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A&E >  Entertainment

‘Noah’ takes creative approach to familiar biblical story

Sean Axmaker

What’s new to watch this week on pay-per-view and streaming services:

“Noah” isn’t your usual Biblical epic. Directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Russell Crowe as God’s moral man in a world corrupted and despoiled by the offspring of Cain, it is an earthy and mystical film. While Aronofsky was criticized for taking liberties with the source, he draws from additional biblical references and Jewish holy texts to fill out the story (which is a mere 62 verses in the Bible) and shows respect for the source while taking a creative approach to dramatizing the story and the Old Testament world. It’s now on Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant.

Pay-per-view / video on demand

“Adult Beginners” stars Nick Kroll and Rose Byrne as grown siblings reunited when his start-up goes belly-up and he moves in with his married sister, where he becomes the live-in nanny for her 3-year-old son. The comedy is on Cable On Demand and iTunes same day as theaters.

John Travolta is a veteran thief and art forger who wants to pull one last job in “The Forger,” a comic caper film and a family affair co-starring Christopher Plummer as his father and Tye Sheridan as his son, who team up as his heist crew. It debuts on Cable On Demand same day as theaters.

Netflix

“A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night” isn’t as creepy as “The Babadook” (which arrived on Netflix last week), but it is unique: a vampire movie from an Iranian-born, American-based filmmaker that stirs American movie references into a stylized Iranian film noir. The vampire (Sheila Vand) wears a chador and rides a skateboard through her ghost town of a city (night-shrouded California locations subbing for Iran), and her boyfriend is part James Dean rebel, part street thug desperate to escape the life. It may not be scary, but it sure is stylish and fascinating.

Amazon Instant Prime

“Ping Pong Summer,” a coming-of-age comedy set over the summer vacation of an awkward, pingpong-obsessed 13-year-old boy in 1985 Maryland, features Susan Sarandon (as the eccentric neighbor), John Hannah, Lea Thompson and Amy Sedaris.

From Britain comes “Son of a Gun,” a violent crime thriller starring Ewan McGregor and Brenton Thwaites as prison escapees who team up for a bank robbery, and the much quieter “Still Life,” the drama of a London councilman (Eddie Marsen) who arranges for the burial of folks who have no next of kin. Both are Prime Member Exclusives.

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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