Monday, February 9, 2015
American Sniper (The Film That Silenced Tanner Jones)
As a critic (however amateur), I believe that my job is to share my honest opinion, without having that opinion be influenced by outside forces. While I am far, far from the voice of the American film industry, I attempt to provide honest and entertaining readings for the few people who do actually read my blog.
About a month ago, I went to see American Sniper, the box office hit that has everybody talking. What I took away from the film was a mixed bag of emotions, including a desire to rant about polarized social beliefs, particularly racial and religious strife.
You see, different people watched American Sniper for different reasons. Some wanted yet another excuse to bask in the glory of our nation and praise our role as global babysitter. Some wanted to see a sniper take out a large sum of people, regardless of who those people were or whether they were representative of real-life individuals. Others, like myself, just wanted to see what the hype was about.
In the week following my viewing of American Sniper, I took the time to write a harsh review, the length of which tripled the post that you are reading right now. In that review, I called out A LOT of people on all sides of the political, social, and religious spectrums. While you may not be aware, my views of the world are quite moderate, meaning that I view almost everyone's opinions as valid, although mine are much closer to correct. That said, it is easy for me to criticize everyone's worldview (and American Sniper-view), because I don't believe in playing by their rules. In the past, people have told me that I don't really believe in anything, but the truth is that I believe in everything and attempt to understand most sides of every argument. Sure, there are some political and social issues that I feel strongly about, such as fiscal policy and abortion, but, for the most part, I enjoy hearing everyone else's opinions and deciding what is right, on a case by case basis.
Anyway... I say all of this political mumbo jumbo only to give you a better understanding of who I am and why I struggled with my American Sniper review. For a month, I have been contemplating whether or not to post the harshly critical review, in which I challenged strong beliefs of many, many people. And, in my contemplation, I didn't desire to write anything else, which was quite frustrating.
So, here I am... Obviously, I decided to keep the post to myself (at least until Google takes over the world and publishes all of my unpublished posts), but the battle between my political views and my duty to you, my readers, was quite intense. My real thoughts on American Sniper will remain with me, and, for that, I apologize. I know that all of this discussion is mostly for my own sanity, but I thought you might want to peak inside my brain and at least hear a little bit about the film that silenced my little keyboard.