Sometimes it’s a dilemma: what DVD should you rent or what movie should you stream or order-on-demand? Do you want a date flick, an action caper, or a goofy comedy? Weekly Surge is here to help with our reviews of recent at-home movie releases, which we’ve watched from the comfort of that favorite recliner.
Biblical, blasphemous and controversial are the words that come to mind before watching this film. But Dystopian fantasy and environmentalism are the words that come to mind while watching it. What writer/director Darren Aronofsky does is take elements of the Bible’s Genesis and makes a sci-fi movie about how man’s greed ultimately screws up everything cool, including mankind and the earth its standing on. The film is also about obsession, a familiar theme with Aronofsky. He’s tackled the subject in all of his films, but most effectively in “Black Swan,” “The Wrestler” and “Requiem for a Dream.” As always, he brings in an able cast to help him with his obsession – Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins, Emma Watson and Ray Winstone. Crowe and Connelly really carry the drama, although it’s too heavy at times, delivered with a forced biblical tone. There are also moments of blockbuster effects. Aronofsky swings for the fences by weaving these effects seamlessly into the story. The effects actually make the movie. “Noah” stays afloat, but just narrowly, enough to make it barely worth a watch.
“Wolf Creek 2”
We move from one crazy man in the desert to another. If you saw the previous “Wolf Creek,” you saw an attempt to go back to the Grindhouse days of horror, to the nihilistic villains of the ‘70s that do bad shit just to do bad shit. The first film took a while to get started. This one doesn’t suffer from lag. It jumps out of the gate and never slows down, playing at a cat-and-mouse game for an hour- and-a-half. Writer/director Greg Mclean is the Australian member of the “Splat Pack,” a group of filmmakers making inventive horror films. Mclean uses the Australian Outback as a canvas for abstract gore, and also paints a portrait of the killer, instead on the hero. John Jarratt does more than play the killer. He lets the character possess him. It’s a fun treatment of a sequel and worth a watch, mate.
Let’s say this from the start – this is not Jude Law’s best film. Law set the Law of Jude in motion a long time ago. The Law of Jude goes like this – Jude Law is as good as his costars. Take “Cold Mountain” for example – Law is phenomenal because Nicole Kidman and Renée Zellweger raise the stakes and go for broke. Then look at “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” – Law falls into caricature mode because he’s forced to play against a flat Gwyneth Paltrow and a disinterested Angelina Jolie. That’s where this film differentiates itself – Law owns this film all by himself. He grabs this script by the throat and owns the antihero role with a young man’s gusto. All of Law’s costars just stand aside and let him have his moment. No, this film won’t win any awards. The story of a screw-up dad trying to make things right has been seen before, but Law’s kickass bravado makes this one worth a watch.
Derrick Bracey, for Weekly Surge