Walt Kowalski, an iron-willed and inflexible Korean War veteran living in a changing world, is forced by his immigrant neighbors to confront his long-held prejudices.
Great movie, Eastwood has done it again. I can say this though, his voice is getting worse and its hard to take sometimes in the movie. He is a living icon that shows us he makes nothing but quality stuff every time he is in front or behind the camera. I have never met anyone who disliked this movie, ever!
If you liked Million Dollar Baby, you will like this one too. Must watch this one.
Let me just say that even if you thingk you're a tough person when sad things happen, you'll probably cry, or at least shed a few tears by the end of this movie. This movie is great because it's easy to follow, and, whether it seems like it or not, it's very realistic.
This movie is also amazing because Walt (The old man on the cover) at first hates the asian family that moves in next door, but eventually grows to really care for the troubled kids in the family. Plus, this movie is a very dramatic one.
I've never seen a movie quite like this. My favourite movie of all time for sure. I did crie at the end and I'm a guy!
In this late 2008 film, Clint Eastwood plays Walt Kowalski, who is a grumpy old man especially after loosing his wife. Not only that, he also has guns from being a Korean War veteran. I wouldn't mess with him! One day, a certain gang is fighting with neighbors on his lawn and things get ugly from there. Leading from one thing after another, one gang member even tries to steel his 1972 Gran Torino.
There is something just really awsome about a great, older actor saying the F-bomb throughout a movie. I love how Clint pulls out his shotguns and kicks and punches those jerk gang members in the face. His dialouge is great. "Get off my lawn!" Eastwood's performance is one of the best of the year as he brings back some elements from his classics.
There is a fairly big problem with this movie though and that is the supporting actors. They all seemed like they were only good enough for a certain school play. Infact, it turns out that this is the only movie that most of them have done so far in their careers. I don't have a problem with first timers, but I do have a problem with bad first timers. What were the casting directors thinking?
Yet, I'm still recommending this film. Eventhough some of the supporting actors are terrible at acting, Clint Eastwood's performance and the good story thorughly make up for that. It is rumored that this is his last time on screen. If it is, everybody should try to go see this movie, and Clint Eastwood has had one of the greatest careers in cinematic history.
Clint Eastwood has done a lot of films. Over 50 for sure. He has directed almost 30 of them as well. He has learned a lot over his years of film making, which explains why Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, and Changeling are so well-done. Now Eastwood acts and directs this film. His last time on-screen was in his film Million Dollar Baby. Supposedly, this may be the last time he is on screen. Well, if thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the case, he ended on a good note. He plays a war veteran named Walt Kowalski who has lived in the same neighborhood for years and has watched it change over the years. He is a stubborn man who is racist on every level and against all nationalities. Walt is old school and seems to fit the stereotypical elder by hating the youth of today and the way they dress and appear. He is stuck in his own ways and does not plan to change on how he views the world. However, plans can always change.
The story is about Walt and the immigrant family that moves in next door. He ends up protecting the immigrant family from a gang. He did not do it for them, but is still seen as a hero by them. It begins with Thao (young immigrant boy) practically being forced in to trying to steal WaltÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s precious Gran Torino in order to join his cousinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s gang. This circumstance connects the family and Walt. For better or worse. So, Thao works off his debt to Walt by doing any handy work that Walt wants. Through the process, Walt gets to know Thao and the rest of his family. He starts to understand how his family works and becomes closer to them than to his own family. Walt has to confront his prejudices head-on. And soon he is watching out for this immigrant family. Except this time itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s on purpose and for a damn good reason.
The story fits so well with the times we live in. Eastwood is perfect as Walt. Walt really is the older version of Dirty Harry. However, Walt becomes open about change and whether he likes it or not, the world is different. It is constantly changing. Eastwood has directed another great movie that has a great story that entertains and delivers a message. It is funny, touching, and contains a message of hope, forgiveness, and change. The film is about acceptance and always learning. No matter how old you are, we are always learning.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Gran TorinoÃ¢â‚¬Â is reportedly the last movie that Clint Eastwood will ever star in. It marks the end of a long, wildly successful acting career, but Eastwood will no doubt continue to direct films for years to come (he directed Ã¢â‚¬Å“Gran TorinoÃ¢â‚¬Â and also composed music for the film and sings a song over the credits). Eastwood began his career as an actor over 50 years ago, appearing in some forgettable science fiction movies before landing the memorable role of Rowdy Yates in the popular TV series, Ã¢â‚¬Å“RawhideÃ¢â‚¬Â and then appearing in a series of great Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns, the greatest of which was Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Good, The Bad and the Ugly,Ã¢â‚¬Â considered by many to be the greatest film of the Western genre.
His hard-bitten, taciturn character in Gran Torino, Walt Kowalski, is not altogether different than the characters he played in those old Italian Westerns or in his popular Ã¢â‚¬Å“Dirty HarryÃ¢â‚¬Â movies. Kowalski, a Korean War veteran, has a perpetual scowl on his face. He is unapologetically politically incorrect, calling his Vietnamese neighbors Ã¢â‚¬Å“gooksÃ¢â‚¬Â and Ã¢â‚¬Å“slopes.Ã¢â‚¬Â He has a whole store of ancient disparaging phrases for every sort of minority and ethnic type. The movie, of course reveals that he really has a heart of gold. Inside, he is an old softie. Outside, he may be old and sick, but he is still tough as nails. As he notes to a bunch of neighborhood toughs roughing up a girl who lives next door, he is one old guy you don't want to mess with.
When he catches his next door neighbor, Thao (Bee Vang), trying to steal his prized, mint 1972 Gran Torino car, he eventually becomes a mentor to the boy (after shooting at him at first). He eventually becomes the boy's protector from local gang members, along with his sister, Sue (Ahney Her), and their whole family. While the film is mostly grim (it opens and closes with funerals) it does have one of the funniest moments of any film of the year when Thao shows that he has learned Walt's lesson on how to Ã¢â‚¬Å“talk like a manÃ¢â‚¬Â during his job interview. Walt's hostility towards his next door neighbors gradually melts away under an avalanche of gifts from a grateful neighborhood. Tensions between Walt and the heavily-armed gang members continues to mount throughout the movie. It finally ends with a showdown, but there is a twist to the story. In addition to Walt's relationship with his neighbors, there is also a related story about his difficult relationship with his sons and grandchildren. Yet another subplot relates to Walt's troubled relationship with the church, similar to a subplot in Eastwood's earlier award-winning film, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Million Dollar Baby.Ã¢â‚¬Â He finally warms to a determined family priest, Father Janovich (Christopher Carley).
While some parts of the story seem awkward, and not all the parts fit together, and Walt's character is inconsistent, it seems fitting for Eastwood to end his acting career this way, with a character very much in the mold of a gunslinger, or his most famous movie character, Dirty Harry. He goes out with a bang. He goes out as a hero. He can be forgiven if he goes out a little bit over the top.
Clint Eastwood is known for playing the classic antihero that we all love in Gran Torino heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s no different. Eastwood redefines what it is to be a grumpy old man here with his trademark Dirty Harry snarl & grunts.
Walt Kowalski is a marine veteran & retired auto worker & an unapologetic bigot. Who just lost his wife while his discontent for society grows stronger so does his alienation from a world literally becoming foreign. Walt spends his time tending his house in a Detroit suburb, drinking beers, & cleaning his most treasured posession a vintage 72 Gran Torino which he helped assemble at Ford plant where he used to work.
HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the only white man in a neighborhood filled with Asians, Hispanics, & African-Americans. Walt hates all - he despises his own family as much as the trash as he puts it that pollute his street. One night in a twist of fate Walt catches the son of his neighbors trying to steal his cherished car. Instead of hurting the boy or calling the police Walt decides to protect him from the gang bangers that forced him into robbery. The boy in gratitude agrees to work for Walt doing odd jobs & they form an unlikely bond. The storyline is predictable the characters all too familiar but you canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t help to watch Eastwoods charisma he radiates on film & is very believable in this character.
At The Movies
Gran Torino (PG) * * *
Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Christopher Carley, Bee Vang, Ahney Hur
Studio: Warner Brothers
Audience Suitability: PG
Rating: * * *
Release Date: Jan. 9, 2009
Running Time: 116 Minutes
By ROBERT WALDMAN
Battle weary may reflect the fatigue suffered by veterans of hostilities. Leave it to heavyweight Clint Eastwood to turn the tables on traditional returning home warriors in Gran Torino, a savvy look at a man at a crossroads. Brought to neighbourhoods by Warner Films word on the street is that this may in fact be EastwoodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s lasts appearance in front of the camera. LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hope not. Still, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s always better to go out on a high note and Gran Torino marks another impressive outing for this once upon a time western star who came from out of nowhere in the 60s thanks to some cheaply shot Italian westerns to reign supreme at the international box office. Like fine wine Clint Eastwood has matured into one of the all time great directors and producers. And his acting ainÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t that shabby either. Check out this master craftsman doing what he does best, producing, directing and acting along with musical scoring/writing at the Park Theatre, Esplanade 6, Empire Studio 12, Colossus and Famous Players Silver City cites around B.C.
Car buffs know that Gran Torino is the name of a classic Ford motorcar. Only the version belonging to lucky Walt Kowalski is a mint 1972 version and his pride and joy. What a shame members of his own family donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t cherish their own elderly father and grandfather. Left on his own all Walt wants is some piece and quiet. Unfortunately for this man who likes keeping to himself heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not about to get too much peace.
Once upon a time, in a former life, Walt was in Korea and apparently learned a thing or two about fighting the enemy. Deep-seeded thoughts reside in this geriatricÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s mind, not the least of which is a hatred for foreigners. Ever ready to slur non-whites or those who donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t follow his religious viewpoint you could say this guy is a poster boy for the KKK or any white supremacist party you can think of. Put succinctly, this guy is a racist.
That degree of prejudice comes into play big time when WaltÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s new home is nestled in a ghetto where non-whites surround him. Never willing to give up Walt absolutely despises his neighbours, a family from the far east. Things change, however, big time when an incident of racism directed against a local group touches a nerve deep inside Walt.
What follows is a wake-up call for Walt, the neighbourhood and anyone who will listen as the pent-up hostility seeded deep inside this larger than life figure comes home to roost. Heaven help anyone who gets in this guyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s way once heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s determined to undertake a course of action, no matter what the consequences or chances of success. Vigilantism never seemed to chic.
For 116 minutes we delve deep into WaltÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s psyche and the two Asian neighbours who play pivotal roles in his new neighbourhood. New actors Bee Vang and Ahary Her make quite stirring debuts as the young teens who Walt gets to know under rather unusual circumstances. And Christopher Carley successfully plays a man of God trying to advise Walt on the right way of doing things. Whether Walt listens to the good father is up in the air and for viewers to decide.
Solid as a rock is the acting of Clint Eastwood (In the Line of Fire). After directing some of the best movies of all time Eastwood is smart enough to offer up some surprises and here a whammy is jetissoned into the story guaranteed to create a rise among viewers. Easy solutions a la Dirty Harry may be yearned for but with Gran Torino the creative team smartly ups the ante with most satisfying results.
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If you are ever at a loss for a derogatory term for italians, asians, hispanics or blacks, just watch Gran Torino. I can't remember seeing another movie packed with more racial slurs than this one.Not to say it's a terrible movie. The language and "political incorrectness" serves the point of the movie. My biggest problem with this movie is that it's like watching Al Pacinio on Sesame Street. A great actor surrounded by puppets. This is classic Clint, squinting and growling, but he is surrounded by a cast of pretty poor performers. I don't now if it's a cutural thing or what, but all of the asian actors seemed very wooden. I think of the last Eastwood blockbuster, Million Dollar Baby, and remember how the incredible ensemble of Morgan Freeman and Hillary Swank and the entire cast made that a great movie. In Gran Torino, Eastwood is pretty much on his own. Even then, He does a pretty good job of carrying the rest of the cast.