Archive for the Musical Category

La La Land

Posted in Drama, Musical, Romance 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

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The Blues Brothers

Posted in Comedy, Musical on October 16, 2015 by Mark Walker

Director: John Landis.
Screenplay: Dan Aykroyd, John Landis.
Starring: John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Carrie Fisher, Henry Gibson, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, John Lee Hooker, Murphy Dunne, Steve Cropper, Donald Dunn, Willie Hall, Tom Malone, Lou Marini, Alan Rubin, Matt Murphy, Kathleen Freeman, Steve Lawrence, Charles Napier, Jeff Morris, Twiggy, Frank Oz, Steven Williams, Armand Cerami, Chaka Khan, Ben Piazza, Paul Reubens, Steven Spielberg.

“It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark and we’re wearing sunglasses…”

It’s always a tricky one when you revisit a film that was a big part of your adolescence and in some ways responsible for laying the groundwork on your love of movies. There’s likely to be a tinge of nostalgia or reminiscence, making it difficult to judge it objectively. That said, sometimes the film is just so much fun and so enjoyable that you know why you hold it in such high regard in the first place. Without a shadow of a doubt, The Blues Brothers is (still) that kind of film. Continue reading

Sunshine On Leith

Posted in Drama, Musical with tags on October 23, 2013 by Mark Walker

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Director: Dexter Fletcher.
Screenplay: Stephen Greenhorn.
Starring: Peter Mullan, Jane Horrocks, George MacKay, Kevin Guthrie, Antonia Thomas, Freya Mavor, Jason Flemyng, Paul Brannigan, Emma Hartley-Miller, Daniela Nardini.

After recently enjoying the debauched underbelly of Edinburgh in Irvine Welsh’s “Filth“, I was curious to see Scotland’s capital feature again in a more lighthearted film. As a general rule, I avoid musicals at all costs as I’m just not that keen on people bursting into song every few minutes. However, I was impressed by actor Dexter Fletcher’s impressive directorial debut “Wild Bill” in 2011 and couldn’t resist the urge to see a musical featuring the fantastic songs of The Proclaimers.

Continue reading