February is the month of love… and we love films here at Digitales, so let’s take a look at what wonderful new releases will be hitting the shelves of a library near you this month. From big award winning titles to film festival favourites to everything in between – You’re sure to find something to love this February!
Reviewed by Lukas
“Cowboy turned Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle’s pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and turns him into a legend. Back home to his wife and kids after four tours of duty, however, Chris finds that it is the war he can’t leave behind.” –IMdB.
A lot of controversy has surround the release of Clint Eastwood’s ‘American Sniper’, particularly by untruthful “documentary” filmmaker Michael Moore, Tweeting just two days after the theatrical release: “My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot u in the back. Snipers aren’t heroes. And invaders r worse,” followed by “But if you’re on the roof of your home defending it from invaders who’ve come 7K miles, you are not a sniper, u are brave, u are a neighbor.”
What Michael “I love to slander and make up ‘facts’” Moore seems to forget is the unarguable parallel between German Nazis and Middle Eastern insurgents – both of these sides have killed countless innocent civilians without prejudice. If only he’d take that one simple factor into account before commenting, maybe his statement might hold some credence. Alas, yet again it does not, as he has proven so well in the past. But, that’s another matter (yet one that needs to be said regardless).
What does this have to say about the movie itself? Not a whole lot, because the portrayals and internal conflicts of character themselves is exceptional, something that obviously any true piece of cinema strives to give its audience and outright paramount in any film. Clint Eastwood has shown us several times before, the fears and unfathomable horrors that war inflicts upon its participants, both directly (in the field) and indirectly (at home). A war film does not necessarily need hard action and violence to get its point across, even though this film has plenty, but the dissection of the characters and how each member tries to cope. Buffalo Soldiers and Jarhead were great examples of this and might I point out that these too were based on novels/memoirs.
That being said, the development, dialogue, scene order and construction is truly a work of art. Surprisingly, American Sniper’s screenplay is written by what some might say (according to IMdB) a relatively ‘unknown’ Jason Hall. Jason has a longer list of television acting credits than screenwriting, but here, he’s hit the nail on the head with ultimately compelling dialogue. Where at times we jump through to certain points in time, they flow together seamlessly (ok, sure there are seams, but it works really well) and characters grow with each other bringing an interesting and involved arc to the story. Whatever Jason has been doing lately to train himself up in the writing caper, it’s definitely paying off. With several major nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay, it’s not a bad effort for Jason’s third only produced feature film script.
Regardless of one’s own views on war and policy, American Sniper’s exploration of the internal struggles of both a soldier and the family unit remains poignant, leaving the audience with a clear sense of sympathy and understanding.
I can’t really put to mind any member of the cast that lacked clout in their performances, each believable and well fleshed out. Sienna Miller in particular stood out in a great way, falling deep into her portrayal of Chris Kyle’s wife Tara. It didn’t take long whatsoever to completely forget this was Sienna Miller ‘acting’.
Along with Sienna’s honest and heartfelt performance, Bradley Cooper knocks it out of the park. Since his rising start mainly in the comedy sector, Bradley has grown incredibly and isn’t afraid to show it in any kind of dramatic sense. He’s not exactly my favourite actor at the moment, but he sure does shine when he needs to turn it on. Nice goin’, champ!
Nominated for 6 Academy Awards, American Sniper is definitely worth a look.
YOU’LL LIKE THIS IF YOU LIKED:
The Hurt Locker, Jarhead, Lone Survivor.
Coming soon to DVD and Blu-Ray.