Archive for the Drama Category

The Martian

Posted in Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction with tags on February 3, 2016 by Mark Walker

 
Director: Ridley Scott.
Screenplay: Drew Goddard.
Starring: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jeff Daniels, Kristen Wiig, Michael Peña, Sean Bean, Kate Mara, Aksel Hennie, Sebastian Stan, Benedict Wong, Mackenzie Davis, Donald Glover, Nick Mohammed, Shu Chen, Eddy Ko.

“I’m the first person to be alone on an entire planet”

Director Ridley Scott has always been somewhat of a mixed-bag and I think it’s fair to say that audiences don’t always connect with his material. However, science fiction has proven to be the genre where he has excelled the most. Alien and Blade Runner are rightly regarded as two of the best but his revisit to the Alien world with Prometheus didn’t hit the high benchmark he had set for himself. With this in mind, I entered into The Martian – his fourth science fiction endeavour – with a mixture of anticipation and reservation. Continue reading

The Revenant

Posted in Action, Biography, Drama on January 28, 2016 by Mark Walker

 
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu.
Screenplay: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Mark L. Smith.
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter, Forrest Goodluck, Joshua Burge, Paul Anderson, Kristoffer Joner, Duane Howard, Melaw Nakehk’o, Arthur Redcloud, Fabrice Adde, Christopher Rosamond, Lukas Haas.

“I ain’t afraid to die anymore. I’d done it already”

Director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s track record speaks for itself in terms of his sombre and unrelenting material. Working alongside screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga, his loose trilogy of films Amores Perros, 21 Grams and Babel all dealt with tragedy and issues of loss and grief and his 2010 film Biutiful confirmed that grim material was his forte. However, his biggest success came last year with Birdman where he was awarded the Oscar for best director. Birdman wasn’t just successful in terms of awards, though, it proved that Iñárritu had the ability to craft something of a lighter nature. But now that he’s got that out the way, he’s back to delivering another punishing drama. Continue reading

Creed

Posted in Drama, Sport with tags on January 21, 2016 by Mark Walker


Director: Ryan Cooglar.
Screenplay: Ryan Cooglar, Aaron Covington.
Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, Tony Bellew, Ritchie Coster, Graham McTavish, Andre Ward, Jacob ‘Stitch’ Duran, Malik Bazille, Ricardo McGill, Wood Harris, Gabe Rosado.

“Time takes everybody out; time’s undefeated”

Nostalgia has crept into a lot of films lately. In 2015 alone, we’ve revisited Bond (for the 24th time) in Spectre, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is now the 5th film spawned from the 60’s TV show, Mad Max was rebooted with Fury Road, Jurassic World and Star Wars: A Force Awakens tapped into the magic and excitement of their predecessors and now Ryan Cooglar’s Creed is a revisit to the boxing gyms of Philadelphia and has much in common with the original Rocky of 1976. Yes, it’s hard to believe but it’s been 40 years since Balboa first had us on the edge of our seats and punching the air with delight. Continue reading

The Big Short

Posted in Comedy, Drama with tags on January 14, 2016 by Mark Walker


Director: Adam McKay.
Screenplay: Adam McKay, Charles Randolph.
Starring: Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, Rafe Spall, Jeremy Strong, Marisa Tomei, Melissa Leo, Tracy Letts, Karen Gillan, Hamish Linklater, Jeffry Griffin, Adepero Oduye, John Magaro, Finn Wittrock, Anthony Bourdain, Selena Gomez, Margot Robbie.

“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so”

Better known for his comedy films like Anchorman, Step Brothers and Talladega Nights, The Big Short is a big leap for director Adam McKay. Going from improvised Will Ferrell gags to dealing with the true story of the global financial crisis of 2008 is quite a departure from his usual comfort zone. If truth be told, I’m not a fan of his comedies and had some strong reservations about this but it was hard to resist seeing such quality actors sink their teeth into a very personal subject that has affected us all. Continue reading

Joy

Posted in Drama, Family with tags on January 11, 2016 by Mark Walker


Director: David O. Russell.
Screenplay: David O. Russell.
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Robert DeNiro, Bradley Cooper, Edgar Ramirez, Isabella Rossellini, Virginia Madsen, Diane Ladd, Dascha Polanco, Elisabeth Röhm, Susan Lucci, Laura Wright, Jimmy Jean-Louis, Isabella Crovetti-Cramp, Melissa Rivers.

“Don’t ever think the world owes you anything, because it doesn’t, it owes you nothing”

After Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, David O. Russell had established himself as somewhat of an Oscar record breaker. Not only were these two films nominated – back-to-back – for Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Screenplay and Supporting Actor/Actress roles, they happened to be first time in the Academy’s history that this was ever achieved. You could say that the pressure was on for O. Russell and his trio of actors in Lawrence, Cooper and DeNiro to make it a hat-trick. Sadly, this time around, it appears that the pressure was too much.  Continue reading

The Fitzgerald Family Christmas

Posted in Drama with tags on December 23, 2015 by Mark Walker


Director: Edward Burns.
Screenplay: Edward Burns.
Starring: Edward Burns, Connie Britton, Michael McGlone, Kerry Bishé, Heather Burns, Caitlin Fitzgerald, Marsha Dietlein, Dara Coleman, Anita Gillette, Ed Lauter, Joyce Van Patten, Tom Guiry, Noah Emmerich.

“I had no intention of breaking this family up”

In 1995 a young Edward Burns came onto the film scene with independent, family drama The Brothers McMullen and followed it up with equally impressive films like She’s The One and Sidewalks of New York. Not everyone took notice but those that did began to compare Burns’ writing and directing style to that of fellow New Yorker Woody Allen (without the neurosis). However, after his crime drama Ash Wednesday in 2002 people seemed to stop taking notice and Burns’ directorial efforts disappeared from the limelight. He was still making films and even though I was a big admirer of his earlier stuff, even I had forgotten all about his more personal projects… until this one landed in my lap. Continue reading

Miller’s Crossing

Posted in Crime, Drama with tags on December 15, 2015 by Mark Walker

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Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen.
Screenplay: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen.
Starring: Gabriel Byrne, Albert Finney, Jon Polito, Marcia Gay Harden, John Turturro, J.E. Freeman, Steve Buscemi, Mike Starr, Al Mancini, Richard Woods, Thomas Toner, Michael Jeter, Michael Badalucco, Sam Raimi, Frances McDormand.

“You ain’t got a license to kill bookies and today I ain’t sellin’ any. So take your flunky and dangle”.

It was in 1984 that we were introduced to (what would become) two of cinema’s finest writer/director’s in Joel & Ethan Coen. Their darkly cynical debut Blood Simple grabbed audiences by the crotch yet their wacky follow up, Raising Arizona, managed to tickle said area. By their third film, Miller’s Crossing, there was no denying that this was truly a creative partnership that knew how to construct and deliver films of great substance and enjoyment.  Continue reading

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