Gran Torino (Blu-ray)

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THE BEST

on 7/7/2011

The Academy went down yet another notch in my estimation for all but ignoring this masterpiece from the master, Clint Eastwood. Others here have described the rich plot. The group of unknown Vietnamese actors are PERFECTLY led by Clint Eastwood, as the silent, grouchy, proud, imperfect, highly principled American guy we all know--or wish we knew better. Gran Torino is poignant, at times funny, and inspirational. It could be Clint Eastwood's career best, Dirty Harry come full urban-American circle. Shame on you, Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. You goofed by ignoring a lot of classics we all love now, and you goofed on this, big time. (And they wonder why ratings for the Oscar show continue to dive, year after year.) Highly recommended.

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Product Overview

Korean War vet and retired autoworker Walt Kowalski doesn't much like how his life or his neighborhood has turned out. He especially doesn't like the people next door, Hmong immigrants from Southeast Asia. But events force Walt to defend those neighbors against a local gang that feeds on violence and fear. For the first time since Million Dollar Baby, Clint Eastwood works on both sides of the camera, winning the National Board of Review Award as Best Actor for his bone-deep playing of Kowalski, burnished with experience, grace and gravitas into a "prime vintage Eastwood performance" (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone).

Specifications

Studio Warner
SKU 210905974
UPC 883929033249
UPC 14 00883929033249
Format Blu-Ray DVD
Release Date 2/18/2014
Rating Rating
Aspect Ratio
Widescreen  2.40:1
Awards
Golden Globe (2009) Clint Eastwood, et. al. ("Gran Torino"), Nominee, Best Original Song - Motion Picture
Reviews
ReviewSource ReelViews
Review Gran Torino is an amazingly over-the-top anti-racism parable but, despite its obvious shortcomings, it is nevertheless effective and affecting. The storytelling style is old fashioned in what it does and unsubtle in the way it goes about doing it, and Eastwood doesn't plumb any new depths in his stereotyped portrayal of the film's central character. Yet, perhaps because the ending doesn't unspool quite as expected and perhaps because the film has something to say (even if it is presented with a heavy hand), it's hard to deny that Gran Torino works on a certain level. This is far from Eastwood's best work as a director, but it's a respectable effort and is more successful that his tepid earlier 2008 effort, Changeling...Speaking of Eastwood, his name has been mentioned alongside the phrase "Best Actor nomination" in a number of places, but to award the venerable filmmaker/actor with such a tribute in this case would be an injustice. Eastwood is playing a variation of Dirty Harry - a hard-bitten loner who at times is so over-the-top nasty that he borders on self-parody, such as when he literally growls when someone does something of which he disapproves...The film gets points for its unconventional resolution, which I will not disclose here. Suffice it to say that this is a rare movie that doesn't implode during the last reel; the filmmaking team obviously put some thought into the best way to construct the conclusion...As parables go, this one is almost shockingly obvious but, in thinking about it, it's not that far away from Million Dollar Baby, with both films featuring key interactions between Eastwood's character and a priest. And, while Eastwood may not turn in a great performance, he's a strong reliable presence whose participation somehow makes it okay to shed those tears. Despite its flaws, I appreciate Gran Torino, although I do so more with my heart than with my head.
ReviewDate
ReviewPage
Reviewer James Berardinelli
ReviewRating 8
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review I would like to grow up to be like Clint Eastwood. Eastwood the director, Eastwood the actor, Eastwood the invincible, Eastwood the old man. What other figure in the history of the cinema has been an actor for 53 years, a director for 37, won two Oscars for direction, two more for best picture, plus the Thalberg Award, and at 78 can direct himself in his own film and look meaner than hell? None, that's how many..."Gran Torino" stars Eastwood as an American icon once again -- this time as a cantankerous, racist, beer-chugging retired Detroit autoworker who keeps his shotgun ready to lock and load. Dirty Harry on a pension, we're thinking, until we realize that only the autoworker retired; Dirty Harry is still on the job. Eastwood plays the character as a man bursting with energy, most of which he uses to hold himself in. Each word, each scowl, seems to have broken loose from a deep place...Among actors of Eastwood's generation, James Garner might have been able to play this role, but my guess is, he'd be too nice in it. Eastwood doesn't play nice. Walt makes no apologies for who he is, and that's why, when he begins to decide he likes his neighbors better than his own family, it means something. "Gran Torino" isn't a liberal parable. It's more like, out of the frying pan and into the melting pot..."Gran Torino" is about two things, I believe. It's about the belated flowering of a man's better nature. And it's about Americans of different races growing more open to one another in the new century. This doesn't involve some kind of grand transformation. It involves starting to see the "gooks" next door as people you love. And it helps if you live in the kind of neighborhood where they are next door...If the climax seems too generic and pre-programmed, with too much happening fairly quickly, I like that better than if it just dribbled off into sweetness. So would Walt.
ReviewDate
ReviewPage
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 9
Features
Widescreen
Product Attributes
Video Format Blu-Ray
Quotes
Angie Errigo, Empire Simply terrific, enormously watchable and an absolute must for all Eastwood fans. Gotta say it: this film will make your day.
Joe Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal The performance of a lifetime.
Lou Lumenick, New York Post ...a terrific, career-capping role for Eastwood, who claims he's now retired as an actor.
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone A lifetime in movies runs through this prime vintage Eastwood performance. You can't take your eyes off him.
Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald ...supremely entertaining -- and often hilarious.

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