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Scott Roberts
Noah
on Apr 1, 2014 at 7:26:45 pm







Premise: As Noah descends the mountain on a solid gold unicorn, trying to outrun a tidal wave with god's face embedded in it, he pulls the reigns and abruptly turns towards the water right as god's wave mouth is about to wrap around his body. Noah stabs upward with his glowing Methusela fire sword with an unfathomable amount of blind faith. At the foothill of the mountain, Hermione frees herself from the clutches of the three-headed minotaur, exhaustedly points her wand at the holy destruction and shouts "Glacius!" All of the sudden, the wave turns to ice, and its weight falls upon Noah's sword, causing it to shatter into a trillion pieces, leaving Noah unharmed. The triumphant soundtrack blares as two of every animal parade out of the arc, each giving a subtle nod to Noah as they pass by; with a grizzly bear stopping for a moment to say in a comically deep Lousiana accent "Thank you fo stoppin that there flood, Noah! Naw you make sure ta visit mah creole ressaraunt in Nawlins, ya hear!" Noah gives but a brief smile, "Of course I will, Brother Delacroix." ROLL CREDITS. I don't think any of that actually happened in the movie, but, ya know... WHATEVER. I guess my screenplays aren't good enough for Hollywood.



Pros:

-It looked pretty. In a bleak kind of way.

-I really dug the rock monsters. Oh yeah, you didn't know? ROCK MONSTERS are an integral part to *most* of the plot. They were created with some pretty cool puppet work, and at times, it felt like I was watching a Labyrinth-esk 80's movie, which I won't complain about.

-Some of the individual little visual sequences, which in a way felt like they were totally shoehorned in there, were freakin' amazing. The "creation of Earth" one, in particular, could have been an award-winning short film had it not been wedged into a 2+ hour biblical film.

-The acting was alright, I suppose. Nothing special, but also nothing that hurt the film. I guess I can't tell Ray Winston apart from John Favreau anymore, because I thought the villain was Favreau through every trailer and commercial I saw, up until about halfway through the movie when I was finally like "...wait a minuuuuuuute..."

-That one scene where all the poor boatless people were screaming for their lives while clinging to the last rock sticking out of the ocean was appropriately terrifying.

-I've got to think that the one animal on Earth that god must favor is the shark. They not only didn't face any penalty for this apocalypse, but they were rewarded with the largest possible food supply they could ask for. I like sharks, so this is a pro. Maybe god is part shark? YOU DON'T KNOW FOR SURE. NO ONE DOES. It would explain a lot, though.



Cons:

-I didn't understand most of the characters' motivations and/or purpose. Character development was pretty sloppy overall. They especially did a poor job developing the villains. They were just mindless clods.

-It has a structure issue, where every cool thing happens in the first half of the movie (and a lot of it is really neat), and then the second half is reduced to weird family drama. If you weren't expecting adopted half-siblings to get it on, you can expect it now. From the wisdom of Royal Tenenbaum, "It's still frowned upon. But then, what isn't these days, right?"

-I almost fell asleep in the second half, and I wasn't that tired when I went into the film.

-The CG wasn't all that great. In the scenes when millions of animals are flocking towards the boat, you can see things like a zebra doing a repeating head movement, and then you can look about 20 animals over and see another zebra doing the same head movements in sync with the first zebra. I understand that animating that many animals on one screen is hard to do, but considering that I could spot it in about two seconds, it made it seem a tad less impressive.

-Just from a basic logic standpoint, it's a dumb story that makes no logical sense. I know that this film wasn't striving for realism (maybe it should have), but it's pretty much a poorly designed fantasy movie told within the constraints of an allegorical bible story about an impossible amount of animals living in a very small space for a long time with basically nothing to eat while every other human on Earth supposedly dies except one family thus implying that the world was recreated entirely out of this family having relations with each other and also assuming that the carnivorous animals on the boat wouldn't kill everything including the humans immediately upon waking up. Enjoy that run on sentence, Noah, you deserve it.



Final Thoughts: I think the studios may have been hoping for a big, religious (financial) success story with this film. Like, they were hoping that there would be a Passion of the Christ level of flooding towards it. But Darren Aronofsky didn't really make a religious movie. He made a fantasy film, where people have magical swords and fallen angels fight battles, where you are forced to suspend disbelief that Noah pretty much knows martial arts. I don't think church groups are going to be dropping people off by the bus load to see this. At the same time, I don't think a hardcore fantasy dude is going to be all that impressed with the fantasy elements, either. It's a complicated middle ground that leaves the whole project giving me an odd taste in my mouth. And that's not just the watered down orange soda I was drinking during the film. There are a lot of little things I really liked about this movie, but the sum of all the parts was kind of underwhelming. Probably worth you renting one day, just for the cool stuff. But maybe if my sunday school teachers told me about the multi-armed rock monsters battling people in a desert wasteland, I might have stuck around a little longer.

7 out of 10



Also, relevant:







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Mark Suszko
Re: Noah
on Apr 1, 2014 at 7:55:17 pm

My fave version:







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Stephen Smith
Re: Noah
on Apr 1, 2014 at 8:17:24 pm

Scott, I love your Premise. It made me laugh. Everything I have read about this film says it doesn't follow the Bible well. I was talking to someone who watched the film and what they described to me made Noah sound like he belonged in a Texas Chainsaw massacre story.

Please tell me you where joking about the magical swords. Also, I'm curious. Did they only have two of each animal on the ship? In Genesis 7:2 it says,"Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female."

In a nutshell clean animals might be eaten while other animals where unclean and where forbidden. (Deuteronomy 14: 3-20 is a good reference). They had to eat something or have animals produce food while they where on the Ark so it would only make sense to bring more of certain animals since you have to have at least a male and female when the trip is over.

I was going to say that I don't need to see the film since I have read the book, but in the case of this movie that doesn't seem to matter. Rock monster punches me in the face and says I better see the movie or else.

Stephen Smith

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Vimeo page


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Mark Suszko
Re: Noah
on Apr 1, 2014 at 9:33:07 pm

Not a biblical scholar, but it could also be that some of the extra pairs of animals were gathered to use for Sacrificial purposes upon landfall.

Many, many cultures have a version of a great flood story in their lore or faith tradition. Science suggests that these may be inspired by actual sea-level changes and storm surge, seich, or tsunami events, witnessed my ancient peoples who found themselves displaced by the waters, and passed down thru time. It can also be argued that the flood as an idea is like a Jungian archetype, the expression of a fundamental idea, used as a means to communicate a message about man and his relationship to God and the world.

You gotta remember, when your entire world is defined by the distance you've walked and the horizon you saw when you stopped walking, it doesn't take much of a rain to flood the "world"... the event doesn't have to be literally true in every scientific detail, to still have deep spiritual meaning.


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Stephen Smith
Re: Noah
on Apr 2, 2014 at 3:23:58 am

[Mark]
Not a biblical scholar

I doubt the director and writer were biblical scholars either :-)

[Mark]
but it could also be that some of the extra pairs of animals were gathered to use for Sacrificial purposes upon landfall.

I'm not a biblical scholar either but I have read the scriptures many times and study them daily. You are correct, clean describes the animals suitable for food or for sacrifice.

When I wrote that the movie doesn't follow the Bible well I was referring to some of the following things I have heard or read:

-Rock Monsters
-Rock Monsters about to drown in water because they can't breathe?
-Main bad guy gets on the Ark and tries to kill Noah
-Noah's belief that God wants ALL humans to perish
-Noah wanting to kill babies...did he ever yell "Here's Johnny" on the Ark?
-Magical swords and bazookas. Scott, are those really in the film?
-Bad Guy Monologue consists entirely of accurately quoting Scripture (is this how you identify the bad guy in a Hollywood movie?)
-Roofies: I guess "The Creator" wants us to do drugs?

In defense of the makers of this film, the story of Noah is only a few pages long so you have to cut them some slack for interpretation but based on the list above they were up in the night.

[Mark]
Many, many cultures have a version of a great flood story in their lore or faith tradition. Science suggests that these may be inspired by actual sea-level changes and storm surge, seich, or tsunami events, witnessed my ancient peoples who found themselves displaced by the waters, and passed down thru time. It can also be argued that the flood as an idea is like a Jungian archetype, the expression of a fundamental idea, used as a means to communicate a message about man and his relationship to God and the world.

You gotta remember, when your entire world is defined by the distance you've walked and the horizon you saw when you stopped walking, it doesn't take much of a rain to flood the "world"... the event doesn't have to be literally true in every scientific detail, to still have deep spiritual meaning.


Amen brother!

[Mark]
to still have deep spiritual meaning.

There is lots of deep spiritual meaning in the story of Noah and I get the impression the movie doesn't focus on that at all. One personal lesson for me is what Elder W. Don Ladd explained: "We all need to build a personal ark, to fortify ourselves against this rising tide of evil, to protect ourselves and our families against the floodwater of iniquity around us. And we shouldn't wait until it starts raining, but prepare in advance. This has been the message of all the prophets"

Stephen Smith

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Vimeo page


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Scott Roberts
Re: Noah
on Apr 3, 2014 at 10:16:23 pm

[Stephen Smith] "Please tell me you where joking about the magical swords."

There is a sword in this movie that, when slammed into the ground, creates a wave of fire that kills everything in sight [wails out rockin' guitar solo].


[Stephen Smith] "They had to eat something or have animals produce food while they where on the Ark so it would only make sense to bring more of certain animals since you have to have at least a male and female when the trip is over. "

In this movie, all the animals instantly go into some sort of divine hibernation, so they don't have to eat anything, they just sleep the whole time. And Noah and his family are all vegetarians, so they resist the urge to try a delicious rack of BBQ tiger ribs.


[Mark Suszko] "You gotta remember, when your entire world is defined by the distance you've walked and the horizon you saw when you stopped walking, it doesn't take much of a rain to flood the "world"... the event doesn't have to be literally true in every scientific detail, to still have deep spiritual meaning."

Well, science shouldn't come into play when rock monsters are abound. Also, I read that Noah was 700 years old when he built the arc, and died at 950. Also, science *might* negate that. However, the arc story is clearly one of the more allegoric bible tales, not meant to be taken so literally, I assume. Basically just a story to encourage people to prepare for disasters, and eat as many berries as possible, and to not murder your grandchildren (because they are required for humanity to continue, man!).


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Stephen Smith
Re: Noah
on Apr 3, 2014 at 10:29:42 pm

Scott, at first I thought the magical sword sounded stupid, but if it is accompanied by a rockin' guitar solo I'm totally in and love the idea :-)

Stephen Smith

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Vimeo page


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Mark Suszko
Re: Noah
on Apr 3, 2014 at 10:56:12 pm

Also, Moses didn't look like Chuck Heston, nor did he date pharaoh's daughter. As a kid. I heard the proclamation: "let his name be stricken from every record..." and I thought to myself: "that's a brilliant way to say whatever you want to have happened, happened, but then it got erased so we don't know about it".


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