Excerpt: Clint Eastwood is one of those guys who you just have to love. He’s gruff and I’m pretty sure all of us wish we had a grandfather just like him. Eastwood, back in his early days, was quite the actor making a name for himself in the Sergio Leone “Spaghetti Western’s” of the mid 60’s. His career really took off when he teamed with Don Siegel as he became the embodiment of revenge in “Dirty Harry” (still quite possibly his greatest character he’s ever played).
Excerpt: As Gran Torino starts, Walt Kowalski will accept nothing less than Mr. Kowalski when being addressed. Anything else offends him, and he is not the type of man to let that slide. He’s bitter, angry, and racist, irritated with the world around him. As he is introduced to a Hmong family next door through a series of circumstances, something slowly changes his perspective. Suddenly, Walt becomes an acceptable means of calling for him.
Excerpt: Clint Eastwood’s film work has been a bit hit or miss in recent years ( Million Dollar Baby was outstanding, though if you missed Blood Work you can be forgiven), but Gran Torino is without question his finest effort in some time, both in front of and behind the camera. Here, Eastwood stars as Walt Kowalski, a retired Korean War veteran and Michigan auto worker who’s just suffered the loss of his beloved wife.
Excerpt: Korean War vet and retired autoworker Walt Kowalski doesn't much like how his life or his neighborhood has turned out. He especially doesn't like the people next door. Hmong immigrants from Southeast Asia. But events force Walt to defend those neighbors against a local gang that feeds on violence and fear.
Conclusion: If you're looking for a movie that encapsulates everything Clint Eastwood is as an actor and filmmaker, look no further than 'Gran Torino.' Efficient, understated direction and authentic performances highlight this simple, affecting story of transformation and salvation. Excellent video and audio transfers heighten dramatic impact, and though a slim spate of supplements will disappoint fans, they can't keep this disc from earning a hearty recommendation.
Conclusion: Powerful, moving, and timeless, Gran Torino represents the ultimate in straightforward moviemaking, where theme and emotional context overpower every other facet of the experience. It matters not that Eastwood delivers another exceptional performance on both sides of the camera, that the film features fine cinematography, or that the acting from several players might not be the best ever committed to film.
Excerpt: A good majority of films can be adequately explained in a paragraph or two. It is often a mistake trying to put too much material into a relatively short time frame. As a result, most often a character’s motivation is made relatively clear, the factors concerning his actions relatively straightforward, and the events surrounding him, more or less, are predictable to a degree. Gran Torino is a difficult film to describe because it does exactly the opposite.