The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Director: Wes Anderson
Writer: Wes Anderson
Based on: Stefan Zweig‘s writing (very loosely)
Cast: Ralph FiennesTony Revolori, F. Murray AbrahamJude Law, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Jason Schwartzman, Léa Seydoux, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Owen Wilson, Karl Markovics, Bob Balaban

Plot:
Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes) is not just a concierge, he is probably the best concierge there ever was and he has his fans. One of them is his newly acquired protégé Zero (Tony Revolori), another a frequent guest at the Grand Budapest Hotel, Madame D. (Tilda Swinton). When she is f0und dead, though, suspicion falls on Gustave and he has to try and clear his name and to claim his inheritance, all with Zero in tow.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is probably the best film Anderson made since The Life Aquatic, if not his best film so far, period. It is crazy, enjoyable, funny, aesthetic and weird and has an awe-inspiring cast. Wonderful.

grandbudapesthotel

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The Thin Red Line (1998)

The Thin Red Line
Director: Terrence Malick
Writer: Terrence Malick
Based on: James Jonesnovel
Cast: Nick Nolte, Jim Caviezel, Sean Penn, Elias Koteas, Ben Chaplin, Dash Mihok, John Cusack, Adrien Brody, John C. Reilly, Woody Harrelson, Miranda Otto, Jared Leto, John Travolta, George Clooney, Kirk Acevedo, Mark Boone Junior, Nick Stahl

Plot:
The Guadalcanal is an important strategic point in World War II. Therefore a group of soldiers is brought in to battle for an airfield held by the Japanese which quickly turns into a slaughter with pressures from within and without rising for everyone.

I never liked Malick movies. I wanted to watch this one anyway because it’s a classic and so I decided to jump at the chance when it was shown at the Filmmuseum in Vienna. Now that I have seen it, I can say: I really don’t like Malick movies.

Thin_Red_Line

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The Brothers Bloom (2008)

The Brothers Bloom
Director: Rian Johnson
Writer: Rian Johnson
Cast: Adrien Brody, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel Weisz, Rinko Kikuchi, Robbie Coltrane, Maximilian Schell

Plot:
Stephen (Mark Ruffalo) and Bloom (Adrien Brody) are broterhs and con artists. They are working together with Bang Bang (Rinko Kikuchi) and have successfully pulled off quite a few heists already. But Bloom has grown weary of their work. He quits, only to be hauled back in by Stephen for one last job. Their target: Penelope (Rachel Weisz), incredibly rich, very weird and beautiful. Even though it goes against his instincts, Bloom agrees to go along with it as he’s intrigued by Penelope. But things keep twisting and turn out quite differently than originally planned.

The Brothers Bloom is fun and especially with Penelope they created such a wonderful character that you can’t help but love it all. It’s a really nice, entertaining film.

brothersbloom

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Dummy (2002)

Dummy
Director: Greg Pritikin
Writer: Greg Pritikin
Cast: Adrien Brody, Milla Jovovich, Vera Farmiga, Illeana Douglas, Jessica Walter, Ron Leibman, Jared Harris

Plot:
Steven (Adrien Brody) works a thankless office job and still lives at  home, where he dreams of becoming a ventriloquist. And one day he decides to actually go for it. He quits his job and starts training, with the support of his best friend Fangora (Milla Jovovich), who dreams of being a successful singer herself. Steven’s unemployment agent Lorena (Vera Farmiga) even finds a job for him, which leads Steven to express his crush on her in a rather unfortunate way. But bit by bit, he pieces his new life together.

I didn’t expect much of this film, despite the cast, because it apparently just disappeared directly into the bargain bin when it came out. But actually tht disappearance was absolutely uncalled for: it is a very sweet movie with a very nice message.

dummy

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Midnight in Paris (2011)

Midnight in Paris is the newest movie directed and written by Woody Allen, starring Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Michael Sheen, Tom Hiddleston, Alison Pill, Corey Stoll, Kathy Bates, Marion Cotillard and Adrien Brody.

Plot:
Gil (Owen Wilson) is a screenwriter who is trying to write a novel. When he travels to Paris with his fiancée Inez (Rachel McAdams), he feels inspired by his surroundings. Inez on the other hand seems to only want to spend time with the pretentious Paul (Michael Sheen). One night Gil goes for a walk on his own, gets picked up by a car and ends up in Paris in the 1920s , his favorite period where he meets F. Scott (Tom Hiddleston) and Zelda Fitzgerald (Alison Pill), Ernest Hemingway (Corey Stoll), Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates), Salvador Dalí (Adrien Brody) and many others. But then he meets Adriana (Marion Cotillard) and they really hit it off.

After the last few Woody Allen movies I saw and really didn’t enjoy, I was unsure whether to watch Midnight in Paris at all. But the cast drew me in and thankfully I did enjoy it more than I feared I would.

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High School (2010)

[Viennale.]

High School is John Stalberg‘s first film, starring Matt Bush, Sean Marquette, Michael Chiklis, Colin Hanks and Adrien Brody.

Plot:
Henry (Matt Bush) is on the best way to finish High School as the valedictorian, when the spelling bee champion on his school gets stoned before the championship and triggers an anti-drug campaign led by the principal (Michael Chiklis): He wants compulsory drug tests for all the students. Usually that wouldn’t be a problem for Henry, but just the day before the principal announces this, Henry gets together with his old friend Travis (Sean Marquette) [who has the wonderful last name Breaux] and smokes his first joint. Out of desperation, Travis and Henry hatch the plan to drug the whole school. For that, they only have to steal from the drug dealer Psycho Ed (Adrien Brody). Who’s called Psycho for very good reasons.

I’m usually not so much for stoner movies, but Adrien Brody pulled me into this one – and it was actually really entertaining. The story is really predictable, but it had some very nice touches and good jokes.

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Splice (2009)

[A review of this film is also the first thing I wrote for SciFi.de, where I’ve just started my regular guest-blogging. You can find it here. (German)]

Splice is the newest movie by Vincenzo Natali, starring Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley and Delphine Chanéac.

Plot:
Clive (Adrien Brody) and Elsa (Sarah Polley) are successful geneticist, currently working on animal splices to create new species that will help with medical discoveries etc. After their big breakthrough, they want to add human genes to the mix, but their company tells them not to because the public outrage would be to big. Clive and Elsa decide to go ahead with it anyway and create something entirely new: Dren (Delphine Chanéac), who is intelligent, cute and dangerous.

Splice is basically a modernised Frankenstein story. It is a decent horror movie, with very good performance and pretty awesome special effects. But where it starts off with a tight plot, in the end it doesn’t manage the same poignancy as the original Frankenstein, or much poignancy at all. It’s also the movie with the most gender problems and WTFery I’ve seen in a long time. [And yes, I’m including Eclipse in this.]

[SPOILERS]

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Predators (2010)

Predators is the newest addition to the series of films spawned by this one. It was directed by Nimród Antal and stars Adrien Brody, Alice Braga, Danny Trejo, Topher Grace, Walton Goggins, Oleg Taktarov, Louis Ozawa Changchien and Laurence Fishburne.

Plot:
A very armed guy (Adrien Brody) wakes up in the middle of a free fall. Fortunately, his parachute opens, before he hits the ground. Unfortunately, on the ground there are quite a few very armed, very dangerous people. But the again, this might not be a bad thing since they soon realise that a) they are not on earth anymore and b) they are not the titular predators – they are the prey.

Predators does a few things very right, but mostly gets wrecked by the really bad dialogues, the most telegraphed plot “twist” in the history of telegraphed plot “twists” and the fact that they kill off my two favourite characters pretty early on. Still. It’s not that bad for an action movie sequel/remake/reimagining.

[SPOILERS]

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