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New in Theaters March 28: Noah, Sabotage, Bad Words

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By Chris Kavan - 03/27/14 at 06:42 AM CT

With Divergent scoring a major hit at the box office last weekend - and continuing to improve over last year's return - will the last week in March roar like a lion or go out quietly like a lamb. There is a very good chance the weekend is going to be strong - besides Divergent, the biggest movie over the weekend looks to be a biblical smackdown, there is also yet another attempt at an action icon regaining his status as well as the wide release of first-time director's black comedy. There is a more than good chance March will have another good weekend to cap off an impressive March.

NOAH I consider myself a big fan of Darren Aronofsky - from Pi to Requiem for a Dream to Black Swan - he has a certain style all his own. Noah is certainly the most amply-budgeted film of his career - at an estimated $125 million - and has an impressive cast to go with it, including Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly (who was in Requiem for a Dream), Anthony Hopkins, Emma Watson, Ray Winstone, Nick Nolte and Logan Lerman. The movie has gotten a lot of flak - first over Paramount's reaction to early screenings and, more recently, how it compares to the original Biblical account. Paramount went so far as to issue a disclaimer - and Aronofsky is not backing down. It is looking like Noah is shaping up to divide audiences - but I, for one, am more intrigued to watch the results. I have respect for the director - who never seems to take the easy road - and I want to see just what his interpretation is going to be. Still, the studio might have been right to be a tad worried - as artist interpretation does not mean it will necessarily draw a huge audience, but I would rather see an original vision rather than a commercially-driven film to appeal to the masses.

SABOTAGE Oh Arnie, Arnie, Arnie - the one-time governator has really tried to recapture his 80s status as the action icon of choice. But his returns have been quite diminishing of late - Following a brief cameo in The Expendables - he has been in The Expendables 2, The Last Stand and Escape Plan - but none of those films performed above expectations. Now that leads us to Sabotage - where we follow an elite DEA task force who finds themselves up against a load of trouble when they decide to rob a cartel. Besides Schwarzenegger, we have Sam Worthington, Joe Manganiello, Josh Holloway, Terrence Howard, Mireille Enos, Max Martini and Kevin Vance all along for this ride. Sabotage has received only a modest push from what I can tell - and given the track record of pure action films recently, I can see why. I don't expect this to perform any better than Schwarzenegger's previous attempts at recapturing that action crown. It just looks too generic to be anything more than a standard action film. If it makes back its $35 million budget, I will consider that a win. As it stands, considering the competition, it could easily wind up only making half that much.

BAD WORDS Jason Bateman has enjoyed a nice career in front of the camera - from Arrested Development (a personal favorite of mine) to diverse roles in films from Hancock to Horrible Bosses to Disconnect - more often than not he is known for comedies. Bad Words is the first time behind the camera for Bateman - the film centers on a grown man who holds a serious grudge and, thanks to a loophold, finds a way to enter the National Spelling Bee with designs to beat all the children and claim the prize as his own. The movie has been playing in limited release - to OK though not outstanding returns - but I hope for the best. The film looks like a lot of fun - if you enjoy blacker comedies - and he has a great supporting cast from the likes of Kathryn Hahn, Philip Baker Hall, Allison Janney and Ben Falcone. The real get however is Rohan Chand as the young Indian-American boy he befriends and forms a bond, even as he works to bring down everyone else around him. This is the type of film that isn't likely to make huge waves at the box office, but I hope it leads to bigger and better things for Bateman - he deserves it.

The last weekend of the month should hopefully go out strong. With Divergent going strong and a few new big releases coming out, the month should end on a high note. We'll find out come Sunday.


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