Archive for the Drama Category

Boyhood

Posted in Drama with tags on December 1, 2014 by Mark Walker

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Director: Richard Linklater.
Screenplay: Richard Linklater.
Starring: Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Lorelei Linklater, Libby Villari, Marco Perella, Steven Chester Prince, Charlie Sexton, Jamie Howard, Andrew Villarreal, Tom McTigue, Richard Robichaux.

“You know how everyone’s always saying seize the moment? I don’t know, I’m kind of thinking it’s the other way around, you know, like the moment seizes us”

For me, an overriding question often hangs over the work of Richard Linklater which is; how long will this fantastic director go on without awards recognition? He’s, quite simply, one of the truly great American filmmakers. His ideas are always highly original and the execution of them nothing short of pure brilliance. From his debut Slacker to the recent completion of his Before trilogy, Linklater has always shown the skill to match his hugely ambitious projects and after filming over a 12 year period, Boyhood may just be the most impressive feat he has ever undertaken. I wouldn’t be surprised if at least a nomination comes his way now.

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Tape

Posted in Drama with tags on November 27, 2014 by Mark Walker

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Director: Richard Linklater.
Screenplay: Stephen Belber.
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Robert Sean Leonard, Uma Thurman.

“I’m not high and mighty. I’m too high to be high and mighty”

As a companion piece to the marvellous Waking Life, director Richard Linklater delivered this experimental and solid little adaptation of Stephen Belber’s stage play. Some may not have even heard of this one, let alone seen it, as it’s probably one of his most unseen works. As always with Linklater, though, it confirms his place as one of the most original and under appreciated of American filmmakers.

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Calvary

Posted in Comedy, Drama, Mystery with tags on November 21, 2014 by Mark Walker

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Director: John Michael McDonagh.
Screenplay: John Michael McDonagh.
Starring: Brendan Gleeson, Kelly Reilly, Chris O’Dowd, Aidan Gillen, Dylan Moran, Isaach De Bankole, M. Emmet Walsh, David Wilmot, Marie-Josee Croze, Domhnall Gleeson, Orla O’Rourke, Pat Shortt, Gary Lydon, Killian Scott, Owen Sharpe.

“That’s great cocaine. Very moreish.”

The first collaboration between director John Michael McDonagh and Brendan Gleeson was 2011’s hugely original and hilarious Irish film “The Guard” which delivered one of Gleeson’s most memorable roles and showed that McDonagh shared a similar offbeat approach to his brother Martin’s “In Bruges“. Martin went on to make a misjudged step to the U.S. with “Seven Psychopaths“, meanwhile John wisely decided to remain in Ireland and produce the best film of them all.

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Frank

Posted in Comedy, Drama with tags on November 18, 2014 by Mark Walker

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Director: Lenny Abrahamson.
Screenplay: Jon Ronson, Peter Straughan.
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Scoot McNairy, Francois Civil, Carla Azar, Tess Harper.

“With all his issues, Frank is the 100% sanest cat I’ve ever met.”

With the exception of Matthew McConaughey and his outstandingly brave career choices of late, there are few actors who have been as consistent or interesting to watch as Michael Fassbender. After the much (and unfairly) maligned The Counselor and a thoroughly deserved Oscar nomination for 12 Years a Slave, Fassbender’s decision to pop on a papier-mâché head and remain unseen for almost the entirety of an independent, oddball comedy is certainly an interesting choice. However, it’s a good one and proves that his ability to spot a unique and worthwhile project is thoroughly intact.

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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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Reservoir Dogs

Posted in Crime, Drama with tags on October 7, 2014 by Mark Walker

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Director: Quentin Tarantino.
Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino.
Starring: Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen, Steve Buscemi, Tim Roth, Chris Penn, Lawrence Tierney, Randy Brooks, Kirk Baltz, Eddie Bunker, Quentin Tarantino, Steven Wright.

“Somebody’s stickin’ a red hot poker up our asses and I wanna know who’s name’s on the handle”

Before becoming a cinematic sensation, a young Quentin Tarantino worked in the film rental store Video Archives in Manhattan Beach, and would often recommend little-known titles to customers. On one occasion, he suggested Louis Malle’s Au Revoir Les Enfants, to which the customer mockingly replied, “I don’t want to see no Reservoir Dogs.” And so the title of Tarantino’s blistering debut film was born. It was originally planned as a $30,000 personal film with his friends, before Harvey Keitel showed an interest in the script and came onboard as the star and co-producer which helped hike the budget up to $1.5 million. The rest, as they say, is history. Tarantino had finally made his mark on the movie map and has since become one of the most highly praised directors of his, or any other, generation.

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