Gran Torino: This Is How The Engine Runs
The characters in Clint Eastwood's film Gran Torino are unrealistic caricatures-- Walt's grand-kids are overly obnoxious, his children are calloused and cold, the gangsters are insensibly cruel, and his neighbors are extraordinarily foreign-- and while I questioned the realism at times during the movie, I now realize the exaggerated characterization is intentional: these people make you just as angry as Walt, which is the purpose of the film, because then you start to feel like Clint Eastwood and want to be tough like Clint Eastwood, because there's no other way to be in a world that is so hard and mean . . . and the movie moves like clockwork, or more like a train-wreck, there's no stopping or pausing, but upon reflection, when it's over, and you hear Clint Eastwood's voice singing the final song, and you remember that Clint Eastwood is 81 years old and has been acting, directing, composing, and producing film for more years than most of us have been alive, and you start to wonder: is Clint Eastwood really that tough? . . . can he really use tools? . . . can he actually fix a sink? . . . can he stare down gangsters a quarter his age? . . . and you realize that though the answer is probably "no" to all of these, it doesn't matter because he looks the part (especially on Blu-ray!) and so I give this film nine push lawn-mowers out of a possible ten.