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Noah

  04/05/14 03:12, by , Categories: Movies, Action, Drama

WARNING: This review contains spoilers.

All right, let's get the obvious stuff out of the way. This movie is not Biblically accurate.

  • In the film, Noah's sons don't have wives. This is actually used as a major plot point. Ham is really worried about the fact that he won't have a wife after the flood.
  • God doesn't speak to Noah in words, but through visions.
  • The bad guy stows away on the ark. Which leads to Ham teaming up with him and someone getting killed.
  • After the flood, Noah does not make a sacrifice to the Creator.
  • Noah doesn't curse Ham for his actions while Noah was drunk.

When Noah recounts the story of how the Creator made everything, evolutionary creation is shown. There are many who feel strongly that the creation account in the Bible should be taken literally, so that scene will probably rub them the wrong way.

I've read some reviews that take exception with the movie's portrayal of Noah as a vegetarian. The truth is, the Bible does say that God didn't permit man to eat meat until after the flood. (Genesis 9:3)

Of course, there are liberties taken which we can't possibly know if they are accurate or not. Was Methuselah a man of God who guided Noah and performed miracles? Did Noah and his family use incense to put the animals to sleep while they were on the ark? Anyone making a movie based on this story would have to fill in some of the blanks to make it worth watching. I mean, Noah doesn't even have any dialog in the Biblical account.

The biggest thing people notice that the movie added to the story was the group of giant rock creatures called Watchers that help Noah build the ark and fight off bad guys. A Watcher is actually a type of angel mentioned in the book of Daniel chapter 4. It is a Watcher (sometimes translated Messenger) that appears to Nebuchadnezzar in a vision.

The books of Enoch (referenced by Jude and likely known by first century Jews) spend a lot of time talking about the Watchers. The movie presents an unlikely representation of them, though. The huge rock creatures might have been inspired by the line "place upon [them] rough and jagged rocks" in 1 Enoch 10:5. But the text says there were 200 of them and they produced offspring with human women. There are only about 10 Watchers in the movie and it seems impossible that they could mate with humans. The story of the Watchers isn't represented correctly according to the books of Enoch in many other ways, but those are the two initial glaring inaccuracies I noticed.

Overall, I feel that the writer did his research on the story of Noah, then picked the elements that he found most compelling and tweaked some facts to create his idea of a great cinematic experience. That being said, I think he preserved most of the themes of the Bible story. Man's betrayal of the Creator. The wickedness of all mankind. The judgment visited on the world because of man. Noah's trust in God. How God provides for his children. All of these themes are included in the movie. Not only are they there, but they are powerfully presented.

This movie portrays the horrors of the story that are often ignored. God wiped out all life on the Earth. It's one thing to acknowledge that and another to see people climbing on top of each other, trying to stay above the water as the land disappears beneath them. This wasn't just a story of cute animals and a kind, smiling man on a boat. Every kind of snake was on the ark and the flood was a distressing event for Noah and his family.

The film also examines the human struggle with God's will and character. Noah struggles with what he feels is a lack of guidance from God. It is not outside the limits of the human mind for Noah to come to the conclusion that God wants all humans dead. He sees the wickedness in the world outside, but he also recognizes the evil living within each of his family members. He knows that God desires righteousness. Mankind has failed and now deserves to be wiped out. Why should his family be spared that judgment? Noah looks for a sign from God that his family should be spared, but there isn't one. God leaves him to discover on his own that there is goodness within humanity worth saving. Just because the Creator isn't communicating directly with Noah, that doesn't mean he's not going to learn how to carry out His will.

There were more changes to the story than I feel were necessary. Nevertheless, it was a thought-provoking film in the best possible way. The questions it raises, the themes it portrays, and the God it alludes to are not misleading.

Ignoring the Biblical aspect of it for a moment, this was a really great film. The acting, visual effects, and drama were all exceptional. It tugged at my emotions and made me care about the characters. It made me think about the motivations for their actions and relate to them. The concepts of love, confusion, dedication, and betrayal were explored with believability.

But there's no getting around the fact that it is supposed to be based on a Bible story. If you can ignore the factual inaccuracies and appreciate the conceptual veracity, I think you will enjoy this film. On the other hand, if it bothers you that the writer twisted some of the details, you won't be able to get past them. You would spend the whole movie thinking about how wrong they got so many things.

I can't fault anyone for skipping Noah, but if you are curious I encourage you to give it a go. It's quite a ride.

The Dark Knight

  07/19/08 21:14, by , Categories: Movies, Action

7.5/10

The Dark Knight poster

I was not expecting this film to be so morbid. It reminded me of Saw in some ways. I wouldn’t recommend it at all for children under 13, there were a few scenes and themes that were just too disturbing.

That being said, there were some really awesome action scenes. I would tell you what my favorite action parts were, but I don’t want to spoil them. Let’s just say one is a stunt with the Batpod and the other is at the end of Batman’s extraction of Lau. I also liked the cleverness of the Joker’s bank robbery and Batman’s plan to capture Lau.

Heath Ledger gave an amazingly demented performance as the Joker; you could hardly tell it was him. Maggie Gyllenhaal didn’t try to play the same Rachel character that Katie Holmes created in Batman Begins. Neither did she do well in conveying Rachel’s conflicted emotions. Christian Bale and Aaron Eckhart were spot-on for their roles. Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine were enjoyable, as always.

Overall, I thought the story was too depressing and morbid, but the acting and action were great.

2 comments »

Indiana Jones: 1-3

  05/20/08 14:14, by , Categories: Movies, Action

Molly and I finished watching through the first three Indiana Jones movies this weekend.

I: Raiders of the Lost Ark

4/10

Raiders of the Lost Ark

  • In the beginning, why did he bring along two morons that would turn on him when he was located so close to the river with the airplane on it?
  • Having a snake in the cockpit of the plane was a dumb way to let us know Indy hates snakes.
  • The girl is annoying.
  • Why did she take Indy’s money and tell him to come back tomorrow?
  • The pistols in the bar room fight sounded like cannons.
  • The Asian guy in the bar slowly picked up the hot medallion, held it for a while, made a face, then finally dropped it.
  • What is with the Asian guy anyway? He just randomly shows up in places and laughs like an idiot.
  • When Indiana told Gimli that the girl was dead, he says something like “Oh well, get on with your life.”
  • In the snake pit, Indy crashes through a wall that is dripping snakes out of it and there is a passageway to the outside. That is lame.
  • How did snakes survive underground like that for so long anyway?

As you can see, I thought this movie was ridiculous. I had heard that the first was the best, so I was wary of watching the other two, but I trudged on…

 

II: The Temple of Doom

5/10

The Temple of Doom

  • The scene where they fall out of an airplane in an inflatable raft was laughable (and I don’t mean in a good way).
  • There were way too many gross-out moments throughout the film.
  • The “love scene” where Indy and the girl decide to have sex and then make each other mad and then decide to have sex again was hokey.
  • Being burnt brings people out of a poison-induced trance?

I did enjoy the Short Round character and the action was more exciting.

The sequel wasn’t much better than the first.

 

III: The Last Crusade

7/10

The Last Crusade

It had the least amount of unbelievable action, which made every action scene more enjoyable for me. Henry Jones played off of Indy for a great balance of humor and drama. Marcus was also a good source of comedy.

This was, by far, the best of the three movies.

3 comments »

Iron Man

  05/04/08 22:29, by , Categories: Movies, Action

Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0371746/

8.5/10

Iron Man

Tony Stark runs the largest arms manufacturing company in the world. On a trip to the Middle East to sell their newest weapon, he is kidnapped by terrorists and forced to build a copy. Instead, he builds a high-tech suit of armor and escapes. Upon arriving back in America, he decides to finesse his invention and use it to fight evil.

Not only does this movie have an amazing cast (Robert Downey Jr, Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Gwyneth Paltrow), but the mix of action, humor, and romance strikes just the right balance. The action scenes are awesome; much better than Transformers because you can actually see what is going on. The character progression of Tony Stark from self-absorbed playboy to a humanitarian superhero is believable.

On the other hand, there are a ton of unbelievable things in the movie. When Tony first uses the suit to fly, he crash lands into a sand dune and emerges from the rubble of his suit virtually unharmed. Trying to perfect the jet propulsion on his boots, Tony shoots up into the metal ceiling so hard he should have broken his spine or cracked his head. And so on and so forth.

Molly wanted to be sure I mentioned the cool computer system Tony used to design his suit. It was sort of like the computers in Minority Report, but taken to the next level: 3D. Given the advanced technology used, I think the film should have been set in the future.

Even though I could critique a lot of the movie, there are enough things that they got right to make me forgive the ridiculous aspects. I thoroughly enjoyed watching it in the theater and will make sure to enjoy it again when it comes out on DVD.

Molly assisted in the writing of this review.

1 comment »

Martian Child

  04/01/08 17:55, by , Categories: Movies, Family

Link: http://imdb.com/title/tt0415965/

10/10

Martian Child

John Cusack plays a recently widowed science fiction writer who adopts a child that claims to be from Mars.

This has to be 2007’s feel-good movie of the year. Don’t get me wrong, there is conflict and pain, but none so intense as to make me hate the situation. The story plays out wonderfully and hits all the major points perfectly. You can see the bond growing between the writer and the kid. There are some witty and memorable lines ("I think hysteria is a way of life. It’s a clothing line at least."). The love interest wasn’t played up so much as to reduce the impact of the father/son relationship.

My only (slight) complaint is that the writer’s female friend was too optimistic to be completely believable.

I highly recommend this movie.

1 comment »

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