Tag Archives: clint eastwood

THE MULE (2018) – My rating: 8.5/10

The Mule is a crime film produced and directed by Clint Eastwood, who also plays the lead role. The screenplay is by Nick Schenk and is based on The New York Times article “The Sinaloa Cartel’s 90-Year-Old Drug Mule” by Sam Dolnick, which recounts the true story of Leo Sharp, a World War II veteran in his 80s who became a drug courier for the Sinaloa Cartel.  It seems now-a-days, anything is possible and anything goes.  This is Eastwood’s first acting project since 2012’s Trouble with the Curve, and his first starring role in a film directed by him since 2008’s Gran Torino. The Mule has been made into a humorous yet serious movie.  I’m glad I invested time to seeing it.

The Mule opens with Earl Stone (Clint Eastwood) who is a 90-year-old horticulturist and Korean War veteran facing financial ruin. His estranged wife Mary (Dianne Wiest) is lambasting him for never showing up or contributing financially, as his family looks on helplessly. A friend of his granddaughter Ginny (Taissa Farmiga),  who felt sorry for Earl, gives him a card with a telephone number and address of a place where he can drive and get paid.  Desperate for money, Earl follows up on the tip and becomes a “mule” transporting cocaine through Illinois for a Mexican drug cartel. Facing little suspicion due to his age, race, spotless criminal history and strict adherence to driving laws, Earl is soon trusted with huge amounts of drugs and paid equally large amounts of cash. With the money he obtains from drug-running, he pays for renovations of the local VFW Post and his granddaughter’s wedding and education. He becomes friendly with the cartel members, who call him Tata (“grandfather”).

Meanwhile, a Drug Enforcement Administration task force consisting of Colin Bates (Bradley Cooper), a DEA agent and the Special DEA agent in charge (Laurence Fishburne) is narrowing in on the cartel, headed up by Laton (Andy Garcia). Something happens on the way to the biggest drug delivery  entrusted to Earl.  You’ll have to see the movie to find out what happens and to be entertained as I was by a well written script.  I’m sure The Mule doesn’t tell the story as it exactly happened but I’m sure you’ll get it.  I loved this movie.  Check it Out!


JERSEY BOYS (2014) – My rating: 8.5/10

JerseyBoysJersey Boys is the story of The Four Seasons.  4 kids from New Jersey who started out singing arcapella under the street light and grew into one of the biggest names in the music business today.  Tommy DeVito (Vincent Piazza), Frankie Valli (John Lloyd Young), Nick Massi (Michael Lomenda), Bob Gaudio (Erich Bergen) are the members of this successful group.  Their story is directed by Clint Eastwood and ranges from the 1950s to the present.  While Jersey Boys opened to mixed feelings, I thought it was basically a very good movie.  The Jersey Boys’ story was well told and entertaining.  The music was fantastic and the cast was spot on.  Christopher Walken played Gyp De Carlo, who was a mafia figure, appeared to tremendously smooth the mafia connection.  The group went through many trails and tribulations including $150,000 owed to a loan shark for a gambling debt incurred by Tommy.  The group took responsibility for Tommy’s debt but also  bought him out.  The Four Seasons split up and Frankie went solo.   Frankie Valli’s and his wife Mary (Renée Marino), although divorced, ended up having the biggest tragedy when they lost their talented daughter, Francine (Grace Fitzgerald) to drugs.  Overall, I enjoyed the music and the story of Jersey Boys, now on DVD.

MYSTIC RIVER (2003) – My rating: 9/10

The Point Of This Movie Is…
Don’t let your emotions guide your decision making, you’ll come up wrong every time! Mystic River is an emotional roller coaster of personalities and heart wrenching realities. Starting with the sexual abuse of an innocent child, which strengthens the old cliché, “only the strong shall survive”. Next there’s the death of a 19 year old teenager that tears a father to pieces, not to mention the audience. It was a brutal and senseless killing that impacted every family in this story. Finally, there’s another innocent killing that could have taken down more families but only showed us what an untrusting, non-supporting, wife could accomplish with her emotions leading the way.

The only problem I had with this movie was how long it took to get to the truth. Sean Penn delivered another flawless performance — I really believe he should get an Oscar soon — he’s too good not to join the ranks of those who have been awarded the priceless statuesque. Also, Tim Robbins delivered one of his best performances as a man whose spirit had been mentally weakened as a result of being sexually abused over a 4 day period when he was abducted as a child. Fine performances were delivered by all and if you read reviews about the music being over whelming, don’t believe it, lot’s of minor chords is the way Hollywood has always portrayed drama. The music is nothing new. Finally, if you believe in the Almighty, the ending says it all!

Clint Eastwood has finally arrived as a director — this is the best movie I’ve seen under his direction. I left the theater feeling a little happy, a little sad and a little more knowledgeable about the role emotions can play if you let them. I give Mystic River a 9 because it kept me in suspense — I actually could not figure out “who done it”, I was thoroughly entertained and I actually learned a little somethin’, somethin’.