ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What Is The Best Movie You Have Seen In The Last Year And Why

Updated on April 8, 2009

Reflecting on Gran Torino

This is in response to the question, "what is the best movie you have seen in the last year and why?"

I'm something of a film buff, and a lover of classic cinema. That said, I'm often dissapointed by most of the crap that Hollywood offers us every year. There are still some good movies out there, but for every great new instant-classic, there are a dozen remakes, rip-offs and generally bad movies that make me wonder why studios flushed their money down the toilet to make them.

One movie I watched this past year that helped renew my faith in the film industry at large was Gran Torino. This was easily my favorite film of 2008, if not of this entire decade. Clint Eastwood is truly a genius in my opinion. Of all the people I admire most in the world, Clint would definitely make the top twenty, probaby slightly above Hugh Laurie and Kevin Smith, but just a step below Rod Serling.

For those who didn't see it and hadn't heard about it, I'll give you the overview. Clint Eastwood plays Walt Kowalski, a retired war veteran who, after losing his beloved wife, has become the living stereotype of a cranky old man. He's rude, insensitive, a little racist, and goes out of his way to socially isolate himself. But still, we as the audience find that we can sympathize with him.

Things change as large numbers of Asian immigrants start moving into the area. (I forget the exact region they're from, but it's talked about in the movie in some detail) Walt is opposed to their presence at first, but over the course of the film, he is reluctantly befriended by two siblings named Thao and Sue, who eventually coax him out of his shell and get him to warm up to the new neighbors. But, I'm getting ahead of the plot here.

The neighborhood has a lot of problems. Its inhabitants are poor, and many of the houses are falling apart. Teenagers can't afford to go to college, and there aren't any real jobs around for them, or at least none willing to hire them. So, the town's youth start joining gangs. Thao is constantly pressured by his cousin and his friends to join their gang, but Thao is uncertain about it. His first attempt at fitting in is trying to steal Walt's car, a beautiful Gran Torino that he takes great care of. Walt catches him and chases him away, but later when Thao's cousin and the gang come back to harass Thao and his family for his failure, Walt comes to their rescue. Walt of course claims he was just trying to keep the young punks away from his lawn, but he shows his good-guy nature later when Sue is being harassed by another gang.

So, time goes on, Walt starts to accept Thao and Sue's family, and they do the same. Walt teaches Thao lessons about being a man, and helps him to get a job. But all the while, the street gang is making their lives miserable. When Thao makes it clear that he has no interest in joining them, they get violent to show they mean business. Walt steps forward and tells the gang-bangers to leave the family alone, but this only escalates matters. Violence begets violence, and as the situation comes to a boiling point, Walt has to make a serious decision about how to restore peace to their neighborhood.

I won't reveal the ending, but suffice to say it's not what you expect. The whole movie is really original, though. The characters feel absolutely real. They're flesh and blood, and you can really grow attached to them, which makes the storyline all the more emotional and dramatic. The writing throughout is fantastic. I laughed, I cried, I wanted to pick up a gun and shoot some gang-banging punks, and maybe more significantly, I decided to lay that hypothetical gun down. The realism is intense, and the issues dealt with here are an absolute powderkeg of emotions. I found myself talking about the film and the political and ethical questions is raised throughout the entire 20-minute car ride home.

Long story short, Gran Torino is a modern masterpiece, and if you didn't get the pleasure of seeing it in theatres, I highly recommend you look into getting the dvd, or at least renting it so you can say you've had the pleasure of seeing it. And believe me, it is a pleasure to watch from start to finish.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • danmayerisgod profile imageAUTHOR

      danmayerisgod 

      9 years ago from Scotia, NY

      Yes, I am. I like a lot of his older stuff, too. Go on youtube, there are a ton of Fry and Laurie clips. Hilarious stuff.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)