The Tehuacan Project

By this DVD’s placement on my shelf, I thought this was where it fell chronologically. Apparently, it actually came out in 2007.  So, I’m a little late, here. My apologies. 

Cast: Children of Casa del Niño Sordo and their families, narration by Adrien Brody (English), and Esai Morales (Spanish).

Writer: Andy Lauer

Director: Andy Lauer

Executive Producer: Brad Pitt

Genre: Documentary, short form

Running Time: 14 minutes

Release: March 20, 2007

MPAA Rating: not rated

This will be a short review, because it’s a short film.

Director Andy Lauer, and his former roommate, Adrien.

Synopsis

Casa del Niño Sordo (“Deaf child house”), is a school, and clinic for Deaf children in Tehuacán, Puebla, Mexico. The majority of children there lost their hearing (whether partially, or completely) due to diseases easily prevented by vaccines. Vaccines they weren’t able to get.

The organization known as The Tehuacan Project was formed in order to provide these children with hearing aids, and specialized education to help them adjust afterward. They also offer counseling to parents during the entire process.

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Giallo

I put this one off for as long as I could. It’s time to face the music and get it done. I really didn’t want to re-watch this one, you guys, but I finally bit the bullet. Horror isn’t really my genre (other than maybe the Halloween movies).

To be honest, Giallo wasn’t quite as bad as I remember, but it sure isn’t good.

Here we go…

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Cadillac Records

Cast: Adrien Brody, Jeffrey Wright, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Eamonn Walker, Beyonce Knowles, Cedric the Entertainer, Gabrielle Union, Mos Def, and Norman Reedus

Written by: Darnell Martin

Directed by: Darnell Martin

Genre: Biography, Drama, Music

Running Time: 1 hour, 49 minutes

Released: November 24, 2008 (U.S.)

MPAA Rating: R

Adrien’s Role: Len Chess

Adrien plays a slightly sanitized version of Leonard Chess, founder of Chess Records, a pioneering blues and rock n’ roll label. Adrien’s version of Len Chess is mainly concerned with getting black artists heard. The real Chess was more concerned with making money, and not giving the artists much of it. Continue reading “Cadillac Records”

The Brothers Bloom

Hi there, I’m back!

Cast: Adrien Brody, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel Weisz, Rinko Kikuchi, Robbie Coltrane, and Maximillian Schell 

Written by: Rian Johnson

Directed by: Rian Johnson

Genre: Comedy, Adventure/Caper, a bit of Romance

Running Time: 1 hour, 54 minutes

Released: September 9, 2008 (Toronto International Film Festival)

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Side Note

As some of you know, I also write for a movie blog called MovieBabble. I recently did a piece about The Brothers Bloom over there. *Note: that piece contains some minor spoilers, as it’s a retrospective for the 10th anniversary, not a review. If you’d like to read it, you can find it right here.

Adrien’s Role

Adrien plays “Bloom” (no first name is ever given), a semi-willing partner in con to his brother, Stephen (Ruffalo). The two have run scams for years, with Bloom usually playing the charming one who approaches the mark. Bloom wonders who he really is, after a lifetime of his brother writing roles for him. And he wants out.

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A Matador’s Mistress

Side Note

This movie is also known as Manolete, The Passion Within, or Blood and Passion.

manolete1
When Manolo met Lupe

Cast: Adrien Brody, Penelope Cruz, Santiago Segura, Josep Linuesa, Nacho Aldeguer

Written by: Menno Meyjes

Directed by: Menno Meyjes

Genre: Biography, Drama, Romance

Running Time: 1 hour, 32 minutes

Released: September 6, 2008 (Toronto Film Festival)

MPAA Rating: Not Rated (I would say PG-13, leaning toward R)

Background

Adrien trained with a dialect coach for this film, but ended up using his own voice/accent, with a few random words pronounced accurately. Sort of like an American newscaster (you know what I’m talking about).

I’m not sure why this happened, given the character he played was a real person born and raised in Spain. Perhaps trying the accent was distracting him too much from the emotional parts, so they scrapped it. Whatever the reason, it’s distracting to have the lead sound American, when everyone else sounds Spanish.

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The Darjeeling Limited

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image via kissthemgoodbye.net

Cast: Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman, Amara Karan, Wallace Wolodarsky, Waris Ahluwalia, Irrfan Kahn, Anjelica Houston… (and a Bill Murray cameo)

Written by: Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman

Directed by: Wes Anderson

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Adventure… really, the genre is Wes Anderson 😉

Running Time: 1 hour, 31 minutes

Released: September 28, 2007 (New York Film Festival)

Disclaimer, of sorts:

I am rating this objectively, like a “real” film critic would. However, this is one of my favorite movies, so if it was based strictly on my enjoyment as a fan, it would be about a nine.

Also, I have a lot to say about this one. My apologies.

A word of thanks: The screen captures used in this article (save for the photo in the header) are from KissThemGoodbye.net. Thank you for your beautiful images (and for saving me a lot of time and work).

Background/Synopsis

The Darjeeling Limited was Adrien Brody’s first collaboration with writer/director Wes Anderson. The story centers around three estranged brothers (Brody, Owen Wilson, and Jason Schwartzman) who come together for a trip through India, a year after their father’s death. In true Wes Anderson style, there is dysfunctional family-based humor, and the tragic moments are still beautifully executed.

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Hollywoodland

Cast: Adrien Brody, Ben Affleck, Diane Lane, Robin Tunney, Bob Hoskins, Molly Parker, Zach Mills, Kathleen Robertson, Larry Cedar, Jeffrey DeMunn, Lois Smith…

Written by: Paul Bernbaum

Directed by: Allen Coulter

Genre: Crime, Drama

Running Time: 2 hours, 6 minutes

Released: August 31, 2006 (Italy); September 8 in the U.S.

MPAA Rating: R

Background

George Reeves, the man who played Superman on the original television series, passed away via suicide in June of 1959. Some people believed his death was suspicious. At the very least, the circumstances surrounding Reeves’ life and death were somewhat complicated. This film explores many scenarios for what could have happened that night, and it’s very interesting to watch those play out.

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King Kong

My thoughts on Peter Jackson’s King Kong (2005), and Adrien Brody’s performance therein.

Peter Jackson, Adrien Brody, King Kong set
Director Peter Jackson, with Adrien on the set of King Kong.

Cast: Andy Serkis, Jack Black, Naomi Watts, Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Kyle Chandler, Colin Hanks, John Sumner, Craig Hall, Evan Parke, Jamie Bell, Lobo Chan…

Screenplay by: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, and Peter Jackson

Based on a story by: Merian C. Cooper, and Edgar Wallace

Directed by: Peter Jackson

Genre: Action, Adventure

Running Time: 3 hours, 7 minutes (there’s also a 3 hour, 20 minute version)

Released: December 14, 2005 (U.S.)

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Background

Peter Jackson dreamed of recreating King Kong since he was a child. The original movie (from 1933) was the very reason he went into filmmaking. With all of that build up, and all those years of work, how did Jackson’s vision turn out?

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The Jacket

Cast: Adrien Brody, Keira Knightley, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kris Kristopherson, Daniel Craig, McKenzie Phillips…

Written by: Massy Tadjedin, Marc Rocco, and Tom Bleeker

Directed by: John Maybury

Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Running Time: 1 hour, 43 minutes

Released: January 23, 2005 (Sundance Film Festival)

MPAA Rating: R

In my top 10 Adrien Brody movies, The Jacket is number six. So, obviously, I enjoy it. There are just nitpicky things (or maybe valid) things that keep it from scoring higher.

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The Village

Noah and Ivy

Cast: Bryce Dallas Howard, Joaquin Phoenix, Adrien Brody, William Hurt, Brendan Gleeson, Sigourney Weaver, Jayne Atkinson, Cherry Jones, Judy Greer, Fran Kranz, Michael Pitt, Jesse Eisenberg…

Written and Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan

Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Drama

Running Time: 1 hour, 48 minutes

Released: July 26, 2004 (U.S.)

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Synopsis

It’s difficult to tell you much about The Village without spoilers, so I will be vague, and put most of my focus on Adrien’s performance.

The safest synopsis I can give you is: People in an isolated community live their lives according to specific rules handed down by the elders. However, younger residents seek to challenge said rules for the good of others.

There, I think that’s a general enough summary.

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