I’ve decided to use this weekend’s release of Darren Aronofsky‘s Noah as an opportunity to reflect on the director’s most soul crushing work to date: his adaptation of the Hubert Selby Jr. novel of the same name, Requiem for a Dream. While I’d list Black Swan as my favorite Aronofsky film, Requiem stands alone as a devastating look at the nature of addiction that, by its end credits, will assure you that nothing decent will ever happen to you again. The film netted the great Ellen Burstyn her sixth Academy Award nod while Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, and Marlon Wayans provided equally powerful performances as heroin addicts whose trajectories only bend downwards. While its story and characters offer little to be optimistic about, Requiem all but cemented Aronofsky’s place among the most skilled and uncompromising filmmakers of his generation. If you haven’t already, check out the film on Amazon Instant Video where it’s available to stream. Just be sure you’re not already in an emotionally fragile state or else you’re in for a long night.
Aronofsky reflections aside, this week’s Top 5 highlights the first teaser trailer for director Jonathan Liebesman‘s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, interviews for and Matt’s review of Noah, the new trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past, Sabotage interviews and Matt’s review, and Steve’s coverage of CinemaCon from Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.
This weekend will not be a wash for Darren Aronofsky’s Noah. The controversial biblical epic opened with $15.2 million from 3,500 locations yesterday, including $1.6 million from Thursday pm previews. That puts Noah on course for close to $44 million through Sunday – well above the $33 million Paramount said it was expecting. Anything above $43.5 million would also give Russell Crowe the best opening of his career (outside of his supporting turn in Man of Steel).
The weekend’s second major release should also mark a career milestone for star Arnold Schwarzenegger, though not the kind stars typically strive for. Sabotage – Arnie’s third major release since January 2013 – could end up as his worst debut since Red Sonja, in 1985. From its 2,486 locations, Sabotage brought in $1.82 million on Friday, which suggests an opening weekend in the $5-$6 million range. Finally, after two weeks in limited release, director Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel expanded to almost 1,000 locations on Friday, making it into the domestic top five with just under $2.4 million. We’ll have full details tomorrow.
|| Muppets Most Wanted
|| The Grand Budapest Hotel
|| God’s Not Dead
Darren Aronofsky is one of my favorite filmmakers. It’s been rewarding to watch him develop over the course of his five feature films (Pi, Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain, The Wrestler, and Black Swan) and how he’s matured in approach to certain themes—namely, obsession and death. His latest feature, Noah, should be dripping with these two themes as it’s the story of a man directed by God and willing to let the rest of the world die. While it does provide some intriguing departure from those themes, Noah feels like a series of compromises that soften the impact of the themes as Aronofsky gets bogged down in explanations that feel like excuses, and then struggles to return to the fascinating and complex moral drama at the center of the story. Although he has his frequent collaborators providing the picture with grandeur and majesty, and the filmmaker’s trademark earnestness remains, his style begins to work against him as Noah veers between gritty reality and difficult humanism.
Paramount Pictures has released a large batch of new images from director Darren Aronofsky’s upcoming Biblical epic Noah. The film is Aronofsky’s take on the Great Flood story from the Bible, with Russell Crowe assuming the titular role of a man who is told by God that Earth’s population will be wiped out by a flood. The film drew strong if somewhat polarizing reactions from its world premiere, and it has already encountered its share of controversy throughout development. Hopefully the finished product reflects Aronofsky’s full, uncompromised vision, which is sure to result in a wholly original take on this well-known story.
Hit the jump to check out the images. The film also stars Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson, Anthony Hopkins, Logan Lerman, and Douglas Booth. Noah opens in theaters on March 28th.
Director Darren Aronofsky’s long-awaited Black Swan follow-up Noah had its world premiere last night in Mexico, which means the first reactions to the finished film are in. Unsurprisingly, most pointed out that a lot of the film has been hid from the marketing—namely the more fantastical elements. The overall reaction was mainly positive, but many pointed out that it is destined to be a quite polarizing film. That’s not exactly a shock given that most of Aronofsky’s films elicit strong reactions, and with regards to Noah, the film appears to have a heavy philosophical bent while visually resembling a fantasy pic.
In addition to the first responses, Paramount has also released a new trailer for the film. After the jump, watch the trailer and peruse through some of the reactions from last night’s premiere screening. Noah opens in theaters on March 28th.
The first clip for director Darren Aronofsky’s Biblical epic Noah has landed online. The film is Aronofsky’s take on the Great Flood story from the Bible, with Russell Crowe taking on the titular role. In this debut clip, we see Crowe’s Noah explaining his God-given task to his family, specifically discussing how they need to round up animals for the ark. Though Aronofsky had a bit of a push-and-pull with Paramount over the cut of the film, we know that the cut being released in theaters will indeed be Aronofsky’s director’s cut, and I’m excited to see what his take on the classic story entails.
Hit the jump to watch the clip, and if you missed any of Matt’s set visit coverage be sure to check out his full set visit report and interview with Crowe. The film also stars Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson, Douglas Booth, Logan Lerman, and Anthony Hopkins. Noah opens in theaters on March 28th.
During a break in filming on Darren Aronofsky‘s biblical epic, Noah, Russell Crowe, who plays the eponymous figure, stops by for a chat with me and my fellow journalists who are visiting the set. In one of the many ways the film will defy expectations, he’s not wearing a robe and sandals. He’s dressed in scraps of leather, furs, and something that doesn’t resemble any particular time period, but conveys the pre-history of the tale. As Crowe tells us, eschewing the traditional representation of the biblical story is one of the reasons he wanted to be a part of the project.
During our conversation, we also talked about spending so much time in the rain, what else about Aronofsky’s vision that attracted him to the project, what he learned in his research, shooting in Iceland, and more. Hit the jump to check out the interview, click here to read my full set visit report, and click here to check out a new featurette. Noah opens March 28th.
The world is about to drown. It is the middle of the night on October 3, 2012 and I’m on the set of Darren Aronofsky‘s biblical epic, Noah. No one is a stranger to the name of the man who built an ark to save the creatures of the world after God decided to cleanse the Earth of sin by having it rain forty days and forty nights. There is no story of Noah without his ark, and I along with a group of other movie journalists have come to see the ark and watch the 400 extras who are clamoring to come on board. Unfortunately for those poor souls, they’ll never be able to get past the giants.
Giants, an ark, a deluge, and a human tale at the center—there’s a lot going on with Noah, and none of it has to do with a guy at the bow of the ship flanked by zoo animals. Hit the jump for my full report from the set, click here for my interview with star Russell Crowe, and click here for a behind-the-scenes featurette about the ark.
There has been much debate throughout history about the Biblical ark, if it ever really existed, and just how it would have been (intelligently) designed. Luckily, this new featurette for Darren Aronofsky‘s Noah puts that question to rest, in the cinematic world at least. This behind-the-scenes look at ark design, construction, and functionality gives us just the briefest of introductions into the approach the filmmakers had in adapting the Biblical tale, and it looks to be one epic journey that’s actually worthy of the modifier. If nothing else, you’ll learn just what a cubit is.
Starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson, Anthony Hopkins, and Logan Lerman, Noah opens March 28. Watch the featurette after the jump, click here for Matt’s report from the set, and click here for his interview with Crowe.
In advance of the Valentine’s Day release of Akiva Goldsman’s Winter’s Tale, Warner Bros. has sent over us 6 movie clips from the film. The adaptation of the Mark Helprin novel follows a burglar (Colin Farrell) who falls for an ailing heiress (Jessica Brown Findlay), and discovers that neither death nor time can stand in the way of true love. These new clips give a great look at the romantic fantasy drama’s cast of characters across time and space.
Winter’s Tale also stars Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, William Hurt and Eva Marie Saint, Winter’s Tale opens February 14th. Hit the jump to watch the clips.
In advance of the Valentine’s Day release of Akiva Goldsman’s Winter’s Tale, we have 30 new images from the film to share with you. The adaptation of the Mark Helprin novel follows a burglar (Colin Farrell) who falls for an ailing heiress (Jessica Brown Findlay), and discovers that neither death nor time can stand in the way of true love. These new images give great looks at the romantic fantasy drama’s cast of characters across time and space.
Also starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, William Hurt and Eva Marie Saint, Winter’s Tale opens February 14th. Hit the jump to view all the images.
Warner Bros. has released a new trailer for Oscar-winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman’s directorial debut Winter’s Tale. Based on the novel of the same name by Mark Helprin, the story takes place in a mythic New York City and spans more than a century, revolving around a thief (Colin Farrell) whose love appears to transcend time. As opposed to some of the time-bending TV spots that have been playing recently, this new trailer smartly focuses on the love story aspect between Farrell and the character played by Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey). We also get plenty of Russell Crowe’s villain and his goofy accent.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film also stars Jennifer Connelly and William Hurt. Winter’s Tale opens February 14th.
Paramount has released the Super Bowl spot for Noah online ahead of the Sunday ad extravaganza. The tagline that punctuates the clip is a bit silly—”Witness the untold story of the world’s most epic event”—but gets to the point of what I’m looking forward to in Noah: A darker version of a very familiar story that would naturally be horrific in the moment, told by Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan) in his biggest sandbox to date. The 35-second clip is packed with big moments, including a brief shot of celestial beings hurtling toward Earth.
Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson, Anthony Hopkins, and Logan Lerman star. Noah opens March 28. Watch the spot after the break.
Ahead of its big Super Bowl spot on Sunday, Paramount Pictures has released a new poster for director Darren Aronofsky’s Biblical epic Noah. The film is Aronofsky’s take on the Great Flood story from the Bible, and as we can see in this new poster, the filmmaker is going heavy on the “epic” portion of the tale. Russell Crowe sports a pretty gnarly beard while holding a small axe in one hand, as if to suggest that the film will find Noah battling more than just heavy rain and flood waters. Aronofsky has been passionate about bringing Noah to the screen for years, so I’m interested to see what his vision for the pic entails. From what we’ve seen so far, Noah looks to be the filmmaker’s most “commercial” work yet, but time will tell if that’s just Paramount trying to appeal to the widest possible audience. I’m hopeful for some Aronofsky weirdness.
Hit the jump to check out the poster. The film also stars Ray Winstone, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Douglas Booth, and Anthony Hopkins. Noah opens in traditional theaters and IMAX on March 28th.
Paramount Pictures has released a couple of new high-resolution images from director Darren Aronofsky’s upcoming Biblical epic Noah. The film is, of course, an adaptation of the Bible’s Great Flood story, but with an Aronofsky twist. These new images give us a look at the practical ark that was built for the production as well as Russell Crowe’s titular character embracing his wife, played by Jennifer Connelly. The first two trailers for the pic promised plenty of gorgeous imagery and a literal boat load of CGI animals, and I’m eager to see what else Aronofsky has up his sleeve in the full film.
Hit the jump to take a look at the new images. The film also stars Logan Lerman, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson, Douglas Booth, and Anthony Hopkins. Noah opens March 28, 2014.