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Mini Movie Reviews: Noah and The Muppets Most Wanted

Mini Movie Reviews: Noah and The Muppets Most Wanted
Amelia
  • On April 18, 2014
  • http://ameliajune.net

After a long, unplanned hiatus I am back to seeing movies more regularly as they come out in theaters.

Nearly everyone I know hates going to the movie theater–too expensive, too many people, too expensive, people on their cell phones, too expensive. These are fair points but I still really like going. Going out allows me the full  movie experience including good lighting, popcorn smell, good sound systems and an uninterrupted two hours of pure storytelling. If I’m at home, there are kids and dogs and all sorts of distractions. I prefer the theater, and I’m thrilled to say I’ve roped my spouse into tagging a long a few times in the last couple weeks.

Here are two I’ve seen that if you’re quick you might still be able to catch in theaters now:

Noah

This movie is totally insane.

It’s the story of Biblical Noah, including the whole “everyone else in the world dies in a massive flood” element. I expected a sort of modern-day Ten Commandments, a cinematic sweep of the Bible story. The story of Noah is short but pretty intense, what with all the dying and the angsting on the part of God and Noah about all the dying. However, director Aronofsky diverges from the source material in some weird ways that take this movie from “huh that’s a bizarre story” to “omg this is the balls out weirdest thing I’ve seen in a while.”

Just a few things to think about here: rock giants, cannibalism (maybe), Sir Anthony Hopkins as Methuselah who can do magic, Ham isn’t just an implied sodomite (and possible black person–WHAT THE FUCK RELIGION) but a wife-demander, the creation myth is depicted very clearly as the big bang and evolution… All this and more awaits you in Noah the movie. Also, I’m pretty sure they used stock National Geographic footage to show animals repopulating the earth. At one point the movie just switches from HiDef digital amazingness to grainy high school biology videos they showed on substitute days.

I’d complain about the misogyny but it wasn’t like that part of the Bible was particularly woman-friendly. Very few parts of the Bible are. I love Russell Crowe so I will watch him no matter where he acts. He always commits to the role and this one is no exception. I like the added struggle that the movie puts on him and the added decisions he has to make. Basically all the parts of this movie I liked were the parts that aren’t in the Bible so… there you go.

All in all, I give it a solid C+ and recommend it for the “what the fuck” if nothing else. Also you should check out Ten Commandments, great flick.

The Muppets Most Wanted

We took the family to see this one. There’s not much to be said about the Muppets that people don’t know–they’re amazing. Well written, gags for both adults and kids, great cameos by famous people, musical numbers, the whole enchilada awaits you in TMMW.

I liked the way this movie went back to the variety show roots of the Muppets, even including several skits on their “world tour” while also keeping to a larger plot. They’ve lost none of their meta–it’s a movie within a movie, as much about making a movie as being a movie. The Muppets may not have invented breaking the fourth wall, but I’m pretty sure they also broke the fifth wall and they did it better than anyone else. There isn’t quite as much punch or sincerity as in some of the other movies, but the humor is definitely up to standard.

This isn’t my favorite Muppet movie, but it’s fun and totally worth our support. I want them to keep doing Muppet things just as long as they will. It doesn’t pass Bechdel, but the women in the movie are awesome and the kind of variety in femininity I like to see. Also one of them is a kung fu Pig diva who does not let anyone fuck with her.

I’m biased here because the Muppets have not steered me wrong since I was a wee babe. I give it a B+ and recommend it.

(image copyright is believed to belong to the distributor of the film NoahParamount Pictures)

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