Tag Archives: Ethan Hawke

Sinister just isn’t evil enough

5 Aug

SINISTER-MOVIE

Last week, my buddy told me that he felt that Sinister was scarier and better than The Conjuring. Intrigued I decided to watch it at night with all of the lights off to get the full effect.

Ellison Oswalt (Ethan Hawke) and his family move into a house where a horrific crime happened. He hopes it will help him write a new book that will turn his career around. He finds some 8mm home movies and uses it as his source material, but he ends up finding some frightening facts about the films.

Sinister had potential. I was hooked from the beginning and thought for a moment that my friend may be right, but then I found myself losing interest during the second and third acts to the point I was rolling my eyes at the absurd ending. I appreciate Hawke’s effort, but the twists do not work and Sinister just isn’t evil enough.

WORD COUNT: 154:

Adam’s Grade: C

Chuck’s Grade: N/A

Before Midnight

16 Jul

before-midnight-film

Before Midnight is the third installment in the unexpected but still wonderfully touching Before Trilogy. Just like in the first two films, writer/director Richard Linklater brings us back into the evolving love story that follows Jesse and Celine (Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy) vacationing in Greece, nine years since we last saw them in Before Sunset. The film explores a familiar territory for those dealing with teenagers and the dreaded mid-life crisis.

Linklater has a command of his script and guides his actors through the emotional landscape of unconditional love and loss. His approach reminds me of some of the best French cinema with long takes that allow scenes to play out in real-time. Hawke and Delpy performances add to the heighten sense of realism that is a welcomed change from domestic films obsessed with getting from scene to the next.

WORD COUNT: 141

Adam’s Grade: B+

Chuck’s Grade: N/A

Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead

28 Mar

before-the-devil-knows-your-dead

It is ironic that Sidney Lumet’s final directing effort borrows from the phrase “May you be in heaven a full half-hour before the devil knows you’re dead” for its title because his contributions to film and television for the past sixty years have created some of the most memorable movies in contemporary Hollywood history. At 82 years young, Lumet directs one of his finest and important films in Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead.

Two brothers rob their parent’s jewelry store.  Andy (Phillip Seymour Hoffman), a businessman who’s also an embezzler and his brother Hank (Ethan Hawke), a deadbeat dad who owes his ex-wife child support. The brothers face serious consequences after the robbery doesn’t go as planned.

The story is edited in an episodic fashion that provide alternative perspectives for each character, as well as reveal more and more about these characters making such poor decisions. The actors are ferocious and Lumet’s fine craftsmanship makes this film unforgettable.

WORD COUNT: 158

Adam’s Grade: B+

Chuck’s Grade: B+