Review of Noah, and why American Christians might be the stupidest people on earth

I knew Noah was going to be a bad movie almost from the moment I read about it.  Which is fine.  After all, Hollywood’s propensity to produce mindless, godawful and oftentimes blasphemous flicks is something of an American tradition.

This particular film though affirms yet again my utter abhorrence of the typical American Christian, who have gone all in with the stupid.

I would imagine, maybe in a more ideal world, that Christians by and large would shun the movie and regard it as another one of Hollywood’s tired old attempts to exploit a biblical tale for the big bucks.  Or certainly, would at least refrain from playing a role in enabling movies like these to continue being made by actually paying to go see it.  Instead, we have some very naive Christian types who are not only enthusiastically waiting in anticipation to go see Noah, despite how badly it detracts from the original tale, but worse still, will probably think it to be entirely accurate.  Such reactions will strip away the veil of their professed Christianity and expose them for the absolute frauds that they are.

Consider this comment I read on Facebook about the movie:

I’m so tired of the idiotic protests of this movie. So what if it deviates from the biblical text? Darren Aronofsky is a genius and has yet to make a bad movie. Personally I can’t wait to see what he does with the story. I’ll take a passionate filming of the story by him over a lame, by-the-numbers “faithful” version any day, any time.

Maybe some day Christians will learn to revere Jesus the same way they revere dweeby Hollywood heathens like Aronofsky.  Maybe.

What really strikes me is hedonistic tone of the comment.  Apparently movies can be as blasphemous as one can imagine, and yet it’s all good as long as it was passionately made (and the audience sufficiently entertained).  The utter disregard for how such movies uncharitably portrays the nature and character of the God they profess to serve and love makes me wonder why they would even bother to call themselves Christians at all.

Just how badly does this movie depart from the original story?  Here’s a few examples (based on one of the early scripts):

  • Earth is a scorched arid desert, with a gray gloomy sky that gives no rain – and all this, apparently caused by man’s “disrespect” for the environment.  Think Mad Max.

 

  • Noah is a vegan eating hippie pacifist who still somehow acquires mad ninja skills to vanquish the bad guys who dare pollute the earth with their existence and kills when necessary.  But again, he’s a peace loving pacifist.

 

  • God is never mentioned (the generic word “creator” used) nor does He speak or interact with anyone, instead Noah is warned of a flood in a series of hallucinations and dreams.

 

  • The movie includes a group of fallen angels called Watchers, who came down from heaven to help fallen humanity by granting them wonders of knowledge from magic to science to stars, metal, and fire.  When mankind turns that knowledge into weapons of war and tools of environmental devastation, God banished the Watchers to earth and turns His back on them.  Now, they reside as beings made from rocks/lava who resent mankind.  Fallen angels are rocks, now?

 

  • Noah’s construction of the ark begins with magic beans.  Seriously.

 

  • Noah’s belief is that the ark is meant to preserve the animals, not mankind.  He is the ultimate misandrist, going so far as to commit infanticide (he planned to kill his next grandchild if it turned out to be a female).  Because a human’s right to live must “be weighed against all creation.”  Al Gore would be proud.

 

  • The movie suggests that God’s will is for Noah’s family to perish as well, so it revolves around Noah agonizing over the decision (and attempts) to kill his grandchildren.  In the end he just can’t do it out of weakness of compassion.  The humanistic overtones is an example of the hubris of man (our propensity for compassion makes us superior to God).

How can any true Christian enjoy a movie like this?

To put this in a more proper context, imagine if Hollywood made a movie about your mother who loved you more than life itself.  But rather than portray her accurately, they use their creative license to depict her as a crack addict and prostitute who cycles through 8 different boyfriends a week, the kind of mother who only changes your diapers once every 6 months, if even.

What would your reaction be then?  Would you still be quick to defend, shrugging your shoulders and saying “So what if they made my mommy look like a ho?  At least they were PASSIONATE about making the movie!”

This ultimately is what I find so fundamentally wrong with Christians today.  They don’t identify closely with God, to the extent that He is not only real to them, but also family as well.  And when someone makes a movie that besmirches the character of Someone you love, well, it’s only natural to get upset about it.

But to get excited, enthusiastic, even happy about going to see a movie like this, and even worse, insulting those who don’t think it’s all that and a bag of gummy bears?  That tells me they they are not Christians, have no relationship with God, and are probably closet atheists.

I see too many like that, so many in fact that it’s one of the reasons why I don’t attend church.  I can’t in good conscience fellowship with those whose Christianity is a facade at best, a fraud at worst, and it’s maddening to constantly find myself part of a minority view, always at odds with the rest of the so-called flock.  Better to walk alone and let the blind continue to lead the blind.

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22 Responses to Review of Noah, and why American Christians might be the stupidest people on earth

  1. John March 26, 2014 at 2:22 PM #

    Trolling my Facebook feed, eh?

    • Frank Swift March 26, 2014 at 2:39 PM #

      Why, did you say something stupid again?

  2. John March 26, 2014 at 3:53 PM #

    Nothing as stupid as Glenn Beck.

    • Frank Swift March 26, 2014 at 3:55 PM #

      Glenn Beck is actually a sharp tack as long as he doesn’t talk about himself, gold, or anything Mormon.

  3. Cathy Nagle (@CathyNagle) March 27, 2014 at 2:45 AM #

    Very good summation Frank! I have no desire to see this version. Now, Ray Comfort’s http://www.noahthemovie.com/ is on an altogether different playing field!

    • Frank Swift March 27, 2014 at 12:16 PM #

      Looks interesting, loved the “Parental Guidance Suggested” rating. LOL

  4. McRon March 28, 2014 at 12:23 AM #

    Have not seen the movie and don’t plan to. The vegan thing is Scripturally accurate though. Prior to the flood at least. According to Genesis 1:29 God gave Adam and Eve every seed bearing herb and every fruit tree for food. After the Flood, in Genesis 9:3, God told Noah he could eat meat.

    • alcestiseshtemoa March 28, 2014 at 9:47 AM #

      It’s not scripturally accurate at all. You’re accepting twisted language, and an inaccurate interpretation though. Either you’re a troll, or you’re genuinely confused and easily deceived.

    • Frank Swift March 28, 2014 at 5:12 PM #

      McRon,

      Initially I thought this as well, but after the Fall of Adam and Eve began the advent of animal sacrifices, and it’s customary to eat part of the sacrifice (a holy BBQ if you will). Makes me wonder, but overall I do believe mankind were largely herbivores until after the Flood.

  5. ava March 28, 2014 at 9:02 AM #

    haven’t seen the movie yet. unlike you i think the trailer looks awesome, but i also think aranofsky is probably the most overrated director in the world, so i really don’t know what to expect.

    from what you wrote about the movie i can see he didn’t base the plot on the bible only, but also on the book of enoch, which is interesting. the fact that noah was a vegan is actually biblically correct. if those other things you wrote about it are true, then you’re right in dissing it, but then again, why do you trust a person that wrote those reviews so much? you haven’t seen the movie, yet you’re calling those that want to see it closet atheists, blind men being led by blind men. how do you know the person that wrote those reviews isn’t blind? how is it different?

    • alcestiseshtemoa March 28, 2014 at 9:50 AM #

      There’s nothing “actually biblically correct” about Noah being a supposed modern liberal styled environmentalist. You’re either stupid, a closeted fan of this film and want to deceive others.

    • Frank Swift March 28, 2014 at 5:26 PM #

      ava,

      There’s a legal saying: “res ipsa loquitur” or the thing speaks for itself. You take an uber-liberal director who is an atheist, and he makes a movie based on a Bible story that he calls the “least biblical movie” ever made. Then there’s the preliminary script that signals just how far they depart from the original story and how badly they skewer God’s character.

      There’s enough there to conclude this movie is going to suck. I may not have seen it, but I wasn’t born yesterday either.

      But I’m not deriding Christians who decide to go see it anyway. What I’m criticizing is the enthusiasm to go see the movie. There’s no difference between their excitement and the rest of your average, everyday non-believer. I don’t understand how someone can profess to be Christian and be EXCITED about seeing a movie that portrays God as a violent monster. So I have to conclude either they’re not really Christians, or they really are that stupid and naive. Or maybe both.

    • ava March 29, 2014 at 8:01 AM #

      alcestiseshtemoa,

      yep, i’m a deceiver. i’m so good i even deceived you into believing i wrote something i didn’t write. i only said noah was a vegan, but i deceived you with a subliminal message hidden in spaces, that i wrote something entirely different. i should’ve known you’re way to smart to fall for that.

      frank,

      my guess is that people are excited because they have only seen the trailer, they have not read the reviews, and there’s nothing wrong with that or with being excited about a movie you haven’t seen. the only problem is when they’re still that excited about it after they see it. like black swan- people were blind to it’s message because the wrapping paper was so pretty with ballerinas and swans. it might be the same this time, the wrapping paper being the bible pages and animals in the ark and the rainbow, covering darkness that’s underneath. and i get that. i think your message is probably accurate, but i don’t like the wrapping paper. people might want to see the movie for different reasons, why do you judge them for that based on someone else’s review? you’re probably right about the storyline being off it’s original, but that still doesn’t explain that sense of superiority or calling them stupid cumulatively just for that. like you’re the only real christian, because unlike all the fakers you are not excited about seeing this noah movie- it’s monty python to me.

    • Frank March 29, 2014 at 2:40 PM #

      I don’t consider myself superior because that would suggest the Christians I’m criticizing have all reached the limit of their capacity for intelligence and discernment.

      No, when they behave ignorantly and stupidly, it is because they CHOOSE to be that way.

      The smart, Christian thing to do is to regard anything Hollywood makes with a healthy degree of skepticism and distrust, and certainly to refrain from handing over $13 of your hard earned money to profit Hollywood and enable them to continue making movies that defame God because Christians have become their useful idiots.

      But the person I quoted went even further than that: he wasn’t speaking out of naivete, he flat out did not care if Noah wasn’t biblically inaccurate, and called Aronofsky, the same guy who made the horrendously vile film Black Swan a genius. People like that I have no patience for.

    • Frank Swift September 11, 2015 at 11:26 AM #

      Interesting read, though I’d prefer believe universal truth will remain constant despite the perceptions we hold as colored by our personalities. And the universal truth here is that the movie sucked. ;-)

    • ava September 11, 2015 at 2:20 PM #

      so you did see the movie after all? i still haven’t. guess it must mean i’m more righteous ;)

    • Frank Swift September 11, 2015 at 5:11 PM #

      I can’t even stomach the idea of seeing just as a guilty pleasure thing. X__X I guess we’re both equally righteous then. ?

  6. McRon March 28, 2014 at 7:28 PM #

    alce, I did not say depicting Noah as a 21st century liberal tree hugging environmentalist was Biblically accurate. My comment was restricted very specifically to his being a vegan.

  7. a March 29, 2014 at 12:54 AM #

    What American Christians don’t realize is that Hollywood is just creating a bunch of half-hearted “faith” films as a new market money grab, and consider it more of a mocking, back-handed compliment than identifying with and supporting a real Christian voice. Hollywood doesn’t care one bit about the message. They just want to follow a new formula to make more money off gullible Christians, and trim off any details that might offend any possible movie-goers.

    Example: The new Jesus film that just came out. A completely misguided representation of a loving Jesus that extends grace to sinners, while purposely avoiding and misquoting all the biblical standards by which He called them. The closest thing to a standard this movie had was that Jesus prefers humility over pride, but it never specifically labels pride as a sin. The result being that if one cares about His opinion than they might want to be humble, but if not, then no worries, keep doing whatever you want. No big deal. No real consequences and conflict to fear.

    People who watched the movie learned that He was “The way, the truth, and the life,” but not also that “nobody may come to The Father except through Jesus.”

    There were several other half-quoted scriptures in the film that withheld biblical standards and the critical details of the true core gospel of salvation.

    There were no real lessons demonstrated – no concepts of sin bringing the undesired pain and regret of consequences, shame, or eternal Hell. It was just a feel-good, personal opinion piece that assumed each person in the audience was both already familiar with the story and in favor of the protagonist before anyone had even walked into the theater. It didn’t try to convince anyone of anything, and so cut-off all the “needless” information to that effect, choosing rather to gloss quickly through some of the main events of His ministry, while avoiding His actual message.

    They reduced him to a Russel Brand-like, counter-cultural figure with a hippie-friendly message that some people chose to follow.

    Christians only noticed and cared that it was made by Roma Downey, and thought, “Oh, she’s that lady from “Touched by an Angel”,” and they were already sold on the tickets, promoting it to several other people before even seeing it themselves. (I didn’t even need to pay for my ticket because someone at my church already bought 10 tickets before it opened, so I’m thankful for that). But several people I know commented on the fact that Jerusalem hadn’t yet discovered plastic surgery 2000 years ago, which immediately pulled the audience away from Roma’s character and the whole story. The only reason she had that role was because she was one of the Executive Producers of the film. Nobody else would ever cast a 50 year old woman with obvious plastic surgery in a period drama from another culture over 2000 years ago. Bad choice.

    But, if someone of her recognizability wasn’t attached to produce, direct, or star in the picture, the funding would not have materialized in the first place.

    The economics of the Christian film industry dictate that we use grassroots marketing to promote movies to ourselves before we even make the films, and so it becomes a weak, preaching-to-the-crowd venture, that relies on thousands of average, non-film-literate, grassroots, church people to fundraise and market something they don’t have any information about, and don’t really understand. All they know is that it was made by Christians and for Christians, so they promote it on that alone. The Christians that promote and pay for the majority of “faith” movie tickets have no idea what is required to craft a well-written story to motion pictures, and expect to see a one-dimensional preachy movie before they can call it “good,” even when it lacks any authentic characters, plausible plot, or depth of content. The Christians that know how to tell great stories in that form of media are pushed aside by the majority of naive, non-analytical Christians, because they don’t want to deal with the sinful issues that come with real life in a secular world. They would rather hide in their Church bubbles than deal honestly with the pain of life outside their comfort zone, and the majority of Christians can’t handle an honest portrayal of sin. They would rather avoid and pretend that sin doesn’t exist at all than show it honestly in a non-glorifying, challenging, thought-provoking manner. They forget that they are sinners too. They want to portray the goodness and grace of God to humans who don’t really struggle or identify with sin, and who need only say a few words of faith to be forgiven, without also needing to overcome the significant challenges in their lives.

    And if one can’t show any portrayal, representation, or genuine struggle with sin (even in an honest, but negative, convicting manner), then one cannot possibly make a “good” Christian picture, because it is impossible to define “good” without also showing the contrast and opposing conflict of “bad/evil.”

    The bible is full of stories with people who sinned, and Jesus talked more about Hell than Heaven, so if Christians can read graphic stories about sin every day in their bibles, and admit that they sin as well, then they should accept the reality that movies should portray some thoughts/attitudes/choices/actions as “sinful” in a way that non-Christians will immediately identify with and accept as “non-preachy” yet still understand clearly as “regretful” and “undesirable.”

    The problem is that most Christians would never want to help fund a well-written movie that acknowledges and honors the real challenges and struggles that humans have with sin, even if made specifically for non-Christians, unless it was void of any hint of sin and pre-approved for the church crowd as “heavy-handed” and “preachy.”

    How do they expect to make a movie for non-Christians that non-Christians will identify with, unless they show an honest portrayal of a non-Christian world to begin with? Without that, they have already lost their audience before the movie even began. Non-Christians can’t and won’t relate to it, and so won’t even care about it at all.

    If we can’t be honest about our own sins, we won’t even begin to have honest, thought-provoking movies and conversations with non-Christians about the realities of sin in view of God’s standards for grace.

    Perhaps to do so would be to admit that we have sins we need to deal with ourselves.

    Or, at least that is my opinion.

    • Frank Swift March 29, 2014 at 2:53 PM #

      I remember Roma, particularly when she did an interview on one of the late night shows, wearing a snakeskin outfit and with quite a potty mouth. It was obvious she took issue with the perception that she was a goody two shoes based on her role in Touched by an Angel and she was trying to get away from that by overcompensating with the bad girl act.

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