Archive for 2016

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

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Arrival

Posted in Drama, Science Fiction with tags on February 13, 2017 by Mark Walker


Director: Denis Villeneuve.
Screenplay: Eric Heisserer.
Starring: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Mchael Stuhlbarg, Tzi Ma, Mark O’Brien.

“If you could see your whole life from start to finish, would you change things?”

With his debut Incendies in 2010, Denis Villeneuve really hit the ground running and has been one of the most consistently interesting director’s for the last 7 years. There’s a host of films and genres that Villeneuve has explored in that time; from the nightmarish surrealism of Enemy; his unflinching kidnap thriller Prisoners and his drug cartel, action drama Sicario. If you put aside his forthcoming Blade Runner sequel, you could say that Arrival is his warm-up to attempting to re-engage with that much loved science fiction classic.  Continue reading

Moonlight

Posted in Drama with tags on February 7, 2017 by Mark Walker


Director: Barry Jenkins.
Screenplay: Barry Jenkins.
Starring: Trevante Rhodes, Ashton Sanders, Alex R. Hibbert, Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Janelle Monáe, André Holland, Jharrel Jerome, Jaden Piner, Duan Sanderson, Shariff Earp.

“At some point, you gotta decide for yourself who you’re going to be. Can’t let nobody make that decision for you”

Backed by Brad Pitt and his production company Plan B, Moonlight done the festival circuit before becoming a darling with the critics. It has since received 8 Oscar nominations and it’s probably fair to say that it has become the biggest underdog success story of the year. As impressive as these accolades are, though, there’s still an overhanging question… Is it actually any good? Continue reading

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

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

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