The Good

At the very least, this movie has an eclectic, watchable cast.

The Bad

Why didn't Toby Keith do a commentary track?

Broken Bridges sees real life country music star Toby Keith playing the role of Bo Price. After his brother dies, Bo returns to his hometown where he must face his past with ex-girlfriend Angela Dalton (Kelly Preston). As it turns out Bo also has a 16 year old daughter named Dixie (Lindsey Huan) who he has never met until now. Contending with Bo is Dixie's grandfather Jake (Burt Reynolds) who is naturally a bit put off by Bo's return. While never one to beg for the acceptance of anyone, Bo does eventually settle himself a bit and realize that his coming home was probably one of the best decisions he ever made.

With a tagline like "Sometimes you have to go back in order to move forward," one could watch the trailer for this film and pretty much know what the whole story is about. However, it's nice to see a solid film any time, even if the subject matter of Broken Bridges is more than well worn.

Features

Meet the Actors and Their Characters

This is a "making of" where people like Keith and other cast members discuss who their characters are, why they wanted to play them, and what's special about them, essentially. They all offer interesting insights such as where they think their characters are coming from, their points of view, and how they feel like they can use those things in their performances. In fact, listening to someone like Keith, I got the feeling that what he does as a singer and what he did in this movie as an actor, isn't much different, it's only how he applied his training that was the difference. They have set this up on the disc so that it's very easy to navigate around whichever performer you wish to see.

Toby Keith's Big Throwdown Tour II

Military Base

Considering the down home, all American quality of this movie, it should surprise nobody that on a DVD featuring Toby Keith, there would be some sort of recognition of U.S. soldiers that are currently involved in conflicts around the world. This section examines the scenes from the movie where the military needed to advise them on certain specifics. I found this to be enjoyable because I have always heard about advisors on these movies, so that was nice to see them in action. In addition, it illuminated more about who Toby Keith is and why he supports the military how he does.

Muddin'

The Making of Dixie

Lindsey Huan gets extra time to shine here as she, the producers, and actors breakdown who her character Dixie is. We find out what Lindsey brought to the role in terms of style and fashion, and how she and the make-up artist would work together to further enhance the look of Dixie. What struck me the most was how genuine and honest Huan seems to be. I never felt like she was saying something that I might want to hear, or that she was being anything other than her real self.

Video

This film is presented in "widescreen" format. It looked a little like a TV movie at times, but overall it's got a nice, solid style behind it. While director Steven Goldman isn't doing anything that amazing visually (there seemed like there were more visual tricks in the Special Features), this film looked nicely compressed on DVD. Sometimes I think certain people like Burt Reynolds downplayed their performance a little to much, but overall this movie looks and feels like something from another time.

Audio

Dolby Digital. Considering that this movie features Toby Keith and Willie Nelson I would think sound, even more than picture would be the top priority. Overall, it was top notch. The movie features musical performances but they do seem germane to the film. I never felt like I was watching a showcase of country music, even if that was indeed what was being put across on the screen.

Package

Toby Keith and Kelly Preston share this front cover in which both of them are wearing cowboy hats. Behind them is a big blue sky which hangs over a somewhat foggy town. The back cover shows us more images from the film, offers up a succinct description, a Special Features listing, a cast list and technical specs.

Final Word

I was really impressed with Tony Keith as an actor. A lot of people that I know don't like the guy, simply because of his political stances and whatnot. While I can't say that I always agree with him, there is something to be said for a country singer who is doing his best to uphold the outlaw image. (Then again, what does that say about outlaws nowadays when they are called that because they get behind the current White House administration?) All that said, Keith really holds his own here against seasoned actors like Preston and Reynolds. He never really seemed out of his element and I never got the impression that he was having his performance built in the editing room.

All in all, Broken Bridges was a nice surprise on DVD.

Broken Bridges was released September 8, 2006.