BOYHOOD Review

by     Posted 12 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.  Boyhood opens today in limited release.]

Boyhood is a miracle. It is truly unique. It is a masterpiece. It is one of the best coming-of-age movies ever made. These superlatives may seem grandiose or even hyperbolic, but Richard Linklater’s 12-year project is a work of art unlike any other. More importantly, it’s a work that hits a thoughtful and emotional core. It is a movie that not only draws us into the lives of the characters, but also causes us to reexamine our own lives. Boyhood is both intimate and epic, subtle and overwhelming, and an absolute marvel.

Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater Talk BOYHOOD, Tackling the Ambitious Project, Deleted Scenes, Keeping in Contact, Pop Culture Trends, and More

by     Posted 16 days ago

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From writer/director Richard Linklater, the indie drama Boyhood is a very unique and special project, in that it was filmed over 12 years with the same cast.  As you watch Mason (Ellar Coltrane) grow up, from age 6 to age 18, you will see him navigate all aspects of adolescence from road trips and family dinners to birthdays and graduations, and all of the moments in between.  The film also stars Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette, as Mason’s parents, and Lorelei Linklater, as his sister Samantha.

During a conference at the film’s press day, filmmaker Richard Linklater and actor Ethan Hawke talked about taking on such an ambitious project, how they kept in contact when they weren’t filming, deciding which pop culture trends to include, deciding on the music, how much was scripted vs. improvised, the approach to the editing process, whether there’s a lot of deleted footage, and if he would ever consider using this process again.  Check out what they had to say after the jump. 

BOYHOOD Featurette: Richard Linklater and Cast Discuss the Process of Making a Film for 12 Years

by     Posted 22 days ago

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IFC Films has released a new Boyhood featurette for writer/director Richard Linklater’s wholly unique drama.  The film was shot over a period of 12 years with the same cast, as Linklater set out to fully capture the experience of “growing up” through the eyes of a young boy named Mason (played by newcomer Ellar Coltrane).  I caught the movie at Sundance and it is, quite simply, a masterpiece.  It’s a film absolutely unlike any other, and even though this is Mason’s story, you come away feeling like it’s also your story.  In this new featurette, Linklater, Ethan Hawke, and Patricia Arquette talk about the unique process of making the film and their goals when they started shooting back in 2002.  I cannot stress this enough: see this movie.

Hit the jump to watch the new Boyhood featurette.  The film opens in limited release on July 11th before expanding to more screens in the following weeks.

BOYHOOD Images Featuring Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, and Ellar Coltrane over the Span of 12 Years, Plus Info on the Film’s Soundtrack

by     Posted 40 days ago

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You really can’t question Richard Linklater’s commitment to a project.  Take Boyhood as a prime example: the writer/director filmed this ambitious drama over the course of 12 years, not due to budget issues or breaches of contracts, but because he intended to capture a few scenes of one boy’s life in each year from age 5 to 18.  Played by Ellar Coltrane, who viewers literally get to see grow up on screen, Mason’s journey from childhood into adolescence is captured on film, along with all of his life’s events that act as waypoints throughout the years.

We have a few new images from Boyhood that feature Coltrane alongside his on-screen parental co-stars Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette, along with information on the film’s soundtrack, the span of which is almost as impressive as the film itself.  Make sure to check out Boyhood’s trailer here, and take a look at Matt’s Sundance review, if you’re so inclined, before the film opens July 11th.  Hit the jump for more.

Richard Linklater to Direct Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis in LARRY’S KIDNEY

by     Posted 68 days ago

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An exciting team is coming together to bring Larry’s Kidney to the screen.  The Wrap reports that Richard Linklater will direct The Campaign stars Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis in an adaptation of Daniel Asa Rose’s memoir Larry’s Kidney, which recounts Rose’s journey to China with his black sheep cousin Larry and his mail order bride in order to save Larry’s life by securing him a kidney transplant.  Ferrell will play Rose while Galifianakis will play Larry, and with Linklater at the helm we can probably expect something a tad more thoughtful than a simple outlandish comedy.

This looks to be Linklater’s most “commercial”-sounding film since 2005’s Bad News Bears and 2003’s excellent School of Rock, as he’s been bounding between genres as of late to fantastic results.  His last three films are all top-notch (Bernie, Before Midnight, and the upcoming Boyhood), so hopefully he can keep the streak alive with Larry’s Kidney.  No word on when production might begin.

TOP 5: WonderCon Coverage, BOYHOOD Trailer, Orci Lobbying to Direct STAR TREK 3, Ray Fisher to Play Cyborg in BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN, STAR WARS News

by     Posted 88 days ago

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I’d like to apologize in advance for today’s opening paragraph lacking the fascinating insight and ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 gushing that you’ve come to expect. I’m writing from the press lounge of the 5th Annual Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (also known as C2E2) where a majority of my time will be spent on the convention floor taking Cosplay pictures and searching for heavily discounted hardback comics. It’s not a complete loss, though, as I should be posting an image recap from the convention in the coming days much like I’ve done the last two years.

All dreams of hardback treasure hunting aside, this week’s Top 5 highlights our extensive WonderCon Anaheim coverage, the first trailer for Richard Linklater‘s Boyhood, word that Roberto Orci is looking to direct Star Trek 3, Ray Fisher landing the role of Cyborg in Batman vs. Superman, and several new pieces of Star Wars info. Resting on the other side of the jump is a brief recap and link to each of the above.

First Trailer for Richard Linklater’s BOYHOOD Starring Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette

by     Posted 89 days ago

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The first Boyhood trailer for director Richard Linklater’s wonderfully ambitious drama came online a few days ago, but it was subsequently pulled down.  The trailer is now officially online, and instead of simply updating that article, we figured we’d go ahead and bring it to your attention again because the movie is just that good.  The story follows the life of Mason (newcomer Ellar Coltrane) from the age of 6 to 18, and Linklater shot the film over the span of 12 years with the same cast, crafting a wholly unique moviegoing experience that allows audiences to literally grow up with Mason.  I caught the film at Sundance and it’s an astounding accomplishment that also proves to be highly emotional, poignant, and affecting.  It still stands as the best thing I’ve seen in 2014 so far, and it’s gonna be incredibly difficult to knock it out of that top spot.  As for this first trailer, it does an excellent job of conveying the tone of the pic without giving away any major plot points.

Hit the jump to watch the official Boyhood trailer (now free of Access Hollywood’s atrocious editing), and click here to read Matt’s review.  Also starring Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette, the film opens in limited release on July 11th.

Richard Linklater’s BOYHOOD Will Be Released July 11th

by     Posted 118 days ago

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IFC Films has announced that it will release writer/director Richard Linklater’s phenomenal 12-years-in-the-making drama Boyhood this summer on July 11th.  The film stars Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as a divorced couple raising their son (Ellar Coltrane), and it was shot over a period of 12 years.  Linkalter filmed scenes for the pic every year for over a decade with the same actors, and the result is a movie that tracks the adolescence of young Mason through the formative experiences that shape and mold him into the man he will become.  I caught the pic at Sundance and it’s a tremendous, highly emotional achievement.  It’s truly amazing to see Coltrane literally grow up onscreen, and Linklater perfectly encapsulates the shared human experience of “growing up” with grace and poignancy.

Hit the jump to read the full press release and click here to read Matt’s review from Sundance.  When Boyhood reaches a theater near you, I implore you to seek it out.  It’s unlike anything you’ve seen before.

BLACK COAL, THIN ICE Wins Golden Bear at Berlin Film Festival; THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL Takes Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize

by     Posted 158 days ago

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The 2014 Berlin Film Festival awards were announced today. The Chinese production Black Coal, Thin Ice won the Golden Bear for Best Film and star Liao Fan won Best Actor.  Wes Anderson‘s latest, The Grand Budapest Hotel, took home the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize.  The Alfred Bauer Prize that honors “a feature film that opens new perspectives” went to Alain ResnaisLife of Riley.  Richard Linklater was awarded Best Director for his decade-long undertaking Boyhood.

Check out Steve’s video blog from the festival here and see the full list of awards after the break.

Sundance 2014: BOYHOOD Review

by     Posted 184 days ago

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Boyhood is a miracle.  It is truly unique.  It is a masterpiece.  It is one of the best coming-of-age movies ever made.  These superlatives may seem grandiose or even hyperbolic, but Richard Linklater’s 12-year project is a work of art unlike any other.  More importantly, it’s a work that hits a thoughtful and emotional core.  It is a movie that not only draws us into the lives of the characters, but also causes us to reexamine our own lives.  Boyhood is both intimate and epic, subtle and overwhelming, and an absolute marvel.

12 YEARS A SLAVE Takes Home Best Picture at Critics Choice Awards; GRAVITY, AMERICAN HUSTLE, and LONE SURIVOR Win Genre Awards

by     Posted 188 days ago

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The Critics’ Choice Movie Awards were announced tonight, and 12 Years a Slave took home Best Picture.  The Critics’ Choice Awards have lined up with the Oscars in six of the last seven Best Pictures, but it’s worth noting that the Broadcast Film Critics Association spread the wealth around with genre awards to the other Oscar favorites, Gravity (Best Sci-Fi/Horror Movie) and American Hustle (Best Comedy).  Lone Survivor only managed two Oscar nominations for the sound categories, but found some love here as the Best Action Movie.

Hit the jump for the full list of winners, including ten different acting awards.

Richard Linklater’s BOYHOOD to Premiere at Sundance; Was Shot over the Span of 12 Years

by     Posted 191 days ago

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Richard Linklater‘s Before Midnight premiered at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, and in a way it’s a movie that’s eighteen years in the making.  Part of its power comes from growing up with the lead characters, and seeing them in different phases of their lives.  Sundance has now announced that Linklater will return this year with Boyhood, a film that was literally shot over the course of twelve years.  The film stars Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as a divorced couple raising their son (Ellar Coltrane), and Linklater and his actors have been shooting scenes for the film every year since 2002 as the story traces the boy’s life from first grade to 12th grade.  Aside from what they saved on old-age makeup, Boyhood is a unique picture that’s certain to be a hot ticket at this year’s festival.  You can bet we’ll be lining up early to see all 164 minutes of the picture when it premieres Sunday, January 19th at 9:45 p.m. at the Eccles Theatre.

Hit the jump to read the press release and check out the first two images from the movie.  The 2014 Sundance Film Festival runs from January 16 – 26th.

Richard Linklater’s BEFORE Trilogy to Play at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival with a Conversation with Linklater, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy

by     Posted 209 days ago

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If, like me, you’ve never seen writer-director Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy starring Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke, now’s your chance to remedy that all in one sitting.  The 29th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival will host 1995′s Before Sunrise, 2004′s Before Sunset and 2013′s Before Midnight back to back to back on the closing night of the festival, February 9th.  Following the close of the most recent film, Linklater, Delpy and Hawke will participate in an in-depth conversation about the trilogy.  Hit the jump to find out more, including information on where you can purchase tickets. 

BEFORE MIDNIGHT Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 238 days ago

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Quite possibly the most unlikely trilogy of all time, director Richard Linklater’s Before series is also one of the best.  Audiences fell for Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy’s young lovers in 1995’s Before Sunrise and were delighted to catch up with the duo again in 2004’s Before Sunset.  Given the rather cliffhanger-like ending to the second film, anticipation was high for a possible third feature but Linklater, Hawke, and Delpy played coy about the prospect of another film for nearly nine years.  That is, until they wrote and shot this year’s Before Midnight almost in secret, only confirming its existence after production had wrapped in Greece.  The result is an emotional and sometimes tough look at life in love, and it’s also one of the best films of the year.  Read my review of Before Midnight on Blu-ray after the jump.

12 YEARS A SLAVE and NEBRASKA Top 2014 Independent Spirit Awards Nominations

by     Posted 239 days ago

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The 2014 Independent Spirit Awards nominations have been announced, and director Steve McQueen’s excellent drama 12 Years a Slave tops the nominees with seven nods, including Best Feature, Best Director, and Best Actor.  Nebraska is not far behind with six nominations, and the Robert Redford drama All Is Lost also did well with four nods.  The much-beloved Short Term 12 failed to land a Best Feature nomination, but Primer director Shane Carruth’s twisty second feature Upstream Color landed nods for Best Director and Best Editing.  The Best Actor category is a strong mirror of the very tight Oscar race in the same category, and the wonderful Shailene Woodley and Brie Larson nabbed Best Actress nominations for The Spectacular Now and Short Term 12, respectively.

Hit the jump for the full list of nominations and additional commentary.  The Independent Spirit Awards will be hosted on March 1, 2014.

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