Archive for the Mystery Category

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

Blue Velvet

Posted in Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery with tags on September 29, 2016 by Mark Walker


Director: David Lynch.
Screenplay: David Lynch.
Starring: Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini, Dennis Hopper, Laura Dern, Dean Stockwell, George Dickerson, Hope Lange, Brad Dourif, Jack Nance, Priscilla Pointer, Frances Bay, J. Michael Hunter, Fred Pickler, Ken Stovitz, Jack Harvey.

“I’ll send you a love letter straight from my heart, fucker”

The debacle of adapting Frank Herbert’s Dune in 1984, is now pretty much common knowledge among film enthusiasts. To put it plainly, it didn’t do well at the box office and was even tagged with the appellation ‘the Heaven’s Gate of science fiction films‘. So upset was David Lynch with studio interference and losing final cut of the film that he vowed never to work with a big budget again. He regrouped, however, and two years later he delivered one of his own original scripts in the form of Blue Velvet. Not only did it put him back on the map but it’s still widely regarded as one of the best films from the 1980’s.  Continue reading

The Prestige

Posted in Drama, Mystery with tags on September 1, 2016 by Mark Walker


Director: Christopher Nolan.
Screenplay: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan.
Starring: Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johansson, Michael Caine, Rebecca Hall, David Bowie, Andy Serkis, Piper Perabo, Ricky Jay, Roger Rees, Jamie Harris, Samantha Mahurin, W. Morgan Sheppard, Daniel Davis, Edward Hibbert.

“Now you’re looking for the secret. But you won’t find it because of course, you’re not really looking. You don’t really want to work it out. You want to be fooled”

Having delivered such strong films as Memento, Inception and Interstellar (outwith the hugely successful Dark Knight trilogy), it’s safe to say that director Christopher Nolan’s output is of a very high standard. Many may even claim that he’s yet to make a bad film and that his filmography is nothing but quality. For me, though, The Prestige is an exception to that and a major blip in an otherwise solid résumé.  Continue reading

Lost Highway

Posted in Film-Noir, Horror, Mystery on August 16, 2016 by Mark Walker

Director: David Lynch.
Screenplay: David Lynch, Barry Gifford.
Starring: Patricia Arquette, Bill Pullman, Balthazar Getty, Robert Loggia, Robert Blake, Gary Busey, Richard Pryor, Jack Nance, Michael Massee, Natasha Gregson Wagner, Jack Kehler, Michael Shamus Wiles, Lucy Butler, Mink Stole, Greg Travis, Scott Coffey, Giovanni Ribisi, Henry Rollins, Marilyn Manson.

“l like to remember things my own way”

Whenever you approach a David Lynch film, you really have to be prepared for a surrealistic, mind-boggling challenge. His films rarely come as an easy pass to answers or entertainment and can even frustrate to the point of absolute bewilderment. Lost Highway is no different and ranks alongside Inland Empire as, probably, Lynch’s most difficult film to date.  Continue 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

10 Cloverfield Lane

Posted in Horror, Mystery, thriller with tags on May 24, 2016 by Mark Walker


Director: Dan Trachtenberg.
Screenplay: Josh Campbell, Matthew Stuecken, Damien Chazelle.
Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman, John Gallagher, Jr., Suzanne Cryer.

“Crazy is building your ark after the flood has already come”

For some reason or other, Dan Trachtenberg is a director who’s name has been familiar to me. Considering this is his first feature length film and I haven’t seen any of his short films, I have absolutely no idea why his name rings a bell. That aside, Trachtenberg is a name that won’t be going away any time soon after this impressively handled debut that follows on (loosely) from Matt Reeves and J.J. Abrams’ 2008, found-footage horror film, Cloverfield. Continue reading

The Hateful Eight

Posted in Crime, Mystery, Western with tags on January 8, 2016 by Mark Walker

Director: Quentin Tarantino.
Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino.
Starring: Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Walton Goggins, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, Demian Bichir, Channing Tatum, Jason Parks, Zoe Bell, Gene Jones, Dana Gourrier, Lee Horsley, Keith Jefferson, Craig Stark, Belinda Owino.

“Keeping you at a disadvantage is an advantage I intend to keep”

In January 2014, Quentin Tarantino officially announced that he would be following up his successful western Django Unchained with yet another trip down the trail with The Hateful Eight. However, the script was leaked shortly after this announcement and he abandoned the project – seemingly in favour of releasing it as a book instead. After a successful live script read at the United Artists Theatre in Los Angeles, Tarantino again changed his mind and decided to go ahead with making the film. It’s now close to 25 years since he arrived on the scene with his blistering debut Reservoir Dogs and in that time he’s only released eight films – with the intention of retiring after his tenth. That said, he’s made enough for us to reflect on his style and in some ways you could say that – although the genre is very different – this is as close in structure to his debut than any other film he’s done. Continue reading

The Gift

Posted in Horror, Mystery, thriller with tags on October 27, 2015 by Mark Walker


Director: Joel Edgerton.
Screenplay: Joel Edgerton.
Starring: Jason Bateman, Joel Edgerton, Rebecca Hall, Allison Tolman, Tim Griffin, Busy Philipps, Adam Lazarre-White, Beau Knapp, Wendell Pierce, P.J. Byrne, Mirrah Foulkes, David Denman, Katie Aselton, Nash Edgerton.

“You think you’re done with the past, but the past is not done with you”

Is there no end to Joel Edgerton’s abilities? Although he’d been involved in projects before, it’s probably fair to say that it wasn’t until David Michôd’s Animal Kingdom in 2010 that opportunities began to really open up for him. He’s since went on to work with Kathryn Bigelow, Baz Luhrmann and Ridley Scott, while also penning Michôd’s impressive second feature The Rover. Now he makes his own feature length directorial debut and it would seem that we have much more to see from Edgerton’s talents.  Continue reading

First Snow

Posted in Mystery, thriller on March 9, 2015 by Mark Walker

Director: Mark Fergus.
Screenplay: Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby.
Starring: Guy Pearce, J.K. Simmons, Piper Perabo, William Fichtner, Shea Wigham, Rick Gonzalez, Steven Michael Quezada, Adam Scott, Jackie Burroughs, David House, Luce Rains.

“Your fate lies on whatever road you take. Even if you choose to run from it”

Guy Pearce is a very talented actor that hasn’t quite achieved the leading man credentials he so thoroughly deserves. However, he still has a knack for choosing great roles. The real gems among his work tends to be lower budget indie fair. Some can hit the quality heights of Memento or L.A. Confidential and reach a mass audience while others become respectful career choices that tend to slip under the radar. Personally, I think Pearce’s choices are always very interesting and First Snow is a prime example of his astute eye for a good role and project. Continue reading

Inherent Vice

Posted in Comedy, Crime, Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery on February 17, 2015 by Mark Walker

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Director: Paul Thomas Anderson.
Screenplay: Paul Thomas Anderson.
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Katherine Waterston, Owen Wilson, Reece Witherspoon, Benicio Del Toro, Martin Short, Eric Roberts, Michael Kenneth Williams, Jena Malone, Joanna Newsom, Serena Scott Thomas, Maya Rudolph, Hong Chau, Jordan Christian Hearn, Jeannie Berlin, Christopher Allen Nelson, Keith Jardine, Martin Dew, Jefferson Mays, Martin Donovan.

“Back when, she could go weeks without anything more complicated than a pout. Now she was laying some heavy combination of face ingredients on him that he couldn’t read at all”

Do you know that feeling of anticipation you get whenever a respected director is releasing a new film? It’s the same feeling that often surrounds Quentin Tarantino’s releases. Well, I also get that feeling when I hear of a new Paul Thomas Anderson project and I’m pretty certain many others do too. That being said, Anderson’s last two introspective films There Will Be Blood and The Master took him much further away from his earlier vibrant works of Boogie Nights and Magnolia and left a number of his fans finding them too onerous. Many may not agree but if he was ever to bridge that gap then Inherent Vice is that bridge.

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Calvary

Posted in Comedy, Drama, Mystery with tags on November 21, 2014 by Mark Walker

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Director: John Michael McDonagh.
Screenplay: John Michael McDonagh.
Starring: Brendan Gleeson, Kelly Reilly, Chris O’Dowd, Aidan Gillen, Dylan Moran, Isaach De Bankole, M. Emmet Walsh, David Wilmot, Marie-Josee Croze, Domhnall Gleeson, Orla O’Rourke, Pat Shortt, Gary Lydon, Killian Scott, Owen Sharpe.

“That’s great cocaine. Very moreish.”

The first collaboration between director John Michael McDonagh and Brendan Gleeson was 2011’s hugely original and hilarious Irish film “The Guard” which delivered one of Gleeson’s most memorable roles and showed that McDonagh shared a similar offbeat approach to his brother Martin’s “In Bruges“. Martin went on to make a misjudged step to the U.S. with “Seven Psychopaths“, meanwhile John wisely decided to remain in Ireland and produce the best film of them all.

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Se7en

Posted in Crime, Drama, Horror, Mystery, thriller with tags on November 4, 2014 by Mark Walker

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Director: David Fincher.
Screenplay: Andrew Kevin Walker.
Starring: Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow, R. Lee Ermey, John C. McGinley, Richard Roundtree, Leland Orser, Mark Boone Junior, Richard Portnow, Richard Schiff, Charles S. Dutton, Kevin Spacey.

“He’s a nut-bag! Just because the fucker’s got a library card doesn’t make him Yoda”.

There have been many memorable serial-killer thrillers over the years ranging from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho to Michael Mann’s Manhunter, through Jonathan Demme’s The Silence of the Lambs and even Fincher’s later investigative thriller Zodiac could include itself among the greats. Some of these titles mentioned might already strike you as the very best of the sub-genre but, for me, David Fincher’s dark and disturbing Se7en is the one to beat.

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The Two Faces Of January

Posted in Mystery, thriller with tags on October 23, 2014 by Mark Walker

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Director: Hossein Amini.
Screenplay: Hossein Amini.
Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Oscar Isaac, Kirsten Dunst, David Warshofsky, Daisy Bevan, James Sobol Kelly.

“I’m sorry I disappointed you”

Whether or not you have read any of the psychological thrillers of novelist Patricia Highsmith is neither here nor there but as film fans you will no doubt be familiar with the adaptations of her work. The most notable being Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers On A Train, René Clément’s Plein Soleil or Anthony Minghella’s American remake of the same story in The Talented Mr. Ripley. A knowledge of these films will give you an idea of the suspense contained within her prose. However, Drive screenwriter Hossein Amini has unearthed a lesser known gem in The Two Faces Of January and his translation from page to screen delivers one of the best and most accomplished thrillers of the year.

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Cold In July

Posted in Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery, thriller with tags on October 20, 2014 by Mark Walker

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Director: Jim Mickle.
Screenplay: Nick Damici, Jim Mickle.
Starring: Michael C. Hall, Sam Shepard, Don Johnson, Vinessa Shaw, Nick Damici, Wyatt Russell, Bill Sage, Brogan Hall, Kristin Griffith, Ken Holmes.

“Well, boys, it’s Howdy Doody Time”

Jim Mickle is not a director who’s name you might instantly recognise but he’s one that’s been chipping away at career for himself. Along with writing partner Nick Damici, they’ve delivered some relatively successful, low-budget horror films over the last few years with Mulberry St, Stake Land and a remake of the Spanish film We Are What We Are. With Cold In July, they’ve delved into a different genre altogether but, again, the results are quite impressive.

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