The Counselor

Posted in Crime, Drama, thriller with tags on March 10, 2014 by Mark Walker

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Director: Ridley Scott
Screenplay: Cormac McCarthy
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz, Penelope Cruz, Bruno Ganz, Rosie Perez, Toby Kebbell, Ruben Blades, Natalie Dormer, Dean Norris, Edgar Ramirez, Goran Visnjic, Sam Spruell, Richard Cabral, John Leguizamo.

You are at a cross in the road and here you think to choose. But here there is no choosing. There is only accepting. The choosing was done long ago“.

Being a huge fan of Pulitzer-Prize winning novelist Cormac McCarthy, Ridley Scott was originally planning to adapt his controversial 1985 novel “Blood Meridian” before the project eventually fell through. Scott, however, was given another chance when McCarthy wrote his first ever original screenplay in the mould of “The Counselor“. Circling it for a short time, Scott eventually took the reigns and drafted in a star studded cast which led it to be one of the most anticipated movies of 2013. When it finally reached the public-eye, though, it was met with such a vehement backlash that I actually steered clear of it… until now.

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TRIVIA TIDBITS

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on February 28, 2014 by Mark Walker

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Welcome back to Trivia Tidbits where this week I have a special Oscars trivia post just to get you in the mood for the big day on Sunday. So without further ado, let’s just dive right in…

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1: According to legend, the name ‘Oscar‘ was given to the statuettes by Margaret Herrick, the Academy’s librarian. The statuette, reportedly, looked like her uncle Oscar.
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All Is Lost

Posted in Drama with tags on February 27, 2014 by Mark Walker

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Director: J.C. Chandor.
Screenplay: J.C. Chandor.
Starring: Robert Redford.

I’m sorry… I know that means little at this point, but I am. I tried, I think you would all agree that I tried. To be true, to be strong, to be kind, to love, to be right. But I wasn’t. And I know you knew this. In each of your ways. And I am sorry. All is lost here… except for soul and body… that is, what’s left of them… and a half-day’s ration…

In dealing with the financial meltdown of an investment bank, J.C. Chandor’s directorial debut “Margin Call” in 2011, was an impressively handled, fast paced and very dialogue driven film. It also had a who’s who of familiar actors as they wheeled and dealed their way out of their crisis with a spot of verbal jousting. Now, in only his second feature, Chandor has left all that behind and delivers a film that couldn’t be further from his debut. There’s only one actor and you’re lucky if you get a couple of lines of dialogue in the entire film.

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Top Ten of 2013

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on February 26, 2014 by Mark Walker

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Better late than never I say… Normally I don’t do lists of my favourite films of the year as the different release dates between the US and Europe can sometimes make it difficult to catch everything. However, this year I’ve been fortunate enough to keep up to speed and managed to see almost everything that received a major release or caught my eye with a few exceptions being “Captain Phillips” and “Blue Is The Warmest Colour“.

Everyone has a different process or opinion in constructing their films of the year but I normally go with those that are included in the years awards season. Some were released in the UK in 2014 but I still class them as 2013 movies. Anyway here they are…

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Nebraska

Posted in Comedy, Drama with tags on February 24, 2014 by Mark Walker

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Director: Alexander Payne.
Screenplay: Bob Nelson.
Starring: Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb, Stacy Keach, Bob Odenkirk, Angela McEwan, Rance Howard, Mary Louise Wilson, Tim Driscoll, Devin Ratray, Kevin Kunkel.

These boys grow up staring at the rear ends of cows and pigs, it’s only natural that a real woman will get them chafing their pants“.

If he’s not already there yet, there’s no doubt that Alexander Payne is a director who’s name is fast becoming synonymous with quality. I’ve yet to see his 1996 debut “Citizen Ruth” but from “Election” in 1999 to the “The Descendants” in 2012, Payne has delivered a consistency that few directors can match. With every film, he just gets better and better and “Nebraska” is no exception.

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Her

Posted in Comedy, Drama, Science Fiction with tags on February 14, 2014 by Mark Walker

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Director: Spike Jonze.
Screenplay: Spike Jonze.
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde, Chris Pratt, Portia Doubleday, Steve Zississ, Bill Hader.
Voices: Scarlett Johansson, Brian Cox, Spike Jonze, Kristen Wiig.

Love is a form of socially acceptable insanity

After bringing the warped and surreal works of Charlie Kaufman’s “Being John Malkovich” and “Adaptation” to the screen, director Spike Jonze carved himself a reputation for the off-beat. However, a misjudged adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s story “Where The Wild Things Are” followed and I have to admit that doubts were raised about his abilities. I wondered how much of Jonze was in his earlier films or did he actually need Kaufman in order to construct something of substance? On the evidence of “Her“, though, it’s apparent that Jonze is the real deal and fully capable of crafting his own original work.

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Dallas Buyers Club

Posted in Biography, Drama with tags on February 11, 2014 by Mark Walker

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Director: Jean-Marc Vallée.
Screenplay: Craig Borten, Melissa Wallack.
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Jennifer Garner, Denis O’Hare, Steve Zahn, Michael O’Neill, Dallas Roberts, Griffin Dunne, Kevin Rankin, J.D. Evermore.

Let me give y’all a little news flash. There ain’t nothin’ out there can kill fuckin’ Ron Woodroof in 30 days

There has been no better or more consistent actor over the last few years than that of Matthew McConaughey. It’s a fact! From someone who started a bright early career and worked with the likes of such quality directors as Richard Linklater, John Sayles, Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis, he soon drifted into the dreaded rom-com territory that’s no better than drifting into obscurity altogether. His reputation wasn’t amounting to his early promise and it seemed he would never recover. So when did it all go right for him then? Well, in 2011, he got back in tow with Linklater to do “Bernie” and followed that up with dark and blisteringly brave performances in William Friedkin’s “Killer Joe“, Lee Daniels’ “The Paperboy” and Steven Soderbergh’s “Magic Mike“. It didn’t stop there, though. He continued his solid work in Jeff Nichols’ “Mud” and a brief but excellent role in Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf Of Wall Street” before finally delivering this awards laden performance in “Dallas Buyers Club“. The resurrection of his career is complete and McConaughey’s work has now, rightfully, gained the respect of critics and viewers alike.

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