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Monday, January 12, 2009

Gran Torino - Movie Review

When I first briefly heard about this movie, I had absolutely no interest in seeing it.  I've never been one to see that Clint Eastwood is in a movie and rush to go see it... after just searching for Clint Eastwood it occurred to me that I have, in fact, never seen a single movie he has stared in, directed, or produced (though I do have Million Dollar Baby on my Netflix Q).
Over the weekend Dana posted a blog talking about this movie and, while her review recommended seeing it, I still had little to no interest, it just wasn't something that sounded like anything I'd enjoy.

It was Sunday afternoon, Steve and I were thinking of ways to kill the day, he suggested Gran Torino, I thought Meh... why not.  We get to the theater pretty early and make our way in... thank goodness we did too, cause that place filled up quick!

Gran Torino, without spoiling it, is about a Korean War Veteran who lives in, what used to be, a white neighborhood where white is now the minority. The movie begins at the funeral of his wife; after his wife dies, his children begin to try and convince him to move out of the house/neighborhood and into a retirement community.  He is a stubborn old man and is very set in his ways, so he refuses.  The movie goes on to show his struggles with the Hmong family next door (who's son tried to steal his mint 1972 Gran Torino by way of gang initiation) and pretty much the entire Hmong/Asian community.  There are a lot of racial slurs and quite a bit of humor wrapped around the entire movie.  In my opinion, its easy to get past the racial remarks because it is the character, it wouldn't be the same movie without them.
I, at one point, found myself completely engulfed in this film.  I generally sit back and enjoy movies just fine, but never really lose myself in them... this was not the case with Gran Torino.  I was in it.  I was into it.  I was taken by it.

I struggle to find the right words; it's not really a feel-good movie, and it's not really a lesson-learned type of film... but in the same regard, it is both.  I left feeling like that was one of the best movies I've seen in a long time and I bet you will too!

I give Gran Torino a big fat A+ on the elaborate scale that I rank movies on.  I do warn against the racism, and will say that there is violence, gang violence and some of a sexual nature - be forewarned.  It's a real easy story for anyone to follow and there are plenty of laugh out loud moments for anyone to enjoy.  Not only do I recommend you see this movie... I HIGHLY recommend you see it, it's worth the extra money you'll spend at the theater to go enjoy it now!


Lovi said...

I've heard really good things about this movie from other people too. I'll totally check it out when it hits DVD. That and Slumdog Millionaire. Btw, as you'd mentioned not seeing any Clint Eastwood movies before this, I highly recommend checking out the Bridges of Madison County. It's one of those break your heart in half movies. If you do, I totally want to hear what you think!

Steve said...

Clint Eastwood is a badass.

Dana Leigh said...

I'm glad you liked it! I wasn't extremely excited to see it at first either but Michael was just waiting for it to be released. I do like Clint Eastwood though. It's funny how really the movie can be so serious, yet I did find myself laughing out loud at times. Many ranges of emotions.

Lynne said...

I love Clint Eastwood and it is on my "to see" list, along with Slum Dog Millionaire.
And Ang, you made my day! In case you don't know what I am talking about, it is an old Clint saying from Dirty Harry, where he tells the bad guy, "Cmon punk, make my day".

Loopy said...

I'm a fan of all Eastwood's westerns


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