NOAH || March 28th, 2014

Noah-poster With “The Fountain”, “The Wrestler”, and “Black Swan” alone, director Darren Aronofsky has proven himself as brilliant a master behind the camera than any of his peers and for that, no matter what kind of blockbuster he throws at us, I feel like he’s earned a level of respect with being an artist. Beyond the controversy, “Noah” looks like a strong narrative that just happens to be based on a biblical figure. Starring Russell Crowe, Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, Jennifer Connolly, and Emma Watson, there’s no way I’m missing this film.

BoysOfAbuGhraib-poster War films are often a mixed bag for me. Films like “Saving Private Ryan” and even last year’s “Lone Survivor” are some of the best films ever made. But those films involve some high profile actors like Tom Hanks and Mark Wahlberg. “Boys of Abu Ghraib” have some familiar faces like Sean Astin and Sara Paxton but for the most part this film comes off much too dramatic and tries to recreate the same edginess that was so successful in “Zero Dark Thirty”. With reviews from soldiers rather than critics, I do wonder how powerful this film could be but ultimately find it a bit too dry.
BreatheIn-poster Not actually coming out in Los Angeles until next weekend, which leaves me hugely disappointed, writer-director Drake Doremus’ follow up to “Like Crazy” titled “Breathe In” played at last year’s Sundance and was a crowd favorite. Also starring Felicity Jones, who is now one of my favorite actresses after first discovering her in “Like Crazy”, she now plays a foreign exchange student that causes a rift in the marriage of her host family, including Guy Pearce. If this is even half as good as “Like Crazy”, I will be a happy man.
CesarChavez-poster Somewhat familiar with the story of Cesar Chavez and the social injustice he and his people faced while fighting for equality in labor, the film titled after him has a brilliant cast including Michael Pena, Rosario Dawson, and John Malkovich. With a solid look and some great music driving the trailers, “Cesar Chavez” feels like a bigger film than it probably actually is, with many biopics of the nature most often not coming off very well. Regardless, the cast is right, especially with Malkovich, who I try to see in almost anything that he does.
FindingVivianMaier-poster Certain mysterious documentaries grab my attention in a way that normal documentaries cannot. “Finding Vivian Maier” is one of those mysteries that is explained so well in its trailer that its hard for me to pass up even though under most circumstances I would pass. When a young film-maker buys a chest full of negatives at an auction, he discovers an unsung photographer that in all rights was an amazing artist, but whose photos stayed locked away instead of getting her the recognition that she deserved. This woman’s life is revealed through her now developed photographs and the stories that her friends are willing to tell to the camera.
Goldfrapp-poster Apparently “Goldfrapp: Tales Of Us” was a live event screened in theaters that included imagery inspired by this bands new album, playing along with a live performance from the band. Unsure where the film begins and the music stops, this is an interesting way to promote an album, but when it’s a band that no one’s heard of (or at least myself), there’s no real incentive to venture out and give this any thought. Perhaps I’ll preview one of their songs now, but that’s about all they’ll get from me.
HideYourSmilingFace-poster2 Compare your film to the work of Terrence Malick all you like, but it doesn’t mean that I’m going to see your film. “Hide Your Smiling Faces” is an eerie look at two young friends as they mess around like boys do. Involving some sort of bridge and bringing in the idea of nature as a backdrop, the parents enter the trailer to provide words of warning, but without a more in depth look, the film feels hallow and uninteresting to me.
IAmHardwell-poster Am I completely out of touch or does no one else know who DJ Hardwell is? Apparently one of the most famous DJs in the world, “I Am Hardwell” follows the 16 year old spinning prodigy as he sets out on tour. Treated like a rock star, you’d think this guy was a reincarnation of the Beatles or Justin Bieber, but really he’s just a guy that spins records, just like the Steve Aoki’s and Skrillex’s of the world.
Locker13-poster Too many times after trailers do I sit back and think, “Hmmm, what the hell did I just watch”. The trailer for “Locker 13” was yet another one of those trailers. Apparently chronicling several different stories from several different time periods, they all somehow relate to a locker with the number 13 on it. But it’s not the same locker, as many of them are different colors with different styling on the numbers. So how do these connect? I have no idea and I honestly do not care.
TheRaid2-poster2 One of the most underrated films of 2012, “The Raid: Redemption” is now being considered one of the most elaborate and best executed action film of the last decade, with choreographed fight scenes that will absolutely blow you away. So naturally, a sequel was ordered and now we have “The Raid 2: Berandal” which touts the same styling as the first film. Hopefully, the film can still remain as exciting without the plot progression of the first film, involving a strike attack on an apartment building from the first floor to the top. Regardless, having very much enjoyed the first film, I will be seeing this film.
Refuge-poster Krysten Ritter is an anomaly. Judging her book by its cover, she comes off very one dimensional. First experiencing her in the “Veronica Mars” television series as a spoiled rich girl and then following suit with her in ABC’s “Don’t Trust The Bitch In Apartment 23” as the party girl, one forgets that there’s a true actress behind those veneers. In “Refuge” he takes a full Indie turn and displays her acting chops alongside Brian Geraghty, whom I most remember from his supporting role in “The Hurt Locker”. This film about a young woman left to take care of her siblings after their parents abandon them is just touching enough to work.
RoadToTheOpen-poster Yet another independent comedy that looks like it has been shot on someone’s home video camera, “Road To The Road” involves a tennis coach and harsh words from his brother about being a loser. The dismal quality of the film however, is enough to make you turn running. With poor lighting and a strange look overall, I’m wondering how they got Eric Roberts and other stars to even step near this film.
Sabotage-poster Gritty director David Ayer (“End Of Watch”) takes on another crime drama starring Arnold Schwarzenegger in his third role since returning to acting (“The Last Stand”, “Escape Plan”). With a huge cast in Terrence Howard, Sam Worthington, Joe Manganiello, and Mireille Enos, the film is a twist-filled thriller about an expert team of DEA agents with someone working against them from inside. Reminiscent of “S.W.A.T.”, I am mostly banking off of how much I liked “End Of Watch” in committing to venturing to eventually see this film.


  • Breathe In
  • Noah
  • The Raid 2: Berandal




  • Cesar Chavez
  • Sabotage


  • Finding Vivian Maier
  • Refuge


  • Boys of Abu Ghraib
  • Goldfrapp: Tales Of Us
  • Hide Your Smiling Faces
  • I Am Hardwell
  • Locker 13
  • Open To The Road



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