News: THE MULE, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood: now on disc and streaming!


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Author Topic: Who saw The Mule? Members' Comments (NO SPOILERS, PLEASE)  (Read 5426 times)
The Schofield Kid
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« on: December 10, 2018, 01:05:59 AM »

With The Mule opening this week, it's time to get our traditional "members' comments" threads started.

We welcome all thoughts and comments and even full-fledged reviews of the film, but please... NO SPOILERS IN THIS THREAD. If you feel that what you want to say about the film may spoil it for those who haven't yet seen it, then please post in our SPOILERS thread for The Mule.

http://www.clinteastwood.org/forums/index.php?topic=10749.0
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AKA23
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« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2018, 01:52:00 AM »

I'm going to break this post up, as seen below. Antonis comment was responding to my message before it was broken up into more digestible chunks.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2018, 04:06:53 AM by AKA23 » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2018, 03:57:38 AM »

Thanks AKA.
I'm really curious for this one after reading your comments.
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AKA23
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« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2018, 04:04:09 AM »

I've just returned from the world premiere of "The Mule" in Los Angeles, CA. You have got to see this movie!! This is a performance from Clint that you've never seen before. One of the criticisms some have of Eastwood as an actor is that he just plays himself and portrays the same characters over and over again. Well, that's not the case with "The Mule." There really are not major spoilers in this review because there's really not much to spoil with this film. And, this film wasn't really based on the actual facts except in the loosest possible way. This really is an entirely new story. Stone is not Leo Sharp. 

You guys are lucky that I am a member of this board because I can now answer all of your questions and orient you to what you are likely to see when you go to the theater so you can manage your expectations. The first thing that you have to understand is that all the trailers and ads for "The Mule" are lying to you. This is not a gritty crime drama or a thriller. It's not a super emotional, powerful movie a la "Gran Torino" or "Million Dollar Baby." What you have to understand is that this film is at its heart kind of a parody/comedy/satire. The tone of the film is much lighter and more comedic than we have ever seen from Clint. If I were to compare it to previous Clint films, I'd say it was a cross between the character in "Gran Torino" (because Earl Stone is very politically incorrect) and "The Dead Pool," with Clint having fun and not making a serious film.

Earl Stone is extremely politically incorrect. That is one of the main reasons that Warners did not screen this film for critics in advance. Think of Walt Kowalski and dial that up, and then dial it up again. Earl Stone is a ham. This is a film that has a showy, over the top performance from Clint. There were some clues to what this film would be. Remember the production photos, where Clint was wearing all these odd patterns and styles that seemed like they were from another era that was not the society that we are living in today. That was our first clue that this would have comedic undertones. Also, a crime thriller that is Rated R but not for violence? That was a second clue.

« Last Edit: December 14, 2018, 10:51:14 AM by AKA23 » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2018, 04:05:01 AM »

The second reason that they didn't screen this film for critics is because of Clint's showy, over the top, comedic performance. I don't think they knew how that would be reviewed, and since it's so out of character for Clint, they were worried about some people really loving the film and some people thinking, what the hell did I just watch? That's why Clint said he didn't initially think of himself for this movie. I can see this film being a huge hit, and also, not doing very well, since everyone that is going to see it will not be expecting the type of film that it is.

This is also the reason that they didn't really do a trailer that showed scenes from "The Mule." They didn't want people to know what they were actually going to see, because it might turn a lot of people off. They wanted to disguise the comedic tone of the film, and the politically incorrect nature of the film, and the showy performance from Clint, and represent the film as something that it is not because they didn't know how the public would receive this film.

In terms of being politically correct, Earl Stone says really outrageous things that are hilarious, but also could be quite offensive to some.

« Last Edit: December 14, 2018, 10:51:55 AM by AKA23 » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2018, 04:05:36 AM »

The other thing that you need to know about "The Mule" is that it's a schizophrenic movie. Parts of it want to be a comedy, but there are also a few moments of drama interspersed.

The trailer makes it seem like there is this big emotional monologue that Clint is delivering about being a bad father, a bad husband, putting work in front of family, etc, but much of that scene takes place in a diner with Bradley Cooper, and the few emotional scenes that exist in "The Mule" were strung together in the trailer as one monologue when really they represent little snippets of dialogue at different times in the movie.

I thought Allison Eastwood was a good choice for the daughter. It really seemed like the emotional scenes between them may have been Clint's way of apologizing for focusing too much on his career and not enough on his family. If I go into her character arc, that would be one of the few things that could be spoiled, so I will not delve into that here.

I can also help answer why Andy Garcia was not announced as part of the cast. That is because he had an extremely small, cameo type role and was really not a significant character.

Actually, that's true of everyone in "The Mule" other than Clint. Laurence Fishburne is barely in the movie. Bradley Cooper has a co-starring role but has no development and very little interaction with Clint. Dianne Wiest has a few scenes. They are just along the ride for Clint's show. It's an actors showcase for Clint. That's what this movie is. That also might be why some initially thought Clint might be a candidate for an Oscar, or that Warners would be doing awards screenings, because this is a role that we've never seen him do before, so he is, in a way, stretching himself as an actor. 

« Last Edit: December 14, 2018, 10:52:23 AM by AKA23 » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2018, 04:05:58 AM »

I honestly don't know how I feel about this film yet. I think I may have to see it again, now that I know what this movie truly is and that all the trailers have been lying to us. Earl Stone is hilarious, but also very insensitive. He speaks Spanish to kind of ridicule the Hispanic drug dealers and the Hispanic drug dealers are caricatures and stereotypes of threatening, menacing criminals and are not fully realized characters, but since that's true of everyone in "The Mule" besides Stone, I didn't really see it that way. I think that was probably what people are thinking of when they say this film is racist/offensive.

For me, the highlight of the film was Arturo Sandoval's score. It's definitely one of the better scores for an Eastwood movie, but at the same time, it also often doesn't fit the comedic tone and tenor of the film. Sometimes Arturo Sandoval's score feels like it belongs in a different, weightier, more emotionally resonant movie than "The Mule." But, if you listen to the score on its own, it is beautiful, and unlike Clint's scores, he doesn't play the same notes over and over again. The pieces are often unique and different scenes have quite different music at times. So, for me, that was the stand out.

I can't wait to see the box office for this movie and the critics reviews. I really don't know what the consensus will be. What I can tell you is this, in my opinion, there is no way that "The Mule" will be nominated or win any Oscars or critics awards. It's not that type of film. So, my friends, go watch "The Mule," and then let's come back here and discuss. I think this could be one of our most interesting times here at the web board. If you have questions, I'm happy to answer them, so feel free to write in the spoilers thread or send me a private message.   
« Last Edit: December 14, 2018, 10:52:53 AM by AKA23 » Logged
Saman Moradkhani
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« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2018, 04:12:39 AM »

I'm going to break this post up, as seen below. Antonis comment was responding to my message before it was broken up into more digestible chunks.
WOW AKA23. that is quite surprising. things just keep getting interesting. On social media, Instagram and Twitter, people are all moved and impressed by the movie. they are all speaking about Clint's incredible performance and of course, its powerful drama. reading your review of the movie, I'm a bit relieved and shocked I guess. Clint never stops to amaze us, to surprise us. He doesn't like to repeat himself. so I guess this one is NEW. A satire! How do you describe The Mule in one sentence? Does it belong to Eastwood's best works list?
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« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2018, 01:29:08 PM »

WOW AKA23. that is quite surprising. things just keep getting interesting. On social media, Instagram and Twitter, people are all moved and impressed by the movie. they are all speaking about Clint's incredible performance and of course, its powerful drama. reading your review of the movie, I'm a bit relieved and shocked I guess. Clint never stops to amaze us, to surprise us. He doesn't like to repeat himself. so I guess this one is NEW. A satire! How do you describe The Mule in one sentence? Does it belong to Eastwood's best works list?

To answer your question honestly, no, this film will never be a favorite of mine. It is second tier Eastwood and I think I would have preferred to have seen the movie that was marketed in the trailer. However, he is very funny and that's not really something that we have seen from Clint for an entire film. I hate to say this, but this really is empty chair Clint in some ways. The character is kind of a cross between Tom Highway of "Heartbreak Ridge," Walt Kowalski in "Gran Torino" and empty chair Clint. I think some might really love it, if they go into it expecting it to be a comedy with dramatic undertones, but if you go into it expecting what you saw in the trailer, you're going to be disappointed, and I think that's why I was. I think this is one of the few cases where me not being able to read any reviews of the film affected my enjoyment of the film, which is ironic because usually it's the opposite that happens. I've got to see it again, though. I just don't know if I loved it or hated it, or whether it was somewhere in the middle. It's good for what it is, but I don't know that I fully embrace what it is, and I'm not sure whether critics or audiences will either. But, we'll find out soon.
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« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2018, 02:44:32 PM »

Hmmm... not wanting to judge until I see it, but I was hoping for a drama, not a comedy. And I'm not in the mood for more jokes about how an old white man is a racist, or isn't a racist. Walt Kowalski covered that just fine, and I don't really want to see another character like that. Darn. Well, it's good to have this expectation going into it -- maybe it will help me like it better than if I went in expecting a good drama about the financial difficulties of growing old in the U.S., which it could have been.
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« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2018, 03:09:15 PM »

To answer your question honestly, no, this film will never be a favorite of mine. It is second tier Eastwood and I think I would have preferred to have seen the movie that was marketed in the trailer. However, he is very funny and that's not really something that we have seen from Clint for an entire film. I hate to say this, but this really is empty chair Clint in some ways. The character is kind of a cross between Tom Highway of "Heartbreak Ridge," Walt Kowalski in "Gran Torino" and empty chair Clint. I think some might really love it, if they go into it expecting it to be a comedy with dramatic undertones, but if you go into it expecting what you saw in the trailer, you're going to be disappointed, and I think that's why I was. I think this is one of the few cases where me not being able to read any reviews of the film affected my enjoyment of the film, which is ironic because usually it's the opposite that happens. I've got to see it again, though. I just don't know if I loved it or hated it, or whether it was somewhere in the middle. It's good for what it is, but I don't know that I fully embrace what it is, and I'm not sure whether critics or audiences will either. But, we'll find out soon.
So why is everyone so glad with the movie? I heard Jeff Snider has LOVED it. One of my favorite critics has called it one of year's best and other people have nothing to say about it but applauding it?
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« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2018, 03:25:34 PM »



     I could care less what anyone's opinion in on this upcoming movie. I'm just hoping for a good movie to go see for my own personal enjoyment. At this point anything would be better than 15:17 To Paris or Trouble With The Curve.
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« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2018, 03:26:29 PM »

So why is everyone so glad with the movie? I heard Jeff Snider has LOVED it. One of my favorite critics has called it one of year's best and other people have nothing to say about it but applauding it?

It's very good for what it is, but that really wasn't what I was wanting/expecting to see. Have I not made that clear in my review? Clint is very good in the movie. Earl Stone is hilarious, but this isn't the type of character I particularly want to see him play, or I don't think that I do, but like I said, this is going to require repeat viewings before making a final determination. It's the best comedy that he's ever been in. Some people really like to be surprised and when they go in expecting one thing and getting another, they love it. Others, don't. If they didn't market it so dishonestly, I think I might have been more prepared for what I saw, which is why I wrote this million page review for you guys, so you could understand the broader context of what this film is about before you see it and hopefully enjoy it more as a result. I'm just that kind of guy ;)
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« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2018, 04:11:09 PM »

Hmmm... not wanting to judge until I see it, but I was hoping for a drama, not a comedy. And I'm not in the mood for more jokes about how an old white man is a racist, or isn't a racist. Walt Kowalski covered that just fine, and I don't really want to see another character like that. Darn. Well, it's good to have this expectation going into it -- maybe it will help me like it better than if I went in expecting a good drama about the financial difficulties of growing old in the U.S., which it could have been.

Yeah, you're not going to like this. Sorry, Matt.
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« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2018, 08:18:22 PM »

I haven't read every post in this thread because I don't want to know a whole lot about it, but I have the gist of it, I think. I wonder why would they cut a trailer that is so different from the film that's actually there? Is it a case where maybe the studio makes the trailer for the film they hoped for? They should know something like this could blow up in their faces.
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« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2018, 09:28:40 PM »

I haven't read every post in this thread because I don't want to know a whole lot about it, but I have the gist of it, I think. I wonder why would they cut a trailer that is so different from the film that's actually there? Is it a case where maybe the studio makes the trailer for the film they hoped for? They should know something like this could blow up in their faces.

Yeah, this all seems really strange.  Even the official Warner Bros page states for The Mule:  "Genre: Suspense/Thriller, Crime, Drama, Mystery"
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« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2018, 07:46:57 AM »

I honestly don't know how I feel about this film yet. I think I may have to see it again, now that I know what this movie truly is and that all the trailers have been lying to us. Earl Stone is hilarious, but also very insensitive. He speaks Spanish to kind of ridicule the Hispanic drug dealers and the Hispanic drug dealers are caricatures and stereotypes of threatening, menacing criminals and are not fully realized characters, but since that's true of everyone in "The Mule" besides Stone, I didn't really see it that way. I think that was probably what people are thinking of when they say this film is racist/offensive.

For me, the highlight of the film was Arturo Sandoval's score. It's definitely one of the better scores for an Eastwood movie, but at the same time, it also often doesn't fit the comedic tone and tenor of the film. Sometimes Arturo Sandoval's score feels like it belongs in a different, weightier, more emotionally resonant movie than "The Mule." But, if you listen to the score on its own, it is beautiful, and unlike Clint's scores, he doesn't play the same notes over and over again. The pieces are often unique and different scenes have quite different music at times. So, for me, that was the stand out.

I can't wait to see the box office for this movie and the critics reviews. I really don't know what the consensus will be. What I can tell you is this, in my opinion, there is no way that "The Mule" will be nominated or win any Oscars or critics awards. It's not that type of film. So, my friends, go watch "The Mule," and then let's come back here and discuss. I think this could be one of our most interesting times here at the web board. If you have questions, I'm happy to answer them, so feel free to write in the spoilers thread or send me a private message.

Thank you for sharing your reaction, AKA23 !
Iím just curious about how easy it is to attend a world premiere of a big movie in Hollywood.
I have always thought that these special events were only made for the press and people from show business.
So, was it easy to get a ticket for the world premiere of The Mule ?

About your reaction, itís interesting and intriguing at the same time.
I still want to see The Mule next month.
Indeed, it will be released on January 23rd in France.
Very soon, when I learned that Clintís character would be called Earl Stone and not Leo Sharp, it was pretty obvious that The Mule wonít be a biopic.
Clint has already mixed some comedic and dramatic elements in some movies like Honkytonk Man, Space Cowboys and Gran Torino. So, Iíd like  to see how Clint handles all these elements in The Mule.

Among the movies Clint did this last decade, where would you put The Mule ?
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« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2018, 05:27:05 PM »

Thank you for sharing your reaction, AKA23 !
Iím just curious about how easy it is to attend a world premiere of a big movie in Hollywood.
I have always thought that these special events were only made for the press and people from show business.
So, was it easy to get a ticket for the world premiere of The Mule ?

About your reaction, itís interesting and intriguing at the same time.
I still want to see The Mule next month.
Indeed, it will be released on January 23rd in France.
Very soon, when I learned that Clintís character would be called Earl Stone and not Leo Sharp, it was pretty obvious that The Mule wonít be a biopic.
Clint has already mixed some comedic and dramatic elements in some movies like Honkytonk Man, Space Cowboys and Gran Torino. So, Iíd like  to see how Clint handles all these elements in The Mule.

Among the movies Clint did this last decade, where would you put The Mule ?

Well, I think it's likely his best movie in the last decade, but I haven't really enjoyed much of his output in the past decade. I always like the movies in which he acts better than the ones in which he doesn't. I very strongly preferred "Gran Torino." By second-tier Eastwood, I just mean it's not going to be one of my top 10 favorites, not that it's not a well-made film.

Getting a ticket to the premiere was actually pretty easy. Planning the trip was the hard part. The date was posted on a site that announces when advanced screening are held. From there, I had to register for an event hosting website, build a profile, include my photo and other descriptive information, and then request the ticket. I think I got notified that I got the ticket on Thursday evening in my email, and two hours later I had confirmed that I wanted it. I left my apartment Sunday morning, so I had at most 2 days to put this trip together. Buy the tickets, finish up my work tasks so that the team wouldn't be disadvantaged, notify my supervisor, and arrange accommodations with friends that live in the LA area. It was a LOT to do, but I pulled it off.

Unfortunately, I really didn't see Eastwood at all. It was pretty disappointing. He was on the other side of the street doing red carpet interviews, so we saw the back of his head a lot and not much else. He didn't introduce the film before it played, which I was expecting and hoping that he would do. It was still pretty cool to be among the first audiences to see a new Eastwood film though. 
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« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2018, 09:42:50 PM »

Well, I think it's likely his best movie in the last decade, but I haven't really enjoyed much of his output in the past decade. I always like the movies in which he acts better than the ones in which he doesn't. I very strongly preferred "Gran Torino." By second-tier Eastwood, I just mean it's not going to be one of my top 10 favorites, not that it's not a well-made film.

Getting a ticket to the premiere was actually pretty easy. Planning the trip was the hard part. The date was posted on a site that announces when advanced screening are held. From there, I had to register for an event hosting website, build a profile, include my photo and other descriptive information, and then request the ticket. I think I got notified that I got the ticket on Thursday evening in my email, and two hours later I had confirmed that I wanted it. I left my apartment Sunday morning, so I had at most 2 days to put this trip together. Buy the tickets, finish up my work tasks so that the team wouldn't be disadvantaged, notify my supervisor, and arrange accommodations with friends that live in the LA area. It was a LOT to do, but I pulled it off.

Unfortunately, I really didn't see Eastwood at all. It was pretty disappointing. He was on the other side of the street doing red carpet interviews, so we saw the back of his head a lot and not much else. He didn't introduce the film before it played, which I was expecting and hoping that he would do. It was still pretty cool to be among the first audiences to see a new Eastwood film though.

Thank you very much for answering, AKA23 !

Being able to attend the world premiere of The Mule is pretty cool. :)
And yes, that would have been great, if you had really seen Clint.

About Clintís filmography in the last decade, he did some good films such as Sully and American Sniper.
He directed some great actors who gave fine performances like Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon in Invictus, Leonardo DiCaprio in J.Edgar, Bradley Cooper in American Sniper and Tom Hanks in Sully.
I enjoyed Jersey Boys, even itís not really considered among his best work.
Hereafter and Trouble with the Curve were watchable but not memorable.
The 15:17 to Paris is the most disappointing film that Clint did in recent years.
So, Iím optimistic for The Mule and I hope that Iíll enjoy it.

In my opinion, his last true masterpieces are Letters from Iwo Jima, Million Dollar Baby and Mystic River.
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« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2018, 02:34:11 AM »

AKA, I'm very impressed with your success at scoring a ticket to the premiere and arranging a lightning cross-country trip to get there in time! You must be one of the most dedicated Eastwood fans I've ever met. 8)
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