Archives for posts with tag: Clint Eastwood

Can a movie based on a true story be too true? Somehow, that’s the feeling I took away from “American Sniper” (2014). The real-life story of Navy Seal, sniper, Iraq war hero Chris Kyle is so anticlimactic, it casts a literal pall over the film. I imagine it would’ve been 10 times better if I hadn’t known anything about Kyle and could’ve approached the story unaware as to how it ends. Lacking that advantage, I was stuck in some netherworld, glad the movie wasn’t ridiculously glamorized for dramatic effect, but at the same time feeling as though something was missing.

To watch Clint Eastwood’s compromised gait in “Cry Macho” (2021) is to witness a man walk with one foot in the grave. But as the film’s theme song (which will undoubtedly be played at the Academy Awards) says, it’s never too late to find a new home. New homes, second chances – redemption – are the ideas that drive this film as director/star Eastwood heads to Mexico and back on a mission to deliver a son to his father (a Texas rancher played by Dwight Yoakum). Midway through, we can see the ending we desire, but will Clint let us have it?

(This review is riddled with spoilers. Not that you’re likely to see this film. It spent only three weeks at the box office in spring 2019.) It does a great job of scene-setting an alien takeover of Earth from the vantage point of one neighborhood in Chicago. (As usual, the weather is sucky in the future and everyone’s clothes are dirty.) And John Goodman pulls the best going-out-with-a-bang move since Clint Eastwood in “Gran Torino.” Unfortunately, “Captive State” comes off as less a movie than a pilot for a Syfy Original Series. You know, “this is only the beginning.” Whatever.