Russ’ Most Anticipated Films of 2014

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2013 was an amazing year for movies. There are still a couple big films from late in the year that I haven’t yet seen (my second cross-country move in the span of a year, left me scrambling to stay current for the year’s final quarter) and yet I’ve still got a list of favorite 2013 films that includes more than fifteen movies. With any luck I can spend the next evenings catching the couple last big ones to get that “best of ’13″ list out the door.

In the meantime, as many are I’m looking forward to 2014. The next year is absolutely packed-out for blockbusters, but there’s a lot of (potentially) good stuff to enjoy in 2014. Below is my own attempt to organize the coming year in movies, based on what we know right now.

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Angie’s Most Anticipated Films of 2014

Michael Fassbender as Magneto in X-Men Days of Future Past

2013′s given us all it has to offer at this point, but 2014 is just around the corner with a whole new slate of promising films. The movies I’m most looking forward to are all over the map, running the gamut from provocative arthouse flicks to big-budget superhero movies. After the jump, check out the ten titles that have me giddy with anticipation for the next twelve months.

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Noah Ray Winstone

We’re fascinated with Noah, from Darren Aronofsky. The filmmaker has merged the sacred and the profane before, but never on this scale, and rarely for the sort of wide audience that a biblical epic like Noah is likely to draw. And we’re still trying to get a sense of what the film really is — as is Paramount, if reports are any indication. So the trailers so far have been strange, with spatters of character clues and a good hint of spectacle, but I feel like we’re really only seeing a small part of what the film will be.

Below, there’s a new Japanese trailer for Noah, and despite the fact that it is cut for an audience that might not approach the film in the same way a conservative American audience might (and that’s an audience that Paramount very much wants and needs for this movie) it still treads along a path very similar to what’s been used of the domestic sales pitch.

But there’s some new footage here, including a hint or two that the voyage through the flood is particularly rough. Read More »

‘Noah’ International Trailer: The Flood Is Coming

 

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The story of Noah and the ark that preserved some of Earth’s creatures against God’s wrathful flood is one of our most well-known tales, but with Darren Aronofsky doing the telling it’s safe to assume the film Noah will feature some new angles. Russell Crowe plays the devout man given advance word that the flood is coming, and Ray Winstone is the king who — for reasons we don’t entirely know — isn’t thrilled that Noah is building a massive boat in the middle of his kingdom.

Here’s a new international trailer for the film. It may rearrange the money shots from the first trailer, but there a good bit of new footage sprinkled in to hold everything together.  The extra footage of the beginning of the flood is really tremendous; this movie looks like a strange beast, but it will be exciting to see Aronofsky play on such a gigantic scale. Read More »

Noah Header

Following yesterday’s juicy little teaser, not one but two full-length trailers for Darren Aronofsky‘s Noah have arrived, and you can check out both of them after the jump.

Russell Crowe stars as the familiar Biblical hero, who’s driven by a vision from God to prepare for an upcoming flood that could wipe out all life on Earth. He builds an ark and begins to round up the animals, but not everyone (including villain Ray Winstone) is on board with his plan.

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Noah sunset

Paramount and Darren Aronofsky were still sparring over the third act of Noah, last we heard, but with the Biblical epic scheduled for a spring release it’s about time for the first trailer to land. Which, per the modern movie marketing playbook, means they’re starting off with a trailer for the trailer.

The clip is less than 20 seconds long, but it makes the most of that time. You’ve got Russell Crowe as Noah considering his visions, a few lovely shots of the ark, quick peeks at co-stars Jennifer Connelly and Logan Lerman, and more. Check it out after the jump.

[Update: A new poster has also been revealed -- see it after the jump!]

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Noah Header

Darren Aronofsky‘s upcoming film Noah tells exactly the story the title would lead you to assume: of Noah (Russell Crowe, above), the ark, and the flood, as relayed in the Bible.

Well, not quite as relayed in the Bible, and that’s where things get tricky. From the beginning Aronofsky wasn’t interested in making a straight Biblical story — while he described this one very early on as a “Biblical epic,” the actual details of the story aren’t quite what you got out of Sunday School. The director has said this is “about environmental apocalypse… Noah was the first environmentalist.”

Which could be a problem for Paramount and New Regency, which ponied up for the film not only because Aronofsky’s last movie, Black Swan, turned a healthy profit and earned an Oscar for Natalie Portman, but because everyone on the money side figured a slightly fantastic vision of Noah would be an easy sell to faith-based audiences, simply based on its Biblical pedigree. Oops.

Now there’s word that early test screenings have been “worrisome,” with “troubling reactions,” and talk of Paramount and the director battling over final cut. How much should you make of all that? Figure it out below. Read More »

Noah Set 1

That Noah, a historical epic about a man on a boat with dozens, perhaps hundreds, of different kinds of animals, would require lots of effects work is no surprise. Particularly when the director behind it is Darren Aronofsky, whose striking visual sense has made him a favorite among cinephiles. But even so, you may be surprised to hear just how much work went into creating this thing.

All of Noah’s animals are digital creations, and because there’s so many of them the wizards at Industrial Light & Magic had their work cut out for them. According to Aronofsky, one shot in particular earned him the “badge of honor” of having the most complex effects shot in ILM’s history. Hit the jump to read his comments.

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