Sponsored Video: Top five reasons to be excited for “Noah”

The highly anticipated film “Noah,” Darren Aronofsky’s vision of the popular Biblical story of Noah’s Ark, hits theaters on March 28 in the United States and April 4 in the United Kingdom. We’ll have a review on Critic Speak when it’s released, but for now, here are the top five reasons to be excited for the epic:

1. Aronofsky always takes risks. Nothing if not a visionary, the filmmaker has a tremendous track-record for innovative, never-boring work. After having cut his teeth on acclaimed smaller budget fare, from “Pi” to “Requiem for a Dream” to “The Wrestler” to “Black Swan,” this $125 million behemoth opens up a whole new set of tools for Aronofsky to play with. If it’s even half as ambitious as Aronofsky’s $35 million-budgeted “The Fountain,” “Noah” sure to be a sight for the eyes.

2. The film is headlined by Oscar® winners. The last time Russell Crowe (Noah) and Jennifer Connelly (Naameh) collaborated on a picture, it was Ron Howard’s masterful “A Beautiful Mind,” for which they both took home golden statuettes. They’re joined by a fellow Oscar® winner in Anthony Hopkins (Methuselah) and an Oscar® nominee in Nick Nolte (Samayaza), so one can only assume the acting in “Noah” will be a tour de force.

3. This ain’t your average Bible movie. While the faith-based genre has become very popular in recent years, with the success of Alex Kendrick’s Sherwood Baptist Church projects and more recently the Mark Burnet-produced “Son of God,” these films generally haven’t been very inclusive of secular audiences (nor should they be). But “Noah,” which reportedly both sticks to the text and takes creative liberties, has something for viewers of all faiths.

4. Cinematographer Matthew Libatique is working in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Over the years, in his work with Aronofsky and others like Spike Lee, Libatique has established himself as one of the industry’s premier aesthetic experimenters. But his work on Lee’s “She Hate Me” is particularly special in the way that it uses the verticality of the 1.85 frame to, ironically, impose a sense of scope. One gets giddy imagining what he’ll do in this sense with “Noah,” which will be available in IMAX.

5. Sophisticated special effects. With no real animals used for the production, the CGI wizards at Industrial Light and Magic said their job was “the most complicated rendering in the company’s history.” Given this is the outfit that is responsible for the CGI in “Pacific Rim,” “The Avengers,” the “Transformers” trilogy, and the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies, that is a big statement. Expect to see things you’ve never seen before.

See you at the cinemas.

This post is sponsored by Paramount Pictures.