Gran Torino | ★★★★★★★★

7/25/09: I finally got around to watching this one on DVD with my friends Scott and Dan. I thought that the message of the movie surpassed the man. Eastwood plays a strongly written wounded man who: has just lost his wife; is alienated from his sons and their families; and is at odds with his priest, neighbors and just about everyone else. His journey is such a sweet, albeit cantankerous, one as he walks through grief and begins to live again with the help of his neighbors. On a scale of 10 I give this movie ★★★★★★★★

1/10/09: I am definitely a Clint Eastwood fan and, generally speaking, like his work.. of course I have avoided some of it (like Mystic River) because of content. So I was interested in this Christianity Today review of his latest movie. Here are a few excerpts from it.
Gran Torino is a Clint Eastwood film in the strictest sense. Unlike his less successful (but no slouch) 2008 effort, Changeling, this is a film that feels utterly personal—a movie that might actually be as much about Clint Eastwood the man/myth/icon as it is about the fictional story he is telling. And if it is indeed his last acting performance on film, it is quite the note to go out on. Eastwood's performance is a blood-spitting, mournful tour-de-force. In the wrinkles, the stilted gait, the dubious eyes of Eastwood, there is so much life lived, so much baggage and regret. As in so many of his movies (especially recently), Eastwood plays a man at odds with himself, his own failures, weighed down by his belligerent refusal to be forgiven his sins.
Gran Torino is not a perfect film, and sometimes feels a tad overwritten and wordy (freshman screenwriter Nick Schenk's extreme, racially-charged language occasionally borders on parody), but it is a film that fits our current cultural milieu like a glove. I'd hesitate to say that the film is a metaphor for the death of the American auto industry, but it's certainly a metaphor for a changed America.
Gran Torino is about pressing on, living life with resolve, and making sure there is some continuity. As Walt discovers, we can lament change all we want, but ultimately what's gone is gone. What's important is what we leave behind—our successes, failures, and '72 Detroit-made muscle cars.
Not sure if I will catch it before it hits video.. I probably won't.. but it looks like an okay flick if you are looking for something serious and don't mind the darkness and language.


  1. Kansas Bob,
    Thanks for including this review from CT. I have also read a few other reviews from other blogs. I, too, want to see it. However, I added it to my Netflix Queue. I'm a bit tight to spend the money on theater tickets. Two others I also am looking forward to seeing are:
    The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

    Hope you have a great rest of your weekend!

    ~Amy :)

  2. Thank you for posting the review. I really like movies like this, and hopefully it will be one that I want to own. Hopefully it has a good message to it.

  3. Clint Eastwood used his outward crankiness to come across as tough and yet also heroic at the same time, well done i'd say

  4. I finally saw the movie and updated my comments in the blog post.

  5. I was expecting an urban warfare movie. I'm glad to say that it was nothing like that. It was excellent.

  6. My wife and I finally got around to watching our copy today (thank you, Netflix), and I was blown away. I have to disagree with the CT assessment of the language used; I don't think it bordered on parody at all - rather, I think it provided the impetus for some of the more humorous moments in the film as Eastwood develops a relationship with a family that became more important to him than his own.

    The mature Eastwood is more my speed, and I think "Unforgiven" is one of the finest westerns of any generation. This in my opinion far surpasses that, and is a great morality lesson on overcoming barriers of age and race to form genuine and lasting friendships. I'd have to rank it at 9 or 9.5 stars - outstanding.

  7. I agree Matt.. I might have been a bit stingy on the stars :)

    I have to say my favorite Western is still The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.. Eli Wallach steals the show.

  8. Sounds like a good movie. maybe I'll check it out.


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