Tag Archives: Adrien Brody

The Set of 400: #101 – My Favorite Salvador Dali Cameo

Today! Because if it’s bad, I’ll hate it because I hate bad writing, and if it’s good, I’ll be envious and hate all the more. You don’t want the opinion of another writer –

Midnight in Paris (2011)

Directed by Woody Allen (x9)

Starring Owen Wilson (x4), Marion Cotillard (x2), Rachel McAdams (x3), Michael Sheen, Corey Stoll, Lea Seydoux (x2), Adrien Brody (x3), Tom Hiddleston (x2), Alison Pill, Mimi Kennedy (x2), Kurt Fuller (x2), Carla Bruni, Kathy Bates (x4), Tom Cordier, Gad Elmaleh, Nina Arianda

I don’t have a real personal connection with a lot of Woody Allen movies, I’ve just really liked them for a long time, and thus so many have finagled their way onto this countdown. However, Midnight in Paris isn’t an old Allen film, and does go a fair bit deeper for me than his other movies. To recap from some prior post (#108 Hunchback of Notre Dame, I’m guessing?) – we got married in 2011, replete with songs from #111 Muppets Take Manhattan, and the brand-new Muppets film, and then didn’t go on a honeymoon for two long years. Why? I don’t remember why. I guess the destination wedding took it out of us for a while? We had the wedding at Caesars in Vegas – I’m not going to say it was because of The Hangover, but it certainly could’ve been. We visited Vegas to look at venues eight months prior, and never went to Caesars, so how we ended up there only makes sense byway of Mike Tyson comedies.

Apparently Iron Mike was coked out of his melon when they filmed this! More on this later.

Anyway, when we finally did get around to picking the old honeymoon spot, Paris leaped to the forefront of the contenders. Again, I’m not going to say it was definitely because of some movie, but we were really into Midnight in Paris around this time, so it would make sense. Hell, we went around taking pictures of locations in the film –

These are those steps Owen Wilson is sitting on waiting for his ride to the past! Look at that boots!

And this is where that car pulls up! And we haven’t aged a day!

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The Set of 400: #258 – My Favorite Ice Skating Date (Mixed Doubles)

Today! Because there’s only one creature capable of leaving a footprint that size –

King Kong (2005)

Directed by Peter Jackson (x2)

Starring Naomi Watts, Adrien Brody (x2), Jack Black (x4), Andy Serkis (x2), Thomas Kretschmann, Colin Hanks, Jamie Bell, Kyle Chandler (x3), Evan Parke, Lobo Chan, John Sumner, Craig Hall, Geraldine Brophy

I’m rarely going to criticize a film for being long. I might say it goes on a bit, or it has some slow parts, or it’s a tad long, but for the most part, I’m not easily bored. I worked at calendar stores in August and September during college – I know from boring. All that being said, I fully agree that Peter Jackson’s King Kong is obscenely too long. I feel like Jackson came down with a case of the J.K. Rowlings in 2005 – after a period of wild success, no one was willing to step up and reign them in, and say that perhaps these stories didn’t need to be 800 pages/three-plus hours long. And so, we have to wait forever for Kong to actually appear in this movie. It’s not like I don’t enjoy all the CGI bugs and whatnot, but somewhere along the way, a little nudge from the studio or somebody to be like “Is this really necessary?” would’ve gone a long way to alleviating our collective sore ass.

Seriously, Jesus, I could’ve lived without this in the memory

All that being said – and hell, it always needs to be mentioned with this film – King Kong is a terrific movie. I was never a huge fan of the 1933 original – I recognize it for the inventive, groundbreaking effects marvel it is, but come on, it’s a bit creaky by today’s standards – and saw the cheesy 1976 version a bunch as a kid, but never had a lingering affinity. So Kong was much like Godzilla, Mothra, Gamera, and the rest of the big, silly, rubber suit monsters of weekend afternoon television. It wasn’t serious entertainment. It was cheap nonsense with cardboard sets. Continue reading

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The Set of 400: #319 – My Favorite Meal Ordering

Today! Because I don’t know about his face, but I think his brain might be pretty traumatized –

The Darjeeling Limited (2007)

Directed Wes Anderson

Starring Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman (x2), Adrien Brody, Anjelica Huston, Bill Murray (x2), Kumar Pallana, Waris Ahluwalia, Amara Karan, Irrfan Khan, Barbet Schroeder, Natalie Portman (x2)

In many ways the forgotten Wes Anderson movie, The Darjeeling Limited is a terrific little character study of brothers Peter, Francis, and Jack on a spiritual journey across India that turns out to be much more. As it unfolds, the struggle each brother has gone through in the year since their father’s death gets magnified and fleshed out, building toward a reunion with their mother, played by a wonderful Angelica Huston.

In ’07 this movie had a decent run, for an Anderson film, and had a bit of attention from critics at year end, but it tends to get swallowed in any discussion of the director’s films, largely I feel because of the size of it. Even though it’s the rare sweeping travelogue film in his universe, Darjeeling is a relatively small movie, focusing largely just on the brothers (all giving tremendous performances, with Wilson’s frantic, shattered Francis standing out) and not a litany of movie stars in minor roles, like virtually all other Anderson vehicles. It also occupies the chronological spot between Life Aquatic (more talked about, considering it first followed Rushmore and Tenenbaums), and Fantastic Mr. Fox (Anderson’s first foray into animation), leaving it as the less remarkable middle film. Continue reading

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