All posts tagged: gran torino

Dw. Dunphy On… Trailers Gone Wild

There’s one thing you have to say about the editors of movies and their trailers, and by extension, those who score the movies afterward. Even if the director has an iron hand and insists on leaving his mark indelibly on a production, it is the post-production team that puts the fire on the brand. If there’s any question of this, take note of another YouTube video subgenre, the trailer re-cut. As seen below, with a forceful vision, a convincing soundtrack and maybe a slight tinting trick or two, you can turn a movie trailer inside out. Here are some examples to clarify the point. Mrs. Doubtfire as psychological thriller. She seemed like the perfect nanny, but the eyes can lie! Happy Gilmore as inspirational sports flick. He’s just a guy with a dream. The Shining as family/rom-com. A little bit o’ love can drive you crazy. Mary Poppins as horror flick. A spoonful of sugar helps the demons go down. And Sleepless In Seattle… And Uncle Buck… But not The Ring. And finally, we know …

No Concessions: Michael Caine Revengeful, “Metropolis” Restored

Last week, Hit Girl. This week, Hit Pensioner, as Michael Caine mows ’em down as Harry Brown. This is familiar territory for Caine, whose nasty gangland thriller Get Carter still reverberates in the culture 40 years later. The difference is that the actor is 78 years old, a time when most performers are happy (or perhaps resigned) to play eccentric old duffers and let the younger guys (and 11-year-old kids) walk tall among the scum-infested pedestrian walkways of blighted urban areas. I can’t enter an underpass without thinking about the terrible crime inflicted on poor Monica Bellucci in the notorious French-made rape-revenge saga Irreversible (2002), and the one here promises even worse horrors. The film begins with housing estate hooligans, who hole up in the tunnel to shoot drugs and God knows what else, terrorizing and grievously injuring a mum who is strolling with her baby. From what the film tells us, those estates, where Helen Mirren walked a beat in the Prime Suspect shows, have only gotten worse since she retired from the force. …

Blu-ray Review: “Gran Torino”

Gran Torino (2009, Warner Bros.) purchase from Amazon: DVD | Blu-ray I enjoy a nice Unforgiven viewing as much as the next guy, but I’ve never really bought into the whole cult of Clint — for movies that are supposed to disassemble and analyze the various aspects of American manhood, Eastwood’s films often strike me as curiously dull. During A Perfect World, for instance — a movie I went to see knowing full well that Kevin Costner was Eastwood’s co-star, and hoping two negatives would produce a positive — I’m fairly certain I had an out of body experience, during which my spirit floated to the ceiling of the nearly empty theater and took a long nap. I went into Gran Torino, in other words, expecting very little; I certainly didn’t plan to feel a bitter swell of nostalgia as the closing credits rolled. But life is full of surprises, and as it turns out, Clint — and by extension Gran Torino — has a few too. Billed in advance as a sort of unofficial …

No Concessions: Every Which Way With Clint

Clint Eastwood is having the last sneer on the Oscars. As three of the five best picture nominees struggle for a box office bounce (and one, The Reader, has become a laughingstock, the poster child for questionable taste among led-by-the-nose Academy Award voters) his latest, and presumably last as an actor, Gran Torino, is pulling up at the $100 million mark and will easily outperform the others. It’s the only one of the highly touted December releases still drawing crowds in a January that has gone to the (Hotel for) Dogs and bear-hugged Paul Blart: Mall Cop. Critics mostly adore it, as they have just about every Eastwood picture since the long-time pariah was welcomed into the church of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with 1992’s Unforgiven. “‘Deserve’s’ got nothin’ to do with it,” his death-haunted old gunslinger muttered over Gene Hackman as he sent him to that great prairie in the sky, and the Academy loved him for it when at the end we were left with a “statement” on the …

Film Review: “Gran Torino”

Gran Torino finally opened to wide release this weekend, and rapidly earned the number one spot at the box office. It deserves every single dollar it’s made. Many have been calling it a type of Dirty Harry film, harking back to the old days when director/star Clint Eastwood (Million Dollar Baby, Changeling) ran around as Callahan, asking punks if they felt lucky before blowing a hole in them with his .44 Magnum. Indeed, the trailers make it seem as if Gran Torino is a last hurrah action film for Eastwood, before he takes his final bow somewhere down the line. The truth is, Gran Torino is not an action film by any true meaning of the word. Yes, there is action in it, but it’s action not just for the sake of showing some blood and violence; it’s organically grown from the storyline, from the result of consequences brought about by the acts and doings of the characters within the film. In short, Gran Torino is a character piece about an irascible Korean War vet …