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Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Has Clint Eastwood's golden run ended?

Clint Eastwood's run of great films seems to have some to an end with his new movie, Hereafter getting only luke warm reviews. The overall theme of the movie seems to be, Death but most critics seem to think Eastwood's message is muddled and fails to come through with any real sense.

"As great as Eastwood is, he does have a tendency to be overdramatic.  Rarely do his overdramatic tendencies hurt the story he’s trying to tell, but HEREAFTER is a case where the story and focus lacked in favor of trying to get the audience to cry, albeit unsuccessfully." Brad Sturdivant

The Archive has not yet seen the movie but has hopes that America's greatest living man will one day step behind the camera and direct another kick ass western.


John said...

"Hereafter getting only luke warm reviews."

Er, I don't think so! Unless I imagined those rave reviews penned by Roger Ebert & Tony Scott of The New York Times (you've heard of them, right?)

What's actually going on here is that the US reviews are almost exactly split right down the middle between those who hate it & those who love it. Therefore calling the reaction 'lukewarn' is simply inaccurate. If it's anything the reaction to Herafter is divisive not lukewarm.

As for Brad Sturdivant (who he?) claiming that Eastwood has a tendency to be melodramatic I'm afraid that with all due respect Mr Sturdivant is talking out of his backside.

If there's one thing that has distinguished Eastwood's directing efforts it's their subtlety - the way in which presented with a dramatic beat Eastwood will usually lean away from it rather than into it. But since I strongly suspect that Mr Sturdivant would nominate the exquisitely subtle Million Dollar Baby as one of those 'melodramatic' vehicles I'm afraid that only goes to demonstrate that some people wouldn't recognise an understated style if it bit them on the ass.

Hereafter is Eastwood at his furthest remove yet from mainstream American cinema. It's not an action movie nor is it a plot-driven exercise. It's a quiet, gentle, reflective meditation about the way in which a near death experience can leave you out of sync with the world around you & wondering if there's anything beyond the life we have. It's not Paranormal Activity & it sure as hell isn't The Sixth Sense. In fact it feels very much like an intelligent European arthouse movie & perhaps it's no surprise that it received excellent reviews after its debut in Italy last week. Like Eastwood's last few directorial only efforts Hereafter's sensibilities will likely be warmly received abroad - both commercially & critically - much more so than it was at home.

Btw, & this viewer has seen Hereafter & thought it was frigging amazing & one of Eastwood's greatest films.

Gary Dobbs/Jack Martin said...

Hey man I'm on your side. I'm a massive fan of Eastwood though not so much of Egbert's review. And besides that article asked if Eastwood's golden run had ended, though I've only just noticed a typo in the title. I will certainly be watching Hereafter and reviewing it in the fullness of time but I've seen mostly poor reviews thus far.