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Archive for February, 2010

It’s not often you find yourself empathizing with someone who walks around with his fly open.  But I did just that while watching Jeff Bridges portray Bad Blake, a down on his luck country singer at the end of his run.  Like many alcoholics,  most of the time all Bad can think about is how to get his next drink.  We see him roaming from town to town in his beatup truck, playing in run-down bars and the occasional bowling alley.  This is a man who was once a star, who would fill arenas full of fans and who apparently wrote some of the best country music out there (the good stuff, not pop-country).  But by the time we meet him, he can barely keep his pants on, let alone make it through a whole performance without puking or passing out.  Yet he still gets the ladies or at least the ones who are as haggard and broken down as he is.

There are however glimmers of hope for Bad and he does have a certain charm about him.  He occasionally reminds you of those pictures of the cowboys from the seventies (like a scruffy Steve McQueen), all sunburned and rugged.  You spend much of the movie thinking if he could just get his act together, he could make a come back or at the VERY least keep his pants buttoned up.  A few characters in the film feel the same way that we do about Bad, such as his friend Wayne the bartender (Robert Duvall) and of course the  love interest Jean Craddock (Maggie Gyllenhall). We see a different side of Bad through the relationships of the people that care about him.  Some of my favorite scenes are between Bad Blake and Jean’s four year old son.  They are so truthful that the film is worth seeing for these short gems alone.  4 out of 5 monkeys

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