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The Magnificent Seven Review

Good

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic 1960 Western, itself a remake of the masterful 1954 Japanese original Seven Samurai. Reteaming with his Training Day stars Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke, Fuqua injects some very manly grit into the tale of a ragtag gang of mercenaries who find themselves trying to save a town in peril. It's a great story, and Fuqua delivers plenty of punch in the action set-pieces. But the characters and situations never quite rise beyond the usual Wild West cliches, and toning everything down for the required PG-13 rating creates an oddly celebratory tone, as if the brutality isn't that bad, really.

In a peaceful village in the middle of nowhere, greedy corporate baron Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard) has discovered gold, so he decides to buy up everyone's land. When the homesteaders resist, Bogue turns vicious, and the newly widowed Emma (Haley Bennett) refuses to go quietly. Instead, she hires notorious gunslinger Chisolm (Washington), who in turn rustles up six more desperados: hard-drinking sharpshooter Faraday (Chris Pratt), fading legend Goodnight (Hawke), burly bear-man Horne (Vincent D'Onofrio), blade expert Billy (Byung-hun Lee), Mexican outlaw Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo) and Native American warrior Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier). Not only do they need to become a team, but they need to teach these timid farmers how to fight against Bogue's approaching army.

Screenwriters Nic Pizzolatto and Richard Wenk have reduced the plot to the bare basics: scrappy good guys versus a slick, well-organised villain. There's never a compelling reason why Bogue wants the farmland (is there gold under the cornfields?), but he's clearly willing to kill everyone and level the entire town to get it. In this sense, Sarsgaard has the least subtle role in the film, but he has a great time snarling and shouting and generally being the devil incarnate. But then all of the roles are fairly simplified, with each of the seven teammates having a basic trait to combine with their general heroism: cool, cheeky, weary, quirky, flashy, rambunctious and lethal, respectively.

Continue reading: The Magnificent Seven Review

In A Valley Of Violence Trailer


Paul is a loner who travels the west with only his dog and horse for company. As ex-military man, he spends his days alone and decides to head towards the Mexican border. The drifter lands in a small ex-mining town called Denton and it doesn't take long for Paul to find enemies.

The town is led by the Sheriff who generally wants to keep the moneyless town free of violence - the town's biggest problem is the Sherriff's son, Gilly, who's constantly in bother and leads a ragtag group of misfit into trouble. Not knowing who he's coming against, Gilly starts a rivalry with Paul and the two fight.

As usual, the sheriff cleans up Gilly's mess and tells Paul to leave, however Gilly cannot let belittling go and tracks down Paul. After a brutal yet quick meeting, Paul is left with nothing and swears revenge on Gilly. Now the whole town on Denton find themselves caught up in the middle of a violent and ongoing altercation.

Continue: In A Valley Of Violence Trailer

Maggie's Plan Review

Good

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a lot like a Woody Allen movie. Although writer-director Rebecca Miller keeps it rather cute and silly, avoiding the more pointed issues raised in her script. Still, the snaky, farcical story is very entertaining, and the witty performances from the terrific cast make it well worth a look.

Greta Gerwig plays Maggie, a woman who has given up on finding the perfect man, so she sets out to have a child using a donation from a pickle entrepreneur (Travis Fimmel). Then just after she has the fertilisation procedure, she falls for her fellow professor John (Ethan Hawke), who's looking for a reason to leave his haughty Danish wife Georgette (Julianne Moore). Three years later, Maggie and John are settled down with their toddler daughter. But Maggie is frustrated that John has become aimless, unable to finish his long-in-the-works novel. She's also somehow ended up raising his and Georgette's kids (Mina Sundwall and Jackson Frazer). So she hatches a plan to get Georgette to take him back.

The premise is ingenious, and Miller fills it in with colourful characters and lots of detail, plus several convenient twists and implausible turns of the plot. This keeps the film from ever becoming more than a bit of nutty fluff, but at least it's entertaining fluff. Gerwig and Hawke are superb as self-involved people whose relationship develops in surprisingly resonant ways. Both are sympathetic but not hugely likeable in the way they remain oblivious to everyone around them, and watching them interact is a lot of fun. But the entire film is stolen by Moore in a hilariously spiky turn as the high-maintenance Georgette, who peers imperiously through her riotous array of furs and scarves but can only barely hide the fragile person inside.

Continue reading: Maggie's Plan Review

The Magnificent Seven Trailer


After the murder of her husband, a widow and resident of the town of Rose Creek finds herself seeking revenge over the brutal methods of Bartholomew Bogue, the man responsible for the death of her partner. Bartholomew is a ruthless industrialist and has his sights set on the town of Rose Creek and will go to any lengths to take it from the residents.

The widow makes contact with a bounty hunter named Sam Chisolm who agrees to help her look for gun fighters to help protect the town. Though the money is little, Chisolm begins his search for skilled gun slingers who might be able to help lead the resistance against Bogue. Amongst the recruits are Josh Farraday, Goodnight Robicheaux, Jack Horne, Billy Rocks, Vasquez and Red Harvest. What begins as purely a monetary commitment for the men soon turns into something far more personal when they experience first-hand the lengths Bogue is willing to go to.

The Magnificent Seven is a remake of the 1960 movie which originally starred Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach and Steve McQueen. The new version of the movie follows a similar plot which has been adapted and written by True Detective writer Nic Pizzolatto and Richard Wenk. The score was composed by James Horner shortly before his death in 2015.

Seymour: An Introduction Trailer


Seymour Bernstein is one of the most influential piano players to grace his generation and this documentary directed by Ethan Hawke celebrates his life and accomplishments in regards to playing, composing and being a teacher. 

This film will leave you feeling uplifted as it takes you on a journey through his life in terms of his accomplishments in the industry and the numerous concerts he has played. He talks of the unique relationship that he has with life and music and how by now being a teacher he can part with this wisdom and share it with his pupils. 

The audience feels as if they are in capable hands when Seymour speaks about how music inspires an emotional response in all aspects of life and evokes emotion within. The knowledge and experience that ooze's from Bernstein voice draws you in and leaves you feeling inspired by what he has achieved in his life.

Maggie's Plan Trailer


Maggie's has always been practically minded and now that she's in her thirties and has decided that it's time to have a child, the small issue of not having a partner isn't going to stand in her way. She's never really experienced being head over heels in love so when she meets John Harding (an aspiring novelist) their instant connection comes as a shock to the sometimes bookish Maggie. 

As Maggie and John's relationship becomes more and more serious, Maggie seeks advice from her best friends. Falling for John isn't just a usual case of starting a relationship, John has many other people to consider - namely his wife and kids. John has been married to a Danish academic for years but over recent times, the couple have become more and more distant. 

Soon John realises that Maggie is a source of inspiration for him and he's ready to move on from his prior life. We fast-forward 2 years down the line and the couple have a child but Maggie isn't quite as head over heels in love with the man she thought John was. Maggie cannot bring herself to leave John and decides to come up a highly unconventional way to try and find a solution to her current predicament. 

10,000 Saints Trailer


Jude gets the surprise of his life when his biological father Les shows up at his adoptive mother's house in Vermont, ready to take him to Manhattan and become a real father to him. Jude is reluctant, given his father's questionable lifestyle and his drug-dealing ways, but the prospect of re-connecting with his friends Eliza and Johnny is tempting. Jude has more reason than most to hate the way his father makes money; it's not long since the death of his friend Teddy, who overdosed after a night out; and it's made even worse now that Les is in a relationship with Eliza's rich English mother Di. He has one escape though; his passion for straight-edge hardcore punk is at an all-time high and now that he's back with his friends, he can seize his guitar and play away the angst. Unfortunately, his peace isn't very long-lasting, because Eliza has one bombshell to drop that no-one was expecting - and it's going to change everything.

Continue: 10,000 Saints Trailer

A Week In Movies: Chappie And Cinderella Premiere In New York And L.A., Ethan Hawke Is Snapped On-Set, And New Trailers Arrive For Movies Starring Veterans Ian Mckellen, Ben Kingsley And Maggie Smith.


Neill Blomkamp Cate Blanchett Lily James Richard Madden Ethan Hawke Greta Gerwig Paul Dano Ian McKellen

Chappie

Neill Blomkamp's new film Chappie held its world premiere this week in New York, just a day before before it opened around the world. Blomkamp (who previously made District 9 and Elysium) was present along with stars Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver, Sharlto Copley and Dev Patel.

Photos - World film premiere of 'Chappie' at AMC Loews Lincoln Square - NYC

Continue reading: A Week In Movies: Chappie And Cinderella Premiere In New York And L.A., Ethan Hawke Is Snapped On-Set, And New Trailers Arrive For Movies Starring Veterans Ian Mckellen, Ben Kingsley And Maggie Smith.

A Week In Movies: Oscar Awards Birdman, Then The Stars Party And Return To Work. Trailers Arrive For Simon Pegg As An Aussie Hitman, A Bradley Cooper Romance And A Kristen Wiig Comedy


Michael Keaton Julianne Moore Channing Tatum Amy Adams Ethan Hawke Tom Cruise Simon Pegg

Birdman

Hollywood celebrated itself on Sunday night with the 87th Academy Awards, ignoring the critics' favourite Boyhood to present the best film, director and screenplay Oscars to the show business comedy Birdman. The lively presenters and winners were caught backstage by paparazzi in the press room.

Photos - 87th Annual Oscars Red Press Room - Sunday 22nd February 2015

Continue reading: A Week In Movies: Oscar Awards Birdman, Then The Stars Party And Return To Work. Trailers Arrive For Simon Pegg As An Aussie Hitman, A Bradley Cooper Romance And A Kristen Wiig Comedy

Ethan Hawke - the EE British Academy Film Awards held at The Opera House at British Academy Film Awards - London, United Kingdom - Sunday 8th February 2015

Ethan Hawke

Ethan Hawke - The EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) 2015 Official After Party held at the Grosvenor House hotel - Arrivals at Grosvenor House - London, United Kingdom - Sunday 8th February 2015

Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke

Ethan Hawke - Various stars of film and television were photographed on the red carpet as they arrived for the the EE British Academy of Film and Television Awards which were held at The Opera House in London, United Kingdom - Sunday 8th February 2015

Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke

Ethan Hawke, Ellar Coltrane and Patricia Arquette - Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2015 - American Riviera Award at Arlington Theater - Santa Barbara, California, United States - Friday 6th February 2015

Ethan Hawke, Ellar Coltrane and Patricia Arquette
Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke, Ellar Coltrane and Patricia Arquette

Ethan Hawke, Lorelei Linklater and Ellar Coltrane - 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - Arrivals at Shrine Auditorium, Screen Actors Guild - Los Angeles, United States - Sunday 25th January 2015

Ethan Hawke, Lorelei Linklater and Ellar Coltrane
Ethan Hawke, Lorelei Linklater and Ellar Coltrane
Ethan Hawke, Lorelei Linklater and Ellar Coltrane
Ethan Hawke, Lorelei Linklater and Ellar Coltrane
Ethan Hawke, Lorelei Linklater and Ellar Coltrane
Ethan Hawke, Lorelei Linklater and Ellar Coltrane

Richard Linklater, Ellar Coltrane, Cathleen Sutherland and Ethan Hawke - A variety of stars were photographed on the red carpet as they attended the Producers Guild of America's 26th Awards ceremony which was held at Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 24th January 2015

Richard Linklater, Ellar Coltrane, Cathleen Sutherland and Ethan Hawke
Richard Linklater, Ellar Coltrane and Cathleen Sutherland
Richard Linklater, Ellar Coltrane, Cathleen Sutherland and Ethan Hawke

Ethan Hawke and sister - A variety of stars were photographed on the red carpet as they attended the Producers Guild of America's 26th Awards ceremony which was held at Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles, California, United States - Sunday 25th January 2015

Ethan Hawke and Sister
Ellar Coltrane, Ethan Hawke, Richard Linklater and Cathleen Sutherland
Ethan Hawke and Sister

Ethan Hawke - A variety of stars were photographed on the red carpet as they attended the Producers Guild of America's 26th Awards ceremony which was held at Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 24th January 2015

Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke
Ellar Coltrane, Ethan Hawke, Richard Linklater and Cathleen Sutherland
Ellar Coltrane, Ethan Hawke, Richard Linklater and Cathleen Sutherland
Ethan Hawke

Ethan Hawke - Museum of Moving Image Salutes Julianne Moore at 583 Park Avenue - Arrivals at 583 Park Avenue, - New York, United States - Wednesday 21st January 2015

Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke

Ethan Hawke - Shots of a variety of stars as they took to the red carpet for the Museum Of The Moving Image as they honored Julianne Moore at 583 Park Avenue in New York City, New York, United States - Tuesday 20th January 2015

Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke

Ethan Hawke - A host of stars were snapped as they attended the 20th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards which were held at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, California, United States - Friday 16th January 2015

Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke

Critic's Choice Awards Honour Oscar-Snubbed Movies [Photos]


Michael Keaton Julianne Moore Jennifer Aniston David Oyelowo Oprah Winfrey Ethan Hawke Angelina Jolie

While the Academy Award nominations may have angered quite a few people, the Critic's Choice Awards took place on the same day (15th January 2015) at the Hollywood Palladium. Hosted by Michael Strahan, this year's Critic's Choice Awards was the twentieth anniversary of the ceremony, and continued the tradition of honouring some of the very best that the year's cinema had to offer. 

Michael Keaton won both 'Best Actor' and 'Best Actor in a Comedy Movie' (Credit Christopher Polk - Getty Images)
Michael Keaton won both 'Best Actor' and 'Best Actor in a Comedy Movie' (Credit Christopher Polk - Getty Images)

The ceremony differed from the upcoming Academy Awards in several ways. One of these was how it took the stance of being one of the few prestigious award ceremonies to honour 'Guardians of the Galaxy' (awarding it 'Best Action Movie' and 'Best Hair and Makeup'), and furthermore awarding the title of 'Best Animated Feature' to 'The Lego Movie' (which was shockingly snubbed by the Academy Award nominations).  Perhaps Chris Pratt is just a magnet for these things.

Continue reading: Critic's Choice Awards Honour Oscar-Snubbed Movies [Photos]

Ethan Hawke - A host of stars were snapped as they attended the 20th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards which were held at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, California, United States - Thursday 15th January 2015

Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke

Ethan Hawke - A host of stars were snapped as they attended the 20th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards which were held at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, California, United States - Friday 16th January 2015

Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke

Ethan Hawke - A host of stars were snapped as they attended the 20th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards which were held at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, California, United States - Thursday 15th January 2015

Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke

Lorelei Linklater, Ethan Hawke and Ellar Coltrane - MOVIESTORE COLLECTION LTD - - Tuesday 16th December 2014

Lorelei Linklater, Ethan Hawke and Ellar Coltrane
Lorelei Linklater and Ellar Coltrane

Ethan Hawke and Ryan Hawke - 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel - Arrivals at Golden Globe Awards, Beverly Hilton Hotel - Los Angeles, California, United States - Sunday 11th January 2015

Ethan Hawke and Ryan Hawke

Ethan Hawke and Sarah Snook - Photographs of the American actor Ethan Hawke along with actress Sarah Snook as they attended the actors hand and footprints Ceremony which was held at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX in Los Angeles, California, United States - Thursday 8th January 2015

Ethan Hawke and Sarah Snook
Ethan Hawke and Sarah Snook
Ethan Hawke and Sarah Snook
Ethan Hawke and Sarah Snook
Ethan Hawke and Sarah Snook
Ethan Hawke and Sarah Snook

Ethan Hawke - Photographs of the American actor Ethan Hawke as he placed hand and footprints in cement during a Ceremony which was held at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX in Los Angeles, California, United States - Thursday 8th January 2015

Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke

Ethan Hawke - Four of today's leading men lend their screen presence to an act of photographic forensics: Ansel Elgort (The Fault in Our Stars; Men, Women and Children; Divergent; and the upcoming Insurgent), Ethan Hawke (The 'Before' Trilogy; Boyhood; Predestination; Regression), Jack O'Connell (Unbroken; Starred Up; '71) and Miles Teller (The Spectacular Now; Whiplash; The Fantastic Four). - - Friday 19th December 2014

Ethan Hawke

Ethan Hawke - Celebrities outside the Ed Sullivan Theater, as they arrive for their taping on the 'Late Show with David Letterman' at Ed Sullivan Theater - New York City, New York, United States - Tuesday 6th January 2015

Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke

Zoe Kazan, Josh Hamilton, Ethan Hawke, Paul Dano, Jonathan Marc Sherman and Peter Dinklage - The New Group benefit reading of "Things We Want" held at the Signature Theatre - Arrivals. at Signature Theatre, - New York, New York, United States - Monday 5th January 2015

Zoe Kazan, Josh Hamilton, Ethan Hawke, Paul Dano, Jonathan Marc Sherman and Peter Dinklage
Zoe Kazan
Zoe Kazan
Zoe Kazan
Zoe Kazan, Josh Hamilton, Ethan Hawke, Paul Dano, Jonathan Marc Sherman and Peter Dinklage
Scott Elliott, Zoe Kazan, Josh Hamilton, Ethan Hawke, Paul Dano, Jonathan Marc Sherman, Peter Dinklage and Adam Bernstein

Ethan Hawke - Celebrities at the BBC Radio 2 studios - London, United Kingdom - Thursday 18th December 2014

Ethan Hawke

Ethan Hawke - Ethan Hawke outside ITV Studios - London, United Kingdom - Thursday 18th December 2014

Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke

Ethan Hawke and Ellar Coltrane - Photographs of a variety of stars as they arrived at the 24th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards which were held at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City, New York, United States - Monday 1st December 2014

Ethan Hawke and Ellar Coltrane
Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke
Ellar Coltrane, Ethan Hawke and Guest

21 Years: Richard Linklater - Clips


Indie filmmaking is one of the best niches to find super-talented directors and writers; and none more so than Richard Linklater. Having recently received a flood of praise for the extraordinary and innovative 'Boyhood' - a movie filmed over thirteen years with the same actors - actors and movie makers everywhere join this appraising documentary marking 21 years of amazing cinema from this artist. With works including the decade spanning romance trilogy 'Before Sunrise', musical comedy 'School of Rock', animated thriller 'A Scanner Darkly', crime drama 'Bernie' and underdog flicks 'Slacker' and 'Bad News Bears', the Texan cine-hero continues to produce imaginative and totally unique, genre-crossing stories with comedy 'That's What I'm Talking About' and a 'School of Rock' TV series marking his upcoming projects.

Continue: 21 Years: Richard Linklater - Clips

Uma Thurman’s 16 Year Old Daughter Maya Causes Us To Do A Double Take At ‘The Theory Of Everything’ Premiere


Uma Thurman Ethan Hawke

Uma Thurman certainly brought a head turning date to the New York premiere of The Theory Of Everything, her stunning sixteen year old daughter Maya Thurman-Hawke.

Uma Thurman and daughter MayaThurman and her 16 year old daughter Maya Credit: Getty / Larry Busacca

Of course a daughter looking like her mother is hardly unusual, but we just couldn't help but be struck by the uncanny resemblance between these two. Seriously, looking at Maya we feel as if we travelled back in time to Uma’s Dangerous Liaisons days.

Continue reading: Uma Thurman’s 16 Year Old Daughter Maya Causes Us To Do A Double Take At ‘The Theory Of Everything’ Premiere

Ethan Hawke - Stars were snapped as they took to the red carpet at the Screening of action, crime thriller 'The Equalizer' in New York City, New York, United States - Monday 22nd September 2014

Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke

A Week In Movies: Stars Premiere Films In Venice And Toronto, While Films Shoot In Los Angeles And London. Pixar Teases Lava, And Trailers Debut For Museum And Bosses Sequels


Al Pacino Owen Wilson Andrew Garfield Ethan Hawke January Jones Eddie Redmayne Zac Efron Ryan Reynolds

Al Pacino VIFF 2014

The Venice Film Festival came to a close this week with a flurry of star-studded premieres and the glitzy awards ceremony. Al Pacino was on hand with his film Manglehorn, Owen Wilson premiered his new comedy She's Funny That Way, Andrew Garfield and Michael Shannon walked the red carpet for 99 Homes, and Ethan Hawke and January Jones turned up for the screening of Good Kill.

Video - Al Pacino Signs Autographs At The 'Manglehorn' Premiere

Continue reading: A Week In Movies: Stars Premiere Films In Venice And Toronto, While Films Shoot In Los Angeles And London. Pixar Teases Lava, And Trailers Debut For Museum And Bosses Sequels

Video - Ethan Hawke And January Jones Among Arrivals At VIFF 'Good Kill' Premiere


The stars of terrorist thriller 'Good Kill' - Zoe Kravitz, January Jones and Ethan Hawke - were spotted arriving on the red carpet for the movie's premiere held at the 71st Venice International Film Festival. The Andrew Niccol directed movie is about a drone pilot who questions his Taliban killing mission when it seems he's fighting a never-ending war.

Continue: Video - Ethan Hawke And January Jones Among Arrivals At VIFF 'Good Kill' Premiere

Boyhood: The "Tremendous Risk" That Came Good At This Weekend's Box Office


Richard Linklater Ellar Coltrane Patricia Arquette Ethan Hawke

The box office was dominated by big budget blockbusters this weekend: Dawn of The Planet of The Apes finally usurped Transformers: Age of Extinction’s dominance at the top of the pile. But the real evolution story was told in Boyhood, as Mason became a young man and Richard Linklater proved his worth as one of the most of innovative auteurs working in cinema today.

Ellar Coltrane and Lorelei LinklaterEllar Coltrane and Lorelei Linklater star in Boyhood

Linklater’s scripted coming of age movie, shot intermittently over 12 years using the same actors (Ellar Coltrane, Lorelie Linklater, Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke) indulges in the familiarity of domestic life. As we see the characters grow emotionally (via Linklaters incredibly relatable and organic screenplay) and physically (via simple biology – something Linklater managed to turn into a cinematic tool) we relate to the ostensibly forgettable nuances of childhood and adulthood, culminating in an intensely watchable modern masterpiece.

Continue reading: Boyhood: The "Tremendous Risk" That Came Good At This Weekend's Box Office

The Labor Day Box Office Round-Up: Which Film "Cleaned Up" Over The Record Weekend?


Forest Whitaker Lee Daniels Oprah Winfrey One Direction Ethan Hawke Selena Gomez

This year's Labor Day box office takings marked a record year for Hollywood, with an estimated $156 million paid to see movies across the national holiday weekend. One film "steamed" ahead over the weekend to give all other contenders the "brush" off by "sweeping" in $20 million over the four day holiday. Ok, enough of the cleaning puns; if you hadn't guessed, Lee Daniels' The Butler was the highest earning movie of the weekend, advancing its existing domestic earnings to a total of $79.3 million, according to THR.

Watch The Butler Trailer:

Continue reading: The Labor Day Box Office Round-Up: Which Film "Cleaned Up" Over The Record Weekend?

Oh Dear, Ethan Hawke's 'Getaway' Didn't Get Away With Being A Bad Film


Ethan Hawke Jon Voight Selena Gomez

Some films aren’t appreciated in their time, and go on to become cult films. Some movies are so bad, they’re good, and people just love to hate them – a la The Room or Birdemic – but some films are just plain bad. They’re so bad, the critics are merciless, and the investable box office crash that ensues can set actors’ careers back a few years.

Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez and Jon Voight Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez and Jon Voight at the Los Angeles premiere of 'Getaway'

Getaway seems to have fallen into the latter category: an awful film that no one will actually begin to ironically like in years to come. There’s always the chance they could, but films that really try to be cool tend to get tossed on the pile labeled ‘Monte Cristo that was bad.’

Continue reading: Oh Dear, Ethan Hawke's 'Getaway' Didn't Get Away With Being A Bad Film

Ethan Hawke To Play Macbeth On Broadway


Ethan Hawke

Ethan Hawke will take on one of the most famous roles in theatre. He will be playing the title role in Shakespeare’s Macbeth at the Lincoln Center Theater on Broadway. This is not the first time Hawke has tackled Shakespeare, he received favourable reviews for his performance as the rebel Hotspur in Henry IV.

Macbeth will see Hawke reunited with theatre director Jack O’Brien, whom he worked with on Henry IV and Stoppard’s The Coast of Utopia. Hawke also starred in a 2000 film production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Macbeth or the ‘Scottish Play’, for those who are a thespian background, centres on a Scottish noble and his power hungry wife. To gain the throne Macbeth is obliged to murder a number of his friends including the King of Scotland. The whole fiasco ends in tragedy with rebellion, suicide, madness and a walking wood. Macbeth is without doubt Shakespeare’s bloodiest and most macabre tragedy. Hawke is not one to shy away from unpleasant topics as his work has included the horror film Sinister, crime thriller What Doesn’t Kill You and the vampire thriller Daybreakers. The play has been the topic of numerous feature films and documentaries.

Other actors who have played Macbeth include Laurence Olivier, Sir Ian McKellen and David Tennant. With some of the greatest actors of our times to be compared to, Hawke has set himself a tough task. We will have to wait until October to see if Hawke can pull off such a demanding role.

Continue reading: Ethan Hawke To Play Macbeth On Broadway

A Week In Movies: Superman Arrives, Armie Hits Cowboy Bootcamp, Naomi Is Diana


Henry Cavill Amy Adams Zack Snyder Emma Watson Sofia Coppola Armie Hammer Naomi Watts Woody Allen Cate Blanchett Ethan Hawke

A still from Man Of Steel

The new Superman and Lois Lane, Henry Cavill and Amy Adams, were out on the red carpet this week for two big premieres for Man of Steel, the franchise reboot by Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan. After major events in Los Angeles and London, they're now heading to Shanghai. Critical reaction has been strongly positive to the film, which opens this weekend

Also opening this weekend in America, and July 5th in the UK, The Bling Ring tells the true story of a group of teens who systematically robbed Hollywood homes, including those of Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan. The film's star Emma Watson, discusses the movie in a special short feature alongside director Sofia Coppola and producer Youree Henley.

Continue reading: A Week In Movies: Superman Arrives, Armie Hits Cowboy Bootcamp, Naomi Is Diana

Getaway: Trailer Released For Driving Action Thriller [Trailer]


Ethan Hawke Selena Gomez Rebecca Budig Courtney Solomon

No, Getaway isn't the title of a new idyllic holiday movie where beach-bodies lounge under palm trees to ukulele music - it's the name of new action-packed crime thriller from joint directors, Courtney Solomon and Yaron Levy.

Perpetually goatee'd Ethan Hawke (Before Sunrise, The Purge) plays Brent Magna, a former racing driver whose mad skills are exploited by a mysterious stranger, who has kidnapped Magna's wife Leanne (Rebecca Budig) who, as reiterated in the trailer repeatedly, is beautiful. Why has she been kidnapped? How on Earth can her kidnappers constantly see what Magna is up to? (We'd love to know what phone network he uses that doesn't cut out when he's in a tunnel, seriously).

Cue a film that gives the impression of a mix between Taken (2008) and Drive (2011) - a man must drive like crazy to save the woman he loves from the evil clutches of an omniscient antagonist with a generic European 'evil baddie' accent.

Continue reading: Getaway: Trailer Released For Driving Action Thriller [Trailer]

The Purge Slays Contenders In Opening Weekend, Despite Critics' Disdain


Ethan Hawke James DeMonaco

Starring Ethan Hawke, The Purge is set in the not-so-distant future of a 2022 America and narrates a future where crime and unemployment statistics are at an all-time low after all criminal mayhem is permitted by government ruling for a 12 hour annual period: murder, robbery and neighbour-bashing are all perfectly condoned in the cathartic night of 'Purge.'

Initial ratings showed that, despite an intriguing premise, critics weren't impressed and the film was slaughtered, garnering a squishy current 41% rating on Rotten Tomatoes' tomatometer.

"Predictable!" scorned The Guardian; "heavy-handed and crude!", disparaged the NY Times. However against all odds, the mini-budget James DeMonaco thriller - working with a teeny budget of just $3million - has raked in the dough in its profitable first weekend after being release on 7th June, scooping $36.4million (£23.5m).

Continue reading: The Purge Slays Contenders In Opening Weekend, Despite Critics' Disdain

The Purge Reviews - Close But No Cigar, Say The Critics


Ethan Hawke Lena Headey

On Friday (June 7), The Purge will hit cinemas and let audiences experience 90 minutes of a utopian world where, one night a year, the emergency services are suspended and chaos rules supreme. Whilst this sounds like a promising prospect - not in reality, but to watch - critics have warned that the film is not as worthwhile as it seems at first glance, and in film where the idea that a utopia can become just the opposite in a few short hours is proposed, it is never portrayed sufficiently.

Watch the Trailer for The Purge

Staring Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey and written/directed by James DeMonaco (Assault on Precinct 13), the film is set in a time when unemployment is at 1% and crime rates are the lowest they've ever been in the US, yet people are locking up their doors and boarding the window as the annual 'Purge' is about to occur; a 12-hour period when all crime is legal and society turns it's back on law and order. During this particular 'Purge,' Hawke and Headey's house is visited by a stranger who seeks sanctity, which is reluctantly given, only for a group of armed hoodlums to come to the house with a proposition that will test their morals; give them the guest and they'll leave.

Continue reading: The Purge Reviews - Close But No Cigar, Say The Critics

Video - Zachary Quinto, Hilary Rhoda And Linda Cardellini Spotted At 2013 CFDA Fashion Awards - Part 3


'Star Trek Into Darkness' actor Zachary Quinto made a star appearance at the 2013 Cfda Fashion Awards held at Alice Tully Hall in New York City alongside Sports Illustrated model Hilary Rhoda and 'Mad Men' star Linda Cardellini.

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Video - Julie Delpy And Ethan Hawke At 'Before Midnight' Screening At The 2013 Tribeca Film Festival


'Before Sunset' stars Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke are snapped arriving at the screening of their new movie 'Before Midnight' during the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival in New York. Ethan stops to sign an object shaped like a softball for one fan.

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The Oscars Are Asinine: Ethan Hawke Slams Major Movie Awards Ceremony


Ethan Hawke Joaquin Phoenix Academy Of Motion Pictures And Sciences

“Look at how many forgettable, stupid movies have won Oscars and how many mediocre performers have Oscars above their fireplace.” This is just one of the derisory comments that actor Ethan Hawke made about The Oscars, which, if you weren’t already aware (and if not, where have you been hiding, exactly?) take place this Sunday, February 24, 2013.

The comments were made in an interview with Gotham magazine (and reported online by New York Post, echoing Joaquin Phoenix’s recent views that the Oscars are nothing more than a load of bull. Slamming the high profile ceremony as “asinine,” he explained that awards ceremonies in the movie industry simply breed unnecessary competition, rather than focusing on the artistry at hand. “Making a priority of chasing these fake carrots and money and dubious accolades, I think it’s really destructive, he vented. “People want to turn everything in this country into a competition [so] it’s clear who the winner is and who the loser is… It’s why they like to announce the grosses of movies, because it’s a way of saying ‘this one is number one.’

This year’s Oscars ceremony, should you take a different view of competition within the movie industry, will take place on February 24, 2013 and will be hosted by Seth MacFarlane. Ethan Hawke is not nominated for any Oscars this year so at least he’ll avoid the hypocrisy that an acceptance speech may have brought him. 

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Pictures: Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, 'Moonrise Kingdom' Honored At 22nd Annual Gotham Independent Awards


Marion Cotillard Matt Damon Wes Anderson Emily Blunt Jared Leto Willem Dafoe Jack Black Ethan Hawke David O Russell Agyness Deyn

Marion Cotillard, Gotham Awards 2012Matt Damon and Lucian Bozan Barroso

Oscar winning alumni Marion Cotillard [Left] and Matt Damon [Right, with Luciana Bozan Barroso] were given honorary achievements at the Gothan Awards

One of the most respected independent awards ceremonies on the circuit, the 22nd annual Gotham Independent Film Awards took place last night (November 26, 2012) at the Capriani in New York, seeing both established stars and rising up and comers rubbing shoulders. Firmly in the former camp are Oscar winning pair Marion Cotillard and Matt Damon; the two stars were presented with honorary awards for their time in the film industry. Cotillard, at least, has her eyes on another chance to scoop the ultimate prize, her performance in Rust & Bone being talked up for another best actress win at the Oscars. 

Continue reading: Pictures: Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, 'Moonrise Kingdom' Honored At 22nd Annual Gotham Independent Awards

Ethan Hawke Wows Critics In The Classic Stage Company's Ivanov


Ethan Hawke

Ethan Hawke, the Hollywood star best known for his movie roles in Training Day and Before Sunrise, is winning plaudits for his current role in the Classic Stage Company's Ivanov. Hawke made his debut in the Chekhov play on Sunday evening (November 11, 2012), and received a flurry of positive reviews from critics.

The play tells the story of Nikolai Ivanov, a man struggling to regain his former glory in the Russian provinces. Writing in the New York Times, Ben Brantley said, "From the get-go Mr. Hawke appears in such an advanced, manic state of misery that your instinct is to call for a straitjacket. Best known as a movie actor, Mr. Hawke in the flesh exudes a solar energy that has made him a formidable stage presence." The Associated Press' Jennifer Ferrar said Hawke "does a heroic job of being both appealing and insufferable as Ivanov," adding that he is "extremely energetic" with Ivanov's despair. Thom Geier of Entertainment Weekly was a little more reserved in his review of the production, arguing that Hawke takes an "actorly approach to the role," adding, "It's an almost manic take on melancholia, a contradiction that makes his character's trajectory feel more like the stuff of melodrama than tragedy."

As well as working on-stage, Hawke is also filming Boyhood, Richard Linklater's new drama set for a 2015 release.

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Is New Movie 'Sinister' Actually All That Sinister?


Ethan Hawke Scott Derrickson

'Sinister' is the new horror film from director Scott Derrickson who was responsible for 'The Exorcism of Emily Rose'. It stars Ethan Hawke, who plays Ellison, a true-crime writer who- for some reason- moves his family to the home of a murdered family- a case which was still unsolved on their moving there.

Reviews have been mixed, but always focuses on one of two questions, firstly- is the film scary? And secondly, is the film good? At one level, for a horror, one might think that to be 'good' it needs to be scary, or that to be 'scary', by proxy, means that it's good. Indeed, what is the mark of a good horror film- does it need a brilliant script, does it need some psychological thrills, an excellent score or does it just need all out gore? Arguably, a mix of all three. But horror has long prevailed and found cult popularity in being fundamentally rubbish, particularly in the old style Hammer horrors of the '50s.

For many, the most frustrating thing about many thrillers and horrors is the question repeated by many an audience 'BUT WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?!' And the question remains for 'Sinister'. Why on earth would Ellison move his entire family to a murder scene? He argues “I had to move here. The new story I’m writing is here.” Not a particularly valid argument. Nevertheless, as the audience inevitably expects, their moving to this house is the catalyst to further horrors and more blood spill.

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New York, I Love You Review


Very Good
There are 11 captivating short films in this anthology, the second in the Cities of Love series by producers Benbihy and Grasic. But this collection isn't quite as varied or engaging as Paris Je T'Aime.

All of these stories take place in Manhattan, with only one or two brief forays into other boroughs, and they all centre around relatively well-off people, mainly white or Asian. They're also quite serious and emotional, with only brief moments of humour dotted here and there, although some make us smile more than others. Each is about a male-female relationship--marriages, brief encounters, possibilities, life-long companionship. Most have a somewhat gimmicky twist, and a few are intriguingly oblique.

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Brooklyn's Finest Review


Good
This darkly shaded cop drama has an effectively moody tone, although it never feels any more gritty or realistic than a TV series. And despite solid acting, the plot feels both contrived and rather lethargic.

Three Brooklyn cops are confronting moral dilemmas on the job. Eddie (Gere) is a week away from retirement when he's asked to help a couple of rookies learn the ropes. But he'd rather just keep his head down. Tango (Cheadle) is deep undercover in a drug sting, threatened by a tough FBI agent (Barkin) to set up his childhood friend (Snipes). And Sal (Hawke) is looking to steal some drug-bust cash to top up his salary so he can look after his pregnant wife (Taylor) and children.

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Daybreakers Review


Good
Yet another entry into the post-apocalyptic vampire/zombie catalog, this stylish film at least has a sense of its own absurdity. While it plays everything dead straight, it also has a lot of fun with the rules of the genre.

It's 2019, and a virus has turned 95 percent of the population into vampires.

The problem is that as humans become extinct the vampires are starving for blood. So haematologist Edward (Hawke) is looking for a blood substitute, driven for profits by his aggressive boss (Neill). Trials aren't going well when Edward runs into some humans (including Karvan and Dafoe) who have a radical alternative: a cure for vampirism. But Edward's human-hunting military brother (Dorman) isn't happy about this.

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Brooklyn's Finest Trailer


Watch the trailer for Brooklyn's Finest

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Daybreakers Trailer


Watch the trailer for Daybreakers

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What Doesn't Kill You Review


OK
A recovery film being touted as a crime thriller, What Doesn't Kill You suffers from the problem of most recovery stories in that it essentially has no final act. With the average character study this isn't really an issue, but for a film that starts off with an armored car robbery going badly awry (narration over a freeze-frame of a robber desperately blasting away tells us: "Never do armored cars"), the lack of satisfying denouement seriously damages what is otherwise a perfectly solid drama.

The movie is billed as the true-life story of the film's director/co-writer Brian Goodman, a South Boston guy who spent a few years in jail before getting his break in Ted Demme's Monument Ave. and showing up in several projects by Rod Lurie (a producer on this film). Being that Goodman made a career in Hollywood as the kind of square-jawed tough who got mowed down by the G-Men in the final reel of an old Republic serial, it's fitting that his first project as filmmaker would be this scrappy piece about his pre-Hollywood life as a second-string Southie hoodlum.

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Before The Devil Knows You're Dead Review


Excellent
At the tender age of 83, director Sidney Lumet opens his latest film with a married couple going at it, doggy-style, in a bedroom full of mirrors. The wife is black-haired and thin while the husband is bulky and stares at the reflection as if it's his only moment of true triumph. In a recent interview, Lumet described the image as the man's idea of "classy"; an act of high-class privilege that the man can only hope to aspire to.

The man in question is Andy (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a pudgy volcano of a corporate hustler with a trophy wife. Gina (Marisa Tomei) fits that role to a T as she spends Andy's money and enjoys mid-day quickies with Andy's brother Hank (Ethan Hawke). Hank's money goes towards his ex-wife (a great Amy Ryan) and daughter while Andy's cash, when not with Gina, is spent on heroin in the très chic twentieth-floor apartment of his dealer in Manhattan. The boys need dough and their bourgeois office jobs aren't keeping it coming in. That's when Andy gets the idea.

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The Hottest State Review


Weak
The film version of Ethan Hawke's The Hottest State, which he adapted from his own novel of the same name, represents a strange form of time-travel. In it, the young actor Mark Webber embodies the kind of character -- self-conscious, scruffy, chatty, and able to make self-deprecation seem downright pretentious -- that Hawke himself grew out of playing about 10 years ago. Webber even sounds a bit like Hawke in his voiceover narration; it's like a low-tech version of motion capture, allowing Hawke to virtually direct his ten-years-younger self.

Perhaps not coincidentally, a decade back is about when the novel version of The Hottest State came out. Webber/Hawke's William is an aspiring actor, apparently, though if this aspect of the character is autobiographical, Hawke left out any details that explain how exactly he got through any auditions without clever asides or other low-key hipster gestures. William is the type of guy who talks about acting almost exclusively in terms of personal metaphors about pretending and deception, despite never appearing to act like anyone but his own insecure, talkative self. While I don't doubt that some young actors behave this way, I have a little more trouble believing they'd somehow get flown down to Mexico to star in an Alfonso Cuarón movie (the name of the fictional film's director is never mentioned, but it's briefly visible on a clapboard, just long enough to register vague disbelief, even if it is just an autobiographical in-joke -- the real-life Hawke appeared in Cuarón's version of Great Expectations).

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Fast Food Nation Review


Very Good
A few weeks ago, it was announced by McDonald's that it would be making an unprecedented push towards "class." Amongst other things, it will be installing wireless internet in a large amount of its restaurants and changing décor into a mellow, art-friendly utopia for college students. Basically, it's tired of Starbucks being the only double-edged sword in the drawer. Sounds nice, but these aesthetic changes won't matter much in the face of the horrors depicted in Richard Linklater's Fast Food Nation.

Adapted from the inadaptable investigative best-seller by Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation sets a whirlwind of brouhaha in a small Colorado town. The town in question, Cody, doesn't really exist but neither does the fast food chain that started there, Mickey's (God that sounds familiar). Mickey's flagship meal is The Big One, an extra-large patty processed and shipped at a local meatpacking plant that employs illegal aliens like young couple Sylvia (the excellent Catalina Sandino Moreno) and Raul (a shockingly restrained Wilmer Valderrama). The Big One was thought up by Mickey's marketing whiz-kid Don Henderson (Greg Kinnear), who has been sent to Cody to investigate a high amount of fecal matter being found in the product that made him a success.

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Fast Food Nation Review


Very Good
A few weeks ago, it was announced by McDonald's that it would be making an unprecedented push towards "class." Amongst other things, it will be installing wireless internet in a large amount of its restaurants and changing décor into a mellow, art-friendly utopia for college students. Basically, it's tired of Starbucks being the only double-edged sword in the drawer. Sounds nice, but these aesthetic changes won't matter much in the face of the horrors depicted in Richard Linklater's Fast Food Nation.

Adapted from the inadaptable investigative best-seller by Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation sets a whirlwind of brouhaha in a small Colorado town. The town in question, Cody, doesn't really exist but neither does the fast food chain that started there, Mickey's (God that sounds familiar). Mickey's flagship meal is The Big One, an extra-large patty processed and shipped at a local meatpacking plant that employs illegal aliens like young couple Sylvia (the excellent Catalina Sandino Moreno) and Raul (a shockingly restrained Wilmer Valderrama). The Big One was thought up by Mickey's marketing whiz-kid Don Henderson (Greg Kinnear), who has been sent to Cody to investigate a high amount of fecal matter being found in the product that made him a success.

Continue reading: Fast Food Nation Review

Tape Review


Bad
While the film world awaits what sounds like a daring experiment from director Richard Linklater -- the animated Waking Life, coming in October -- the filmmaker attempts to hold us over with Tape, a failure of a low-budget project if ever there was one. The movie is shot on video and confined to a single motel room, for the entirety of its real-time, 84-minute length. With such restrictive parameters self-imposed on a feature, success really must lie in creative direction, acting power, and a solid screenplay. All three are non-existent here.

Tape is based on a play by Stephen Belber, and the playwright contributes the clunky script, full of obvious dialogue and silly posturing. With one strike already against them, the experienced, name cast (Hawke, Leonard, and Thurman) then take the problem a step further, apparently not realizing that performances need to be taken down a notch on video, as the medium tends to overexpose every movement and moment. (While Thurman's performance is good, the trio need to watch Brad Anderson's Session 9 for a good example of subtle acting on video.)

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Great Expectations Review


Weak
You know, I didn't like the book Great Expectations when I was in high school, so I don't know why anyone thought it would be liked any better now. Hawke's meddling with the story is well-documented (including changing the main character's name from Pip to Finn). Then there's the updating to the 20th century, making Pip, er, Finn an artist (and a bad one at that), Bancroft's horrific drag-queenish dance instructor. De Niro's lost expression. Ugh. I'll take the book over this.

The Newton Boys Review


Very Good
Soon after we walked into the theater on opening night of The Newton Boys, I feared we had made a mistake. It seemed that the Leonardo's fan club had gotten lost, and instead of marching like lemmings into another screening of Titanic, these pre-ten girls had packed themselves into our cozy theater. The cries of "Oh baby" as soon as Matthew McConaughey appeared on screen, however, made me realize that they were simply looking for another cute young guy (or four) to gawk at.

The four young guys that our lovable preteens came to gawk at are McConaughey, Ethan Hawke, Skeet Ulrich, and Vincent D'Onofrio as Willis, Jess, Joe, and Dock Newton respectively. The Newton boys are you're stereotypical cowboys turned bank robbers who have decided that a home on the range isn't enough for them.

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Dead Poets Society Review


Essential
A rare masterwork from Weir and Williams, about the triumphs and tragedies of a prep school teacher (Williams, who does his best work ever here) and his students. The best stories and performances, one of the greatest films of the 1980s and a rare classic that should be treasured.

Gattaca Review


Very Good
I'd been looking forward to Gattaca since its clever promotions began several months ago, promising a story of a future-gone-wrong, a time when ethnic prejudice has given way to something even more frightening: genetic discrimination. It's in this setting that the genetically-inferior Vincent (played by Ethan Hawke) tries to advance his station by assuming the identity of Jerome (played by the creepy Jude Law), and putting the moves on the also-flawed Irene (Uma Thurman).

Everything goes well for awhile, and just as Vincent is about to realize his dream of going up as part of a space mission, the web starts to untangle. Here's where the problems of Gattaca start: you see, as a mystery, it really isn't much of one. The investigation into the murder of the mission director who may have known Vincent's secret is never very focused, and Alan Arkin's Columbo-type flatfoot seems to uncannily know where to go at every turn. By the time the investigation is over, the whole thing has felt like a put-on to waste an hour of screen time.

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The Velocity Of Gary Review


Terrible
I'd love to say that The Velocity of Gary is a critically-maligned, widely-hated, yet underrated film. Looks like the critics and the audiences were right. This is pure, unadulterated junk. I can stand "art movies." It's the lack of plot, asinine characters, and overall idiocy of Gary that makes this a wretched example of indie filmmaking.

Before Sunrise Review


Good
The hype surrounding this film by local wunderkind Richard Linklater has been hitting Austin for the past month, and I was really expecting Before Sunrise to be a great movie. The story is simple: Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) meet on the Eurail. They talk awhile, then Jesse woos her into getting off the train, where they spend his final night in Europe together in Vienna. Their relationship develops into a deep friendship, perhaps even love, over the course of the night. The next morning, Celine returns to the train station, and Jesse heads for the airport, and the movie's story is complete.

I have scarcely seen such genuine emotion portrayed on the screen, and the blooming romance between the two actors is absolutely believable. Unfortunately, often the dialogue is not. The hallmark of any Linklater film, people talk out of character as often as not, causing a number of the vignettes to fail with the audience. Also, the film's gruelingly slow pace made me check my watch far too many times. Thankfully these flaws don't detract from the film overmuch, but there are a few blemishes on this otherwise nice work.

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Taking Lives Review


Very Good
Taking Lives - it's a title to file under the goofy film names category. It's a pretty obvious name for a thriller about a serial killer taking the lives of his victims, but the subtext is meant to describe the killer's desire to live the life of those he has killed... until a new and exciting life peaks his interest. The film's title failed to excite me, but the movie that bears the name surprisingly did.

Going into the screening for Lives, I had some doubts about the film, primarily because Angelina Jolie has never really found a role that fits her. Since her performance in Gia, her film roles have not demanded anything more than her sexuality (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Original Sin). In Taking Lives, Jolie's performance as FBI Profiler Illeana Scott is shockingly credible - though she does find a scene to bare her breasts - Jolie is in full command of her character. Her eyes are always moving, thinking, and analyzing her environment. Even when it appears she's reached a dead-end with her investigation, she lets her senses take over. At night, she eats dinner alone, across the table from crime scene photos she has taped to the opposite chair.

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Reality Bites Review


Very Good
Back in 1994, Reality Bites was branded by everyone from marketers to critics as a movie that encapsulated a generation - more specifically, Generation X, who were around college graduation age (including myself). And seeing as Lelaina (Winona Ryder), the movie's heroine, kicks off this trendy flick with her valedictorian graduation speech, it's no wonder so many "slackers" (as we Gen X-ers were labeled, thanks to another "iconic" film released just a few years prior) felt so spoken to by its quippy dialogue and great characters, and why everyone else tended to label Reality Bites a film symbolic of its lost generation.

The reality of Reality Bites is that it's simply too lightweight a romantic comedy to succeed at being emblematic; and, as far as I can see, it never was really meant to carry such heft. This directorial debut of then-green Ben Stiller portrays twenty-somethings floundering in dead-end jobs, nursing big dreams, or simply trying to find themselves as they enter the real world. In the least, it's a slice of life; and at its best, it's an often funny and very endearing little movie.

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Lord Of War Review


OK
Nicolas Cage addresses the camera directly at the start of Lord of War - standing in a battle-torn street, with a carpet of bullet casings under his feet and automatic weapons popping off in the distance - letting us know that there's a gun for one out of every 12 people on the planet. This is a problem, but not in the way you or I might think, since he wants to know, "How do we arm the other 11?" It's a jaunty joke of an opening, in a deathmask grimace sort of way, and just may lull you into thinking that what lays ahead is a Grand Guignol satire on modern warfare and the soulless arms dealers who fuel it; a M*A*S*H for the lawless post-Cold War years. Alas, such hopes are dashed by the appearance of Jared Leto as the world's least likely Urkranian-American gunrunner and borscht chef.

Andrew Niccol wrote and directed this globe-trotting comedy, taking an amalgam of five real-life arms dealers and pooling them into the blithely amoral Yuri Orlov (Cage). One imagines that Niccol cherry-picked the most interesting incidents from the exploits of all five, and indeed there are many moments when the film does its level best to pull back the curtain on this worldwide machinery of death. The problem is that Niccol, as he showed in such gleaming symbolic edifices like Gattaca and his warm script for Peter Weir's The Truman Show, is a true humanist at heart, and just can't bring himself to stick to the story. It's apparently not enough to just tell us about Orlov, Niccol's film feels it must explain him, so we can feel that dark thrill when he abandons his soul altogether. This leaves us shifting abruptly from Orlov's international capers - often vividly rendered with a black humor that surprisingly tart for Niccol - to his home life, where he lies to his adoring, hardly inquisitive model-wife (Bridget Moynahan) and deal with his slacker junkie brother (Leto). A Scorsese would have know how to whip all these elements together into a frenzied stew where Orlov's business life crashes headlong into his private life with calamitous results. But under Niccol's cool eye, Cage barely breaks a sweat. He may be the devil but he's calm about it.

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Snow Falling On Cedars Review


OK
The transformation of an intricate novel into a successful film can be a daunting task. Filmmakers must effectively generate symbolism and imagery onto the screen, instead of allowing the readers to interpret it for themselves. That's why people are always saying that a movie was never as good as the book.

Unfortunately, Snow Falling on Cedars, directed by Scott Hicks (Shine), is a prime example of an unsuccessful interpretation of a tremendous novel.

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A Midnight Clear Review


Excellent
Keith Gordon's scant few films -- including Mother Night, Waking the Dead, and A Midnight Clear -- rank among some of the biggest cult fan pics ever made. For my money, Clear is his best work, a scathing anti-war tale set in the final days of WWII, when both sides were scared shitless. A group of Germans attempts to surrender to an American intelligence patrol, with disastrous consequences. An all-star cast makes it wholly worthwhile.

Training Day Review


Extraordinary
How will the tragic events of September 11, 2001 influence violent movies? The box office results of Training Day should answer that question. Warner Bros. did postpone the film's release date for two weeks, but is that enough time for audiences to be ready for such a brutally violent movie?

I think so, although this is a time where audiences may seek romantic comedies over disturbing, awakening dramas. I screened two movies today, this and the juvenile Max Keeble's Big Move. The theater was twice as full for Max than Training Day, which proves that people want uplifting comedies right now. If you're one of those people, Training Day is definitely not for you.

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Before Sunset Review


Excellent
Nine years ago, Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) turned a chance meeting on a train into a romantic 24 hours wandering the streets of Vienna. At the end of Richard Linklater's engaging Before Sunrise (1995), the young one-night lovers go their separate ways -- Jesse back to the U.S. and Celine back to France -- their hearts captured and the promise of their separate futures ahead of them.

Now, the pair meets again in this unlikely sequel that reunites the two stars with writer/director Linklater, returning to his do-it-yourself roots after the wild commercial success of his School of Rock. In Before Sunset, he stays true to his original characters while bringing them into an updated world where their lives may not be what either expected.

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Assault On Precinct 13 (2005) Review


Weak
The trouble with big-budget remakes is that more often than not, the films being updated for modern audiences necessitate little improvement. Rather than resurrecting and reconfiguring interesting failures, studio executives and second-rate directors instead subscribe to a lame-brained formula in which highly regarded classics and quirky genre films made by esteemed filmmakers are stripped of their unique character and thematic underpinnings, given a coat of cinematographic flash, populated with pretty actors, and simplistically streamlined so that only the basic plot structure is retained. Respect for tradition be damned, these bastardized versions trample on their precursors' venerable legacies as they pitifully attempt to parlay their predecessor's name-brand cache into box-office glory.

Such is the sorry story of Assault on Precinct 13, a reimagining of John Carpenter's 1976 genre gem (which, in turn, was modeled after Howard Hawks' Rio Bravo) about cops and criminals trapped in an old police station who are forced to work together to fend off a horde of murderous invaders. Directed by Jean-François Richet, the new film holds to that fundamental premise, though it tweaks virtually every important aspect of Carpenter's thriller for maximum vapidity. Now set in snow-bound Detroit on New Year's Eve (rather than in arid California), Richet's Assault switches the skin color of its leads - the police sergeant (Ethan Hawke's Jake Roenick) is now white, while the head criminal (Laurence Fishburne's mythic Marion Bishop) is black - and abandons Carpenter's astute portrait of uneasy, ready-to-explode racial tensions. In this version, the cops are Caucasian (including Brian Dennehy's Irish racist, who tellingly refers to the inmates as "those people"), the bad guys are African-American and Hispanic, and any friction generated from such divisions is swept under the rug in favor of ratcheting up the ho-hum action.

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Taking Lives Review


Weak

Even with her latest turn as bodacious, babe-a-licious video game vixen Lara Croft still clinging to her like a skin-tight silver catsuit, Angelina Jolie is surprisingly credible as a prim and professional FBI profiler in "Taking Lives." Now, if only the plot of this serial killer thriller could have kept up with her in that department.

A slight, and slightly smarter, twist on the genre's average assembly-line offering, the movie's hook is that the unidentified psycho assumes the lives of the people he kills -- mostly handsome, young, well-to-do loners (if there is such a thing). So he could be anyone from the handsome young Montreal detective (Oliver Martinez) who's bitter that Jolie's been brought in on his case, to the handsome young painter (Ethan Hawke) who is the only witness to one of the murders, to the handsome, ominous stranger (Kiefer Sutherland) who seems to be stalking the artist.

But while director D.J. Caruso ("The Salton Sea") takes a judicious, stylish, slow-burn approach to the suspense (this isn't a tawdry twist-a-minute attempt to get your heart pounding), he can't outsmart the holes in the plot (adapted from a novel by Michael Pye), even if most of them appear only in retrospect -- after the dumb, patronizing and currently fashionable second-climax epilogue.

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Assault On Precinct 13 Review


OK

Adding a crooked-cops twist to the outnumbered-and-under-siege plot that John Carpenter lifted from "Rio Bravo" for his "original" 1976 B-movie shoot-'em-up, the new "Assault on Precinct 13" is a reasonably entertaining update of a reliable action-drama formula.

The flick gets off to a powerhouse start with a flashback to undercover cop Ethan Hawke posing as a freaked-out addict (and giving a great performance) during a drug bust gone wrong. Six months later he's pushing paper at the Detroit Police Department's most run-down outpost in an industrial outskirt of town during a New Year's Eve blizzard.

It's supposed to be the last day this precinct is open -- the phones have been shut down and the joint has been largely cleared of officers, weapons and equipment. But the road-closing storm brings Hawke and his two remaining stock-character staffers (retiring beat cop Brian Dennehy and sexy secretary Drea de Matteo) some unexpected visitors: A department shrink (Maria Bello), trapped there after her required session with reluctant patient Hawke (he's guilt-ridden over deaths in the drug bust), and a small busload of prisoners in transit.

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Before Sunset Review


Very Good

"Before Sunrise" opens with an elusive author (Ethan Hawke) on a book tour in Paris, fending off interview questions about why his best-selling novel -- which takes place on a single summer night of intellectual, spiritual and romantic magic between an American backpacker and a pretty French college student -- ends without revealing whether the two ever meet again.

"To answer that would take the piss out of the whole thing," he smiles Puckishly yet pointedly, and with an ever-so-slight air of literary self-importance.

It's a bold and cheeky way for director Richard Linklater to begin this sublime surprise sequel to the very same story -- originally told in his 1995 sleeper hit "Before Sunrise."

Continue reading: Before Sunset Review

Joe The King Review


OK

A notably realistic portrait of borderline poverty and familial dysfunction, "Joe the King" has such commendable performances and such an amazingly assimilating sense of time, place and circumstance that I hate not being able to recommend it.

The writing-directing debut of under-appreciated actor Frank Whaley -- you probably know him as the guy Samuel L. Jackson shot after quoting Ezekiel 25:17 in "Pulp Fiction" -- his "Joe" script won a screenwriting award at Sundance this year for its story of a foul-mouthed 14-year-old boy (Noah Fleiss) trapped in a sullen, angry, desperate life he'll probably never escape.

His abusive, hard-drinking father (a paunchy, intimidating Val Kilmer) is a constant threat and an embarrassment who owes money all over town. A troublemaker at school (to add to his shame, his dad is the janitor), Joe takes ceaseless, cruel criticism from his teachers and more of the same from his boss (he washes dishes at a local greasy spoon). The poor kid has spent his life learning the hard way to fend for himself.

Continue reading: Joe The King Review

Tape Review


Weak

Another quickie guerrilla movie spawn of the digital video age, "Tape" is a real-time, three-character drama shot on the cheap in a hotel room by director Richard Linklater, who made such an awesome impact last month with the experimental animated philosophy daze of "Waking Life".

It's a movie that can work only if its characters hold you rapt for its entire run time -- and it might have done just that if said characters weren't so uniformly abrasive.

Ethan Hawke and Robert Sean Leonard play former high school buddies both in Lansing, Michigan, for a weekend. Leonard is there because he's an upstart filmmaker, convinced he's struggling for his art, whose first movie is playing the Lansing Film Festival. Hawke, a violent, drunk stoner with a chip on his shoulder, is ostensibly there as moral support, but in reality he has an entirely different agenda. He's never gotten over the fact that 10 years ago his high school girlfriend slept with Leonard. Now he has an ax to grind and a captive audience.

Continue reading: Tape Review

Snow Falling On Cedars Review


Good

Supremely cinematic and richly drawn in penetrating, slow-burn emotions, "Snow Falling On Cedars" is a truly transporting, layered, period drama that uses the railroading murder trial of a Japanese-American in post-war Washington state as the backdrop for a story about the lasting scars of injustice.

Director Scott Hicks' prestige follow-up to "Shine," one of the films that led the 1996 independent film insurgence into the mainstream, this passionate adaptation of Dave Guterson's deeply layered novel (scripted by the director and screenwriter Ron Bass) stars Ethan Hawke as a reticent newspaperman and war vet who covers the trial and pursues the truth on his own while becoming awash in memories of his forbidden first love -- with a Japanese girl who is now the defendant's wife.

Told initially from Hawke's point of view, as the trial unfolds, its scope widens to include the memories of others, like the girl (Youki Hudoh, a Japanese actress and pop star with an startling, yet understated, emotional range), who remembers being separated from Hawke at first by cultural taboos and then by the government order that sent her family -- and all the Japanese on their quiet forest island -- to internment camps for the duration of the war.

Continue reading: Snow Falling On Cedars Review

Waking Life Review


Very Good

Watching "Waking Life" is like eavesdropping on a theoretical discourse between Kierkegaard and Kerouac, while standing in a modern art museum as the paintings come to life and melt into your visual cortex.

An eye-popping, mind-blowing, groundbreaking piece of stream-of-consciousness pop-art philosophy, director Richard Linklater has created a film that turns the notions of dreaming and reality inside out, both visually and conceptually, while telling an absorbing tale of a off-beat teenage boy (Wiley Wiggins) trying to wrap his head around a ponderous waking dream from which he can't seem to escape.

Linklater ("Slacker," "SubUrbia") shot the film on digital video with dozens of actors (some of note, some unknown) playing nameless denizens of the real world and of the kid's subconscious. They're characters from whom he soaks up random abstract ideas on everything from transcendence and reincarnation to collective memory to the existence of free will.

Continue reading: Waking Life Review

Ethan Hawke

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Ethan Hawke

Date of birth

6th November, 1990

Occupation

Actor

Sex

Male

Height

1.79




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Ethan Hawke Movies

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Movie Review

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Movie Review

It's been 20 years since French filmmaker Luc Besson shook up the sci-fi genre with...

Maudie Trailer

Maudie Trailer

Maud is a young folk artist suffering from rheumatoid arthritis but who loves nothing better...

Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets Trailer

Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets Trailer

Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are partners. Skilled government agents whose job it...

Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets Trailer

Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets Trailer

For Luc Besson's latest foray into the sci-fi stratosphere, he has decided to bring the...

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The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

In A Valley Of Violence Trailer

In A Valley Of Violence Trailer

Paul is a loner who travels the west with only his dog and horse for...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Born To Be Blue Trailer

Born To Be Blue Trailer

When Chet Baker first made a real name for himself in the music industry he...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

The Magnificent Seven Trailer

The Magnificent Seven Trailer

After the murder of her husband, a widow and resident of the town of Rose...

Seymour: An Introduction Trailer

Seymour: An Introduction Trailer

Seymour Bernstein is one of the most influential piano players to grace his generation and...

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