American Sniper has been a bit of a polarizing experience, if you happen to read any articles about it. I guess the central figure, Chris Kyle, has gone under some scrutiny for actions not really shown in the film, while at the same time the movie has been glorified and praised for its flag waving American pride type themes. There’s a lot to be discussed, and it’s all a very serious matter, so I’m going to do everyone a favor and let the two sides of the story speak for themselves… On one side, there’s the heavily Oscar nominated Clint Eastwood film American Sniper, and on the other side is the lunch I had at Naf Naf Grill yesterday.
Wait, before you begin, I’ve been living under a rock. Literally. Please help! But first… what are these things?
American Sniper tells the story of Chris Kyle, the military’s most lethal sniper ever, with like 160 kills or something (I forgot the number). He struggles with going back to his civilian life after so many military tours, and it’s basically like a true story version of The Hurt Locker but with sniping things instead of disarming bombs. Naf Naf Grill is a yuppie midwestern chain restaurant, kind of like Chipotle, but with Middle Eastern food.
How was the directing?
Clint Eastwood did better than he’s normally been doing lately. I guess if you just make randomly different movies all the time, a bunch of them will probably suck, and every fourth film might actually be a hit, like American Sniper was. It’s way better than whatever Jersey Boys was supposed to be. I unfortunately did not get to speak to the manager of Naf Naf Grill. He/she might have been on their lunch break.
How was the star the movie?
You can’t fault Bradley Cooper for anything, he did an awesome job. He nailed whatever Texas accent he was trying to do, and gave an all around somewhat emotional performance. The guy who made my chicken pita, Jeff I think his name was, was also very good. He guided me through the ingredients and explained to me how they would mix together well.
Do you think they’ll win awards?
I think Michael Keaton will probably win over Cooper at the Oscars, but Jeff might be due for an employee of the month plaque.
How were the supporting characters?
The army guys seemed like accurate army guys, and Sierra Miller did an acceptable job as Chris Kyle’s wife. The yellow rice bowl I got as a side dish to my shawarma, though, was not that great. I mean, it was alright, but it definitely could have used more spices. The tzatziki sauce, however, was a revelation.
Did it have a good music score?
Yeah, I kind of liked American Sniper’s music score, it was fitting. But Naf Naf Grill had like Foreigner and Taylor Swift playing over the speakers, it didn’t seem suitable for the food I was eating.
Were they good values for the money?
I paid $18 for my fiance and I to see American Sniper for two hours and fourteen minutes. We also had a 10 minute discussion in the car ride home, making it $18 for 144 minutes of entertainment, or about 12 and 1/2 cents a minute. Naf Naf Grill cost my fiance and I $24 for about six hours of having satisfied stomachs, coming in at around 7 cents a minute. So Naf Naf was a better value for the money. Unless I did the math wrong, which is very possible, because I hate math.
Would you go back?
I’d watch American Sniper again on HBO or Redbox or something cheap/free. I don’t know if I’d ever buy it for full price. I’d definitely go back to Naf Naf Grill, even though I should probably just save money and eat the Cup O’ Soups I bought at the grocery store for lunch instead.
Are these good representations of what they stand for?
I kind of liked how American Sniper showed how much trauma this guy was going through, despite the fact that all he seemed to want to do is serve his country and save his fellow soldier’s lives. It was totally a pro-military film, in a way, but it also had a heavy asterisk next to that to show that serving your country is hard, and when you come back stateside, you might not be the same person you were before. Naf Naf Grill doesn’t feel very Middle Eastern, it seems more like a Chipotle than anything. I mean, where’s all the chaos of a shawarma restaurant trying to serve twelve drunk guys at 3 am? That’s the Middle Eastern style restaurant I’m used to.
Do you find it offensive or insulting that you’re even comparing issues about the war in the Middle East, in which countless amounts of lives have been lost on both sides, by using a Hollywood movie as your metaphorical representative of the American side of the conflict, and an American run Middle Eastern food chain, created in hoity toity Naperville, IL of all places, as some sort of foreign opposition to the other side?
I don’t know. No?
Oh ok. Do they have Coke products or Pepsi products at Naf Naf?
They have Coke, thankfully.
But if they left that Coke out in the sun for a couple of days, they could easily have Pepsi, right? [goes up for high five]
[returns high five] Nice, that was a good one.
Was this like your dumbest FAQ, or what?
It’s definitely up there.
What scores would you give these things?
I’d give American Sniper an 8 out of 10. I’d give my Chicken Shawarma Pita a 9 out of 10. But I’d give my yellow rice bowl a 6.5 out of 10 to be honest with you. I think I’ll get the soup or the fries next time.