Starring: Clint Eastwood,
Wena's Grade: A
Walt Kowalski is a widower, grumpy, tough-minded, borderline-hateful, unhappy old man who can't get along with either his kids or his neighbors, a Korean War veteran whose prize possession is a 1973 Gran Torino he keeps in cherry condition. When his neighbor Tao, a young Hmong teenager, tries to steal his Gran Torino, Kowalski sets out to reform the youth. Drawn against his will into the life of Tao's family, Kowalski is soon taking steps to protect them form the gangs that foul their neighborhood.
I really like watching Clint Eastwood movies. Aside from my chick flicks, I absolutely LOVE watching war movies and though this wasn't a war movie, it featured a war veteran and after watching a whole lot of Band of Brothers yesterday, I was really in the mood to watch and read more military themed books. Well, books that had military vets and men in them.
Now, this movie has nothing to do with the Korean war or any war for that matter but it's the story of a Korean war veteran who's wife died and who's just waiting for his turn to kick the bucket. He's very bitter over his new neighbors, his family and life in general. He's not ashamed to let everyone around him feel his misery either. He pops off at the mouth at every turn and he's not known to have very many friends. Underneath all of the put downs is a very good man and it is his neighbors, an Asian family who find all of this out for themselves.
After his wife's funeral, a string of things happen in his neighborhood and in his life that bring him closer and closer to his neighbors. There's gangs haunting their neighborhood and his health is a big concern and then there's his distant relationship with his own kids. He doesn't connect with his kids and they don't understand him. He needs help around his house and instead of bothering his kids, he asks his neighbor, Tao to help him out and Tao, a good Asian kid is always happy to help.
I really enjoyed this movie. I enjoyed getting to know Mr. Kowalski's surly self and I enjoyed Sue's persistent way of befriending Walt and I enjoyed the friendship that blossomed between Tao and Walt. This whole movie was just a really good movie. The acting was fantastic, the characters were rich and the story moved at an easy pace that just hooked me in right from the very beginning. I would definitely recommend this to anyone wanting to watch something deep and just plain ol' good.