Thursday, February 4, 2010

Friday, 2/4/10

Crazy Heart - 3 stars

Jeff Bridges is always good. I don't think this is his best performances, but if it's the one that gets him an Oscar, that's fine with me. He plays a has-been country singer named Bad Blake, who is also an alcoholic. As the movie opens, we see him pull into a bowling alley where he is performing that night. But his star has fallen so low that they don't even give him a bar tab. I wonder what his guarantee is.

He was once a successful singer, and he still has fans, but they like him 20 years ago. Just like a lot of hair metal bands from the 80s that once played stadiums, he is now playing bars and bowling alleys, performing to people who loved his songs when they were younger. Maggie Gyllenhaal is a reporter who falls in love with him way too quickly. That was my biggest complaint about the movie. I didn't believe that a girl like that would suddenly fall for an alcoholic who is old enough to be her grandfather. But she does, and their relationship is a big part of the movie.

Another story concerns Bad's former protege, Tommy Sweet (Colin Farrell). Tommy learned everything from Bad, and now Tommy is the one playing stadiums. You might expect Tommy to be some kind of a jerk and the antagonist of the movie, but he is actually very appreciative of what Bad Blake did for his career. One of the best parts of the movie is when Blake gets a chance to open for Tommy.

I liked the movie, I liked the performances (Robert Duvall is great in this too), and I liked the music. Recommended.

Frozen - didn't see

Broken Embraces - didn't see

Dear John - 3 stars

It's a common myth that guys don't like chick flicks. Well, what I don't like is a chick flick that has badly drawn characters and a predictable story. But I do like a movie that has the opposite. And in this movie, the characters are good and I didn't know where the story was going. It has a few minor twists. Not Sixth Sense twists, just small surprises in the story that I didn't see coming and appreciated.

John (the very bland Channing Tatum) is a soldier. He meets Savannah (Amanda Seyfried) in the summer of 2001 while he is on leave. They fall in love, but he has to go back and finish his tour. His tour will be over sometime in the fall, and then they will be together. Unless of course some big national tragedy happens or something ...

John's father is played by the great Richard Jenkins. At first we think his father is just shy, but Savannah figures out that his father has autism. I loved Jenkins in The Visitor, but I think this performance may be a better one. Some of the scenes between John and his father are really touching.

I liked this movie a lot more than I thought they would. The story was engaging and the performances were good. Even Channing Tatum. He may be a good actor, but he is very boring.

From Paris With Love - review to come

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