Lightning Review: American Sniper

Review #99

American Sniper movie posterSynopsis
US Navy SEAL Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper) becomes a legend for his skills as a sniper. But when he is home with his wife, Taya (Sienna Miller), he has a hard time leaving the war behind.

There has been much controversy around American Sniper but I’m not going to get into all that. This is strictly going to be a review about this film as a piece of cinema. Now to be honest, the only reason I was interested in seeing this film was because it is directed by Clint Eastwood. Biopics aren’t usually my cup of tea but I must say that I rather enjoyed this film. Eastwood knew how to utilize the environment (both in and out of combat) to create tension. I constantly found myself needing to relax in my seat. Say what you want about this film, this is Bradley Cooper’s movie. He completely gets into the role of Chris Kyle and may be my favorite performance of his I’ve seen. Sienna Miller was great, too. Other than GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra, I haven’t seen any of her other movies, so I think I may be checking those out if I find the time. American Sniper is just as intense out of the action than in it, albeit more subtly, making it one unique movie experience.



Cast & Crew
Clint Eastwood – Director
Jason Hall – Writer

Bradley Cooper – Chris Kyle
Sienna Miller – Taya
Kyle Gallner – Goat-Winston
Keir O’Donnell – Jeff Kyle
Ben Reed – Wayne Kyle
Cole Konis – Young Chris Kyle
Luke Sunshine – Young Jeff Kyle
Elise Robertson – Debbie Kyle
Kevin Lacz – Dauber
Jake McDorman – Biggles
Cory Hardrict – Dandridge
Eric Ladin – Case
Luke Grimes – Marc Lee
Sammy Sheik – Mustafa
Luis Jose Lopez – Sanchez
Brian Hallisay – Capt. Gallespie
Navid Negahban – Sheikh Al-Obodi
Mido Hamada – The Butcher
Max Charles – Colton
Madeleine McGraw – McKenna

Lightning Review: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra movie posterSynopsis
Duke (Channing Tatum) and Ripcord (Marlon Wayans) escort a convoy transporting experimental nanomite warheads when it gets ambushed by Baroness (Sienna Miller) and her Neo Viper soldiers. They are rescued by Heavy Duty (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), Snake Eyes (Ray Park), Scarlett (Rachel Nichols), and Breaker (Said Taghmaoui), members of an elite military unit known as G.I.Joe, or Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity. The Joes race to stop the creator of the warheads, James McCullen (Christopher Eccleston), from using the warheads to start the next World War.

G.I. Joe has followed in Transformers’ footsteps as the next Hasbro toy line to receive the live-action movie treatment. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is a fairly standard action movie, one that sacrifices plot for explosions. But that works in its favor because it knows exactly the kind of film it wants to be. The action is pretty good, particularly anything with Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow (or both), but the thin plot is pulled straight from the 1980s cartoon. There are times it tries to be serious and these scenes feel out of place compared with the rest of the film. My favorite performance was Rachel Nichols as Scarlett. Brendan Fraser had a little cameo as Sgt. Stone that was a nice surprise. With this movie being the rise of Cobra, we don’t see Cobra Commander until the end, and even so he isn’t wearing his iconic mask. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is nothing special, but if you take it for what it is, there is some fun to be had.



Cast & Crew
Stephen Sommers – Director/Story
Stuart Beattie – Screenplay/Story
David Elliot – Screenplay
Paul Lovett – Screenplay
Michael Gordon – Story
Alan Silvestri – Composer

Channing Tatum – Duke
Marlon Wayans – Ripcord
Sienna Miller – Ana/Baroness
Christopher Eccleston – Jame McCullen
Joseph Gordon-Levitt – The Doctor/Rex
Byung-hun Lee – Storm Shadow
Ray Park – Snake Eyes
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje – Heavy Duty
Rachel Nichols – Scarlett
Said Taghmaoui – Breaker
Dennis Quaid – General Hawk
Arnold Vosloo – Zartan
Karolina Kurkova – Cover Girl
Leo Howard – Young Snake Eyes
Brandon Soo Hoo – Young Storm Shadow
Gerald Okamura – Hard Master
Jonathan Pryce – US President