Archives for posts with tag: Clint Eastwood

It’s a mediocre film, but in a larger sense, it’s good that Clint Eastwood made “The 15:17 to Paris” (2018). It’s good to tell this story to a wide audience. Most young people don’t sit around on porches or at barbershops or the local diner and listen to older, wiser folk pass along wisdom, so if it takes a movie about three young adult American tourists who stepped into the breach and helped thwart a terrorist attack on a train to teach kids it takes more than snarky Twitter comments to make the world a better place, so be it.


Based on his performance in “Sully” (2016), I nominate Aaron Eckhart for Best Supporting Mustache. In today’s age of media oversaturation, this is another one of those based-on-a-true-story films in which everyone is already super familiar with the “true story.” So how do you create drama? Play up Capt. Sullenberger’s wife, make the National Transportation Safety Board dude extra dicky (the birds weren’t enough of an antagonist), and plow a buncha money into special effects. Also, hope the audience can calibrate its expectations and lose itself in the re-creation of one of the all-time greatest airplane landings. Worked for me.

Denzel Washington is Clint Eastwood with a nailgun, cleansing the high plains of Boston in “The Equalizer” (2014). You will either love or hate its bloody, vigilante-style violence. I loved it, particularly as viewed through an earlier Washington character from one of my all-time favorites, “Man on Fire.” In that 2004 movie, Denzel’s Creasy is a lost soul atoning for past sins. Here, his activities, while achieving the same goal through the same methods, are that of an avenging angel. Are those characters that much different, or is it simply our perception? Either way, I look forward to the sequel.

Waiting two decades before seeing “The Dead Pool” (1988) was definitely a good call. It fills the movie with surprises, surprises that having nothing to do with the boilerplate Dirty Harry plot. Liam Neeson! Too bad his character is a throwaway. Jim Carrey! (I’m sorry, the credit says “James.”) Too bad he dies. Patricia Clarkson! Too bad she’s not a redhead, but anything’s better than Sondra Locke. A “Bullitt” car chase! Too bad it’s with an RC car. Clint Eastwood wearing the sunglasses the optometrist gives you after he dilates you! Too bad Clint apparently thinks they’re for everyday use.

Based on the trailers I saw, “Trouble with the Curve” (2012) looked like it was pretty emotionally manipulative, so I kinda figured it would make me cry. I held it together until the big Mexican kid drops a 12-6 curve so pretty, it about makes a punk teenager crap his pants (maybe I watch too much baseball). It’s a good way to spend a lazy afternoon or evening, but it’s no “Moneyball.” In fact it’s the opposite of “Moneyball,” with good (grizzled old scouts and pert redheads) triumphing over evil (computer-savvy metrosexuals). Clint Eastwood and Amy Adams star as good.

Let’s put Dirty Harry in New Orleans. And make him a perv. What do we get? “Tightrope,” a creepy 1984 thriller. Creepy in a bad way. Instead of Clint Eastwood shooting all the suspects as he cracks the case, he’s doing all the victims as the case cracks him. Did I mention he’s also a divorced dad with two little girls? We keep bouncing back and forth from hookers and bondage to daughters and bonding. Nice. As in not nice. Also, it’s got all the usual Clint/Harry stuff: jazz music, long zoom-ins and zoom-outs over the city, blah, blah, blah.