Maudie (2016)

Maudie
Director: Aisling Walsh
Writer: Sherry White
Cast: Sally Hawkins, Ethan Hawke, Kari Matchett, Gabrielle Rose, Zachary Bennett, Billy MacLellan
Seen on: 18.11.2017
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Plot:
Maud (Sally Hawkins) needs to get out from under her family’s wing. She sees her opportunity when she learns that grumpy Everett (Ethan Hawke) is looking for a housekeeper. Even though he is hesitant to take her on because of her disability, he doesn’t exactly have much choice and Maud is persistent, so they give it a try. In her off time, Maud starts to paint and polishes her personal style, while also finding a home in the community and with Everett.

Althoughe Maudie is a sweet film, I’m not entirely happy with it. Some things I knew going in would bother me, other things crept up on me during the film. Nevertheless I found it entertaining.

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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Director: Luc Besson
Writer: Luc Besson
Based on:  Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières‘s comic Valérian and Laureline
Cast: Dane DeHaanCara DelevingneClive OwenRihannaEthan HawkeHerbie HancockKris WuSam SpruellAlain ChabatRutger HauerPeter HudsonXavier GiannoliLouis LeterrierEric RochantBenoît JacquotOlivier MegatonElizabeth DebickiMathieu KassovitzJohn Goodman
Seen on: 31.7.2017
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Plot:
Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Care Delevingne) are operatives, charged with maintaining peace across the universe. A new mission brings them into possession of a converter, the last creature of its kind. But they can’t expect to be the only ones who want that converter. Their mission brings them to Alpha, a city made for all kinds of species that harbors a secret in its heart.

The fact that this film thought that it would be the right move to take the comic Valerian and Laureline and transform it into Valerian alone, is already pretty indicative of the decision making in the entire film: it might look cool at first glance, but it’s short-sighted, stupid and offensive.

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The Magnificent Seven (2016)

The Magnificent Seven
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Writer: Nic Pizzolatto, Richard Wenk
Remake of: The Magnificent Seven
Based on: Shichinin no samurai
Cast: Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Byung-hun Lee, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Martin Sensmeier, Haley Bennett, Peter Sarsgaard, Luke Grimes, Matt Bomer, Cam Gigandet, Sean Bridgers
Seen on: 14.10.2016

Plot:
Rose Creek is slowly being squeezed dry by Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard). When one of the citizens (Matt Bomer) refuses to cooperate with Bogue, he is shot. His widow Emma (Haley Bennett) decides to go and look for help, somebody to take on Bogue. By chance she finds Chisolm (Denzel Washington) and becomes a witness to his skills as a gunman. She begs for his help and Chisolm agrees reluctantly. But first he’ll have to get together a team and so he gets in touch with a few old friends.

I have neither seen Seven Samurai, nor the old Magnificent Seven, so I was fresh to the story with this film and I really wasn’t particularly taken with it.

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In a Valley of Violence (2016)

In a Valley of Violence
Director: Ti West
Writer: Ti West
Cast: Ethan Hawke, John Travolta, Taissa Farmiga, James Ransone, Karen Gillan, Toby Huss, Tommy Nohilly, Larry Fessenden, Burn Gorman
Part of: the surprise movie at the /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 29.9.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
Paul (Ethan Hawke) and his dog are travelling on their own when their paths cross with a drunk priest (Burn Gorman) who tries to rob them. Although Paul gets the better of him, after the encounter he decides to pass through the small town of Denton. But trouble follows him there and he finds himself provoked by deputy Gilly (James Ransone). After a quick fight and a polite visit by the Sheriff (John Travolta), things seem to be resolved. But maybe Paul can’t shake Denton quite as quickly as he thought.

In a Valley of Violence is basically John Wick in the Wild West, but since I’m not much of a Western fan, that transfer didn’t completely work for me, although there is much to enjoy about the film.

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Maggie’s Plan (2015)

Maggie’s Plan
Director: Rebecca Miller
Writer: Rebecca Miller, Karen Rinaldi
Cast: Greta GerwigEthan HawkeJulianne Moore, Travis Fimmel, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph, Wallace Shawn, Fredi Walker-Browne
Seen on: 12.8.2016

Plot:
Maggie (Greta Gerwig) wants a child and she doesn’t want to wait until she meets the right man for her, she wants it now. So she asks old acquaintance Guy (Travis Fimmel) if he would be willing to give her his sperm and he agrees. But right around this time, she meets John (Ethan Hawke) and falls for him – and he for her. John leaves his wife Georgette (Julianne Moore) and the two move in together. A few years later, Maggie has a lovely daughter, but her love for John has cooled substantially. So she hatches the plan that maybe she could get him back together with Georgette.

Maggie’s Plan is an absolutely adorable, wonderful, funny and sweet film. It proves that a light film doesn’t necessarily have to be stupid.

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Re-Watch: Alive (1993)

Alive
Director: Frank Marshall
Writer: John Patrick Shanley
Based on: Piers Paul Read‘s book Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors
Cast: Ethan HawkeVincent SpanoJosh HamiltonBruce RamsayJohn NewtonDavid KriegelKevin BreznahanIlleana Douglas, Josh Lucas
Seen on: 6.1.2015

Plot:
A Uruguayan rugby team is on its way to Chile for a game. But as they fly over the Andes, their plane is experiencing trouble and they crash. Those who are not killed instantly face intense cold, hunger and still have to deal with the injured. As more and more time passes, it becomes increasingly less likely that a rescue mission can find them – they will have to save themselves.

I saw Alive when I was a kid and I was deeply impressed by it and the story back then. So I wanted to revisit it 20 years later to see if it still holds up to scrutiny. The result is rather mixed.

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Regression (2015)

Regression
Director: Alejandro Amenábar
Writer: Alejandro Amenábar
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Emma Watson, David ThewlisDavid Dencik, Aaron Ashmore, Aaron Abrams, Devon Bostick, Dale Dickey, Adam Butcher, Lothaire Bluteau
Seen on: 18.10.2015

Plot:
Angela (Emma Watson) has accused her father John (David Dencik) of abusing and raping her. While Angela remains at the church where she sought refuge, police detective Bruce (Ethan Hawke) tries to figure it out. But John claims to have no recollection of ever assaulting Angela. So Bruce looks to psychology professor Kenneth (David Thewlis) for help. Kenneth suggest hypnotic regression therapy to figure out what is going on. Soon Bruce finds himself deep into a farreaching network of satanistic abuse.

I suspect that I would have liked Regression if the general plot development hadn’t been so completely clear to me from the start. Although even so it wouldn’t have been completely unproblematic.

regression

[SPOILERS]

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Re-Watch: The Purge (2013)

The Purge
Director: James DeMonaco
Writer: James DeMonaco
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Max Burkholder, Adelaide Kane,
Edwin Hodge, Rhys Wakefield, Tony Oller
[Here’y my first review.]

Plot:
It’s 2022 and the USA is doing great. They attribute this to the Purge: one night every year where crimes are legal. The Sandins are supporters of the Purge, James Sandin (Ethan Hawke) makes his money (and a lot of it) by selling security systems and together with his wife Mary (Lena Headey) he pretty much has the perfect suburban family. But this Purge Night things start to go very wrong and the Sandins find themselves besieged in their own house.

I didn’t like the Purge the first time I saw it and probably wouldn’t even have watched it a second time if it hadn’t been for the double feature at my local cinema (review of the second one follows) and the company of some of my /slash colleagues. In any case it is safe to say that the film does not improve on re-watching. At all.

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Boyhood (2014)

Boyhood
Director: Richard Linklater
Writer: Richard Linklater
Cast: Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Lorelei Linklater

Plot:
Mason (Ellar Coltrane) grows up with his mother (Patricia Arquette) and his sister Samantha (Lorelei Linklater), while his dad (Ethan Hawke) is a bit of an irregular, if enthusiastic presence in his life. Mason’s mom generally isn’t very lucky with men, which means that Mason’s life isn’t the calmest either. As he grows from boy to young man, though, he has to decide what his life should be.

Boyhood has gotten a lot of buzz and a lot of people practically falling over each other to praise it. And while I think that is a very good film, I didn’t quite get as excited about the film as most other people seemed to get.

boyhood

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Explorers (1985)

Explorers
Director: Joe Dante
Writer: Eric Luke
Cast: Ethan Hawke, River PhoenixJason Presson, Amanda PetersonJames CromwellDana Ivey, Robert Picardo, Dick Miller
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Plot:
Ben (Ethan Hawke) dreams of a circuit board. He makes a drawing and gives it to his technologically well-versed friend Wolfgang (River Phoenix). They are joined by Darren (Jason Presson) and discover that Ben actually dreamt up a spaceship which they immediately start building, of course, and then even flying.

I never saw Explorers when I was a child (I wonder why? I saw so many Dante movies…) and I did feel that I was missing a certain nostalgic point of connection to really enjoy it. But it was a supercute adventure film with a sweet cast and I would watch it again.

explorers

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