Movie Blog-American Sniper

Identify three actors from your film and classify each according to the types of actors listed in your text.

American Sniper is a biographical film based on the life of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. Bradley Cooper (Chris Kyle), Sienna Miller (Taya Kyle), and Max Charles (Colton Kyle) each impersonate real people.

Explain your reasons for classifying the actors as you do. Use specific references to the film and pay special attention to how these decisions impacted characterization. Also, consider the impact of any realistic or stylized portrayals within the film.

An impersonator is used when a “filmmaker needs a portrayal of a recognizable historical figure, for instance, but doesn’t want to distract the audience by casting a recognizable actor in the role” (Goodykoontz & Jacobs, 2014, section 5.5). Bradley Cooper impersonated Chris Kyle. Cooper had to gain weight and train with a dialect coach and snipers to mirror Kyle’s personality and mannerisms. Chris Kyle was from Texas so Cooper dedicated four months to watching interviews of Chris Kyle to nail his Texan accent. Also, Kyle wanted to become a cowboy in which Cooper portray a cowboy in the film. Sienna Miller impersonated Taya Kyle, Kyle’s wife. Miller spoken to Taya on several occasions to understand who she was and discuss her life with Chris Kyle. After Chris Kyle’s second tour in Iraq, Taya wanted Chris to leave the Navy and become a full time husband and father. Sienna Miller portrayed Taya heartbreaking pleas in the film. Max Charles impersonated Colton Kyle, Kyle’s son. There was a scene in the film in which Chris Kyle enjoyed playing with his son.

Focus on one of the actors you’ve discussed. Based on other films the actor has been in, would this actor always be placed in the same category? If so, what does this say about the category or actor? If not, what can you infer about the flexibility of these categories? Provide evidence (references from other films, including film clips and stills) to support your argument.

Bradley Cooper has played in various roles in films, television, and theatre throughout his acting career. These types of actors are called wild card which is “an actor who is difficult to classify as one certain type, often because he or she can play a wide variety of characters equally well without becoming typecast” (Goodykoontz & Jacobs, 2014). In Wedding Crashers (2005), Cooper played Zachery “Sack” Lodge who was Claire Cleary (Rachael McAdams) violent boyfriend who was obsessed with winning at any cost. Cooper played Ben Gunders in He’s Just Not that Into You (2009) who was a married man but began a flirtatious relationship with Anna Marks (Scarlett Johansson). In 2011, Cooper starred in Limitless as a struggling author who took a “smart drug” NZT-48 which allowed him to access 100% of his brain.

Clip: Wedding Crashers-Otter Scene

Clip: He’s Just Not That Into You- Pool Scene

Clip: LimitlessPill Scene


American Sniper-Bar Scene (2015). Retrieved from

Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2014). Film: From watching to seeing (2nd ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

He’s Just Not that into You-Pool Scene (2010). Retrieved from

Limitless-Pill Scene (2011). Retrieved from

Wedding Crashers-Otter Scene (2011). Retrieved from


Movie-Blog American Sniper

Describe each of the three basic categories of sound (dialogue, sound effects, and music).

Dialogue is a conversation between two or more characters in a film. According to Horton, 2013, “in the classical model of cinema especially, filmgoers expect efficiency from dialogue: if the speech is present, it must be driving the story forward in some fashion, providing exposition, or otherwise aiding in character development” (p. 8). Michel Chion,  a prolific writer on film, sound, and music, believes that spectators engage dialogue foremost as hermeneutic channel. He stated that “when hearing characters speak, “[an audience member] will first seek the meaning of the words, moving on to interpret the other sounds only when [her] interest in meaning has been satisfied” (as cited by Horton, p. 8).

Sound effects is the art of sound technicians recording and manipulating sound to enhance action in a film. Essentially, a picture can have hundreds of sound tracks with more than 40 sound technicians involved. These professional can cover up an actor’s laryngitis, make a lion’s growl more menacing, and capture the crunch of soldier’s feet on sand (Rosenthal, 1990). Typically, the sound effects have to be recorded separately and added into the final film in post-production (Goodykoontz & Jacobs, 2014).

Music in film have the “ability to tap into an unconscious or subconscious mode of experience, and its ability to create meaning through rhythms and emotional colours and tones” (Mettler, 1992, p. 35). A music score plays in the background to enhance actions throughout the film. Additionally, a film can have its own soundtrack which is occasionally inspired rather than included in a film (Goodykoontz & Jacobs, 2014). In essence, music and film are two powerful mediums that creates both emotion and rhythm (Mettler, 1992).

Explain how the different categories of sound are being used in your chosen film.

  • Assess the impact of sound in establishing the theme.

In the combat scene above, has a diegetic sound in which the music is playing in the background as the soldiers are fight against terrorist. Additionally, the background music plays on the emotions of the audience with intensity throughout the combat scene.

  •  How does the use of sound inform the mood of the scene, or the film overall?

The background music has a drawing effect that gives an uneasy feeling as soldiers combat the enemy. I personally felt like I wanted them to kill as many terrorist as they could find in hopes that no soldiers would be wounded or killed.

  • Can you identify specific sounds in your film that allow you to infer a particular genre?

The film used a multitrack mixing which piece of music and dialogue. According to Goodykoontz and Jacob (2014), Dialogue can have its volume, tonal effects, and apparent screen position manipulated in the mixing process so that the soundtrack becomes an organic blend of sounds that expresses just what the director wants the audience to hear at any given moment (section 8.5).

  • Since each category of sound may produce a range of effects, how might you characterize the effects in your film? For example, realistic and expected sound effects may have a different effect on a viewer than exaggerated or unexpected ones.

In the clip, the film characterize a realistic and expected sound effect. The music mixed with small dialogue was used skillful that adds to the power of the film and enhance the visual elements in the scene (Goodykoontz & Jacob, 2014). The music used was appropriate with the actions of the characters as they search high and low for terrorists.

Assess how the scene or sequence would play differently if you changed or removed a key category of sound.

If the background music was removed in this scene, I believe the silence would create a more intense mood. Also, hearing the soldiers footsteps on the ground provide an element of anticipation of what is about to happen.


Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2014). Film: From watching to seeing (2nd ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Horton, J. (2013). The unheard voice in the sound film. Cinema Journal, 52(4), 3-24. Retrieved from

Mettler, P. (1992). Music in film: Film as music. Cinemas : Revue d’Études Cinematographiques = Journal of Film Studies, 3(1), 34-42,157. Retrieved from

Rosenthal, D. (1990). Let’s hear it for sound effects film: The tricky business of sound is so essential to a film’s success that the academy has been handing out oscars for best sound since 1929. series: The oscars. sound editing. one in a series. Los Angeles Times (Pre-1997 Fulltext) Retrieved from

Movie Blog-American Sniper

Title: American Sniper

Writer: Jason Hall

Director:Clint Eastwood

Major Actors:Bradely Cooper (Chris Kyle),Sienna Miller (Taya), Jake McDorman (Biggles), Luke Grimes (Mark Lee), Navid Negahban (Sheikh Al-Obodi), Keir O’Donnell (Jeff Kyle) and Same Jaegar (Navy SEAL Lt. Martin)

Year: 2014

Identify the type of lighting used in the film and assess the impact used to establish the theme.

The above clip shows the rigorous training Navy SEALS endures. The clip used a high-key lightening which is bright over everything with very few shadows and low contrast (Goodykoontz & Jacobs, 2014). The brightness of the sun was the main source of lighting which clearly showed the intensity and pain of the characters during training. However, there was one scene in the clip in which the SEALS were jogging that used low-key lighting. The genre of the film is war so the high-key lighting in this clip showed the extreme degree of strength, energy, and force necessary to become a Navy SEAL.

Compare how the scene would play if different choice had been made.

According to Goodykoontz and Jacobs (2014), “most scenes of most movies fall somewhere in between these extremes of high-key and low-key lighting” (section 6.4). Using a different choice would recreate a different mood in the film. If low-key lighting was used throughout the scene, it would create an even more intense and grueling feel for training as nighttime reflects peace and rest.

120165, AMERICAN FLASHER! Bradley Cooper rocks some very short shorts while filming a Navy Seals training scene for 'American Sniper' in Los Angeles. Cooper, who filmed with co-star and real-life Navy Seal Kevin Lacz, had to lay on the beach doing exercises, while being sprayed with a hose. Lacz was a Navy Seal teammate of Chris Kyle, who "American S&iper" is based nn, and was hired to play the role of himself after originally coming on as the technical advisor for the film. Clint Eastwood was also on hand to direct the scene. Los Angeles, California - Wednesday June 4, 2014. Photograph: KVS/Gaz Shirley, © PacificCoastNews. Los Angeles Office: +1 310.822.0419 London Office: +44 208.090.4079 FEE MUST BE AGREED PRIOR TO USAGE


Goodykoontz, B. & Jacobs, C.P. (2014). Film: From watching to seeing (2nd ed.) San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education

Just Jared (n.d.). American sniper image. Retrieved from;_ylt=AwrB8phK4XBVCiMA_zeJzbkF;_ylu=X3oDMTI0cWRiYjJuBHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDaW1nBG9pZAMyNDM3NjY5YzlkNTQyN2M4ZTVmZmE0Y2RiZDgyNjg3NwRncG9zAzE5MgRpdANiaW5n?.origin=&

LilWeezyNation (n.d.). American Sniper-Seals Training. Retrieved from


Movie Blog-American Sniper

Title: American Sniper Writer:

Jason Hall Director: Clint Eastwood

Major Actors: Bradely Cooper (Chris Kyle),Sienna Miller (Taya), Jake McDorman (Biggles), Luke Grimes (Mark Lee), Navid Negahban (Sheikh Al-Obodi), Keir O’Donnell (Jeff Kyle) and Same Jaegar (Navy SEAL Lt. Martin)

Year: 2014

Story/Plot: Chris Kyle is a native a Texas who, as a young boy, had a fascination of being a cowboy and learned how to hunt with his father. As he grew older, he became devastated by the attacks the United States was under, especially 9/11. He knew in his heart that he needed something different where he could help American fight against terrorism. He went to a recruitment officer where he discover the perfect fit, the Navy SEALs. After months of grueling training, he became a sniper. After training, he met and married Taya. Not long after his wedding, Kyle and other members of the team were called to their first tour of Iraq. It was after his first tour that he was dubbed “The Legend.” Kyle had three more tours of Iraq killing a total of 160 terrorists. But, it was his fourth tour in which he decided to leave the Navy and become a full-time husband and father. He struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder. To cope with civilian life, he volunteered for the wounded warrior projects. He helped other soldiers cope with their new life through target practice. On February 2, 2013, he kissed his wife and kids goodbye as he headed out of the door to help Eddie Ray Routh. That same day, Routh shot and killed Kyle during target practice.

This film was presented in both a non-linear and chronological order. The beginning of the movie showed Kyle lying on top of a building aiming at a women and boy who were about to throw a bomb. Then the next scene depicted Kyle as a little boy hunting with his father and continued until he was murdered. This aesthetic choice provided a foreshadow of Kyle at the height of his career as an American Sniper followed by his life path to getting there. This foreshadow allowed the audience to get a glance in the life of Chris Kyle and what made him become the American Sniper. This set the tone that engage the audience to discover who Kyle was from his humble beginnings. I do not think a different style presentation would have made a different because his story was already told through his autobiography.

american sniper


Youtube (2014). Official American Sniper Trailer. Retrieved from

VillageRoadshow Pictures (n.d). American Sniper Photos. Retrieved from