Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Gran Torino, Seven Pounds

One of the things helping to distract us lately is going to screenings. Because of the Oscars and the holiday season, Fish and I have been in screening mania mode; there's been a glut and we can't seem to keep up. I just turned down the new Sam Mendes one, I think it's Revolutionary Road with Kate Winslet and Leo DiCaprio, not that I mind. And the Cannes GP Winner, Gomorra is Friday. I can't make that either but I'm sure I'll see it eventually - supposed to be really ultra violent. Most of the time these things are just "eh" so I don't track them here, and although both Gran Torino and Seven Pounds didn't impress me either, I'm blogging about them because they are easily the most major flicks of the season so far. So, because if I write anymore about the insanity of the gangsters running their trickery I'm gonna jump outta window, for what it's worth...

First, I'm a Clint fan; I grew up on "The Man with No Name," the Clint-squint and with one of those long, thin brown cigars in one corner of his scowl. Later it was Dirty Harry, about as fascist as you can get, but 44 magnums just spoke loudly to this boy-child. With that, I knew going into GT that I wouldn't be impressed, mainly because I don't like Clint as a director. I find him simplistic, and with GT it's just downright hackish in parts. It's particularly evident with the young kid, (Bee Vang) who just can't deliver and in fact is just plain bad.

Now, I was interested to see what his treatment of Asian-Americans would be, and it didn't break any new ground. Instead, GT is just a vehicle for Clint to do his modern-day revival of Archie Bunker. That's 'bout it. Curiously, Fish and I were actually laughing.

Fresh off an Oprah love fest, tonight we saw Seven Pounds at the LA Film School (plug: where I gave a seminar not more than 2 months ago) which hits you over the head with Will's "tortured man." I guess he was taken by Benecio del Toro's last tortured man thing (Things We Lost in the Fire), it's my best guess. By the time the punchline rolls around Fish and I had pretty much, long figured it out, and it was anti-climatic. Everything about this movie screams MEANINGFUL! and DEEP! and is just demanding and commanding you to be moved. Oprah said that there wouldn't be a dry eye at the end of this movie. Shut up, Oprah.