Roscoe – And there you have it. My comment doesn’t intend to speak to the quality of his films – that’s been debated on this site enough already. I’m only suggesting that he’s the last vestige of a certain style, and it’s sad that no one else is going to take up the torch. That’s all.
Eastwood in “Gran Torino” is not senile in any way whatsoever.
Perhaps for you, Giovanni, anyone older that Mylie Cryrus deserves to go before a “Death Panel.”
WHAT DO YOU PEOPLE USE FOR BRAINS????!!!!!!!!!
we do use brains but Torino is brainless :)
Sorry David, maybe I got the impression that he was senile because he felt the need to use a racial slur as a suffix to every single sentence. Maybe I’m just confusing terrible writing and absurd acting for senile.
Really, maybe not senile, yeah. But I really thought the performance made him seem at least close to it.
Nathan, I don’t see any particular style, or content, or anything at all going on in Eastwood’s films to be particularly sorry to see the end of. I guess I can see a certain clarity in Eastwood’s work, a degree of simple shot-for-shot competence in his films that is certainly absent from what gets shat out by Rob Marshall and Zack Snyder. But don’t get too upset by Eastwood’s impending retirement/passing. As long as there are basic cable movies of the week, there’ll always be someone to pick up the torch of sheer unimaginative minimum competence that Eastwood has held aloft so bravely and with so much (inexplicable) success.
>The film pretends to be a serious treatise on racism, but it lets the audience off easy
How exactly does a film “pretend to be” something – let alone “a serious treatise” on something? And I’m puzzled to imagine which “serious” films on race/racism you’re beating Eastwood over the head with, here. I’d be grateful if you could list a few.
I’d be grateful if you could list a few.
Gran Torino is the greatest Western of the last two decades.
I write this in Spanish, because it seems they do not understand the English:
“EL ARTE SUCEDE” (James Whistler).
Why we should all think alike?
For me, Gran Torino is a masterpiece. And those who deny, no matter, ok? But I do not try to convince others of my taste… OK?
EL ARTE SUCEDE = ART HAPPENS!!!!
I prefered this over Unforgiven.
There, I said it.
To me, Gran Torino was clearly a terribly written film. It relied on sooooo many cliches its just rediculous: Nothing seemed natural, even the reverend was completely unbelievable.
art happens, and shit happens too. where do we draw the line? with this film??
its a ford commercial because of the title of the film, the structuring motif of the film, and the final shot of the film, which looks just like it should be a ford commercial. but enough of this metaphor. i dont believe in it that much to argue for it critically. sorry for taking us off track.
id rather argue that the film is incredibly weak instead of being the incredible masterpiece that some on here feel. but i do find it interesting that this film splits us so sharply. i dont know why. theres nothing in the film thats remarkable. because of that, i would think those in favor of it would call it “great” or “good”, and those not in favor would call it “average” or “uninteresting”. but no, for some reason, it provokes extremes. maybe thats worth analyzing some more.
I really loved this film, one of the best of the year imo. I identified with it quite a lot, as I grew up without a father and the film spoke about a lot of the things I faced in my youth. It might not be a technical masterpiece, or well-crafted in the least, but the story alone touched a chord in my heart… and therefore I appreciate it.
Might as well call Winchester ’73 a rifle commercial.
If it’s a Ford commercial, it’s also a Pabst Blue Ribbon commercial:
theres nothing in the film thats remarkable
Really? The film’s bizarro humor? Eastwood’s revision of his on-screen persona? Tom Stern’s photography? The specificity of neighborhood? Hmong minorities as a focus? The casualness of the entire construction (loose framing, generalized dialog)?
Seems to me to be one of the most interesting films to come out of mainstream Hollywood recently.
Roscoe – I hate to belabor this point, because I’m not trying to convince you that Eastwood is a great director. (My personal opinion is that he CAN be a great director. His body of work is terribly uneven, but there are some fascinating pictures, “Gran Torino” being one of them.)
But, among active directors I can’t think of anyone who is so willing to employ such a minimal expression of classical cinematic grammar. He’s films are unfussy (sometimes to a fault) in style and tone. He doesn’t rely on art house tricks or feigned profundity. He’s willing to let his story and characters do everything for him. You can argue that his stories are poor – and fine, that’s another discussion entirely. I’m only trying to say that I appreciate his willingness to carry the torch that Griffith and Ford once held. That’s all.
Was I expecting something different? Yes. But consider what passes for mainstream American films today and you will see this was above average.
Kind of sad, it is not?
Wonder where I can buy me some of them “art house tricks”.
it certainly features a pabst blue ribbon advertisement!
i dont have any interest in “product placement cinema”, so you wont get me to show some sympathy there, i can promise you.
for me, the humor isnt bizarro. its just flat out bad. in other words, unintentionally so.
what about the revision of his on-screen persona? didnt he alrleady play that tune in “unforgiven” (to a much better effect too)?
the cinematography? well, i already said i wasnt too impressed with the ford commercial glamour shot that closed the film. and also judging from that still right above your post, i dont see anything too expressive or promising. maybe hes better off shooting commercials.
not sure what you mean about the specificity of the neighborhood. to me “8 mile” showed a more interesting depiction of a working class neighborhood.
not so sure the focus of the film was on the hmong minorities. but either way, it didnt strike me as remarkable anyway.
the casualness. hmm. i called it laziness. i dont recall the framing to be very loose or off-kilter in any way. the dialogue was anything but generalized and casual. it was pointed and bigoted, and a little corny in instances.
i guess im seeing a completely different film. it wasnt interesting to me at all. certainly not one of the most interesting in recent years. but i felt the same way about “public enemies”. and others praised its casual construction as well. maybe theres a new aesthetic at foot that im not in step with.
“Heineken! Fuck that shit! Pabst Blue Ribbon!”
“You are so suave!”
It’s interesting you bring up PUBLIC ENEMIES. To me, what registers as “weird” or “bad” or “sloppy” about that film and about GRAN TORINO is a matter of perspective. Do you think Mann or Eastwood, directors who have made amazing film after amazing film in the past, suddenly lost it?
My suggestion is to approach it giving them a relative benefit of the doubt, since their prior record precludes that they know what they are doing: identify what defines the film, and instead of immediately casting judgment on it and/or dismissing it, try to figure out if it is doing something different, new, unexpected/not-what-you-expected. There’s a profound difference between a bad filmmaker unknowingly making bad decisions, and a good filmmaker making unusual decisions.
Gran Torino was a pleasant surprise for me, since I was never a big Eastwood fan. I thought the dialogue was hilarious (like calling out Toad on Ms. Yum-Yum). The chemistry between Eastwood and the two Hmmong teenagers are good, but I dislike the performance by the white actors (namely his son and the ginger priest). What strikes me about the film is Eastwood’s existential meditation though the ending is a tad too soapy.
Francisco – I sell art house tricks. 4 for $20.
no you are not..
Damn! They are kind of cheap. i will buy you a couple dozen when I make my first film…
Gran Torino is an ad for the honor in being a white savior.
I’m sorry, Adam, that’s one of the more facile reviews of the film I’ve seen.
No. It’s an apologia pro vita sua for racism.