"Noah" (PG-13) 3 stars (out of four)
You'll get animals two-by-two and them some with Darren Aronofsky's hotly anticipated Biblical epic "Noah," a bold interpretation of the Old Testament tale from the same filmmaker who directed "Requiem For a Dream," "The Wrestler" and "Black Swan." Russell Crowe gives one of his best performances in years as Noah, who gets messages from The Creator (who is not referred to as God in the film, one of the many creative departures that is sure to generate controversy) to build an ark and save the innocent (the animals) while the world is purged of all its wickedness by a great flood.
See Tim's reviews of this week's films with Diana Pierce on KARE 11
Judging his previous work, it shouldn't come as big surprise that Aronfsky delivers stunning visuals throughout the film – not the least of which, the apocalyptic flood scene – even turning the action and characters at times into things you swear you've seen in the "Lord of the Rings" films. It's also violent, bloody and intense, so parents be forewarned. As for the narrative, unless you can go into the film with a completely open mind, get ready to engage in a massive theological debate over what you've just experienced. One thing's for certain: "Noah" is never boring, and whether you agree with Aronofsky's interpretation or not, there's no denying he has an incredible handle on moviemaking.
"Sabotage" (R) 2 stars (out of four)
The Arnold Schwarzenegger post-Governator comeback tour continues with "Sabotage," an '80s action throwback movie that is surprisingly funny at times, even though on the whole doesn't pull any new tricks out of its hat. Schwarzenegger this time around plays John "Breacher" Wharton, the head of an elite DEA task force who gets caught up in an internal investigation when $10 million the group pilfers from a powerful drug cartel goes missing. Naturally, somebody will have to pay with their lives for missing cash, and the members of the DEA team are squarely in somebody's crosshairs – but whose?
"Sabotage" pretty much plays it by the numbers throughout, as one-by-one, members of the DEA team get dead in especially grisly manners. There's somewhat of a surprise twist at the end, but that just results in more of the same brutality that defines most of the film. Schwarzenegger is once again a one-note Johnny (Breacher) in "Sabotage," but for whatever it's worth, he's no doubt settled comfortably into playing that sort of role. He does benefit, though, by a lot of distractions, including gallons of blood, lots of shooting and a high body count; plus he's surrounded by a stable of capable co-stars, including Sam Worthington ("Avatar"), Josh Holloway ("Lost") and the always great Mireille Enos ("The Killing").