‘American Sniper’ the target of Hollywood controversy

Moviegoers took issue with the perceived criticism

Kyle Gallner Bradley Cooper
In this image released by Warner Bros. Pictures, Kyle Gallner, left, and Bradley Cooper appear in a scene from "American Sniper." The film is based on the autobiography by Chris Kyle. (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures)

(CNN) – The movie “American Sniper” topped the weekend box-office, raking in more than one-hundred million dollars in it’s first few days of nationwide release.

Americans are packing into theaters to see American Sniper, the real life story of the man known as America’s deadliest sniper, Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, played by actor Bradley Cooper, the film is breaking box office records this debut weekend, earning $105 million in weekend ticket sales and six Academy Award nominations

Not so excellent, however, in the minds of some in Hollywood. Actor Seth Rogen tweeted “American Sniper kind of reminds me of the movie that’s showing in the third act of Inglorious Basterds.”

Film-maker Michael Moore, ignited a firestorm, tweeting, “my uncle killed by sniper in ww2. We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot u in the back. Snipers aren’t heroes. And invaders r worse.” Then five hours later, “but if you’re on the roof of your home defending it from invaders who’ve come 7k miles, you are not a sniper, u are brave, u are a neighbor.” Moore’s comment about cowards is definitely getting some pushback.

Cade Courtley, a former Navy SEAL, says, “For someone who has spent their entire career on freedom of speech, and freedom of expression, to be criticizing an individual like Chris Kyle, who exemplifies the very best, well that’s really biting the hand that feeds you.”

Moviegoers we spoke to also took issue with the perceived criticism.

One said, “I think he was fighting for this country, was doing what he thought was right.”

Another said, “None of us who don’t serve, or can’t serve, have no idea what our soldiers are going through.”

Whether Moore was actually talking about the film ‘American Sniper’ is now sort of a gray area, tweeting quote, “hmm. I never tweeted 1word bout americansniper/chriskyle. I said my uncle killed by sniper in wwii; only cowards would do that 2 him and others.” He goes on to say, “So ppl want me 2tweet something bout american sniper? Great acting! Powerful message. Sad ending. There.”, then sending people to his Facebook page for further clarification.

Regardless, one thing seems crystal clear on the streets, among the masses who saw American Sniper: “It’s not a coward. It’s a matter of doing what he was told to do. And what he was trained to do.”

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