Gran Torino (2008)

Gran Torino is an American drama film acted, directed, and produced by Clint Eastwood.  The story follows Walt Kowalski, a recently widowed Korean War veteran who is alienated from his family and angry at the world. Walt’s young Hmong neighbor, Thao, is pressured into trying to steal Walt’s prized 1972 Ford Gran Torino by his cousin for his initiation into a gang. Walt then develops a relationship with the boy and his family.  Also starring Bee Vang, Ahney Her, and Christopher Carley.  (Running Time: 116 minutes)(Rated R for language and some violence)

Ah, another Eastwood masterpiece, I reckon.  In case I haven’t mentioned it to any of yous before, I am a big Clint Eastwood fan.  One of those fellows who will go to the theater to see a new Eastwood flick at least once then buy the movie a week after it is released on dvd.  His movies have made me laugh, cry; some really moving material he has a talent for putting up there on the screen.  I would categorize–well, “categorize” wouldn’t be the appropriate term–him as an actors’ director.  Although, the beauty with Clint is that he keeps on making films because he enjoys making them.  Not for the money, or the fame–which he has got plenty of–but for the joy of making movies that he would like to see up on the big screen.  I admire that…

Now, onto the review…

It was brave of Mr. Eastwood to cast some “unknowns” in an already heavily anticipated movie like Gran Torino.  This currently is the latest movie Clint has directed and acted in.  He said after Gran Torino was released that he planned on retiring from acting.  “Unless a good western script comes along…” he added with a toothy grin.  But in all seriousness, it is surprising that he would use undiscovered people for a film of this callibur and with all the connections and friends he has in hollywood, with other actors begging to work with him on top of it all.  The film moved with its acting and story, and the actors did a…a swell job.  Clint did a good job at playing an ornery, stubborn, bitter old man.  And his co-stars did their best to be up-to-par with such a legend as he.

I rather enjoy the story of Gran Torino.  It is one of the main things that moves the story along.  Without the scenario of a grumpy Mr. Kowalski judging the growing inhabitants of Hmong people in his declining neighborhood, there would be no backdrop to begin the story with in the first place!  The script was well written by Nick Schenk, and I look forward to watching his career grow.  Apparently, Clint Eastwood loved the script so much that after he first read it he said for not a single word to be changed by the studio.  Surprisingly, Warner Bros. were not hasty to change it as Eastwood kindly “suggesting”.  The only real change in the screenplay was the film location’s setting.  Instead of being set in Minnesota, the story would be taking place in Michigan.  I would’ve liked to have seen the Minnesota version, having being a native Minnesotan myself…

Ah, but a great film.

…it is difficult for me to rate it, though.  A high 5 out of 7 stars would be the best rounded equation I can give at the moment.  I need time to mull over it a little more.  This is the second time I have seen the movie, actually, and I need to see it again for two reasons: one, to better understand how I word my review, and two: because it’s that awesome!

To sum up how good this moving is, I have a dvd copy of it sitting on my shelf, not covered with dust as many movie-watchers keep their copies.  Due to the fact that it has and will be watched again and again…and again.

Yeah, I enjoyed it.  If you by chance check it out, keep an open mind and just sit back to enjoy a 21st century Clint Eastwood drama film.

About Morgan

January 2016 Update: This blog is under reconstruction. Please be patient while we gradually remove old material, posts, and pages, and create new ones. Thank you.
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