Archive for the Adventure Category

Ready Player One

Posted in Action, Adventure, Animation, Family, Fantasy, Science Fiction with tags on April 20, 2018 by Mark Walker

Director: Steven Spielberg.
Screenplay: Zak Penn, Ernest Cline.
Starring: Tye Sheridan, Ben Mendelsohn, Olivia Cooke, Mark Rylance, Simon Pegg, Lena Waithe, T.J. Miller, Philip Zhao, Win Morisaki, Hannah John-Kamen, Ralph Ineson, Susan Lynch, Clare Higgins, Perdita Weeks.

“People come to the Oasis for all the things they can do, but they stay for all the things they can be”

When Jaws was released in 1975, it done so well at the box-office that it was the first film to become, what we now know as, the “blockbuster”. Having been responsible for this, it looks like Steven Spielberg (at the ripe age of 71) isn’t in any mood for changing as Ready Player One – his 33rd film – is still an example of the big brand of entertainment that he’s now synonymous with. That said, he hasn’t been delivering that many of these types of films for quite some time now, choosing instead to focus on more dramatic material but I’m happy to say that he still possesses that childlike imagination and adventurous touch. Continue reading

Hunt For The Wilderpeople

Posted in Adventure, Comedy, Drama with tags on December 22, 2016 by Mark Walker


Director: Taika Waititi.
Screenplay: Taika Waititi.
Starring: Julian Dennison, Sam Neill, Rima Te Wiata, Rachel House, Tioreore Ngatai-Melbourne, Oscar Kightley, Stan Walker, Mike Minogue, Cohen Holloway, Rhys Darby, Troy Kingi, Taika Waititi.

“Oh look, he’s giving a pig a piggyback ride”

After the hilarious vampire comedy, What We Do In The Shadows in 2014, there was much anticipation for Taika Waititi’s next film. Hunt For the Wilderpeople has now arrived and arrived to yet more critical acclaim. The positivity surrounding it, however, has also been its slight undoing for me. It’s an admirable little adventure but it didn’t quite strike the chord that I was expecting.  Continue reading

The BFG

Posted in Adventure, Family, Fantasy with tags on July 27, 2016 by Mark Walker


Director: Steven Spielberg.
Screenplay: Melissa Mathison.
Starring: Mark Rylance, Ruby Barnhill, Jermaine Clement, Penelope Wilton, Rafe Spall, Rebecca Hall, Bill Hader, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Adam Godley, Michael Adamthwaite, Daniel Bacon, Jonathan Holmes, Chris Gibbs, Paul Moniz de Sa.

“I hears your lonely heart, in all the secret whisperings of the world”

With the exception of The Adventures of Tintin in 2011, Steven Spielberg has been getting all serious on us over the last five years. He’s predominantly dealt with war, politics and espionage in War Horse, Lincoln and Bridge of Spies respectively. However, he now reunites with his E.T. screenwriter Melissa Mathison to bring a much loved children’s novel to the big screen in The BFG – a film which brings reminders of his fantastical adventures and his ability to deliver family friendly entertainment.  Continue reading

Song Of The Sea

Posted in Adventure, Animation, Family, Fantasy with tags on February 26, 2016 by Mark Walker


Director: Tomm Moore.
Screenplay: Will Collins, Tomm Moore.
Voices: David Rawle, Brendan Gleeson, Fionnula Flanagan, Lisa Hannigan, Lucy O’Connell, Jon Kenny, Pat Shortt, Colm Ó’Snodaigh, Liam Hourican, Kevin Sweirszcz, Will Collins, Paul Young.

“My son, remember me in your stories and in your songs. Know that I will always love you.”

After receiving an Oscar nomination for his exquisitely animated film The Secret of Kells in 2009, director Tomm Moore achieved the same again with his unique style of animation for his follow-up, Song of the Sea. In the first instance, he lost the Oscar to Disney’s Up and the second time around Disney prevailed again with Big Hero 6. However, it’s still good to see Moore’s films challenge such big hitters. Continue reading

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

Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade

Posted in Action, Adventure with tags on December 30, 2015 by Mark Walker

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Director: Steven Spielberg.
Screenplay: Jeffrey Boam.
Starring: Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Denholm Elliott, Alison Doody, John Rhys-Davies, Julian Glover, River Phoenix, Michael Byrne, Alex Hyde-White, Richard Young, Kevork Malikyan, Robert Eddison, Ronald Lacey, Michael Sheard, Bradley Gregg, Alexei Sayle.

“Germany has declared war on the Jones boys”

Even before the days of Raiders Of The Ark, Spielberg had expressed an interest in making a James Bond movie but he couldn’t get the go ahead from Bond producer Albert Broccoli. Indy was just as good an opportunity for him, though, and who better to cast as Indy’s father than (the original) James Bond himself? It’s actually through the casting choice of Sean Connery that this third instalment of Indy’s adventures really takes flight and silences the critics of The Temple Of Doom.    Continue reading

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

Interstellar

Posted in Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction on March 4, 2015 by Mark Walker

Director: Christopher Nolan.
Screenplay: Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan.
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, John Lithgow, Matt Damon, Casey Affleck, Ellen Burstyn, Wes Bentley, David Gyasi, David Oyelowo, Topher Grace, William Devane, Mackenzie Foy, Timothée Chalamet, Collette Wolfe, Francis X. McCarthy, Bill Irwin, Josh Stewart.

“You might have to decide between seeing your children again and the future of the human race”

With consistent deliveries over the years, director Christopher Nolan has now carved himself a place among the Hollywood elite. His sophomore movie Memento still remains one of my top ten personal favourite films but it was his hugely successful Dark Knight trilogy and the teasingly elaborate Inception that most people identified with. As a result of these blockbusters, there was much anticipation upon the release of his Sci-Fi epic Interstellar. Many were so enthused that they were literally counting down the days till the film’s release. The anticipation was so huge that there was bound to be disappointment as few films can ever truly deliver on such a basis of expectation. Interstellar has become prey to this and I can honestly say that I wish I hadn’t listened to the naysayers and their feelings of deflation. Continue reading

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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Maleficent

Posted in Adventure, Family, Fantasy with tags on June 5, 2014 by Mark Walker

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Director: Robert Stromberg.
Screenplay: Linda Woolverton.
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Lesley Manville, Juno Temple, Isobelle Molloy, Michael Higgins, Kenneth Carnham, Vivienne Jolie-Pitt.

I had wings once, and they were strong. But they were stolen from me

Better known for his visual effects supervision on such films as “Life of Pi“, or more significantly, as production designer on “Oz: The Great And Powerful” and winning consecutive Oscars for “Avatar” and “Alice In Wonderland“, Robert Stromberg now delves into his first directorial outing with a reimagining of the classic fairy tale, “Sleeping Beauty“. Much like the aforementioned “Oz“, the characters from this well known children’s story are playfully recreated in a lush and involving fantasy and with Stromberg’s expertise who better to take us on that journey?!…

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The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug

Posted in Action, Adventure, Fantasy with tags on January 9, 2014 by Mark Walker

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Director: Peter Jackson.
Screenplay: Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens.
Starring: Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ian McKellan, Evangeline Lilly, Orlando Bloom, Luke Evans, Lee Pace, Ken Stott, Graham McTavish, Aidan Turner, James Nesbitt, William Kircher, Stephen Hunter, Dean O’Gorman, John Callen, Peter Hambleton, Jed Brophy, Mark Hadlow, Adam Brown, Sylvester McCoy, Mikael Persbrandt, Stephen Fry, Ryan Gage, Cate Blanchett.

Truly songs and tales fall utterly short of your enormity, O Smaug the Stupendous…

Now a year down the line, the residing question of whether Peter Jackson’s decision to adapt “The Hobbit” into a trilogy was a wise choice or not, has become a little easier to answer. I’d have to say, that he can probably feel somewhat vindicated as his vision seems to be working. That being said, there’s still an abundance of padding and repetition going on in this second instalment – just as there was in the first – but Jackson has definitely improved here by ironing out the creases a little more.

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Gravity

Posted in Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction with tags on November 22, 2013 by Mark Walker

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Director: Alfonso Cauron.
Screenplay: Alfonso Cauron, Jonas Cauron.
Starring: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney.
Voice of: Ed Harris.

Clear skies with a chance of satellite debris“.

In 2009, director James Cameron opened the floodgates on the innovation and possibilities of stereoscopic filmmaking when he delivered “Avatar“. Since then, it has been experimented and tinkered with by many filmmakers but now, four years later, Mexican director Alfonso Cauron has set a whole new benchmark.

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Stand By Me * * * * 1/2

Posted in Adventure, Drama with tags on September 22, 2013 by Mark Walker

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Director: Rob Reiner.
Screenplay: Raynold Gideon, Bruce A. Evans.
Starring: Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O’Connell, Kiefer Sutherland, Casey Siemaszko, Bradley Gregg, Gary Riley, Jason Oliver, John Cusack, Marshall Bell, Frances Lee McCain, Richard Dreyfuss, Bruce Kirby, Andy Lindberg.

Predominantly known for his horror stories, writer Stephen King released a book in 1982 called “Different Seasons“. It contained four novellas, three of which, went on to become successful Hollywood movies which were very far from most other adaptations of his work. One was Bryan Singer’s “Apt Pupil” another was Frank Darabont’s “The Shawshank Redemption” and the third – originally entitled “The Body” – became Rob Reiner’s “Stand By Me“.

Four young friends, Gordie (Wil Wheaton), Chris (River Phoenix), Vern (Jerry O’Connell) and Teddy (Corey Feldman) go on an adventure together to find the dead body of a local boy who was supposedly hit by a train. By following the tracks, the friends’ journey becomes more about them and their personal struggles and soon, the boyish adventure becomes about their experiences of entering adulthood.

Delivered with a wonderfully nostalgic narration by Richard Dreyfuss and a good feel for 1950’s Americana, this inviting and honest, coming-of-age, tale captures the spirit of youth like very few others. Reiner’s feel for the time and the material is pitched so perfectly that you are completely transported back to this era. It’s imbued with a sublimely evocative soundtrack of classic 1950’s songs, ranging from; Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Great Balls of Fire” through Buddy Holly’s “Everyday“, The Chordettes’ “Lollipop” and, of course, Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me“. It’s this very attention to detail that truly brings this affectionate and sentimental film to life, while completely involving you in the trials and tribulations of the four, endearing, youths at it’s centre. The four youths in question are embodied with charm and nuance by Wheaton, Feldman, O’Connell and, especially, Phoenix. They are so natural in their deliveries that the failed careers they would go on to have didn’t merit the performances delivered here. Phoenix was the only one of the four who would receive critical praise, but sadly his life was cut short at the tender age of 23, making his performance all the more poignant.
Rarely has a film captured the innocence and growing pains of young boys on the road to manhood and rarely do you ever get such a rich and heartfelt delivery. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t experience the 1950’s; stepped foot on an Americana front porch or played mailbox baseball. What matters, is that you identify with the characters’ rite of passage and that it still perpetuates it’s relevance.

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A wonderfully rustic and nostalgic gem, that’s still as inviting and honest as it was on it’s release. This is one of those timeless cult-classic’s that will always find an audience to resonate with.

Mark Walker

Big Trouble In Little China

Posted in Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Horror with tags on September 13, 2013 by Mark Walker

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Director: John Carpenter.
Screenplay: Gary Goldman, David Z. Weinstein, W.D. Richter.
Starring: Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun, James Hong, Victor Wong, Kate Burton, Suzee Pai, Donald Li, Carter Wong, Peter Kwong, James Pax, Al Leong, Jerry Hardin.

“Like I told my last wife, I says, “Honey, I never drive faster than I can see. Besides that, it’s all in the reflexes.”

Director John Carpenter made some excellent films during the 70’s & 80’s – “Halloween“, “Assault on Precinct 13“, “The Thing“, “Escape from New York” and “Prince of Darkness“. Some of these are considered classics bit all take on a serious and/or horrific tone. However, Carpenter has also dabbled in comedy with his debut “Dark Star” in 1974 and “Memoirs of An Invisible Man” in 1992. Here, he combines his talents of horror and comedy and delivers, arguably, the most accessible and enjoyable film in his canon. Continue reading