Friday, March 23

The Jacket.

“Academy Award Winner” Adrien Brody in his last couple of movies, has played loners existing in worlds of their own (in movies named appropriately for those worlds): The Pianist, The Village, and The Jacket.

Adrien Brody, with his everyday good looks, does a great job playing Gulf War vet Jack Starks. Co-star Keira Knightly, beautiful as ever, has a smaller but important part playing Jackie; a mysterious character and sometime love interest that interweaves herself into Jack’s life.

Jack is truly one unlucky guy.

A Marine sergeant in the Persian Gulf War in 1991, Starks smiles kindly at a native kid, who responds by shooting him in the head. This is the start. Things go white as Jack tells us, "I was 27 years old the first time I died."

Miraculously, he survives. That may have been good luck, but bad luck follows:

After a long recovery, Starks is seen a year later hitchhiking in his native Vermont, where he encounters a young woman, Jean (Kelly Lynch), with a small daughter, Jackie (Laura Marano), by the roadside. Jean has just about passed out and her beat up pickup has stalled.

Jack Starks quickly gets the truck going. Jean is so drunk that while nodding in and out of consciousness, she thinks he had tried to molest her daughter Jackie.

Jack continues on his way; this time hitching a ride with a young guy (Brad Renfro - very short appearance) who is promptly stopped by a highway patrolman. The driver immediately opens fire on the officer and flees the scene.

Starks, who was wounded in the crossfire and blacked out, is blamed for the cop's murder and promptly sentenced to an institution for the criminally insane.

Since he suffers from amnesia, Jack gets locked up in a mental asylum, under the care of doctors Kris Kristofferson (Cisko Pike 1972 - a classic) and Jennifer Jason Leigh. (I love her work.)

Dr. Kristofferson (creepy, intimidating) has a somewhat unorthodox “treatment” involving putting Jack in a strait-jacket, shooting him full of drugs and locking him in a morgue drawer for several hours on end.

Trapped in the drawer, Jack somehow manages to travel 15 years into the future to investigate his own untimely death.

He wakes up in what he will later discover is 2007, standing outside a diner in a snowswept landscape. He meets a cute goth gal (Keira Knightley) who seems strangely drawn to him.

And while at her house, he discovers ... his own dog tags. I like these things in movies. You must remember details and how they come into significance later. Here, his dog tags.

How can that be though? Time tripping? Clearly, she's the little girl, Jackie. But he can't be Starks, she insists, because Starks died, and not long after he was committed.

His death, then, is imminent, unless he can figure out how it happened and whether there's any way to prevent it....

Another version of the trailer:

Adrien Brody...Jack Starks
Keira Knightley...Jackie
Kris Kristofferson...Dr. Becker
Jennifer Jason Leigh...Dr. Lorenson
Brad Renfro...Stranger in station wagon
Kelly Lynch...Jean
Laura Marano...Young Jackie

"The Jacket" was written by Massy Tadjedin from a story by Tom Bleecker and Marc Rocco, and directed by John Maybury. Brian Eno, a favorite of mine does the score. (A small bit of trivia: he did the “Windows 95” startup sound, along with producing some work with T-Heads and U2, also working with Bowie – plus tons of other stuff.)

Help from:,1,2699773.story

Another movie I like. I think both Brody and Knightley were well cast and the movie itself (though dark at times) was entertaining. I liked the ending too. I thinking I should maybe do a lighter movie next time; A story of a boy and his dog sounds good. Old Yeller? Never mind.


Johnny Yen said...

Adrien Brody is my hero. What do you get when you win an Academy Award? You get to kiss Halle Berry, that's what you get.

He was great in Spike Lee's "Summer of Sam." Also, he was in the 1994 remake of "Angels in the Outfield" (as was Matthew McConaughey), which is one of my son's favorites.

busterp said...

Hey Johnny. I like him too. Last one I saw was The Village. And yes, he gets to kiss Halle. For quite a long time too. Ha. That really lingered.

apex said...

I really like Keira Knightley in this movie. It is one of the few, if not the only movie where she never speaks in a british accent/dialect, and instead sounds like a united states 'midwesterner' (who has led a rough life).

Johnny Yen said...

Was The Village as bad as everyone is saying? I loved The Sixth Sense and Signs.

busterp said...

The cinematography was great. I remember one scene with a rocking chair, shadows, and fog / mist in the background. I made a point of mentioning it to son Clint. If links work, here it is:

I really liked the Sixth Sense and Signs(loved the corn almost up to the farm) alot more, but The Village was OK. It got quite a bit of hype before it came out. I think it was originally to be named The Woods? I'm not sure.

I was surprised with the ending, which was a good thing. I've learned not to read certain reviewer's reviews because they tend to give things away. Saved alot of movies for me.

Lets just say it wasn't M.Nights best but still worth watching.

busterp said...

You are right Apex. It was a different role for her. The lower middle class hard working midwestern twang. She definitely made it work. BTW, nice pictures of KK. She sure has many looks (and all good). Ha.

Toccata said...

I really enjoyed The Piano. Some of it was so heartbreaking but wonderful as well.

There's a recording of Walter Gieseking playing a Beethoven Sonata during World War II and you can actually hear allied bombers dropping their bombs during the recording. It's chilling to say the least.

melodyann said...

My daughter saw The Jacket, and she said it was awesome. I haven't watched anything good for a while now. I want to go see Premonition, but I'm afraid it won't live up to my expectations. Have you seen it? Is it any good?

busterp said...

Hi Mel. Haven't seen Prem. Last one I saw was Departed. It was good (both Mark and Leo have sure grown up).

Want to see Pan's Labrinyth and The Prestige.

melodyann said...

I bought the departed and watched it. I really enjoyed it, but it was kind of hard to follow. Renie saw Pan's Labyrinth and said it was HORRIBLE, not that I always trust her judgment, but usually if she doesn't like it, I don't either.