17 items from 2016
The first word that comes to mind when thinking about Mojave is “odd.” The movie – built around a cat-and-mouse chase between its two leads – is hard to completely dislike because of its cast, who are burrowing further into a group of characters than the paper thin script deserves. But it is so wholeheartedly strange, ruling itself by something akin to dream logic and twisting its story down a road of surprises that only occasionally stick, that it’s also hard to completely like Mojave as well.
Thomas (Garrett Hedlund) is a dissatisfied thirty-something, looking for a refuge of sorts in the deserts of the Mojave, where he seeks to find… something. The film’s script, by writer-director William Monahan (he wrote The Departed), isn’t exactly forthright. Eventually, Thomas stumbles across a long-haired, rifle-packing drifter named Jack (Oscar Isaac) and the two engage in a battle of wits that begins to tiptoe towards adversary. »
- Mitchel Broussard
“I need the truck,” is the first line in the script for Mojave. It comes on page five, and not until page 17 does a real conversation emerge. There are a few lines here and there in the opening, but screenwriter William Monahan introduces Thomas (Garrett Hedlund) purely through action. The artist, struggling with success, drives out to […]
- Jack Giroux
Serial killer movies are like westerns or gangster flicks; there are all levels of them from cheap slasher exploitation to procedural ones where the heroes are scientific-minded detectives and all sorts of variations in between. Mojave, written and directed by Oscar winner William Monahan (for writing The Departed) is the existential and psychological type. It stars Oscar Isaac, Mark Wahlberg, Garret Hedlund, and Walton Goggins. With that cast and pedigree, you would expect Mojave to be a major release, but the new film has slipped quietly into few theaters this weekend with little fanfare. It’s seriously flawed and I understand why the studio had little faith in it, but it has its moments and for adventurous moviegoers it’s worth seeking out.
- Tom Stockman
A disaffected celebrity incurs the wrath of a menacing drifter in Mojave, a rote psycho thriller that wears its Shakespearian influences on its tattered sleeves before clumsily morphing into Come at Me Bro: The Movie as each of the two determined adversaries engage in a relentless battle of wills. The sophomore directorial effort from Academy Award-winning screenwriter William Monahan (The Departed), this beige, low-budget indie isn’t likely to be remembered as more than a curious foot note in the filmography of rising star Oscar Isaac as roles in A Most Violent Year, Ex-Machina, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens thrust the charismatic leading man ever further up the Hollywood A-list.
In his screenplay for The Departed, Monahan used the foundation of Andrew Lau’s Infernal Affairs to weave a masterful tapestry of fear and paranoia in the South Boston criminal underworld. Their motives cloaked in mystery as they navigated »
- Jason Buchanan
A modern dusty Western, a twisty Hitchcock-ian thriller, a Cormac McCarthy-esque existentialist meditation on man, his internal crisis, an exploration of the price of fame and artistry, a slasher-like revenge picture, and even at times a black comedy, William Monahan’s ambitious, but overstuffed sophomore directorial effort, “Mojave,” wants to be several movies at once. While it has trouble working out which kind of movie it exactly is (answer: all of the above), its disparate elements do intermittently and effectively work. However, a shallow premise, pompously overwrought dialogue, and hit-and-miss execution make for an occasionally enjoyable, but not entirely convincing effort. Read More: 10 Films To See In January It’s difficult to engender audience sympathy by opening a movie with a white, wealthy, spoiled 20-something star, who is full of angst, complains about being famous since he was 18, and is in the midst of an experiential crisis at being »
- Rodrigo Perez
A burnt-out movie star and a violent drifter play a cat-and-mouse game that extends from the desert to the Hollywood Hills in “Mojave,” the second feature by William Monahan (“London Boulevard”), the Oscar-winning screenwriter of “The Departed.” Premise aside, however, the word “thriller” doesn’t apply to this comically affected piece of genre deconstruction, which seeks to re-create the existential drift of David Rabe’s “Hurlyburly” and Cormac McCarthy, but winds up hacking on their secondhand smoke. Pegged to a deeply unappealing performance by Garrett Hedlund, whose scuzzball chic recalls Mickey Rourke in his lean years, it’s the type of movie where two adversaries pause their fight-to-the-death to correct a George Bernard Shaw quote. Following a seven-week VOD run on DirecTV, the pic’s theatrical life stands to be mercifully brief.
“I’ve been famous in one way or another since I was 19,” mopes Tom (Hedlund) in the voiceover, »
- Scott Tobias
Plot: An acclaimed Hollywood auteur (Garrett Hedlund) retreats to the Mojave desert, but finds himself in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse with a homicidal drifter (Oscar Isaac). Review: Mojave is a William Monahan movie through-and-through. His second directorial effort after the so-so London Boulevard, Mojave feels like a kind of spiritual sequel to the recent remake of The Gambler that he wrote.... Read More »
- Chris Bumbray
Oscar-winning screenwriter William Monahan‘s latest film, Mojave, a rough and mean meta thriller, opens in theaters next week. The writer is known for such films as The Departed and Kingdom of Heaven, but in 2000 he had a novel published that couldn’t be more different from those pictures. “Light House: A Trifle” is a wild story — a farce with writers, criminals, […]
- Jack Giroux
The Prisoner: Ridley Scott is in early negotiations to direct The Prisoner, drawn from the 1960s TV series that starred Patrick McGoohan as a former government agent who finds himself imprisoned in a very mysterious seaside village. The film has been long in development, with numerous writers completing drafts, the most recent by William Monahan (The Departed). Scott will direct Alien: Covenant this year but is not yet committed to any other project after that. [Deadline] The Fireman: Louis Leterrier (Now You See Me) is attached to direct The Fireman, based on Joe Hill's forthcoming novel about a pandemic that eventually causes victims to burst into flames. The titular character must lead an "improbable group of heroes" to stop the pandemic before it...
- Peter Martin
With his latest sci-fi epic The Martian winning a Golden Globe – in the unusual category of Musical or Comedy Picture! – perhaps Ridley Scott could do with more surreal developments in his life. Well it looks like that could happen as Universal have gotten him round a table to talk about helming the movie adaptation of The Prisoner.
Patrick McGoohan (above) devised and starred in this offbeat adventure series as a British spy kidnapped and holed up in a mysterious location known as The Village, after he resigns from his position. Originally shown on ITV in the late Sixties, it boasted a catalogue of bizarre events, the most memorable of which was a giant balloon that would chase and smother residents who tried to escape.
Shot at Portmeirion in Wales, the production benefitted from its elaborate retro architecture. It’s unclear if the studio would shoot at the original location or »
- Steve Palace
"Questions are a burden to others, answers are a burden for oneself"
It's possible this could be Scott's next movie after Alien: Covenant, but the negotiations on this are still far too early. There is, after all, the small matter of further Alien/Prometheus sequels too, that Scott intends to direct himself.
The original TV series of The Prisoner of course starred »
The Prisoner: Ridley Scott is in early negotiations to direct The Prisoner, drawn from the 1960s TV series that starred Patrick McGoohan as a former government agent who finds himself imprisoned in a very mysterious seaside village. The film has been long in development, with numerous writers completing drafts, the most recent by William Monahan (The Departed). Scott will direct Alien: Covenant this year but is not yet committed to any other project after that. [Deadline] The...
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Despite pushing 80, Ridley Scott is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon. He gave us one of his best films in a very long time with 2015’s The Martian, and is currently hard at work preparing the Prometheus sequel, Alien: Covenant. You’d be forgiven for thinking that the director would perhaps want to take a break after that. But not Sir Ridley.
As it turns out, Scott’s already got his next project lined up, as he’s in early talks to adapt the British TV series The Prisoner for Universal. First aired back in 1968, the show followed a British secret agent “who is abducted and held captive in a mysterious village resort, with his captors aiming to find out why he abruptly quit his job.”
Though it only lasted one season (comprised of 17 episodes) AMC remade it as a mini-series back in 2009. Since then, various plans »
- Josh Wilding
Ridley Scott is in early talks to direct The Prisoner, a feature adaptation of the 1968, cult British TV series of the same name. This project has been in development for a long time with many high profile writers giving their attention to it. Christopher McQuarrie wrote drafts, while most recent The Departed's William Monahan gave it a spin.
The Prisoner is one of my all time favourite shows and I've written about the weird and often psychedelic series on here before. In my review of the Blu-ray set, I mention it's one of the only shows I can remember where the protagonist loses week to week.
AMC brought the idea back in a 6 part miniseries that really didn't [Continued ...] »
A film adaptation of the cult British TV series "The Prisoner" (ask your Dad or Granddad about it) has been knocking around Hollywood for a long time now. At one point Christopher McQuarrie was attached, and Christopher Nolan toyed with it too, but neither iteration ever materialized. But Ridley Scott, who is plenty overcommitted with multiple proposed "Prometheus" sequels, "The Cartel," and more on his plate, has decided he could stand to be busier. Read More: Watch Directors Roundtable With Ridley Scott, Quentin Tarantino, Danny Boyle, And More Deadline reports that Scott is in early negotiations to helm "The Prisoner" for Universal, which has a recent draft of the script by William Monahan ("The Departed"). The story revolves around a government agent who is imprisoned in oddball seaside village that he can't leave — because he knows too much — but his life remains in danger, and attempts are made to capture him because of. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
In the series The Prisoner (known only as Number Six) is a former government agent who abruptly resigns from his job and finds himself imprisoned in an idyllic yet bizarre seaside village isolated from the world.
He can't escape because he knows too much, but that doesn't stop others trying to capture him for his knowledge. What he wants is to keep them at bay and find a way to freedom.
William Monahan ("The Departed") penned the most recent draft of the script which also had work done on it by Christopher McQuarrie. Numerous writers and actors are circling the project which Scott Stuber and Dylan Clark will produce.
Scott is prepping "Alien: Covenant" for Fox which he'll shoot next, but he hasn't set his »
- Garth Franklin
Once you’ve caught up with our 50 favorite films of last year, it’s time to look towards 2016. While our comprehensive previews will be arriving shortly, today we’ll take a look at the month of January. This is usually a dumping ground for Hollywood, and although there are a few bigger titles that have our curiosity, it’s mostly festival hold-overs from 2015 that are the essential watches.
It should be noted that many of the best films of 2015 — including Carol, Anomalisa, 45 Years, Arabian Nights, Mustang, and Son of Saul — will be expanding throughout the month, so check your local theater listings. A restoration of Orson Welles’ Chimes at Midnight will also be touring the country, and there’s a limited NYC run of Studio Ghibli’s Only Yesterday; both should certainly take priority over anything below.
- Jordan Raup
17 items from 2016
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