Monday, June 21, 2010

Where My Bridges At?

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Well, last night I went for a stroll along the Legacy Trail of the Truckee River. It’s a nice little 3 miles or so trail (each way if you happen to park at one end of it) but it’s pretty level and gorgeous, especially around sunset. My suggestion: If you’re in town, start at the Truckee Regional Park, where there might be live entertainment, some kind of fund raising festival, or at the very least, a skate park & a disc golf course. No joke. I live with hippies. From there, just follow the path out past the barbecue pit area, out to a nice bridge over the river looking back at the city of Truckee, then feel free to take one of the less-traveled paths along the riverbank, under the freeway bridge, and so on until your heart’s content. Anyway, enough jabber jawing, here’s some pictures…
Just goes to show, goddamn teenagers are everywhere...

This weekend, I also saw a few Jeff Bridges movies for the first time. First up was “Tron” which of course is being remade…and I’m sure you’ve all seen it…but I hadn’t. Basically it’s about a computer programmer Kevin Flynn (Bridges) who quit his job after his boss stole his ideas for some big selling video games. While he & his two friends who are employees try to get the file that will prove it, he is sucked into the video game program…and has to fight like a gladiator to survive. With the help of a security program called Tron (Bruce Boxleitner), it just might be possible. (Who am I kidding? It’s a Disney flick) Now, the special effects were state of the art for 1982…and it’s a very unique visual feel to the movie. It also had the girl from “Caddyshack” in it (Cindy Morgan). You know the girl I’m talking about. You’ve probably got that music in your head right now. Picturing her walking by the pool. Don’t deny it. Anyway, it’s an okay flick. Check it out if you want. I’m probably not going to watch it again…and I kinda dozed off for a few minutes in the middle of it. The effects on the newer one should be pretty intense…and I think “The Dude” will be in that one too.

I followed that up with the movie that FINALLY gave Jeff Bridges an Academy Award, this last year’s “Crazy Heart” starring him, Maggie Gyllenhall, Colin Farrell & Robert Duvall. It’s the story of an aging alcoholic country musician named Bad Blake (Bridges) who’s traveling all over the Southwest playing in dives. This movie had me right from the beginning as it has Jeff Bridges looking very “Dude” ish, wearing a cowboy hat, pulls up in front of a bowling alley (his next gig) and pours out his “traveling jug” full of a warm yellow liquid. Oh yes, this movie’s going to be okay. Anyway, during a spot in Santa Fe, he decides to do an interview for a buddy’s niece (Gyllenhall) and they hit it off (for some reason, maybe because she has a thing for talented musicians more than twice her age…which gives me hope for the future…and the need to get talent outside of the bedroom). Anyway, long story short, it because pretty apparent pretty quickly that he’s an alcoholic…and this causes not just health problems…but all the problems that come along with alcoholism, like losing his new ladyfriend’s 4 year old son during a trip to Houston. I’m stopping the movie right there because I want you to check this one out. The thing is…I always get really sucked into these movies about talented people destroying their lives with alcoholism (“Leaving Las Vegas” among the better ones). See, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before…but my dad had a pretty serious bout with alcoholism while I was growing up. No, he didn’t beat me or anything like that (I got pretty big pretty quickly) but that actually might’ve been a little easier to handle honestly. It’s one thing to hate somebody because they physically hurt you…but it’s something completely different when you really love & care for them…and you want them to get better, get control over their life & their addictions, and just be the great person that they’ve always inspired you to be…and you see them destroying the lives of loved ones around them…and then be greatly disappointed when it reaches a breaking point & there’s really nothing you can do to help them. They have to want to help themselves…and it really burns inside when I think about those times. I’m proud to say that my dad’s been back in control of his life for nearly 8 years now. Heck, we’ve even shared a beer or two in moderation together (we did go to Vegas about two years back). I’m truly proud of him. He’s not the only loved one of mine that I’ve seen (or currently see) struggling with addiction but I’m there to help them. Anyway, so that’s why these movies get my goat (as I think the saying goes). I just hate (excuse me, HATE) to see wasted talent. Especially when I have very little to begin with, primarily in the artistic realm. I know good music…but am I going to ever write a beautiful song that melts the hearts of a nation? Probably not. Am I going to sculpt something out of marble that’s going to be on display at a government institution? Too much nudity for their taste. Am I ever going to create a tapestry that will cover an entire wall of the Guggenheim? I can barely tell what I just doodled while waiting at the doctor’s office or something. That’s why I hate to see talent like that wasted and/or destroyed by things that are easily preventable…like using moderation. Now that I think about it, that’s really the only time that you’ll ever hear me nag or criticize…is when I think you’re wasting your talent for no good reason. (shiver) Anyway, check this movie out. You just might enjoy it. Sorry to bring y’all down, just don’t waste your talents, okay? Pretty please.

Jeff Bridges Movies

Medal Winners

Gold – The Big Lebowski (1998) – Of course this one has to be number one. It’s basically my favorite comedy of all time. Some of you may not like it out there…and I pity you a little bit…but this legendary tale of a man of leisure (Bridges) who merely seeks retribution for a Chinaman urinating on his rug that really tied the room together…and somehow gets involved into a tale of kidnapping, murder, deceit, nialism, gutterballs, eccentric artists, White Russians, Jesus the pedophile, and goes all the way back to Viet F**king Nam is just hilarious. If you don’t agree, you’re entitled to your opinion…and I respect that.

Silver – Starman (1984) – Why did this get the silver? It’s my mom’s favorite movie of all time…and I love my mama very much. An alien lands on Earth and takes the form of a man in a picture (Bridges) who happens to be the husband of a widow (Karen Allen). Basically, he’s a nice alien dude…and he needs to get back home…but to do so, they have to drive from Wisconsin to Arizona…and along the way, they fall in Love. Too bad the government hot on their tail because it’s not like we can just let an alien visitor make love to our women, right? Oh…and he’s in the country illegally. Anyway, pretty good flick. I say check it out with someone you love.

Bronze – Wild Bill (1995) – Something about the Westerns in the early to mid 90’s really took to me. You know, Unforgiven, Tombstone, even the crappy ones with Kevin Costner, but I liked this one as well. Pretty decent cast featuring Ellen Barkin, James Remar, John Hurt, Diane Lane, Keith Carradine, even Christina Applegate…and it’s about Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane and Deadwood and all that Old West legend where the facts get muddled with over the course of time & imagination. Don’t get it confused with “Pecos Bill”, the Disney flick with Patrick Swayze in the lead role that came out around the same time. It ain’t that. It’s a western, not a kid’s flick. Anyway, enjoy.

Suggestion – Blown Away (1994) – Jeff Bridges, Tommy Lee Jones & a sh*t load of explosions. Do I really have to say more? Oh, and I’ve already reviewed a bunch of others to check out over the past year or so with “The Amateurs” (2005) about an average guy deciding to make a porn with his friends in his local community (we’ve all had the thought), “How to Lose Friends & Alienate People” (2008) where he plays kind of a minor role…but hey, Simon Pegg’s pretty funny & Megan Fox is always hot, and there’s a movie that I had to watch literally THOUSANDS of times as a kid growing up because, it was my brother’s favorite as a young’un, “The Last Unicorn” (1982) where he’s the voice of the prince. Oh…and I would also highly suggest seeing any of his dad Lloyd Bridges comedy classics like the “Airplane!” & “Hot Shots!” movies.

Flush It – King Kong (1976) – Based on the fact that my, my brother’s, and my mom’s favorite movies were at one time all different Jeff Bridges movies, I’m kinda thinking that King Kong might’ve been my dad’s. Actually, it was more than likely “Blown Away” but I’ll have to ask him. I know “Iron Man” is probably up there too. Oh, and I just didn’t care for this version of King Kong when I was forced to watch it in Survey of Cinema class in high school (oddly enough, it was to do a report on his female costar Jessica Lange) and both the original from “back in the day” and Peter Jackson’s versions are about a thousand times better. No need to waste time on this…or it’s sequels. Look, Kong is fingering a hot blonde... I just spoiled you the highlight of the movie...

Future Watch – True Grit (2011) – Oh yes, the Dude will play Rooster Cogburn in this alleged remake of the classic by the Coen Brothers. They’re still working out a lot of the details…but it should be f**king awesome. Before then, there’s “Tron: Legacy” (2010) coming out soon. I also just stumbled upon a movie that I never heard of called “Fearless” (1993) about a man (Bridges) who miraculously survives a plane crash and it completely changes his life. So I’ve Netflix’d it and hope to see that soon as well. Big ups to the Dude!!!

Anyway, that’ll do it for today. Hope you all enjoyed seeing & talking about Jeff Bridges & Truckee bridges. Was it intentional that way? Of course not. It’s just a crazy random happenstance. Have a great night everybody!!!

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