Sunday, June 29, 2014

What Happened to Clint Eastwood?

Having seen just about everything I wanted to currently in theatres, I sat around this morning pondering a topic for discussion. Then, I got to thinking about my most recent trip to the movies and how disappointed I was in Clint Eastwood's Jersey Boys. I began wondering to myself, what happened to Clint Eastwood? Trapped in a five-year lull, the once heralded actor/director has simply lost his edge.

I wasn't an outspoken fan of Eastwood's 2009 effort, Invictus, but I enjoyed the film enough to chalk it up in the "win" column. However, since that slightly above average feature five years ago, he's directed a trio of forgettable pieces of work that began with 2010's ambitious search for the answers to the after-life, Hereafter. While the title attempted to raise purposeful discussion surrounding the "meaning of life", Eastwood's slow-moving flick instead induced yawns and became an instant cure for insomnia.

Then, all everyone talked about the following year was Eastwood's wildly anticipated biopic, J. Edgar. It was suppose to manhandle the awards season and deliver Leonardo DiCaprio his first much-deserved Oscar win. Yet, the lifeless account of the highly controversial head of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover, immediately fell out of contention after its opening weekend. As a result, Leo still remains winless in his pursuit and J. Edgar marked another step in the wrong direction for Eastwood.

After a three year hiatus from the director's chair and a cheap PG-13 Gran Torino imitation in the mediocre baseball drama Trouble With the Curve, the filmmaker returned with Jersey Boys. A fantastic Broadway musical crumbled under the care of Eastwood as his career continued on a steep downward spiral. And where does that leave the legend of Hollywood? No longer is the visionary behind hits such as Gran Torino, Million Dollar Baby and Unforgiven (just to name a few) a shoe-in for the Academy Awards.

Everyone's time comes to an end. We may be caught in the middle of Eastwood's unspectacular third act to his illustrious career. As a lifelong fan of the macho actor's brilliant work, it's saddening to witness such a brutal display of normality. Who doesn't root for onscreen heroes and star athletes to walk off into the sunset still at the top of their game? Unfortunately, for Eastwood, that ship may have sailed.

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