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3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 16 May 2003
Clint embraced the process of growing older and more fragile in this leisurely paced and thoughtful cop film. Clint has grown older and wiser, both as an actor, a producer, and a director. Even though I guessed fairly early on who the killer was and the film ran a little long, this film is about the journey. Paced much like "Line of Fire" it also is about the character as much as the crimes, and that, coupled with the charisma of Eastwood, gives this film five stars.
Clint Eastwood is legendary F.B.I. profiler Terry McCaleb. He is tracking a serial killer when this film opens known as 'Code Killer', as he has been enjoying the chase, leaving Terry messages written in blood at each crime scene. But Terry finds him and will surely catch him in a foot chase, only he suffers a heart attack so massive during the pursuit that only a heart transplant saves his life, forcing his retirement from the Bureau. The killings stop when Terry retires.
Terry is taking the advice of his cardiologist Bonnie (Angelica Huston) and taking it easy on his boat. Jeff Daniels is great as his next door pal Buddy. Things are going smoothly in the immediate days after the transplant when the darkly beautiful Graciella shows up and wants the former F.B.I. Agent to go look into the murder of her sister, killed at random during a robbery. Terry knows he is not up to the task even though he feels sorry for her and her sister's son, who has lost his mother. But his attraction to Graciella and his own guilt and sense of honor force him to risk everything when he learns the heart beating in his chest belonged to the murdered woman.
Buddy becomes his sidekick as he slowly begins to get up to speed. Terry knows he is not the same man anymore, but somehow he can get part of himself back if he can find her killer and survive the chase. Paul Rodriguez gives a very funny performance as the exasperated L.A. Detective Arrango who thinks Terry should stay retired and stay out of his case.
But Terry still has connections, including the pretty Tina Lifford in a nice role. It is obvious she and Terry had more than a casual relationship in the past and she gives him more leeway than she probably should in his pursuit of justice for his heart donor's killer. Terry begins to have feelings for Graciella and though some have found Clint's performance in the brief love scene rather stoic, his reaction, or rather lack of it, at Graciella's advances in the scene are in keeping with his condition and the fear Terry probably has due to his recent transplant and the health complications brought on by his investigation. It is realistic.
As his old nemisis returns and Terry discovers the reason for all the killings it complicates matters no end, both investigation wise, and in his personal life, which have become intertwined. Eastwood gives a thoughtful performance as an actor and adds some humor and good music as director to round out this entertaining film. His final exchange with Rodriguez and the final shot on the water are worth the protracted confrontation scene. Like Steve McQueen, Eastwood can elevate a good movie to seem a little better than it is, which is exactly what he does here.
This is definitely one you'll want to go see at the theatre and pick up once it comes out on DVD. Clint never lets you down..
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'Terry McCaleb' retires from his job as a profiler for the F.B.I, he'd
given chase to a killer, during the chase 'McCaleb' has a heart-attack.
Two years have passed, he is approached by a woman who's sister had been
murdered, he tells her it's not his job anymore and that he couldn't help.
Before she leaves the woman tells 'McCaleb' that the heart he had been
given a few months ago was that of her dead sister.
'Terry' now feels obliged to become involved and changes his stance, he now
sets about trying to solve the crime.
Though his health is not equal to the task, he feels he owes the donor and
her family.
Great role for 'Clint' to play.
We follow 'Terry McCaleb' as he seeks a motive for the killing seeking the
missing link, setting out to solve what his former colleagues have failed
to do,
Something I've admired about 'Clint Eastwood' in recent years is that he's
never afraid to take on roles depicting an aging character, many artists
want to be portrayed somewhat younger than they are.
Always been a fan in truth, plus, it's always great to revisit his movies.
Well worth a viewing......Good picture quality on the Blu-Ray format.
(The U.S import version is multi-region and will play on the region B
Additional features include:- 'Get to the heart of this thriller production
in making Blood Work........A conversation in Spanish with 'Clint' 'Wanda de
Jesus' and 'Paul Rodrigues' (with English sub-titles).....'Theatrical Trailer'
and 'Teaser Trailer'
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on 24 May 2016
Blood Work is a great movie. Story line is good and very interesting. Having owned the dvd I wanted to try it on blu ray and it looks great. Picture quality is definetly worth the upgrade. The sound is improved as well. Just get it.
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I would expect a wide range of responses to "Blood Work," with the key factor being at what point in the proceedings you went from being behind in figuring out what was going on to getting way ahead of the game. Once again Clint Eastwood is working in front and behind the camera, playing Terry McCaleb, who is an F.B.I. Profiler working on the case of the Code Killer. Literally on the heels of the serial killer, McCaleb suffers a massive heart attack, but still manages to put a bullet in the fleeing suspect. We then jump ahead two years to a point where McCaleb is retired and ending his second month with a new heart. Then Graciella Rivers (Wanda De Jesús) shows up at boat and says she wants him to investigate the murder of her sister. McCaleb declines, since he is retired from the force and recovering from a heart transplant, but Graciella trumps his objections by telling him that it is her sister's heart that is now beating in his chest. McCaleb feels obligated to investigate, even though it means stepping on the toes of the local cops (Paul Rodriguez and Dyaln Walsh as the unfriendly cops and Jaye Winston as the helpful one).
McCaleb is not well; we know this because everybody constantly tells him and his doctor (Anjelica Huston) has a fit every time he even spends time thinking hard. But McCaleb has a debt to repay, and as he investigates the murder he, of course, uncovers things that none of the other cops are picking up on. I know exactly what I want to say about this type of thriller, but even announcing in general terms what is happening here would give the game away. I caught on about five minutes before McCaleb did and while I liked the revelation of what exactly had been done and why, I have to admit the film is all downhill by that point. From there on "Blood Work" is less about McCaleb using his brains and more being able to do what needs to be done to bring down the villain before he needs another heart transplant.
Clint Eastwood is in his seventies now and is deservedly up for an Oscar nomination for his work as director on "Mystic River." I have much less of a sense of Eastwood the director on this 2002 film, but mainly because Eastwood the actor is more noticeable. When you look back on the films in which Eastwood has acted in the past few years ("Space Cowboys," "True Crime," "Absolute Power") it becomes clear that that he is cognizant of his age and consciously making films suitable to a man his age. That is not meant as a slight, because most actors his age are not still running around at all, let alone as leading men in theatrical films.
The only persons that come to mind from my lifetime would be Spencer Tracy, who was 67 when he died after making "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," and John Wayne, whose last film, "The Shootist," was really the only one that showed him as a figure in decline before his death at the age of 72. You would think the better comparison would be to Wayne, given Eastwood's history with the western, but it was Tracy who had four Oscar nominated performances in his last decade, playing older men (add "The Old Man and the Sea," "Inherit the Wind" and "Judgment at Nuremberg" to the aforementioned film). Eastwood has only received one acting nomination, for "Unforgiven," yet he is carving out a body of work as an older leading man. Paul Newman has been doing mostly supporting roles since he finally won his long-overdue Oscar. Only Clint Eastwood has really been making a lot of movies, a list to which "Blood Work" gets added, about an old guy trying to hang on to his Alpha-male role.
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on 2 July 2003
I was looking forward to seeing this film after reading a lot of Michael Connelly's books, including Blood Work. It was nice to see how you imagined the book's characters and scenery to be well represented in the film.
But from there on the film is a bit of a let down. i guess i can only say that after reading the book and knowing who done it! But the story line takes a sudden change from the book about halfway through leading to a completely different ending, and different killer!
If you were watching this for the first time and have not read the book then it is a good story and quite fun to watch with only a few cheesy moments. But if you have read the book be prepared for a let down since all the clever investigation parts are missing leading (from half way on) to a completely different film with the same name.
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on 2 November 2015
Spoiler ! If you loved the book don't buy this, Clint films are always good but he directed and decided to change characters around and makes the killer someone liked in the book. Wish I didn't purchase it.
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Some reviewers have complained that Clint has changed the villain in his interpretation of the film from the book. Perhaps because many of us haven"t read Connelly"s novel the eventual revelation,though not entirely surprising,seems quite plausable and works OK.
Clint"s trademark intensity which he brings to his films is here as is his good charactorisation of even the peripheral players in this thriller/drama.
I appreciate that much of the detail and intricacies from the book are missing(I bow to you readers of the novel). However to me this film stands up alone as a highly watchable story with an intriguing plot-line.
Not his best work, but still engrossing and highly recommended.
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Resigned to quietly living out the rest of his days aboard his houseboat, former FBI agent Terry McCaleb is persuaded to take on one last case by the sister of the murdered girl whose heart he has been given. Yes - that's the story.

A more familiar story is this: It's a film that isn't as good as the book (of the same title) on which it is based, in this case one by Michael Connelly and which I read a couple of years ago. I already knew that Connelly was far from happy that the lead role McCaleb was played by Clint Eastwood, because he made that quite clear in the sequel A Darkness More Than Night, when McCaleb made some grumbling comments about it! It was rather odd - as if Connelly was doing a review of this film in his own later novel, and giving it a one-star thumbs down! That's arrogance for you...

The thing is, I agree with Connelly. His book was excellent and although Eastwood is obviously a Hollywood A-lister, he's the best part of 30 years older than the character in the book, which is a bit daft. But as he produced and directed this film, as he often does, he took the lead as well, a mistake in my view because he is so well-known that his tough-guy image was a distraction from the vulnerability of heart-transplant patient McCaleb. Of course most people seeing this film will not have read the book, so for them I would say that this is just a by-the-numbers thriller that felt as if it should have been a one-hour-long TV drama rather than a fully-fledged cinema release. If you're an Eastwood fan it will be a disappointment, and even more so if (like me) you're a fan of both the writer and leading man too. Very forgettable, but not actually bad, to be fair. I believe the book deserved something much better, with root-and-branch change of producer, writer, director and actors. It was worth being made into a film, but the people responsible have made rather a hash of it.
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on 7 November 2011
If you like Clint Eastwood and you like crime movies with twists in the plot then watch with pleasure.
If you are a Michael Connelly fan, like me, then do not watch this movie because you will be disappointed.
This film is loosely based on the original book with not as much content as the author wrote. The twists and additional info that Connelly gives you is really missed by a true fan.
But, to alter the actual killer is unforgivable, especially as in one of the later novels he is still a good character.
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on 14 March 2016
This movie kept my interest from beginning to end.
I must admit though that the end was a bit flat, but I've seen worse.
I read somewhere that this is a journeyman Clint Eastwood movie.
I think what was meant that he is capable of turning out watchable movies one after the other.
I enjoyed it and this was second time around.
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