13th Feb2016

Regression (DVD)

by timbaros

A detective investigates the case of a young woman who accuses her father of a crime, a crime where there might be more going on, in the psychological drama ‘Regression.’

Ethan Hawke stars as Detective Bruce Kenner and Emma Watson plays Angela Gray. Gray makes a confession to Reverend Beaumont (Lothaire Bluteau) that her father has abused her. Kenner is brought in to investigate, and once he does it takes him into a world that involves Satanic Ritual Abuse. ‘Regression’ was actually inspired by a wave of events that occurred in the U.S. during the 1980’s; events that involved the occult that destroyed families, caused chaos, and panic, and led to several people being imprisoned.

Set in a small community in the Midwest in the 1990’s, Kenner discovers that Angela’s father (David Dencik) is an alcoholic, that her mother died when she was very young, and that her alcoholic grandmother, whose also an alcoholic and very eccentric, is somehow linked to a local satanic cult. It’s up to Kenner to investigate Angela’s accusations while piecing together her troubled family background and at the same time dealing with his own nightmares and demons.

‘Regression’ literally mean going back, and that’s what Kenner attempts to do with Angela’s past. ‘Regression’ is structured like a crime story where there is no proof of the crime that was committed, unfortunately it also has a plot that doesn’t make much sense and some scenes that are laughable when not intended to be, and a couple characters who don’t fit into the story. The cast is a strong one; Hawke coming off the highly successful ‘Boyhood’ while Watson is one of the hottest young actresses around, but between them they can’t save this film.

Director and writer Alejandro Amenabar, who gave us the bone-chilling 2001 film ‘The Others’ with Nicole Kidman, doesn’t quite make us believe the events being told in this movie, and has a long way to go before he can top ‘The Others.’




CULT WHILE INVESTIGATING THE RAPE OF A YOUNG WOMAN.
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10th Oct2015

Regression (Film)

by timbaros

"Regression" Day 33 Photo: Jan Thijs 2014A detective investigates the case of a young woman who accuses her father of a crime, a crime where there might be more going on, in the psychological drama ‘Regression.’

Ethan Hawke stars as Detective Bruce Kenner and Emma Watson plays Angela Gray. Gray makes a confession to Reverend Beaumont (Lothaire Bluteau) that her father has abused her. Kenner is brought in to investigate, and once he does it takes him into a world that involves Satanic Ritual Abuse. ‘Regression’ was actually inspired by a wave of events that occurred in the U.S. during the 1980’s; events that involved the occult that destroyed families, caused chaos, and panic, and led to several people being imprisoned.

Set in a small community in the Midwest in the 1990’s, Kenner discovers that Angela’s father (David Dencik) is an alcoholic, that her mother died when she was very young, and that her alcoholic grandmother, whose also an alcoholic and very eccentric, is somehow linked to a local satanic cult. It’s up to Kenner to investigate Angela’s accusations while piecing together her troubled family background and at the same time dealing with his own nightmares and demons.

‘Regression’ literally mean going back, and that’s what Kenner attempts to do with Angela’s past. ‘Regression’ is structured like a crime story where there is no proof of the crime that was committed, unfortunately it also has a plot that doesn’t make much sense and some scenes that are laughable when not intended to be, and a couple characters who don’t fit into the story. The cast is a strong one; Hawke coming off the highly successful ‘Boyhood’ while Watson is one of the hottest young actresses around, but between them they can’t save this film.

Director and writer Alejandro Amenabar, who gave us the bone-chilling 2001 film ‘The Others’ with Nicole Kidman, doesn’t quite make us believe the events being told in this movie, and has a long way to go before he can top ‘The Others.’

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19th Feb2015

Academy Award Predictions – Film

by timbaros

The Oscars, also known as the Academy Awards, will be presented on Sunday, February 22nd live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. It’s hard to believe that these awards have been given out for the past 87 years, and are still going strong. Some years, of course, are more popular than others depending on which films are nominated. This year there is a glut of well-made films, more so than in year’s past. But having said that, it’s very easy to pick the frontrunners this year as they each stand out in the respective categories. But herewith are my predictions:
BEST PICTURE

images-352
“American Sniper”
“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
“Boyhood”
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
“The Imitation Game”
“Selma”
“The Theory of Everything”
“Whiplash”

There are eight nominees in this category this year when the Academy could’ve nominated ten. Why did they go with eight when they left off the beautifully made Mr. Turner or the excellent Still Alice? In any case, Boyhood will win. It just won the BAFTA for Best Film and has won practically every Best Picture award given this awards season. It took 12 years to make, which shows dedication on the part of the filmmakers and the actors. The Theory of Everything is a better film, but it’s going to be Boyhood’s night.

BEST ACTOR

images-311

Best Actor
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

All men nominated in this category are well-deserving, and even some men who were left off (Timothy Spall for Mr. Turner and Jake Gyllenhaal for Nightcrawler). But this award is going to go to Redmayne for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking. It’s an amazing, incredible performance that won his the BAFTA earlier this month. It would be nice to see Michael Keaton up on the podium but Redmayne truly deserves the award.

The best performance of the five nominees is Redmayne’s. Michael Keaton comes a distant second but Redmayne’s performance is more memorable and moving.

BEST ACTRESS

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Marion Cotillard, Two Days One Night
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild

Moore will finally win an Oscar, after having been nominated four other times in the past 18 years (including being double nominated as Best Actress for Far From Heaven and Supporting actress for The Hours in 2002). Moore gives a devastating performance as a woman stricken with Alzeihmer’s, and expect her to look radiant on that podium. It’s the one award where you might need tissues next to you.

 

Best Supporting Actor

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Robert Duvall, The Judge
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

While it would be nice to see Ethan Hawke win for his portrayal of the father in Boyhood, it’s Simmon’s performance as the maniacal music teacher in Whiplash that is the Best Supporting Actor performance of the year. Simmons has been around for quite some time, cutting his teeth in television (Law & Order, Oz) before hitting big in film (The Spiderman franchise, Juno). Simmons won the Golden Globe, the BAFTA and the Screen Actors Guild Award, and he will win the Oscar.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

53ec746af1a7bba0_pat2.xxxlarge
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Laura Dern, Wild
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Emma Stone, Birdman
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

Arquette, just like Redmayne, Moore and Simmons, have all taken home the trifecta of awards – BATFA, SAG and Golden Globe – and like them Arquette will take home the Oscar for her portrayal of the mother in Boyhood. She gave a memorable performance, her best yet, and the Arquette family has been acting for generations in Hollywood. Emma Stone actually gives the best performance in this category, but Arquette will win on the coattails of a Boyhood sweep.
Best Director
Alexandro G. Iñárritu, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game

Lots of deserving men (sorry ladies) were left off this list ( ) however, give this one to Richard Linklater and his dedication to getting this film done over a 12-year period. Linklater has also won almost every Director trophy award this season (except the all-important Directors Guild award – which went to Iñárritu, whose direction in Birdman was so off the charts, while Marsh did a beautiful job bringing Stephen Hawking’s life to the big screen in The Theory of Everything. But Linklater is the favorite here.

Foreign Language Film
Ida
Leviathan
Tangerines
Wild Tales
Timbuktu

Two Days, One Night is the best Foreign Film of the year and is lead by a powerful performance by Marion Cotillard but it’s not nominated. Ida will take the prize because of it’s story about the Holocaust, plus it won the BAFTA.

Writing – Adapted Screenplay
Graham Moore, The Imitation Game
Damien Chazelle, Whiplash
Anthony McCarten, The Theory of Everything
Jason Hall, American Sniper
Paul Thomas Anderson, Inherent Vice

This is one of the toughest categories to call but I will go with Anthony McCarten for his screenplay for The Theory of Everything. It’s a beautifully scripted film about Stephen and Jane Hawking’s relationship, plus it won the BAFTA in the same category. Though Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash has been picking up momentum over the past few weeks to he could easily sneak in and win.

Writing – Original Screenplay
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo, Birdman
Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler
E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman, Foxcatcher

It’s easy to think that Linklater will take this one for Boyhood. But this is one of the toughest categories to predict. Birdman’s screenplay was so original and different that it deserves to win just on that basis, while Foxcatcher told the eerie tale of a very rich man who perhaps had too much money on his hands (and was clearly not sane). But when it comes down to it, The Grand Budapest Hotel’s screenplay was very original. And it will be the only major award that this film will win, and deservedly so.
Music – Original Song
‘Glory’ by Common and John Legend, Selma
‘Lost Stars’ by Gregg Alexander, Danielle Brisebois, Nick Lashley and Nick Southwood, Begin Again
‘Everything Is Awesome’ by Shawn Patterson, The LEGO Movie
‘I’m Not Gonna Miss You’, by Glen Campbell, Glenn Campbell: I’ll Be Me
‘Grateful’, Beyond the Lights
Glory from the movie Selma will win. It’s shocking that Selma failed to get nominated in many of the major categories, but it does deserve to win this one, it’s a great song with gorgeous vocals by Legend.
ANIMATED FEATURED FILM

Big Hero 6
How to Train Your Dragon 2
The Boxtrolls
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
Song of the Sea

The Boxtrolls was dark and grimy, so I would give this one to Big Hero 6, which is now the third highest grossing animated film of all time.

With Neil Patrick Harris emceeing the show for the first time, expect a very funny and entertaining show!

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24th Jan2015

Boyhood – DVD

by timbaros

images-199Boyhood was filmed over the span of 12 years (one week per year) to capture the story of a young boy, who right before your eyes, turns into a young man. But that’s the only revelation this film brings us.

Clocking in at two hours and forty-five minutes, Boyhood is a bit of a struggle to sit through. It’s an ingenuous idea, getting the same actors to commit to taking part in the filming of Boyhood over the course of 12 years of their careers, but it’s epic length destroys any sense of realness the film is trying to convey and you’ll find yourself looking at your watch several times, and when you think it is over, another year in their lives is tacked on. Even The Wolf of Wall Street, which was three hours long, didn’t feel as long as Boyhood.

Directed by Richard Linklater, he started shooting Boyhood in 2002, with Ellar Coltrane as Mason Jr., Lorelei Linklater (his daughter) as Samantha – Mason’s sister, and as their parents Olivia (Patricia Arquette) and Mason Sr. (Ethan Hawke). Every year Linklater would gather the cast and crew together to capture another year in their lives, and especially Mason’s life. As very young children, Mason and Samantha are adorable, especially Samantha as she teases Mason and hits him but then turns the tables on him and tells their mom that it was Mason who had started it. Of course their mom believes her. The kids grow up through the divorce of their parents and the ups and downs of adolescence. They also endure their mother’s second marriage to an aggressive controlling alcoholic, fleeing from their home after he becomes violent and hits Olivia, not for the first time. But as Boyhood continues, and the older Mason and Lorelei get, the less adorable and fun they are, and they are complete bores when they reach puberty, with very little personality to match. There is nothing interesting going on with them as they get older, and they less confident and less adorable on screen, whether they were forced to take part as they got older and didin’t want to, it appears this way on the screen. Luckily for them, and us, Hawke appears every so often to take the kids out, whether it be bowling, or to sit around in a cafe and talk about grown up stuff, Hawke easily steals every scene he is in. But it’s near the end of the film where where Olivia breaks down as Mason is about to leave for college and proclaims to him “what have I done to my life, why am I here.” It’s a strange moment that I didn’t quite understand, made even more strange when Coltrane looks into the camera. We wonder why she’s saying this at the moment that her son is leaving the nest and going off to college.

And as Boyhood winds down, Mason meets his college roommate in their dormitory and off they go, with two girls, to explore the local mountains. And as Mason and one of the girls sit on a rock and talk and then kiss, we immediately know that this is the girl for him.

Boyhood is an ambitious project. Director Linklater has been successful in the past with his Before Sunrise and it’s sequel films, also starring Ethan Hawke – Before Sunrise was released in 1995 with Before Sunset coming out in 2004 and then Before Midnight in 2013, all to very good reviews. At least these three films had superb acting and plots that made sense. In Boyhood, nothing really happens. The screenwriter, Linklater, seems to have decided to let the scenes in each year of their lives play out without achieving much, and that’s what the whole film feels like. Not much of an achievement for sitting through two hours and forty five minutes.

It’s a mystery to me why this film is racking up so many awards. It has just recently won Best Picture and Best Director at the London Film Critics and Golden Globe Awards, and it’s a shoo-in for the Academy Awards in the same categories. Sure, it took 12 years to film, but is this the reason for all the hype? Sure, there is a great performance by Hawke, who definitely deserves the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, however, to call Boyhood the best film of 2014 is something I don’t agree with.

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15th Jan2015

Oscar Nominations Announced – Film

by timbaros

Oscars-560x315LOS ANGELES, CA — Directors Alfonso Cuarón and J.J. Abrams, actor Chris Pine and Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced the nominations for the 87th Academy Awards® today (January 15). For the first time, nominees in all 24 categories were announced live.

“Birdman” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” led nominations for the 87th Academy Awards, each earning nine nominations to top all films.

“Birdman,” subtitled “The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance” stars Michael Keaton as a former superhero actor trying to revive his career and his life by mounting a Broadway play.

It earned nominations for best picture, best actor for Keaton, director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, supporting actor (Edward Norton), supporting actress (Emma Stone), original screenplay and cinematography, as well as some technical nods.

Others receiving nominations for best picture are “American Sniper,” “Boyhood,” “The Imitation Game,” “The Theory of Everything,” “Selma,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Whiplash.”

“The Grand Budapest Hotel,” about the denizens of a European hotel in the years between the world wars, has just won best comedy/musical at the Golden Globes (defeating “Birdman,” among others). The film was nominated for best picture and director (Wes Anderson), along with original screenplay, cinematography, score and a host of other awards.

“The Imitation Game” received eight nominations. The drama stars Benedict Cumberbatch as British mathematician Alan Turing, who helped break the Germans’ Enigma coding machine in World War II and was a pioneer of computer science.

Cumberbatch earned a best actor nomination to go along with the film’s nods for picture, director (Morten Tyldum) and supporting actress (Keira Knightley).

“Boyhood,” which won the Golden Globe for best drama, also performed well, earning six nods. Director Richard Linklater picked up a nomination, as did supporting performers Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette. The movie follows the maturation of a child over 12 years and was filmed for a week or two each year so that audiences could see the actors age in real time.

There were no major surprises in the big categories, though Mr. Turner was shout out of the major awards, and Selma only picked up a Best Picture nomination. Meryl Streep, as expected, picked up a Best Supporting Actress nomination for Into the Woods – her 19th nomination.

The 87th Academy Awards will take place Sunday, February 22, at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre. Neil Patrick Harris will host. The show airs on ABC.

Best Picture
American Sniper
Birdman
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Selma
The Theory of Everything
Whiplash
Best Actor
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
Best Actress
Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild
Best Supporting Actor
Robert Duvall, The Judge
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
JK Simmons, Whiplash
Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Laura Dern, Wild
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Emma Stone, Birdman
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

Best Director
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game
Best Adapted Screenplay
American Sniper, Jason Hall
The Imitation Game, Graham Moore
Inherent Vice, Paul Thomas Anderson
The Theory Of Everything, Anthony McCarten
Whiplash, Damien Chazelle
Best Original Screenplay
Birdman, Or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance), Alejandro G. Inarritu, Nicholas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr., and Armando Bo
Boyhood, Richard Linklater
Foxcatcher, E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness
Nightcrawler, Dan Gilroy
Best Animated Feature
Big Hero 6
The Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Song of the Sea
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
Best Foreign Language Film
Ida
Leviathan
Tangerines
Timbuktu
Wild Tales
Best Documentary Feature
CitizenFour
Finding Vivian Maier
Last Days in Vietnam
The Salt of the Earth
Virunga
Best Production Design
The Grand Budapest Hotel Adam Stockhausen (Production Design); Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration)
The Imitation Game Maria Djurkovic (Production Design); Tatiana Macdonald (Set Decoration)
Interstellar Nathan Crowley (Production Design); Gary Fettis (Set Decoration)
Into the Woods Dennis Gassner (Production Design); Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration)
Mr. Turner Suzie Davies (Production Design); Charlotte Watts (Set Decoration)
Best Cinematography
Birdman
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Ida
Mr. Turner
Unbroken
Best Costume Design
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Inherent Vice
Into The Woods
Maleficent
Mr. Turner
Best Editing
American Sniper
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Whiplash
Best Makeup And Hairstyling
Foxcatcher
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Guardians of the Galaxy
Best Score
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Interstellar
Mr. Turner
The Theory of Everything
Best Original Song
“Everything is Awesome,” The LEGO Movie
“Glory,” Selma
“Grateful,” Beyond the Lights
“I’m Not Gonna Miss You,” Glen Campbell… I’ll Be Me
“Lost Stars,” Begin Again
Best Sound Editing
American Sniper Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Martin Hernández and Aaron Glascock
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Brent Burge and Jason Canovas
Interstellar Richard King
Unbroken Becky Sullivan and Andrew DeCristofaro
Best Sound Mixing
American Sniper John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Walt Martin
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and Thomas Varga
Interstellar Gary A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker and Mark Weingarten
Unbroken Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and David Lee
Whiplash Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley
Best Visual Effects
Captain America: The Winter Soldier Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Bryan Grill and Dan Sudick
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett and Erik Winquist
Guardians of the Galaxy Stephane Ceretti, Nicolas Aithadi, Jonathan Fawkner and Paul Corbould
Interstellar Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher
X-Men: Days of Future Past Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora, Tim Crosbie and Cameron Waldbauer
Best Animated Short
The Bigger Picture Daisy Jacobs and Christopher Hees
The Dam Keeper Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi
Feast Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed
Me and My Moulton Torill Kove
A Single Life Joris Oprins
Best Documentary Short
Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 Ellen Goosenberg Kent and Dana Perry
Joanna Aneta Kopacz
Our Curse Tomasz Śliwiński and Maciej Ślesicki
The Reaper (La Parka) Gabriel Serra Arguello
White Earth J. Christian Jensen
Best Live Action Short
Aya Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis
Boogaloo and Graham Michael Lennox and Ronan Blaney
Butter Lamp (La Lampe au Beurre de Yak) Hu Wei and Julien Féret
Parvaneh Talkhon Hamzavi and Stefan Eichenberger
The Phone Call Mat Kirkby and James Lucas

Off
13th Jul2014

Boyhood – Film

by timbaros

images-199Boyhood was filmed over the span of 12 years (one week per year) to capture the story of a young boy, who right before your eyes, turns into a young man. But that’s the only revelation this film brings us.

Clocking in at two hours and forty-five minutes, Boyhood is a bit of a struggle to sit through. It’s an ingenuous idea, getting the same actors to commit to taking part in the filming of Boyhood over the course of 12 years of their careers, but it’s epic length destroys any sense of realness the film is trying to convey and you’ll find yourself looking at your watch several times, and when you think it is over, another year in their lives is tacked on. Even The Wolf of Wall Street, which was three hours long, didn’t feel as long as Boyhood.
Directed by Richard Linklater, he started shooting Boyhood in 2002, with Ellar Coltrane as Mason Jr., Lorelei Linklater (his daughter) as Samantha – Mason’s sister, and as their parents Olivia (Patricia Arquette) and Mason Sr. (Ethan Hawke). Every year Linklater would gather the cast and crew together to capture another year in their lives, and especially Mason’s life. As very young children, Mason and Samantha are adorable, especially Samantha as she teases Mason and hits him but then turns the tables on him and tells their mom that it was Mason who had started it. Of course their mom believes her. The kids grow up through the divorce of their parents and the ups and downs of adolescence. They also endure their mother’s second marriage to an aggressive controlling alcoholic, fleeing from their home after he becomes violent and hits Olivia, not for the first time. But as Boyhood continues, and the older Mason and Lorelei get, the less adorable and fun they are, and they are complete bores when they reach puberty, with very little personality to match. There is nothing interesting going on with them as they get older, and they less confident and less adorable on screen, whether they were forced to take part as they got older and didin’t want to, it appears this way on the screen. Luckily for them, and us, Hawke appears every so often to take the kids out, whether it be bowling, or to sit around in a cafe and talk about grown up stuff, Hawke easily steals every scene he is in. But it’s near the end of the film where where Olivia breaks down as Mason is about to leave for college and proclaims to him “what have I done to my life, why am I here.” It’s a strange moment that I didn’t quite understand, made even more strange when Coltrane looks into the camera. We wonder why she’s saying this at the moment that her son is leaving the nest and going off to college.
And as Boyhood winds down, Mason meets his college roommate in their dormitory and off they go, with two girls, to explore the local mountains. And as Mason and one of the girls sit on a rock and talk and then kiss, we immediately know that this is the girl for him.
Boyhood is an ambitious project. Director Linklater has been successful in the past with his Before Sunrise and it’s sequel films, also starring Ethan Hawke – Before Sunrise was released in 1995 with Before Sunset coming out in 2004 and then Before Midnight in 2013, all to very good reviews. At least these three films had superb acting and plots that made sense. In Boyhood, nothing really happens. The screenwriter, Linklater, seems to have decided to let the scenes in each year of their lives play out without achieving much, and that’s what the whole film feels like. Not much of an achievement for sitting through two hours and forty five minutes.