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Author Topic: Who saw The Mule? Members' Comments (WARNING: SPOILERS ALLOWED!)  (Read 6730 times)
Hammerhead
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« Reply #40 on: January 27, 2019, 02:47:32 PM »

Just back from seeing it herein the UK.

I need some time to digest but I did really enjoy it.

And I don't mind admitting I welled up a bit as the credits ran, knowing this was likely to be the last time I saw a new Clint performance...
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AKA23
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« Reply #41 on: January 27, 2019, 03:10:56 PM »

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

Brendan, see it again when it comes out on DVD. I felt similar to you the first time that I saw it, but ended up enjoying it much better the second time. You are definitely right that the supporting character roles are underdeveloped, but Clint's character is well developed and is very amusing. I also agree that there were too many runs and there is a lack of tension throughout the film given the drug trafficking theme, but when I saw it a second time, I already knew that going in, and it didn't bother me as much.

I definitely agree with you that "The Mule" has a personal resonance for Clint, and that the family subplot was a big motivator for him to do the movie. I can't think of any other reason that he cast his daughter in this film. She's really not a great actress (although, in this film, I thought she was fine), and she had already retired from acting when he asked her to do the movie, so atoning for his own behavior through his character seems to be the only conceivable motivation for him to choose her for this particular role. He had a father/daughter relationship movie in 2012 with "Trouble with the Curve," and Amy Adams was chosen for that role and not Allison.

Something that may or may not have been reported on here is that Clint actually invited all of his children to "The Mule" premiere, including an eighth child, Laurie, that had never been publicly acknowledged before. Every one of his children attended. That's a pretty strong statement all by itself. I don't think Clint has ever had all 8 of his children at a movie premiere, so to me, that, even moreso than Clint choosing his own daughter in the film, reinforced to me the unspoken personal resonance that the movie had for Clint and his children. In Clint's defense, Allison did say in interviews that the role was difficult for her to play since he's a great Dad and they don't have the type of relationship that the movie depicts.
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AKA23
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« Reply #42 on: January 27, 2019, 03:14:28 PM »

And I don't mind admitting I welled up a bit as the credits ran, knowing this was likely to be the last time I saw a new Clint performance...

Yeah, me too. I think "Gran Torino" was a more fitting last role, but "The Mule" is a much better movie than "Trouble with the Curve" was, so I'm happy that he did this film. If it does turn out to be his last role, it's a fitting one.
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Hammerhead
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« Reply #43 on: January 28, 2019, 03:00:17 PM »

So, I really enjoyed the film overall. The drug mule story in itself was interesting and the family drama put some meat on the bones.

Really the film was carried by Clint's star quality. He's been a magnetic presence for more than 50 years and he still has it. The supporting performances are all good, something that can't be said of Gran Torino even though that is ultimately the better film.

Now the downsides. The non PC bits are cheap laughs and ultimately pointless to the story. They made sense in Gran Torino where we saw Walt's "journey" but there was no need for them here, we knew he wasn't actually racist and we knew he was a relic from other stuff, the phone etc.

Likewise, the sex "scenes" seemed to come out of nowhere, like they belonged to a different film and again added nothing to the story.

Again, the pool scene with all the close ups of the asses, what was the point?

So I enjoyed it but I would have enjoyed it more without these odd intrusions. And I'm glad they didn't go down the "last run" line, that's been done to death before, the bank robber drawn back for "one last job" etc.
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AKA23
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« Reply #44 on: January 28, 2019, 05:24:57 PM »

Now the downsides. The non PC bits are cheap laughs and ultimately pointless to the story. They made sense in Gran Torino where we saw Walt's "journey" but there was no need for them here, we knew he wasn't actually racist and we knew he was a relic from other stuff, the phone etc.

Likewise, the sex "scenes" seemed to come out of nowhere, like they belonged to a different film and again added nothing to the story.

Again, the pool scene with all the close ups of the asses, what was the point?

So I enjoyed it but I would have enjoyed it more without these odd intrusions. And I'm glad they didn't go down the "last run" line, that's been done to death before, the bank robber drawn back for "one last job" etc.

I think the non-PC comments were included because the script was written by Nick Schenk, who also wrote "Gran Torino, and he probably had Eastwood in mind for this role. I can't think of any other actor working today who would have had the courage, or the inclination, to make "The Mule." That and the fact that Eastwood likes poking his finger in the eyes of political correctness, which he feels has run amok and is harming the country.

I agree with you that the prostitute sex scenes and the ogling at the party weren't needed. I think these scenes were included to show that Earl is kind of a fun loving, odd character who, despite his age, is still enjoying life. It was scenes like this, and the flashback scenes, that I was thinking of when I initially posted that Earl Stone was more over-the top than Clint's characters usually are. 
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KC
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« Reply #45 on: January 28, 2019, 11:24:55 PM »

Quote
Today, Eastwood is the only actor of his generation whom we can watch in bed with two call girls offered by a Mexican cartel (as in The Mule), without finding the scene inappropriate. Better yet, it’s almost self-evident. Nor was there any question in Gran Torino about the credibility of his character facing gang members in his seventies, with gun in hand. "I ask you, why shouldn’t I enjoy it? The protagonist of The Mule is an opportunist. I know a threesome seems strange at that age, but it works on the screen, I think. And then, it allows me to learn something. That’s what my character on the screen does and continues to do in life. If I stop learning, I'm dead." Since the lesson continues to be profitable, Eastwood continues on his way.

From an interview with Samuel Blumenthal in Le monde, January 23, 2019. (My translation.)
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Hammerhead
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« Reply #46 on: January 29, 2019, 02:07:23 PM »

I think the non-PC comments were included because the script was written by Nick Schenk, who also wrote "Gran Torino, and he probably had Eastwood in mind for this role. I can't think of any other actor working today who would have had the courage, or the inclination, to make "The Mule." That and the fact that Eastwood likes poking his finger in the eyes of political correctness, which he feels has run amok and is harming the country.

I agree with you that the prostitute sex scenes and the ogling at the party weren't needed. I think these scenes were included to show that Earl is kind of a fun loving, odd character who, despite his age, is still enjoying life. It was scenes like this, and the flashback scenes, that I was thinking of when I initially posted that Earl Stone was more over-the top than Clint's characters usually are.
I just don't think the non PC comments were necessary. In Gran Torino the whole point was that Waltwas racist but then befriended the immigrants.

In this he clearly wasn't racist but they still felt the need to include it - why? He stopped to help the black family which he wouldn't have done if he was. I liked the point about not being able to change a tyre (personal bugbear, should be part of the driving test!), the scene would have been fine with that.
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Christopher
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« Reply #47 on: January 29, 2019, 02:27:02 PM »

I think those scenes just emphasized over and over that he wasn't of this time period. I think there was a comment made in one of these threads comparing this character to Bronco Billy, and I can see that. Earl is a bit naive much the way Billy was.
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batfunk2
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« Reply #48 on: January 29, 2019, 05:04:28 PM »

I don't think these scenes must be taken too seriously.those are fun to watch because the age of Earl makes it highly unlikely. And as a fierce individualist, Eastwood loves to break rules.  ;D
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batfunk2
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« Reply #49 on: January 29, 2019, 05:36:53 PM »


… 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.
As I remember, there was a unwritten pact with WB:one commercial movie for one more personal movie. Until Unforgiven, no other Studio would have allowed Eastwood to make movies like Bird, honky Tonk Man, etc... The commercial
 And critic's success of Unforgiven gives Eastwood more power. It gives also to WB more prestige and access to famous) international movie festivals(Cannes). It' a win-win contract.
I think that  Earl's roundabout route  simply reflects Eastwood's freedom and independence.he's his own master...
But he's old now. In his previous movies, at his physical prime, he would have killed the Mexican with his. 44 magnum ;D. It's impossible now, Eastwood accepts his age, without bitterness. Like Yoda, he became a wise man.  8)
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« Reply #50 on: January 29, 2019, 10:05:43 PM »


In this he clearly wasn't racist but they still felt the need to include it - why? He stopped to help the black family which he wouldn't have done if he was. I liked the point about not being able to change a tyre (personal bugbear, should be part of the driving test!), the scene would have been fine with that.

I agree that the scenes weren't really necessary, but I thought the one with the black family, in particular, was fun anyway, just because the only thing particularly "black" about them was, in fact, their skin color ... otherwise they looked and sounded exactly like a stereotype of a WHITE suburban family.
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« Reply #51 on: February 03, 2019, 04:39:47 PM »

Until Unforgiven, no other Studio would have allowed Eastwood to make movies like Bird, honky Tonk Man, etc... The commercial
 And critic's success of Unforgiven gives Eastwood more power.

Don't really agree with this.  Bird, Honkytonk Man, White Hunter Black Heart and Bronco Billy were all made well before Unforgiven.  Not to mention Play Misty For Me and Breezy
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batfunk2
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« Reply #52 on: February 04, 2019, 04:50:18 PM »

I didn't succeed in explaining my thoughts. ;D Warner bros  was great because it allowed Eastwood to make such personal movies.But Eastwood's  commercial and  personal movies were less successful at the end of the eighties.it could have jeopardise his career.
The phenomenal success of Unforgiven  made Eastwood untouchable and  a prestigious showcase for Warner BROS.
Look at Paul Verhoeven's or samuel Fuller's careers:Hollywood drove them out',they finished their career in Europe,precisely in France ;)
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Jed Cooper
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« Reply #53 on: February 04, 2019, 05:47:33 PM »

I had the opportunity to see The Mule three times and am very happy.  Being a fan, I loved seeing a brand new Clint Eastwood movie again after six long years.  Talk about a long wait!

Tina and I saw it for the first time the day it premiered here in the U.S.  She thought it was okay.  My second viewing was with my good friend Andy, my ex-wife’s uncle.  He enjoyed it very much.

I was so pleased with it that I decided to see The Mule one last time by myself.  I had time to myself and a window of opportunity presented itself so I decided to take it.  I knew that if I let the chance pass me by, I’d regret it.  Yeah, I know, it’ll be available to own before long but that’s different.  I’ve been going out of my way to see Eastwood films on the big screen since the summer of ‘82 when I was 15 years old so I wanted to savor the moment.

Clint’s performance was perfect.  There were some humorous moments and that was the icing on the cake.  I liked his acting, his characterization was convincing and likable.  I enjoyed seeing his daughter, Alison in this film with him.  I thought the cast all worked well together; Bradley Cooper, Michael Pena, Dianne Wiest, Laurence Fishburne and Andy Garcia, as well as the rest of the supporting players.

If this happens to be his final film role, and I hope not, I noticed the irony of the title of the film because it was on a mule we saw him for the first time in his first leading role in A Fistful Of Dollars. 😎





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« Reply #54 on: February 04, 2019, 10:55:36 PM »

Actually, that was a horse in Fistful ... an old, broken-down nag. The Baxter boys mocked it by calling it a mule, but it was still a horse.
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Jed Cooper
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« Reply #55 on: February 05, 2019, 07:46:09 AM »

Actually, that was a horse in Fistful ... an old, broken-down nag. The Baxter boys mocked it by calling it a mule, but it was still a horse.

Oh, ok.  Actually, Clint refers to it as his mule, too.  Guess the horse was hired by Leone to play a mule. 🤪


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AKA23
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« Reply #56 on: February 05, 2019, 03:15:02 PM »

Wow Jed. If you saw it three times, you must have really loved it. Glad that you enjoyed it so much, and thanks for posting about this. How does it compare for you with "Gran Torino" and some of your other favorites? What made it stand out for you?
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Jed Cooper
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« Reply #57 on: February 05, 2019, 04:43:18 PM »

It’s just an all around good movie.  I probably wouldn’t have gone out of my way had Clint not been the star.  I enjoyed Gran Torino more, but The Mule is better than Trouble With The Curve.



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« Reply #58 on: February 16, 2019, 07:50:52 AM »

Finally!



I watched The Mule last night. As always I'm the last one to watch and you must have commented everything possible already so I don't think I have much to add. I went to a talkative friend that distracted me a lot during the movie so I intend to watch it again... alone >:(

What a crazy character. I remember have seen something similar only in White Hunter Black Heart maybe a little in True Crime but this one beat all of them. I love when Clint play characters like that, I love the bohemian personality of Earl, I love the way he dances and sings and he sings a lot ;D As soon as I finish here, I'm posting on the thread reviews and one of them is very harsh, the reviewer says The Mule is the worst Clint movie which I don't agree at all. I'm not a movie critic, I watch movies for fun and I had fun watching The Mule, I didn't go to judge the character. I confess I don't like something that is very regular in Clint movies, extensive dialogues and weepy drama families but apart from that I love the movie and it is now among my favorite ones. :)

I don't think there is spoilers on this but chose to post here.
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« Reply #59 on: February 16, 2019, 10:12:36 AM »

Thanks, Aline! I'm glad you finally got to see it! :)
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