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Posts Tagged ‘Gran Torino’

Pixar’s Up and Gran Torino mashup

Posted by LiveFor on December 18, 2009

Clint Eastwood is Carl Fredricksen – a superb mashup

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Kingdom of the Blind: Clint Eastwood and Revenge, Pt. 1: “Hell Rode With Him”

Posted by LiveFor on December 3, 2009

This video essay is part of a series on Clint Eastwood, the 2009 honoree of the Musuem of the Moving Image’s Annual Salute.

It is by Matt Zoller Seitz and is well worth a watch.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Kingdom of the Blind: Clint Eastwood …“, posted with vodpod

Clint Eastwood’s long career as both actor and director is a homestead built atop a graveyard. From his breakthrough role as The Man With No Name in Sergio Leone’s mid-’60s “Dollars” trilogy through the Dirty Harry series, High Plains Drifter (1972), Unforgiven (1992), Mystic River (2003), and Gran Torino (2008), many of his best-known films follow traumatized people on missions of revenge. Some treat revenge lightly, ritualistically—as a mere ingredient, something one expects to see in westerns and thrillers, Eastwood’s signature genres. Others treat it more seriously—as a response to evil that creates more evil; as an extralegal means of seeking justice that society botched or denied; as the result of unseen cosmic forces passing judgment on humankind; as a traumatized person’s desperate attempt to regain authority over a life that’s spun out of control; and as metaphysical narcotic—an activity that momentarily lets emotionally numb, spiritually dead people feel alive…read the rest

Check out part 2

Source: Hollywood Elsewhere

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Michael Caine is The Equalizer…I mean Harry Brown

Posted by LiveFor on February 7, 2009

Empire had these first couple of photos of Michael Caine as the titular Harry Brown. Directed by Daniel Barber it also stars Emily Mortimer and Liam Cunningham.

The shots make Caine look a lot like Ewar Woowar (that’s Edward Woodward without the D’s!) from The Equaliser, but that’s just my opinion.

Harry Brown is an ex-Marine and widow forced to journey through a seedy world of drugs and guns to take revenge for the brutal death of his best friend at the hands of a gang of thugs.It is being described as a mix between Get Carter, Gran Torino and Taken. It all sounds like good stuff.

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Vanity Fair Partnerships Photo Shoot by Annie Leibovitz

Posted by LiveFor on February 4, 2009

Vanity Fair have Annie Leibovitz latest shoot, which focuses on the partnerships that looks at the actor-director team ups that defined 2008.

Above is Darren Aronofsky and Mickey Rourke from The Wrestler.
Clint Eastwood who directed and starred in Gran Torino.
Sam Mendes and Kate Winslet made Revolutionary Road
Christopher Nolan and Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight
Woody Allen and Penelope Cruz – Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Gus Van Sant and Sean Penn – Milk
Danny Boyle and Dev Patel – Slumdog Millionaire

They are great photos and lots more over at Vanity Fair.
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Gran Torino, 2008 – Movie Review

Posted by LiveFor on January 10, 2009

Director: Clint Eastwood
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Christopher Carley, Bee Vang, Ahney Her
Running Time: 116 minutes
Score: 8 / 10

This review by Babubhaut – Possible spoilers ahead

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big Clint Eastwood, the director, fan. However, Gran Torino is getting buzz like crazy. I’ll agree that it is a very good movie, well composed and paced with a fantastic final act; I just can’t quite allow myself to call it a masterpiece. As I said, I’m a fan of Eastwood the director, not necessarily Eastwood the actor, and, with his performance here as Walt, I won’t be changing that mindset. I found myself laughing more often at his growls and scowls than feeling fear or menace. He isn’t the only one at fault, though; I think everyone falls pretty flat acting-wise here. I’ll give the Hmong characters some slack being that they aren’t trained actors, but instead authentic people from that culture, and kudos to the filmmakers for going that route. As for our lead, the priest (a very uninspired Christopher Carley), and even a couple good actors as Walt’s sons in very limited roles, I found their performances detracting from a solid story.

What I liked about Gran Torino was its humor. You may be thinking: what is this guy talking about? But honestly, I laughed a lot, and I think it was intentional. The first three-quarters set up the climax to be powerfully dramatic with much deserved weight and as a result needs to have an infusion of levity to keep us off-guard when the bottom finally falls out. I wouldn’t be surprised if Clint decided to act as Walt rather than find a better actor because he just wanted to have fun with racial epithets—boy there are plenty. His utter disregard for the opinions of those he insults and his overly tough exterior just make the words funny to me. Many times he is saying these things because that is “how men talk” with friends. His comradery with folks allow him the freedom to act like a bigot without recourse, (my favorite character in the film being one of these men, John Carroll Lynch’s barber, who is involved in a priceless scene with Clint and Bee Vang as Thao), and that lightness makes his under-the-breath tirades become acceptable. Now, they aren’t acceptable as far as societal right and wrong, but his character is built to be this Korean War vet, an old and bitter man, so you almost have to give him the benefit of the doubt. In his mind, the country he fought for is now being over-run by those he was ordered to kill. Seeing the denigration of his neighborhood and the utter lack of respect on behalf of the youth, he paints the simple picture that it’s all a result of the turning tides of immigration.

This humor, I believe, is what makes the ending so effective. Eastwood goes through a transformation from old man that wants to be left alone, to old man that finally has someone he can be a father to. Does it change his attitude or demeanor? Absolutely not. Does Eastwood have the acting range to make that evolution apparent on screen if necessary? Probably not, so let’s say it was good that while he softened to the Asians living next door, he never let his guard down … that would have just come off as inauthentic and manipulative. By getting to understand Walt Kowalski’s character, however, allows us to believe he would do what he does. Never clicking with his own sons, never being able to be a father to them and listened to for his experiences made him distant to them. Coming into the life of a traditional Hmong family, on-the-other-hand, allows him to finally feel that patriarchal duty. Ahney Her’s Sue tells Walt that she wishes her own father were more like him because he was too old-school for a boy like Thao. Walt is confused thinking that he is set in the old ways too, but Sue shows the cultural disparity by saying, “but you’re American”. The customs and way of life are different, and after all these years blaming the Orient for making him into a killer, a sinner, Walt can open his eyes to the humanity they all share.

While the gang backdrop really just stands as a way to give Walt a measure of redemption, it is the main catalyst for all that happens in the film. He never would have gotten to know the Lor family if Thao wasn’t made to steal his Gran Torino as a gang initiation, and the conclusion never would have happened if the bond between he and Sue and Thao hadn’t sprung out from that event. The film is not about the opposition and violence of those street thugs, though, it is about the relationship of Walt and Thao. While the script does wonders at making that friendship work, the acting just doesn’t do it justice. Again, I found myself laughing each time Clint scowled at the boy—it was just too over the top. And unfortunately for Bee Vang, his delivery came across as staged and reading from a prompter. He is young, though, and inexperienced in acting, so I can’t blame him too much. Instead I blame Eastwood, especially in one instance when Vang is locked in the old man’s basement, screaming at Clint to let him out. The anger and frustration is so forced that the director should have known when to cut. Yet Eastwood not only shows us the pounding on the door once, but a second time after he comes back into frame to explain what it feels like to kill a man, this time lingering on the boy even longer. It’s a moment like this that brings an amateur quality to an otherwise stellar tale, making the sub-par performances overshadow the tightly constructed plot.

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Happy New Year everyone

Posted by LiveFor on January 2, 2009

A belated Happy New Year to you all (yesterdays posts were all prescheduled as I wasn’t near a computer).

Did you all have a good time? Drink too much? Make resolutions that you have already broken.

We had a quiet one. Put our 2 year old daughter to bed then Catherine, my son and I watched Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (I enjoyed it more seeing it the second time now that the anticipation for it had gone – still full of faults but an enjoyable romp) before turning over to Jools Holland on BBC2 and welcomed in the New Year. Then it was in bed for about 00:15!

I just want to thank everyone who has visited this little site since it started back in the middle of last year. It’s been a fun few months since Chisholm said to me, “You should do a film blog and post reviews for us to read.” Since then people from all over the World have found it and seem to like it. Big thanks to you all and to all the regulars to the site and the forum. I’m also blown away by the fact I’ve had a couple of proper interviews with some film makers and an favourite author of mine. Hopefully there will be more interviews to come in this year.

What was your film highlight of 2008? What are you looking forward to in 2009? I can’t wait to see Zack Snyder’s Watchmen (although I have a horrible feeling the court case will just delay it’s release). I also want to see Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino, Milk, Slumdog Millionaire and many other things.

Once again thanks. Now go out and tell a couple of friends about the site. Let’s spread the word people.

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Clint Eastwood is The Growler

Posted by LiveFor on December 16, 2008

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2009 Golden Globe Film Related Nominations

Posted by LiveFor on December 11, 2008

Here are the movie related 2009 Golden Globe Nominees for the 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards. The Awards ceremony will take place on 11th January next year.

Best Motion Picture – Drama
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader
Revolutionary Road
Slumdog Millionaire

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
Anne Hathaway – Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie – Changeling
Meryl Streep – Doubt
Kristin Scott Thomas – I’ve Loved You So Long (Il Y A Longtemps Que Je T’Aime)
Kate Winslet – Revolutionary Road

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
Leonardo Dicaprio – Revolutionary Road
Frank Langella – Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn – Milk
Brad Pitt – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke – The Wrestler

Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical
Burn After Reading
In Bruges
Mamma Mia!
Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical
Rebecca Hall – Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Sally Hawkins – Happy-Go-Lucky
Frances McDormand – Burn After Reading
Meryl Streep – Mamma Mia!
Emma Thompson – Last Chance Harvey

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical
Javier Bardem – Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Colin Farrell – In Bruges
James Franco – Pineapple Express
Brendan Gleeson – In Bruges
Dustin Hoffman – Last Chance Harvey

Best Animated Film
Kung Fu Panda

Best Foreign Language Film
The Baader Meinhof Complex
Everlasting Moments
I’ve Loved You so Long
Waltz with Bashir

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Amy Adams – Doubt
Penelope Cruz – Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis – Doubt
Marisa Tomei – The Wrestler
Kate Winslet – The Reader

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Tom Cruise – Tropic Thunder
Robert Downey Jr. – Tropic Thunder
Ralph Fiennes – The Duchess
Philip Seymour Hoffman – Doubt
Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight

Best Director – Motion Picture
Danny Boyle – Slumdog Millionaire
Stephen Daldry – The Reader
David Fincher – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard – Frost/Nixon
Sam Mendes – Revolutionary Road

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture
Simon Beaufoy – Slumdog Millionaire
David Hare – The Reader
Peter Morgan – Frost/Nixon
Eric Roth – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
John Patrick Shanley – Doubt

Best Original Score – Motion Picture
Alexandre Desplat – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Clint Eastwood – Changeling
James Newton Howard – Defiance
A. R. Rahman – Slumdog Millionaire
Hans Zimmer – Frost/Nixon

Best Original Song – Motion Picture
“Down to Earth” – Wall-E
“Gran Torino” – Gran Torino
“I Thought I Lost You” – Bolt
“Once in a Lifetime” – Cadillac Records
“The Wrestler” – The Wrestler

Who do you think will win? Will Heath Ledger get pipped to the post by Robert Downey Jr? I reckon Benjamin Button will clean up although I hope Mickey Rourke wins for his role in The Wrestler.

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Oscars – What do you think will win Best Picture

Posted by LiveFor on November 24, 2008

I recently posted the ad that had been taken out to promote The Dark Knight for Best Picture at next years Oscars.

That got me thinking about what could possibly win The Best Picture. On my wanders around the World Wide Web there are a few films that seem to be in the running for Best Picture. They are as follows:

Australia – Nicole and Hugh get it on in the outback.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Brad Pitt ages backwards.

The Dark Knight – Bale growls as The Batman, Ledger does a magic trick and there are two Aaron Eckharts but I didn’t see any jousting.

Doubt – Meryl Streep and Amy Adams are nuns. Is it a porno? Philip Seymore Hoffman wishes.

Frost/Nixon – The head Lycan dude fron Underworld interviews Dracula.

Gran Torino – Clint Eastwood plays a rascist and has a nice car.

Milk – Sean Penn play a big gay bottle of semi-skimmed or a politician or something.

Nothing But the Truth – Kate Beckinsale outs a CIA agent with hilarious consequences.

Rachel Getting Married – Rachel is getting married and her sister does drugs

The Reader – Kate Winslet is a Nazi who likes to have bedtime stories read to her. Ahh isn’t that sweet!

Revolutionary Road – Kate Winslett and Leonardo DiCaprio set sail on the Titanic while living in 1950’s Connecticut and argue a lot or something. I could be wrong. Not sure how Kate got the part in the film directed by her husband? Is Billy Zane in it?

Slumdog Millionaire – Indian kid wins Who Wants to be A Millionaire. Danny Boyle still goes on about 28 Days Later wasn’t a zombie film.

The Wrestler – Mickey Rourke is a washed up has-been. In this film he plays a wrestler.

WALL-E – CGI Pixar fest with a cute little robot.

Sadly I’ve only seen a couple of them (Dark Knight, WALL-E) although a fair few of them have yet to be released so it’s not that bad a thing. I do want to see Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, Gran Torino, Milk and The Wrestler and the others I’m all a bit meh about. I personally think Benjamin Button will win the best picture Oscar purely from all the buzz and reviews I’ve been reading about it.

Which film do you see winning Best Picture? How many of the above list have you seen and what are you looking forward to seeing? Which ones will you avoid? What films should be on the list? Will Billy Zane win best actor?

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Posters – Gran Torino, Valkyrie, Coraline, Lie to Me, A Good Day to be Black and Sexy, Fuel, Reclaiming the Blade, Outlander

Posted by LiveFor on November 10, 2008


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