First of all, if you want to remain unspoiled about the new Clint Eastwood drama GRAN TORINO, I suggest that you avoid this article. Last Monday a buddy of mine chattered excitedly to me about how much he was looking forward to the new Eastwood film GRAN TORINO. A gun fanatic, he said he couldn't wait to see Eastwood unleash the fury one last time. Where did my friend get the idea that this film marked Eastwood's return to the type of gun-blazing role that originally made him famous? Oh yeah ... from the trailers. In fact, at one point in the conversation, my buddy reached into his jacket pocket and imitated the finger-gun draw that Eastwood displays in this trailer: Admittedly, the trailer creates an effective air of tension and inevitability; from watching it, we are sure that Eastwood will eventually take that shotgun and rain down leaded justice upon these unscrupulous gangmembers. Anyone who has ever loved the Eastwood stare, his growling, monotone delivery, and his unflappable cool, will undoubtedly start drooling at the promise of this trailer. Unfortunately, I've seen the movie. It's a flawed but okay drama.But Eastwood doesn't fire one single shot in this film. Aside from the threats and the single skirmish shown in the trailer, Eastwood does nothing but growl and bitch throughout the entire running time. Which then leads me to the marketing of this film. Rather than emphasize the human elements of GRAN TORINO - and there is something there to show - the marketing whizzes have decided to ramp up the violence aspect ... and it just ain't there, folks. You'll find more actual violence in the average episode of AMERICAN IDOL (the violence there directed against popular music, of course) than anywhere in this fairly limp and toothless movie. Why try to dupe moviegoers this way? Well, they want to make money, of course. You see, fifty-five year old white guys aren't going to be enticed to the theater to see Eastwood learn the value of love from a couple of Asian kids. And younger theatergoers won't want to see some craggy 80 year old growl for two hours unless they believe gang violence will cap it off. So to fix this, you put out a trailer that sets up a savage confrontation between a grizzled, fully-armed war veteran and an unscrupulous (and foreign) gang. Obviously the tactic is working, since apparently the film is on track for a $30 million weekend opening. But, as the cliche goes, the end doesn't justify the means. What a pathetic way for Eastwood to go out.

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All you need to know is that I love movies and baseball. I write about both on a temporary medium known as the Internet. Twitter: @rayderousse or @unfilteredlens1 Go St. Louis Cardinals!