American Sniper (2014) Film Review


Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper) was a rodeo rider who became a Navy SEAL sniper, killed a whole bunch of people whilst deployed in the Middle East, and then returned home with PTSD. Along the way, he got married and had some kids.

The film goes for over two hours, and yet it just seemed to fly past – it is dealing with fairly major issues, but brushes them off. I’m not a big fan of Clint Eastwood’s directing, but this film doesn’t seem to know what story it is telling – I suspect it is looking at the differences between him at work and back at home, but I’m not sure. In fact, it really annoyed me the way that it ‘dealt’ with issues. Spoiler alert: he seems to cure his PTSD by sitting in group therapy with some men who have come back quite injured and by helping them in their training. And then he’s fine… and he shows this by sneaking through the house and jokingly threatens his wife with a gun? What? Mind you, she is portrayed as a grumpy cow who didn’t even want to let him buy her a drink, and when they get married she nags and nags and nags. Yet this was nominated for an Oscar – perhaps we don’t need depth to our characters anymore.

American Sniper won an Oscar for Best Achievement in Sound Editing and was nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Bradley Cooper), Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay (Jason Hall), Best Achievement in Film Editing, and Best Achievement in Sound Mixing.

Million Dollar Baby (2004) Film Review


Maggie Fitzgerald (Hilary Swank) wants to be a boxer and she wants to be trained by Frankie Dunn (Clint Eastwood). Eddie Dupris (Morgan Freeman), an ex-boxer trained by Dunn who retired after a fight that cost him his eye and works in Dunn’s gym, sees her passion and helps her out, and eventually Dunn agrees to take her on as his first female boxer.

I don’t think I like Clint Eastwood. There, I’ve said it. There seem to be many things in the world that it, for whatever reason, is sacrilege to dislike. Why? I don’t know. He’s considered to be an American icon, but I’m not American, so why should it matter if I like him or not?

For me, this film was quite tedious. Dunn wouldn’t train Fitzgerald because he didn’t trust himself after what happened to Eddie. She wears him down. He trains her. *Spoiler Alert* Something bad happens to her. He can’t forgive himself. Blah blah blah. I know I was supposed to cry and feel all kinds of emotions; perhaps that was just it. Perhaps it the attempts to manipulate my emotions were just too blatant. I just didn’t like it.

Million Dollar Baby won Oscars for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Hilary Swank), Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Morgan Freeman) and Best Achievement in Directing (Clint Eastwood). Million Dollar Baby was nominated for Oscars for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Clint Eastwood), Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay (Paul Haggis) and Best Achievement in Film Editing.