SINISTER

Ti West (The Innkeepers, House of the Devil) is moving into new territory with his excellently-titled new western, In a Valley of Violence. The writer/director has been known for horror in the past, but he’s following his cult movie The Sacrament with this project, which exists thanks to backing from producer Jason Blum and his company Blumhouse. Read More »

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Boyhood

Richard Linklater has truly created something special with his new film Boyhood –  a remarkable, beautiful, cinematic achievement, like nothing you have ever seen before. Filmed over short periods from 2002 to 2013, the film chronicles a family over the course of 12 years, with the actors reprising their roles through the progression of time.

At the center of the story is Mason (Ellar Salmon), who with his sister Samantha (Lorelei Linklater), makes the journey from childhood to adulthood. As the film begins, we see that they are living with their single mother (Patricia Arquette) and that their father (Ethan Hawke) has long since left the family. The film takes us through their evolving relationship with their mother and father over many years, moves, and life changes.

I don’t want to give away many specifics or plot points, and keep this as more of a reaction than review. After the jump you can read more or watch a video blog I recorded after the screening with Russ Fischer.

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2014 will be the second year in a row to host the premiere of a highly-anticipated Richard Linklater movie. Last year it was Before Midnight, which continued the story told in Before Sunrise and Before Sunset.

This year, the film is Boyhood, the ambitious and unusual film that Linklater shot over the course of more than a decade. The film stars Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane and Lorelei Linklater. The festival describes it as follows: “Filmed over short periods from 2002 to 2013, Boyhood is a groundbreaking cinematic experience covering 12 years in the life of a family. At the center is Mason, who with his sister Samantha, are taken on an emotional and transcendent journey through the years, from childhood to adulthood.” Read More »

‘Cymbeline’ Trailer: Hell Is Here

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Cymbeline is a modern telling of William Shakespeare‘s play of the same name, from writer-director Michael Almereyda and star Ethan Hawke, who previously teamed to adapt Hamlet in 2000. We only heard of this film recently, and we’ve already got a trailer, probably due to the effort to secure distribution for the film in various territories.

And while you might hear “Shakespeare adaptation” and start to feel dismissive, this is akin to Ralph Fiennes’ Coriolanus or even Luhrmann’s Romeo & Juliet in that it uses Shakespeare’s play to power a cops and bikers story that has plenty of violence and energy. It looks interesting at the very least, and since the script retains the play’s original dialogue, there’s an appealing lilt to the proceedings, too. There’s also the additional cast: Ed Harris, Milla Jovovich, Penn Badgley, Anton Yelchin and Dakota Johnson, for starters. Check out the trailer below.

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Briefly: Writer/director Andrew Niccol and actor Ethan Hawke have done two memorable films together: the sci-fi trip Gattaca, in which Hawke played a lead role, and Lord of War, in which he appeared as an Interpol agent on the trail of Nic Cage’s weapons dealer.

Now, after Niccol has stumbled somewhat with In Time and The Host, he’s poised to climb back up into fans’ hearts by making a third film with Hawke. The film doesn’t have a title, and it is unclear if Niccol scripted (seems not) but there’s definitely a topical and tech-oriented twinge to the story.

Deadline reports that the film has Hawke as a fighter pilot who ends up working in Vegas, piloting drones that fly in Afghanistan. “He fights the Taliban by remote control for twelve hours a day, then goes home to the suburbs and feuds with his wife and kids for the other twelve. He starts to question his mission, and asking himself if he is creating more terrorists than he is killing in a war seemingly without end.”

 

 

SINISTER

There are long-gestating films that take forever to make due to complications and circumstance. Then there’s the rare one that takes years by design.

Richard Linklater has been making Boyhood since 2002. The film isn’t delayed or in trouble or anything like that. Boyhood is designed to chronicle the growth of a boy from age 6 to his last year of high school at 17 or 18. Ellar Salmon plays the boy through the entire film, because Linklater has shot the movie essentially in sequence, creating new scenes each year since ’02 as Salmon grew.

Ethan Hawke plays the boy’s stepfather and Patricia Arquette his mother. There are similar projects to this one — Paul Almond and Michael Apted’s Up series qualifies — but no dramatic narrative quite like Boyhood. We’ve known about the film for a long time but didn’t know when we’d be able to see it. Now, Hawke says it should hit next year, in 2014. Read More »

Getaway

Ethan Hawke has spent much of the past couple of years looking terrified, at least when he’s not busy wooing beautiful French women. He’s had roles in two Jason Blum-produced horror pics, Sinister and The Purge, and now he’s got himself a lead role in the late-summer thriller Getaway.

Directed by Courtney Solomon (An American Haunting, Dungeons & Dragons), the vehicle-centric actioner stars Hawke as a retired race car driver named Brent Magna (yes, really) whose wife has been kidnapped by a mysterious villain. Brent is forced to complete a number of highly illegal errands that involve driving really fast in a stolen sports car, while taking its owner (Selena Gomez) along for the ride.

It’s all profoundly silly, right down to the villain’s cartoonishly evil European accent, but if you’re in the mood for some cinematic junk food it could do the trick. Watch the latest trailer after the jump.

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‘Getaway’ Trailer: Just Drive, Ethan Hawke

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Confession: for a long time I didn’t like Ethan Hawke. I can’t even remember why; the reason was irrational, I’m sure. Probably something along the lines of “I don’t like his face,” the sort of snap judgement made when you’re young, which sticks just because it’s there. I’ve long since revised my stance, mostly because it was stupid.

For anyone else who still harbors a lack of good feelings towards Hawke, check out the AMA he did at Reddit yesterday, which is one of the better actor/fan exchanges I’ve seen. Or see Before Midnight, which is great. The Purge also opens this week, and while it is less great, the fault (as with Sinister) isn’t with Hawke.

There’s actually a minor explosion of genre movies featuring Hawke. In addition to those two horror pictures there’s Getaway, which co-stars Selena Gomez, and also a car. This isn’t The Getaway, which would be the story by Jim Thompson that has already been adapted twice, and influenced From Dusk Till Dawn. This is a different straight-up race movie, pared down to the bare essentials. The trailer is below, and it builds to a nice pitch. Read More »

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