Crazy Heart Review

There are always rare points in cinema where an actor will get a script and due to their performance and good directing, a movie will feel so immensely real that almost every moment, good and bad, is pleasing to watch. That’s what you get in the movie Crazy Heart. With Crazy Heart you have Jeff Bridges, a phenomenal actor, in what might be the performance of his career and with his prior accomplishments, that is saying something.

Crazy Heart tells the tale of an old alcoholic country star far past his prime. Known only to his fans as Bad Blake. Blake’s routine usually consists of waking up hung over, drinking, driving to his next gig in the middle of nowhere, which is usually some bowling alley or bar, drinking some more, sleeping with an old groupie, drinking, oh and did I mention the occasional drink here and there. Blake is considered lucky if he gets the chance to open for his once prodigy and now big time country star, Tommy Sweet (Colin Farrell) , Blake considers it a kick in the head. One day a reporter (Maggie Gyllenhall in a fantastic performance) comes along looking for an interview from the washed up country star.

Crazy Heart is very comparable to the movie The Wrestler. Both are fantastic movies that required outstanding performances. They are a bit different though. In Crazy Heart, I think you’ll find a light hearted take on  this similar story. It all depends on you which you enjoy more. I lean a little more towards The Wrestler as a whole, but performance wise I think I’d lean toward Bridges, but only slightly.

Crazy Heart is one you won’t want to miss if only to see one of the greatest actors of our time in one of his greatest performances. The movie would not and could not have been the same with out the powerhouse performance that Bridges gave. He really threw his all into the character and its always a pleasure to see a performer do just that.

Grade: A-

Away We Go Review

Let me begin by saying that I am a big Sam Mendes fan and his name attached is what drew me to this film. Away We Go is with in that same indie-comedy type movie genre that also holds movies like Juno, Eternal Sunshine for the Spotless Mind and more recently (500) Days of Summer, to name a few. Away We Go was a fun movie worthy of my view, but it just didn’t seem like the type of movie Mendes needed to make. It’s obviously just not his genre.

Whereas Mendes was able to succeed with dramatic masterpieces such as American Beauty and Road to Perdition, it just didn’t seem as though he could succeed as gloriously in this genre. Not that masterpieces can’t come out of this genre, quite the contrary because Eternal Sunshine for the Spotless Mind is just that. I’m just implying that Sam Mendes obviously doesn’t prevail as well in this genre. Away We Go was a pretty good movie, don’t get me wrong, it just doesn’t stack up.

Away We Go certainly had its moments and their were many funny parts, but then other parts felt a little forced. The actors were chosen well and they all worked well together, but it just fell flat in its story a couple times. The story is a couple looking for the perfect place to raise their soon to be born child. Yes, a bit hilarity ensues as you would expect it to.

All and all, Away We Go was a decent movie. I’m glad I watched it because it was fun at times, but it was nothing to write home about. I know Sam Mendes has better work under his belt and I’m excited to see what it is.

Grade: B

The Hurt Locker Review

I just caught The Hurt Locker recently on DVD and I was quite saddened. I was saddened because I wish I would’ve been able to catch this innovative and tense look into war on the big screen. I loved The Hurt Locker, everything just worked, from the directing, the acting, editing, everything just seemed to fit together so perfectly. Usually war movies can be so long and draining even, almost too dramatic, which is a very interesting way to look at war, because wars are long and draining, but The Hurt Locker took a new direction and went with a tense character study of a bomb technician.

The Hurt Locker opens with a fantastic opening sequence that expresses exactly what kind of movie your in for. The kind that’s unpredictable, intense and, at the risk of sounding a bit morbid, fun. Jeremy Renner plays our main protagonist and plays him to perfection. Instead of a hero here though, we get to delve deep into the psyche of a man who gets an almost sick thrill out of the life and death situations he deals with every day.

Using fantastic direction, each scene was exactly as tense as it could’ve been. You never knew what to expect. There were so many memorable sequences in the movie, and every one of them felt completely necessary to tell this tale. I also loved the cameos from great actors like Guy Pearce and especially the cameo from one of my favorite actors of all time, Ralph Fiennes.

Overall The Hurt Locker is a fantastic movie worth many views. It may not be a film for everyone based on its tense and at times even gruesome nature, but it was certainly a film for me and it very possibly could be a film for you. You’ll just have to see for yourself.

Grade: A