Gran Torino (Rated R)
Gavin Grade: C
Oscar Watch! Clint Eastwood was never one of my favorite actors. I always thought that a bulk of his work was cliche and hokie. However in recent years, he's really impressed me as a filmmaker. His performance in this movie doesn't really do much to change my opinion of him being a walking stereotype since he plays an old, grumpy, racist Korean War Vet. He even goes as far as yelling "get off my lawn!" at some gang members. But what makes this movie decent is the story. Classic tale of meeting friends in unlikely places? Yeah. But it's a little different in its approach. Eastwood is a widower that lives in the same house in a crap neighborhood that has economically and demographically changed. Living next door are Hmongs. When one of them tries to steal his Gran Tornio (which is a classic, bad-ass car) fate intervenes and he makes unlikely friends. That's where the movie goes from good to average, even verging on bad at times. I don't know who did the casting in this movie, but Ahney Vor and Bee Vang, who play the syblings living next door, are some of the worst actors to ever be in a major motion picture. Good God! If you are cast in a movie directed, produced and staring Clint Eastwood and you're the LEADS...take some acting classes. These two are so piss poor that it detached me from their characters and made me wanting the end of the movie to come sooner than the quality of story should allow. It's ashame because the best scene in the whole movie is the one where Eastwood is alone. It's a shame when you consider how well he conducted "Million Dollar Baby," and its sensitive story. Better luck next time, Clint.