Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Hollywood Jihad Against American Sniper

American Sniper is the movie that should not have existed. Even though the book was a bestseller, nobody in Hollywood wanted the rights.

 And why would they?

The Iraq War already had an official narrative in Hollywood. It was bad and wrong. Its veterans were crippled, dysfunctional and dangerous. Before American Sniper, Warner Brothers had gone with anti-war flicks like Body of Lies and In the Valley of Elah. It had lost a fortune on Body of Lies; but losing money had never stopped Hollywood from making anti-war movies that no one wanted to watch.

Even the Hurt Locker had opened with a quote from leftist terrorist supporter Chris Hedges.

An Iraq War movie was supposed to be an anti-war movie. There was no other way to tell the story. Spielberg’s own interest in American Sniper was focused on “humanizing” the other side. When he left and Clint Eastwood, coming off a series of failed films, took the helm, it was assumed that American Sniper would briefly show up in theaters and then go off to die quietly in what was left of the DVD aisle.

And then American Sniper broke box office records that had been set by blockbusters like Avatar, Passion and Hangover Part II by refusing to demonize American soldiers or to spin conspiracy tales about the war. Instead of pandering to coastal progressives, it aimed at the patriotic heartland.

In a sentence you no longer expected to hear from a Hollywood exec, the Warner Brothers distribution chief said, “This is about patriotism and all the things people say the country is lacking these days.”

The backlash to that patriotism and the things the country is lacking these days didn’t take very long to form and it goes a lot deeper than snide tweets from Michael Moore and Seth Rogen. Academy members were reportedly passing around an article from the New Republic, whose author had not actually seen the movie, but still denounced it for not showing Chris Kyle as a bigoted murderer.

Hollywood progressives are both threatened and angered by American Sniper. And with good reason.

The most basic reason is the bottom line. Between Lone Survivor, Unbroken and American Sniper, the patriotic war movie is back. Hollywood could only keep making anti-war movies no one would watch as long as that seemed to be the only way to tackle the subject. Now there’s a clear model for making successful and respectful war movies based around the biographies and accounts of actual veterans.

Hollywood studios had been pressured by left-wing stars into wasting fortunes on failed anti-war conspiracy movies. Matt Damon had managed to get $150 million sunk into his Green Zone failed anti-war movie before stomping away from Universal in a huff. Body of Lies with Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe had a real budget estimated at around $120 million, but had opened third after Beverly Hills Chihuahua whose titular tiny dog audiences preferred to either star and their political critiques.

But why spend over a hundred million on anti-war movies no one wants when American Sniper has already made over $120 million on a budget only half that much?

Hollywood progressives don’t look forward to having to write, direct and star in patriotic pictures and if they can’t destroy American Sniper at the box office, they can taint it enough that no major star or director will want to be associated with anything like it.

Adding to their undercurrent of anger is the way that American Sniper upstaged Selma at the box office and at the Academy Award nominations. Selma is a mediocre movie, but it was meant to be a platform for the usual conversation that progressives want to have about how terrible Americans are. Instead audiences chose to see a movie about how great Americans can be even in difficult times.

There’s nothing that threatens the left as much as that.

In a Best Picture lineup that includes the obligatory paeans to gay rights and the evils of racism, American Sniper distinctly stands out as something different. It displaces Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, the previous sure winner which had its obligatory drunken Iraq War veteran claiming that the war was fought for oil, with an authentic veteran instead of Hollywood’s twisted caricature of one.

American Sniper and Lone Survivor signal a shifting wind in which the focus of movies about the War on Terror moves from the organizational conspiracy theories that Hollywood liked to make to the personal narratives of the men who fought in them. Many of the smarter progressive reviews of American Sniper grapple with the fact that the time when they could even have their favorite argument is going away.

Progressives would like Dick Cheney to be the face of the war, but are forced to deal with a world in which Chris Kyle and Marcus Luttrell will be how America sees the conflict. The lens through which the left liked to view the war, its obsessions with WMD, Bush and the path to war, have been eclipsed by the rise of ISIS and the return of American veterans. Their worldview has become outdated and irrelevant.

It’s easier for the left to vent its anger on American Sniper than to deal with its own irrelevance. The most shocking thing about the movie is not any political statement, but its presumption in dealing with the Iraq War and the men in it as if it were WW2. It doesn’t confront the left; instead it acts as if the left isn’t there. It fails to acknowledge the entire worldview through which Hollywood dealt with the war.

The left spends most of its time living in its own bubble and is shocked when events remind it that the rest of the country does not really share its opinions and tastes. American Sniper’s success is one of those explosive wake-up calls and the left has responded to it with all the expected vicious pettiness.

A billboard for the movie was vandalized and attacks from lefty outlets like New Republic and Vox not only target the movie, but the dead man at the center of it. The smear campaign against Kyle has reached new lows, because in death he has become an even more powerful symbol of everything that the left hates.

Hollywood tried to “Vietnamize” Iraq in the popular imagination. American Sniper shows they failed.

Whether or not American Sniper wins the requisite number of Oscars, its impact on Hollywood and on ordinary Americans will not go away. The anti-war movie is in eclipse. The movies that tell the stories of the sacrifices that American veterans have made in the war against Islamic terrorists are rising.


shilotoren said...

I agree with about 95% of what you wrote. I disagree that Clint Eastwood had a series of "failed movies". Mixed reviews for sure and not all great successes at the box office, but he has many good films under his belt.

Anonymous said...

"In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act."

George Orwell

Mark said...


David said...

Great essay.
There is nothing as antithetical to collectivism as a lone sniper.
Another great read that is closer to home for us around here is "Jack Hinson's One Man War" by Tom McKenney.

Dennis Latham said...

Great article. It's about time patriotism made a come back in America. What is amazing is that all those Hollywood fool actors on the left, all make their living killing people with guns in movies. The irony is funny. I haven't seen the movie yet, but most everyone I know has seen it or talks about wanting to see it. It's about time the real America rises up against the idiots who constantly attack the country but get rich here. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Thank you.

Grumpy-Bob said...

Trying to teach the Left or our Progressive radicals reminds me of what Mark Twain said about trying to teach a pig to sing: It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

DenisO said...

Great, clear analysis of Hollywood, and an article I'll send to my Viet Nam era friends, who love America, and generally hated that war as much as the Left, but did their duty, and were hated for it. Very encouraging and a real feel-good movie. Movies, rather than books today, can change history, at least the history that has been promulgated by the powerful. The winner always writes history, and that is as true of the Left's victory in Viet Nam as the North's version of the history of the Civil War period. Neither is honest, but facts remain facts, and eventually the truth will out.
Usually, it takes a long time to change views of history, but this movie could shrink the timeline, as it is true that Hollywood has to wonder about whether its influence has lost its mojo. It's not that hard for the insecure to doubt themselves, particularly when they know they are incapable of heroism.
What qualifies the Left and Hollywood to determine what's right and wrong, good and bad? Their reputation. Education is controlled by the Left, and it is currently unquestioned dogma, but when change starts, it can be dramatic. The same is true of what drives Muslims, -unquestioned belief in history as presented by mind-benders who control religions, with their versions. The problem is not simple, but man's behavior is simple, and predictable. They do what the herd does first, and are uncomfortable thinking of not doing it. Dogs can control herds; man should have a decent chance to do it too.

Princeton67 said...

“American Sniper” portrays Chris Kyle as a hero, not the coward he was? So sayeth Michael Moore. Not as of yet having viewed the film, I can only presuppose that countless scenes were left on the cutting room floor: Scenes depicting Kyle’s murder of thousands of innocent civilian bystanders. Hiding behind an executioner's mask. Seeking personal protective shelter in places of worship. Kidnapping hundreds of school children. Denigrating women. Mutilating daughters. Stoning wives. Beheading independent thinkers….

Those who march in the Goebbels Fifth Column Islamophile Brigade know nothing of the angst which accompanies American heroism. They know less than nothing of the terrorism and hatred of Quranic cowardice.

In memory of Sgt. Alvin York

Stuck in Left Coast said...

I am glad you tackled this, as the hot air from the "real" heroes and patriots like Michael Moore is again causing excessive polar melting and has crushed our long awaited El Nino. He is out of state, but perhaps Jerry Moonbeam can find a way to get Michael Moore to pay a carbon foot print tax with all that CO2 he expels. But as they say, I digress.

The point is, the left has always been irrelevant and out of sync with the US. Remember that FDR's lefty cabinet and friends never said anything bad about Hitler or Stalin, especially after the Hero of the Left made a deal with the Hero of the other Left. Remember folks, NAZI was short for National Socialist.

None the less, many from Hollywood (especially those from the UK like David Niven) volunteered as early as 1940 to serve either here or went to England via Canada. Sports and other entertainment stars as well volunteered. Many of these guys careers never recovered, or were certainly not making the anticipated money or stats for the record books.

Even Clark Gable, overage, in less than stellar health, volunteered and actually flew on a number of combat missions. Can you imagine any of today's Hollyweird elites, steroid stoked "athletes," or hip hop stars volunteering for combat duty?

We also forget that a number of our previous generations also served in Korea and Vietnam, but not in the same numbers. How about the sons of our politicians? T and FD Roosevelt both had sons in combat zones.

I am afraid that today we have a whole bunch of armchair heroes and critics, but not one of them would even dare to be a conscientious objector serving unarmed as a Medic in combat. Yet every one of these cartoonish goof balls would end up in chop-chop square if their heroes of the jihad ruled the land. And Bah-Bah Wah-Wah would have a very short and "to the point" interview with the leader.

In case anyone wonders, the only reason I never served was due to physical limitations I was born with. But that does not mean I do nothing for my community (like VFD and community disaster response team). I live closer to Hollywood than I would like, but that is life at this point.

Peter38a said...

Daniel, may I suggest that that American Sniper is only nominally a war movie. It's about a man brought up with certain values that he was certain about; sacrifice for others. He was a great American and he could have been a police officer or a fireman.

I read once that during the war an Iraqi officer said to his American counter part, "You are a much better people than you're movies show". Americans want to see stories about great Americans, why is that such a mystery to Hollywood? Mystery or not any admission we pay for garbage makes part of the problem.

Anonymous said...

Those who have both the physical and mental makeup to survive in combat are a rare breed. The Leftist is someone that money, paid off University success and connections make important. They are antithetical beings. One is strictly about class the other is strictly about the inner individual. No wonder there is so much hate. I can't wait to see this film!!!

Edward Cline said...

All Hollywood can do about American Sniper is snipe at it with spitballs with a defunct slingshot. I'd heard that Michael Moore had a stroke because he couldn't believe an Eastwood movie outsold his communist rubbish.

Bob Smith said...

I dare American leftists to stand up for free speech - Charlie Hebdo style.

But of course that would take balls.

In the mean time they can tell me again how female genital mutilation, stoning women for adultery, and the burka are a cultural choice.

Dan Patterson said...

A small victory after decades of being pissed on and then lectured that the stinking yellow liquid is just a warm spring rain. Besides, the punishment clause or the equality clause or the living wage clause or the income inequality clause or the free goddam health care clause demands (DEMANDS!) that we take our punishment. And like it. Or else.
Federalism may have died at Appomatox but I didn't. What tools are at our disposal to unseat the modern kings and tyrants? Certainly not the limp biscuit ballot box (at least not without reinforcement and local support). Some agreeable form of loud and sustained resistance is needed and not just within the echo chamber of the already converted.

Anonymous said...

The movie I REALLY want to see: Fallujah 2

Tantor said...

"American Sniper" hits Hollywood where it hurts: In the pocketbook. Hollywood may love leftism but it loves money more. Now that Sniper has shown that it pays to make pro-American, pro-military movies, Hollywood will be dragged, kicking and screaming, into making more of them. They Hate That.

Anonymous said...

I'm Australian. Our Governor-General, previously chief of our Defence Force is in Saudi Arabia for the funeral, not celebrating our national day with us. Our flag was at half mast. This article makes me think - maybe there is some hope for us after

wheelgun said...

It won't win at the Academy - that is by definition Hollywood. It might win People's Choice.

But then the Academy Awards are becoming as pointless as the next big special-effects movie.

Proof said...

I'm still waiting for Michael Moore to get back to me on the 1000 'cowardly' snipers protecting Obama in India, if he would approve of one of those men shooting someone in the back, from a rooftop, if it meant saving the life of the president?

I also asked him to opine on the 'cowardly' Secret Service snipers who work at the White House every day, but so far, Fat Boy hasn't gotten back to me. Any day now, I'm sure.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Excellent post! I highly recommend the book because they couldn't cover all of it in the film.
The film was still very good, however.

Anonymous said...

Best take on the left/progtards rage at losing the narrative yet.

We the People of "flyover country" are not paying attention to them, in our support for returning soldiers and patriotism,
any more than we have taken their orders on guns and self-defense as a natural right.

Anonymous said...

Remember that The Passion of the Christ made a boatload of money; how are Christians portrayed today?

David Roth

Empress Trudy said...

I suspect that someday soon Hollywood will discover a war hero who's black and they will change their tune.

Anonymous said...

Some brought up Jack Hinson's book as a comparison. The book about Hinson, at least the shooting part, is largely bullshiite.

NO ONE makes 500-1000 yd shots without a vernier ladder sight. The bullet drop is far, far too great. The idiotic comments about aiming at specific buttons at over 5oo yds is also imaginary.

Kyle DID do what the movie say.

HMS Defiant said...

"nobody in Hollywood wanted the rights."

Clint Eastwood did. That was enough.

Anonymous said...

The reason that American Sniper is a success is that most Americans are sick and tired of being told by sick lefties how bad Americans are. I haven't seen the picture but to my mind Chris Kyle to most stands out as what is expected of Americans.If you're given a job, no matter how dirty it might be you do it to the best of your ability and with your heart and soul. Chris Kyle's duty was to protect his brothers in combat by killing the enemy before they killed him or his buddies. That was his job and I gather he did it quite well.

Anonymous said...

The odd thing is the barbarians they tacitly defend would slit their throats in a heart beat.

Anonymous said...

Hollywood does not make anti-war movies for profit. They make it for the awards they give each other and or the anti-American overseas market.

Anonymous said...

I saw the movie this weekend. The thing that hit the the hardest was that they didn't try to glorify Kyle at all. He was just a human being with all of the flaws and blemishes that entails. Cooper did an excellent job at not making Kyle seem larger than life. Life-sizing a person whom many in Iraq considered to be a legend of mythical proportions wasn't easy, but the intermissions between his four tours helped to re-ground him in our eyes as a husband and a father who eventually had to talk himself out of taking responsibility for a war he could not win and lives he could not save in favor of the people for whom he had direct responsibility. I think that's a battle that a lot of men face, usually on a less dramatic scale. We too often sacrifice our families for larger causes, only to realize too late what we've lost. God bless Chris Kyle for all the lives he saved, and bless him for coming home before it was too late.

I appreciated the sensitive way the movie handles the last chapter of Kyle's life. He died still a young man, trying to save the soldiers and Marines he couldn't save on the battlefield.

Anonymous said...

The only "hero" for the left are mass murderers and murderers of the unborn. They have instigated a war against morality, decency, truth, light, and life and anyone who won't join them in their war is, of course, their enemy. The U.S. military is especially repugnant to them because those who join aren't coerced but volunteer to serve the country knowing full well their own life might be jeopardized. This potential self-sacrifice is so foreign and unimaginable to the left that if one dare point it out in any way, their dark hearts and warped minds cannot stand it.


Anonymous said...

Well written article. Interesting th as t there is a picture of Martin Sheen protesting war. Sheen narrates a lot of war shows on the History channel. Talk about hypocrisy! ! He'll protest war but has no problem making money off of it. He shouldn't get away with that.

hashemlovesisrael said...

G-d himself blew on the bullet. G-d intends for America to win this war! Thanks also to ALL of the men and women who were stirred to act to defend America! But my heart was so proud and also sad and grateful for his familys' sacrifice for our nation's benefit.

Anonymous said...

the Left has proven again they are the 5th column in America,our enemy within.I watched the movie and came away having mixed feelings,proud that we have such warriors and sad.The movie shows how America doesn,t fight a total war to win,political correctness in war doesn,t lead to victory...if we fought our enemies with total war maybe Kris wouldn,t of had to go back 4 times

Anonymous said...

Its because the fat cunt is to busy eating!

Mark Mandell said...

Just bear in mind that ultimately, Hollywood is about one thing only, making money. There have been a whole series of money-losing leftist movies. The good thing about "American Sniper's" success is that we're probably going to see a whole lot of patriotic movies. God bless the American people; hopefully, Americans will vote in 2016 as they have in their choice of movies to support.

Anonymous said...

I applaud Clint Eastwood, Bradley Cooper and all the others that stood up for truth and did this very important movie...AMERICAN SNIPER! Hollywood, I am a huge movie goer and watch the Academy Awards every single year! But quite frankly, I'm becoming less and less interested in going to the movies OR tuning in to the Academy Awards, etc. It's all so biased by the Hollywood leftist popularity committee and has nothing to do with what we the people, the viewers want. It's a popularity contest amongst a bunch of egocentrics. Quality movies are becoming a thing of the past. I'm confused about your slogan..."no more violence, no more wars" when today the majority of your pics are filled with so much senseless violence, murder, and filthy language and sexual content that I honestly believe that Hollywood is completely out of touch or just doesn't give a damn with what we the customer, the ones that pay at the box office to keep you working, are not being heard. We're real people with families, hopes, and dreams. And we want movies that teach us something good, that inspire us. The finest movies I've seen this year are : American Sniper and Unbroken. These movies are made about real people with a real stories and real lives who fought for a protect others. It wasn't about wanting to become a hero or win any awards. They were nothing short of Heroes because they were willing to lay down their lives for us, for our freedoms, for this great land known as America. Honestly and again, I don't get where you, (Hollywood), practice what you preach about "No more violence, no more war"! What do you think that our kids, teens, young adults are watching? If you really are anti violence/murder stop making this trash (trash in, trash out) and go back to making movies about good wholesome adventure, wholesome family life, and clean comedies and watch the positive effect they will make in our future citizens. And one more thing...Don't ever forget why you have the freedom that you have living in America...It's because of our men and women who go to war and risk their lives for us so that you and I can keep our freedom. Show them Grace: rather than curse them, thank them every day for their sacrifice! AMEN!!!

Anonymous said...

Hollywood, I'm confused by your slogan..."No more Wars"... when you continue to produce and release movies that are about senseless & extreme violence, murder, filthy violent language and raw violent sexual scenes! You're talking out of both sides of your mouth. You're either for or against violence. I am becoming less and less enchanted as a movie goer and an Academy Award watcher. Hollywood is all about a left wing popularity contest, therefore the really worthwhile wholesome movies don't have a chance unless they are produced, directed and acted by the 'in-crowd'. My 2 top movies for 2014-2015 are AMERICAN SNIPER AND UNBROKEN. They're both about real people with real lives who both had a protect others. It wasn't about themselves, about getting awards for their heroism, it was about sacrifice for the love of man and our freedoms. Hollywood you've got to get off the fence and choose! Are you for violence or are you for peace? If you're for peace, you'll stop with the production of senseless violent movies and start supporting our troops (men and women) who are out there risking their lives for your freedom as well as mine. Show them Grace by adding them to your 'Gratitude" list and thanking and praying (meditating) for their safety every day. Believe me they're not doing it for the money. Also, stop with the movies to stop spreading such negativity onto our children, teens, and young adults...our future adult citizens. Please pull your heads out of your egotistical asses and listen to what we the public, the ones that go to the box office and pay the money each week that keeps you with a roof over your head and food on your table, want to see! Give us movies that give us hope, give us hopes and dreams, gives us something to think about, something that's good for our hearts, minds, and our souls.