Darren Aronofsky has always felt a bit like America’s Lars von Trier — a brilliant misanthropic visionary, a storyteller whose wry approach often hits closer to home than we’d like. Aronofsky is more of a romantic than von Trier, but the emotional depths to which both men often insist on traveling feel kindred. And the results tend to share a gloom that distinguishes them from their peers. While Noah begins as an immense action epic, it ends in much more familiar territory for Aronofsky: Tense, probing character drama dealing with the lengths to which an obsessive person will go to do something they believe in.
Tag Archives: Anthony Hopkins
“You’re nothing but a boy, trying to prove himself a man,” says a villain in Marvel’s latest swing for the fences, Thor. It’s directed at the titular character, but actor Chris Hemsworth seems to take this challenge personally, spending most of the remaining film convincing the audience that he can be a leading man, with a substantial emphasis on the M-A-N. He growls and bellows, and furrows his impressive brow, all with the intention of out-manning whatever other men happen to be in his company. For the most part, this is what superheroes movies are about: visceral displays of machismo that make an audience want to holler and cheer. If that’s the goal, then Thor is a hearty victory.
When it comes to the golden age of cinema, I haven’t seen nearly as many films as I probably need to. If I’m being honest, I’ve probably seen ten or twenty films made prior to 1950, and Lon Chaney Jr.’s 1941 The Wolf Man is not among those. So my frame of reference as far as this remake is limited. I would like to be able to compare not only the story, but the style as well, as it seems that some of the most striking visuals found in the first few generations of film-making came in the horror genre. But alas, I’m a film buff charlatan and my top five movies were made in the last twenty years. Still, it’s not impossible to glean something from the general style of the times, and Joe Johnston‘s 2010 The Wolfman remake does seem relatively beholden to its roots. There’s a struggle here in trying to update while simultaneously trying not to, and it’s in this struggle that the film staggers. It’s like watching a graphic designer put together the Mona Lisa in Adobe Illustrator. The pieces are there, but the final product feels inexplicably wrong.