Archive for the Crime Category

What Doesn’t Kill You

Posted in Crime, Drama on March 13, 2015 by Mark Walker

Director: Brian Goodman.

Screenplay: Brian Goodman, Paul T. Murray, Donnie Wahlberg.

Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Ethan Hawke, Amanda Peet, Donnie Wahlberg, Brian Goodman, Will Lyman, Angela Featherstone, Edward Lynch, Brian Connolly, Michael Yebba, Lenny Clarke.

“I’m sick of all this nickel and dime bullshit”

The Best Supporting Actor nominations in this year’s Oscars was arguably the toughest category of any. We had screen legend Robert Duvall in The Judge, a rejuvenated Edward Norton in Birdman, deserving winner J.K. Simmons in Whiplash and Mark Ruffalo and Ethan Hawke for Foxcatcher and Boyhood respectively. But, like me, what you may not have known is the latter two had already shared the screen together in true-life, little seen, crime drama What Doesn’t Kill You. Continue reading

Inherent Vice

Posted in Comedy, Crime, Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery on February 17, 2015 by Mark Walker

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Director: Paul Thomas Anderson.
Screenplay: Paul Thomas Anderson.
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Katherine Waterston, Owen Wilson, Reece Witherspoon, Benicio Del Toro, Martin Short, Eric Roberts, Michael Kenneth Williams, Jena Malone, Joanna Newsom, Serena Scott Thomas, Maya Rudolph, Hong Chau, Jordan Christian Hearn, Jeannie Berlin, Christopher Allen Nelson, Keith Jardine, Martin Dew, Jefferson Mays, Martin Donovan.

“Back when, she could go weeks without anything more complicated than a pout. Now she was laying some heavy combination of face ingredients on him that he couldn’t read at all”

Do you know that feeling of anticipation you get whenever a respected director is releasing a new film? It’s the same feeling that often surrounds Quentin Tarantino’s releases. Well, I also get that feeling when I hear of a new Paul Thomas Anderson project and I’m pretty certain many others do too. That being said, Anderson’s last two introspective films There Will Be Blood and The Master took him much further away from his earlier vibrant works of Boogie Nights and Magnolia and left a number of his fans finding them too onerous. Many may not agree but if he was ever to bridge that gap then Inherent Vice is that bridge.

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A Most Violent Year

Posted in Crime, Drama on February 2, 2015 by Mark Walker

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Director: J.C. Chandor.
Screenplay: J.C. Chandor.
Starring: Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo, Albert Brooks, Alessandro Nivola, Elyes Gabel, Catalina Sandino Morelo, Peter Gerety, Christopher Abbott.

“When it feels scary to jump, that is exactly when you jump, otherwise you end up staying in the same place your whole life, and that I can’t do”.

After the impressively talkative Margin Call and the hypnotically silent All Is Lost, the third film from J.C. Chandor had a lot of expectations behind it. However, due to a misjudged marketing campaign, I think many people will be left disappointed with A Most Violent Year. It’s doesn’t have echoes of The Godfather as the trailer would have you believe but is, in fact, a leisurely and low-key criminal affair that will mostly appeal to those who are prepared for it’s more personal story.

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The Rover

Posted in Crime, Drama on January 14, 2015 by Mark Walker

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Director: David Michôd.
Screenplay: David Michôd.
Starring: Guy Pearce, Robert Pattinson, Scoot McNairy, David Field, Tawanda Manyimo, Gillian Jones, Jamie Fallon, Susan Prior, Anthony Hayes, Nash Edgerton, Richard Green, Ben Armer, Gerald Coulthard.

“You should never stop thinking about a life you’ve taken. That’s the price you pay for taking it”

After the surprise success of his Australian family crime drama Animal Kingdom, David Michôd became a highly anticipated new director overnight. It opened to rave reviews with Quentin Tarantino himself reportedly ranking it his third favourite movie of 2010. The most familiar face onboard was Guy Pearce but it also introduced many cinema goers to the fresh and vibrant talents of Joel Edgerton, Ben Mendelsohn and Jacki Weaver. Now four years later, Michôd’s back with a post-apocalyptic road movie working from a story he collaborated on with Edgerton and allows Pearce to add another solid role to his resumé.

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Pulp Fiction

Posted in Crime, Drama on January 6, 2015 by Mark Walker

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Director: Quentin Tarantino.
Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino, Roger Avary.
Starring: John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman, Harvey Keitel, Ving Rhames, Tim Roth, Amanda Plummer, Christopher Walken, Eric Stoltz, Rosanna Arquette, Quentin Tarantino, Maria de Madieros, Frank Whaley, Phil LaMarr, Alexis Arquette, Burr Steers, Paul Calderon, Bronagh Gallagher, Angela Jones, Peter Greene, Duane Whitaker, Stephen Hibbert, Julia Sweeney, Robert Ruth, Lawrence Bender, Steve Buscemi.

“Oh man, I will never forgive your ass for this shit. This is some fucked up repugnant shit”

By the time that Quentin Tarantino’s sophomore effort reached us in 1994, he had already been heralded as the new wunderkind of American cinema. His debut Reservoir Dogs recaptured the magic of the heist thriller and his screenplay to the bold and brilliant True Romance opened up a real desire to see more of his fast-talking low life’s. Pulp Fiction is certainly no different and is now widely considered one of the best films ever made. It received 7 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Director and one for each of it’s leading trio of actors in Travolta, Thurman and Jackson. It walked away with the Best Screenplay award and it won the coveted Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. On this evidence alone, it’s hard to argue that Tarantino not only delivered on, but surpassed, his early promise.

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Fight Club

Posted in Crime, Drama with tags on November 6, 2014 by Mark Walker

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Director: David Fincher.
Screenplay: Jim Uhls.
Starring: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Helena Bonham Carter, Meat Loaf, Zach Grenier, David Andrews, George Maguire, Richmond Arquette, Eugenie Bondurant, Rachel Singer, Christina Cabot, Sydney Colston, Jared Leto.

“We are consumers. We’re the bi-products of a lifestyle obsession”

Despite showing confidence in his abilities, some unwanted studio interference with his feature debut Alien 3, left director David Fincher carrying the can for failing to fuel the franchise. It was critically panned and a massive failure but Fincher didn’t let that get him down. He got his angry head on and seemingly still had a point to prove. What followed were two of contemporary cinema’s most visceral works; the serial killer thriller Se7en shocked audiences to their core while Fight Club cemented Fincher’s reputation for being one of the most wildly inventive directors of his generation. With these films alone, it’s clear that Fincher does things his way now.

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Se7en

Posted in Crime, Drama, Horror, Mystery, thriller with tags on November 4, 2014 by Mark Walker

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Director: David Fincher.
Screenplay: Andrew Kevin Walker.
Starring: Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow, R. Lee Ermey, John C. McGinley, Richard Roundtree, Leland Orser, Mark Boone Junior, Richard Portnow, Richard Schiff, Charles S. Dutton, Kevin Spacey.

“He’s a nut-bag! Just because the fucker’s got a library card doesn’t make him Yoda”.

There have been many memorable serial-killer thrillers over the years ranging from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho to Michael Mann’s Manhunter, through Jonathan Demme’s The Silence of the Lambs and even Fincher’s later investigative thriller Zodiac could include itself among the greats. Some of these titles mentioned might already strike you as the very best of the sub-genre but, for me, David Fincher’s dark and disturbing Se7en is the one to beat.

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