Liberty Heights

Cast: Ben Foster, Adrien Brody, Bebe Neuwirth, Joe Mantegna, Frania Rubinek, Rebekah Johnson (aka Jordan), James Pickens Jr., David Krumholtz, Carolyn Murphy, Justin Chambers, Orlando Jones, Anthony Anderson, Richard Kline, Vincent Guastaferro, Evan Neumann, Kevin Sussman, Shane West…

Written by: Barry Levinson

Directed by: Barry Levinson

Genre: Drama, Romance

Running Time: 2 hours, 7 minutes

Released: December 31, 1999 (U.S.)

MPAA Rating: R (though it seems like a PG-13 film)

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Angels in the Outfield

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Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Milton Davis Jr., Danny Glover, Brenda Fricker, Tony Danza, Christopher Lloyd, Dermot Mulroney, Taylor Negron, Adrien Brody, Matthew McConaughey… it’s a big cast.

Writers of the original (1951): Dorothy Kingsley, George Wells, Richard Conlin

This version: Dorothy Kingsley, George Wells, Holly Goldberg Sloan

Director: William Dear

Genre(s): Comedy, Family, Fantasy

Running time: 1 hour, 42 minutes

Released: July 15, 1994 (U.S.)

MPAA Rating: PG

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Home At Last

Cast (in opening credits order): Frank Converse, Caroline Lagerfelt, Sasha Radetsky, and Adrien Brody as Billy.

Written & Directed by: David deVries

Genre: A family drama about farm life and values, similar in tone to say, “Old Yeller” or “Where the Red Fern Grows.”

Running time: 59 minutes

Released: 1988

MPAA Rating: unrated, but I’d say it’s a “G”

Note: I did a deep dive on this one, mostly because it’s not that common of a movie. I figured, in this case, “spoilers” are helpful. 

Where We Start

Billy is a tough troublemaker from New York, trying to fit in with a Swedish immigrant family on a farm in Nebraska. There are some bumps along the way, but the story of Billy’s transformation plays out nicely in the film’s short run time.

As we start out, a prologue (black screen, white text and a voice over) provides some background to the story. “From 1853 to 1929,” the voice explains, “over [150,000] homeless orphans were sent west to new homes and new lives on ‘orphan trains.'”

We then open on New York City, 1882. There, we are introduced to Billy (Adrien Brody), who is petting and speaking to a carriage horse named Susie. He then greets customers boarding a carriage, who fail to place a tip in Billy’s outstretched hand.

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