I am happy to see I was dead wrong

I am happy to see I was dead wrong March 21, 2014

According to Steve Greydanus, it looks like Noah rocks! Between that and the release of a new Muppet movie, I will be in filmgoing clover this month.

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  • Dave G.

    I heard an advertisement on the radio that said ‘this movie’ is based upon the accounts in Genesis, and remains true to the spirit of the biblical story. I thought that was an interesting way to say it. We’ll see. I’ve noticed Mr. Greydanus has a soft spot for massive CGI epics (having given Phantom Menace a good review). I normally love his reviews, but I do keep that in mind.

    • Mark S. (not for Shea)

      The Phantom Menace has grown on me over the years. There are still scenes that are painfully horrible. But there are other scenes that are spectacularly awesome. And it’s one of the best scores John Williams has ever done.

      • Dave G.

        Wow, we part company there. At this point, I can barely make it through. Some movies do get better. Though some don’t. I think that’s the way of things. Yes, there were some good scenes. But there were just so many problems. It wasn’t like Jackson’s LoTR for instance. There were some horrible scenes and mauling of the story, but there were also some beautiful and powerful parts, and the strength of the story, no matter how twisted around, was still there. With Menace, it didn’t have those things going for it. And though I agree there are a few good scenes, and even a couple with potential, they just can’t overcome the overwhelming problems.

        And yes, I give a nod to the score, though saying the best Williams has done is almost impossible to do. He seems to hit a home run every time. His scores are almost a character to themselves.

        • Mark S. (not for Shea)

          Where TPM scores:
          Qui-Gon Jinn. Best Jedi ever. He prefigures the more Christian interpretation of the Jedi rather than the Buddhist take of Yoda and others that led to the downfall of the Jedi. Had there been more Jedi like Qui-Gon, the Jedi never would have fallen.
          Some of the best sworfight scenes in cinema.
          The aesthetics of the design are truly beautiful. Much of it ripped off from Gurney? Yeah maybe. But it worked.
          Darth Maul. Criminally underused, but he steals the show ever second he’s onscreen.
          The pod race was inspire. If they would’ve cut out the awful cartoon announcer, it might’ve been perfect.

          • Rosemarie


            For me, the best part of TPM is the camaraderie between Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi. I don’t remember any fan or film critic ever mentioning it but that’s what I liked best. Neeson and McGregor were a great pair.

            And I second Darth Maul; I’ve sometimes said that the problem with TPM was too much Jar Jar, too little Darth Maul. Though no Jar Jar at all would be the biggest improvement.

            EDIT: I should also second the sword fight scenes, esp. the last one between the two Jedi and Maul. IMHO that’s the most cinematically awesome light saber battle of all six films. Not that the others didn’t have their charms, but the minimal dialogue, music, camerawork and timing come together and make something just amazing. Later battles in Episodes II and III might have been more highly anticipated but they tend to be either too “talky” or so frenetic that they end up looking more like a laser light show.

  • kirthigdon

    Noah’s not on my list. I’m impressed that Pope Francis, that most accessible of popes, refused an audience to the director and lead actor. I can’t imagine him doing that unless he had been advised that there were such serious problems with the movie that he should not be seen as doing anything that could be interpreted as an endorsement. Spectacle aside, from what I’ve heard of this movie it seems like a remake of Waterworld with a quasi-biblical slant. I avoided Waterworld and in general I don’t see why I should pay to have global warming propaganda shoved down my throat when I get that free every day. I’ll be going to Divergent in another four hours or so. Another Hunger Games is too much to hope for, but it promises to be very entertaining and judging from the book, uplifting.

    Kirt Higdon

    • Adolfo

      Nice to see you’ve made up your mind about something without having to take the trouble to see it.

      • kirthigdon

        Actually, Adolfo, I do that all the time. I have only limited time and money to put into movie viewing, so every single week I make up my mind to pass on several new releases, often every new release, without having to take the trouble to see any of them. I only spend time and money on movies which I have reason to think I will like.

        Kirt Higdon

    • Sean P. Dailey

      “I’m impressed that Pope Francis, that most accessible of popes, refused an audience to the director and lead actor. I can’t imagine him doing that unless he had been advised that there were such serious problems with the movie that he should not be seen as doing anything that could be interpreted as an endorsement.”

      The Pope is not a film critic. That’s all. You shouldn’t read anything more into it than that. It was not a commentary on the movie itself.

      • Mark S. (not for Shea)

        Right on. Something similar happened to our parish during The Passion of the Christ. One of the companies promoting the film called our parish priest and offered to screen the film. He politely refused. He told them: “I have nothing against your movie. In fact, I’m looking forward to seeing it. But I don’t want the Church being part of a Hollywood marketing campaign. Simple as that.”

      • wlinden

        Well, Crowe finally got his audience, and that paragon of journalism, the Daily Mail (otherwise known as “the Enemy of the Anglican Race”) claims this constitutes a “blessing on” the movie. The mail also calls the audience a “private council”.
        Brace for “Vatican Endorses Noah Film” headlines.

    • Pope Francis, that most accessible of popes, refused an audience to the director and lead actor.

      As a former bouncer, the Pope probably saw too many Russell Crowe types in his day.

    • chezami

      Really? You can’t imagine any other reason that this pope of simplicity would not want be used as a Hollywood prop? Any? Other? Reason?

  • Jem

    I think it speaks volumes about the God of the Old Testament that you can put Russell Crowe next to him and God’s the one who looks like a violent, unreasonable asshole.

    • chezami

      It speak volumes of your understanding of Old Testament literature that you write something this sophomoric.

  • Elmwood

    why do the reactionaries reject any and all attempts to see the earth as anything other than an object to rape?

    predictably, all attempts to bring awareness or at least some reflection on our culture of waste and greed in respect to earth’s natural resources is met with outright rejection and attack. one of the biggest reasons why i think the GOP platform is stupid.

  • Ye Olde Statistician

    Is it true that some theaters are refusing to run it, and that others are running it only with a disclaimer in front?

  • Ed Southall

    Mark is too hard on himself when he says he was “dead wrong” about this movie. And I think that he also oversimplifies Greydanus’s review by reducing it to “Noah rocks!”. Hmmm, I fear this is due to the unfortunate “thumbs up/thumbs down” movie review mentality that is “Siskel & Ebert”‘s unfortunate gift to the world. Stephen Greydanus’s review, however, is actually thoughtful, multi-faceted, and while it leaves me not particularly wanting to see this film, the review is excellently done and very well balanced. Thanks, Stephen!

  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    One of the things that I heard was drawing some criticism for early so-called “religious: audiences was the portrayal of the Nephilim. So I have two questions that issue that I hope people a lot smarter than me can answer. Here goes:


    1. The predominant interpretation of the Nephilim having children by the daughters of men was that the sons of Seth (the righteous line) began to take wives from the daughters of Cain (the corrupt line). But if you read the history, that interpretation came very late in Biblical history. The predomiant interpretation of this amongst most old interpreters (as well as places like the Book of Enoch and Homilies of Clementine) is that the Nephilim were fallen angels who had children with human women. Later Biblical commentators reject this. I think St. Thomas Aquinas dismisses it. But I don’t understand why, when the understanding for literally hundreds of years was the fallen angel interpretation. Anyone care to shed some light on this for me?
    2. From Mr. Greydanus’s review: “They are best thought of, it seems to me, as a fictional class of semi-fallen angels, estranged from the Creator but not wholly corrupted.” Theologically, is it possible for an angel to be “semi-fallen?” I know there’s no historical precedent for any such thing. But is it theologically POSSIBLE? Why or why not?

    • Alma Peregrina

      I thought exactly the same thing, regarding “semi-fallen angels”. I don’t think that’s theologically accurate. I don’t even think it’s theologically possible. But I think there is historical precedente to that idea.

      If you read “Inferno” from Dante’s Divine Comedy, you’ll notice that before entering Hell, there’s a place where cowards go when they die. They’re so despised, that not even Hell wants to let them in. They allways stood on the fence, so they’re neither in Heaven nor in Hell.

      In that entrance to Hell, where all the cowards reside, there are angels that, during the war that Satan waged against God, took a neutral position. They supported neither God, nor Satan. So now they’re neither in Heaven, nor in Hell.

      Could we say that those angels are “semi-fallen”? I don’t know… 😛

      • rmichaelj

        The Dante example would be a literary precedente- not historical.

  • On the other hand, Barbara Nicolosi hated it.


    I suspect that if I were to see it (something probable, if someone invites me while putting a gun on my head) I would rather agree with her.