Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Film Review- Grand Torino

If this is the masters'coda, then he went out with a classic with Grand Torino.

For the last few years, I have really enjoyed Clint Eastwood's films. His style lately has reminded me of my favorite Japanese director, Akira Kurosawa. The hidden secrets, the pain of sin that he can not forgive himself for and the struggle for life and death are features in both of their films and are the main points for Eastwood's new film "Grand Torino"

When the film opens, we are being show an man,disgruntled Korean War vet, Walt Kowalski. We are shown that his wife has died and that he can not deal with his family nor his grand-children. After the funeral, we are introduced to the other main character in this film, a young Hmong teenager, named Thao Vang Lor. What we see is a boy who is lost and is trying to figure out how to become a man.

Walt, for some unknown reason, takes a shine to this boy and tries to teach him how to become a man. I will leave this part of the film unspoiled, let me just say that this was some of the funniest parts of this film.

What I also liked about the film was the voice of reason, Walt's Preacher, Father Janovich. Walt's calls him a "27 year old virgin, who think that seminary school has taught him about life and death." When you see him also start to learn from Walt, it's another small piece of a film that takes it from a good film and turns it into a great one.

But with every hero we are also introduced to a villain. His cousin, Who as part of Thao's initiation into his gang makes Thao steal Walt's prize possession, a 1972 Gran Torino. When the attempt fails Thao, has to work for Walt for a few days and you can slowly see Thao start to respond to "tough love" that all master deal out to their students. What I liked here was that the master did not want to be one and the student had no clue that he was even a student. It should not have worked but, By the grace of Eastwoods' directing and acting, its well shown and very believable.

The above might be a problem for some of today's modern audience. They have grown accustomed to a much faster pace of film, a higher body count and people who call themselves actors, who truly are not. If they are looking for this in this film, then they will walk away very upset and then they will have failed to truly see this film.

The films ending was quite a surprise that I will not spoil for you. i was thinking one thing and then he goes and does something that I could not believe that he did it and that he pulled it off on the screen. When the films final credit were rolling, I was sad. I was thinking, "If this is Clint Eastwood's coda, then we have been taken on a pleasant journey in this film. Please see this film when it hopefully arrives in a Korean theater sometime in 2009. As I state in my reviews, "I See the crap, so you don't have to." I saw a great film here with no crap. my grade is an A+

1 comment:

jawick said...

My grade is a solid B+. He has done so much quality work, that it is hard to improve upon previous masterpieces.

I think I already saw this film back when it was known as "The Outlaw Josey Wales." However, it is a good film (not “Unforgiven” good though), and I give kudos to the language in it. As much as some people want to brush this type of language and animosity under the rug in today's “PC” run-amok world. It does exist. Sadly, the snobs in charge of the awards (Golden Globes) don't live in the real world that the rest of us inhabit.

These types of snubs only end of displaying the animosity and arrogance of these, self-named, enlightened voters in the end. George Lucas may not have won for “Star Wars,” but he is a hell of a lot better known than the director that won that year. I don’t believe all of Mr. Allen’s film grosses combined have equaled that of “A New Hope.” Come to think of it, he has started an empire of his own that employees thousands and has a decent sized nest egg to fall back on. Not bad for someone snubbed by the likes of the Academy, which in the entire Universe, really doesn’t matter much at all.

John from Daejeon