Thursday, 2 July 2009
Gran Torino DVD
Out this week on DVD - Eastwood still has it. When I went out to buy it the film had already sold out in W. H. Smiths, Borders and Tescos, though Tesco did have a Blue-Ray copy. I ended up getting a copy in ASDA and at £12 it's a bargain.
Watching the film again on DVD is I think a better experience than originally seeing it in the cinema was. For one thing I was better able to appreciate what is, at times, an almost semi-documentary style of film making. And Eastwood is, at 79 when this was filmed, awesome and he commands the screen in a way he has not done since The Unforgiven.
In many ways there are parallels between the movies. Unforgiven was a revisionist masterpiece of the western genre in which Eastwood said goodbye to his drifting loner character which has been deep in the genes of every western role he has played. And with Gran Torino he plays a man that could be an elderly Dirty Harry, a beaten down tough guy, a sad and lonely man who realises he has lived so long that he is literally out of time. And in the same way that William Munny was the natural conclusion of the western Eastwood then Gran Torino does the same thing for "he-man" Eastwood.
Course it's also a reflective meditation on the multi-cultural world we now live in.
If anyone gets offended by the many racist jibes in this movie I would say they are missing the point. Eastwood is superb, the young cast of newcomers work well within the everyday atmosphere of the film and it's brilliant from start to finish. And that shock ending - well I don't want to give anything away for those who have still to see it, but it's explosive.
If there's one weak point - it is that the actor playing The Priest is naff.
The Region 2 DVD contains several special features in the shape of several documentaries but what we really want is a commentary from the big man himself.