DON’T WORRY, HE WON’T GET FAR ON FOOT

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Gus Van Sant Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara, Jack Black, Udo Kier, Kim Gordon, Beth Ditto, Mark Webber, Tony Greenhand, Carrie Brownstone. The late US cartoonist John Callahan is not a household name, and is largely unheard of outside of the United States, which makes this quirky and unconventional biopic a bit of a hard sell. Callahan died in 2010. Set in Portland Oregon during the late 70s and early 80s this biopic looks at the life of Callahan (played here in a career best performance by Joaquin Phoenix), an Continue reading

YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Lynne Ramsay Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Ekaterina Samsonov, Alex Minette, Judith Roberts, John Doman. Glaswegian filmmaker Lynne Ramsay’s moody and grim films have always dealt with damaged characters (We Need To Talk About Kevin, etc) and difficult and confronting subject matter. Her fourth feature is no different. You Were Never Really Here is based on the slim tome from Jonathan Ames (Bored To Death, etc), a twisted noir about Joe (Joaquin Phoenix, from Walk The Line, Gladiator, etc) a damaged former soldier and FBI agent who Continue reading

MARY MAGDALENE

Reviewed by Greg King Director: Garth Davis Stars: Rooney Mara, Joaquin Phoenix, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tahar Rahin, Denis Menochet, Tcheky Karyo, Ryan Corr. In the 50s, Biblical films were extremely popular, with sweeping epics like the Oscar winning Ben Hur and the spectacular The Ten Commandments scoring at the box office. These stories drawn from the Bible featured timeless themes of good versus evil and epic battles. But in the 60s their popularity seemed to wane. More modern takes on Bible stories have tended to be revisionist in nature – Martin Scorsese’s Continue reading

IRRATIONAL MAN

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Woody Allen Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone, Parker Posey, Jamie Blackley. Even as he nears 80, Woody Allen continues to churn out a one film a year on average and shows little sign on slowing down. But with such a prolific output it is inevitable that he would sometimes repeat themes and ideas. Irrational Man is his 46th film and it explores themes of murder and morality, concepts which he also dealt with in the superior Crimes And Misdemeanors and the lesser Match Point. Irrational Man is less of a comedy and more of a drama about Continue reading

HER

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Spike Jonze Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson, Amy Adams. Former music video director Spike Jonze is a visionary filmmaker who has done some of his best work when working with off beat scripts penned by the eccentric and imaginative Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation), which incorporate elaborate special effects and emotional truths. Her is only the second film he has written for the screen as well as directed, following his adaptation of Maurice Sendak's Where The Wild Things Are, and it is his most personal film Continue reading