Tag Archives: Bradley Cooper

Actor criticized for attending DNC … why?


Bradley Cooper is a fabulous artist.

His most memorable portrayal arguably is of the late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle in the film “American Sniper.” I saw the film and was riveted by it.

Lately, though, Cooper has been taking some flak from Republicans who criticized him for attending the Democratic National Convention in his hometown of Philadelphia. He wanted to hear President Obama’s speech at the convention in which he extolled the virtues of Democratic nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Cooper said as well that Obama is a great public speaker. He took his mother to the convention so she could hear the president’s remarks.

So, why the criticism? I can only surmise that it’s because anti-Obama activists and other observers thought that the actor who portrayed the iconic Chris Kyle was somehow disloyal to the late SEAL’s values … and that he since he assumed Kyle’s identity in the film that he also embraced the brave special forces warrior’s politics.


If that’s the case, I only have one response.

That’s why they call it “acting.”


Yep, I watched the Oscar show … all of it!

I can’t believe I watched the who-l-l-l-l-e thing.

The Oscars. All four hours of it. I wasn’t glued to the TV set. I got up from time to time — during the acceptance speeches by the winners of, say, Best Set Design.

The draw for me was whether Bradley Cooper would get the Best Actor statue for his portrayal of the late Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle in “American Sniper.” I was pulling for young Bradley. He didn’t get it, but the young man who won, Eddie Redmayne, for his portrayal of the┬ábrilliant Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything,” is a deserving honoree. (Disclosure time: I haven’t seen “Theory,” but from what I’ve read about his portrayal, Redmayne earned the statue.)

But here’s the award highlight of the evening, for me at least: Julianne Moore’s Best Actress award for her title-role portrayal in “Still Alice,” a college professor battling early onset of Alzheimer’s disease. (More disclosure: I haven’t yet seen this one, either; it came to Amarillo, then left — in a hurry.)

My interest in the topic of this film has been noted on this blog. My family and I have intimate knowledge of the destruction that Alzheimer’s disease brings to human beings. My mother died 31 years ago of complications from the disease and another beloved member of my family is fighting it now.

I pray for him, his wife, children and grandchildren. Their journey is fraught with heartache.

My hope is that “Still Alice” will raise the Alzheimer’s awareness level to new heights and spur researchers to redouble their efforts to find therapies and — one must always hope — a cure┬áthat eradicates this┬ámerciless killer.


Here's a vote for Bradley Cooper

Five men are competing for an acting award tonight that is going to draw more than the usual amount of attention.

I’ve got my favorite and I’ll declare right here: I want Bradley Cooper to win the Oscar for Best Actor.

Am I an expert on films? Hardly. Do I know enough about acting techniques to make an educated assessment of who should win? Not even close.

I haven’t even seen all the performances. But I’ve seen “American Sniper,” the film that stars Cooper as the late Chris Kyle, the Navy SEAL sniper credited with 160 “kills” while serving four tours in Iraq.

OK, so my wish for Cooper to win the Oscar isn’t even as educated as it should be. But I have heard the debate about the film and have come to my own conclusion about it: To my way of thinking, “American Sniper” does not glorify war; it does not endorse a war policy, nor does it condemn it. The film tells a gripping story about a young man who signed up to fight for his country, did his duty and struggled with the terrible — but lawful — orders he was required to carry out.

“American Sniper” is an important film that has drawn considerable comment from those on the left and the right.

This weekend, I had a conversation with a retired Amarillo police officer who’s also seen the film. He was highly critical of the “far left wackos” who’ve criticized the movie. My friend tilts to the right; I tilt to the left, although I don’t consider myself to be a far left wacko. I tried to calm my friend down a bit by reminding him that the wackos to whom he refers don’t necessarily represent mainstream progressive thinkers.

Indeed, I’ve been critical of some of those critics — such as filmmaker Michael Moore, who labeled snipers as “cowards.”

My former cop friend thinks the left-leaning motion picture academy will be highly reluctant to support Cooper for Best Actor Oscar because of the content of the film.

I remain cautiously optimistic that my friend has it wrong.

Would I think differently if I had seen all the actors’ performances under consideration? That’s a hypothetical question, so I cannot answer it.

I’ll just stand by my hope that Bradley Cooper tonight wins the Oscar.


Back to the 'cowards' tweet, please

Michael Moore has been taking grief lately over a tweet he put out in which he called military snipers “cowards.”

I’ve commented on it here. Others have, too. Now, though, the filmmaker is fighting back, accusing his critics of “making sh*** up about me.”

I am beginning to think many on both sides of this argument are seeking to change the subject.


Moore’s tweet was in response to the film “American Sniper,” in which Bradley Cooper portrays the late Chris Kyle in a gripping story about Kyle’s emotional struggles while serving as a Navy SEAL sharpshooter in Iraq.

The criticism has been ferocious, mainly from conservative media outlets. For the record, I do not consider myself a fan or follower of most of the conservative media talking heads. I tilt the other direction. However, I found Moore’s comments about the so-called cowardice of snipers to be highly offensive.

Moore’s comment on snipers being cowards┬áhad nothing to do with the nation’s war policy in Iraq. Moore, though, is seeking to turn that argument back on his critics, some of whom have called him “un-American” for his opinions, I guess, about snipers and about his general world view.

I won’t go there. He’s entitled to express his opinion. My own notion is that he messed when he expressed this particular opinion about this particular man┬ádoing with this particular duty.

As is often the case with these controversies, someone in the public eye puts something out there that others find offensive and then tries to cover his tracks by changing the subject, or trying to broaden the argument to include elements that really have no bearing on the misstatement made in the first place.


'Sniper' wasn't about reasons for war

Zack Beauchamp has written on┬áVox.com┬áthat the film “American Sniper” whitewashes the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003, suggesting that it was in response to the 9/11 attacks.

Well …


I think I’ll chime in with one more comment about the film. Then I’ll let it rest.

“American Sniper” is the story of one young man, Chris Kyle, and deployment through four tours of duty during the Iraq War. He was a Navy SEAL sniper, and he reportedly set some kind of kill record for U.S. military personnel while doing his duty.

The film tells the most riveting story possible about Kyle’s emotional struggles with being away from his young family, the post-traumatic stress he suffered and the extreme danger to which he was exposed during all those tours of duty.

I sat through the film and never once considered whether it told the complete story of the Iraq War and put the policy decisions under any kind of microscope. I do not believe that was director/producer Clint Eastwood’s intention. I believe Eastwood wanted to tell Chris Kyle’s story as accurately and completely as possible and from what I’ve read from those who knew Kyle the best — including his wife Taya — Eastwood accomplished his goal.

Zack Beauchamp’s assertion about the historical inaccuracy of “American Sniper” misses the essential point of the film.

One young man did his duty, placed himself in harm’s way, came home, and sought to return to a normal life as a husband and father.

Then his life ended in tragedy.

That was the story I saw.