The Grand Budapest Hotel

Posted in Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy on January 23, 2015 by Mark Walker

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Director: Wes Anderson.
Screenplay: Wes Anderson.
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, Edward Norton, Adrian Brody, F. Murray Abraham, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Saoirse Ronan, Jude Law, Tilda Swinton, Harvey Keitel, Mathieu Amalric, Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson, Tom Wilkinson, Léa Seydoux, Larry Pine, Florian Lukas, Karl Markovics, Waris Ahluwalia, Wally Wolodarsky, Bob Balaban, Fisher Stevens.

“You see, there are still faint glimmers of civilization left in this barbaric slaughterhouse that was once known as humanity. Indeed that’s what we provide in our own modest, humble, insignificant… Oh, fuck it”

Those familiar with Wes Anderson will now know that his style needs no introduction. So much has been written or said about his idiosyncrasy that there are few adjectives left in which to describe his very unique approach to filmmaking and storytelling. Those that find him ostentatious or grandiose will likely want to avoid this (his eight film) while those that rejoice in his work will no doubt find this a boisterous festivity and celebration of his artistry.

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The Monuments Men

Posted in Action, Comedy, Drama, War on January 21, 2015 by Mark Walker

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Director: George Clooney.
Screenplay: George Clooney, Grant Heslov.
Starring: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Cate Blanchett, Hugh Bonneville, Bob Balaban, Demitri Leonidas, Alexandre Desplat.

“You can wipe out an entire generation, you can burn their homes to the ground and somehow they’ll still find their way back. But if you destroy their history, you destroy their achievements and it’s as if they never existed. That’s what Hitler wants and that’s exactly what we are fighting for”

When George Clooney made his directorial debut in 2002 with the off-beat Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and followed it up with the superb McCarthyism drama Good Night and Good Luck it seemed that he had just as much talent behind the camera as he did in front of it. However, the dull Leatherheads and largely disappointing The Ides of March came next which threw some doubt over his ability to call the shots. The Monuments Men, unfortunately, has more in common with his latter efforts.

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Kramer vs. Kramer

Posted in Drama on January 16, 2015 by Mark Walker

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Director: Robert Benton.
Screenplay: Robert Benton.
Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Justin Henry, Jane Alexander, George Coe, Howard Duff, JoBeth Williams, Bill Moor, Howland Chamberlain, Jack Ramage, Jess Osuna.

“Who’s gonna read me my bedtime stories?”

The 1970’s has always been a decade of film that I’ve never withheld my appreciation for. I’d go as far to say that’s it’s been the best in terms of America’s productivity. It was the decade where we were introduced to some of the finest screen actors in Robert DeNiro, Jack Nicholson & Al Pacino. We had films of such high calibre as The Godfather’s, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Taxi Driver, Mean Streets, The Deer Hunter, Dog Day Afternoon. I could go on and on here but I mention this because Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep where another two of these marvellous performers and Kramer vs. Kramer one of the films that’s so often forgotten about.

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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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Under The Skin

Posted in Horror, Science Fiction on January 12, 2015 by Mark Walker

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Director: Jonathan Glazer.
Screenplay: Jonathan Glazer, Walter Campbell.
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Paul Brannigan, Adam Pearson, Kryštof Hádek, Joe Szula, Michael Moreland, Jeremy McWilliams, Scott Dymond, Andrew Gorman, Jessica Mance.

“You’re not from here? Where are you from?”

Having been a fan of both Sexy Beast and the underrated Birth, I was happy to hear that Jonathan Glazer’s third directorial outing would be an adaptation of Michael Faber’s popular science fiction novel of the same name. Also (as a Glaswegian myself) I was even more intrigued to hear that this forthcoming story would be set primarily in Glasgow. I was interested in how the city and it’s inhabitants would be depicted and I have to admit that Glazer’s decision to do so, has paid dividends.

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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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Blog’s 3rd Anniversary

Posted in Uncategorized on January 3, 2015 by Mark Walker

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Okay, considering my relative absence from the blogosphere in the last few months, I’m in no position to be posting self-congratulatory or self-masturbatory nonsense. However, I only make these posts once a year and I don’t make them to self-indulge.

Cutting to the chase, I make them to thank all you guys out there. As I’ve always said, this site wouldn’t be the same without you. Yes! It’s the third year for me and I’m astonished that I’m still here. Do you want to know why? The reason is because of you… How can any blog thrive or remain alive without anyone interested in reading or peeking in? This post is for you guys and I want to thank you all.

Granted, I took a back seat mid-year but that was due to my passion and campaigning for Scottish Independence (hence the titled photo – incase anyone missed the reference). 2014 was a historical year for Scotland and I, honestly, couldn’t commit to blogging when it meant the future of my beloved country. In hindsight, I wish I had done more (campaigning that is).

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Needless to say… I’m gutted with the result. Scotland not only chose to shit themselves at the thought of freedom but the aftermath and choice to stay within the union has left many disheartened. A campaign that began with hope and positivity, unfortunately ended in hatred and disappointment.

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I’m not one to say I told you so but even the NO voters are regretting their decision under one of the most ruthless and elitist governments we’ve ever had.

Anyway, enough about politics and more about films and blogging. I’ll, hopefully, start blogging again with the real enthusiasm that I once had and I can’t thank all of you enough for sticking by me throughout this difficult year. It really is heartwarming and (as my previous anniversary posts have done) I’d like to give a shout out to my top five commenters.

#1: Zoe from Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger
#2: Fernando from Committed to Celluloid
#3: Alex from AlexRaphael
#4: Cindy from Cindy Bruchman
#5: Mark from Three Rows Back

I hate to single people out (as I appreciate everyone’s involvement) but it always gives me the chance to link to the sites that have given me the most commitment. Please check them out, they will reward you as they’ve done me.

Onwards to the next year friends. Here’s hoping I can be as active as I once was. l’ve learned how to tie my shoelaces in the blogosphere but now I’d like to tie my shit together!

Many thanks to everyone, though. Blogging is hard work and requires a commitment that I’m certain you all understand. I, personally, not only hope to continue but I hope to see more from all of you as well. Go for it people. Take you’re future in your hands!

It’s hard to describe to those that didn’t experience the passion (and) disappointment for Scotland in this year but I hope this rising young Scottish lad can condense it…

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