“I want you to build an Ark.”
“Right!……Whats an Ark?”
Despite being a no-brainer, it remains to be seen whether the immortal lines of Bill Cosby will be uttered in Noah, the epic telling of the Genesis story by Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream; Black Swan). Russell Crowe stars as the boat-builder-to-be with Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, and Douglas Booth rounding out his immediate family, Anthony Hopkins as his grandfather Methuselah, and Ray Winstone as his nemesis Tubal-cain. I’ve liked all of Aronofsky’s films (though I have more respect for Pi than admiration and should give it another look) and am confident that his craftsmanship will transfer to big-budget territory. Also, Cosby is not listed in the IMDb credits as the film’s narrator, but sometimes directors want these kind of things to remain surprises.
This week’s mind-screwing comes courtesy of The Enemy, which reunites director Denis Villeneuve with his Prisoners star Jake Gyllenhaal. The former Donnie Darko plays Toronto university professor Adam, who discovers that he has an exact double who also lives in the city. The pair meet and things get complicated from there, involving spiders to a debatable extent with potential Fight Club parallels as well. It’s a beautiful looking and moody film that will hold your attention, even if you’re not quite sure what it all means. (I still don’t have a clear answer and I may never get one.) Mélanie Laurent (Inglorious Basterds), Sarah Gadon (A Dangerous Method), and Isabella Rossellini co-star. See it while you can.
With the exception of a few choice supporting roles (e.g. Juno; Dodgeball), Jason Bateman does not have the best track record when it comes to movies. On Arrested Development alone, the guy can clearly do TV well, but giant whiffs like Identity Thief have kept him from translating his charm to the big screen. Perhaps that will change with Bad Words, Bateman’s directorial debut, in which he plays an adult who exploits a loophole in a children’s spelling bee and enters in the hopes of erasing his loss at just such a competition as a youth. Kathryn Hahn (Parks & Recreation), Allison Janney, and Philip Baker Hall lend a hand, possibly two.
Sadly not a feature-length expansion of Spike Jonze’s celebrated Beastie Boys video, Sabotage is the latest police actioneer from writer/director David Ayer. (The poster and trailer highlight that the film is from the writer of Training Day and the director of End of Watch as if they were two different people. They are not.) Arnold Schwarzenegger plays the leader of an elite DEA task force whose other members include Sam Worthington (Avatar), Mirielle Enos (World War Z), Terrence Howard, and Joe Manganiello (Magic Mike). After the team busts a cartel safe house, they start getting picked off one by one while a brash federal investigator (Rushmore‘s Olivia Williams, in an interesting bit of casting)…umm…investigates. End of Watch was entertaining enough and as long as Sabotage doesn’t replicate it found-footage approach, we should be OK. In terms of recent Schwarzeneggericity, hopefully this one will be more along the lines of The Last Stand and less like Escape Plan.
Fleeing the Scene