I’ve already mentioned that I enjoyed Noah in a previous journal, but after talking with friends and family and reading reviews online I feel inclined to bring it up again. See, Noah is under a HUGE assault like no other movie in recent years has been. On one side Christians are lambasting it for deviating too much from the sanitized version of Noah’s Ark they’re familiar with and “removing god” from the storyline (I’ll get back to why that’s ridiculous in a minute), while atheists are lambasting it as more of the same “Christianity propaganda” they’ve worked so hard to avoid. The bottom line being that BOTH sides are refusing to see the movie due to their ideological beliefs.
And that’s just sad.
Noah is not a perfect film, but it’s still one that I think everyone should watch, both religious and non. Noah is, at it’s core, an interpretation of the classic story by an amazing film maker. It bothers me that so many Christians refuse to see it because it’s not “faithful” to the original text, while utilizing their own interpretations of the bible to further their political agendas.
And that’s not to mention the fact that God ACTIVELY PARTICIPATES in the story. This is something I really don’t get from Christians when they pan this movie. They like to complain that it’s a movie “without god” or that it “takes god out of the film,” and that’s absurd. The whole movie is set into motion by God’s actions. He performs miracles. He starts the flood. He gives Noah the visions. God is a character in this film, no question about it. If God has any flaws in this movie it’s that his intentions are not always clear. Noah is left to interpret God’s plans from fever dreams and hallucinations, which results in him taking God’s will a little too... seriously... during the 3rd act of the film. And that’s actually something a lot of Christians that I know lament over, the fact that God doesn’t just spell things out 100% in their life and can often make them feel like they’re doing something wrong.
This film is not necessarily 100% christian, nor is it 100% atheist. From the way it’s told it almost appears to be somewhat Deist in tone. IE: There is science and technology and the history of the universe is correct, but that a supreme being kinda kick-started events into play. I guess in some ways that could be a reason why Christians are upset, but I still don’t see it being a deal breaker.
And that’s my final point here. Why is this such a deal breaker for people? I’m an atheist and I’ve see hundreds of Christian-centric films. Why is it wrong for a christian to watch a film with a different religious belief or tone to it? By comparison Avatar: The Last Airbender is an incredibly popular animated TV show that spouts a Buddhist philosophy. Is it wrong for Christian children to enjoy THAT? I know a lot of atheist and science fiction fans who LOVE Star Wars, despite it’s obvious religious “faith” message used in the force. Since when did a religious story not adhering 100% to the sanitized version of a story they grew up on mean they can’t watch the film? It just boggles my mind...
As an atheist, I enjoyed the hell out of Noah. It’s weird. It’s different. It’s BIG. It’s spectacle driven. It’s not a perfect movie and has a lot of strange elements to it, but it’s still extremely personal and powerful all the same. I want people to see this movie, so if you’ve got a parent or guardian or friend who’s sticking their heels in, tell them that it’s just a film and they can enjoy it on it’s own merits.
Winter Solider Talk: Spoilers
The other thing I wanted to talk about is The Winter Solider. Yes, this will contain spoilers, which is why I’m putting it down here instead of front-loading it into the journal (I did learn from last time!). So if yo don’t wanna hear any spoilers about The Winter Solider, please stop reading!
Anyway, the thing I wanted to talk about was how effective they made the Winter Soldier himself as a villain. Throughout the movie he is a ticking time-bomb and when he shows up you KNOW you’re pretty much sunk. Every time he appears shit goes down, and 9 times out of 10 he gets what he wants.
I thought that the way they handled his presence was incredibly tense-building. Most of the time when you have a villain, they win one match so that the hero can grow stronger and win the next one. Villains are fallible. They can screw up and get hurt. But the Winter Solider? He’s like the Terminator. He just walks into the scene and you’re on the defensive. He WILL get the job done, and the fighting leading up to it just makes it more painful when he ultimately wins.
Heck, he technically wins in the end. Captain America cannot defeat him. The Winter Solider is STILL kickin’ around in the Marvel Universe (which can’t be said of other characters like the Red Skull).
I dunno, I just wanted to talk about how much of a presence he has in the film. It really stuck with me.
Listening to: Atop the 4th Wall
Reading: All-New Marvel NOW! Point One
Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
Drinking: Hot Coco