Tag Archives: Gran Torino

Gran Torino

On Saturday, Dixie and I had a second opportunity to see Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino, a film about bitter, retired autoworker, his Gran Torino, and the disappearance of his old neighbourhood.

(Spoilers ahead: if you don’t want this film ruined for you, stop reading.  Just take this and run with it: I give it 4 out of 5 stars and highly recommend it.)

At first the movie seemed like just another redemptive/coming-of-age story–something that would fall into a similar category as The Man Without a Face.  But as the story progressed I was drawn in.  The conclusion to the film…er…saved, if you will, the rest of the story.

I don’t want to turn this film into a sermon, but there is a definite redemptive arc to the film.  In the end, Clint Eastwood’s character takes what you might call the “third way” to deal with the core problem of violence in the story and becomes a Christ-figure (quite literally, in terms of imagery).

Sorry of that ruins the movie for you.  It’s quite popular these days to find Christian imagery in movies and sometimes it’s annoying, but it was unmistakable in this film, and I’m usually the last one to catch this sort of thing.

Plus, I cried a couple of tears at the end of the film.  If I hadn’t choked the rest of them back, it may have turned into sobs.

4 out of 5 stars.  Highly recommended.

Thanks a lot, faceless Cineplex exec in Toronto

Dixie and I had a date night planned for tonight. Our first date in a couple of months. We got babysitters for the kids and were planning on an evening out: dinner and a movie. We managed to have the dinner. Then we drove to the movie theatre to see Clint Eastwood’s new film, Gran Torino. As we approached the theatre, Dixie noticed a piece of paper on the theatre door.

“A notice on the door. That’s never a good sign,” she said.

We approached the door. “See?”

The notice: ‘The 6:40 showing of Gran Torino is cancelled due to a pay-per-view concert showing.’

Unbelievable. That movie was most of the point of the whole night. And there is nothing else worthwhile seeing in the theatre right now: Mall Cop, Inkheart, Bridewars, Hotel for Dogs and Underworld. They chose to cancel the one Oscar-nominated highly regarded and well-reviewed film showing in town to show this pay-per-view concert, which, with all due respect, isn’t even someone famous.

I went inside and inquired about the concert. The guy showed me the poster.

“Why did you guys chose the one Oscar-nominated film for this?”

“It’s not our choice. Some guy in Toronto makes these decisions. There’s nothing we can do about it.”

“Has anyone bought tickets?” I asked.

“No.”

“What happens if no one buys a ticket?”

“Nothing. We show the concert. There’s nothing we can do about it.”

In the few minutes we were there we saw at least 4 families or couples come to the theatre, read the sign and turn back. One family had driven an hour to the city specifically to see Gran Torino.

It makes absolutely no sense. They have a chance to make some money selling tickets to a film which many people still want to see, but instead they will show a pay-per-view concert to an empty theatre. From the looks of it–the printed note on the theatre door, and no mention of the concert on the marquee (but a 6:40 showing of Gran Torino still is)–this was a last minute decision by the Toronto executive. This also means that nobody in town knows about the pay-per-view concert (although the website is now changed to it) and they are not likely to sell even a single ticket to the showing.

Frustrating. Makes no sense at all.

Dixie’s normally the one to send strongly-worded emails to corporations, but I think I will be the one to do it this time.

Now what do I do with the evening? Dixie’s pumped about doing office work (boo!). I’m trying to decide if I should be responsible with this newly acquired time and do some homework or if I should just watch TV and get some entertainment out of this evening.