One of the best films of the year comes out on DVD today, so I’ll get right down to it.
Gran Torino – How this film did not get nominated for Best Picture and Best Actor [among other awards] is absolutely shocking. It actually was completely shut out in nominations at the Oscars. This was in my Top 5 of films last year, and if it is true that this is Clint Eastwood’s farewell film in acting, I could not imagine a better picture to end his acting career on. Eastwood gives a great performance as a bitter Korean War veteran who is not happy with the way his neighbourhood has changed over the years. It opens with Eastwood’s character mourning the loss of his wife, and dealing with a Hmong family who live next door. The kid next door tries to steal his prized car [the Gran Torino of the title], and he punishes him by making him work around the neighbourhood. I won’t spoil any more of the film, as you really have to see it. It’s much more than the marketing lets on. Don’t let the “Get Off My Lawn” fool you. This is really a great film!
The Shield: Season 7 [The Final Season] – I have never watched an episode of this show. There was a lot of hype when it first came out, with Michael Chiklis getting rave reviews. Although I do not hear it hyped as much now,as it was when it first came out, by all accounts, the show is still one of the grittiest and most violent on TV. Chiklis’ Vic Mackey continues to hand out his brand of justice, while trying to avoid the politics within the police department. Vic’s no saint, just read the Wikipedia entry on The Shield. People were pleased with how the series ended, but that doesn’t mean that it was a happy ending. Check it out!
The International – To me, this film had a lot going for it. A great cast led by Clive Owen and Naomi Watts, a good director in Tom Tykwer, who directed Run Lola Run, and an interesting premise. Unfortunately, the film flopped at the box office. I’m still interested in it, as it looks like a pretty good thriller, so I’ll be checking it out today!
Nobel Son – This film has been universally panned, but it stars Alan Rickman, and he’s always worth watching on screen. The basic premise is that Rickman is going to get the Nobel Prize, but his son is taken for ransom. The kidnappers, figuring they can get more money from the son of a Nobel Prize nominee, are shocked to discover that daddy does not want to pay up. It sounds like the opposite of Mel Gibson’s Ransom. It’s played for laughs, and also stars Bill Pullman, Eliza Dushku and Danny DeVito. For hardcore fans of Alan Rickman only, everything indicates that you should pass on this.
Fired Up – This film died a quick death at the box office, as movie-going audiences gave it a resounding F.U. The film is apparently better than one might be led to believe. The plot focuses on a couple of guys who go to cheerleading camp to be surrounded by hot girls. Shenanigans happen. I think the film is signaling the end of the sex comedy genre. Don’t worry, it will go away for a bit, nostalgia will kick in, and it will come back with a vengeance. That’s how these things work.
Until Next Week!