Cinema Round-Up: April 4th

Cinema roundup April 3rd

When production was halted due to flooding, Darren Aronofsky’s big budget take on Noah instantly became the butt of a thousand jokes, and when test screenings held among Christian groups resulted in claims of blasphemy, it seemed Aronofsky’s film was doomed to box office failure.

That wasn’t the case, however, with the movie surprising many by taking close to $100 million over its opening weekend in the US.

This week audiences on this side of the Atlantic can check it out. Whether you’re religious or not, there’s a lot to admire, and indeed chortle at, about Noah. It’s an absolutely bonkers take on the Bible tale, featuring stop motion talking rock monsters and a stowaway villain played with over the top relish by Ray Winstone. At times unintentionally amusing, at times visually spectacular, Noah won’t be to everyone’s taste but I found it wildly entertaining.

The same can’t be said about Divergent, the latest adaptation of a series of sci-fi novels aimed, like The Hunger Games and Twilight series, at a teenage female audience. Set in a post-apocalyptic society whose citizens are socially divided by their personality traits, the film fails to sell its central concept due to a script that repeatedly contradicts its own premise. With its theme of rebellion and romance, teenage girls will likely embrace Divergent, while the rest of us will be left scratching our heads at how dumb the whole affair really is.

Actor turned director Richard Ayoade follows up his impressive debut, Submarine, with a not so impressive adaptation of Dostoyevsky’s classic novel The Double. Bringing a 150 year old story to the screen results in a movie that feels exceptionally dated, and despite an impressive dual performance from Jesse Eisenberg, the film never grabs you quite like it should.

Image: Russell Crowe in Movie of the Week: Noah
By Eric Hillis