Sunday, March 30, 2014


I am not going to get into any philosophical discussions with anybody about the striking differences between Darren Aronofsky's neo-biblical disaster epic NOAH and scripture. In my mind...I went to see a movie and watch another man's interpretation of a story we have all long known and told in many different ways. I do not take anything from this movie literally but enjoyed it a great deal and was inspired to pick up the "Good Book" and research further into what all critics and naysayers are griping about. I do understand what people are butt-hurt over here...but we do know this is Hollywood and Hollywood is about the mean green. When all is said and done, I will take a NOAH movie however I can get it and worry about scriptural accuracy later. What I was blown away by was the fact that I expected a by the numbers 300 or Braveheart facsimile and wound up getting a thoughtful, epic, pre-cataclysmic adventure story about God's wrath and how one man and his family deal with the end of the world. Heady shit for our current cineplex wouldn't you say? From time to time I write movie reviews on this blog...the last one I wrote was for Twelve Years a Slave but I didn't post it because my feelings were too raw and strong when I came out of the movie theater. I feel the same way about NOAH but I figured it was essential for me to post my feelings right now about the movie so you may witness my complete surprise and the absolute delight I had watching this movie. Unlike most American films...this movie has a passion and purpose that drives it. Whatever the filmmakers agenda was...he certainly was inspired enough to create something we have never seen before. And that the reason why I love NOAH. It is unlike anything I have ever watched on the big screen before. I knew that Aronofsky was an insightful and creative visionary...but he takes ideas that most directors would have discarded out of fear of straying to far from past biblical/ historical fare.

For me to outline the plot here is ridiculous. You already know the deal. God is mad at the world. We have not done anything he has told us and now...Noah has been given the divine premonition through a recurring dream that a great deluge is coming to wash away civilization. He has been given the unique task of building an ark to carry the innocent beasts of the world afloat until these titanic waters subside and the world can begin again. Sounds like a nice...tidy plan, but I assure you it is not. The first thing I noticed about this film is the cinematography and sets. The earth itself looks new; like it has just finished cooling off for about 100,000 years and now men have begun to populate it's lush surfaces with powerful cities. There are shots of magnificent landscapes that could have existed on an Old Testament Earth...even the skies which are free of pollution and chemicals are an open window to the rest of the galaxy as we can see stars swirling up above even during the daylight hours. At first I was taken aback by this sort of sci-fi / fantasy vibe I was getting. When the movie started I felt the influence of many other films such as Mad Max, Book of Eli and Lord of the Rings. The most audacious and risky plot device of the film arrives in the form of the fallen Angels that came to earth to help us wicked humans straighten up our act after Adam and Eve drop the ball. My first instinct when I saw these "heavenly creatures" was to say..."Whack! Fail! Nah bruh!"...but Aronofsky makes certain that every piece he fashions in this story has a place and I began to embrace this near sci-fi apocalypse treatment I was getting from NOAH because the filmmakers were bold enough to stick to their guns and give us a new vision.'ve got Noah and his family trekking across this God forsaken proto-earth running from barbaric nomads and city dwellers, fallen angels who live in a no man's land where the humans are forbidden to go and some cool gold element that is used for starting fires, as a light source and as a projectile out of a primitive boom stick!!! What is not to like?!!!

Yes there is a villain. Yes he skews toward cliche. But the battle between good and evil in storytelling has been cliched forever. Bad guys rant and rave...they are usually insane and bloodthirsty. They also create suspense and keep us viewers engaged because the thing that makes a hero "heroic" is the fact that he or she can overcome their obstacles. I would say that the end of the world by water is a huge obstacle but the even greater dilemma in this flick is "Does man deserve to live on...or die beneath the waves of punishment?" And that includes Noah's family.

Once again...this movie gives me hope for the film industry and as a comic book creator. Aronofsky boldly delivers a vision of grandiose, epic sweep that will influence me and what I do as a writer for years to come. He made the movie he saw in his head. It might not be exactly what everybody wanted it to be..."art" is very seldom something accepted or understood immediately by the masses. But I walked out of the cineplex revived and completely intellectually nourished by the film NOAH. See it.

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