Archive for 2016

Silence

Posted in Drama with tags on July 13, 2017 by Mark Walker

Director: Martin Scorsese.
Screenplay: Martin Scorsese, Jay Cocks.
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson, Ciarán Hinds, Tadanobu Asano, Issei Ogata, Yoshi Oida, Yôsuke Kubozuka, Shin’ya Tsukamoto.

“The blood of martyrs is the seed of the church”

Martin Scorsese is, undoubtedly, one of the great American filmmakers. For over 40 years he has been the guy that has wanted to wash the scum off the streets; claimed it’s better to be King for a night than schmuck for a lifetime; advised us to never to rat on our friends and to go home and get our fuckin’ shine boxes. These classic cinematic moments aside, he’s also known for the occasional deviation from the norm of his criminal outings and delivered films with deep religious themes; The Last Temptation of Christ, Kundun and now Silence completes his unofficial religious trilogy.  Continue reading

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Triple 9

Posted in Action, Crime with tags on June 27, 2017 by Mark Walker


Director: John Hillcoat.
Screenplay: Matt Cook.
Starring: Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Woody Harrelson, Anthony Mackie, Aaron Paul, Norman Reedus, Clifton Collins Jr, Kate Winslet, Gal Gadot, Teresa Palmer, Michael Kenneth Williams, Michelle Ang, Terence Rosemore.

“You’re a bank manager. You should be smart enough to know that the monster has gone digital. Be careful what you instagoogletweetface”.

After his relentlessly grim debut The Proposition and it’s equally grim follow-up, The Road, director John Hillcoat carved a reputation as a less than cheery filmmaker. However, he was clearly one with an undeniable ability to capture a time and place. His third feature – Lawless – proved again that he had a great eye for detail – even though it was lacking a depth of narrative. With Triple 9, Hillcoat, yet again, showcases his gritty realism but it suffers the same problems in terms of the story. Continue reading

Don’t Breathe

Posted in Horror, thriller with tags on April 19, 2017 by Mark Walker


Director: Fede Alvarez
Screenplay: Fede Alvarez, Rodo Sayagues.
Starring: Dylan Minnette, Stephen Lang, Jane Levy, Daniel Zovatto, Emma Bercovici, Franciska Töröcsik.

“There is nothing a man cannot do once he accepts the fact that there is no god”

After a series of horror shorts, director Fede Alvarez was finally given his big break into feature length filmmaking by being tasked with reworking the cult classic horror Evil Dead. This also brought the backing of the original film’s director and star, Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell who took producer duties. It was a huge task for Alvarez to undertake and although it worked for some, it happened to be one of the worst films I had the misfortune to see in 2013. With Don’t Breathe, however, Alvarez has managed to claw back some respect. Continue reading

The Infiltrator

Posted in Biography, Crime, Drama with tags on April 14, 2017 by Mark Walker


Director: Brad Furman.
Screenplay: Ellen Brown Furman.
Starring: Bryan Cranston, John Leguizamo, Diane Kruger, Benjamin Bratt, Joseph Gilgun, Juliet Aubrey, Amy Ryan, Yul Vasquez, Olympia Dukakis, Jason Isaacs, Art Malik, Said Taghmaoui, Juen Cely, Rubén Ochandiano, Simón Andreu, Christian Contreras, Michael Paré, Carsten Hayes, Daniel Mays.

“This is what I do. I’m an undercover narcotics agent. I sit with murders and bait men and I lie. I lie my ass off”

After their collaboration on The Lincoln Lawyer in 2011, Director Brad Furman reunites with Bryan Cranston and John Leguizamo once again. Most of the positivity surrounding that film was slightly overshadowed by Matthew McConaughey’s renewed invigoration for dramatic acting (or the start of the McConaussance as it came to be known) while the likes of Cranston and Leguizamo filled in as support. The film itself was a decent enough legal thriller and now with The Infiltrator, Furman explores the other side of the law. Only this time, his fringe players take the central roles.  Continue reading

Hacksaw Ridge

Posted in Drama, War with tags on March 13, 2017 by Mark Walker


Director: Mel Gibson.
Screenplay: Robert Schenkkan, Andrew Knight.
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Vince Vaughn, Hugo Weaving, Rachel Griffiths, Teresa Palmer, Luke Bracey, Richard Pyros, Jacob Warner, Milo Gibson, Darcy Bryce, James Lugton, Nathaniel Buzolic, Troy Pickering, Richard Roxburgh.

“In peace, sons bury their fathers. In war, fathers bury their sons”

It’s hard to believe that Apocalypto in 2006 was the last time Mel Gibson was behind the camera. I suppose 10 years in movie-making exile is where antisemitic rants gets you in Hollywood. That aside, it’s a pleasure to see Gibson directing again as he often delivers big, entertaining spectacles and his latest certainly falls into line with that. Continue reading

Manchester By The Sea

Posted in Drama with tags on February 24, 2017 by Mark Walker


Director: Kenneth Lonergan.
Screenplay: Kenneth Lonergan.
Starring: Casey Affleck, Lucas Hedges, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler, Gretchen Mol, Matthew Broderick, Tate Donovan, Tom Kemp, Kara Hayward, C.J. Wilson, Anna Baryshnikov, Josh Hamilton.

“I said a lot of terrible things to you. My heart was broken, and I know yours is broken, too”

As Oscar season arrives, you can always expect a film to appear where it wants to throw its weight around and get its hands dirty by delivering a downbeat drama where the writing is empathetic and the actors can really show off their chops. Manchester By the Sea is that sombre type of Oscar bait film but to think of it as solely that, is to miss it’s true depth and beauty.  Continue reading

La La Land

Posted in Drama, Musical, Romance with tags 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