Review: ‘Adopt A Highway’ sees Ethan Hawke challenging societal stigmas.

ADOPT A HIGHWAY

Starring Academy Award Nominee Ethan Hawke

Russ Millings has just been released from prison after serving 21 years for a 3rd strike conviction for possessing an ounce of marijuana. As he tries to adapt to a world he doesn’t recognize – including trying to learn how to use the internet – he finds an abandoned baby in a dumpster behind the fast food restaurant where he works as a dishwasher. Unsure of what to do, and caught between impulses of kindness and panic, Russ soon realizes this could be his chance at redemption.

Ethan Hawke is someone I can easily describe as versatile and earnest. The man works so often I think we really take him for granted. His resume is profoundly eclectic. His latest work in Adopt A Highway is no exception.

Writer-director Logan Marshall-Green has given us a poignant gem of a film. This story is charming and heartfelt. How can we, as a society, look beyond the labels of someone that has served prison time. How do we reintegrate them into our lives? What can we do to make them feel like they won’t be shunned? Nonviolent offenders, especially those who have been ostracized from the outside world for long periods of time just need a little compassion. Hawke’s portrayal of Russell is as complex and soulful as I would hope for. You root for him the entire film. He is endearing and heartbreaking. This is a beautiful role for Hawke. You will be buying what he’s selling, I promise. Elaine Hendrix makes an appearance as Di. She is a breath of fresh air in the short time she’s on-screen, proving that giving a stranger a chance can change your entire outlook on life.

The most surprising is that Adopt A Highway is produced by Jason Blum. This is not a film I would have expected to be in Blum’s wheelhouse as I have become so accustomed to his brilliant horror fare. I am very glad he took a chance on this. The cinematography has an intimacy that feels childlike and joyful. It is reflective of both rediscovery and the harsh realities of re-entering society. The pacing is wonderful. The script is much more nuanced than at first glance. It is ultimately about love. Adopt A Highway is a well acted, thoughtfully crafted debut film. It deserves your attention.

RLJE Films will release ADOPT A HIGHWAY in theaters, on VOD and Digital HD on Friday, November 1, 2019.

ADOPT A HIGHWAY stars Academy Award nominee Ethan Hawke (Boyhood, Before Midnight, Training Day), Elaine Hendrix (“Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll”), Diane Gaeta (Other People’s Children), Mo McRae (“Empire,” The First Purge), Chris Sullivan (“This Is Us,” Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2), and Betty Gabriel (“Westworld,” Get Out).  The film is written and directed by Logan Marshall-Green (Spider-Man: Homecoming, The Invitation) in his feature filmmaking debut.

Review: ‘Maudie’ brings Sally Hawkins into the Oscar race.

Based on a true story, MAUDIE charts the unlikely romance between Maud Lewis, a folk artist who blossoms in later life, and the curmudgeonly recluse, Everett.

Maud, bright-eyed but hunched with crippled hands, yearns to be independent, to live away from her protective family and she also yearns, passionately, to create art. When she answers an ad for a housekeeper for the reclusive Everett, a local fish peddler, the two strike up an unlikely romance. Maud’s determination for her art, along with her partnership with Everett, blossoms into a career as a famous folk artist, bringing them closer together in ways they never imagined.

Maudie is the story of two misunderstood people who yearn for physical and emotional connection. Finding one another at their loneliest, Maud and Everett form a seemingly unlikely bond navigating their way from work relationship to honest intimacy. The script has a quiet beauty, with cinematography that is as vibrant as Maud’s unique artwork. Sally Hawkins‘ performance in the titular role is nothing short of award-worthy. While portraying real life folk artist stricken with severe arthritis, each movement seems both physically pained and balletic all at once. Ethan Hawke steps outside his usual cool guy fare to portray a rather rough around the edges fishermonger. Their chemistry on screen is an absolute joy to watch. Maudie is an unusual love story that will capture your heart and touch your soul.

Original Art from Maud Lewis

** Official Selection of the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival **

In Theaters June 16, 2017

Starring:
Sally Hawkins (HAPPY-GO-LUCKY, BLUE JASMINE)
Ethan Hawke (BOYHOOD, THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN)
Kari Matchett (“Covert Affairs”, “24”)
Gabrielle Rose (THE SWEET HEREAFTER, IF I STAY)
Zachary Bennett (“Orphan Black”)

Directed by: Aisling Walsh
Written by: Sherry White

The brand new trailer for ‘VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS’ is here!

In the 28th century, Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are a team of special operatives charged with maintaining order throughout the human territories. Under assignment from the Minister of Defense, the two embark on a mission to the astonishing city of Alpha‹an ever-expanding metropolis where species from all over the universe have converged over centuries to share knowledge, intelligence and cultures with each other. There is a mystery at the center of Alpha, a dark force which threatens the peaceful existence of the City of a Thousand Planets, and Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.

The film is directed by visionary Luc Besson and also stars Clive Owen, Rihanna, Ethan Hawke, John Goodman, Herbie Hancock and Kris Wu.

In Theaters July 21, 2017

EuropaCorp has released a brand new teaser trailer for ‘Valerian and the City of A Thousand Planets’

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EuropaCorp has released a brand new teaser trailer for Valerian and the City of A Thousand Planets and we have it for you below!

Rooted in the classic graphic novel series, Valerian and Laureline– visionary writer/director Luc Besson advances this iconic source material into a contemporary, unique and epic science fiction saga.

Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are special operatives for the government of the human territories charged with maintaining order throughout the universe. Valerian has more in mind than a professional relationship with his partner- blatantly chasing after her with propositions of romance. But his extensive history with women, and her traditional values, drive Laureline to continuously rebuff him.

Under directive from their Commander (Clive Owen), Valerian and Laureline embark on a mission to the breathtaking intergalactic city of Alpha, an ever-expanding metropolis comprised of thousands of different species from all four corners of the universe. Alpha’s seventeen million inhabitants have converged over time- uniting their talents, technology and resources for the betterment of all. Unfortunately, not everyone on Alpha shares in these same objectives; in fact, unseen forces are at work, placing our race in great danger.

The movie also stars Rihanna, Ethan Hawke, John GoodmanHerbie Hancock and Kris Wu.

Valerian and the City of A Thousand Planets will be in theaters on July 21, 2017

Review: “10,000 Saints” will rock you gently.

10K Saints poster 10,000 Saints follows three screwed up young people and their equally screwed up parents in the age of CBGB’s, yuppies and the tinderbox of gentrification that exploded into the Tompkins Square Park Riots in New York’s East Village in the 1980s. This film is essentially the story of how small life connections become the ties that bind a group of estranged friends and family. It’s quite extraordinary and a brilliant translation of Eleanor Henderson‘s New York Times best-selling novel. After the loss of his best friend Teddy, Jude is sent to live his absentee father, Les. Reconnecting with Les’ girlfriend’s daughter, Eliza and straight edge punk singer and brother of Teddy, Johnny, the three embark on a path that was thrust upon them. 10K Saints Asa EthanEthan Hawke, who I am convinced is a Timelord at this point, gives a flawless performance. His loose lipped, nonchalance is the perfect foil to quietly angsty and gentle Asa Butterfield as Jude. Les’ storyline of fatherly redemption is pretty poetic. Jude’s search for his soul is much more pensive but just as stunning with Butterfield’s innate ability to live the screenplay’s emotional highs and lows. Hailee Steinfeld‘s natural performance as wild child turned guilt ridden and lost pregnant teen is one that should be noted. Emile Hirsh‘s Johnny is a beautifully zen enigma. With a truly talented cast rounded out by Juilanne Nicholson, Avan Jogia, and Emily Mortimer10,000 Saints is one hell of an ensemble film. 10K Saints Emile HaileeThis coming of age tale is deals with guilt, unrequited love, self realization, parenting and death, all in delicate yet fully  meaningful ways. The music is most defintiely its own character, with a soundtrack featuring The Replacements, The Cure, REM, Social Distortion, The Stone Roses, and Johnny’s band Army of One. Directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini are gifted storytellers and you bet I will be going out and grabbing Henderson’s novel soon. 10,000 Saints will not disappoint your eyes, ears or heart. 10,000 Saints comes to theaters, iTunes and other VOD platforms Friday, August 14th

Liz’s Review: ‘CYMBELINE’- True in text, new in vision.

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Hamlet, Romeo & Juliet, Twelfth Night… Ghostly apparitions, star-crossed lovers, mistaken identity… If you mashed up all three of these Shakespeare plays, you would get the plot of his work Cymbeline. We’ve seen modernized versions of Shakespeare in the past, with films like Baz Luhrmann‘s Romeo + Juliet, O (for Othello), Hamlet,  10 Things I Hate About You, which was a modern incarnation of The Taming of the Shrew, and She’s The Man, meant to resemble Twelfth Night. Only R+J and Hamlet made the bold decision to use the original text. This can be a hindrance in getting audiences through the door. Some might look at this as too much of a challenge when stepping into a movie theater versus going to see a live play. Let alone the general understanding of the language, it’s not the easiest to follow for some. Cymbeline knocks it out of the park in both use of text and understanding. With a glorious cast, filled to the brim with talented celebrities, this version of Shakespeare’s work is pretty spot on. Read More →

Reel News Daily’s Top Movies of 2014 on The Reel Big Show!

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It’s a full house on The Reel Big Show! Michael leads the group in discussion of their favorite movies of 2014, the night before the Oscar nominations. Below are their lists – with bold for which were nominated. See the list of nominations at Oscar.org.

Check out the fun IMDb quiz based on the 36 movies in all the lists!
Read More →

Retro Review: ‘Boyhood’- Growing Up is Hard to Do

boyhood-teaser-posterAll too many times Hollywood uses the phrase “Once in a Lifetime” to describe a film that we’ve encountered way too many times before, but finally, a director and film studio have come thru and brought us a film like nothing we’ve ever seen before. Boyhood is that film and it just might be the best movie you will see all year.  Directed by industry legend Richard Linklater, the film is a true labor of love.  The film, shot intermittently over a twelve-year period, follows a young  boy named Mason through his childhood from first grade (age 6) thru his high school graduation (age 18). It’s a documented journey that will most likely never be duplicated in our lifetime and one that will resonate with each viewer for decades to come. Read More →

Michael’s Review: ‘Predestination’- The Future is What You Make It

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Time traveling is not a new concept for the world of cinema, but Predestination attempts to add a new ripple into the genre with a highly innovative story by directors Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig (Daybreakers). Reuniting with the directors for a second go around is actor Ethan Hawke (Boyhood), who leads this exceptionally talented international cast, which includes Noah Taylor (Edge of Tomorrow) and Sarah Snook (Jessabelle), into a complex world of intrigue which will have you guessing until the final act. Buckle up for a wild ride. Read More →

NYFF52 Liz’s Review: ‘Seymour: An Introduction’ is a master class on life

nyff New York Film Festival 2014

It should come as no surprise to anyone that I went to a performing arts conservatory for my college experience. Not to burst readers’ bubbles, but I am pretty sure I have never been described as shy or ambiguous in my opinions. However, it wasn’t until a 2nd semester Voice Production and Speech class in which I got up in front of my ridiculously talented classmates and admitted that I have an oftentimes crippling case of stage fright. No one knew. I guess I hide it well. That being said, it has been the bane of my existence as performer for as long as I can remember. Seeing one of this year’s NYFF 52 Spotlight on Documentary selections hit very close to home. I present my thoughts on ‘Seymour: An Introduction.”

seymour-Concert-2 nyff52 Read More →

Reel News Daily’s Top Summer Movies of 2014

TopSummerMovies2014At one point the Summer Season was depicted by the film’s released between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, but the time’s have changed and so has Hollywood. Summer tent-pole films are being released earlier and earlier to avoid the cluster of blockbusters being released weekly to capitalize on the lack of competition which of course means more money. So we’ve decided to expand our scope and include April into out Top Summer Movies of 2014…buuuuut we’re also cutting off the last 2 weeks of August…so sue us!

Jeremy‘s List

10. Fort Tilden
9. Obvious Child
8. X-Men: Days of Future Past
7. Calvary
6. Life Itself
5. Bluebird
4. Snowpiercer
3. Boyhood
2. Under the Skin
1. Only Lovers Left Alive

Liz‘s List

10. Neighbors
9. Chef
8. Coherence
7. Filth
6. Dom Hemingway
5. Frank
4. About Alex
3. Boyhood
2. Snowpiercer
1. Only Lovers Left Alive

Michael‘s List

10. Edge of Tomorrow
9. Filth
8. X-Men: Days of Future Past
7. Nymphomaniac
6. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
5. Guardians of the Galaxy
4. Only Lovers Left Alive
3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
2. Snowpiercer
1. Boyhood

Melissa‘s List

10. Coherence
9. Godzilla
8. Locke
7. Dom Hemingway
6. Guardians of the Galaxy
5. Filth
4. Frank
3. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
2. Only Lovers Left Alive
1. Snowpiercer


Read More →

Liz’s ‘Boyhood’ New York City Press Junket Coverage

Monday, I had the pleasure of participating in the New York press junket for BOYHOOD. In attendance were writer/director Richard Linklater, breakout star, Ellar Coltrane, and industry strongholds Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette. With the film’s highly anticipated release, everyone in the theater was eager to get some deeper insight into this innovative new film. Below you will find some of my favorite highlights from the afternoon.

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 This movie is about growing up. Can you tell us what you remember about your first kiss? Read More →

Liz’s Review: ‘Boyhood’ – A Cinephile’s Dream

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How do you keep track of your life? With technology these days, it seems that we experience less and less and take digital snapshots of everything we eat, see, hear, and feel. Time is being recorded in short snippets each day. But do all these moments resonate to anyone but ourselves? We cannot forget how we got here. Life and time is not something that can be repeated. We need to pay more attention.

In Richard Linklater’s newest film, BOYHOOD, we are privy to 12 years of not just snapshots but real life moments in time. We not only follow Mason, but his mother, Olivia, father, Mason Sr. and sister, Samantha. 12 entire years of filming one family (and the same actors) through the eyes of a young boy of just 5, into his 18th year. These are the formative years that shape who we are. How we view our mother, father, and siblings forever impacts the choices we make in the future. In Boyhood we are along for moments like family outings, bike rides, first kisses, school, jobs, fights, marriages, both good and bad. These seemingly mundane moments are weaved into a brilliant narrative unlike anything I’ve ever experienced in a film until now. Read More →