I saw Avatar in 3-D with Martin and his wife. I was swept up in the spectacle for the four and a half hours of its running time, losing myself in the visuals. I don't really remember much else, except that I appreciated watching an action movie where I understood how everything was happening spatially (ahem, last twenty minutes of "Dark Night" or any of Michael Bay's movies). Stephen Lang, who I thought was terrific in "Public Enemies," was heavy on the hambone here but I guess you don't go to an action bonanza expecting nuance. The only other thing I remember is that when the movie ended I looked over at Martin, his eyes clearly moist with tears even through the eight layers of eyewear on his head. Leona Lewis's "I See You" soared through the theater, massaging our ears with its message of compassion and love. "This," Martin whispered, "is the best song I have ever heard in my entire life."
"Crazy Heart" is a bubbly romantic comedy about an endearing single mom lookin' for love in all the wrong places. Maggie Gylenhaal plays a former Anthropologie store manager who, disappointed with her limited career options in retail, decides to hitch her wagon to the exploding industry that is print media arts coverage. She immediately scores an interview with fading country superstar and raging alcoholic, "Bad" Blake. Due to highly reactive skin around her shoulder blades, she is unable to wear a bra to the interview, which takes place in his hotel room. Despite her inexperience, she grills him with hard-hitting questions, uncovering previously hidden truths such as how he got started and who his influences are. They soon have sex. Due to a softball injury sustained in middle school, Maggie has lost her inability to smell, so she is unfazed by Blake's searing morning breath the next day as they go for round two.
Maggie then goes on a paid vacation with him and her three year-old son when her chronic fatigue syndrome recurs. She has to take a rest RIGHT AWAY. She goes to the most logical place to relax, the bench at the local park they visited earlier, and Blake takes her son to a bar in an open-air mall. The son gets lost, Maggie gets called, and after a frantic fourteen seconds they find the son. She realizes "fool me once, shame on you, fool me nine times with clear and undeniable signs that you are a raging alcoholic thirty years my senior, shame on me" and ends the relationship. A year later, when her hard-hitting reporting has earned her a spot on "Rolling Stone's" staff, she reconnects with the newly sober "Bad." He gives her a royalty check for the song he wrote after they broke up. She accepts it, as it is ethically appropriate to do so since she has not interviewed him yet this year. Then she arranges an interview where she definitely WILL NOT sleep with him (okay, maybe just make out a little) and the movie ends.