Archive for the Mystery Category

Chinatown

Posted in Film-Noir, Mystery with tags on August 30, 2017 by Mark Walker


Director: Roman Polanski.
Screenplay: Robert Towne.
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston, Perry Lopez, John Hillerman, Diane Ladd, Burt Young, Darrell Zwerling, Roy Jenson, Joe Mantell, Richard Bakalyan, Bruce Glover, James Hong, Noble Willingham, Rance Howard, Roman Polanski.

“Forget it Jake. It’s Chinatown”

In the 1970’s a bunch of American filmmakers and actors were given a bunch of money and told to just go away and make movies. And that they did. The consistent results led to the 70’s arguably being the best decade in cinema that America has ever produced. We were gifted such classics as Taxi Driver, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Mean Streets, The Godfathers and Dog Day Afternoon. Chinatown is another of those films that can be considered a classic among this elite list and one of a few from this era of filmmaking that time has been most kind to.  Continue reading

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Mulholland Falls

Posted in Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery with tags on July 7, 2017 by Mark Walker

Director: Lee Tamahori.
Screenplay: Pete Dexter.
Starring: Nick Nolte, Chazz Palminteri, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn, Jennifer Connelly, Melanie Griffith, John Malkovich, Treat Williams, Kyle Chandler, Andrew McCarthy, Bruce Dern, Louise Fletcher, Daniel Baldwin, Ed Lauter, Titus Welliver, Richard Sylbert, Virginia Madsen, William Petersen, Rob Lowe.

“This is L.A. This is my town. Out here you’re a trespasser. Out here I can pick you up, burn your house, fuck your wife, and kill your dog. And the only thing that’ll protect you is if I can’t find you. And I already found you”.

Released in 1996, Lee Tamahori’s Mulholland Falls has largely been overshadowed by the Oscar winning L.A. Confidential – which followed a year later. Although I often find fault with the Academy, on this occasion, I’m not going to split hairs with them and argue that Tamahori’s film is as good, because it’s not. But that’s no shame in Tamahori’s efforts as, for me, L.A. Confidential is one of the best films over the last 20 years. Mulholland Falls is a very admirable attempt that doesn’t deserve to have become a forgotten addition to L.A. themed noir.  Continue reading

INLAND EMPIRE

Posted in Horror, Mystery with tags on June 6, 2017 by Mark Walker


Director: David Lynch.
Screenplay: David Lynch.
Starring: Laura Dern, Justin Theroux, Jeremy Irons, Harry Dean Stanton, Julia Ormond, Mary Steenburgen, Grace Zabriskie, Peter J. Lucas, Karolina Gruszka, Jan Hencz, Krzysztof Majchrzak, Ian Abercrombie, Jerry Stahl, Diane Ladd, William H. Macy, Jordan Ladd, Kat Turner, Kristen Kerr, Terry Crews, Nastassja Kinski, Scott Coffey, Laura Harring, Naomi Watts.

“I figured one day I’d just wake up and and find out what the hell yesterday was all about. I’m not too keen on thinkin’ about tommorow. And today’s slipping by”

A dream of dark and troubling things” is how Lynch himself described his directorial debut Eraserhead in 1977. It’s fitting then that his first and (so far) last film share similarities with this description. In fact, this is probably the most coherent thing you can take from INLAND EMPIRE (Lynch insists the title is capitalised). Even the marketing executives had no idea how to promote the film and, in the end, decided to punt it with the vaguest of taglines: A woman in trouble. The rest is basically up to the individual viewer. But make no mistake, INLAND EMPIRE lands you squarely in Lynchland.  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

Coherence

Posted in Mystery, Science Fiction with tags on January 17, 2017 by Mark Walker


Director: James Ward Byrkit.
Screenplay: James Ward Byrkit.
Starring: Emily Baldoni, Hugo Armstrong, Maury Sterling, Nicholas Brendon, Lorene Scafaria, Elizabeth Gracen, Alex Manugian, Lauren Maher.

“This whole night we’ve been worrying… there’s some dark version of us out there somewhere. What if we’re the dark version?”

Much has been said about Karyn Kusuma’s dark mystery The Invitation in 2015. It became the dinner party thriller that people were talking about yet James Ward Byrkit’s Coherence (which was first released two years earlier) went largely unnoticed. It did gather some positive word-of-mouth around the festival circuit but this film was more dynamic and much more deserving of a wider audience.  Continue reading

Mulholland Drive

Posted in Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery with tags on October 11, 2016 by Mark Walker


Director: David Lynch.
Screenplay: David Lynch.
Starring: Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Justin Theroux, Ann Miller, Robert Forster, Brent Briscoe, Dan Hedaya, Patrick Fischler, Michael Cooke, Michael J. Anderson, Melissa George, Jeanne Bates, Angelo Badalamenti, Mark Pellegrino, Lori Heuring, Billy Ray Cyrus, Missy Crider, Chad Everett, Monty Montgomery, Scott Coffey, Bonnie Aarons, Rebekah Del Rio.

“It’ll be just like in the movies. Pretending to be somebody else.”

A recent poll by BBC Culture surveyed the opinion of film critics, academics, and curators from 36 countries across every continent which consisted of 177 of the worlds foremost movie experts. They were tasked to compile an international list of the top 100 films released since the year 2000 and come up with the best film of this century so far. It’s no easy task but when all was said and done, the film that topped the list was David Lynch’s hallucinatory and meditative film-noir, Mulholland Drive. It came as a surprise to some but for those familiar with the film itself, it was a fitting accolade.  Continue reading

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me

Posted in Horror, Mystery with tags on October 3, 2016 by Mark Walker


Director: David Lynch.
Screenplay: David Lynch.
Starring: Sheryl Lee, Ray Wise, Chris Isaak, Kiefer Sutherland, Kyle MacLachlan, Moira Kelly, James Marshall, Mädchen Amick, Dana Ashbrook, Phoebe Augustine, David Bowie, David Lynch, Eric DaRe, Miguel Ferrer, Pamela Gidley, Heather Graham, Peggy Lipton, Jürgen Prochnow, Harry Dean Stanton, Lenny Von Dohlen, Grace Zabriskie, Frank Silva, Victor Rivers, Rick Aiello, Gary Bullock, Calvin Lockhart, Frances Bay, Catherine Coulson, Michael J. Anderson, Walter Olkewicz, Al Stobel, Julee Cruise.

“The man behind the mask is looking for the book with the pages torn out. He is going towards the hiding place”

Only two years after winning the Palme d’Or at Cannes for Wild at Heart, David Lynch decided to revisit the town of his much loved TV series Twin Peaks and explore more of that mystery. Only this time at Cannes his film was booed and jeered out the door. Critics hated it. However, if you’re a fan of the TV series then this prequel is pretty much essential viewing.  Continue reading