Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Paying too much for broadband? Move to PlusNet broadband and save£££s. Free setup now available - terms apply. PlusNet broadband.  
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Gran Torino (slight spoilers)

  1. #1

    Default Gran Torino (slight spoilers)

    We'd agreed to attend the 3-20pm screening over in Ashton-Under-Lyne not knowing that daughter and g/daughter would descend with her hubby to be and the 'extensions' a couple of whippersnappers of seven and ten.
    Good kids. I gave the little lad a spare copy of 'The Dambusters'...he was thrilled. Seems he wants to be a soldier when he growns up - plenty of time to talk him out of that one but...nowt to do wi' me really.
    Anyway, enough preamble.

    Said visitors had to be ushered oot the hoose after an hour and we were cinema bound once more - third time this year...blimey!

    I'm not sure what one expects from a vigilante movie where the main avenger is an eighty year old - or at least looks close to that great age.

    Our man Walt Kowalski is burying his wife. He despises his family and who can blame him? - the Grandchildren in particular disappoint him - frankly they'd disappoint most people.


    The neighborhood is changing fast - he's perhaps the only white guy left in it. Most of the houses have a distinct sub-prime look about them and the immigrants are moving in. Mostly 'HMongs' ....South-East Asian folk from the likes of Laos, and Cambodia...sympathetic to the American cause in the Vietnam war and now ushered in by Uncle Sam as they're persecuted in their homelands.

    Walt's a 'veteran' of the Korean war - where his G.I. buddies used to "stack up people like 'Mongs' five high and use 'em as sandbags" - charmin'

    As he sits on his front porch nursing beer after beer Walt does not like what he sees. When it came to the depiction of youth culture in the neighborhood neither did I. The inevitable gang. Unphotogenic beggars.The ones that didn't look distinctly devilish looked like fat buddhas in baggy pants.

    Despite his initial misgivings our man Walt is soon looking upon his friendly down home next door neighbours with a more benevolent attitude. Chicken Dumplings ca[tuire his head if not his heart - and the young lass of about seventeen also helps win over the crusty curmudgeon who is coughing up blood on a regular basis and looking decidedly auld !

    I'll not delve into the plot much more . What ruined this film for me was the appallingly poor acting of a certain Bee Vang - who played Thao, the young lad next door - he was bobbins. In fact the 'HMong' throng could not conjure up one decent actor from their entire ethnic group. Walt's dog Daisy herself an aged looking Labrador out-performed all of 'em...although she didn't have any lines as such.

    Of course, Eastwood is the archetypal avenger. Even at his advanced age he can summon up menace - here he growls a phlegmy if muted alarm now and again like a 'you are peeing on my chips' warning . A threatening ' Get off my Lawn' uttered in true don't bovver my hovver fashion.

    His pride and joy - a 1972 Ford 'Gran Torino' often referred to in the dialogue and looking like a gracious if immobile prop parked up on the drive - glorious in green. He'd helped to build it - having spent forty years on the assembly line at Ford's.

    Even the car - inanimate and retro outacts Bee Vang...who made a hash of trying to nick it and ends up polishing it with his new found mentors approval.

    The climax , when it eventually arrives is appropriate and age-related if a trifle underwhelming..We left the cinema with a sense of unspoken disappointment - and not just because we'd paid two quid for a small bottle of water.

    On the way home Mrs.T asked 'Why was it called Gran Torino'? Which had me thinking this normally astute woman had fallen asleep or been somewhere else mentally - if either theory was correct I might not have blamed her.

    I award this movie five of my stingey points because I owe Clint a few favours...he's entertained me often. This time too but I feel it's his last role as an Avenger....they were good cars in their time too but well past their use by date now. Every dog has it's day and Clint's had more than most. He should stick to directing now.

    In short I can't add this to the 'Recommendation' thread - and if I had I'd have much more sparing on detail. I'd watch it on dvd if I were you. The big screen lends little to the visual impact...which is not sudden, nor is it deep.
    Last edited by percy toboggan; 08-Mar-09 at 09:43.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    5,318

    Default

    Not what I wanted to read but as a fan of Mr Eastwood I'll still go and see the film. A great review Percy-I think you missed your true vocation old boy. Why do we have arses like Jonathon Ross on telly when we have people like you around?

  3. #3

    Default

    think you've missed the point of this film a bit percy. although on the outside it seems like your typical vigilante "one man against the world" type of film, its really not.

    Walt is pissed at the hood because its full of asians, even though they arent from anywhere near korea he still see's them as "gooks". He's pissed at his family because they show him no respect and only want him to pop his clogs so they can do a runner with his stuff.

    as the film progresses, you see walt find everything he's wanted. even though the family next door are completely different culturally, they share the same family values.

    without ruining it for people more, its a film about family values, stereotypes and not judging a book by its cover. some people might have a problem with the racism in the film, but its integral to the films idea of how what you say and what you do is completely different.

    definately recommend it, a very thought provoking and deep film.

    and its called gran torino for a reason. its a symbol of accomplishment and acheiving your goals.

  4. #4

    Default

    Tomacomen:

    If anyone 'has a problem' with the racism in this film then they are in denial with themselves about the initial default judgements of the majority of the human race. Racial tensions abound here, as in life where communities interface with multi-ethnic populations. Those living in the shires somewhat insulated from the truth might evangelise their misty eyed theories of tolerance and integration but I take life as I find it - within all communities there is an element of racism to a lesser or greater degree.
    Adding economic decline - and people feeling trapped in a changing world can only accentuate the problem.

    The old Hmong woman chunnering in her own tongue and wondering why Kowalkski 'still lived in the neighborhood' when everyone else like him had left was itself an indication that the 'racism' was two-sided...if perhaps partly generational.

    That's probably for another section of the board but getting back to the essence of the film itself there are familiy values on show ...from either end of the spectrum. Yes his family are awful - but the disrespect shown in the Church was completely over the top both in the kids actions and the garb they wore. A fabrication of a scriptwriter with not enough time to weave character who instead merely decides to abbreviate the dumbing down into a minute or two to set the scene.I do not believe for one moment that men brought up in Walt's wifes home would allow their children to behave in such a way - this is Hollywood after all though...not real life.A point you may have missed.

    You say the family next door 'shared Walt's family values' yet we never really know what family values he approves of. He was apparently, a useless father who has no ability to communicate with his Sons on any meaningful level.

    Walt did not fully embrace the family next door - he was making the best of a bad situation in my opinion . He reconciled the cultural differences to his own advantage and like most people managed to evaluate the good which exists in most people, whatever their race.



    One of the best scenes was the confrontation with the three stereotypical black youths who were threatening young Ms.Hmong and her white male companion.. There, Eastwood's character railed against both black and white. The former for their casual aggression and stereotypical swagger - foul mouthed and full on. The latter for trying to himself assimilate to the language and actions of the black youths in an attempt at appeasement. All four young men were left feeling stupid, and small.

    As for 'missing the point' well, I may well have done for I do not claim to be an expert. All I want to get out is an honest personal appraisal of movies I enjoy, or find stimulating enough to write about.

    If you - and others - see real depth here that's for you to applaud. Myself I saw little beyond an entertaining if eventually disappointing story marred by unconvincing acting from the supporting cast involved.

    Thanks for the feedback though , I enjoyed responding and thinking even more deeply about this film.... 'Gran Torino' .....the car which seemed to end up in the hands of a fifteen year old who could barely see above the streering wheel. Like the movie itself he needs more support and some extra padding.
    Last edited by percy toboggan; 08-Mar-09 at 10:49.

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tomacomen View Post
    think you've missed the point of this film a bit percy. although on the outside it seems like your typical vigilante "one man against the world" type of film, its really not.

    Walt is pissed at the hood because its full of asians, even though they arent from anywhere near korea he still see's them as "gooks". He's pissed at his family because they show him no respect and only want him to pop his clogs so they can do a runner with his stuff.

    as the film progresses, you see walt find everything he's wanted. even though the family next door are completely different culturally, they share the same family values.

    without ruining it for people more, its a film about family values, stereotypes and not judging a book by its cover. some people might have a problem with the racism in the film, but its integral to the films idea of how what you say and what you do is completely different.

    definately recommend it, a very thought provoking and deep film.

    and its called gran torino for a reason. its a symbol of accomplishment and acheiving your goals.
    i agree ........................

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Wick, Caithness
    Posts
    186

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tomacomen View Post
    think you've missed the point of this film a bit percy. although on the outside it seems like your typical vigilante "one man against the world" type of film, its really not.

    Walt is pissed at the hood because its full of asians, even though they arent from anywhere near korea he still see's them as "gooks". He's pissed at his family because they show him no respect and only want him to pop his clogs so they can do a runner with his stuff.

    as the film progresses, you see walt find everything he's wanted. even though the family next door are completely different culturally, they share the same family values.

    without ruining it for people more, its a film about family values, stereotypes and not judging a book by its cover. some people might have a problem with the racism in the film, but its integral to the films idea of how what you say and what you do is completely different.

    definately recommend it, a very thought provoking and deep film.

    and its called gran torino for a reason. its a symbol of accomplishment and acheiving your goals.

    Sorry Percy but i gotta agree with tomacomen too, although i gotta admit i well enjoyed reading your review of the film.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Thurso
    Posts
    2,614

    Default

    I saw Gran Torina a couple of weeks ago and like Percy would have given it a 5 before I read his excellent review and tomacomens response.
    Just to add to tomacomes points the film for me was about human relationships. It was about relationships within familys and within communities and between cultures and then between the individual and himself and the world he has created. That was the purpose of the patient priest.
    I agree that the title is symbolic of the American dream although it's ultimate pointlessness is portrayed by Eastwoods character.
    I agree its a deep film and on reflection may raise my mark to 7.

  8. #8

    Default

    thanks for the kind comments....I might well have another look at this film and am not beyond a re-appraisal meself now and again. I still don't see too much depth in the format that was presented.

    After speaking at some length with MrsT gleeber I may have well overlooked the importance of the Priests role in the movie.
    It's good to 'talk' and the responses to my effort in reviewing the piece are both encouraging and enlightened. I thank thee.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Pulteneytown
    Posts
    2,752

    Default

    Saw this last night, for the first half hour or so I was thinking 'oh come on this is boring' but then I really got into it and thoroughly enjoyed the movie. I too have to agree with Tomacomen's synopsis.

    Clint produced and directed this movie, he was believable even though I kept having flashbacks to Dirty Harry, I would recommend watching it.
    Why be a hard rock when you really are a gem!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •