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Clint Eastwood the director, appreciation thread

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I liked him in Pale Rider. Such an underrated film.

I remember The Gauntlet very little.

And how can I forget The Outlaw Josey Wales?
I have lost pretty much all respect for Pale Rider at this point. Far from underrated, this ham-fisted remake of Shayne drops anvils on your head about the environment, and makes unnecessary and deplorable changes to the original storyline. Pale Rider is one of Eastwood's missteps, IMO. I think Eastwood showed an uncharacteristic lack of restraint with this one.

Make mine Josey Wales, Unforgiven, or any of his other stellar flicks.
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I haven't seen a ton of his movies , but what I have seen has convinced me he is a very poor director.

Mystic River - This is his best film I've seen , but he uses so many stupid transitions and seems clueless when filming the violent parts. I believe he likes to direct the actors over anything - but this is a pattern I see in all of his work : he's trying to portray some stupid message in his movies - instead treating the characters with importance.

Million Dollar Baby - I saw this a long time back and I hated it. It's not one of those movies I would go back and give a second chance either. It's another example of the message over characters - thing he does. This movie especially I felt was cheesy and fake.

Flags of our Fathers - I can't even remember anything from this movie except stupid transitions. This movie puts the nail in the coffin - for me to never see another one of his movies again. Wait , I take that back - I do remember the message was much bigger than the characters again.
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Originally Posted by meatwadsprite
I haven't seen a ton of his movies , but what I have seen has convinced me he is a very poor director.
High praise indeed! Now that is an endorsement every filmmaker mentioned on this board should be hoping for: meatwadsprite doesn't like me. *WHEW*
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Welcome to the human race...
Does this mean you haven't seen Unforgiven, dude?
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I really just want you all angry and confused the whole time.



Welcome to the human race...
Put it at the top of your Netflix queue or whatever people do these days.



Put it at the top of your Netflix queue or whatever people do these days.
I just rented it (to give Eastwood one last chance) and I couldn't even watch it for 20 minutes. The transfer on the DVD is terrible - it hurts my eyes watching it.

It's the two sided disc one with fullscreen on the front and widescreen on the back. It reminds me of The Deer Hunter dvd that looked terrible.



Originally Posted by meatwadsprite
Nice neg rep pike.
Richtbackatchya! I was just following suit, Kid. Are you the kind of bratty kid who hits your brother and then, after your brother hits back, you cry out to Mommy, "Ow, he hit me!"?



Originally Posted by meatwadsprite
I just rented it (to give Eastwood one last chance) and I couldn't even watch it for 20 minutes. The transfer on the DVD is terrible - it hurts my eyes watching it.

It's the two sided disc one with fullscreen on the front and widescreen on the back. It reminds me of The Deer Hunter dvd that looked terrible.
That's the old edition, if you care. There's a newer two-disc special edition that has a much better transfer.



I was just following suit
Except I made a valid argument , you just attempted to insult me.

Real post > useless post

Also , Blockbuster is quite misleading by putting the old one in the new two disc case. (which advertises a new digital transfer on the back).



Well, I defended you in the other thread, Sprite, but to give my honest opinion again . . .

This is an "Appreciation thread", so it seems it should be for compliments, and favorites of the person named.

I'm just saying!



I haven't seen many of his movies, but his new movie 'Gran Torino' looks pretty damn good from the trailer.



I am half agony, half hope.
*yawn* Is Clint still alive? Thought he died a couple of years ago.



just kidding...I haven't argued with the Gunslinger in awhile and thought I'd provoke some wrath.



I really like Clint's story telling. He keeps it spare. My favorites of his that I've seen (and that's not many) are:

Unforgiven
Heartbreak Ridge
Bridges of Madison County



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It annoyed me how everyone thought his new movie would be a sequel to Dirty Harry.

Just because Rocky, Indiana Jones and Rambo cash in on old characters doesn't mean one of our greatest directors should!



Thought Holds or some of the rest of the faithful that may not get EW might enjoy this. A little fluff piece but still a nice little read. I says.

Inside the Mind of...Clint Eastwood

The star's influences, passions, and friendships from a life in movies
By Chris Nashawaty
Chris Nashawaty is a senior writer for EW, and author of EW.com's DVD Insomniac column

For the past 50 years, Clint Eastwood has been delivering Oscar-winning films, playing iconic antiheroes, and serving up the occasional dose of vigilante justice from the business end of a .44 Magnum. Though he claims he'd like to slow down, he has two films coming out this fall. ''My wife said, 'You're 78, what are you doing two movies a year for?''' he says. First up is Changeling (Oct. 24), a 1920s kidnap thriller starring Angelina Jolie. Then, in December, comes Gran Torino, Eastwood's first gig in front of the camera since 2004's Million Dollar Baby. We sat down with the Hollywood legend at his bungalow on the Warner Bros. lot to discuss his influences, passions, and friendships from a life in movies.

Growing up in California, Eastwood's favorite actor was James Cagney. ''When he comes out in White Heat eating a chicken leg and blasting a guy in the trunk of a car, you go, 'Yeah, that's offsetting, but in a nice way.' The scene in Dirty Harry where I'm eating a hot dog in that shootout, that's a steal.''
In 1959, Eastwood got his first big break on the series Rawhide, and he still considers TV the best training for a young actor. ''Dizzy Gillespie used to say, 'If you don't put metal on the lip every day bad things happen.' Same thing with an actor. You've got to act every day. On Gran Torino, I hadn't acted in a while, so I told everybody to bear with me. An old horse has to warm up coming out of the gate.''

Eastwood considers 1964's spaghetti Western A Fistful of Dollars the most important film of his career. ''I figured if it flopped, no one was going to see it over here, and at least I'd get a paid trip to Italy and Spain. I remember seeing Kurosawa's Yojimbo, [which it was based on], and I thought, 'God, this thing would make a great Western if someone only had the nerve to do it.'''

Eastwood has met most of Hollywood's biggest legends. But a certain person stands out as the strangest. ''Hitchcock wanted me to be in one of his films [which, it turned out, would never be made]. I wasn't nuts about the script. I had lunch with him in his office. When I walked in, he was sitting there very erect and he didn't even move. Only his eyes did. They followed you across the room. He had the same thing for lunch every day — a steak and some sliced tomatoes.''

While arguably his most famous character, Dirty Harry was actually another actor's sloppy seconds: Paul Newman passed on the script. ''Of course my first question was, 'Why didn't he want to do it?' He thought the character was sort of a radical guy on the right, so politically he couldn't do it. I didn't see it that way.... I'll miss him. He was just one of those guys you liked.''

Eastwood is a man of many passions. One is golf. He's part owner of Pebble Beach and also has a private club in Carmel, Calif., called Tehama. His handicap is a 16. Another passion is jazz, which led Eastwood to direct the 1988 Charlie Parker biopic Bird. ''I went to see Parker play in 1945 or '46. When you heard him live, it was something special. Real wizardry.'' Eastwood also has a soft spot for movie scores — and ever since 2003's Mystic River has been composing his own. But he considers Ennio Morricone to be the maestro. ''The first time I heard him was on A Fistful of Dollars. I thought, 'Who the hell did this score?!' It just came on like gangbusters.''

When he's not reading scripts, Eastwood likes nothing more than kicking back with a juicy medical book. ''I'm always at home looking up stuff in the Physicians' Desk Reference. I was reading about free radicals 35 years ago before it was fashionable. It was real radical s--- back then.''

Eastwood's other obsession is his helicopter. He first started taking lessons while shooting Paint Your Wagon in Oregon. ''There's something about the solitude of it. No one knows who you are. You're just a number in the sky. And the fun part is you can land anywhere. You see something you like — a good-looking girl — and you can just drop down in a field.''

In 1986, Eastwood became the mayor of his hometown, Carmel. But lately he's become less enamored of politics. ''When they get in power, they all spend like drunken sailors,'' he says. Eastwood is voting for John McCain because ''I met him when he first came back from Vietnam. Governor Reagan had a big thing for the return of those guys. They had a haunted look. They'd been through a lot. I just think McCain's been somewhere and done something.''

Perhaps the biggest surprise is Eastwood's moviegoing habits. He doesn't go often, and when he does he likes to laugh. ''The last picture I saw was Tropic Thunder. It's a great send-up of Hollywood. It looked like they had a good time making it and Robert Downey Jr. was great. When they blow that guy's head off...you couldn't help laughing.''

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It annoyed me how everyone thought his new movie would be a sequel to Dirty Harry . . .
Which Clint Eastwood films have you seen? Favorite, to least favorite?



Thank you for the thread Holden.
Another quality effort.
Soldiers form the United States Army didn't put up the flag on Mount Suribachi.
It was Marines and a Navy Corpsman.
The USMC and United States Navy won the Battle of Iwo Jima against Japan.
I'm not being trendy when I say that Clint Eastwood is my favorite actor of all time.
Directing I don't know much about.
I can assume he's good at that too.
He's starting to look like Clyde, from his movies.
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Changeling

Wonderfully told tale of a harrowing and forgotten piece of history. Angelina Jolie stars as Christine Collins, a single mother in late 1920s Los Angeles. She supports herself and her son well with a steady, good-paying job at the phone company - she's even one of the first women to ascend to the post of supervisor. Her son, Walter (Gattlin Griffith), is about nine-years-old and her pride and joy. As a single mother in an era when that was still fairly uncommon, she shares a special bond with her child, uncomplicated by other people. One day when forced to unexpectedly cover at work she returns home to find Walter gone. Not being the kind of child to wander or go on adventures by himself, she immediately calls the Police. She doesn't get help or even sympathy, and so begins her terribly odyssey and a parent's worst nightmare.

There is much more to the story, involving rampant Police corruption at the time that her case gets caught up in, and the turn the narrative takes in the final third is best left for the viewer to discover as the film wisely lets it unfold from Christine's perspective rather than some omniscient point of view.

Angelina is fantastic in the lead, and while I still think last year's A Mighty Heart is her best overall performance, Changeling isn't far behind it. Jolie has a few different public personae, from the uber-famous celebrity and humanitarian to the box office star of slick action movies, but she is a very good actress, when given the chance. It's quite a tricky role. The character has to deal with so much, and while the frantic emoting of sadness or anger are the easy parts to play, it's that Christine Collins has to mask her emotions so often. Angelina manages every shift, from scene to scene or within scenes, adeptly.

Pretty much all of the performances are good to great, including the young actors who play the three leadmost children's roles. Some pretty dark and disturbing things happen in this story, and while everyone involved is certainly not absolved of their wrongdoing the film lets the viewer at least understand their motivations for the most part. And even though much of what happens is very arch and so horrific that if it weren't a true story you wouldn't believe it, Eastwood's laconic style is the perfect filter for such madness and abominations. To see this story in the hands of an over-the-top showy filmmaker like say Brian DePalma...oy, it would make his Black Dahlia look like a Disney flick.

And while the high level of performance, especially from the child actors, can be attributed to Clint's ease with actors, his sensibility pervades throughout. Even the production design and cinematography are just pitch-perfect. The period setting and detail is very well done, so well done that I almost started taking it for granted, which is a great tribute to Clint's skills as a filmmaker. It was so authentic and well layered into the fabric of the storytelling that it didn't stand out and announce itself very often. It simply was late 1920s and early 1930s Los Angeles, and that was that.

I can't talk much about the final half of the picture because it would spoil some of the pleasure of discovery, but this is definitely one of the better films in Clint's filmography. Yet another triumph for Eastwood, who absolutely refuses to slow down as an artist.


GRADE: B+


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