Noah, The Movie

Discussion in 'Movies, Blu-ray Discs, DVDs & Theatricks' started by skizzerflake, Mar 28, 2014.

  1. skizzerflake Audioholic Field Marshall

    skizzerflake
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    I’ve never been sure what to do with the biblical story of Noah and his ark. It mirrors of lots of middle eastern creation myths (e.g., Gilgamesh) and morality tales from around the world, and is possibly derived from oral traditions of a Black Sea flood around 5600 BC. The story of Noah and his floating island full of pairs of peaceful animals persists at least in part because childhood bible school images. None of this stopped Darren Aronofsky, one of my favorite and most eccentric film makers. With hard hitting movies like Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler, The Black Swan and The Fountain in his past, Aronofsky is nothing if not adventurous. Aronofsky was almost ruined by the financial failure of The Fountain, but recovered with the super-low budget The Wrestler. Randy The Ram's character almost brought Mickey Roarke’s career back from nothing for a little while until people realized that he wasn’t really acting all that much.


    So, on the one hand, I’ll see anything Aronofsky does, on the other hand, I figured that this movie could be a theological minefield, since Noah is important in Christian, Muslim and Jewish tradition, with their variant amounts of literalism and because the writers here seem to have invented details in a story where the original is quite lean. Most of the time, movies inspired by books leave out most detail; in this one they needed to add it.


    Thankfully the movie was NOT in 3D. The visuals were, as always for Aronofsky, excellent, creative and impressionistic. Russell Crowe, in the title role, was excellent, being paternal, possessed, visionary and approaching complete madness at times. Noah was NOT a one-dimensional comic book character. Jennifer Connelly was also excellent as Naameh, Noah’s dedicated wife, who, as the movie progresses, becomes more worried about Noah’s state of mind than the flood. The FX of the flood are quite good and the moral degradation of the antediluvian people (except for Noah’s family) and the ruined state of the world are depicted quite convincingly. The rock-monsters that helped Noah build the ark (apparently fallen angels) seem to have been recruited from Galaxy Quest and were quite a strange touch. I don’t recall them from the Bible.


    Where I thought the movie got off the tracks was in the “3rd quarter”. Mostly concerned with a non-biblical narrative of Noah’s deteriorating state of mind and his murderous intent to be sure that humanity did NOT survive the flood (including his family), I thought that 20 minutes or so of the story could be lost and would leave a better movie….it got a little too close to The Shining for me. I guess that an Aronofsky movie would not be complete without some descent-into-madness, and on the whole, I will continue to see any movie he makes. No one will accuse him of just illustrating a Sunday school comic book. Right or wrong, the film has more depth to it than most biblical epics. It’s strange, but then Noah is a strange character in a strange story.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2014
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  2. defmoot Audioholic

    defmoot
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    Thanks for your impressions. I've heard there is some controversy about this film, but I haven't sorted it out yet. I'll see the film and decide for myself.

    Apparently I'm a fan of Aronofsky's work but didn't know it. I don't see many films any more, but liked The Wrestler and The Black Swan quite a bit. Requiem... is probably the best movie I've ever seen that I don't know if I ever want to see again. Powerful stuff, that.
  3. jliedeka Audioholic General

    jliedeka
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    I've been a fan of Aronofsky since Pi. I'm not sure I'll see this one. I don't have any religious axe to grind, just not interested. I read somewhere that he got a lot from rabbinical writings about Noah and the flood.

    Jim
  4. skizzerflake Audioholic Field Marshall

    skizzerflake
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    Somewhere I read that there are more details in the rabbinical texts. The Bible is pretty thin on the story and I have also heard that there are variations on the story from Muslim texts too. Navigating all that and the attendant sensitivities would probably put me out of the mood to even try if I were writing a big-budget, high-FX movie script that was going to compete with the cineplex movies. By comparison, nobody was probably going to get all emotionally agitated if a script about Pi and golden ratios wasn't quite orthodox (even though it did trespass on the Kabbalah). That group was probably just grateful to finally have a movie about math.
  5. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

    AcuDefTechGuy
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    I'll check this out on BD for sure. Just no time to watch in theaters these days. :D
  6. zhimbo Audioholic General

    zhimbo
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    Aronofsky is on my "automatic see" list. He's not perfect, but always interesting and worth seeing. The story of Noah is an odd choice, but so is pro wrestling and 'The Wrestler' is fantastic.

    Leaving out the bloated floating corpses, usually. The story simply terrified me as a child. I'm definitely interested in Aronofsky's take.
  7. 3db Audioholic Overlord

    3db
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    I'm interested in this movie.
    3db,
  8. j_garcia Audioholic Jedi

    j_garcia
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    I'll watch it simply because Aronofsky directed it. He has a way of producing some of the most interesting and memorable characters.
  9. rnatalli Audioholic Ninja

    rnatalli
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    I really like Aronofsky's movies, but this one was clearly his attempt at making a blockbuster. Not a bad movie, but not his best work. It doesn't capture that human psychological element like his other movies such as Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler, Black Swan, Pi, etc.
  10. herbu Audioholic Samurai

    herbu
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    The controversy I've heard is that a movie about Noah never uses the word "God". Not exactly sure how they could do that. More curious is why they would want to.

    Remember Bill Cosby?
    Noah: "Who is this really?"
  11. skizzerflake Audioholic Field Marshall

    skizzerflake
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    Maybe the commenter was not sure who he was talking to, but it was clear to me. Isn't there some old testament cabalistic thing about not having a name for God?
  12. herbu Audioholic Samurai

    herbu
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    Somehow I doubt that was the motivation in this case.
  13. Alex2507 Audioholic Slumlord

    Alex2507
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    So this had a 2 star rating on Redbox. After a few spectacular examples of cinematography I just decided that I liked it no matter what. The audio would ramp up and then go dead silent making it hard to leave the remote be. This film is a good argument for DRC. This might be a plus for non condo dwellers. If you want a bible lesson, go to Sunday School. :D
  14. JohnnieB Senior Audioholic

    JohnnieB
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    I didn't know what to expect going into this film. Given the title, I guess I was expecting something a little more biblically correct.
    After seeing it, I will buy this one for my collection. I see now it was intended to be an epic fiction piece, and in that , it's a good film. Several times in the film I commented to myself, that's bad a**. The visuals were engaging and the audio, even in 2 channel, was superb. Can't wait to finish my surround and see it again.

    Two problems I did have with the film:
    Rock creatures? I am ignorant of Jewish teachings, so I didn't make a golem connection. At first I thought talking trees would have been better, but that's too LOTR. When I saw the scene of the initial arc construction, the stone giants in effect, machining the trees I accepted it.

    The one thing I really had a problem with was seeing Cains' army going to battle against the guardians. They were carrying corrugated steel sheeting. WTF. At least make it look like something else. Cheesy.

    All in all, a visually stunning film. A great soundtrack. And superb to very good acting. I think as long as people approach it with the attitude that it's a fantasy fiction piece, we should be able to avoid a religious mob at the gates.
  15. skizzerflake Audioholic Field Marshall

    skizzerflake
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    I don't recall any rock monsters in the biblical version of the story, don't know about any extra parts in the Jewish texts, but I think I'd put Noah in that same category as so-called historical movies that start with "Based on true events; some characters and events may be combined, altered or made up".
  16. VicDamoan03 Audiophyte

    VicDamoan03
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    Good movie but don't recoment watching with a two year old.
  17. 3db Audioholic Overlord

    3db
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    I watched it a couple of weekends ago. The story is far from being biblically accurate but thats OK. I get "Hollywood" liberalizations. I would not recommend it this as reference BluRay disc... its a rental at best and I regret having purchased it.
    3db,
  18. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

    AcuDefTechGuy
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    Hopefully "Exodus" with Christian Bale (as Moses) will be much better. :D
  19. mtrycrafts Audioholic Slumlord

    mtrycrafts
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    Perhaps a rental before buying may be a worthwhile investment of $1.50? One "do not purchase" would be good for at least 10 views and buying afterwards?
  20. 3db Audioholic Overlord

    3db
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    I took a gamble and lost. It happens every now and then. :)
    3db,

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