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


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Messages - eustressor

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1
General Discussion / Re:MYSTIC WILL BE LUCKY TO WIN ANYTHING
« on: December 19, 2003, 12:42:11 PM »
Dead on, Gant :)  If there's a sense that political views are hurting any actor or film's chances this year, I have yet to notice it in any of the "oscarbuzz" articles I've been reading.

The talk turns to the Oscars and poor old Kevin Bacon gets overlooked again *sigh*.

Yeah, I hate to see him left out of the loop myself. Here's a little snippet regarding this year's Best Supporting Actor race from the AP via MSNBC.com:

Quote
Two lost souls might lead the way. Tim Robbins gives a career performance as a man emotionally shackled by childhood trauma in “Mystic River.”

Benicio Del Toro, a Best Supporting Actor winner for “Traffic,” adds another tremendous role in “21 Grams,” playing an ex-con whose stab at going straight collapses in tragedy.

Other possibilities: Last year’s winner, Chris Cooper, for “Seabiscuit”; Albert Finney, “Big Fish”; Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen and Sean Astin, “Return of the King”; Ken Watanabe, “The Last Samurai”; Kevin Bacon, “Mystic River”; Djimon Hounsou, “In America”; Paul Bettany, “Master and Commander”; Alec Baldwin, “The Cooler”; Bill Nighy, “Love Actually”; and Philip Seymour Hoffman, “Cold Mountain.”

(emphasis added)

Read the full article about David Germain's Oscar round-up here. Mystic River is mentioned several times :)

2
Trivia Games / Re:Degrees of Separation
« on: December 19, 2003, 11:01:24 AM »
How about:



Peter Sellers?

3
Trivia Games / Re:Degrees of Separation
« on: December 19, 2003, 10:49:48 AM »
Tim Pigott-Smith was in 1981's Victory with Clive Merrison, who appeared one year later in Firefox :)

Back with a new one shortly...

4
Web Site Announcements / Re:Get 'em while they're hot... Clint avatars!
« on: December 13, 2003, 12:45:56 AM »
Hi everyone :)  Here are some Honkytonk Man avatars I just made, fresh out of the henhouse...







Enjoy :)

5
Eastwood News / Re:Has Mystic River floated downstream?
« on: December 12, 2003, 07:33:50 PM »
It's not clear to me whether the previous films include the overseas gross in their total...

It's now clear. Thanks KC, I will amend my post with the World Box Office figures momentarily :)

6
Eastwood News / Re:Has Mystic River floated downstream?
« on: December 12, 2003, 04:38:22 PM »
Hey there, Perry :)  My guess is that most Hollywood studio execs would tell you that Jessica Alba is hot, and that's all there is to it :-\

I doubt anything Clint does these days is going to be as commercially thrust upon us standard Hollywood fare, such as Honey which you mentioned. The usual "you already LOVE this movie" pre-release overkill hype machine doesn't apply to a film like Mystic. But I think it's important to bear in mind that this is a pretty hefty comeback for Clint. Here are the numbers for the total gross of Clint's last four films:

Mystic River (as of Dec. 11th)
$52,128,948 domestic + $28,033,863 overseas = $80 million plus (and still counting. Source: boxofficemojo.com)

Blood Work
$26.2 million domestic + $6.2 million overseas = $32.4 million (Source: purely unsubstantiated hearsay ;) No, no, that's a joke. See about two posts down. Source is variety.com, and thank you, KC)

Space Cowboys
$90.5 million domestic + $38.4 million overseas = $128.8 million (Source: worldwideboxoffice.com)

True Crime
$16.6 million domestic + $ 11.9 million overseas = $28. 5 million (Source: worldwideboxoffice.com)

So Mystic River is clearly doing much better than Blood Work and True Crime did. And with it's larger budget (listed at $65 million for production + $28.5 million for marketing at boxofficemojo), even the commercially "successful" Space Cowboys appears to have failed to make money if we apply the "production cost + marketing cost x 2 = break even" formula.

So I guess the success of Mystic River depends on your vantage point. If it hasn't become profitable already, it should be soon; it's still out there, and the Oscar buzz hasn't even reached full swing yet... Maybe Clint will get a "return engagement" if Mystic is nominated for Best Picture (I think it will be) :)

Honey on the other hand... ;)

7
Trivia Games / Re:A New Dialogue Game
« on: December 12, 2003, 02:55:50 PM »
I hope I'm remembering this one right :D

Quote
(from Unforgiven) MUNNY: You better not cut up nor otherwise harm no whores!

8
General Discussion / Re:league of their own
« on: December 12, 2003, 08:49:06 AM »
Howdy ajay :) Yes! I'd even go so far as to say that he's more on a par with enduring legends like Stanley Kubrick and Alfred Hitchcock - acclaimed, highly visual storytellers who are unmatched in their ability to deliver a focused, powerful, and original vision through their craft.

I recognize that it can be somewhat difficult to divorce Clint's acting from his directing, since he simultaneously tackles both so well so often; but I think his work purely as a director has surpassed his considerable accomplishments as an actor.

However, it appears I'm somewhat in the minority here according to this recent poll :o  (Voting is still open ;))

9
Eastwood News / Re:Are you "Totally Obsessed" with Clint Eastwood?
« on: December 11, 2003, 10:39:26 PM »
Go get 'em, Misty :)  Don't forget to play the GBU theme for him on your guitar :D

10
Trivia Games / Re:Degrees of Separation
« on: December 10, 2003, 09:42:51 PM »
"Six Feet Under" fan?

Rachel Griffiths was in Children Of The Revolution with Judy "Absolute Power" Davis.

Hows about... wow, I didn't realize he was dead!

James Franciscus, R.I.P.  :(

11
Clint Eastwood Westerns / Re:Unforgiven (Doug's thread)
« on: December 09, 2003, 10:01:11 PM »
Great observations, vik - thanks for sharing :D

Quote
all those whippings and beatings very pagan - no god

Interesting point. I hadn't thought of that :)

Quote
i find little bill the most unredeemable - he is so busy building his house even his deputies are scared of him
and whoever comes into town he beats, whips or shoots
his time was bound to come and look who gets him in the end

He could be the most unredeemable - member little_bill once shared an observation with me that nailed the shortcomings of Little Bill's character beautifully, but I don't have it handy, and wouldn't want to quote him without asking first anyway.

However, he isn't brutal to everyone. He is quite hospitable to W. W. Beauchamp. He seems to be rather accommodating towards Skinny, and he sure looks after those cowboys out at the Bar T. Clyde isn't afraid of him, and shows a good deal of respect for him. Fatty doesn't strike me as being too awful scared of Little Bill, as long as he just doesn't get shot when it's cold ;)

Truth be told, he is a dangerous man. Hackman's just got that perfect, winning smile, and it's never been used to more disarming effect than in this film. I don't think I can easily put aside Little Bill's immense charm, despite it all.

And I bet he would buy the beer :D

12
General Discussion / Re:Movie suggestion poll
« on: December 09, 2003, 04:41:58 PM »
"It's the best ol' painkiller, since hurtin' began"

Have fun with your marathon, grandpa :D

13
Clint Eastwood Westerns / Re:Unforgiven (Doug's thread)
« on: December 09, 2003, 06:31:03 AM »
you lot waffle on ;D

Hahahaha, we certainly do. Thanks for bringing your Spencer rifle to the hifalutin Unforgiven fencing tournament, vik. I laughed out loud when I read that :D

Quote
you can't really bring god into it because there wasn't any kind of god in that town

That was actually my point as it pertains to the meaning of the movie's title, although I wish I could have summed it up half as well as you did. It's the most direct intepretation I can find for the reason why everyone is unforgiven - there's no forgiving presence in this story at all.

In contrast, I'm curious to know what you, robluvsnic, and anyone else thinks of the irony created by so many of these unforgiven characters - Skinny and Quick Mike being notable exceptions - possessing such redeeming qualities. I can't even count how many viewings it took before I actually started to see Little Bill as a "bad" guy. I still resist the notion. Taken in the context of that time and place (Little Bill was hardly in the minority, historically speaking, when it came to giving women's rights short shrift), he was simply trying to impose order the only way he knew how in the lawless west. His version of order maintained by harsh methods, but order nonetheless. Outside of this difficult task and any culturally-based shortcomings, he comes across as a genuinely nice guy to me. Someone you'd really enjoy talking to over a cold beer.

In the same vein, English Bob is positively charming, even when he's being arrogant and offensive. While I don't think he's a nice guy at all, he is not without his endearing qualities.

I realize that all of this ties into the generally acknowledged fact that there is no moral absolute in Unforgiven, but these endearing qualities contrast starkly against the grim observation that no one is truly forgiven with the more hopeful message that no one is truly beyond our sympathy, either. Sure, we all know that part of the film's enduring appeal is the "greying" of the lines separating the good guys from the bad, but I guess I'm still amazed at the courage Clint displays by so confidently revealing so many de facto bad guys as sympathetic characters; in Little Bill's and Davey's cases, quite sympathetic.

All the more shock and dismay when they are murdered on account of pulling that damning trigger.

14
General Discussion / Re:Clint's greatest strength as an entertainer
« on: December 06, 2003, 09:05:45 AM »
I lost my woman, and you lost your man
Who knows who's right and who's wrong?
But I've still got my guitar, and I've got a plan...


Will no one "throw their arms 'round this honkytonk man"? :o

15
General Discussion / Re:Clint's greatest strength as an entertainer
« on: December 05, 2003, 03:03:36 PM »
Yes ;)

Your call, your criteria. One or the other. Which is most important to you?

16
General Discussion / Clint's greatest strength as an entertainer
« on: December 05, 2003, 02:51:39 PM »
So who will win? On which side of the camera is Clint most at home, overall?

17
Clint Eastwood Westerns / Re:Unforgiven (Doug's thread)
« on: December 05, 2003, 12:10:16 AM »
Well, robluvsnic, your initial post about forgiveness coupled with KC's question as to just who was "unforgiven" in this movie led me to wonder why I hadn't really pondered this before. Who is "unforgiven" - who, specifically?

I think (this week, anyway) that I must have never regarded the movie's title as an adjective for any individual within the story, but rather as an adjective for the story itself. We're all unforgiven. Life is unforgiven. Humanity itself, beyond redemption. So this train of thought, rightly or wrongly, got me to thinking about what that meant. If everyone is unforgiven, who exactly is finding them all so unforgivable? Better yet, is it instead because there is no one outside of humanity with the power to forgive us?

I think perhaps the reason this movie chills on such a subliminal level is because it asks us to contemplate, for a few hours, a world without a god. At least, a world without a loving god. Now I'm not bringing this up to offend anyone's religious sensibilities; I'm just following a train of thought to the station it leads me to. It could be I'm way off base here. But it seems to me that references to god and a perhaps customary appearance of some sort of religious iconography is notably absent in Unforgiven. Maybe I'm forgetting something. I don't recall seeing any shots of a church in Big Whiskey. But they've sure got a whorehouse. Aside from Claudia's crude marker, no crosses. God is mentioned briefly in reference to Claudia ("God rest her" - I'll get to that in a moment) and in a few curses - interestingly.

A few stick out. The Schofield Kid tries to intimate that he is a "goddamned killer" himself - in comparison to Munny, who has been damned? Munny curses his horse, perhaps a reference to his younger days when he was given to dispensing damnation of his own almost casually. Little Bill refers to English Bob as being "hell and Jesus with a pistol". Hell, Jesus, and a pistol all in one sentence. All one and the same in this story? Or, here, do opposing poles of religious iconography cancel themselves out, leaving us with just the pistol? Just the pistol.

I don't know. It seemed like a tenous, tangential connection at best, until I considered all of those wide-open vista shots, the beautiful, unspoiled scenery which has been described elsewhere as the haunting beauty of Unforgiven. Well, why is it so haunting? Why isn't it just beautiful? It seems like most westerns traditionally offer some strong moral and/or religious element somewhere. This one does not.

And, as mentioned before, no character is redeemed. Not even Delilah, in my eyes. She didn't want any blood on her hands, and now has to live with the fact that several men were murdered on account of the bounty put up on her behalf. Similarly, the other prostitutes are not redeemed. Ned thinks better of killing Davey, and is beaten to death. The Kid leads us to believe that he's going straight, but all we really know is that he murdered Quick Mike and then got frightened by the implications. By the power of simply pulling a trigger. A very lone, human action. No one is forgiven, and, IN THE CONTEXT OF THIS ONE STORY, god is just... absent. It's just us. Just people, alone in a big, beautiful world, killing each other over sex, money and power.

However, visions of hell are NOT absent. Munny sees horrible visions of Eagle Hendershott and his wife, followed by the appearance of the Angel Of Death. And finally, Little Bill's exiting words, "I'll see you in Hell, William Munny". Is this the first time in the movie that either Heaven or Hell is mentioned as a destination in the afterlife? Remember, Claudia is referred to as watching over Munny's children in a very tangible sense. It never came across to me personally as watching from on high; more like tethered to this earth, this spot of ground where she left her family. Munny as much as says so when Delilah asks where his wife is. She is more ghost than angel.

I could go on, but I'm kind of meandering at this point ;)  Could be that there are some more religious references I'm forgetting or missing. But I do think this absence of a presence for divine forgiveness is less accidental than contemplative. Consider a world without a god to save us; not as any refutation or advancement of a religious view, but to make us forego the comforting answers and look at the hard, unanswered questions that remain in their wake. With only ourselves to damn us to hell, the beautiful landscape does begin to look haunting, and the underlying, bleak nature of this story becomes less shadow and more concrete.

When tied into Clint's stated concern with the morality of gunplay, it begs the question, "Who, then, will step in and save us from ourselves?" with a great, disturbing immediacy...

18
Clint Eastwood Westerns / Re:Unforgiven (Doug's thread)
« on: December 02, 2003, 05:43:40 PM »
Hello, robluvsnic. Thank you for sharing a very interesting read - twice over :) Both your previously written piece and the Tim Groves article were a pleasure to read.

I've never bought the "apology" argument, either. I loved this film from the first time I saw it because it was so... perfectly... executed. A kind of flawless crystallization of the director's inspired and well-considered interpretation of a brilliant story, preserved in a way that begs for a second, third, fourth viewing... it was then that I started to really drink in the varied symbology, nuance, and subtext. Not once during these many subsequent viewings did it ever occur to me that this might be an apology. I think critics, by their very nature, tend to bring a lot of their personal prejudices to their reviews.  All but the most careful can't seem to resist slipping in a bit of their own theories and speculation both in the lines and in between them. Apparently, a good number of critics feel that Clint should be apologizing with Unforgiven.

Why on earth would you apologize either for or with such a powerful, beautiful film? It's so finely crafted, to me it is clear that it serves no second master. I feel Unforgiven was meant to shine with a brilliance all its own, and has no room between the "crawls" for any ulterior motives.

Welcome aboard, rob!

BTW Christopher, I agree with you. I've never seen Clint's films to be any more violent than those of his contemporaries. Which revisionist films are they choosing to make their apology? ;)

19
Off-Topic Discussion / Re: THE ENDLESS, POINTLESS thread
« on: December 02, 2003, 11:30:57 AM »
Of course you can join in!

"Oh Jackie, one Grape Knee-High for our friend Amir. It's OK, he's driving" ;)

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Off-Topic Discussion / Re: THE ENDLESS, POINTLESS thread
« on: December 01, 2003, 10:27:29 PM »
Oh, thank you, and I hope you had a pleasant Thanksgiving yourself, William :)

The hurkle is, as has been said before, a happy beast. But not remotely related to turkeys.

Forget the beer. I'm moving on to White Russians. "You make a mean caucasian, Jackie".

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