Better than Pacino, De Niro and Hanks combined...

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Scott Weinberg, Oct 28, 2004.

  1. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    Who could it be? WHO is Scott referring to??

    Well, Jeff Bridges of course!

    I just recently took in The Door in the Floor, which is half-drab/half-fascinating, but Jeff Bridges gives one phenomenal performance in it. And then (as I often do when I see something new from an actor I really admire) I took a scan back through his filmography to put the new performance in perspective.

    Mr. Bridges has been nominated four times: The Last Picture Show (1971, supporting), Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974, supporting), Starman (1984, lead), The Contender (2000, supporting). He's never won.

    Like most of you, I have fond memories of the shaggy Jeff from the generally moronic King Kong remake, and the guy's been one of my favorites for as long as I can remember. What impresses me most as I look back over his list is that Bridges consistently wavers between lead and support, drama and genre, quiet and loud - and he's always one of the best things in whatever movie he appears in.

    (Underlined = excellent movie, * = particularly excellent work from J.B.)

    80s? Tron, Kiss Me Goodbye, Against All Odds, Starman*, Jagged Edge*, 8 Million Ways to Die, The Morning After, Nadine, Tucker: The Man and His Dream*, See You in the Morning, The Fabulous Baker Boys*

    --That's a pretty solid batting average right there. And even in the ones I didn't like {Nadine, See You...), Bridges still makes the damn things watchable.

    90s? Texasville, The Fisher King*, American Heart, The Vanishing*, Fearless*, Blown Away, Wild Bill, White Squall, The Mirror Has Two Faces, The Big Lebowski*, Arlington Road, The Muse, Simpatico

    --OK, just a little bit less consistent with the material this decade. (Sorry, but I just loathe Texasville, The Vanishing and The Muse.) But just consider the wildly eclectic performances offered in The Fisher King, The Big Lebowski and Fearless... Pretty impressive work. (And I still dig White Squall a whole lot, so nyer.)

    The 00s: The Contender*, Scenes of the Crime, K-Pax*, Masked and Anonymous, Seabiscuit*, The Door in the Floor*

    --Jeff all but steals The Contender from the entire cast, his work in Seabiscuit was far and away the crowning jewel of that flick, and if there's any justice in movieland, he'll earn his fifth nomination for The Door in the Floor. (I have yet to see the reportedly-atrocious Masked and Anonymous, although the cable-flick-ish Scenes of the Crime is certainly an entertaining little b-movie crime thriller thingie.)

    Next up for the actor is a rather inriguing comedy project called The Moguls. According to the IMDb, the plot summary is: "Citizens of a small town, under the influence of a man in the midst of a mid-life crisis (Bridges), come together to make an adult film." Also in the ensemble cast are William Fichtner, Tim Blake Nelson, Patrick Fugit, Ted Danson, Glenne Headly, Lauren Graham, Isaiah Washington, Steven Weber, Judy Greer, Valerie Perrine, Eileen Brennan, Brad Garrett, Elden Henson, Fiona Hunter and Joe Pantoliano as "Some Idiot". [​IMG]

    And then it's back to work with Terry Gilliam once more for Tideland, which co-stars Janet McTeer, Jennifer Tilly, Brendan Fletcher and Jodelle Ferland and is based on the novel by Mitch Cullin.

    So while everyone heaps tons of (generally well-deserved) adoration on actors like Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Tom Hanks, etc., I keep an eye out for the next contribution from Jeff Bridges...and Robert Duvall...and Gene Hackman...and Dennis Quaid...and Michael Keaton. [​IMG]

    So am I nuts, or is Jeff Bridges a generally overlooked genius?
     
  2. Rajvir

    Rajvir Agent

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    Scott, you are definitely not nuts. Jeff Bridges is often overlooked and I agree that he is one of the finest actors America has ever produced. His performances are always good despite the film.
     
  3. Jerry Almeida

    Jerry Almeida Second Unit

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    Great post. I don't think you're nuts either.

    Here are a couple of good quotes from him from IMDB.

    "As far as the lack of hits goes, I think perhaps it's because I've played a lot of different roles and have not created a persona that the public can latch on to. I have played everything from psychopathic killers to romantic leading men, and in picking such diverse roles I have avoided typecasting."

    "I don't think I ever went down that movie star path. I always enjoy taking a 90-degree turn from the last thing I did."
     
  4. Rob P S

    Rob P S Cinematographer

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    Excellent actor, and brother Beau ain't too bad, either. [​IMG]
     
  5. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    "Door in the Floor" is playing at a discount theater near my job, but I just dont have the time to see it right now - Ill have to wait for DVD for this one.
     
  6. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    Are you nuts for thinking Jeff Bridges is a great, or underrated actor? No.

    Are you nuts for thinking Jeff Bridges is better than Pacino, De Niro and Hanks combined? Yes. [​IMG]
     
  7. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    I like Jeff Bridges, I'm just not a fan of his films. If I had to pick a favorite it'd be Tron which hardly showcased his acting skills.
     
  8. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    It is confirmed now.
     
  9. Thi Them

    Thi Them Producer

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    It is confirmed that Scott is nuts?

    ~T
     
  10. Mike Graham

    Mike Graham Supporting Actor

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    He doesn't appear to act in a film...he just presents a particular character and how they would naturally respond to the given situations. Definitely overlooked, as was K-PAX.
     
  11. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  12. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    This is worse than that one member and his Steve Guttenburg fetish.

    And it's spreading. [​IMG]

    Pretty soon everyone will start giving Catwoman
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I've always known Weinberg was dangerous
     
  13. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    Well, I never said K-Pax was any good, just that Bridges did some fine work in it. (Especially when his co-star chews every piece of scenery in sight.) [​IMG]

    And let's not get too crazy with the Catwoman things. It's not like I was nice to the movie. [​IMG]

    And as far as me being crazy, I assumed you guys figured that out years ago. (Armageddon, anyone?) [​IMG]
     
  14. Stephen_L

    Stephen_L Supporting Actor

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    Jeff Bridges is a terrific actor; one reason greater fame has eluded him is that he tends to choose riskier projects and is willing to disappear into his role. It reminds me of a story Harrison Ford told. As a new actor, on a movie set he watched Tony Curtis portray a delivery boy. The director raved, "Look at that performance. You can tell he's a star" To which Ford responded, "I thought he was supposed to be a delivery boy" Bridges is willing to become whatever the part demands rather than the 'star'.
     
  15. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    Bridges reminds me of 2 other actors that sort of fit this mold in a general way - Dennis Quaid and Kevin Costner, especially their early character personalities. Like Bridges brash, scruffy hero in King Kong (or Last Pix Show) Costner started with his Silverado character and Quaid with characters in Breaking Away, Caveman and even The Right Stuff.

    To me (and I realize this is IMO) those 3 actors AT THE TIME sort of fit each other's roles, enough that it wouldn't surprise me if they were called in to test for each other's parts (don't know if they did or not).

    What boggles my mind with all of this is that only one of them made it big and he is clearly the weakest of the 3 (very limited range) and is the worst as lifting a bad film in any way (heck, he might hurt them more). Of course I mean Costner.

    Somehow Quaid and Bridges remain hella more interesting when they are on screen than Costner does and yet they both remain outside the superstar arena. People know them, they aren't Philip Baker Hall or anything, but they aren't on the cusp of $15m paydays either (AFAIK), whereas Costner rather infamously was allowed to self-destruct his career with bigger paydays and greater total control. Costner ended up being great in 3 roles in which he played the naive goody-two-shoes character (Untouchables, DWWolves, FofDreams), but outside of that he's pretty shakey.


    And while he's not quite the same, Kurt Russell was at one time in the general ballpark of actor type as well.


    In short, Bridges is a very solid actor who always keeps it simple and interesting, he just gives you the role.
     
  16. GeorgePaul

    GeorgePaul Second Unit

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    I just love that someone else finally knows who Philip Baker Hall is. Great character actor. [​IMG]
     
  17. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    Re: Philip Baker Hall

    Was just watching some of season 6 of MASH yesterday, and there he was, playing a supply seargent.
     
  18. Marc Colella

    Marc Colella Cinematographer

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    Jeff Bridges is one of my favorite actors, and I like him better than Pacino, Deniro and Hanks... much better.

    He doesn't try to chew up the scenery or steal scenes from his co-stars - he just meshes into his character and plays off of others so well, and is great at having others play off of him.
     
  19. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    Yeah, you've got to feel sorry for the volleyball in Castaway. Hanks just kept walking all over his lines. Ham! [​IMG]
     
  20. Jeff Adams

    Jeff Adams Screenwriter

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    What I feel is so special about Jeff Bridges, is he never looks like he is acting. He is just so natural. It's like the director says here is your role and script just go out there an do it. He doesn't try to over act his roles. I am definitely a fan of Jeff Bridges. I just watched Jagged Edge the other night,for the 10th time and still love it.

    Now as far as him being better than all of the the three metioned combined. I would definitely question that. In fact Pacino, Hanks and DeNiro are my favorite actors of all time individually in that order and not combined.
     

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