January 16, 2015, - 8:57 am

Wknd Box Office: American Sniper, Blackhat, The Wedding Ringer, Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me

By Debbie Schlussel

The only thing I recommend, new at theaters today, is a documentary. The rest are a waste of time and money. I did not see “Paddington,” as the screening was held on the Jewish Sabbath.



* “American Sniper“: There is no way the liberals who dominate “the Academy” would have just nominated this movie for Best Picture and Bradley Cooper for a Best Actor Academy Award for his role as a sniper if this were a patriotic, pro-American movie. It is no such thing. In fact, this is a whiny, melodramatic, anti-war movie. Nothing else. But I’m sure that the lumpenconservatariat who uncritically digest whatever FOX News serves them up will go see this in droves and mistakenly believe they saw some “rah-rah America!”, conservative, patriotic movie, even though this is anything but that. Those fools should ask themselves why Rosie O’Donnell is raving in approval over this movie.

I found this movie to be long, boring, and an annoying waste of time. Cooper’s Texas accent is unintendedly hilarious. Hilariously awful. The movie is full of endless scenes of Cooper as Kyle questioning his role as a sniper because he sometimes must kill women and children (Muslim women and children who are terrorists and killed and still kill Americans). It’s also filled with endless scenes of Siena Miller as Kyle’s wife, whining, shrieking, screaming, nagging, and cajoling Kyle that he needs to be in America with her and their kids and not serving America at war. Waaah, waaah, waaah! Um, yaaaaaaawn. She married a man she knew was a career military guy who went to war and shot people to protect our troops. I cannot believe the real-life Mrs. Kyle was that much of a crybaby naghag, though she told People mag that, in 2009, she told Kyle that if he did not stop going to war zones, she would leave him and take the kids away. Um, why did she marry this guy, knowing he was a Navy SEAL Sniper? Oh, and the rest of the movie is Kyle being mentally afflicted after serving America in war.

You might protest to me that this was directed by Clint Eastwood who mocked Barack Obama via an empty chair at the Republican National Convention. Well, that brief return to sanity by Clint Eastwood is NOT on display here. Instead, very much on display is the Clint Eastwood who has pandered to Hollywood liberals for years in repentance for ever having dared play “Dirty Harry.” Very much on display is the director of two previous anti-war, anti-American movies, “Flags of Our Fathers” (read my review) and “Letters from Iwo Jima” (read my review), and the director of liberal propaganda movies, “Million Dollar Baby” (read my review) and “J. Edgar” (read my review).

This movie is supposed to tell the story of Chris Kyle, how and why he became a Navy SEAL and sniper, his war experiences as America’s supposed most successful sniper with at least 160 kills, and the circumstances of his death at the hands of a mentally afflicted war veteran with PTSD. I liked the scene at the beginning of the movie, in which his father tells a young Kyle that if someone starts a fight with him, he should finish it. I liked the scene in which the little boy Kyle beats an instigator to a pulp. But after that, the movie goes downhill and becomes the maudlin mess I’ve described here.

Although this movie was initially released in a scant few theaters at the end of last year in order to qualify for Oscar nomination voting, it’s debuting in most of the country in January, the second pet cemetery where Hollywood sends the crappy movies to die. In this case, that’s fitting.

It’s just not a good movie. Not even close.


Watch the trailer . . .

* Blackhat: This movie is preposterous. But the most preposterous–and objectionable part of it is that, for most of the movie, the main terrorist is a Christian Arab Lebanese Phalangist. For those unfamiliar, the Phalange were the Lebanese Maronite Christians who fought with the Israelis to get rid of the PLO, who raped and tortured the Lebanese and took over Lebanon in the 1970s and early ’80s. The Phalange wanted to make peace with Israel and Phalange Party co-founder Bachir Gemayel was elected leader of Lebanon, but he never got to assume the Presidency. After his election in 1982, he was assassinated by Muslims because he wanted to rid Lebanon of Syrian and PLO control and make peace with the Jews. It’s ironic that, while just a week ago Muslim Arabs were shooting up a French magazine and a Kosher supermarket in the name of allah, Hollywood tells us the villains and terrorists are Christian Arabs (generally the Middle East’s most persecuted and extinct species next to Jews). Yeah, that’s the ticket!

And then there is the ludicrous, hard-to-believe “plot.” Terrorists (the Arab Christian fellow!) are targeting and hacking into the world’s mainframes. First, they hacked into China’s computer world and caused a Chinese nuclear reactor to melt down. Then, they hacked into the U.S. futures market and drove up the cost of soy to ridiculously high levels, and cashed in on it to the tune of $74 million. And here’s the absurd part: the U.S. government recruits two Chinese who are the kids of a Chi-Com government minister or general to stop the hackers . . . because, even with Silicon Valley, we have no one in America to do the job?! Huh? And, then, they get the U.S. government to release their hacker, criminal friend (who has robbed several banks via hacking), Chris Hemsworth, from jail to help them. Uh-huh, like that would really ever happen.

Soon, the two Chinese and Hemsworth are in China to find the hacker, the Christian Arab terrorist, who of course lives in China, speaks Spanish to his henchmen, and engages in warfare against a legion of Communist police and fighters, as well as an FBI agent and Federal Marshal, defeating them all and escaping in a ship. The FBI agent and Federal Marshal are shooting up all of China and allowed to do so, because isn’t that the Chi-Com way? And they know China like the back of their hands. But, of course, they are murdered by the terrorists and only Chris Hemsworth is the expert marksman and warrior able to defeat the terrorists, while engaging in a romance with the Chi-Com girl, even though there’s no chemistry whatsoever. There’s more ridiculous stuff in this movie, but you get the gist.

Bachir Gemayel, who gave his life trying to restore order and peace to his country in the face of savage jihadists, is turning over in his grave over this crappy, nonsensical propaganda garbage.


Watch the trailer . . .

* “The Wedding Ringer“: Absolutely awful. I loathe Josh Gad, the stereotypical, zhlubby, fat, liberal Jew In Name Only (JINO, or in his case, Va-JINO, my term for female Jews in Name only). He became a star mocking Mormons on Broadway in “The Book of Mormon” (um, when is “The Book of Muslim” coming out?). He stars in this horrible, disgusting, incredibly stupid waste of time, as a stereotypical, zhlubby, fat, liberal Jew In Name Only, so there ain’t much acting here. By the way, he’s a tax attorney. Can you think of a more stereotypical Jewish profession? He’s engaged to Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, a semi-beautiful blonde, who insists on the perfect wedding. Except that Gad has no friends, and so he rents a “best man service” in Kevin Hart, who pretends to be his lifelong best friend (for a fee) and rounds up a group of ragtag rented fake “lifelong friend” groomsmen for his wedding party.

Lots of lies and ragtag activities and gags ensue, all of which are dumb, dopey, and pointless, and not that funny for what is supposed to be a comedy. Unless you think depraved scenes–like the one in which peanut butter on Gad’s genitals with a dog licking it off while he’s blindfolded–is funny. It’s not only sick, but unoriginal. I reviewed another disgusting, stupid movie on this site with the same, um, “procedure” going on.

And then there is Joe Willie Namath, who makes a cameo here. I was a big fan of Namath and even remained loyal through his drunken Suzy Kolber “I want to kiss you” episode. But no longer. Namath’s lines in this movie are, “[You’re gonna] blow me” and “Up the a–” (finishing the line of another character who begins with, “We’re gonna do your girlfriend”). He also physically mimics having sex. Wow, Broadway Joe must be quite desperate for a paycheck . . . or attention.

I hate, hate-hate-hated this movie. High quality Gitmo torture material (as long as Gitmo is still open).


Watch the trailer . . .

* “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me“: I was really touched by this documentary about Glen Campbell’s affliction with Alzheimer’s Disease and his struggle through his farewell tour along with his children (who play in his band) and his current wife. Campbell is/was an incredible talent, playing guitar, acting in movies and TV, and writing/singing some great ’70s hits, like “Rhinestone Cowboy,” and my favorite, “Southern Nights.” Hearing him croon those songs is sad because it reminded me of another time, growing up in the ’70s, when America was in a better place and stronger and tougher on the world stage. And it is sad to see Campbell struggle, to the point at which he does not know where the bathroom is in his own home. But, on stage, for the most part, he is in his element.

The movie, executive produced by Jane Seymour, begins with Campbell watching video of his various kids and wives and not knowing who they are. But Campbell’s inability to identify his wives is understandable even for someone without age-related dementia. After all, he’s had four of them. His current wife, a devout Christian, is an incredible soul, helping him through it all as they tour the country to say good-bye to Campbell’s many fans. Campbell’s beautiful young daughter and his sons are in his band. And his daughter tells us of her deep Christian moral beliefs and how those guide her in life. Although I am not a Christian, I appreciated that positive depiction of Christianity, long under attack by Hollywood and the entertainment industry.

I could have done without the snippets of pontificating egomaniac Bono, but otherwise this was a decent documentary. Now, Campbell is in a nursing home living his last years (he is almost 80), and this is a nice, fitting, but bittersweet good-bye to an American talent.


Watch the trailer . . .

Glen Campbell Performs “Southern Nights” on TV’s “Burt Sugarman’s The Midnight Special” in 1977 . . .

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63 Responses

Thanks Saudi financed Fox raved about American Sniper. DS remains as most reliable and indispensable. thank you.

bobguzzardi on January 16, 2015 at 9:39 am

Southern Nights is my favorite Glen Campbell song, too. There are plenty to choose from. He was a monumental talent, and it is sad to see his decline from Alzheimer’s.

Kaley Cuoco isn’t even half beautiful. She has twig legs, zero ass and fake boobs. Her face is passable, and she only fits the show she’s on because of a tendency toward humorously interesting facial expressions.

As for my favorite all-time football player, Joe Namath, WHAAAAAAAAT?!?!?!!! Say it ain’t so, Joe. You must REALLY need a paycheck to stoop that low.

Alfredo from Puerto Rico on January 16, 2015 at 9:48 am

    My favorites are “Gentle On My Mind” and “Galveston”.
    I may be dating myself.

    lexi on January 16, 2015 at 12:24 pm

      I know those very well, Galveston being my second favorite. Used to hear those on the radio all the time. Dreams of The Every Day Housewife was very good, too.

      Alfredo from Puerto Rico on January 16, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    As usual, Alfredo has it nailed! But, maybe I am severely uninformed; I like Kaley Cuoco in Big Bang — she’s gorgeous, and comedic, and has great screen presence. (I’m totally jealous.) Alfredo, you miss-called this one on ‘Penny’ — I love her!! (So I don’t know her personal views — better not at this point — lol!!)

    judy on January 16, 2015 at 12:36 pm

      She DOES fit the show. She owns her character, and after watching several episodes recently with a dying friend, I got it. He loves the show, although is now in the hospital, probably soon to buy the farm. Although he’s 14 years older than me, he really loves the show.

      Never having seen it before, I can’t say I have the same feelings about the show, but it’s got its very funny and cool moments. But Kaley Cuoco does own the Penny character and no one else could play it. Her facial expressions, even the ones she doesn’t make on purpose, are intriguingly funny by themselves.

      Alfredo from Puerto Rico on January 16, 2015 at 12:58 pm

        On Big Bang: I’m sorry your friend is leaving us — but that’s the selfish part of me — I sorely miss my departed friends, although I know they will be cared for and loved.

        Missed the first 2 years of Big Bang, then caught a couple of episodes based on my brother’s comments, and got hooked after about 3 episodes — then went back and binge-watched the whole series. Sorry, just sheer, mindless, juvenile hilarity! (And I thought it SO stupid at first!)

        Really appreciate your and Little Al’s comments on American Sniper — Debbie is usually right on target with her analyses of these agenda-oriented Hollywood vomitings. Clint Eastwood is very talented at directing/producing — any agenda he has is liable to be very subtly presented. I may someday watch the movie on cable and try to objectively form my own assessment. I still very much appreciate you, Little Al, and Debbie for providing clarity with intelligent comments —

        judy on January 19, 2015 at 2:56 pm

I saw “American Sniper” and I thought it was OK.
Not a great movie because it’s constantly throwing the typical anti-war arguments into Bradley Cooper’s face for which he has only equally formulaic responses.
Those retorts are correct but in the end you wouldn’t really know it watching the film which constantly feels like its going to take a detour into Bel Air liberal land.
It never really does but I was always waiting for the next off ramp.

Bradley Cooper was a hero but this film isn’t really a celebration of his life although it is respectful.
Eastwood made a respectful movie which is why a lot of “liberals” still hate it.
It just isn’t a rousing movie. I don’t think it was intended to be but
I couldn’t help thinking Bradley Cooper deserved a little better.

japple on January 16, 2015 at 10:18 am

Count me in as a huge fan of “Southern Nights”, too. I just adore that song…even when I *thought* I hated country I loved Glenn Campbell songs. I remember his torrid romance with Tanya Tucker…whose music I always liked as well. DS nailed it with her commentary on the 70s…I couldn’t agree more. I loved her review of the film…makes me wanna see it toot sweet!

I also liked her review of the film with the JINO in it. I don’t know who he is but I love reviews that dislike films and know WHY they dislike it. Too bad about Joe Nameth. When you admire someone you hope they’d retain their dignity and it’s always jarring when they don’t. And I LOLed @ comments on Kaley Cuoco…spot on. She’s a “skew wiff” (a little bit off!) as some would say in Australia. Not my cuppa…

And Eastwood. Boy are Conservatives snowed by that old, leather bag. He has like 99 kids with 176 women. That’s NOT Conservative in my book. However, I must say his son’s face is amazingly handsome…and I am not into blondes…I don’t know what movies he’s in but what a beautiful face he has…and I was never, ever a Clint fan (however I LOVE “Escape From Alcatraz”)! But that face!! 😀

I liked DS’s review on the war film. That’s Hollywood for you. They do seem to get the current zeitgeist of female “archetypes” though…women today treat their men just like it is depicted in the film. It’s a wonder the percentage of gay men doesn’t increase…women today do not know how to pick a good man and when they get one they mistreat them and act like nagging shrews. Feminism rocks!!!

Skunky on January 16, 2015 at 11:00 am

Sniper was like that other “new” military-movie/pile of dog kaka – the one with Marky Mark. They’re all the same now and audiences seem to lap them up like a dog laps up his own pile of warm vomit.

I know for a fact that many producers are crank addicts and that many studio execs are cokeheads. That’s my only explanation as to why these things get made…oh, and that fact that the make a ton of money, regardless.

DS_ROCKS! on January 16, 2015 at 11:30 am

“I know for a fact that many producers are crank addicts and that many studio execs are cokeheads. That’s my only explanation as to why these things get made…oh, and that fact that the make a ton of money, regardless.” – DS_ROCKS!

Truer words were never spoken. And quite a statement on our culture.

Alfredo from Puerto Rico on January 16, 2015 at 11:38 am

I will see Southern Nights. Poor Glen Campbell. I think Bradly Cooper is a mediocrity too. That Tim Spall for Mr. Turner and Ralph Fiennes for Grand Budapest Hotel were overlooked in Cooper’s favor shows you that the Oscars are a popularity contest and a joke.

Susan on January 16, 2015 at 12:18 pm

American Sniper sounds very much like the anti-Vietnam War movies of the 70’s. Blackhat is apparently an absurdity that is likely to die at the box office. The Wedding Ringer sounds like the sort of tripe that is released after the holidays. The Glen Campbell documentary does sound like the only film worth the trouble of viewing by far.

Worry01 on January 16, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    it wasn’t like that at all, worry.

    our pal deb was waaaay off base on this.

    kirche61 on January 19, 2015 at 10:46 am

I’m sorry to hear that Debbie didn’t like “American Sniper.” I read the book and hoped that the movie would be faithful to the book. One of the things that has stayed with me from the book, even though I read it a while ago, is the dilemma that Kyle went through every time he had to pull the trigger – caused by Obama’s Rules of Engagement. Obama treats the military as though they were cops. They are not to fire until fired upon, or at least until they are absolutely sure – beyond a shadow of a doubt – that the person being killed is about to kill a member of the military. This is especially a problem in Muslim countries where they use their women and children as weapons against our military. In the book Kyle said that all of our troops know that if they accidentally kill a civilian who was not a terrorist, that they will be crucified in the media and face criminal charges by the military. Sounded to me like it wouldn’t be worth it to serve. You are not protected by anyone or anything except the other members of your platoon – not even your commanding officers who sent you out there in the first place.

As for the other movies, except for the Glen Campbell documentary, I didn’t intend to see them anyway. Watching the trailer for The Wedding Ringer, if those are the funniest scenes from the movie, I suspect people will stay home.

But the Glen Campbell story is very sad. He was a favorite of mine and my parents’ growing up. He was one of the performers who was instrumental in crossing over between country and pop, and opened doors for a lot of talent from Nashville. He seemed like a decent guy – although he had a hard time staying married. I read that one of the things people marveled about in his last tour was that on stage he didn’t even seem to have a problem, but the minute he walked offstage he might not even recognize his crew. I think it shows how evocative music is, and how entrenched it can become in your brain. Even when you can’t recognize your spouse or your kids, you may recognize a song. And Campbell can apparently play and sing those songs without falter once on stage. Amazing, and a very sad end for such a great talent.

MIGirl on January 16, 2015 at 12:46 pm

In a sense, it’s not surprising that the “American Sniper” film was made the way it is – given that other waste of cinematic space (“Unbroken”) directed by “Palestina” Jolie.

ConcernedPatriot on January 16, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    I saw “Unbroken” three weeks ago and thought it was marvelous. I cannot see why this magnificent and uplifting film about a true American hero would be maligned by anyone. Jolie’s views on the Middle East are utterly irrelevant here. Go see “Unbroken.”

    Primetime on January 16, 2015 at 10:30 pm

      @Primetime – You seem to fit the “lumpenconservatariat” mold as Debbie has described of many who saw “American Sniper.” I guess you didn’t read the part of her review of “Unbroken” where Ms. Jolie had openly mentioned to the press that she had fully intended to make an anti-war film, plus making NO mention in the film of Louis Zamperini’s finding of Christianity and his life after the war. As well as a scene that effectively morally equivocated us with the Japanese enemy. Plus Ms. Jolie’s favoring of Islam over Christianity. All these things colored the way she made “Unbroken.”

      ConcernedPatriot on January 18, 2015 at 8:26 pm

Hello Debbie,
In case you get to watch the movie “Gett”,
Am sure your readers would benefit to read your review.
Thanks in advance,

Simon on January 16, 2015 at 12:53 pm

Things have gotten pretty bad when we begin to look at the 1970’s as the good old days.

salt1907 on January 16, 2015 at 2:06 pm


I’ve listened to many singers do this song;none reach the depth of Campbell’s feel for it.

I remember years ago, when he performed with The Boston Pops,conducted by Arther Fielder at the time. I tuned in, puzzled, imagining an odd match. It turned out to be hardly that. Campbell was a fine fit with that prestigious orchestra.

He was good,very very good.

lee of the lower case "l" on January 16, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    Arthur Fiedler, that is. Hurry hurry rush rush, that’s me.

    lee of the lower case "l" on January 18, 2015 at 1:19 pm

Lebanese Phalangists living in China and speaking Spanish to his henchmen? They might as well have had an Iranian Jew in Mongolia speaking Esperanto and battling FBI, GRU and Chinese agents.

I’ll watch Paddington

Infidel on January 16, 2015 at 3:57 pm

I remember watching the Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour and seeing Elton John and Heart for the first time. I still have several of his albums when he was basically a studio musician.

Lilida on January 16, 2015 at 4:25 pm

My daughter, at age 11, wants to be a grief counselor. (Daddy is a psychiatrist.) In a year or two, I might watch the Campbell documentary with her if that is still her interest.

My favorite was “Wichita Lineman.”

Occam's Tool on January 16, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    My favorite was “Wichita Lineman.”
    Occam’s Tool on January 16, 2015 at 7:01 pm”

    Mine too. Heard it on an oldies Country Station about a week ago and wondered whatever happened to good ol’ Glen. Really sad to hear such news.

    theShadow on January 16, 2015 at 8:36 pm

Wichita Lineman, Glen Campbell’s first big hit, his coming out party, if you will. The voice on the radio was quite appealing, and it was only the beginning of a wonderful career. Try A Little Kindness was another great song, and all the aforementioned others, a great TV show, good looks, great hair, Campbell’s charisma was smooth but unmistakeable.

Alfredo from Puerto Rico on January 16, 2015 at 10:22 pm

I hope you do see “Paddington.” I think you would like that a lot better than some of the other movies you reviewed. Also,a lot happier.

Ghostwriter on January 16, 2015 at 11:06 pm

I am so bummed about your review of American Sniper. I was really hoping you would like it. But much to my wife’s disdain my motto stands: If Schlussel doesn’t like it, I don’t pay for it. Thanks again for doing what you do.

RalphGoy on January 17, 2015 at 1:21 am

Paddington was good – just watched it.

Infidel on January 17, 2015 at 6:18 pm

I saw American Sniper today. Go see it. It was excellent and a pro military film. I don’t know what movie Debbie Schlussel saw.

R: Uh-huh, one of the FOX News lumpenconservatariat “Amen” crowd I warned you about. The movie I saw was the same one Rosie O’Donnell raved over and the mainstream media, Hollywood, and the left-wing Academy Awards are gushing over. Nothing pro-military about this blatantly ANTI-WAR film. Not even close. DS

Repeat on January 17, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    you’re right, repeat. it was a pro-military movie that celebrated this sniper and showed everything in what is probably a realistic light; many guys can’t handle combat.

    my wife knows schlussel is one of my political/culutural hero’s but i’m not allowed to mention her movie reviews any more. lol.

    kirche61 on January 19, 2015 at 10:52 am

Thanks Deb.


chuck lowe on January 17, 2015 at 9:03 pm

Without doubt, the U.S. was a better place in the 70s than it is now. In spite of the damage wrought by the lunacy of the 60s, political correctness had not yet established the chokehold over every aspect of daily life that exists today.

I’m not sure though, that we were stronger and tougher on the world stage. During the 70s we surrendered Vietnam and Nicaragua to the Communists, and Iran to the Muslim fanatics.

The monstrosity of detente was responsible for Communist gains all over the world, and ABM and Salt I went a long way towards weakening our defense.

Little Al on January 18, 2015 at 7:07 am

Debbie, First let me thank you for your reviews! I check your website every week to see them. I’d like to see the Glen Campbell movie, but can’t seem to find a viewing. I’m also in the Detroit area, and was wondering if it’s playing somewhere that I missed finding?

T: It is not playing here yet and may not ever make it to a theater in the Detroit area. I watched a DVD screener. Here are the showtimes around the country: http://glencampbellmovie.com/events/category/theatrical-release/ DS

trix on January 18, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    Debbie, Thank you very much for taking the time to reply!

    trix on January 19, 2015 at 12:38 pm

I hope I don’t get banned for this, as it’s WAYYYY off topic. I was going to e-mail Debbie, but it I think it’s best to throw it open to the entire membership.

There is 5:13 left in the NFC Championship Game, and I have yet to hear about Richard Sherman’s massively superior intelligence.


Alfredo from Puerto Rico on January 18, 2015 at 5:49 pm

I went to see American Sniper. Thought it with best movie of the year. Go and see it yourself. Don’t listen to the critics until you do so.

G: Then you and Rosie O’Donnell have a lot in common, as she said the same thing and raved over it. So did the mainstream media, Hollywood, and the left-wing Academy Awards. I guess you think anti-war movies are great. I do not. Don’t listen to the lumpenconservatariat “amen crowd” without critical thinking skills. If you do, you’re helping to make an anti-war movie big bucks and Hollywood will only make more of these BS movies cross-dressing as patriotic b/c they know fools like you will be sucked in to the BS and not even get it. DS

Guest on January 18, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    I can’t comment on why others liked it. I can tell you my experience. The last two minutes left me with tears in my eyes. I had just seen a biography, well told from his own work, of a great man. I am not alone in feeling this way. The movie is setting box office records and it isn’t anti military people who are buying the tickets. By the way Bradley Cooper screened the film for the military unit depicted in the movie and honestly asked them if the portrayal was a good one. They gave the movie and him a standing ovation. As I said, see the movie and judge for yourself.

    G: HUH? Like I predicted (because it’s soooo predictable), another of the lumpenconsevatariat Obamabots on the right who love an anti-war movie b/c they think they are supposed to but can’t really say why. So, because you saw an accurate biography on this same guy that has nothing to do with this movie, you loved an anti-war BS film that Rosie O’Donnell and the leftists loved, too? All because FOX News told you and a number of others on the right to love it. Wow.

    How do you know who is buying the tickets? You did a survey of all ticket buyers? Did you know that Rosie O’Donnell said on ABC’s “The View” several times that everyone should go see this? You know for sure that not a single of the millions of morons who watch “The View” listened to her and she had nothing to do with ticket sales? And you know this how? Do you know if people seeing the movie liked it after they spent the money? No. How do you know the people giving the movie a standing ovation were happy because it was anti-war and showed a wife constantly whining that her husband was doing his job defending American soldiers or that it showed American military veterans as mentally afflicted, damaged people?

    You gave no reason why you liked this anti-war movie other than that you want it to be something that it most certainly is not because you saw an unrelated biography on the same person and you incorrectly conflated that on this. So, if I made an anti-war movie “biography” of Ronald Reagan, I’ll bet you’d love that, too, especially if you saw a patriotic pro-Reagan biography elsewhere.

    I’ve seen people give standing ovations and clap non-stop at the end of many moronic, sleazy, anti-American movies. So, it means nothing that you claim this happened when you saw the movie. The Kardashians is a big hit and they make millions, setting and breaking records for reality stars. So, by your logic, they must be great for America, too. Um, thanks for the tip. But no thanks. DS

    Guest on January 18, 2015 at 7:36 pm

      OK Debbie you win. I obviously don’t know my own experience and apparently the soldiers that saw the screening Presented by Bradley Cooper don’t either. Let me ask you though–do you ever err with a review? I mean have you ever made a mistake?

      G: Um, this isn’t a game. It’s about critical thinking skills. Where are yours? It’s about getting a clue on anti-war movies and NOT blindly supporting them so Hollywood doesn’t make a ton of money off of them and keep making more. You still haven’t answered a single one of my questions because you cannot iterate even one example or reason why this was a “patriotic” or even good movie. Because it was neither. So, instead, you take the cop-out, ad hominem route by asking me if I’m ever wrong or made a mistake, as if that has anything to do with the price of tea in China or makes this movie anything but the anti-war movie Clint Eastwood proudly proclaimed it to be. We are all wrong at some point and all make mistakes, and that’s starkly the case for you here. Soldiers also loved the screenings of “Unbroken” and “Fury.” And both of those were crap, with Fury being an anti-American, anti-war outrage. A lot of soldiers watch the Kardashians and a lot of other crap with enthusiasm, too. Does that make those fabulous, pro-American stuff. Of course, not. Your “arguments” for this movie are lame. Which parts of the wife’s multiple whining scenes telling her hubby to come home were pro-American to you? Which parts of American soldiers being portrayed as damaged goods were pro-American? This is an anti-war movie both you and Rosie O’Donnell loved. And that speaks volumes about you, not about me. DS

      Guest on January 18, 2015 at 8:11 pm

        Debbie: I don’t think this is a game. I think we need to look at what we take in from the media with a critical eye. I just didn’t see this movie the way you did. Yes the wife was whiny and the other things you say about her but this was apparently the way she was in her life with Chris Kyle. This seems to me like honest movie making. The scenes with the soldiers having to clean out houses by going door to door showed how courageous they had to be. It let me in on what they were up against. The movie does not hold back on how savage the enemy is. In fact Chris Kyle calls them savages at one point. The training scenes while brief showed what kind of commitment was needed to become a soldier and then a sniper. People do end up scared physically and spiritually from war. The movie showed this but again I don’t take this to be anti war. It just shows what happens to people which is far more honest than pretending that people go through the hell of war and then come home skipping through the grass in slow motion. Again, Chris Kyle ended up working with disabled veterans and he died because of that service. How can you tell his story if you leave that out. You leave out he warmer parts the movie–eg when he is present for the birth of his first child, when he takes his son hunting just as his father did. You also leave out his motivation for being a sniper and you leave out his accomplishments on and off the battlefield. I actually read your review before I went to the movie. I almost didn’t go because of it. I expected the movie to feel very long but that wasn’t my experience. I was riveted the whole time and as I said I was moved to tears at the end. I don’t have all the facts about who is seeing the movie this first weekend but doing $100 million dollars in January for a biopic is extraordinary. It is very doubtful that Rosie brought all these people out since theatres are sold out in blue and red states. Word of mouth kills or makes a movie. This one is going to have legs because people seeing it are having the experience I had.I think the movie celebrates Chris Kyle’s life. Interestingly, one of Chris Kyle’s friends said that while he was watching the movie he thought that it was Chris himself on the screen so uncanny was Bradley Coopers portrayal of him. I am not brain dead blindly taking my cue from hollywood, anti war propagandists, Fox news etc as you incorrectly impute to me. I just think you missed the mark with your review. I assumed the comments section was a place that was open to the expression of my view.

        guest on January 18, 2015 at 11:35 pm

      Duh, Bradley Cooper endorsed the movie? Er, uh, I’m sure there was no financial incentive, short-term or long-term that caused him to do that…

      Little Al on January 18, 2015 at 10:39 pm

If the movie, American Sniper, is anywhere close to actually portraying the actual individual; then the sniper selection process people really screwed up. In that light, I have to believe the movie is a fantasy, as they all are bent to be, and, maybe the book also.

RA2216 on January 18, 2015 at 6:41 pm

I can think of two times in history that I saw and heard people give rousing applause, accompanied by loud cheers over things Rosie O’Sasquatch said.

(i) When she said that when The Towers fell, it was the first time in history that fire melted steel;
(ii) When she said that radical Christianity was as bad as radical Islam.

That didn’t make her right, just because seals can clap and bark on cue. Although I stopped going to the movies 31, 32 years ago, I’ll fall on the side of Debbie’s judgment regarding stuff like this.

Alfredo from Puerto Rico on January 18, 2015 at 8:25 pm

“American Sniper” is another factor as to why, in my younger days, I thought “biopic” rhymed with “myopic.” Which, in the context of the political bent of Hollywood (anti-American, anti-military, anti-capitalist, pro-morally equivalent etc.), fits films like this and “Unbroken” to a “T”. But yeah – if Rosie O’Donnell (who’s been referred to in some corners as “Rosie O’Dumbbell”) raves over a film like “…Sniper,” anyone with a brain would know to avoid it like the plague.

ConcernedPatriot on January 18, 2015 at 8:31 pm

The issues discussed here are not unprecedented historically.

Left-wingers in Hollywood have been subverting films since the 1920s. The most effective type of subversion does not result from overtly anti-American films.

It results from the subtle injection of anti-American themes in an apparent context of patriotism or lack of politicization, much as has been done here.

This is what the Communists in Hollywood did in the 30s and 40s. The subtle injection of criticism of the United States, and naive people then and now said the Communists had no influence over actual films, just as they are now saying that anti-Americanism does not permeate this present film. The fact that the films did not overtly glorify the hammer and sickle did not diminish the subversion in these films.

The audience reaction to this current film, both in the theaters and in this column helps us realize how effective this type of subversion can be.

Little Al on January 18, 2015 at 9:09 pm

Little Al with the nuclear weapons of articulation and knowledge that I do not possess. I possess a mighty arsenal of Nuclear Blond(e)ness, but that’s about it.

Alfredo from Puerto Rico on January 18, 2015 at 9:42 pm

Alfredo, I have always found your comments interesting and informative.

Little Al on January 18, 2015 at 9:46 pm

Debbie, I hope this reaches you. I’m a little heated up over your review of American Sniper. First, let me encourage you to read the book, read Kyle’s words for yourself. AND let me encourage you to evaluate how you review movies. Finding a perceived political injustice to parallel into every review is not only unprofessional, its damaging to your credibility. To mock Sienna Millers performs only validates ignorance. As Mrs. Kyle actually wrote a few pages detailing her struggle with her absent husband. Perhaps Eastwood went overboard with these scenes, but they were vey real and he was trying to honor Mrs. Kyles feelings and opinions. Whatever your political gripe with Eastwood is, I can assure he was primarily focused with honoring Kyle with this film, and not about interjecting his beliefs. Furthermore, for you to absolutely LOVE the Hurt Locker but to critique this film, only further validates your ignorance on REAL military happenings. The hurt locker is 100% Hollywood. Can you really imagine just 3 guys running around on their own dismantling bombs in Iraq? Didn’t think so. But American Sniper is a true account from a beloved hero who actually served 4 deployments. This is NOT an anti-war movie. This is a true account and character study of the most successful sniper in American history. In fact, it presents a very real evil, (that is described in the book also) that in my opinion further validates the war. I doubt you will read this. But there is not room for politics in this movie. As a reviewer we must strive to be impartial and evaluate style, and creative filmmaking rather than find a perceived political parallel. (Unless a film directly takes a political stance) I encourage you to do so, it will only make you a better, well-respected reviewer. I encourage you to read the book and reevaluate your opinion of the film as I can assure you, Eastwood and Cooper have done a tremendous service to their country by presenting Kyle’s story in an unbiased format and NOT skewing his image, as so many are actively trying to do. warm regards, Sam.

SW: HUH? What does the book have to do with the movie? Answer: Nothing. The movie is not the book and vice versa. The movie script was written by completely different people than the book. And I’m not reviewing the book. I’m reviewing the movie, which stank and which its own director, Clint Eastwood, says is an anti-war movie. I repeat: Rosie O’Donnell and the liberal media and Academy loved it. So did you. That says that you have a lot in common with them, or as I predicted in my review, you are one of the lumpenconservatariat that very blindly and very simply loves it because you loved the book and the person and you employ zero critical thinking skills in watching it because of that. I vote the latter. Doesn’t matter either way b/c it’s an anti-war movie and Hollywood will make more like this b/c they know they can fool people like you very easily. Congrats on that. Your lecture on being impartial in reviews is best told to your mirror. Thanks. DS

sam.wessen@yahoo.com on January 19, 2015 at 10:05 am

American sniper was awesome… no america-hating theme, just a realistic protrayal of a few characters who either couldn’t handle combat or understand the purpose of what are troops were doing. i think that’s normal and it wasn’t a big part of the film. also, chris’s wife in the movie had what i would consider a normal spouse reaction to seeing her husband so affected by combat, and his four tours in iraq. any and every military spouse must behave similarly in begging the husbnad/father to stay home.

kirche61 on January 19, 2015 at 10:44 am

Sam, at least you prove my point that Hollywood has a COMPLETE understanding of the sad state of females in 2015. I think the movie got that right! How sad for men & women in the modern world.

Your post reminded me of the fool Conservatives I see on Twitters who are supposed to be Conservatives but they STILL canonize politicians, place their hope on those sociopaths & STILL prop up Libtards like Mitt Zombie, Charlie Baker (the new Libtard Gov of Massa(hole)chusetts) and other RINO turkeys like “Miss” Lindsay Graham.

I’m not so much agreeing with DS as a person (as those with empty brains may stupidly fall back on…) but her ultimate point…use critical thinking, don’t get overwhelmed with emotion and know when you’re being snowing.

Since I was very young I have always felt this sensation that alerts me when I am being snowed (for the most part…) and I always have assumed DS has a similar feeling because she seems to point out situations that illustrate that very feeling that comes over me. I appreciate that because I’ve never really questioned that alert but have always wondered how come so many other people don’t seem to have that “gift”? I don’t question it because it is very visceral and it’s attached to my core values in lieu of following the crowd.

Don’t go with the crowd. Use the critical thinking part of your brain and although I did describe a “feeling”, do NOT let “feelings” dictate or obfuscate the truth. C’mon!

Skunky on January 19, 2015 at 10:45 am

Debbie, I appreciate you doing these reviews. Hard to tell what a movie is really about through metacritic or rotten tomatoes. I don’t envy you though. I cannot imagine sitting through a movie like Wedding Ringer or anything with Cameron Diaz. I think I’d rather stick needles in my eyes. Thank you.

Joe Cox on January 19, 2015 at 12:12 pm

I found your review of American Sniper to be long, boring, and an annoying waste of time.

fastandloud1 on January 19, 2015 at 7:14 pm

It isn’t just the “lumpenconservatariat” (not to mention the likes of such questionable, faux-“conservatives” as Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin) who are fooled by “American Sniper,” apparently – if the reactions of uber-lefties Michael Moore and Seth Rogen to the flick (if one has read the reports that quoted them, including Moore’s claim about snipers being “cowards”) are of any indication, and the complaints of the overtly anti-military types in Hollywood that “American Sniper” even got made in the first place, as anti-war as it is.

ConcernedPatriot on January 20, 2015 at 5:13 am

Where is it written in the Bible that because those who served in the military liked a movie, it must be good? I can think of four people in American politics right now whom I will go to the grave thanking for their service. Those same people have also done harm, perhaps irreparable harm to their nation since the time of their service. This proves that their service as military men does not necessarily correlate to good judgment in civilian life.

Those people would be John McCain, John Kerry, Colin Powell and Charles Rangel.

Alfredo from Puerto Rico on January 20, 2015 at 9:57 am

    @Alfredo – You forgot one other person in that category: George McGovern (R.I.H.), now serving as worm food.

    ConcernedPatriot on January 20, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    Alfredo, you called it! Can’t believe what planet those 4 are on. Reinforces exactly what Debbie is stating! How can they NOT see the bigger picture!!?? Though, if the Bible is correct (and I believe it is) prophecy is playing out as designed — can’t help but think that things are accelerating as predicted. Bad as it all seems, it’s positive, and we need to think on this daily — especially as we feel so down about the world situation. Keep up the good work!!

    Judy on January 22, 2015 at 2:01 pm

I agree with many of the commenters above who actually saw American Sniper notwithstanding Debbie’s review – Debbie is off on this one; the flick is a moving biographical portrayal of a true American hero that’s well worth your time. Dissuading people from seeing a movie that so clearly honors a greater American than any of us here will ever be borders on the shameful.

As for Rosie O’Donnell being a fan too, to the extent you care even a whit what Rosie thinks (Debbie apparently thinks you should, or she wouldn’t keep citing to Rosie in her responses), just consider it to be an example of even a stopped clock being right twice a day. For that matter, Rosie’s a Star Wars fan too, which neither diminishes my affinity for the original movies in the least nor would it be rational to let it affect yours.

Paul on January 20, 2015 at 12:08 pm

I’ve talked to folks who served with Chief Kyle and have seen the movie. Every one of them said the movie was spot on.

Debbie, just because a movie accurately depicts a serviceman’s doubts doesn’t mean it’s an anti-war, anti-American movie. Guess what. We all have doubts. We all question our faith.

Having served over a decade in the Marines, I know how difficult it is to be separated from your family for months upon months. You have to be some sort of tool of satan to not agonize over the thought of killing children. This film showed that “war is hell.” Showing these difficulties does NOT make a movie anti-American or anti-war.

I didn’t care for the movie immediately afterwards because it ended so abruptly, but then I realized it was much like Chief Kyle’s life.

Sorry, Debbie, but please consider that you might be wrong on this. If you have a reason to dislike this movie other than because a character whined, or because someone you don’t like said it’s a good movie, I’d like to hear it.

Dave on January 20, 2015 at 5:12 pm

I grew up as an army brat, and I trust Debbie’s opinion on the movie. The vast majority of soldiers can handle combat and don’t come home as basket cases. Why is Hollywood focusing on one guy who couldn’t? Why is Hollywood not portraying in a positive manner the majority of our veterans and their families? These are rhetorical questions because the answers are obvious: Because it is yet another anti-war film that portrays veterans as crazy and not able to mentally do their jobs. That is not “pro-American.”

The fact that so many “conservatives” believe this movie is pro-American is another symptom of the decadence of the culture today.

John M. on January 20, 2015 at 5:26 pm

Concerning ‘American Sniper’ when I compare Deb’s review to that of the Conservative media/talk shows I feel like I’m looking at two different movies. What gives? Are the conservatives oblivious to the obvious (to Debbie) leftist propaganda leanings in this film?
I think…YES

theShadow on January 21, 2015 at 12:19 am

I think you missed the whole point of “American Sinper.”

The wife was properly portrayed as a “nag hag” because that is what she was. It was an additional burden of Kyle to deal with.

PTSD is over diagnosed (mostly because it is encouraged for vets to claim it and because it is impossible to disprove and you get money for it) but it is a real malady for some. This is the story about someone who had PTSD, and a nagging wife, and how he overcame it.

As a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan I thought, although the movie had some typical unbelievable cliches tossed in, it was a very good portrayal of Iraq. I especially appreciated little touches like how equipment changed in each deployment.

I thought the movie was excellent. I would prefer a hero without a fatal flaw, but a movie like that is incredibly rare. Not even Achilles was without a flaw.

Skyler on January 27, 2015 at 6:58 am

Hi Debbie

Over the weekend I saw American Sniper, mainly because several of my coworkers – all veterans and mostly combat veterans (unlike me) – said it was worth seeing. Having seen it for myself, I’d have to say that I disagree with your review of it, which I think may be a first. I think Clint probably intended to make an anti-war movie, but more in the larger sense of “this is the personal cost of going to war” rather than “we’re evil people for going to war.”

As a caveat I have to say that I haven’t read Kyle’s book and only know the basics of his story. So I can’t speak to the accuracy of the movie to what actually happened. But overall I thought it provided a good window into the personal sacrifices that our troops make in protecting our country – especially our elite warriors. There are a few reasons why I think that at a minimum, this movie isn’t ANTI-American.

– They show Kyle joining the SEALS after the 1998 embassy bombings, then getting motivated to go to war after 9/11.

– They show the enemy fighters – such as “The Butcher” – to be the savages that Kyles says they are, such as when the Butcher tortures and kills the boy with a drill, and when they find the dead man hanging from chains in a room full of body parts.

– Although he didn’t feel great about shooting the kid and the mother, I don’t think he obsessed over it. His spotter called her an evil f*cking bitch or something similar, and later Kyle said he would answer for every shot he took (delivered in a way that made me think he was perfectly at peace with each one), but that his problem was that he felt he didn’t save every American he could have.

– It basically makes no comment pro or con about the justification for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which from a warrior’s perspective makes sense. Once you’re in uniform, you go where your commanders send you.

– It shows him regaining his self-worth by helping other veterans with PTSD, something that more people should give a damn about. So rather than being a victim of PTSD, he reached out to others and in helping them, helped his own healing.

– Finally, the final credits roll over actual footage of the huge crowds that turned out for his memorial service at Cowboy stadium, and also lining the route that his casket took.

I will grant you that the scenes with his wife where they argue are kind of dramatic. But I think it’s one that a lot of veterans have had with their families and it was probably even more so with them because he was deployed doing the most dangerous jobs (as most SEALs do). My main beef was, did he really have a satellite phone to call his wife, especially during a tactical convoy? I remember seeing that in the preview and thinking “NEVER talk to your wife on the phone during a mission.”

I wouldn’t classify it as boring, but neither was it riveting the whole time. Cooper’s Texas accent WAS a bit cartoonish, but having said that I’ve known a lot of Texans over the years and some of them sounded close to that. Texans who grew up as real cowboys doing rodeo tend to be a different breed from the rest of us. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Most of the scenes in the combat zone were very well done, especially the last firefight. I was wondering if there would be some reckoning since the leader kept saying”you f*cked us, Legend!” after he shot the enemy sniper but alerted the bad guys all around them. But it appears there wasn’t.

I do agree with you that Clint has – in spite of his occasional conservative statements – put out some real left-wing-tainted crap in his career. I just don’t think this is one of them.

Sean M on January 28, 2015 at 8:12 am

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