Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Movie Review "Gran Torino" and "Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li"

"Gran Torino," with Clint Eastwood

What sucks about this is that this is gonna be Clint Eastwood's last movie. Not because it was a bad movie, because it wasn't, but because he said so himself. His character is Walt Kowalski, a Korean War vet who is probably the biggest racist ever. His racism is old fashioned, making mean jokes about minorities and badmouthing them. The kicker is that every white guy in the movie (except for his relatives, who appear in a few scenes, and his priest) are racist too. He especially hates Asians and Asian-Americans, which gradually changes. He's the only Caucasian in his neighborhood when the movie starts with the death of his wife. Everyone else is Asian-American. The entire movie is him befriending his neighbor's grandson, named Thao, and protecting him from a gang led by his cousin. That's it. But like Million Dollar Baby (which I didn't like except that it had Clint Eastwood in it), he took a really simple concept and made it complex.

What is worse than Kowalski with his racism is everybody else but the rest of his neighbors. His sons and grandchildren are arrogant and uncaring, with one of his grandddaughters literally telling him that she should have his vintage car once he dies (a Gran Torino). The priest is a guy convinced that he is God's agent and that his mission in life is to help Eastwood's character. The characters who aren't his neighbors are just bad people.

The movie has a surprising number of F-Bombs for a movie from a pretty old guy. It's funny only because Eastwood takes his racist bastard of a character and makes him the guy you like the best. Thankfully, in the end, after all the violence, which is pretty messianic, all the characters get what they deserve.

Now, though I'm only a sophomore,that doesn't mean I can't admit that Clint Eastwood did a good job. He did a good job. In the end, this is a good movie because it blends drama, violence, and humor to make something that you like to watch. It could've beat Slumdog Millionaire for the Academy Award, but even without it, at least Clint Eastwood's last hurrah wasn't a failure.

Score: 8/10

"Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li," with the chick from "Terminator: Salvation," the chick from "Smallville," a guy that I've seen in a few movies, and Michael Clarke Duncan

20th Century Fox has been on a roll. They made this movie and "Dragonball: Evolution" within a month of each other (they even released Dragonball the same day as Hannah Montana: The Movie). But this one, as cheesy and stupid as it can get, isn't bad.

It's based on a video game (Street Fighter 4 went into stores 4 months ago), but very loosely. There are only four characters who are from the actual video games (Chun Li, M. Bison, Balrog, and Vega), and one mentioned at the end, since they were obviously intending to make a sequel (Ryu). The story has nothing to do with the video games, and the movie has almost nothing to do with the "Street." The really should've called it "Fighter," get sued for copyright infringement, and dealt with it.

So Street Fighter fans will hate this. I don't know that much about Street Fighter (although I do like it and the video games are fun), but obviously the guy who made this just assumed "oh, it's a Street Fighter movie. So everyone will love it." Every reference or nod at the video games failed. Hell, the got the outfits wrong two, and the villain (M. Bison) somehow changed his race from olive skinned military guy (in the game) to sharply clothed white guy (in the movie).

The fight scenes are generally good, I guess, though it is kind of cheesy also. The woman who plays as Chun Li (the chick from "Smallville, named Kristin Kreuk), not only is she hot, also does a good job considering how effed up the script is. But this film isn't that bad. Just sedate any Street Fighter fans nearby and you can watch a stupid but decent movie.

Score: 7/10 (because it really wasn't that bad)

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