NOAH: How can ninja rock monsters be bad?

galaxyquestPro: Included “the Watchers” from the Book of Enoch, a book quoted in the Bible as authoritative scripture.

Con: They were ninja rock monsters.

Pro: Wait a minute, ninja rock monsters are cool!

Con: But the Bible can’t be that weird of a book!

Pro: Well, yes, it really is.

Pro: Cast included Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, and Hermione.

Con: The script (meh).

Pro: Movie was a good example of Midrash — an ancient Jewish homiletic method of retelling stories in ways that fill in the gaps and answer questions raised by the original story.  It’s an exercise of theological imagination — a skill not much prized by established modern religiosities, but much prized by me and anyone recognizes the theological value of comic books.

——————– SPOILER ALERT —————————-

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The weirdest bit was not the ninja rock monsters, but the human sacrifice theme.  In the movie, God communicated with Noah in ways more vague than thundering words from heaven.  God doesn’t get any lines in this flick.  Noah has visions — a concept perhaps more familiar to the experience of a spiritually-minded people nowadays.  He has dreams of the world underwater and a big boat with animals, so he builds a big boat and then animals come.  Pretty cool.  But he also has visions of how evil humans are and how that evil infects all humans, including himself and his family.  So he decides that their mission is really to rescue the innocent animals and then die.

—————— END SPOILER ALERT ————————

It’s like they wanted this to be not just a Noah movie, but an Abraham movie too.  What they did with it was pretty interesting, but I’m not certain it fit into THIS story.

Now, if Aronofsky makes an Abraham movie, I’m totally there.  He’s not afraid to portray the super-weird and offensive bits of the Bible, so an Abraham movie would be totally cool — wife-swapping with the Pharaoh, stealing your wife back from the Pharaoh, living to tell about it, militant mass circumcision, etc….

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  • carlholmes

    I was happy overall with the movie. The scenes in the ark were what I feel were best. I never really thought of Noah as having a fatalistic view on his life as well. We always think of him as knowing he was chosen, and went about his task with that arrogance of mind.

    Since this is a story, that was passed down as a story, and then written down by Moses, I really feel Arnofsky had a lot of room to play. I am glad he did, and I am not the one to say he screwed the story. Overall, the narrative arch of the story is intact. This is what matters to me most.

    • I think it *humanized* Noah a lot–playing with the idea of how a task like that can maybe make a guy go nuts. And the brain-warping mental gymnastics required to survive while letting the rest of the world drown; especially if you’re the kind of guy who has empathy for flowers. And I was so happy they left in the “Noah gets drunk” scene. Somehow that always got left out of the flannelgraph version in Sunday School.

  • “Militant mass circumcision” um… not sure that’s a SELLING point for a movie, but that’s just me. LOL