Clint Eastwood the director, appreciation thread

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I think "Mystic River" is one of his better director-only movies. What did you think of it?

I want to discuss what you film literate folks think are Eastwood's main weaknesses as a director. I outlined some of what I see as those weaknesses that appear pretty consistently in his filmography, and would like to hear whether you all agree, whether you have others, whether you actually see some of the things I cited as weaknesses as a strength, etc.



I think "Mystic River" is one of his better director-only movies. What did you think of it?
I think highly of Eastwood as a director, though his last film was only average at best...When I watched Mystic River, I couldn't believe Eastwood directed it, it was so polish, so sublime, really a near perfect film. I'd rate it a
But on a personal level crime type films like that aren't my favorite.

I want to discuss what you film literate folks think are Eastwood's main weaknesses as a director. I outlined some of what I see as those weaknesses that appear pretty consistently in his filmography, and would like to hear whether you all agree, whether you have others, whether you actually see some of the things I cited as weaknesses as a strength, etc.
With no disrespect meant to Eastwood or those pushing 100...his main weakness is that he didn't retire from directing a few years ago. Other that that I think of Eastwood as one of the few directors who doesn't try and dress up his films with trendy CG or the latest camera/cinematography tricks. To me Eastwood's greatest strength is in his brutal honest story telling. I'd call him one of the greats.



Citizen rules, why do you say that his main weakness is that he didn't retire years ago?

I think "American Sniper" was well done on a technical level, and as an entertainment, I think it delivers. However, it pales in comparison to "Letters from Iwo Jima." Sniper is a pretty jingoistic film that fails to present, even in a limited fashion, the negative consequences that resulted for the Iraqis from our occupation, or any complexity to the motivations or depictions of either the populace at large or the enemy characters that are featured. This was so different than what he did in "Letters from Iwo Jima" that I couldn't believe that Eastwood made both films. I couldn't understand why Eastwood chose to make a quasi-hagiography of Chris Kyle when the truth of his contributions to history are much more complicated and much less universally admired. "Letters" was imbued with a lot of nuance, and was made with an aim towards presenting the Japanese as the flip side of the same coin as the American soldiers, who sought to serve their own society in the same way the American soldiers did, from their perspective, and who had the same hopes, dreams, fears and commitment to their own country. It really expertly depicted the other side in a way which was very human, and that stands apart for me from many other films in the genre.

Although I do think it successfully spotlighted the problem with PTSD and the psychological consequences that can emerge in those who are responsible for waging war, none of the complexity and humanizing aspects of portraying the enemy that was present in "Letters" was featured in "American Sniper."



Oh, I meant that his last film Cry Macho and The Mule weren't that great and so it would be a shame if his legacy ends on Cry Macho. So actually he needs to make one more film and knock it out the ball park. Agreed that Sniper & Letters are both a credit to his directorial skills.



Oh, I meant that his last film Cry Macho and The Mule weren't that great and so it would be a shame if his legacy ends on Cry Macho. So actually he needs to make one more film and knock it out the ball park. Agreed that Sniper & Letters are both a credit to his directorial skills.
I thought Richard Jewel was great, can't say on the last couple didn't really have interest in seeing it. I'd really like to see him get a hold of one last Western and cast his son Scott as the lead. Dude looks just like him. That would be a great way to go out.
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I thought this conversation thread fit better here, so continuing the discussion in this one.


Could his judgement be less effective than it has been in the past? Sure. But I wouldn't say that poor judgement is the chief reason for a sub standard picture from him.
What do you think is the reason for sub standard films from him in recent years then? I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts! I think you are right that the reason he continues to work is because he enjoys making films, but why can he not choose better projects then, if its not his judgment?



I thought this conversation thread fit better here, so continuing the discussion in this one.

What do you think is the reason for sub standard films from him in recent years then? I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts! I think you are right that the reason he continues to work is because he enjoys making films, but why can he not choose better projects then, if its not his judgment?
Ya got me, AKA. Outside of the romance angle in this last one, it may be simply that there are very few stories with roles for a 90 year old man. If he does another one, I hope it's better material.



Ya got me, AKA. Outside of the romance angle in this last one, it may be simply that there are very few stories with roles for a 90 year old man. If he does another one, I hope it's better material.
To clarify, I was referring to his movies as a director as well as an actor, not just his acting roles.

As always, I look forward to his next film as a director! I will always be pulling for him to do well. After seeing "Cry Macho", I doubt he'll act again though.