Movie Review: Mystic River (2003)

I had no real reason to review this movie. It was on tv last night, and that rewatch made me wanna talk about it. So no proper reason. I mean, I could tie it into Eastwood’s new movie “The Mule”, but… nah.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Mystic River”.

After one of them suffers a horrific family tragedy, three childhood friends (Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon) find their lives change in some dark, shattering ways. So now we have our crime-drama. And I loved the story here. It’s a slowly burning, somber, and contemplative drama, focusing more on showing what happens within people’s minds after they experience something horrific, rather than a typical murder mystery. This is what I meant with the somber and contemplative. Yes, you do have the murder investigation, but it’s really more of a character drama than a police procedural. And I find it all extremely engaging, gut-wrenching, and incredibly well done.

The characters in this are flawed, layered, damaged, and just overall really interesting. First up we have Sean Penn as Jimmy Markum, a former criminal turned legit businessman. He’s the man who suffered the family tragedy that kicks the plot into gear, and to see him try to deal with it, especially as a former criminal, is quite an interesting journey. And Penn is fantastic in the role. Next we have Tim Robbins as Dave Boyle, the second of the main trio. As a boy, something happened to him that changed his life forever. And recent events put some of those memories back into his mind, which really gives him some interesting character development. And Robbins is fantastic in the role. And then we have Kevin Bacon as Sean Devine, a cop and the third of the childhood friends. He’s the one investigating the death of Markum’s family member, while also kind of dealing with a personal thing in the background. He probably has the least interesting arc of all the characters, but I still find him to be quite interesting. And Bacon is great in the role. We also get supporting turns from people like Laurence Fishburne, Marcia Gay Harden, Laura Linney, Kevin Chapman, Spencer Treat Clark, John Doman, Tom Guiry, and more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by… Clint Eastwood. And I think he did a good job with it. It’s emotional, it’s a little eerie, and it just works very well within the various scenes that it can be heard. Yeah, it’s good.

Based on a novel by Dennis Lehane (AKA my favorite author), this movie was directed by Clint Eastwood. And I think he did a fantastic job on that front, directing it with an emotional intimacy that brings us close to the characters, while still allowing for a sense of scale to capture every element of this sweeping tale of personal tragedy. He also brings a decent bit of suspense to it, especially at a certain point in the movie which had me fully locked to the screen.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 88% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 84/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,0/10. The movie won two Oscars in the categories of Best actor (Penn) and best supporting actor (Robbins). It also got an additional four nominations in the categories of Best picture, best director, best supporting actress (Harden), and best adapted screenplay.

“Mystic River” is a fantastic crime-drama. It has a great plot, really good characters, fantastic performances, really good music, and great directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Mystic River” is a 9,89/10. Which of course means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Mystic River” is now completed.

Tragedy hits us all in different ways. Hug your loved ones while you can.

Movie Review: Where Eagles Dare (1968)

Time to jump in the wayback-machine and review a “classic”. I only put quotations there to throw people off as to what my opinion could be, you’re gonna have to read it to find out what I think about it, you lazy bastards.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Where Eagles Dare”.

Set during the second world war, we follow a squad of British (and one American) soldiers as they make an attempt to infiltrate a nazi-filled castle and save an American general. So now we have our rescue operation. And is the plot any good? Yeah, I’d say so. What I like about it is that as they early during the movie get behind enemy lines, which helps give the movie an extra layer of suspense, since they have no real allies where they are, it’s all on their shoulders. There are also a few clever little twists and turns throughout, giving the plot a little extra unpredictability, which is something I really enjoyed. So yeah, the plot here is really good.

The characters here aren’t necessarily the deepest, but the few that we do have as our main leads I found to be quite entertaining. Richard Burton (R.I.P) plays Smith, a British army major with a few tricks up his sleeve. As we go through the movie we learn that he’s a tricky bastard who always seem to be one step ahead of everyone else. And Burton is great in the role. Then we have Clint Eastwood as Schaffer, an American lieutenant that has been assigned to Smith’s rescue squad. He’s basically an Eastwoodian stoic badass… which I have no problem with, as it creates an interesting contrast with the conniving Smith. And Eastwood is really good in the role. Then we have Mary Ure (R.I.P) as… Mary. She’s a British agent that the guys team up with during their mission. And she’s both intelligent and a badass. And Ure is really godo in the role. As for the other characters, they’re not really worth talking about, because they don’t quite have the same focus as the three I just talked about. But I can at least say that the supporting cast, containing people like Michael Hordern, Robert Beatty, Neil McCarthy, and Brook Williams, is great. ’tis a well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Ron Goodwin and it’s pretty fucking great. It’s quite big and loud, opting for a more exciting a triumphant sound with no real subtlety in it. And it makes for some real ear candy as it helps add a lot of excitement throughout the movie.

This movie was directed by Brian G. Hutton (R.I.P) and I think he did a really good job here. I mentioned that the plot has a good amount of tension to it, but a lot of tension in this movie comes from Hutton’s direction, which really helps sell the frantic situation that our heroes have found themselves in. He also handled the action scenes very well, they’re really exciting.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 90% positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t even exist. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,7/10.

“Where Eagles Dare” is an exciting and very well crafted war movie. IT has a really good plot, okay characters, really good performances, great music, and really good direction. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Where Eagles Dare” is a 9,62/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Where Eagles Dare” is now completed.

Attacking a nazi castle? Is this Wolfenstein?

Movie Review: A Perfect World (1993)

Don’t commit crimes. It’ll only lead to bad stuff. Like prison. But if you do commit a crime (or two) and go to prison, don’t try to escape. You did the crime, so you should do the time. Don’t commit crimes.

Ladies and gents… “A Perfect World”.

After he escapes from prison, Butch Haynes (Kevin Costner) takes a boy (T.J. Lowther) hostage. And during their journey through the back roads of Texas, the two form a bit of a bond. All while a Texas Ranger (Clint Eastwood) heads the search for Haynes. So now we have our little crime-drama. And I found the plot here to be quite engaging. Admittedly it does fall into a couple of cliches throughout, but it’s not enough to ruin it for me. The journey of Haynes and the kid is endearing and it’s one I found myself really caring about. It’s a lot more slow-paced and concerned with the emotional journey than chases and shootouts. And it makes it feel a bit deeper than other movies with similar premises.

The characters here are layered, interesting, and overall entertaining. Kevin Costner plays Robert Haynes, the recently escaped prisoner. The movie makes it clear that he’s done some bad stuff, but he still feels like he’s a good person when he needs to. He’s charismatic and seems like he really cares about the kid. He feels a bit more real than other movie criminals. And this might be the best performance I’ve ever seen from Costner, he’s great here. T.J. Lowther plays Phillip, the kid that Haynes kidnaps. He’s a young and naive kid that sort of quickly accepts this journey he’s been put on, but it’s still interesting seeing him interact with Haynes and what happens during their journey. And Lowther is good in the role. Not saying it’s the greatest child performance ever, but he’s definitely good. Costner and Lowther also share a very likable chemistry that was enjoyable to watch. Then we have Clint Eastwood as Texas Ranger Red Garnett. It’s basically Clint Eastwood, but slightly less gruff than usual. And he’s so good at that type of role that I can’t help but enjoy it. Then we have Laura Dern as Sally, Garnett’s new assistant. And she’s tough and determined without turning unlikable. It’s fun seeing her more or less own the other guys in the room, showing that women can be badasses too. And yeah, Dern is great in the role. Then we get some solid supporting performances from people like Bradley Whitford (who’s a total dick in this), Keith Szarabajka, Ray McKinnon, Jennifer Griffin, and more! ’tis a very well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Lennie Niehaus and it was good. It was sued relatively sparingly, but it worked well for the movie, elevating certain moments throughout. There were also a whole bunch of licensed tracks used throughout and they worked quite well in their respective scenes.

The movie was directed by Clint Eastwood and I think he did a great job. His direction here is a bit more understated than in some of his other movies, but it works so damn well to make this movie stand out and have a unique feel. He also manages to build some really good suspense in certain scenes, properly showing how to make a scene tense. And the cinematography by Jack N. Green is pretty fucking good. There were times where it actually made me go “Wow”, which doesn’t happen too often.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 81% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it doesn’t even exist. Roger Ebert gave it 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,5/10.

“A Perfect World” is a really great movie. It has a great plot, good characters, great performances, really good music, and great directing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “A Perfect World” is a 9,63/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “A Perfect World” is now completed.

Definitely an underrated gem in Eastwood’s filmography.

Movie Review: Magnum Force (1973)

I know what you’re thinking. “Did he fire six shots or only five?” Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: “Do I feel lucky?” Well, do ya, punk?!

Ladies and gents… “Magnum Force”.

Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) is back to solve crimes. This time he is trying to find and stop a group of vigilantes who are killing a bunch of less than desirable people in San Francisco. So now we have our “Dirty Harry” adventure set up. And it’s actually a good plot. It’s simple and straightforward without being dumb. Sure, it’s not particularly deep or engaging, but it’s not a bad plot at all. As a matter of fact, I kind of love the premise of it, it’s just that it isn’t as engaging as it could be. So overall the plot here is pretty good.

The characters here are fine, nothing special. Clint Eastwood of course plays everybody’s favorite San Francisco badass, Harry fucking Callahan. And yeah, he’s just as gruff and tough as in “Dirty Harry”, and Eastwood gives his typical Eastwood-y performance here (which I’m a fan of). Hal Holbrook plays the police lieutenant that Harry constantly butts heads with, and he’s great in the role. Felton Perry plays Harry’s partner, Earlington “Early” Smith, and he’s good in the role. Then we get supporting performances from people like Mitchell Ryan, Robert Urich, David Soul, Tim Matheson, and Kip Niven, all doing fine here.

The score for the movie was composed by Lalo Schifrin and it was good. It was very much a product of it’s era, but I do think it worked for the movie, being overall well composed and slightly elevating certain scenes. Though I do wonder about that theme song… I don’t have any specific questions, it’s just weird to me.

Unlike the first movie, “Magnum Force” wasn’t directed by Don Siegel. Directorial duties instead went over to Ted Post, who also directed Eastwood in the 1968 western “Hang ‘Em High”. And I think he did a really good job here. His directing is tight and pretty tense. The shots also look really good, with some fancy camera tricks being used at several points in the movie. The action scenes in this are also quite good. They’re fun, badass, and entertaining as hell. Sure, they’re not the most memorable, but they’re definitely fun to watch.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 81% positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t even exist. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,2/10.

“Magnum Force” is a solid follow-up to the awesome first movie. It has a good plot, okay characters, really good performances, good music, and really good directing. The main flaw with it is that the plot isn’t as engaging as it could be. Time for my final score. *Bang*. My final score for “Magnum Force” is an 8,88/10. So while the movie is flawed, I’d still say that it’s worth buying.

My review of “Magnum Force” is now completed.

A man’s got to know his limitations.

Movie Review: Million Dollar Baby (2004)

Boxing. Two people standing in a small arena, trying to punch the shit out of each other. Yeah, I don’t understand the point of it. That said, I don’t know what the point of any sport’s existence is. Feel free to hate on me for not understanding the appeal/purpose of sports… I don’t care.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Million Dollar Baby”.

Maggie Fitzgerald (Hilary Swank) is a woman determined on becoming a great boxer, so she starts training at a gym owned by old and hardened boxing trainer Frankie Dunn (Clint Eastwood). And soon Frankie takes Maggie under his wing to help her become a great boxer. The story follows them as their relationship evolves while they also go through stuff. While the ideas presented at first glance are very basic and familiar from other boxing movies, the execution of said ideas is much better than a lot of other movies in the genre. Seeing their relationship evolve over the two hour runtime is quite fascinating and it makes for a really solid plot that actually delivers a few devastatingly emotional punches (pun intended) at the right times. So yeah, the plot here is pretty great.

The characters in this movie are all fleshed out and quite interesting. Hilary Swank is terrific as Maggie, perfectly playing this determined woman. She wsa believable in the role and I really cared about her. Clint Eastwood is great as Frankie, giving us the perfect blend of classic Eastwood gruffness and relatable vulnerability. Morgan Freeman (AKA god) plays an employee at Frankie’s gym (while also providing the movie’s narration) and he is absolutely terrific in the role. We also get a bunch of great supporting performances from people like Anthony Mackie, Jay Baruchel, Mike Colter, Brían F. O’Byrne, Michael Peña, and Margo Martindale. So this is a pretty stellar cast.

The score for the movie was composed by… Clint Eastwood? Really? *Does more research*. Yeah, Clint Eastwood composed the music for this movie… surprise. Jokes aside, he did a pretty great job with the music. It’s dramatic, it’s emotional, and it just fits the movie perfectly. Good job, Mr. Eastwood.

This movie was directed by Clint Eastwood and he did a great job. The shots look great and every shot is at the perfect length. Now, since this is a boxing movie we should talk about the boxing scenes. So how are the boxing scenes here? Yeah, they’re pretty great. They’re exciting, intense, and kind of brutal. It all feels quite realistic.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 91% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 86/100. Roger Ebert gave it 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,1/10 and is ranked #202 on the “Top 250” list. The movie won 4 Oscar in the categories of Best picture, Best Actress (Swank), Best supporting actor (Freeman), and Best director. It was also nominated for an additional 3 Oscars in the categories of Best actor (Eastwood), Best adapted screenplay, and Best film editing. 

“Million Dollar Baby” is an absolutely fantastic sports-drama. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, and great directing. Time for my final score. *Punch*. My final score for “Million Dollar Baby” is a 9,88/10. Which of course means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Million Dollar Baby” is now completed.

Is this one of Eastwood’s best films? Hell yes.

Movie Review: White Hunter Black Heart (1990)

Obsession. A word we more often than not see as something negative. In a lot of cases that negative connotation is justified, considering some people being obsessed with certain otehr people or various things that could hurt them. But obsession isn’t all bad… I think.

Ladies and gentlemen… “White Hunter Black Heart”.

“White Hunter Black Heart” follows the story of John Wilson (Clint Eastwood), an eccentric movie director as he travels to Africa to shoot his new movie. However, when in Africa he is more obsessed with hunting and killing an elephant rather than making his movie. And I think the plot here is really interesting. It’s really a character study of this maverick filmmaker and how his obsession creates a lot of trouble. And by a lot of trouble I don’t mean a wacky comedy or an action movie, this is a drama. I mean trouble more in the sense of the production of his movie not going as planned. And it’s quite fascinating to watch.

The characters in thsi movie are fine. None except maybe two of them are particularly interesting. The first one is the character of John Wilson who’s played by Clint Eastwood. This man is really obsessed with hunting down and killing a fucking elephant, and feels okay with halting production for god knows how long until he actually gets his kill. And Eastwood is great in the role. His character clearly doesn’t give two shits about what other people think about what him, and Eastwood portrays that perfectly. The other interesting character we have is Wilson’s friend, Pete Verrill, played by Jeff Fahey. At first he just goes along with Wilson’s ideas/antics, but gradually gets more and more skeptical about it. He’s basically the normal guy who’s there to balance out Wilson’s crazy shit… and Fahey is really good in the role. All other actors in the movie do a fine job, even if their characters are a little bit uninteresting.

The score for the movie was composed by Lennie Niehaus and I think it was pretty good. It worked well enough for the movie and fit the African setting very well. Good job, Niehaus.

This movie was directed by Clint Eastwood and he did a pretty good job with it. The shots look pretty good and scenes flow very well. What’s interesting about this movie is that it apprently was inspired by real life writer/director/actor John Huston. Apparently something similar happened when he was making some movie back in the day. Now, when I say “inspired by” I mean “inspired by”. His antics were simply used as inspiration for this rather than this being a full-blown bio-pic. That said, I haven’t doen the full research about the subject and I will probably not do it… moving on!

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 88% positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t exist. Roger Ebert gave it 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,7/10.

“White Hunter Black Heart” is an interesting characy of this director and his obsession. It has a really good plot, pretty good characters, really good performances, good music, and good directing. Time for my final score. *Clears throat*. My final score for “White Hunter Black Heart” is a 9,44/10. So I’d say that it’s worth buying.

My review of “White Hunter Black Heart” is now completed.

So remember, kids: Don’t try to murder elephants.

“Sully” trailer

Well, hello there. So we’re here, writing about a new(ish) trailer… again. And this time it is the trailer for the upcoming movie “Sully”. So let’s do this.

Like I said, this is the trailer for the upcoming movie “Sully”, which is a biographical drama about a pilot who managed to pull off an emergency landing on the Hudson river with all the passengers surviving it. But we also get to follow the life after as our main character gets questioned by pretty much everyone about this dangerous thing that he did. Not gonna lie to you, this is a movie that I have kept forgetting about until it popped up in one way or another. So it seems like I might not have any interest in this movie… but that’s where we are all wrong. I am actually quite interested in this thing. First off, the story seems pretty interesting. Secondly, the trailer is pretyt cool, looks intense and very dramatic. Third, this movie makes up one of the greatest pairings in cinematic history. In the starring role we have Tom Hanks, a man who I love in pretty much everything. And then we have Clint fucking Eastwood as director… uhm yeah, this seems like it might turn out to be pretty great. Sure, some of Eastwood’s more recent directorial efforts haven’t been the best… but if he is involved in a movie, I am definitely interested in it. Also, looking at the imdb credits for this movie it seems like we get a really good cast overall, with supporting roles form Aaron Eckhart, Anna Gunn, Sam Huntington, and Laura Linney. Yeah… I am pretty stoked about this. “Sully” is set to come out in September.

So what do you guys think? Are you interested in this movie? And what is your favorite movie directed by Clint Eastwood? Be sure to leave any and all answers in the comments.
Have a good one and enjoy the trailer!

 

Movie Review: Pale Rider (1985)

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As many times as I’ve done my explanation on my thought on westerns I think you might be able to recite it word for word, so I’m not gonna give it to you this time. All I’m gonna say is; Western time!

Ladies and gentlemen… “Pale Rider”.

One day a mysterious preacher (Clint Eastwood) comes to a small mining town and befriends local worker Hull Barret (Michael Moriarty) and his family. As the preacher stays with them, he finds out that a mining company tries to take everything from the poor workers. So of course the preacher decides that he will help and protect them. And this sounds like the same old song and dance we’ve heard before. And while the idea is the same, it is still surprisingly fun and interesting to watch. It was all handled in a way where it didn’t paint Eastwood as your typical super badass hero, but as a man who has some capabilities. The story is not really as predicatable in it’s execution as you might think, it actually managed to surprise me a fair amount. But what really caught me off guard about the movie is how it actually touches on the subjects of love, religion and courage in a pretty good way. And I can safely say that I was satisfied with the plot of the movie.

Despite this movie being a Clint Eastwood western, there isn’t as much Eastwood as you may think. Yes, he has a big presence in the movie but he isn’t taking up all of the space. But was Clint good in the movie, that’s the question. Short answer: Yes. Long Answer: Yes he was good, even though I’d say he’s better in movies like “Outlaw Josey Wales” or “Gran Torino” or “Unforgiven” or I could sit here and mention movies all day but I don’t feel like it. Michael Moriarty was also really good in the movie, basically playing a family man stuck in a tough situation. Every actor was in fact good in the movie, couldn’t really find a weak performance here.

The score for the movie was composed by Lennie Niehaus who later would do the score for Eastwood’s final western, “Unforgiven”. And the score for “Pale Rider” is actually really good. It built tension when it needed to, it gave some good emotion when it needed to, it’s just a good score that does it’s job very well.

One might be disappointed by the lack of shootouts in this movie because I do admit, they are few and far between. However, when they do happen they are so satisfying in their execution. They are fast, fierce and surprisingly violent. But that doesn’t take away from the enjoyment of them because they are still really fun to watch.

That’s right, I’m a pretentious asshole who puts the shootouts by themselves in a review of a western. Anyway, this movie does not only star Clint Eastwood but it was also directed by him. And he did a great job, everything is very well handled. I mean, the shots in this movie look fantastic! That is one of the things I noticed early on in the movie and said to myself “Damn, this movie looks terrific!”. And I still stand by that thought.

This movie has been pretty well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 92% positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t even exist. Roger Ebert gave the movie 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,3/10.

“Pale Rider” is very traditional as far as westerns go, but it still surprises with a surprising amount of depth in it’s plot, really good acting, really good music, awesome shootouts and terrific directing. Time for my final score. *Clears throat*. My final score for “Pale Rider” is a 9,79/10. It most definitely gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

“Pale Rider” is now reviewed.

Westerns…

Movie Review: Hang ’em High (1968)

hang-em-high

You guys already know that I love westerns, I have said it so much that it has almost wore thin. So let’s just start the review.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Hang ’em High”.

In this movie we follow rancher Jed Cooper (Clint Eastwood) who one day when moving his cattle gets hung by a bunch of men. Problem is that they hung an innocent man, they also didn’t finish the job. So when he ís taken to a town, he once again becomes a lawman (Sidenote: I forgot to mention, this rancher is an ex-lawman). That’s right, he picks up the badge again to find the men who did him wrong and then bring them to justice. You know, so he can… hang ’em high (Roll Credits). It is really a simple revenge tale with a conspiracy-based twist which I will not spoil because I thought it was pretty good. What I didn’t enjoy that much was a romance sub-plot which arrived later in the movie. It felt shoehorned in and unnecessary. The plot overall was fine.

It’s Clint Eastwood in a western, of course he is good in the movie. Sure, he is not as good as in “The Outlaw Josey Wales”. But to be fair, that movie came out seven years after this one. But yeah… he was good. Every actor was in fact good and did good jobs as their characters. There’s really nothing more to it here.

The score for the movie was done by Dominic Frontiere and it was pretty good. While not as good as any of Ennio Morricone’s scores, this one still holds up. The tracks fit the movie and they all work to keep the desired mood for each scene.

Seeinf as this is a review for a western, it is time to give a warm welcome back to the segment “Gunfights”. So how were the gunfights in this movie? Limited. There weren’t that many. But those we got were good. They weren’t that intense, lengthy or badass as in a lot of other westerns, but for what they were they were good.

This movie was pretty well-directed. It was directed by Ted Post who I have never seen anything from. But he showed with this movie that he knows how to make a shot look good. Huh… I can’t think of anything else to say here in the “General Stuff” segment. That’s a bummer. Uhm… help.

This movie has been pretty well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 92% positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t exist. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com 7,0/10.

“Hang ’em High” is a western that is just good. It really is nothing special in either way. The story is fine (romance felt tacked on though), the performances were good, the score was good, the direction was good, the gunsights were good… it’s just good. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Hang ’em High” is an 8,72/10. It is worth buying.
Worth buying

“Hang ’em High” is reviewed.

I am conflicted…

Movie Review: Gran Torino (2008)

gran-torino-filmgalerie,1366x768,36878

I love Clint Eastwood. He is a great actor, great director and probably the biggest badass that ever lived. He has made good movies, he has made bad movies and he has made meh movies, but one thing is always consistent with him… he is Clint Fucking Eastwood. So now, let’s review one of his more modern movies.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Gran Torino”.

Walt Kowalski (Clint Eastwood) is an old and grumpy war veteran who doesn’t want anything to do with anyone. But after a young Hmong guy named Thao (Bee Vang) tries to steal Walt’s 1972 Gran torino (Roll credits) he is taken in by Walt, reluctantly by both of them, to try to redeem himself. And so begins a story of bonding and friendship and a grumpy/racist old man. And I am surprised how well the story was handled. The setup is somewhat familiar, “Old man reluctantly takes in young man but grows to like him”. But it was handled in an interesting way that I liked. I was also suprised how touching the plot actually was, it really did get to me. Not only was the plot entertaining as all hell but it was also really well-told and like I said, touching.

You could say Walt is a terrible person, I won’t blame ya. But he was still an interesting character to follow since he isn’t your typical “old man” protagonist. He was also really entertaining and had a lot of great lines to give. Clint Eastwood gave a great performance as him. Bee Vang (who I’ve never heard of before) was also really good in this movie as this young man. Every actor was in fact great. Also, I did some research and it turns out one of the minor characters in this movie (name of the character is Trey) was played by Clint’s son, Scott… that’s kinda fun.

The soundtrack for this movie has no real original score. The only hint of it is an original song that Clint Eastwood co-wrote… that’s it for original musical material. Most song were licensed tracks used throughout the movie, but that didn’t ruin it at all, au contraire, they worked very well like that. All music worked where it was used.

Seeing as this movie was directed by Eastwood himself, it is of course very well-directed. I don’t think that comes as a surprise though as Eastwood has shown for the past 40-ish years that he is a great director. This movie is very well shot and it never looked bad at all. What I was surprised at however was how legitimately funny it was. And by legitimately I mean that it never felt unintentional in any way, it was all intended and it was also very funny. I guess that is because of the overall great writing of this movie.

This movie has been very well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 79% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 72/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has an 8,2/10 and is ranked #142 on the “Top 250” list.

“Gran Torino” is a movie with a familiar yet well-told story, great performances, some good music, great direction and some great writing. It was also surprisingly touching and funny. Time for my final score. *Cough*. My final score for “Gran Torino” is a 9,85/10. It definitely gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

Review of “Gran Torino” is now done.

Review is completed, now get off my lawn!