Aronofsky’s Noah Short Review

noah-posterI remember actually enjoying certain Biblical stories as a child. My favourite was an illustrated version of Samson, which I guess technically makes him my first superhero. Hollywood once knew why the Bible was perfect for the screen, and Aronofsky is apparently the one to remind them, which he undeniably does.

The traditional story of Noah is adapted and embellished in the film, titled simply Noah. The trailer hints at a lot of the additions, but I still wasn’t prepared for how original the story looked. The rock-angels are probably the biggest surprise. Fallen angels who turn to stone upon impact, they now wander the earth being bitter about their decision to help humanity. Noah and his family are far more complex than I expected as well. This isn’t so much a story about saving the animals or surviving the flood, it’s about one man’s struggle with interpreting the Creator’s will, how his family deal with his conviction, and humanity’s capacity for good.

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Tom at the Farm – Tom à la Ferme

tomSet in wide empty farmlands somewhere in Canada, Tom à la Ferme surprised, touched and disturbed me. It comes across as an intense personal vision even though it’s apparently adapted from a play.

Tom comes to the farm in order to attend his boyfriend’s funeral. The mother, Agatha, doesn’t know they were together romantically. The brother, Francis, wants to keep it that way, and threatens Tom with violence should he say a word. At the same time, they both insist Tom stay. As the days pass, Francis becomes almost like an abusive boyfriend, one moment dancing a tango and bandaging Tom’s wounds, the next moment choking him. Agatha has more than a few issues herself, and together the three of them form a group with cult-like characteristics.

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The Croods Review

the-croodsApparently, I have an incurable prejudice against a certain type of animated film. Time and time again I am proven wrong, but it has still taken me this long to finally see The Croods. Movies like Megamind, Madagascar 1, 2 and 3, and Kung Fu Panda 1 and 2 were all initially dismissed (though I can hardly be blamed for the last one – honestly, Jack Black as a kung fu fighting Panda? Anyone would be suspicious). None of them are without faults, but all of them provide a good time, surprising depth, and above all clear evidence that a lot of love went into them.

Despite being wrong so often, I wasn’t excited at all to see The Croods, but then it popped up on Netflix on a Sunday night, and I am glad it did.

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No Need – Need for Speed Review

needforspeed1Cars worth more than I could make in two lifetimes, proper physical stunts that leave you winded, and adrenaline fueled driving by Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul. What more could you want from a driving movie? Absolutely nothing. So, why then does Need for Speed feel the need to assault me with bad jokes, eye-rolling clichés and an added-on ending that feels like executives securing their franchise options?

I don’t play racing games, but I am a car fan, and an even bigger driving movie fan. Need for Speed looked like just the right bit of serious, hard driving I needed after years of over-the-top (but admittedly fun) fooling around in the Fast and Furious franchise. The movie stars Aaron Paul as Tobey Marshall, whose workshop is in financial trouble. Along comes his rival on the track, Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper), who offers him a great deal. An “accident” happens, however, and Tobey ends up driving across America to seek his revenge.

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The Legend Continues

Anchorman-2For myself, I have to go all the way back to Leslie Nielsen’s Golden Age, or perhaps 1993’s Hot Shots: Part Deux to find a comedy sequel that I feel surpassed the original. Simply keeping up with the first one is an enormous challenge. But I did feel, in my heart, that if anyone could pull it off, it had to be Ron Burgundy himself.

Ron and his wife, Veronica, have a perfect New York life, but it all comes crashing down (or at least Ron’s part of it) when Veronica gets the evening news, and he gets fired. Told by his hero that he’s the worst newsman in history, he crawls back to San Diego to work at Sea World. Hope blooms again when a new network, GNN (Global News Network), asks him to join them for a new era in news: the twenty-four-hour news channel.

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Nymphomaniac Review

nymphomaniac-posterIt feels like I’ve waited years for this film to be over and done with, but now I’ve finally seen it (despite not really wanting to) I admit it surprised me and perhaps changed my mind about seeing more of von Trier’s films. Before this I had only seen Dogville, and while I appreciate (or think I do) what the film was attempting, it never reached me personally. Lars von Trier’s films continued to fall into my “maybe some day” pile mostly do to this.

The story’s of Nymphomaniac is in the title, but you wouldn’t guess from the promotional material. The posters were everywhere when they came out. In stylish minimalism, all the film’s recognisable actors are shown half-naked at the moment of ecstasy. To me, they all hinted at a film chock full of several sexual “deviants” who would all get their moment in the spotlight. The style of these posters are far from what you get in the theatre. I saw an edited version, but I can not imagine a version that had the time to give all the characters their “poster moment” to put it that way.

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Thor: The Dark World

the-new-thor-the-dark-world-poster-looks-exactly-like-the-one-for-iron-man-3I know I’m late to the party, but it has taken me this long to get my head around this movie. So let’s see what I’ve concluded after two weeks.

Thor: The Dark World takes place almost exactly where The Avengers left off. Loki is hauled back in chains to face Odin and sentenced to life in prison. Before that, however, we get a big, action-packed flashback to Odin’s father, who battled the Dark Elves – beings who ruled “before” the universe as we know it existed. They want nothing more to go back to that status quo, so their leader Malekith tries to use a mysterious, dark-matter like, substance called ether. He fails and goes into hiding. Until Jane Foster manages to stumble upon the substance and wake it up. Now the substance is inside her, and Malekith will stop at nothing to get it out.

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Radio Review: Rush

Foto/Copyright: Norsk Filmdistribusjon / Star Media Entertainment
Copyright: Star Media Entertainment

Ron Howard always delivers when he is exploring real people who step up when challenged. In his next outing he lets Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl run around a Formula 1 track as racers James Hunt and Nikki Lauda. This year’s most perfect casting? It just might be. Especially when combined with the eerily similar Olivia Wilde/Suzy Miller and Alexandra Maria Lara/Marlene Lauda, and the timewarped twins Pierfrancesco Favino/Clay Regazzoni. Although it doesn’t have quite as many racing scenes as the title would suggest (Ron Howard didn’t learn anything from Drive there) it still gets the adrenalin pumping while keeping the focus on the characters.

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Radio Review: Hannah Arendt

5In a remarkably personal and grounded film, the story of Hannah Arendt’s rapport on the trial of Adolf Eichmann gives us a slanted view into the nature of evil.

The story follows Hannah Arendt, coiner of the phrase “the banality of evil”. We follow her coverage of the trial in Jerusalem in 1962, and the subsequent reactions to her publications on the subject. It covers roughly four years, apart from a few flashbacks to her time in school and her affair with the philosopher Martin Heidegger.

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