Every film is a cultural artifact. As singular works of art, movies are their own self-contained contributions to popular culture, but their often essential inclusion of things like music, fashion, and slang within their own narratives puts them into a unique space – art wrapped around art, culture enveloped in culture. It’s why even bad period-set films are so fun to watch, as seeing canny cultural representations is almost always amusing, if not a bit intriguing. Blame it on nostalgia, shared memory, or even a good old-fashioned affection for otherwise forgotten pop culture snippets, but movies that work hard to accurately depict a time period or an era always have an extra it of built-in entertainment.
It's clear from the start that 'Getaway' is not a good movie. The opening sequence is a mess of different video stocks and flashbacks, an easy tell that a team of editors tore out their hair trying to skip as much boring exposition while leaving the first scenes cogent. But once former race car driver Brent Magna (Ethan Hawke) is behind the wheel of his stolen souped-up vehicle and is receiving crazy, destructive orders from the disembodied voice of Jon Voight, there's at least plenty of smashy-smashy to keep you occupied. The bad guy has some master plan – kidnapping Hawke's wife so that he'll be a mobile slave to his chaotic whims is part of laying the ground work.
But more than seeing traffic destruction on the streets of Sofia, Bulgaria (this month's production location low-bidder) there's a bigger catastrophe. Fifteen minutes into the movie, Selena Gomez shows up.
The internet might literally have exploded over news of Ben Affleck signing up as Batman for the 'Man of Steel' sequel, but it seems another Ben has been keeping busy as well. Ben Stiller's iconic Generation X movie 'Reality Bites' has been delivered to NBC for a potential TV series, with Stiller and original writer Helen Childress set to pen the script, but will the new series stick to the '90s timeline?
Desperately trying to save the life of his kidnapped wife, a former race car driver commandeers a custom Shelby Cobra Mustang, taking it and its unwitting owner on a high-speed race against time.
Richard Linklater brings his 'Before' trilogy to close this week with 'Before Midnight,' in which we pick up with Celine (Julie Delpy) and Jesse (Ethan Hawke) 10 years after the second film. 'Before Sunrise' found our characters making an unlikely, serendipitous connection; 'Before Sunset' examined how they evolved 10 years later, and whether that initial connection could stand the test of time; and 'Before Midnight' gives us an incredibly honest portrait of relationships.
If you spend any time talking to an evolutionary psychologist, you may come away feeling depressed. We are beastly, horrible creatures whose brutal nature may still be a few steps behind our notions of morality. (One neuroscientist, Sam Harris, argues that we don't even possess free will – not because of any theological notions of predestination, but because we are not yet equipped to master the synaptic responses in our brain which build from environmental factors.) The “New Founding Fathers” in the sci-fi/horror/thriller/whatsit picture 'The Purge' seem to agree with all this, or at least use it as an excuse to implement their very unique (okay, far-fetched) plan to pacify the American public.
Do you have a thing for psychopaths wearing creepy masks? Well, if so, you might want to steer clear of 'The Purge' trailer which, as you can see above, has some really, really creppy masks going on. And that's just scratching the surface about what's creeping us out about 'The Purge' trailer.
Ethan Hawke's Ellison Oswald may have the coolest name of a film character this year, but he's having a streak of professional bad luck. His first true crime book, 'Kentucky Blood,' was a best seller than accomplished what the police couldn't do in tracking down a murderer at large. That was years ago, however, and his follow up books haven't just been duds, they've led to wrongful actions that have put the public at risk. There's little love for him among police captains, particularly of the small town where he's just schlepped his family.
If you've ever seen a horror movie, you should know what happens next. Don't ever move to a new house. That's one of the lessons of the goofy, yet effective, supernatural horror flick 'Sinister.'
It's that time of the year where scary movies begin to descend on theaters in anticipation of Halloween. One of the most promising this year is 'Sinister,' which stars Ethan Hawke, and it doesn't rely on found footage for the entire movie. Now there's a red band trailer for the film, and it sells the film's scares fairly well.