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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.”

 

 

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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 »

Before Midnight 03

Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke have an easy, familiar chemistry on screen; it’s no wonder their third pairing, Before Midnight, stands out as one of the best films of the year so far.

Now the two have been recruited (along with their offscreen cinema partner Richard Linklater) to take part in a “don’t talk or text” PSA for the Alamo Drafthouse theater chain. The result is great, as it features the two perfectly in character as seen in the Before films, but also because it plays with the fourth wall and expresses some of the vitriol that many audience members feel when someone else is being inconsiderate in a movie theater. Read More »

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The Purge seems like an idea born out of a late night stoner discussion. “Dude, what if, like, there was one day every year where there were no laws? People could go crazy, and society would self-regulate, and normals would just have to hide.”

Jason Blum, who worked with Ethan Hawke on Sinister, also produced The Purge, which casts Hawke as a rich guy who takes refuge inside his fortress of a home during one day of the year where all laws and emergency services are suspended. The film has the edge of a home invasion thriller, with masks recalling The Strangers and You’re Next even as they also conjure up Guy Fawkes. But there’s a bit of a speculative bent thanks to the supposed effect of the purge — American society, stripped of all the elements that kill each other off during the lawless day, is stronger than ever.

So the wealthy Hawke and his family are hiding at home, but their daughter gives refuge to a man afraid for his life. And then the people who want to kill him come calling. What happens next? Check out the trailer below. Read More »

Before Midnight (header)

Before Midnight is perhaps the most unlikely sequel you’ll see this year, and it is very much a film you should see. Director Richard Linklater reunited with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy to revisit the characters they created in Before Sunrise (1995) and to whom they first returned in Before Sunset (2004). The result is among the best films released in 2013 so far. For this third film, the trio ended up in Greece, where they crafted a story about the stage of a romantic relationship that has moved far past the first blooms of love.

If you don’t want to know anything about how Hawke and Delpy’s characters are seen together once more, don’t even watch this trailer. Not that it gives away too much, but there are some basic story points it can’t help but reveal. So if you’d like to go in truly cold, just wait for the May release date. For those open to knowing a bit about where Celine and Jesse are today, check out the footage below. Read More »

Briefly: One of the biggest hits of Sundance last month was Richard Linklater‘s third collaboration with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, Before Midnight. The film was universally praised as a great picture, and a very satisfying continuation of the story begun in Before Sunrise (’95) and Before Sunset (’04).

Sony Pictures Classics nabbed the film at Sundance, to no one’s surprise, and now we know that some audiences won’t have long to wait. Expect to see the film in New York and LA on May 24. Read More »

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