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Why is American Sniper such a hit?

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Why is American Sniper such a hit?

Old 01-24-15, 01:22 PM
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Why is American Sniper such a hit?

It's doing way better than anyone thought and arousing a fair bit of controversy as it nears superhero movie type numbers. So why is it doing well? Celebration of an American hero, racist rednecks coming out in droves, the Fox news crowd turning up, or just because it's a good movie?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmen...-18-3m-friday/
Old 01-24-15, 01:27 PM
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Re: Why is American Sniper such a hit?

I haven't seen it but I'm familiar with the guy's story. His life (or his version of it) is pretty compelling. But I agree that the success is surprising. Nearly every film about the Iraq and/or Afghanistan war has flopped: Green Zone, Lions for Lambs (or something like that), etc. The Hurt Locker won Best Picture, but it was the lowest grossing Best Picture winner in history.
Old 01-24-15, 01:30 PM
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Re: Why is American Sniper such a hit?

Because Republicans came out in force. Now if they would have come out this hardcore for their candidate in the last election...
Old 01-24-15, 01:40 PM
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Re: Why is American Sniper such a hit?

It's a very political movie whether some people want to admit it or not, and appeals very strongly to the people who view the character as a hero.
Old 01-24-15, 01:46 PM
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Re: Why is American Sniper such a hit?

I just saw that it had a $100M opening. Had no idea that happened! Did we not have a BO thread last week?

First, it's Clint Eastwood. And the trailers looked solid and was very provocative. That brings in a lot of us movie nerds.

Part two is the political angle. Soldiers. Republican promotion. Whatever. They all turned up to buy tickets.
Old 01-24-15, 01:54 PM
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Re: Why is American Sniper such a hit?

I think everyone is curious about the fake baby.
Old 01-24-15, 02:04 PM
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Re: Why is American Sniper such a hit?

The Git-R-Done crowd worship the guy it is about.
Old 01-24-15, 02:08 PM
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Re: Why is American Sniper such a hit?

We needed a thread on this?

I'm not one to care for the social landscape really but probably since 9/11 we've been really "'Murica!" or whatever.

What would be more of an interesting thing to see is what the race and age demographics were for this.

I was like a turd in snow that was smack in the masses old white people and some younger gringos too.
Old 01-24-15, 02:12 PM
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Re: Why is American Sniper such a hit?

It had a compelling trailer, it was a good movie, it generated a ton of buzz even in the first weekend. Monday morning radio shows were all discussing the flick. For whatever the individual reason it had an impact.
Old 01-24-15, 02:48 PM
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Re: Why is American Sniper such a hit?

Because the trailers and tv spots are well-made, Cooper and Eastwood are big names, and the movie's got action in it. Add to that it's a wide release and it's got Oscar buzz. Seems like a no-brainer.


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Old 01-24-15, 03:24 PM
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Re: Why is American Sniper such a hit?

You have tremendously broad appeal with it. It's an action movie, it's a love story, it's about a patriot. It has a big budget, a famous director, a famous lead actor. It covers all bases to appeal to all parts of the country, it gets people that normally don't go to theaters to go.
Old 01-24-15, 04:14 PM
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Re: Why is American Sniper such a hit?

For those saying the box office is driven by "Republicans", "the south", "Fox News crowd", "conservatives", "rural areas", etc., is that just speculation or do you have hard numbers? I know a lot of die-hard conservatives, including a shooting instructor, who haven't seen it and didn't mention any immediate plans to buy a ticket (so they're not contributing to the numbers even though we're in a Repub. state in the South). I'm reserving judgment...I'm so-so toward a lot of Eastwood films anyway, so will wait for the DVD/cable outlets.

The Boston Globe review I copied in the other thread mentioned the speculation about conservative crowds but then refuted that by saying the film had a smash opening weekend in NYC...not exactly a GOP bastion.

From the bashing the movie is getting from noted liberals, seems that they're either getting screening copies or buying tickets. I doubt Ed Schultz got a screening copy (I think he mentioned seeing it in the theater along with his wife).
Old 01-24-15, 04:16 PM
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Re: Why is American Sniper such a hit?

Of course, the speculation about conservatives making up the majority of the audience may be true...since it was the conservatives who showed up in the mid-terms.
Old 01-24-15, 04:19 PM
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Re: Why is American Sniper such a hit?

Originally Posted by johnnysd View Post
It's a very political movie whether some people want to admit it or not, and appeals very strongly to the people who view the character as a hero.
This and it also appeals to those looking for justification of the Iraqi invasion.
Old 01-24-15, 04:19 PM
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Re: Why is American Sniper such a hit?

just a guess, but part of it's success is the context of what is going on right now with ISIL.
Seeing these barbarians getting away beheading hostages makes us feel impotent. Even though there are air strikes and military operations on a large scale going on, it's largely abstract and not entirely effective. While what we are seeing from them is this one on one transaction making it more relatable and therefore more horrific.

This film comes along and we can finally emphasize with "our guy" giving it back to 'them'.
Emphasizing with Kyle finally restores our potency and "can do, git 'er done" bravado.
Then when you fold in the weepy, soul searching drama of the 'broken hero' who didn't realize war was going to do such a number on his psyche (one of the oldest cliches in the book, by the way) he transforms from competent bad ass to the fully noble and tragic hero.

Kyle's story (as told in the film) makes people feel competent, powerful, true and righteous and good about this guy, and by extension, their country and themselves.
All at a time when news is telling them how powerless they are, and when recent history has revealed to them what suckers they were.

I made a crack in the other thread (that I since edited out as it distracting from the main point) that said this seemed like the Love Story for the new century. I was only being half facetious. Love Story was a film that seemed to come out of nowhere and become this huge cultural phenomenon even though it's queasily manipulative. But it hit the zeitgeist of the time.
There seems to be some similarity here- with the exception that people are left feeling better about themselves and their country. At it's base, that's a kind of narcissistic self love (i.e. masturbatory).
Old 01-24-15, 04:24 PM
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Re: Why is American Sniper such a hit?

For me, the trailer sold me on it. I had no intention of seeing it before that.

Unfortunately, the film just isn't as good as it wants to be.
Old 01-24-15, 04:33 PM
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Re: Why is American Sniper such a hit?

I think it's only surprising because of the Iraq War's unpopularity.

The issue I have is the gun culture. Perhaps taking traumatized veterans to a gun range wasn't the best idea. Too many people look at how he died and not understand what caused it.
Old 01-24-15, 04:35 PM
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Re: Why is American Sniper such a hit?

Originally Posted by The Antipodean View Post
It's doing way better than anyone thought and arousing a fair bit of controversy as it nears superhero movie type numbers. So why is it doing well? Celebration of an American hero, racist rednecks coming out in droves, the Fox news crowd turning up, or just because it's a good movie?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmen...-18-3m-friday/
Pretty much all of the above. All of the other recent Middle East war movies have a degree of ambiguity. American Sniper does not.
Old 01-24-15, 04:37 PM
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Re: Why is American Sniper such a hit?

Originally Posted by Ranger View Post
Perhaps taking traumatized veterans to a gun range wasn't the best idea.
A former supervisor of mine who is a Vietnam vet said the same thing. He told me that he has not touched a firearm since Vietnam and does not want anything to do with them. Besides telling me that he has a bad knee because was shot in the leg by enemy fire and that by the time he was 18 he had killed his first enemy combatant, he refuses to talk about anything else that happened there.
Old 01-24-15, 04:41 PM
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Re: Why is American Sniper such a hit?

Originally Posted by Ranger View Post
I think it's only surprising because of the Iraq War's unpopularity.

The issue I have is the gun culture. Perhaps taking traumatized veterans to a gun range wasn't the best idea. Too many people look at how he died and not understand what caused it.

Anyone with half a brain should know it's never a good idea to allow mentally unstable/traumatized people to have access to a gun.

I'm surprised Kyle did that, supposedly in an attempt to "help" the man.
Old 01-24-15, 05:03 PM
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Re: Why is American Sniper such a hit?

My dad was a WWII vet, and he would only tell us funny stories of what happened while on liberty, SNAFUs around the camp, being busted for various offenses, coming home, etc. Same with my uncle who flew reconnaissance missions in Pacific Theater. They'd sometimes share stories together but didn't have a lot in common since their service branches were so different.

Recently worked closely with a guy whom I never knew was a Vietnam vet until he met a brother in arms. All he would tell us was how long he was in country & how many tours, but he & the other vet kind of huddled together & immediately bonded.

My dad was a big hunter before the war but rarely went out afterward (although he taught me to shoot). That might have had something to do with his being shot in a hunting accident, which I think was postwar before I was born. My niece's husband is a Vietnam vet who is an avid hunter (and has friends who were vets who are the same), so doesn't seem to have affected them re: firearms.

Don't know if the 'wartime silence' only applies to those who "saw action" or whatever or if it also extends to those affectionately termed REMFs, but it seems common judging by my limited experience.

I read a review of AS talking about how many vets who were in Middle East seem affected by the movie (evidently in the "this movie shows what it was like" way). I don't know if things like Generation Kill or docs like Restropo or Gunner's Palace get the same reactions; certainly they have far less exposure.
Old 01-24-15, 05:43 PM
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Re: Why is American Sniper such a hit?

Originally Posted by The Antipodean View Post
It's doing way better than anyone thought and arousing a fair bit of controversy as it nears superhero movie type numbers. So why is it doing well? Celebration of an American hero, racist rednecks coming out in droves, the Fox news crowd turning up, or just because it's a good movie?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmen...-18-3m-friday/
I thought the skew on this would be a large majority of men, but the demo has a fair number of women who watched as well, they might have really latched into the dynamic between wife and husband angle. I don't see drives of rednecks going to the theaters.
Old 01-24-15, 05:54 PM
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Re: Why is American Sniper such a hit?

I would think it is obvious. The vast majority of Americans do not have the same outlook on life that people here do. Hence the surprise for people here. I don't think it was a big surprise for all those people going to see the movie. You know how if you are a hammer everything looks like a nail. If you are a moron everybody looks stupid.

And of course, Zoot Allures! Weasels are ripping my flesh!
Old 01-24-15, 07:21 PM
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Re: Why is American Sniper such a hit?

Because it's the first notable movie about the latter half of the Iraq War.
Old 01-24-15, 07:52 PM
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Re: Why is American Sniper such a hit?

Originally Posted by Paul_SD View Post
just a guess, but part of it's success is the context of what is going on right now with ISIL.
Seeing these barbarians getting away beheading hostages makes us feel impotent. Even though there are air strikes and military operations on a large scale going on, it's largely abstract and not entirely effective. While what we are seeing from them is this one on one transaction making it more relatable and therefore more horrific.

This film comes along and we can finally emphasize with "our guy" giving it back to 'them'.
Emphasizing with Kyle finally restores our potency and "can do, git 'er done" bravado.
Then when you fold in the weepy, soul searching drama of the 'broken hero' who didn't realize war was going to do such a number on his psyche (one of the oldest cliches in the book, by the way) he transforms from competent bad ass to the fully noble and tragic hero.

Kyle's story (as told in the film) makes people feel competent, powerful, true and righteous and good about this guy, and by extension, their country and themselves.
All at a time when news is telling them how powerless they are, and when recent history has revealed to them what suckers they were.

I made a crack in the other thread (that I since edited out as it distracting from the main point) that said this seemed like the Love Story for the new century. I was only being half facetious. Love Story was a film that seemed to come out of nowhere and become this huge cultural phenomenon even though it's queasily manipulative. But it hit the zeitgeist of the time.
There seems to be some similarity here- with the exception that people are left feeling better about themselves and their country. At it's base, that's a kind of narcissistic self love (i.e. masturbatory).
Oh, fuck. Love Story is such a piece of crap to me. Sooooooo boring. My mom talked about it a lot and then I saw it. Was so confused by her reaction during its release to when I was seeing it years later.

Last edited by Solid Snake; 01-24-15 at 09:19 PM.

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