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Author Topic: Gran Torino (2008)  (Read 9514 times)
Whalestoe
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« Reply #30 on: January 11, 2009, 01:00:04 AM »

After Clint's turn is up it gets a bit better I think...

Anyway... I'll make it up to ya... check your messages in a few minutes.

Haha, all right.

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« Reply #31 on: January 11, 2009, 12:20:48 PM »

Here is the theme song Cheesy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEXF7U5TYV8

"gentle now the tender breeze blows
whispers through my Gran Torino"

And people complain about Paint Your Wagon!

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« Reply #32 on: January 11, 2009, 12:43:14 PM »

As a reward, Clint croons a song during the closing credits... did he learn nothing from Paint Your Wagon?



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« Reply #33 on: January 11, 2009, 05:14:32 PM »

Yeah, so? I'm making the opposite point.

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« Reply #34 on: January 12, 2009, 02:35:27 AM »


I finally had the opportunity to see "Gran Torino" tonight and I was blown away at just how terrific Clint Eastwood is in this film. This is easily for me his best performance since "Unforgiven." This is vintage badass Clint Eastwood at his best but not in the "Dirty Harry" sense. Oh no, this is a whole other animal from Clint Eastwood. This may be his greatest acting performance to date. It's definitely an Oscar worthy performance, one that deserves a win if it's awarded to him.

I see some complaints here about the acting by some of the supporting cast. I personally didn't find the acting by Bee Vang (Toad) and Ahney Her (Sue) to be bad one bit. I thought Bee captured the shyness and innocence of a young, confused kid perfectly. Sure, it's not an academy award performance by no means but the kid did what he had to do for his character to work. I thought Ahney Her was great as Sue though. She had some wonderful moments throughout the film.

There were some laugh out loud moments throughout the film. What struck me funny about the film is the shock-type dialogue we hear throughout. The way Clint delivered his lines was unforgettable. He was hilarious even if he wasn't meaning to be. Clint's Walt Kowalski is up there with his best characters to date. He embodied the role perfectly in what is a classic performance.

I give the film a 9/10 in one of the best of the year.

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« Reply #35 on: January 15, 2009, 06:01:32 PM »

Saw it tonight 7/10, entertaining, probably will never have to see it again though.

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« Reply #36 on: February 22, 2009, 11:36:17 AM »

Quote
After my viewing of Benjamin Button I've taken a lengthy sabbatical away from theater-going - six new releases in three weeks plus the accompanying food and other expenses was quite draining of finance, plus I am sort of going to school. This weekend I finally got to see Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino, the second film of the year after the solid if overlong and cliched Changeling. I had been leery of seeing this film, but the prospect of seeing Clint Eastwood, one of cinema's greatest icons (and my favorite movie stars), on the big screen for possibly the last time was too much to pass up. And I was pleasantly surprised. If this is indeed Clint's last acting job, he couldn't have picked a better vehicle to go out on (get it? Hehe).

Walter Kowalski (Eastwood) is an angry, embittered old man. He's watched his wife pass away, most of his friends move on or die, and his neighborhood overrun by minorities, particularly Hmong refugees from Indochina. Kowalski soon finds a purpose in life when he accidentally saves Hmong boy Thao (Bee Vang) from a gang of thugs - which makes Walter a hero in the community. Walter reluctantly takes Thao under his wing and quickly bonds with him, and becomes endeared of his sister Sue (Ahney Her). But after the gang launches a savage attack on Thao and Sue, Walter decides that he needs to deal with the gang to save his new friends and redeem himself.

Gran Torino is more than a simple "cranky racist guy learns the error of his ways" story. True, it's a story of redemption, but it's a lot more than that. It succeeds on a number of levels, from its dramatic plot to humor to commentary on the changing nature of American society, but primarily works because of Mr. Eastwood.

The movie is an epic tragedy centered around a remarkably comic film. The movie does a nice job of playing with the usual cliches; Walter is snarling, growling, foul-mouthed old bigot who does little more than sit around and drink beer all day. The movie has a lot of fun with its inherent plot points and cliches; the film makes use of the predictable plot and character arcs without being preachy and having a lot of fun with the conventions. The ads may not indicate as much, but this is a very funny movie, and if it weren't for the subplot with the Hmung gang-bangers, this could very easily work as a comedy, however dark.

The film is very well-directed, in the typical Eastwood fashion; minimalist, but powerful when and where necessary. The Hmong actors, particularly Ahney Her as Sue, do a fine job - not Oscar-worthy, but more than adequate and certainly better than most reviewers have given them credit for. The rest of the cast is pretty one-note but with Clint as such a strong center it's not much of a flaw.

Clint Eastwood is of course the primary reason to see this movie. He proves that he can still be a real badass and deliver a powerful performance. Clint has never showed any problems with poking fun at his age, and he does a real number on himself here. He utilizies his usual trademarks - his scowl, raspy voice, quickness with a gun and spitting - to create a picture of a tough guy who watched the world pass him by. If this is to be Clint's final bow before the camera, as he's suggested, it's an absolutely perfect one. His final confrontation with the gang is an absolutely perfect way to go - it's up there with John Wayne's final showdown in The Shootist as the greatest star exit in cinema history. And for that alone, the movie is worth watching.

In short, Gran Torino is an excellent film. It has the perfect balance of humor and elegiac sadness to make it work, and is a perfect final bow for one of cinema's greats.

Oscars are tomorrow - I'm not sure if I'm doing anything special, but I'll at least make a note of it. Go Slumdog Millionaire!

Rating: 8/10 - Highly Recommended

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« Reply #37 on: April 02, 2009, 03:06:40 AM »

I probably would have enjoyed the film more if I'd seen it cold

I saw it cold. Completely cold; all I knew about it was the title. Somehow I missed this talk here.
I watched it on Monday with a group of friends and none of us knew anything about it, except for some of us having heard it was good. So we started watching it not really knowing what we were going into... and we all really liked it. And we all really liked the ending.
It might have helped that it was the youth group of my church where I go when I'm at university... so another group of people might have thought the opposite. But since I AM part of that group, I suppose I would have liked it anywhere.

It's not overwhelming, but it is good. Very good.
I pretty much agree with Groggy's review.


(Oh yes, and I didn't mind Clint's singing. I guess my love for Mark Knopfler's music helps - he's not a great singer either. Wink)

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« Reply #38 on: May 31, 2009, 10:09:43 AM »

Apart from Clint's good (but not remarkable) role, and the unexpected ending, there's not much in this movie to write home about. Sure, it is entertaining, actually very entertaining when you watch it for the first time, but with multiple viewings a lot of well known cliches from Eastwood's movies emerge on surface, and you have to, just like I did, whether you like it or not, admit to yourself Clint Eastwood maybe the only reason why you're watching this flick.

Let's get going: while Walt Kowalski may look to you like a walking cliche, possessing every trait Easwood's anti-heroic characters had in the last 40 or so years, he's actually the most fresh of them all. The gangstas (the African-American rapist wannabe gang, the Mexican chilli tacos gang and the most mean of them all - the fat Hmong boyz 'n da hood gang), the ultra traditional Hmong families, the stupid little good for nothing nerdy Thao kid, Walt's uncaring family members, the virgin church boy... basically every character you saw in this movie (save Thao's sis) looks like conceited in the ''8th grade elementary school for future Hollywood screenwriters''. I mean, is there a chance they actually could have been more superficial and uninteresting? I doubt it, I sincerely doubt it.

And, what's with the false advertising? Why is it, that no matter where I read something about this movie, it is almost always written that Walt is in some sort of war with the gangs (or whoever), that apparently want to steal his Gran Torino, when that, in fact, is not even true? Even worse, nothing even happens to that car in the whole movie... Huh

Finally, Walt seems to be more of a joker that a real racist, which turns the whole story upside-down. I mean, everybody knew from the start he'd turn a caring old fella somewhere in the process, but wasn't there a way of doing it in a less obvious way?

As I said, this is basically just a rehash of what we already saw (many times) in Eastwood's movies, if you look on IMDb you'll notice these movies often float around 6 - 6.5 / 10, as this one should also. And if I was a CH SOB (that I'm not), I'd give it a 6 myself. Except, I like Clint just like everybody else, so I'm gonna take in consideration a few other things, jokes and maneuvers, and go for a 7/10, although it's hard to believe I'll ever again sit down and spare a whole evening to watch it.


7/10

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« Reply #39 on: May 31, 2009, 11:18:13 AM »

Except, I like Clint just like everybody else, so I'm gonna take in consideration a few other things, jokes and maneuvers, and go for a 7/10, although it's hard to believe I'll ever again sit down and spare a whole evening to watch it.
That pretty much nails it.

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« Reply #40 on: September 30, 2009, 08:06:10 PM »

Just saw this not long ago.  I thought it was very entertaining, but I sure as hell could have done without Clint's song at the end.

One thing I remember thinking about this movie is the way the characterization and themes seems to come off as some kind of inverse of "Unforgiven."  In Unforgiven, we see Munny begin from a character claiming to be completely repentant, absolved, and eventually he recesses into the cold-blooded violence he spent the entire film reproving.  In Gran Torino, we see the exact opposite.  Kowalski seems to pride himself on his unavailability, justifying his coldness with what he saw in Korea.  And in the film's finale he transcends this, he makes redeems himself, makes the ultimate sacrifice for something greater than himself.  And as a martyr he can rest in peace, far different than Munny's final cry... something along the lines of "If any one of you sons-of-bitches takes a shot at me, I'll kill you and your whole family and burn your house down."

That's one thing I liked about this film, it seemed like a companion piece to Unforgiven to me... the Yin and Yang of old-man ass-kickery.

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« Reply #41 on: March 02, 2013, 05:30:43 PM »

I liked it because when a thousand screaming gooks came running across his land, he didn't call the police, he reacted.

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« Reply #42 on: March 02, 2013, 06:43:16 PM »

it's a very good movie, i give it an 8/10

definitely somewhat reminiscent of The Shootist. (This post will contain spoilers on THE SHOOTIST).

When a legend goes out, he has to do so in style. The Shootist was a perfect ending to John Wayne's career (even if it was only an accident, as he didn't intend it to be his last movie. But then again, nobody ever intends to die).

 I recall reading somewhere that Eastwood said Gran Torino would be the last movie he would act in. I figured Eastwood  was going out like John Wayne. But then he ruined it by doing Trouble With the Curve. I haven't seen Trouble With the Curve  so I have no opinion on it, but Gran Torino works so much better if it was his last movie.

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« Reply #43 on: March 02, 2013, 07:28:54 PM »

I agree, I'd give 4/5 stars.
I love how when it wants to be funny, it's really funny [who doesn't love the joke about the mexican, the jew, and the coloured guy walking into a bar?], and when it wants to be serious, it gets serious.

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« Reply #44 on: April 12, 2013, 01:30:22 PM »

Good point, Senza - it's not unintentionally funny, or not funny when it wants to be, which is both awkward. This film's not awkward, not to me at least.

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