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*** Official GRAN TORINO Review Thread (1 Viewer)

mattCR

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This year has actually had some films I thought were very good. Gran Torino rockets right up into easily the top 3 films I've seen this year. While it's a lock that the portrayal of Harvey Milk will get an Oscar nod, Eastwood deserves strong consideration for his role in Gran Torino.

Gran Torino is one of the most emotionally rewarding films since "Shawshank Redemption". It may never get the wide audience play that others in contention get - and isn't blockbuster material. But the relationship here is built inch by inch, and it works so well together that it's hard to look away.

Their are a lot of surprises along the way, but it is handled so well that you never find yourself questioning any step.

The relationship between Walt & Tao is absolutely, A+ material.

This is the kind of film you will want to see a few times.

:star: :star: :star: :star: :star: / :star: :star: :star: :star: :star:
 

TerryRL

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While I do think that Sean Penn will win for his extraordinary work in "Milk", I do think Mr. Eastwood will earn his third Oscar nod for Best Actor. "Gran Torino" is a fantastic movie and I'm also giving it a five star rating. Eastwood once again shows why he's among the best directors the industry has ever produced. "Gran Torino" is easily among the top five films I've seen this year.
 

Robert Crawford

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This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "Gran Torino". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.



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Robert Crawford

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I loved this film and thought the interaction between Eastwood's character and his next door neighbor's family was great. For the first time in many years, Walt Kowalski has a close relationship with somebody outside of his wife. The tiny steps taken in developing that relationship is what makes me appreciate this film's script. Also, I must admit that I laughed a lot during some of Walt's racist comments which might be strange, but at least he appear to be giving equal opportunity in that regard.

If this is Eastwood's last appearance on film, he chose a great movie to end his acting career with.






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Patrick Sun

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"Gran Torino" is a fine addition to the Clint Eastwood film catalogue, where the focus on character and drama keeps the audience's attention quite easily throughout its 2 hour running time, while providing a tale of honor and redemption, built upon unlikely bonding of characters from different times and different cultures.

Eastwood's Walter Kowalski was an entertaining old curmudgeon, and Eastwood knows exactly how to mine laughs from the simplest lines of dialouge, or even a simple trailing growl as Walter goes off-camera. The film is very funny and heartwarming in spots for its first 2/3 of the film, but the final act shifts gears and ends up being courageous and dramatic.

If this is Eastwood's last acting role in films, it's a testament to his screen presence and adds a solid bookend to a long and distinguished film careeer.

I give it 3.75 stars, or a grade of A-.
 

Ed Moroughan

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I don't have much more to add than what has been said other then to agree with Robert, if this is indeed Clint's swan song, then he went out on a damn good high note. Beautifully acted, and shot, the score was a treat, and the Hmong actors were excellent as well. Thanks Clint, and cheers!
htf_images_smilies_smile.gif
 

Ronald Epstein

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I had the opportunity to watch this earlier today.

At first, I had felt that it wasn't Eastwood's strongest film nor
performance. I felt the story felt somewhat forced. However,
the last 40 minutes of the film changed my opinion entirely. By
the film's end, my eyes were damp and I thought to myself, "Wow,
did Eastwood really do something extraordinary here."

For me, as for Eastwood, this was a very personal film. I agree
that if it is his swan song, it's a hell of a way to go out.
 

Steve...O

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This opened this weekend in my area and my wife and I attended a packed house showing today. What a wonderful film. Very funny at times but also emotionally powerful. There is not a wasted moment on screen and Mr. Eastwood surrounded himself with an excellent cast. Some of the comments that Clint's character utters may make you uncomfortable but it will definitely make you think.

This is a film that will stand up to repeated viewings and I suspect it will be a sentimental favorite at the Oscars. It's already reported to be doing excellent box office ($30mm opening weekend) which is a testament to the incredible drawing power of a 78 year old icon.

Easily the best picture I've seen in a theater in several years. Those who haven't seen are advised to stay away from spoilers though as the characters and situations need to develop over the 2 hours to be fully effective.
 

Dave Scarpa

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I thought it a Fantastic, film. Eastwood is such an acting Gem, been watching him alot this week in Season 3 of Rawhide, it's hard to imaging almost 50 years in front of the camera and he has'nt missed a beat... Serious Oscar Consideration should go to eastwood for both his performance in front of and behind the camera for this movie.
 

Brett_M

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I, too, saw it this weekend with a packed house -- 2 pm matinee! Excellent film. Loved the script, Eastwood in front and behind the camera, great score & cinematography. A fine story and ensemble. Honest, humorous and moving.

There was a line for the 4:30 show -- people love them some Eastwood.

****.5/*****
 

MikeM

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I had really high expectations for this film and I can honestly say it exceeded those expectations. I can't tell you how many times I laughed out loud with the politically incorrect lines that were coming out of Clint's mouth and it still worked well enough to become really touching at the end.

Great film. Great film. I can't wait to see it again.
Solid A+ film from me.
***** / *****
 

Edwin-S

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This was a pretty good film; although, it felt a little contrived at times. I thought the first two thirds of the film was the strongest. After the film was over I heard quite a few people expressing disappointment over the ending. I thought the ending was rushed considering the length of buildup in the relationship between Eastwood's character and Thao.

A person realizes that they shouldn't be laughing at the racial epithets that Eastwood's character slings with abandon, but you can't help yourself. He delivers them with such aplomb that you can't help but laugh. It helps that the Hmong characters show an amazing amount of restraint. There is also some humour in the irony that Eastwood's character refers to the Hmong as "gooks" when the Hmong were some the fiercest opponents of the VC during the Vietnam war.

Despite the weak ending I think this one rates an A-.
 

Chris Atkins

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10/10

One of the best films of 2008, with one of the strongest performances (Eastwood) I've ever seen. Also, a ton of messages layered into a cohesive whole. Can't wait to see it again.
 

DaveF

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Gran Torino left me ambivalent. The story of Walt, recently widowed, and extraordinarily hateful and racist Korean War vet, is meant to be a combination of a personal salvation story (growing through one's hatreds) and also personal-vengeance story (killing them before they kill you). The characterizations of Clint Eastwood's "Walt" was the racist we could enjoy and laugh at -- though in real life he would be abhorrent. His Vietnamese neighbors were also interesting and vibrant.

Had the story solely been about Walt's developing relationship with his neighbors, it would have been enjoyable, positive, and fully engaging.

But I found the movie too emotionally manipulative. The driving plot, the vegeance story, rang false throughout. I kept wondering where the police were; and how a small-fry group of thugs in a souped up Civic suddenly became a fearsome, murderous gang with machine guns.

So in the climax I found Walt's "salvation" to be horrible, hateful and ridiculous. And the denouement felt crassly manipulative, pushing me to laugh at the misfortune of those hurt by Walt.

I give the movie credit for having subject matter and depth to be worth considering, worth arguing over its merits. But I found it unpleasant overall and wouldn't especially recommend it.
 

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