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Tag: Clint Eastwood (1-10 of 25)

Fact-Checking the Film: 'American Sniper'

Oscar season is here, which means a flurry of fact-based movies are in theaters. EW is fact-checking these films—everything from Selma to The Theory of Everything to Wild—to see just how true-to-life they turned out.

American Sniper has turned out to be the dark horse in this year’s Oscar race, landing six nominations last Thursday despite being largely ignored by other awards shows. (It received no Golden Globe or SAG nominations.) Directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Bradley Cooper, the film is based on Navy SEAL Chris Kyle’s autobiography of the same name—which, in turn, is based on Kyle’s memory. The book will serve as “fact” for the purposes of this article, as it and conversations with Kyle were the film’s primary source material.

Kyle, who served four tours between 2003 and 2009, is the most lethal sniper in American history: The government credits him with 160 confirmed kills. (The previous record was 109, set during the Vietnam war.) Kyle was involved in the making of this movie; he discussed his life and book with Cooper and screenwriter Jason Hall. He was killed on February 2, 2013–just one day after screenwriter Hall submitted his script. The piece was then amended through conversations between Hall and Kyle’s wife, Taya, as well as conversations between Taya and Eastwood, Hall, and Cooper. Taya has spoken positively of the movie, saying it’s “brought her husband back to life.” READ FULL STORY

Nine things everyone could be talking about after the Oscar nominations

After Chris Pine and Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs announce this year’s Oscar nominations Thursday morning, those who have been following this year’s race will have a lot to talk about. Will Boyhood be unstoppable? Did Selma get the attention it deserves? Which actor is crying into his cereal? Have you seen Cake yet?

In advance of tomorrow’s big announcement, here are nine things that everyone could be talking about after the Oscar nominations.  READ FULL STORY

Directors Guild nominates Richard Linklater, Wes Anderson; snubs 'Selma'

Richard Linklater, Alejandro González Iñárritu, and Wes Anderson, now-familiar faces in this year’s awards race, all received nominations for the Directors Guild of America Award.  READ FULL STORY

Sorry, Angelina and Clint: Here's who got snubbed at the Globes

The Golden Globes gave plenty of people—including Quvenzhané Wallis, nominated for Annie—reason to celebrate. But some huge movie names had no such luck. Who got left out of the pack?  READ FULL STORY

Sienna Miller talks about the ending of 'American Sniper,' Bradley Cooper’s short shorts


Sienna Miller doesn’t want to talk about whether or not Bradley Cooper dies in the end.

In the upcoming biopic American Sniper, he portrays Chris Kyle, the deadliest marksman in U.S. military history. During Kyle’s four tours in Iraq, the decorated Navy SEAL had 160 confirmed kills before retiring in 2009. But his life abruptly ended in 2013 when he was shot by a Marine veteran reportedly suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. (He’s currently awaiting trial.)

When asked if that sad coda to Kyle’s legendary career is included in director Clint Eastwood’s adaptation of the soldier’s best-selling 2012 memoir, the British actress demures. “I’m not supposed to say anything,” says Miller, who portrays Kyle’s wife, Taya. “The film really focuses more on his life than on his death. That’s what I’m supposed to say.”

Hitting theaters in limited release on Christmas Day, American Sniper arrives as a late addition to the awards-season scrum with a growing din of sight-unseen prerelease buzz. Cooper—who also produced the film—packed on pounds of muscle for the part, practiced shooting live ammunition with real SEAL teams, and personally promised Kyle (just before his death) to do justice to his story.

As such, American Sniper showcases Kyle’s overseas deployments where his courage under fire and pinpoint accuracy earned him the nickname “Legend” (and, Kyle claimed in his memoir, put a bounty on his head from enemy insurgents). But the movie also follows its hero home from the battlefield.

“Ultimately, it is a war film,” Miller says. “At the same time, you have romance: humanity grounded by a love story. The dilemma of life at home. Leaving that high-adrenaline, high-intensity situation behind and trying to be a father and husband. This is a man whose priorities in life are God, country, and family—in that order.”

The movie appears set to follow a release pattern similar to Eastwood’s sports drama Million Dollar Baby, which hit screens in December 2004 and went on to win four Oscars. Various prognosticators are already placing short odds on Cooper, who’s earned two nominations in the past two years for American Hustle and Silver Linings Playbook.

“His performance is completely compelling. He’s just unrecognizable,” Miller says. “He was training four to six hours a day. He put on 40 pounds of muscle. He looked and sounded like a different person. I’m pretty sure he didn’t break character for the entire thing. He dived into this completely head-first. It was an amazing thing to be around.”

Amazing in a completely different way were a pair of butt-hugging khaki short shorts a bulked-up Cooper was photographed wearing on set that became an Internet meme earlier this year.

“We did have a laugh about those photos. Funnily enough, those are the SEALs’ Hell Week shorts,” says Miller, laughing. “They are the Navy SEALs’ training uniform. I guess it’s part of Hell Week to be humiliated to that degree.”

Watch Bradley Cooper in the heart-pounding trailer for 'American Sniper'


Bradley Cooper plays the most lethal sniper in U.S. history, according to the riveting U.K. trailer for American Sniper, an upcoming drama from director Clint Eastwood that’s based on the late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle’s bestselling autobiography.

Cooper, who’d acquired the rights to the memoir early on, was deep in development when Kyle was tragically shot in early 2013. Though shaken, he decided to proceed with the film. In a Fresh Air interview, he said: “His story first of all really needs to be told, and it’s also relevant on two fronts: gun control and the need to address the many soldiers who are coming back with PTSD. Medicine has evolved to such a state — soldiers are coming back and they’re going to assimilate into the culture and if we don’t address the mental state along with the physical state it’s going to be a problem.”

Check out the sparse, tense trailer below.


'American Sniper' eyes Oscar race with December release date

American Sniper, director Clint Eastwood’s war film that stars Bradley Cooper as the late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, is aiming to be a major player in this year’s Oscar race. Warner Bros. announced yesterday that the movie will open in limited theaters on Dec. 25 before opening wide on Jan. 16. READ FULL STORY

Box office report: 'Think Like a Man Too' the cock of the walk with $30 million opening

Holding off a nice run from 22 Jump Street, the romantic comedy Think Like a Man Too took the top spot this weekend with a $30 million opening. That’s great news for Kevin Hart, the gleeful star and narrator of the Steve Harvey-inspired ensemble piece, though early estimates predicted the sequel performing closer to the tune of $35 million. The sequel didn’t match the original’s 2012 opening weekend kitty of $33.6 million, but the laffer also cost a modest $24 million to make. Sony predicts a strong weekday play going forward, buoyed by Man‘s strong word-of-mouth and A- CinemaScore rating.

There’s a couple of great jokes in Think Like a Man Too where the lone square fella of the core Vegas bachelor party suggests the boys eschew a night of gambling and strip clubs and catch a performance of Jersey Boys instead. “It won like eight Tonys!” he says when the men recoil. Whether or not it was a pointed reference to Think Like a Man Too‘s fellow new release or not is unknown, but the Clint Eastwood adaptation of Jersey Boys hit a bit of a flat note in fourth place with $13.5 million. Going forward Broadway fans and older audiences may seek it out as a break from the jarring noise of superheroes and metal machines clashing angrily into each other. (Though I’m not sure Kevin Hart and his Vegas buddies would make that bet.) But with a budget of $40 million, Jersey Boys, which earned an impressive A- CinemaScore vote, still has some major singing to do for its supper. READ FULL STORY

Critical mass: Does Clint Eastwood's 'Jersey Boys' sing?

Clint Eastwood directing Jersey Boys might be the most odd-coupling of director and musical material since John Huston made Annie. Like Huston, Eastwood has a Broadway hit to rely upon; in fact, he’s even got the Tony-nominated writers and the show’s Tony-winning star, John Lloyd Young as falsetto master Frankie Valli. “With his slicked-back pompadour and wardrobe of sharkskin suits, Young looks more like the late Bruno Kirby than Valli,” says EW’s critic Chris Nashawaty. “But when he opens his mouth, you believe you’re listening to the real deal. He finds every ounce of sweat, aftershave, and salad dressing that made up Valli’s one-of-a-kind voice.”

The story of the Four Seasons, who came up in a rough Italian-American neighborhood in New Jersey and flirted with real danger on their way to fame and fortune, is still a Broadway sensation, and the quartet’s unique and nostalgic sound gives the film a bankable attraction. Eastwood, now 84, leans heavily on the stage show, adapting its Rashomon storytelling style, with frequent fourth-wall-breaking dialogue where the characters give the camera their versions of the truth.

Of the band, the only newcomer to the material is Vincent Piazza (Boardwalk Empire), who plays hot-headed Tommy DeVito, and Christopher Walken plays a godfather, of sorts, who helps the boys when trouble arises.

Read more from EW’s review, as well as a round-up of other notable critics, below. READ FULL STORY

Vincent Piazza answers burning questions about Clint Eastwood's 'Jersey Boys'

Did you know that Jersey Boys hits movie theaters June 20? No shame if you didn’t; there’s been a noticeable lack of buzz around Clint Eastwood’s film adaptation of the 2005 musical, which was a certified smash on Broadway: Jersey Boys won four Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and is currently the 13th longest-running Broadway tuner in history. (It may soon be the 12th, if the show hangs around the August Wilson Theatre until fall 2015.)

When news broke that Eastwood would helm a movie based on the show, the stage community was understandably intrigued. The cast was solid: John Lloyd Young would reprise his Tony-winning performance as the show’s original Frankie Valli, joined by fellow Jersey Boys alumni Erich Bergen and Michael Lomenda, as well as Boardwalk Empire‘s Vincent Piazza. Still, the film’s late-to-drop trailer was as concerning as it was compelling. The question remained: With so few details having emerged, how exactly would Eastwood translate a beloved stage musical into a feature film?

Luckily, Piazza fielded plenty of those concerns when he dropped by the EW office to talk Jersey Boys. Theater fans, take note — the Jersey Boys movie might be exactly what you were hoping for. READ FULL STORY

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