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It seems like every film covering the Iraq/Afghanistan Wars in depth is bound to be both a controversial, yet successful endeavor for the studios that choose to release them. Sure enough, in the spirit of Zero Dark Thirty and Lone Survivor before it, American Sniper has drawn some ire due to its approach to its subject matter. Michael Moore hit out at the film in two separate occasions in the past 24 hours, and now it would seem that Seth Rogen might be chiming in with his own negative thoughts on the film. Or is he?
Earlier today, Rogen's Twitter feed was host to some comments on how he felt about Clint Eastwood's Best Picture nominee in this year's Oscar race. The initial tweet that started a huge backlash went a little something like this:
It's easy to see how this comment could ruffle more than a couple of feathers - especially considering that the reference that Seth Rogen is presumably making is to the film within the film Nation's Pride, in which we see a dramatized version of fictional German sniper Frederick Zoller's wartime exploits. And he's not exactly wrong. Both films seem to hit similar notes, putting men on the line in dangerous positions of fire, and comparing the fragility of life to the savagery of war time. Of course, there's the obvious difference of Nation's Pride being a farce conducted by Quentin Tarantino, and American Sniper being a heartfelt tribute by Clint Eastwood to a fallen soldier. If Rogen had just left it at that, then it would have looked like an insult, clear as day. Which is exactly why his flurry of Tweets afterwards are so important to the context of the discussion - most importantly the one directly below.
Sometimes film geeks like to compare films they've seen to other films they've seen, which is exactly what Seth Rogen was doing when comparing American Sniper to Inglorious Basterds. He liked the movie, and it reminded him of a film that he undoubtedly also liked. So no, Seth Rogen isn't saying that American Sniper is war propaganda. He's saying it's a sniper movie that reminds him of another sniper movie.
American Sniper is in theaters nationwide now.