#143: Gran Torino (2008)

When and how did I watch this?

February 29th and March 1st, 2016, on a friend’s PLEX account.

Had I seen this film already?

Yes.

What did I know about the movie before watching it?

Gritty witty Clint Eastwood flick that addressed racism and gang warfare head on.

What do I know about it now?

There’s no more depth to it upon second viewing over the first.  I wasn’t wholly surprised, but I was hoping I would see something else with the context and my increased perceptiveness from viewing increasingly complicated and moving cinema.  Gran Torino, while true and enjoyable, is neither complicated nor moving.  It’s really just a fast forward of Mr. Eastwood’s gun slinging films (Western or Dirty Harry status, take your pick).  This doesn’t make it a poor film; it just feels like a redo.  What I did like about it this time around, however, was the focus on self-sacrifice in contrast to self-preservation, and that the violence wasn’t glamorized.

What are some themes in the film?

Revenge, race, life and death, family (American and Vietnamese juxtaposed)

Did this affect me personally?

I think it did the first time, but it didn’t really do anything for me this viewing, apart from the climax.

Why is this ranked #143?

I’m pretty sure it’s here because it’s Clint Eastwood and it discusses racism in a very candid manner.  People don’t like to be talked down to.

Did my wife watch/like it?

She saw most of it.  She has a more favorable perspective on it than I do.

Would I watch it again?

Yeah.

Would I recommend it to a friend?

Yes, it’s certainly recommended.

Does it deserve to be on this list as one of the greatest films of all time?

With the huge quantity of fine cinema on the list so far, it’s hard to find a place for this one on an all time greatest list. I felt it did better than several I’ve seen so far, but it’s simply a good film among greats. For the sake of having an on-screen legend, it warrants a rank, but I’m kind of reluctant.

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