Sunday, January 25, 2015

American Sniper

I waited to post this- when I saw the film, I was so touched and sad that I cried at the end and my poor husband had to stand in a hallway and hold me in his arms until I could compose myself.  Knowing it is a true story, and knowing that we ask men and women to go to foreign lands and put their lives at risk because that is HOW IT IS in our world- well, maybe we really are just apes in clothing. There will never be world peace- and we may always be the last hope of the beaten and raped women, abused children, and mutilated humans who are victims of dictators and need someone, somewhere to try to stop it. But we also deserve the right to protect the troops who are sent in, and Chris Kyle was the best protector who lived. He wasn't just a man-he was a heroic man. Whether you agree or disagree with war and fully wish to keep everyone in the middle east under dictatorships subject to murder and cruelty, well, that is up to you. But if I had to go to war, I would like to have at least one Chris Kyle on my side. Bradley Cooper gained a lot of muscle for this- gone is the metrosexual from the cover of People. We see a deeply humble man who is just doing his job because SOMEONE has to be that soldier. This movie felt so real because the story is so real.  I believe in men behaving like men- protecting the women and children against the vile and savage of the world. So did Chris Kyle. We can't all be heroes, but we certainly should respect the people who are. I am giving it 4 stars because it is a solid statement, well acted and heart rending. I don't apologize for anything that I think is right. And Chris Kyle was right.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Top Five

Top Five is more liked by the audience reviewers than the critics. Chris Rock is really an enigma. He is from the school of comedians who can't decide who they  are.  They want to confront race, but they make an awful lot of money from white people to be complaining. They hang on to their integrity and try to be honest about it, but usually they just turn bitter and angry with age. Not poor, just angry.  Chris Rock was the guy everyone liked when he was a young comedian. But now, what shines through for me is a deep sense of loss from him. I don't think he knows what kind of comedian he is, or even IF he is a comedian anymore. If you get past the raunchy, improbable stuff in the movie, you see a very complex and deeply sad man. He's at an age where raunchy seems uncomfortable to the audience. It's like an American Pie reunion- now they just look creepy. Rock claims to have been beaten and bullied while attending a white high school- I don't deny it but he should confront those people so he can get over some of it. His parents removed him and let him get a GED. That is too bad that they didn't find a way for him to at least try college, because he doesn't seem to have a lot of tools to cope with life and maybe going to a non-white college would have given him that sense of camaraderie that he seems to need.  It is impossible to review this film without going into Chris Rock because he is the center of it all. The story is about a stand-up comedian who has lost his drive to perform. He goes through the mire of his life and meets up with a reporter who is struggling to stay away from the booze. (Keep in mind that Rock lost an older brother to alcoholism). He is engaged to a reality star thus keeping the fake real all around him. It was okay- but I think if Rock is going to make a movie about honest things, then he has to get honest himself. This is not a comedy to me. Not at all. The serious parts are serious indeed. But if you like Chris Rock, and you miss him in general, this might be your movie.