This Christmas, the Oscar winner for “Crazy Heart” will make a big-time bid for another statuette in two new films.















Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Michael Sheen, Michael Teigen, Beau Garrett, Olivia Wilde, Bruce Boxleitner, James Frain (Directed by Joseph Kosinski; Written by Adam Horowitz, Richard Jefferies and Edward Kitsis; Disney)

You may have thought that Kevin Flynn, the brilliant, exceedingly daring video-game creator played by Jeff Bridges in the 1982 mega-hit “Tron,” had by now retired to a serene, gated community on the Pacific coast. If so, you’d be dead wrong.

As we learn in this cinematic update, Flynn, acted once again by the irreplaceable Bridges, went missing a couple of decades ago, much to the sorrow of his son Sam (Garrett Hedlund), who was not much more than a toddler when his dad vanished into thin sci-fi air.

So, naturally, the young man’s spirits are lifted considerably when he receives a mysterious electronic signal that could only be coming from Kevin. Alas, in his frantic attempt to hook up with Dad again, Sam is sucked into a nightmarish digital world, the very same villain-packed ground upon which Kevin has been trapped all these years.

We firmly believe that father and son will eventually return, shoulder to shoulder, to peaceful turf. But you can bet that their homeward journey will be unsparingly traumatic, especially when gimmicked up with the flashiest, dizziest state-of-the-art 3-D effects. —Guy Flatley Opens 12/17/10



















Jeff Bridges,  Matt Damon,  Josh Brolin, Hailee Steinfeld, Barry Pepper, Paul Rae, Ed Corbin (Written and directed by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen; Paramount)

Hey, if Jeff Bridges could win an Oscar for his performance as a boozy, warbling country-western survivor in “Crazy Heart,” why shouldn’t he nab another one for playing a boozy, wobbling Old West lawman named  Rooster Cogburn in “True Grit”?

After all, John Wayne, approaching the sunset of his career, bagged his one and only Oscar for his bigger than life performance as the ornery old Rooster in the 1969 film adaptation of the popular Charles Portis  novel. As the man chosen by 14-year-old Mattie Ross to round up the villains responsible for the murder of her dad, Duke wore a cowboy hat, an eye patch, duds that did not conceal his paunch, and a perpetual scowl. He weighed heavily on his horse and used tough, salty language to get his ideas across.

Under the guidance of Joel and Ethan Coen, the auteurs behind Bridges’ great turn in “The Big Lebowski,” the riding-high actor will be joined in his quest for a second statuette by Matt Damon as a Texas Ranger (a role played in the original film by singer Glen Campbell); Josh Brolin as a scumbag murderer; and Hailee Steinfeld as spunky Mattie, a colorful character that, sadly, did not turn out to be a starmaker for Kim Darby. –Guy Flatley Opens 12/25/10