June 9th, 2009
03:45 PM ET

'Gran Torino' gets Detroit love

"Gran Torino" is out on DVD today. Got no love from the big famous awards– no Oscars, no Golden Globes. It did get a couple NBR Awards. OK, prestigious, yes, but, call me when you can tell me what NBR stands for without Googling.  Still,  Best Movie of Last Year in my humble-if-not-slightly-skewed opinion. I'm from Detroit, and will cheerlead anything Detroit. Eminem, Kid Rock –brilliant cultural geniuses, just on principle of being from D-Town.

Here's a "Torino" synopsis: Clint Eastwood gets all Senior Citizen Dirty Harry on his gang-infested abandoned-house-filled Detroit neighborhood. Shot all in Metro Detroit, the film and Eastwood's presence in the area became legendary, like the cavalry had ridden in. The movie came out just after the city had been ridden through the auto bailout hearings in Congress and Detroit was a dirty word and Detroiters were starting to believe it. Then, for a brief shining moment at Christmas time, Clint came in to clean things up.

Six months have passed. No Oscar for Eastwood, GM and Chrysler are in bankruptcy, more jobs gone, and Detroit's corrupt former mayor was sprung from prison and moved to a mansion in Texas. So much for a storybook ending.

This week, Detroiters are in the middle of a legal battle to save the old Tiger Stadium. The historic ballpark got a reprieve last week because a new movie was shooting there. This one, "The Irishman," is about union organizer and mobster Danny Greene. Stars Val Kilmer and Christopher Walken. Have no idea if it will be good, but hoping its chock-a-block full of big bad heroes.

Meantime, go rent "Gran Torino."  Betting you'll like it. You'll see why it resonated across Metro Detroit, even if not with Academy voters.

– Rachel Wells

Supervising Producer, CNN Entertainment


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  7. Arthritis Remedy 

    The Saint is one of Val Kilmer's best film ever, i love his role on that movie.;.

    October 14, 2010 at 3:08 am | Report abuse |
  8. Aaliyah Wood

    i love Val Kilmer in the movie The Saint, probably one of his greatest performance:**

    September 29, 2010 at 2:39 am | Report abuse |
  9. Brody James

    Val Kilmer is quite older now but he still got that great acting talent.:.

    August 2, 2010 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
  10. Joel Owen

    Val Kilmer is quite an old man today but he is still a great actor and handsome guy.:.`

    July 4, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  11. radar

    This was THE best picture of 2008. It put you through a plethora of emotions. It made me uncomfortable at times, but it gave me so much to think about. Most important, it created dialog between the masses. And dialog is the starting point for great things.

    June 10, 2009 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Harvey

    Best Clint Eastwood move ever!

    June 10, 2009 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  13. allison

    That was the slowest, worst movie I've ever seen. I live in Detroit and love it here and even go to the church that was in the movie but it was beyond horrible. If we didn't go with another couple, I would have left.

    June 10, 2009 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Gilbert

    I usually don't like scary movies but this one sounds like a real crowd pleaser. I was all hyped up to see this since I too grew up in Detroit. My mom even sent me a clip from the Grosse Pointe News, discussing local personalities and sites in and around the city used for the movie. As is her way though, she ripped out the first page of the article but not the following pages where the story continued.
    Based on the recommendation of the writer and others, I will rent the movie this weekend and watch it Saturday night after the Red Wings beat the Penguins in game 7 to win the Stanley Cup Friday night. It will be an all Detroit weekend. On Sunday, I will watch the Beverly Hills Cop series. My brother Motown needs a lift.

    June 10, 2009 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Kevin

    This was my favorite movie of last year. It should have been up for a Best Picture Oscar. Oh well.

    June 10, 2009 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  16. shelly

    graet movie!!

    June 10, 2009 at 4:11 am | Report abuse |
  17. Rob Hyland

    The NBR is the National Board of Review, based in midtown Manhattan, a few blocks north of the Empire State Building. Last year they awarded Clint Eastwood the Best Actor award for "Gran Torino."

    June 9, 2009 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Drum

    Grand Turino played a long time. Made a lot of money. It was a good movie. They can keep their awards.

    June 9, 2009 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  19. capt ham

    NBR: Nightly Business Report. LOLZ

    June 9, 2009 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  20. kate

    Peggy-
    Not NPR.
    NBR!

    June 9, 2009 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Franky, Land of Lincoln

    Yeah, I agree, that did rock and you know what? Clint Eastwood as well, LOL!!! :) Guys, he's just freaking awesome, old-school baby, old-school.

    Yeah it should have got some recognition, plus, did you hear? Upsets occurred at the box office!! Come on, Land of the Lost was a favorite and didn't do nothing BUT did you know what's the biggest upset so far in the box office? Oh yeah...Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian with Ben Stiller! LOL!!!! :) Sweet! I forgot which one it beat out but who cares, when we seen the numbers, we were like, "Say what?!" LOL!!! :)

    Sweet!

    June 9, 2009 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Peggy

    OK, call me a smarty pants– NPR stands for National Public Radio, but at least this know-it-all agrees with you Gran Torino was fabulous. It made me laugh, feel uncomfortable, and think the next day. Exactly what a good movie and most native Detroiters do. Now that its available on DVD, I'm heading to our local video store to rent Gran Torino.

    June 9, 2009 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |

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