Walt Kowalski (Eastwood) served his time in the military, paid his dues at the auto plant -- American cars only, of course -- and wants to spend his days as a widower in peace. He is disgusted by his ignorant, oafish sons and their selfish children -- the ugliest characters you'll see on screen this year. But his disdain isn't limited to kin. Walt also hates the "eggroll," "fish-head" "Charlie Chans" who've moved into his blue-collar Detroit suburb.
Continue reading: Gran Torino Review
Eastwood made cinematic history by being the first director of his stature (or any stature, really) to make two feature films about the same battle, each one about a different side in the fight. Flags of Our Fathers, which came out a few months ago, was about the American soldiers in the Iwo Jima invasion force involved in the raising of the flag which was captured in the iconic photograph. It was a skillfully made, if sometimes dramatically stagnant, piece about the dehumanization of wartime propaganda. In Letters, which tells the battle story from the Japanese perspective, Eastwood also deals with the same issues -- there are almost as many Japanese soldiers who are fiercely patriotic as those who are embittered by years of cynical manipulation -- but he achieves a greater effect by making us more privy to these men's inner lives.
Continue reading: Letters From Iwo Jima Review
Presented by the Bobby Jones Film Company and approved by his heirs, so you know it's brutally honest, Stroke of Genius details the first half of Jones's life, which is presented with as much narrative élan as a fifth grader's book report. A sickly boy, Bobby watches with rapt attention the matches on the golf course near his house. He spends hours practicing in the vast Georgia countryside, and as a teenager becomes a star amateur. Later, after years of struggling, he becomes the best golfer in the world.
Continue reading: Bobby Jones, Stroke Of Genius Review
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.