Entertaining 'Noah' might be too tough an interpretation to swallow

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  • Alex 1 Tucson, AZ
    April 1, 2014 5:25 p.m.

    The take home lesson is, you really shouldn't rely on Hollywood to teach you the scriptures. You will always be disappointed. I encounter some Evangelicals who are really getting worked up about the Biblical accuracy of this movie, and I find myself asking, "What did you expect?" The loud disapproval ends up drumming up more publicity than this movie even deserves.

    As for me, I don't care if anyone wants to see it or not. It seems like a waste of money to me and something I couldn't take very seriously anyway. Let it die.

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    March 31, 2014 8:46 a.m.

    "I am one of millions who would not spend a penny to enrich smirking, malevolent enemies of the moral core of nations or further their unholy aims. I am hopeful for some of the non-Hollywood film-making industries to which so many now have perforce begun to turn to see something laudable or enriching."

    My, my, my. Read that three times now and it gets funnier every time. Smite them, brother.

    I guess this means you don't spend any money at all on movies or TV not expressly made by righteous conservative folk? When you go shopping, do you make sure that no-one of the malevolent enemies of the moral core of nations benefits from your purchase? Gotta be consistent in your convictions.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    March 30, 2014 8:38 p.m.

    Back in my youth a Saturday Night Live sketch started with a disclaimer (I paraphrase from memory) - "The following program is a historical docu-drama which means that it is based on real events but some half-truths and out-right lies have been added."

    There was contention about details in the movie "Lincoln," based a the life of a very public figure and covering very public and well documented events that happened some 150 years ago.

    Noah? Perhaps the Bible gives an accurate telling of real events, although science does not support it. Perhaps the Bible gives one version of civilization disrupting events that happened in various ways at diverse times across many cultures - the historical and geological record would seem to support that view.

    In any event, a guy made a movie. It was based on a story - or stories - from pre-history, that survived as oral history and then, finally, a written tradition. The stories helped define a tribe and their relationship to their local god. It is entertainment, a historical docudrama with creative bits added to make it more sellable to a modern market.

  • TucsonUte Oro Valley, Arizona
    March 30, 2014 5:43 p.m.

    Putting aside all of the religious interpretation debates concerning Noah and his story--this poorly made movie was a tedious endeavor to watch. Hollywood uses a D version of a biblical template to tell Noah's story using Lord of the Rings imagery. Two plus hours of my life I can't get back (not including the time I used to write this post). Your time would be better spent doing something kind for a neighbor or your community.

  • Suburbs of SLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 30, 2014 11:39 a.m.

    I had a friend say that he didn't like it because Noah seemed to be without guidance from the Lord for most of the film, rather than being portrayed as a prophet constantly being guided by Him. I'm not so sure the film's version isn't incredibly accurate, in many circumstances. From Joseph Smith languishing without answers in prison, to Lehi being told to flee Jerusalem, without knowing what the next step would be, to the brother of Jared only receiving piecemeal instructions over the course of many years regarding how they were going to cross the ocean, I think God often instructs his prophets only to the degree they need to take the next steps, because they, like us, need to walk in faith. Sometimes, that means they make mistakes, even terrible mistakes, but that doesn't diminish their capacity as prophets.

  • Suburbs of SLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 30, 2014 11:38 a.m.

    I loved the film. Parable or fact, the Old Testament is incredibly messy, unclear, and confusing. I thought the film did a great job of encapsulating that. Yes, they added all sorts of other plots, but I thought those plots at the very least reflected the themes otherwise existing in the Bible. When Noah's wife, rather than Noah himself, is the one pleading with her husband to continue the human race rather than letting everyone parish, I saw parallels with the wise role Eve played in the Fall. I saw parallels between Noah's belief that God was commanding him to end the human race with the story of Abraham and Isaac - a prophet is promised that his posterity will be innumerable, and is then told to sacrifice his son, the symbol of his posterity, only to have the whole thing be a test that God calls off at the last minute. Yes, it's a terribly dark plot, but so is the source material.

  • fletche5 Savoy, IL
    March 30, 2014 12:31 a.m.

    Do NOT go see Noah the movie!!!! I walked out of it (one of the first I have ever walked out of). I went trying to give Hollywood the benefit of the doubt, knowing that they would need to add some artistic interpretation given the small storyline from Genesis. However, when Hollywood injected the idea that Noah couldn't get answers from God and wanted to murder his granddaughter, I couldn't stand it anymore. I was disgusted by the portrayal of an axe wielding Noah who kills countless people. I was appalled by the fact that they made up a storyline that a bad guy secretly snuck on to the boat and conspired with Ham to kill Noah while on the boat. I was offended that they portrayed a prophet as a man not preaching repentance but as a man determined to end the human race including his own family. Besides the fact that there is a man with a boat and animals, this movie in no way follows the story found in Genesis.

  • StansburyFann Grantsville, UT
    March 29, 2014 6:36 p.m.

    Stalwart- when Christ was in the tomb for 3 days and arose, was that literal or a parable? "For with God, nothing is impossible"

  • Shazandra Bakersfield, CA
    March 29, 2014 5:28 p.m.

    Go Gildas! Two Thumbs Up on your review.

    Being Stalwart at opinions doesn't make you bright or right. It just makes you entrenched. Astro phycisists are the first to tell you we haven't even got dark matter or black holes figured out. Pre-Hubble and W.I.S.E. textbooks are out of date. And everything streaming in just verifies every Biblical creation claim, from the Cosmos to the nano cell:
    Where'd the Data come from, Stalwart?

    Who is "Ama"? I teach Hebrew and haven't found that person extant.

    Hollywood shot a thriller, full of darkness and death. How original. And a lost and hungry world languishes while "Ama/Mama" Jolie and Franklin Graham spend their lives trying to rescue the desperate. Carry on American movie goers.

  • Stalwart Sentinel San Jose, CA
    March 29, 2014 2:49 p.m.

    StansburyFann - Yep; everything from talking serpents to nonagenarian childbirth to parting seas - all illusory. I know that may seem somewhat alarming to certain Mormons but whether those events actually happened (they didn't) or not really doesn't matter - the lessons we take from those parables for our personal lives is what is important.

    And no, I don't "believe" in any one thing more than holy scripture; rather I see intelligence, science, math, etc... as gifts from God that we are obligated to culture and grow. To deny evolution is to deny God, just like Ama claimed that to deny the movement of the heavens (which we humans can explain thanks to scientists/mathematicians) and the planetary orderly fashion is to deny God.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    March 29, 2014 2:16 p.m.

    Cecil B Demille and Charlton Heston believed in God; one directed a classic movie on a key subject "The Ten Commanments" and another respectfully portrayed a prophet of God in that production. DeMille sought the assistance of religious leaders of many faiths including the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. They made a movie that people still watch and still find inspiring today.

    Hollywood today seems largely to have unbridled contempt for God and the many majorities who believe in Him and His morality in western, middle eastern and African nations. The Hollywood elite are arrogant and think that this dirisible attempt to insult and mock believers in Judaism, Christianity and the Muslim faith is going to make them money and win people over to their philosophies?? Amazing.

    I hope that this movie bombs as it richly deserves. I am one of millions who would not spend a penny to enrich smirking, malevolent enemies of the moral core of nations or further their unholy aims. I am hopeful for some of the non-Hollywood film-making industries to which so many now have perforce begun to turn to see something laudable or enriching.

  • BigRich Orem, UT
    March 29, 2014 12:02 p.m.

    Biblical or not, it lost me at the rock people. I thought I had morphed into The Lord of the Rings' tree people. Maybe that explains the petrified forest. And how do you explain Noah's switch from a desire to save to a desire to kill? Why put the family on the ark to begin with?

  • Hank Jr Draper, UT
    March 29, 2014 11:56 a.m.

    The upside.....perhaps people will start having an interest in the Bible.

  • Shazandra Bakersfield, CA
    March 29, 2014 10:41 a.m.

    Thank you for the review- Right on with every other one. Hollywood, period- what'd you expect?

    As for LDS bemoaning 'leaving the Biblical text'- surely you jest. Ether says it best...

    Wow- is all I can render after reading the hate-filled, ignorant comments from the agnostic stripes.

    And I'd rather sit through a filibuster than listen to disrespectful atheists lecture believers on a subject of which they know zilch.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    March 29, 2014 10:04 a.m.

    StansburyFann 9:31 a.m.

    Yep, pretty much.

  • StansburyFann Grantsville, UT
    March 29, 2014 9:50 a.m.

    you say you are LDS but you seem to believe in established science regarding evolution and the origins of modern-day humans more than the bible.

  • StansburyFann Grantsville, UT
    March 29, 2014 9:31 a.m.

    @stalwart sentinel
    So if the story of Noah is a "parable", does that mean the stories of Adam and Eve, Moses, Joseph, and Abraham are "parables" also?

  • Stalwart Sentinel San Jose, CA
    March 29, 2014 9:21 a.m.

    1stmeridian - Riiiight... because the "evidence" you have that early humans lived close to 1,000 years is so much more convincing than petty things such as established science regarding evolution and the origins of modern-day humans.

  • DonO Draper, UT
    March 29, 2014 9:12 a.m.


    Of course it's entertainment. That's what the reviewer emphasized throughout the article. But any time a producer takes on a theme that many believe to be truth and the producer considers to be fiction, he/she is playing with creative fire. I predict the film may recover it's production costs but little else.

  • 1stmeridian Eagle Mountain, UT
    March 29, 2014 9:01 a.m.

    We know for a fact that early humans lived 40 yrs? Please, Why can't evolutionists accept that their facts are theory. Theory based on flawed science that judges things that happened well out of our lifetime.

  • dmcvey Los Angeles, CA
    March 29, 2014 7:47 a.m.

    It's a story about how a petty god kills all humans--men, women, children, babies and animals and then feels bad for it. How much can we really get from that?

  • Mark from Montana Davis County, UT
    March 29, 2014 5:19 a.m.

    Haven't seen the movie, but I heard one thing that will make run screaming into the dark......someone, a young child, requests that Crowe sing them to sleep.

    NO, don't do it. Russel Crowe can do many things well, but singing isn't one of them. Save us all from him ever singing on film again.

  • Stalwart Sentinel San Jose, CA
    March 29, 2014 1:09 a.m.

    It's simultaneously hilarious but saddening to see fellow LDS members mistakenly take the Bible literally. Christ's teachings from the NT were full of parables and since we believe him to be Jehovah of the OT it explains why the OT is full of similar parables involving great floods, living in the stomach of a whale, etc... etc....

    Equally funny is their disdain for the portrayal of Noah and his family as "hardcore vegetarian environmentalists" which is precisely what the Word of Wisdom advocates we be.

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    March 28, 2014 9:55 p.m.

    I would never give the folks who made this movie my money. Never do anything that would help any liberal try to spread their theology.

  • Tumbleweed Centerville, UT
    March 28, 2014 9:33 p.m.

    @Elliot Bay - I know it could be hard for people from Washington to believe, but not everyone, certainly not Noah, smoke/smoked marijuana, and therefore didn't get the "munchies." See Linus' clarification for the correct answer.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    March 28, 2014 7:56 p.m.

    Really like Russel Crow in just about everything he's been in - really good actor. As far as this movie....well I recall watching the ten commandments and seeing the tablets get carved by
    some cool fire in the sky effects (really?) ...so what. I understand Moses and who he really was especially from the Perl Of Great Price and no so much from the Old Testatment which is full of translation errors anyway and Cecil tried his best with Heston and the ten commandments and did a pretty decent job. Movies are movies no matter what the subject matter is ....a little bit of truth thrown into a alot of made up special effects fiction. Set back - eat some popcorn and have a nice night out with the wife.

  • Moracle Blackshear, GA
    March 28, 2014 7:10 p.m.

    Could this be just a case of liberal-leaning Hollywood's recognition of the huge success of REAL religious films, like Son of God and The Bible? Then, consequently, wanting to get in on the money action from the religious viewers (who may avoid their PG-13 and R-rated movies)have they now coated their liberal agendas with the appearance of religion -- with a God who promotes their causes?

    Could "wolf in sheep's clothing" fit here?

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    March 28, 2014 6:49 p.m.

    Uptight comments?

    One's interpretation/belief of Noah's Ark (and there are many perspectives and beliefs) can't be perfectly presented only for them? Even if so, it wouldn't quell controversy. Look at all the factions of the complainers of this movie. Many don't agree one with another. Yet they share some sort of murmuring forum. Countless evangelicals can't agree on the 'Noah' interpretation. Muslims and other Abrahamic roots of faith also apply.

    If you decide to see the movie, maybe aiming for something positive with your kids or whoever you see it with is a good idea. Or how about just enjoying the movie if you can? If you are waiting to be offended, relative to vague descriptions in the Old Testament that your ecclesiastical leader told you how it played out, then you might not want to shell out money or time for the movie in the first place.

    Seeing this film won't hurt those lacking a belief window in Noah's story right? Actually, it could spark their interest. Rather completely accurate or not, the former being impossible to portray on screen, we can appreciate the story.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Provo, UT
    March 28, 2014 6:39 p.m.


    I agree. The bible can seemingly paint a confusing portrait of God... but it's understandable why. If you and I witnessed an event yesterday and wrote about it- our accounts would differ. God isn't confusing, but people are.

    This is why we weren't just given a set of books, but instructions on how to use them.


    "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

    But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed."


    With ongoing revelation, a prophet, and a quorum of apostles... there's not much to confuse. That's what makes general conference so great. Not only is it a time of being taught and encouraged. It's also a time of clarity. Everything makes more sense when we're hearing the truth from the source instead of things like a Hollywood film.

  • Bifftacular Spanish Fork, Ut
    March 28, 2014 4:52 p.m.

    Hmmm... not sure why the movie was made in the first place. Who is the target audience? Bible believers? Non bible believers? If the former, why not make it bible based? If the latter, why bother at all following the bible story? Just make up a general story about a guy, a boat, and a big flood and call him Steve or something. This can't surprise anyone that Hollywood didn't get this right. Rock monsters? Hilarious.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    March 28, 2014 4:50 p.m.

    Anyone who has actually read Genesis knows that there Noah is commanded to bring more of the clean beasts than the unclean beasts, indicating that he clearly was a meat eater.

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    March 28, 2014 4:13 p.m.

    "Aronofsky may have left God in the equation, but the director’s twisting of the narrative to suit his own purposes results in a deity whose actions are confusing at best."

    This is exactly the critique of the source material--the Bible--that many non-believers have. How does one square the idea of a caring God with stories of drowning almost the whole population of the Earth, demanding of his people that they commit genocide by wiping out all men, women, children of a rival clan, or who would cause extreme pain and suffering in a follower (Job) just to prove Satan wrong.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    March 28, 2014 2:43 p.m.

    Going to see Scorsese’s Last Temptation of Christ when it was released was the one time in my life I was confronted by a protestor just for going to see a movie. As I left the ticket window to go in, a man standing just outside the entrance began calling to me, “don’t go in there, don’t you go in there! That movie lies about Jesus.”

    I walked past to not let him engage me in debate. When the movie was over and I came out, he had been joined by about fifty people, some carrying placards. It was an orderly crowd. They were just making their presence and disapproval felt.

  • Linus Bountiful, UT
    March 28, 2014 2:41 p.m.

    Re: Elliott Bay
    Seattle, WA

    "Of course Noah and his families would have to be vegetarian. With only two of each animal on board you wouldn't want to wipe out an entire species every time you woke up with the munchies."

    Your comment and Happy Valley Heretic's comment both reveal a lack of knowing and/or understanding scriptural truth, which is that the animals were saved on the ark in pairs, male and female, except for the edible (clean) beasts and birds. They were taken on the ark by sevens. And as soon as the ark landed on dry ground a sacrifice to God consisting of the flesh of one such edible (clean) animal was cooked (burnt) and consumed by Noah and his family.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    March 28, 2014 1:18 p.m.

    Jamescmeyer said: "I don't want to spend the time or money to see a movie where someone I revere as a prophet of God is depicted as as someone who would tend not to like divine commandments very much."

    Not sure what you mean, but....

    (Genesis 1:29), "See, I give you every seed-bearing plant that is upon the earth, and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit, they shall be yours for food. And to all the animals on land, to all the birds of the sky, and to everything that creeps on earth, in which there is the breath of life, [I give] all the green plants for food."

    So, the image presented - the plain reading of the text - is that in the Edenic state, people were to be vegetarians. And not only people; all the animals were vegetarians as well.

  • Jim1027 St. George, UT
    March 28, 2014 1:01 p.m.

    This is when GLOBAL WETTING started. Our moisture that we direct into the atmosphere has ruined the environment ever since.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    March 28, 2014 12:05 p.m.

    @ Justmythoughts, Not just Hollywood. No one has done religion well on film.

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    March 28, 2014 12:04 p.m.

    There's a significant difference between "Not eating animals on the ark because then you won't have them anymore" and "the people who are right before God don't eat meat ever, despite their circumstance".

    As for "not being religion", it is very true that it's not-it's a movie. But independent of any given religion, if you do a story about a man named Noah who's told by God to create an ark to survive a global flood, you really constrain your ability to take liberties when it comes to the characters involved.

    it comes to a question of what "hardcore vegetarians and environmentalists" means. I don't want to spend the time or money to see a movie where someone I revere as a prophet of God is depicted as as someone who would tend not to like divine commandments very much.

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    March 28, 2014 11:55 a.m.

    The more pious and gullible among humans have never really cared to understand the art of filmmaking. You can't expect people with a value system built around fairy tales to understand people who treat myth as myth and don't feel bound by literal interpretations of fantastic stories. It's like oil and water. They just don't mix well.

  • sg newhall, CA
    March 28, 2014 11:47 a.m.

    Much ado about nothing. It's pure entertainment. And besides what do we really know about the behind the scene trappings? The biblical story doesn't give us a play by play...it's a synopsis. There are more unanswered questions nevertheless the believers still revere Noah for who he is and for what he did. When the flood occurred Noah was old by our standards, but the film's portrayal is far from coming close to the biblical age. Again, it's entertainment. Can one imagine if a movie was done about Ammon? It would be rated R for violence, but it would be cool.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    March 28, 2014 11:33 a.m.

    @Banderson: "It is truly amazing, ironic, and amusing to watch Hollywood miss the boat on so many opportunities to make money, its core value."

    That was one of the best puns I've heard.

  • nonceleb Salt Lake City, UT
    March 28, 2014 11:32 a.m.

    I have not seen such media coverage and supposed controversy addressed like this, over a movie, in a long time. Fundamentalists believe the story is literal history. This is even though there are at least two different versions of the story in Genesis - such as 40 days or 180 days, and two or seven of each animal. Likely half of all Christians believe it is metaphorical. A close friend of mine, who is a Presbyterian minister, believes in biblical truth as metaphor, allegory and parable. The last statement of the director should have a slight variation, "We are taking [a myth] and making it [more] mythical.

  • Justmythoughts Provo, UT
    March 28, 2014 11:31 a.m.

    Hollywood has never done religion well. I guess the Ten Commandments is the exception. You can't expect people with a mixed up value system to understand people who gain strength from the Bible. It's like oil and water. They just don't mix well.

  • Elliott Bay Seattle, WA
    March 28, 2014 10:39 a.m.

    Of course Noah and his families would have to be vegetarian. With only two of each animal on board you wouldn't want to wipe out an entire species every time you woke up with the munchies.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    March 28, 2014 10:08 a.m.

    It is truly amazing, ironic, and amusing to watch Hollywood miss the boat on so many opportunities to make money, its core value.

  • ultragrampa Farmington, UT
    March 28, 2014 9:45 a.m.

    The author feels the Directors' liberal use of artistic license "results in a deity whose actions are confusing at best."

    And that is different how from Diety we read about in the Bible?

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    March 28, 2014 8:50 a.m.

    I was hoping the film would stay true to the origin of the flood story, the inundation of the black sea basin by seawater as the last ice age ended. Actually, I wasn't really hoping that; I just wanted to say it. It's just a movie, it might even be entertaining, and I don't expect accuracy out of it any more than religious people should.

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    March 28, 2014 8:44 a.m.

    I guess I'll give it a look. But if I don't see a long parade of green alligators and long neck geese, some humpy back camels and some chimpanzee's, I'm going to march right to the managers office and demand my money back. Oh--and some koala's!

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    March 28, 2014 8:24 a.m.

    Please! It's just entertainment, not religion.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    March 28, 2014 7:36 a.m.

    "The verdict is simple: If your expectations lie in chapter and verse authenticity, “Noah” will confuse and disappoint."

    So it's easy to believe Noah lived 950 years, when we know for a fact that early humans rarely lived longer than 40 years, and our life expectancy now is around 80, but a few Hollywood adaptations are going to confuse you.


  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    March 28, 2014 7:24 a.m.

    Are Noah and his family really "hardcore vegetarian environmentalists"? You see, that's exactly the kind of stupid thing I worried about. Watcher rock monsters helping build the ark? Sure, whatever. That's exactly the kind of thing I'd actually enjoy, given that at least watchers are a biblical(if apocryphal) thing. A stowaway on board? A good chance for some surprise tension.

    But the only righteous fpeople on earth are hippies? That kills the whole movie.