Polished Performances

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on March 18, 2017 by Mark Walker

Actor: Viggo Mortensen
Character: Frank Roberts
Film: The Indian Runner

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Hacksaw Ridge

Posted in Drama, War with tags on March 13, 2017 by Mark Walker


Director: Mel Gibson.
Screenplay: Robert Schenkkan, Andrew Knight.
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Vince Vaughn, Hugo Weaving, Rachel Griffiths, Teresa Palmer, Luke Bracey, Richard Pyros, Jacob Warner, Milo Gibson, Darcy Bryce, James Lugton, Nathaniel Buzolic, Troy Pickering, Richard Roxburgh.

“In peace, sons bury their fathers. In war, fathers bury their sons”

It’s hard to believe that Apocalypto in 2006 was the last time Mel Gibson was behind the camera. I suppose 10 years in movie-making exile is where antisemitic rants gets you in Hollywood. That aside, it’s a pleasure to see Gibson directing again as he often delivers big, entertaining spectacles and his latest certainly falls into line with that. Continue reading

Manchester By The Sea

Posted in Drama with tags on February 24, 2017 by Mark Walker


Director: Kenneth Lonergan.
Screenplay: Kenneth Lonergan.
Starring: Casey Affleck, Lucas Hedges, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler, Gretchen Mol, Matthew Broderick, Tate Donovan, Tom Kemp, Kara Hayward, C.J. Wilson, Anna Baryshnikov, Josh Hamilton.

“I said a lot of terrible things to you. My heart was broken, and I know yours is broken, too”

As Oscar season arrives, you can always expect a film to appear where it wants to throw its weight around and get its hands dirty by delivering a downbeat drama where the writing is empathetic and the actors can really show off their chops. Manchester By the Sea is that sombre type of Oscar bait film but to think of it as solely that, is to miss it’s true depth and beauty.  Continue reading

La La Land

Posted in Drama, Musical, Romance with tags on February 22, 2017 by Mark Walker


Director: Damien Chazelle.
Screenplay: Damien Chazelle.
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Rosemarie DeWitt, J.K. Simmons, John Legend, Tom Everett Scott, Callie Hernandez, Jessica Rothe, Josh Pence, Finn Wittrock, Keith Harris.

“I’m letting life hit me until it gets tired. Then I’ll hit back. It’s a classic rope-a-dope”

The Hollywood musical has all but become a thing of the past and a genre that few filmmakers attempt anymore. If I’m honest, it’s really no loss to me. Musicals are not something that I’m overly enthusiastic about. Growing up, I remember liking Grease and contemporary ones like Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge and, especially, John Turturro’s Romance and Cigarettes were very enjoyable but, for the most part, I often overlook them. That said, with a record equaling 14 Oscar nominations and a record breaking 7 Golden Globe wins, Damien Chazelle’s follow-up to the impressive Whiplash can not be scoffed at.  Continue reading

Nocturnal Animals

Posted in Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery, thriller with tags on February 15, 2017 by Mark Walker

Director: Tom Ford.
Screenplay: Tom Ford.
Starring: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Armie Hammer, Isla Fisher, Ellie Bamber, Karl Glusman, Robert Aramayo, Laura Linney, Andrea Riseborough, Michael Sheen, Jena Malone, Graham Beckel.

“Enjoy the absurdity of our world. It’s a lot less painful. Believe me, our world is a lot less painful than the real world”

Former fashion-designer Tom Ford took his first steps into film directing with A Single Man in 2009. It’s a film that didn’t initially catch my eye but when I finally caught up with it, it really impressed. In fact, I thought it a near masterpiece of style and composition. As a result, I’ve been very eager to see what Ford would do next and although his follow-up isn’t quite as good as his debut, there’s still much to recommend.  Continue reading

Arrival

Posted in Drama, Science Fiction with tags on February 13, 2017 by Mark Walker


Director: Denis Villeneuve.
Screenplay: Eric Heisserer.
Starring: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Mchael Stuhlbarg, Tzi Ma, Mark O’Brien.

“If you could see your whole life from start to finish, would you change things?”

With his debut Incendies in 2010, Denis Villeneuve really hit the ground running and has been one of the most consistently interesting director’s for the last 7 years. There’s a host of films and genres that Villeneuve has explored in that time; from the nightmarish surrealism of Enemy; his unflinching kidnap thriller Prisoners and his drug cartel, action drama Sicario. If you put aside his forthcoming Blade Runner sequel, you could say that Arrival is his warm-up to attempting to re-engage with that much loved science fiction classic.  Continue reading

Moonlight

Posted in Drama with tags on February 7, 2017 by Mark Walker


Director: Barry Jenkins.
Screenplay: Barry Jenkins.
Starring: Trevante Rhodes, Ashton Sanders, Alex R. Hibbert, Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Janelle Monáe, André Holland, Jharrel Jerome, Jaden Piner, Duan Sanderson, Shariff Earp.

“At some point, you gotta decide for yourself who you’re going to be. Can’t let nobody make that decision for you”

Backed by Brad Pitt and his production company Plan B, Moonlight done the festival circuit before becoming a darling with the critics. It has since received 8 Oscar nominations and it’s probably fair to say that it has become the biggest underdog success story of the year. As impressive as these accolades are, though, there’s still an overhanging question… Is it actually any good? Continue reading