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


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Author Topic: GRAN TORINO: Reviews and Features in the Media  (Read 129285 times)
Dan Dassow
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« Reply #140 on: January 17, 2009, 08:51:03 AM »

The Herald Sun link
Australia

The Clint Eastwood of gold
Lawrie Masterson
January 18, 2009 12:00am

Quote
IT IS testament to Clint Eastwood's energy, combined with a mind that operates likes the proverbial steel trap, that he still talks about hurdles.

Not that he's physically leaping them these days.

At 78, bad cop Dirty Harry has given way to rambunctious retiree Walt Kowalski.

But Eastwood's aim as an actor, director and sometime composer, musician and singer is as true as ever, more than half a century after he started in showbusiness.

"You always look for a character that can go somewhere, start one place and go another," he says in his typically understated way, in a voice that now is almost a whisper.

While some younger directors and stars put years between projects, Hollywood's most famous senior citizen has two movies about to be released in Australia.

Gran Torino - he is the director, the star and composed the Golden Globe-nominated song with son Kyle, Michael Stevens and Jamie Cullum - has him playing the Korean War veteran and retired Detroit production line worker Kowalski, perhaps the man Dirty Harry Callahan might have become long after being pensioned off from the police force. ...

The fact-based Changeling has Eastwood directing Angelina Jolie in her Golden Globe-nominated role as Christine Collins, whose son is kidnapped in 1920s-era Los Angeles. ...

In both cases, it was simply Eastwood's eye for a good story that drew him in.

"I was intrigued by the Gran Torino script (from a first-time screenwriter, Nick Schenk) because it was not only about the Hmong culture, which was new to me, but it is also a kind of statement that you're never too old to learn tolerance and learn a lot of things," he says.

"Of course Walt Kowalski is a man who's out of his time and he has trouble adjusting, but that makes hurdles to go over and they make the character fun to play.

"And I think seeking justice and getting justice is always a very satisfying thing in a storytelling sense, and the actual injustice of this true incident in Changeling is much more accentuated than a lot of fictional stories I've read.

"For a woman in the 1920s to be put in the position she was in, where the police force just sort of ran roughshod right over her, is a statement about the general position women were in at the time.

"Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction and it was with this one."

In keeping with his no-frills approach to telling stories on film, Eastwood says he directs "by feel", even when he is the star. It is 38 years since he first directed himself - in the thriller Play Misty For Me - and he allows he is not as tense now.

"But as far as evaluating what I'm doing in so far as the script is concerned, when it feels right then it is right for me," he says.

"You know when you're on key and you know when you're hitting a clanker."

The process of filmmaking has changed enormously, of course, and as he approaches his 80th year Eastwood has been studying digital technology.

"I always figured that some day it would take over from film, much as it has in (stills) cameras," he says.

"Every film I do, we kind of test the latest cameras that are out but I've never found one yet that has got quite the same feeling of film that I'm used to."

In Gran Torino Eastwood worked with mainly an unknown cast of non-professional actors, including Bee Vang and Ahney Her, both born in the US to Hmong parents.

"They were very nice kids and they were really earnest," he says.

"It's interesting with the young people of the Hmong culture that, although they were born here, they all know the language of their parents and grandparents and they have a great respect for adults."

Changeling could not have been more of a contrast, with the Academy Award-winning Jolie bringing with her the attention of the world's paparazzi.

"Angelina is a terrific talent and really a very fine actress, but she's been on the cover of so many magazines in recent years that sometimes people tend to overlook that," Eastwood says.

Gran Torino opens on Thursday. The Changeling opens on February 5.
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Dan Dassow
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« Reply #141 on: January 17, 2009, 09:05:18 AM »

I missed the Alan Kalter celebrity interview. :'(

But I did read it above, and that is rather strange. ;D

The Alan Kalter Celebrity Interview tends to follows this template:

  • Dave introduces the segment with the song “Hooray for Hollywood”.
  • Alan introduces the guest.
  • Alan complains that Dave stole his guest that he worked weeks to arrange, and insults Dave with language that is bleeped.
  • Alan storms off in a rage.
  • The guest stands by looking bewildered.

Since this is a regular segment the guest must know ahead of time what will in general transpire, and must have a good sense of humor for this to work.
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« Reply #142 on: January 17, 2009, 09:34:05 AM »

That Australian interview is great. I liked this part:

Quote
The process of filmmaking has changed enormously, of course, and as he approaches his 80th year Eastwood has been studying digital technology.

"I always figured that some day it would take over from film, much as it has in (stills) cameras," he says.

"Every film I do, we kind of test the latest cameras that are out but I've never found one yet that has got quite the same feeling of film that I'm used to."
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« Reply #143 on: January 18, 2009, 08:25:13 PM »

The Scotsman link

Interview: Clint Eastwood

Published Date: 17 January 2009
By Bruce Headlam
BEING INTRODUCED TO CLINT Eastwood is something like seeing a California redwood for the first time. The difference is that this redwood, even at the age of 78, reaches out to shake your hand with a firmness that intimidates no matter how much time you spent preparing your grip (for the record: three days).

Quote
He arrives for the interview at the Mission Ranch restaurant as if he owns the place, and it doesn't make any difference that, in this case, he does. He had his first legal drink in the bar while he was stationed at the nearby army base in the late 1940s. In 1986, he bought the property and rebuilt it to his taste, with a piano bar, heart-stopping views of the ocean spray on Point Lobos, and plenty of meat on the menu. Despite what you might have read on Wikipedia, Eastwood is not a vegan, and he looks slightly aghast when told exactly what a vegan is. "I never look at the internet for just that reason," he says.

It's been 20 years since Eastwood was mayor of Carmel, but clearly he's still the king around here. Unlike the taciturn characters he plays on screen, he's voluble, chatting and laughing with his staff with a sharpness and enthusiasm that make him seem far younger than his age. After showing me around the property, he insists I come back that evening for a steak dinner. "We've got good chow," he says. You try telling him you've made other plans.

Eastwood is on familiar ground in another way. It's coming up on the Oscars, and he has two films in contention, Changeling, with Angelina Jolie, and his newest, Gran Torino, which he finished shooting only last summer and which opened in the United States last month.

In Gran Torino, he plays Walt Kowalski, a Korean War veteran, retired Ford line-worker and full-time bigot who stews on his porch in Detroit watching his block being taken over by Hmong immigrants from South-east Asia. When a gang pressures a teenager living next door (played by Bee Vang) into trying to steal Walt's vintage Gran Torino, the ageing veteran gets pulled reluctantly, then violently, into the lives of his neighbours.

Eastwood has already won the best actor prize for Gran Torino from the National Board of Review, and the Oscar talk – he has never won as an actor – is running high. He claims not to care deeply about awards. When asked whom he makes films for, Eastwood says, "You're looking at him." Calculated or not – those films do have a habit of appearing (sometimes unexpectedly) in prime Oscar campaigning season – that stance seems to charm the voters some 300 miles to the south in Los Angeles, who have rewarded his movies richly in the past 15 years, including two best-picture awards. Eastwood has become the George Washington of the awards season: if called, he will serve. But he seems not to believe in term limits.

Gran Torino is the 29th full-length movie Eastwood has directed – more than Scorsese, more even than Spielberg – so perhaps it's an accident of memory that his name first conjures up the impression of the squinty guy on a horse. In the mid-1980s he started changing minds by pushing the boundaries of his cowboys-and-cops image with films like Honkytonk Man and Tightrope, but he says about his reputation: "If that's how people want to pigeonhole me, that's fine."

If anything, his directing pace has picked up in the past five years.

The script for Gran Torino had been kicking around Hollywood for a while before Eastwood read it. The writer, Nick Schenk, who worked in a Ford plant years ago, based the character of Walt on the men he met there, many of them Korean War veterans. "I'd talk a lot to these guys, and they'd tell me stuff they would not tell their wife and kids," Schenk says.

Some directors are known as an actor's best friend. Eastwood may be the writer's. "He didn't change a word," Schenk says. "That never happens."

Eastwood says he learned his lesson after making extensive revisions on the script for Unforgiven, then phoning the writer, David Peoples, to announce he was returning to the first draft. "I'm emasculating this thing," he explained.

There was one major disappointment for Schenk: the setting of Gran Torino was shifted from Minneapolis to Detroit, the original home of Ford, and, not coincidentally, the home of 42 per cent tax credits for films made there. (That helped make it easy for Warner Brothers to sign off on bankrolling the movie, something that hasn't always been a given in the studio's relationship with the director.)

Eastwood bought the script last February, then shot the movie over the summer at a guerrilla film-maker's pace, finishing in 32 days. The fast clip, Eastwood says, helped him with the Hmong members of the cast, most of whom had never acted and many of whom didn't speak English. "I'd give them little pointers along the way," he says. "And I move along at a rate that doesn't give them too much of a chance to think."

It also doesn't give Eastwood too much time to worry about Hollywood. After shooting, he returned to Carmel, where he lives with his wife, Dina Ruiz, and manages his investments, including an ownership stake in the Pebble Beach golf course company. He worked with his two film editors in an 1862 farmhouse on the Mission property for a week or so. Between sessions, he sat at the piano and picked out a score: he has written music, including full scores, for many of his films. He even sings one of his own melodies over the film's final credits, his voice burned down to a whisper. Eastwood himself refuses to call it singing because that conjures up memories of Paint Your Wagon, the misbegotten 1969 musical. "I vowed I'd never do that again," he says.

Like Million Dollar Baby and Mystic River before it, Gran Torino is a modern story that feels anachronistic. Walt's neighbourhood is every bit as bounded and knowable as the town of Lago in High Plains Drifter, and the confrontations with the Hmong gang members build methodically, as if in a town square. But when the film threatens to descend into a vigilante picture Gran Torino takes some unexpected turns.

Before filming there had begun, internet gossip suggested that Eastwood was making another Dirty Harry sequel. What Gran Torino does share with the Dirty Harry movies is the sheer force of its incorrectness. Walt, who stokes his resentment with cigarettes, beef jerky and Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, expresses his disgust for the Hmong and just about every other racial group in a steady stream of obscenities. Robert Lorenz, Eastwood's frequent producing partner, says that what he appreciated about Schenk's dialogue was that "he didn't hold back".

"It was left really raw," he says. "It sounded like those people you know, or your uncle saying something really bad at a wedding."

Brian Grazer, a producer of Changeling, sees this kind of directness as a strength. "What most interested me about Clint Eastwood as a director is the honesty and intensity he injects into the movies that he directs," he says. "He is so confident as a director that he will allow the occasional ugliness of life to live inside the scenes of his movies."

For Eastwood, the raw language is central to Walt's story. "If he comes in and just befriends these people and doesn't have any hurdles – any personal hurdles – to overcome that doesn't make for a very interesting character," he says. But Eastwood, who last spring had a verbal run-in with Spike Lee, after Lee complained of a lack of black soldiers in Eastwood's film Flags of Our Fathers, also confesses to some sympathy for Walt's choice of words in a way that's guaranteed to irk the Hollywood types who have finally embraced him despite his libertarian politics.

"A lot of people are bored of all the political correctness," he says. "You're showing a guy from a different generation. Show the way he talks. The country has come a long way in race relations, but the pendulum swings so far back. Everyone wants to be so ..." – here he pauses and narrows his eyes – " ... sensitive."

What we admire about heroes (and villains) like the ones Eastwood used to play isn't their sensitivity, it's their single-mindedness: they say what they're going to do, then do it. Whether in Spain or in San Francisco, Eastwood's heroes were never given the "kill one to save a thousand" liberal trapdoor of other Hollywood films. The violence of the Dirty Harry movies seems almost quaint now, but what Harry says – "Ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky?" – still has the power to shock.

But if Eastwood shoulders some blame for every Rambo and Die Hard that followed, he should be given credit for looking at a more complicated transaction in the films he directs, one where people's actions are at odds with their beliefs. What helps sell the contradiction in Gran Torino is Eastwood's own physical presence. More so than any other leading man, he has been willing to play his real age. At 78, he is perhaps thinner than he once was, but in that sinewy way that reveals strength as much as diminishes it. After Walt beats up one gang member – hey, he's still Clint Eastwood – the next scene shows him out of breath, struggling to open his front door.

To Eastwood, being able to play 78 is just one of the benefits of a long career. "It's ridiculous when you won't play your own age," he says. "You know when you're young and you see a play in high school, and the guys all have grey in their hair and they're trying to be old men and they have no idea what that's like? It's just that stupid the other way around."

The other benefit is that, even after a great career in the movies, you can fashion another. "After The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, I'd walk down the street and everybody would whistle out" – here he sings the movie's famous theme. "Then it became 'Do I feel lucky?' and 'Make my day.' But it's progressed along. Whether it's taken this turn on purpose, I can't say."

Walt Kowalski has a catchphrase too in Gran Torino. "This is what I do," he tells the Hmong teenager before the film's final act. "I finish things." So does Eastwood, just not in the way anybody would have expected.

And he may not be done. There were reports – again on the internet – that this would be his last role, but now Eastwood says it is not necessarily true.

"Somebody asked what I'd do next, and I said that I didn't know how many roles there are for 78-year-old guys," he says. "There's nothing wrong with coming in to play the butler. But unless there's a hurdle to get over, I'd rather just stay behind the camera."

• Gran Torino (15) is released on 20 February.
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« Reply #144 on: January 18, 2009, 08:29:47 PM »

Times-Standard link

Clint Eastwood is one bad mother...shut your mouth
Chris Durant The Times-Standard Zack Newkirk For the Times-Standard
Posted: 01/15/2009 01:59:13 PM PST

Quote
Gran Torino: A glimpse at my later years minus the war vet and racial slur parts.

Durant: This movie has already won an Oscar in my book. Not for Clint Eastwood's performance, which was very good and may also win, nor for the screenplay, which was very good and may also win, nor for the movie as a whole, which was very good and may also win.

I am basing my Oscar call on product placement alone. This movie has the most shots, and even an audio reference, to Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. It's everywhere and I couldn't concentrate on the movie.

A long time ago, when it was $5 a 12-pack, I wrote a story called “Pabst in the Movies” for Short Bus Magazine where I referenced the glimpses of the beer in movies like “M*A*S*H” and “X-Men.” I was even compiling stuff in my “who am I fooling, I'll never get to it” file for a coffee table book on the subject.

You don't have to look very hard to find PBR in this one.

What I don't get is how Walt Kowalski (Eastwood) can drink as many as he does in the movie and still be skinny. There's a few shots in the film where there's a good 10 or so empties next to him and A) he's not completely soused and B) he's still skinny.

I don't get it, maybe I should just go on the birthday cake, beef jerky, Pibber diet and maybe I'll start trimming up.

All Pabst aside, this was probably the movie I looked forward to most since “Iron Man” and I wasn't disappointed.  ...
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« Reply #145 on: January 18, 2009, 08:34:18 PM »

Sunday Duncan Herald link

Sunday, January 18, 2009
Making films for self 
New York Times News Service 
 
Quote
Some directors are known as an actors best friend. Eastwood may be the writers, discovers Bruce Headlam

Even at the age of 78, Clint Eastwood reaches out to shake your hand with a firmness that still intimidates no matter how much time you spent preparing your grip (for the record: three days).

He arrived for the interview at the Mission Ranch restaurant here as if he owned the place, and it didn’t make any difference that, in this case, he does. He had his first legal drink in the bar while he was stationed at the nearby Army base in the late 1940s. In 1986 he bought the property and rebuilt it to his taste, with a piano bar, heart-stopping views of the ocean spray on Point Lobos and plenty of meat on the menu.

It’s been 20 years since Eastwood was mayor of Carmel, but clearly he’s still the king around here. Unlike the taciturn characters he plays on screen, he’s voluble, chatting and laughing with his staff with a sharpness and enthusiasm that make him seen far younger than his age.
 
Eastwood’s on familiar ground in another way. It’s coming up on the Oscars, and he has two films in contention, Changeling, with Angelina Jolie, and his newest, Gran Torino, which he finished shooting only this summer and which opens from January through March around the world. ...
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« Reply #146 on: January 18, 2009, 08:36:12 PM »

The Scotsman link

Interview: Clint Eastwood

Published Date: 17 January 2009
By Bruce Headlam
BEING INTRODUCED TO CLINT Eastwood is something like seeing a California redwood for the first time. The difference is that this redwood, even at the age of 78, reaches out to shake your hand with a firmness that intimidates no matter how much time you spent preparing your grip (for the record: three days).

Now, why would The Scotsman reprint that interview without mentioning the original source? ???

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/14/movies/14head.html

http://www.clinteastwood.org/forums/index.php?topic=7550.msg130231#msg130231 (page 3 of this thread).

EDIT: At least the Deccan Herald (see the post immediately above) gives the source as the "New York Times News Service."
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« Reply #147 on: January 19, 2009, 11:34:02 AM »

From Screen Daily:

Quote
Gran Torino slipped a mere 23% in its second wide weekend on $22.2m for $73.2m and is well on its way to becoming Clint Eastwood's biggest domestic release.

http://www.screendaily.com/ScreenDailyArticle.aspx?intStoryID=42739
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« Reply #148 on: January 20, 2009, 07:32:25 AM »

Badger Herald link

Clint Eastwood delivers another captivating film
by Jason Smathers
Sunday, January 18, 2009

Quote
Clint Eastwood isn’t really a curmudgeon, but he (lately) plays one in the movies. Whether het’s a reluctant relic of the Wild West or a grizzled boxing trainer with skeletons in his closet, overtime Eastwood has remolded the “Dirty Harry” archetype into a noble toughness that oftentimes betrays an underlying sensitivity. Bill Munny had it, Frank Dunn had it and in “Gran Torino” — which Eastwood also directed — Walt Kowalski has it. ...

“Gran Torino” has its flaws and certainly isn’t a masterpiece. But, strangely enough, it’s one of the more emotionally affecting and well-crafted films of the year. And all of it rests on Eastwood’s shoulders — as he delivers a perfect performance on-screen and behind the camera. ...

But it’s Eastwood’s directorial decisions that keep the film from stagnating or proselytizing. Eastwood reveals enough of Kowalski’s past to explain his persona but never leaves him on the porch to muse on his life. The movie pivots from character development to conflict to reaction to action and follows a perfect story arc.

And that’s the beauty of “Gran Torino” — Eastwood is doing nothing more than telling a very compelling short story about living in a time that doesn’t have a place for you and still finding a reason to live. And while some may find the rather shallow philosophical depths a bit problematic, this film isn’t meant to solve existential problems — just to feel comfortable in it’s own narrative skin. And moviegoers looking for a good time will find a curmudgeon makes for a pretty good story.

3 1/2 stars out of 5.
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« Reply #149 on: January 20, 2009, 07:34:53 PM »

Philadelphia BerksMontNew.com link

Posted on Tue, Jan 20, 2009  Zoom +  |  Zoom - 
'Gran Torino' is one of Eastwood's best 

Quote
Clint Eastwood has always been a staple in cinema since "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly."For however long it has been, Eastwood has remained a respected actor, picking high profile and high brow films to star in or direct.

Unfortunately for me, I was one of the few people who did not enjoy "Letters from Iwo Jima" and "Flags of our Fathers" as much as other people did.

Not to say they were bad movies, but they were almost too effective in making me, the viewer, feel the discomforts and tragedies of war.

I preferred "Iwo Jima" over "Fathers," but neither of them stood chance against "Unforgiven" and "Mystic River."

So I was a little apprehensive when it came to paying $8.50 to go see Eastwood's new "Gran Torino."

I had already missed my chance to go see "Changeling" written by one of my favorite writers J. Michael Straczynski.

That being said, the trailer for "Torino" looked a lot more intriguing than any solemn story Eastwood had released in the last nine years (discounting Mystic River").

Last Sunday I actually went to see the movie, and I have to say, it was one of the most enjoyable films I have seen in the last six months.

Whether or not this is his swansong, Eastwood delivers his lines better than anyone, young or old, with such ferocity, that I felt intimidated seeing him on screen.

He's that good.

The rest of the film is sprinkled with trace amounts of actual actors and actresses, Eastwood choosing instead to cast authentic Hmong people from areas in Michigan, Minnesota and California.

The novice Hmong make the characters somewhat odd to watch, as if their old school traditions make them all the more unfamiliar to Eastwood's retired Korean War survivor.

At the same time, playing brother and sister, the two that shine the most among the asian cast members are Bee Vang and Ahney Her.

Together, they represent the most traditional Hmong family that moves in next door to Eastwood's grizzled and slightly racist Walt Kowalski.

What follows can only be described as a near comedy, with Walt calling his neighbors every offensive name he can think of to get them to leave him alone in the first half of the movie.

It soon becomes apparent that Walt isn't a racist, but merely wants to be left alone, and thinks he can accomplish that by insulting his two sons' families, his neighbors and his persistent priest.

What follows is a deep story of bonding between two generations and the knowing what matters most.

On set, Eastwood encouraged the Hmong cast to adlib as much as possible onscreen and it shows how thorough Eastwood is as a director.

Whether or not he channels his glory days as Dirty Harry or The Man With No Name is unsure, but in some ways the character remains the same. He is a man that knows what is right, cherishes what is good and attracts the right kind of people.

As for the rest of the story, which I will not explicitly detail here, the progression of danger is always underlying as Walt and Bee Vang's Thao Lor develop their friendship. It keeps the audience uneasy and commits to a better climax.

It's really hard to say which I like more, Eastwood's directing or acting in "Torino," but to be optimistic, I have to say it was the better movie I saw in December, beating out "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" by a long shot and was a superior film than "Milk" in the way the story was treated.

At age 79, it's nice to see Eastwood retire from acting, if this actually is his last acting role, in such a heartfelt and ode to the kind of tough hero character Eastwood was known to play.

Matthew Reichl likes to think he knows film. It's hard to say whether he does or doesn't. Make suggestions through e-mail at mreichl@berksmontnews.com.
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« Reply #150 on: January 24, 2009, 02:14:41 PM »

I haven't been reading the reviews or anything about this film until I see it for myself.

This review is in one of the Sunday papers down here, so if it's just a copy of one thats already been posted, I apologise.

Dirty Harry Cleans Up His Act
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« Reply #151 on: January 24, 2009, 02:47:37 PM »

 :)  " Clint Eastwood in 'Gran Torino' is last man standing "

        http://www.cleveland.com/movies/index.ssf/2009/01/clint_eastwood_in_gran_torino.html

       
Quote
A street full of 1950s roadsters. James Bond in an Aston Martin. Superfly in a Cadillac.

The car is shorthand for many things in Hollywood -- time, place, power.

In "Gran Torino," it's a symbol representing a man out of time, out of place and absolutely powerless.



This isn't the cool set of wheels we're familiar with, thanks to "Starsky and Hutch." Clint Eastwood doesn't even drive it in the movie.

The 1972 Ford just sits in his garage, like a ghost, a reminder of a time when he was connected to an America that has passed him by. He lives in a working-class neighborhood that has experienced a crumbling economy and white flight and is plagued by gang-bangers.

Though the film is set in Michigan, it just as well could've been in Lorain -- where the Torino was built in a now-closed Ford assembly plant. It rolled out more than 800,000 Torinos, which followed in the tracks of the Ford Fairlane.

Like the neighborhood in Eastwood's film, Lorain went from a prosperous auto hub to a broken-down town when "Made in America" became an anachronism.

"When I saw 'Gran Torino,' it reminded me of a time when America was prosperous," says Paul Simpson, who worked on the assembly line in Lorain's Ford plant from 1968 to 2005. "The car says it right away: Every other car in the movie is brand new, except for that Gran Torino."

Simpson, who installed seats on the line, remembers the Torino as "the car most average Americans bought."

"It was sporty, but you'd see so many on the road," he says. "But that's what made it special."

'Special' because it was affordable, when America had a thriving working class.

"That Ford plant and the cars that rolled out of it represented the health of America," says Simpson, 62, who retired in 2007 after suffering from aneurysms. "Even if you lost that job, you could just get another one, in a steel mill or shipyard."

In "Gran Torino," it's despair aplenty. Eastwood transplants the outsider role he played in Westerns.

He spits like he did in "The Outlaw Josey Wales." Except this time around, it's at his Asian neighbors.

Or, well, anyone else who isn't white. Or didn't serve with him in Korea. Or didn't work in the plant. Or doesn't keep their yard neat.

Eastwood even finds his 27-year-old boyish priest annoying. Too green.

Like Josey Wales, he's a man on his own, with a dog.

Instead of a horse, he has his Gran Torino. Except he never rides it in the movie; the car is a reminder of past glory, and driving it might tarnish it.

It's a premise some would see as racist -- glorying a "White America."

But there's more to it than that, Simpson says.

"Once the jobs dried up, a lot of people moved out of the neighborhoods, and they just fell apart," he says. "Clint stays because he still loves his home and hasn't given up."

The last angry man standing befriends a downtrodden family living in an urban frontier not that different from the misfits he once rode with in the Wild West.

"Deep down, he wants to help people help themselves," he says.
   
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« Reply #152 on: January 24, 2009, 02:55:13 PM »

Thanks, Higashimori. That one is "by John Petkovic/Plain Dealer Reporter." :)
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« Reply #153 on: January 26, 2009, 12:52:12 AM »

Gran Torino continues to do well at the box office, coming in third this past weekend. Total gross to date: $97,576,000.

http://www.boxofficemojo.com/weekend/chart/?yr=2009&wknd=04&p=.htm
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Dan Dassow
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« Reply #154 on: January 26, 2009, 04:59:10 AM »

The Joplin Globe link

Classic Gran Torino rolled in Cassville ahead of Eastwood
By Dustin Shipman
dshipman@joplinglobe.com

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CASSVILLE, Mo. — From humble beginnings to the silver screen, the latest car to join the ranks of Hollywood automotive icons shares a part of its past with the Four-States Area.

Jim Craig, a Cassville businessman, has a special connection to the latest Clint Eastwood film, “Gran Torino.”

He is the one who restored and eventually sold the film’s title character, a metallic-green, 1972 Ford Gran Torino owned by Eastwood’s character.

Craig said in an interview last week that he came across the car through a former employee who found the vehicle and thought it had potential for a restoration project. ...

Craig said he kept the car for a few years until he found another classic car to restore. He put the Gran Torino on eBay, where it was bought within a week by a company in Vernal, Utah, called Salt City Classic and Muscle.

Hugh Dean, a mechanic at Salt City Classic and Muscle, said he remembered the Gran Torino clearly.
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« Reply #155 on: January 26, 2009, 05:04:38 AM »

Hometown Weekly link

Local teacher proud of his small role in 'Gran Torino'
By TONY BRUSCATO • OBSERVER Staff Writer • January 25, 2009

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David Fedewa, a physical education teacher at Dodson and Tonda elementary schools, wasn't nominated for an Oscar this week for his part in Gran Torino.

But, then again, neither was the star of the movie, Clint Eastwood.

"No Oscar nominations, I couldn't believe that," said Fedewa, 39, who spent three days this summer on the set for his "extra" role in the movie. "You can clearly see me in several scenes. They had me listed as a pallbearer and I thought I was going to get a lot of time on screen. But, they cut that part out." ...

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iconfan
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« Reply #156 on: January 26, 2009, 09:42:28 AM »

Sometime this week Gran Torino will not only hit 100 million but it should pass Eastwood's "In The Line Of Fire" as his most successful film (moneywise)

This should include all accounting of the "adjustments for inflation" of all past films some sites tend to use

Gran Torino can be considered (arguably) one of Eastwood's most popular films out of his whole career (espcially seeing as how much of a typical film's popularity during it's initial run depends on word of mouth from the people who rushed out to see it the first few weeks telling everyone else they know who tend to hang back to see if a film is any good before seeing it. I also consider the competition that the film is up currently against (The much longer and award winning The Curious Case of Benjamin Button for one) and the wintery weather in much of the eastern portions of the country as well as the fact that the DVD will be out by summer (in addition to the thousands of fans who were satisfied seeing the film on the quite popular (and illegal) burned versions that they can watch in the comfort of their own home
Despite ALL of that....(and the downbeat ending) Torino managed to hit 100 million in a pretty short amount of time (and I am including the amazing run it had in the limited theater run in December). Surely a testimant to Eastwood's directing ability and the screenplay that beat all odds considering the subject matter.
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« Reply #157 on: January 26, 2009, 04:10:31 PM »

Yeeees!!  I've been keeping up with it's take and I'm thrilled.  I wonder how much higher it will go.  You mentioned that it made it's money in such a short time; I didn't know what the average time was.  Sometimes popular movies don't stay over 3 or 4 weeks in my town.  I wonder how long it will remain in theaters.
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« Reply #158 on: January 26, 2009, 04:43:51 PM »

I'm no expert but it's still making a million a day so I bet it will be around at least until Oscar night
(which is a shame since they didn't see fit to nominate it for much--seeing as how it has such an underlying message about tolerance and the "Unforgiven"s message of nonviolence)

It will more than likely hit second run theaters by late February and be gone by Spring
My guess is it will quietly be a DVD sometime in the summer (long after Eastwood completes filming The Human factor in Africa)

But again, I'm not an expert but I should think Warners is pretty happy about the millions being dropped off by the truckload out back after giving him (probably) 35 million to make the film

If anyone wants to follow Torino (or some other favortie film) here is a link
http://movies.yahoo.com/mv/boxoffice/daily/
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« Reply #159 on: January 27, 2009, 04:38:27 AM »

 :) "  No going back for Eastwood "
         
        http://www.odt.co.nz/entertainment/film/40839/no-going-back-eastwood?page=0%2C0
       
       
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In the afternoons, there's a hush and warm amber glow in Clint Eastwood's office, which, unlike other bungalows at the Warner Bros studio lot, has a rustic feel and furniture that manages to be just as practical as it is stylish.
All of that suits the 78-year-old Hollywood actor who started his career as John Wayne but seems to be finishing it as John Ford.

The newest addition to the office decor is a grim poster for Gran Torino, Eastwood's 66th feature as an actor and his 29th as a director; in the black-and-white photo, the movie star's face is clenched up in his famous scowl, a weapon that's been brought to bear on cinema street punks and sidewinders for decades.

Eastwood will be the first to say that, for Gran Torino, there's a bit of false advertising at work in that theatrical scowl and its message to long-time fans who might think the new movie is about "Dirty Harry" Callahan working a grand theft auto case.

"I think the movie will surprise some people, the nuance of it," Eastwood said as he sat back on a couch in his office.

"If it was just a kick-ass movie, well, I wouldn't want to do that. I've done those kinds of movies. These days, I would only do the movie if it had something to say.

"I didn't want it to be Dirty Harry at 78."
 
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Eastwood chuckled at the idea that the film is a primer on the white American lexicon of bigotry. "He could be from another world but he's a common guy for his generation," Eastwood said. "Everybody talked like that in the 1940s.

"I remember going to Oakland Tech and it was a high school but it also had a trade school connected to it. All the vets coming back from World War 2 were going there, so we were going to the same campus as guys who were 25, 26, 27 years old.

"They talked like that. They called each other Sam the Jew, Joe the Mick, Frank the Dago, whatever. Of course, you always said it with a smile on your face.

"If you said it without a smile on your face, well, then it meant something different."

Eastwood, as is his style, made the movie quickly, cheaply and with a disdain for the industry convention of shooting take after take. He shot in Detroit and used non-professional actors - many of whom did not speak English - to portray the Hmong community members.

Most days, he would tell his amateur players to run through a scene on set and he would secretly signal the camera crew to start rolling.

"I actually shot them before they knew it half the time and then I'd go back and piece it all together," he said with a grin.

"I had to keep my eye on the ball pretty well. You can't afford to sit and mess around. You got to be ready.

"If you don't want to lose something, you have to have the camera on. Non-professionals don't repeat things. They do things by accident that turn out great."
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"I liked the journey," he said. "Kowalski is haunted from his past. And all his friends are dying or dead. Everybody is dead.

"And that's the way it is when you're 78 years old. I like the fact that Kowalski learns something.

"I had to put him in that kind of extreme situation in order to take even one step on a journey toward tolerance of other people and other customs.

"He's thinking of these people as barbarians for cutting off the heads of chickens. That seems like a big deal to him. But he's cut off human heads or whatever."

Eastwood said one reason he took this role is, well, there aren't many other actors he could have turned to.

He said Gene Hackman would have been interesting but he's retired now.

 Maybe Robert Duvall.

But in the end, the director decided it was a worthy role and one that had a vague resemblance to his longtime role as Harry Callahan, the San Francisco cop who kept reloading for five films.

"Maybe he's got some of the same loneliness," Eastwood said. "Kowalski believes in the law in an old-fashioned way; he's not trying to right every wrong.

"He might have a little of Frankie Dunn in him, the character I played in Million Dollar Baby. Maybe a little bit of the guy I played in Heartbreak Ridge.

"But this guy is his own guy. That's why I wanted to play him. There's no sense in doing something I've done before at this point."

-Gran Torino opens in theatres on Thursday.

-Geoff Boucher









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