August 1, 2014 in Features

Biblical epic gets epic treatment in ‘Noah’

Sean Axmaker
 

Jennifer Connelly and Russell Crowe in a scene from “Noah.”
(Full-size photo)

Here’s what’s new this week On Demand and on the streaming services.

Pay-Per-View

“Noah,” directed by Darren Aronosky (“Black Swan”) and starring Russell Crowe as God’s steward on an Earth corrupted by the greed and violence of Cain’s offspring, is not like any Biblical epic you’ve seen before. Both earthy and mystical, it draws elements from both Christian and Jewish religious texts to fill out the story (which is actually quite short in the Bible) and the imagery (amazing rock-like creatures as the angels cast out of heaven), but it keeps the story grounded in Noah’s struggle. It debuts on Cable PPV, iTunes, Amazon Instant and other video-on-demand services, as well as on Blu-ray and DVD in stores and at Redbox.

“War Story,” starring Catherine Keener as a combat photographer, is available to rent on pay-per-view and video-on-demand the same day it opens in New York theaters, and the indie marriage comedy “The One I Love” with Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss comes to pay-per-view before theaters.

Also new this week on pay-per-view: the animated adventure “Rio 2” and the crime comedy “Dom Hemingway” with Jude Law.

Netflix

“The Killing,” the hot-and-cold thriller set adapted from the Danish original series and transplanted to the drizzly environs of Seattle, started as a buzzy, must-watch cable mystery, got lost in its own convoluted twists, and then received a second creative wind in an unexpected third season renewal. Now a fourth and final season skips cable TV entirely to debut on Netflix. All six episodes of the abbreviated season are available today.

Amazon Instant

If you missed “The Escape Artist,” the British crime thriller starring David Tennant as a brilliant criminal barrister targeted by a serial killer that played on public television a couple of months back, you can now stream it on Amazon Instant (free for Amazon Prime members).

Also streaming free for Prime members is a whole slew of kid shows, including Amazon’s first live action show created for children. “Annedroids,” about an 11-year-old scientific genius who has created android friends in her junkyard laboratory, is an educational series with a focus on science and engineering. The first seven episodes are now available.

Hulu Plus

“Manhattan,” the new original series about the creation of the first atomic bomb, premiered this week on WGN. It’s unavailable on many cable systems in the Western U.S., but Hulu Plus subscribers can now stream the first episode.

Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. His work appears in Parallax View, Turner Classic Movies online and the “Today Show” website. Visit him online at seanax.com.


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