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Gran Torino

A movie directed by Clint Eastwood

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Go ahead...it'll make your day.

  • Jan 27, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+5

If this is, indeed, Clint Eastwood's final acting performance, then Gran Torino is the way to end the legendary actor's career. The biggest surprise being that he never won an Oscar for best actor. Oscar or not, Clint Eastwood's role as Walt Kowalski, a Korean War veteran who embraces racial stereotypes...and living in a cultural-rich, low-class neighborhood...written by first-time screenwriter Nick Schenk - with Clint Eastwood's superb directing, makes Gran Torino one of the best films I have seen in some time. Gran Torino, named after the highly coveted 1972 car that sits like a trophy in Walt Kowalski's garage, ponders the cost of violence and whether or not it has a place in society.

Walt Kowalski is a newly widowed, with a short temperament, that scowls at his Hmong neighbors...but his neighbors aren't the only ones Kowalski is short-tempered with. His grand kids, a young priest, and even his barber, all feel the wrath of his verbal assaults. It is hard imagining anyone else pulling this role off with such perfection. But I digress, Walt Kowalski, is most infuriated by the Hmong that seem to be invading his neighborhood. I would mention some of the terms he uses in the film, but it might not be allowed to post...so try to imagine a worse version of Archie Bunker - with "fish head" replacing "meathead".

That is, until, one of his neighbors, Thao (Bee Vang), is forced into his life. The Asian gangs have laid claim on this shy teenager and force him to steal the Gran Tarino in Kowalski's garage. This one event sets off a series of events which lead to a friendship that is equally beneficial to both, Thao and Kowalski. The young Hmong teen is given strength, courage, and conviction - the bitter old man is shown humanity, understanding, and compassion. This, in turn, leads to another friendship between the sassy older sister of Thao, Sue (Ahney Her) and Kowalski, that warms the old man's cold heart.

At first, it seems like that's all there is to the film...until a key event happens late in the movie that drastically changes its direction. Revenge, spilt blood, panic, fear, responsibility, all alter the tone of the film and delivers an ending that you'll never see coming. Only Clint Eastwood could pull-off an eighty year old action hero with a grizzly catchphrase "get off my lawn" that strikes as much fear in you as Dirty Harry's "you feeling lucky, punk" Gran Torino is a movie I highly recommend everyone sees...it will make your day.

Gran Torino [Theatrical Release]

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March 11, 2009
I loved this film. Love, love love. I couldn't believe how many people in the theater were offended by the racial marks. They were essential to the storyline, but many people around me claimed to be 'disgusted.' The ending made me sad. I didn't cry, but I got a little emo-eyed.
 
February 09, 2009
great write up. I meant to see this but for some reason I was diverted to see other stuff...I guess it's because of the company I was with at the time. I have to make time to see this.
 
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More Gran Torino (movie) reviews
Quick Tip by . July 06, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Eastwood depicts a population in our country that is becoming more and more prominent. The elder veteran in a changing world, he responds to attacks on his freedom by reaching out to an unlikely family from another world.
Quick Tip by . July 25, 2010
Eastwood should have retired after this movie. It's one of his best in a while.
Quick Tip by . July 24, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A bigoted Korean war vet and widow stands up for his Hmong neighbors when the local gang terrorizes his neighborhood. Lots of great moments with Clint Eastwood in great form. If he does in fact retire with this movie, he's going out on a high note.
Quick Tip by . July 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Gran Torino is an excellent film that shows Eastwood still has it. Definitely teaches us tolerance is the best policy.
Quick Tip by . July 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Clint at 80 is still the man! Love that pure Detroit muscle car!
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Great movie Clint Eastwood at his absolute best you have to have this in your movie library
review by . July 10, 2010
   Orignally I steered clear of this movie, not wanting to risk ruining my great memories of Dirty Harry, but one night a friend talked me into watching it and WOW was I glad he did. This movie was one of the best movies I've seen in years. It had an excellent plot, as well as great character development, and if that's not enough for you it had a good moral thrown in as well. When you first meet Clint Eastwood's character is soon after his wife died. He's a veteran of Vietnam, …
Quick Tip by . July 03, 2010
Great movie
review by . April 07, 2010
Take a classic action hero years removed from his action days, a cast of people who have never acted in a movie before, an experienced director and a cleverly plotted and written picture and you get a classic.    Gran Torino works on every level. Eastwood absolutely shines as a old vet and autoworker who has two great pleasures in his life, his wife whose funeral begins the movie and his Gran Torino. As Detroit changes and falls apart and the neighbors are increasingly Hmong …
Quick Tip by . March 13, 2010
I enjoyed this film more than I thought I would, especially the humor and tenderness.
About the reviewer
Justyn Joe Richardson ()
My name is Justyn Richardson but I go by the name Shoyu - after joining the on-line gaming site, Pogo, I have reverted back to my childhood nickname of Tasteless Joe. I first acquired the name when I … more
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Wiki

Gran Torino is a 2008 American drama film directed and produced by Clint Eastwood, who also stars in the film. The film marks Eastwood's return to a lead acting role after four years, his last leading role having been in Million Dollar Baby. The film features a predominantly Hmong cast, as well as Eastwood's younger son, Scott Eastwood, playing "Trey". Eastwood's oldest son, Kyle Eastwood, provided the score. The film opened to theaters in a limited release in North America on December 12, 2008, and later to a worldwide release on January 9, 2009.

The story follows Walt Kowalski, a recently widowed Korean War veteran who is alienated from his family and angry at the entire world. On a dare by his cousin for initiation into a gang, Thao, Walt's young neighbor, tries to steal Walt's prized 1972 Ford Gran Torino. Walt develops a relationship with the boy and his family.

Gran Torino was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $269 million worldwide.
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Details

Director: Clint Eastwood
Genre: Action, Adventure
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: June 9, 2009
Runtime: 116 minutes
Studio: Warner Home Video
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