Fox Home Entertainment
Release date: April 22, 2010
MRSP: Blu-ray: $39.99, DVD: $29.98
Directed by Scott Cooper
Written by Scott Cooper and Thomas Cobb (novel)
Starring Jeff Briges, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Colin Farrell, Robert Duval

Getting this film distributed was not an easy task. Its strengths were non-commercial-an outstanding performance by an older actor in a serious film, some damn fine music, pretty vistas. Nothing to pull in the teenagers, no special effects, a pretty sad tale. And truthfully, the story is pretty generic. Man drinks himself to death—almost. But I wouldn’t let any film with Jeff Bridges go by. From The Last Picture Show to Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, to Hearts of the West, Cutter’s Way, Starman, The Fabulous Baker Boys, the Big Lebowski-who has given more wide-ranging or better performances than Jeff Bridges. Just never the really big part that gets attention. Until now.

PLOT: Bad Blake (Jeff Bridges) is an alcoholic washed-up musician, reduced to playing bowling alleys. Getting enough booze and cigarettes to get through the day is his biggest concern. An offer to open for someone he once mentored, Tommy Sweet (Colin Farrell), a really big country star, comes his way around the same time a journalist, Jean (Maggie Gyllenhaal), asks to interview him. A single mom with a four-year old son, she is soon enthralled with a man 25 years her senior.

Neither of these opportunities quite convince Bad to give up his ways and near-tragedy is barely averted—but at a price. The film spends a lot of time showing Bad at his worst and it is hard to see the attraction Jean feels for him. Bridges is so believable in this role, so unwilling to make Bad less or more than what he is, that you can’t take your eyes away, even when you want to. A great performance in a fairly conventional movie. The Wrestler told a similar story more originally last year. But the southwestern vistas, the music and Jeff Bridges cannot be missed.