That time I watched three Clint Eastwood films on theater

This month, a theater in my city is playing all 25 films directed by Clint Eastwood over his life-long career. The man is such a nature powerhouse that needs no introduction. I was able to go ahead and watch three of those, two of them on purpose.

The first of them that I watched was White Hunter, Black Heart (1990). Meta is an understatement. And if you cringe by the title, you’ll cringe more on the scenes Clint inexplicably is trying to defend Jews and black Africans from racist idiots. And then you’ll hate yourself when by the end they literally kill the local African hunter, in a scene with other five white characters, including a white hunter that supposedly killed over 50 elephants and Clint’s misogynistic pain in the ass character. It’s a movie made in Africa in the 1990’s about a movie they wanna make in Africa during post-war probably 1950’s. Some decisions are just too weird to pass by, and Clint seems as stale as possible. And the story is just not that good. I’ve seen it in the theatre during a Clint festival in town, and I regret picking this one randomly. And it is sad, because it started from a decent premise of examination of the development of an artistic endeavor, but by the end, it’s not what you have seen.

In this festival I’ve also watched The Mule (2018), and must say, Pete Davidson’s favorite film is hilarious impossible and grounded at the same time. Clint got to fulfill every old white American man dream: he became the best driver for a mexican drug cartel at an age people can’t even drive. And even became the best at doing a job for a Mexican cartel, better than Mexicans at a Mexican job. Every twist is predictable and hilarious. This old man self importance is an abomination only fizable if done by Clint Eastwood himself. The pacing is great and the supporting cast is bonkers, I mean, cmon. There are no real stakes and even then you feel the weight of scenes like when Julio tells Clint’s Earl that he’s not his “hijo”. But then you get this jokes like a cop talking in spanish to a filipino guy and being called out for his over the top racism. His family’s change of heart is the craziest piece of bad twist I’ve seen in ages. The ending is amazing, but seriously Clint, two threesomes, cmon? Somehow three stars out of five for the fun time in the theater.

The last of the Clint festival I was able to catch is also his latest.

Cry Macho (2021) is a pacing mess filled with stunning visuals, good acting for poorly written dialogues and some cliche tropes, that is still able to hit you like an arrow to the heart for its more emotional beats. Clint is raising a boy and garnering the chance to restart his life with a mexican widow and her family, while connecting to the boy he’s got to deliver. That’s all kinda great and adapted by a suposidely fine novel, but it just doesn’t work. The film rushes into everything and wastes precious minutes on its 100 minute length with some cringe worth scenes and (OMG) bad exposition from the logo on. And still, beautifully crafted with some impressive landscapes and inspired musical choices. The actor that plays Rafo does a really solid job even if the material makes him sound like a bad-caricature of a bipolar (or would that be a libra person?). It’s intense but brings little to none stakes and builds itself so fast that you barely follows sometimes. Still worth among the best Clint was able to deliver this last 15-ish years. Not Gran Torino though, that I unfortunately did not have the opportunity to see on the big screen.

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