Saturday, April 9, 2011

Our half-assed look at the movies Clint directed

Before completing the Clint Eastwood acting library with "Gran Torino," we'll make this brief mention of Clint's output as a director.

Now that he's an old man, Clint obviously wishes to be a director more than an actor, but that was never our concern.

From the start of the glorious Clint Eastwood Project, our intent was to soak in Clint's on-screen presence.

Yet once people begin an anal completist project of this sort, it is difficult to miss anything. We have also watched the movies Clint directed without acting. Here are our one-sentence reviews.

"Breezy," 1973: An average movie based on the absurd premise that the hippie era gave 50-year-old men opportunities to screw teenage girls.

"Vanessa in the Garden" a segment for the TV show "Amazing Stories," 1985: A passable but lackluster excuse by Clint to put Sondra Locke on TV.

"Bird," 1988: Clint made no real attempt to explain what drove his subject, jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker, to a self-destructive drug habit, which is a pretty big hole.

"Thelonious Monk, Straight, No Chaser," 1989: A documentary produced but not directed by Clint that will interest everyone already interested in Monk.

"The Stars Fell on Henrietta," 1995, produced but not directed by Clint: Robert Duvall is very good but the story is not.

"Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," 1997: Snore.

"Mystic River," 2003: Great movie.

"Flags of Our Fathers," 2006: A far better war movie than any (of the few) Clint made as an actor.

"Letters from Iwo Jima," 2006: The best movie we ever watched with subtitles, which is a limited field.

"Changeling," 2008: Has a hanging scene so real we could almost smell the crap in the serial killer's pants.

"Invictus," 2009: A feel-good story that holds our interest with rugby, racial politics and, most importantly, Morgan Freeman.

"Hereafter," 2010: Surprisingly boring.

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