Film & TV: Crazy Hearts and Superheroes

Film & TV: Crazy Hearts and Superheroes

By Mark HadleyFriday 12 Feb 2010

FILM: Crazy Heart
DISTRIBUTOR: 20th Century Fox
RELEASE DATE: February 18

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no Jeff Bridges fan but Crazy Heart is the sort of story that could win me over. Bridges has recently won a Golden Globe for his performance as Bad Blake, a once-famous country singer who is now looking at life through the bottom of a bottle. His career has degenerated into a one-man road tour of middle America’s corner bars and bowling alleys.

Life takes a positive turn though when he connects with Jean (Maggie Gyllenhaal), the divorced mother of a four year old. Crazy Heart demonstrates just how divided we can be, how the same heart is capable of the sincerest love one moment and the saddest betrayal the next. This film also provides an honest account of the ravages of alcohol and the self-deception it enables. One of the best lessons is actually a lyric that Bridges sings beautifully: “Funny how falling feels like flying – for a little while.” Crazy Heart is a cautionary tale and story of redemption wrapped into one. There is frequent coarse language and sexual themes to be aware. But alongside these are an accurate look at the consequences of prolonged self-indulgence and the real struggle associated with rising above personal failure.

TV: The Superhero Squad Show
TX DATE:  5:30 PM, Saturdays

Marvel has managed several successful transitions for its stable of comic-book characters, but this is one production it should have turned down. The Superhero Squad Show has reduced complex personalities like Iron Man, The Hulk and Thor to squabbling teens. They battle body odors as often as they do bad guys, and resent responsibilities rather than shoulder them.

The characters’ drawn proportions have also been altered to conveniently toy-like proportions, so it’s no surprise there is a matching product line available. In fact everything has been simplified to the detriment of the character and the viewer alike. Superhero witticisms have been replaced by name-calling, villains are more idiotic than evil, and the legendary violent struggles have been replaced by ray-gun blasts and collisions that leave no-one injured. This last transition might sound like a bonus, but it hardly prepares kids for the real physical and social impact of throwing a punch. Worse still the expensive personal sacrifices at the heart of Marvel’s deliverance stories are absent altogether. Instead of superheroes this series serves up Scooby-do.

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