths of our Military is the tendency to "go all in" on an operation.
Where the policy behind that op may be questionable, it would tend to amplify those flaws.

Thomas coupling
2nd Feb 2015, 23:10
Lonewolf, you walked into that one like a blind man crossing the highway - didn't you bubba? But hey - you're a redneck, what did I expect?

Have you, for one moment ever thought about the paradox surrounding the film. It is by definition inherently contradictory in its very fabric.......

The reason I raised the issue was to see if others wanted to talk about it, the way I saw it. In particular the timing of the film after what happened in France recently with Charlie Hebdo.

It's not about the morals of war, the accuracy of the storyline, the fears and tribulations of a warrior - unless of course you are Lonewolf that is.....

It is about whether Eastwood was portraying one big anti war message, whether he wanted viewers to see "us" doing unto them, what "they" do unto us. At the end of the day he may be suggesting: what's the difference between Kyle and those killers in Paris? The film is littered with anti war messages.

I'll leave you with this to ponder over Mr Lonewolf:

".....Kyle was a young, working-class man who was losing direction in life when he saw people he identified with being senselessly killed on the other side of the world (according to the film he was radicalised by the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998) and decided to sign up to go and kill them back. Sound familiar? “I don’t see too much grey,” he wrote. “If I had to order my priorities, they would be god, country, family.” He was every bit as much a jihadi in uniform as his nemesis, Mustafa, was a soldier in casual wear....." Gary Younge, Guardian, USA.

Now, you've gotta go back and watch it again, because it seems from your rant, that first time around the entire film was in your blind spot after all....

War: Been there done that bubba.......off soap box.:=

West Coast
2nd Feb 2015, 23:59
You just said a whole lot but didn't say a thing.

You're ready for politics.

pigboat
3rd Feb 2015, 00:29
Taki's Magazine: Michael Moore Blubbers About Clint Eastwood's Death Threat. (http://takimag.com/article/the_week_that_perished_takimag_february_2_2015/print#axzz3Qdga2Nua)

MICHAEL MOORE BLUBBERS ABOUT CLINT EASTWOOD’S DEATH THREAT
Severely overweight leftist filmmaker Michael Moore is known for making documentaries whose obvious agenda is to justify the very existence of severely overweight leftist filmmakers.

Moore has recently put down the hoagies and donuts long enough to criticize the Clint Eastwood film American Sniper. He claims it “perpetuates a racist sentiment to Arabs.” Moore has also has described Eastwood’s excellent Gran Torino as “awful (and weirdly racist).”

Moore has recently come forward to verify rumors that ten years ago at the National Board of Review dinner, Eastwood told Moore that he’d “kill” him if he were to show up at Eastwood’s front door with a film crew. Moore is doing this to win sympathy and deflect attention from the quite obvious fact that Eastwood would easily defeat him in a fight.

Flash2001
3rd Feb 2015, 00:37
We need to have Lt. Vasily Zaitsev in the list.

After an excellent landing etc...

MTOW
3rd Feb 2015, 00:55
We need to have Lt. Vasily Zaitsev in the listI'm currently reading Antony Bevor's 'Stalingrad'.

Two points from that book:

1. Zaitsev was by no means the highest scoring sniper among the Russians defending Stalingrad.

2. There is no mention in any Russian reports at the time of the 'sniper duel' between Zaitsev and the German commandant of the sniper school (the centrepiece of the movie). Beevor strongly suspected that the duel was the creation of the Russian propaganda system shortly after the lifting of the siege.

Highly recommend Beevor's book for anyone with any interest in those times. Neither side comes out looking like knights in shining armour, in particular the 'normal' German soldier when not in the thick of it on the battlefield.

Hempy
3rd Feb 2015, 01:44
Can only echo MTOWs sentiments on Beevors work, all of his books are eminently readable. 'Berlin' is a great follow up read to 'Stalingrad' btw, it gives an interesting insight into the Russian 'activities' through eastern Europe on their way to Berlin..

Zaitzev, as stated, was not the highest scoring Soviet sniper by a long way, but he was one of the first to use the skill to effect in the unique battlefield conditions found in the ruins of Stalingrad. He was used as a propaganda tool more than anything.

I liked the unofficial motto of the Russian sappers who lifted the explosives out of German mines in Stalingrad for re-use...."One Mistake And No More Dinners". Pragmatists, those Russians.

parabellum
3rd Feb 2015, 02:03
it gives an interesting insight into the Russian 'activities' through eastern Europe on their way to Berlin

I read that these 'activities' were in direct retaliation for the 'activities' of the Germans, particularly the Gestapo, as they moved across Russia towards Moscow prior to Stalingrad. Stalin held the Cossacks in reserve until they got to Berlin and then let the Cossacks loose. When working in Berlin in the late seventies it was possible to meet some Berliners who had experienced the Russians first hand. :sad:

MTOW
3rd Feb 2015, 02:49
Cossacks or Siberians?

main_dog
3rd Feb 2015, 08:36
How much time did you spend
-- in uniform in the Middle East?
-- in uniform at all?

Not much, and none in a US uniform anyway... but my comment was related to the film (not to any real-life military issue), a bit too gung-ho for my tastes.

Just my opinion! I'm sure if I were a US serviceman I might feel differently.

PS Antony Beevor, I can second that he is a great historian and writer.

Thomas coupling
3rd Feb 2015, 09:59
Any philosopher's here FFS?

What are people's views on the hypocracy of the film? What is the difference between Kyle and the other sides' sniper or the terrorists in Paris?

How can the West be in a state of psychological despair over what "they" do to us (Paris), when in reality, we seem to be just as bad as they are with American Sniper (which is just a civvy in uniform).
Does this appease the conscience of the politicians by hiding behind uniforms and drones to kill hundreds of civilians?
I am NOT a lefty / 5th columnist - far from it! I happened to have thoroughly enjoyed the film from an entertainment perspective (crappy scene with him holding his "plastic" baby excepted). And I love Clint Eastwood!!
I am simply curious to learn why the West paints itself always as the good guy and terrorists throughout the world are always bad? It is bred into our DNA that the West must always be fighting for the good of mankind and lead the way when it comes to discriminating between Good and Evil.

If a film came out where an ISIS sniper went round killing white anglo saxon protestants and was proclaimed a hero - how many would go see that ?????

Bushfiva
3rd Feb 2015, 10:37
Well, I think people are aware of your repetitive agenda and are just ignoring your premise with a little random thread drift. I dunno, better luck next time.

cattletruck
3rd Feb 2015, 10:42
I gave up on Hollywood decades ago, saw a running sheet for a one day shoot and it was project managed to the nth degree, in fact it was so anal it was all about saving money (or maximising profits depending on which way you look at it).

Writer, director, producer, cast and crew are only in it for their careers, so there has to be some bending of the light so to speak.

I've worked in the past with 2 snipers who saw action, one was a Bosnian Muslim who fought in the Bosnian war, and the other guy used to fix my computer until I found out that he was also a Kurdish commander in the Afghan war.

The stories they told me of day to day stuff - the term "full immersion" is an understatement, there is no time to reflect on what just happened, because more shit just keeps happening.

Lonewolf_50
3rd Feb 2015, 12:19
Lonewolf, you walked into that one like a blind man crossing the highway - didn't you bubba? But hey - you're a redneck, what did I expect? Nope.
Since you are dead wrong about that, and since I have been a fan of Eastwood for a long time and I understand what he does with a story, I don't think you have any idea of how wrong your assessment is. Not sure where to start, so I won't waste my time.
Just wrong.
War: Been there done that bubba.......off soap box.:=
And you aren't the only one, amigo.

Lonewolf_50
3rd Feb 2015, 12:25
Not much, and none in a US uniform anyway... but my comment was related to the film (not to any real-life military issue), a bit too gung-ho for my tastes. Thanks. How people talk to each other and what pop cultural references they use can be a curious thing.

TC: your comment on the "film's hypocrisy" strikes me as a sign that you really don't understand the film, nor the topic of MOUT in Fallujah, nor what Eastwood was doing with the story. (And it is a story, not a documentary). You might wish to review his pair "flags of our fathers" and "letters from iwo jima" to get a look at that. I don't think he did as elegant a job, as he had only one film to do it in, but I saw what he was after. Likewise, the dinner scene, and the various bursting into houses during "not quite a sniper" patrols.

Thomas coupling
3rd Feb 2015, 14:48
Lonewolf: Correct. I don't understand the film. Atleast - I thought I did when I went in but then a couple of days later, it dawned on me that there is much more to the story. My question is/was: is Clinty trying to tell us about the hypocracy in the Western world disguised as entertainment or is he blind to the views and feelings of the "other side".
When I started looking further into it - I discovered it forms the crux of many ongoing discussions in the media for this very reason.

Didn't you get that feeling after you had seen it?

Octopussy2
3rd Feb 2015, 15:05
Hmm, "hypocracy" - a new one on me, but I'm trying to guess. Ruling class of horses? or hypnotists maybe ... :E

Lonewolf_50
3rd Feb 2015, 18:49
TC: the story Clint was telling was a meditation on that war as it applies to some of the people in it.
The basic vehicle was the memoir of a spec ops sniper, which is a "beyond three sigmas" example of a soldier.
It wasn't a meditation on "war" writ large, nor do I believe that was its intent.

one of the ares I wish had gotten better depth what in how Clint tried to show the fatal puzzle that the poor Iraqi guy faced when that "butcher" character was terrorizing his neighborhood and family. He had the Americans who he couldn't deal with, and that "butcher" who he was rightly afraid of and couldn't deal with. At great risk to himself, he talked in hopes that these Americans (to him an every day evil, armed foreigners tromping about his town) could deal with that other evil (the butcher, a local thug terrorizing his town). As it turns out his kid still gets hit with the drill and he gets shot. Lose-lose.

The sniper from Syria wasn't developed enough in the story, sadly, in part because ... this wasn't his story. (His story, however close to a real personage that gent represented, is an interesting one if someone wants to make that movie. Another foreigner in Iraq killing people during that time period).

I think Clint ran out of time to show all of the nuances of the mess that was on the ground there. Why? This was a film based on a book and a story about a particular person, one whose life story ended in a bizarre irony: Chris Kyle got out of war, and in trying to help a vet who faced some brutalization that war inflicts on all of its participants, ends up getting shot and killed ... in his home town.
That part of the story you can't make up.
The stress on the real family you can't make up, though a lot of folks I know who saw it found that piece of the story not well enough told. (To include my wife who was a military wife married to me).

Anyway, if you want something comprehensive, that isn't the story they were telling with this film. A given film can't be all things to all people. It was mercifully tight in scope. I think that Clint's nod to larger issues, if any, was the variations on PTSD and what effects war has on soldiers.

Fubaar
3rd Feb 2015, 20:02
Not totally off topic, the man who killed Chris Kyle (and another person as well) is about to be tried. His lawyer, predictably, is saying that the movie will make it impossible to find an unbiased jury. I missed the proper legal term, but because he killed two men, the charge he is facing is is one step up from 'normal' homicide.

I think one point of the story no one has touched upon is what does society do with men like Kyle after they leave the military? They're incredibly well trained in skills that civilian society not only doesn't need, it doesn't WANT in someone who walks among them.

Stalin thought he had a similar problem with the hundreds of thousands (millions?) of veterans he had on his hands after WW2, particularly those who'd been exposed to Western 'influence'. He fixed his 'problem' by shipping many of them off to the gulags. We seem to consign many of them to our version of the gulags - the streets and homelessness. The attitude expressed by one poster here - that our veterans as as bad as the man with the drill - is not unique. My generation were called baby killers and murderers by pretty young women with flowers in their hair.

chuks
4th Feb 2015, 01:03
We were also called baby killers and murderers by pretty young boys with flowers in their hair. I just considered the source and moved on with my life.

I recently met a guy my age with "PTSD from Viet Nam," working that VA for whatever was on offer, since he was in pretty bad physical shape. He asked me what I had got from the VA, when I told him that all I ever did was see the VA to prove I wasn't crazy for switching from college to flight training, and never again after that, that I didn't want to have anything more to do with the VA. He seemed to see it as a giant piñata.

I think he got the idea from that conversation that I thought he might be "taking advantage" just a little bit, because he became a bit distant after that. Actually, I had no opinion about whether his saga of turning into an alky and all after a spell in the Navy that sounded pretty comfy to me, and then needing big help from the VA to get over a lot of trouble that sounded self-inflicted, was legit or not. I don't much care to judge someone in that situation.

I think we each need to find our own way to deal with military service, when it's usually not the mental torture Hollywood want to show it as, as if we all wake up sweating and screaming afterwards over the way we blew up that orphanage and all the orphans, and then roasted marshmallows over the glowing wreckage.

Solid Rust Twotter
4th Feb 2015, 06:27
You had marshmallows? Luxury! Shoebox in't middle of road, handful of cold gravel....etc.:}

main_dog
4th Feb 2015, 07:08
Cold gravel! We would dream of cold gravel! We had to .. :}

(Sorry OT, couldn't resist)

con-pilot
4th Feb 2015, 18:24
I recently met a guy my age with "PTSD from Viet Nam,"

I used to fly with a 'real' combat Viet Nam Vet years ago, had the full cigar box and all including the PH. He told me that in his experience that for the most part the guys that were screwed up after Viet Nam, were pretty well screwed up before Viet Nam.

Not a scientific observation for sure, but gave me something to think about.

I don’t know what would have happened to me had I gone, but due to polio I never found out.

rgbrock1
4th Feb 2015, 18:27
con wrote:

He told me that in his experience that for the most part the guys that were screwed up after Viet Nam, were pretty well screwed up before Viet Nam.

Probably true not just of Viet Nam but of all combat experience, is my take.

lasernigel
4th Feb 2015, 22:25
The longest-range kill is held by a Canadian sniper. 2,430m.

Not anymore and confirmed.

British Sniper Sets New Long Distance Kill Shot Record - 8,120 Feet (http://www.ammoland.com/2014/04/british-sniper-sets-new-long-distance-kill-shot-record-8120-feet/#axzz3Qp0BvKMg)

obgraham
4th Feb 2015, 23:57
Regardless of which country they are from, these are some gloriously bad-ass dudes. Hats' off!

bubbers44
5th Feb 2015, 04:32
Not totally off topic, the man who killed Chris Kyle (and another person as well) is about to be tried. His lawyer, predictably, is saying that the movie will make it impossible to find an unbiased jury. I missed the proper legal term, but because he killed two men, the charge he is facing is is one step up from 'normal' homicide.

The movie was very careful not to say anything about the person who killed him. When it was over I thought his passenger who left with him did it. Only after googling it did I find out it wasn't.

MTOW
5th Feb 2015, 04:48
Well, I misread that scene completely. The wife looked at the guy as if he was a paid up member of the Dodgy Brothers - and he looked it.