6 items from 2014
Feature James Clayton 4 Apr 2014 - 06:39
It is the Year of our Lord 2014 (other Lords and religiously-orientated calendar systems are available) and things are getting old-school. To be precise, things are getting Old Testament. They're bringing the Bible back into movie theatres, for this year sees the release of two major movie adaptations of Judeo-Christian scripture.
Those two film events are a Noah - currently sailing into cinemas worldwide - and an Exodus, which is set to occur in December. Though it feels a bit disrespectful to compare holy writ with public transport, the well-known idiom about waiting for buses feels apt here. Perhaps singing "the Old Testament films came two-by-two, »
Having been behind some of the most ingenious, avant-garde pictures of the past two decades, filmmaker Darren Aronofsky is now trying his hand at something a little more ambitious, with a considerably greater budget than he’s used to working with. Though eyebrows were suitably raised at his decision to tackle the immense story of Noah, there’s a definite sense of intrigue in seeing this innovative director make his first blockbuster, as expectations are elevated accordingly. That being said, it’s still not much better than Evan Almighty.
Russell Crowe takes on the titular role, as a devoted family man who is hand-picked by God, to somehow save mankind and all animal species on earth, ahead of the forthcoming flood that will destroy the planet. In order to obey the omnipotent and benevolent spirit, Noah starts building an ark, with the help of his loving wife Naameh (the severely »
- Stefan Pape
Having made movies about obsessive characters looking for God — or something like Him — in the numerology of the Kabbalah (“Pi”), at the end of a heroin needle (“Requiem for a Dream”), and in the outer reaches of the galaxy (“The Fountain”), surely it was only a matter of time before Darren Aronofsky got to making one about a man with a direct line to the Creator. And so we have “Noah,” in which the world’s most famous shipwright becomes neither the Marvel-sized savior suggested by the posters nor the “environmentalist wacko” prophesied by some test-screening Cassandras, but rather a humble servant driven to the edge of madness in his effort to do the Lord’s bidding. Counterintuitive, perhaps, but by no means sacrilegious, Aronofsky’s uneven but undeniably bold, personal, visually extravagant take on the Old Testament tale will surely polarize critics and audiences while riding a high sea »
- Scott Foundas
Liam Neeson may now officially be richer than God -- his thriller "Non-Stop" opened at No. 1 with an estimated $30.0 million -- but God did awfully well this weekend, too. "Son of God" opened in second place with an estimated $26.5 million, far more than the $15-20 million pundits had expected. (Even its distributor, 20th Century Fox, predicted just a modest $12-15 million.)
Christian-themed movies are a notoriously iffy prospect. Faith-based marketing organizations insist that there's a largely untapped audience of moviegoers out there who would gladly spend money on a film that treated their beliefs with respect, even if it came from that dreaded cesspool of sin known as Hollywood. And yet few of Hollywood's offerings have connected with that audience in the decade since "The Passion of the Christ" awakened Hollywood to the potential of Christian-themed films. Of course, "The Passion" was made and distributed independently, as are most religious-themed features these days, »
- Gary Susman
Darren Aronofsky, the director of Pi, Requiem For A Dream, and The Fountain, has taken on a story of biblical proportions in Noah, the tale of a man and his family trying to get two of every animal onto a gigantic boat before a flood hits. It’s being sold as an Evan Almighty reboot, but taking a much more serious approach.
We can now reveal that it is the director’s cut that will be hitting cinemas in the coming months, despite reports from last autumn that Paramount and Aronofsky were having arguments over whether to release the original cut or a truncated version. Aronsky has revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that Paramount have tested half a dozen cuts of the movie with audiences, something Aronofsky is very set against:
There was a rough patch. [Paramount]…tested as many as half-a-dozen of its own cuts of the movie. I was upset — of course. »
- Luke Ryan Baldock
It's easy to forget that, two decades ago, Jim Carrey was just a talented TV sketch comedian who'd been trying for a decade to break into films. (Remember his roles in "Peggy Sue Got Married," "The Dead Pool," or "Earth Girls Are Easy"? Didn't think so.) But then came "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective" (released 20 years ago this week, on February 4, 1994), in which Carrey starred as a hyperactive sleuth tasked with finding the Miami Dolphins' kidnapped mascot, and suddenly, he was an A-list box office draw.
Critics didn't think much of the puerile Ace, whose favorite gag was talking through his butt cheeks. But audiences loved him, enough to make Carrey an overnight star after 10 years of trying, and enough to put the film on permanent rotation on basic cable for the next 20 years.
Still, as many times as you've seen "Ace Ventura," there's probably a lot you don't know about »
- Gary Susman
6 items from 2014
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