The Beguiled (1971)

The Beguiled
Director: Don Siegel
Writer: Albert Maltz, Irene Kamp, Claude Traverse
Based on: Thomas P. Cullinan‘s novel
Cast: Clint Eastwood, Geraldine Page, Elizabeth Hartman, Jo Ann Harris, Darleen Carr, Mae Mercer, Pamelyn Ferdin, Melody Thomas Scott, Peggy Drier, Patricia Mattick
Seen on: 2.7.2017

John McBurney (Clint Eastwood) is an injured Union soldier on the run in the South during the US Civil War. He stumbles upon a girl’s school, led by Miss Martha (Geraldine Page) and finds pity in the women who don’t turn him in to the Confederate soldiers – at least not until he’s healed and stands a chance to survive. But they keep him under lock and key while they tend to him. The teacher Edwina (Elizabeth Hartman) and the girls – above all Carol (Jo Ann Harris) – are intrigued and excited by the soldier and soon vie for his affections. Not even Miss Martha finds herself unmoved as McBurney tries to turn the situation to his advantage.

The Beguiled is a protofeminist film that didn’t age well in all aspects but is still a solid, if a little predictable, movie.

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Gran Torino (2008)

Gran Torino
Director: Clint Eastwood
Writer: Nick Schenk
Cast: Clint Eastwood, Bee Vang, Ahney Her, Brian Haley, Geraldine Hughes, Dreama Walker, Brian Howe, Christopher Carley, John Carroll Lynch
Seen on: 25.11.2015

Walt (Clint Eastwood) just lost his wife and the rest of his family – his children and grandchildren – doesn’t particularly like him and vice versa. Mostly Walt is being stubborn about everything which means that he is practically the only white person left in a neighborhood increasingly inhabited by Hmong people, despite the fact that Walt is virulently racist. When the neighbors’ kid Thao (Bee Vang), pressured by a local gang, tries to steal Walt’s car, a pristine Gran Torino, Walt catches him. Thao’s family insists that Thao make it up to Walt and they slowly grow closer.

Gran Torino is a hypermasculine, sexist and racist catastrophe of a movie. To add insult to injury, it’s even boring. In short, it completey re-affirmed to me why I usually hate Eastwood films.

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Jersey Boys (2014)

Jersey Boys
Director: Clint Eastwood
Writer: Marshall Brickman, Rick Elice
Based on: their musical
Cast: John Lloyd Young, Vincent Piazza, Michael LomendaErich Bergen, Joseph RussoLacey HannanMike Doyle, Christopher Walken

Frankie (John Lloyd Young) is a hairdresser apprentice in the part of New Jersey that’s firmly in the hands of the mob. His best friend is Tommy DeVito (Vincent Piazza) he is constantly involved in some kind of scheme. But Tommy also has a band and Frankie has a beautiful, if unconventional voice. Together with Nick Massi (Michael Lomenda) and finally Bob Gaudio (Erich Bergen) they form a band – The Four Seasons. Slowly they start their way to the top. But their neighborhood isn’t easily left behind.

Jersey Boys starts strong, but can’t really keep up the momentum. At least the music is consistently good and quite contrary to most Eastwood films, it doesn’t really get boring.

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J. Edgar (2011)

J. Edgar
Director: Clint Eastwood
Writer: Dustin Lance Black
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Armie Hammer, Judi Dench, Naomi Watts, Dermot Mulroney, Josh Lucas, Zach Grenier, Jeffrey Donovan, Lea Thompson, Ed Westwick, Stephen Root

John Edgar Hoover (Leonardo DiCaprio) dreams of a bureau of invesitgations that is based on scientific principles and used against the bolshevik threat he sees for the country. He gets his chance to start such a bureau and with the help of his trusted secretary Helen Gandy (Naomi Watts) and his soon to be second in command/love of his life Clyde Tolson (Armie Hammer) he is soon very successful. But once risen to power, Edgar clings to it desperately, not caring much for concerns like legality.

I really liked this movie very much and nobody is as surprised about it as I am. I mean, a Clint Eastwood movie that’s not boring? How did that happen?

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Hereafter (2010)

Hereafter is Clint Eastwood‘s newest film, starring Matt Damon, Cécile de France, Frankie and George McLaren, Bryce Dallas Howard and a cameo by Derek Jacobi.

Three people all touched by death:
French journalist Marie LeLay (Cécile de France) is on holidays when she’s hit by the Tsunami and almost drowns. From then on, she’s obsessed with the life after death experience she’s had and tries to make sense of it all.
George Lonegan (Matt Damon) is trying to hard to lead a normal life, which is made impossible by his talent: whenever he touches someone, he sees the dead people who were close to them.
Marcus (George and Frankie McLaren) tries to get back on his feet after the death of his twin brother Jason (Frankie and George McLaren) and his mother (Lyndsey Marshal) going to rehab.

As I’ve said before, I really don’t like Clint Eastwood as a director. So nobody was more surprised than me that the thing I liked least about this film was Peter Morgan‘s script.

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Invictus (2009)

Invictus is the newest movie by Clint Eastwood, starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon.

Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) just became the President of South Africa. Despite his victory at the election, the country is still torn apart by racial conflicts. Mandela decides that one possibilities to unite the country is by giving them a sports team to root for, together. So he asks François Pienaar (Matt Damon), captain of the rather desolate Rugby team, to win the World Cup.

Before I say anything about the film, I should probably come clean and say that it is not a movie I would normally watch – I don’t like Clint Eastwood and the story is not really interesting for me. But since I always make this effort to watch all the Oscar Nominated movies, I ended up seeing this one as well.
That said, it didn’t surprise me one bit that I didn’t like the film.

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Changeling (2008)

Changeling is another Clint Eastwood project, meaning he did everything except playing the lead. And the only reason he didn’t do that is because Angelina Jolie payed him a very big sum to be allowed to do it. Well… probably.

I’ve had some major issues with it. And not in a good way. [Hm… can you have issues with something in a good way?]

Christine Collins (Angelina Jolie) is a single mom in the twenties. After coming home from work one day, she finds that her nine year old son is gone. Months of search follow, led by the Los Angeles Police, which is more corrupt than anything else. Finally, they give her the news that her son has been found. Unfortunately, the kid they want to reunite her with, is not her Walter. When Christine tells them, they try to convince her that she’s fooling herself. What follows is the fight between a mother looking for her son and the police trying to get good press for once.
It’s based on a true story.



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