Showing posts from 2015

Another American Sniper Review

American Sniper is good. The battlefield scenes leave your heart squeezed into your throat—you feel the punch of Kyle’s rifle, hear the waver in the troops’ voices, and wince at the explosions. Eastwood orchestrates tension like a maestro and not just the combat portions. The scenes depicting Kyle’s struggle with PTSD are equally gripping, all the more because they’re coupled with very realistic depictions of military family life. Ditto the banter of the soldiers, SEALs and Marines—it all sounds genuine. Besides a few hiccups (Kyle’s phone call to his wife during a firefight being one glaring example) the film feels authentic throughout. That’s not easy to pull off.
One of the Marines I served with posted on Facebook that, “the American Sniper trailer was better than the entire Hurt Locker.” I disagree. American Sniper doesn’t bump the Hurt Locker from its rightful place as the definitive film of the Iraq War. The closest equivalent to Mustafa, (the Syrian sniper antagonist in Americ…

The Highest Form of Flattery

My love of The Cure cost me. As a black kid in a predominately white school, I was expected to maintain certain standards. These blackrequistes were an intricate set of rules covering everything from speech (including—but not limited to—the selective and artful dropping of various forms of the verb to be), to reading habits (Dragon Magazine was to be enjoyed at home—not on the school-bus), to dating (okay to do so outside your race, just not too consistently or enthusiastically).
The blackrequiestes were the bane of my Junior High existence. I was—as my peers were wont to remind me in pained, drawn out tones—just wrong. The only sport I was interested in was skateboarding. My pride when Storm became leader of the X-Men was akin to what I felt many years later during Barrack Obama’s first inauguration. Worst of all, Siouxie & the Banshees, De La Soul and Love & Rockets were keeping The Cure company in my tape case. I was excused on the dating bit though. I inspired a type of int…