Noah

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Marking the first of few belated reviews that will be hitting the page soon is Aronofsky’s Biblical epic, Noah. The films received some varied reviews, and I did approach slightly apprehensively. Though I’m a huge fan of Aronofsky, the sword-and-sandal historical epic starring Russell Crowe has had more than its fair share of duds, but boring casting aside I entered with an open mind and came out pleased with what had been produced.

Telling the famous story was never going to be an easy task, not least because of the minuscule length of its source material. Obstacle one would be to stretch this short story into a two-hour screen epic. What’s been added is a battle between two groups of humans, one led by Noah and including some giant rock monsters formed by angels and the other headed by Ray Winstone and a load a sinful heathens against the destruction of the entire planet. It is, as you’d expect, absurd and slightly mad but it manages to pull it off. The characters are very well drawn particularly Noah himself who is not shown as a holier than thou know-it-all but a troubled man battling internally with what he believes he must to for his God and what he feels is right for his family. He is far from perfect and as the plot bears on it becomes more and more apparent that he may, in fact, not be the hero his family once believed him to be. He’s held in place though by his wife, Naameh (Jennifer Connelly) who provides the films standout performance in a challenging role. Emma Watson also performs as would be expected and the rest of the cast, though not brilliant, just about hold things together. I found though that what gives Noah is real quality is the pacing and build of tension which is kept throughout its run time. The fight scenes are given a sense of urgency from Mansell’s score which is repetitive but highly effective.

When every other blockbuster is a superhero movie and the ones that aren’t a sci-fi it makes for a nice change to have something Biblical and Aronofsky does a good job of keeping the action alive while honouring one of history’s oldest stories and injecting it with a style not many other directors would be capable of. While Aronofsky purist will be pining for a more artistic affair this delivers on the levels you would expect of something on this scale.

Marmozets

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Been yonks since I did a band plug and quite a while since I wrote anything about music on here at all. Plenty of potential stuff to write about but nothing that’s quite captured me as much as this little band, Marmozets. Hailing from Yorkshire they deal in math rock, emo, and post-hardcore with an ear for a catchy chorus. Fronted by vocalist Becca McIntyre with a debut album due soon I think they’re ready to set the rock world alight for the first time in ages.

With two EP’s to their name so far and a handful of singles these guys have already shown a great diversity in their abilities. The first EP, Passive Aggressive shows a real pop sensibility with, dare I say it, hints of Paramore in their choruses Becca’s vocals sound so similar to Hayley Williams but she pushes it one step further with a scream that would put a lot of metal bands to shame. They show a real ability to experiment and throw everything they’ve got at us in a barrage of news and overall great musicianship. Their math rock influences shine through on a lot of tracks too, Onemanwolfpack has sections reminiscent of Rolo Tomassi and EP closer The Perfect Beverage at times sounds like The Fall of Troy. But never far away is this sense of mainstream rock and roll, I often pick up an aura of early Biffy Clyro and hence the potential for Marmozets to break out of a niche and perhaps one day headline arenas like the Biff. Their second EP, Vexed, is a lot heavier overall the title track is an absolute screamer. But again the collection is littered with catchiness and the final track, Arrive Alive, will have you repeating the chorus over and over in your head. With their latest singles we get a taste of what to expect from their debut LP, with a more polished sound the band have retained their heaviness along with the infective choruses that’ll get you singing along.

These guys are the most exciting British rock band I’ve come across in years and their record looks set not to disappoint check out their EP’s now, both of which you can get free, and let’s help transform this group into superstars.