American Sniper is a really good movie and a really fair movie when it comes to representing war as I picture it. Full disclosure – I have never been in the military, nor do I plan on serving in the near future. My initial reaction to the people around me in the theater is that people don’t understand how important ethics is to a soldier in a war zone. You don’t just become the most deadly sniper in history without killing armed women and children.
We are all taught in our American bubble that war is supposed to be between men and that women and children are left alone. Well, as many people around me in the theater’s bubble was immediately burst, American society needs to realize that fear along with being mis-leaded drives the malice of war.
Men kill men. Women kill men. Children kill men. Women kill women. Women kill children. Men kill children. Children kill men, women and children. That’s war and that’s why Bradley Cooper (American Hustle) received and deserved his Oscar nomination for best actor. Yes it is blatantly obvious that it is a Clint Eastwood (Gran Torino) movie because of the glorification of Chris Kyle as a man who could do no wrong.
Well, I think this is the best part of the movie, because I believe that there are too many people out there that half-ass their job calling. I mean what is the point of doing something unless you strive and work your hardest to be the best. The second you doubt yourself and show an inkling of weakness, your dead… literally and figuratively. If you have a mission and a destiny in life, you have to make it happen yourself – Chris’s destiny was to help save as many people as possible in the army… yes PTSD was a serious ailment of Chris’s, but it only was because he knew his duty – to help save lives. If he wasn’t saving the lives of his brothers in some way, then he wasn’t fulfilling his purpose in life (which is the theme I grasped onto in the movie).
Now, my biggest issue with the movie and the reason why this probably won’t make my top 10 movies of the year is the character of Chris’s wife. Sienna Miller was terrible. She is the least likeable female character I have seen in years. Her character arc is a fucking mess and all of her dialogue is contradictive. She complains about a guy hitting on her not being tall enough for her to date her and throughout the movie she seems to be obsessed with tall men who aren’t macho – go figures why she is hanging out at a military bar in the first place. She is completely rude (which is actually a fair representation of the state of the bar dating game now) and has no motivation for any of her actions. The only reason why she isn’t the worst character of all time is because once she shuts up and plays the ailing military wife, the audience already knows the emotions they are supposed to feel.
By: Jonny Havey | Director & Producer
Well shit… I can’t blame Mike Leigh (Happy-Go-Lucky) as being a bad director, because I actually have liked a lot of his movies and recognize that he is a top tier director. I also am not going to get into a long rant about how long the movie is for two reasons.
First, biopic period pieces are almost always ridiculously long. Second, I don’t believe that the length of a film should ever be used to judge a movie for being good or bad. With that being said, I slept during the first half hour of Mr. Turner, pretending I was watching Whiplash, which could be heard loud and clear from the theater next store.
That or Timothy Spall (Harry Potter) groping his housekeeper, within minutes of the start of the film, should of alerted me that “fan” the movie would be. While there was some great cinematography inspired by Mr. Turner’s work along with some very good acting, I had very little interest in the movie.
The movie was just weird. Honestly, I couldn’t think of any other way to describe it. The housekeeper was a more pathetic sex slave than Channing Tatum in Foxcatcher (a dynamic that actually made sense) and was sadly funny.
I have to steal the comparison a good friend of mine used about the character of Mr. Turner being an unlikeable yet interesting character like Walter White – the problem is, I couldn’t care less what happened to Mr. Turner in the movie. I was waiting for him to die. And after so much random sex acts and painting repeating itself through the movie, I guess I didn’t need to stay until the end. Even though, it was a good change of pace when Mr. Turner sadly died.
Great man. Great artist. Shitty movie. Well… a weird movie.
By: Jonny Havey | Director & Producer
Director Ava DuVernay (I Will Follow) has made David Oyelowo (many films ranging from Lincoln to Intersteller) more than just a background character – he has given great depth and strength to the embodiment of Martin Luther King Jr.
It makes me sad that I had no idea who David was until his Oscar nomination worthy performance in Selma. I honestly thought he was an unknown actor and that Selma was his first movie. With that being said, he picked a great movie to have his breakout leading role in.
As many of you know, I am always a big fan of movies with characters that stand up to the government and other forms of authority. I believe that the concept of communities of people joining together to overcome oppression or work towards some sort of positive social/economic change is very inspirational.
Authority and power is abused too much in this world and the people who use it to being harm to those around them have some sort of karma coming to them some day. Selma tells a story about a man that may be one of the most famous people to ever live in the United States. He has been portrayed in many forms of media and his story is widely known.
Therefore, the movie itself does not bring source material that people are unfamiliar with. Instead it digs deeper into a part of the story that has had a much greater influence that people may have before thought. Martin Luther King’s push for equal voting rights and treatment for everyone.
King was always about the bigger picture and getting people behind an idea instead of behind one man. This is how I look at everything I do. People don’t care about what you do. They care about why you do it.
The success that came out of winning the right to vote is utterly amazing and the most impactful part of the film.
By: Jonny Havey
I had a very similar reaction to David Fincher’s (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) Gone Girl that I had after seeing Christopher Nolan’s Intersteller in 2014. I couldn’t stop smiling because both of my favorite directors knocked their movies out of the park.
Now, most of you either already know all about the story because you read Gillian Flynn’s book or dislike reading like me and watched the movie (prior to second run movie screenings), or you have followed the hype leading into award season. Therefore, you couldn’t care less what I say about the movie… so I won’t bore you.
I honestly don’t know why I waited until 2015 to see Gone Girl. My only explanation is that even before the movie came out I knew exactly what I would be getting myself into. Fincher is a genius and Gone Girl was going to be nothing less than a mind-f***. With that being said, I had really high hopes for the movie and was working for PwC when it came out, so I struggled to find a good time to get to the theater. I also, was worried that it wouldn’t be one of my favorite films of the year and it would let me down.
Fincher has big meaning to my career choice as a producer and I only expect the best from him. When I was 12 years old with a bunch of friends at a soccer tournament I saw Panic Room without even knowing it was Fincher (I loved the movie). A couple years later I saw Fight Club having no idea it was the same director (I loved that movie). Sometime between seeing Panic Room and Fight Club I saw all the Alien movies and had some weird draw to Alien 3. Then I saw Se7en and realized it was the same director as Fight Club. Then I saw both Zodiac and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (loved them) and made no connection between all six movies.
It wasn’t until The Social Network that I had my “oh shit!” moment realizing that David Fincher had been the director that had the biggest impact on taking my adult themed movie virginity. The Social Network instantly made my top 5 of all time.
The king of book adaptations made the most important critique on society and the sickness of manipulation that infects it that I have ever seen. Gone Girl was not a comfortable movie to see, but everyone needs to see it to show the scary truth about modern relationships.
By: Jonny Havey | Chief Producer & Director