|Gran Torino (Widescreen Edition)
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Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino, an unassuming picture shot during a post-production lull on his elaborate period piece Changeling, was quietly rolled out at Christmastime 2008, whereupon it proceeded to blow away all the Oscar-bait behemoths at the box office and win its 78-year-old star the best reviews of his acting career. Both film and performance are consummately sly--coming on with deceptive simplicity, only to evolve into something complex, powerful, and surprisingly tender. Just as Unforgiven was a tragic reflection on Eastwood's legacy in the Western genre, Gran Torino caps and eloquently critiques the urban heritage of Dirty Harry and his violent brethren. And on top of that, the movie becomes a savvy meditation on America in a particular historical moment, racially, economically, spiritually. Call it a "state of the union" message. But call it that with a wry grin.
The latest Dirty Harry is actually a grumpy Walt: Walt Kowalski (Eastwood playing his own age), widower, Korean War veteran, retired auto worker, and the last white resident of his Detroit side street. It's hard to say who irks him more--his blood kin (a pretty lame bunch) or the Hmong families who are his new neighbors. Kowalski's a racist, because it has never occurred to him he shouldn't be. Besides, that's the flipside of the mutual ethnic baiting that serves as coin of affection for him and his working-class buddies. Circumstances--and two young people next door, the feisty Sue (Ahney Her) and her conflicted brother Thao (Bee Vang)--contrive to involve Walt with a new community, and anoint him as its hero after he turns his big guns on some ruffians. The trajectory of this may surprise you--several times over. Eastwood opted to film in economically blighted Detroit--a shrewd decision, but it's his mapping of Walt's world in that classical style of his that really counts. Every incidental corner of lawn, porch, and basement comes to matter--and by all means the workshop/garage that houses the mint-condition Gran Torino which Walt helped build in a more prosperous era. This is a remarkable movie. --Richard T. Jameson
If you are not moved by "Gran Torino", something must be wrong with you. We share Walt's journey from curmudgeon to redemption with both laughs and sorrow.
I disagree with criticism of some of the actors being wooden. Think about it, how many of us really converse as if we were living a glib, prelearned line, Hollywood dialogue. We hesitate, gather our thoughts, and continue.
There are several call-backs from Eastwood's previous characters. "Get off my lawn" is delivered like Harry Callahan's "Make my day". He spits tobacco juice like Josey Wales. He snarls like Will Munny. He delivers "F**k me" like Ben Shockley. Walt is my favorite Eastwood character, as he is a compilation of Eastwood's best.
The Detroit urban blight is captured as "Gran Torino" was filmed on location in and around Detroit. My hometown (Lansing, Michigan) is much the same as Detroit, this is a movie about people and places I know.
Open your heart, open your mind, and let "Gran Torino" wash over you. You'll be glad yo did.
- Gran Torino
Walt Kowalski (Eastwood) is a grumpy old man whose wife has just died. He now lives with only his dog, and barely speaks with his family. The neighborhood where he lives is changing. There are more gangs and the population is becoming more diverse - two things which don't please Walt at all. He doesn't get along well with the Asian family next door, and when the son, Thao (Vang) tries to steal his 1972 Gran Torino, things get even cooler. But, after saving Thao from a gang, things change. Soon Thao is working for Walt doing chores, and his sister Sue (Her) is hanging out with Walt. The family is grateful for what Walt has done, but the gang is still out there, and they are not so easily dissuaded.
"Gran Torino" is a great showcase for Clint Eastwood. He makes the movie, and is the reason to see it. The grumpy, irritable Walt is a real piece of work, and his transformation is effective and believable. The supporting cast does a good job, but they are far outshined by Eastwood. The story is interesting and believable, and does not have a cheap (or cop-out) ending. Supposedly this is Eastwood's last acting role. If that is the case, get out there and see "gran Torino." You will not be disappointed.
- Deftly plotted narrative trumps improbable tale of Vigilante's change of heart
When we first meet Walt Kowalski, the bigoted but lovable curmudgeon played by Clint Eastwood, he's coping with the loss of his wife of many years. During the funeral and reception at the house afterward, his sons are shown having a hard time coping with their father who doesn't have a good word to say about anybody. But soon it's clear that the film's scenarists are setting us up to view Walt as misanthropic but at the same a far better man than his offspring who are busy with their own lives and don't have their father's best interests at heart. Worse is the granddaughter, a narcissistic teenager who shows little sensitivity during a tragic time of grief (the portrait of the detached granddaughter, completely one-dimensional, is designed to contrast with the much more real and sensitive Sue, the young Hmong woman, that Walt is soon to befriend).
Sue, played by the excellent Ahney Her, is probably the most engaging character in the film. She's the one who gets Walt to open up as she brings him over to meet her family and introduce him to the Hmong culture. Not only did I enjoy the banter between the two characters but had the distinct impression that Ms. Her was not acting--that she was simply playing herself! Every time Walt would make an ignorant, bigoted remark, she wouldn't get angry but simply contradict him and explain why he was wrong. He opens up to her precisely because of her patience and insight into both her own people and the outside American culture. She's an all-knowing guide and in a sense hearkens back to the 'wisdom' character in the Bible and other ancient writings.
To the screenwriters' credit, gang culture is not sanitized. Not only are members of the Hmong gang shown to be what they are (vicious and aimless young people who want to make everybody else's lives miserable) but the black gang members are also shown to be equally vicious. And even better, most of the Gran Torino story is not about the gang members but the relationship between Walt and the two young Hmong people who help him to find some purpose in his life.
As the Gran Torino story unfolds, certain things don't ring true. One thing that bothered me quite a bit was Walt's complete ignorance of who the Hmong people were. Here's a guy who presumably has been living in this neighborhood for many years, all his neighbors are Hmong people, and it's up to Sue to explain to him where the Hmong came from. Despite his prejudices, Walt is not a stupid person. He would have known the difference between the Hmong and say the Vietnamese people simply from his conversations with his friends in the neighborhood (such as his friend the barber, the construction foreman or any of his buddies at the various bars he frequents).
Gran Torino is full of 'trash talk' mainly emanating from Walt's foul mouth. Walt and his barber friend trade occasionally amusing insults about each other's ethnic identity. Whether such conversations actually take place in real life is another issue (how a barber would actually like a customer who never tips him seems completely far-fetched).
Most of the middle of Gran Torino concerns Walt's quest to turn Thao, Sue's brother, into a 'real man'. Thao doesn't have much of a personality like his sister and his gradual transformation from a shy, detached kid into someone who's hardworking and responsible seemed a bit too predictable. It's hard to believe that Thao is such a complete wuss that the macho pep talk from Walt's construction foreman friend will so easily turn him around.
The film's climax is the least believable of all the scenes. We're asked first to believe that Walt would jeopardize Thao and Sue's safety by beating up one of the gang members. After all, he's the guy who later locks Thao in the basement after preventing him from impulsively taking revenge on the gang members. But earlier, Walt is the one who commits the impulsive act which leads to Sue being raped.
Now he must undo his own mistake. In a nice twist, instead of turning Gran Torino into a typical revenge fantasy, Eastwood's Kowalski offers himself up as a sacrifice in order to prevent further violence. Perhaps 'Dirty Harry' is maturing in his old age. Furthermore, Clint seems to be softening slightly toward the Catholic church (here he's finally willing to go to confession in contrast to his diatribe against the church's stance against mercy killings which was prominent in Eastwood's earlier film, 'Million Dollar Baby').
Nonetheless, the filmmaker's desire to give the audience a bittersweet but upbeat ending by suggesting that the gang members will end up being prosecuted rings false. Why would the neighbors suddenly be willing to testify against the gang members when it's established early on that everyone in the neighborhood is petrified of gang retaliation? No, in real life, odds are that the witnesses wouldn't have come forward to testify against the gang members despite Walt's heroic reputation in the neighborhood.
Gran Torino is not always honest and goes out of its way to manipulate your emotions. Nonetheless, it's deftly plotted and will keep your attention throughout. That's no small feat. For all its flaws, it's definitely worth seeing.
- Like a well-tuned engine
Clint Eastwood has milked his Dirty Harry persona for years. He gives us one more take on the type in his portrayal of Walt Kowalski, a grumpy, bigoted Korean War vet. Kowalski has just lost his beloved wife and is a bitter and embattled man. His middle-aged sons are trying to move him out of the old neighborhood. His grandchildren are disrespectful, sullen teens. Chinese and Mexican gangs roam the once beautiful boulevards. And to top it all off, a family of Hmong has moved in next door.
"Grand Torino" could have become one of many clich¨¦d Hollywood movies -- the old bigot who learns to appreciate the ways of the immigrant; the brave man who cleans out the town of varmints; the codger who finds meaning in mentoring wayward youth. The movie is all of these, but more. Eastwood seems anxious to play up to his past image as much as to play against it. He spits (a la Josie Wales) and tells tough guys to "Go ahead" (a la Dirty Harry). But the movie takes us in unexpected directions when a young priest (Christopher Carley) tries to break through the shell of this tough, grizzled fighter to mend the tender soul inside.
Terrific performances by Ahney Her as the young teen who befriends Kowalski. Even peripheral roles are limed with deft lines. Kowalski's sons and their families have little screen time, but it is enough to sketch a lifetime of disappointments and misfired parenting. The movie includes loads of politically incorrect name calling (gooks, zipperheads, slopes), though it seems tolerable and even comical from a man of painful secrets like Kowlaski.
All told, an engrossing tale that turns the Eastwood persona on its head while working it for all it's worth....more info
- "Deeds, Not Words"
This film has been unjustly neglected by the various film societies which deliver awards for excellence, with the exception of the National Board of Review. Its relatively unheralded excellence lies not solely in its lead performance and direction, though Clint Eastwood is outstanding on both counts. What is most wonderful is the remarkably witty and insightful script he's been given to work with, a script by a first-time screenwriter. Its thesis, subversive for our age of political correctness and speech codes to protect shrinking violets from being "offended," is that, when push come to shove, actions, as the old proverb has always told us, speak louder than mere words. Yet we live in an age obsessed by words, one frequently oblivious to deeds, an age in which Clarence Thomas, for instance, was pilloried for making a merely verbal pass without punitive consequences, while a presumably verbally decorous President was given a free pass for flagrantly outrageous deeds with an intern. Go figure! This film's script is daring enough to get the relation between merely "offensive" words and surprisingly noble deeds back into proper proportion. As a corrective to a contemporary imbalance in vision, it deserves far more praise than it's so far received....more info
- I always have been legend.
All you really need to know is the National Review rates this as one of the 25 best conservative films and significantly, not the only instance where Clint Eastwood appears on the list.
Walt Kowalski is a self-affirming racist that has made a lifetime of alienating nearly everyone who has the unfortunate karma to have wandered into his sphere, possibility with the exceptions of his deceased wife and his yellow lab retriever, Daisy, and I'm not sure about Daisy because by the end of the movie she seems rather comfortable in her new digs. Kowalski is an anachronism, evidently the last `real American' in a stereotypically evolving working class neighborhood. He quietly fumes with resentment and derision at everyone but most especially his Hmong neighbors who seem oblivious to their inadvertent trespass into his ideological and physical perimeters.
Eventually, as he spews his bigoted venom to anyone within earshot and most often solely to himself, circumstances predicated on his zero sum interpretation of what typifies a real man and his self-defined perceptions of moral comportment lead to the development of initially tenuous relationships with family next door centering on his interaction with the introverted, unfocused son and the self-sufficient, independent non-intimidated daughter. La-dee-dah, we have an epiphany where the cantankerous old assembly line worker comes to the recognition not all members of other ethnic groups are unsavory...I now have an Asian friend. So we tie a ribbon around it, and bring it to a crescendo in ameliorative western paternalistic fashion.
Another affirming feel good movie for the conservative choir....more info
Does everybody knows if this movie has spanish subtitles???
please let me know..cause I want to buy it on blue-ray...more info
- Didja hear the one about the Polack who lived next door to the Slopes?
I apologize to anyone offended by the title of my review, but if that sentence offended you in a way you'll never get over, this is not the movie for you.
Clint Eastwood proves again that he is one of our most gifted directors and actors. His films are ABOUT something and he consistently rises above expectations we might have because of watching films not as good as the ones he makes. In the early part of "Million Dollar Baby" I thought I was watching a well-made remake of Rocky with a female boxer - then in the final act that movie became about something entirely different.
Gran Torino shapes up like a mis-matched buddy film. Later it begins to look like it will become Death Wish for the AARP. Mr. Eastwood chooses projects that do not stick to formulas and we are the lucky benefactors of his unconventional choices.
Clint portrays Walt Kowalski, and Walt is from that generation of men trained to keep their feelings inside, even when they've experienced the kind of horrors that win Silver Crosses in Korea. The film opens at the funeral of Walt's wife and we learn quickly that he is emotionally distant from both of his sons and their families. They think he's a grumpy old coot - and he is - and he think's they're a bunch of lazy softies, raising selfish grand-children.
After Korea Walt worked in the local Ford factory, and his prized possession is a 1972 Gran Torino he helped build and maintains in pristine condition. A grand-daughter approaches grandpa after the funeral, asking Walt who he plans to... uh... you know... leave the car to after he, uh, you know.... Walt scowls silently in reply. Walt scowls a lot, because if he doesn't like his own family you can imagine what he thinks about his neighborhood, where his fellow white auto-workers are moving out and the homes are increasingly inhabited by minorities. A Hmong family lives next door, which is a difficult thing to accept for a man who killed many Asians in Korea. Walt repeatedly orders anyone who steps a toe onto his property away.
Rival Hmong gangs pass the days cruising the streets, talking tough and waving guns to demonstrate their machismo. Thao, the teenaged boy from the family next door, is recruited by his cousin into one of the gangs. Walt catches Thao trying to steal the prized car as gang initiation.
Thao's mother and sister Sue come over the next day to make Thao apologize and offer a week of Thao's services to Walt to preserve the family honor. Bee Vang performs serviceably as Thao, but Ahney Her as Sue is a find. She is witty, spunky, friendly and has no difficulty standing up to Walt and the local gangstas.
In the opening funeral we meet the local priest, Father Janovich (played with cherub-cheeked earnesty by Christopher Carley). The kindly father tells Walt that he promised Mrs. Kowalski before she died that he would make Walt go to confession. Walt tells the young priest in no uncertain terms that he has no intention of going to confession, but father doesn't give up on Walt, and we get the sense that it is as much out of honest human compassion and caring as trying to comply with the death-bed wish of Mrs. Kowalski.
We get to see Walt grow, and he is as surprised as we are that he becomes closer to the family next door than he is to his own sons. Thao grows also, partly because of Walt, and partly despite him. The gruff epithet spouting part of Walt never goes away, so this is not a Disney-esque transformation.
In one scene we see Walt take Thao to the local barber shop more to teach him to curse "like a man" than for a haircut, and in the next scene we see that Thao has learned his lesson well. I saw a few reviews before the film, but hadn't seen a mention of the humor contained within the two-hour running time. Humor changes with perspective though, and much comes from the openly racist Walt being forced into situations he ordinarily would never choose. The Mrs. and I laughed often, as did the rest of the auditorium. Despite the grouchy nature of the protagonist there is a good-hearted feeling that permeates the film.
In the final reel things escalate between Walt, the neighbors and the gang-members. I've seen reviews second-guessing the ending, but for the Walt we've come to know in the film, the ending makes perfect sense....more info
- One of Eastwood's Best Films
My wife and I really enjoyed Gran Torino from beginning to end. The movie has a little bit of everything in it from comedy to emotional drama. We're definitely going to get it when it is released on DVD.
- "Clint Eastwood's GRAN TORINO, "A White American Tragedy about Hmong People," reviewed in the eyes of a Combat Veteran
"Clint Eastwood's GRAN TORINO, "A White American Tragedy
about Hmong People," reviewed in the eyes of a Combat Veteran" - 5 stars
I returned home from seeing Gran Torino feeling very emotional. I had to get these feelings off my chest and so is one's veteran opinion about the fictitious Walt Kowalsky, a Korean combat veteran. I feel I understood what the screenwriter of this fictional story was trying to teach us. A Chinese American's review seems to be most accurate: "You people [reviewers] are, as Walt Kowalski might say, are a bunch of jabbering dimwits."
For all the reviewers who would rewrite the screen, note that you did not produce this movie which is destined to become an Academy winner. Some of you expressed that the movie's hero should not have been about a White American but a hero of color - but isn't that in itself a little racist? The movie is about the story presented and if only the critics could write successfully, they might not be so critical. Many obvious facts can be easily assumed - so if I say that something is so in this review that was not said in the movie - it did not need saying - I know and many know- especially the vet.
Gran Torino also provides an introduction to the American people of a unique Ethnic group - the Hmong whom Walt at first hated but got to love as his only real family. The story is about an older Korean vet (like most) who came back home worked hard, retired, then lost his wife, and held on to good basic life values. Likely, he was never offered any treatment for his obvious chronic PTSD - so he has a few personality quirks. He has the eyes of many aging American combat veterans in a changing American environment. This movie perhaps is one of the most accurate reflections as to of what has happened to this country since the end of the Korean War.
Walt or Mr. Kowalsky, as he was for his Hmong neighbors, is a real American hero. We need more Walt's today in this country. The young Hmong hero (Thoa- Walt's aka "Toad") learns to use a calm head when communities face difficulties. He sets a good example as Walt helps reform him for his attempted theft of Walt's prized 1972 Gran Torino that Walt help build on a Detroit factory assembly line. Sure some Walt comments will get racial purists uptight. However, I feel many often see a racist under every bed as the problem while neglecting their main issues. Aren't the objected comments among many Walt-stereotyped blue-collared people more real than not? Walt did not retreat in war nor today in his community when its racial color changed. Although he could have moved away as encouraged by his children, he did not go to the suburbs where his former white neighbors and his children escaped. He stayed. So really isn't he much less a racist than the overwhelming majority of whites in this country who abandoned their former beautiful neighborhoods - now decaying - that have been overtaken by new ethnic peoples and the poor. Look at Boston, LA, Detroit and all the big cities! The movers and most critics do not have to say racist comments, their racism clearly is demonstrated.
So what if he was a cranky old (80 years old?) man often saying things that "good proper Americans" should not say. Our movies need to be about real people instead of an idealist pure people. The story shows he hated his new Hmong neighbors until he reluctantly discovered that they were good people and who became his new "family." As a 100% disabled combat Vietnam veteran (Special Operation Forces), I know that if you experienced what he did 55 years earlier (killing 13 enemy including a young 17 year old), your perceptions will differ little from Walt's. After his wife died, he rejected his young priest's many efforts to effect his late wife's request for him to confess his sins. He kept his War secrets to himself. He never discussed his War story even with his family - keeping his medals hid in a trunk in the basement. But he did share it for a few short moments with Thao and that is central to the movie's theme. We know that war takes a tolling affect on all warriors with a conscience- often with daily intrusions until death do them part. Many veterans perceptions to societal changes are easily different than non-veterans. Sometimes justifiably experienced in today's world when they see what is happening to their country for which they offered their supreme sacrifice.
The truth is that most Korean and Vietnam veterans have referred to their Asian enemy as gooks. Many combat vets are easily triggered emotionally even on the sight of Asians or recollections from that period of their life. After all, the military inspired within its combat troops that a gook was lower than a dog so that it was okay to kill him unless you allowed him to kill you. So within the soul of many combat veterans rest this disturbing feeling that is real in their perceptions and often nightly dreams. Don't we know that "war is hell" enough to emotionally to defeat even the best? Yet these veterans often came home often to an uncaring people who supposedly "were against war." But we should know that the strongest desires for peace always rest with the soldier. Wasn't Walt trying to teach Thoa and share his experience to avoid violence because it can hurt a person's soul for a very long time. Yet there comes a time after though when the proper person must take the risk.
Retired White auto blue-collar workers' comments are no doubt a reaction to their former enemies successful assumption of their American automobile manufacture as Americans adopted foreign cars and left their people unemployed. It does not seem right for those who won the war to lose their jobs to those we helped (Koreans) or defeated (Japanese, Germans, and Italians). If that was enough then new foreign people take over their neighborhoods. [Anyone want a house in Flint MI for a dollar?- there are many available.] How would you feel if your neighborhood turned into a dump because of this transition? Furthermore, unless you are blind, you must realize that minority Gangs throughout the US have an unduly affect on the poorer inner communities. These young gangsters are subjected to constant crime and use of drugs with little hope of escape. Most gangs are comprised- but not exclusively- today of young men of color. Yes, Walt saw Sue Lor's white male friend unable to stand up for her when abused by a small gang of black thugs. Walt fought the gang's destruction of his neighborhood and abuse of its Hmong peoples. If we only had more leaders and judges who stood against this encroachment crime into our society.
Walt knew that neither he nor the Hmong could not depend on the police to help. He realized that this fight was best for him. In the same way, many veterans realize that we or our allies should not depend on our military. This movie is reflects the USA's authoritative failures to not help our allies the Hmong then and today in their new US depressed communities. Look at the story of the Hmong people. Major General Vang Pao, their war hero who for two decades led the Hmong in their fight against North Vietnamese and Pathet Lao forces, repeated his comrades story, "If the United States won't help us, they should drop a bomb on us so we won't suffer any more." The story of the Hmong, a primitive people, has been a story of US neglect and betrayal. They were our most faithful and courageous allies during the Vietnam war. The USA paid and encouraged them to resist the advance of Communism in Southeast Asia. But the USA abandoned them and left them to a precarious fate when the Laotian domino collapsed in 1975. The USA government lied and denied this operation for years until Clinton Administrations confession that the USA was the primary instigating Hmong support in Southeast Asia wars. Today and after our confession, there still continues a genocide of thousands Hmong by the communist Lao government. Only a few have been relocated to US Hmong Communities. Most Hmong have been slaughtered. These are the same people who covertly made the Ho Chi Minh trail almost impassable for the NVA to resupply military equipment to kill our soldiers. Their actions saved innumerable lives (US and ARVN) from bloodbaths by the enemy. Don't we owe them more respect and support?
Are there similar stories going on today in America? Certainly, we need more Walt's to stand up and help the Hmong. One example of a White American accused of helping the Hmong is former Ranger Harrison Jack. The Federal Government today continues his and the Hmong betrayal. Our US Justice Department has indicted the retired Lieutenant Colonel Jack for a flimsy Sacramento Federal criminal case on violation of the Neutrality Act. Also indicted in the two year old continuing case are General Vang Pao and ten (10) other Hmong Americans. Colonel Jack led covert operations and worked with Hmong fighters during the Vietnam War. The federal indictment today describes him as the middle man between the Hmong defendants and their presumed arms dealer. Rangers are taught to never leave their comrades behind but to make every effort to save them and bring them home safe. What he is wrongly accused is exactly what the US Government should have been doing to resolve this overdue problem. The US Justice Department has ridiculously exaggerated and fabricated a case of entrapment at best against Colonel Jack and the Hmong "conspirators" to provide arms for those who have not given up the fight. Perhaps this criminal case will be an exciting future Hmong movie that Clint Eastwood will sponsor. Knowledge of the facts in this case should also be mandatory reading for Allies of any potential US military operations. They need to know the USA's propensity to abandon even their strongest supporters facing the worst situations. Such a movie would make all true blooded Americans disgusted with their government. It does not have to be fictional - the real story exists. We never should cause a genocide again.
In the end, Walt gave his life for these Hmong and this Hmong family could live free without intimidation by gangs. Knowing that he would soon die probably from cancer, he made one last sacrifice plan silently offering his life. His killing would do much more damage through the jailing of the Hmong gangsters for killing him. He knew precisely what he was doing. At last the young priest succeeds in securing Walt's late wife's request a confession. His confrontation of the Hmong gang would be his final act. He had made his peace with God with his confession. As he confronted Sue's and his attackers for their terrible actions, they shot him repeatedly as he reached in his pocket for his First US Army Cavalry (his combat unit) lighter to light a cigarette. He was unarmed. And his military memory laid in his dead hand. He knew that his life soon would be over anyway from cigarette cancer. What better way to go quickly? Or should he await the slow cancer verdict without any benefit to anyone? Perhaps he felt the Americans owed more to the Hmong for their faithful valor to the American Vietnam War combat soldiers. No doubt he had learned from the Hmong of their thousands who died when the United States abandoned them.
His sacrificial offering was for a purpose - similar to that service-people offer for us everyday. Certainly Walt would continue as one of a very few American hero's to the Hmong. This movie exemplifies the adage that "Old Soldiers Never Die."
Is there a moral that transcends this story even with its many racial or crude Walt comments? You betcha. There are many morals in this story that might someday be a classic study in schools. While fiction, it offers an excellent sociological and historic story of today's inner city and major issues as to what is going on in this society. The screenplay's author, Nick Schenk, deserves an OSCAR. The Hmong are still in need of American heroes instead of our chickens. Please, Mr. Eastwood, Give us a second Oscar winning movie about the Hmong's victory in Laos. Many Hmong still want to go home.
At the will reading, his children got nothing. Walt left most of his property to the Church of the young priest. The movie closes when Thoa Lor drives by a beautiful part of Detroit on Lake Michigan with his newly-inherited Walt's prized "1972 Gran Torino." Sue Lor said it right - "Walt Kowalski is a good man."
- Gran Torino: A Review.
Clint Eastwood's second directorial endeavor of 2007--the second of the fall season, in fact--"Gran Torino," is quite different from the previous movie, "Changeling," in a number of ways (unlike in 2006, the last time he had two films in a single season, in which both naturally complemented each other: "Flags of Our Fathers" and "Letters from Iwo Jima").
The previous film was set in a 1920s-era Los Angeles that, in its physical appearance, seemed picture-perfect; the current movie uses an aging, gritty, modern-day Detroit as its backdrop. Although he did not appear on-screen in "Changeling," he returns as a hero in "Torino," albeit an imperfect one. The main protagonists of both films are searching: Angelina Jolie's main mission in "Changeling" is to find her missing son; actor Eastwood's main goal, though not explicitly stated, is to find redemption for an old guilt that haunts him.
Where Jolie's character, Christine Collins, is shown to be beautiful and virtually flawless, saintly to the point where it almost works against the character and her picture, Eastwood plays Walt Kowalski, whose racial prejudice and male chauvinism are thinly veiled beneath his weathered skin and often seep through his contemptuous grimace--and his character and his picture are better for this plain honesty, this flaw that, as the film progresses, he finds himself successfully overcoming, though he never makes it an actual goal to do so. It just happens--and convincingly so.
At the start of the movie, Kowalski is an old-time veteran of the Korean war, has just lost his beloved wife and has little left except his dog Daisy, a big, immaculately-maintained--and utterly empty--house and a lifetime of bitterness. The only thing he nurtures, it seems, is his contempt for the Koreans who, over time, have become the dominant majority in his decaying neighborhood, especially those who just moved into the house next door.
The story is also about those Koreans next door, in particular the shy teenage boy Thao Vang Lor (Bee Vang), who is intelligent and content to do chores around the house he shares with his older sister, Sue (Ahney Her), and their family, such as gardening, washing the dishes and other tasks considered by most others he knows as "women's work." That combination of meekness, academic smarts and tidiness give others, in particular his cousin and his brutal gang, a reason, in their own minds, to ridicule Thao as weak and to recruit him into their ranks, which they do repeatedly and aggressively enough that he finally joins them, albeit reluctantly.
His first assignment is one that will inadvertently bring him and his neighbor closer together, though unwittingly. To pass his initiation, he must steal Kowalski's Gran Torino, a vintage 1970s sports car with sleek lines and a cool metal sheen, kept in mint condition by its owner, who seems to love it more than anything, in part because he worked, for many years, on the assembly line that built the model.
After Kowalski's confrontations foil the gang's and assorted other thugs' malevolence directed toward Thao and Sue, he becomes, in Sue's words, "a hero to the neighborhood" and, before long, he is lavishly bestowed with gifts of food--a custom that arrived with the immigrants to the area--and invited to a huge feast at the Lor's home, attended by their extended family. It's terribly difficult, of course to continue to hate people when they treat one with such kindness, so it is not a surprise that these two cultures of people become something of a family. The majority of the film's middle is about how Kowalski warms to the Lors, gradually learns of Korean culture (mostly by a humorous trial and error), protects Sue and Thao almost as if they were of his own blood, and, in particular, becomes Thao's guide and mentor, with a "tough-love" approach in an almost surrogate-father relationship. Really, it's about how a man who seemed to have lost the capacity to love, learns to love people again.
The last section, consisting chiefly of a final showdown between Kowalski and the Korean thugs who have set their sights on Thao, is not as interesting as the rest of the story, as we all know that, like good against bad in westerns, it is bound to happen. Nevertheless, it plays out in a way that we may not expect, is suspenseful and caps a film in which much actually happens, not always in terms of action but in human relations.
It is that stylistically simple, unvarnished focus on people and their friendships they find in those they didn't expect that makes this film more personal than some of Eastwood's other directorial offerings--"Changeling," for example. There is sincere slice-of-life quality that is by turns dramatic and humorous, though never inappropriately so. It is a compliment that this picture, in its appearance and feel, is simple and rather nuanced, lacking the higher-concept style of most Hollywood movies that deal with similar issues, including many of Eastwood's own. High-tension fights which, in other films, might be allowed a more aesthetically extravagant depiction are, here, more subdued (though there is a scene that may remind some of Eastwood's over-the-top 1970s-era action film "The Gauntlet," but only in the vaguest sense). Even the gang members generally look like average people, save for their behavior, and not over-stylized, super-hyper, muscular beasts as some other movies would easily render them.
Vang and Her give capable, if somewhat nondescript, performances as the brother and sister Kowalski takes under his wing, and there is a memorable relationship between the cranky and militant senior citizen and Father Janovich (Christopher Carley), a boyishly young priest ardent on obtaining a confession from his skeptical parishioner, as was his wife's wish, and who questions the old man's methods of handling the trouble imposed by the gangs. But, the stand-out performance is Eastwood's own, frequently portraying Kowalski as old, curmudgeonly and stubborn, yes, but also with that old Eastwood toughness and, when the film calls for it, the pro's charm. Unsurprisingly, most of the memorable lines in the script are reserved for him, yet not all are spoken; many of the best lines are communicated solely through his face and gestures and even an occasional growl. The former Dirty Harry and Man with No Name is the centerpiece, of course, but it would have been nice if the generally well-written screenplay (by Nick Schenk, from a story he co-wrote with Dave Johannson) gave the supporting cast more juicy words to say as well. As it is, in the language department, they are, for the most part, mere bystanders.
Eastwood has long played heroes whose backgrounds, means and even motives can be questioned. Increasingly, though, each of his characters is also, in his own way, vulnerable. In fact, the latter part of his acting career ("Million Dollar Baby," "Unforgiven" and, to a lesser degree, "The Outlaw Josie Wales"), has seen him make something of a specialty of playing such people, and his depiction in his latest film fits that category like an weathered shoe fits an old pro.
This film, in some ways a sleeper of the season, has much to say about big issues that affect us all: culture, tolerance, acceptance, redemption. Overall, it says them quite well, in its understated way, handling its issues more credibly than its more flamboyant counterpart from Eastwood this season, "Changeling." This, I suppose, is the most important difference of all between the films. Not that you need to see both to enjoy "Gran Torino."...more info
Clint Eastwood should have won best actor for this movie. I can't see why in the world Sean Penn won. Clint Eastwood is the better actor far and beyond Penn. It is one of his best. Only Clint could have pulled it off....more info
- Best Actor/Director
I cannot believe Clint Eastwood didn't earn nominations for Best Director or Best Actor for this film. It is a fantastic film....more info
- Gran Torino - Blu-ray Info
Version: AUS, Japan, UK, EU / Warner / Region Free
VC-1 BD-50 / AACS / Advanced Profile 3
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1
Running time: 1:56:34
Movie size: 31,51 GB
Disc size: 35,35 GB
Total bit rate: 36.04 Mbps
Average video bit rate: 26.99 Mbps
Dolby TrueHD Audio English 1344 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1344 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)
Dolby Digital Audio English 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio German 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Italian 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Japanese 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Japanese, Italian, Korean, Norwegian, Spanish, Swedish
Number of chapters: 29
Version: U.S.A / Warner / Region Free
Disc size: 33,45 GB
Movie size: 29,70 GB
Average video bit rate: 26.99 Mbps
Total bit rate: 33.98 Mbps
Dolby TrueHD Audio English 1344 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1344 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)
Dolby Digital Audio English 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Subtitles: English (SDH), English, French, Portuguese, Spanish
#Manning the Wheel (HD - 9m:23s)
#Gran Torino: More Than a Car (HD - 3m:57s)
#DVD Digital Copy
#The Eastwood Way (HD - 19m:17s)
#BD-Live enabled...more info
- Clint's "SHOOTIST"
As I watched this movie unfold, I was moved almost to tears. Is Clint Eastwood, an actor I've watched for 40 years, trying to tell us something? I got the same sense watching John Wayne in "THE SHOOTIST", his remarkable final film. If this is indeed the last time we will see Mr. Eastwood on the big screen, I must say "Bravo"! This is an intelligent, funny, thought provoking film that everyone should see. The Academy snubbed it because of the political incorrectness, but we see it for what it is trying to say. So see it, discuss it, laugh with it, cry with it, but most of all relish the man and his vision. ...more info
- Gran Torino....A little atitude???
Gran Torino is a mixture of treatment towards the elderly and racisam.It shows people can change their atitude toward other races.There is some humor and of course very intense moments. It's where men come out smiling and the women are crying. ...more info
- Cliche' heaven
Cartoonish and laughable. Only actors were Clint and the barbershop guy. Rest were monotone readers. Could do same dialogue as "spoof" of Eastwood's other movies-tough guy vigilante-bad guys-gangs-over the top ethnic slang for almost every nationality and race. Clint could play role like "All in the family" character while other actors would be stupid comic types. I did laugh out loud at the stupid cliche' ridden dialogue and situations....more info
To this day I still do not understand the praise this movie gets! I get what the movie is trying to do. I get the whole racism, old man in a new world, coming to terms with yourself...blah blah blah. Those things are all well and good if they are done in a halfway decent fashion. First off the acting is on par with any Soap Opera on TV. I could barley sit the through the thing because of this. I think I actually felt vomit touch the back of my throat trying to watch this movie. Second the whole story is just corny as hell. This is pretty much it "Grumpy - Racist old man hates the world...takes sissy Asian kid under his wings...finds peace ". The last thing that really made me want to slit my own throat was the scene where Clint is so shocked that he drops his shot glass. It was so over dramatized....I can't even stand to talk about movie.
Do you self a favor and skip this Over Hyped piece of garbage!
- Raw & Breathtaking
If you can take a bit of course language, this is easily the best movie of the year. It takes on racism but so much more than that too. It addresses the fear and cowardice of many people in our society to act when they know something wrong is happening in their neighborhood.
Eastwood is fabulous in this movie. Don't miss this great film....more info
- 4 ? Stars: "Sometimes You Meet Someone You Know You Shouldn't Mess With..."
I've always had a fondness for Eastwood's direction and films; his latest, "GRAN TORINO" may not be his best directorial film assignment but it sure is a welcome addition to his directorial opus. This film is a melodramatic experience (well, Eastwood's performance keep it from becoming a full-blown one) and is a clever character study on racism, friendship and redemption. The film is pretty simple and that is the one element that made it work. Of course, Eastwood relies on his old-school tactics to generate a taut, gripping, and intense experience.
Walter Kowalski (Clint Eastwood) is a retired mechanic and who has been recently widowed. He tries to keep to himself, tends to his own property and fends off the selfish desires of his grandkids. He watches his old neighborhood and seems like the "new" generation of kids nowadays lack any respect whatsoever, and Walt falls into despair. He maintains some prejudice since his bleak days in the Korean war. Walt just minds his own business until he observes the violent predicament of a young Hmong man named Thao (Bee Vang) and he decides to intervene and drives off the gang members and Walt becomes recognized and respected in the Hmong community. He is repulsed by the traditions, but slowly he is won over through Homng cuisine and befriends Thao and his sister, Sue (Ahney Her). Now, Walter has become fond of this huge Asian family, but unfortunately, the Hmong gang situation is about to get much, much worst...and Walter is adamant on getting involved.
"Gran Torino" is simple, the screenplay by Nick Schneke is a no-nonsense, no B.S. type of a deal and may be heavily dipped in Midwestern culture. The story is about an aging ex-military man who is so set in their ways, he finds solace in his own little world, folks like this tend to keep to themselves and they try to stay away from the melting pot that develops around them. Walter's state of nature is the good old-fashioned way of American life, whose life and beliefs may revolve around seemingly outdated values in this day and age. Sure, he does have his share of bigotry but I think it is just his comfort zone and a way of dealing with the things that he has seen. The story is all about respect and finding the means to clear one's conscience. Walter has lived his life and he has nothing to lose.
Walt is one very intense individual and you can tell from the get-go that he has a major chip on his shoulder. There are very strong hints that he is not an easy person to get along with, and he has somewhat alienated himself from his family. Now, his health is slowly deteriorating and he still refuses to reach out. (why would he?) Quite ironic and not really surprising that he finds more in common with his next door Asian neighbors, who are from a very different ethnic background and old-school traditions. I think you can see that this is due to the fact that these Asian people have survived many hardships and they can understand him. His own family is basically the new type of generation, his children may have things too easy for them and his grandkids give the impression of a very irresponsible attitude.
The film does revolve around its characters, their interactions and their habits--the characters make the story in "Gran Torino". The film's dialogue is very strong and much of it does focus on Walter and Thao's relationship who develop an odd friendship after Thao had attempted to steal Walt`s prized car; the 1972 "classic Gran Torino". You may say that Walter becomes Thao's father figure somehow. One may also say that the car represents Walt's personality--unchanging that had stood the test of time. I do love Ahney Her's character "Sue" as she proves to be the strong anchor between her family and Walt, she does draw out the goodness within this strong-willed ex-military man.
Eastwood's direction doesn't go into overdrive into taking the limits of remorse, guilt and hate into account. The direction is kept very simple and it is what made it effective. I also commend the direction that while it does have a serious tone and it remembered to add subtle doses of humor. I really enjoyed the way Eastwood delivered his dialogue and you may say that he is the culmination of most of the characters he has played in the past--think an aged "Dirty Harry Callahan". His constant focus on his spitting and his quips about prejudices was humorous, and I think the direction managed to keep a clean execution throughout. The exchanges between Walt and his barber is made for pure fun, as well as Sue calling him "Wally".
"GRAN TORINO" has been unofficially promoted as Eastwood's last starring role. The film is very good, and while it may not stand as his best directorial outing, (I think "Unforgiven" is still his best) Eastwood's acting portrayal is solid and his role seemed tailor-made for his personality. The direction is brilliantly simple and avoids quite a few melodramatic pitfalls, the climax is very heavy with a symbolic gesture and some audiences may indeed see it a little too polished for a film like this. The film is satisfying enough and I rather welcome Eastwood's return to this type of role. Eastwood's "Gran Torino" isn't too concerned with making a huge mark in his resume--and maybe this is the way he wanted it. Going out quietly, with a restrained but powerful impact.
Highly Recommended! [4 ? Stars]
- ...Among Eastwood's Best Work... Elemental and Timely
Gran Torino is a compelling script performed by an excellent ensemble cast. Eastwood's gift for directing, and portraying the dialogue and interplay between characters gives this work real depth and intimacy. The cinematography and lighting are skillfully effected to wrap the viewer in the feeling of despair and dilapidation that surround the characters, their neighborhood and their relationships. All elements combine for an outstanding film that takes the viewer on a tour of his own soul. What we find is what these characters find. No matter our age, race or culture, we're all looking for the same thing....more info
- Grand Torino
Eastwood is awesome, he doesn't try to hide his age, a little too much name calling, I always think his last one is the best, but this one is really his best he fits the part perfectly, he really is the best male actor of my time....more info
- Grand Old Man
If you saw "Tropic Thunder", you saw how some aging movie stars try desperately to stay in the limelight by remaking sequel after sequel of some past glory--like Sylvester Stallone does when he remakes all his 30-year-old hits. Or like Harrison Ford who desperately tried to jumpstart his stalled career last year by starring in a sequel to a hit movie--Indianna Jones--he made 30 years ago. Or Robert DiNiro who works in such potty-saturated comedies for imbeciles like "Meet the Fockers."
That's why was it was so exhilirating to watch a real master at work--Clint Eastwood--iwho hasn't sat back and tried desperately to remake his past glories. As he's gotten older, he's advanced to a stellar plateau where no other movie star has gone before.
In "Gran Torino", he gives his swansong performance as a crusty old racist who discovers something noble in his psyche when needed in a time of danger. No other major male star has ever done this before. They've either (but rarely) retired after their glory days are over with. Or, as mentioned previously, they embarass everyone by refusing to mature and insist on remaking an old box office hit of decades gone by.
Eastwood wasn't even nominated for an Oscar for his brilliant portrayal of a complex, but basically decent, old man who just wants to spend his last days drinking his beer and thinking of his recently deceased wife. But when trouble comes to his door step, he valiantly reacts and defends not only himself, but his once hated Asian neighbors next door.
The only other male star who can compete with Eastwood in terms of brilliant film work--in front and behind the camera--is Mel Gibson. I hope that Gibson will have a phenomenal career like Eastwood. Eastwood proves once an for all you don't have to be a sizzling hunk or a male star in his prime to be a bona fide movie hero. At the age of 80, he can look back on a career that will never be surpassed. Bravo to Clint Eastwood!...more info
- An epiphany can come at any time
Clint Eastwood confronts, with the power of an old man who has not lost his memory of the crimes of the Korean War generation, what those crime have transformed him into: a racist, self-centered, extremely bitter person who has become a recluse in his self-righteous expiation of his past, and this expiation takes the color of the total rejection of anything that is not white and wrapped up in an American flag, not seeing that this turns the flag into a shroud, the shroud of all the basic principles of these United States of America. But Clint Eastwood is a man of epiphanies. So he works an epiphany out of this horror. His neighbors are from a Laotian tribe that fought with the Americans in Vietnam against the Communists. Circumstances bring the young boy of this family to trying to steal, on the order from a gang of young people of this community, the Gran Torino collectible car of our Kowalski. Of course he is interrupted and yet spared a bullet that would have killed him. Why? Because Kowalski had done that, had killed a young boy, one day in Korea and that crime is still haunting him. Circumstances will lead him to helping that boy and his sister out of difficult situations with that gang but also with some blacks. He does that on the spur of the moment and along the line of his long cultivated guilt that has to find a salvation after the death of his wife and the discovery that he is spitting blood and probably has lung cancer since he is a heavy smoker. The gang though does not take an intimidation for an answer and certainly not for a final and uncrossable warning. So they go further in their victimizing that boy and girl from next door, a lot farther, and Kowalski take the case in his own hands, at night when he is sure the whole nest of killing predators will be assembled and he comes out of the night, on their front lawn, with dozens of witnesses all around to provoke them into killing him, in fact over-killing him and thus freeing him from his guilt and his disease and at the same time bringing the whole gang down for quite a long time. The best part of this film is the giving away of his possession before and after his death. He dares give his silver star to the young Hmong boy Tao before dying, and will his home to the church of the young Irish priest that had forced him into a sacrificial and Christian attitude and his Gran Torino to Tao again. Clint Eastwood in his old age seems to be cleaning up his own house and home, I mean his American mind and soul and that great Spring clearance takes the form of an admirable and at times compassionate or pathetic sidewalk confession and garage expiation. And that is so reassuring about the transformation that is taking place in the USA right now under our eyes, watered that it has been and still is by the blood of millions more victims, US or not, of two more wars in two more foreign countries that had asked nothing.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne, University Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines, CEGID
- Pure Eastwood
A brooding Eastwood just wants to be left alone. He is truly living in the past and quite content with it. His compassion for an ethnic minority neighbor overcomes his self imposed isolation and his Dirty Harry character emerges. My favorite line is when he is confronted by the gangbangers and slowly explains to them that there are some people that they should just not #%*@ with! A must for any Eastwood collection!...more info
- Almost 8 Decades In, and Still Going Strong
Gran Torino begins and ends in a church. In between is a tale of bitterness, reawakening, revenge, and ultimately redemption. In other words, this is a Clint Eastwood film.
Gran Torino is a very well done movie, made by one of the most effective directors in Hollywood; if it covers some familiar ground, it is also a departure from this turf. In control on both sides of the camera, Eastwood plays an embittered Korean war veteran, Walt Kowalski, whose wife has just died as the film begins.
Even without his wife's death, Walt could never be accused of being a happy man. He resents his changing Detroit neighborhood and the influx of minorities, personified by the Hmong immigrants who live next door to him. He resents his two sons and their families, especially his spoiled, shallow grandchildren (to Walt's credit I resented them a bit myself; the movie is not interested in making them exactly multifaceted, unless you define multifaceted as managing to be unpleasant, vulgar, and insensitive all at the same time).
If Walt was a more articulate person, there is no doubt he would voice his resentment of America's decline in general, embodied by the decline of the once-great Motor City. He spends his days sitting on his porch, sipping an endless succession of Pabst Blue Ribbon cans, and offering a running commentary, to no one in particular, on the sorry state of affairs.
Meantime, Thao Vang Lor, the teenager who lives next door, finds himself facing his own troubles, as he is pressured by his gang-leader cousin to abandon his books in favor of automatic weapons, aimless driving, and other trappings of gang life. Peer-pressured into attempting to steal his reclusive next-door neighbor's prized Gran Torino, Thao predictably flubs the robbery and is nearly shot by Walt in the process.
The event causes Walt to sit up and take a sharper look at the troubles around him. And little by little - and yet somehow overnight - he becomes a not-especially reluctant protector of the very family whose presence he complained about so lengthily. Sounds familiar? Sure. This is Eastwood territory, and we delight to see him enter it, for no one does it better. Perhaps more than any other actor, Eastwood carries his iconic status with him, in every role he plays. It is unavoidably a part of him - every jaded, raspy word, the grizzled, seen-it-all features, the corded arms and piercing eyes and the slouching confidence he feels for his own two hands and not much else. He could not abandon this if he tried, and we do not want him to.
Seeing three teenage bullies harassing the daughter of the family on her way home from school, Walt watches from his truck, growing increasingly incensed. What follows is no less delightful for the predictability of the track it follows. The truck pulls up, a man gets out. The teenagers bluster and advise him to move on. "Every now and then," Walt replies, "you run into a guy you shouldn't have f--ked with. I'm that guy."
Yup, we're in Eastwood Country, all right. And it's good to be there.
As the film goes on, the violence increases as Walt's heart opens slowly, reluctantly, once again, and he is drawn into the life of his neighbors, who hail him as a savior. There are many nice moments here, and these are made more poignant by the shadow which Walt oh-so-willingly moves under. Eastwood can be wonderfully grouchy when he wishes, and the scenes where the two Hmong children try to draw him out of his shell have a light, pleasant feel to them, even if occasionally a gesture or line ring slightly false.
But the good times are not here to stay. This is an Eastwood film, and Eastwood doesn't believe in happy endings. Or, for that matter, peaceful ones. And soon enough an act of loathsome brutality on the part of the gang members spurs Walt into a savage, guilt-ridden consciousness that the semi-playful violence he has so enjoyed flirting with has produced real and insufferable consequences for those closest to him. And with that realization, he heads off to a climax as unavoidable as that in any Western.
Eastwood is older, now, and his body, although still strong, is less vital than in some of his past iconic roles. And so we can only hope that there is enough of Harry Callahan or William Munny left in him to succeed. Does he? Yes, and no. And the ending is a strikingly un-Eastwoodesque ending - until one considers for a moment, and decides that maybe it is a quintessential Eastwood ending after all.
On the other side of the camera, Eastwood turns in a strong performance (does he know any other kind?) but not a true tour de force. In his defense, the script doesn't allow him this chance - while strong, it does not seem particularly inclined to take him into challenging or uncharted waters. Nonetheless, the machine called Clint Eastwood is going strong, and unlike the Motor City itself, he shows no signs of slowing down.
- Personally Loved This!
Ok, it starts out with cranky,old Clint Eastwood's character. The begining is basically the part where it shows why he is all grumpy and has that hoarse smoker's voice. It is somewhat about the car because how the confilct against the Hmong gang all started was because of the car. One of the Hmong boys got got and was forced to work for Clint Eastwood's character. They began to bond with eachother and they began to like eachother. The boys sister was beaten and raped and then Eastwood's character decided to go out and finish his deed. If you are into those dramatic/sad stories and movies, or just any type of genre I would most definitley reccomend this to everybody out there!...more info
- DAMN GOOD MOVIE!!!
I never really have watched that many movies with Clint Eastwood in it and probably wouldn't of watched this one either, but I came across a copy so I checked it out. I wasn't dissappointed by it but it also wasn't what I expected, actually I thought this was gonna be more of a shoot em up with Clint behind the gun's but was kinda wrong, in a way. I didn't expect the racism and I didn't expect the ending that was. Clint is a ex Korean War Vet who just so happen's to live in a neighborhood full of Koreans, which by the way he dislikes and has names for them like "Zipperhead, Swamp Rats and Gooks". His wife has just died and the family is at the funeral, the family in which Clint Dislikes. After the funeral they end up at his house and find out more to why he dislikes his family (they just want him for what he has). Anyhow his next door neighbors have kids which are teenaged Koreans, one boy one girl. So one day the korean boy is walking home when he is approached by a gang of mexicans who mess with him. All of a sudden the korean boy cousin and his gang come around a corner and see whats going on. They come up on the mexicans and guns flash but no shots and the mexicans drive off, so his cousin and friends try to get him to join their gang but thats not the kinda of boy he is. But soon enough they convince him to try and join and the only way to get in the gang is to steal Clints Grand Torino. The boy ends up trying but gets caught by clint and almost gets shot, the only shot Clint fires in the whole movie. After that the boys cousin and friends end up attacking him on Clints front lawn and Clint pulls out his gun and tells em to get lost. After that the whole neighborhood starts to like Clint for saving the boy, but its praise he does not want. He finally gives in one day as the korean boys sister becomes friends with Clint. He starts to go around and let them come around him more often and he becomes friends with the family including the boy who tryed to steal his car and ends up taking the boy under his wing and shows him how to become more of a man. Soon Clint starts to really connect with the 2 kids and see them as more of a family than his actual family. I really don't wanna tell the whole story but it really is an excellent one. Its funny at times and is to me very sad. There is quite a few racist remarks in this movie but nothing really that bad if you can see past them. I really liked Anhey Her, which is the sister and thought she did an excellent job. Oh and the ended was not what I thought it was gonna be but wasn't bad, just sad. Like I said I dont wanna give away the whole story or the ending but some of yall might cry. I hope this review has been helpful enough to make you decide on watching this movie, as I'm tired of getting told my reviews are unhelpful....more info
- Immensely Watchable
An old Korean War veteran and long-term employee of the Ford production plant, recently made widower, contemplates what's left of his life in outer-suburban Detroit. He has his well-meaning but ungrateful and incompetent children - and his lackadaisacal, expectant, spoilt-rotten grandkids...
...he also has the lively foreign family who has just moved next door...and his precious 1970s hotrod...
I'm not sure where to start...but, as usual, I'll aim for sharp and concise.
Clint Eastwood has ripened with age, in terms of both directing and acting. To say that "Gran Torino", supposedly his last effort on both fronts, is thereby his greatest achievement, is hardly a stretch. Eastwood's directing demands attention from the audience at every turn, while his portrayal of the central character either cracks a smile on your face or makes your teeth grind...or both. From the supporting cast - and supporting crew behind the seens - he demands, at the very least, a raw and earnest performance.
Nevermind the racism of the central character, nevermind the simplicity of the picture - all elements are inhabited with a sense of perfection, and the dialogue is exemplary. So many films could learn a lesson from the dialogue...
"Gran Torino" runs long, as does heavyweight peer "Slumdog Millionaire". But whereas during "Slumdog Millionaire" I checked my watch - just the once, mind you - time LITERALLY FLEW during "Gran Torino".
This movie is gripping...mesmerizing...and, like Eastwood's other recent hit "Million Dollar Baby", as observed by John Walker in Halliwells (2006-2008), it also "...moves in unexpected directions..."...more info
- I laughed, I cried...
This is my favorite new movie. I went to see this with my mom and we loved it. I cannot say enough good things about this movie. There are serious parts, and other parts where Eastwood is hilarious. I was laughing and crying throughout this movie. It was entertaining throughout. I have a feeling this will go down as a huge cult film, considering it was snubbed by the Academy. This should have been up for Best Picture and Best Actor. Oh yeah, and the car is pretty awesome! Go see it, you won't be disappointed. ...more info
- One of Clint's very best.
As far back as I can remmember going to a Clint Eastwood film has always in itself represented a warranty for watching something decent at the very least. After UNFORGIVEN came out, there were plenty of just OK films like SPACE COWBOYS, ABSOLUTE POWER, TRUE CRIME and the like but recent years have come with an Eastwood streak of fantastic hits which is just amazing considering the guy will be 80 next year. My personal favorite will always be the said UNFORGIVEN but GRAN TORINO is definetely in my top 5 favorite Eastwoods. The sight of the boy driving the car by the lake at the very end should have you smiling from ear to ear. Just great....more info
I would highly recommend this movie. Clint Eastwood plays a man stricken with cancer that has recently lost his wife. He lives in a harsh neighborhood that is multi-cultural. There is an hmong family that lives next to him. The mother has her son, daughter, and mother living with her. Eastwood plays a very racist, ex-military man that is set in his ways. He has a good heart but doesn't want anyone to know it. There is a lot of racial verbage tossed around in the beginning of this show.
When the neighbor's son tries to steal Eastwood's character's Gran Torino from his garage in order to become a member of his cousin's gang, Eastwood catches him and makes him do work around his and other neighbors' homes. The boy is a good kid but was being bullied into joining this gang and really didn't want to.
The gang becomes relentless in their attempts to get the boy to join the gang and eventually targets him and his family for refusing them. Eastwood's character decides to help.
It's a wonderful personal growth story on how people can change their views by being around other cultures and understanding them. Realizing that we all are similar in the most basic ways. It is also a wonderful stance on the fight against gangs and what they stand for. How communities can pull together to clean up their neighborhoods and make them safer....more info