Archive for the ‘Adrien Brody’ Category

MOVIE: Predators (2010)

July 17, 2010

Hey, guess what!  This movie doesn’t totally suck!  Will wonders never cease?  Oh, world of wonders, you amaze me so.

I’m not sure exactly what made me want to go see this film.  I’ve seen the original Predator, of course, and while I thought it was a pretty good sci-fi flick, it’s not one I’ve ever sought out again.  But something about the trailer for this one intrigued me.  I’m not sure just what it was, though.  Let me think.  What could it have been?  The special effects?  No. . .  The jungle setting?  Eh, not really. . . The. . . OH WAIT.  I KNOW.

The Adrien Brody!  Humina humina humina.  Despite his ridiculous nose (or possibly because of it — I’m still trying to figure that out), I find Brody insanely sexy, and the rest of the cast piqued my curiosity as well.  It’s a bunch of serious bad-asses (Laurence Fishburn, Danny Trejo, Walton Goggins, Oleg Taktarov) plus. . . Topher Grace?  What the hell is Topher Grace doing in there?

Let’s find out, I said to myself this afternoon when I suddenly found myself downtown with two hours of free time and a twenty-dollar bill burning a hole in my pocket.

The plot of Predators reminded me right away of the sci-fi thriller The Cube, in that it’s about a random group of people with varying skill sets thrown into a dangerous situation and forced to work together to get out alive.  The bulk of the group here is made up of mercenaries and militaries — a soldier from Sierra Leone, one from Chechnya, a member of the Japanese mafia — but they all have different fighting skills.  And then there’s Grace, clearly the odd-man-out — a doctor, and not someone who seems particularly suited for jungle war.

As the group starts exploring the jungle, and themselves, they begin to realize what’s happened.  They’ve all been snatched and then dropped onto a distant planet to serve as entertainment for the aliens I’m just going to call the “Predators,” even though in this movie, that’s a term you could use to describe either team in the game.

As it turns out, the Predators have been capturing creatures from a variety of different worlds (though it seems to be predominantly humans) so they can hunt them for fun.  It’s The Most Dangerous Game, except that the predator this time is a Predator instead of just an advantaged member of the prey.

For the most part, I found this movie pretty successful.  It was the perfect flick for a lazy summer afternoon.  I was entertained, I laughed (not always on purpose, mind you — everything Brody says is hilariously cliché and his delivery is also sort of unintentionally comical as well.  Despite my affection for his various angles, I have to confess he’s not really much of an actor), and I had a good time watching it.  Is it a brilliant film?  Hell no.  Don’t be ridiculous.  And whatever you do, don’t get me started on the gravity issue (fine, you can have your alien planet with its breathable air and identical-to-Earth plants, but really?  You also want me to believe your alien planet has the same mass as Earth?  Stop it.).

But you know what?  Nevermind all that.  If you’re looking for a good summer popcorn flick and you like these sorts of explosiony, bloody, sci-fi monster things, you’ll have a pretty good time at this one, I think.  The aliens are cool AND the director’s first name is NIMROD, which means you get to start out with a laugh before the opening credits have even ended (sorry, Nimrod, but it can’t be helped, sir).  That’s always a plus too.

Recommended for anybody who likes dumb alien movies and/or Adrien Brody’s schnoz.

[Netflix it | View trailer]

Genre: Science Fiction, Action
Cast:  Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Alice Braga, Walton Goggins, Oleg Taktarov, Laurence Fishburne, Danny Trejo

SIFF MOVIE: Splice (2009)

June 1, 2010

Let me begin this review by telling you the best way to see this film is with an enormous group of movie geeks at a midnight screening.  Especially if half of them are drunk.  Because then, and only then, will you be able to appreciate fully this film’s completely unintentional comedy.

That was how I saw this one, obviously, last night during the Seattle International Film Festival.  And it was the only saving grace of the entire experience.

The story is about two genetic geniuses, scientists Clive Nicoli (Adrien Brody) and his girlfriend/lab partner Elsa Kast (Sarah Polley) (note the two character’s first names are a nod to Bride of Frankenstein — do yourselves a favor and watch that instead).  They’ve been working for years on a project that is going to revolutionize the medical and agricultural fields:  splicing together the genes of four different species to create a new animal that, they and their bosses hope, will contain new proteins that could be used for a variety of health and commercial purposes.

At long last, they’ve succeeded, creating two globby-looking things they name Fred and Ginger.  To them, the obvious next step is to throw in human DNA, in the hopes they can use the five-part genetic creature to cure human illnesses with gene therapies.  But when their boss tells them there’s NO WAY IN HELL anyone would let them toss in human DNA, and that instead, the lab will be closed to the project and they’ll have to work on isolating proteins from Fred and Ginger instead, the two scientists decide that’s just not good enough.  They’re going to do things their way, behind closed doors in the lab, on the QT.

Of course, this ends up going badly.  No doy.  The thing is, even though we all know that’s the direction we’ll be heading in, this film still had the potential to be really good, if only because it was being helmed by two solid, intelligent actors (who, frankly, should’ve known better).

Unfortunately, first of all, it was clearly written by someone who hasn’t the foggiest when it comes to genetics or even basic science.  And secondly, the dialogue and “twists” in this movie are absolutely laughably bad.  That was the part that made seeing it with a crowd the way to go — the entire audience was laughing so hard during so much of this film it was impossible not to relax and enjoy the ride, even as I was making mental notes of all the things I found unbelievably dumb.

For example:  Do not try to convince me that your two main characters are scientific geniuses when, not twenty minutes in, one of them uses the word “autopsy” instead of “necropsy.”  Even worse, later on, the creature “Ginger” changes gender, going from female to male, and when genetic guru Clive is asked how that is possible, he replies, astonished, “I have absolutely no idea!”

Okay, so, it’s possible Clive never went to school to get that PhD.  Maybe he bought it off a web site? But you’re trying to tell me he’s also never seen Jurassic Park?  The creature was 1/4 amphibian!  Good god duh.

Believe me, things got worse from there, and it wasn’t just dumb science that was making me bonkers.  Practically half the scenes in the beginning of this film are heavy-handed foreshadowings to the end, which meant there were no surprises whatsoever, and the creature they create — the part human one — was silly looking, cheesy to the extreme, and just, argh, LAME LAME LAME.  Followed eventually by just, argh, GROSS GROSS DUMB.

See it with a big rowdy crowd.  Or your favorite MST3K-watching buddy.  Barring that, I wouldn’t recommend seeing it at all.  Entertainment Weekly gave this movie an A-minus!  I feel punked.

Opens Friday, June 4, nationwide.

[Prequeue it at Netflix | View trailer]

Genre:  Science Fiction
Cast:  Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley, Delphine Chanéac, David Hewlett, Abigail Chu, Brandon McGibbon

Actual Boyfriends in the News Post!

October 16, 2007

Since I named this blog “Boyfriends in the News,” I figured maybe it was about time I actually posted some news about old Boyfriends of the Week.

For example, did y’all hear about Kiefer Sutherland?  He just pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of DUI (arrested in September) and violation of his five-year probation (a sentence granted after his DUI arrest in 2006).  Whoopsie!  Now rumors say he may serve up to EIGHTEEN WHOLE DAYS in jail. 

Dude, I’ve seen 24 — I know what can happen to that man in a single day.  So I can only imagine what EIGHTEEN of them in the slammer is going to be like.  I feel bad for his cellmate, who will surely be killed by a noxious gas or deadly virus right off the bat.   That’ll teach him a lesson about recidivism. . .

Maybe they should see if Wentworth “Permasmirk” Miller can cameo in season 7 of 24?  Set it in Panama, have it be about breaking out of prison, and see if we can’t get 24 to jump the shark AGAIN this year?

I also have some news about Adrien Brody that’s kind of interesting.  He’s just signed on to do a sci-fi movie called Spliced that’ll be about a scientist who makes funky new creatures by combining human and animal DNA.  I’ve always said Adrien had a beak for a nose. . . typecasting?  You be the judge.

This week’s Entertainment Weekly issue, by the way, is the annual “photo” one, which typically features lots of lovely photographs of all the celebrities they’ve written about in the last year.  Many of those celebrities tend to be ex- or future-Boyfriends, so I always enjoy this issue.  Until this year, anyway.  This year, they decided to feature fewer photos of people, and more photos of stuff we could care less about, like the gas station in Little Miss Sunshine, a pair of eyeglasses from To Kill a Mockingbird (that’s my favorite film, and I STILL don’t feel the need to see a photo of those eyeglasses), and Forest Gump’s leg brace.  Seriously?  The photo of the LMS gas station was a TWO-PAGE spread, for pity’s sake.  It must’ve been a dry year for EW’s photo department, huh?

In fact, I dare say the only interesting photo in the entire batch was the one of Matthew McConaughey. . . WEARING A SHIRT.  A rare moment, captured on film for all eternity.  The rest of the issue?  A total wash.