News: Now showing in theaters: CRY MACHO, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood!


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Author Topic: Who saw The Mule? Members' Comments (WARNING: SPOILERS ALLOWED!)  (Read 17727 times)
-satu-
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« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2019, 11:59:45 PM »

I saw The Mule a week ago. I liked it. My thoughts on it..

I was wondering whether he knew what he was about to get into. He seemed quite care free driving into that garage and seeing a man holding a gun. And he seemed surprised seeing those drugs when he opened the bag. I wasn’t able to read him about whether he was aware in the beginning that it was drugs.

I had no expectations from the trailer and the ”I swear this is the last one” makes the tone of the trailer seem that he was in some kind of despair at some point. But it didn’t really seem that way. I could only see despair when he was about to get caught. The chase made me think this has a Gran Torino-ending, but I was happy about the way the film ended. He seemed to be at peace.

I could also see pity on the agents’ face (Cooper) when he realised who he was, and also in the court when he was sentenced. Do you think he would have gotten a sentence if he had let the lawyer do her job?
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Could anyone else have seen the beauty of it?
AKA23
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« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2019, 01:21:18 PM »

Satu, thanks for posting your thoughts. I think that he did know that what he was doing was some version of wrong, but I'm not sure in the beginning of the film Earl knew exactly what he was doing. There is a term in the law here in the United States called willful blindness. This means that the person suspects that there is something wrong with what they are doing, but they look the other way and make no attempts to look into it any further because they don't actually want to know, and want to maintain plausible deniability.

As for your second question, I think even if Earl would have allowed his lawyer to put on a robust defense, he still would have gone to jail. The man upon which this movie was loosely based, Leo Sharp, actually argued that he became a drug runner in part because he had dementia. Leo Sharp still got three years in prison. I think he got off way too easy, since unlike in the film, he was a drug runner for at least 10 years.
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AKA23
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« Reply #22 on: January 19, 2019, 01:31:26 PM »

Another thing I'd like to discuss about this film is how everyone felt about the reconciliation between Earl and his ex-wife and daughter. To me, it seemed like coming together came far too quickly and didn't really feel true to life. I was surprised by how rapidly his daughter forgave him after he apologized to her. She said something like, "I think you are just a late bloomer," and all seemed to have been forgiven.

The ex-wife also seemed to forgive him much too quickly as well. He visits her once when she has cancer, and years of bad blood seemingly just seem to evaporate for her. I also felt like there should have been some scenes of soul searching for his daughter once she found out that her father, from which she had been estranged for at least 12 years, was a drug runner for a Mexican cartel. If my father was an integral part in destroying thousands of lives, I definitely wouldn't have just said "at least we'll always know where you are," when he is carted off to prison.

I understand that this is a movie and not real life, but I'd be interested to explore how others felt about the development of these relationships in the film, and whether they rang true or not. Let's discuss!
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KC
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« Reply #23 on: January 19, 2019, 04:42:19 PM »

Oh, I agree, AKA. That was one of my main problems with the movie (really, only my only major one). It was as if at first the money made everything OK again ("You came here because you're broke and don't have anywhere to go? Get out!" "Oh, now you have money and want to pay for nice things for us? We love you!"), and then they couldn't be bothered to blame him for his crimes, because now he was their dear grandpa again.
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Matt
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« Reply #24 on: January 20, 2019, 02:27:49 PM »

If my father was an integral part in destroying thousands of lives, I definitely wouldn't have just said "at least we'll always know where you are," when he is carted off to prison.

Clint can never be an out-and-out "bad guy", and so I think they deliberately steered clear of showing any type of connection of Earl's drug running to "ruining lives". Of course, everyone knows the drugs are harmful, but adding that element into the film and showing it, or even just ruminating on it, makes Earl a less sympathetic figure. Clint likes his characters to be sympathetic.
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KC
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« Reply #25 on: January 20, 2019, 08:50:15 PM »

It also helped that the drug he was running was cocaine, not heroin or another opiate. Of course cocaine ruins lives too, but I think its "image" is better in the popular mind just now. At least we're not experiencing an epidemic of cocaine-overdose deaths.
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AKA23
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« Reply #26 on: January 21, 2019, 01:25:22 PM »

Clint can never be an out-and-out "bad guy", and so I think they deliberately steered clear of showing any type of connection of Earl's drug running to "ruining lives". Of course, everyone knows the drugs are harmful, but adding that element into the film and showing it, or even just ruminating on it, makes Earl a less sympathetic figure. Clint likes his characters to be sympathetic.

Matt, this is something that I did not consider, but you may be right that Clint didn't want to play an unsympathetic character. In fact, when this film was first announced, I was wondering how Clint was going to make this film work, since he's never played a villainous character before. But when I saw the film, and realized what he actually made, I got what attracted him to the character and the film. I also agree with KC that cocaine does seem to have a less dangerous reputation than heroin, or opioids, which are also derived from the same plant from which heroin is made.

Do you agree with KC and I that the development of the familial relationships between Earl and his ex-wife and daughter felt inauthentic and not true to life, or do you have a different perspective?
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Matt
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« Reply #27 on: January 21, 2019, 01:37:38 PM »

It was a quick resolution, but I'm not sure they had a lot of time to spend on that aspect of the film. I really loved the scenes with Dianne Wiest toward the end of the film. But, maybe she knew she was dying all along, and let bygones be bygones. As for his daughter, it's also possible her mother's illness (then death) also helped this be a quicker resolution than it may have normally been.
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batfunk2
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« Reply #28 on: January 25, 2019, 01:11:27 PM »

Hi! I just saw it yesterday and it's a great movie. As the movie began, I realized how old is Eastwood. No doubt, he's an old man now and he doesn't hide it. It's a movie about family and regrets.Earl,as often in Eastwood movies, is childish(remember True Crimes). He sacrifices shamessly his family to work. As in Gran Torino, Earl doesn't fit in our modern world, he's a fish out of water, which gives the movie a comedic tone. Eastwood ridicules his public image (republican, conservative..) in funny scenes(the encounter with the black family, lesbian bikers...) but shows the crude reality of  today's America society(Spanish people annoyed by local police, policy of numbers in Dea...). It's smart to use humor and a road movie form to make social comments.
I'm skeptical only about the traffic check scene... Does he gently makes fun of black people's fear of cops and most widely of "Black lives matter" movement? I don't know...
The movie became really powerful with the filial scene with  Bradley Cooper in the restaurant.we see the respect for the director and the man. The final redemption was overwhelming for me. Because Earl is Clint, no doubt about it. The end is close and he pleads guilty for his "crimes", mostly against his women(his wives, daughters..) I can't help thinking about Sondra Locke, who died last year.
Great movie, just slightly under movies like million Dollar baby or Gran Torino.
Greetings from France.
Ps:Sorry for my English...
« Last Edit: January 26, 2019, 05:03:35 AM by batfunk2 » Logged
Gant
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« Reply #29 on: January 25, 2019, 01:47:01 PM »

Great review batfunk2...

I'm so eager to see this film...
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batfunk2
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« Reply #30 on: January 25, 2019, 04:38:40 PM »

Thanks Gant. You will be happy to know that "The Mule" ranked  first at the French box-office this week. O0
France loves Clint... but who does not?  ;D
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honkytonkman
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« Reply #31 on: January 26, 2019, 10:20:55 AM »

I just saw "The Mule" yesterday in Belgium. Very good entertainment, although I have some reservations that have not spoiled my pleasure to see Clint play this daring old man, and the side "examination of conscience" that can be understood in the second degree. An example of a second degree is the question he poses to Andy Garcia: "How many men do you have to kill to afford such a house?" Answer "Many" (alluding to the many killer roles that Clint has incarnated during his life, certainly). His passion for flowers can be seen as his taste for good cinema ... not necessarily profitable, while the link he has with drug traffickers offers a parallelism with the one Clint keeps with the Warner studio.


My reservations are related to the fact that I perceive something unfinished in the scenario: the characters could be more digs, and, even if it skillfully mixes drama, suspense, and humor, this scenario could have gone much far in each of these three aspects. It's a pretty crazy story, and that crazy side could be a little more exaggerated, I think.  It's also true that not seeing the bad guys arrested or punished is quite confusing and unusual, but it's a detail.

Aside from these reservations, I had a great movie time.

I do feel that scenes are missing (and the comments I read here about missing sentences, as they appear in the trailer, confirm this feeling). I would be happy to discover in Bluray a long version of the film (wait and see). I do not remember seeing any scenes, like the one where Clint puts money in a box in front of a young black woman (0'30 '' from the video link below), but maybe have I seen it without paying attention? Do you remember?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aEQ1F6I8GY

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batfunk2
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« Reply #32 on: January 26, 2019, 02:41:41 PM »

You're right, the scene with the young black woman is missing.
But I think that the 2 hour length is the maximum allowed for this kind of movie,with a slow pace.
I'm not sure about your Warner interpretation. It's a solid and lucrative partnership for years, with some arguments about the lack of promotionfor  some eastwood's movies, "True crime" notably.
I'm glad they add the family part in the script, which doesn't exist in the real story. It's way better than the shallow script of 15:17 to Paris ;D
Anyway, it's a small but great movie, similar to Bronco Billy, which I like a lot.
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honkytonkman
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« Reply #33 on: January 26, 2019, 03:47:21 PM »

You're right, the scene with the young black woman is missing.
But I think that the 2 hour length is the maximum allowed for this kind of movie,with a slow pace.
I'm not sure about your Warner interpretation. It's a solid and lucrative partnership for years, with some arguments about the lack of promotionfor  some eastwood's movies, "True crime" notably.
I'm glad they add the family part in the script, which doesn't exist in the real story. It's way better than the shallow script of 15:17 to Paris ;D
Anyway, it's a small but great movie, similar to Bronco Billy, which I like a lot.


… but the partnership with the drug dealers is also, for Earl, a solid and lucrative one ; but they do not like when Earl takes a different route than he was given, or when he allows himself detours. In the same way, Warner did not appreciate at the time more personal films like "Honkytonkman" or "White Hunter, Black Heart", or "Bird", because they were moving away from the usual line of Clint, and because he was taking big financial risks. Clint even nearly left Warner after "Unforgiven", before the success of the film would change the minds of the leaders who had broken his contract.
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KC
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« Reply #34 on: January 26, 2019, 05:27:07 PM »

I just saw "The Mule" yesterday in Belgium. Very good entertainment, although I have some reservations that have not spoiled my pleasure to see Clint play this daring old man, and the side "examination of conscience" that can be understood in the second degree. An example of a second degree is the question he poses to Andy Garcia: "How many men do you have to kill to afford such a house?" Answer "Many" (alluding to the many killer roles that Clint has incarnated during his life, certainly). His passion for flowers can be seen as his taste for good cinema ... not necessarily profitable, while the link he has with drug traffickers offers a parallelism with the one Clint keeps with the Warner studio.

Honkytonkman, I like your symbolic interpretation. Very sharp!
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The Schofield Kid
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« Reply #35 on: January 26, 2019, 10:25:05 PM »

The film finally opened here this week and I saw it yesterday.

Since December 14, I haven't read anything about the film here on the board and have avoided anything about it on the net. I didn't look at this members comment thread and even stopped looking at the box office and what was the last Eastwood film you watched topics as the film started to get a mention there.

I wanted to go into the film with no expectations at all. I, in fact had a terrible feeling that I wouldn't enjoy it, award talk before the film was released just pissed me off. Having read members comments now, I'm glad I didn't. AKA calling it a comedy is totally misleading. Sure there is some funny dialogue in the film but that was the case with Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby, two of Eastwood's grittiest films.

The first half of this film is quite slow but as in the case with a lot of Eastwood films is that Clint is giving you the whole story. Little back stories about the characters pasts etc. The second half picks up as the Feds start closing in and not having known about Leo Sharp (Earl Stone) on which this story is based, I wasn't sure how long it would take for his luck to run out.

I've read since seeing the film, in real life Leo was running drugs for over 10 years and while in the film it states how many runs Earl is making, it wasn't clear to me how long it was from first to last.

The whole cast is great. Eastwood surrounded himself with seasoned professionals and even though the supporting cast don't get a lot to do, they play the parts well. Bradley Cooper and Clint's scene in the diner is probably the highlight for me in the film. One generation talking to another.

Eastwood has played the father figure with a troubled past or estranged from his family a few times in his career, I'm starting to think is it a little autobiographical? Does Clint feel the same about putting work before family?

Overall a very good film.

4/5.
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Hocine
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« Reply #36 on: January 27, 2019, 06:09:36 AM »

I just saw "The Mule" yesterday in Belgium. Very good entertainment, although I have some reservations that have not spoiled my pleasure to see Clint play this daring old man, and the side "examination of conscience" that can be understood in the second degree. An example of a second degree is the question he poses to Andy Garcia: "How many men do you have to kill to afford such a house?" Answer "Many" (alluding to the many killer roles that Clint has incarnated during his life, certainly). His passion for flowers can be seen as his taste for good cinema ... not necessarily profitable, while the link he has with drug traffickers offers a parallelism with the one Clint keeps with the Warner studio.


My reservations are related to the fact that I perceive something unfinished in the scenario: the characters could be more digs, and, even if it skillfully mixes drama, suspense, and humor, this scenario could have gone much far in each of these three aspects. It's a pretty crazy story, and that crazy side could be a little more exaggerated, I think.  It's also true that not seeing the bad guys arrested or punished is quite confusing and unusual, but it's a detail.

Aside from these reservations, I had a great movie time.

I do feel that scenes are missing (and the comments I read here about missing sentences, as they appear in the trailer, confirm this feeling). I would be happy to discover in Bluray a long version of the film (wait and see). I do not remember seeing any scenes, like the one where Clint puts money in a box in front of a young black woman (0'30 '' from the video link below), but maybe have I seen it without paying attention? Do you remember?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aEQ1F6I8GY

Thank you for your review, Honkytonkman.
I’m glad that you enjoyed The Mule.
I also noticed that some scenes that we see in the videoclip of Tobey Keith’s Don’t Let the Old Man In are actually missing in the film.
I don’t think that we will see an other version of The Mule in Bluray because Clint Eastwood just doesn’t do that.
I think we’ll see the theatrical version in Bluray.
The only Clint Eastwood film that we can see deleted scenes in Bluray is In the Line of Fire but it’s directed by Wolfgang Petersen. And of course, The Good the Bad and the Ugly has its long version but it’s an other story.
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Hocine
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« Reply #37 on: January 27, 2019, 06:18:12 AM »

The film finally opened here this week and I saw it yesterday.

Since December 14, I haven't read anything about the film here on the board and have avoided anything about it on the net. I didn't look at this members comment thread and even stopped looking at the box office and what was the last Eastwood film you watched topics as the film started to get a mention there.

I wanted to go into the film with no expectations at all. I, in fact had a terrible feeling that I wouldn't enjoy it, award talk before the film was released just pissed me off. Having read members comments now, I'm glad I didn't. AKA calling it a comedy is totally misleading. Sure there is some funny dialogue in the film but that was the case with Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby, two of Eastwood's grittiest films.

The first half of this film is quite slow but as in the case with a lot of Eastwood films is that Clint is giving you the whole story. Little back stories about the characters pasts etc. The second half picks up as the Feds start closing in and not having known about Leo Sharp (Earl Stone) on which this story is based, I wasn't sure how long it would take for his luck to run out.

I've read since seeing the film, in real life Leo was running drugs for over 10 years and while in the film it states how many runs Earl is making, it wasn't clear to me how long it was from first to last.

The whole cast is great. Eastwood surrounded himself with seasoned professionals and even though the supporting cast don't get a lot to do, they play the parts well. Bradley Cooper and Clint's scene in the diner is probably the highlight for me in the film. One generation talking to another.

Eastwood has played the father figure with a troubled past or estranged from his family a few times in his career, I'm starting to think is it a little autobiographical? Does Clint feel the same about putting work before family?

Overall a very good film.

4/5.

Thank you, The Schofield Kid !
The relashionship between Clint and Bradley Cooper in The Mule is similar to the relationship between Clint and Ed Harris in Absolute Power. Cooper, like Ed Harris, has a lot of respect for Clint’s character.
Clint is a spiritual father for them.
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Brendan
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« Reply #38 on: January 27, 2019, 08:30:29 AM »

Yeah, I also took the scene where the cartel boss was killed to drastically up the danger to Earl and the possibility that he could easily be killed if they wanted him dead.    Also, I thought the way this scene was filmed was very cool... to make it look like Garcia had actually shot his rifle... and then fall over.

Is this your first time watching a movie? This is done often.


This one was a dud for me. Cooper and Fishburne were on auto-pilot and all their scenes really felt like they were shot in a day in the same room. And by Mule Run #93, I think we get it. He's driving drugs to places. We don't need to see all the runs. This movie just felt awkward as I never felt any tension or sympathy for the characters. I think Pete Davidson and John Mulaney pretty much summed up my thoughts on the movie on Saturday Night Live a few weeks back.

However, I'm not sure if this was mentioned, but is his character a possible metaphor for Clint's career? Always focused on his work and let his marriages and kids go to the side. Just spit balling here and maybe I read too much into it.

2.5/5
« Last Edit: January 27, 2019, 08:32:49 AM by Brendan » Logged
KC
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« Reply #39 on: January 27, 2019, 11:22:05 AM »

However, I'm not sure if this was mentioned, but is his character a possible metaphor for Clint's career? Always focused on his work and let his marriages and kids go to the side. Just spit balling here and maybe I read too much into it.

This has been mentioned, and I think it's pretty obvious, and the real explanation for why he cast his real-life daughter as his movie daughter.
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