MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Review-ish: My Issues With “Noah” (plenty of spoilers)

Russell-Crowe-in-Noah-2014-Movie-Image-650x456

I am on Team Aronofsky. I like where he goes. He is daring, thoughtful, passionate, and very smart.

But watching Noah was painful for me. It was the first time an Aronofsky film, for me, completely failed to connect story and artistic aesthetic ambitions. First of all, a number of the more interesting ideas were just plain in a different movie than the rest of the film. But in something I have never thought Aronofsky capable, you can see story-structuring devices from miles away.

I was fine with the establishment of where we were in the Bible story. But shortly after we get to adult Noah (played earnestly by Russell Crowe), his first encounter with “bad guys” has him taking out three of them with a bo staff like he was in a Bruce Lee movie. I am happy to go with the movie on the idea that he’s a tough guy, but good gosh a mighty, are we really expected to be invested in a raw, intimate, more human version of the Noah tale when he’s kicking ass?

Aronofsky, as a writer, seems a bit trapped into a corner with the idea that if “the city dwellers” – who represent the expanding evil of Cain that is forcing God’s hand to destroy mankind – meet with Noah’s small group, the inevitable result will be the murder or attempted murder (and rape, etc) of Noah’s vegetarian God-obeyers. So we never really get to spend more time than it takes to be a threat with the “city dwellers.” Or maybe there is another explanation for a basic lack of establishing the story of the people who are going to be wiped from God’s earth. There is a lot of talk. A lot. And very little insight into the world Noah and his family are leaving.

This turns every effort to discuss angles off of the main story into near-comedic cliches. The eldest son, who looks like TV Jesus, has almost nothing to do in the film, and gets to empty his seed into a barren hot chick who joined the family on the run when she was of a single-digit age.

The middle son, Ham, realizes that once Noah decides that bringing him a bride to the ark from “the city” isn’t going to work out, every day on the boat is going to be palm Sunday0. And he is so unhappy that he is driven to unspeakable evil acts threatening his entire family. (It’s kind of the anti-Spiderman, where Peter, after one too many lectures, sets up Uncle Ben to be killed and Aunt Mae to be raped by the thief he stopped from robbing the wrestling arena.)

Where is the story – that seems pretty real to me – that the younger son is jealous of his older brother, who got the girl they grew up with and has left him with no one to love/have sex with? There even seems to be a string from that when she – Ila, played by Emma Watson – is the one to go chase Ham down when he runs away from Ark. (Of course, that’s really a set-up to get Ila alone with Methuselah so an oblique threat from earlier in the film can be paid off… even if it never quite pays off beyond the magic trick of making her fertile.) But before we get into “that’s the movie YOU wanted, David,” it doesn’t have to be that story for me to feel better about the film… not the point. The point is, any layer of that kind of reality is missing.

So Ham, who Ila does not catch up with, goes to “the city” himself, putting himself and potentially his family in jeopardy, and then has the most horrible meet cute I think I have ever seen in any movie… in a pit of wrapped corpses. He falls in. She is already there, kinda hiding. He gives her food. She decides to trust him enough to eat it. And then he says something to the effect of, “I’ll just hang around here with you for a little while… if that’s okay with you.” Leap to them running back to the ark together, slightly ahead of the rain-turning-to-flood and the massive crowd of “city people” who are anxious to steal the ark… and she gets caught in an animal trap that was left behind in early Act Two. Noah, running the wrong direction, towards the city, endangering the entire mission God has sent him on, finds them and forces his son to come back to the ark, leaving the girl in the trap.

It is completely clear in the film that if they tried for another moment to save the girl that the ark would be overrun by “city dwellers” and the entire family would be murdered or worse. But the brooding teen is so upset about losing his conquest – whom he had met minutes earlier – that he gets a chip on his shoulder big enough to murder his own father and, in doing so, likely seeing his entire family killed or enslaved.

Maybe there is something interesting in there, in spite of all the Irwin Allen-level drama. Is Ham having doubts in God or his father? In the movie, as it is, his father. God is not really an issue. In fact, no one but Noah has a significant relationship with the deity. They are all following a man, not God. Another big problem. No one else has any well formulated ideas about God? Really?

Personally, in spite of having been brought up around Jewish Orthodoxy, I have no problem with artists being “unfaithful” to the text. I went into the theater wanting to embrace whatever points Darren was interested in making. I wasn’t there to take notes about what changes from traditional notions he had made or what “problematic” subtexts there were.

Having seen the film, I think the nitpickers are off their rockers. There is nothing anti-religious in the film… at least that I picked up on. Is it really an environmental or pro-vegetarian screed? I wouldn’t go that far. Noah believes that humans do not need to eat other living creatures. So his family is vegetarian. Not exactly a diatribe. When animals are eaten by “the bad guys,” it’s always something disgusting, whether it’s a living lizard or human flesh nearly right off of the bone. But I didn’t feel like the film was telling me that enjoying a t-bone was going to lead to me eating my neighbors. And as environmentalism goes, if you don’t think nature is precious and powerful, you are an idiot. That doesn’t mean we can’t argue over whether environmentalism must always win over technology… but the movie doesn’t go there. If anything, God appears to be fracking to ramp up the waterworks for the flood.

I didn’t even mind the animals coming to the boat and Mrs. Noah having some sort of drug that makes them sleep for many, many months. I’m all about giving a film its premise. Why nitpick that?

But… not an interesting discussion of religious faith, at least for me. Not an interesting discussion of family dynamics placed over a background of a cataclysmic religious and earth-altering event.

And then you get to the many problems with basic storytelling. How do you get past the idea of Noah and his three sons, adopted daughter, and wife building this massive ark by themselves? They need help. And it comes from half-a-dozen (or so) fallen angels turned rock people. The story of these angels falling from grace by allowing Adam & Eve to fall from grace, then being encumbered by rocks and earth, was cool. But there were a couple big problems. First, we saw these characters – not necessarily from the same background – in The Hobbit. And they are kissing cousins of the live-action Transformers. Great actors voiced them… but there are not-as-great but equally high toned actors doing the voices in Transformers.

And once again, as with so much of the film, when push comes to shove, these characters become minor in the overall discussion of the film, basically appearing, 1. to be a threat, 2. to be an ally, 3. to tell their beautifully realized story of how they came to be, 4. to rationalize how all that work got done, though you barely see them working, and 5. to be bouncers for Noah and his family and in the process, to be redeemed. Two of those five purposes, I feel, were well fulfilled. But the others were overtly expositional to the point of distraction.

I, obviously, was not in meetings on this movie. But you can practically reconstruct key questions: Why don’t the bad guys attack while they are building the ark? How can Noah and his family possible hold them off? How can that small group build this giant ark? Once the bad guys decide to attack how can Noah & Co keep them off the ark?

So Darren & Co. came up with a supernatural answer… rock men who were fallen angels. But for me, these characters were so little a part of the story when they were not at the center of the action, fulfilling their movie duties, that they seemed like an ace that was pulled out of the back pocket on demand. Magic bullets.

Tough guys with problem pasts who end up sacrificing themselves in the third act for the good people to get away is as old a movie gimmick as there is. And I don’t blame Aronofsky for using them for that. But they need to have their moments of vulnerability/humanity in order to give their willingness to self-sacrifice some resonance. And those beats aren’t in the movie. In fact, once the first rock man is killed by the bad guys and comes back as an angel of light, the others seem pretty happy to sacrifice themselves in order to become angels again themselves… which emasculates the heroic moment of self-sacrifice.

And then there is the third act… which is where things get really messy.

Noah has decided – without any input from God – that man is meant to end as a species because God has caused the flood to happen with no childbearing women on the ark (thought Jennifer Connelly looks young enough and vitalenough to knock out another brood upon demand). But it turns out there is one childbearing woman on board. So Noah, who is now looking for a sign that he shouldn’t kill the baby, if it is female, threatens to kill his grandchild.

This was a big problem for me, in that the movie itself shows us Noah receiving signs to take action. There is no sign telling him that God intends to end the human species. And why is Noah requiring a “do not kill” sign instead of a “kill them” sign?

And this is a moment where Aronofsky and co-writer Ari Handel could have made a fabulously offensive statement about organized religion… organizations which – at least in my view – often use the word of God (let’s not argue that point) to extrapolate and set some very harsh and judgmental rules about living. But, no. It just gets woven into the film as storyline, a point from which other characters act and emote quite powerfully, but never question in any way the legitimacy of Noah’s declaration of his absolute alleged insight into God’s will.

But it gets worse. The villain of the piece – whose dialogue sure sounds like it was written for Mickey Rourke – somehow manages to get to the side of the ark with a crushed leg, cut his way into the side of the ark, survive, and then seduce an angry Ham to keep his existence secret for 8-9 months as he plots the death of Noah (and as any smart person would surmise, the subjugation of the other good people – all of Ham’s family – on the ark).

Then, 8 or 9 months later, a boat appears in a kind of in-ark launching dock that you would see on a cruise ship or luxury boat over 50′, so that the eldest, most pretty son and his very pregnant wife can leave, so their child will not be murdered by its grandfather. How that happened without Noah already discussing it/fighting about it in great depth is unclear. And the dock itself is a little bizarre. As is the boat. But putting that aside…

Everything just happens to come to a head on that one day in the third act… villain healthy enough to fight… pregnant woman and husband ready to leave with no hopes of finding land… then the burning of the getaway boat by Noah (oy)… then the fight with the bad guy… then the boat hits a rock, which suggests that they are near land, even though the bird just came back without finding land… followed by the birth of the TWINS!… followed by Noah heading towards them to murder them in the name of God even though God never told him directly to do so (unlike Abraham… whose phone line was clear enough to not only get the call to sacrifice his son, but to call it off last minute)… followed by Noah deciding he can’t do what he has held over his family’s head for 8 or 9 months…

I have to spend some real time trying to think if there are any movies I think are good that have that many events that have been percolating over that long a period come together at the same moment in the third act.

And the problem for Noah is not only the number of things that come together at the same moment, but that in handling the story that way excludes the opportunity to really consider the issues that are at hand. I know that the goal of a dramatist is to show, not explain, but it’s The Bible, darn it!

The world is coming to an end for all of humanity… except for 6 people. This is a rather enormous idea. And for me, Noah never really engages the issues.

And if you want to argue that it’s a movie about one man’s experience, from the title, down through the film, I don’t think the film succeeds on that level either. In part, it’s because there is no real conflict built into his personal drama… meaning that no one in the film ever challenges his faith and the decisions that spring from it on a level above a personal, selfish one.

There is a great moment in the film – one of a number of them – when Noah realizes his own self-interest and the self-interest of each of his family members… that they are not above those who will die, just in a different situation. That is the kind of insight missing from the vast majority of the movie.

Instead, we get cartoons. We get one-note bad guys, an unrealistically rageful teen (who also goes off on his own in the end… when there is no one and no place to go… which may be in the bible, but never referenced), rock angels, eating the head off live things, cannibalism, glowing snake skin.

I cannot say that I have the answer in my imagination of how to make Noah a great, compelling, thoughtful movie for adults. And I am sure that Darren thought he did or he wouldn’t have made it.

Maybe there is a better movie that we aren’t getting to see. I guess that’s possible. The difference of the release version of Kingdom on Heaven vs the Director’s Cut is remarkable with just a few extra minutes offering all kinds of layering that the release version seemed to be lacking.

But Noah lost me early and kept kicking dirt on itself for me. Nothing was quite a shocking to me as the meet-cute in the pit of corpses. I mean… God.

I was hoping for some good blasphemy. I would have settled for a straight pitch with some beautiful images (which this film like all Aronofsky’s has). But I almost never felt challenged… which is shocking for a filmmaker who had challenged us in film after film to keep up with where he was running at full steam.

Every time he repeated the snake coming out of his skin, jumpcut to: the apple/pomegranate writhing, all I could think of was another jump cut to Roy Scheider looking in the mirror opening his jazz hands and saying, “It’s showtime, folks.”

72 Responses to “Review-ish: My Issues With “Noah” (plenty of spoilers)”

  1. jepressman says:

    Well this view of Aronofsky’s Noah is very negative and the opposite of Jeffrey Wells..I choose Mr. Wells. Also too many spoilers. Poland’s film judgements are so-so, overall, and not reliable assessments. I will see Noah this Friday.

  2. Samizdat says:

    It’s ark, not arc.

  3. Joe says:

    It’s not perfect — it’s quite flawed and messy at times — but it’s bold, thought-provoking and uncompromising in ways that very few American films are these days. Much less films of this scale.

    Even those who will hate it will have to admit it’s one of the single most ambitious and fascinating blockbusters ever.

    I speak for myself and only myself, but I find it much more exciting when a filmmaker takes huge risks and doesn’t fully deliver, than when one plays it safe and makes a “good” film.

    I think Aronofsky has never made something more daring and interesting.

  4. David Poland says:

    Weird that you reference Jeff Wells, jepressman. I haven’t read him in 8 years, so I have no idea what he thinks. Nor do I care. If you prefer his take on movies, that is certainly your prerogative. Please see Noah and decide for yourself.

    And Joe, I too appreciate huge risks and ambition. But i didn’t seem much daring in this film. In fact, I found it extremely safe. But you, like each of us, should make up your mind for yourself.

  5. Joe says:

    You’re right, David. I didn’t mean to sound pushy in a “you HAVE to agree with me and think this is ambitious and daring” kind of way…

    But the fact that someone that understands the business and art of film can call a 120 million dollar artistic interpretation of a biblical tale that could be described less as a biblical tale than The Lord of the Rings meets Mad Max meets the Fountain and which happens to marry creationism and darwinisim while touching on subjects like enivormentalism, religious extremism and free will, “extremely safe” is surprising to me.

    If this is an extremely safe blockbuster then I wonder what every other single blockbuster that has ever come out is.

    I’m really looking forward to people’s reaction to this one. It should be interesting.

  6. Bill says:

    In the script I read, Noah physically throws the girl Ham likes off the ark to her death. That’s one example where the final film went a little “safer” as you said.

  7. Jacob Greenwood says:

    Noah existed and his sons and their descendants be traced through Chronicles in the Bible and archaeology to people and places that exist today. Why are the 7 Noahide laws still applicable, for Jews and Gentiles alike, the basis for civilized law?

    1. You shall not have any idols before God.
    2 You shall not murder.
    3 You shall not steal.
    4 You shall not commit adultery, incest or bestiality.
    5 You shall not blaspheme God’s name.
    6 Do not eat flesh taken from an animal while it is still alive.
    7 Set up a governing body of just laws.

    Experience”Finding Noah” at http://www.NoahIsReal.com

  8. berg says:

    6 Do not eat flesh taken from an animal while it is still alive.

    Okay I am not sure what this law means exactly …. in studying gastronomy I found out that in medieval times people would tie a plucked chicken to the center of a table, light a fire and peel off and eat the flesh as it was cooked, and the animal still alive. Or does this refer to ripping out the heart of your adversary and chowing down on same while it’s still beating..?

  9. Jacob Greenwood says:

    Cooking food separates man from animal. Who but the “Watchers” taught us to cook our food? Don’t humans, unlike other animals, generally become ill if we eat raw flesh?

    The first six laws were taught by the Caretakers and Watchers — two different breeds– (and those who created man in their image) and the 7th law (to make a just court system) from Noah.

  10. berg says:

    “Don’t humans, unlike other animals, generally become ill if we eat raw flesh?”

    Like sushi?

  11. MarkVH says:

    This thread has the potential to become incredibly awesome.

  12. Jacob Greenwood says:

    if not properly cleaned, sushi can make you very sick. Its not Kosher. There are many people who cannot eat sushi for that very reason

    The first six laws were from Adam who learned them from the caretakers. There are 10 generations (1000 years each) from Adam to Noah. There were different races of watchers during that time, each living long lifespans. The Nephilim were a group, some of whom mated with humans, against their prime directive.

    The Indian Sagas of aerial wars when those watcher’s bosses returned and found what they had done is preserved. Each laser beam from the sky could kill a herd of elephants. Too bad the elephants had to die because of stupidity of those Watchers (who like us are human but more advanced)

  13. EtGuild2 says:

    Regarding the whole incest thing, the Bible needs to get more specific. In the recent Saoirse Ronan movie “How I Live Now,” gurl hooks up with and falls for her strapping British first cousin during the nuclear apocalyspe/WWIII (Ronan is playing American in the film), yet critics and young fans of the book don’t seem to mind, and Ronan’s chemistry with her beefcake birth-relative is praised, with no mention of the ick factor.

    Does she get a pass, because it’s the apocalypse and they were raised on different continents? Or is she damned to eternal hell-fire regardless? More importantly, does cousin on cousin canoodling count as incest at all? If everyone is descended from Adam and Eve, how was this avoidable? C’mon, Noah, I need answers!

  14. Jacob Greenwood says:

    The Book of Enoch says that Noah’s father (Lamech) went to visit Methuselah and when he came back, Noah’s wife, Naamah, was pregnant. The watchers updated the gene pool for Noah and his descendants, probably trying to diminish the bad genes from Cain.

    People lives incredibly long lives then. Marriage at 100, children at 200. This primordial gene pool was very strong. You never knew what color your kid would be. After enough people existed, incest rules came into place.

  15. meg says:

    You and Glenn Beck are on the same page with Noah.

  16. Jacob Greenwood says:

    I don’t know if thats a slam, but Glenn Beck doesn’t know the half of it

  17. Jacob Greenwood says:

    @etguild2
    There is no hell-fire, only Elohim

  18. EtGuild2 says:

    In that case, one has to assume that South Carolinians and West Virginians get a pass, since they too boast a “primordial gene pool.”

  19. Jacob Greenwood says:

    There is a difference between primordial and attenuated.

    Think of the richness of undifferentiated stem cells then consider what happens when you breed dim-witted facsimiles of each other, carbon copy/cousin coupling ….get the pic?

  20. Sam says:

    Merits of the film aside, what I got from the story of Noah in Genesis (Jewish Publishing Society version) is that it said to me was that human nature being what it is, we are never going to attain paradise. Despite allegedly wiping out most of the human race, bad people still came along. It says to me that End of Times stories are pure BS – or maybe they have to be abslutely apocolypitc with all the “good” people going to heaven so as to assure the gullible ones that there is something besides this life.

    I just hope that if the end comes while I’m around I don’t f–k up an opportunity and get canniablized like James Franco.

  21. Jacob Greenwood says:

    How Noah Built the Ark Video (4 min) http://www.dailymotion.com/swf/xc4khd

  22. PcChongor says:

    Holy Christ, I can’t take it anymore. IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE “Team Aronofsky”!

  23. Jacob Greenwood says:

    An athiest looking for Noah? Oy, gavahlt! Aronofsky ought to know Noah existed and his sons and their descendants be traced through Chronicles in the Bible and archaeology to people and places today. Why are the 7 Noahide laws, for Jews and Gentiles alike, still the basis for law on earth?

    So..Where did Noah Live? How did Noah Build the Ark? What Happened After?” (4 min video) http://www.dailymotion.com/swf/xc4khd . I’m sure its a more accurate depiction, logical and wise. Without Hollywood ticket prices and perversions.

    And don’t forget….http://www.NoahIsReal.com

  24. leahnz says:

    oh my fucking god haha
    (people who take the bible as more than a [oft-revised-to-suit-the-agenda-of-men] book of mythology are at the same time hilarious and terrifying in their brain-washed delusion/conviction. organized religion is the bane of humanity, the source of more oppression, conflict, hatred and violence than possibly even the almighty $$$ (maybe…that’s a tough call)
    next up: a bunch of historically inaccurate, ridiculous biblical bullshit in ridley scott’s ‘exodus’, to be followed by Michael Bay’s action melodrama ‘sermon on the hill’ and McG’s buddy-action craptacular ‘rapture’. or maybe this is a sign: the end of film days when the movie guf is so empty of ideas that making stupid sunday school bible stories into movies is all that’s left… like the wall says in ’28 days later’, the end is extremely fucking nigh)

  25. EtGuild2 says:

    Team Jacob Greenwood! You sir, are my false idol, having made the Hot Blog entertaining again.

  26. wm frederick says:

    This movie will be awesome. The really cool secret is God knows it will generate five million conversations and ten million tweets. God appreciates all of the free publicity.
    To learn more abot Noah check out this book on AMAZON KINDLE,

    “NOAH, THE LOST TABLETS”

  27. QG says:

    It’s not a goddam “blockbuster” until people line up around the block to see it. I doubt that’s ever going to happen.

  28. Hcat says:

    What with online ticket buying and showing every half hour does that ever happen anymore?

  29. Foamy Squirrel says:

    This thread is made of win.

  30. boomer says:

    The greatest story ever told.

    The definitive word being “story”.

    You’ll find it in the fiction section of your local library

  31. IT IT IT IT says:

    NOT a catholic and never was –BUT was struck by their 1860
    condemnation of ‘realism’ and ‘naturalism’ in the arts.

    They condemned ‘realism’ because, they observed, it DENIED
    the —REALITY— of the invisible.

    WHY Bible movies NEVER really do justice.

    Movies can’t bring you REALITY.

  32. Chucky says:

    There’s one issue with “Noah”: It’s being praised by Mr. Quote Whore himself, Peter Travers.

    No further comment is necessary.

  33. Sam says:

    If you’re suggesting that Peter Travers unerringly praises only bad movies, you’re actually crediting him with a considerable amount of critical discernment.

  34. Jacob Greenwood says:

    @IT IT IT IT

    The Conundrum of the Catholic Church:

    The Romans plundered Jerusalem. They stole scrolls, artifacts, gold, you name it. 300 years later, Romans were following Jewish dietary law (because they live longer), and giving thanks to Elohim, behaving civilized. Thank Yeshua.

    The lesson for the Western (not Eastern) world: You don’t have (never had) to be of first-born lineage to worship God. It has always worked that way from before the destruction of the Second Temple in 71 ad until Constantine in his 4th century bid for power, perverted the First Commandment, made a man (Yeshua) into God and “The Kicker”; He declared himself a saint (whatever that means…too Pagan for me), AND founded the Catholic church on LIES! The yarmulke wearing Pope (in full drag) gets to preside over the stolen Jewish treasures of knowledge that would destroy the church if ever made public.

    Even if Yeshua walked on water and rose from the dead, it doesn’t make him Elohim (God the creator – literally “The Unending-Neverending”). They just don’t get it, or don’t want to.

  35. Chucky says:

    @Sam: Peter Travers is not only a quote whore, he is a right-wing hack. Travers denounced “Rendition” because that 2007 release correctly depicted the US government as vicious and authoritarian.

  36. Jacob Greenwood says:

    @Chucky Only a left-wing hack could deny how vicious and authoritarian the US government is today.

  37. There were 8 people on the ark. Great review by Mr. london. The story seems badly comprimised and perverted. The real story seemed far more compelling. The actual building of the took 120 yrs. The world was like a giant greenhouse prior to water canopy bursting. Lives were longer and animals much bigger. Sons of god, giants, and Nephilum may have been from satanic beings corrupting human dna producing giants both in size and wickedness. Why people destroyed? Earth was filled with sexual promiscuity and violence. People preoccupied with only physical appetites. Methuselah in Hebrew may mean ” when he dies it comes”. God gave people 120 yrs to repent. Noah wife not mentioned by name. Maybe a doubter of him. Ham may have resented fsthrrs devotion to God. His mocking him when naked in tent. Atmosphere radically changed after flood. Could be reason he was drunk. Finally Noah in story was a peaceful man with much intelligence showing in this huge undertaking. No violent streaks in him but 120 yrs of preaching, warning, and.building barely 7 people believed him.

  38. Mr. Poland I meant. Great comments.

  39. SamLowry says:

    Wow, who linked to this article? It definitely pulled in the woo-woo crowd.

    Anyway, Aronofsky explains his interpretation of the Ark story in this Atlantic article, which will surely send the holy rollers rolling when he puts The Odyssey and The Bible on equal footing, saying they’re both loaded with tales of myth and legend. The Bible, he sez, isn’t even remotely “historical” until the time of Abraham.

    Cry ‘Havoc!’, and let slip the dogs of war!

  40. Jacob Greenwood says:

    Darren, why is Noah a vegetarian? Seems kind of silly to me. God gave man dominion over nature. Humans are omnivores.

    Noah (a recorded toolmaker) and family were farmers and built the ark to preserve and continue life. If anything, Noah should have killed Ham, after the flood, not his wife or unborn child on an ark where nobody was pregnant.

    The point was “civilization would move forward” and the sanctity of life be preserved, because we all all part of the creator. Elohim likes when his creation celebrates him, because we are free, autonomous and separated, yet part of something that is us and stands apart from us and we are appreciative and inquisitive and grateful. That was lacking before the flood. I have little hope today for the people Hemingway said had “Broad lawns and narrow minds”

    Enoch says that Noah’s father Lamech was so freaked out by baby Noah, who had white pale skin that shone like Moses, red hair and powder blue eyes that he took Noah to Methuselah (his father) who told him Noah was to bring comfort and what would happen. The Watchers visited Noah, as friends. The Watchers visited Methuselah who lived in the mountains, and he would travel with them and return. After the flood, he never returned to earth.

    For the bad guys, the family elephants were certainly disturbed when “the bad guy’s” showed up. The elephants scared them away, So, I was told.

  41. Spassky says:

    “So, I was told”

  42. Jacob Greenwood says:

    In explicit detail with the mother elephant’s name and how they protected Noah, but I’m not the one with the prima-facie in this matter. But the truth arrives on a donkey or a horse, as Mexicans like to say!

  43. Hallick says:

    How was God created, Jacob?

  44. Hallick says:

    “Why people destroyed? Earth was filled with sexual promiscuity and violence. People preoccupied with only physical appetites.”

    Thank God that the flood got rid of all that crap forever!

    (What’s a non-physical appetite?)

  45. Jacob Greenwood says:

    That is the ultimate mystery even the Caretakers (those created at the first cooling of the Big Bang )who are completely omniscient in the physical realm and its is written “they neither live nor die”, they don’t even know. There are at one with Elohim as can be. They seed planets for life. I guess its what you do with it that matters.

    How did God create the Universe?
    From Gershom Scholem’s translation of the Zohar, now hard to find. In the beginning, Elohim creates a point and draws a circle around it. A circle is a sphere. He infuses that physical Micro-Nano sphere with “tne ending-neverending”, apiece of “Himself”, infinity, made of energy and the containers to hold that energy.

    Its something called Orbs and Resonance, a 45 minute movie which exists on three private web pages which I must ask permission before posting

    All I can tell you is two elderly physicists from Fermi Lab, one a Nobel Prize winner, called it a “mitzvah” and will die fulfilled.

    Its how the Watchers have anti-gravity, how neutrons are the key to magnetism and more.

  46. Foamy Squirrel says:

    I give this thread 2 thumbs up – possibly more entertaining than the movie itself.

  47. EtGuild2 says:

    Since Ham and Ila go on to live as long as Methuselah and hook up in “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” does that violate the Noahide laws since Ila is adopted?

  48. Jacob Greenwood says:

    With El-ah, Aronofsky tapped into something, the universal cloud computer of knowledge one taps into with mental frequency. El-ah, as was related to me, was not Ham’s wife name, nor was Ham’s wife adopted. All the son’s wives were chosen by Naam-ah. For what was thought to be pure Sethite blood. Ham’s wife was especially close with Naam-ah, Noah’s wife, given Ham’s wife’s sorrow and predicament.

    Ham’s wife had much misery, due to his sociopathic behavior. After all, even Adam had genetics for the “seed of Cain”, and, in the end, the bloodlines didn’t turn out as pure as desirable. Think of the movie “The Bad Seed”

    Vengeful women in Greek mythology and Babylonian mythology such as “Tiamet”, these destructive female demigods, may be a “Hamite Version” (distorted, full-of-lies and excuse making for human behavior) for Ham’s wife’s predicament.

    “El-ah” is from another realm who exists, informs and protects, those who listen. He/she is about 7 feet tall, androgenous and beautiful/handsome, and appears with wings, or that’s how it was described to me, by one I know who saw El-la in his mind’s eye and describes her. It certainly freaked his dog out, who then chilled and relaxed. This person related much, much more to me.

    What El-la tells him lately is “What they (the bad guys) seek to do to others, will be done to themselves” Kinda like what Moses said to Pharoah. Ir’s karma (or justice) as Aronofsky would phrase it.

    That is reassuring, and visible more with each passing day.

  49. SamLowry says:

    Hmm, toss out an obscure synonym for “god” and shrug…that still doesn’t answer the question “How was God created?” which is the question that drives all atheists. Even if you said that our universe was created as an “oopsie” by a super-mega collider in another universe, that doesn’t explain how those alien physicists came to be.

    “God created himself” is a circular argument, and “God has always existed” sounds like infantile wish-fulfillment…which is what all religious belief eventually sounds like.

  50. Jacob Greenwood says:

    God (Lord) is the title for the commander watcher in the OT. Thats why when three men approached Abraham, he knew who “God” was. God was the head watcher commander.

    Elohim, Elokim in Aramaic, literally mean “unending-never-ending”. Its the oldest recorded name of worship/praise for the invisible creator that that Pharoah’s wife (movie Ten Commandments) mocked. The God with no name that fills all space and time.

    Religion is the bane humanity. Its all based oontrol of others.

    Civilized behavior, the basic laws, OTOH, is a template for a peaceful and productive civilization. And that means you have to kill those humans who are like rabid dogs who would kill the good people first. (Big difference between murder and killing)Team America without the corruption.

    Elohim is Elohim. It doesn’t matter what Jew, Gentile or Athiest think. Why should a human think they ‘re smart enough to understand how Elohim created himself (if so), even if Elohim’s vanguard in the physical universe have no answer?

    Isn’t it enough He is is the stuff of the universe, galaxies, stars, planets plants, humans, dark matter, energy, the shells that contain all energy…”And the Rest” as the Gilligan’s Island theme song goes?

    As Archie told Edith, “what was WAS, what is IS, and whats gonna be is GONNA BE”

  51. Ray Pride says:

    In the URL, it’s marked as a Google editors pick. That could do it, for sure.

  52. Foamy Squirrel says:

    Think of the richness of undifferentiated stem cells then consider what happens when you breed dim-witted facsimiles of each other, carbon copy/cousin coupling

    I… actually know something about this (back in the mists of time, I actually have a genetics degree). This answer is rubbish.

    Everyone has essentially 2 sets of DNA, one from mother and one from father (I think Kansas Wheat has approximately 52 sets of DNA). The interaction between these two sets is fairly complex, the one most people know about is Dominant and Regressive – so if you have 2 Brown Eye alleles, or 1 Brown Eye and 1 Blue Eye allele, then you will have Brown Eyes. You need 2 Blue Eye alleles to have Blue Eyes.

    When the body makes egg and sperm cells, they only contain half the normal DNA – and it’s not a “clean” half either. It may take 1 gene from your father, 1 gene from mother etc. So even if it’s possible to fuse 2 eggs together (or whatever) from the same “parent”, the resultant offspring is almost certainly going to have a different DNA combination.

    This is further complicated by epigenetics – as a lot of people know by now, your brain cells have exactly the same DNA as your heart cells, but behave in completely different ways. Stem cells again have exactly the same DNA as heart cells and brain cells – they are no more rich than any other cell – they just haven’t chosen what kind of cell they’re going to grow up to be. Epigenetics is the science of which genes on which cells are active – even more than determining what kind of cell it turns into, it also controls which “normal” genes are active or not. So you could actually possess 1 Brown Eye allele and 1 Blue Eye allele, but your Brown Eye allele is “turned off” so you end up with Blue Eyes (as opposed to the “You need 2 Blue Eyes” example I gave 2 paragraphs ago). Moreover, this pattern of which genes are active is ALSO inheritable – if your parents had certain genes in/active then the chances your genes are in/active increases massively… but is not absolute.

    In other words, the movie myth of “descendant that looks like carbon copy” is (generally) rubbish. The chances of having the exact same genes that are active in exactly the same manner are literally billions to one. You’d be better off just scouring the wider community for someone who just happens to look like the original.

    When you have inbreeding, what happens is that the genetic diversity doesn’t change (and neither do the genes somehow degrade) – what happens is that the homozygosity of the population changes.

    Think of it this way – you have two alleles of a gene: “r” and “R”. The frequency of both of these is 50/50 – so in a normal population, you’d end up with:

    rr = 25%
    rR/Rr = 50%
    RR = 25%

    When inbreeding occurs, the chance of homozygosity (“both the alleles are the same”) increases. For example:

    rr = 40%
    rR/Rr = 20%
    RR = 40%

    Note that the actual genetic variation (the number of “r” and number of “R”) hasn’t changed. This is why inbreeding tends to be an issue genetically – the chances of the offspring getting two copies of a nasty Regressive allele increases.

    TL / DR : Stem cells are no more rich than other cells. Breeding two “carbon copies” does not impact this “richness”.

  53. SamLowry says:

    Ray, the Atlantic piece, sure (that’s how I found it, after all), but I guess I misspoke because I meant this particular MCN thread, which has drawn some folks with views that are definitely out there.

    Maybe it was Dave’s review at the beginning that led me to use the word “article”.

  54. Jacob Greenwood says:

    Foamy squirrel, do you think extended telomerase in human cells could have contributed to the long life spans attributed in the OT? Also, in genetics, does everyone have (or could we have had and lost through “regressive color genes” the potential to be various skin colors?

    I also read recently about new discoveries in DNA, something about there being more strands than we thought…don’t remember exactly what..

  55. Ray Pride says:

    Gotcha, samlowry. Comments on both have the fever.

  56. EtGuild2 says:

    Jeanne Calment’s secret was to glug Port Wine, buy chocolate by the kilo and douse everything in olive oil, while lighting up a pack or two a day till she was a super-centenarian. Forget fighting cellular degeneration–I think everyone in the Bible was a chain-smoking chocoholic.

    Regressive color genes? Melanocytes affect eye, hair, and genitalia color as well, so technically people already are various skin colors at once. Are you talking like hot pink, or cobalt? Because Eumelanin and Pheomelanin only range from black to yellow and pink to a light red respectively.

  57. Foamy Squirrel says:

    The telomerase issue is a fiddly one – basically cells can only replace themselves so many times before becoming degraded (otherwise known as “aging”). One of the holy grails of genetic research is how to control cells reaching what is known as the Hayflick Limit to slow down, or even prevent, aging.

    However, there’s a flip side of the coin – the human body already possesses a number of cell types that exceed the standard body Hayflick Limit… but at the cost of being much more susceptible to cancer. Skin and testicles are two examples, but telomerase activation has been observed in 90% of all human tumors.

    The net result is that, without some kind of intervention, there is a natural limit on human lifespan – extended telomerase could theoretically continue forever, but over time the probability of developing cancer from the telomerase activation approaches 1. You’d probably also have a higher cancer rate amongst teens and young adults as well.

    “Color genes” is a bit of a misnomer – since skin color has a practical function, and can be impacted by external factors (otherwise known as “tanning”). Basically skin color is determined by the amount of melanin produced – of which there are two factors, the “base” amount and the “reactive” amount. Some people are naturally white, but tan easily, while others burn like a pink sausage.

    In practical terms, darker skin acts as a defense to the nuclei (and the DNA) versus UV radiation from the sun. However, you also need Vitamin D which is generated by… exposure to the sun. So your body wants enough melanin to stop you getting cancer, but not too much that you get Rickets. If you’re living in Scandiwegia and you have a dark-skinned baby, chances are that baby will have health problems. Similarly, a light-skinned baby born in Kenya in the pre-Noah age probably wouldn’t have lasted that long either.

    The closest you’ll get is heritability of the tanning adaptation, which you tend to get in people of Mediterranean descent since the climate can shift between hot and sunny during summer, and snow in winter. But “You never knew what color your kid would be”? Nope.

  58. Jacob Greenwood says:

    Well, the Nubians are traced to Shem. Maybe Shem’s wife was dark skinned.

  59. EtGuild2 says:

    I’m as far from an expert on this as I could be, but regarding the whole aging thing, I was always under the impression that cryptobiosis, or basically suspending metabolic function, was a more realistic approach to extending lifespans than attempting to slow down the cellular degeneration process while keeping metabolic function intact, since there are examples on the planet of the former. I.e., Tardigrades or “water bears.”

  60. Jacob Greenwood says:

    @etGuild2
    Sounds good for storage, but hard for activity. Could a person be productive in cryptobiosis?

  61. Pete B. says:

    Jacob Greenwood-
    Do you have a website? Cause if you do, I bet it’s fascinating. Please share! (And no, I’m not being sarcastic.)

  62. berg says:

    this website looks like it was designed in 1999

  63. Jacob Greenwood says:

    The website began in 1999 and has been changing ever since.
    Its not a corporate website, its an online interactive museum. Educators across the country use Rubin’s “Hall of Knowledge” in their classrooms to teach about Modern Art and more. The artist thinks of web pages as TV pages.

    So, if you don’t like art, color, music or unique content then turn the channel.

  64. berg says:

    I do like the art, color and content (music was okay) … just saying it looks like it was designed in the previous century … the interweb is a vast storehouse of information that will forever be available, even in the sense that future generations dig it up, not unlike an archeological dig where dinosaur bones are retrieved ….

  65. EtGuild2 says:

    Dinosaurs? You mean Noah’s horses?

  66. Jacob Greenwood says:

    Elephants.

  67. EtGuild2 says:

    Jacob, any opinion of “God’s Not Dead?”

  68. Jacob Greenwood says:

    EtGuild2, What’s the question :)

  69. Dee says:

    The movie co-stars Jennifer Connelly, whose mother was Jewish, and Logan Lerman, who is 100% Jewish.

  70. peter says:

    Hey everybody, get out your bible and find the name of Noahs wife. Its not there. Don’t you see regardless of the acting this movie is ground breaking as us Christians finally know who “Noahs wife” was.
    And she’s a Cainite so a negress should have played the role.
    Ham should have been played by a black as well. Afterall his son was Cush .

  71. peter says:

    Ham is played by a shemite or a semite same thing, and Shem or Sem is played by a gentile when the semite playing Ham should have played Sem, only makes sense.
    And japheth was a strawberry blonde in the bible.
    And Noah was a radiant blonde with glowing blue eyes.
    Certainly not a rag tag like the phone thrower.

  72. jepressman says:

    My, my all these opinions about an old testament Bible story,including hair color and eye color of the participants.The story is about faith, endurance and duty and Noah is not a Christian, a Hebrew, a Muslim but a man?,a good man and a man hundreds of years old. Noah is nearly a thousand years old at his death. Crowe gives an excellent performance as Noah and Aronofsky made an interesting film and it is successful. As for Mr. Poland’s point of view,well he wasn’t challenged by this film but it is non-the-less a challenging film.

Leave a Reply

The Hot Blog

Quote Unquotesee all »

“Any time a movie causes a country to threaten nuclear retaliation, the higher-ups wanna get in a room with you… In terms of getting the word out about the movie, it’s not bad. If they actually make good on it, it would be bad for the world—but luckily that doesn’t seem like their style… We’ll make a movie that maybe for two seconds will make some 18-year-old think about North Korea in a way he never would have otherwise. Or who knows? We were told one of the reasons they’re so against the movie is that they’re afraid it’ll actually get into North Korea. They do have bootlegs and stuff. Maybe the tapes will make their way to North Korea and cause a fucking revolution. At best, it will cause a country to be free, and at worst, it will cause a nuclear war. Big margin with this movie.”
~ Seth Rogen In Rolling Stone 1224

“Yes, good movies sprout up, inevitably, in the cracks and seams between the tectonic plates on which all of these franchises stay balanced, and we are reassured of their hardiness. But we don’t see what we don’t see; we don’t see the effort, or the cost of the effort, or the movies of which we’re deprived because of the cost of the effort. Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice may have come from a studio, but it still required a substantial chunk of outside financing, and at $35 million, it’s not even that expensive. No studio could find the $8.5 million it cost Dan Gilroy to make Nightcrawler. Birdman cost a mere $18 million and still had to scrape that together at the last minute. Imagine American movie culture for the last few years without Her or Foxcatcher or American Hustle or The Master or Zero Dark Thirty and it suddenly looks markedly more frail—and those movies exist only because of the fairy godmothership of independent producer Megan Ellison. The grace of billionaires is not a great business model on which to hang the hopes of an art form.”
~ Mark Harris On The State Of The Movies