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At The Movies: ‘Macho,’ macho man

Clint Eastwood is the movie screen’s ultimate macho man.

From the Man With No Name in Italian filmmaker Sergio Leone’s “Dollars” Trilogy of Spaghetti Westerns during the mid-1960s, to antihero cop Harry Callahan in five Dirty Harry films in the 1970s and 1980s, to the romantic hero of “The Bridges of Madison County” (1995), to the irascible old men of “Gran Torino” (2008) and “The Mule” (2018), Eastwood is a cinema icon as actor and director. A 91, Eastwood is a bona fide living legend.

With his latest film, “Cry Macho,” Eastwood has 72 actor credits and 45 director credits.

Eastwood has delivered some of the most memorable lines in the history of the motion picture.

In “Dirty Harry” (1971), Harry Callahan said, “You’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do you, punk?”

In “Sudden Impact” (1983), Dirty Harry said, “Go ahead, make my day.”

In “Cry Macho,” it’s a line that cannot be repeated in a newspaper and website of general circulation.

“Cry Macho” is humorous, romantic and ruminative.

“Cry Macho” is a road movie. With a road movie, there’s usually a sidekick. So, it’s also a buddy film.

Here for Mike Milo (Eastwood), it’s Rafo (Eduardo Minett, in his theatrical feature film debut.).

Rafo is the teen-age son of Howard (Dwight Yoakim) and Leta (Fernanda Urrejola). Rafo has been living with his mother in Mexico and up to no good. His mother is also up to no good. Howard wants his son back with him in the United States.

In an Eastwood road movie, there’s often a goofy animal.

It was Clyde the orangutan in ”In Every Which Way but Loose” (1978).

In “Cry Macho,” it’s Macho the rooster. Macho is the cock-fighting rooster owned by Rafo.

Mike, long-retired from his rodeo days, abandons his old Chevy Suburban somewhere south of the border for an early 1960s’ Ford Falcon and then for a mid-1960s’ Ford Galaxy.

For a time, Mike and Rafo bunk in a shrine to Mother Mary and then at a house owned by Marta (Natalia Traven), who runs a cantina in a small Mexico town. Mike teaches Rafo the art of bronco-busting.

Mike strikes up a friendship with Marta. Rafo befriends Marta’s granddaughter (Elida Munoz).

They enjoy an unlikely home life the likes of which none has apparently experienced in a long time, if ever.

Eastwood (Oscar recipient, picture, “Million Dollar Baby,” 2005; picture, director, “Unforgiven,” 1992) directs from a screenplay by Nick Schenk (“The Mule,” 2018; “Gran Torino,” 2008) and N. Richard Nash (“Porgy and Bess,” 1959: “The Rainmaker,” 1956), who wrote the novel on which the movie is based.

The southwest (subbing for Mexico) is captured magnificently by Ben Davis (Director of Photography, “Dumbo,” 2019; “Captain Marvel,” 2019; “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” 2017; “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” 2015; “Guardians of the Galaxy,” 2014; “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” 2011). Everything looks like it’s covered with dust, including Eastwood.

The music by Mark Mancina (“Training Day,” 2001) is elegant and unobtrusive.

As Mike Milo, Eastwood is stripped down to the essentials of humanity. Gradually, not unlike Walter Huston in “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” (1948), Mike finds his real treasure, a sense of place, of home, of self. He gradually coaxes a smile out of himself. There’s nothing better than when Eastwood smiles.

Eastwood revisited the western genre in “Unforgiven,” regarded as one of the best-ever westerns, as a cowboy past his prime.

In the final scene of “Cry Macho,” Mike Milo (Eastwood) dances off into the sunset to a Spanish song, twirling gingerly the senorita Marta in her Mexican cantina.

With “Cry Macho,” Eastwood seems to be saying, “Adios, amigos,” perhaps not only to westerns.

A deserved send-off would be lots of Oscar nominations for “Cry Macho,” including an actor nomination and win for Eastwood.

“Cry Macho,”

MPAA Rated PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.) for language and thematic elements; Genre: Drama, Thriller, Western; Run time; 1 hr., 44 min. Distributed by Warner Brothers.

Credit Readers Anonymous:

During the “Cry Macho” closing credits, Will Banister sings “Find A New Home,” written by Mark Mancina, composer, “Cry Macho.” The film was made in Belen and Polvadera, N.M.

Theatrical Movie Box Office,

Sept. 24-26: “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” spun at No. 1 for a fourth week in a row, with $13.2 million, in 3,952 theaters, $196.4 million, four weeks, as “Dear Evan Hansen,” based on the Broadway musical which received six Tony Awards, opened at No. 2, with $7.5 million, in 3,364 theaters, one week, and “Free Guy” dropped one place to No. 3 with $4.1 million, in 3,175 theaters, $114.1 million, seven weeks.

4. “Candyman” stayed in place, $2.5 million, in 2,556 theaters, $56.8 million, five weeks. 5. “Cry Macho” dropped two places, $2.1 million, in 4,022 theaters, $8.3 million, two weeks. 6. “Jungle Cruise” moved up one place, $1.7 million, in 2,065 theaters, $114.8 million, nine weeks. 7. “Malignant” dropped two places, $1.5 million, in 2,534 theaters, $12.2 million, three weeks. 8. “Copshop” dropped two places, $1.2 million, in 3,005 theaters, $4.4 million, two weeks. 9. “PAW Patrol: The Movie” dropped one place, $1.1 million, in 1,995 theaters, $38.7 million, six weeks. 10. “Love Story,” $971,000, in 300 theaters, one week.

Box office information from Box Office Mojo as of Sept. 26 is subject to change.


Oct. 1:

“The Addams Family 2,”

PG: Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon and Laura Brousseau direct the voice talents of Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloë Grace Moretz and Nick Kroll and the animation in the Comedy. It’s a sequel to the 2019 animated feature film.

“The Many Saints of Newark,”

R: Alan Taylor directs Alessandro Nivola, Leslie Odom Jr., Jon Bernthal and Michael Gandol in the Crime Drama. Here’s how New Jersey gangster Tony Soprano became Tony Soprano.

“Old Henry,”

No MPAA rating: Potsy Ponciroli directs Tim Blake Nelson, Scott Haze, Gavin Lewis and Trace Adkins in the Western. A farmer, a wounded man with a satchel of cash and a posse reveals a gunslinger at heart.

Theatrical movie opening dates from Internet Movie Database as of Sept. 26 are subject to change.

Five Popcorn Boxes out of Five Popcorn Boxes

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO COURTESY WARNER BROS. PICTURES From left: Clint Eastwood (Mike Milo) and Rafo (Eduardo Minett), holding Macho the rooster in “Cry Macho.”