Flick Crit: Not So Gran Torino

Latest film review at Cinema Takes is Not So Gran Torino:

The setting for Gran Torino is the Global Financial Crisis’ ‘Ground Zero’: the suburbs of ‘Motor-City’ Detroit before the worst of the sub-prime meltdown.

I didn’t review Gran Torino when it was first released because I was disappointed with it. It deserves big ticks for: good acting; a tight script and topicality. But the crosses are a lot to bear from such great filmmakers: lack of originality; pedestrian predictability and a dearth of insights. Going by the box office and its continuing presence in Australian cinemas I seem to be in a small minority.



25 Responses

  1. The last sentence is spot on, kevin πŸ˜‰

  2. Sad but true TB. It seems that gone are the days when you could take your 2/- to the Rivoli in Camberwell, buy a ticket in the dress circle and have enough left over for a choc-top icecream.

  3. Min, seen this site?:


    The Rivoli Cinema Complex is a much admired example of moderne architecture in Melbourne. Popularly known as Art Deco, the stylistic influences of the Rivoli are more precisely described as a combination of Jazz Moderne and Streamlined Moderne.

    Designed by noted cinema architects Taylor and Soilleux, the cinema was built on the current site in 1940 as a two level cinema. The capacity of the cinema was 1644 (Stalls 1004; Circle 640). Taylor and Soilleux were noted acoustic specialists during this era and worked as consultants on the construction of many cinemas throughout Australia. Over the years, the Rivoli has undergone many major renovations, the most significant being in 1968 when the cinema was divided to form the Rivoli Twin (the balcony became Cinema One and the stalls became Cinema Two), and the current refurbishment. The new Rivoli now has a total seating capacity of 1550 for the eight screens.

    An interesting historical note: there was a previous Rivoli Cinema in Camberwell. It was located at 570 Burke Road and opened in 1921.



  4. Thank you N’. I used to go to The Riv’ every Saturday. Those were the days when the News was played (black and white), then a cartoon and if the main feature was in black and white then there was all hell to pay.

    Also was the New Glen picture theatre (Glenferrie), but the only remnant these days is the Glen Arcade.

  5. I spent my youth at the Hoyts in Elsternwick, long closed, and The Regent, now the Classic which we still frequent.
    The first evening film I remember seeing was ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ with Charles Laughton and Clark Gable made in 1935. It was at the Yarram picture theatre in the early 50s. I’ve been hooked on the silver screen ever since.

  6. Hello Kevin. When my Dad was ill (eons ago) I convinced him to go with me to the pictures. I told him that he would enjoy the ‘fill-um’ and he did. It was The Great Escape. We went into the city, I think that it must have been to The Capitol.

  7. Remember the “B’ movies?

    I think the first film I saw on the cinema was Thunderball…followed closely by Fantastic Voyage. When I was at the Asthma home in Adelaide they took us to a few films…including the above. Around 1967 I think. Took awhile for films to get here.

    Tho I saw Born Free in the drive-in around the same time. Can’t remember which came first.

  8. First night out with, The Minister, was at The Beach Theatre. I’d met her at one of the dances our band used to put on and play at. (she was 17, I was 18.

    Watched the first (B) movie, then Intermission, of course, then the cartoon, and as the news started I slid through the canvas seat in front and asked her if I could “sit” with her – watched the “feature” drove her home in the old FX Holden (1953) – the beginning of a 43 year relaionship.

    Them were the days, hey!

  9. My favourite B grade movie star was Western specialist Randolph Scott. He always rode into the sunset alone, leaving the leading lady behind. This sparked many rumours about the lonesome cowboy. He was one of my idols during the 50s.

  10. Just watched 3:10 to Yuma. I don’t get it.

  11. Tony

    Was it late? Happens a lot in Sydney.


  12. What’s to get? It’s a modern Western with a silly ending. More bang for your buck!

  13. Yes it was, as it happens, much to Christian Bales disgust. (He had an outlaw gang bearing down on him, and their boss, Russell Crowe, in his custody.)

    F*#king trains.

  14. Kevin,

    It was the ending I didn’t get. I suppose it was being faithful to the original, but I haven’t seen that, so I can’t be sure.

  15. Tony, the ending made sense to me most, although it was sad.

    it also fit the personality of the character

  16. auto submit, i wasnt finished typing.

    of Eastwoods views in the movie.

  17. Yes, it was sad that Christian Bale’s character was killed, but why would Russell Crowe’s character get on the train anyway, on a one-way journey to the gallows?

  18. oops, i thought we were talking about gran torino, sorry Tony

  19. Which movie are you talking about Aqua?

  20. πŸ˜†

  21. Gran torino,
    when it comes to fear/ intimidation, most people react the same way, five different ways two being the most common. Either way due to little practise(if right or wrong) it is usually carried out the wrong way(over-reaction).

  22. Gran Torino’s ending did make sense, too much sense. Too predictable, too pat. It didn’t challenge us to go a bit deeper.

  23. Well that solves the problem. Here are 2 movies not worth watching because ‘person’s have already given away the endings.



  25. That’s cool Tony, I’ve just recorded the film. But a few beers and I’m likely to forget the spoiler…:)

    I remember my wife was looking forward to the video of The Sixth Sense…& just before she watched it I handed her a film mag article that gave away the ending. She was furious. So we held off until she’d been so busy she forgot what she’d read.

    Slip sliding away…


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