Saturday, November 14, 2009


I don't know much about the film or the film's writer/director, but I have been reading a lot of amazing buzz about Jeff Bridge's performance in Crazy Heart, a movie I heard described as The Wrestler but with country music as the background. I'm not a country fan, but I am a giant fan of Bridges. He just did a great variation of his Jeffery Lebowski character in The Men Who Stare at Goats, but to be honest, I've never seen a bad performance from Bridges. In fact, I'd go so far as to say he's one the most versatile, underrated actors of his generation (and easily one of my favorites). Think back to his performances in some of these films: Lebowski, Fearless, The Contender, Arlington Rd., Seabiscuit, Starman, Wild Bill, The Fisher King -- these are just the ones that come immediately to mind. And I don't think (but I could be wrong) that he's ever won an Oscar (for lead or supporting). Which if a serious crime.


giggles said...

I concur... From a feminine point of my opinion? He can do no wrong.....

I am really looking forward to "...Goats."

Joel said...

LOVE BRIDGES. I know it's a small role on his dossier, but I loved him in "Iron Man." Plus everything else he's done.

Off topic, but I just saw "2012," Nick. I know you're bent on renting it, so I won't stop you. (Wish you would see it on the big screen, but oh well.) If you do end up BluRaying it, make sure you watch it on the biggest screen possible. I don't know how big yours is, but make sure it's ginormous. The special effects in the movie are the biggest I've ever seen. I mean, okay, no one directs an action scene like Bay, but NO ONE directs a disaster sequence like Emmerich. I'm with Tapley: it has to be some form of high art. It created a sense of visceral response in me much like the finale to "Transformers 2," except 50 minutes longer and exponentially larger.

As for your reservations on wanting to wade through everything else, I must admit that I don't hate Emmerich's dramatic sensibilities. I mean, granted, they're not Shakespeare; heck, they're not even subtle. But they do the job, much like Bay's dramatic scenes. I mean, I'm a huge fan of "The Day After Tomorrow," but the performances were terrible and the drama was laughable. The drama in "2012," however, is much different. I mean, the ENTIRE civilization is at death's door. You almost have to take entirely different dramatic standards for what you see. It's still too sincere at times, and Woody Harrelson is something awful, but I'll be damned if I didn't buy every second of it.'s your call. As a movie critic, I'd say see it in the loudest IMAX theater ever. One of the coolest movies of the year. Would Bay have done better? Who knows? I can assure you, as I have NEVER done before, that not even the great Michael Bay, my favorite "dumb blockbuster" director ever, could have done it bigger.

End of rant.

Joel said...

Here's my review of Precious:

I don't know if you thought it looked like a Tyler Perry movie or what, but I repeat: YOU MUST SEE THIS MOVIE. I can't stop thinking about it, Nick. I don't mean anything snarky, but I would be horribly disappointed that you didn't see what could possibly win Best Picture next year. I mean, the movie is as perfect as anything that's come out this decade. Trumps everything else this year by a good mile.

Actionman said...

Joel -- I really want to see 2012 -- but only for the effects. I just can't watch a 2 hour and 40 min disaster movie in the theater. It's unnecessarily long.

As for Precious, again, I am sure it's got great performances, but I've seen Lee Daniels' other movie, The Woodsman, and I found it to be very ham-fisted. There's just something about Precious that inherently turns me off. I know, I's gonna get a best picture nomination...and I am sure I'll see it at some's just that I have no real drive to see it at the moment, let alone on the big screen.

Joel said...

Ah, okay. Well, suit yourself, bro, on both films. I'll just leave you with my Top Two Things Never To Do When Deciding To Watch A Movie (I'm working on a shorter name for the list):

Rule No. 1: NEVER trust a trailer. This will lead to expectations, which can be a bitch. Which leads me to...

Rule No. 2: NEVER base an opinion on any movie just because a certain director made it. Michael Bay movies can be awful, but I love the guy anyway.

I know, I'm just 20 years old, probably haven't seen as many movies as you have, so you can take my bit of advice and run with it, or you can ignore it.

The MAIN reason I wanted to give it is because I agree with you on "The Woodsman." It was like "Mystic River"-lite and didn't fully work for me (though Bacon was excellent). I had forgotten Daniels's name was on that movie, but IMDb confirmed that. "Precious" is absolutely, 100% the polar opposite. "Ham-fisted" is one term that never popped into my head, but I can see how you'd think it would be from the sounds of it. In fact, I was exactly in your position when I saw the trailer last May.

I know this is getting old, but please bear with me here. I mean, I don't care if you rent it a full year from now or a full two years or what have you...hell, you don't even have to agree with me (and nearly everybody else who's seen it)...but really, truly, it's something special. If I meant anything to Hollywood and were about 15 years older, I would be right there with Oprah and Perry when they picked the movie up. On the surface, it SEEMS like the perfect target for something that Perry would do. "Tyler Perry's Precious." I just got chills.

But underneath the false trailer is a truly heartbreaking movie. It's a movie that EARNS its audience's tears, instead of jerking them. And I got choked up a couple times. That. Never. Happens. I would venture to say that it's the best overall experience I've had in the theater watching a movie since "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." And you know what I thought of that one. "Precious" might just be better.

I'm one of those "lawyer movie critics" who fights for people to at least consider his side, LOL. Whatever you decide to do, you can't I didn't try. And thus we arrive at the point of film criticism. That's what "Precious" did to me.

Actionman said...

You win. I'll see it.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

Why exactly was Bridges not Oscar nominated for The Fisher King? Life's injustices.