The Iraq War was disturbing; it is so in American Sniper, directed by Clint Eastwood and scripted by Jason Hall. It was also a war where jihadist savages needed, for more reasons than one, to be killed, and the American sniper of the movie, Navy SEAL Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper), snuffs out well over a hundred of them. Though a mere two-dimensional character, Kyle at any rate can be as stressed as he is strong, as finally shaken as he is patriotic. Sniper is an interesting war movie, stark and stirring and bloody and anti-jihadist. One wishes there was someone like Kyle to take out the members of ISIS.
For the most part the screenplay is expertly written, and plenty of good work issues from Eastwood. I’d like to see the film again before I comment on the acting.
It is now known that over 3,000 chemical weapons were found by coalition soldiers in Iraq (Karl Rove chose to communicate nothing about them). Men like Kyle did not fight in this disturbing war in vain.
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), the Frank Capra picture, is a strange work of art. Perhaps never has sentimentality been so smartly and lovingly filmed, never has facile optimism been so impressively crafted.
Patently the film is faulty. Indeed, it’s stupid about money lending practices, i.e. those of the Bailey Building and Loan Association. Henry Potter (Lionel Barrymore) is callous, but he’s right to say, “It isn’t fair to the little people to encourage them to live beyond their means.” Still, it is the humane family man, George Bailey (James Stewart), and not Potter, who must triumph, who—in truth—must be on his way to being as content as his father was. It’s an enticing trip—with images as lovely as those in The Magnificent Ambersons. I’m not sure it’s one of Capra’s best movies, however, although it is clearly more personal than, say, It Happened One Night.
The criminal activity in Jane the Virgin is getting complicated—for me, anyway—but it’s good to see something other than the working-out of human relationships (Jane’s still working it out with Rafael).
The stakes never seem very high here, but I guess that’s what you get from a soapy comedy. The Norman Conquests this ain’t. It’s still sometimes funny, though—check out what the girl who has seen Titanic has to say in the Chapter 10 episode—and still fun.
Recently Gina Rodriguez won a Golden Globe award. (A what? Huh?) With not only her facial play but also her movement, with her energy and wholesome allure, she nails the character.