Sunday, May 25, 2008

Building Bridges

I followed this post from Althouse commentary on Iron Man--why would she go see that movie? I'd never have recommended it to her--and realized I couldn't really do Jeff Bridges justice in the time I have available to blog today.

So I'll do a mini-post, and a full one later on.

I first saw Bridges in the lamentable '70s remake of King Kong, and then watched in some kind of trance, the little known American Success Company. I mean, I watched that movie a lot, fascinated by the weird story of a sensitive man who pretends to be a mean double of himself, and essentially re-invents himself as this "bad boy" to please his childlike wife (Belinda Bauer) and to be successful in his father-in-law's (Ned Beatty) business. It also features Bianca Jagger as a hooker on whom he practices his sexual skills.

The thing about Bridges is that he's all over the place, and always turning up in unexpected places. He can do quirky, such as in The Big Lebowski, Fearless, or Starman, and K-PAX showed he could do the straight role against someone doing the space alien bit. But he's also been a good everyman in The American Success Story or The Vanishing, the hard-boiled detective (Eight Million Ways To Die) or the President (The Contender).

And his films cover a wide assortment, from sci-fi (TRON) to comedy to drama -- to that funky one where he's the gymnastics coach (Stick It!). The only thing I don't think I've ever seen him do is a western.

But he's always enjoyable. Indeed, the real shame of Iron Man is that he didn't have a bigger role and a secure place in the sequel.

So, until I have a chance to post a real paean, well, the Dude Abides.


  1. My favorite Jeff Bridges performance was in Wild Bill directed by the great Walter Hill. Also starring Ellen Barkin as Calamity Jane. (By the way, Professor Althouse gives off a very Ellen Barkinish vibe in person).

    But as most movies are the province of the director, the work Walter Hill did in Deadwood with Keith Carridine as Wild Bill was slightly more believable if not as entertaining.

  2. What's interesting about Iron Man is that he was always a second tier character in Marvel Land. So someone should do a theis on why this works and the Daredevil movie sucked moose cock.

    I have a theory. Daredevil starred a Red Sox fan.

  3. Last years Entourage used a fictional Aqua-man movie as a James Cameron directed blockbuster.
    I would love to see a movie about Prince Namor the Submariner who is the next superhero who is due a movie. Now that Marvel is developing their own flicks, I think we have a good chance of seeing it. Think "300" underwater. Cool.

  4. Daredevil was bad because it wasn't very cleverly written and didn't make sense.

    I mean, it was ruthlessly illogical.

    He's ultra-sensitive to sound, but in the first scene he cranks his stereo up to 11.

    He's so injured he can't save Elektra, but after she's killed, he's fine to fight the baddie.

    And then she's fine enough to go away when he's not looking.

    Affleck's no Downey, either.

  5. I would be surprised if someone hadn't pitched that:

    "It'll be 300 meets Titanic!"

  6. Wait, a Barkinish vibe?

    When I think Ellen Barkin, I think barely restrained sexuality.

  7. Think the Barkin of Diner. A slightly unfocused, confused sensuality.


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