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Crazy Heart Movie Review: Hard Candy

Bridges delivers a powerful performance in Crazy Heart as the story follows ‘Bad’ Blake, a whiskey-swigging legend of a musician, who would trade horses for a guitar. His music has inspired a generation of country and western performers, yet his high regard hasn’t translated into the high life the way he’d want it to be. His alcoholism and loneliness are crunch factors that keep Bad, well… bad. He’s bad to the bone and destined to be that way until he meets Jean Craddock, a young journalist and single mother played by Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Crazy Heart does the unthinkable… it actually makes you appreciate and respect country music. We’ve all heard a guy with a twelve-gallon hat crooning on about his jaded love life or missing teeth, but what really goes into a country and western song? Crazy Heart answers that foreboding question with much gusto and a terrific performance from Jeff Bridges, who talks, walks and sings like the real thing.

More surprising is the fact that Crazy Heart is Scott Cooper’s directorial debut. Cooper penned the script based on the 1987 novel of the same name by Thomas Cobb, produced and directed Bridges, making this a passion project for him. His struggling actor days are a thing of the past now that Crazy Heart is out there and he’ll be sending plenty of thank yous to ‘The Dude Ranch’ for putting him on the map. The film’s soundtrack is heartfelt and full of tunes to rattle your bones. Bridges goes headlong, belting out his own numbers and doing such a fine job that he could always fall back on a career in country and western if he ever gets tired of winning ...continued.

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New Rental Releases This Week (15/02/10)

New DVD rental releases at DVBee this week:

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Pandorum, The Soloist, The Time Traveler's Wife and The Informant!


Director: Chris Miller
Starring: Ana Farris, James Caan
Genre: Animation, Family, Comedy, Romance, Fantasy
Age Restriction: PG

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is as funny and zany as its title would suggest. This animated fantasy film has a solid voice cast, excellent animation and wild set pieces, relying on mild peril and off-the-wall humour in the same vein as Meet the Robinsons. All in all, it’s light-hearted, imaginative, quirky family fun for everyone.

Director: Christian Alvart
Starring: Dennis Quaid, Ben Foster
Genre: Sci-Fi, Horror, Thriller
Age Restriction: 16LV

This “lost in space” psychological thriller features slick visuals, claustrophobic sets and a decent cast, but relies too heavily on influences and themes from better science fiction movies within the genre, like Event Horizon, Resident Evil, Dead Space, 30 Days of Night and Doom.

Director: Joe Wright
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Jamie Foxx
Genre: Biography, Music, Drama
Age Restriction: 13L

Steve Lopez (Downey Jr.), an L.A. Times columnist, discovers a modern day Beethoven in Nathaniel Ayers (Foxx), an “eccentric” ex-Julliard student playing a two-string violin on the streets. The Soloist brims with solid lead performances, an inspiring true story, beautiful music and gritty life on the streets of Greater Los Angeles, but is undermined by its swirling narrative.

Director: Robert Schwentke
Starring: Eric Bana, Rachel McAdams
Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi, Romance
Age Restriction: 13NS

This supernatural romance novel adaptation is bolstered by sincere performances and a fascinating time travel premise, but slips into melodrama too often to surpass the status of “chick flick”. Think Highlander with marital complications and time travel anomalies substituting for swordplay action and the quest for immortality.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Starring: Matt Damon
Genre: Drama, Comedy,  Thriller
Age Restriction: 16L

A quirky corporate espionage drama based on a true story: laden with offbeat comedy, circus style soundtrack interludes, Matt Damon as “Ned Flanders” and the colour of corn. Mark Whitacre, a high-level executive, finds himself trapped between the FBI’s agenda and colleagues in a corporate price-fixing scandal in the ‘90s. While it’s original and unique with a solid performance from Damon, the music ranges from distracting to irritating, the script is jam-packed with detail. Not for everyone.

Celeb ID #11: Guess Who?
Milla Jovovich Photo

The first person to identify this warped celebrity at SPL!NG on Facebook
wins a DVD!
Clue: This celebrity practices Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and went to high school with Christina Applegate.

(Unmodified original image will be posted on right once this Celeb ID game is over.)

Join SPL!NG on Facebook

Valentine's Day Movie Review: Slasher or Slusher?

Valentine's Day brings some of the most bipolar emotions to the surface... yes, love is a complex thing. You can have a Valentine's slasher about a bloodthirsty psycho in a mask killing teens for the sheer thrill of it or a Valentine's slusher like the sickly sweet I Hate Valentine's Day starring, directed, written and conceived by Hollywood's favourite Greek (next to Zorba), Nia Vardolos.

Either way, there's bound to be carnage on the battlefield of love, whether a masked killer is trying to sever ties for good or a florist is trying to keep things raunchy without getting serious. Thankfully for the chick flick lovers, Valentine's Day falls on the slusher side of the spectrum, thanks to director, Garry Marshall (Beaches, Pretty Woman, The Princess Diaries). Although in retrospect, Ashton Kutcher would make a brilliant psychopath... and an injection of Scream would only make things funnier in my opinion.

Anyways... Valentine's Day (the movie) is basically an American version of the heartwarming British triumph of love known as Love, Actually. It certainly makes up for the miserable weather. Valentine's Day boasts an all-star cast including: Jessica Alba (rrrrawrrr), Kathy Bates (cameo), Jessica Biel (neurotic), Bradley Cooper (unnecessary), Julia Roberts (negligible), Patrick Dempsey (the Dr.), Jamie Foxx (yeah, yeah), Jennifer Garner (typical), Topher Grace (good form), Anne Hathaway (funny), Ashton Kutcher (Mr. Moore), Queen Latifah (oh mama), George Lopez (Georgie), Shirley McClaine (alive!), Emma Roberts (cute), Taylor Lautner (wolfman) and ...continued.

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