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Invictus (Warner Bros.)

1. I don’t know what happens when Clint Eastwood sits behind the lens on a film, but the acting that goes on in front of the lens is almost always awful. (“Gran Torino” was no exception to this rule.) I like Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman, and their portrayals of Francois Pienaar and Nelson Mandela, respectively, are pretty good save for a few awkward South African accents. But every other actor in the film feels as if they were picked off the streets of Johannesburg a day before shooting began. Does it make for great South African accents? Yep. Does it make for good acting? Not so much.

2. Some of the film’s soundtrack, which was put together by Clint’s son, Kyle, features South African music that is appropriate to the era. But other parts of the soundtrack are jarring, not moving the film along at all and actually causing the viewer to stop and say outloud, “What’s with this music?” Half of the soundtrack is music from the South African boy band Overtone, which is clearly not my cup of tea. Just imagine watching a Clint Eastwood movie while this song rambles on in the background. Yeah… not so good.

3. I know this is essentially a bio pic based on real events, but they chose the wrong period of time in Nelson Mandela’s life to make a movie out of. The movie begins with him being elected president, and the only drama that takes place during the entire two hours is a collapse from exhaustion and a low-flying airplane. Nelson Mandela spent thirty years of his life in prison! Tell that story, not the dull, day-in/day-out blah blah blahs of his excitement with the sport of rugby.

4. There’s enough cheeseball slow-motion in the last five minutes of the film to make John Woo and all of his doves blush. Seriously.

5. It’s already been nominated for numerous Golden Globes (Morgan Freeman for lead, Matt Damon for supporting, and Clint Eastwood for director), and it will clearly go on to be nominated for a few Oscars. I don’t know why, but it will. Sigh.

Maybe next time,

-Shady

“Gran Torino” (Warner Bros.)

1. I get that the main character in this story is an old racist fuck, but the whole racism aspect is so overdone in “Gran Torino” that it becomes comical. You can only hear Eastwood’s character say “gook” and “nip” and “beaner” and “swamp rat” so many times before it just becomes cliche. It’s almost like movies where every other word is “fuck.” It’s used so much that it quickly dips out of the realm of “how people really talk” and into the realm of caricature.

2. The story is great, and is honestly one of the more original and compelling storylines of any of the other Oscar contenders. But sadly, the acting is terrible! TERRIBLE! Eastwood is the best actor in the film, but that isn’t saying much. The rest of the supporting cast is so terrible, so stilted and awkward, that the movie actually becomes painful to watch in parts. It’s like… what’s it like? You know when your kid stars in some crappy school production that takes place in the auditorium/gym/cafeteria? And you go because they came out of your privates and you feel you owe it to them, even though you don’t really want to go because you know it’s going to be painful? And you sit there grinning and nodding while they deliver their lines because that’s all your body will really let you do? You know what that’s like, right? Well, it’s WORSE THAN THAT, because school productions of “The Fiddler on the Roof” are supposed to suck. This is a goddamn big-budgeted film that has already been nominated for Golden Globes!

3. At least it’s not “Mamma Mia!”

4. It has a good and solid ending. The story comes together very nicely. That is, until–

5. Eastwood sings the theme song at the end of the movie! Let me say that again: CLINT EASTWOOD SINGS THE THEME SONG AT THE END OF THE MOVIE!

RATING: 438 racial slurs and 1 Clint Eastwood karaoke jam

Are you feeling lucky, gook?

-Shady

Old Poop!