Wrecked

Cast: Adrien Brody, Caroline Dhavernas, Jacob Blair, Adrian Holmes, Ryan Robbins, Lloyd Adams, Adrian G. Griffiths

Written By: Christopher Dodd

Directed By: Michael Greenspan

Genre: Adventure/Drama/Mystery

Running Time: 1 hour, 31 minutes

Release Date: October 15, 2010 (Abu Dhabi Film Festival); April, 2011 (U.S.A)

MPAA Rating: R

Summary

A man awakens in the passenger seat of a wrecked car in the middle of nowhere. He has no idea who he is, or how he got there. While piecing together sparse clues and memory flashes, he has to try and sort out fact from fantasy and fear.

Oh, and did I mention he’s badly injured, and trying to survive in the elements?

Adrien’s Role: “Man”

This man is the only living character on screen for about 90% of this film. So, to say a lot depended on Brody’s performance is an understatement.

He fully holds your attention. Even in a movie like this, where the progress is subtle and slow, he keeps it from being boring. With a lesser actor, it may have been.

In Closing

As with The Experiment, Wrecked is hard to watch at times. Adrien’s character goes through so much physical and mental suffering, and there’s nothing else going on to distract the viewer. Your focus is always on this man and his misery. He sells the pain so well with his physicality and expressions, it will bring a tear to your eye.

Score

Movie in General: 6/10
Brody Performance: 8/10

Trailer

The Experiment

Cast: Adrien Brody, Forest Whitaker, Cam Gigandet, Clifton Collins Jr., Ethan Cohn, Fisher Stevens, Travis Fimmel, Lavell “David Banner” Crump, Jason Lew, Damien Leake, and Maggie Grace

Written By: Paul T. Scheuring (screenplay), Mario Giordano (novel)

Directed By:  Paul T. Scheuring

Genre: Drama/Thriller

Running Time: 1 hour, 36 minutes

Release Date: July 15, 2010 (South Korea), September 21, 2010 (U.S.)

MPAA Rating: R

Summary

A group of men, all in need of money for various reasons, sign up for a psychological experiment that pays $14,000 (if they make it the entire two weeks). Half of them are assigned the role of prisoners, the other half, guards. They are given a few rules, and then essentially abandoned by the people running the experiment.

Power changes people. That’s about all I can tell you about the plot without spoiling too much.

Adrien’s Role: Travis Lee

Travis is laid off from his job at an elder care facility. He has also started a relationship with a woman named Bay (Maggie Grace), who invites him on a trip to India. He spots the experiment in a newspaper, and it seems like the answer to his money woes.

Travis is assigned the role of prisoner during the experiment, and is soon fighting for the rights of the detainees. He endures a lot of backlash, to say the least.

Sadly, this is the type of movie where almost anything I say will give away plot points. What I’ll say is, Travis basically goes through Hell.

In Closing

I’ll level with you: this movie is hard to watch. Seeing the mistreatment, and the gross conditions, is enough to turn your stomach.

However, the performances are good (especially those of Brody and Whitaker), and the story is compelling.

If you can handle it, give it a watch.

Scores

Movie in General: 6/10
Brody Performance: 8/10

Trailer

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”

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.

Continue reading “A Matador’s Mistress”

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.

Continue reading “Hollywoodland”

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.

Continue reading “The Jacket”

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.

Continue reading “The Village”

The Pianist

We’re here, guys! We’ve finally reached The Pianist!

Cast: Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Emilia Fox, Frank Finlay, Maureen Lipman, Ed Stoppard, Jessica Kate Myer, Julia Rayner, Daniel Caltagirone, Andrzej Blumenfeld, Valentine Pelka, Ruth Platt, Ronan Vibert, Andrew Tiernan…

Written by: Wladyslaw Szpilman (memoir), Ronald Harwood (adapted screenplay)

Directed by: Roman Polanski

Genre: Drama, History, Biography

Running Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Release: May 24, 2002 (Cannes Film Festival); December 4, 2002 (U.S.)

MPAA Rating: R

 

 

Continue reading “The Pianist”

The Affair of the Necklace

Cast: Hilary Swank, Jonathan Pryce, Simon Baker, Adrien Brody, Brian Cox, Joely Richardson, Christopher Walken, and Hayden Panettiere.

Written by: John Sweet

Directed by: Charles Shyer

Genre: History, Drama (“Costume Drama”)

Running Time:1 hour, 58 minutes

Release: November 20, 2001 (U.S.A)

MPAA Rating: R

Continue reading “The Affair of the Necklace”

Love the Hard Way

hardway
Why does this publicity photo make this movie seem like it’s a romantic comedy, or something? 😉

Cast: Adrien Brody, Charlotte Ayanna, Jon Seda, August Diehl, Pam Grier, Liza Jessie Peterson, Elizabeth Regen, and Katherine Moennig

Written by: Wang Shuo (source material), Peter Sehr and Marie Noelle (screenplay)

Directed by: Peter Sehr

Genre: Drama, Crime, Romance

Running Time: 1 hour, 44 minutes

Release: August 8, 2001 (Locarno Film Festival)

MPAA Rating: R

Note

This movie was marketed as if it was made after The Pianist. It was not. The presence of the World Trade Center towers should be enough evidence of that. They just wanted to sell DVDs on the back of Adrien’s Oscar win. I can’t fault them, though… it’s a good strategy.

Continue reading “Love the Hard Way”