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Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Bridges’

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This is the follow-up to the huge success Kingsman film. Eggsy is now a fully fledged member of the secret agency and in this instalment, has to do battle with an evil drug dealer named Poppy (Julianne Moore). Channing Tatum pops up in a surprisingly funny role, and it’s great to have Mark Strong back as Merlin. As the poster shows, Colin Firth is also back as Harry, involving a rather amusing explanatory back story, and Halle Berry and Elton John (yes, you read that right) provide good support. Elton John is actually pretty hilarious and one of my favourite things about this movie. What really made it for me was having one of my all-time favourite actors, Jeff Bridges play a great (although too small, in my opinion) role.

Just like the last one, the plot is preposterous and entirely unbelievable, but there is so much fun to be had, that I just didn’t mind. The film never takes itself too seriously either which really helps. The reviews of this sequel have been less kind than the reviews of the first film, but if you did enjoy that first one, then I suggest you give this one a try too.

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Year of release: 2017

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Writers: Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn, Mark Millar (comic book), Dave Gibbons (comic book)

Main cast: Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges, Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, Elton John, Pedro Pascal

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After one too many run-ins with the law, rebellious Haley Graham (Missy Peregrym) is sent to the Vickerman Gymnastics Association, as part of her sentence.  She encounters a lot of hostility from the other gymnasts there, because years earlier, when she had been a very promising gymnast, she had walked away from a competition, causing the whole team to be disqualified.  Now that she’s back, some people find it hard to forgive – and Haley’s attitude does not help matters; she doesn’t want to be there, and scorns those who dedicate so much of their lives to the discipline.  But coach Burt Vickerman (Jeff Bridges) is determined to get through to her, and to set her back on the straight and narrow…

I’ve seen a lot of criticism of this movie, but I did enjoy it.  Haley is quite a stereotypical character, but Missy Peregrym gives her a lot of heart and character, and it was hard not to root for her.  Jeff Bridges – who can always be relied upon to give an excellent performance – is a lot of fun and seems to relish his role as the firm but fair Vickerman.  Vanessa Lengies, Nikki SooHoo and Maddy Curley play their supporting roles well.

The ending was less predictable than you might expect.  I thought I knew exactly what was going to happen, but there was a twist in there which I didn’t predict, and which actually seemed a little at odds with what had gone before it, despite being good fun.

The soundtrack was terrific – lots of punchy and vibrant dance music, and the gymnastic routines were fabulous to watch.

Overall, this isn’t a movie which is going to change your life.  You probably won’t have any great epiphany after watching it.  But you will probably end up dancing around your living room with a huge smile on your face.  It’s an enjoyable movie and a great way to pass a couple of hours.

Year of release: 2006

Director: Jessica Bendinger

Writer: Jessica Bendinger

Main cast: Jeff Bridges , Missy Peregrym, Vanessa Lengies, Nikki Soohoo

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Jeff Bridges is Bad Blake, a formerly successful country singer, now reduced to playing gigs in bowling alleys and seedy bars, and being the opening act for his former protegee, whose star has now eclipsed Bad.  An alcoholic with with four broken marriages behind him, the only thing that appears to be waiting for Bad is an early grave caused by too much drinking and an unhealthy lifestyle.  His manager wants him to write more music, but Blake can’t really be bothered with it anymore.

When he meets Jane (Maggie Gyllenhaal), a young reporter with a four year old son and a history of choosing the wrong men, it seems that there may be another shot at happiness for both of them.  But Bad has to conquer the demons of his past before he can look forward to any kind of future.  And Jane knows that he could easily be just another in a line of men who are no good for her…

Anyone who knows me knows that Jeff Bridges is my all time favourite actor, and has been for many years.  He finally got his long overdue Oscar for his performance in this movie, and it was well deserved.  In this film, as in all of his others, he makes the viewer forget that they are watching Jeff Bridges the actor, and become immersed in the character.  Played by a different actor, Bad could have been far more unlikeable, but Bridges produces a character whose flaws are evident, but who its possible to still care about and root for.

Maggie Gyllenhaal is also excellent as Jane (she received an Oscar nomination for this performance), bringing a sense of vulnerability to this character who has had a rough deal in life, and who is determined to do the best for her young boy.

Robert Duvall and Colin Farrell play smaller supporting roles – Duvall as a bartending friend who wants to help Bad get his life back on track, and Farrell as country singer Tommy Sweet who was given his first big break by Bad Blake, and who has now become a huge star.

It’s also worth noting that there is a great soundtrack to this film, consisting of many original country songs – several of which are sung by Jeff Bridges – and although it’s never been a favourite genre of mine, the songs are easy to listen to and enjoyable.  It is not necessary to be a fan of country music to enjoy the film.

This film is happy, sad, funny and ultimately redemptive – I would definitely recommend it.

Year of release: 2009

Director: Scott Cooper

Writers: Thomas Cobb (book), Scott Cooper

Main cast: Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Colin Farrell

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Ewan McGregor plays a journalist named Bob Wilton, who while trying to get over his broken marriage, meets Lyn Cassady (George Clooney), who claims to be a former member of the US Army’s First Earth Battalion, an elite force trained to use their psychic powers to help them change the way the world thinks of war.

During a road trip into Iraq (during which the two men are kidnapped, rescued and find themselves lost in the desert), Cassady tells Wilton all about the training he underwent in the 1980s, under the command of Bill Django (Jeff Bridges).   Also in the Battalion is Larry Hooper (Kevin Spacey) who becomes an intense rival of Cassady, due to their conflicting views about the the First Earth Battalion should utilise their skills.  Cassady reveals how he eventually became disillusioned with the  Army life after using his powers for bad rather than good (he manages to stop a goat’s heart using his own willpower).  Now though, Cassady is on a mission, the likes of which are not revealed until the end of the film.

Despite the subject matter this is a comedy – and very funny it is too.  George Clooney plays his role with his familiar easy charm and is an endearing and likeable character.  Jeff Bridges, as always, is superb in his role of the New Age believer Django, and Kevin Spacey is suitably sly and cruel for him to make Hooper a truly unlikeable character.  The only actor who I felt was not up to his usual standard was McGregor – his attempt at an American accent was not great, and I think it would have been better if he had been cast as a Scottish journalist.  However, his natural charisma carried him through.

There are plenty of laugh out loud moments in the film, and I left the cinema feeling light hearted and very satisfied.  Recommended.  (Incredibly, the movie is based on actual events, and most of the main characters are based on real people.  McGregor seems to be based on the British journalist Jon Ronson, who wrote the book on which the movie is based).

Year of release: 2009

Director: Grant Heslov

Writers: Jon Ronson (book), Peter Straughan

Main cast: Ewan McGregor, George Clooney, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Spacey

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This is an enjoyable little thriller, with a great cast headed up by Jeff Bridges (who, I may have mentioned before, is my all time favourite actor), Jon Abrahams and Noah Wyle.

Abrahams is Lenny, an occasional driver, who accepts a job not realising that he is about to become embroiled in the kidnapping of gangster Jimmy Berg (Bridges).  Circumstances mean that Lenny ends up holding Jimmy hostage in the back of his van, while Lenny’s boss and Jimmy’s partner try to resolve their differences and come to an agreement in order that Jimmy can go free.  A young couple running a delicatessen near to where the drama is unfolding become unwittingly involved, as do two young decorators working on a nearby building.

I’ve heard a few negative reviews of this film, but I actually really enjoyed it.  The action takes place pretty much in real time, and in just a few locations (predominantly in the back of the van, inside the delicatessen and inside the house of Jimmy’s partner).  This lends a claustrophobic atmosphere to the movie.  The cast are all great; Jeff Bridges never disappoints – I think he is one of the most under-rated actors around (try and find a bad performance by him – there isn’t one)! – and he is excellent here as the charismatic, smooth talking Jimmy.  Jon Abrahams also shines as Lenny, who finds himself out of his depth and not sure who he can trust; and Noah Wyle is convincing as Seth, Jimmy’s bodyguard with an evil streak.  It’s interesting to see Wyle play this sort of character, as he is of course most well known for playing the sweet natured John Carter in ER.  He proves his versatility with this role.

I would definitely recommend this movie.

Year of release: 2001

Director: Dominique Forma

Writer: Dominique Forma, Daniel Golka, Amit Mehta

Main cast: Jeff Bridges, Noah Wyle, Jon Abrahams, R. Lee Ermey, Morris Chestnut, Kerri Randles

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Richard Bone (Jeff Bridges) sees a man dumping a body of a teenage girl, but isn’t able to positively identify him. When he tells his friend, disabled Vietnam veteran Alex Cutter, Cutter makes his own enquiries and believes than oil tycoon J.J. Cord is the man responsible. Bone is not convinced, but the out of control Cutter is determined that Cord should face justice….but that it will be Cutter’s own type of justice. Events spiral out of control, and Alex and Richard find their lives threatened….
 
As always, Jeff Bridges turns in a superb performance, as the world weary, apathetic, commitment phobic Bone. John Heard and Lisa Eichhorn are also brilliant as the angry Cutter and his depressed and marginalised wife Mo. All three characters seem to be looking for something to give their life meaning (and in failing to find it, Cutter and Mo have turned to alcohol), and maybe the search for justice will give it to them. It’s a shame that not more people seem to have heard of this film; it’s well worth watching. Not brilliant – one character (the dead girl’s sister) seems to almost disappear without explanation, and the ending is something of a surprise – but well worth a watch.
 
Year of release: 1981
 
Director: Ivan Passer
 
Writers: Newton Thornburg (book), Jeffrey Alan Fiskin
 
Main cast: Jeff Bridges, John Heard, Lisa Eichhorn

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I’ve seen this film many times, but I don’t think I’ve ever blogged about it, which is unusual, as it is definitely one of top 5 films of all time (and definitely my favourite comedy).  Not only that, but it stars my all time favourite actor, Jeff Bridges.

He plays the Dude, a lovable slouch, who loves bowling, drinking White Russians (which, by the way, is a very tasty drink), and smoking joints.  After a case of mistaken identity, which causes the Dude to try to gain retribution for a ruined rug (“that rug really tied the room together”) he finds himself, together with his best friend Water (a Vietnam obsessed veteran, who definitely needs anger management lessons) embroiled in a case of kidnapping, trying to save the life of a young ‘lady’ – and I use the word lady in the loosest sense of the word! – who may or may not have been kidnapped by a group of nihilists.  The Dude is thrown from one hapless adventure into another, but all he really wants to do is go bowling…

I don’t want to give too much away about the plot; suffice to say that this is the funniest film I can remember ever seeing, and every time I watch it, I get something new out of it.  Jeff Bridges puts in an Oscar worthy performance, and all of the supporting cast are also fabulous.

Year of release: 1998

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Writers: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Main cast: Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Julianne Moore

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Quite simply, this film is amazing.  Jeff Bridges (my all time favourite actor) is Max Klein, a man whose worst fear becomes realised when he is in a plane crash. However, Max not only survives the crash, but also leads other survivors to safety.

Surviving the crash causes Max to feel invincible, and he believes that nothing can kill him.  This causes tension in his marriage, and between Max and his son, who are unable to understand Max’s new attitude.  The only person who Max is able to connect with is a fellow survivor from the flight, Carla, a woman whose blames herself for her baby dying in the crash.

I feel that Jeff Bridges should, at the very least, have been nominated for an Oscar for this movie – his performance is simply outstanding,  Rosie Perez, who played Carla, was in fact nominated.  Also marvellous were Tom Hulce as the mercenary lawyer representing Max and his late business partner, and Isabella Rossellini, who played Max’s wife, struggling to come to terms with the change in her husband.

I found myself totally immersed in the story and lives of these characters; the film is totally compelling.  The story itself was beautifully told, showing how extraordinary events can have an effect on people far beyond anything they could have imagined.  The isolation felt by the two main characters was almost palpable.

Some people apparently believe that Max actually represents Jesus in this film.  I mention this because it’s an interesting point of view; however, I don’t actually agree with it.  But the movie is open to interpretation, and I love movies that make you think – this is definitely one of them.

The ending of the movie is particularly outstanding, but to single out one scene is perhaps unfair (there are many wonderful and moving scenes in this film; another that comes to mind is the scene where Max deliberately crashes his car to prove to Carla that she could not have saved her child, and therefore was not to blame for the child’s death).  This is simply a terrific film throughout.  Highly recommended.

Year of release: 1993

Director: Peter Weir

Writers: Rafael Yglesias

Main cast: Jeff Bridges, Isabella Rossellini, Rosie Perez, Tom Hulce

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Jeff Bridges (my all time favourite actor) is pretty much the seal of quality on any film as far as I’m concerned, and in this movie, he stars alongside his real life brother Beau Bridges; a terrific actor in his own right.  The two men have great chemistry together, playing the Baker brothers – maybe because of their real life relationship.

The Fabulous Baker Boys have been playing piano together professionally for 15 years.  Frank (Beau) is the older, responsible brother, for whom it is a business, a job, his way of providing for his wife and children.  Jack however, is the wayward younger brother, who is bad with responsibility and cares less about the business side of their partnership than their music.  On his nights off, he sometimes plays piano for the sheer joy of it at a little known bar in his neighbourhood, and it is clear that he gets far more pleasure out of this, than he does out of playing as his ‘job’.  For Jack, it is the love of the music that counts.

Nonetheless, bills have to be paid, and when their double act starts to feel a bit ‘tired’ they decide to hire a female singer to join in their act.  Enter Michelle Pfieffer, who is terrific as Suzie Diamond, a gorgeous and talented singer, and the first woman to ever really get under Jack’s skin.  Her entrance into their lives and careers changes the dynamic of the act and the brothers’ relationship.

The characters were brought to life by the three main leads – and the attraction between Jack and Suzie meant that some of their scenes were practically sizzling with heat!  Jack’s dissatisfaction with his life, and Frank’s dissatisfaction with his brother is almost palpable.

I thoroughly enjoyed this film, which had a very sensual feel to it, and a great soundtrack.  I will admit however to being slightly disappointed at the ending, but that is just a small grumble.

Year of release: 1989

Director: Steve Kloves

Writer: Steve Kloves

Main cast: Jeff Bridges, Beau Bridges, Michelle Pfieffer

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I have just watched this wonderful movie about guilt and redemption.  It stars Jeff Bridges, who is my favourite actor of all time, and Robin Williams.

Jeff plays Jack Lucas, an abrasive and arrogant DJ, who is inadvertently the catalyst for a horrific crime.  Crippled by his guilt, Jack has a chance encounter with Parry (Robin Williams), a homeless and apparently insane man, and the two men become friends after a fashion.

Jack is seeking some kind of redemption, to ease the burden on his conscience, and maybe, just maybe, Parry and he are able to help each other.  But the thing that connects them also threatens to tear them apart…

Will Jack become a better person?  And will Perry ever find peace and lasting love?  This is a very moving film, which explores how people cope in the face of adversity, and how people are affected by tragedy.  It’s also an exploration of friendship – just how much can a friendship survive through?

The film is romantic and fantastic, with some off beat humour, and very touching moments.  As always, Jeff Bridges is terrific.  Robin Williams makes his part totally his own.  This film is a joy to watch.  Look out for the waltz scene set in Grand Central Station – it’s probably my very favourite movie scene ever – beautifully done.

Year of release: 1991

Director: Terry Gilliam

Writer: Richard LaGravenese

Main cast: Jeff Bridges, Robin Williams, Mercedes Ruehl

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