Betsy Speicher

Gran Torino (2008)

Rate this Movie   9 votes

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  2. 2. Sense of Life or Personal Value

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7 posts in this topic

"I get things done." Yes, Clint Eastwood's character does live up to his statement. Clint Eastwood's character (Walt) does use harsh language and actions to sometimes "get things done." But, for those that can handle these type of things I would offer that this would be an enjoyful movie to see. Without giving to much away, Walt is a better than average man dealing with difficult hardships who does not give up his values nor his virtues to overcome those difficulties.

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I enjoyed it overall and thought it was made well enough, but I don't see this film as a standout in Eastwood's career. I was surprised by how funny this movie is. Though there is a very somber tone throughout, there are small moments of joy and smiles that break through. I was most disappointed by the very end; I wish it had ended differently.

I liked Walt as a character, but at times he almost become self-parodying. He has some great one-liners, especially dealing with religion.

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There are possible spoilers about this movie in this post.

I was most disappointed by the very end; I wish it had ended differently.

While attempting not to give to much away, I would offer that in Walt's situation it ended the best way that it could. As a matter of fact the ending brought me right back to a movie and it's ending that I saw almost 33 years ago. "If I had your courage I would not want to die a death like I just described."

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I enjoyed this movie tremendously. The story is profound in many ways and presents a wonderful sense of life. Many reviews have focused on the racist language and the revenge angle, but the film is much deeper than this.

Walt Kowalski (Clint Eastwood) is a man of confidence. His confidence comes from his ability to "get things done". He's lived his life on his own terms and ignored or dealt with any adversity that came across his path. His house is in order, his lawn is tended, his tools are complete and in their proper place. In standard Hollywood movies, Walt would have a nervous breakdown or some such episode that would expose his confidence as a lie. Not in Gran Torino. Instead, Kowalski is confronted with two situations where his self confidence and self esteem conquer adversity. Kowalski handles both situations with intelligence. His solutions to the problems are inventive, wise and life affirming. In particular, his solution to the most dangerous problem in the movie will fill you admiration and warmth.

Contrary to a lot reviews I've read, I do not believe the Kowalski character is a racist. He uses policiticly incorrect language but, as Objectivists, we know that essentials are what are important. Kowalski does not judge people on the color of their skin but on their ability. As soon as he determines that someone is strong and independent, he treats them as a friend regardless of their ethnic background.

Gran Torino is a wonderful film and should not be missed.

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I don't recommend this film. It is a perfect example of Eastwood's and America's seriously mixed philosophical principles. (Mystic River almost swore me off any more Eastwood movies; this one did it.)

Just when you think you're going to see a man of action reject religion in favor of decisions and actions here on this earth, you instead see that man cave in to the 'truth' of the mystic yammerings of, literally, a bone throwing witch doctor. After saying that he only went to church to please his wife, he relents and goes to confession when he is about to die…

Although you see a man who does have some standards for judging that are not based on race, all his speech indicates otherwise. He mixes really derogatory speech with 'kidding' with his friends.

You see a seriously mixed representation of serving in the American military. The courage under fire and pride in fighting for what America stands for - as depicted by the medal - is completely undercut with the 'baby killer' style confession. Is this guy proud of his fighting for America or not?

You see a man without the full, proper understanding of what it is to 'be a man'. Is it courage under fire, standing up to tyranny, and working to support himself or knowing how to recite the typical brain-dead day-to-day banalities, including lying about your ability to get a job.

A few witty lines ("And keep your hands off my dog."………"We eat cats.") and some resistance to thugs aren't enough to save this film for me. There are better representations of both without the undercutting flaws of this one.

Once again I just have to wonder "What could someone with this talent have done if he had the correct philosophy?" *********sigh*******

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You see a seriously mixed representation of serving in the American military. The courage under fire and pride in fighting for what America stands for - as depicted by the medal - is completely undercut with the 'baby killer' style confession. Is this guy proud of his fighting for America or not?

He shot someone who was surrendering. Is this something he should have been proud of, accident or not?

Just when you think you're going to see a man of action reject religion in favor of decisions and actions here on this earth, you instead see that man cave in to the 'truth' of the mystic yammerings of, literally, a bone throwing witch doctor.

When did he accept the "truth" of the "mystic yammering"? He did not accept them qua mystic yammerings, rather as something that happened to be true. Note also, he did not confess what he thought was his biggest sin to the priest, but to Tau (sp?).

I think you are putting too much effort into finding the flaws. This movie was excellent.

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