Noah (2014) is the Pick of the Week

Darren Aronofsky used nearly all the tricks in his arsenal to create a visually stunning and well-crafted movie.
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I went to see Noah with a group of friends on opening weekend.  We were a pretty diverse bunch in terms of politics, education, and cinematic interest (one guy can count on one hand the number of movies he's seen since he got married five years ago.)  But we all shared an interest in religion and were interested in seeing this Biblical tale told on the big screen.

Our reactions were about as diverse as who we vote for.  The Biblical literalist hated it for taking liberties with the text.  The Republican hated it for pushing what he thought was a liberal environmental message.  Etc. If you look the film up on any number of movie blog sites, you'll see similar reactions as we had, right down the line.

I rather liked it.  It was far from a perfect movie, but Darren Aronofsky is a talented filmmaker and he used nearly all the tricks in his arsenal to create a visually stunning and well-crafted movie.  While it wasn't a strict retelling of the Bible story, it was a fascinating look inside that tale with an interesting take on the character.

At dinner afterwards we had a long and lively discussion about the movie and what it all meant.  Much more so than if we'd simply seen the next Transformers or Marvel movie. A film that can cause that sort of reaction is one worth picking, I think.

Also out this week that looks interesting:

The Big Chill (Criterion Collection): Before I moved and a variety of other things changed our plans, some college buddies and I were gonna have a big get-together this summer celebrating our 20 years of friendship.  I was looking forward to it, but this movie kept creeping into the back of my mind when I thought about it.  Those guys are great people and were tremendous friends.  But as these things happen, life has gotten in the way and we don’t really stay in touch any longer.  Now and again, there is a Facebook message and I view their lives through their feeds and realize how different we have all become.  I used to watch The Big Chill and think to myself that I’d never let that sort of distance come between me and my friends, and yet here we are.  Still, it's a great movie and I’m excited to see what Criterion can do with it.

Herzog: The Collection:  A massive Blu-ray set including 16 of celebrated director Warner Herzog’s films.  I’ve not seen a single one of these films.  A true tragedy that is, and while I’ll not be diving i with this big set, I’m sure fans of the director will find lots to love.  Bonuses include commentaries on select films, a making-of documentary on Nosferatu The Vampire, and a couple of other features on the director.

Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery:  Includes the entire TV series and the movie.  I remember hearing a lot about this show when I was a kid, but was too young to be interested or to understand.  I caught a few episodes a few years back and really liked it, but for reasons lost to memory never caught the end.  I may just have to lay my money down for the entire thing and binge it with what remains of the summer.

Cuban Fury:  A salsa dancing comedy with Nick Frost, Chris O’Dowd, Rashida Jones and Ian McShane.  What could go wrong?

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