“Inception” – 2010. Dir. Christopher Nolan

With Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Pete Posthlewaite, with Tom Berenger, and Michael Caine.

“I love you but I can’t trust you anymore.” – Cobb

Christopher Nolan knows how to make a film. Not a movie, a film. He’s very unique in the way of transforming a film into a summer blockbuster. “Inception” is a riddle, a maze that imbeds itself into your mind. What I found very interesting about the film was the lack of character development and the suspension of the plot. Sure there is one, you can essentially follow it, but when the plot deviates into different story arcs, you’re lost within the film. You’re lost within a dream, within a dream, within a dream leaving you trying to understand what reality is.

The concept of technology used in the film is monumental. In the not so distant future there is a technology available to enter someone’s mind when they are asleep. This is how secrets, the deepest of secrets get stolen. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Cobb who is the best “inceptor” there is. He works as an inception preventer, teaching people’s minds how to prevent an intruder like himself from stealing their secrets.

This is a complex concept, but at the same time it’s almost plausible. What gets really complex is how inception actually works. We’re told little but we’re shown quite a bit. I don’t want to get into it and spoil any plot elements, nor do I think I can formulate a concrete opinion without seeing the film again. Look, it was midnight, I had to be at work at seven this morning, I was tired and the air conditioning wasn’t really working in the theater. I sweat a lot, okay?

The ensemble cast is really worth your time here. The characters (aside from DiCaprio’s) aren’t developed at all. We know next to nothing about any of them. Watanabe is fucking wonderful as the quasi villainish Saito who kind of hires DiCaprio for an audition of his skills. He’s undoubtedly the best Japanese actor since Tishiro Mifune.

I’ve never, ever been a fan of Ellen Page. I can’t stand her. I think she’s an egotistical little tart who plays the same character in every film. Her in Inception, she’s slightly different – though she does display the rouge female character traits. For the first time in my life, I enjoyed her performance.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt has become something of an anomaly in these recent years. He’s turned the page hardcore from “Angels in the Outfield”. He looks really good in this film, with his three piece suit and slicked back hair, if he chooses his films right, he maybe the next Heath Ledger who was going to be the next Daniel Day-Lewis.

Marion Cotillard is the standout in the film where she plays Cobb’s wife. She is such an incredible actress – and ever since she won her Academy award she’s done nothing short of stepping up her game and finding the right roles for her. She’s not only adorable, but there is a second or two in the film where she gave me chills. She is such a rare actor – her command is unreal.

Tom Hardy is strange in the film. I’m not sure what his exact role was, but he mainly supplements for slight comedic relief. I wasn’t really thrilled by him, more numb than anything. It’ll be interesting to see him as Mad Max.

I love that Michael Caine was in the film because he’s Michael Caine and Nolan loves him. He’s really nothing special, but he’s still a treat none the less. I guess one can argue his importance to the plot, which he does have an important role with it, but he was in it to be in it.

Nolan alumni, Cillian Murphy shows up towards the climax of the film as the new “mark”. Pete Posthlewaite plays his father who is a very vague rich and powerful man. Doesn’t it seem like Posthlewaite and Nolan should have worked together before? I think so.

How in the FUCK did Tom Berenger get in this movie? I have no idea how, but I love it! Nolan continues to keep up his tradition of using an actor who hasn’t seen a theatrical release in a quite a while as a small and vital role in his films. Think Rutger Hauer in “Batman Begins”, Eric Roberts in “The Dark Knight” and now Tom Berenger in “Inception”. I love it!

Okay – so, Leonardo DiCaprio. The problem I have with him is this: his character Cobb mirrors that of Teddy Daniels for “Shutter Island” way too much. I don’t want to give away any plot details to the film, since most of you tend to go in “blind”. He really should have played one or the other. He just wasn’t believable as Cobb to me, roll your eyes, but Christian Bale would have been better. I’m not sold on DiCaprio. He’s way too prolific for me to accept any of his characters as authentic. I see an actor, who is in too many movies, not a colorful spectrum of characters. I don’t think DiCaprio is a great actor. He’s good, but not what everyone seems to think. And oh yes, the neck beard is back with a vengeance in “Inception”. Just fucking shave it off, or wear a fake. Shit’s getting real old.


I think I have a firm grasp on the dream within a dream within a dream concept. There are three, maybe even four levels of dream stages. I took two things away from the film, one that Saito was more than likely an architect as well. Some of the film took place in his “world”. The second was that the ending of the film was a dream that was built by Ellen Page’s character. She’s the only one who knew how Cobb’s totem worked. He explained it too her, and she’s the only one that had seen Cobb’s memories.

Did you ever notice how you never saw Cobb’s children’s faces until the end of the film? It played like his memory played, until they turned around and looked at Cobb. How could Cobb’s reality be a carbon copy of his dream? I feel that Page built his dream, made it into a reality so that Cobb could “live”. Remember that small scene when Cobb is shown the people who are plugged in to dream, just so they can live? That’s what I think happened to Cobb.


“Inception” is nothing less than a brilliant film that is more of a mind fuck than your ex boy/girlfriend. It’s an incredibly smart film without trying to be too smart. I understand a lot of the film, I really do, but I just didn’t care for some of it; yet Christopher Nolan has proved once again that he is the real deal. This film is so epic and brilliant; it’s truly a tremendous feat. He and Paul Thomas Anderson are the two most important filmmakers of our generation.

Rating: 10/10

The Art of the Crossover: Actors turned Singers & Singers turned Actors.

While listening to a Kris Kristofferson album, it got me thinking lately about singers turned actors; than even further – actors turned singers. I am going to exclude rap if that’s okay with you. I’ve always thought it was an interesting paradox; I’ve noticed that a lot of actors are musically inclined and even have tried to venture out on their own and release their own music. I understand why singers turn to acting – because they are at the height of their popularity and they’ve been turned into a cash cow (Neil Diamond in “The Jazz Singer” for example). I feel that way about rap musicians; the only reason that they turned to acting was because they were extremely marketable at the time and they never really have taken a risk with the roles they chose. But when actors turn to music, to me it feels like that music is their true passion (or their biggest hobby). I know there have been many, many crossovers, but I think these are the three best in each category, meaning that the quality of both their music and their acting are excellent.

I am the Wanderer – my home is the road

David Carradine has always had a soft spot in my heart. I was very sad when he died. I’ve always enjoyed his earlier works with Scorsese: “Boxcar Bertha” and “Mean Streets” and of course the TV Show “Kung-Fu” but it wasn’t until I saw Carradine as Woody Guthrie in Hal Ashby’s “Bound for Glory”, I really took him seriously as an artist. Portraying Woody Guthrie is gigantic feat and Carradine did an amazing job. I own his album “As Is” and his music is great. It’s a wonderful folk album and lyrically Carradine is as rich with his writing as Kris Kristofferson or Bob Dylan – the lyrics are simple yet hold this complex power that makes it truly authentic.

It’s obvious that Carradine is very much influenced by Eastern philosophies which I think is a direct reflection on the folk music he sings. The Eastern themes are a direct representation of Carradine’s folk music – the path that men take, why they take them. These Eastern themes are in step with any great western film ever made. Sam Peckinpah strived to “make a western as good as Kurosawa”.

I bought his album from his official website and if you do like Carradine or like folk music, please check it out. It is well worth your time. If you click the link, and listen to any of the tracks available – please listen to “The Wanderer” – it’s excellent and I think completely sums up David Carradine as a man. Enjoy.

The genius of David Carradine.

When The Dude meets Woody Guthrie

Before Jeff Bridges broke our hearts as Bad Blake in “Crazy Heart”, and most people were taken aback by his musical capability; Bridges released an album in 2000 entitled “Be Here Soon” and it’s nothing like Bad Blake. Jeff Bridges remains to be one of my favorite people ever – I am so smitten with him. “Be Here Soon” is a hybrid of folk and beatnik music – it’s incredibly unique and incredibly excellent. Along with finally collecting his long overdue Oscar for “Crazy Heart”, he is not only a musician but a photographer (his collecting of stills from a majority of his the film sets he’s worked on titled “Pictures” is amazingly profound) but he’s also a painter.

The music of his album is incredibly insightful and filled with innuendo and intrigue. He muses and philosophies with an admirable amount of passion and artistic skill. The first track of the album called “Movin'” is a perfect representation of who Bridges is as a man. “Be Here Soon” is Bridges first and only album, but his “follow up” is the “Crazy Heart” soundtrack. I find that the best track of the film is the track that opens the film – “Hold on You”. We all can relate to this song – there has always been at least one person in our lives that we’ve been trying to get a hold on.

The “Crazy Heart” soundtrack is available everywhere and his album “Be Here Soon” is available at Amazon.com and the iTunes music store. You won’t be disappointed.

The Egotistical Talent that can’t be ignored

We all know that Kevin Spacey holds an unbelievable amount of talent – anyone who disagrees with that is a fool. I also think since Spacey won his second Oscar for “American Beauty” his ego inflated so much that he hasn’t strived to give a challenging performance since then. The only exception that can be made is his labor of love “Beyond the Sea” which isn’t a great film, but it’s still very enjoyable. Spacey portrays the crooner Bobby Darin. Spacey not only stars, but wrote, directed, produced and sang in the film – he did it all. He did too much.

His singing is the best part of the film. Spacey’s voice is so smooth it just makes you groove with the music you are hearing, it absorbs into you. Spacey had been known for his musical capability prior to this film. He hosted a tribute concert for John Lennon in the early 2000’s and as the show was getting to a close Spacey himself performed “Mind Games” – it was excellent. Spacey truly is an incredible performer – his stage presence is untouchable.

While Spacey was out promoting “Beyond the Sea” he did a concert tour performing Bobby Darin songs and other standards from that era. Being from Chicago I was excited that Spacey was coming to The House of Blues until you had to be 21 and older to enter. I really wish I could have seen him.

Nightmares are somebody’s daydreams

Kris Kristofferson started out as another musician that had fallen prey to crossing over to cinema. He was popular, hip, and handsome and had a big following. It wasn’t until Kristofferson teamed up with Sam Peckinpah to star as Billy the Kid in “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid” that he became an actor. Kristofferson himself is a gentle and kind man, but his turn as Billy the Kid turned him into a steely cold killer. The film is violent and relentless. Kristofferson made a name for himself as an actor AND a musician.

From there Kristofferson went on to make Martin Scorsese’s “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” where he plays the ideal man; the tough, gruff man who has a heart of gold. He’s nothing less than excellent in “Alice”. He’s this big bad man who walks tall, but deep down inside he’s a teddy bear that just wants to love and take care of Alice. It’s an excellent film with excellent performances from the entire cast.

That same year Kristofferson reteamed with Peckinpah for a small role as Biker in “Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia”. In this role he plays the scum of the earth and rapes the main characters girlfriend. It’s amazing how Kristofferson has the unbelievable range from going to one extreme to the other. He went from David in “Alice” to Biker in “Alfredo Garcia”. Kristofferson is not only one of my favorite musicians – but also one of my favorite actors.

Kristofferson had a bit of a lull in the 1980’s but he reemerged in the 90’s showing up in “Payback” (which reteamed him with James Coburn who played Pay Garrett), “A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries” and the “Blade” trilogy and narrating the unconventional Bob Dylan biopic “I’m Not There” and of course his amazing performance in “Lone Star”.

Putting out a fire with gasoline

David Bowie is an enigma wrapped in a riddle. His music is odd and compelling. Everyone in the world loves at least one David Bowie song. What I love about David Bowie is his unconventional career. He is one of the best crossover actors that I’ve seen. “The Man Who Fell to Earth” remains one of my favorite films. It’s so unique and strange that with the casting of David Bowie – it helps us accept the film for what it is.

His turn in David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me” as Special Agent Phillip Jefferies is so bizarre you can’t even comprehend it (although how many David Lynch films are easy to comprehend?). My two favorite Bowie performances are his performance in Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Temptation of Christ” as Pontius Pilate which I think is even more bizarre than his role in “Twin Peaks”.

My second favorite Bowie performance is as Nikola Telsa in Christopher Nolan’s “The Prestige”. It was so genius of Nolan to cast Bowie. Telsa was a very strange and mysterious man and so is David Bowie. It was a perfect fit. It added authenticity and even more mystique to the character by adding Bowie. Christopher Nolan not only knows how to write a screenplay and direct a movie – but he hasn’t made one misstep in any of his films with casting. How many filmmakers can you say that about?

And how could anyone not appreciate his role as Jareth the Goblin King in “Labyrinth”? And no one could ever play Andy Warhol as good as Bowie in “Basquiat”.

“I hate Disneyland. It primes our kids for Las Vegas.”

Tom Waits’ film choices are just as offbeat and stirring as his music. Waits is an extremely talented musician that has taken select roles in his long and winding career. His music is almost an acquired taste – as are some of the roles he’s played. Waits is a close family friend of the Coppola family and he is often cast in Francis Ford Coppola’s films. Waits is also in many of Jim Jarmusch’s films and those films are defiantly an acquired taste.

The performance that I think seals Waits’ craft as an actor is in the mediocre Coppola film “Dracula” where he portrays Count Dracula’s underling R.M. Reinfield. He is so creepy and almost stomach turning as the mentally unstable man that is confined in a straight jacket in a disgusting and disturbing mental hospital. He and Gary Oldman are the only two that save that film from being a train wreck.

His role as the Engineer in “The Book of Eli” was something of a treat that I really enjoyed. I loved how he snuck into the film, making a character that was insignificant to the story interesting just by having Tom Waits play the character. I felt that “Eli” was a train wreck of a film, but again – Gary Oldman saved the film (with a little help from Waits). I haven’t seen “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” yet but Tom Waits looks divine in it.

So that is my list thus far folks. Give me your feedback, what do you think of my choices? And what are yours? I know I left some prominent crossover artists out, but I’ll be working on part two really soon. Gimme your feedback! I want to have a debate!

“The Dark Knight” – 2008. Dir. Christopher Nolan.

With Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Anthony Michael Hall with Morgan Freeman and Eric Roberts

“You can’t kill me – and I won’t kill you. I have a feeling we’ll be doing this for a long, long time.”

Well I’m sure we ALL know the plot of “The Dark Knight” don’t we? What I would like to spend your time doing is expressing to you what I really like about this film. What Christopher Nolan did by making “Batman Begins” and the much anticipated and superior sequel was setting the tone for all future superhero films. He allowed them to still be summer blockbusters, but also forced them into being good films as well. There would be no “Iron Man” without “Batman Begins”. It forced audiences to take superhero films more seriously.

What really impressed me about this film was its cast. Of course we have the established actors in their roles – Bale, Caine, Freeman, Oldman – but Nolan establishes new characters while still developing previous ones. I was impressed by Ledger as The Joker as was everyone else. His phony Chicago accent was stellar – as was his masochistic tone and self applied make-up.

Everything about his character was excellent, and broke the hold that Jack Nicholson previously held on The Joker. Everything about him is original even though the character is one of the most well known and well established villains in fictional history. The way he walks, talks and his actions are all original and unique. Heath Ledger remains to be one the best physical actors ever.

I was very impressed by Harvey Dent. I was unsure of the casting of Aaron Eckhart thinking that there were other actors better suited for playing such a complex character. The way Nolan guides Dent through the film is excellent. He’s already been established in Gotham City as a hard hitting crime fighter, being dubbed by the media as Gotham’s “White Night”. As the complexity of the story unravels, we begin to see Harvey Dent’s life spiral out of control.

His character is that of a slick and smooth lawyer who has the power in the grasp of his hand, but once The Joker lights fire to the city and steals the woman he loves, he loses it and his violent – even repressed – psychopathic side shows up. It’s as if Dent has this caged beast inside of him, and once he loses the one thing he truly loves and sees the scared monster he’s become – Harvey Two-Face is unleashed to seek revenge on everyone involved in his shattered life.

I have a fondness for Eric Roberts. I think he’s an amazing talent, and he rarely gets a chance to show it. As his roles as Salvatore Maroni, the new mob boss of Gotham, he beat out two ultra talented actors: James Gandolfini and Bob Hoskins. Nolan must have had faith in Roberts to deliver. He did.

Eric Roberts is perfect as the polished and well groomed mob boss. The way Roberts snarls through his teeth, and gives off this super smug tone is perfect for his character. His interactions with Bale, Ledger and Eckhart are excellent and monumental scenes of the film. My favorite scene of the film is where Batman shows up to the night club where Roberts is with some blonde bimbo and she complains that they can’t hear each other talk, Roberts then turns and says out of the corner of his mouth: “What makes you think I want to hear you talk?” Hot!

The addition of veteran Chicagoan character actor Ron Dean is excellent. He adds authenticity to the role of a Gotham cop because he’s mainly played a Chicago cop in a majority of his roles (“The Fugitive”, “Chain Reaction”, Michael Mann’s TV show “Crime Story”). I’ve always enjoyed Dean, he may be a one dimensional actor, but that one dimension did get him a role in “The Dark Knight”.

The film drags slightly for me towards the climax, well maybe not a drag but a slight hiccup. We all know that The Joker was supposed to carry into the next film but due to the untimely death of Ledger it puts a huge strain on Nolan to deliver a follow up film that’s worthy of “The Dark Knight”. I have my own theory – and yes it does include Johnny Depp. Have Depp play a copycat Joker, with the explanation of the real Joker being he disappeared back into Gotham, achieving his goal of reigning chaos in the city – destroying Harvey Dent and vilifying Batman.

I almost felt that they should have changed the ending, allowing Two-Face to live to be the next major villain for Batman. But that would have changed the power of the original ending. The ending of this film, accompanied by Gary Oldman’s wonderful narration gives me goose bumps each time I watch it. It’s perfect.

The fact that this film was pretty much ignored by the Academy is rather pathetic. If anything, it should have at least gotten a screenplay nomination and a director nomination. The screenplay to this film is so fucking tight, it chokes you. The dialogue that’s written and delivered is magnificent and shows what a great script can do for a film.

The film does an excellent job of comparing Batman and The Joker, showing Batman what he can becomes if he slips off the fine line he’s been walking. They are mirrored images of each other, and that’s what makes them so fucking great!

I have two problems with the film. The first being the lack of usage of Two-Face, I feel that the character is developed, but he isn’t used to the power that the character holds, creating the anti Batman. Two-Face should have had more screen time. My second problem is with a lot of people making fun of Batman’s “new” voice. You people just really don’t get it, do you?

Review: 9.5/10

The Directors: Christopher Nolan

Christopher Nolan is the most visionary director of our generation. He’s films are so utterly unique; it’s mind-blowing (just seeing the trailer for “Inception” says it all). Whether his films are based on source material (“Insomnia” and the Batman films) or original screenplays with his brother his films carry a strong story followed by great performances from his actors. Even though “Insomnia” and the Batman films aren’t original ideas of his, he makes them his own – shattering the bar that was set before him and raising it for anyone who dare challenge him. Christopher Nolan is a GREAT director.

Oh, and he’s not making the yet untitled third Batman film in 3D.  You have to give him credit for that!

1.  Inception

2. Insomnia

3. The Prestige

4.  The Dark Knight

5. Memento

6. Batman Begins

(I haven’t seen “Following”) 😦

Bring in the Heavy Part II.

Batman Begins – 2005

I am embarrassed to admit this, but I had absolutely no interest to see “Batman Begins”.  I remember seeing the first image released the films website.  All it was the image of the “new” Batmobile.  Then the TV spots started coming out and it looked cheesy to me.  As far as I was concerned Michael Keaton would always be Batman.  Who the hell does Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale think they are?  Batman would always remain in my heart as Michael Keaton.  At this point in time I had grown tired of the mediocre (at best) comic book films hitting the theaters, “DareDevil”, “Hulk”, “Catwoman”, ect.  Boy was I wrong!  “Begins” changed comic book films forever.  It made the industry make them with more sincerity.  But what is really commanding about the film is its cast.  Nolan took the semi-unknown Christian Bale and tossed him into a pool of sharks.  Two-time Academy Award winner Michael Caine (“Hannah and Her Sisters” and also for “The Cider House Rules“),  Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman (“Million Dollar Baby”), Rutger Hauer, Cillian Murphy, Gary Oldman, Katie Holmes, and Academy Award nominees Ken Watanabe (“The Last Samurai”), Tom Wilkinson (“In the Bedroom”) and the ultimate Heavy, Liam Neeson (“Schindler’s List”).  Holy great European cast (minus two) Batman!

Liam Neeson as the man who finds Bruce Wayne and forms him into Batman, Henri Ducard.

“Begins” brought sheer realism to the world of comic book films.  The excellent story was sometimes outlandish at times, but what made it believable was the stellar cast.  I truly believe that if you had the entire cast minus Neeson, the film wouldn’t have been as good.  Neeson has almost typecast himself as a mentor or Heavy in recent films like “Star Wars: Episode 1, The Phantom Menace”, “Kingdom of Heaven”, “Breakfast on Pluto”, “Gangs of New York” and “Batman Begins” but he has been able to still break out in excellent lead roles such as “Kinsey” and “Taken”.  Neeson’s role is vital to the film, since he as Henri Ducard seeks out and finds Bruce Wayne in a Chinese prison and teaches Wayne how to channel his anger and aggression and use it for good, for justice.  In a sense, Ducard is responsible for the birth of Batman.  Neeson’s vital part doesn’t end there, he’s also a major player in the thrilling climax that leaves you wanting to see more Henri Ducard.

Iron Man – 2008

Robert Downey, Jr.?  Really?  You’re getting that guy from “Swingers” to direct it?  No not Vince Vaughn, the other guy.  Wow…this should be interesting. I remember reading about this project and seeing that.  Then Marvel signed Terrance Howard who was hot off his Oscar nomination for “Hustle & Flow“.  I still wasn’t sold.  Then they announced they signed Gwyneth Paltrow?  Come on!  She’s the least deserving Best Actress winner next to Halle Berry.  Then Marvel announces four-time (soon to be five time for “Crazy Heart“) Academy Award nominee Jeff Bridges.  SOLD! I was so excited, even though Bridges was playing the cliché mentor/father figure who eventually becomes the villain.

Jeff Bridges as Obadiah Stane.

The cast had only slightly interested me prior to Bridges joining since Downey was on a come back with a brilliant performance in “Zodiac” but think about what Marvel and Paramount must have thought.  This was their first production with their new film studio.  And they are putting the studio in the hands of John Favreau and Robert Downey, Jr.  Before you jump on my case about slightly bagging on RDJ, think about it in their perspective.  RDJ was hot when he was younger, being nominated in “Chaplin” and being a box office draw until things took a turn for the worst when his addiction to drugs and alcohol took hold of him.  He was out of the lime light, and in and out of jail and rehab for a couple of years.  He became sober and his first real test was “Iron Man”.

I can almost imagine Favreau sitting in a darkly lit board room, a spot light on him, and all the men who are have egotistical and financial investments in the film sitting at a huge board table in darkness, smoking cigars and drinking Johnny Walker Blue Label, and Favreau is sitting there just sweating.

JF:  Well…um…we have Terrance Howard.

Big Wig #1:  Who?

JF:  He…uh, was just nominated for “Hustle & Flow”.

Big Wig #2:  What’s that?

Big Wig #1:  For a Grammy?  Is this guy a rapper?

Big Wig #3:  Oscars don’t mean anything to my grand kids.

Big Wig #1:  Look we can get Michael Bay and (insert up and coming popularish good-looking shitty actor’s name here).

Big Wig #2:  Look Kid, what else ya got for us?

JF:  (Nervously sweating and getting dry mouth from the heat of the spotlight on him)…Jeff Bridges…?

Big Wig #10:   (coughs on his cigar, exclaims in excitement)  The guy from “Tucker“?!

Big Wig #5:  He was GREAT in “The Last Picture Show”!

Big Wig #35:  Wasn’t he in some Eastwood flick…?  What was it…um…

JF:  “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot“.

All Big Wigs:   Yes!

Big Wig #1:  Alright kid!  You get Bridges and you got yourself a three picture deal with all the actors you want.  Here’s a blank check.  You name it kid you got it!

JF:  Well, I had a thought about the villan for the next installment.

Big Wig #2:  You mean Bridges won’t be in it?  Alright kid.  Who?

JF:  Mickey Rourke.

Big Wig #15:  Don’t push it.

I’m sure it didn’t at all happen like that.  But it’s fun to think it did.  Bridges ties this film together nicely, but it is RDJ that does make the film.  He is Tony Stark.  He is the only actor that could play Tony Stark.  He and Bridges play off of each other so nicely, it’s as if they are actually father and son.  They have this great banter and a give and take with their performances.  The idea of the Heavy, in this case Bridges, is to attract people like my Dad’s age.  Older movie goers who comics don’t really appeal too.  But the fact that Jeff Bridges is in it may steer them to the theaters, and more likely to the DVD rentals.