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Monday, March 02, 2009
My wife and I caught a matinee yesterday afternoon, and she was gracious enough to let me pick the movie (in other words, no chick flicks). I'd been wanting to see Clint Eastwood's latest (and perhaps last) directorial and acting work, Gran Torino. So that's what we saw. It is AMAZING! I won't ruin any of the plot twists, but suffice it to say that Eastwood should have won a Best Actor AND Best Director Oscar for this story about a man coming to terms with past sins, overcoming racist disdain in a MEANINGFUL way (his salty words don't change, but the meaning behind them does drastically), and sacrificially loving one's neighbors. Large parts of the movie are vintage Eastwood, harkening back to his Josey Wales or Dirty Harry days. I only wish that there was even more of a reliance on faith in God than portrayed in the movie.

Skip most of the Academy Award winners and watch this film. Eastwood goes out on top!

[Be aware that there is some violence and a SIGNIFICANT amount of harsh or obscene language.]


Anonymous said...

My wife and I go to the movie theater about once every five years.

I think this is the one we will see.

You have convinced me.


Anonymous said...

Let me know what you think!

I wasn't a fan of Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby, as it was boring, over-the-top in its caricatures, and had a disturbing anti-life moral to the story. He redeemed himself with this one.

D.J. Williams said...

I can't wait to see Gran Torino, but I must disagree with you on Million Dollar Baby. I didn't get the anti-life vibe. My wife and I came away puzzled how one could see the film as glorifying the choice that was made in the end. It was a heartbreaking tragedy, similar for me to Eastwood's Mystic River in style and tone. No one would say that Eastwood was condoning the choices of the Sean Penn character in Mystic River, he was merely chronicling them. I felt the same way about MDB.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, perhaps. I would need to see it again to know for sure. I just remember that he gave the female boxer character no options (at least, to the viewer) and seemed to imply that life is worthless if one is severely handicapped. Joni Erickson Tada might have something to say about that. Perhaps you're right, though, maybe he was just "chronicling" her life, and not putting forth any moral judgment. I still thought the movie was boring. Mystic River was decent, though I should watch it again to remember what I thought of it.

Anonymous said...

I do remember Mystic River being quite Shakespearean in plot.

D.J. Williams said...

Very much so.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, dude. I saw Gran Torino, and I liked it. I can't help but like almost everything Eastwood does, but this is a far cry from anything else he's done of late with respect to quality. Coming off the much-deserved success of The Changeling, this is somewhat disappointing. This movie has some serious flaws, the most obvious of which is the horrible acting. A friend of mine who is a movie critic said it best. He said it was like Eastwood and some of the other actors were in two different movies. I have to agree, although I still liked it and he loathed it.

Darius said...

Chris, I don't know if it was such bad acting or just a poor script (like the family of the Million Dollar Baby). The writer of both movies really turns the protagonist's family into a caricature. It's like he thinks that while the audience is smart enough to figure out the changes in Eastwood's character, they are too stupid to realize that the family=bad, so he just beats us over the head with unrealistic script. I thought the acting wasn't so bad.

Anonymous said...

From my perspective, some of the acting was definitely bad - especially the Asian teens. The writing could have used a little work, but the movie would have worked much better with better actors and frankly better directing. And I think Eastwood is a master director on the whole. I loved "Billion Dollar Baby", although I haven't seen it in a long time and would have to see it again to see whether I agree with what your criticisms.

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The Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel The Main Thing
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
Overcoming Sin and Temptation
According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible
Disciplines of a Godly Man
Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem
When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor. . .and Ourselves
The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
Respectable Sins
The Kite Runner
Life Laid Bare: The Survivors in Rwanda Speak
Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak
A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I am a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/calvinist, ... anabaptist/anglican, metho
Show Them No Mercy
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Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass
The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception
Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming
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