The Singing Detective

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Adrien as “first hood.”

Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Robin Wright, Jeremy Northam, Katie Holmes, Mel Gibson, Carla Gugino, Alfre Woodard, Saul Rubinek, Adrien Brody, Jon Polito

Written by: Dennis Potter (based on the television series of the same name)

Directed by: Keith Gordon

Genre: Dark Comedy, Crime, Musical… also sort of Film Noir

Running Time: 1 hour, 49 minutes

Release: January 17, 2003 (Sundance Film Festival)

MPAA Rating: R

Synopsis

Robert Downey Jr. stars as Dan Dark, a writer being treated for the physical and emotional challenges of a rare skin condition. He basically lives a second [imagined?] life as an alter-ego based upon his books: The Singing Detective (hence the title). It’s part film noir, part musical (though, no one actually sings, they lip sync to classic tunes), part comedy, part tragedy, part very… unique story. Downey does very well in both roles, as one would expect. I’ve yet to see him give a disappointing performance.

Fun fact:

The Singing Detective‘s director, Keith Gordon was once an actor. You may remember him as (main character) Arnie in the possessed anthropomorphic car thriller, Christine. At least, that’s where I best remember him. I think having a director who also acts is really great, because they know about the process and how to motivate people.

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Summer of Sam

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Cast: John Leguizamo, Mira Sorvino, Adrien Brody, Jennifer Esposito, Michael Rispoli, Ken Garito, Brian Tarantina, Michael Badalucco, Patti LuPone, Bebe Neuwirth, Ben Gazarra, Anthony LaPaglia, Michael Imperioli, Spike Lee… and more.

Written by: Spike Lee, Michael Imperioli, Victor Colicchio

Directed by: Spike Lee

Genre: Crime, Drama

Running Time: 2 hours, 22 minutes

Released: July 2, 1999

MPAA Rating: R

An aside:

This was a particularly life changing project for Adrien Brody. During a fight scene near the close of the movie, his nose was broken for real. And the moment stayed in the film! You can actually see it happen. It’s quite upsetting, actually. I thought it was my imagination that the moment was left in, until I heard Adrien say so in an interview.

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Six Ways to Sunday

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Arnie is basically half the guys I went to college with.

Cast: Norman Reedus, Deborah Harry, Elina Löwensohn, Peter Appel, Holter Graham, Adrien Brody, Jerry Adler, Issac Hayes, Clark Gregg

Writers: screenplay by Adam Bernstein and Marc Gerald; based on the novel “Portrait of a Young Man Drowning” by Charles Perry.

Producer: Jonathan Demme (one of my favorite directors)

Director: Adam Bernstein

Genre: Crime, Dark Comedy

Running Time: 1 hour, 37 minutes

Released: September, 1997 (October, 1998 in the U.S.)

MPAA Rating: R

It’s a Dark Movie

I’m going to level with you: this is a strange movie. Dark comedy mixed with gangster flick. Disturbing, violent, dark and somehow funny. If you’re a fan of films by the Cohen Brothers (such as Fargo), then you might dig this. In spite of the bloodshed and off-putting subject matter, this film is actually not bad.
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Bullet


Cast: Mickey Rourke, Tupac Shakur, Ted Levine, Adrien Brody, John Enos III, Jerry Grayson, Suzanne Shepherd… Donnie Wahlberg has a small role, also.

Written by: Mickey Rourke (as “Sir Eddie Cook”) and Bruce Rubenstein

Directed by: Julien Temple

Genre: Crime, Drama

Running Time: 1 hour, 36 minutes

Released: October, 1996 (U.S. limited release)

MPAA Rating: There is both an R, and an “unrated” version

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