Fueled by the slightest bit of praise, my ego has been let go unchecked and now I'm going to throw two more movie reviews at you this week. Why? Because I've gone 3 for 3 this year on movies ("The Wrestler", "Gran Torino", and "Slumdog Millionaire"). First up, "Gran Torino" (I'm not looking to really and honestly review a movie, but I'd like to think that the people who read this normally have the same tastes as me and might enjoy checking these flicks out.)
I don't have a funny story about going to see the movie. This wasn't a load the bus with people type of thing, but I was visiting the folks and my Dad just said, "let's go watch a movie". Knowing that either my Mom or my Dad won't watch anything that has actors they don't know, it was pretty much "Gran Torino" or nothing.
I walked in expecting to see "Grumpy Old Men 3: Matthau and Lemmon are Dead, Here's Eastwood!" I walked out thinking this might have been one of the better things that Eastwood has ever done.
Again, I'd say the mark of a good actor is you don't realize that a person is acting, and you imagine they are, indeed, that character. In watching the movie, it's very easy to say that Clint Eastwood really is just a crotchety old, racist man who hates everyone around him.
The story is basically that Clint Eastwood's character, Walt Kowalski's, wife dies and he's left to run his house by himself. He has no relationship to speak of with his kids, and his neighborhood is being "overrun" with Vietnamese and Laotian people. He is forced to interact with these people and develops forced and awkward relationships with them. This, of course, leads to some of the most uncomfortably funny racism I've heard this side of "A Time to Kill". The reason the movie is called "Gran Torino" is because one of the central themes that the story revolves around is Walt's 1972 Ford Gran Torino.
I can't really divulge too much of the story, not because it's a surprise ending, but it's more of one of those stories that you have to watch from beginning to end to, I guess, appreciate (?) the entire movie. Again, I'm not one for directors' styles (Eastwood) or writers' styles (also, Eastwood). This is just Clint Eastwood being Clint Eastwood in a movie that starts slow but pulls you in for the full hour and a half. All in all, a solid movie, probably better to check out on DVD or with the folks.
I'll be reviewing "Slumdog Millionaire" later this week, so look for it.