Posted tagged ‘true story’

ActorScope: Jeff Bridges – What can’t he do?

September 12, 2009

Welcome to the first ActorScope where I examine an actor. ActorScope will be looking at their past, present and future film projects. We’ll also cover trivia, rumours and any cool connections they may have. Our first actor in the spotlight is none other than Jeff Bridges. Scientists have often wondered how someone as cool as Jeff Bridges came into being. I imagine it was a magazine editor who entered a bowling tournament when, suddenly, he was sucked into a computer and was forced to steal his business partners high tech armour to escape.

Jeff Bridges has been in a lot of movies. Born into an acting family, Bridges was raised on the set. I’ll be looking at his more modern films today. I’m sure there are many great films I’ve missed off but I wasn’t alive at the time to watch them. What I have watched is the Big Lebowski. This is a brilliant film. It’s by the Coen brothers so you can expect all the quirky dialogue and vivid visuals that goes with that. The Big Lebowski has a massive cult following, in one day I saw three people wearing different slogans from the film on their t-shirts. The Dude abides, The Dude and Little Lebowski Urban Achievers. For indie film makers the Coen brothers sure know how to merchandise.

dude
I watched Iron Man again the other day. What a fun film. Whilst Robert Downey Jr steals the show, Jeff does a great turn as Obadiah Stane. It is very strange seeing Bridges yelling at scientists when they can’t recreate the Iron Man armour. When the slackers finally do piece it together, Iron Monger’s voice is great. Hearing a guy as cool as Bridges saying “collateral damage” really chills me. I’m sad he won’t be back in the next one.

A Bridges film I’m very keen to see would be Fisher King. Not only does it star the focus of this ActorScope, it’s also directed by Terry Gilliam. We all know I love him. Terry Gilliam is clocking up quite a few tags on this blog now. Wait till the Imagianarium comes out. A film I don’t really want to see is Seabiscuit. Now admittedly seeing Spider-Man and the Iron Monger in one film would be good, I doubt it would live up to the awesome Batman/Wolverine picture (The Prestige).

K-Pax. That was an odd one. It starred the ever watchable Kevin Spacey alongside Bridges. The only thing was that Spacey is sure he is an alien from the planet K-Pax. Bridges plays the psychiatrist trying to inform Spacey that he is human. It is an enjoyable film, but not one of my favourites. I felt frustrated that Bridges never accepted the idea that Spacey could be an alien, because if he had the film may have been more fun. It was a psychologically interesting film though.

Surf’s Up is skewed much more towards fun and away from psychological intensity. Bridges plays a hippy surfer penguin called Big Z. If you thought that premise was funny, you’ll probably like this movie. It has a lot of heart and as I remember it was very funny. The Beef (Shia LeBeouf) stars and he is a lot less irritating when you don’t see his smug little face. All I can say is that I hated Happy Feet with a fiery passion, so Surf’s Up went a part of the way towards redeeming the penguin genre.

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People saw Bridges as a magazine editor who had lost his edge. Before he had always been about serious journalism and bringing to light what the government wanted hidden, now he did cover stories on little starlets. Bridges does a great job of showing someone who as forgotten why they do their job. Simon Pegg stars as the bumbling young journalist out to show Bridges how to get it back. An entertaining film that lampoons modern celebrity culture. The love story between Pegg and Kirsten Dunst feels tacked on but doesn’t destract greatly from a fun film.

TRON. No look at Jeff Bridges’ career would be complete without mentioning the 1982 geek bonanza. I am ashamed to admit I have not seen it. But I will before the sequel, TRON Legacy, hits cinemas. I’m sure it will be all over our television sets in the run up to the new film. We’ve all been touched by the vast cultural impact of TRON. Whether it is TRON guy on youtube or the light-bike race on Family Guy. Check out the exciting teaser trailer below. Bridges looks a little bit evil in this one, which is great fun.

The most exciting upcoming project, for me, of Jeff Bridges has to be The Men Who Stare at Goats. It looks incredible. A journalist (Bridges has a thing for those) discovers that America has been secretly training psychic super troops for thirty years. Or Jedis as they call themselves. It stars George Clooney, who starred in another Coen brothers’ classic – O Brother, Where art thou?, and Ewan McGregor. Bridges stars as the psychic instructor. A true hippy who looks like the dude on anti-depressants.

“I often feel that the actual movie is like the skin sloughed off the snake; it’s the by-product of the real valuable stuff, which is the real-life experience of doing it.” Jeff Bridges

AntBuoy

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Inglourious Basterds – When Tarantino met Hitler.

September 1, 2009

Inglourious_Basterd poster

I watched Tarantino’s latest wise-cracking, fast-talking, gore-filled film-fest last week at the Odeon in Edinburgh. It was eventful as you could well hope your cinema experience to be. It’s a big multiplex, as you’d expect for a capital city, but it was abandoned. A lone ticket seller/confectionery pusher/bored student stood behind the front desk to serve  my friends and I.

I asked him if anyone else would be watching the film and he said “you won’t be on your own, I’ve sold atleast 4 other tickets.” The guy sold himself short, when we got into one of the biggest screens ever we had to share it with no less than 7 other people. For shame.

The most interesting of the 7 had to be the exceptionally drunk Scottish man in the front row. About 20 minutes into the film he began to shout abuse out into the dark. After a few moments it stopped and we all thought he’d just had a rant on the phone. During the scene where Col Landa (the best part of the film, the dreaded Jew Hunter) was talking to the beautiful Shosanna about whether she liked cream on her strudel he started again. This time the abuse was aimed at us in the audience.

Inglourious-Basterds girl

He was using very colourful language that I can’t repeat here. He really plunged into the depths of his vocabulary to call us every name under the sun. He left warning us that “If I ever sees any of yews again I’ll knock your bloody jaws off!” This all distracted me from what seemed to be a very good scene. Poor Shosanna was crying by the end of it.

SO the film. It was very good.

The advertising of the film is heavily bent on the Basterds. And why not? They are what will appeal to the key male demographic looking to see some good Nazi bashin’. The scenes with the Basterds in are brilliant but they don’t appear for a lot of the film. Most of the film is taken up with some of Tarantino’s best dialogue – spanning several different languages. Far from being an Indiana Jones action-adventure, Basterds shows us the side of war which is large periods of nothing happened splattered with moments of extreme violence.

basterds1

The violence in this film is at an unrivaled level. When Brad Pitt’s character needs to test the truthfulness of one of his captor, his specific technique of extracting it was too much for me. I had to look away. Moving on.

One of the story strands concerns the British sending over a spy well versed in German cinema, Lt Archie Hicox. He is played by Michael Fassbender very skillfully. He must only have 10 minutes of screen time but he has some of the best one liners. His love of whisky made me feel an instant connection with him. In researching this review I found that Simon Pegg was originally cast to play him. I am very glad that he couldn’t do it in the end. Whilst Pegg gives great performances in Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead and How to Lose Friends, I don’t think he could pull off a character like this. Nothing about Simon Pegg says super spy who could coolly chat with a very sexy movie star. Serendipity strikes again.

That covers everything I have to talk about. It’s a very good film and well worth a watch if you are a Taranito fan. I’m a bit of a QTphile so the film quickly rushed over me. My friends enjoyed it too. One thought it was a great film, if a little bloated. The other was confused as to why the Basterds had bombs on them, blaming his confusion on going to the toilet almost an hour earlier. The greatest reaction I heard to this film was when me friend went to see it with a girl on a date. As they were leaving the theatre she said, “I really liked. Was it a true story?” Some people.

Confidently doing breast stroke. Gets its 200m award with no trouble.

AntBuoy

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