Saturday, December 20, 2008

GT is a Must-See!

Allow me to be completely candid.
Gran Torino is my #1 pick for best dramatic pic for 2008.
Of course, The Dark Knight is still my choice for 2008's best action flick, but this new installment from Clint Eastwood simply takes the cake.

They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks.
Are we ever too old to change?
Take one Walt Kowalski.
Recently widowered.
Korean war vet.
A rural bigot, if you will.
He's seen his share of life and death.
Or has he?
He's lived a full life.
Has he?
Carrying a duffle bagful of past guilts and a perpetual chip on his shoulder,
Walt is not exactly the ideal guy-from-next-door; more like the neighbor from hell.
But little does old Walt know, ripe in his twilight years, his life is about to take yet another turn.
His nextdoor neighbors, Hmong immigrants are the catalyst for Walt's transformation. Young Thao Vang Lor, in particular.
Without giving much away, Thao, snidely referred to by grumpy old Walt as "Toad," slowly builds a rapport with the racial slur-slinging 1st Air Cav vet, with some help from his older sister Sue, who softens his heart of stone.
It's a marvel to witness Eastwood's Dirty Harry dark side rear its brutish head, most notably where he points his old army rifle in a Hmong gangbanger's face and demands him to "..get off my damn lawn!" replete with gritted teeth and the trademark Callahan glare in his eyes. Who needs a gun with a threat like that!
In local parlance, "..titig pa lang, gulpi ka na."

A bond of friendship is built.
A haphazard father figure is established.
And a second chance at filling in the gaps in Walt's life presents itself, with Kowalski giving more than taking, yet getting more than anyone can bargain for, in this life, at least.
Proving time and again, that given the chance,
within a hard man of stone, beats a human heart of flesh and blood.
That even amongst hate, love lives and prevails.
A different kind of love.
A human love.
GT is a must-see.


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