Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom

Posted in Action, Adventure with tags on December 29, 2015 by Mark Walker

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Director: Steven Spielberg.
Screenplay: Willard Huyck.
Starring: Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw, Ke Huy Quan, Amrish Puri, Roshan Seth, Philip Stone, Raj Singh, Roy Chiao, David Yip, Ric Young, Dan Aykroyd.

Are you trying to develop a sense of humor or am I going deaf?

Following the massive success of Raiders of the Lost Ark, it was inevitable that a sequel would follow. No sane-minded or financially aware production company would ever dream of missing the opportunity to boost a few more zero’s on their bank accounts. As expected, the sequel made it to the screen three years later. Now, some have given this second adventure a bit of hard time but I happen to think it’s a very underrated and action packed addition to the adventures of the whip-cracking, fedora-wearing Dr. Jones that we have come to know and love.

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Raiders Of The Lost Ark

Posted in Action, Adventure with tags on December 28, 2015 by Mark Walker

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Director: Steven Spielberg.
Screenplay: Lawrence Kasdan.
Starring: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Wolf Kahler, Paul Freeman, Ronald Lacey, John Rhys-Davies, Denholm Elliott, Anthony Higgins, Alfred Molina, Wolf Kahler, Vic Tablian, Don Fellows, George Harris, Pat Roach.

It’s not the years, honey. It’s the mileage“.

In 1975, George Lucas and Philip Kaufman came up with the concept of a film that would pay homage to the action serials of the 1930’s and 40’s like The Adventures of Captain Marvel or Dick Tracy – you know, the one’s were they’d always end in a cliffhanger? However, this idea was put on hold so that Lucas could concentrate on Star Wars in 1977. After the surprise success of that film, Lucas then embarked on the proposal and enlisted the help of Lawrence Kasdan on the screenplay and gave his friend Steven Spielberg the chance to direct and prove the studio bosses wrong after the star-studded, monumental failure of his World War II comedy 1941, a couple of years previously. This meeting of minds resulted in Raiders of the Lost Ark and has since became one of cinema’s most revered and iconic film’s. 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

Drive

Posted in Crime, thriller with tags on December 3, 2015 by Mark Walker


Director: Nicolas Winding Refn.
Screenplay: Hossein Amini.
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Oscar Isaac, Albert Brooks, Ron Perlman, Christina Hendricks, Kaden Leos, Jeff Wolfe, James Biberi, Russ Tamblyn.

“I give you five minutes when we get there. Anything happens in that five minutes and I’m yours. No matter what. Anything a minute on either side of that and you’re on your own. I don’t sit in while you’re running it down. I don’t carry a gun. I drive”

In 2008, just three years after the publication of James Sallis’ crime novel Drive, Universal Studios got behind the idea of a film adaptation. Originally, director Neil Marshall was to take the reigns and craft an L.A-set action mystery with Hugh Jackman as the lead. Two years later, this proposed plan collapsed and in stepped Ryan Gosling. With a spate of successful films and strong performances already behind him, Gosling was an actor in high demand and for the first time in his career he was given the opportunity to choose who would direct the film. Already a big admirer of his work, he chose Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn. The film was eventually released in 2011 to mass acclaim and struck a chord with audiences and critics alike. Not only was Refn awarded Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival but the film received a 15 minute standing ovation. Continue reading

God’s Pocket

Posted in Comedy, Crime, Drama with tags on November 26, 2015 by Mark Walker

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Director: John Slattery.
Screenplay: Alex Metcalf, John Slattery.
Starring: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Richard Jenkins, John Turturro, Christina Hendricks, Eddie Marsan, Domenick Lombardozzi, Caleb Landry Jones, Peter Gerety, Glenn Fleshler, Prudence Wright Jones, Jack O’Connell.

“I don’t know why writing down what everybody knows, is any better than knowing it in the first place”

Along with A Most Wanted Man, God’s Pocket was sadly one of only two remaining lead performances from the late Philip Seymour Hoffman – after his untimely death in 2014 to a heroine overdose. For this alone, it’s worth reminding yourself what a great talent this man was and how the medium of film will forever miss his astonishing onscreen presence. If truth be told, it’s not a role that requires him to do very much and the film itself continually switches tones but like many other movies featuring this fantastic actor, it benefits from his commitment and his everyman naturalism.
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21 Years: Richard Linklater

Posted in Biography, Documentary with tags on November 23, 2015 by Mark Walker


Directors: Michael Dunaway, Tara Wood.
Featuring: Keanu Reeves, Ethan Hawke, Matthew McConaughey, Jack Black, Billy Bob Thornton, Zac Efron, Greg Kinnear, Nicky Katt, Jason Reitman, Kevin Smith, Joey Lauren Adams, Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass, Michael McKean, Parker Posey, Julie Delpy.

“Eighteen films. One legend”

They say that a career should never be judged until 21 years have past and although it’s hard to believe, director Richard Linklater has now achieved this milestone. As a result, filmmakers Michael Dunaway and Tara Wood decide to shine some light and appreciation on one of the most inventive and daring of contemporary American filmmakers. Continue reading

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