Cincinnati Babyhead

Speaks his mind on music & movies!

Movie : American Heart

As opening credits roll we see a series of old black and white snapshots. Family shots of days gone by. We are then in real time where a man just gets released from prison. He’s in a restroom at a bus station. A young boy watches him wash up. The young boy is his son and has met up with his father to reconnect. It is soon apparent that the recently released con doesn’t really want the kid hanging with him. The boy, Nick, is persistent and hops on the bus with his dad, Jack, and they head to Seattle. They find a low rent dwelling and set up house. Jack sees that he’s stuck with Nick and gives him his three rules ” Don’t tail me, shadow me or in any way, shape or form jam me”. Jack plans on meeting his ten month parole obligation then heading to make a new start in Alaska. He agrees to take Nick. In the meantime Jack’s old life starts to find its way back into his life and threaten his dream of a new life in Alaska.

CB saw this movie when it first came out and absolutely loved it. Martin Bell makes one of those gritty/no frills films that I can’t get enough of. Jeff Bridges leads the cast and does some of his best work (In CB’s opinion). Not one false moment. He drips the character. Brings Jack to life and as a result his cast mates answer the challenge and are up to it. Edward Furlong as Nick brings a hang dog innocence. he just wants to be with his dad. Lucinda Jenny as Jack’s prison pen pal lover also brings a realism to the role. Don Harvey plays Bridges’ old partner in crime and is all sleezeball, low life.

There are a few things that didn’t fit for me (some, not all of the street kid scenes) but not enough to bone the film. The story is so simple and engaging that you want these people to find some happiness. You root for them. So many great scenes. The BBQ in the taxi cab is a classic. All the scenes between the leads are strong. Great soundtrack with Tom Waits on board to help out. His touch is perfect.

Back to Jeff Bridges. Like I said one of my favorite roles by him. You’ll see the beginnings of Lebowski here. Not quite in the laid back mode yet. But you see the similarities. great stuff.

Not a Norman Rockwell painting of the fantasy American family. Just a truthful story of a few people trying to come together despites themselves and circumstances.

“People like us make a lot of mistakes. We have to pick ourselves up”

“You keep me straight and I’ll keep you straight”

55 comments on “Movie : American Heart

  1. Sarca
    March 7, 2021

    Yes! This sounds great. I’ve always loved Jeff Bridges. Laterz ✌

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah, Another Blogger
    March 7, 2021

    Jeff is one of my favorite actors. I’ve seen a lot of his films, but not this one. Are you a fan of his brother Beau?

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      March 7, 2021

      He’s real good in this Neil. Yes I like Beau. Good solid actor. They were good together in ‘Baker Boys’ especially Beau.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. greenpete58
    March 7, 2021

    This one looks good, CB. Kinda downbeat, and Bridges is always enjoyable. Seems like the kind of movie my wife would hate, which usually means I’d love it.

    However, we did actually agree on one last night. A 1960 Elia Kazan film called Wild River, with Montgomery Clift, Jo Van Fleet, and the beautiful Lee Remick. I think you might like it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      March 7, 2021

      ‘Downbeat” is the word. His character likes jack London. That’s where the whole Alaska idea comes from.
      ‘Wild River’ is probably the only Kazan I havent seen and I cant tell you why. Time to correct that. Watched ‘Lord Jim’ last night and thought of you.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. deKE
    March 7, 2021

    Another added to the list Mr CB!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. 1537
    March 7, 2021

    Nice one CB – not a film I’d even heard of tbh. You make it sound a little like Steve Buscemi’s ‘Trees Lounge’.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      March 7, 2021

      ‘Trees Lounge’ is a film I never pulled the trigger on. No good reason. A lot of folks I like in that movie plus I dig Buscemi (His role as Khrushchev in ‘Death Of stalin is priceless). Time to watch it.
      This film is the one I commented on your Waits take about.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 1537
        March 7, 2021

        Gotcha, I understand now.

        Like

  6. Jim S.
    March 7, 2021

    Never heard of this one. Completely passed me by.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jim S.
    March 7, 2021

    BTW, I have “Death of Stalin” on DVR, haven’t watched yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. badfinger20 (Max)
    March 8, 2021

    This looks real/gritty…right up my alley. Will have to check this one out. I still have Shotgun Stories waiting for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      March 8, 2021

      Low rent story and good indie filmmaking.

      Liked by 1 person

      • badfinger20 (Max)
        March 8, 2021

        I already told Bailey it’s in line…it has that look of realism.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        March 8, 2021

        Bridges is great. Seattle plays a role. You’ll feel the location.

        Liked by 1 person

      • badfinger20 (Max)
        March 8, 2021

        I never heard of this but I have seen that boy (Edward) before…I can’t place it but I’ve seen him. Bridges I like him in anything.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        March 8, 2021

        Furlong (the son) had lots of promise but I think it went off the rails for him. Some of that life stuff we’ve talked about. Too bad because he is really good in this. Like I said in the piece this is a precursor to “The Dude ” for Bridges.

        Liked by 1 person

      • badfinger20 (Max)
        March 8, 2021

        It hit me CB…Terminator 2 back in the 90s. That is where I know him.
        Oh man I love The Dude… I hate the F’ing Eagles…I’ll never forget that line. I will get back with you when I see it. You have never steered me wrong.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        March 8, 2021

        I think Furlong was on the same path as DiCaprio if I remember right. My kids always give me the “That’s just your opinion man”. CB loved the Eagles line and the Metallica line also.
        Back at ya on the tips.

        Liked by 1 person

      • badfinger20 (Max)
        March 8, 2021

        There was one movie I didn’t get to see the whole thing…it had Beau Bridges…I was thinking Jeff but it was Beau…called The Landlord…don’t know if you have ever checked that one out.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        March 8, 2021

        I have it on my list also.

        Liked by 1 person

      • badfinger20 (Max)
        March 9, 2021

        Dude…I knew it would not have a happy ever after ending because that is not the way life works…but it was still a gut punch at the end but it fits it perfectly. I was still holding out hope until the end.
        The Tom Waits song fits great at the end also.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        March 9, 2021

        You found it. Yeah it’s not an upbeat ending but it fits. We were pulling for Jack and Nick. I think you kinda know that i like these more close to the bone films.

        Liked by 1 person

      • badfinger20 (Max)
        March 9, 2021

        Yea I knew it woulnd’t work out…I wasn’t sure how it would happen…but gritty is a great word for the film.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        March 9, 2021

        PS Yeah the Waits stuff works with the film.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Francisco Bravo Cabrera
    March 8, 2021

    Definitely a great actor which makes for probably a good movie, but I’ve not seen it. Thanks for the suggestion my friend, all the best,
    FBC.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. keepsmealive
    March 8, 2021

    Never heard of it. Man, you keep finding films I never heard of but now I wanna see ’em. It’s a skill and an art. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      March 8, 2021

      I found this one a long time ago. No fireworks just solid story with good performances.
      (Bidiniband? Bin listening. Man does it grow on you. The music would fit this flick with a Canadian slant)

      Like

      • keepsmealive
        March 8, 2021

        I’m all for solid story and erformances.

        Bidiniband is just glorious. Glad you’re digging it! Buy them all!

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        March 8, 2021

        My brood is always looking to buy “the man who has everything” something. These albums will go on the list.

        Like

      • keepsmealive
        March 8, 2021

        Right on! They’re essentials around here, given the Rheos love in general…

        Liked by 1 person

  11. J.
    March 8, 2021

    Yasss! I haven’t seen this in a long time, CB – fair put me in the mood. I can watch Jeff any time of the day… the guy is one of the best (whether he’s doing serious, lazy, or villain). I’ll need to have a look to see if this is on any of the streaming services (if not, I guess I’ll be buying a copy).

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      March 8, 2021

      I wouldnt think it would be that popular but man did I like it. Good luck.

      Liked by 1 person

      • J.
        March 9, 2021

        Yeah, it’s not one that’s really spoken about. I think I saw it on Film 4 or channel 4 a good while back (maybe). It’s got a good vibe and you now I’m all about the vibes. Feels very much like a 70’s flick.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        March 9, 2021

        “70s flick” is the vibe. I agree.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. BuriedOnMars
    March 9, 2021

    I heard of this but have not seen it. I’ll be keeping an eye out for it on the PVR.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. 1dancequeendq
    March 9, 2021

    Seems to be a rather sad story. I haven’t seen the film but I would be hoping for a happy ending.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      March 9, 2021

      It is a “sad” tale but maybe we can walk away and try and learn a bit. Change isnt easy.
      (I’m still groovin to Rhoda. She just did a cover of ‘What I’d Say’. She’s no relation to Shirley Scott is she Queen?)

      Like

      • 1dancequeendq
        March 10, 2021

        I looked up a couple of books on Jazz Women I was surprised to discover that there is very little written on both women. They are almost footnotes in the history of jazz & soul women. Shirley and Rhoda Scott don’t appear to be related.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        March 10, 2021

        A bit of a long shot on being related. I was just going for the obvious last names and both playing the same instrument, same style. Shirley is right up there with the jazz guys and Rhoda is carrying the torch. The music chooses me Queen. I love it.

        Like

  14. msjadeli
    April 1, 2021

    How did I miss this one? Jeff Bridges looking real fit there, and I remember that kid from one of the Terminator movies.

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on March 7, 2021 by in 1993 Film, American Heart, Drama, Jeff Bridges and tagged , , .

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