I see you, Internet. Every week, we do a nice little roundup of the new releases of note on the DVD/Blu-ray shelves and the streaming services, and it gets a fair amount of traffic — solid, nothing spectacular — and that’s that. But last week’s column was huge, far and away the column’s high point and one of our most clicked posts of the week, though the movies in it weren’t blockbusters. Oh, but it did the documentary Hot Girls Wanted, Netflix’s recent Sundance pickup about the horrifying exploitation of young women in the world of “amateur” porn. The disproportionate popularity of our post that mentions that title made me wonder if Netflix is seeing the same kind of traffic — if they maybe even bought the movie in part because it’s got such a click-friendly title. And all I can say, having seen Hot Girls Wanted, is that any late-night dirty-movie creepers who click “play” based on that title are in for a big, big disappointment. Which prompts the question: How many more Netflix streamers sound like they’re gonna be sexy, and really, really …Read More
Fiction films can be a trickier proposition at the Tribeca Film Festival than their nonfiction counterparts; for some time the fest had a reputation as a home for pictures that made the slate for the movie stars they’d put on the red carpet rather than the quality they’d put on the screen. That rep has fallen away in recent years, bolstered by a stronger slate of under-the-radar indies and faves from other festivals. Here’s a look at the 22 new narrative movies your film editor saw, and how they stack …Read More
There are scenes and images in Darren Aronofsky’s Noah as astonishing as any in recent memory, surrealistic flashes that inspire immediate awe and reverberate long afterwards. And there are moments so goofy and tone-deaf that you wonder if the gifted and visionary filmmaker was asleep at the wheel. It’s as odd and schizophrenic a picture as you’re likely to see in the focus-grouped, play-it-safe moviemaking climate of the moment, and the fact that it exists at all is sort of a (ha ha) miracle. The fact that it takes itself so very seriously will, no doubt, lead its more cynical viewers to dub it an unintentional laugh riot — and you can choose to laugh at it. But you can also choose to wrestle with it, to engage as fully as Aronofsky has.
Well, here’s a filmmaker/studio clash we’d never have seen coming: according to The Hollywood Reporter, Paramount and director Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream) are butting heads over Noah, the forthcoming $125 million biblical adaptation starring Russell Crowe, Anthony Hopkins, Jennifer Connelly, and Emma Watson. THR reports that test screenings for a mostly Jewish audience in New York, a Christian audience in Arizona, and a general audience in California have produced vague-sounding “troubling reactions” and “worrisome results,” and it’s “not clear” whether the filmmaker has retained his right to final cut. Why, it’s almost like an idiosyncratic filmmaker tackling a Bible story with a massive budget was a tricky proposition to begin with, eh?