Archive for the Comedy Category

The Voices

Posted in Comedy, Drama with tags on May 15, 2017 by Mark Walker


Director: Marjane Satrapi.
Screenplay: Michael R. Perry.
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Anna Kendrick, Gemma Arterton, Jacki Weaver, Ella Smith, Sam Spruel, Paul Chahidi, Stanley Townsend, Adi Shanker, Valerie Koch.

Friday I had a pretty cushy gig. Had lots of friends, I was the office hottie… now I’m a severed head in a fridge. Sucks to be me…

In 2007, director Marjane Satrapi delivered the autobiographical, coming-of-age animation Persepolis. It garnered her an Oscar nomination, making her the first woman to receive a nomination in the Best animated category. Foreign language films, Chicken with Plums and The Gang of the Jotas followed after but these two films slipped under the radar. Now, though, she tackles the American market with a blackly comic, serial killer tale.  Continue reading

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War On Everyone

Posted in Comedy, Crime with tags on January 19, 2017 by Mark Walker


Director: John Michael McDonagh.
Screenplay: John Michael McDonagh.
Starring: Alexander Skarsgård, Michael Peña, Tessa Thompson, Theo James, Paul Reiser, Caleb Landry Jones, Malcolm Barrett, David Wilmot, Stephanie Sigman.

“He called me a ‘wet back’! He knows damn well I was born here. He is a big fat racist pig is what he is”

After two brilliant outings with The Guard and Calvary, all eyes were on Irish writer/director John Michael McDonagh’s third feature. There’s a problem though, and that problem is the same one that plagued his brother Martin when he delivered the woefully misjudged Seven Psychopaths after his successful debut In Bruges. Martin’s problem was heading straight for Hollywood while forgetting to take a coherent script with him and this film has a similar sense of déjà vu.  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

Captain Fantastic

Posted in Comedy, Drama with tags on October 19, 2016 by Mark Walker


Director: Matt Ross.
Screenplay: Matt Ross.
Starring: Viggo Mortensen, George McKay, Samantha Isler, Annalise Basso, Nicholas Hamilton, Shree Crooks, Charlie Shotwell, Frank Langella, Kathryn Hahn, Steve Zahn, Ann Dowd, Trin Miller, Elijah Stevenson, Teddy Van Ee, Erin Moriarty, Missi Pyle.

“We have to do what we’re told. Some fights you can’t win. The powerful control the lives of the powerless. That’s the way the world works. It’s unjust and it’s unfair but that’s just too bad. We have to shut up and accept it! Well… fuck that!”

In a year vastly consisting of the superhero (take your pick), the sequel (Independence Day: Resurgence), the reboot (Ghostbusters) and the disappointing (Hail, Caeser!), 2016 was beginning to have a very underwhelming vibe and a lack of originality. Leave it then to the indie circuit to take a firm hold of the fading year and offer the best film so far. It’s with absolute conviction that I can say, actor turned director, Matt Ross has finally delivered a film that satisfies and resonates. Admittedly, there has been the occasional delight in 2016 but none more delightful than Captain FantasticContinue reading

The Nice Guys

Posted in Action, Comedy, Crime, Mystery with tags on August 9, 2016 by Mark Walker


Director: Shane Black.
Screenplay: Shane Black, Anthony Bagarozzi.
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Russell Crowe, Angourie Rice, Kim Basinger, Matt Bomer, Keith David, Beau Knapp, Margaret Qualley, Yaya DaCosta, Lois Smith, Murielle Telio, Gil Gerard, Jack Kilmer, Ty Simpkins.

“Alright, which one of you cock-and-balls wants to make twenty bucks?”

Back in the 80’s and 90’s writer Shane Black was actually quite a prominent player in Hollywood and a big contributor to the hugely successful wave of “buddy-movies”. His writing credits extended to The Monster Squad, Lethal Weapon, The Last Boy Scout, Last Action Hero and The Long Kiss Goodnight before he decided to take a break from studio pressures. He returned in 2005 for his directorial debut Kiss Kiss Bang Bang before disappearing again, only to resurface with Iron Man 3 a few years ago. For those that grew up on Black’s earlier works (like myself), his latest in The Nice Guys should come as a fond reminder of his action/comedy antics.  Continue reading

Hail, Caesar!

Posted in Comedy with tags on May 17, 2016 by Mark Walker


Directors: Joel & Ethan Coen.
Screenplay: Ethan & Joel Coen.
Starring: Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Frances McDormand, Clancy Brown, Heather Goldenhersh, Veronica Osorio, Alison Pill, Max Baker, Fisher Stevens, Patrick Fischler, David Krumholtz, Robert Picardo, Robert Trebor, Fred Melamed, Wayne Knight, Jack Huston, Christopher Lambert.
Narrator: Michael Gambon.

“Here at Capitol Pictures, as you know, an army of technicians, actors, and top notch artistic people are working hard to bring to the screen the story of the Christ. It’s a swell story”

Three years ago, the Coens brothers delivered a dramatic, musical piece that focused on the folk scene of the 60’s in Inside Llewyn Davis. If truth be told, it was a film that didn’t peak my interest at the time. But, give the brothers their due, they managed to deliver an astounding piece of work that finished the year as one of my favourite films and proved they are still full of surprises. As they often do, they like to switch from drama to comedy and, as a result, follow-up that dramatic work with the satirical Hail Caesar! Again, this was a film that never really peaked my interest but unlike their previous film, it didn’t work as well as it possibly could have. Continue reading

The Legend Of Barney Thomson

Posted in Comedy, Crime with tags on March 25, 2016 by Mark Walker

 
Director: Robert Carlyle.
Screenplay: Richard Cowan, Colin McLaren.
Starring: Robert Carlyle, Emma Thompson, Ray Winstone, Tom Courteney, Martin Compston, James Cosmo, Ashley Jensen, Stephen McCole, Kevin Guthrie, Samuel Robertson, Brian Pettifer.

“You’ve chopped them up. You’ve even labelled them”

Unless your a follower of the TV show Once Upon a Time (which I’m not) then you’ll probably have noticed the absence of actor Robert Carlyle from our film screens. The occasional low-key drama like California Solo in 2012 and Samantha Morton’s hard-hitting The Unloved in 2009 have surfaced here and there but they didn’t receive a wide release at all. In fact, I have yet to even see the former and Carlyle had a very small role in the latter (albeit a powerful one). You’d probably have to go as far back as 2007’s 28 Weeks Later to mention a film that a mainstream audience might be more familiar with. Now, though, he’s back. And back he comes to his hometown of Glasgow to make his directorial debut with a very Scottish-centric black comedy. Continue reading