Movie Reviews: The Wedding Ringer & American Sniper


Justin and I recently pulled a two-fer movie night.
Or night began with The Wedding Ringer. A basic run-down of the plot is as follows:
The main character is a man who is getting ready to be married SOON. The only problem is, he has no best man. Or groomsmen. He has no friends. He lies to his future-wife and makes up a fake wedding party. Then he discovers a man who acts as a best man/fake best friend a peoples weddings. So, a deal is made, money is exchanged, and hilarity ensues as the most ridiculously awkward wedding party of strangers is hired and mashed together. This film is just one hilarious scene after another. I have never heard an audience laugh so much non-stop during a movie. At one point there was applause. If you are looking for a great comedy movie, I definitely recommend this one.

Now, American Sniper is a totally different type of movie. I will admit my ignorance on this one. Despite the fact I now live I Texas, I was unaware that this movie was based on the true life story of a man from Texas. When I saw the preview I glossed a general idea that it was about a vet who dealt with PTSD. Intrigued by that side of things, I wanted to see it. I am not a fan of war movies and was hoping this one had limited combat scenes.
I was very wrong. A large portion of this movie IS combat action. It is graphic. It is heart-rending. One of the opening scenes involves a child. If graphic scenes of combat are a trigger for you, be forewarned. I have been told of a few vets who had to get up an walk out. But what was truly unique about this film compared to many like it is, it delves far more into the psyche of combat and HOW PTSD is such an issue for our vets.
This film is about Chris Kyle, a Navy Seal Sniper who does 4 tours of duty and gathers 161 confirmed kills under his belt. But these kills do not come without a price. And the cost is the innocence of his own mind. Although the combat is shown throughout the movie, they also delve into his struggles with PTSD and adapting a civilian life after his 4 tours end. (and in between.) As a sufferer of PTSD myself, I was impressed with how well this film showed the intricacies of the disorder.
Chris Kyle finally begins to find healing and purpose by volunteering to help other vets. This choice ultimately results in his death. (I am giving away the ending here in my assumption most people have heard the news story.)
The movie ends with real life footage of his casket being driven down the Texas freeways and miles upon miles of people standing at attention to honor this man. Standing solemn with American flags, on roadside and on overpasses. When the credits roll, there is no music playing. Only silence. And not a muscle moves for a few moments in the dark theatre. In comparison to the first film we watched, this one has a air of reverence and sadness that is tangible. An older lady a few rows in front of us is weeping. The man across the aisle has his face in his hands. On our way out, as we file out in silence, a man stands with his face to the back wall not moving. I wonder, due to the fact we are in Texas,if any of these folks knew Chris Kyle personally. I wonder how any are vets, how many have family I service. I am none of those, but this film still wrenched a my heart. I, as a hippie, do not support the concept of war. Ever. But I DO respect all humans. This film is about a man who gave his heart to something he believed in and it inevitably resulted in his death. This is a bend of honor and injustice. If you want to see a movie filled with raw emotion and solid action and good acting, make a point to see this film.

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