The Czarina and I went to see "Gran Torino" last night. It may well be the best movie Clint Eastwood movie to date, which is saying a lot. It struck me as Dirty Harry meets Archie Bunker. The story line was incredible and Eastwood was just Eastwood. He's really marked himself as one of the great movie directors of the last quarter century.
It's hard to imagine coming from the small screen and his role as Rowdy Yates on "Rawhide" to those indelible spaghetti westerns to Dirty Harry that Eastwood has cut the most enduring image as a movie star since John Wayne. Harder still to imagine if you look at his early work as a director which was fairly uneven to what he's done since the mid-80's. It's mind blowing. He rates with Spielberg, Scorcese, Coppola, and Ron Howard as the top American movie makers still working in my book.
I love movies and don't get to the theatre enough to suit my taste. It's hard to justify $9.50 a pop for some of the crap that's out there. Plus add in the ghastly price of soda and popcorn, which I can't even eat anymore, and it has to be something really special to justify the cost. Eastwood is one of the few stars/directors that make the experience of movie going a pleasure. "Gran Torino" was just a strong story, well acted, that delivers on every emotional level. I'm not sure that it's better than "Unforgiven" but it's darn close.