Military Date Night With ‘Amira & Sam’

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West Point graduate Sean Mullin served as the Officer in Charge of the soldiers stationed at Ground Zero after 9/11 as a Captain in the Army National Guard. He’s gone on to perform stand-up comedy and now he’s written and directed Amira & Sam, a feature film about Army vet Sam Seneca (played by Martin Starr) home from service in Iraq.

It’s a romantic comedy, so nothing gets too heavy, but Sam tries to make sense of an America that doesn’t have much connection to the wars it’s fighting and the people who served. He gets involved with his cousin’s Wall Street schemes (Paul Wesley from The Vampire Diaries) and falls in love with Amira (played by Dina Shahibi), the niece of an Iraqi translator now living in New York. Amira’s here illegally and they try to sort out their romance while she’s facing deportation. Spoiler: love wins in the end. This is a rare leading role for Starr, an underrated actor who’s given consistently first-rate performances in movies and TV shows like Freaks & Geeks, Silicon Valley, Knocked Up, Party Down, Superbad and This is the End.

Distributor Alamo Drafthouse Films is promoting the movie with a Military Date Night deal for service members this weekend. Check out a trailer for the movie and complete details about the promotion below.

Bonus: this is an excellent movie (along with Fort Blissto recommend to all your friends and neighbors who are suddenly aware of veterans issues now that they’ve seen American Sniper.

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Army Sniper Nick Irving is ‘The Reaper’

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January 2015: America’s discovered snipers. It doesn’t matter that shooters have been providing cover and taking out the enemy for as long as we’ve had an American military, now the general public has discovered their role.

Army Ranger Sgt. Nicholas Irving has some great timing. He’s just published The Reaper: Autobiography of One of the Deadliest Special Ops Snipers (written in collaboration with Gary Brozek), he’s written a thoughtful book that’s not just a retread of American Sniper and he handles himself well on TV: check out his appearance on Monday night’s edition of The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore. +Continue Reading

‘Fury’: 2014’s Other Great Military Movie

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Fury, director David Ayer’s movie about a WWII Sherman tank crew, arrives on Blu-ray this week and the home video release adds a wealth of new material that makes it a must-own for fans of the film and anyone who’s interested in the history of tanks. The movie follows the crew in Germany on a mission behind enemy lines in the waning days of the war.

We’ve got a nine-minute excerpt from the film, featuring the scenes where Private Norman Ellison (played by Logan Lerman) meets his tank commander Sgt. Don “Wardaddy” Collier (Brad Pitt). Trained as a typist, Ellison gets assigned to a tank. Whether that’s by clerical error or because there’s a shortage of men isn’t really made clear, but that lack of clarity plays to one of the film’s strengths: the film is told from the point of view of the men as they’re actually serving. No one has the big picture or the historical perspective that’s usually such a big part of WWII films.  +Continue Reading

SHOT Show: Leatherman Reinvents the Multi-Tool

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Leatherman Tool Group has been the leading company in the multi-tool (a/k/a “pocketknife with pliers”) category since they launched back in the ‘80s. They still make some of the best tools you can buy, but now you can walk into any hardware chain and see a bin full of cheap knockoffs that pretend do to the same job.

How does a company stay on top? It innovates and Leatherman is taking a bold shot at inventing a new category with its upcoming Tread, which announces itself as the world’s first “wearable tool: and debuted this week at SHOT Show. Other, more traditional new Leatherman product announcements include the Signal (designed for outdoor activities), the Leap (aimed at kids) and the Rev (a budget-priced successor to the Wingman and the Sidekick). +Continue Reading

10 Iconic Movie Snipers

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Bradley Cooper’s portrayal of Chris Kyle in American Sniper seems guaranteed to stand as the most iconic sniper in motion picture history, but there are a few more memorable movie snipers who can round out our Top Ten. +Continue Reading

‘Sniper’ Shocks Hollywood With Massive Box Office Weekend

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American Sniper broke all kinds of box office records this weekend, with a $90.2 million weekend haul. Warner Bros. estimates its Oscar nominee for Best Picture will have made $105 million once the four-day MLK holiday weekend is over.

It’s the largest MLK weekend opening ever, more than doubling the old record held by Ride Along. It’s the largest January weekend ever, a a record previously held by Avatar with $68.5 million in 2010. It’s the opening ever for a drama, bettering the $83.8 million that Passion of the Christ made in 2004. It’s the biggest R-rated opening of all time and it’s by far the biggest opening of director Clint Eastwood’s storied career, more than tripling the $29.5 million that Gran Torino made opening weekend in 2008. +Continue Reading

Taya Kyle Talks About Bringing ‘American Sniper’ to the Screen

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Sienna Miller as Taya Kyle in “American Sniper.”

American Sniper may tell the story of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle’s legendary military service but it’s also the first mainstream movie that really attempts to portray the challenges faced by military families during our modern wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Chris’ widow Taya Kyle played a major role in developing the story after her husband’s death and she’s been out there talking about the movie.

Taya had a wide-ranging conversation with Military​.com about how the film came together, what she’s doing to help military families recover from the trials of war and offers up some thoughts about the roles of men and women in a successful marriage. +Continue Reading

‘American Sniper’ Storms the Oscars With 6 Nominations

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American Sniper made a strong showing today with six nominations for the 87th Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Bradley Cooper’s portrayal of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle.

Screenwriter Jason Hall got the movie’s other high-profile nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay, evidence that the writer’s branch of the academy realized just how much balance and nuance Hall added to Kyle’s book when writing his screenplay. Jason Hall told Military​.com the amazing story of the film’s development in this interview last month.   +Continue Reading

SEALs: More Than Just Snipers

After your friends and family see the new American Sniper movie this weekend, have them check out this video as a reminder that Navy SEALs do a lot more than just long-range shooting. Whether the mission is on sea, air or land, Navy Special Operations play a critical role in the United States’ first line of defense.

Civilians sometimes have incredibly short term memory about just how the military works and a lot of them probably don’t remember that SEALs carried out the operations depicted in movies like Lone Survivor, Zero Dark Thirty and even Act of Valor. You can also send them to watch the PBS documentary Navy SEALs — Their Untold Story or read ex-SEAL Dick Couch’s excellent book that’s a companion to the series.

Don ‘The Dragon’ Wilson Talks ‘Scorpion King’

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Don ‘The Dragon’ Wilson is a kickboxing legend who helped popularize the sport in the ‘70s and ‘80s and then launched a successful career in martial arts movie, most notably the Bloodfist series beginning in 1989. After a break to raise a family, Wilson is back at work in films and he makes a cameo appearance in the new movie The Scorpion King 4: Quest for Power (out now as a Blu–ray, DVD & Digital HD combo pack).

Yep, its a straight-to-home-video action picture filmed in Eastern Europe. But it’s loaded with a supporting cast featuring old action heroes (Lou Ferrigno, Rutger Hauer, Michael Biehn), a couple of UFC fighters (Roy “Big Country” Nelson, Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva) and a WWE superstar (Eve Torres). And it’s blessed with a sense of humor that delivers on the good time that those overblown Expendables movies only think they offer. +Continue Reading