So there's been a lot of press recently over the new Darren Aronofsky interpretation of Noah. While I don't try to make a habit of fanning the flames on stuff like this, there are several reasons why I feel like I need to sound off this time. So, here are the top 5 reasons why I'm going to see Noah.
1. I like movies.
Movies have been a part of my life since I was a little kid and some of my best memories with my Dad were watching movies together and then talking about them. If you hang out with me for any amount of time at all and are even just a little influenced by movies, you'll catch me quoting movies line for line during otherwise normal conversations. I like movies for as many different reasons as there are genres and sub-genres of movies. I like them for the stories, the laughs, the special effects, the plot holes, the campy acting, the not-so-special effects... movies are an escape for me. And this one looks like it fits several categories of goodness to me.
2. I'm used to being disappointed by "movies based on---"
Usually, this category of disappointment falls under the movies based on a book. I have seen hundreds of movies that were based on or adapted to film from a written source and cannot think of a single one of these that even came close to getting it right. I'm used to it. I usually lower the bar of expectations if I'm seeing live action versions of what my mind has already made up things for. Sometimes, I'm even pleasantly surprised by the results, but not often. Generally, books don't translate well to cinema because books contain insane amounts of internal dialogue from the narrator or significant details that seem campy when pointed out by a speaking character in the movie. The end result is that screenwriters and directors have to decide what to include, what to not include, and what to embellish to make a movie that fits into a 90 minute to 2hr time frame. It's hard to do, and the results are often disastrous. In this case, we're talking about a written story that has several hundred years of history crammed into a few lines of text that has been expanded into a 2 hour movie. That fact alone implies that ANYONE making this movie would have to stray away from the source text. Period.
I'm used to being disappointed by "movies based on---" pt 2
The other big category is movies based on true events. (For the record, I fully believe Noah is both categories) Generally, the problem with this category is that true stories are boring. Hollywood has a nasty reputation of taking a true story that is slightly interesting and then going completely overboard to make it entertaining. The end result is that people doubt the reality of the actual events it was based on in the first place thus ruining the cinematic experience. Again, we have a different set of circumstances with Noah. Here we have a story based on true events that seems so fantastic and unbelievable that even some believers doubt the reality of the events. From what I've seen of the previews, this movie brings those events to life in a way that seems at least credible, if not completely believable.
3. I don't usually agree with critics.
Usually, I'd be talking about paid movie critics that seem to have absolutely no taste for actual good movies but we somehow are supposed to listen to them and take their opinions seriously. Movie critics have a worse batting average with me than a weather forecaster in Arkansas, and there have been many movies that I've rushed out to see simply because the critics hated it. Some of those have ended up being personal favorites. In this case though, I'm talking about the critics who are bashing this movie without having seen it and with no intentions of doings so. I simply cannot respect the opinion of a critic who is basing their judgement solely off of hearsay.
4. At least he's been honest...
I'm talking about Aronofsky here. There's been a lot of talk about how he's trying to trick good Christian folk into seeing this "Bible Movie" and then inundate them with blasphemies and social agendas. Firstly, every movie ever made has some sort of agenda and most of them are rife with blasphemies. Some are hidden better than others, but they ALL HAVE THEM! Secondly, every interview I've seen with Aranofsky he has flat out denied that this is a biblical movie. He is upfront about his beliefs, and he's up front about the fact that he's an entertainer. To him this was just another script, not an attempt at a spiritual revival. What gets me is that many of the same critics (and even friends) that I've seen attack this point are the same ones who sang the praises of the "Bible" mini-series which was done by professing Christians and contained so many biblical errors that it makes me want to scream. The same people that demonize this movie for distorting and corrupting the Word of God (holding out my opinion on this point until I've actually seen it, thank you) will happily turn around and sing the praises of the prosperity gospel and the hick-accent preachers that embrace it. Aranofsky's honesty and bluntness are actually refreshing when compared to the excuses and slippery non-answers these charlatans dance around with.
5. Last but not least...I aint scared.
One of the biggest arguments I've heard against seeing this movie is that it could challenge some people's faith. To which I have to ask...What kind of puny god are you worshiping? The God that I worship made Darren Aronofsky and did so full well knowing that he would eventually make this movie. My God is not threatened by this puny speck of a mortal, and my faith is not going to suffer because of a two hour experience in a theater. If your faith is that fragile, you need to have a serious look at the god you are following and the depth of your relationship with him. This man and this movie have only the power or lack thereof that the creator of the universe gives them. No more, no less.