Noah

Not rated yet!
Director
Darren Aronofsky
Runtime
2 h 19 min
Release Date
20 March 2014
Genres
Drama, Adventure
Overview
A man who suffers visions of an apocalyptic deluge takes measures to protect his family from the coming flood.
Staff ReviewsAround the Web ReviewsAudience Reviews

Check back soon when the reviews are out!

Or why not join our mailing list to stay up to date?

 

SIGN UP!

Box office recaps sent twice a month (maximum).

( ̄^ ̄)ゞ (☞゚ヮ゚)☞ No spam! ☜(゚ヮ゚☜)




 ✍🏻  > 🗡️   Want to join our team? Email us!  
PJ Media Staff15
PJ Media



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Noah Set to Flip the Biblical Script
    Lifestyle var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Noah Movie CLIP - The Ark Knight Rises (2014) - Russell Crowe, Emma Watson Movie HD', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); As a Christian and a fan of Hollywood's past biblical epics, I got excited upon viewing the first trailer for Darren Aronofsky's Noah. The story of Noah and his ark has resonated through every culture of man, yet has never been the subject of a major Hollywood motion picture.Alongside my enthusiasm, skepticism lurked. Modern Hollywood producing a biblical epic adhering to the written narrative and theological themes seemed unlikely given a culture increasingly opposed to the source material. That doubt grew with last month's report that a disclaimer would be attached to the film's marketing explaining that "artistic license has been taken."Any adaptation requires artistic license. Certainly, narratives were added to Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments which fleshed out the characters and layered the world in which Moses lived. Adding Anne Baxter's Nefretiri to spice things up between Moses and Rameses is one thing. But you don't add or subtract commandments from the ten. In the case of Noah, the disclaimer added by Paramount addressed criticism from Christian groups who claim that the film deviates substantively from the biblical narrative.A clue to Aronofsky's approach emerged alongside reports that actress Emma Watson had become sick during production after the director banned bottled water from their location. Watson told Wonderland magazine that the ban comported with the "pro-environmental message" of the film. The Telegraph recalled that Aronofsky called Noah "the first environmentalist" in a 2011 interview.Now we have begun to see clips from the film. The one above revealed Aronofsky's revised reason for Noah to build an ark. "Our family has been chosen for a great task, to save the innocent... the animals," Noah tells his family.When one of his sons asks what makes the animals innocent, Noah's daughter beats him to the punch: "Because they still live as they did in the Garden [of Eden]."From this we may infer that God regards animals as morally superior to human beings. In the clip, Noah adds, "I guess we get to start over too," as if the involvement of his family were an afterthought secondary to God's purpose.The Bible tells a different story. All creation shares the curse of sin, including animals. The flood surged as judgment against that sin, and Noah's family was preserved in fulfillment of God's covenant to provide salvation for mankind.By turning the story of Noah into an environmental tale, Aronofsky has missed the point. Beyond artistic license, he seems to have defiled the story's essence. Imagine a film about the terrorist attacks of 9/11 which portrayed the hijackers as Hindu, and you understand the difference between artistic license and fraud. If Aronofsky's Noah ends up as divergent as the above clip, it will trivialize something sacred, the treasured relationship between God and mankind. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2014/3/11/noah-set-to-flip-the-biblical-script/ ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • The Whole Idea of Noah is Wrong
    Klavan On The Culture var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Noah Official Trailer #1 (2014) - Russell Crowe, Emma Watson Movie HD', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); I've been on the road and haven't had a chance to see Noah, the 130-million dollar Darren Aronofsky biblical blockbuster that opened well, but not brilliantly, at the box office last weekend. But while I can have nothing to say about the content of the movie, I've been interested to see three of my friends from three different faiths wrestle with the film — a film whose atheist director declared it would be "the least biblical film ever made."Ben Shapiro is a devout Jew, and I've heard him speak with real and revealing insight into Torah — something that's not all that common. In a genuinely sharp essay at Truth Revolt, he took the film apart as a "perversely pagan mess" that replaced God with Gaia to deliver a muddled environmentalist message. You can read the whole excellent thing here, but one point struck me particularly:It is one thing for a movie adaptation to stray from the source material. Adding characters or scenes, crafting details that vary from the strict text – all of it is in bounds when it comes to adaptations. Critics of Noah who have focused on the extra-Biblical magic of Methuselah or the lack of textual support for instantaneously-growing forests are off-base.The far deeper problem is when an adaptation perverts the message of the source material. If the movie version of To Kill A Mockingbird had turned Tom Robinson into a villain and Mr. Ewell into a hero, that would rightly have been seen as an undermining of the original work. The same is true of the Biblical story of Noah and the movie version of that same story. It isn’t merely that Aronofsky gets the story wrong. That would be forgiveable. It’s that Aronofsky deliberately destroys the foundational principles undergirding the Bible, and uses Biblically-inspired story to do it.The mighty John Nolte of Breitbart's Big Hollywood, a Catholic, was much kinder to the movie itself — and in fact, feared that the film's high quality as an entertainment made it an excellent vehicle for selling a wholly dishonest view of the Bible story:My concern is that with "Noah," Hollywood has cracked the code on how to undermine the Judeo/Christian faith while making a profit with the help of some duped Christian "thought leaders": Use the awesome propaganda power of the motion picture to lead people away from God by telling them the Judeo-Christian faith is something it is not.In the case of "Noah," [because of strong box office] Satan is a happy camper... : Over the last ten days, throughout the world, millions have been told the dark lie that Christianity, or any religion based on the Old Testament, has a foundation seeped in environmental extremism and has nothing to do with leading a moral and charitable life as defined by the Ten Commandments and Christ's 11th Commandment.Finally, up-and-coming culture critic R.J. Moeller, an evangelical, took a man-of-reason approach over at Acculturated. Writing an open letter to Aronofsky, he expressed admiration for the filmmaker's work both here and elsewhere.What I’d like to say to you in closing is this: thank you for making this movie. Perhaps I’m being naïve, but I was encouraged to see your interpretation of the story of Noah and the existential themes and questions that emanate from it. Even if we disagree on the lessons we’re supposed to learn from Noah’s life and God’s actions, I appreciate your willingness to enter the “How can a good God allow bad things to happen?” debate.Your film is going to facilitate important conversations among friends, family members and co-workers around the nation. I hope Hollywood takes note of the box office enthusiasm surrounding this movie. I also hope that those Christians who did not care for Noah are incentivized to be a part of the long-term solution (as far as the production of God-honoring, high-quality projects are concerned). class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/andrewklavan/2014/4/1/the-whole-idea-of-noah-is-wrong/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Noah's 5 Most Laugh-Out-Loud Qualities
    Lifestyle var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Noah Official Trailer #1 (2014) - Russell Crowe, Emma Watson Movie HD', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); In the beginning, there was a void. Not a single major full-length Hollywood film had ever told the story of Noah and the Ark. Into the void stepped a man with an ego as big as the Cosmos: Darren Aronofsky, the auteur behind films like Requiem for a Dream and Black Swan. What Aronofsky did with Noah, though, might be called an epic fail.Here are the five most laughable aspects of the strange $150 million would-be blockbuster.1. The surprisingly helpful giant rock monsters.Yes, you read that right. The key to Noah getting the Ark built is the aid of servant angels called “Watchers.” These celestial beings have been punished by God by being turned into 40-foot monsters made of boulders -- fantastical creatures seemingly straight out of The Lord of the Rings -- but redeem themselves by helping Noah build the Ark. (You can kill them, by the way, and when they die they ascend gratefully to heaven in a beam of light.) No one in the movie, in which Russell Crowe plays Noah, Jennifer Connelly plays his wife and Emma Watson plays a stray girl named Ila who gets adopted into Noah’s family, seems to think it the least bit unusual that these magical beings spring up to fulfill a prophecy, given to Noah in a dream, of the world destroyed by water to wipe it clean of human wickedness. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2014/3/28/noahs-5-most-laugh-out-loud-qualities/ previous Page 1 of 5 next   ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Noah: A Good Jewish Boy's Cinematic Drash
    Lifestyle Darren Aronofsky’s take on the classic tale of Noah is the Jewish guy’s Bible movie. The narrative, which does remain true to the textual account of Genesis, is crafted in the style akin to a scholarly drash. In another lifetime you might imagine this story to have been generated by a minyan of Talmud scholars poring over the story in their classes. Perhaps that is why the Christian audience has reacted so poorly to the film; it is not, in the words of Walter Hudson, told “from a Christian theological standpoint.” The audience is treated to a wrestling, not recounting, of the text for two very good reasons: A four-chapter story would make for a very short film and Aronofsky, for however religious he may or may not be at the moment, is most definitely 100% a Jew.Aronofsky’s Noah remains, first and foremost, a story of redemption as it was interpreted thousands of years ago when paired with Haftarah portions in Isaiah (42-43 and 54-55) for the weekly Torah reading. Like the patriarch Jacob, Noah wrestles with God: the battle is a question of original sin and free will. Redemption, Aronofsky illustrates, is a choice entered into by covenant with God. It is not simply a no-strings-attached gift granted to perfectly bad people by a perfectly good looking guy who tests well with focus groups.Contrary to most Bible epics, a faceless, voiceless God communicates His redemptive plan to Noah through the Biblically prophetic device of a metaphoric dream. “You must trust that He speaks to you in a way you understand,” Noah's grandfather Methuselah advises. Reminiscent of the Tanakh prophecy “your old men will see visions, your young men will dream dreams,” Aronofsky engages Noah with his aged, wise grandfather, who advises him of Enoch’s prophecy that God would, one day, annihilate the world by fire. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2014/3/31/noah-a-good-jewish-boys-cinematic-drash/ previous Page 1 of 4 next   ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • 7 Ways Noah Turns the Bible Upside Down
    Lifestyle var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Noah Official Trailer #1 (2014) - Russell Crowe, Emma Watson Movie HD', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); I had no intention of seeing Darren Aronofsky's Noah, a film releasing wider this weekend "inspired by the [biblical] story of Noah." Though initial glimpses excited me, revelations regarding Aronofsky's stark deviations from the biblical narrative blunted my interest. Word on the street was that Aronofsky sought to recast Noah in an environmentalist mold and completely abandon key biblical themes.Thursday night, I found myself out and about with a couple of hours to kill and decided to catch an early screening. As it turns out, everything you've heard about the heresy in Noah proves true. Here are 7 ways Aronofsky's Noah upends the Bible (major spoilers):7. Return of the EntsYeah, you read that right. Ents, the giant walking trees from The Lord of the Rings. What, you don't remember those in the Bible?Okay, these aren't ents precisely. They are "Watchers," fallen angels who rebelled against "the creator" (God makes no appearance in the film) by descending to Earth to help mankind. They lumber about in clumsy stone bodies as punishment for their disobedience. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2014/3/28/7-ways-noah-turns-the-bible-upside-down/ previous Page 1 of 7 next   ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Two Awesome Takes on the Noah Movie
    PJ Media I'll get the disclosure out of the way: I haven't seen Darron Aronofsky's Gladiator meets Prometheus version of the Biblical account of Noah and the flood. I don't really intend to see it, at least while it's in the theaters.But I have read Erick Erickson's review of the film, which is so good I'll probably end up catching Noah once it's at Redbox and I want to have a laugh. Having a bad day? Watch Noah!  The days of the ancients and the foundations of our culture as a big-screen laugh-fest -- what an idea! Mel Brooks did it first, but whatever. Erickson sees Noah as a feel-good romping comedy with sci-fi touches. His review is certainly more entertaining than Kathleen Parker's dour take on evangelical reaction to it. But she's kind of a Beltway clown anyway. Adam and Eve as space aliens? Rock monsters? Magical snake skins? Unicorn genocide? Whatever. The Biblical account is strange enough. Did Hollywood really need to give the Ancient Aliens guys the biggest big-screen shout-out they've had since X-Files went away?On the other hand, Sarah Rumpf sees something else in Noah. Not only is it nothing like Genesis, it's not even original. It's a crafty rehash of another recent successful film. Click over to her blog to see which one. She makes a pretty good case.But here's a thought. The entertainment-industrial complex usually goes out of its way to offend and put off a huge market -- evangelicals, Catholics and other traditional believers (except Muslims -- mustn't lose our heads!). Apparently they don't really want our money that bad, perhaps we should stop giving it to them. Hollywood is now so far gone that even when they do get around to making something that might appeal to those audiences, they manage to mock those audiences anyway. When you believe in nothing, nothing is sacred, and the only group whose ox you won't gore is the one that credibly threatens to kill you if you do.Ages ago, Bill Cosby did a riff on Noah that was hilarious while also being respectful. "What's an ark?!?" But then again, unlike most of today's entertainment titans, Cosby had talent that went beyond making explosions and tying everything to the latest political fads. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/blog/two-awesome-takes-on-the-noah-movie/ ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Noah Flooded with Potential for Interfaith Battle
    Lifestyle var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Noah Movie Official Trailer', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); All week I've been seeing anti-Noah posts popping up on Facebook from Christian friends who are convinced that the not-yet-released Darren Aronofsky epic must be a liberal, secularist perversion of the biblical story, morphing Noah into a drunk and spouting an anti-human, pro-environmentalist message. Where'd the controversy come from? According to Jordan Hoffman at the Times of Israel, entertainment trade mag Variety needed to drum up readership on a slow news day:A strange agenda group for “faith driven consumers” sent out a push-poll asking if people who hadn’t yet seen the film if they were “satisfied with a biblically themed film… which replaces the Bible’s core message with one created by Hollywood?”In other words, a bunch of opt-in Christians were asked if they were ready to see what some scarf-wearing artiste from Jew York City had cooked up with his liberal and probably homosexual friends when, you know, they weren’t drinking blood and hoarding gold. Some 98% of respondents said that, no, they were not satisfied.It would have been a nothing story had the press release not been picked up by Variety (one of the main entertainment trade publications) on a particularly slow news day. The Internet ran with headlines that basically read “98% of Christian audiences are enraged by ‘Noah!’” forcing Paramount, which has already had plenty of tsuris with this film, to issue an explanatory press release of their own.The stereotypes Hoffman plays with in his commentary entertainingly highlight the unspoken rift between Jews and Christians when it comes to biblical epics. We, for the most part, stand back while Christians re-interpret our history, our people, our nation, and our sacred text in light of their own slightly Aryan (why are ancient Israelis consistently blue-eyed Brits?) Sunday School memories. This time, however, a Jewish writer/director has paired with a Jewish writer to bring a Torah story to the silver screen. That interpretation has caused Christian uproar, something the filmmakers prepared for when they sought out production partner Rob Moore, who is both a vice chair at Paramount and a devout Christian who supports the film. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2014/2/23/noah-flooded-with-potential-for-interfaith-battle/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Uh-Oh! Another Movie Is Causing Problems Across the Islamic World...
    PJ Media Russell Crowe has earned himself a fatwa in three Islamic countries -- so far -- for his epic film Noah:One of the world's most respected Islamic institutions has issued a fatwa against a Hollywood epic about Noah's Ark because it 'contradicts the teachings of Islam'.Russell Crowe's £75million film Noah has also been banned in three Arab countries after religious leaders complained that it depicted the Biblical figure - who is also a holy messenger in the Koran.Due to premiere later this month, the blockbuster will not show in Qatar, Bahrain or the United Arab Emirates and several other countries are expected to follow suit.Their beef against Noah is that it depicts a figure deemed to be holy in Islam. That is haram, whether the depiction is flattering or not. Non-Muslims don't do haram, but these folks would like to force us to.Crowe's Noah is apparently just odd, as the Genesis epic reportedly runs off into global warming alarmism. That wasn't a political or religious issue in Noah's day. Or, if it was, it had nothing to do with cars and airplanes and the use of internal combustion engines, leaving Al Gore with a massive sad.Director Darren Aronovsky didn't even rely heavily on his source material, or respect the Christian audiences most likely to want to see the film."Noah is the least biblical biblical film ever made," Aronofsky is quoted as saying. "I don't give a fuck about the test scores! My films are outside the scores. Ten men in a room trying to come up with their favourite ice cream are going to agree on vanilla. I'm the rocky road guy."Classy. That's reaching out to your target audience!Back to the fatwa.The fatwa - a ruling or injunction under the laws of Islam - was made by the influential Al-Azhar institution in Egypt's capital Cairo, a centre of Sunni Islam thought which was founded in around AD970 and includes a university and a mosque.'Al-Azhar... renews its objection to any act depicting the messengers and prophets of God and the companions of the Prophet (Mohammad), peace be upon him,' it announced in a statement.The fatwa added that the depictions 'provoke the feelings of believers... and are forbidden in Islam and a clear violation of Islamic law'.Oddly enough, there isn't yet a fatwa against Son of God. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/blog/uh-oh-another-movie-is-causing-problems-across-the-islamic-world/ ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • A Jew's Take on Jesus Movies
    Lifestyle Acculturated's R.J. Moeller has penned an excellent commentary on faith-based films in light of the Christian controversy surrounding Noah:...no one who doesn’t already believe in God will go see Son of God. And many who do believe in God and who do go see it are, like me, plopping down $14 or $15 purely from a sense of solidarity with the well-intentioned creators of such projects. There are other, better “Jesus movies.” A dramatic reading of some of the more risqué and exciting parts of the Bible by the likes of Morgan Freeman would interest me more than sitting through Son of God again.And while neither option likely interests your secular, non-religious co-worker, neighbor, or relative, all of them will go see something like Darren Aronofsky’s Noah. This is why I, as a Christian, am infinitely more excited about Noah than any other “faith-based” film in a long time – regardless of the theology or worldview found in it. I can actually talk to my non-Christian friends about it because they will actually pay U.S. currency (or BitCoin) to go see it....what I am suggesting is that while we work to inspire and equip new generations of artists who share our values to boldly venture into the pop-culture fray, we must not miss opportunities to introduce our worldview into the cultural conversation. ... Art has the power to transcend and speak to the soul. But it must be able to meet people on their level before pointing them upward.Upon first read I knew Moeller went out on a limb with his commentary, precisely because what he says is the truth. And truth doesn't always gel with religious dogma; I'm a Jew, I should know. One advantage I do have over my Christian brothers when it comes to faith is that my Jewish culture encourages -- and is built on -- wrestling with God's word. These matches stray far from the polite scenarios common to gentile Christian faith. However, they have resulted in a similarity between us, in that they have developed and sustained a religious culture that reveres commentary as much as the actual Word of God. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2014/3/30/a-jews-take-on-jesus-movies/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • 5 Muslim Movie Reviews
    Lifestyle Siskel and Ebert they ain’t, but Islamic scholars, supremacists, jihadists and pressure groups have made their views known, often in quite colorful ways, about numerous motion pictures that you may want to catch. So grab some popcorn and some old tomatoes: it’s movie time down at the mosque!5. Thumbs down: NoahRussell Crowe’s lavish Biblical epic Noah is about to be released in the Middle East, and Muslim scholars are enraged. It has been banned in Qatar, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates. Cairo’s Al-Azhar, which Barack Obama has praised as “a beacon of Islamic learning,” issued a statement denouncing the film as un-Islamic and calling for it to be banned. Some Muslim scholars in Egypt have even called for the destruction of any theater that dared to show the film.The film has aroused such fury because, as Al-Azhar explained, depicting a prophet of Islam (as Noah is; his story is told and retold in the Qur’an, and he gives his name to the Muslim holy book’s 71st sura) “contradicts the stature of prophets and messengers … and antagonises the faithful.” Mahmoud Mehanna, a member of Al-Azhar’s Senior Scholars, added that “prophets, their voices, and even their shadows cannot be depicted,” helpfully explaining that “prophets are holy people.”This is, of course, why we have not seen Muslims make laudatory films about Muhammad, even for proselytizing purposes: the story of a prophet who cannot be shown, even in shadow, and whose voice cannot be heard makes for a dramatic vacancy the size of a movie directed by Peter Jackson (the perpetrator of the interminably turgid Lord of the Rings series). Those who dare transgress against these strictures and depict a prophet face the prospect of being declared a blasphemer, which could mean demonstrations, riots, death fatwas, and worse.This is true of Russell Crowe, even though his film depicts a lesser prophet. He may have started out trying to be the next Charlton Heston, and could wind up instead being the next Salman Rushdie. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2014/3/9/5-muslim-movie-reviews/ previous Page 1 of 5 next   ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Rainbow After the Flood: Darren Aronofsky Tweets Pics From the Set of Bible Epic Noah
    (”Noah” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Lifestyle Twelve years ago as a high school junior I sat breathless in my seat at Indianapolis's art house movie theater as Requiem for a Dream finished kicking me in the gut with its punishing climax. The dark, unrated indie drama starring Jennifer Connelly, Jared Leto, an Oscar-nominated Ellen Burstyn, and Marlon Wayans would become my favorite film of the year -- and, eventually of all time. And in my movie review column in the high school paper, come award time I would grumble as Burstyn was passed over for Julia Roberts and Requiem was of course too dark for best picture consideration at all. Instead all the attention went to Russell Crowe and Gladiator. I was of course very annoyed that the most unique film of the year revealing the most promising filmmaking career of his generation failed to get the attention it warranted. And I've always carried a bit of an irrational grudge against both Crowe and the film that fully launched his career as a result.And now everything is at it should be and I can perhaps bury my anti-Crowe vendetta: Aronofsky's artistic vision united with Crowe's starpower to enable the bankrolling of Noah, the kind of epic that could have been made with 2006's The Fountain had Brad Pitt not abandoned the project.AND ARONOFSKY IS TWEETING PICTURES FROM THE SET!****More on movies at PJ Lifestyle:The 10 Most Damaging Chick Flicks Ever Made The 7 Most Overrated Blockbuster Movies of the Last 20 YearsThe Case for Cinematic ViolenceThe 3 Most Poisonous Movie Clichés of the 60s and 70s class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2012/9/18/rainbow-after-the-flood-darren-aronofsky-tweets-pics-from-the-set-of-bible-epic-noah/ ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Does the Triumph of Faith Films Matter?
    (”Noah” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Klavan On The Culture var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Heaven Is For Real - Official Trailer - In Theaters Easter 2014', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); "A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word 'darkness' on the walls of his cell.” So wrote the great Christian apologist C.S. Lewis.By the same token, I can't imagine God's glory is increased any when we make movies about him, and so I don't suppose the Lord is much interested in the latest box office news out of Hollywood. Nonetheless, that news is good for faith-based films. Not long after the indie film God's Not Dead was a "surprise hit," (i.e., a hit anyone outside of New York or L.A. could've seen coming a mile off), Heaven Is for Real earned more than twice its $12 million production budget on its opening Easter weekend and left the big budget Johnny Depp vehicle Transcendence in the dust. And there were two other recent Hollywood victories for Bible believers as well. 1) The opening weekend success of Noah followed by 2) the film's huge drop into near oblivion when filmgoers realized the story was not told along biblical lines.My feelings about this are not complicated. I like it. I'm glad there are movies being made about faith and I'm glad people like them and go to see them. Since a huge majority of us have some kind of belief in something, I don't see why that part of the human experience should be edited out of the arts simply because it threatens the teeny-tiny-minded worldview of certain coastal reviewers. (The unsupported insinuation that concludes the New York Times review of Heaven is simply despicable.) class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/andrewklavan/2014/4/21/does-the-triumph-of-faith-films-matter/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • An Honest Answer: Darren Aronofsky Should Direct Everything
    (”Noah” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Lifestyle Stephen Green asks the question and I give the answer: Darren Aronofsky, director of the upcoming $125 million biblical epic Noah, has been my favorite director since I was a senior in high school more than a decade ago. All of his films are awesome and anyone who disagrees with me on this is wrong. They have just not learned how to engage intellectually with the layers of meaning embedded in Aronofsky's films. His five movies are each stand-outs in their genres:1998's low-budget, sci-fi thriller Pi is smart, artsy, and visually unique. It's hard to think of more intelligent, creative science fiction films in the last 15 years. var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Pi (1998) Official Trailer', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); 2000's unrated, ultra-depressing drug drama Requiem for a Dream remains my favorite film of all time, one I saw four times while it was in theaters. I have never experienced a film that delivers as intense of an emotional experience than Requiem. It is perfection in all realms across editing, music, acting, writing, and cinematography. The best drug film, the best movie about addiction, and really the scariest, best horror movie of all time too. var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Requiem for a Dream (2000) Trailer', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); 2006's deeply under-appreciated sci-fi fantasy epic The Fountain is overwhelmingly beautiful, the opposite of Requiem. It's Aronofsky's 2001 except with soul. I could have this move on repeat all day. var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'THE FOUNTAIN Official Trailer HD', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2013/10/23/an-honest-answer-darren-aronofsky-should-direct-everything/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • The 5 Best Generation X Filmmakers
    (”Noah” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Lifestyle Generation X has taken over the movies. Just this fall, new films from David O. Russell, Ben Affleck, and Quentin Tarantino promise to be major players come awards time. So who are the five best American filmmakers under 50?5. Darren AronofskyArrogant enough to turn down the opportunity to direct Batman Begins, the Brooklyn-born filmmaker has made some surprising choices. After starting out in David Lynch territory with Pi, he threatened to disappear in a fog of epic sci-fi weirdness with The Fountain but returned to Earth in triumph with the agreeably gritty and surprisingly straight-on The Wrestler, which relaunched Mickey Rourke and showed an unexpected depth of feeling and humanity. Then came Black Swan, a worldwide sensation that deservedly won Natalie Portman an Oscar and managed to be cerebral, trashy, arty, and sexy all at the same time. Now Aronofsky is going off in yet another direction, steering the mega-budget Bible epic Noah with Russell Crowe, which sounds like either a disaster or a sensation but seems guaranteed to make an impression. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2012/10/19/who-are-the-5-best-generation-x-filmmakers/ previous Page 1 of 5 next   ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

John Hanlon6
John Hanlon Reviews



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Exclusive Sneak Peek at the Noah DVD Extras
    In only two short weeks, link Noah–  one of the most controversial but nicest surprises of 2014— arrives on DVD. (Today, it hits video on Demand.) In preparation for the DVD release, JohnHanlonReviews.com received an exclusive clip from the Noah DVD extras showing...
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Noah
    At first, viagra order director Darren Aronofsky felt like an odd choice to bring the biblical story Noah to the big screen. Aronofsky is known— in movies like Requiem for a Dream, pill Black Swan and yes, The Wrestler— for casting a camera on...
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Noah Prize Winners Official
    Thanks to all who entered our Noah prize giveaway last week! We had great interest in the giveaway so thanks for participating. To be eligible for future entries, viagra 60mg please make sure to like my Facebook page today. Here’s a list of our winners! -Black novelty...
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Noah Prize Giveaway
    In honor of the July 29th DVD/ BluRay release of Noah, more about JohnHanlonReviews.com will be giving away some cool prizes associated with the film. The controversial film– which I reviewed here— stars Russell Crowe as the title character as he builds an ark to...
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • The Movies of 2014
    (”Noah” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    The end of 2014 is quickly approaching. With that in mind, page I went back and created a list of all of the films that I reviewed this year and the different ratings I gave them. Of course, this this isn’t a complete list of all of the films I saw this year. It’s...
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Why Hollywood shouldn’t start writing off religious films after ‘Ben-Hur’
    (”Noah” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    The Ben-Hur box office numbers were disappointing but that doesn’t mean Hollywood should start writing off religious movies. Ben-Hur, case the latest Hollywood feature to embrace religion, sale had a difficult opening weekend at the box office. The film reportedly cost...
    ...
    (Review Source)

The Federalist Staff7
The Federalist



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • 8 Reasons The Faithful Should Get Over Themselves And Give The Noah Movie A Chance
    8 Reasons The Faithful Should Get Over Themselves And Give The Noah Movie A Chance March 21, 2014 By Rebecca Cusey Noah, a film about the Biblical deluge starring Russell Crowe, is creating waves of controversy well in advance of its March 28 opening. After an advance viewing, here’s why the Christian world should give the movie a chance: 1. Director Darren Aronofsky and his co-writer Ari Handel know the Bible better than you do. Quick: How many generations are listed in genealogies between Adam and Noah? When did Adam die in relation to Noah? What are the Noahic laws? Who is Tubal-Cain and what distinguishes him? What Bible story happens next after Noah’s flood? If you don’t know the answers to these questions off the top of your head, you’re way behind Aronofsky and Handel, who rattle them off from memory. 2. Darren Aronofsky has been wrestling with the story of Noah for literally decades. As a little Jewish guy growing up in Brooklyn, he saw an ark painting and was scared he wouldn’t make it on the boat. At 13, he wrote a poem about Noah’s dove that won a United Nations prize. In 2000, he started pitching the idea of a Noah movie to studios and by 2003, he and Handel had started writing the screenplay. But it wasn’t until after the success of Black Swan, which won an Oscar for leading lady Natalie Portman, that he had the cache in Hollywood to get a Biblical movie made. 3. Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel really, really care about the Biblical text. They did more than adapt the text. They lived it and breathed it. They thought about all its implications, both practically and theologically. They consulted experts and ancient traditions and classic art, then wove those images and themes into the film. 4. You don’t know what you think you know about Noah. There’s a lot left unexplained in the text. What did Noah look like? What did being 600 years old mean in those days? Who were the wives? What was the wickedness and violence that filled the earth, causing God to want to destroy it? These are things that, in a dramatization, someone has to answer. There may be a picture in your mind, but most of that was created by someone interpreting the text himself, an illustrator on a Children’s Bible perhaps, or a pastor. 5. Some of the things you’ve heard about the film are wrong. Is the wickedness of man portrayed as merely harming the environment, making this a hippy-dippy environmental message movie? Nope. The film is deeper than that. Creation is violated and abused, desolate and barren as part of the image of the fall of mankind and its devastating aftermath. The mistreatment of creation is a result of man’s wickedness, not the source of it. 6. They’ve made a Bible movie that secular people will want to see. Action? Yes. Romance? Sure. Good acting? You betcha. It’s all there: good special effects, a well-written script, beautiful images, and universal themes. When was the last time someone made a Bible movie your neighbor might actually experience? 7. The good guy isn’t all good and the bad guy isn’t all bad. You know, like in real life and Bible stories. Like David the adulterer, Jacob the conniver, and Peter the denier, Noah has a dark side. He wrestles with God’s intent. He even gets drunk and falls out with his son Ham. That’s all there in the stories. Good filmmakers, like good theologians, know that the weak and dark side of a hero only makes his victory more compelling. 8. If you can get over “That’s not what my Sunday School teacher taught” reaction, you will see the film has deep, resonating themes that line up with Biblical truths. It’s time to take Noah down off the nursery wall. The story is a lot richer than just a nursery story of absolute faith versus absolute evil. Even bad characters have a relationship with the Creator, however broken. The questions of original sin, overwhelming grace, justice and mercy wash through the film. Isn’t that the kind of story we want to see in the theater? Rebecca Cusey is a movie critic based in Washington DC. She is a member of the Washington Area Film Critics Society and a voting Tomatomer Critic on Rotten Tomatoes. Follow her on Twitter @Rebecca_Cusey. Photo By Paramount Pictures Noah Russell Crowe Copyright © 2017 The Federalist, a wholly independent division of FDRLST Media, All Rights Reserved. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1463670073398-2'); }); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({mode:'thumbs-2r', container:'taboola-below-main-column-mix', placement:'below-main-column', target_type:'mix'}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({flush:true}); 0 Comments /* * * CONFIGURATION VARIABLES: EDIT BEFORE PASTING INTO YOUR WEBPAGE * * */ var disqus_shortname = 'thefederalist23'; // required: replace example with your forum shortname /* * * DON'T EDIT BELOW THIS LINE * * */ (function() { var dsq = document.createElement('script'); dsq.type = 'text/javascript'; dsq.async = true; dsq.src = '//' + disqus_shortname + '.disqus.com/embed.js'; (document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0] || document.getElementsByTagName('body')[0]).appendChild(dsq); })(); Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus. comments powered by Disqus ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • What Religious Movie Audiences Wanted From Hollywood In 2014
    What Religious Movie Audiences Wanted From Hollywood In 2014 A year-end review of 2014's Bible and religious movie lineup. December 9, 2014 By Rebecca Cusey In the beginning…of 2014…was the promise of Bible movies. And was it good? As 2014 dawned, it looked like the year the Hollywood seas would part for Bible and religious movie offerings. Three Bible epics were in development for nationwide release by major studios: Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah,” Mark Burnett and Roma Downey’s “Son of God,” and Ridley Scott’s “Exodus: Gods and Kings.” Moreover, none other than superstar Angelina Jolie was directing a biopic of an evangelical lion and war hero Louis Zamperini. A slew of smaller films aimed at the faith-based market promised to bring God out of the theatrical wilderness. Everywhere movie-goers turned, there was a film friendly to faith: Christian apologetic “God’s Not Dead,” Christian comedy “Mom’s Night Out,” apocalyptic thriller “Left Behind,” Song of Solomon-inspired “The Song,” and the list goes on. In the artsy circuit, Irish “Calvary” and Polish “Ida” both explore faith in all its nuance and are holding their own in the awards races. So how did it turn out? Did Heaven invade the theaters? The results are mixed. Religious Movie Offerings Score and Strike Out “Son of God” fared decently at the box office. “Noah” opened to controversy from evangelicals who took issue with its reinterpretation of a cherished Sunday School story. It barely made back its production budget, although with overseas ticket sales it still turned a profit for the Paramount Pictures. “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” directed by self-proclaimed agnostic Ridley Scott, took a different direction. The film, based on the Biblical story of Moses and the Israelites’ escape from slavery in Egypt, plays like an atheist manifesto. Moses, a modern skeptic in sheepherder’s clothes, squares off against God, portrayed as a petulant, vengeful, irrational child. The film at time takes the part of the Egyptians, blaming God for devastating plagues striking the populace as Moses takes God to task for His incomprehensible ways. Key details in the Biblical account are changed to match Scott’s vision and the nature of Moses’s relationship with God is totally transformed. The film opens December 12. Faith-based audiences are more likely to flock to “Unbroken,” a story infused with faith and courage opening Christmas day. When former Olympian Louis Zamperini and his WWII bomber crew crash in the ocean and are set adrift, the faith of his best buddy is treated with respect. Picked up by the enemy Japanese, both men need every bit of strength and courage available to survive the brutality of a POW camp with their humanity intact. The story ends before Zamperini’s eventual conversion at a Billy Graham crusade and career as a Christian minister, but its message of forgiveness and faith is promoted in the epilogue. The Faithful’s Movie Preferences Are Mysterious So what makes a divine hit? Arguably the most profitable faith-friendly movies of the 2014 are, so far, “Heaven Is For Real,” with a domestic take of $91.4 million (budget: $12 million), “God’s Not Dead” at $60.7 million (budget $2 million), and “Son of God” at $59.7 million. “Son of God” cost nearly nothing, since the footage was shot during the filming of the wildly successful History Channel miniseries “The Bible.” Those are hefty returns on investment, outpacing even blockbusters like “Guardians of the Galaxy.” But for every “God’s Not Dead,” there’s a “The Song” that grossed just over $1 million before slinking out of theaters for good. “Unbroken,” “Heaven is For Real,” “God’s Not Dead,” and “Son of God” respect the faith told in their stories. Beyond that, they vary widely. A universal tale of courage, a test of faith, a rhetorical defense of faith, and a church-friendly Bible tale have little in common to emulate. “Calvary,” which boasts world-class acting and a gritty but uplifting faith story, has won the respect of critics if not mass audiences. There is no clear-cut formula. The faith-based audience, like its God, apparently moves in mysterious ways. Rebecca Cusey is a movie critic based in Washington DC. She is a member of the Washington Area Film Critics Society and a voting Tomatomer Critic on Rotten Tomatoes. Follow her on Twitter @Rebecca_Cusey. Angelina Jolie Billy Graham Calvary Calvary movie Darren Aronofsky Exodus: Gods and Kings God's Not Dead Hollywood Left Behind Louis Zamperini Mark Burnett Mom's Night Out Movies Noah religious movies Ridley Scott Roma Downey Son of God The Song Unbroken World War II Copyright © 2017 The Federalist, a wholly independent division of FDRLST Media, All Rights Reserved. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1463670073398-2'); }); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({mode:'thumbs-2r', container:'taboola-below-main-column-mix', placement:'below-main-column', target_type:'mix'}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({flush:true}); 0 Comments /* * * CONFIGURATION VARIABLES: EDIT BEFORE PASTING INTO YOUR WEBPAGE * * */ var disqus_shortname = 'thefederalist23'; // required: replace example with your forum shortname /* * * DON'T EDIT BELOW THIS LINE * * */ (function() { var dsq = document.createElement('script'); dsq.type = 'text/javascript'; dsq.async = true; dsq.src = '//' + disqus_shortname + '.disqus.com/embed.js'; (document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0] || document.getElementsByTagName('body')[0]).appendChild(dsq); })(); Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus. comments powered by Disqus ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • So Let It Be Written. So Let It Be Made: Why We Need More Biblical Films
    So Let It Be Written. So Let It Be Made: Why We Need More Biblical Films April 4, 2014 By David Harsanyi Every decade or so, Hollywood has an epiphany. It turns out faith-based audiences enjoy going to the movies, too. And they enjoy films with A-list actors and big-budget productions, as well. So it’s no surprise that “Noah,” even with the artistic license and rock monsters, had such an impressive week. This is good news. Because whether you’re a believer or not, a flawed biblical epic is going to be more entertaining than a remake of a Paul Verhoeven  movie or some third-rate sci-fi flick. And if there’s one thing we know about Hollywood it’s this: if a genre turns a profit that genre will saturate the market for years. Ridley Scott is already directing a version of Exodus with Christian Bale as Moses. Producers will undoubtedly gin-up some Noah-like controversy around the film’s biblical authenticity as we near release.  Maybe the plagues will turn out to be environmental disasters triggered by all that Egyptian sprawl; but whatever the case, the Exodus movie will likely ride that buzz to big returns. Plus, Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul will be playing Joshua (“tear down those walls, b***hes!”) That’s probably a good start. But Hollywood can do better. I’ve heard people argue that even a flawed Bible-based film offers secular moviegoers a dose of religious literacy which may spark curiosity about the source material. That’s a horrible reason to produce a movie. The right reason? The Bible is filled with intriguing stories about complex and flawed human beings who ponder immense moral questions and engage in colossal clashes with evil. Granted, in this, my own tastes skew Old Testament – more sex, blood and intrigue, etc. Well, Old Testament in spirit. Take the Maccabees: It’s not canon for everyone, I realize, but this movie almost happened. Mel Gibson should never have been thrown off the project. Actually, he should be forced to direct the movie as reparation to Jews – nay, all moviegoers — worldwide. As someone put it to me recently: has your favorite director produced even one moneymaking epic in a dead language? Because Mel’s done it twice. And because the Macaabees didn’t merely sit around waiting for the oil to run out — they waged a ruthless guerrilla war, massacred interlopers, burned down pagan temples and trekked the countryside forcibly circumcising boys — few directors can be trusted to bring us all the bellicose details quite like the Mel Gibson of Apocalypto, Braveheart and The Passion. How about King David? Fighter. Poet. Lover.  User of technologically advanced weaponry to slay existential threats. The man harnessed his smarts and charisma to create a kingdom for the Jews and then promptly abused that power in every way imaginable. You have your bloodshed, infidelity, intra-familial civil war, lust and male bonding – not in that order. Want a prequel or a sequel, then there’s Saul and Solomon. Though it’s been tried numerous times (most recently, Richard Gere took a flawed stab at it in the mid-80s and before that there was David and Bathsheba with Gregory Peck) it’s a story that deserves an epic upgrade. You can on and on, of course. Biblical movies need not sermonize, just be honest to the foundational story. As powerful as the message is for people of faith, it’s really great storytelling. Why isn’t there a big modern production of Paul the Apostle’s tale? Has any mere mortal changed the world in a more dramatic way?  Or Saint Peter –who could easily supply a trilogy of films? Or Judas or Job (the Coen Brothers used the contours of the tale in A Serious Man, but without the redemption). Jonah? Daniel?  Ruth? There’s the international intrigue in the Book of Esther. Samson vs. Delilah or Gideon – the “Destroyer” in Hebrew. What about the annihilation of Sodom and Gomorrah? The locusts of the Abyss? The Lake of Fire? You want provocative, how about The Fall: Man’s Rebellion Against God. Serpents.  Disobedience in the Garden of Eden. Nakedness. Shameful nakedness. Immortality lost. Of course, there have been countless biblical movies, most either subpar (The Bible miniseries being one) or now ancient. Some, like The Robe or Ben Hur, are only distantly about the Bible (though movies that explore secondary characters have a ton of possibilities, as well). The financial track record for many of these movies, even ones tangentially connected to the text, are pretty good. The Ten Commandments is generally regarded as one of the best, if not the best, biblical movie. Adjusted for inflation, it earned $2 billion. We’re about to see a reboot of that story. Hopefully it won’t be the last. David Harsanyi is a Senior Editor at The Federalist and author of the The People Have Spoken (and They Are Wrong): The Case Against Democracy. Follow him on Twitter. David Harsanyi is a Senior Editor at The Federalist. Follow him on Twitter. Aaron Paul Christian Bale Exodus Maccabees Mel Gibson Paul Verhoeven Copyright © 2017 The Federalist, a wholly independent division of FDRLST Media, All Rights Reserved. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1463670073398-2'); }); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({mode:'thumbs-2r', container:'taboola-below-main-column-mix', placement:'below-main-column', target_type:'mix'}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({flush:true}); 0 Comments /* * * CONFIGURATION VARIABLES: EDIT BEFORE PASTING INTO YOUR WEBPAGE * * */ var disqus_shortname = 'thefederalist23'; // required: replace example with your forum shortname /* * * DON'T EDIT BELOW THIS LINE * * */ (function() { var dsq = document.createElement('script'); dsq.type = 'text/javascript'; dsq.async = true; dsq.src = '//' + disqus_shortname + '.disqus.com/embed.js'; (document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0] || document.getElementsByTagName('body')[0]).appendChild(dsq); })(); Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus. comments powered by Disqus ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • 3 Ways The Biblical Blockbuster Can Get Its Groove Back
    (”Noah” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    An acclaimed director, an Oscar-winning cast, an overflowing budget and endless supply of computer-generated imagery intended to bring life to one of the world’s most beloved and revered stories: This certainly seems like the formula for box-office success. But while “Exodus: Gods and Kings” and “Noah” featured these ingredients, both films have been financial disappointments. The director of “Gladiator” cast Batman as Moses. The director of “Black Swan” cast Gladiator as Noah. In each case, audiences yawned. That shouldn’t have happened. So why did “Exodus” only recoup $24.5 of its $140 million budget on opening weekend? Why did “Noah” have to rely on the overseas market to eke out a profit? The answer, of course, is not a lack of demand. Ask any youth group leader if he’d rather take his teens to a faithful adaptation of Jonah than mine for messianic themes in “Man of Steel,” and he’ll choose the former. The problem is that adaptations like “Exodus” and “Noah” are plagued with a few critical errors that prevent them from being faithful to the source material, something that will always keep religious audiences away. So if you’re a Hollywood producer with the power to greenlight a film based on a section of the Almighty’s word, how can you right the ark and reclaim the almighty dollar? Here are three steps to help the biblical blockbuster get its groove back. Step 1: Find a Story that Doesn’t Bore You When making “Noah,” Darren Aronofsky clearly thought to himself, “This Noah in the Bible is boring, with all this patiently waiting on the ark and trusting in the mercy and justice of God. So I’m going to make Noah more interesting by giving him martial arts skills and making him go nuts and try to kill his family on the boat.” Similarly, Ridley Scott thought to himself, “I’m not interested in this biblical Moses who obeys God’s will and who wants to set his people free so they can receive the inheritance promised to their father Abraham. So I’m going to make Moses into a twenty-first-century Unitarian who dislikes this Old Testament God and who asks Pharaoh to give the Hebrews a living wage and a path to citizenship.” J.R.R. Tolkien fans would have boycotted theaters if Peter Jackson had said, ‘The virtuous hobbit Bilbo Baggins bores me, so I turned him into a womanizing leprechaun named Edgar.’ But while Kung-Fu-Jack-Torrance Noah may have been more interesting to Aronofsky than the Biblical version, that’s not the case for people who hold the Bible sacred. Likewise, those who find the actual story of the Exodus interesting won’t be more captivated with Scott’s Social Justice Moses than the real one. And if religious audiences get the sense that the characters they’ve loved since Sunday School have been replaced with some figment of a bored director’s imagination, they’ll probably just stay home, in the same way that J.R.R. Tolkien fans would have boycotted theaters if Peter Jackson had said, “The virtuous hobbit Bilbo Baggins bores me, so I turned him into a womanizing leprechaun named Edgar.” So if you’ve decided to make a biblical epic, what do you do if the story on page 17 of the Bible bores you? Turn to page 18. Or 19. Or 457. Keep reading until you find a scriptural story that doesn’t put you at risk of yawning to death, then adapt that story as faithfully as possible. You’ll be amazed at how many more people will hand you money to watch your film when the finished product screams “I like the Bible” instead of, “Hey guys, I fixed your snoozefest sacred fairy tale.” Step 2: Pretend that God Is Harvey Milk Another chief problem afflicting both “Noah” and “Exodus” is the lingering feeling that God Himself might be each film’s antagonist, a problem that Rebecca Cusey details in her recent review of Scott’s film. Both films tend to view the Creator more as Lord Vader than Lord God, which is an odor that will drive religious audiences away at the first whiff. So in the event that you also find the God of the Bible a deplorable, genocide-ordering deity, here’s a suggestion for your theocentric cinematic endeavor: just pretend that God is Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man elected to public office in California, and the subject of Gus Van Sant’s 2008 film “Milk.” Just pretend that the creator of the heavens and the earth is a midlevel city official who engaged in sexual relationships with underage teens. Widely praised upon its release, Van Sant’s film is a virtual hagiography of a man whose life was not without some moral questions. But Milk’s cinematic depiction clearly shows that, for Hollywood, those who accomplish the progressive good are entirely above reproach. To anyone who says, “Wait, didn’t even Randy Shilts’ glowing book, ‘The Mayor of Castro Street,’ indicate that Harvey Milk had a proclivity for substance-abusing boys below the age of consent?” Hollywood replies, “Who are you to answer back to Milk? Where were you when his foundations of LGBT justice were laid?” So if you want to adapt the life of Elijah for the big screen, but you’re really bothered by God commanding death for the prophets of Baal, just pretend that the creator of the heavens and the earth is a midlevel city official who engaged in sexual relationships with underage teens, but that’s okay because he also opposed the same anti-gay ballot initiative that Ronald Reagan denounced. Do that and you’ll have no problem depicting Jezebel as the film’s antagonist instead of Jehovah, which is essential if you want audiences to support your work. Step 3: Pretend Mel Gibson Is Roman Polanski Even if you can’t get over your distaste for the divine, the best way to fix this problem is to hire a director who has no problem believing in the goodness of God. But you’ll also need to nab somebody who can be trusted to helm a big-budget project, and whoever directed that “God Is Not Dead” movie certainly isn’t up to the task. So whom should you call? One name comes to mind. If your conscience can’t handle employing a man who said some anti-Semitic words a decade ago, just pretend that he drugged and sodomized a 13-year-old girl instead, and that should put you at ease when you sign the contract. I know, I know. Nobody in Hollywood wants to touch him. I know he got behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated and said some reprehensible things about Jewish people. But remember what Mel Gibson accomplished in 2004. He took a cast of mostly no-name actors, had them speak exclusively in Hebrew and Aramaic, and made the highest grossing R-rated film in U.S. history. More importantly, he made an absurdly Catholic film, and all the Pope-hating Protestants in the country poured into their church buses and made pilgrimages to the local multiplex to see it. Seriously, “The Passion of the Christ” is the cinematic equivalent of a two-hour, spurting crucifix, and the same people who won’t even walk into sanctuaries with the corpse of Jesus carved onto a cross rewarded him with $370 million domestic. So if you want to achieve “Passion”-level results at the box office, you need to get over your aversion to Gibson and hire a man who has both the trust of Christian audiences and the cinematic talent necessary for such a feat. But how do you forgive his unforgivable transgressions? Easy, just pretend he’s Roman Polanski, the critically acclaimed director who hasn’t stepped foot on U.S. soil since fleeing sentencing for six sexual assault related charges in 1977. Polanksi hasn’t had a hard time getting work after his indiscretions. He’s directed eleven feature films since then, and notable actors such as Harrison Ford, Sigourney Weaver, Ben Kingsley, Johnny Depp, Ewan McGregor, and Kate Winslet have had no moral objection to working with him. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences even gave him a Best Director Oscar, along with a standing ovation. in 2003. So if giving work to Mel Gibson makes you feel a little ill because of the unforgiveable speech that spewed forth from his drunken lips, just pretend that he did something far more pardonable, like Roman Polanski did. If your conscience can’t handle employing a man who said some anti-Semitic words a decade ago, just pretend that he drugged and sodomized a 13-year-old girl instead, and that should put you at ease when you sign the contract. For any studio executive who is looking to rebuild the Biblical epic, just follow these three easy steps, and your thirst for Christian money will be filled. Find a story you like, pretend that God is not the worst guy in the world, throw a bone to Mel Gibson, and all those elusive Duck Dynasty dollars will finally be yours. Follow this formula and you might even make so much money that you can cast someone slightly darker than a Welshman to play Moses next time. ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Five Metal Bible Stories Hollywood Should Adapt For The Big Screen
    (”Noah” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Last week, ABC premiered its new action-drama series, “Of Kings and Prophets,” which looks like a “Game of Thrones”-style version of the Book of Samuel (that’s the one with David and Goliath, if you’re rusty on your Old Testament). The show joins a pair of recent Hollywood takes on the Bible, “Risen” and “The Young Messiah.” In “Risen,” released last month to mixed reviews, Joseph Fiennes plays Clavius, a Roman tribune charged by Pontius Pilate (played by Peter Firth) to find the missing body of Jesus in an effort to quell an uprising in the weeks after Jesus’ resurrection. “The Young Messiah,” out last weekend, is based on the Anne Rice novel “Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt”—yes, Anne Rice the author of “Interview With A Vampire”—and follows a cherubic seven-year-old Jesus and his family as they return from exile in Egypt to their home in Nazareth. Sean Bean plays a hardened Roman soldier who probably ends up being a good guy and saving kid Jesus somehow. So is Hollywood turning back to the Bible for inspiration? In 2014, big-name directors Darren Aronofsky and Ridley Scott gave us “Noah” and “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” essentially modern re-boots of the classic swords-and-sandals Hollywood epics, only with better special effects and ridiculous disaster themes. Unlike their predecessors—”Ben-Hur,” “The Ten Commandments,” “The Greatest Story Ever Told”—they flopped at the box office. With that in mind, here’s an idea for Hollywood: make more Bible-themed action movies from lesser-known Old Testament stories primed to be cinematic spectacles. A lot of them are pretty slim on details, so there’s plenty of room for creative interpretation. Because most Hollywood producers probably don’t know their Old Testament very well, here’s five ideas to get them started. 1. Ehud the Assassin-Judge of Israel The Israelites have been subjugated by the Moabites for 18 years. God sends Ehud to deliver them, and Ehud turns out to be a ninja assassin. He makes a short sword and hides it under his robes against his right thigh when he goes to pay tribute to Eglon, the king of Moab, who is evil and obese. After presenting the tribute, Ehud whispers to the fat king, “I have a secret message for you.” Ehud slips out the window and scales down the side of the palace, Jason Bourne-style. King Eglon, intrigued, shouts to his attendants, “Leave us!” Once they’re alone Ehud says, “I have a message from God for you.” As the king leans forward, Ehud draws his sword and plunges it into Eglon’s enormous belly. As the Bible tells it, “Even the handle sank in after the blade, and his bowels discharged. Ehud did not pull the sword out, and the fat closed in over it. Then Ehud went out to the porch; he shut the doors of the upper room behind him and locked them.” Ehud slips out the window and scales down the side of the palace, Jason Bourne-style, while the servants wait for their king to come out of his chamber. By the time Eglon’s men realize what’s happened, Ehud has escaped to the hill country, where he summons the Israelites with an awesome battle horn (like the Horn of Gondor) and they muster in the hills and march against the Moabites, slaughtering 10,000 of them and liberating their people. 2. Joshua Stills the Sun So He Can Slaughter His Enemies in Broad Daylight Everyone knows about Moses but it was his lieutenant Joshua who led the Israelites into the promised land of Canaan—with plenty of intrigue and a bunch of huge battles. After the Israelites sacked Jericho, the people of Gibeon sent emissaries to Joshua and duped him into making a treaty with them by posing as ambassadors from a faraway land. (Joshua was commanded by God to destroy all the inhabitants of Canaan, not to make treaties with them.) In retaliation for Gibeon’s alliance with the invading Israelites, an alliance of Amorite kings besieged the city, whose leaders appealed to Joshua to save them. After an all-night march, Joshua and his army took the Amorites by surprise, more or less like Gandalf’s charge with the Rohirrim during the Battle of Helm’s Deep in “The Two Towers.” And kind of like when the light blinds the orcs right before Gandalf the Rohirrim overrun them, Joshua’s charge is supernatural. As the Amorites flee, giant hailstones fall on them from the sky, killing scores of soldiers. Then Joshua commands the sun to stand still so they can finish the Amorites in daylight, and “the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies.” Imagine Jon Snow as a battled-hardened Joshua, and you’ve got cinematic gold. 3. Elijah Owns the Prophets of Baal, Then Slays Them Elijah the prophet (but, a younger, edgier Elijah, like Walton Goggins) is living in the wilderness during a drought sent by God because the people of Israel and their king, Ahab, are following the false god Baal. God tells Elijah to confront Ahab, whose wife, Jezebel, a priestess of Baal, has been wantonly killing God’s prophets. Elijah proposes a contest between God and Baal: who can light an altar with fire from heaven? Elijah proposes a contest between God and Baal: who can light an altar with fire from heaven? The Israelites, along with 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah (another false, totally evil god) are summoned to Mount Carmel where they build two stone altars, one for God and one for Baal. Two oxen are slain and placed on the altars. The priests of Baal whip themselves into a bacchic frenzy, crying out to Baal, cutting themselves and adding their blood to the altar. They do this all day. Nothing happens. Elijah orders his altar to be doused in water and then asks God to accept the sacrifice. With the sadistic, bloodied priests of Baal looking on, fire descends from heaven, consuming the altar and the sacrifice and even the stones. Elijah then calls down for rain from heaven to end the drought, and as the rain begins to fall in great torrents, he turns on the priests of Baal and orders Israelites to kill them all. 4. Judith the King-Slayer In the Book of Judith (part of the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox canon but considered apocryphal by Protestants), the Jewish city of Bethulia is besieged by the Assyrians. Judith, a widow, has a plan to break the siege. She disguises herself as a harem girl and wanders into the enemy camp, allowing herself to be captured and taken to the Assyrian general, Holofernes. Once in the general’s tent, she plies him with wine, flatters and seduces him. When he passes out, she decapitates him with his own sword, takes the head and escapes back to the Israelites, who then (of course) attack and defeat the Assyrians. In 1914, the story of Judith was made into a film starring Lillian Gish, but it’s time for a re-boot, maybe with Brie Larson or Saoirse Ronan. 5. The Twelve Spies Discover a Race of Demon-Giants Before the Israelites entered Canaan, Moses sent twelve spies to reconnoiter the land and report back on its inhabitants and cities. Among the creatures they found were the Anakim, or the “sons of Anak,” a race of terrifying demon-giants. The spies thought these massive creatures were descendants of the Nephilim, offspring of women impregnated by fallen angels before the great flood of Noah. One of these giants, Goliath, is later slain by David. But who—or what—was Goliath’s father, or his father’s father? According to the Book of Enoch and the Book of Jubilees (ancient Jewish religious texts), the Nephilim were “watchers” led by Samyaza, a powerful angel who convinces rebel angels to descend to earth and “take wives” to “beget us children.” Hollywood needs to wake up to the possibilities here. After all, Darren Aronofsky’s stupid rock angels have nothing on the Anakim. ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • 'War Room' Is Just As Cheesy As All Kendrick Brothers Films
    (”Noah” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Christians across America are gathering in movie theatres to see “War Room,” the latest film written and directed by Alex and Stephen Kendrick. The two brothers’ movie tells the tale of how an old woman’s teaching about prayer changes the lives and marriage of Tony and Elizabeth Jordan. While this story may sound like your average feel-good Christian film, there’s more going on. What we’re seeing is the culmination of ten years of the brothers’ work. Alex and Stephen Kendrick (who are not related to “Pitch Perfect’s” Anna Kendrick) started their filmmaking career in 2002, when Alex, a pastor at Sherwood Church in Georgia, saw a Barna Group study on how film and entertainment influenced culture more than politics or journalism. This inspired Alex to work with Stephen to write the script for “Flywheel,” their first film. “Flywheel” was made for less than $20,000 and relied heavily on volunteers from Sherwood. The film was released directly to DVD and received very little in sales. But it was the start of a long media career for the brothers. Since then, they’ve written, directed, and released three additional films to theatres and attracted mass-media attention. Many of these films were box-office successes, showing there is an audience for faith-based films. Alex and Stephen even received awards from Movieguide and from the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival commending their dedication to filmmaking and the faith. When “Facing the Giants” hit theatres in 2006, media critics saw it as the start of something big, of a strong Christian media market that would “change the culture.” But were these predictions true? The answer is a bit complex. Yes, the Kendrick brothers did change culture; they just didn’t change the major one. All they actually did was introduce a new generation of Christian filmmakers to a low standard of storytelling. The Kendrick Brothers Wrote the Book on Christian Film While Christian films are hardly a new phenomenon, Sherwood showed how a small, independent, religious company can make a significant box-office hit. After “Facing the Giants made more than $10 million in the box office, other filmmakers decided they wanted to get in on the action. Groups like Pureflix Entertainment and Erwin Brothers began following the Kendrick brothers’ footsteps, creating family friendly media for a Christian audience that became significant in its own way. It was clear that Alex and Stephen Kendrick were leading the way towards a new kind of filmmaking However, in clearing the way, the Kendricks ended up standardizing a series of literary devices, or “tropes,” in the Christian film industry. These include: The Kendricks ended up standardizing a series of tropes in the Christian film industry. Preaching to the protagonist and audience: Kendrick films seem to be written more as a cinematic sermon than a fully fleshed-out story. Certain Christian characters take a significant amount of time to present the main character and audience with an argument for either the Gospel or a moral lesson about marriage, parenthood, sexuality, etc. In “War Room,” all the protagonists’ problems are fixed after A) accepting Christ and B) setting up a prayer closet. While this is clearly the end goal of the film, it ends up causing the non-teaching parts of the film to not resonate with an audience that may not agree. Simplistic character archetypes: These films tend to write protagonists in a very one-note fashion. Either the protagonist is a Christian with few character flaws whom God helps get through his struggle, or he’s a non-Christian whose conversion helps him conquer everything without the potential for future struggle. In the same way, non-Christian characters are either openly antagonistic to the expression of faith, there to be converted by the believers, comedy or realism relief, or all of the above. Telling, not showing: Instead of taking time to show a character’s backstory or problems through visual representation, the films tend to rely on characters explaining their problems to the audience. For example, let’s look at the drug subplot in “War Room.” According to the movie, Tony Jordan, the husband, was fired from his job because he “padded his numbers” and stole samples from his employer. However, the film doesn’t attempt to show him doing this (outside of a single gesture in one scene that you’d miss if you blinked). Instead, it relies on external characters telling Tony (and the audience) what he’s done. This is an unhelpful method of storytelling; especially for one that’s supposed to be visually driven. The films tend to rely on characters explaining their problems to the audience. Keeping it excessively clean: While the Kendrick brothers clearly want to deal with issues like fatherhood and marriage, they seem to go out of their way to avoid certain “thematic elements” in order to maintain a family-friendly standard. The most notable example of this in the Kendrick brothers’ work is “Fireproof,” where the main couple (played by Kirk Cameron and Erin Bethea) spend a lot of time talking about the husband’s problem with pornography. However, the film never takes time to A) actually show the husband using it, and B) never uses the word pornography! Now, these aren’t new tropes in Christian film and literature, and some of them aren’t exclusive to Christian media. Films like “The Happening” and “San Andreas” also have their problems. However, the Kendricks’ work unintentionally cemented a framework for Christian media where viewers have learned to frown on departing from “making this to present a truth.” Movies Will Save You But why is this bad? After all, the Kendricks themselves have said in past interviews that their main goal in making these films is to save souls. But is that really happening? And is that the sole goal of the film? The Kendrick brothers’ box-office ‘success’ is driven by a select number of religiously motivated consumers who are interested in art that advocates for their view. While Alex and Stephen have mentioned multiple times in past interviews that their films have inspired others to make first-time confessions of faith, that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s what the market is using them for. A recent Lifeway study revealed that the vast majority of Christian media consumers are self-proclaimed Christians. If you add the recent data points from Christian media advocacy group Faith Driven Consumer to the equation, it becomes clear that the Kendrick brothers’ box-office “success” is driven by a select number of religiously motivated consumers who are more interested in art that advocates for their view than in art that is aesthetically excellent. Some would defend this economic framework by arguing that if a film saves a single soul, it is completely worth the time. However, this seems far too pragmatic. First off, the primary function of a film isn’t to act as a sermon or to save a soul; it’s to tell a story in a visually interesting and enjoyable way that will help the viewer empathize and realize things about the world around them. This is best done through an intelligent professional mixture of technical forms, cultural ideals, economic interests, and content. Don’t Challenge Me, Just Confirm My Beliefs However, recent shifts in how American Christians view art has caused them to overemphasize the moral or religious content in a piece of art at the cost of aesthetic and cultural excellence. This is why argument- or sermon-focused films like “God’s Not Dead” made more than $60 million in the box office while more artistic films like “Noah” or “Calvary” were either derided for their more “creative” approach to a biblical story or received little attention from the faith-based consumer market. The Kendrick brothers have changed the face of Christian media in more ways than one. They inspired a new generation of Christian creators to express their faith in the cinematic medium. However, their work also cemented the notion that Christian media should be used to save and teach. While this might seem like an effective way to spread Christian ideas, it only empowers a select group of Christians who mostly seem interested in promoting content they already agree with. ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • 'Son Of God' Veers Toward Gnostic Heresy
    (”Noah” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    To judge from the controversy sparked by early screenings of Russell Crowe’s Noah, Hollywood directors walk on thin ice when they start tinkering with the details of the Bible for the sake of a movie. Son of God, a movie about the life of Jesus Christ, has met with a better reception from Christians in part because producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey worked assiduously to enlist the support of religious leaders and denominations through events such as private screenings of The Bible, the History Channel miniseries that gave rise to the new movie. “Roma and I are praying that this movie will be a blessing for the church,” Burnett said in a promotional video for the movie. “We sincerely hope it will lead to many having a deeper relationship with Christ.” In an earlier interview about the miniseries, Downey acknowledged that they “breathed creative expansion” while portraying the Bible stories. At the same time, they turned to prominent pastors such as Joel Osteen and Rick Warren for theological advice. The “creative expansion” resulted in some decisions at odds with mainstream Christians throughout the history of the church. It’s not simply that Burnett and Downey changed the story (there is a long tradition in Christian writing of expanding or abridging biblical stories to make a given point, such as the Old English poem Genesis B’s sympathetic portrait of Eve). Son of God gives oxygen to a claim that early church leaders denounced as historically and theologically false because it contradicts the earliest accounts of Jesus’ life. The movie’s portrayal of Jesus’ Last Supper with the disciples creates the impression that Jesus ordered Judas to betray him. They aren’t the first to do that.  An ancient Gnostic sect known as the Cainites honored traditional villains such as Cain and Judas, praising the latter as the closest confidant of Jesus, according to the second-century church father Irenaeus of Lyons. “They declare that Judas the traitor was thoroughly acquainted with these things, and that he alone, knowing the truth as no others did, accomplished the mystery of the betrayal; by him all things, both earthly and heavenly, were thus thrown into confusion,” Irenaeus wrote in his book Against Heresies. “They produce a fictitious history of this kind, which they style the Gospel of Judas.” That Cainite text made international headlines when the National Geographic Society unveiled a translation of the text, finding that it “challenges one of the most firmly rooted beliefs in Christian tradition.” The “Gospel of Judas” manuscript dates to 280 A.D., according to a researcher commissioned by the National Geographic Society, and was written in Coptic, the Egyptian language of the time. Son of God is hardly a Trojan horse for Cainite gnosticism – you won’t hear anything about Jesus wanting to be freed from his material body, or taking Judas aside for private revelations – but the movie reflects a series of editorial decisions that give an ambiguous understanding of Judas’ role in his master’s death. In the movie, Judas’ alliance with the chief priests who deliver Jesus to Pontius Pilate for crucifixion takes place in the movie against a backdrop of civil unrest and concern that the citizens of Jerusalem will riot against their Roman oppressors. Jesus’ acclaimed entry into Jerusalem, surrounded by crowds shouting ‘hosanna,’ intensifies these fears. Judas meets with the chief priest, Caiaphas, who assures him that they only want to talk to Jesus, because the Romans will close the Temple during the Passover festival if the people riot for any reason. He also sows a seed of doubt in Judas about whether Jesus is the Messiah. Burnett and Downey establish that Judas is acting out of bad motives, though, by showing him ask Caiaphas “what’s in it for me?” a question that leads to his bribery. At the ensuing last supper, Jesus announces that one of the disciples will betray him. He identifies Judas as the traitor by giving him a piece of bread, as detailed in the Gospel of John. When Jesus identifies his betrayer in the movie, Judas resists. “I will not,” he says through gritted teeth to Jesus, who is holding a piece of bread to Judas’ mouth. “I will not betray you.” Jesus leans in closer and says, “do it quickly,” as he inserts the bread into Judas’ mouth. When Peter tries to prevent Judas from leaving, Jesus orders him to let Judas go. The impression that Judas is acting pursuant to Jesus’ directive is heightened by the fact that, in a previous scene, Caiaphas has decided to move forward with Jesus’ arrest without Judas’ help because Judas’ has not delivered Jesus quickly enough. The ‘do it quickly’ moment is echoed, mildly, in the Garden of Gethsemane. Upon Judas’ approach with the guards, Jesus tells him to “do what you came for.”  When Jesus and his captors reach the Temple, Judas’ is surprised to be barred from entering with the rest of the group. His story ends in after he throws the money back to the priests’ guards and hangs himself. In the movie, Judas commits suicide by hanging, a scene juxtaposed with the Roman guards whipping Jesus. The gospels accepted by mainstream Christians tell a story that differs from Son of God in some respects, most notably in its portrayal of the Last Supper (which you can watch in this clip from the miniseries). The movie seems to use the Gospel of John as the source for that scene, as that gospel depicts Jesus as identifying his traitor by giving him the piece of bread and as saying that Judas should act quickly. No biblical account quotes Judas as declaring to Jesus, “I will not betray you,” though. That line is written only in the movie script. The other mainstream gospels give somewhat different accounts of the supper: Matthew shows Jesus saying that the disciple who dips his bread in the dish with Jesus is the traitor, at which point Judas – who has already cut a deal with the chief priests, asks Jesus “Is it I?” Jesus replies ‘thou hast said it.” The Gospel of Mark doesn’t have that question-and-answer, but does quote Jesus referring to dipping in the dish. Luke records Jesus only as predicting the betrayal, which set the disciples to asking each other who would do it. So it appears that the creators of Son of God selected the Last Supper account most congenial to the idea that Judas was acting at Jesus’ behest, and then exaggerated that account by having Judas resist the order. They made a similar decision in their portrayal of the Garden of Gethsemane scene.  Rather than quote Jesus’ famous rebuke of Judas, ‘would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” from the Gospel of Luke, the movie follows Matthew’s account, but even their choice of translation tends towards the idea that Judas is acting with Jesus’ approval. Diogo Morgado, who plays Jesus, quotes the New International Version of Matthew, by saying “do what you came for” rather than having him ask Judas why he has come to the garden, as other translations render the passage. The disagreement between translators stems from an ambiguity in the Greek text (the relevant verb can be read as an imperative or as an active verb suited to a question). Faced with the choice, Son of God picked the imperative. On scale, Downey and Burnett made a series of interpretive decisions in their portrayal of Judas that mitigate his culpability for Jesus’ death: they offered an explanation for his willingness to betray Jesus that is not found in the gospels (his concern that Jesus’ appearance in Jerusalem would lead to a riot); they chose the gospel account that has Jesus tell him to “do it quickly,” rather than one that emphasized the predictive aspect of Jesus’ comments; when it comes to Gethsemane, they abjured the gospel account that quotes Jesus as asking Judas’ if he’ll really “betray the Son of Man with a kiss” in favor of one that allows them to show Jesus once again telling Judas to follow through with the planned betrayal. When Joel Osteen praises Downey and Burnett’s portrayal of the Last Supper, he says that the scene shows Jesus’ grace to the disciples would fall away from him. “He still took up for them, he forgave them, he believed the best in them,” Osteen says. It appears that Burnett and Downey want to believe the best about Judas. They do a good job of communicating the political unrest of Jerusalem in the time of Pontius Pilate, which makes for a dramatic story of Jesus’ ministry and provides a cause for Judas’ contact with Jesus’ enemies. Downey said in the promotional video that she and Burnett “believe the love of God will jump right off the movie screen and into the hearts of many, especially those who are far from him.” If it inspires attendees to take a closer look at the traditional Bible, they might find that the book is better than the movie. At the very least, it’s different. Follow Joel Gehrke on Twitter. ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

Hugh Hewitt3
Salem Radio Network



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Screenwriter Ari Handel, On The Making Of Noah
    HH: I’m very much looking forward to this hour, because last week, I was able to see a screening of the new movie, Noah, which premieres next week, at Paramount Pictures lot with the Fetching Mrs. Hewitt and my daughter. We go to see it together, and with four or five other people, and afterwards got to talk with one of the studio execs about it. And as I was leaving, I turned to my friend, Jonathan Bock, who is with Grace Hill Media, and I said you know, you offer me a lot of interviews, a lot of actors and the director. I really want to talk to the writer. And so Jonathan went to work and he found Ari Handel, and he brought him to the radio studio to talk to me today via the phone. Ari Handel, welcome to the Hugh Hewitt Show. It’s great to make your acquaintance. AH: Thank you, it’s nice to be here. Thank you for trying to look out for the writer. It’s very kind of you. HH: Well, I was sitting there, I was watching the movie, and I gather after enough screenings, you know that there’s a little conversation going inside of everyone’s head who’s ever heard of or read the Noah story. And I began to think of the fellow who sat down to say I will tackle if not the best known story in the world, the second best known story. Adam and Eve might have a little bit of an edge. When did you start this? AH: Well, first of all, just to be clear, I co-wrote this with the director, Darren Aranofsky, so we wrote this together. And we started, you know, working on it, the first draft that I, the first piece of writing and draft that I have in my computer are 2003. So…and that’s even just when it was electronic. Prior to that, we were probably working on paper and pencil. So it’s been at least ten years, eleven years that we’ve been working on this. HH: Wow. Is there anything else in the computer that’s even older than that? AH: I’m sure, but not this project. HH: So the other thing I found out as I was doing my research to talk to you is that you were originally a neuroscientist. AH: Yes, yes. HH: Okay, we’ve got to do the biography before we do the picture. AH: All right. HH: Walk us through your life, Ari. Where did you, where were you born? Where’d you grow up? AH: Well actually, I mean, I was born in Zurich, Switzerland, of all places. But I only lived there for a year. My father was studying in Zurich. And then I grew up in a suburb outside of Boston called Newton, Massachusetts. HH: I know Newton well, home of Wellesley and through which the Boston Marathon, which I have trudged through, runs, you bet. AH: Exactly. So I lived a block from Heartbreak Hill. HH: Okay. AH: I saw a lot of people in the hard part. HH: In the agony. AH: And we’d do it every year. Exactly. We used to go every year, and we’d hand out water, et cetera, and watch people go up Heartbreak Hill. HH: And Newton public schools? AH: Newton public schools. HH: And undergraduate years? AH: And then undergraduate years, I went to Harvard, still in Boston, and that’s where I met Darren. We were suitemates. HH: Which house were you in? AH: Dunster House. HH: I’m sorry to hear that. I’m a Winthrop guy. AH: Oh, really? HH: Nevertheless, so you were studying… AH: Well now they don’t have that anymore. Now, the houses are, I think, randomly selected, so they may have lost their character that they had in our day. HH: And that is in fact true. I just went back for my 35th reunion, and they told us that sad story. I think that is a bad thing. AH: Me, too. HH: Dunster had the intellectual…Adams and Dunster were the artistic houses. Winthrop always won the Strauss Cup for jocks. AH: Yeah, but Winthrop was cool, though. HH: Yeah, we liked it. So you were there, and what were you majoring? Computer science or neuroscience, what? AH: Well, I mean, I went through, I started as a Russian literature major, and I had a little bit of a falling out with the Russian literature department, and then I ended up thinking I was going to do neuroscience, and so I became a neurobiology major. HH: Now what does a neurobiology major do when they graduate? Do they go to medical school? AH: Well, they stop, and they go why did I do that? HH: (laughing) AH: And then they ask what they’re going to do. So what I did was I applied to, actually, to tell you the truth, what…I had a couple of things. I went and I did an internship at Nova, WGBH. HH: You bet. AH: And I got interested in, because I was interested in science journalism, and I became interested in science education, because I felt both those things, I felt that you know, a lot of people are scared of sciences in America, and we could do a better job of teaching them and communicating them, because they’re not as off putting as some people think. It’s just a matter of teaching them well. And so I got interested in that, and then I decided, and this is where I made one of my dumb mistakes, I decided like well, if I’m going to teach it, I should probably really know what I’m talking about and go to graduate school in science and become knowledgeable not just with what they teach you in college, which is essentially science history is what I guess I’d call it… HH: Right. AH: But I actually learned the practice and the art of science, which is a different piece altogether. So I decided to go to graduate school to do that. And everyone said to me you don’t want to do that. That’s like, you know, if you’re going to…you don’t want to spend that much time immersing yourself in graduate school if you’re just going to go into another career, and I didn’t listen to them. HH: Wow, from Russian literature, which is endless reading, to neurobiology, which is endless studying, did you have any fun at all until you were 40? AH: I did. I did have some fun. HH: Well… AH: But I like immersive things, and that’s what, ultimately, that’s what I did on Noah, too, because I got… HH: Oh, expand on that. That’s interesting. So when you do a dive, you want to do a deep dive into something for which the depth is there, no shallow water. AH: Exactly. HH: Oh, how interesting. AH: I just like that part. I like the research. HH: Now tell me a little bit about your religious background as well. Did you grow up in any kind of a faith community? AH: Yeah, well I’m Jewish, and I was raised Jewish, bar mitzvahed, and I went to Synagogue every Saturday. So…and I was sort of conservative egalitarian/reform, so you know, not super orthodox in any way. HH: Did you belong to Hillel at Harvard? AH: I went to some events at Hillel, but I don’t think I was an official member. HH: And I have to ask, though I am not Jewish, I always ask my guests who are and who have been bar mitzvahed, do you remember what you read when you were bar mitzvahed? AH: I do. It was part of, it was part of the Ten Commandments, but not the best part. HH: Okay, so it wasn’t the best part, and it was not Noah. AH: It was not Noah. HH: You did not read Noah when you were… AH: I wish. I wish. HH: So when did the… AH: Maybe my son will get that. I’ll have to, no, he won’t, either. He’s in the wrong part of the year. HH: So Darren Aranofsky, the director of the movie, and you were suitemates at Dunster? I did not realize that. AH: That’s right. HH: And did you, at that time, talk to each other about being in pictures? AH: Well, I was in, when we met, I was a Russian literature major, and he was a sociologist, so not really, although eventually, yes. He went into the arts, and he became a filmmaker while we were still at school, and you know, I was one of, all of your group of friends, you know, worked to help him make his little, his film projects at school. HH: This is fascinating. What year did you graduate? AH: I was Class of 1991. HH: Okay, so if they lined up the whole Class of 1991 and they said pick the two least likely filmmakers of an epoch involving Noah, would you and Aranofsky have been the two guys that would have been the least likely people to do this? AH: Probably not. There was some, like, mathematics guys who have only slept during the day, and they’re awake all night, and like you’re like, who’s that guy, and then it turned out that they, in their down time, they were lecturing for the math department. HH: Okay, they would have been least likely. AH: There were some of those, too. HH: When did the spark go on that you were going to throw in with the motion picture stuff? AH: Well, when, so I finished by PhD. I went to NYU and got a PhD in neurobiology, and so I was there for basically eight years. It took me a long time to get the PhD done. And then I knew about halfway through it that I wasn’t going to go on, I didn’t think, to do a post-doc and become an academic scientist. There was plenty that it wasn’t quite for me. And so when I finished, I stopped. I didn’t know what I was going to do, and I took a little time off. I was doing some freelance statistics and computer programing for a friend who had a hedge fund, and I was just trying to find my way. And then Darren and I started writing something together that to me was a little bit of just a way to pass the time, and that ended up becoming a film called The Fountain, which… HH: Sure. AH: …but it took quite some time for that film to get made, I think, I don’t know, seven years or something from when we started. And so by the time we actually got it made, I’d been working in the film business for seven years. And so here I am. HH: So when you were in the film business… AH: That’s the way these things happen. HH: When you walk into a lot and you’ve got a PhD in neurobiology, is that like a calling card? Or do people look at you like you know, you might be homeless and making it up? AH: I think it makes up for the fact that you have no idea about anything about the film industry, so you throw that out there and they take a step back a little bit and go okay. You know, there’s a little bit of respect that comes with something that’s foreign and they don’t understand. HH: Yeah, well that is, that is way off of the map. So you and, you start writing and The Fountain comes along, and thereafter, The Black Swan. I mean, you’ve got these amazing credits. When did you actually say, or did Darren say to you, let’s do Noah? AH: Darren said it to me, and I don’t actually remember the exact year, but I would say it was around then, around 2003, I would say. HH: Wow. Okay, when we come back from break, my guest is Ari Handel. He is the screenwriter and producer, along with Darren Aranofsky, of the movie, Noah, which opens everywhere next week, and you cannot drive around L.A. without seeing Russell Crowe glaring at you with the rain falling on him. It’s going to have a huge open. It’s going to be very controversial. And it is both stunning and surprising, and we’ll talk about why and the research that went into it, and the choices that Ari Handel made when he dove into writing a script that will in fact be both stunning and controversial. — – – – — HH: Ari, when you go to the five books of Genesis that are the Noah story, which is what I did after I saw the movie, and I don’t think I’d read them probably in 20 years, that’s what’s going through your head through the movie is what’s in, what’s out. How did you approach the first sort of few drafts of the screenplay? And to what extent did those chapters, five, six, seven, eight and nine, play into it? AH: Well, we started with those chapters, obviously. I mean, we sat down and we read them very carefully. And we’d read them before, of course, but probably like you, we’d read them in our childhood, and maybe occasionally since. But we weren’t like deeply familiar. So we sat down and looked at them and sort of said okay, now where’s the movie? And what is the movie? And how do we tell it and what is the story all about? And I think we read it a lot closer than we’d ever read it before. And… HH: Go ahead. AH: Well, and you know, immediately, certain things come to mind when you read it that way. I mean, the first one, the thing that comes to mind is you realize how much less is there than you might think in terms of details. HH: Exactly. AH: Especially like, for instance, you know, I was surprised to notice that Noah himself does not speak a word that is written there until after the ark lands. So you know, it just sort of says God said X and Noah obeyed. And God said Y and Noah obeyed. So there’s very little insight to what he’s thinking, what he’s doing, the relationships between him and his family, et cetera. So all that stuff had to be figured out if you’re going to have a film and you need a character arc. And there’s a lot of things to do there. So we started with that, but then also, we started to look at a careful reading of the story, and what kind of questions it raised. And it raises a lot of really interesting questions, that if you dive into them, it starts to bring you to some interesting places. HH: It certainly does, and the very first question, though, is whether or not Noah is a thoroughly good man. Now he’s a righteous man, and how did you come up with what righteous meant? AH: Yeah, so it says Noah is a righteous man. HH: Right. AH: And there’s actually been, it turns out, I mean, if you start to look at the commentaries over the years, and of course, this is Genesis. There’s a tremendous body of work and commentary and thought that’s gone around the text and about the text for quite a long time. There’s been a big debate of what that means, because it says Noah was a righteous man in his generation. HH: Right. AH: And people have brought attention to that phrase, in his generation. And there have been people who argued that if he was a righteous man in such a wicked time, think of how righteous, how more righteous he would be if he was in more of a modern time when it wasn’t so wicked. And others have said the exact opposite, that he was only a righteous man in comparison to all the wickedness around him. In the current milieu or some other ones, he would not be considered quite so righteous as it were. So there’s lots of ways of thinking of that. You know, there’s certain clues. We know that the second thing that Noah does after landing is he gets drunk, so drunk that he ends up lying naked. And the first thing he says, the first words that are recorded for him, are actually cursing his son’s line to slavery. HH: Right. AH: So there’s certain things there that make you go well, that doesn’t seem like the most righteous person I’ve ever heard of. So there’s some indication that righteousness might not be exactly what we would think of it. And then we came across this notion which is both in Thomas Aquinas and also you see it in a lot of Jewish scholarship, which is that righteousness is actually the proper balance of justice and mercy. And that seemed really interesting to us, because the Noah story is so focused thematically on justice and mercy. It starts with God providing this telling Noah that He has judged mankind for their wickedness. It begins with justice and ends with a rainbow where God says despite man’s wickedness, I will no longer try to destroy them. So there’s a movement from justice to mercy. HH: So… AH: In Genesis, and so we tried to, so this idea that justice and mercy in the right balance is what it means to be righteous. That seems like a really interesting dynamic to give to the Noah character. HH: So for purposes of giving your sense of what righteousness in his own time is, who do you think is a righteous man in his own time today? AH: Well, that’s a hard question, because you know, it’s really hard to say, to be truly…to know that, you’ve got to kind of know not just what somebody says, but what they think and who they are on the inside. It’s a hard question. I’m not sure I could answer. HH: Would you think Mandela was a righteous man? AH: Sure, I would, you know, those kinds of people, the Gandhis and the Mandelas. HH: Well, I’m not too sure about Gandhi. I would argue, because he foreswore violence and didn’t, there’s an argument there. But I would think John Paul II and Mandela, and there are a few of them running around. But it’s a tough word. And so how long, how would you guys resolve that? I mean, how would you actually talk to each other about that? AH: Well, we tried to talk about what should, you know, what are the struggles and the challenges that Noah should face? And what is his journey going to be so that he ends up grappling with this notion of justice and mercy? And by justice, you know, I really mean an eye for an eye, that an indiscretion or a wrongdoing is punished. And by mercy, you know, we all know what that means. That means that an indiscretion or a wrongdoing is let off the hook. And you know yourself, I think all of us who are parents, understand the tension between those two poles, because you know, if you have a kid and the kid does something, and you’re always strict with them, you’re always just with them, you…that’s not great parenting, because you end up destroying them a little bit through over-strictness. But on the other hand, if you let them get away with everything, if you forgive everything that they do, then you start eroding their moral fiber in some ways. HH: Now of all the… AH: But these really, sorry, go ahead. HH: Of all the controversies surrounding the movie, many of which are silly now that I’ve seen it… AH: Yes. HH: What do people think about how you got Noah? My wife, by the way, though you nailed Noah, and thought Russell Crowe was the only guy who could play him at the end of this, so I pass that along. AH: Right. HH: But how was the general reaction? AH: Well, here’s the thing about the Noah story. As you said, it’s one of the best known stories in the world. But the common conception of it is actually very simplistic and one-sided to a degree. When…and by common, I just mean in pop culture… HH: Right. AH: …which is kids toys… HH: Right. AH: …and the mural for the veterinarian, and the animal cracker box, which is basically a kindly man who saves a bunch of animals, and it’s cute and it’s sweet. And part of that, part of that story is that Noah is pure good. He’s just really, really good. HH: Yeah, he’s got a white beard and a cane. AH: Absolutely. HH: Sandals. AH: And he saves the animals, and it’s a happy story and everything comes out well. But in reality, you know, we’re talking about a story where all, almost all the life on Earth is wiped out by a God who’s grieved to His heart that He has to do it. and it’s a very dark story. HH: And there are some very dark scenes. When we come back from break, we’re going to talk about some of the very dark scenes, because if you do just pause for a moment and think about the world filled up with water, and how many bodies are floating in it, that is not something you really have ever considered, I think. At least I hadn’t. I read the book like a Catholic does, which is you know, get me the Cliff Notes. — – – – – HH: For your background, Ari, I’m a fairly serious religious character, and I want to St. Paul’s every week at Harvard, and I’m a sort of Catholic Evangelical. So I take this…but Catholics read the Bible very differently. And my friend, Mark Roberts, is a year after me at Harvard, Class of ’79, PhD also at Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. He reads it much more closely. AH: Yes. HH: But there’s one line in these five chapters. The Nephilim were on the Earth in those days, and also afterward when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown. I defy anyone to tell me what that means. And so what did you do with it? AH: Well, the very, it’s actually a famous line for being so mysterious and strange. So what we did, because what are the Nephilim? Nephilim means fallen ones… HH: Yeah. AH: …in a literal translations, although it’s sometimes described as giants. It’s translated as giants. We went and we looked at what other people have said about this in the past. And so we went to some extra Biblical material like the book of Enoch and Jubilees, where they really talk about fallen angels, and fallen angels coming down and teaching mankind some arcane and scientific arts and things, so we took that notion and said great, let’s embrace that notion of fallen angels. It actually becomes pretty interesting to us, because it allowed us to expand on our themes of justice and mercy. But it also starts to help us describe this antediluvian world in a very, in a very other-worldly way. And the antediluvian world actually is other-worldly in lots of ways. Not only are there Nephilim, but we’ve got people living 600, 900 years. We’ve got leviathan floating the seas. We’ve got flaming swords. We’ve got skies that don’t produce rainbows. It’s a very strange and other-worldly world, and we wanted that to come across. HH: And that is really why I tell everyone I’ve told, it’s both stunning and very surprising, because even pre-modern history like Herodotus and fairly accurate old history like Thucydides and some of the legends, they’ve got minotaurs and stuff like that, but it’s all still, you can connect it up to modernity somehow. You’re dealing with, really, premodern modern stuff. AH: Well, don’t forget, the flood, I mean, within the context of the story, the flood came, and not only did the waters cover everything, but you can really look at the flood as an undoing of creation in the same way that creation brought the waters of the heavens and the waters of the earth apart as part of the beginning of what was done in those days of creation. The waters of Heaven and the waters of Earth are brought together in the flood. So it’s not just that the Earth is flooded, it’s that creation is undone and remade again. So it’s a different world, and we wanted it to feel that way. HH: And so, did you have this… AH: So people, sorry… HH: How quickly did you settle on this? I mean, when did you decide that’s how we’re going to do it? AH: Pretty early on, because we got to that line about the Nephilim, and we knew we had to deal with it. We couldn’t ignore it. How are we going to handle it? And that helped us get into this kind of tone, and we thought that tone was a really interesting one, and would be a really interesting one for modern audiences, because we’d be taking a Biblical epic, we’d be doing something that was grounded in the text, but that was completely unexpected and would let people see the story in a new light they hadn’t seen before, but not one that was just arbitrary, but one that came from Genesis. HH: And you know, to everyone who’s had a, and I want to talk in our last segment after the break about the controversies, the various controversies, I don’t know how anyone can have an argument with anything unless they have an airtight argument for what Chapter 6, Verse 4 means. I mean, that’s, you have to fill that with meaning, right? AH: I mean, I think so. I think…and I think that’s only one of the more obvious places where questions are raised that you really need to grapple with. There’s others. HH: Now did you, in the course of this, since it went on for 12 years, and you made Black Swan, and you’ve been doing other stuff like that, have you just been continually reading in Old Testament or Torah theology and scholarship? AH: I mean, not full time by any means, but sure, you know, we looked at a lot of material, and we had a lot of conversations with a lot of people to try and grapple with these questions and sort of see what other minds had come up with. HH: Would you track down people like Adin Steinsaltz, who I’ve interviewed before, or other great theoreticians of Torah? Or would you stick to popular… AH: No, some of them. We had Bible scholars and Kabbalists of all sorts, not just…of all sorts, people looking into different… HH: How interesting. AH: People who looked at Kabbala, people who look at legend, people who were really, you know, really more looking at Talmud or other more traditional ones, we tried to look everywhere to see what people had to say. HH: There’s got to be a book in this, not just a movie, just a book in making Noah. — – – – HH: So Ari, we’ve got one segment left, about eight minutes, and I try very hard not to give away spoilers in the movie. I understand the movie’s tracking very well, and it’s going to have a big opening, and everyone’s very excited about it. But I am curious how you’ve been reacting to the various controversies, like as I said earlier in the interview, many of which are just stupid, having seen the movie, but some of which will come from heartfelt, deeply-felt religious beliefs which may or may not be rooted in a deep reading of the text. So how have you been dealing with those? AH: Well look, basically, you know, everything that we did came from close reading of the text, and everything that we did is grounded in some fashion in the text, and came from us looking at the questions and the themes that are in the story. So as soon as people, I think, hopefully see the film, and look at the film, I think a lot of these things will go away. But there’s also going to be always different ways that people can look at the Noah story. It’s a story that a lot of people have a relationship with. So you know, we’re not going to expect everyone to love it, although we hope that many people will. So it’s just a matter of putting this out there, these ideas, and seeing how people react to it. HH: Is anyone angry with you for just simply trying? I mean, this is, I’m so glad you tried it. I hope you come back and do it again, because it’s fairly spectacular in parts, and there are other parts of the Bible that I would like to be seen made with the best talent and the best budgets available. But at the end of a long process like this, are you putting it down saying no more Bible stories for me? Or are you saying let’s rush back in sometime? AH: Well, I don’t know if the next thing I do is going to be a Bible story, because it’s nice to take a break. But it is interesting, I mean, I think there’s a certain portion of the religious community that doesn’t, isn’t going to want to see these things, these stories, translated into the film media, and anything that is not explicitly in the text shown. And that’s inevitable that some people feel that way. And actually, on the other side, there’s some people in the secular world who will just sort of, without having looked at it, right off the cuff kind of say look, if it has anything to do with the Bible, I’m personally not interested in it. So hopefully, we can erode a little bit of that line and say look, these stories are powerful, powerful stories that speak to all people about issues that are philosophical, religious, ethical, existential, that everyone should be interested in, and that are also entertaining, because the Noah story also has literally good versus evil, and literally the end of the world is at stake. So all the stuff that goes into a great movie is right there along with these more profound questions that are embedded deeply into the story, so… HH: I simply cannot imagine a person of genuine faith being other than excited that this movie got made and enjoying it. Now they may have arguments with different parts, and they will learn things. I had never, I actually had never noticed the name Tubal-Cain every. I feel embarrassed. I just had never notice it. But I have one question which isn’t a spoiler… AH: Sure. HH: But I suppose it could be, in someone’s eyes, so if someone doesn’t want to hear the last three minutes of this, turn off the radio and go see the movie, and later you can come back and listen to it on the Hughniverse. Here’s my little spoiler. AH: You’re not going to tell them about the rainbow, are you? HH: I’m not going to tell them about the rainbow. I’m not going to tell them about the unicorn getting left off, either, or anything like that. No, there’s one character who doesn’t get to the boat, and I was surprised that this character doesn’t get to the boat. AH: Yes. HH: How hard, was that like an argument? Or was that… AH: This is what this is about. At some point, if you’re going to do the Noah story, you’ve got to look at the fact that the characters who made it onto the boat had to deal with the fact that nobody else did, and that’s a painful idea. And no one wants to think about the people who didn’t make it onto the boat. People want to think about the people who did make it onto the boat. But the fact that people didn’t, and that hurts, well look, we know it grieves God’s heart to do this, and it must have grieved Noah’s heart and his family’s heart that these people didn’t make it on. There’s a lot of pain and suffering involved in this. It’s not a light idea. It’s a heavy idea. So we wanted to really make the audience feel that, and feel it not by having like a really mean, evil, nasty person not make it on, who we don’t have to have empathy for, but feel it for someone who we do have some empathy for, because these are all human beings. HH: Oh, that makes sense. Now I get it. There’s an amazing scene where, and you would never think about this, at least I hadn’t again, and I’m not exactly Mr. Deep Thinking about Genesis, but you hear the cries of the people not on the boat. AH: Yes. HH: That’s pretty powerful stuff, and it drives home that same point. AH: Yes. HH: But I hadn’t thought about it in the context of this character. So last question, just a very practical one. AH: Yes. HH: Where do you expect this to do the best? In the West or in the East, in the cultures where storytelling is still a wonderful thing and they’re open to all sorts of stories? Or in the cynical West where a story of first stories might actually resonate with people? AH: Well, I’m hoping it’s going to be, it’s going to go and be liked everywhere, because actually, the Noah story is a universal story, as I said. Flood stories are universal, regardless of what your religion is, or how religious you happen to be. The story is filled with drama, and the story is still, is human emotions and questions that concern all of us. So I think it’s going to go over well everywhere, but you know, I’m not a sociologist nor actually a box office analyst. I just try and make the stories good. HH: You are a neurobiologist, though, so you ought to be able to predict how people will react to this thing. And last question, did you ever get sick of this project? If it’s been more than a decade, did you walk away from it for a while and just say I’m done with this, I’m not doing this? AH: No, we never did that. We never did that. But we got, we were fortunate enough to get breaks away from this as we made other films. But this one held on. You know, it’s a fascinating, fascinating story, and it rewards… HH: Last question, is Aranofsky your best friend? AH: We’ve spent a, we’re very good friends, and we’ve spent a tremendous amount of time together over the last ten years. So yeah, probably functionally, he is. HH: Okay, and your next project? AH: I don’t know, yet. We’re going to, first, rest. HH: First, rest. Well, you certainly earned it. Congratulations. I hope you have a great opening next week. AH: Thank you. HH: It’s a fascinating film and a great conversation. AH: Thank you. HH: Ari Handel, good to talk with you. AH: Very nice speaking with you. End of interview. ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Talking "Noah" With Ari Handel
    Ari Handel wrote “Noah” with director Darren Aronofsky, and given that the story of the flood is easily among the top two or three best known stories in the world, I was interested in how he approached the challenge.  Having seen the film –most of the controversies swirling around it are on the spectrum from silly to absurd– I was intrigued about how he and Aronofsky built a compelling and surprising script from the five sparse chapters of Genesis devoted to Noah.  What, after all, does it mean to be “righteous?”  And how about those Nephilim in Chapter 6?  A dozen years of Catholic education and lots and lots of reading in theology since then really didn’t explain this mystery, so it is an inviting angle in an amazing story, and of course I expected the special effects would be riveting…and they are.  There is one sequence, which I discuss with Handel but don’t give away in key detail, which is haunting and he explains it without spoiler in our chat. So read the interview (the transcript of which is posted here), go see the movie, and brush up on Genesis 5-9.  Every Christian certainly should if only to be ready to talk about the flick with a non-believeing friend –it isn’t every day Hollywood pours hundreds of millions into a Bible story. I will be off this coming week, with Guy Benson filling in for me, but I’ll be back on 3/31 the Monday after the movie’s release, and the debate on the films merits is something to look forward to.   NOTE: Here is the audio of the interview Hugh did with Ari Handel about “Noah.” 03-20hhs-handel ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Jamie Weinstein Solos
    (”Noah” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    That’s not The Daily Caller’s Jamie Weinstein.  That’s Noah, or Russell Crowe playing Noah.  I will be at an advance screening of the film this afternoon, and The Daily Caller’s Jamie Weinstein will sit in for me for the first time.  He was a terrific co-host yesterday so enjoy his first time driving the big bus today. Please also find a moment o visit the Memorial Fund to benefit Captain Reid Nannen’s children.  The USMC captain lost his life piloting a F-18 last week, and left a wonderful wife and four young children.  The response has been great but there is a way to go yet to fully fund the scholarship fund. ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

The American Conservative Staff5
The American Conservative



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Noah & The Rock People
    Christianity Hathos Pop Culture Barbara Nicolosi really, really, really hated the Noah movie. Excerpt: Noah is a terrible, terrible movie. As a story, it doesn’t attain to the level of the worst of the cheesy Biblical movies made in the fifties. Aronofsky broke the first and sacred rule of storytelling: you have to make the audience care. We never cared about Noah even after he was kind to a wounded, half dog – half snake. (No, that wasn’t a mistake.) We never cared for any of the characters. I kept hearing people say this movie is deep. It isn’t. It is psychologically pedestrian. The only emotion the movie elicited in me was laughs of scorn. The script is problematic in every way in which a script can be problematic. Bad characterizations – no complex personalities, just stereotypes. Unmotivated choices abound. No imagery or story subtext. Huge story problems requiring ark-sized suspension of disbelief. Earnest, oh so earnest, dialogue with every syllable on-the-tedious-nose. Awkward transitions. Completely missing a coherent theme. Embarrassing soap-operaish holds on actors looking tense or worried or just staring ahead trying to convey lostness and doubt. And the fakest, funniest looking, plastic green snake used repeatedly to indicate badness. It’s bad enough to be a Christian movie! It’s so dumb, I can’t even write a serious review. Seems likely the studio purposely created and then drove all the controversy around the movie because they knew they had a dog. They’re hoping they can have a huge opening weekend because as soon as word gets out that this is a dull, idiotic waste, it’s going to drop like a rock person next weekend. “Rock people” is a motif in this review, because they are actual characters in this movie. You’ve got to read Barbara’s hilarious review, in which she explains who the Rock People are. That’s what they call them in the movie. They’re something Aronofsky, the director, made up. How does crap like this get made? Mysterium tremendum… Did you see Noah? If so, what did you think? UPDATE: Several of you have pointed to the Catholic film critic Steven Greydanus’s much more positive review of Noah. It’s a very good read, and makes me want to see the film — as do the comments on this thread about the conflict between tradition and will to power in the film’s narrative. ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Noah & The Rock People

    I have no desire to see, or defend, the Noah movie, but Nicolosi’s review struck me as silly. Ancient Jewish literature, of which Noah is obviously a part, features some bizarre, fantastical ...

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • How to Make a God Movie
    (”Noah” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Art & Architecture Christianity Pop Culture Dante Alissa Wilkinson, the chief film critic for Christianity Today, pens a smart piece for The Atlantic about bad God movies and good God movies.  She points out that there really are some fine films with religious content being made today … but also some dreck. The problem is not so much with moviemakers as with the expectations some Christian audiences have. Excerpts: In the movie business, “Christian” or “religious” usually gets conflated with the “faith-and-family” audience, sidestepping a wide swath of people of faith who aren’t looking for “safe” stories. One publicist informed me ahead of Sundance that the film she was representing wasn’t “appropriate for Christians.” Another told me it would never have occurred to her to pitch me. Marketers, publicists, and distributors tend to view Christian moviegoers as a monolithically single-minded group staunchly opposed to any film that might garner more than a PG rating, and only interested in movies that depict Biblical stories, tell inspirational biographical tales (mostly about athletes, brave children, or war heroes), or explicitly reinforce their own beliefs. If you ask me, the most “Christian” film released in 2014 was Calvary, which premiered at Sundance in 2014. The movie starred Brendan Gleeson as a tough but loving priest facing his death in a remote fishing village. Rife with religious imagery and resonances, the film’s message about forgiveness and redemption is thoroughly consistent with Christian theology and features a bracing view of the havoc wreaked on generations of children by abusive ministers (by no means a problem exclusive to Catholics). Though it got left out of many “faith-based” discussions because it garnered an R rating from the MPAA for “sexual references, language, brief strong content, and some drug use,” it earned raves from secular and religious critics alike, garnering a Rotten Tomatoes score of 89 percent. More: Calvary, along with movies like the Oscar nominees Ida and Selma, is an explicitly religious exploration of widely asked questions that doesn’t point to easy answers. Several Christian critics writing for religious outlets (including myself) put all three of these films in our top ten lists for the year—while also facing significant backlash from some readers who were horrified that we’d praise, let alone watch, a “blasphemous” film like Noah. But I noticed something interesting. For every angry reader who contacted me—and there were many, and they were caustic—another expressed gratitude. Many were Christians; some had grown up in church and left it behind; a few were indifferent to religion altogether. All, however, were looking for carefully crafted films that took the religious experience seriously. Preach it, sister. I saw Ida not long ago — it’s on iTunes — and was deeply taken by it. It’s a stark-looking black & white Polish film set in 1962. On the eve of taking her final vows to enter the convent, a young novice named Ida goes to visit the only relative she has that survived the war and the Holocaust: Wanda, a drunken, cynical communist judge. Wanda reveals to Ida that she’s really a Jewish orphan who had been hidden with the nuns before the Nazis came. The nuns brought her up as a Catholic. Now she has learned the truth, and drives around Poland with her dissolute aunt, trying to find where her parents are buried, and to confront the Polish gentiles who took over the family land. Here is the trailer: The film builds in emotional power as it reaches its climax, which, of course, hinges on whether or not Ida will return to the monastic community and join it, or enter the world. Ida deals with questions of history, justice, and identity, and asks how one can find meaning in human existence after the apocalypse that overtook Poland, especially its Jews. It is ultimately a movie about nihilism, and potential responses to how we live and act with moral awareness and responsibility after the experience of the Holocaust. Do the forces of nihilism win? Is living for today and its pleasures all that’s left to us? If nihilism is not to win, how can it be defeated? What happens to the human soul after Auschwitz? Understand that this is not a movie that takes place in the death camps, but rather in the aftermath, in a time when it is already known that the communist attempt to establish justice and a meaningful postwar society has devolved into an exercise in lies, brutality, and cynicism. Ultimately, Ida is a movie about faith: faith lost (Wanda’s, in communism), and faith tested (Ida’s, in the path she was given). The thing is, Ida is a very, very simple story: simply scripted, simply shot, simply acted. But it is very deep. I have no idea if the Polish director is any kind of observant Christian, but it doesn’t matter. Ida is a film that takes religion very seriously, and it is in no way preachy, moralistic, or simplistic. And it clearly doesn’t only appeal to Christian audiences; it won the Best Foreign Film Oscar this year. The New Yorker‘s David Denby called it a “masterpiece,” and summed up the questions posed by the film like this: “What do you do with the past once you’ve re-discovered it? Does it enable you, redeem you, kill you, leave you longing for life, longing for escape? The answers are startling.” These are religious questions, even if God is never mentioned directly, only implied. And Ida is a thousand times more profound and penetrating that the religious kitsch on offer for Christian audiences. The piece by Christian film critic Alissa Wilkinson is actually a hopeful report highlighting films and directors that are moving beyond the “safe for the whole family” school of didactic religious filmmaking. Another excerpt from her piece: One of the featured events at Sundance this year was a panel on faith-based films. Several attendees I spoke with were disappointed that panelists focused predominately, once again, on the “faith and family” audience—the same underlying market confusion I’d observed all year. One attendee, Ryan Daniel Dobson, is a Christian filmmaker developing a project based on the Biblical story of Hosea, in which the prophet is told by God to marry a prostitute, who repeatedly abandons him. A project like this will likely interest many people of faith, but not those looking for a “family film.” Like a growing number of Christians who work outside both the Hollywood system and the Christian film industry, Dobson sees films like God’s Not Dead as nearly antithetical to his understanding of what film ought to do and what faith ought to look like. “Several times ‘faith films’ were compared to superhero movies, where a studio can’t stray from what their fanboy audience wants, because it would guarantee a box office fail.” Dobson told me. “Several times, it was said, ‘We’re doing this for them’—the audience. I find that particularly heartbreaking when said on the grounds of a festival where stories are told with such honesty that it forces the audience to admit they might be wrong.” A couple of thoughts on this. In a recent e-mail exchange with Charles Featherstone, whose extraordinary memoir of his journey from an abused, outcast young man to radical Muslim to Christian pastor-without-a-pulpit I have recommended to you, said something profound: Created or called, the Biblical narrative has really helped me see who I am. God rarely, if ever, calls the well-behaved and well-adjusted to follow. Again, with David. He was an awful man. A terrible king. He was a murderer, a rebel, a terrorist, a rapist (one reading of the Bathsheba story), and he stole men’s wives (2 Samuel 3:16 has this wonderful tale of Michal’s husband pathetically following her as she makes her way to David). He was as dithering a king as he was decisive before he became king. And yet, this awful man, who in his whole life only repents once of anything he ever did, and then only when Nathan the prophet calls him on it, is so beloved of God that God makes a promise to save Israel, to save the whole world, through David. The Bible is full of misfits, people who don’t belong, bad men and women who God calls to be part of God’s saving acts. This is why I get so angry when we reduce scripture to simple guidance for good behavior. It isn’t really that at all. And when it becomes that, I’m suddenly left out of the story, because I am not “beyond reproach” and because I have never lived a life “beyond reproach.” It may be words of blessing and comfort to them as are settled and at home, but those words are almost all spoken by people who are not, from Abraham to Paul. People called to leave, to wander, to never find rest except as guests in homes that are not theirs. That gives me great strength. I am not alone in all this. It hasn’t made the last year easier, but it has made it bearable. I am not wrong because I am a misfit and a malcontent, that I am not flawed or troublesome or “difficult” or “the problem” merely because some people (well, okay, rather a lot) say so. Because God uses people like me — perhaps even needs people like me — to speak the words that must be spoken. I don’t understand it, and I truly wish it were not like this. My home is with Christ, and that will have to suffice in this world. Maybe this unfilled yearning is like the thorn Paul writes about. He has pleaded with God to remove it, and Jesus tells him: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Perhaps we must bear this burden of wanting something we cannot have as a witness, to ourselves and to others, of the grace of God. I hate that possibility. Not everyone will listen — it is not a powerful voice. But I’m reminded of something a Lubavitcher Rebbe said, that while the kings had power, no one remembers their words. It is the words of the prophets, who had nothing but what God gave them to say, that we remember. Dante did not become the towering figure we know from literature and history until they made him an outcast, and he had to confront the mess he had made of his life and make sense of it. The Divine Comedy is, of course, the most profound and penetrating Christian story ever written outside the Bible. Yet it is a long poem in which some villains make it to heaven, other friends of the poet’s who weren’t especially bad people in life end up in Hell, and one of the great archfiends of the play is the Pope of the very Catholic faith that the poet passionately believes in. There is nothing — nothing — simplistic or moralistic about the Divine Comedy — and this is why it reached me in the depths of my despair like nothing else could have done. I did not see it coming. In fact, I’m pretty sure one of the reasons I avoided it over the years is that I thought a medieval poem about heaven and hell would be a boring morality tale. No, no, no. Not in the least. The point I want to make for this discussion is that the story the Bible gives us is one of tragedy, of paradox, of God’s purposes for His people revealing themselves through the most unlikely figures — and, for Christians, God revealing Himself in the form of a carpenter from Nazareth who was despised by the people He came to save, and put to death. It’s a crazy story, just crazy — but we Christians believe it to be true. There is nothing play-it-safe about the Bible. It is full of mystery and paradox and revelation. The second point I want to make about the “faith-and-family” school of play-it-safe Christian moviemaking comes from the memory of a conversation I once had with a friend who had been raised Evangelical, but who, as a teenager, was struggling with overwhelming problems at home, such that she had begun to harm herself in ways that ought to have been obvious to all around her. My friend told me, about her church community back then, “If they had opened their eyes, they would have seen a girl in crisis, and reached out and helped me figure out how to deal with this crisis. All they could see was a kid who needed to be taught how to witness to the people seated next to her on the airplane.” What she meant was that in the world of her church community, the point of the Christian life was to lead others to making a “saving decision for Christ.” This, to be clear, is a vital and irreducible part of the Christian life, one that Evangelicals rightly prize, often more than the rest of us Christians, who have forgotten this truth and this duty. But as I understood my friend from this remembered conversation, the Great Commission (Christ’s command to his followers to go out and make disciples of all the world) crowded out everything else within her community. They knew how to produce evangelists, she said, but they weren’t so good at forming disciples. I’m not quite sure why this conversation came to mind in contemplating Christian moviemaking, but there you are. Perhaps it has to do with a belief that the often-agonizing complexities of faith, of humanity’s relationship with God, is not the most important thing; winning converts to the faith is, and comforting the faithful in their beliefs is. It’s not just an Evangelical thing; Flannery O’Connor caught hell all the time from her fellow Catholics, who wanted to know when she was going to write “nice” stories for a change. In the end, I don’t think most people, Christian and otherwise, are eager to explore mystery. They want all the answers, when the questions are often more important. They think of their relationship with God as having an ordered set of doctrines and dogmas, and arranging their thoughts to align with these beliefs. The truth is that God wants our heads, yes, but more than that, He wants our hearts. “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” For Christians, the Truth is a Person. There is never anything simple and straightforward about our relationships with others. We are mysteries relating to mysteries, and, for Christians, that relationship is mediated by Mystery. Art — real art, not kitsch — emerges from that profound truth. UPDATE: A good and important counterpoint from a reader:   The Bible is full of misfits, people who don’t belong, bad men and women who God calls to be part of God’s saving acts.   Yes.  Still, I’m so tired of misfits.  I’m just a normal dude that goes to work and puts bread on the table.  It seems like everybody, from JD Salinger to Flannery O’Connor, wants to write books and make movies about misfits.  And I get it, there’s something to both being an artist itself and to being a Christian that seems to require a measure of alienation.  But the high school quarterback seeks redemption just as much as the brooding loner who writes poetry.  To the traditional man has the role of freak been given, in this age.  As great and as thoughtful as Ida might be (I haven’t seen it, though I will), “a stark-looking black & white Polish film set in 1962” isn’t likely to get far beyond the art-house crowd who, let’s face it, can be tempted by the consolation of knowing how lovely it is to be the sort of person who is moved by this sort of thing.   I find the faith-and-family Christian film as nauseating as you do.  Still, I empathize with the hypocrites a bit, those oft-rebuked (by Jesus Christ!) souls who don’t have a terribly profound grasp of what authentic Christianity is, yet show up to church on Sundays, teach their kids their prayers and put a check in the collection basket.  These folks are grasping, gossipy, and awful, but the church wouldn’t be here without them.  They are like Amity Shlaes “Forgotten Man”, just in another context.  They were last spoken to by Mel Gibson, and they need to hear this stuff more often.   ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Hollywood Plays with Fire
    (”Noah” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    In July of 1870, King Wilhelm sent Foreign Minister Bismarck an account of his meeting with a French envoy who had demanded that the king renounce any Hohenzollern claim to the Spanish throne. Bismarck edited the report to make it appear the Frenchman had insulted the king, and that Wilhelm rudely dismissed him. The Ems Telegram precipitated the Franco-Prussian war Bismarck wanted. Words matter. And if a picture is worth a thousand words, how much greater impact can a motion picture have? We are finding out. Egypt has banned “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” the $140 million 20th Century Fox biblical epic. Cairo’s culture minister Gaber Asfour condemns it as “a Zionist film” containing “historical inaccuracies.” The depiction of enslaved Jews building the pyramids and Moses parting the Red Sea to enable the Jews to flee and drown the Egyptian army is false, says Asfour. Historians date the pyramids to around 2540 B.C., 500 years before Abraham, the father of Judaism. Paramount’s “Noah” was banned in Egypt, Indonesia and Malaysia, for taking liberties with the Quran. Islamabad is in an uproar over the Showtime series, “Homeland,” where Pakistani intelligence services are portrayed as colluding with Islamists trying to kill ex-CIA director Saul Berenson and station chief Carrie Mathison. In the season’s final episodes, the U.S. cuts ties to Pakistan and closes the embassy. The Showtime series “maligns a country that has been a close partner and ally of the U.S.,” a Pakistani embassy spokesman told the New York Post, and “is a disservice not only to the security interests of the U.S., but also to the people of the U.S.” The 2014 “Homeland” finale was aired just after 140 Pakistani school kids were massacred in Peshawar by the Taliban. Islamabad is “a quiet picturesque city with beautiful mountains and lush greenery,” said one Pakistani, yet is “portrayed as a grimy hellhole and war zone where shootouts and bombings go off with dead bodies scattered around. Nothing is further from the truth.” Angrier than Egypt or Pakistan is North Korea over Sony’s “The Interview.” Why would a film company owned by the Japanese, who are not beloved in Korea, think it would be a great fun to make a comedy out of a CIA plot to assassinate North Korea’s head of state? The North Koreans are serious people. They massacred half of the South Korean cabinet in the Rangoon bombing. They have brought down airliners and sunk warships without warning. They have plotted to assassinate South Korea’s president. Their megalomaniac ruler, Kim Jong-Un, just had his uncle-mentor executed, along with his family. Kim has atom bombs and seeks to miniaturize them to put atop missiles able to reach the United States. He is the most erratic and dangerous ruler on the planet and this assassination-comedy is just the thing to set him off. Says Adam Cathcart, a North Korea expert at Leeds University, “In North Korea it’s more or less a fait accompli that the Americans are trying to kill our leader.” To sustain its Stalinist dynasty, says the Washington Post, Pyongyang has created a “personality cult that is anything but a laughing matter.” In retaliation for “The Interview,” North Korea, says the FBI, hacked into Sony’s computers, published confidential emails and threatened retaliation against any who showed the film. The North has repeatedly denied it hacked into Sony. But it now appears the U.S. has retaliated by disrupting Internet service in North Korea, much to the cheers of the War Party, which wants President Obama to put the Hermit Kingdom back on the list of state sponsors of terror. North Korea is now using racial slurs to describe Obama. There is an aspect of reckless immaturity here. While the Wall Street Journal thinks it would be fun to send DVDs of “The Interview” by balloon into the North, the Washington Post says possession of the film there would be regarded as treasonous, and could bring a death sentence. No one denies Sony the right to produce a comedy about blowing up Kim Jong Un. Nor was anyone denying theaters or Internet sites the right to show it. What Sony seemed to want was to produce a movie that made the assassination of a dictator appear hilarious, but to be exempt from any consequences. But we live in a world today where if you produce cartoons of the Prophet with a bomb for a turban, or disparage Islam in videos, books or movies, you can get yourself and others killed. Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh was butchered in Amsterdam by an enraged Muslim for “Submission,” a 10-minute film that excoriated Islam’s treatment of women. In this weekend’s Washington Post, Joe Califano, a confidant of President Johnson, writes of how the new film “Selma” demeans LBJ’s crucial role in enacting the Voting Rights Act of 1965. To enrich itself, Hollywood is playing games with religious beliefs and historical truths — and making enemies, not all of whom believe in turning the other cheek. Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of  The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority. Copyright 2014 Creators.com. ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Christian Schlock And Awe
    (”Noah” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Art & Architecture Christianity Dante Michael Gerson, an Evangelical, can’t get over the awfulness of the new Christian movie God’s Not Dead. Excerpt: But while “Noah” tries (and fails) to reconceptualize religion, the surprise hit “God’s Not Dead” positively discredits it. This movie is an extended exercise in evangelical wish fulfillment. (Freud is evidently not dead, either.) The plot: Fresh-faced Christian lad bests abusive, atheist philosophy professor at his own game, and then the professor converts just before he dies. Along the way, a Muslim girl gets beaten by her father and converts, and a liberal blogger gets cancer and converts. Everyone is a willing, pliant participant in a vivid fantasy, vaguely bringing to mind a very different kind of film. The main problem with “God’s Not Dead” is not its cosmology or ethics but its anthropology. It assumes that human beings are made out of cardboard. Academics are arrogant and cruel. Liberal bloggers are preening and snarky (well, maybe the movie has a point here). Unbelievers disbelieve because of personal demons. It is characterization by caricature. Gerson says most Evangelicals he knows don’t see human beings as “moral types and apologetic tools,” which means “Evangelical lives are better than their art.” Gerson continues: [True religious art] finds hints of grace among the ruins of broken lives, where most of us can only hope to find it. Art is truly religious only when it is fully human. True. You all know how much the Divine Comedy means to me. I believe that God spoke to me through it, calling me out of a dark wood I found myself in as a result of my spectacular defeat in moving home. The Commedia comes out of a place of profound brokenness in Dante’s life, and the characters he creates in the poem are so intensely, vividly human. I had always kind of assumed that the Commedia was a medieval Christian morality play, with Good and Evil neatly and boringly drawn. Not at all. Not at all! Good and Evil are plain as day in the poem, but Good and Evil as they are incarnated in flawed human beings — and we are all flawed human beings — is anything but clear. And that’s why the Commedia speaks with such revelatory power even today, seven centuries later. The Commedia revealed love and redemption in the ruins of hope. And it helped me find meaning and a new, very different kind of hope. I looked at the website for God’s Not Dead, to see what more I could learn about it. Here’s one testimonial to it; all the others are like this: “God’s Not Dead- the movie is a rallying cry for Churches to equip and encourage believers to reach non-believers with the Gospel. It provides reasons to believe and confidence to take a stand for Christ in an increasingly secular society.” If Michael Gerson’s description of the plot is accurate, then the blindness of people like this commenter as to how storytelling works is really something else. Is there reason for anyone who isn’t already converted to believe after seeing a propaganda movie like this? Once I was at a private screening of an expensively produced teaching series intended to help college students confront pressing moral questions from a Christian point of view. The production values were high, and the intentions of the filmmakers were impeccable, but the content was so canned, the answers all pre-digested and formulaic, that the thing most probably would act as a vaccination against contracting an interest in what Christianity truly has to say about life and its challenges. You’ve heard me say it a million times, and you’ll hear me say it again: At 17, I thought I knew everything there was to know about Christianity. It had pat answers for everything, and existed to build a tidy, happy-clappy structure within which to shelter from life’s tragedies and life’s big questions. And then I saw the Chartres cathedral, and knew from my shock and awe that I had been all wrong.   ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

Plugged In7
Focus on the Family



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Noah
    DramaSci-Fi/FantasyAction/Adventure We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.Movie ReviewIt's not easy being clean. Nobody's puppets, Noah and his family still try to live as cleanly as possible—to live as the Creator meant them to live. And they're doing it in a very dirty age long before Babylon held the fertile crescent, before Egypt's pyramids sprouted next to the Nile. They work in harmony with nature. They don't wantonly kill either man or beast. They don't, in other words, operate like those other guys—the descendants of Cain who dominate the planet. Those thugs are fighters, not lovers, and they'll kill anything that gets in their way, be it animals, people or the planet itself. They even went to war with the mysterious Watchers—towering rock-encrusted beings who, at one time, taught and guided humanity. These Cainanites are turning the Creator's amazing work into a planetary landfill. And the Creator has had enough. He gives Noah a vision, showing him a world submerged in water. Noah, disturbed, treks to visit his grandfather, Methuselah, who holds what you might call a fruitless court in a cave. There, Noah receives another picture from heaven: a huge boat, bobbing on the water, animals swimming to meet it. The Creator, Noah deduces, is going to push the reset button, destroying all that is bad so that things can begin anew. "The storm can't be stopped," Noah tells Methuselah. "But it can be survived." Noah has always followed his Creator's wishes—but the way ahead is now unbelievably hard. Not only must he, his family and a few helpful Watchers build a massive ark, they must use it—as the rest of humanity screams and drowns beneath. They must be strong. They must show no mercy. And what if the evil doesn't die with the descendants of Cain, but lives inside Noah's own family too? Does imperfect man have a place in the Creator's perfect plan? Wouldn't we just mess the world up all over again? Aren't we all sullied by weakness and sin? Dirtied by fatal flaws? Even the righteous Noah himself? Not easy being clean? It's downright impossible. [Spoilers are contained in the following sections.]Positive ElementsNot all the morals of Noah, the movie, are likely the same ones you'd glean from the biblical narrative. The two stories are far too different for that to be possible. But there are worthwhile points to ponder here: Noah teaches his boys what he believes the Creator would have him teach. And he always tries to follow his God to the very best of his ability—no matter how hard or painful the task ahead might be. He twists things up sometimes, for sure, and that turns him into a bit of a madman for a while, but Noah always sees himself as a servant—a tool in the hands of a mighty God—and thus is willing to subjugate himself to, by definition, a greater good. Noah's wife, Naameh, loves him through all of this craziness, sticking with him through, literally, high water if not hell itself. That loyalty, though, doesn't dim her vision of what right is and how wrong looks. When Noah begins to believe that their own family should not be exempted from God's righteous wrath, she furiously works to rein him in—to show him that love is just as important as justice and judgment. Likewise, Noah's son Shem and his new love, Ila, staunchly protect their baby children, risking their own lives to keep them safe. And Ila spearheads the family's rescue of an injured little girl whose own family has been killed. The Watchers—who are said to have been created on the second day and then punished by the Creator for helping the sons of Cain and then slaughtered by Cain's offspring for their trouble—take a cosmic risk by again aiding mankind. They help Noah build the ark and, when the evil Tubal-cain leads an army against Noah, defend the family and the ark with their lives. Noah and his family are seriously committed vegetarians. But the movie's environmentalism isn't merely a call to stave off global warming by recycling: It's used as a deeper metaphor, a way to further distinguish the mindset of Seth (which responsibly fosters God's creation) with the mode of Cain (which is to pillage and destroy). Even a flower, Noah tells his son, serves the Creator's will better in the ground than in someone's pocket. "They have a purpose," Noah says—to spread seeds and propagate. Or, as he will later say, to be fruitful and multiply.Spiritual ContentNoah goes pretty far off the Sunday school flannel board to tell its story, beginning with "the beginning." Noah recounts the story of creation to his children, reciting what happened on each of the six days. Using time-lapse photography, his account blends the Bible with Darwinian evolution, as animals change into other animals in rapid-fire sequence. (And most of the creatures on the ark appear to be evolutionary forebears of the ones we live with today.) Noah acknowledges that it didn't take long for mankind to start messing things up. We see glimpses of Adam, Eve and the forbidden fruit, with Satan creepily slithering out of another snake. And Cain's murder of Abel is seen as a critical turning point for humanity's relationship with its Creator. The Nephilim (who make just a cameo appearance in Genesis 6:4) are given significant roles here. They're meshed with the concept of the Watchers (angels mentioned in Daniel and fleshed out in the apocryphal books of Enoch), and we're told that they're angels who were made into rock-like creatures as punishment for helping humans after the Fall. It's said that God (only called the Creator here) has rejected them and refuses to let them return home even when they die. But after they help Noah, we watch them zoom up to heaven in a beam of light, finally accepted back into the Creator's good graces. Unlike the direct commands issued by God to Noah in Genesis, His will is obscured in Noah. The titular character receives only visions, their meaning never fully clear to him. And because Noah and his family deeply desire to do God's will exactly, this exacerbating lack of communication creates some serious conflicts—an echo of sometimes our own uncertainty of what God would have us do now. Methuselah, Noah's grandfather, wields some mysterious powers: He puts Noah's son Shem to sleep with a touch and, through his blessing, heals a wound. (Whether this is sorcery or a gift from God we're never told.) A magical seed he gives Noah (he says it's from the Garden of Eden) produces, when planted, a flow of water and then an entire forest of trees on a barren plane. Sexual ContentShem playfully tackles Ila in the forest and kisses her passionately, his mouth working its way to her belly, where she bares a deep scar. Ila makes him stop. She is, we're told, barren because of a childhood injury, and she tearfully pleads with Noah to find Shem a wife who can provide him children and, thus, happiness. In another scene Ila runs to Shem and begins kissing him like crazy, hurriedly stripping off clothes. (The camera briefly spies skin and then moves away.) Later, she discovers she's pregnant, and the ecstatic couple ask Noah for his blessing. Adam and Eve are seen naked (they're glowing and the shot is from a distance), as is a drunken Noah. (Nothing explicit is seen.) Naameh's draped top reveals quite a lot of cleavage in one scene. In a town, girls and women are traded for food.Recommended ResourceA Chicken's Guide to Talking Turkey With Your Kids About SexKevin LemanEven the bravest parents feel timid about discussing sex with their 8- to 14-year-olds! This resource offers reassuring, humorous, real-life anecdotes along with reliable information to help you with this challenging task.Buy NowViolent ContentWe repeatedly see a silhouette replay of Cain killing Abel with a rock. And at one juncture, the sequence morphs into warlike conflicts throughout the ages, with the killer and victim becoming soldiers from ancient to modern times. In ditches and valleys piles of dead bodies and/or skeletons are seen multiple times. We watch men pull down and kill the giant Watchers. A fiery cataclysm decimates a throng of warriors. Fire from heaven kills even more. People are bashed and stomped and trampled and stabbed and hacked and, of course, drowned. Tubal-cain kills Noah's father with a hatchet blow to the head, with blood-squirting results. Noah kills quite a few assailants, showing himself to be pretty handy with a blade. Angry that hunters have shot an animal, he plucks the sharp projectile from the beast's bleeding side and uses it to fight the four men responsible, killing at least a couple of them. Other animals have their throats cut or their guts grotesquely spilled. In a bloody marketplace, live animals are torn apart and eaten raw. Noah has visions of countless drowned humans and animals, and he walks on ground saturated with blood. A girl gets caught in an animal trap (metal points piercing her leg). Noah comes to believe that God means to end the human race entirely. He tells his family that once they arrive in a cleansed world, they'll all grow old and die—forbidding his children to take wives (and also actively thwarting them). When Ila gets pregnant, Noah tells her that if the baby proves to be female (and thus a potential mother), he'll kill the infant as soon as she leaves the womb. Indeed, later we see him clutching a knife pointed at a baby's face. And for much of the movie, Noah stands as a fearsome figure of death, glowering with his unsheathed blade. In one case, he callously allows a young woman to die by way of a trampling horde when he refuses to help her.Crude or Profane Language"D‑‑n" is uttered four times. (But in context, the word is used correctly, with Tubal-cain declaring that he'll be "damned" by the Creator no matter what he does. And because he does what he does, he is indeed damned.)Drug and Alcohol ContentNoah, believing he let the Creator down, gets rip-roaring drunk, spending what would seem to be days guzzling down wine. He finally passes out, naked. (We see him from a distance, lying face down.) Methuselah gives Noah some tea that appears to be drugged, leading to a strange vision.Other Negative ElementsA prideful power play develops between Noah and his son Ham, leading the lad to nearly betray his own flesh and blood, and finally leave the family altogether. "Love" is said to be the "only thing they need to be good."ConclusionLong before its release, Noah was deluged in controversy. Some Christians praise the film for its themes of redemption and love winning out over malevolence, others revile it for taking so many liberties with the biblical account. Director Darren Aronofsky offers a spectacular and often moving story, but it's obviously not the story of Noah. There's more Tolkien than Torah here, really, and more of Aronofsky himself than both of those. Perhaps this director made the Creator in his own image—full of mercy, magic and environmental sobriety. If you uncouple the movie from the Bible and take Noah as imaginative, fantastic fiction, it can begin to work. But hooked as it is to such a sacred narrative, well, let's just say it'll be hard for some Christians to swallow whole this fractious fable. Harry Potter fans expect Harry Potter movies to stay mostly true to the book. History buffs are known to require historical dramas to follow actual history. I think it's reasonable, then, for Christians to ask that the stories most precious to them be treated with faithfulness—and that movies based on them would, y'know, stay at least in the ballpark. But Mr. Aronofsky has chosen a different tack, and so the ancient truth about Noah becomes more of a pretext for Middle-earth rock monsters and a tormented, half-mad Noah ready to kill his own kin. Still, Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, believes there is redemption to be found. "Darren Aronofsky is not a theologian, nor does he claim to be," Daly says. "He is a filmmaker and a storyteller, and in Noah, he has told a compelling story. The film expresses biblical themes of good and evil; sin and redemption; justice and mercy. It is a creative interpretation of the scriptural account that allows us to imagine the deep struggles Noah may have wrestled with as he answered God's call on his life. This cinematic vision of Noah's story gives Christians a great opportunity to engage our culture with the biblical Noah, and to have conversations with friends and family about matters of eternal significance." What kind of conversation might that be? Well, possibly one exploring just who God really is. We see glimpses of His character in Noah: His beautiful design, His sorrow that humanity ran away from Him, His righteous anger and determination to wipe the slate clean and start again. He chose Noah—whom the Bible calls "the last righteous man"—because he's the guy who best understands God's sorrow and anger and justice. Or, as Noah himself puts it, "He knew I would complete the task, nothing more." And sometimes it's even in the things the film changes that spiritual lessons emerge. One example: As Noah drifts into the idea that he's been tasked with ending all human life on earth, he comes to believe that the Creator is calling on him to kill his own granddaughters. He's desperately determined to follow through … until it comes time to actually complete the terrible charge. "I looked down at those two little girls," he confesses, "and all I had in my heart was love." It's poignant that Noah, the last righteous man, felt such love in that moment. Because that's what God feels when He looks down on us. We are sinners. We constantly fail Him. We deserve death, He tells us. But in His eyes, we're also beautiful. And God's love for us—His mercy and grace—ends up saving us.Pro-social ContentObjectionable ContentSummary AdvisoryPlot SummaryChristian BeliefsOther Belief SystemsAuthority RolesProfanity/ViolenceKissing/Sex/HomosexualityDiscussion TopicsAdditional Comments/NotesEpisode Reviews]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • What Is a Christian Movie, Anyway?
    (”Noah” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    A year ago, as 2014 opened, the entertainment world was declaring that it would be the year of the Christian movie. Hollywood, we were told, heard our cries! They answered our longings for movies that speak to us Christians and our God-loving souls! We Christian moviegoers would show the entertainment industry our true and mighty influence in a way we hadn’t since The Passion of the Christ came out in 2004! Amen! But looking back, I’m a little confused about what, exactly, makes a “Christian” movie. Sure, we saw our share of Christian hits, especially early on. Son of God built on its television miniseries lead-in(The Bible) and earned $60 million in North America. God’s Not Dead, an out-of-the-blue, in-your-face defense of Christianity, banked a bit more—$61 million. Heaven Is for Real, the movie based on a best-selling book and fronted by Oscar nominee Greg Kinnear, earned $91 million. When the year started, though, many experts were tossing big-budget monsters like Darren Aronofsky’s Noah and Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings into the ring as winners for the faith-based community, too. Alas, neither Aronofsky nor Scott were particularly interested in what Christians actually wanted to see—which was reasonably faithful retellings of their cherished Bible stories. Christian? The collective response was Pah! There were lots of complaints about the way God was handled even in the easier-to-identify Christian movies, too. Heaven Is for Real came off to some as pushing universal salvation, not to mention the whole I-hung-out-with-Jesus-and-now-I’m-back thing. Some of our readers let us know that they were more than a little chagrined at how Son of God tweaked the biblical chronology, going so far as to call it an affront to our faith. Left Behind was disowned by a swatch of churchgoers just on principle. (It wouldn’t have been Nicolas Cage’s acting, would it?) Could it even be reasonably argued that the likes of Noah and Exodus grappled more seriously with the concept of God than the year’s less-known and more strictly Christian movies did? Consider When the Game Stands Tall and 23 Blast, two movies that focused on sports more than spirituality, tucking faith in underneath the pigskin. The same could be said for Moms’ Night Out and The Identical—minus the pigskin, of course. And yet a movie like Selma—a film that not only has Oscar aspirations but also a deep Christian undercurrent—isn’t carted off into the Christian category. Never mind that the Bible is quoted more in Selma than in half the Christian movies released this year. Unbroken? No, that’s an Angelina Jolie war movie, not a Christian movie. So just what is a Christian movie, then? Does Christian financial backing make a project Christian? And if so, would The Giver—backed by Christian entrepreneur Philip Anschutz—count? What about Christian locations or Christian actors? Must a Christian movie be made in a church or star Kirk Cameron to qualify? And would it throw off our calculus if Cameron was suddenly tapped to act in the next James Bond movie? We know a horror movie when we see one. We understand what makes a romance different from a run-of-the-mill drama where folks might kiss on occasion. Westerns? Animated movies? Dystopian thrillers? Sci-fi space adventures? Yeah, those sorts of films are easy to slide into their particular cubbyholes. Even if a movie fits in more than one genre, we at least know what genres they are. Christian movies (or should it be movies that Christians will go see?) aren’t quite so easy to identify sometimes. They’re hard to pin down. And as more of them are made all the time, it’s going to get even harder. ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Why Do Christian Films Bomb? (No, Really?)
    (”Noah” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Much to the surprise of Hollywood, The Passion of the Christ took in an earth-shattering $370.8 million domestically back in 2004 when it was released, cueing Hollywood into the huge, economic power of Christian moviegoers. The Passion was the fifth top-grossing film globally that year ($612 million), beating out the likes of Troy, Shark Tale and Meet the Fockers. And even now, it’s still the highest-grossing R-rated domestic movie of all time. In the 13 years since, studio executives have been looking for those same ticket buyers. Most of the time, they haven’t found them. But it’s not just Tinsel Town’s non-religious crowd scratching their heads. It’s also well-meaning, Kingdom-oriented directors and producers wondering what it takes these days to mine movie gold at the box office. Where are the folks that lined up to see The Passion and what does it take to get them (back?) into theater seats? Because of what I do here at Plugged In, I’ve had the unique opportunity to give advice to film makers on several occasions. It’s more complicated than this, but I typically advise that all films should concentrate on the Big Two (a great story; and plenty of promotional dollars). Still, I realize plenty of other factors go into the mix to ultimately result in a box office smash. Guessing which faith-based films will succeed and which will bomb is iffy to say the least. But, without trying to pat myself on the back, I often predict correctly. But admittedly, I don’t guess right every time. For instance, I could never have conjectured the success of God’s Not Dead ($60.7 million in 2014), nor did I presume Captive, stocked with a resonant story and A-list cast, would make a measly $2.5 million in 2015 (I thought more $25 million). In Hollywood’s calculus, even movies that make quite a bit of money can be considered flops. Take a look at last year’s Ben-Hur remake, which made $26 million. In my opinion, that’s a lot of cash and about right for a remake that no one was asking to be remade. The problem was, Paramount Pictures reportedly spent $100 million to make it! If only the studio would have contacted me before racing those chariots! For the last three years in a row, there have been at least 12 faith-based films annually. It actually works out to more than one a month on average, something I could only have dreamt about a decade ago. I say “at least,” because everyone defines “Christian film” or “faith-based film” differently. When I mentioned Captive above, a number of you said to yourself, “Well, that’s not a Christian film!” I get that. Add in films like Noah, Exodus: Gods and Kings, Silence, Hacksaw Ridge and Little Boy, and you can see why it’s difficult to get a handle on what a “Christian” film looks like and how collectively they are faring at the box office. Still, even though we don’t always agree on what constitutes a “Christian film,” we’d all agree that there’s a lot more of ‘em these days than in the past. While no Christian film has hit Passion numbers, a boatload have done quite well (defined as significantly making more than their cost). For example, Heaven Is for Real cost $12 million to make and returned $91 million. Kendrick Brothers Pictures and AFFIRM Films spent $3 million on War Room in 2015, and studio was rewarded with a $68 million take. Son of God reportedly was made for $22 million and nearly tripled that at the box office. Still, many Christian film makers can only dream about financial returns like these! Case in point: The Resurrection of Gavin Stone, 2017’s first Christian movie. For its opening weekend (Jan. 20-22), it came in at a rather dismal 18th place with just $1,530 made per each theater. (For comparison’s sake, the weekend’s No. 1 movie, Split, collected $13,229 per theater). I don’t know personally how it feels to make a movie that doesn’t do well, but I think I have a pretty good idea what it looks like to send something into the marketplace and have it greeted with the equivalent of a shoulder-shrug. (A media discernment book I wrote a few years back didn’t exactly hit the bestseller’s list.) You feel you’re doing the Lord’s work, confident that “your baby” will reach a lot of people for Christ. And then it doesn’t. Gavin Stone’s director, Dallas Jenkins, posted the following on Facebook (excerpted below): So what do you do when something you poured yourself into just doesn’t land? I won’t mince words. The Resurrection of Gavin Stone had a very disappointing opening weekend and an even more disappointing day yesterday [Jan. 27]. Yes, we’ve gotten incredible feedback from those who’ve seen it, and it’s had tremendous impact on multiple churches and individuals. And that’s the main reason we do these movies. But to be able to make more, your movie has to perform, and people on a mass scale need to want to see your movie. And as much as I can point to multiple factors that impacted the box office, I can’t play the blame game. Something I created and believed in and thought would work simply didn’t connect on a measurable level. People didn’t want to see it in a theater, and I thought they would. Period. So what do you do when that happens, in any career path? Certainly sadness is a factor, and my wife and I have dealt with that over the last week for sure. Questioning yourself, the future, etc, is all part of it. But Amanda and I did something that has sustained us through this time. We pursued God and sought to hear what we could from Him. He made it 100% clear, to us and through others who felt led to share something with me, that I’m only to bring my five loaves and two fishes, the rest is up to Him. And I can honestly say I’m better spiritually right now than I’ve ever been. For the first time in my life, I would be 100% fine if I couldn’t make another movie (and that may not be my choice! [smiley face] ). That’s actually a great place to be in. I appreciate Dallas. I appreciate that he took a risk to make this movie. I appreciate his attitude. I’m glad he’s “better spiritually right now than [he’s] ever been.” Still, I’m disappointed for him. I’m a big Kingdom-guy. I want things that bring people to Christ, or strengthen people of faith to be hugely successful. Gavin clearly did not do that on the scale Dallas and his wife had hoped. So, my question to you is, outside of the two factors I suggested above—a great story and plenty of promotional dollars—what else does it take for a faith-based film to be a hit? Nearly a third of Americans self-identify as “evangelical.” Why are these evangelicals (and others) not showing up for the Gavin Stones of the film world? ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Tapping the Christian Movie Marketplace
    (”Noah” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    What do Christians want from Christian movies? It’s a question that Hollywood just doesn’t quite know how to answer just yet. When The Passion of the Christ made gazillions of dollars (well, at least $370.8 million domestically), folks in the entertainment industry fell all over themselves trying to duplicate that success. Scads of explicitly Christian filmmakers jumped into the game too, hoping to give the faithful something to go to see on the weekends. But the results on both sides of the coin have been–economically at least–mixed. So why do films like God’s Not Dead soar and movies like Noah sink, relatively speaking? Our own Adam Holz, who has reviewed more Christian movies than anyone I know, offered some of his own thoughts for The Washington Times on Tuesday. Click here to see what they are. ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Bale's Take on Moses: Schizophrenic, Barbaric, Mercurial
    (”Noah” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Every time a big-name Hollywood director announces he’s going to tackle a familiar biblical story, I hold my breath. On one hand, it’s exhilarating that these scriptural epics are getting mainstream screen time—not to mention eye-popping budgets and special effects to retell these tales on the grandest cinematic scale possible. On the other hand, when a director isn’t coming at a biblical narrative with the perspective a reverent believer might have, there’s justifiable reason for wariness: They simply do not embrace the same worldview as those who cherish such sacred stories. Directors like Darren Aronofsky (Noah) and Ridley Scott (Exodus: Gods and Kings) may bring a creative point of view as relative outsiders to our tradition. But there can also be a fine line between creative and heretical when it comes to the way they choose to frame these biblical sagas. I’ve yet to see Exodus: Gods and Kings, which splashes into theaters tomorrow. (Check out Paul Asay’s review once it’s published.) But listening to some of those involved talk about the movie, it seems pretty clear that their worldview has deeply influenced this portrayal of Moses’ remarkable biography—and not in ways that make me want to rush out and see it. Specifically, actor Christian Bale—who’s perhaps best known for his turn as Batman in the Dark Knight movies and who plays Moses here—has been talking about what he thinks of the Old Testament patriarch he portrays. In an interview with the U.K.’s Guardian, he said, “I think the man was likely schizophrenic and was one of the most barbaric individuals that I ever read about in my life. … He was a very troubled, tumultuous man and mercurial. But the biggest surprise was the nature of God. He was equally very mercurial.” In a subsequent interview on ABC’s Nightline, Bale added, “[Moses] was so much more human than I had ever imagined … had all sort of temptations and indulgences that he had grown up with. [He was] absolutely seen as a freedom fighter for the Hebrews, but a terrorist in terms of the Egyptian empire.” Schizophrenic. Barbaric. Troubled. Tumultuous. Mercurial. Terrorist. Those are the words Bale uses to describe Moses, the man one presumes Bale got to know a bit better as he played him. To be sure, Moses was far from perfect, a murderer who at times vented anger in self-destructive ways. The biblical story is clear when it comes to Moses’ character flaws; it doesn’t try to minimize those moral failures. Thus, I don’t expect—or even want, for that matter—a movie about Moses to be a sanitized, spiritually correct hagiography. Still, when I hear someone use words like the ones Bale voiced above to describe an important biblical character, I can’t help but wonder how well he really grasped the core narrative. Did he really get it? The Daily Beast’s Candida Moss pondered exactly that question (among others) in her article, “Christian Bale: One Man’s Moses Is Another Man’s Terrorist.” She writes, “Since all we know about Moses is based on the Bible, it’s natural enough that Bale’s research for the role would have started there. One suspects that Bale didn’t read so closely. In the Bible, Moses does kill a guy—the Egyptian slave master who is beating an Israelite to death. Disturbingly violent, sure. Barbaric? Maybe, in a righteous sort of way. You’d think Batman would understand. Outside of that one encounter, however, Moses is pretty meek. After killing the Egyptian he runs away for years, becomes a shepherd, starts a family. He doesn’t think he has what it takes to free the Israelites. Even when he does reluctantly return to Egypt, his main actions are hitting water with a stick, throwing ashes into the air, holding his arm out toward the sky, and waving his staff over the sea. Unlike all the trailers and screen shots for the movie, in the Bible Moses never holds a sword or wears armor.” Moss suggests that Bale and Scott project their 21st-century values onto the Exodus story in other ways, too. The result, she says, may be a movie that misrepresents important theological understandings with regard to how God related to His people and to Moses. She says: The problem with Bale’s attitude to Moses is that it’s anachronistically modern. He turned to an ancient collection of religious texts—texts build on the premise that human events are manipulated by supernatural forces—and decided to evaluate it using modern concepts: freedom fighter, terrorist, schizophrenia. … With his anachronistic attitude toward the biblical story, Bale is just following the lead of his director. When it came to shooting the famous parting of the Red Sea, Ridley Scott elected to show a tsunami splitting the waters. In explaining his decision, Scott added that he remained nonplussed after watching the Cecil B. DeMille epic The Ten Commandments as a child: ‘I didn’t believe it,’ he said. ‘I thought I’d better come up with a more scientific or natural explanation.’ I have no doubt that Ridley Scott and Christian Bale will deliver an engaging, provocative and visually spectacular story. But given the worldview Moss describes, I’m not expecting Exodus: Gods and Kings to be the kind of faith-infused film that galvanizes my deepest Christian convictions. ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

Jay Dyer2
Esoteric Hollywood



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

⚠️ 𝐄𝐃𝐆𝐘 🔥 𝐂𝐎𝐍𝐓𝐄𝐍𝐓 🔥 𝐖𝐀𝐑𝐍𝐈𝐍𝐆 🔥 (𝐍𝐒𝐅𝐖?) ⚠️

🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻


  • Noah (2014) – Esoteric...

    By: Jay Darren Aronofsky’s Noah has become the talk of the Internet and religious folk.  As a film, I found it flawed and a little odd in its pacing, but...

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • The Esoteric Meaning of The Fountain (2006) – Jay Dyer
    (”Noah” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    By: Jay Dyer The Fountain is one of Hollywood’s more difficult esoteric films: The failure of the film to achieve at the box office can be chalked up to this heavily mystifying plot and symbolism. To decode the film requires some familiarity wth cabalism, alchemy, Mayan mythology, Genesis and creation and Zen philosophy. Combining all […]

    The post The Esoteric Meaning of The Fountain (2006) – Jay Dyer appeared first on JaysAnalysis.com.

    ...
    (Review Source)

Vox Day1
Castalia House



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

⚠️ 𝐄𝐃𝐆𝐘 🔥 𝐂𝐎𝐍𝐓𝐄𝐍𝐓 🔥 𝐖𝐀𝐑𝐍𝐈𝐍𝐆 🔥 (𝐍𝐒𝐅𝐖?) ⚠️

🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻


  • We have this on the authority of no less than Mr. John C. Wright:
    I saw the movie NOAH just now. What a load of horse manure. In days to come, time permitting, I will pen a more thorough review, but for now, let me just say: Christian men, save your money. Go see GOD’S NOT DEAD. Tell Hollywood we don’t like movies about Biblical figures that mock the source material.
    I have to admit that it never even occurred to me to go see it, but it's always nice to receive confirmation that one's assumptions were correct. Wright adds in the comments:
    This movie particularly offends me, because back when I was an atheist, I could and did, write stories so convincingly Christian that I fooled at least one editor and two reviewers into thinking I was one. It is a talent all artists have. It is called make believe. No director of this stature lacks this talent. The atheist flavor in the film was not inserted by accident nor oversight, it was deliberate.

    Labels: ,

    ...
    (Review Source)

Michael Medved1



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Noah
    ...
    (Review Source)

Debbie Schlussel1
The New York Post



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Wknd Box Office: Noah, Sabotage, Breathe In
    Blog Posts Movie Reviews Breathe In“: I feel I’ve seen this slow, boring, pointless, predictable movie a million times before. Fed up, bored, annoyed husband has affair with young chick and tears family apart. You’ve seen it, too. In this case, a long-married, middle-aged suburban New York couple, which includes Australian actor Guy Pearce (a good actor whom I usually like in movies), welcomes an English foreign exchange student (Felicity Jones) to their home. The couple have a daughter her age. Soon, the husband, who hates being a music teacher, wants to move back into New York City, seeks to play in the symphony, and feels like he is being henpecked by his wife, has an affair with the exchange student, and everyone finds out and is miserable. The end. And you would pay to watch this why . . .? TWO-AND-A-HALF MARXES ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

John Nolte2
Daily Wire / Breitbart



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • ‘Unbroken’ Review: Imperfect but Deeply Moving, Devoutly Christian WWII Drama
    (”Noah” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    First things first: the reviews and social media claims arguing that director Angelina Jolie’s “Unbroken” somehow short shrifts the Christian faith or the Christianity of its subject are not just untrue, they are preposterous. This cinematic adaptation of the true story of Olympian and WWII Veteran Louis Zamperini has its flaws, but respect and reverence for the Zamperini’s Christian faith is not one of them. Quite the opposite. Born in 1917, the late-Louis Zamperini (he died in July of this year aged 97) lived the kind of life that can only be true to be believed. A Depression-era child of Italian immigrants, Zamperini was headed for prison or worse when his older brother took a troubled sibling under wing and made an Olympic cross-country runner out of him. Zamperini competed in Berlin’s 1936 Olympics and in 1941 he enlisted in the United States Army Air Forces. Soon he was a bombardier flying missions against Japanese positions in the Pacific. That career was cut short in May of 1943 when his bomber crashed into the ocean during a rescue operation. Eleven died in the crash. Zamperini and two others survived and would be stranded at sea for 47 harrowing days before
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • 'Unbroken' Review: Imperfect but Deeply Moving, Devoutly Christian WWII Drama
    (”Noah” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    First things first: the reviews and social media claims arguing that director Angelina Jolie’s “Unbroken” somehow short shrifts the Christian faith or the Christianity of its subject are not just untrue, they are preposterous. This cinematic adaptation of the true story of Olympian and WWII Veteran Louis Zamperini has its flaws, but respect and reverence for the Zamperini’s Christian faith is not one of them. Quite the opposite. Born in 1917, the late-Louis Zamperini (he died in July of this year aged 97) lived the kind of life that can only be true to be believed. A Depression-era child of Italian immigrants, Zamperini was headed for prison or worse when his older brother took a troubled sibling under wing and made an Olympic cross-country runner out of him. Zamperini competed in Berlin’s 1936 Olympics and in 1941 he enlisted in the United States Army Air Forces. Soon he was a bombardier flying missions against Japanese positions in the Pacific. That career was cut short in May of 1943 when his bomber crashed into the ocean during a rescue operation. Eleven died in the crash. Zamperini and two others survived and would be stranded at sea for 47 harrowing days before
    ...
    (Review Source)


Want even more consensus?

Skip Rotten Tomatoes, they’re biased SJWs too afraid to criticize things like the Ghost Busters reboot. Avoid giving them ad revenue by using the minimalist alternative, Cinesift, for a quick aggregate:

 🗣️ Know of another conservative review that we’re missing?
Leave a link in the comments below or email us!  

What’d you think? Let us know with a video:

Record a webcam review!

Or anonymous text review:

Submit your review
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
Submit
     
Cancel

Create your own review

Average rating:  
 0 reviews
Overall Hollywood Bs Average rating:  
 
Anti-patriotism Average rating:  
 
Misandry Average rating:  
 
Affirmative action Average rating:  
 
LGBTQ rstuvwxyz Average rating:  
 
Anti-God Average rating:  
 

Buy on Amazon:
⚠️  Comment freely, but please respect our young users.
👍🏻 Non PC comments/memes/vids/links 
👎🏻  Curse words / NSFW media / JQ stuff
👌🏻 Visit our 18+  free speech forum to avoid censorship.
⚠️ Keep your kids’ websurfing safe! Read this.

Share this page:

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail