American Sniper: Check Your Criticism

chris-kyle

American Sniper is on the verge of leading the domestic box office for the third weekend in a row. It’s garnered Bradley Cooper his third Oscar nomination in as many years, and has many people calling it one of the best films of 2014. If you somehow haven’t heard anything about this movie, it tells the story of the most lethal sniper in American history.

But there’s more going on and being said. Many have directly criticized Chris Kyle for a number of things. He’s who the movie is about. And very recently Bill Maher had some hasty words to describe him. Again for those who don’t know, Chris Kyle was killed by a U.S. Marine Corps veteran about a year ago.

My reasoning for writing this post is because people are watching a movie adapted from a book and immediately criticizing Chris Kyle. Which is unacceptable. What right do I have to criticize any military veteran when I myself could never join the ranks to defend this country and its interests? None. I have no right. Because I have no idea what it’s like, and I never will. No matter how many war movies Hollywood makes, I’ll never have a clue what it’s really like. And neither do any of these people criticizing Chris Kyle or any other veteran.

If you want to criticize the actions that led to Chris Kyle’s deployment, then okay. If you want to criticize Bradley Cooper’s portrayal of the man, then okay. If you want to criticize the entirety of the movie, then okay. If you want to criticize the politicization of war in America, then okay. But do not criticize someone like Chris Kyle who went and served in another country in the midst of war. Because you have no idea what he experienced. And you weren’t right there alongside him.

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Books Hitting the Big Screen in 2015

Is it me or did that title rhyme a bit? Hm.

Anyway, 2015 is another year full of books being adapted into movies. I wrote a million years ago about Hollywood’s fascination with turning toward the literary world for movie ideas. We all hear about the movie deals for this title and for that one just about every week. A movie is a hit, another book by the same author is adapted. Two prime examples of this just from 2014 are Gillian Flynn and John Green. And let’s not forget that the top grossing movie at the domestic box office has been adapted from a book in three of the last four calendar years. 2011 – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. 2013 – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. 2014 – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1.  Technically Guardians of the Galaxy still shows as the top grossing movie of last year, but I’m happy to say that Mockingjay is just a short time from claiming the top spot.

So when you take those little tidbits into consideration, it’s easy to see why Hollywood is always searching for that next big hit by way of the publishing industry. American Sniper just expanded its release and what happens? With Bradley Cooper as the lead and awards buzz from every which way, it’s going to shatter the January opening record at the box office. Another movie adapted from a book.

I’m sure you know exactly when your favorite adaptation will be released this year, but here are 20 notable releases. And no, I didn’t come up with the list myself. And no, I don’t have release dates because I’m too lazy to find them on Box Office Mojo. Here’s the list:

Silence

The Revenant

The Light Between Oceans

Paper Towns

In the Heart of the Sea

The Martian

The Zookeeper’s Wife

The Secret Scripture

Into the Forest

A Book of Common Prayer

Walk in the Woods

Lion

Dark Places

Child 44

Carol (The Price of Salt)

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

The Jungle Book

Macbeth

The Duff

Far from the Madding Crowd

And that’s it. Of course, none of these matter. It’s all about how soon November can get here so we can see Katniss again. Sorry for the lack of actual information about each movie, but I stole the list from here and they tell you a little about the story and the actors involved with most of the adaptations.

Are you looking forward to ANY of these? I’m not. But eh.

PS: You should know by now that the Fifty Shades of Grey movie is just weeks away from its release date. Well I read from a very good box office guy that it might open to more than $75 million domestically. A little perspective, Twilight opened to $69 million and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone opened to $90 million.