00s Director Clint Eastwood.
1336 7.5 81. Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)
''For our homeland. Until the very last man. Our duty is to stop the enemy right here. Do not expect to return home alive.''
A well executed movie with a powerful, historical significance. Told from the side of the Japanese as they prepare to protect Iwo Jima from American invasion.
Some scenes especially the suicide deaths are quite graphic, and the action in it has a gritty, tense, war-drenched realism to it.
Fantastic diverse range of Japanese actors, Ken Watanabe always impresses. Would like to watch this again, very powerful, very emotional, very relevant and historical. Lets all take notice of the past for the future.
In the second half of Letters from Iwo Jima a group of Japanese soldiers find an American who has been badly wounded and take him into their cave. Their general speaks English, so he begins talking to this soldier, whose name we later find out is Sam. Although the two men should be sworn to kill each other, they are able to have a connection in the one conversation they have. A while later, the general comes back into the room only to discover that Sam's wounds have killed him. He searches him for a while and discovers a letter written by his mother. The letter is full of words that truly come from the heart of this kid's mother, and by the time the general finishes reading the letter, every soldier in that cave has realized that Americans aren't these savages; these hate-driven murderers. No, they all realize that Americans are exactly like they are, and that they don't want to be there and want to return home safely just like their enemies. I believe the point that Clint Eastwood is making with his Iwo Jima saga is just this: these two enemies were far more alike than they had imagined and they were both fighting only in hopes of returning home safely to their family.
In all, with Letters from Iwo Jima, Eastwood creates a new kind of war film that stands quite apart from its counterparts both because it portrays the side of the enemy but also and especially because it takes extra special care in emphasizing the human aspect of the soldiers it depicts, humanizing and characterizing them to endless extent. As a psychological study of warfare and as a history lesson, Eastwood has crafted a truly masterful and meaningful piece that's riveting and fascinating as it is intricate and complex. One of the best films of the year.
To sum it all up, Letters from Iwo Jima is one of the greatest war films ever made, and is easily does the best job of depicting war as something that harms all involved that I have ever seen. Clint Eastwood has, with this achievement, engraved his name as one of the greatest American directors in film history.
''A day will come when they will weep and pray for your souls.''
1833 7.4 7.82. Changeling (2008)
''I used to tell Walter, "Never start a fight... but always finish it." I didn't start this fight... but by God, I'm going to finish it.''
Let's begin by saying that Changeling is a film that ambitiously strives and sets out upon a vast journey, delivering a powerful insight and a story from the not so distant past. What I came out with, with Changeling matched my expectations and literally blew them apart, with perfect cinematography, a perfect score, cast and Director Clint Eastwood shows his best film to date. Not only has he captured the era of the 1920s onwards, not only has he created a timeless emotionally charged account of one woman's struggle with evil and corruption but he's set about getting the ball rolling for some cataclysmic standards set for the films of 2008.
Right from the starting title you just know that Changeling is going to take your breath away and thats just the beginning. It's been a while since I've seen a film which can effect and dazzle all your emotions, I cried, I got goosebumps, I squirmed and shuddered at events transpiring. Changeling hits the nail on the head and shows us a society and it's Police with something sadly missing. What shocked me was Clint's effort to capture this, and succeed in making it relevant to today's modern world. In that sense I mean alot of the problems addressed in this film about certain aspects mirror what happens in current affairs in the US and other Countries even today. Corruption and politics are an omni-present factor of civilization.
Overall Changeling is a very powerful piece, resulting in one clear defining notion and answer, an answer and shining example of untarnished, unresolved defiance of a lady who never gave up and who's love for a son came first before anything. Changeling is without a doubt a passionate, human, story of timeless truth, of hope.
Christine Collins:But one thing I know is that boy gave me something I didn't have before.
Detective Lester Ybarra: What's that?
Christine Collins: Hope.
2550 7.9 8.23. Gran Torino (2008)
''Yea? I blow a hole in your face and then I go in the house... and I sleep like a baby. You can count on that. We used to stack fucks like you five feet high in Korea... use you for sandbags.''
Gran Torino comes from someone who has considered some of his highly praised directorial works as over appreciated, I was absolutely in awe and pleasantly surprised with Gran Torino, a exquisite film and compelling story to boot.
Eastwood stars as Walt Kowalski, an ill-natured racist Korean War veteran living in the heart of a run-down and heavily Hmong-populated area of Michigan. When his 17-year-old Hmong neighbour, Thao, tries to steal his '72 Gran Torino, the ever-so-grouchy Walt is wrenched away from his lonely porch and is thrown into the life of this Hmong family. Not only is Walt now sampling southeast Asian cuisine but he begins to unwillingly mentor Thao, begrudgingly care about the family, and selflessly protect them from the local gang.
hether or not Gran Torino will hold up as one of Eastwood's great films remains to be seen, and the film feels like it would be good for multiple viewings. The characterization is strong and not simplistic at all, you could argue that Kowalski is just another moody war vet, but Eastwood's beautiful, nuanced performance as well as some neat little touches in the screenplay (particularly towards the end) which I won't discuss in detail to avoid spoiling anything (and it's really fun to watch this movie unfold, Eastwood keeps the film moving at a wonderfully involving pace) would prove you wrong. The film works on yet another level as a deconstruction of Eastwood's image. I don't mean that as a negative, it just adds to the film's strength as a character study.
Overall, a Korean war veteran who has killed and has seen killing. His hate for Asians, presumably due to the war, is subdued after acts of kindness by his neighbors and the boy he befriends. Kowalski's parish priest is persistent in attempting to subdue the hate that boils within Kowalski. In the end the priest gets through to Kowalski, learning something from Walt as well. Kowalski repents in the end and offers up the supreme sacrifice for his Asian neighbors. A heart-warming story that leads one on an emotional journey of self discovery.
''The thing that haunts a guy is the stuff he wasn't ordered to do.''
3443 7.6 8.14. Million Dollar Baby (2004)
''It's the magic of risking everything for a dream that nobody sees but you.''
Clint Eastwood is an accomplished artist and veteran of the film world whom is confident and experienced.
Transporting the audience via his films through their imaginations and curiosities; that they never want any aspect of the story to be 'dumbed-down' for ready consumption. In fact, his trust in the audience to use their own minds to fill in gaps is like a gift of part ownership in the film. Million Dollar Baby is incredible storytelling and a powerful display, a masterpiece of human emotion and hope.
There is a grey area between the light and the dark where something approaching truth lies waiting, and this is where Eastwood takes us, then leaves us there to ponder. Million Dollar Baby is a shadow play of necessity.
As accomplished as Unforgiven and Mystic River, yet even more personal perhaps, this film is a triumph of human storytelling.
983 7.1 7.45. Invictus (2009)
''I thank whatever gods may be...For my unconquerable soul...I am the master of my fate...I am the captain of my soul.''
The film tells the inspiring true story of how Nelson Mandela joined forces with the captain of South Africa's rugby team to help unite their country. Newly elected President Mandela knows his nation remains racially and economically divided in the wake of apartheid. Believing he can bring his people together through the universal language of sport, Mandela rallies South Africa's rugby team as they make their historic run to the 1995 Rugby World Cup Championship match.
2550 7.7 86. Mystic River (2003)
''We bury our sins, we wash them clean.''
Eastwood's big Oscar hit along with Unforgiven(1993), Million Dollar Baby(2004), and highly nominated Letters from Iwo Jima(2006).
Mystic River(2003) is based on the bestselling novel by Dennis Lehane boasting an incredible cast to give life to the storytelling. The main leads are for Sean Penn, Tim Robbins and Kevin Bacon. Furthermore we have Laurence Fishburne, Laura Linney and Marcia Gay Harden. The movie itself is very dark and sober without substantial amounts of music used. The story and screenplay is brilliantly conceived, written sublimely and the acting results in being equally superb.
988 6.7 7.17. Flags of Our Fathers (2006)
308 6.2 6.48. Blood Work (2002)
730 5.8 6.49. Space Cowboys (2000)
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