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
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
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
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 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 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.
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
Chappie premieres just before it opens, while Cinderella hosts a lavish red carpet in L.A. Ethan Hawke and Greta Gerwig are spotted filming in New York, and trailers tease films about the Beach Boys, an ageing Sherlock Holmes, immortality and an old lady living in a van...
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.
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.
Birdman sweeps the top Academy Awards, stars attend the parties, then it's work as usual in New York, London and L.A. And first-glimpse trailers debut for Simon Pegg's action comedy Kill Me Three Times, Bradley Cooper's comedy-drama Aloha and Kristen Wiig's black comedy Welcome to Me...
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.
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
The 20th Critic's Choice Awards showed up the Academy Awards by honouring people and films snubbed by the Oscars.
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)
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]
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
The 16 year old certainly takes after her famous mother.
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.
Thurman 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.
As Venice Film Festival closes, Toronto takes the spotlight, complete with starry red carpets. Cameras catch Zac Efron filming in L.A. and the Criminal set in East London. There's also a glimpse of Lava and trailers for Night at the Museum 3 and Horrible Bosses 2...
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.
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.
While 'Apes' was pulling in the big bucks, 'Boyhood' made history
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 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.
One Direction's 'This Is Us' were beaten to the title of Labor Day's most watched movie, but which film "swept" the board.
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.
This Getaway lead to an almighty car crash
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.
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
The actor will take to Broadway for the main role in 'The Scottish Play' on November 12
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
The cast and crew of Man of Steel embark on a round-the-world red carpet tour, while new behind-the-scenes clips emerge for The Bling Ring and The Lone Ranger. Plus, we finally get a teaser for Naomi Watts' Princess Diana biopic...
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.
A home-invasion thriller with a twist, this fiercely clever film is both thought-provoking and terrifying, mixing a Twilight Zone sense of morality with skilfully developed menace and genuinely horrific violence. It also boasts a cast that is terrific at keeping us guessing, shading their characters in such a way that, even if we know who's supposed to be the good and bad guys, we keep wondering if we've got it right.
The story takes place in 2022 America, which has solved its economic woes with Purge Night, a free-for-all in which people have 12 hours to commit any crime, including murder, to cleanse the streets and vent their frustration. The goal is to eliminate poverty and unemployment by killing off all the homeless and jobless people. And it's worked a charm, especially for security system salesman James (Hawke), who locks down inside his palatial home with wife Mary (Headey), rebellious teen daughter Zoey (Adelaide Kane) and shy gadget-whiz son Charlie (Burkholder). But two interlopers get into the house: Zoey's shady older boyfriend Henry (Oller) and a terrified stranger (Hodge) running from an angry mob of tenacious masked anarchists.
As the night progresses, James and Mary's world is ripped apart piece by piece, descending into a state of primal protectiveness that's eerily believable. If it's either kill or be killed, what would you do? Hawke and Headey are terrific as parents pushed to the brink, and sometimes over it, while Kane and Burkholder find surprising moments of their own. And as the smiling gang leader, Wakefield is seriously unsettling. So even if some of the plot's twists and turns are a bit predictable, the actors and filmmaker DeMonaco do a great job at delving beneath the surface to keep us squirming in our seats at both the nasty possibilities and some rather awful grisliness.
Continue reading: The Purge Review
Richard Linklater continues the story of Jesse and Celine with Before Midnight.
The Richard Linklater helmed Before Midnight is the third in the romantic drama series following lovers Jesse and Celine (Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke) who are now married with twin daughters. Jessie a successful novelist while Celine is mulling a change in career direction. Fans of the movies will remember the couple meeting on a Budapest train some 18-years-ago.
Watch the Before Midnight trailer here!
After rekindling their whirlwind romance for Before Sunset, the couple are back (and now in Greece) with Jesse feeling a little downbeat about seeing his son Hank fly back to his mother (his ex-wife). Meanwhile, Celine is having doubts as to whether Jesse is still the man she once loved though they give themselves a night alone together to discover whether their floundering marriage is salvageable. It's all shaping up to be pretty good fun and fans of the previous two movies will almost certainly find something to enjoy in Before Midnight. The heart-warming movies hits theaters in the U.S. on June 21, 2013.
Linklater is best known for his classic movie Dazed & Confused, though has directed the likes of School of Rock and A Scanner Darkly in recent years. Delpy recently starred in 2 Days in New York, a sequel to her much-loved 2 Days In Paris, while Hawke won acclaim for The Woman in the Fifth in 2011.
Jesse and Celine return, though their love life is not what it once was. They are now married with twin daughters, Jesse is a successful novelist and Celine is contemplating a change of career. However, it's 18 years since they first met on a train from Budapest, 18 years since they wandered around the city of Vienna throughout the night rapidly falling more in love by the strike of each hour, and 9 years since they rekindled that whirlwind romance following the release of Jesse's best-selling book about their encounter. Now in Greece, Jesse feels a little sad about seeing his son Hank fly back to his mother (Jesse's ex-wife) and he and Celine are facing increasing strain on their relationship. Despite wooing the friends they meet in Greece with the romantic tale of their relationship, Celine has doubts as to whether he is the man she once loved and whether she is still the woman he was once so enchanted by. They are given another night alone in which to enjoy each other's company, but will it just turn into a desperate struggle to save their floundering marriage?
Continue: Before Midnight Trailer
During a time when the American Dream is available to everyone in a euphoric world where unemployment is at 1% and crime rates are the lowest they've ever been in the US, families everywhere are arming their homes to protect themselves against the impending mayhem. Why? Because the countdown has begun to the one night of the year when their peace ends, when every crime is legal from burglary to murder. It's called The Purge; an official 12-hour annual period that allows a release for the population and keeps people out of prison as all emergency services are suspended. When one family board up their home and pray that they will be safe once more, things take a nasty turn when the son opens the doors to a frightened stranger and invites him to take refuge. The house is soon approached by a group of weapon wielding killers who offer them a chance of safety if they give up the stranger to them. The family soon find themselves challenging their own moral code as their true selves are revealed during their night of terror.
Continue: The Purge Trailer
Ethan Hawke and John Cusack the other actors to watch out for next month
The 2013 Tribeca Festival has revealed its line-up for the forthcoming event, the film festival rising from humble origins in 2002 to become one of the largest in America – as proven by the appearance of some star names in its line-up of films this year, including Paul Rudd, Paul Giamatti and Ethan Hawke, among others.
Among those notable among the glut of announcements for the festival, which takes place from April 17th until April 28th in Manhattan, is Almost Christmas, which stars Giamatti and Rudd. The film sees the pair star as two good for nothing types who come up with a get rich quick scheme for Christmas, namely selling Christmas trees. There’s an issue with this though – Rudd’s character has just stolen Giamatti’s wife. Conflict awaits.
Elsewhere, Hawke is starring in the third installment of the Before… films. Before Sunrise came out in 1995 with the second, Before Sunset, coming out in 2004. Now Before Midnight is going to be screening in Tribeca, with the two main characters Jesse and Celine (played by Hawke and Delpy) moving to Europe whilst they continue their usual on again off again deep meaningful relationship thing. Another interesting one is Adult World, which sees Emma Roberts character have to take a job at a sex shop, where she encounters the eccentric writer played by John Cusack.
There's a reason this expertly shot and edited documentary is skimming under the radar: no one wants you to see it. The hugely skilled Gibney is taking on the world's biggest corporation, the Vatican, with a lucid, personal exploration of child abuse in the Catholic church. And while a first-person approach draws us in, it's the wide-ranging evidence against the top echelons of the church that takes us aback. This film is exposing one of the biggest ever conspiracies without ever shouting about it.
The main focus here is four men (Kohut, Smith, Kuehn and Budzinski) who were abused by a priest while they were students at a school for the deaf in Milwaukee. One of them blew the whistle in a 1972 letter, but the priest was never brought to justice for his crimes. It seemed like the local diocese was covering up his actions, but an investigation showed that the orders to stay silent came right from the Holy See in Rome. And as years passed, similar stories emerged from Boston, Ireland and Italy itself. In each case, the Vatican ordered the churches not to report the abuse to the police.
Yes, this conspiracy goes all the way to the top, although Pope Benedict has tried to remain outside the fray even though his previous job was to investigate these cases. And in looking at this careful outline of the events, it's clear that the real problem stems from the Catholic church's insistence that priests should never answer to earthly powers, which is why parents are so reluctant to believe their children's accusations against a holy man. In other words, the church is more concerned for the office of the priesthood than the victims of abuse.
Continue reading: Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence In The House Of God Review
Uma Thurman's baby girl arrived safe and sound in April this year, though it's taken until now for the Kill Bill star to announce the name. It may well have taken that long for her publicist to type it into a email, though it could have been that the editors at People magazine were trying to pick up their jaws from the floor.
Ok so here it is. Are you ready? Are you sure? Uma Thurman's daughter is named, "Rosalind Arusha Arkadina Altalune Florence Thurman-Busson." So just for fun, let's do that again. Uma's Thurman's daughter is called, "Rosalind Arusha Arkadina Altalune Florence Thurman-Busson." The representative added that she is "better known to family and friends as Luna." Wouldn't Luna Busson suffice? Anyway, the couple are keeping quiet on the reasoning for the extended name, though a source assures that each of the names has "a special reason and meaning" to Luna's parents.
Thurman has a habit of opting for weird and wonderful baby names. Her other kids - with Hollywood star Ethan Hawke - are Maya Ray Thurman-Hawke and Levon Roan Thurman-Hawke. Uma's middle name is Karuna. Uma Karuna. Our heads hurt.
Taken 2 has beaten Argo in the battle of the box office takings.
Somewhat surprisingly, given the praise that has been heaped on the Ben Affleck thriller Argo, and the sense of malaise that appears to have accompanied Taken 2, Liam Neeson's own dramatic thriller took $22.5 million (£14.03 million) this week, whilst Argo took $20.1 million (£12.53 million). In third place was Ethan Hawke’s supernatural horror, Sinister, which received mixed reviews but weighed in with a respectable $18.3 million (£11.4 million).
This week’s box office results must have the critics scratching their heads in bemusement, wondering just what their ‘raison d’etre’ is, exactly. After all, Taken 2 was largely stamped with ‘steer clear’ with many critics slamming it for being all too similar to the original Taken movie and questioning just what the point of a sequel was in the first place. Argo, on the other hand, already has an Oscars-buzz forming around it. Critical opinion has not translated into box office rankings, though: “It kind of proves that reviews do not matter,” says Paul Dergarabedian of Hollywood.com, whilst movie critics the world over cling desperately to their jobs.
Continue reading: Taken 2 Tops Argo In Box Office Chart: Do Movie Reviews Really Matter?
There's a nasty edge to this horror film that makes it much creepier than most, which gives Hawke the chance to give an unnervingly haunted performance. As the script reveals its hideous secrets, the filmmakers really make our skin crawl. Although it's not easy to figure out what the point is, since the whole film seems to be merely an exercise in scaring the audience.
It's all based in true crime, as author Ellison (Hawke) drags his wife Tracy (Rylance) and kids to a new town so he can investigate another unsolved murder. What he hasn't told Tracy is that they're living in the crime scene, an unusually dark house that has a box of home movies in the attic that reveal a much more gruesome horror than Ellison was expecting. The killings at hand turn out to be part of a string of hideous murders that seem to have a supernatural twist.
Indeed, this film takes a very bleak trip into the darkest recesses of the imagination: the deaths on these home movies are so hideous that we can barely watch them. But then, this also means that the film is more unnerving than nine out of 10 horror movies. And Hawke is a solid central character we can identify with, as he's unable to stop digging into the story, looking further into these murders and watching every last home movie even though he knows he should really stop. He gives Ellison an earthy honesty that carries us along with him, even when some standard movie characters pop up, including an angry sheriff (Thompson), his dopey deputy (Ransone) and an expert professor (D'Onofrio).
Continue reading: Sinister Review
Reese Witherspoon’s baby boy has finally arrived, though anticipation has been building for an announcement on the little guy’s name. The actress and husband Jim Toth finally announced the news late on Thursday, introducing ‘Tennessee James’, reports Reuters.
Young Tennessee joins Witherspoon’s two older children, Ava, 12, and son Deacon, 9, from her first marriage to Ryan Phillippe. Resse and Jim’s spokesman Meredith O’Sullivan Wasson said in a statement, “Reese Witherspoon and husband Jim Toth welcomed Tennessee James into their family today. Both mom and baby are healthy and the entire family is thrilled.” The ‘Legally Blonde’ actress married talent agent Toth at her ranch in California in March this year. The reasons for her choice of name for her latest child are obvious – the 36-year-old grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, and has always kept a keen hold on her heritage throughout her career in Hollywood. She won an Oscar in 2005 for her work on the country music film ‘Walk The Line’.
Naming babies after states seems to becoming ever more popular. Actor Casey Affleck and his wife Summer Phoenix (actor Joaquin’s sister) welcomed their son ‘Indiana’ in 2004. Ethan Hawke and wife RYAN SHAWHUGHES opted for the same name when their baby daughter arrived in 2011.
Ellison is an aspiring true-crime writer who decides to move his family into the house where a family of four were brutally murdered nine months previous in order to work on his next novel which he is determined will be a success. When Ellison takes a visit to the attic, he finds, in the center of the floor, a single box with a movie projector and several film reels tucked inside. The films have titles such as 'BBQ '79' and 'Family Hanging Out '11' - the latter is the most recent so Ellison sets it up on the projector. The clip shows the family that were recently murdered enjoying one another's company before cutting to an image of the four of them when they killed. Shocked, Ellison passes the videos on to the police to investigate further and notices the only similarity between all the murders of different families in the house on each of the film reels is a recurring symbol which he later discovers is the mark of a pagan deity named Bagul who he is told feeds on the souls of children. Legend has it that children who see the image of Bagul are vulnerable to his attack because he is alive through his own image. When he begins to target Ellison's family, he realises he must escape before they become the next victims.
Continue: Sinister Trailer
It is an uneasy period in human history, with the nation states of Euromerica and New Shanghai vying for supremacy a factory worker, Douglas Quaid, begins to question this new world order. With the questions mounting in his head it seems that the only thing that can clear his head is a decent vacation and Rekall looks to be the company to help him out with this desire.
Continue: Total Recall Trailer
One-time novelist Tom (Hawke) travels from America to Paris to reconnect with his ex-wife (Chuillot) and his 6-year-old daughter (Papillon), but is immediately confronted with a restraining order. He's also robbed of his luggage and left in a cafe on the edge of town, where the waitress (Kulig) and owner (Guesmi) offer him a room and a job as a night watchman. Then he meets the alluring Margit (Scott Thomas) at a literary party, and she begins to take his mind off his troubles.
Continue reading: The Woman In The Fifth Review
It's quite a juicy setup: Thanks to the power of dreams, young Ben (Hawke) and Wolfgang (Phoenix -- yes, a hippy kid is playing a German) invent the impossible: A sphere of energy that can travel at extreme speeds through space when connected to an Apple IIc and a 9-volt battery. (That's nothing compared to what they invent later: a machine that spontaneously generates oxygen!) Convinced that they're destined for greatness, they team up with local outcast Darren (Jason Presson), who gets them into the junkyard where they obtain a Tilt-A-Whirl car for use in their spaceship.
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Most people will not understand Waking Life. Some will find it to be one of the most brilliant pieces of film ever produced. I found it to be beyond words; a combination of film, groundbreaking computer animation, and a difficult and profane script that produces a sublime interpretation of existence.
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This updated 20th century Hamlet is brought to vivid realism by independent director Michael Almereyda. Almereyda places the play in the year 2000, creating the state of Denmark as a huge conglomerate, the slain king a CEO, and Hamlet as a digital video maker. This interpretation sounds almost like it's going to be as much fun as a ten-car pileup on the expressway; you want to turn your head away from in disgust but are strangely curious about what happened.
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Alive is the true story of a plane crash that occurred in 1972 in the Andes. Come on, you know what I'm talking about, the one where the survivors had to resort to cannibalism? Yeah, I saw that episode of Seinfeld too. The movie has been parodied way too much for something of its caliber.
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Joe the King is the sad story of a young boy trying to cope with his dysfunctional family in a poor, small town in the 1970s. Director and writer Frank Whaley's debut attempts to reveal the loneliness of adolescence by exposing the heart of a boy made tough by the harsh circumstances of his miserable family life. Set in upstate New York, the film follows Joe Henry (Noah Fleiss -- Josh and S.A.M.) as he deals with an abusive father (Kilmer) and a hapless mother (Karen Young). His only salvation is his fifteen-year-old brother, Mike (Max Ligosh). Together they comfort each other as they deal with each violent and horrific episode of family crisis.
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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
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