All in the family

Posted by · 2:34 pm · December 8th, 2008

Further proof that critics in their 60s/70s, etc. have no objectivity when it comes to Clint Eastwood. They see their fathers, they see themselves, and they see one of their heroes… but they don’t necessarily see the actual movies.

Hollywood Elsewhere commenter JB’s response to Jeff Wells’s over-the-moon (top?) reaction to Clint Eastwood’s “Gran Torino.”  I’m not saying anything, just putting JB’s sentiment out there for everyone to see.  No commentary.  Zilch.

→ 16 Comments Tags: , | Filed in: Daily

16 responses so far

  • 1 12-08-2008 at 2:46 pm

    Jamieson said...

    Spill it already, Tapley! You know you want to.

    Get off my lawn

  • 2 12-08-2008 at 2:54 pm

    Rob Scheer said...

    His comment was so fucking dead-on, I’m going to post the whole thing:

    “Obviously, CE is the best thing about Gran Torino. The entire movie is designed to appeal to our collective love for Eastwood, particularly when playing flawed, superficially unlikeable characters. And yes, this movie is satisfying — in a very primitive, manipulative way — when all is said and done… BUT the filmmaking is lazy, most of the characters and interaction have zero credibility, and there are many sequences that are downright laughable.

    For those of you who still don’t know where you’re gonna stand on this movie, think of it as a more playful version of Million Dollar Baby in which virtually all of the characters are pitched in the same ridiculous, cliche-ridden territory as Hillary Swank’s family in MDB. Yes, I still appreciated it for Eastwood’s character and his utterly predictable feel-good arc, but the movie has no depth or nuance whatsoever.”

  • 3 12-08-2008 at 3:05 pm

    Patrick F said...

    Agreed. Kris, you truly are a class act for not piling on this film the same way you early critics did with Frost/Nixon. I suspect you didn’t like it, but you haven’t tried to kill the film’s oscar chances, the way that some other bloggers like to do to films they didn’t like and/or Eddie Murphy.

    It shows a real continuity.

  • 4 12-08-2008 at 3:17 pm

    Patrick said...

    Many self-directed performances spiral way out of control. No matter if it is Beatty, Costner, Streisand or Eastwood.

  • 5 12-08-2008 at 3:19 pm

    Rob Scheer said...

    I’m sorry, the dude fucking GROWLS — and that’s not a euphemism, he fucking growls like a dog — about a dozen times. This flick is bananas.

  • 6 12-08-2008 at 3:23 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Patrick: Nobody here “piled on” Frost/Nixon. I disliked the film and wrote a negative review; it happened to be the first review out there. There was no bandwagon being jumped on — I just stated a personal opinion which some other bloggers mistook for “bad buzz.”

    As for “Gran Torino,” Wells’ argument about under-30’s needing to stay away from the film is infuriatingly condescending. A film speaks to someone or it doesn’t — as far as I’m concerned, if age is a determining factor, it’s a limitation of the film itself.

  • 7 12-08-2008 at 3:29 pm

    Rob Scheer said...

    Guy, haven’t you been reading Wells long enough to know condescending is the man’s bread and butter?

    Apparently, people under 40 only like movies with explosions, gays only like musicals and movies with “fierce” leading ladies, black people like to flaunt their bling in showings of “Dreamgirls”…

  • 8 12-08-2008 at 3:31 pm

    Kevin said...

    Is Wells really in his 60s/70s?

  • 9 12-08-2008 at 3:43 pm

    Jon said...


  • 10 12-08-2008 at 8:42 pm

    Jeff said...

    I’m waiting for Wells to add “eggroll” to his repertoire of slurs like “blings” and “homies.”

    Machismo, racism cloaked in a faux-maverick opposition to political correctness, ostentatious self-regard, pathetic attempts to seem more vital than one actually is — or was ten years ago. Is anyone really even remotely surprised that this film has found a champion in Jeff Wells?

  • 11 12-09-2008 at 2:21 am

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    I love his passion for it. Particularly telling me (under 30-s) not to see it. Means I will love it to death. Like I expected.

    Oh and FYI Frost/Nixon is at 92% at Rottentomatoes.

  • 12 12-09-2008 at 2:52 am

    Frank said...

    “As for “Gran Torino,” Wells’ argument about under-30’s needing to stay away from the film is infuriatingly condescending. ”

    Oh, come now, Guy. You couldn’t get more condescending than the bullshit written by under 30’s about Clint Eastwood. All that stuff about him being a workmanlike director, bafflingly overrated, hm?

    “Further proof that critics in their 60s/70s, etc. have no objectivity when it comes to Clint Eastwood. ”

    And further proof that ‘critics’ under 30 have no knowledge or understanding of Eastwood & his movies whatsoever.

  • 13 12-09-2008 at 4:09 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    So, the best way to disprove one sweeping, inaccurate generalisation is with another? Whatever works, I suppose.

    For the record, I’m 25. I love some of Eastwood’s films (Bird, Unforgiven and A Perfect World, in particular), while others don’t really work for me. The same goes for a lot of highly-regarded directors. Unless my age changes every time I watch a movie, I don’t see how it’s a relevant factor.

  • 14 12-09-2008 at 5:11 am

    Eunice said...

    I’m right there with you, Guy. Either a film works for you or it doesn’t. That’s as simple as it gets.

    It’s my first time to read Jeff Wells’ column, so I don’t know much about the man, but after reading his piece on Gran Torino, I’m inclined to disagree. There is a third way, and that applies to other actors and directors. I’ve seen some of Mr. Eastwood’s films–his more recent work–and I enjoyed Unforgiven and The Bridges of Madison County the most. His directing and acting style sometimes works and sometimes it doesn’t. That’s the way it goes in film.

    Also, the sweeping generalizations continue to give me a headache. So, if I were to sum up every generalization made about movie audiences, as a 17 year old teenager, am I only supposed to like explosions, musicals, subpar screwball comedies, chick flicks, and movies driven only by the actors’ looks? Because I want to see ‘A Clockwork Orange’ and people might tell me that I won’t like it because I’m too young.
    Haha. :)

  • 15 12-09-2008 at 6:02 am

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    I believe, much like the stories on Benjamin Button an elder person appreciates the film more in certain elements and manages to indentify a lot more and feel a lot more engaged. I think that is what Wells means. On the other hand, he could just help us out preventively against those punks that think it’s a new Dirty Harry or something.

  • 16 12-09-2008 at 10:54 am

    Patrick F said...

    Apology, I thought your piece on Frost/Nixon was very measured. I just remember that there were other pieces among the British critics that just railed on the film. A few people did the same thing with Milk. My point was that Kris has refused to do this because he seems to have a high moral ground about giving a film the chance to be born before aborting it.