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Peter T Chattaway

Gran Torino (2008)

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Folks are lining up to defend the film in the comments on my blog.

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There is one more thing that I have to give this film credit for: the best use of finger guns since Spaced. ::geeky::

Edited by Crow

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I'm starting to feel like Jeffrey and the Star Wars Prequels. I've read Ken's review and can appreciate his points, and I'll give up the external dialogue that should have been internal. I'll even give up the "learn to talk like a man" scene. But Walt's change is believable (and emotional--I got a lump in my throat) and I felt that it was handled with the right mix of despair and self-righteousness. Maybe the screenwriter intended to wrap everything up in a nice bow (or shiny steel) but I don't think the film does that. There's too much pain left in the story and the efforts that Walt has made to "fix" things for Tao & fam haven't had a good return on investment. Still, the attempt to reconcile both for past sins of war and of fatherhood by opening up to the neighbors, who are among the few who are willing to put up with him and his insults, makes a nice tale.

As to regarding Clint's willingness to deal with Christian themes, I'm grading on a curve. For once, it was nice to see a priest who was just inexperienced vs. a boogeyman. I liked that the film was making an effort to deal with life and death and to do so in a way that was marking death as a bittersweet moment. Was it Dreyer? Was it Bresson? No, of course not. But it sure as heck wasn't Howard, either.

Buckeye, I want to acknowledge your post because for the most part I agree. I enjoyed this film. Yes, I heard corny dialogue and saw familiar change-of-heart-story tropes. But somehow I was moved despite.

Eastwood delivers, at least as an actor. The broken, bitter old man that he presents onscreen is both sympathetic and at times a bit unnnerving. Yet I can see how he got that way, and I might add that he reminds me of more than a few older folks in my own life who have found their golden years to be a little less than golden.

It worked for me. I harbor no gripe with those who didn't like it, because it does leave itself open to criticism. But for whatever reason, it worked for me.

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There is one more thing that I have to give this film credit for: the best use of finger guns since Spaced. ::geeky::

going back to Peter's comments on Gran Torino's links to other Eastwood films, it reminds me a bit of Kevin Bacon at the end of Mystic River.

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FWIW, this film is well, well on the way to out-grossing any and all of Clint's previous films. After just two weekends in wide release, it has racked up over $73 million, and I'd be surprised if it hadn't crossed the $100 million line within another week or so. For the record, Clint's top-grossing film as director, to date, is Unforgiven (1992, $101.2 million), and his top-grossing film as actor is In the Line of Fire (1993, $102.3 million).

Just for the record, the film passed Unforgiven on Thursday, and In the Line of Fire on Friday. And it's still in the weekly top five.

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I'm sorry, but I just can't respect what is mere thematic unpacking of a movie that AS BADLY DONE as YOU'RE WRONG, EGGROLL. This ridiculously written. This horribly acted. This spelled out. There are not two opinions on these matters ... rrrrrr ... only possibly (1) a belief that Clint's bad acting works in this context (I disagree, but that's a reasonable claim), or (2) a belief that "how" doesn't matter, that a movie is reducible to "what," with "what" being a theme, usually a pat maxim that the critic happens to agree with;

"knows what it is about storywise and thematically and stays on target"

That's undeniable, and also just code for "one-dimensional overdetermined thesis movie."

"unabashedly patriotic"

Huh? I suppose it isn't a Jeremiah Wright sermon, but I fail to see where patriotism ... rrrrrr ... is a matter that especially concerns GOOD GOOK FOOD.

"The film has none of Eastwood's trademark, 'character motivation confusion mistaken for internal conflict'."

Strange, I could not have better described the hairpin turns in Walt's motivations myself ... rrrrrr ... (why does he ever take an interest in this little wuss-next-door in the first place?)

"a priest is actually portrayed as a compassionate, thoughtful and three-dimensional human being"

That's two-thirds accurate, but about two dimensions too many. This is a step up from the priest in MILLION-DOLLAR EUTHANASIA APOLOGIA, sure ... but after the start of the movie, he's just a plot device to show up ... rrrrrr ... at convenient moments without a shred of credible reason for him to be there. (I also thought Karl Malden easily the weakest part of ON THE WATERFRONT, for roughly that reason; though blessedly, OVEREDUCATED 27-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN doesn't have a scene involving The Coat Of Many Colors ... but ... um ... it does have stigmata, so I guess that's a wash.)

"Clint himself is channeling Dirty harry through much of the film, albeit a 76 year old one, but it is something we haven't seen from him in a while and it is mostly played for laughs in a way that worked with our audience."

"Laughable" =/= "played for laughs." Barb, the people laughing in the theater were laughing *AT* ... rrrrrr ... GET ME A BEER, DRAGON LADY and at the ham-fisted way that Clint tries to act like Dirty Harry, even though he's no longer got it in him. Besides a "humanist psychology shift" movie, i.e., the plot in question, is the absolute last kind of movie where you want someone to be channeling Dirty Harry.

The only thing missing from this review was praise for Eastwood's singing.

(Note: Every sarcastic title I give is an actual line from the movie.)

Edited by vjmorton

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OVEREDUCATED 27-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN doesn't have a scene involving The Coat Of Many Colors ... but ... um ... it does have stigmata, so I guess that's a wash.)

Is this a reference to GT or a different film? I have seen the title get used, but have yet to decipher what it is referencing...I have not seen GT, so that might be why this is going over my head.

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OVEREDUCATED 27-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN doesn't have a scene involving The Coat Of Many Colors ... but ... um ... it does have stigmata, so I guess that's a wash.)

Is this a reference to GT or a different film? I have seen the title get used, but have yet to decipher what it is referencing...I have not seen GT, so that might be why this is going over my head.

At one point, Eastwood refers to the priest as "just an overeducated 27-year-old virgin... grrrrr ... who likes to hold old ladies by the hand and promise them eternity ... rrrrr."

One of many, MANY lines from the movie I am personally trying to turn into camp classics.

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PLEASE HELP!

I missed the first 15 minutes losing my tie in the process (went into the wrong theatre and almost watched Shopaholic instead). Took me a while before I was growling at the screen less than it was growling back at me.

Anyway, I'm meant to be reviewing the film tonight (ideally) so could someone fill me in on what I missed. So far I've got that we see the wife's funeral and one of the daughters (perhaps the one that the camera fixes on during the will reading) has a belly button ring which annoys Clint.

Did I miss anything else of consequence? I joined during the scene where the gang tells Tao he has to steal the titular automobile.

Matt

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At one point, Eastwood refers to the priest as "just an overeducated 27-year-old virgin... grrrrr ... who likes to hold old ladies by the hand and promise them eternity ... rrrrr."

One of many, MANY lines from the movie I am personally trying to turn into camp classics.

Ahhh...thanks...I thought maybe I missed a recently announced Judd Apatow movie.

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I just (finally) saw this, with my son, and we both loved it.

I understand many of the criticisms. It was very "heavy-handed".

But we are simple cavemen, and so we ate it up.

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Warner Bros. will release “The Mule” nationwide December 14 (2018). Clint Eastwood stars and directs.

"The movie was inspired by the real story of Leo Sharp, a World War II veteran in his 80s who became the world's oldest and most prolific drug mule for the Sinaloa Cartel." imdb.com

"Eastwood hasn’t been the lead actor in a film since 2008’s 'Gran Torino,' ... The supporting cast includes Eastwood’s 'American Sniper' star Bradley Cooper, plus Dianne Wiest and Michael Peña." indiewire.com

Eastwood is 88 years old, born 1930.

Trailer

Edited by Mike_tn

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Between the Islamophobia that's retrospectively inherent in two of his last three directing choices, and now the Hispanics as drug lords of this film, I think Eastwood is angling either to become the racist uncle you avoid at Thanksgiving or the Trump administration artist laureate.  Ugh.

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