Today I saw How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, which is, on the one hand, an amusing way to pass a couple of hours, funny and kind of sweet and occasionally sharp and witty, and then on the other hand not a really, truly great film . . . but Jeff Bridges plays the editor of Sharps, a Vanity Fair lookalike, and he was excellent. As always: I don't think I've ever been disappointed by a Jeff Bridges performance, even if the movie wasn't so good.
For instance, I found Iron Man pretty entertaining, at least for the first two thirds, maybe, and Robert Downey Jr. is always perfectly excellent--but Bridges, in the role of Obadiah Stane, was also perfectly excellent--chomping on a cigar, imposing, menacing and also solid. Nothing too fancy, except for a crazy shaved head and incongruous beard. (Also, do I remember him riding up on a Segway?) A marvelous, film-enhancing performance.
How about Seabiscuit? I saw this movie on a plane--I was thinking I was too good for that film, but I enjoyed it, and Bridges was not the least of its pleasures (Chris Cooper, William H. Macy). Or, one of my favorites, when he played the President of the U.S. in The Contender, a kind of mix of L.B.J. and Bill Clinton. I almost didn't care about the outcome of the narrative because of how much fun it was whenever President Bridges came on the scene.
And of course, The Big Lebowski.
In reviewing his oeuvre on imdb, I'm thinking I still need to see American Heart, The Door in the Floor, and Tucker: The Man and His Dreams.
In other news, I would like to comment on the mounting incidences of people using the word "gift" as a verb. As in "He gifted her with a diamond bracelet," or even "He gifted her a diamond bracelet." Why not just "give"? Why not "He gave her a diamond bracelet"? I protest. It's bleah and it bugs.