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Gran Torino exhaustive meta review *spoilers* by Theatrix 01/10/2009, 6:47pm PST
I met this person once. And from this meeting came a relationship. And from this relationship came Clint Eastwood. I said, why do you have all these movies? Don't people just watch these ironically? No, I have never seen a Clint movie, except Million Dollar Baby, which sucked. So, I was shown them.

Month 1: Pale Rider, High Plains Drifter

Clint Eastwood plays Walt Kowalski, a racist ex-Korean vet, the last white holdout in a neighborhood in which white flight was last decade. He is at the funeral of his wife, who is, of course, a saint among women. And now she is gone. What follows is, obviously, alot of sitting on the porch, running out of beer and cigarettes. Scowling at what the neighborhood, and the world, has become. We see his family, 2 sons who have given up all hope of their father ever caring about them, 4 grandkids who want him to die so they can inherit his stuff, including a mint 1972 Gran Torino.

Month 2: Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, Two Mules for Sister Sara, The Outlaw Josey Wales

The inevitable happens, in a minority poor neighborhood, and a gang starts trying to recruit on the kid next door, Thao, who has no idea how to deal with it. He doesn't know much about how to deal with anything, but knows that he doesn't want to be in a gang, and he's not even too sure about that. He tries it, because he is feckless, and goes to steal the Gran Torino, which Walt loves more than he ever loved anyone except his wife. We also get to know his children's families, 2 normal if uninteresting wives, 4 normal if slightly spoiled children, 2 normal if expensive vehicles. Walt, more out of self-interest than of any real concern, chases the gang away, multiple times, after which, of course, they retaliate, because you just don't diss a dude in a gang, even if you do have better guns. Classic gun scenes, every character that Clint ever played comes through in his performance.

Month 3: The Spaghetti Westerns - A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The neighborhood priest, on a mission from the dead wife, wants Clint to go to confession. There's things there to confess, alright, because this racist asshole wasn't exactly playing by UN rules during his time in Korea. Meanwhile, the inevitable happens, and the clannish Hmong neighbors start trying to repay his help while he berates them to their faces, because they owe a debt of honor. Thao is sent over to work off his debt of trying to steal the Gran Torino, and here it gets interesting, but not for the obvious reasons. Walt, obviously, because somehow every plot requires this, is dying of lung cancer. He truly does not give a shit. He doesn't give a shit about these people, his people, any people. Except Sue. Sue is the sister of the Thao. She, of course, is sassy Asian chick and doesn't give a fuck what he thinks of her or her people. She thinks he is an amusing challenge, and, quite possibly, the only person who can help her fatherless brother grow up.

Month 4: Dirty Harry, The Beguiled, A Perfect World

Meanwhile, Walt's kids are trying to get him into a home, because he is old and that's what you do with old people. Doesn't matter that he doesn't need it. And to me, this is actually the most interesting theme of the movie. These 2 sons grew up with a father whose war experiences allowed him to become strong enough and human enough to win their mother, but he pretty much blew his load on that. He didn't concern himself with his kids, and they know it. It may be that we are all special snowflakes like everyone else, but you have to be special first before you realize you're not. They were never told they were special, so they grew up to be...not special. One is in sales. They have predictable lives, boring wives, listless kids, the right income and the right house and the right vehicle. They never knew they could even be good enough to rebel, so they checked out. Chose the path of least resistance. Did what everyone else did, because it was easiest. They're floating along, waiting for life to be over, and usually, in real life, that's what happens. It takes passion to abuse and hit and hate, and they didn't even get that. They got nothing. And people who receive nothing never learn to expect anything. And what makes this movie fabulous is that this was not told but shown, through brilliant scenes that get to the core of what life is really like for people that just go along- it isn't like anything at all. It isn't life.

Month 5: The Eiger Sanction, Sudden Impact, Escape From Alcatraz, The Gauntlet

When violence escalates as violence is wont, now that Thao is learning enough self-respect under Walk's wing to start sticking up for himself, you don't want this to be a traditional Eastwood plot anymore. Up until now it has been, with the one-liners, the edginess, the weapons, the abrasive non-caring. This is truly exceptional, because it makes the movie uncomfortable. You just know that Clint is going to go kill some motherfuckers after Sue is raped and beaten, but that doesn't sit well with you. With a current world in which ritual tick-tocking violence in the Middle East has become so routine that people don't even think about it anymore, inner city unending gang wars, vicious internet bullying and an Iraqi invasion that just won't fucking stop, you're already sickened, knowing that this isn't Clint's traditional characters' world anymore. Knowing that offing a gang isn't going to solve a fucking thing. It never does, as satisfying as it is, because war is inherently satisfying, and that's why people keep going back for more. It gives them an excuse. Walt knows that; in his final confession, when he lists the 3 things that he regrets, none of them mention Korea. He doesn't leave it out out of spite, he just doesn't regret it. The war taught him more about life and death than anyone else could know, a fact that he constantly taunts the priest with. It made him human enough to win the love of his wife, even if it scarred him enough that he never progressed beyond a very traditional, rigid, and stony view of the world. Another simply amazing theme never stated but implied - that which makes you be the best you will ever be cannot be regretted. Even if not a single fucking person in the world gets it.

Month 6: Joe Kidd, Kelly's Heroes, Coogan's Bluff, Bronco Billy, Unforgiven

Walt never really became a better person in this movie, but he became someone able to accept love and friendship, and face what the duties he neglected in the past had made those around him become. When he finally walks up to the gang headquarters, you know he isn't there to fight. While I think the foil of self-sacrifice just because you're dying anyway is one of the weakest points of the movie- it would have been better had he been perfectly healthy- the direction and imagery are exquisite, and you have tears in your eyes. Walt is now free of the burden of himself, and as Thao drives away in the final scene in the Gran Torino, you know he is, too, both from outside and inner persecutions. He has become the man Walt never did, but couldn't have become without him.

Goodbye, Clint. Goodbye, lover. I will never see either one of you again. You were worth it.

Gran Torino exhaustive meta review *spoilers* by Theatrix 01/10/2009, 6:47pm PST NEW
    Worth what? (That review was kind of gay but at least now I know what the movi NT by Fullofkittens 01/10/2009, 7:06pm PST NEW
    Gang Violence, Israel/Palestine, Iraq War, and Vicious Vicious Internet Bullying NT by Ha ha ha ha ha! 01/10/2009, 7:40pm PST NEW
        Gotta play to your crowd, natch. NT NT by It was all for you 01/10/2009, 7:51pm PST NEW
    888 on a Questionable Content level. NT by Creexuls, a monster >:3 01/10/2009, 7:58pm PST NEW
        What do the three eights mean again NT by John Spartan 01/12/2009, 6:13pm PST NEW
            The cables want to turn Caltrops into Something Awful NT by Mysterio 01/12/2009, 6:15pm PST NEW
            link by Mr. Links 01/12/2009, 7:43pm PST NEW
            888 is from SASS, it means didn't read. by Creexuls, a monster >:3 01/13/2009, 12:53am PST NEW
                Yeah, importing more SASS faggotry would be fucking awesome NT by Crackhead Bob 01/13/2009, 9:49am PST NEW
                    It's a trap! NT by Admiral Ackbar 01/13/2009, 9:59am PST NEW
                    That's true it probably would be. ^_^ NT by Creexuls, a monster >:3 01/13/2009, 10:32am PST NEW
                        Culminating in ICJ closing caltrops, cuz fags threatened post his phone number. NT by Worm 01/13/2009, 11:23am PST NEW
    The gender-indeterminate "lover" in this story has me so intrigued! by Fussbett 01/10/2009, 8:02pm PST NEW
        Also: no mention of the AMAZING Eastwood-sung theme song? (it beats a lonely rh by Fussbett 01/10/2009, 8:04pm PST NEW
    Terrible review, you're a bad writer, this experiment failed by I need clarification 01/10/2009, 9:14pm PST NEW
    What the fuck was that? by Lizard_King 01/10/2009, 9:48pm PST NEW
        We have identified that poster. by Creexuls, a monster >:3 01/10/2009, 9:50pm PST NEW
        I didn't see a whole lot of criticism there NT by Which was the point 01/10/2009, 10:04pm PST NEW
        What the hell does a summary mean to you? by Hint- it's a review 01/10/2009, 11:11pm PST NEW
            The only solid impression I have as a result of that series of boring summaries by Lizard_King 01/11/2009, 7:14am PST NEW
                What's your beef with me? by Gran Torino Poster 01/11/2009, 11:07am PST NEW
        Re: What the fuck was that? by Ice Cream Jonsey 01/13/2009, 9:48am PST NEW
            You have walked into the slavering jaws of a jonesy. NT by motherfuckerfoodeater 01/13/2009, 9:52am PST NEW
            I corrected your post. by Zsenitan 01/13/2009, 10:34am PST NEW
                Thanks. I switched back to the Dreamcast keyboard, and the layout is differe NT by Ice Cream Jonsey 01/13/2009, 11:21am PST NEW
                    Haha NT by Fussbett 01/13/2009, 12:47pm PST NEW
            Christ, so it's not even a review, just a lost journal entry? by Lizard_King 01/13/2009, 6:55pm PST NEW
                My awesome submission by motherfuckerfoodeater 01/13/2009, 8:51pm PST NEW
    I don't see Play Misty for Me on your list by Jerry Whorebach 01/10/2009, 10:28pm PST NEW
        Re: I don't see Play Misty for Me on your list by Theatrix 01/11/2009, 1:27am PST NEW
            No, the second directorial debut. You should probably backslide and redate. NT by mark 01/11/2009, 8:51pm PST NEW
    Hahahaha by Zsenitan 01/11/2009, 5:31am PST NEW
        To met? LOOK TAKE A TYPING CLASS THAT TIP TIP TAPPING IS DRIVING NAILS IN MY SKU NT by Creexuls, a monster >:3 01/11/2009, 5:35am PST NEW
            My errors are greater than the perfections of others. NT by Zsenitan 01/11/2009, 5:49am PST NEW
                then they aren't really perfections are they hm no they aren't NT by Weyoun Voidbringer 01/11/2009, 6:55pm PST NEW
                    So true. NT by Zsenitan 01/12/2009, 6:54am PST NEW
                403 Permission Denied NT by Creexuls, a monster >:3 01/11/2009, 6:14am PST NEW
        Re: Hahahaha by Theatrix 01/11/2009, 5:12pm PST NEW
            Tits + appropriate exif will be considered proof. Otherwise: you lie. NT by Zsenitan 01/11/2009, 5:26pm PST NEW
                Exift indeed! NT by Zseni=Retarded 01/11/2009, 7:22pm PST NEW
                    they laugh... because they cannot cry NT by octopus overlords on caltrops 01/11/2009, 7:37pm PST NEW
                    Retarded but accurate. Tits + exif or else you are a dumpy man WITH SOCKPUPPETS NT by Zsenitan 01/12/2009, 6:55am PST NEW
            It is not a business. NT by Fullofkittens 01/11/2009, 5:29pm PST NEW
            Re: Hahahaha by Creexuls, a monster >:3 01/11/2009, 9:50pm PST NEW
                Re: Hahahaha by Theatrix 01/12/2009, 5:14pm PST NEW
                    That is... not plausible. NT by Fullofkittens 01/12/2009, 6:32pm PST NEW
                        Re: That is... not plausible. by Theatrix 01/12/2009, 7:48pm PST NEW
                            Thanks Dana let us know what movies offend your sensibilities next. NT by Creexuls, a monster >:3 01/13/2009, 12:54am PST NEW
                            Guys let me handle this, I speak fake woman: honey, he meant was you're a LIAR. by Zsenitan 01/13/2009, 6:16am PST NEW
                            You chose the right place to link from! by I need clarification 01/13/2009, 7:49am PST NEW
                                Oh, Zseni already said some of that above by I need clarification 01/13/2009, 7:52am PST NEW
                                    No worries; I'm a luxury brand. Many namedrop, few comprehend. NT by Zsenitan 01/13/2009, 8:04am PST NEW
                                    It's true! by Caltrops 01/13/2009, 1:47pm PST NEW
    spoilers by Ice Cream Jonsey 08/19/2012, 8:04pm PDT NEW
        Is this your way of warning us you're about to delete the site? by Mischief Messiah 08/19/2012, 9:10pm PDT NEW
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