Crazy Heart

So I just checked all my reviews for 2009 and noticed I didn't give one movay 4 cookays. Not one deserved it neither. And in retrospect I may have been too generous on a bunch. Maybe I'm a movie jerk or something but looking back on everything that came round last year-- everything was flawed up in one way or another. Almost all decent flicks choked the ending. There was slight disappointments (Drag Me to Hell) and bigger disappointments (Up) and huge disappointments (Terminator Salvation). The hype machine in 2009 was smoking and throwing off sparks for anything and everything. Marketing had a desperate tone. It was all trumpeting and maneuvering to get in our faces and the movies all left one component behind-- simple subtlety. (I can handle things! I'm smart!) Points were driven home with a wooden mallet. District 9 and the apartheid stuff. The Zombieland with the fratted wackiness. Terminator Salvation with its relentless terribleness. Inglorious Basterds wanted scalps. Up with the dogs flying planes. Got it. Got it! Y'know sometimes it's ok to not pull out all the stops?

So it's weird that this movie with a terrible title (Crazy Heart ? Awful.) that centers around country music (which I barely know anything about) would pull off this neat little trick and be a 4-cookay flick right out of the gate for 2010! Thankfully tis exactly what I needed for a fresh start in new movay decade. This flick didn't try too hard. It wasn't shouting at me and prodding me to declare my love. It didn't make me question my own taste. It didn't amp it up and spoil itself. Plus, it didn't piss itself while grinning. Nor did it need children or dogs. It was ok on its own. The stars were legitimate. The soundtrack was sweet.

This movie simply sat down with me, handed me a glass of whiskey (which I don't really like) and said, 'I wanna tell you a story...' I sniffed the glass and it smelled like burning. But I sipped it and it was smooth. And that was that. I sat back. This flick told a story without interrupting itself every twenty minutes to check if I was liking it. It had no props. No unnecessary cameos. And yadda now and then it stuttered on the sentimental scenes-- I didn't really mind. Because the storyteller had a tone that kept me from mentally wandering away. It seemed to be able to catch me whenever I drifted in the slightest by snapping fingers one time. Without taking any offense. Maybe it was the whiskey talking-- but this flick calmed my rattled movie nerves.

Sure, I guess I would have liked this movie way less if Todd Bridges wasn't in it. The Dude is an Oscar lock and he deserves it. (He should have got one for Lebowski really...) Maggie Gyhlinahall washed away the memory of her bland unhot terribleness in Batman-- and got that low-key pretty thing back.  And although Colin Ferris is rarely a welcome sight for me (yes he was good in In Bruges)-- he was kept far back enough to not get on my nerves. But he was my only complaint. Did they really have to grab some boozy Scottish douchebag to play a southern country music guy? Next time get an American because I was distracted combing through his dialogue looking for slight accent slips--- and I think I actually caught a couple little ones.

Etc. I'm not going to say this movie carried real long-term weight with me-- but I was touched by it enough to sit through the credits. Sure, there was some deep fried fairy tale cornball stuff mixed in here-- but I didn't really mind. It seemed sort of unavoidable in this world of flicks.  It was appropriately dusty. Plus, it wasn't too long. Blah blah. I'm not going to go on and on about this flick because there's not much else to say-- which is sort of appropriate. It just was a good story well told from start to finish. And considering not one movie in all of 2009 was able to find a truly satisfying ending... this one at least let me finish my drink and walk away without leaving me with some sort of vague hangover or headache.

Three Good Things About this Movie

- Todd Bridges was just dang convincing.
- I was surprised that I liked every song in one way or another.
- It had that good movie feel that the people behind the scenes enjoyed making it.

Three Bad Things About this Movie

- Although Colin Ferris was apparently singing-- it didn't look like it.
- Sometimes Todd's mumbles were incoherent altogether.
- The whole thing was a little too papery.

All in all, it's a good movay start to hopefully what will be a better movay year (or decade). At least with the stupid change in the Oscars this year with stupid 10 nominations (are they still serious about that?) they'll now be one flick that I'll actually be rooting for-- instead of rolling my eyes wishing something better was more deserving. Because this was the first movie I've seen in too long a while that came to do a job, done did it and walked away without bothering me none...