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Gran Torino
USA, Germany, Australia
Crime, Drama
IMDB rating:
Clint Eastwood
Christopher Carley as Father Janovich
Bee Vang as Thao Vang Lor
Ahney Her as Sue Lor
Brian Haley as Mitch Kowalski
Geraldine Hughes as Karen Kowalski
Dreama Walker as Ashley Kowalski
Brian Howe as Steve Kowalski
John Carroll Lynch as Barber Martin
William Hill as Tim Kennedy
Chee Thao as Grandma
Choua Kue as Youa
Storyline: Walt Kowalski is a widower who holds onto his prejudices despite the changes in his Michigan neighborhood and the world around him. Kowalski is a grumpy, tough-minded, unhappy old man who can't get along with either his kids or his neighbors. He is a Korean War veteran whose prize possession is a 1972 Gran Torino he keeps in mint condition. When his neighbor Thao, a young Hmong teenager under pressure from his gang member cousin, tries to steal his Gran Torino, Kowalski sets out to reform the youth. Drawn against his will into the life of Thao's family, Kowalski is soon taking steps to protect them from the gangs that infest their neighborhood.
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One of the worst movie ever. Unbelievely racist and unrealistic. Did the even research Asian culture they depicted or did they just swap in stereotypes about black people. CLint Eastwood's character is racist the entire movie, openly and the Asian characters laugh or put up with it. THe character of Thao is shown to be weak and needs Clint Eastwood, a white man to teach him how to act. There is a scene where Thao's sister interacts with black men and well, it racist. The black men want to rape her and her hip-hip white boy boyfriend is a pussy who tries to befriend the black guys until CLint Eastwood, or super Whitey comes to save the day, call the black guys a racial slur and point a gun at them. THao's cousins are gangsters and when he doesn't join their gang they rape his sister. THe hell? That never happens, I mean they raped their cousin. Once again Clint saves the day and sacrifices his life for his Asain friends. He leaves Thao a Gran Torino and says racist things about every ethnicity in his will. So CLint doesn't even stop being racist at the end of the the movie.
Predictable and Cliché, enjoyable only for the sheep.
If there's a handbook out there on how to make an award worthy movie, Eastwood not only has it, but lives by it. For most people Gran Torino will be on their top list of the year, but Gran Torino is chalked full of content that screams "award worthy" that it has the opposite effect. And the mistakes in this film are too obvious to ignore. At least for me they are.

Despite the praise this movie is getting, this is nowhere near the best of the year, or any best list altogether. This is a 2 hour instructional on how to make a movie with little to no budget that gets people talking about awards for it. So let me prove why that is.

Cookie cutter characters, and Grand Torino is full of them. From Walt ( Eastwood ), to Thao, Thao's sister, the entire Hmong family next door, the gangsta cousin, and the Priest. When you start with generic characters you're going to have a generic story. But wait, if it's generic ( AND IT IS ) why are people talking awards? Why was the screenplay so honored? Simple, you add in the "choker scene".

Despite being a generic story with generic characters there is one scene in the movie people will get choked up on. And I'm going to spoil that. Thao's sister gets raped. OMG HOW POWERFUL WAS THAT!! There I just listed what everyone talking about how they felt when they saw her. At this point in the movie the story already changed gears twice. Now this is the third change and its the gripper. Its the one that makes people say how powerful this movie is ( it isn't ) If anything it was a joke, when she came walking through the door I laughed cause I thought " OH here's the award moment right here." But people eat this stuff up and Eastwood knows it. Cause they did.

With the rape scene being the third story change I want to recap what happened before it. At first you see Walt hates his family, his neighborhood, the priest, and his neighbors. This goes on for a while. THEN SOMETHING HAPPENS!! Walt is liked by his neighbors, and in standard Hollywood fashion he learns more about the Hmong's which is basically a homage to any movie made where a foreigner is taught the customs and heritage of another race through an intelligent interpreter. That intelligent interpreter being Thao's sister ( SEE SO THE RAPE SCENE IS MORE POWERFUL LATER ) Add in something Walt does to SHOCK THE HMONG FAMILY, a mysterious Hmong shaman reads his fortune, Walt having a good time, and a conversation with Thao and end scene. Good to go to the next story change.

From that point on the movie is Walt warming up to Thao and the rest of the Hmongs. Now these guys are good pals. But there's a lot missing in this I feel. Thao goes from Forrest Gump quiet to "won't shut the hell up" in the course of a montage of him doing yard work in the neighborhood. I liked quiet Thao. But no-so-quiet Thao was annoying. From this point on I had a hard time figuring out what the point of this movie was.

And the lack of any really message left me thinking this movie served only one purpose. To win awards. And the screenplay did win one. And I think Clint won one as well. So as far as that end goes the movie was a success.

But for me its more than just about the awards. I've watched a lot of critically acclaimed and award winning movies over the years and for the majority of them they suck. They suck cause they all follow the same sort of pattern. They go to the play book on how to put scenes together and what to do in them that make it predictable. And your award winning moment is always something that shocks people. So Thao's sister being raped is that scene, how it played out was predictable, and what happened after it was uneventful. And in the end your left with a movie that doesn't change anything that you perceive or thought before you saw it.

There's no real emotion being had in this movie. Mostly cause the characters aren't likable. Thao's sister, annoying. Thao, interesting, then became annoying. Walt, funny, but too predictable to even care about. Walt could've have been likable but I had a problem when it was over. He liked the Hmongs who he befriended that summer more than his own family of 50 years. What a dork. I mean he couldn't even open up to them. But Thao was like the son he never had. But the catch is Thao wasn't any better a person than Walt's sons. Thao was better than his grand-kids, but the sons weren't worthy of so much hatred from the old man, at least not from what I saw.

Overall this movie is a disaster. Sure you get wisecracking Eastwood, but you also get feed a lot mixed messages and movie cliché's that make your eyes roll. And to top it off you get Eastwood singing at the end while the credits roll.
The acting was TERRIBLE!!!!! The ending was terrible!!!! LMAO. And you even get to hear Clint singing at the end.....I died laughing at how pathetic it was.

And his car was NEVER stolen......

This was like watching a bad version of the Karate Kid, only Clint didn't teach the kid anything but how to do a bit of work and how to get your sister raped.

Seriously, I reckon the whole movie was about that Asian kid getting Clint involved in the gang crap just so he could get his car in the end. It was a calculated ploy. And it worked!!!! I'm writing this review weeks after I saw the movie so I've forgotten most of it, but I remember it being really $hit.

Honestly, the ending is pure comedy gold. Was there supposed to be some irony to it? I.e he regrettably killed some Koreans in the war so its only fitting that he gets blown away by younger Korean kids at the end to make things even? LMAO. The movie was lame.
Save yourself the price of admission!
I have always liked Clints work and after seeing this movie I was sadly disappointed. I thought his character was well played and more or less well developed, however everything after the initial 10 minutes or so was just awful. The Asian actors were absolutely horrible not to mention completely unbelievable...there was a glimmer there with the young girl who first approached Clints character, but she was quickly lost in a bad script and the audience was left wanting to care about her but there just wasn't enough screen time to allow us to. I won't go into wasn't a complete bunch of garbage...but the second rate acting made this movie a huge disappointment. I hope Clint makes something else soon because I would hate to think of this as his last work to remember him by. Save yourself the price of admission and if you're a real fan of Clints it...don't buy it!
how is this ranked so high
I had no intention of watching this, but my friend called me up and asked me if I wanted to watch it. I must say that I do not know why people love Eastwood's movies so much. I felt as if it was just not put together well. Maybe that is not the best way of putting it, but I would definitely say that he has no originality and does not bring anything new to the table as a director. To me it seems as cookie cutter as one can get with movies of this type. I felt as if the acting was terrible, but there were moments when I thought Eastwood was good, but not enough for me to think that he did a good job with the movie. I do not think that the script was all that strong to begin with and the dialog was a weak as it could get. I know the movie is about breaking views about stereo-types and prejudice and crap like that, but it did not resonate at all. I found myself laughing at a lot of racial slurs and I do not know if that was intentional, but it took away from the seriousness of the movie for me. Being a minority growing up with a lot of racists in my life might have skewed my view on this, but I do not think this was a realistic progression for any of the characters. This movie is as formulaic as it gets from the script to the music choices to the acting. Nothing unique about this movie to make me want to rate it any higher.
I don't think my heart can take watching this film one more time...
I can't even begin to tell you how much I'll forever cherish this film. He really outdid himself this time! I've never dreamed I'd lay eyes on such a heart-wrenching film. If I ever get the choice to see one last film on the final day of my life, this will be it.

As I walked out of that theater, crying uncontrollably, people who had watched a different film that night (as well as the workers), wondered what on earth happened in that movie theater... I can only hope they'll ever get the honor to find out.

Thank you Mr. Eastwood, for everything. And the spoiler? Clint wins the Oscar and... my heart.
Close, but no Cigar
First of all, don't assume that I am trying to discourage you from seeing this movie by giving it a relatively low score. As escapist entertainment, it works very, very well. Just don't let the fact that this movie uses some politically incorrect and downright racist language that comes from the mouth of someone who turns out to have a heart of gold and comes to love the objects of his racism con you into thinking there is any great depth to this movie. There isn't. Depicting an oddball and a dinosaur who turns out to be able to learn things and teach things may be entertaining, but unless it brings something new to the table, it isn't philosophy. This is a movie about redemption, but in the end, the main character, who is initially depicted as a thinker and a secretly religious man, claims redemption and salvation by denying all hope of redemption and salvation to other (admittedly evil) characters. For me, this just didn't work and the contradiction ruined the movie for me. The character just would not have done that. He was neither stupid nor selfish.

Clint Eastwood turns in a great performance. Nobody else did, although most carried their part competently. I genuinely enjoyed this film while I was watching it. get it on DVD.
A Disappointing Chick Flick For Grumpy Old Men
This was on my to watch list for a while . Six years to be precise . How on Earth I never got round to seeing it I've no idea . It's highly regarded by my peers on this website and it's by Eastwood who if nothing else is an inspiration in the way he constantly churns out movies without pausing for breath . He might not be on a par with Scorsese or Aronofsky but he's definitely not some third rate journeyman hack director who thinks he's doing an MTV ident while over dosing on cocaine which seems to be the in house Hollywood directorial style these days . That said despite the praise it has received GRAN TORINO is a disappointment

The problem is that the narrative is an all too obvious redemption plot . Eastwood plays Ebeneezer Scoorge / Victor Meldrew with a dollop of bitter and twisted racist overtones thrown in to the uneasy mix . When he's referring to ethnic minorities in general and Orientals in particular with nasty racist names I kept expecting him to scream " I don't believe it " . As soon as he gets friendly with his Asiatic neighbours you understand where the story is going and there's little in the way or surprises . The tone is often a problem . The foul mouthed and racist tirades totally jar with the schmaltzt and manipulative plotting . Ask yourself if it didn't star Eastwood and didn't contain strong language would you not expect this to be a production from the Hallmark Channel ? That said it does the intelligent point if you want to survive in the American ghetto then running with the pack is probably the only option and Eastwood is always good value but I expected more considering the high praise this movie received on its release
What... 8.3 / 10? Seriously? This is a 6 at best.
I couldn't believe it when I saw this on the IMDb top 250. Seeing one trailer gives away the whole movie. There is nothing interesting, challenging, or though provoking in this movie. The story is the same "learning the error of racism" we've seen a hundred times, with nothing good to make up for it.

I don't get it. Poor acting. Cut / Paste story. No distinguishing style or photography. An affront to film as an art form. I'm not a big Clint Eastwood fan to begin with, and I don't think I'm the target audience of this, but I much prefer him as an actor than director. At least his effort of Invictus had some good acting and historical significance to back it up, but even that was not an 8.3. This score makes me question the universe.
That sums it up. This is sadly a really straight forward story, with absolutely no surprises. Everything you think will happen does. That is not necessarily a bad thing, if you add amazing cinematography, excellent character development and a poignant script. This movie lacks all of those things. Eastwood has done some fantastic acting, but seems a bit of a caricature here. The other actors leave a lot to be desired. A lot. Bits here and there were funny or touching, but did not add up to much. The progression of the gang story line didn't seem believable. A lot didn't seem believable. I'm sorry, but the nicest thing I can say about this film is that it was disappointing. I think all the people involved are capable of doing much better. I give this movie five stars for trying, but I will never watch it again, and I will probably forget all about it in a month or two.

Added insult: the extras on the DVD. Sexist idiocy about men and their obsession with cars. Remember when extras were actually interesting, instead of just garbage manufactured to market something? sigh.
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