<p>Arnold Schwarzenegger is back in action movie mode, but to very different ends, in the new crime-thriller &#39;Sabotage&#39;</p>

Arnold Schwarzenegger is back in action movie mode, but to very different ends, in the new crime-thriller 'Sabotage'

Credit: Open Road

Review: Schwarzenegger leads a rowdy ensemble in the crazy sleazy action film 'Sabotage'

HitFix
B-
Readers
n/a
The latest from director David Ayer is unabashedly mean and dirty

From the moment "Sabotage" begins, it's obvious that David Ayer has something nasty in mind, but it's only once you've settled in and spent some time with it that the truly sleazy heart of "Sabotage" becomes clear. This is a movie set in a world where everyone is a giant piece of garbage, and even the ostensible hero of the movie is a horrible person, corrupt and broken and incapable of recognizing justice, much less dispensing it.

Ayer took a Skip Woods action script and turned it into something more distasteful, and I mean that with all due affection. This feels like the '80s action films where established icons suddenly showed up in these genuinely dirty movies, graphic simply for the sake of being graphic. "10 To Midnight" and "Tightrope" are two films that immediately jumped to mind when I saw this, or Stallone's "Nighthawks" or "Cobra." In this, Schwarzenegger stars as John Wharton, a badass DEA officer who leads a badass DEA strike team. He's earned the nickname Breacher because of how many impossible places they've taken down, and he's managed to build himself this totally fearless and insane group of human weapons. When something happens to Breacher that tests his faith in the job he's given his life to, he proposes a payday to his crew, and they put together a plan to steal a pile of cartel cash during a raid.

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<p>Jennifer Connelly was as lovely and as intense as ever when we sat down to discuss her new film &#39;Noah&#39;</p>

Jennifer Connelly was as lovely and as intense as ever when we sat down to discuss her new film 'Noah'

Credit: HitFix

Jennifer Connelly talks about working in the remarkable world of 'Noah'

Plus we discuss the film's dense moral landscape

Here's how you know Darren Aronofsky is a lunatic.

In his new film, "Noah," Jennifer Connelly survives the end of the world and has to listen as thousands of people die outside, and then still has to face the possibility of more death and horror even after that, and she still gets off lighter than she did in her last collaboration with the director.

Connelly's career has been distinguished by her affinity for dark subject matter, and she's not one to run from trauma on film. It makes it strange as someone who enjoys her work. It's hard to "enjoy" watching her suffer in film after film, even if she does it quite well.

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<p>This is what happened when I reminded Josh Holloway that, technically speaking, we are the same gender.</p>

This is what happened when I reminded Josh Holloway that, technically speaking, we are the same gender.

Credit: HitFix

'Sabotage' star Josh Holloway would really like to live through an entire movie

America's Sean Bean opens up about his worst on-screen habit

The same day I sat down to talk to Josh Holloway about his new film "Sabotage" was the day that the PaleyFest 10th reunion panel for "Lost" was held, so it's safe to say Holloway was in a pretty great mood when we spoke.

Here's what I don't get about Hollywood. "Lost" arrives on television and becomes a massive cultural hit, and one of the most charismatic cast members of that show looks and swaggers like an authentic movie star from day one. And here we are, ten years after the premiere of that show, and Holloway still hasn't had that one great movie role that could have pushed him over the top. Why is that? How is he not at the top of the list every time you're casting an action film? How is he not already in London getting ready to steal "Star Wars" out from under the rest of the cast? In what world is this guy not huge?

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<p>Richard Armitage and Sarah Wayne Callies have to survive a day of the most intense storms possible in the new found-footage thriller &#39;Into The Storm&#39;</p>

Richard Armitage and Sarah Wayne Callies have to survive a day of the most intense storms possible in the new found-footage thriller 'Into The Storm'

Credit: New Line Cinema

Found-footage thriller 'Into The Storm' features crazy large-scale tornado action

We've come a long way since 'Twister'

Because every generation deserves their own "Twister."

Somewhere today, Jan De Bont is sitting in front of YouTube, pressing "play" over and over again and saying to himself, "Look at what they did." I remember talking to producer Todd Garner not long before he left to go start work on this film, and he was giddy about what they were planning to do. Looking at this first trailer, it's obvious that they have spent their time and money planning massive set pieces in which tornadoes are pushed to a place that nature's never subjected us to, and if you're a fan of chaos and destruction, "Into The Storm" is the summer movie for you.

It makes perfect sense to hire Steven Quale as director. After all, directing a "Final Destination" movie is basically an exercise in juggling mayhem. The film is a found-footage movie, and while I'm tired of that device in general, it makes a certain sense here.

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<p>Mila Kunis is much more than she initially appears to be in the wild new film &#39;Jupiter Ascending&#39; from The Wachowskis, creators of &#39;The Matrix&#39;</p>

Mila Kunis is much more than she initially appears to be in the wild new film 'Jupiter Ascending' from The Wachowskis, creators of 'The Matrix'

Credit: Warner Bros

New 'Jupiter Ascending' trailer drops Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis into one weird wild world

How are people not excited about this yet?

It baffles me how modern film nerds can get crazy excited for the nineteenth new version of something they've seen before, but when we're just a few months out from a new original science-fiction action film from the filmmakers behind "The Matrix," there's a general attitude of "eh".

Maybe the Wachowskis are simply working on a different calendar than anyone else. I have no doubt that "Speed Racer" will, in the long run, eventually be acknowledged as a bona-fide family classic, and when more filmmakers start doing work that is influenced by the tremendous, confident visual language of that film, it will get its full due as a genuinely adventurous piece of mainstream cinema. Same is true of "Cloud Atlas." Time will be very kind to that film and its ambitions, and I think there are audiences who would have been profoundly impacted by it that still haven't seen it, that may not even know it exists.

If there's one thing that Warner Bros is going to do for "Jupiter Ascending," they will make sure that you know it exists. This is a big film for them, and this new trailer seems to be a much better glimpse at the scale of the movie and the truly crazy new world that the Wachowskis have created.

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<p>A streamlined Aronofsky sat down with us to discuss his ambitious and impressive new film &#39;Noah&#39;</p>

A streamlined Aronofsky sat down with us to discuss his ambitious and impressive new film 'Noah'

Credit: HitFix

Darren Aronofsky on making 'Noah' feel fresh to modern audiences

Plus we discuss the style choices he made in telling this famous tale

It's safe to say that I am a big fan of the work of director Darren Aronofsky.

From "Pi" to "Requiem" to "The Fountain," he made such huge leaps forward each time that the anticipation of what he might do next became a fascinating game, especially since he wasn't exactly cranking out a new movie every year. He's managed to reinvent himself onscreen with his last few films, in new ways each time. "The Wrestler" felt like him stepping into a world completely outside his own experience. "Black Swan" is a beautiful, haunting film that struck an unexpected nerve with audiences around the world. That was four years ago, and since then, he's been hard at work trying to bring his most personal vision yet to the screen.

It seems almost impossible to sit down with him for six minutes to discuss a film as richly imagined and densely detailed as "Noah," but that was the task tried to accomplish on Sunday. I was still grappling with my own reaction to the film less than a day after seeing it, and Aronofsky is trying to distill the entire experience down into words after spending most of his creative life thinking about this idea in one form or another.

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<p>David Koechner may seem all sunshine and light here, but don&#39;t be fooled. His dark side is on full display in &#39;Cheap Thrills&#39;</p>

David Koechner may seem all sunshine and light here, but don't be fooled. His dark side is on full display in 'Cheap Thrills'

Credit: HitFix

David Koechner recognized the chemistry in 'Cheap Thrills' immediately

One of our favorite funnymen expands the definition of who he is with his new film

David Koechner's got the best role of his career in the new film "Cheap Thrills," and this is one of those cases where you can tell that an actor is completely aware of just how great a part they've been given.

Or earned, as the case may be. Koechner's put in as much time in the trenches as anyone, and he's been a consistently interesting and unusual onscreen presence. I've been watching Dave perform live in LA and in films and on television for 20 years now, and he consistently manages to surprise me with choices he makes or with the way he'll approach a joke or a character beat. It shocks me that "Cheap Thrills" is the first film to make full use of the menace that Koechner is capable of projecting, but E.L. Katz should be high-fived repeatedly and vigorously for thinking outside the box and making such a great choice.

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<p>Arnold Schwarzenegger spoke to us about his experience with the young and hungry cast of the new crime thriller &#39;Sabotage&#39;</p>

Arnold Schwarzenegger spoke to us about his experience with the young and hungry cast of the new crime thriller 'Sabotage'

Credit: HitFix

Arnold Schwarzenegger talks about playing alpha to his younger co-stars in 'Sabotage'

He may be older, but he's still the most enthusiastic salesman for his movies

As Arnold Schwarzenegger navigates the world of movie stardom again, he's made a decision which I think will result in better overall movies from him, and it's a fairly straightforward and logical one: he is playing his age.

Action stars in particular have to face that moment at some point in the process, and how they face it says a lot about them as people. Schwarzenegger jumped out of films and into the world of politics right around that moment when other active action stars have to grapple with the choice and start trying to find roles that allow them to make the transition naturally. He sort of bypassed that moment, and when he showed back up in "The Expendables 2" and "The Last Stand," officially announcing his return to major roles, he didn't hesitate. He is still playing leads, but he's not afraid to let them be older, a few steps slower, affected by the passage of time.

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<p>Russell Crowe is driven by visions to prepare his family for the end of the world in Darren Aronofsky&#39;s striking and strange &#39;Noah&#39;</p>

Russell Crowe is driven by visions to prepare his family for the end of the world in Darren Aronofsky's striking and strange 'Noah'

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Review: Russell Crowe is the stormy center of Aronofsky's turbulent and terrifying 'Noah'

HitFix
B+
Readers
C-
The year's most ambitious movie is spilling over with big ideas

Darren Aronofsky's "Noah" is not just one of the most ambitious films I've seen this year, it's one of the most ambitious films I've ever seen. It's a movie that is spilling over with ideas and images and emotional explorations of the metaphysical. It's a movie in which shamanic culture is part of the same tradition as fallen seraphim and blatant miracles. It tells a story that is so familiar at this point that it has no impact whatsoever and tells it in a way that is constantly pushing and challenging the viewer. Whatever your idea of the story of "Noah" is, Aronofsky, along with his co-writer Ari Handel, has found a distinct and different way into it, and what he's made is going to be worth conversation all year long.

One of the first things that strikes you when reading the Bible is just how much of it is concerned with lineage. Family trees are incredibly important in the Old Testament, and this film kicks off with a very simplified explanation. In the beginning, there was the garden. There was the fruit. Temptation. The snake. Cast out. Adam and Eve have three sons, Cain, Abel, and Seth. Cain and Abel take their act on the road and Seth and his descendants take care of the relationship with the Creator. Noah is shown to be the youngest descendent of Seth at the start of the film, and he sees his father killed by Men, sons of Cain whose industrial cities have choked the planet with waste and evil.

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<p>I have no idea what the heck is happening in this screen grab from &#39;Dead Rising 3,&#39; but I guess I&#39;ll figure it out when we give the game a try on Friday&#39;s Game Night.</p>

I have no idea what the heck is happening in this screen grab from 'Dead Rising 3,' but I guess I'll figure it out when we give the game a try on Friday's Game Night.

Credit: Capcom/Microsoft Studios

Game Night: One week in, 'Titanfall' still packs plenty of bang for the buck

We're going to try some single-player titles this week, too

One week in, and I think it's safe to say I am still getting my butt roundly kicked in "Titanfall."

Let's start with the adjustment I'm still making to the use of an XBox One. I played the PS3 for so many years that the controller just plain felt right in my hand. The use of it was fairly second-nature. Adjusting to a new console controller is like deciding you want to learn to write with the opposite hand that you use currently. It's the same basic action, but it's not easy to learn.

Even so, I can report with utter confidence that "Titanfall" is amazing. It is frustrating. It can be exhilarating. It is fiendishly well designed. And it is a playground if you can get your friends to play with you. That's been a big part of what I've enjoyed playing it, that ability to join a party full of friends and chatting while we play. It also led to a truly soul-crushing moment, but I'll explain that later.

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