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Author Topic: GRAN TORINO: Reviews and Features in the Media  (Read 128636 times)
higashimori
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« Reply #240 on: April 03, 2009, 03:29:46 AM »

 :)  " Film Review  "
 
Written by Gerry Hill     
Friday, 03 April 2009 08:10 
Venue: Cine 2, Ster Kinekor, Maerua Mall
Film: GRAN TORINO
Director: Clint Eastwood
Writing Credits: Nick Schenk (Screenplay) and Dave Johannson (story)
Players: Clint Eastwood; Christopher Carley; Bee Vang; Ahney Her; Brian Haley
Genre: crime; drama
Rating: ****   A must-see!

       http://www.economist.com.na/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=11165:gran-torino&catid=534:community-a-culture&Itemid=58

       
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This is a fine film about the development of respect – and liking – for ethnic differences. It’s all about morals and manliness, too – and who gets the Gran Turino in the end .



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Hemlock
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« Reply #241 on: April 06, 2009, 08:56:06 AM »

Well it seems that Finns like Gran Torino also.The film was one of the most watched during last (it´s opening) weekend and it was Eastwood`s third best opening in here(after The Bridges Of Madison County and In The Line Of Fire).
Obviously you should remember that Finland is not that big of a country so when Gran Torino made  during fri-su 63 235 € with an audience of 7 014 that`s good  O0

And as I said in other thread the films has earned raving reviews in Finnish media.
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Christopher
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« Reply #242 on: April 06, 2009, 10:29:30 AM »

So has the film's theatrical run ended? I checked Box office Mojo, and the last day they have a total for it is April 2 ($145,968,873).
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higashimori
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« Reply #243 on: April 09, 2009, 02:02:57 PM »

 :) In Japan, from the last week of April , we have holidays called The Golden Week !   On April 25th, it will be finally for the general release of " Gran Torino" !
     It is kept for that time!  And we can expect the very interesting results !    O0
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higashimori
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« Reply #244 on: April 09, 2009, 02:18:34 PM »

 :)  " A kinder, gentler Harry "

        http://free.financialmail.co.za/09/0410/life/dlife.htm

        By Peter Wilhelm
        Though ignored by the award-givers, this is manna for Eastwood fans

       
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The Gran Torino which stands so proud, sporty and symbolic in the garage of Walt Kowalski's rudimentary Michigan home was - we learn - assembled in 1972 on an American assembly line by American hands. Walt (Clint Eastwood) was on that line: it represents a deep attachment to a past when he was in his prime, and which has been overturned by time and immigration.

The Gran Torino which stands so proud, sporty and symbolic in the garage of Walt Kowalski's rudimentary Michigan home was - we learn - assembled in 1972 on an American assembly line by American hands. Walt (Clint Eastwood) was on that line: it represents a deep attachment to a past when he was in his prime, and which has been overturned by time and immigration.

A foul-mouthed, misanthropic, racist, homophobic recluse, he is drawn into battle only when his manhood is challenged. He calls one girl "Yum Yum".

If that were simply it, one would expect a reprise of the legendary Spaghetti Westerns and Dirty Harry franchise that made his name. Yet, as Kowalski, Eastwood reveals a deep passion for freedom and decency - even in the final confrontation, he is restrained by his guilt over having killed a soldier who wished to surrender, for which he was awarded for valour, and a core conviction that to slay a man - even in war - is "the worst thing in the world".


It's a film that provokes reflection without sacrificing the dramatic expectations of Eastwood fans: far better and more subversive than most seem to have given it credit for.






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Christopher
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« Reply #245 on: April 09, 2009, 04:49:18 PM »

So has the film's theatrical run ended? I checked Box office Mojo, and the last day they have a total for it is April 2 ($145,968,873).
Aw, no, its run hasn't ended. I just saw it's been updated.
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higashimori
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« Reply #246 on: April 24, 2009, 05:54:01 PM »

 :)  In Japan, ' Gran Torino ' is finally released today !     O0

      http://wwws.warnerbros.co.jp/grantorino/#/top

      " Clint moves further away Dirty Harry "

      http://search.japantimes.co.jp/rss/ff20090424a1.html

       
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You can take Clint Eastwood out of the "Dirty Harry" movies, but you can't take Dirty Harry out of ol' Clint. So it would seem upon viewing "Gran Torino," an Eastwood-directed film in which the 79-year-old plays a tough retiree who goes vigilante to take on gangbangers terrorizing his neighborhood.

Gran Torino  Rating: (4.5 out of 5) 

By GIOVANNI FAZIO
     
Back in the day, Eastwood's rogue cop, "Dirty" Harry Callahan, was a snarling avenger who would stare down the barrel of his massive Magnum .44 and contemptuously dare some low-life to "go ahead, make my day." Audiences loved it not just because Clint had perfected steely menace, but because people were tired of all the crime and craziness of the inner city and the supposed liberal mollycoddling that let the muggers and junkies run wild. It was no coincidence that in many of these films the lowlifes were minorities. (Harry himself, was a guy who equated "the minority community" with "hoods.") Like it or not, the films tapped into a very white sense of insecurity.

On one level, nothing has changed some three decades on. In "Gran Torino," Clint displays the same old line-in-the-sand machismo when he confronts a trio of homeboys looking to rape a young girl. Whipping out a handgun, he snarls: "Ever notice how you come across somebody once in a while who you shouldn't have f--ked with? That's me."

I'm sure you can hear the audience cheering already, and it's no surprise that "Gran Torino" shot to No. 1 at the U.S. box office: Everybody likes to see jerks get their due. But there's a big difference here too: Clint's vigilante may be fighting Asian gangstas, but he's doing so to protect his Asian neighbors.

You could say "Gran Torino" is a "red-state" character coming to terms with a "blue-state," multicultural America. Clint's retiree, Walt Kowalski, a union man and Korean War vet, lives in a once-proud but now dilapidated blue- collar neighborhood where he's the last white guy on the street. Surrounded by Hmong immigrants from Vietnam and Cambodia, their big families, strange cooking and unfathomable customs all combine to really p-ss him off. He mows his lawn grumbling about "zipperheads" and "gooks," and the American flag that flies from his porch seems like an act of defiance.

When Walt's neighbor, a shy kid named Thao (Bee Vang), tries to steal his pride and joy, a vintage 1972 Gran Torino, Walt gets fired up, pulling out a rifle and daring the gangbangers to make his day.

But when Walt gets to know Thao's sister, Sue (Ahney Her), he rather unexpectedly likes her — she's as cantankerous as he is.

Through Sue, Walt learns that Thao's gangsta cousin forced him to try and steal the car, and Walt takes pity on the boy, trying to put him on the straight and narrow. But Walt soon realizes that as long as those gangbangers are around, Thao and Sue don't have a chance. The eye-for-an-eye realities of gang feuds mean the situation is soon spiraling out of control.

"Gran Torino" is a minor gem of a drama, which delivers laughs, tears, suspense, and those infinitely quotable showdowns, too. Nick Schenk's script does seem to hew close to the formula that worked so well with "Million Dollar Baby" — gruff old-timer slowly warms to younger generation friend, forms a kind of parent-child bond, and has to make a painful decision in the end — but I would argue that "Gran Torino" is even better, as it's less manipulative in making its point.

How long is it before everyone recognizes what a fantastic director Eastwood has matured into? Everyone says Martin Scorsese is a genius, and who's to argue? But if you look at the last decade or so — Eastwood's "Mystic River," "Million Dollar Baby," and "Flags of Our Fathers" vs. Scorsese's "The Departed," "The Aviator" and "Shine a light" — Eastwood wins hands down. His films are done in more of a classical style, minus the flourishes that define someone like Scorsese. Eastwood will never use 10 shots when one will suffice, and he makes you care about his characters by making them fully alive in a way that has eluded Scorsese since 1993's "Age of Innocence." His narratives are never as straight as they may seem, and bifurcate or veer off into unexpected directions.

With "Gran Torino," Eastwood wrestles with the tension between Catholicism and violence, between ideals and corruption . . . you could say stealing a theme from Scorsese ("Mean Streets" et al). Walt's parish priest (Christopher Carley) engages him in a number of conversations — often quite humorous — about life and death. Digging to the core of Walt's anger, the priest finds old wounds from Walt's wartime service, particularly Walt's belief that blood on one's hands does not easily wash off. What this film makes painfully clear — as does "Mystic River," "Unforgiven," and even "Million Dollar Baby" — is that killing someone is no easy thing, but rather an act with unimaginable consequences. He's no longer making Dirty Harry movies, as Eastwood has moved deeper within, without, and beyond that old persona.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2009, 08:15:15 AM by higashimori » Logged

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« Reply #247 on: April 24, 2009, 06:22:03 PM »

That excellent review is by Giovanni Fazio. (Everyone, I know I've mentioned this before, but ... please include the name of the author of the piece whenever you quote someone's review or article. Thanks! :) )
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antonis
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« Reply #248 on: April 25, 2009, 01:57:21 AM »

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higashimori
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« Reply #249 on: April 27, 2009, 05:03:20 AM »

 :)  " Dirty Harry emeritus  Eastwood trots out the goods with Gran Torino "

        http://www.praguepost.com/night-and-day/cinema/1153-dirty-harry-emeritus.html

        By James Walling - For the Post

         
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The cult of Clint Eastwood has been quieting down recently. With the commercial failure of his World War II epics Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima (2006), and the bizarrely cast Changeling (Eastwood reputedly felt the synthetically enhanced features of Angelina's Jolie's face fit the period setting of 1928 perfectly), even diehard Eastwoodites have been edging away from the sort of hysterical praise heaped upon the actor/director, beginning with his 1971 directorial debut Play Misty for Me and culminating with 2004's Oscar magnet, Million Dollar Baby.

Just how did the man establish a reputation as a great director with leaden and muddled pictures like Unforgiven (1992) and Blood Work (2002) under his belt? To many of us - and it must be conceded that our critical views are in the minority - his acclaim is a mystery. However, Eastwood's appeal as an actor is a less mysterious thing, and it's a relief to find him featured prominently in his latest project.

Gran Torino, starring Eastwood as a heavy-drinking retiree recently widowed in a declining working-class neighborhood of Detroit, was passed up by the Academy in the Best Picture and Best Director departments. Nonetheless, the film marks a return to form for the iconic actor.

Fans of Dirty Harry, the Spaghetti Westerns and the tough-guy films that made Eastwood famous will welcome back his signature piercing stare and penchant for pent-up aggression. Even at 78, Eastwood is surprisingly menacing. When he warns a trespasser at the end of a rifle, "I used to stack f@#ks likes you five feet high in Korea, use ya for sandbags," we believe him.

Gran Torino also exhibits a new tendency in Eastwood's otherwise self-conscious oeuvre: humor. The film's distributors misleadingly labeled the picture a drama, an apparent mistake in light of its wry and acerbic wit and tongue-in-cheek offensiveness. One is tempted to call it black comedy, and, were it not for the seriousness of its themes and the bitterness of its ending, the term would probably apply. Perhaps tragicomic is more apt. At any rate, this grim tale of love, loss, violence, retribution and, ultimately, atonement, is surprisingly funny, making good use of well-timed racial slurs and the spectacle of an elderly vigilante in action.

There is some question as to whether all the humorous aspects of the film are intentionally comedic. The choice of an aging muscle car as the story's central symbolic element is a little too peculiar to be taken seriously, and yet it's a very dry joke, indeed, if that's what it is. Certainly one of the most unintentionally hilarious cinematic achievements of the year is the film's regrettable theme song - co-written by Eastwood, and featuring the Great Auteur himself crooning miserably along, a la William Shatner's rendition of "Mr. Tambourine Man." If we aren't laughing with Eastwood here, we are certainly laughing at him as he grinds out painful verses in a muted growl over the credits before singer Jamie Cullum mercifully steps in to relieve him.

Throughout the film, Eastwood flirts with self-mockery as he threatens the life of anyone foolish enough to cross him (Kowalski literally spits out the words, "Go ahead …" at one point, stopping just short of a full homage to his infamous predecessor).

The film's final reels go off the rails a bit in a return to the typical Eastwood shortcomings of lazy plotting and wanton cliché. But it's over quickly enough, and one is left with good impressions of a refreshingly earnest film.

Gran Torino would make an excellent swan song for Eastwood the actor. To the delight of millions and the dismay of a few, however, that seems an unlikely outcome.
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« Reply #250 on: April 27, 2009, 06:38:31 AM »

That review is ridiculous ... "hysterical praise" heaped on Eastwood beginning with Play Misty for Me? I don't think so; critics didn't really begin to notice him until decades later. Unforgiven "leaden and muddled"? Has he even SEEN it? And the "typical Eastwood shortcomings of lazy plotting and wanton cliché"?
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« Reply #251 on: April 27, 2009, 07:33:26 AM »

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Gran Torino also exhibits a new tendency in Eastwood's otherwise self-conscious oeuvre: humor.

This idiot may have heard of Clint Eastwood, but his entire knowledge of Eastwood's films, as far as I can discern, was amassed by pausing a few second on an AMC presentation of Dirty Harry as he flipped through the channels on a bored Saturday night.  It's clear that Gran Torino is the first film he has ever actually watched by Clint Eastwood.   
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« Reply #252 on: April 27, 2009, 07:51:22 AM »

  Blood Work ok fine...but according to this guy Unforgiven is "muddled"?  I just double checked the definition, and yes he's either crazy or has never seen it.  Its does not get anymore un-muddled than the simplicity of the main storyline in Unforgiven.

  I think he just pulled out a thesaurus and wanted to sound all "critiquey" like a movie reviewer.
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higashimori
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« Reply #253 on: May 06, 2009, 02:53:05 AM »

 :) " Gran Torino "

     By Scott Foundas

     http://www.sfweekly.com/2009-05-06/calendar/gran-torino

     
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Like many characters Clint Eastwood has played in his six-decade screen career, recently widowed Korean War vet Walt Kowalski is a man outside of his own time hurled by circumstance into direct conflict with the present. That transition occurs when the racist Walt steps across the property line in his economically depressed Detroit suburb and into the lives of the Hmong immigrant family next door, including the introverted, teenage boy, Thao (Bee Vang), who, menaced by a local gang, has made an unsuccessful bid at stealing Walt’s car. But if Gran Torino seems at first glance to be a gently un-p.c., geriatric crowd-pleaser of the Space Cowboys variety, it soon becomes clear that Eastwood is merely using the bass line of a butt-kicking Clint Eastwood action movie to play a series of complex variations on his career-abiding themes. “The thing that haunts a man most is what he isn’t ordered to do,” Walt says, and the thing that has long haunted Eastwood is the legacy of American violence and the false heroic myths on which that legacy has been written. For him, romanticized movie violence long ago lost its allure, and at least since Unforgiven (a film that this one in many ways mirrors), the act of killing another human being has been depicted as one that leaves a permanent scar on men’s psyches. In Gran Torino, that strain of investigation reaches its apotheosis in an inversion of Unforgiven’s climactic barroom standoff, a scene that brings the curtain down on Eastwood’s cycle of urban-crime films as hauntingly as the earlier one did on his Westerns.
Thu., May 14, 7 & 9:25 p.m., 2009
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« Reply #254 on: May 06, 2009, 06:34:46 AM »

That's very good. I love this line:

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... it soon becomes clear that Eastwood is merely using the bass line of a butt-kicking Clint Eastwood action movie to play a series of complex variations on his career-abiding themes.

I wonder what the occasion is of the two showings on Thursday, May 14? ???
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Richard Earl
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« Reply #255 on: May 06, 2009, 06:58:27 AM »

This idiot may have heard of Clint Eastwood, but his entire knowledge of Eastwood's films, as far as I can discern, was amassed by pausing a few second on an AMC presentation of Dirty Harry as he flipped through the channels on a bored Saturday night.  It's clear that Gran Torino is the first film he has ever actually watched by Clint Eastwood.   

This critic is a true idiot and I believe Doug is correct.
Unforgiven muddled?  >:(
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« Reply #256 on: May 13, 2009, 03:06:03 AM »

Newsday link

Why Roger Clemens reminds me of Walt Kowalski
Posted by Ken Davidoff on May 12, 2009 10:36 AM

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Have you seen "Gran Torino"? (thanks to the link for the photo. Spoiler alert - big day for spoiler alerts here - Clint Eastwood's character, Kowalski, sacrifices himself to save a neighboring from a gang of thugs. He essentially allows the thugs to murder him in front of many witnesses, ensuring that the gang will be thrown in jail for a long time.

Whenever I hear Roger Clemens speak nowadays, as he did this morning, I think of him as a real-life Walt Kowalski.

Now, it is a profoundly imperfect comparison, for this reason ...
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« Reply #257 on: May 13, 2009, 06:29:29 AM »

"Profoundly imperfect," I would say, is the understatement of the week. Davidoff is way off base here, so to speak.
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« Reply #258 on: May 29, 2009, 06:43:40 PM »

Many reviews for Up make reference to Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino. Reviews by Tom Long, in the Detroit News, Kenneth Turan in the LA Times are good examples.
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« Reply #259 on: June 06, 2009, 03:28:43 PM »

 :) "  'Gran Torino' is one of Eastwood's best movies "

         Couch Theater
         By DNA Smith

         http://www.gulfbreezenews.com/news/2009/0604/entertainment/041.html

         
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PICKS OF THE WEEK

"Gran Torino" — "Gran Torino" is not only one of Clint Eastwood's best movies (he starred and served as its director), but it is also one of the best films of 2008.

Eastwood plays Walt Kowalski, a grizzled, cantankerous Korean War veteran and retired autoworker living in a depressed, run-down neighborhood in Detroit, where he is the last white guy on the block.

Surrounded by Asians (of whom Walt isn't too fond), bitter and alone following his wife's death, he spends his days chasing kids off his lawn and working on his most prized possession: a 1972 Gran Torino. One day, a teen named Thao attempts to break into Walt's garage to steal the car as part of his initiation into a street gang. He is caught by Walt. When the leader of the gang tries to intimidate Walt, he and his gang are run off by the wellarmed war veteran.

Walt, realizing Thao has no direction in life, takes the boy under his wing and begins to teach him the values of hard work and character. In so doing, Walt realizes he too had become directionless following his wife's death.

"Gran Torino" is a great film


 

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