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Cinema ian 3/31/2014

In my neck of the woods over the weekend it poured – heavy rain, thunder, lightning, loss of power. a bit of flash flooding and a wet dog shaking at my feet.  So I thought, hang it, a diversion would be good so why not check out what was on this week at the movies. Noah. Probably not the best choice to escape the local weather situation and boy, did it rain in his neck of the woods!

To be honest, I’m not usually a huge fan of the epic Biblical genre and I always take them with a grain of salt – and I’m not talking the story of Lot’s wife turning into a pillar of NaCl (Genesis 19:26). No, Noah was before that, way back at Genesis 5:32. Even if we go back to the genesis of Genesis and Adam and Eve we can see that artistic representation comes with poetic licence.  How come their portraits show them with belly buttons? And my childhood Sunday school classes always threw up more questions than answers with the Noah story, mainly to do with the logistics of breeding, feeding and cleaning up after all those animals.

This conundrum was quickly solved by Noah’s director, Darren Aronofsky. He gets Russell Crowe to put them all into a state of hibernation with a brew of incense. This means the animals miss a lot of the movie but better than our Russ having a few wet man-eating beasts shaking at his feet.

To the movie – as a movie, it is brilliant in parts and you would expect that when a budget of $130 million – the acting is terrific – Emma Thompson, Anthony Hopkins, Jennifer Connelly and Ray Winstone are all excellent - and Russell Crowe is even better… he takes you on his journey of righteous confusion and flawed obsession. The scenic backdrops and the special effects are astounding. There are modern subtexts on environmental issues and how we humans don’t look after the planet that well but it isn’t ‘preachy’.

There will be people who love this movie and people who will be disappointed – and that will always be the case when the Bible is used as the source. It’s dark, it’s cool, it’s entertaining – a review that probably doesn’t work for the 40 verses in Genesis but does for the movie. The book certainly changed the world – the movie won’t, but it provided a very enjoyable 139 minute diversion.

Here is the trailer:

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