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Author Topic: Who saw GRAN TORINO? Members' Comments (NO SPOILERS, PLEASE)  (Read 18820 times)
KC
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« on: December 12, 2008, 03:25:36 PM »

With the film having opened in New York and L.A., it's time to start this thread, even though it will be a few weeks yet before many of us have a chance to see the film.

Anyway, this is the official thread for Eastwood Web board members to weigh in and let us know what you thought of Gran Torino, whenever you get to see it.

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 Gran Torino.

http://www.clinteastwood.org/forums/index.php?topic=7574.0
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Christopher
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« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2008, 03:48:27 PM »

With it having opened in New York, will you be seeing it soon, KC?
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KC
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« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2008, 06:30:02 PM »

I would have gone tonight, but I'm up in New Haven for a workshop. I'll be back in NYC tomorrow and I may get a chance to see it then. 8)
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right turn clyde
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« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2008, 01:11:02 AM »

I watched GT last night and it is a good, not great, addition to Clint's filmography. I won't give away any plot details, but the film is not what you would expect from watching the trailer. Clint  fits the role like a glove and the nearest comparison is Tom Highway. I must say though that the score is as good as the one Clint wrote for Changeling. I'll watch it a couple more times, but overall I would give it an 8/10.
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Glenny
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« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2008, 09:09:02 AM »

I was able to see a screener.
And man, oh, man was it awesome.

Clint can literally never die.
I think he's still fit for more action movies.  Although, I heard this is his final theatrical appearance.
Clint's absolutely terrific in Gran Torino!

He can still play a mean, ol' son of a b*$@h damn well.

KC, if you get a chance to see it, go.
You'll love it!  That goes for everyone else!  He's still young.
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« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2008, 01:24:35 PM »


I just finished seeing it!!!! Amazing!!!

I liked it a lot... I laughed a lot, like I haven't done in a long time while watching a movie. The dialogues are great.

I do agree with Glenny, Clint is terrific in Grand Torino, and from my point of view, it is one of his best interpretations.

Comments will be posted in the coming days, let me digest it.

 O0 O0 O0 O0 and a  ;) (which is half way to another thumb up)

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« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2008, 02:44:35 PM »

I was able to see a screener.

 :'(

I hate to be proved right on this one, but I did say:

Crazy leaving the UK release date so late, withit being awards season there will be loads of screeners available for download by the time it hits the screens here.  :(

Do I download a screener now, or wait three months to see this in the cinema???

Say what you like about the big blockbusters, but at least they get a simultaneous release.
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« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2008, 07:41:23 PM »

I can't tell you how excited I am for this movie!  If it opens near me on Christmas Day I will be there, you can be sure :D
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KC
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« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2008, 10:17:31 PM »

I saw the film tonight in one of the largest theaters in Manhattan's AMC Loews Lincoln Square, and it was almost full. The audience was appreciative, and there was scattered applause at the end.

I really liked the film, and if the screenwriter didn't have Clint in mind for Walt Kowalski, then I don't know who he could have been thinking of because the part is more tailor-made for him than any he's done since Frank Horrigan in In the Line of Fire. So if it's true what was recently reported on the Los Angeles Times site ...

Quote
[Screenwriter] Schenk managed to get the script to two younger producers, Jenette Kahn and Adam Richman, who optioned the story with their own money. Schenk says everyone they took the script to passed. They finally got the script to Gerber, a veteran producer and one-time Warner Bros. production chief who had worked on a number of Eastwood films. Gerber gave the script to Eastwood, who read it and simply said, "I'm doing it."

... I certainly understand it. I also think that if Clint is serious about retiring as an actor, he'll come out of that retirement in an instant if another script this suited for him comes along.

I won't say any more just now, but I may add some comments as I gather my thoughts in the coming days. Just one observation: Gran Torino has the most "Eastwoodian" final credits scene we've seen in some time: The credits appear over the film's final shot, a long shot of a highway that runs by the lakeshore, but there is never a freeze frame or a blackout; the camera keeps running all the way to the final frame.
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KC
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« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2008, 10:20:07 PM »

By the way, Clint's younger son Scott Reeves has a nicely handed small cameo. (Of course, his older son co-wrote the score, with Michael Stevens.)
« Last Edit: December 13, 2008, 10:21:27 PM by KC » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2008, 08:46:42 AM »

I am anxious to see it.  I'm glad to hear his character closely compares to Tom Highway; I like that side of Clint.  I heard there were some "tough guy" elements and some shooting.  Is that correct?
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« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2008, 11:15:48 AM »

Correct on both counts, herofan.
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« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2008, 07:19:19 AM »

Guys I'm in trouble.I brought the devil into my house.I couldn't stand it and downloaded the film during the weekend.Since  the disc was ready, I started feeling really nervous because I don't want to loose the feeling of seeing Clint-for the last time probably-on the big screen.Last night I couldn't sleep thinking of the "precious" and what to do,until the theatrical release here in Greece{a date not announced yet} and apart of the fact that I'll definitely see the film in a theatre no mater when.
Any suggestions?
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« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2008, 02:03:43 PM »

^^ I know what you're talking about. Believe me that feeling won't go away even if you decide to wait for the theatrical release. Watch it  :-X


I was able to see a screener.
Hehe me too! And having been disappointed by Changeling, I honestly couldn't wait until February 25 to see this one.

I liked it.

Looking at Changeling and Gran Torino -regardless of the fact that both films are two worlds apart, I enjoyed myself a lot more watching Gran Torino.

The fans won't be disappointed by the character of Walt, who has to be a distant cousin of Harry Callahan and Frankie Dunn.

Watch out for a pretty dark scene that reminded me of Million Dollar Baby when Frankie goes back home only to find out that his letters have been returned to him. He is confronted with a harsh reality: all actions have consequences. His are no exception. The expression on his face, coupled with the overall darkness of the scene make for an unforgettable scene.


PS: Oh and Scott is like a mini-Eastwood (physically speaking, at least). I didn't know he was in the film until I actually spotted him. I was like  :o :D
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« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2008, 02:31:42 PM »

Just saw it for the first time today and I thought it was excellent. Clint was great as I expected and everything that came out of his mouth was pure gold. I liked it more than Changeling mainly as this was more interesting and entertaining. I felt Clint's character was a mixture of Harry, Munny, Horrigan and Frankie which were all great characters themselves. Some of the things Walt said in the film were absolutely hilarious and reminded me a lot of Dirty Harry who has to be Walt's long lost twin brother. This has to be my favourite Eastwood film that he has directed and starred in since A Perfect World and Unforgiven.

9/10

           
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« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2008, 10:05:22 PM »

January 9 cannot  get here soon enough. The anticipation is killing me man.
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« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2008, 04:01:28 PM »

Great film, saw it last night at a preview screening and there was applause at the end. (The night before I caught 'Changeling' ... two new Eastwood films on back-to-back nights, talk about a memorable experience!)

Eastwood's performance is thoroughly entertaining and moving--it's hard to imagine any Clint fan not enjoying this one.

As an aside, I'd note that I was probably less enthused about this movie than most on this board after seeing the trailer, but when it came down to the final product I really enjoyed it ... and I'm delighted to have been proven wrong by the Clint.

I'll have more to say when I get a few extra minutes this weekend...
« Last Edit: December 19, 2008, 04:03:08 PM by MC » Logged
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« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2008, 02:23:09 PM »

More than any film Eastwood has done in a long time, Gran Torino is about America. It is human, it is real, it is raw, and it is honest. Walt Kowalski is a racist, but he is also shaped profoundly by his own experience. Shaped by his experiences in the war where Koreans were the enemy, representing a threat to not only his life, but everything he knew and held dear, and shaped by the degradation which he sees being caused by the minorities who have moved into his neighborhood, who wreak havoc with their guns and gangs. The guns and the gangs and the other Asians who live in the neighborhood  offend him on a very deep level, though his hatred is not entirely racial. He has a lower but still observable level of disgust for the white people, including members of his own family, who also do things to contribute to the neighborhood's precipitous decline. For his granddaughter who arrives at a funeral scantily clad, smokes in his garage, and has the unmitigated gall to suggest that when he dies he should give her his car and his couch. For his own children who won't speak to their own father for five minutes on the phone, feigning excuses of being too busy, and who suggest, despite any evidence that he is having difficulty taking care of himself, that he go to a retirement community so that he won't have to deal with him anymore and can indulge in his own selfishness with reckless abandon. Walt Kowalski is a man who sees his neighborhood slowly slipping away, though he feels too helpless to do much about it. The only fight he can wage, the only resistance he can muster, is to direct his anger outward. To turn his his terror, disgust, and utter helplessness which he feels, both towards himself for his own past actions, as well as towards the criminal gangs who are ravaging his community, towards people who have nothing to do with it. 

Gran Torino is a powerful film, and it says a lot about racism, and about this country. Although Walt is a racist, he has reasons for many of his prejudices, and a lot of them are valid. From his perspective, a neighborhood which used to be peaceful, populated by people who had common decency and good, traditional, constructive values, is being degraded. Many of the people who he sees as responsible for this degradation hail from a culture which he doesn't respect or understand, and which he has reason to believe, through his own experience, both in the war and 50 years later in his own neighborhood, are the problem. The people in the neighborhood, who he sees causing destruction, are Asian, the source being an almost entirely Asian gang.

It's a powerful social commentary because I think that's what happens in America. That's the genesis from which stereotype, prejudice, and racism breed. That's the home in which they live. Prejudice stems from stereotypical beliefs, but somehow, somewhere, deep down in our experience and our history, there is often a glimmer of truth in those stereotypes. They are often, though not always, born out of legitimate fears, concerns, or threats which are perceived, both accurately and inaccurately, to be a threat to everything we've always known and held dear. The way I see it, prejudice is when stereotypical beliefs are generalized, while racism is when any person of that ethnicity is not only stereotyped, but hated purely for being a part of that ethnicity. From Walt's perspective, minorities are causing trouble in his neighborhood, and that's as deep and as far and as probing as he needs or wants to go. 

Although we often fail to admit it, I think we all have prejudices. I certainly do. I've never used a racial or ethnic slur against anyone, but I sometimes have stereotypical views. They are always born out of experience and they often have legitimate concerns that give rise to them. What is refreshingly human about Eastwood's latest film is that it knows that. Most movies with these kinds of plots have a character who starts out an unrepentant racist, who 2 hours and $10 dollars later has a total transformation, becoming a character who evolves into a pinnacle of tolerance, who realizes the error of his ways, and casts all that he thought he knew and believed aside. It's false, it's hollow, it's insincere, and it's devoid of any kind of probing understanding of human behavior, relationships or how we all function in the world, but it makes for a good movie, or so some people say. The wonderful thing about this film is that Eastwood isn't that kind of man, and Walt is not that kind of character. Walt grows and changes, questions and matures, but there is no complete transformation. Walt starts and ends the movie much the same man. What he does is grow from an unrepentant racist to someone who can separate the family who lives next door from the degradation he sees outside. He still holds Asians and blacks, and even a few whites, responsible for the collapse that he sees, and to a great extent they are, but he's able to realize that Thao and Sue and the family who lives next door are not a part of that. That it's unfair, unjust, and wrong for them all to be grouped together. He still has his prejudice, he still has reasons to feel the way he does and they seem good to him, and to some extent, to me too. He still uses racial slurs and says a lot of things that are offensive and insensitive, but he's grown, he's changed, and he's different, but only up to a point. He's still very much human. He doesn't cast away his feelings. He doesn't become any less angry at the degradation he sees or feel any differently about who is responsible. He still has his prejudices, but I would argue he is no longer racist.

It is true what many of the reviewers say. Almost everything about this film is predictable. You know that Walt is going to start out a racist, and that he'll slowly but still perceptibly soften. You know that he will grow to love and to some extent respect the people in the neighborhood who he previously despised. You know that Thao is not like the others in the gang, and that he'll be attacked for being different and shunning the lifestyle that others are trying to force upon him, and you know that in the end, Walt's character will be involved in protecting the neighborhood from the gangs that have ravaged it. You know all these things, and yet you don't really care. It is a testament to Eastwood's performance and the script that you know most everything going in, and yet the film still not only works, but works well.

Eastwood's performance is a remarkable one. This is a difficult role. Eastwood has to move seamlessly from action to comedy, to drama, and back again, with a character who is often insensitive, offensive, and unabashedly racist. Given this task, it is even more remarkable that I liked Walt Kowalski from the first second of film. Although Eastwood does at times go a bit too far into self-parody and many of his lines are over the top and could have been toned down, if any other actor played this part, he would be laughed off the screen, yet Eastwood makes it all work.   

Thematically, if Eastwood is indeed giving up his role as an actor, and after seeing this film, I think he likely will, he could not have chosen a better character to go out on. Even though the film is very predictable, in those final moments, when it counts, it really hits you hard. You think the story is predictable. You think you know exactly what Walt is going to do. You see him doing what he's doing, and you have it all figured out. You think you've seen this story before, and that all you have to do is wait for it to happen, and, if you're me, you're completely and totally wrong. The conclusion of this film is, for me, what really elevates it above what it otherwise would have been. It's tough and it's real and it's honest, and it's difficult to watch, but it's a perfect coda to Eastwood's career. It says a lot about him, both about the characters he's played and the films he's been in, and it makes this movie more like Unforgiven than any he's done since. I enjoyed it more than most of his recent films.     
« Last Edit: December 20, 2008, 02:45:39 PM by AKA23 » Logged
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« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2008, 06:33:06 AM »

January 9 cannot  get here soon enough. The anticipation is killing me man.
:) Patience, patience Richard !  The pleasure increases remarkably by waiting patiently !  I wait quietly .....Be Zen !         .......but  ........  :(
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« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2008, 09:38:36 PM »

So you feel your a Dirty Harry - FAN - Me I've been hooked since I was 7 yrs old when my dad made me sit down and be quite as he watched the westerns - Today @ 43 - I try and pass on my love for the Eastwood journey -

Today - I just caught a viewing of GRAN TORINO - If you're looking for a Dirty Harry rewind - You're not getting it here - Today Mr. Eastwood passes on a message regarding differences between yesterday and today's generations.

We have a deep seeded old man - whom learns to set aside the past and befriends a young man
Today's Eastwood - Is providing messages and a theme within his recent productions -

So - Take a moment to lean back in your seat and enjoy - The ending will surprise you !!!

NO this isn't the old Dirty Harry - However - It good to see Clint kick a little butt on a mental level
Mr. Eastwood - Good work - However - Sir - Please Please -
We would enjoy one more - Kick someones ass - To end your journey -

 
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