I, Daniel Blake

Posted in Drama with tags on February 4, 2017 by Mark Walker


Director: Ken Loach.
Screenplay: Paul Laverty.
Starring: Dave Johns, Hayley Squires, Sharon Percy, Briana Shann, Dylan McKeirnan, Stephen Clegg, Kate Rutter, Malcolm Shields, Kema Sikazwe, Jane Birch, Micky McGregor.

“When you lose your self respect, you’re done for”

After Looking For Eric, The Angels’ Share and Jimmy’s Hall I think it’s fair to say that Ken Loach, in his twilight years, wasn’t quite as hard-hitting as the reputation that preceded him. In fact, two films inbetween these – Route Irish and It’s a Free World – where largely ignored all together. You’d have to go back to 2006 and his politically charged, Irish revolutionary drama The Wind that Shakes the Barley, to find quintessential Loach. Now though, he returns with another political drama in I, Daniel Blake and it’s one of his most potent and important films.  Continue reading

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T2 Trainspotting

Posted in Drama with tags on January 30, 2017 by Mark Walker


Director: Danny Boyle.
Screenplay: John Hodge.
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Robert Carlyle, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Anjela Nedyalkova, James Cosmo, Kelly Macdonald, Shirley Henderson, Irvine Welsh, Gordon Kennedy, Scot Greenan, Steven Robertson, Simon Weir, Bradley Welsh, Atta Yaqub, Tom Urie.

“You’re a tourist in your own youth”

When Hollywood decide on doing sequels they tend to green-light them as soon as they see the box office receipts. The majority of the time it’s a financial decision and they don’t want to miss out on turning another coin. The same can’t be said for Danny Boyle. He’s waited 20 years to put this sequel together. The time had to be right, the actors had to naturally age and the script had to have substance. This wasn’t just about cashing in. This was about doing justice to its predecessor. Many had reservations on this sequel even happening at all, such is the love for the first one, but T2 is still a meaningful journey and takes the lives of it’s characters in a satisfying direction.  Continue reading

Polished Performances

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on January 23, 2017 by Mark Walker


Actor: Robert Carlyle
Character: Francis Begbie
Film: Trainspotting


Continue reading

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

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

Hell Or High Water

Posted in Drama, Western with tags on January 10, 2017 by Mark Walker


Director: David Mackenzie.
Screenplay: Taylor Sheridan.
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Gil Birmingham, Katy Mixon, Dale Dickey, Kevin Rankin, Buck Taylor, Gregory Cruz, Keith Meriweather.

“I’ve been poor my whole life, like a disease passing from generation to generation”

Scottish director David Mackenzie has steadily been making a name for himself over the years with some strong, low-key work in his native Scotland; Hallam Foe, Young Adam and, especially, Perfect Sense showcased his obvious abilities. It would seem that it was his superb prison drama Starred Up in 2013 that caught everyone’s eye, though. Hell or High Water now sees him taking his first venture onto American soil but it doesn’t hinder his abilities in the slightest. If anything, it has proven that Mackenzie is a director of genuine quality. 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