A Walk Among The Tombstones (2014) – Review

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No, this is not another Taken film, but it does seem close. This film is darker than that franchise, and is an improvement that shows off its star – Liam Neeson’s – immense talent even more. It is an old-school action film, and Neeson is plain and simply awesome.

A Walk Among the Tombstones: Neeson is Matt Scudder, a former cop turned private eye. After first refusing the job, Scudder finally agrees to help a known drug dealer find the men that not only kidnapped his wife, but killed her after the ransom had been paid. Scudder soon learns that this is not the first time the group have done this, and when they kidnap another girl, he sets out to find them and make them pay.

Any review on this film should begin with: Liam Neeson is awesome. There is no denying it. He has been very kick-ass in his film role choices, and he more than deserves all of the roles he has been getting lately – not to mention all of the attention. He is not just a brilliant action-genre actor, but has shown over the years that he can pretty much play any role they throw at him. With A Walk Among the Tombstones, he is more than capable of turning a generic good-guy-bad-guy action film into something more than just entertaining.

However, the film couldn’t be as good as it is without a good script. The story – based on the book of the same name by Lawrence Block – is full of moments of suspense and plot twists that make the finished product more than just shooting and car chases.

The look and feel of the film is gritty and noir-esque, which makes it more interesting. The director Scott Frank (who also wrote the screenplay for the film) hasn’t done as much directing work as he has done writing work, but with the cinematographer Mihai Malaimare Jr., they have created something striking.

It is not usual for films made from books to be successful, but this one is doing quite well for itself. It has been a long time in the making – since around 2002 – and it was back then said that Harrison Ford was originally going to play the lead. Ford is a great actor too, but the novel’s author had always pictured Neeson among his top choices for the lead character.

Reviews have been adequately positive. There has been much praise for Neeson’s acting, the directing, and the script. The cliche aspects have also been criticised, though its improvements of the story and perfecting of the genre have compensated for this.

Action films have always been popular, and A Walk Among the Tombstones is an action film done right. Parents and guardians might not want to have it on while their kids are in the room – due to the violence, etc. – but it’s nothing overly gory. Enjoy!

4 out of 5 stars

Golden Globe Awards 2016

*UPDATE – winners added to list*

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The 2016 Golden Globe Award Nominations have just been announced.

Check out the list of nominees below and see if you agree with my predictions.

Best Motion Picture – Drama

Nominees: Carol, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant, Room, Spotlight.

My Prediction: I haven’t seen any of these, and don’t know most of them, but I’m hoping The Revenant wins because of Leonardo DiCaprio, but Spotlight might win because of its topic.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama

Nominees: Cate Blanchett (Carol), Brie Larson (Room), Rooney Mara (Carol), Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn), Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)

My Prediction: Again, there are none that I feel inclined towards, but I think Alicia Vikander will win for the topic of the film.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama

Nominees: Bryan Cranston (Trumbo), Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant), Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs), Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl), Will Smith (Concussion)

My Prediction: I would love for Leo to win, but I think it will go to Eddie Redmayne (for obvious reasons).

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

Nominees: The Big Short, Joy, The Martian, Spy, Trainwreck.

My Prediction: How did The Martian get into this group?! I guess I’ll go for that.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

Nominees: Jennifer Lawrence (Joy), Melissa McCarthy (Spy), Amy Schumer (Trainwreck), Maggie Smith (The Lady in the Van), Lily Tomlin (Grandma).

My Prediction: Everyone seems to be loving Amy Schumer lately, so I’ll pick her.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

Nominees: Christian Bale (The Big Short), Steve Carell (The Big Short), Matt Damon (The Martian), Al Pacino (Danny Collins), Mark Ruffalo (Infinitely Polar Bear).

My Prediction: Again, I don’t know how The Martian got into this category, but it seems popular, so that’s my prediction.

Best Motion Picture – Animated

Nominees: Anomalisa, The Good Dinosaur, Inside Out, The Peanuts Movie, Shaun the Sheep Movie.

My Prediction: OK, rant time. The Good Dinosaur (“what if the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs missed?”?!?!). Are you freaking kidding me?!?!?! There was no asteroid and humans and dinosaurs did live at the same time! I cant believe this evolution and long-age nonsense is still going.
With that being said, I hope Inside Out wins because its good to be open about emotions.

Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language

Nominees: The Brand New TestamentThe ClubThe FencerMustangSon of Saul.

My Prediction: I didn’t know any of these films, so I searched for them online. The Brand New Testament is a horrific premise that blasphemes God. For the other titles, I’m not big on foreign language films, so I have no prediction.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture

Nominees: Jane Fonda (Youth), Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight), Helen Mirren (Trumbo), Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina), Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs).

My Prediction: I think The Hateful Eight sounds interesting, and I did a review on Ex Machina (HERE), but Steve Jobs will probably win (for obvious reasons).

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture

Nominees: Paul Dano (Love & Mercy), Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation), Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies), Michael Shannon (99 Homes), Sylvester Stallone (Creed).

My Prediction: Beasts of No Nation is my top pick. It looks emotional and dramatic, and is a theme that often wins.

Best Director – Motion Picture

Nominees: Todd Haynes (Carol), Alejandro G. Inarritu (The Revenant), Tom McCarthy (Spotlight), George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road), Ridley Scott (The Martian).

My Prediction: Finally, a category The Martian fits into! That’s my first pick, with The Revenant a close second.

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture

Nominees: RoomSpotlightThe Big ShortSteve JobsThe Hateful Eight.

My Prediction: Based on theme, I think Spotlight will win.

Best Original Score – Motion Picture

Nominees: CarolThe Danish GirlThe Hateful EightSteve JobsThe Revenant.

My Prediction: I haven’t heard any, so I can’t guess.

Best Original Song – Motion Picture

Nominees: ‘Love Me Like You Do’ – Fifty Shades of Grey, ‘One Kind of Love’ – Love & Mercy, ‘See You Again’ – Furious 7, ‘Simple Song #3’ – Youth, ‘Writing’s On The Wall’ – Spectre

My Prediction: I LOVE the Fast and the Furious series, and they have done so well in banding together and dealing with the terrible loss of Paul Walker, that I hope it wins.

Best Television Series – Drama

Nominees: EmpireGame of ThronesMr. RobotNarcosOutlander.

My Prediction: I’m tossing up between Narcos (first choice), and Mr. Robot.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama

Nominees: Caitriona Balfe (Outlander), Viola Davis (How to Get Away with Murder), Eva Green (Penny Dreadful), Taraji P. Henson (Empire), Robin Wright (House of Cards).

My Prediction: Either Taraji P. Henson or Robin Wright.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama

Nominees: Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Rami Malek (Mr. Robot), Wagner Moura (Narcos), Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul), Live Schreiber (Ray Donovan).

My Prediction: Again, I’m tossing up between Narcos and Mr. Robot.

Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy

Nominees: CasualMozart in the JungleOrange is the New BlackSilicon ValleyTransparentVeep.

My Prediction: Transparent (for obvious reasons).

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy

Nominees: Rachel Bloom (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Jamie Lee Curtis (Scream Queens), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep), Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin), Lily Tomlin (Grace and Frankie)

My Prediction: I honestly don’t have a pick in this one.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy

Nominees: Aziz Ansari (Master of None), Gael Garcia Bernal (Mozart in the Jungle), Rob Lowe (The Grinder), Patrick Stewart (Blunt Talk), Jeffrey Tambor (Transparent).

My Prediction: Jeffrey Tambor (for obvious reasons).

Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made For Television

Nominees: American CrimeAmerican Horror Story: HotelFargoFlesh & BoneWolf Hall.

My Prediction: I don’t know enough about these to make a choice.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made For Television

Nominees: Kirsten Dunst (Fargo), Lady Gaga (American Horror Story: Hotel), Sarah Hay (Flesh & Bone), Felicity Huffman (American Crime), Queen Latifah (Bessie).

My Prediction: As Above.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

Nominees: Idris Elba (Luther), Oscar Isaac (Show Me A Hero), David Oyelowo (Nightingale), Mark Rylance (Wolf Hall), Patrick Wilson (Fargo).

My Prediction: I’ve only really heard about Luther.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made For Television

Nominees: Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black), Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey), Regina King (American Crime), Judith Light (Transparent), Maura Tierney (The Affair).

My Prediction: Probably Uzo Aduba

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television

Nominees: Alan Cumming (The Good Wife), Damian Lewis (Wolf Hall), Ben Mendelsohn (Bloodline), Tobias Menzies (Outlander), Christian Slater (Mr. Robot).

My Prediction: Probably Christian.

 

So what are your predictions? What do you think of the nominations? Let me know below!