DVD of the Week: 'Gran Torino.' Plus 'The International' and More...

As a sort of cross between Dirty Harry and Archie Bunker, Clint Eastwood's Korean War vet Walt Kowalski snarls racial slurs with a hoary glee, and gives his immigrant neighbors the stink-eye from the porch of his pristine Americana home in a Detroit suburb that's gone downhill. When violent and disturbing events unfold that cause him to reluctantly befriend—and soon defend—the Vietnamese family next door, the Harry side comes out in full force...for better or worse.

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You can see the inevitable coming in this racially charged parable, but it's an intriguing ride getting there. A sometimes clunky, hamfisted script is boosted by great performances, and Clint will make your day with his often laugh-out-loud delivery of ethnic epithets too blue to reprint here.

Also New This Week:

The International This wildly implausible escapist fare nonetheless fits the bill as sleek, slick action thriller worth watching thanks to director Tom Tykwer (Run, Lola, Run), who has put together one of the most awesome shootouts since anything Jason Bourne ever saw. It's also bizarrely timely, with the villain being a - bank.
Fired Up! Teensploitation flick about two horny football jocks who figure they'll get more action on the sidelines, so they join cheer camp for two weeks. Bosom buddies, indeed.
Nobel Son A complicated, overstylized, occasionally pretty gory crime pic about a college kid who gets kidnapped for ransom, the $2 mil his not-so-nice, Nobel-prize-winning father is disinclined to hand over.
Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition This groovy limited-edition, numbered box set comes in a leather-fringe jacket, with a variety of cool collectibles as well as tons of extras to go with the now 4-hour director's cut of the Academy Award-winning documentary. If you're into '60s freedom rock, you'll enjoy the never-before-on-film performances by the Grateful Dead and Creedence Clearwater Revival. Turn it up!

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Next Article by Erik Davis

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