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Jeff Bridges

The Giver (2014)

giverDIRECTOR: Philip Noyce

CAST: Brenton Thwaites, Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Odeya Rush, Alexander Skarsgard, Katie Holmes, Cameron Monaghan, Taylor Swift

REVIEW:

The Giver has taken a long, winding road to seeing the inside of a theater since Jeff Bridges (who serves here as both star and producer) bought the movie rights to Lois Lowry’s 1993 young adult novel (which won the 1994 Newberry Medal).  Bridges’ original casting for the title role (his father Lloyd Bridges) passed away in the meantime, and funding was difficult to find.  But, over twenty years later, Bridges’ determination to get the film adaptation made has paid off, and while sticklers for accuracy to the book, a staple of middle school literature classes (I have vague memories of being assigned to read it in school), may grumble at some changes, overall it was worth the effort.  The Giver, while with some narrative weaknesses, is a thought-provoking and visually striking motion picture that proves “young adult” doesn’t have to be synonymous with the vapidity of something like the Twilight series.  In fact, this is a thoughtful movie with well-developed themes and something meaningful to say.  While the film soups up the book’s thin narrative with some tacked-on action and suspense, with mixed results, it gives equally important focus to the book’s messages of the dangers of conformity, the importance of individuality, and the need for emotion, even with all the pain it can bring, to live a truly full life. Continue reading

R.I.P.D. (2013)

Film Title: R.I.P.D.DIRECTOR: Robert Schwentke

CAST: Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Bacon, Mary-Louise Parker, Stephanie Szostak

REVIEW:

R.I.P.D. is one of the most depressing kinds of movies to sit through; a completely uninspired, by-the-numbers, unengaging, lazy film that literally offers nothing memorable.  Playing out something like a cross between Men in Black and Ghostbusters with a dash of Ghost tossed in for good measure, it’s billed as a supernatural action-comedy/buddy movie, but it doesn’t succeed in any direction.  It’s not funny (or at least not often enough to justify its existence) and it’s never exciting, no matter how much money it blows on splashy special effects.   Continue reading

Iron Man (2008)

DIRECTOR: Jon Favreau

CAST:

Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Shaun Toub, Faran Tahir, Jon Favreau, Paul Bettany (voice)

REVIEW:

Along with Christopher Nolan’s Batman films, Jon Favreau’s Iron Man is a member of the next generation of comic book movies that make their stories seem almost (not quite, but almost) plausible by playing it straight. Positive audience response is clear; Iron Man was the second highest-grossing film of 2008 before being overshadowed by the arguable crowned king of ‘comic book movies’, The Dark Knight , within a couple months. Continue reading

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