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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Bullet Head

I’ve been careful to go in chronological order here, but I thought it might be nice to mix things up and review something that’s being released next week on BluRay/DVD (and is already available in digital markets, such as iTunes).

Thanks to my friend Shirley Ann for encouraging me to do so.

Here we go

Cast: Adrien Brody, John Malkovich, Rory Culkin, Antonio Banderas, and Han Solo as “DeNiro” (the dog).

Written by: Paul Solet

Directed by: Paul Solet

Genre:┬áIt’s like a Crime, Thriller, Action, Drama

Running Time: 1 hour, 33 minutes

Release: December 8, 2017 (Lithuania)

MPAA Rating: R

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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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Oxygen

Cast: Maura Tierney, Adrien Brody, Terry Kinney, Laila Robins, James Naughton, Paul Calderon, Dylan Baker, Frankie Faison, Michael Henderson…

Writer/Director: Richard Shepard

Genre: Thriller, Drama, Crime

Running Time: 1 hour, 32 minutes

Released: November 12, 1999

MPAA Rating: R

A side note

I want to start off this post by recommending that if you get your hands on a DVD of Oxygen, you listen to the commentary track. It features writer/director Richard Shepard, along with the movie’s stars: Maura Tierney and Adrien Brody. It is so entertaining. Really. Funny in parts, informative in parts, and deliciously awkward in parts. It’s a must hear.

A Familiar Feeling

Oxygen is what you might call “Silence of the Lambs Light,” with Adrien’s character getting into a seasoned police officer’s psyche almost as adeptly as Dr. Hannibal Lecter would. There is a sense of urgency in both films that drives these otherwise guarded women to allow these men (Lecter and “Harry,” respectively) in. To permit themselves to think like a monster for the good of the case. The story lines of the two films aren’t much alike at all, it’s the psychological aspect I find comparable.

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