I took Babette to see the movie American Sniper starring Bradley Cooper.
I thought the trailers were among the best I’d ever seen for a movie.
For example, there’s one trailer for American Sniper where Bradley Cooper’s character is talking to his wife on the phone.
Except he’s riding in an armored car a war zone (one assumes Afghanistan or Iraq) and she is walking out of the hospital, presumably back home in the States.
She says, “You were right – It’s a boy.”
Cooper turns to his comrades in the armored car and announces, “It’s a boy!”
And one of them says, “Congratula…”
But that’s as far as he gets.
An explosion rocks the vehicle.
They are thrown into chaos.
And Cooper’s wife is left hanging on the phone, wondering if she will ever see her husband – and her baby’s father – alive again.
It is a very emotional and gripping moment.
So I was truly hoping that the movie would live up to the promise of the trailer.
(Don’t you hate it when the trailer for a movie is so much better than the movie itself? I’m looking at you, Cloud Atlas.)
However, there was just one problem in all this.
I noticed that American Sniper was directed by Clint Eastwood.
Okay, how can I say this…
Movies directed by Clint Eastwood tend to be, shall we say, a little, um, boring?
As a director, Eastwood leans toward plots and “character studies” that drag on for far too long for my taste. (I’m looking at you, Unforgiven.)
Bottom line: As the movie started, I was hoping for the best and prepared for the worst.
It was the best.
American Sniper is the best Clint Eastwood-directed movie I’ve ever seen.
It beat my previous favorite, Invictus, by at least ten clicks.
Bradley Cooper does a sensational job of portraying real-life war hero Chris Kyle, who is credited with the most kills in U.S. military history.
The war scenes are unflinchingly realistic (American Sniper is NOT for the faint of heart).
But it also shows the effect that war has on our brave servicemen and women.
According to The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, nearly one in five veterans returning from war are affected by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.
American Sniper shows Bradley Cooper’s character slowly coming to grips with PTSD, and how it affects his wife and family.
My father served in the army in Korea.
Babette’s brother served in the army, her father served in the navy, and her grandfather served in the army in World War II and was awarded the Purple Heart.
Most of us probably know someone who has served in the military or is related to someone who has.
The overarching feeling I had after watching American Sniper was one of deep and sincere gratitude.
Gratitude for the brave men and women who serve in our country in the military.
Gratitude for the abundance we enjoy in this country – in sharp contrast to the grinding poverty that millions of people on this planet experience every day.
Gratitude for my wife and family.
And gratitude for you, my amazing Students and Clients around the world – who make it possible for me to do what I love every day.
American Sniper – gripping, emotional, and highly recommended.
See it with someone you love.
Then give the next veteran you see a big hug.
I believe in you!
Noah St. John, Author The Book of Afformations®
Chief Instructor, Power Habits® Academy
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