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Clint Eastwood is Grumpy Old Man in Gran Torino

by
May 2, 2008

Clint Eastwood

As I suspected back in March, the cloaked news of Clint Eastwood's new movie, Gran Torino, is not the next installment in the Dirty Harry franchise. While the car harkens back to the time of Harry Callahan, it is in fact the prized possession of Eastwood's aged character - in the film. The December movie revolves around a kid who tries to steal it as part of a gang initiation. Apparently, despite what you might think, this isn't another Million Dollar Baby-type film, in which Eastwood begrudgingly imparts his elderly wisdom on someone wayward and younger; it's, seemingly a comedy of sorts -- "a witty, coming-of-age, buddy comedy." Yeh, are you going, "huh" too?

If the age gap wasn't enough space in which to generate all manner of bonding experiences and sentimental comedic moments, the would-be-theif, Tao, and much of the rest of the cast (as brought to us by Moviehole) are Asian. I suppose that broadens the gap and increases the ways in which Walt and Tao will become buddies.

I'm very curious to see how this will all pan out. Million Dollar Baby was great in the way that Eastwood played a somber mentor, and there were some great laughs as the two tried to relate to one another. But I'm finding it hard to believe that this is to be comedy at heart. The "official" description doesn't lend much light to Moviehole's take on it:

"Walt Kowalski is a widower, a grumpy, tough-minded, borderline-hateful, unhappy man who can't get along with either his kids or his neighbors, a Korean War veteran whose prize possession is a 1972 Gran Torino he keeps in cherry condition. Drawn against his will into the lives of the Hmong family that lives next door to him, Walt grows increasingly fond of Tas and his sister Sue, and takes steps to protect them from the gangs that foul his neighborhood with their strutting presence…"

There article includes particular casting announcements, and some of the info borders on spoilers. You've been warned! You can read on if you want, but I think we've learned enough to be rather disappointed with Gran Torino so far. So does the comedy angle jive with you? Is this an expected next move for Eastwood?

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  • Right. I worry about Clint Eastwood movies. He tends to make such terrible ones.
  • The Brain
    I can actually see the comedy angle here. Eastwood will probably play a gruff old guy and the kid tries to steal the car, and Eastwood has some secret way to start up the car. Maybe the kid breaks into the car, starts it up, and Eastwood jumps in shotgun, and talks sh*t or something. I'm picturing some comedy/drama like "Nobody's Fool." Paul Newman kinda played a similar grumpy old man. Nevertheless, it sounds pretty formulaic. Maybe Eastwood will end up sporting a beanie and stunna shades like Warren Beatty did in "Bulworth" or Steve Martin in "Bringing Down the House."
  • You know Andrew, Letters from Iwo Jima was a great movie, although Flags of Our Fathers wasn't. And Million Dollar Baby was pretty good, too. So he's kinda hit and miss. Unfortunately this sounds like a miss. But I wouldn't really say he tends to make terrible movies...
  • darrin
    clint eastwood makes interesting movies
  • avoidz
    Not Harry Callahan? Damn. Clint Eastwood is great, but his directorial output in the last ten years or so has been really disappointing/boring (particularly Million Dollar Baby). The last movie he was in I enjoyed was In the Line of Fire, back in '93.
  • Get the REAL “Gran Torino” info here: http://www.xanga.com/sandyciGranTorino
  • DRSANGLE
    Probably the most brilliant of Clint Eastwood's own productions. For those that don't think so, I am sad. This man who have not only entertained but has worked so hard to be an individual has taken his life's work and produced a film as good as a reminder of what we all should stand for. As a 58 year old taking two young teenage sons to this film, they not only connected with an earlier generation but were speachless after seeing this film today. As teenagers go, they felt the impact of someone else saying and doing what I have tried to impress upon them. Thank God for Clint Eastwood as what this country and all the others have been able to produce for all of us. If you don't think so, then you haven't been to the other countries. Even though I am not quite his age, I believe Clint has wanted to pass on with the way he knows best something of value. Try to think of any other movie you have seen in at least 35 years that does what this movie does. If you can't, then you are missing or have lost something. DRSANGLE

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