I decided that the only thing to do was to pray I wouldn't die, teach my son to play the guitar, and leave it to him in hopes that I could make him understand its intrinsic value. In this week's feature, Clint Eastwood also holds a valuable item - a 1972 Ford Gran Torino - a classic muscle car that any serious collector would die to own.
"Gran Torino" is Eastwood being Eastwood, which is almost always a pleasure to behold. In this film he portrays an elderly widower who, having survived the horrors of war, wants little to do with anyone "foreign," including the Asian families who are beginning to occupy his neighborhood. Unfortunately fate intervenes in Eastwood's life, forcing him to look at his neighbors in a different light.
This could be one of the most racially charged films since "Crash," and certainly confirms that Clint Eastwood is still one of Hollywood's most intense character actors. The only weak link in this movie came from the few supporting actors whose lack of emotional depth came through in the more dramatic scenes.
If you're in the mood for a solid, albeit racially intense film, then I suggest giving this movie a try immediately. Just be prepared for a bevy of racial slurs as they roll off the tongue without yield throughout the film. Clint could be looking at another Oscar nomination so be sure to see this one before the February telecast. A fervid "B+" for "Gran Torino."
Dom's Video Pick of the Week
"Monster's Ball" is the story of a southern family living with intense bigotry and hatred. The three main characters all live in the same house, think the same thoughts, eat the same food, and work the same occupation. The oldest of the three is retired and literally fuels the hate that has been unconsciously passed through generations. However, life-changing events unfold that rip apart the thought patterns and force one individual to come to grips with his insensitive and destructive nature.
I wouldn't recommend this film to just anyone. It's certainly not for younger or immature viewers due to the intense sexual nature and highly charged subject matter. However, there is no doubt that this is an amazingly well-crafted piece of theater that just happens to have an Oscar-winning performance from Halle Berry thrown in as well.
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