Adam Brody

2013review_performances

Christian Bale, Sanda Bullock, Joaquin Phoenix, Oscar Isaac, Tom Hanks, Robert Redford, Michael Fassbender, and Meryl Steep, because she’s Meryl Streep, have all had heaps of praise thrown their way this year by both fans and critics. They’ll continue to see even more acclaim in 2014 and beyond, but with all those fantastic movie star performances, not all of 2013′s best have gotten the attention they deserve. That happens most every year, of course. Only so many performances can be nominated for statuettes. After all, even after listing these 13, another 13 could have easily followed (it was a good year). In that spirit, hopefully you’ll share your picks in the comments section, but for now, here are 13 performances from 2013 not to forget when someone else is being played off stage for making their acceptance speech too long.

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The protagonist of Some Girl(s) is as cringe-inducing as some of playwright Neil LaBute‘s most famous stories. From The Shape of Things and In The Company of Men to (last but not least) The Wicker Man, LaBute has a natural ability to dig under the skin of an audience. He often shows us worlds and characters that are far from pleasant, leading to films and plays which are not the most easily digestible, depending on your sense of humor and threshold for conventionally unlikable characters. LaBute doesn’t use that brand of character to annoy an audience, but to take them on a ride to new places. For some, that ride isn’t one they want to go on, and he has been the target of some heated criticism and outright name calling. The film of his play Some Girl(s), which he adapted himself for director Daisy von Scherler Mayer, doesn’t shock the audience in the way some expect from LaBute, but it has been met with some familiar reactions. I spoke with LaBute when the film premiered at South by Southwest this year, and that was an extensive conversation about his process as a writer and storytelling in general. This time around we discussed the reactions his work tends to draw. Even after an hour in total of interviewing him this year, there’s still plenty of ground to be covered, but for now here’s another round with the writer.

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review some girls

Editor’s Note: Our review of Some Girl(s) originally ran during this year’s SXSW, but we’re running it again as the film opens in limited theatrical release starting June 28, 2013. Any fan of playwright/screenwrtier/filmmaker Neil LaBute‘s honest depictions of cringe-inducing narcissism will be pleased by Some Girl(s). LaBute’s last few films – The Wickerman, Death at a Funeral, and Lakeview Terrace – have shown him going outside his comfort zone with varying results. Some Girl(s), which LaBute scripted (but didn’t direct) from his play of the same name, marks the theatrical return of the LaBute we love. His greatest works often resemble a car crash in motion with the driver smiling through every ding, bone crush, and bump while the victims are left with serious pain. The driver here is simply credited as “Man” and played by Adam Brody. The victims are a few of Man’s ex-girlfriends, all of whom feature distinct personalities and past issues with him. There is the older woman (Emily Watson) he had an affair with, a young girl (Zoe Kazan) he took advantage of, the High School girlfriend (Jennifer Morrison), the tattooed Chicago girl (Mia Maestro) who made him feel cool and the final girl is played by Kristen Bell. He’s doing all this to right any wrongs before marrying his newest girl.

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Baggage Claim

Let’s see if we can possibly get the plot of David E. Talbert‘s Baggage Claim straight. The film stars the lovely Paula Patton as an unlucky-in-love flight attendant who, despite always being a happily independent woman, suddenly decides to land a husband ASAP (as one of the film’s taglines puts it, “she’s done flying solo”). Why? Well, her younger sister is getting married and the previously not-marriage-obsessed Montana Moore (yes, that’s Patton’s character’s name, because why not?) is bound and determined to find a man to put a ring on her before her baby sis gets her own wedding ring (because that’s healthy and smart?). Somehow, Montana and her pack of equally-as-loony flight attendant friends (Jill Scott and Adam Brody, who are both, admittedly, amusingly cast here) come up with a plan that includes, as best we can tell, illegally stalking the flying habits of former ex-boyfriends and possible new hotties so that Montana can serve as their flight attendant, and (presumably) get them to fall in love with her. Well, alright. Good luck with that. Hope no one has a peanut allergy. If you didn’t think air travel could get much worse, take a look at the first trailer for Baggage Claim after the break.

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LaBute

Playwright, screenwriter, and filmmaker Neil LaBute‘s stories aren’t for the faint of heart. They can be grueling in their dark humor, awkwardness and characters who will go as far as they have to for their own gain. Some Girl(s), which LaBute scripted from his own stage play, recently made its premiere at SXSW and sits comfortably in the gut-punching world his fans have come to love. The lead of the film, the Man (Adam Brody), is a selfish, narcissistic writer who isn’t afraid of embarrassing others with his stories. According to LaBute, he himself isn’t that kind of man, and none of his personal life sneaks into his work. The writer and director of In the Company of Men, The Shape of Things, and others creates from his imagination, choosing not to pirate from his own life or others. When we see the protagonist of Some Girl(s) doing so, it makes for an annoyingly oblivious character, but as LaBute tells us, he never sets out to annoy the audience with his conniving. The writer of Some Girl(s) was kind enough to speak with us at great length about those uncomfortable stories he’s famous for, how The Wickerman isn’t based on his life, and more about his process:

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Who would you want to be with when the world ends? While we here at FSR have been bringing you the various movies you should watch before the world is set to end come this December, writer/director Lorene Scafaria takes on the idea of who you would want to stand with in those final moments. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World follows Dodge (Steve Carell), an insurance salesman (oh, the irony) who seems lost as the rest of the world is falling apart around him. One night, while watching the grim news (anchored with class by Mark Moses), Dodge encounters his quirky neighbor Penny (Keira Knightley) and they bond over the unspoken need to have someone to spend time with, even if it means just sitting and watching television together. When Penny gives Dodge a stack of his mail (which she’d been accidentally receiving for months), he finds a letter from an ex-girlfriend (one he considered the love of his life) which prompts Dodge to find her and spend his last days with his one true love. After a terrifying riot breaks out around their apartment building, Dodge grabs Prius-driving Penny to save her (and bum a ride.) Promising to bring her to one of his friends who has a plane (which could get her to England to see her family one last time), the duo (and Dodge’s inherited dog, Sorry) embark on a road trip to get to those people they realize are most important to them.

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It’s back to the Big Apple with another batch of some of the most compelling titles that this year’s Tribeca Film Festival has to offer. This time around, we’re zinging over to Thailand for an eye-opening spin on the crime noir (no other film this year will make you want to invest in a helmet more), before zipping back to the U S of A and over to the left coast for two films about life in Los Angeles, relationships on the rocks, and cinematic twists that both surprise and sustain. Which one of these films marks the voice of an exciting new independent director and which will leave audiences begging for more, of all things, gimmicky behavior? As is the best part of all film festivals, let’s discover something new. Check out our latest batch of mini-reviews for Headshot, Caroline and Jackie, and Double or Nothing after the break.

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Writer/director Whit Stillman‘s name hasn’t graced the big screen since his slightly divisive The Last Days of Disco hit thirteen years ago. That’s quite a long time between features, but if it takes Stillman that amount of time to write the dialogue he’s regarded for, then the wait is more than worth any inconvenience. So, it’s with Damsels in Distress that the breakout filmmaker of the ’90s returns with his signature wit and style. Speaking with the self-depreciating Stillman, it was clear his process is never quick and easy. From going through screenwriting books to attending Robert McKee‘s course, the Damsels in Distress director knows there is no right way to tell a story. What he unquestionably knows is musical dialogue, which, as he tells it, informs his stories. Here’s what Whit Stillman had to say about being rejected by NYU, how the director is the only one allowed to be an ignoramus on set, and how your first ideas are always your worst:

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Within mere seconds, it’s obvious that writer-director-producer Whit Stillman’s first film in over a decade is going to have a spirit all of its own – after all, Damsels in Distress opens with a bright pink Sony Pictures Classic logo, a change-up from their classic blue. The message is clear – it’s the damsels’ world, we’re just living in it. Set at Seven Oaks College, a small liberal arts school somewhere on the East coast, Stillman’s film centers on the perpetually charming Greta Gerwig’s Violet and her three best pals as the foursome attempt to navigate the rough waters of friendship and romance in collegiate life. However, Stillman’s film twists around that bland and done-to-death premise with his most effervescent and light-hearted film yet, a fairy tale set in the real world and acted out by memorably off-beat and good-hearted characters.

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Just on the heels of the announcement that Kristen Bell had signed on to be the first of Adam Brody’s many ex-girlfriends in Some Girls, THR has a report that a whole bevy of additional actresses have come out of the woodwork to fill out the ranks of Brody’s former flames. You see, Some Girls is an adaptation of a Neil LaBute play about a young writer who is looking to take stock of his past romantic entanglements and gain closure with each of his exes before he moves forward in his life and marries his current fiancée. Bell is said to be playing a character named Bobbi, a whip-smart little lady who Brody’s character walked away from without so much as a word. And with this new casting announcement, it’s looking like the Jennifer Getzinger-directed film version of this story will be including four other girls that have a bone to pick with the reflective protagonist as well. The biggest name of the bunch is Emily Watson, who will be playing a married woman named Lindsay who Brody’s character had an affair with. Watson has had a whole bunch of great roles before this, but she’s probably best known for her Oscar nominated performances in Breaking the Waves and Hilary and Jackie. To say that she adds some pedigree to this production would be something of an understatement.

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A couple months ago it was reported that The OC’s Adam Brody was attached to star in an adaptation of a Neil LaBute play called Some Girls. To be helmed by Mad Men and Flight of the Conchords director Jennifer Getzinger, and shot from a screenplay by LaBute himself, Some Girls is one of those naval-gazing relationship stories about a character taking stock of their romantic history. In this case, said character is a writer who feels like he has to get closure with his ex-girlfriends before he can enter into a marriage with his current fiancée. That means flying all across the country to track these girls down and get a little of the old face-to-face. And, for this movie, it means a need to cast a gaggle of young actresses. So far, Getzinger and company seem to be off to a good start. THR reports that the first female member of the Some Girls cast has been signed, and it’s none other than Veronica Mars’ Kristen Bell. Reportedly, Bell will be playing a character named Bobbi, a super-smart girl that Brody’s character walked out on years earlier without a word. Predictably, she doesn’t have a very high opinion of him these days.

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Over the past decade, Adam Brody has carved out a nice little career while no one was looking. His future carvings include Whit Stillman’s Damsels in Distress with Greta Gerwig as well as Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, which made our Most Anticipated of 2012. Not bad at all. Now, according to Variety, Brody is set to star in a film adaptation of the Neil LaBute play “Some Girls.” The story focuses on a guy named Guy (how’s that for gender politics?) who sets out to talk to the most important exes in his life before getting married. It’s prime LaBute territory, and with the prolific playwright behind the pen for the script, it promises to be as grueling and affectingly human as the rest of his work. In that sense, it might be a trial by fire for Brody, who’s proven himself to be capable (and to be one of the best things about Thank You For Smoking), but hasn’t proven that he has what it takes to be truly great. This might be that crucible. And leading the firing squad is director Jennifer Getzinger – the veteran script supervisor who’s directed episode of The Big C, Flight of the Conchords and Mad Men.

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One thing I never really imagined I would see made is a romantic comedy starring Steve Carell and Keira Knightley. That image just doesn’t compute in my brain. But in the upcoming Seeking a Friend at the End of the World, just such a thing is going to happen. And in a quirky tale about the Earth getting destroyed to boot. The movie is about a man (Carell) whose wife leaves him in the midst of an asteroid heading to Earth, so he goes off to find his high school sweetheart in order to spend humanity’s last moments with someone who cares. For one reason or another, his neighbor (Knightley) decides to tag along for the journey. Lorene Scafaria, who is a first time feature director but has a writing credit on Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, is set to helm. She’s also done some writing for the crazy Cartoon Network show Children’s Hospital, which stars people like Rob Corddry. Oh yeah, and did I mention that Rob Corddry is going to be in this film as well? As if the premise didn’t sound quirky enough already, now you have to add his manic energy into the mix. CSI’s William Peterson and The OC’s Adam Brody are also said to be onboard, and what that all adds up to is a weird sounding movie starring a bunch of people that I never imagined standing next to each other in a frame. Still, if all of the pieces fall together in […]

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There’s a chance I may be reading a bit too much into the trailer below… The Romantics stars Katie Holmes as a young woman who reunites with six college friends the night before two of them are to be married. The bride (Anna Paquin) has been her best friend for years, and the groom (Josh Duhamel) is the man they’ve both loved. Over the course of this final evening relationships will be tested, hidden truths will be revealed, and someone may just be out a big deposit on a reception hall. And if we’re lucky Holmes and Paquin will send fists flying and clothes ripping while fighting in the wet ocean surf. The film is written and directed by Galt Niederhoffer from her own novel, and it also stars Malin Akerman, Elijah Wood, Adam Brody, and Candice Bergen. We won’t fully understand the casting of Bergen as a thirty-something until we see the film, but the smart money is on a science fiction twist in the third act. Check after the jump for the new trailer…

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As shooting begins in Michigan this week, the production known as Scream 4 is getting more supporting cast to go along with previously tagged slasher victims Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere, Rory Culkin and Nico Tortorella. This time around it’s a few more recognizable faces for the Wes Craven directed fourquel, including Adam Brody, Marley Shelton and Erik Knudsen.

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Kevin Carr sits his chubbiness down weighs in on Cop Out and The Crazies.

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Kevin Carr takes a look at this week’s movie releases, including Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, The Informant! and Jennifer’s Body.

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JennifersBody

We first meet Needy Lesnicky in a mental ward for troubled teens. She narrates the story of what led her to end up wearing a jumpsuit and bunny slippers, and it all starts with her best friend, Jennifer Check. Jennifer is played by Megan Fox which means contractually we’re first introduced to her in her underwear.

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acoupleofdicks1

Jason Lee will be joining the cast of A Couple of Dicks, working yet again with frequent collaborator Kevin “Lunchbox” Smith.

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kevsmith

We get that he has a cult following, but we also understand that there’s a few people out there that can’t seem to get revved up about his projects. Which camp do you fall into?

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