Movie Review: Noah (2014)

It’s been 3 years already and surely, many of you must have heretofore seen the movie Noah — what with the said Biblical epic almost tripling its box office returns against its budget! Still, it’s too controversial that it needs something like a follow-up, or some kind of reminder to humanity.

Their Synopsis. When God decides that mankind has become too sinful and must be wiped off the Earth, he chooses Noah (Russell Crowe), a pious man, for a great task. Noah must build an ark large enough to hold his wife (Jennifer Connelly), adopted daughter (Emma Watson), sons (Logan Lerman, Douglas Booth, Leo McHugh Carroll) and their wives — plus breeding pairs of every animal. When the task is completed, Noah and his family witness God’s wrath in the form of an apocalyptic flood.

Well, nothing’s wrong with the synopsis really. It’s what’s in the Bible save for one — there’s no mention of an adopted daughter but wives for each of them. Hence, what’s wrong is that writer, director and producer Darren Aronofsky did not really follow it — instead, he messed up the story! My, there’s just so many errors that this review would end up like a series just for us to tackle them all! And so, we decided to just go through some of the more glaring, otherwise, spiritually ‘endangering’ ones.

Noah’s family — simply erroneous

But before that, if you have read or heard of most of the reviews even during the film’s release, many of them in fact sang praises for the supposed artistry in Aronofsky. Like, he brought to life a timeless tale to fit the modern day.

What? Tale?? Sounds like God should not really be taken seriously that even a ‘modern day’ version could be adapted! Hey, even the Bible says, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Heb 13:8) This means, God’s laws of yesterday still applies today and even tomorrow. It has never changed, never will. Else, there would have been 3 books — Old Testament, New Testament and Modern Testament. See? It’s man who only says he’s got a personal relationship with God — but then chooses to go with ‘modern day’ as some alibi to suit his perversion. As Jesus says, woe to you!

The ark design makes sense since there were no modern tools at that time and God only provided measurements to go with the kind of wood to be used

Anyway, the only thing Biblical in this film is the flood! Everything else, wrong. Basically. Read from Genesis chapter 6 and onwards.

  • The Bible did NOT mention that stone watchers or fallen angels helped build the ark. It was just Noah and his family who worked on it.
  • The Bible did NOT mention any violence or of preventing people to enter the ark — tho logic tells us that there could have been wailing during the flood.
  • NO ONE ELSE except Noah’s family along with the pairs of animals entered the ark before the flood. However, as we saw in the film, there was one who did; and even sparked hatred and betrayal between Ham and Noah?!
  • Noah’s family INCLUDES his wife, his 3 sons and their wives. Or 8 in all. In the film, only Noah and Shem had a wife, Ham doesn’t which made him leave the ark to look for one that Noah did not even approve of. Meanwhile, Japeth is not even an adult yet? Wow, look what messing up with the ‘roots’ bring!
  • Tho Methuselah died in the same year as the flood, there is NOTHING in the Bible that says he died during the flood which would have made him like an unbeliever. If so, this explains Methuselah’s supposed witchcraft in the film where he healed the ‘barren’ (??) wife of Shem. Else, he could have been the last believer outside of Noah and his family — where his ‘natural’ death was the final sign before the flood. Do NOT be confused — speculation only.
  • Most of all, Noah was NOT something like an uncaring, ‘mad man’ who even tried to kill his family as he ‘misunderstood’ (??) the command of God.

POSITIVES 

Stone watcher giants — quite misleading

The cast played their roles well while the graphics were okay except for the stone watchers who looked like a joke. Meanwhile, the narration on the fall of Adam and Eve onto the multiplication and division of man through Cain and Seth were adequate. And if only the plot was not taken from the Bible, yes, it was creative; there were twists that it showed the good and dark side of a ‘chosen one’, who’s after all, still human.

NEGATIVES 

Noah, the rebel, and Methuselah

Did Hollywood run out of stories when they thought of filming Noah and so turning it into the ‘Lord of the Rings’? Remember, when it comes to the Bible — NEVER change anything. Do as it says, and if ever you want to insert your creativity — tinker with graphics but NEVER the story.

Your soul — and the souls of weak faith — are at stake here, so do it right.

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Movie Review: One Night with the King (2006)

This movie about the Bible’s Queen Esther was actually released back in October 2006 and understandably so, with low box office returns of USD 13.7M against a budget of USD 20M — after all, it’s of a lesser known Bible character. Hmm.

Hence, even though Esther was a Queen and has her own book in the pages of the Holy Scripture — that’s in the Old Testament, after the Book of Nehemiah and before the Book of Job — she’s still relatively unknown particularly to those who does not really read the Bible.

Thus, it’s not surprising that producers of this film came up with an intriguing title — ONE NIGHT with the King which was, in fact, based on the novel Hadassah: One Night with the King by Tommy Tenney and Mark Andrew Olsen. Still, for real Christians, this should not be the case as the line became quite suggestive. Hey, Esther is not some one-night-stand girl! And how could people even make novels of such when we already have the ultimate reference in the Bible?? This would only discourage the world to open their Bibles even more, instead, just believe in what the movies or the novels say!

See? The producers themselves even acknowledged — like, the film added elements not present in the Biblical version as well as some non-Biblical ‘minor’ characters. Minor? Even the bite of an ant hurts, so be careful with that minor thing. Mind you, what good is a cool setting and pretty cinematography if you would only twist the Holy Scripture?

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Tiffany Dupont a.k.a. Queen Esther | Hadassah

At any rate, this is the real story. Esther is one marked Biblical character who was noted for her bravery in stepping before the king to save her people and God’s chosen ones — the Jews — from being annihilated. Well, you know, especially during those times of kings and pharaohs, rules were strict. Like, if you approach the king without permission, you could be put to death. Thus, one should not just acknowledge authority like a god but really follow protocol as well — otherwise, you incur the wrath of the ruler, or be a target of his ‘ministers’ so to speak.

Now, before Esther came to be, there was Vashti, the queen; however, since she did not adhere to the King’s request, the search for a new queen was mandated — where, ultimately, Esther was chosen. In time, Haman whom the king has just promoted was angered at Mordecai (uncle of Esther) for not bowing to him; and so, his pride led him to scheme on destroying the Jews throughout the whole kingdom by trapping them with laws that he pointed or suggested to the king.

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Mordecai with Hadassah before she became Queen Esther

Eventually, it was Haman who got caught by his own wiles and was put to death while Mordecai was honored as Esther saved the Jews. So, see what ‘pride’ brings? This is very evident, more so, during these times — and this is why there’s discord around the world and even between family. And so, this ‘pride’ should be the moral of the story which should have been emphasized instead of screen-time issues between Esther and Haman.

In the end, remember that the Bible is Holy — do not try to commercialize any part of it. Instead, impart only the truth — and help fortify faith.

Movie Review: Atomic Blonde (2017)

So, how many of you likes spy films? You know, like 007. Well, our feature for the day is a recently released spy movie that starred Charlize Theron and was entitled ‘Atomic Blonde’ based on the novel, ‘The Coldest City’.

Did know about this?? Okay, it’s understandable. Besides, it barely made a week in cinemas on this part of the world. Why? Let’s first check this out..

While the reviews were generally good, guess many somehow finds the film not interesting. Really. Just from the trailer alone. So, how could movie goers be enticed to see this film when they find it, what, sinister?? Like, Charlize seems to be always in the ‘dark’ — and talks like she’s constantly scheming.

Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) and David Percival (James McAvoy)

Of course, it’s a spy film! That’s why. But ‘said’ good guys don’t really scheme. They just react in the moment. Anyway, the movie is a low budget one yet it has already doubled its box office — thanks to Charlize. Yes. Though she was using a ‘bedroom’ voice in an action film, she in fact did well in her portrayal. In fact, most of the actors did. Especially James McAvoy who played David Percival, a ‘double agent’ stationed in Berlin.

However, there are more explanations that needs to be done here by its creators. Like, since Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) is not an alien or something, there should be some hints on her unusual strength. Just listen to the sound effects! Her punches and those she took. Well, unless you’re Ronda Rousey, that’s pretty rare in females.

Sure, she also had her bruises but not until so many fights which makes it quite surreal! See, being a top notch spy is not enough an explanation to be super strong — as those who have come to know spy films, most females are stereotyped on the sensual side of the story — save for a few like Michelle Yeoh on her role in the 007 film Tomorrow Never Dies.

Another question would be the use of inappropriate music for some scenes. Like, when Delphine (Sofia Boutella) got killed, why play ’99 Luftballons’? Yes, it was mellow but that’s not enough. Somebody died. And we know the tune of the song to be hyper, so even if you mellow the tune, the lyrics would just make you recall its beat. They could have just removed the lyrics and played it softly if they really wanted that song. Makes sense?

Charlize Theron with Sofia Boutella (a.k.a. Delphine Lasalle)

Then we also have the ‘lesbian’ love scene between Lorraine and Delphine. While Hollywood may be trying to incorporate ‘openmindedness’ into films, guess many parts of the world are not ready for this. Spirituality and culture should always be considered. See, the scene was just sort of wild. The lesbian subplot was not even in the original book!

Lastly, the narrative just had a lot of twists. Mystery in movies should watch their step and not try to outdo other films of its genre by making people keep scratching their heads. Like the enigma of Satchel for one. Hey, Charlize was a ‘triple’ agent — like, an American agent feigning to be a British agent for MI6 with the intent of getting the Russians’ trust and so, act like a double agent for them. In the end, she was actually just manipulating everybody. Hmm.

Some labyrinth.

Movie Review: Dunkirk (2017)

Do you like movies of world war settings? That’s because our feature for today is obviously during the period of Hitler, Lebrun and Churchill — entitled Dunkirk.

The Synopsis. In May 1940, Germany advanced into France, trapping Allied troops on the beaches of Dunkirk. Under air and ground cover from British and French forces, troops were slowly and methodically evacuated from the beach using every serviceable naval and civilian vessel that could be found. At the end of this heroic mission, 330,000 French, British, Belgian and Dutch soldiers were safely evacuated.

Okay, though it’s got a war setting, it’s not actually a war movie; thus, no real bloodshed but just — all running. The creators of the movie says they want it to be suspenseful or something like that. Then again, while most critics liked the film, there were those who were left scratching their heads after getting out of cinemas. Yep, not all movie-goers really enjoyed it — like, it was more of a ‘drama’ film per se than a suspense-thriller sort of thing.

In short, it was kind of boring. 

Not that people loves bloodshed, it’s just that the movie’s intent of exciting us simply didn’t get us to the edge of our seats. The dialogues were just too little. And the supposedly engaging scenarios, just nada. A waste of a musical score.

Could the main actors have something to do with this aura? Partly. They just lacked that ‘cinema effect’, if you know what we mean. And while the concept was there — save for a throng of extras along the shores like just ‘waiting to be bombed’, or those caught in fire at sea — there’s simply not much drama in the movie! Even the gunning down of a plane or the burning of one in the end, it just wasn’t emotionally moving for that matter.

Not to mention some questions on the film’s historical accuracy — like, the yellow paint on the noses of German planes which wasn’t done until after Dunkirk, or the granting of a salute without wearing a military beret; well, these are just little things that we could let go. But, but. If British officers really refused to evacuate French soldiers due to some ‘conflicts’, that’s something else. You don’t do that to allies particularly in times of war!

At the end of the day, think the plot of saving without much bloodshed has a lot to do with its dullness. You know, transferring from boat to boat to avoid attacks and stuff just doesn’t excite many. It just looks tedious. This is just an example of a production that simply failed to bring the audience ‘inside the movie’. And even looking at its box office so far, guess it’s just the hype that made people go to theatres. That’s it.

Movie Review: Cars 3 (2017)

The third installment of Cars has already been in movie houses for some days now, well in case those of you who have been following this delightful 3D franchise — about car racing, perseverance, ambition and relationships — were not aware of.

The Synopsis. Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast cars, the legendary Lightning McQueen finds himself pushed out of the sport that he loves. Hoping to get back in the game, he turns to Cruz Ramirez, an eager young technician who has her own plans for winning. With inspiration from the Fabulous Hudson Hornet and a few unexpected turns, No. 95 prepares to compete on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage.

Most everybody who have seen this series would not have any problem appreciating its graphics — it’s just cool — and cute, too! Especially with Owen Wilson doing the dubbing of Lightning McQueen, it just makes the character more comical and yes, believable.

Still, there are a few things we have noticed in Cars 3.

One. Doesn’t the presentation of Storm remind us of Rocky 4? Yeah, the boxing film of Sly Stallone. You know, all those machines and ‘analytical’ data that were used to showcase Ivan Drago. And Lightning even trained at the beach — just like Rocky Balboa did!

Lightning’s beach training with Cruz Ramirez

Well, the only solace to the sort of copying here would be at least this one is a 3D film. Otherwise, the beach training should have been expounded.

Two. Yes, we do love that ‘sneak through the window’ tactic as well as the throwing of those bale of hay for Lightning to avoid — these are undeniably good and ‘realistic’ strategies. So indeed, while advanced technology is like athleticism — what can really beat athleticism is wisdom.

Jackson Storm and Lightning McQueen going head-to-head

Three. Wouldn’t it have been better if Lightning finished the race instead of having Cruz complete it? Though the ‘passing of the torch’ was cool, it’s like taking away the spotlight from Lightning. More so, what happened to his training then? Like, we never really saw the fruits of Lightning’s hard work.

Then again, since these are machines — as in we’re talking about cars here — perhaps the only way Lightning could beat Storm is to make him hit the wall.

Many times, a ‘big event’ is the sign of one’s turning point in life

Four. Two quotes that we could use in our lives: ‘do not be afraid of failure but be afraid of not having the chance’ and ‘just focus on what you are here to do.’

In the end, provided your emotions are in place — an aim in life is the one thing that makes life worth living. Just live right.

Movie Review: Spider-Man Homecoming (2017)

Super hero films seem to be popping up one after another that we are always headed to the cinemas on weekends, huh?! And this time, it’s Spider-Man: Homecoming — the sixth of its kind since 2002.

The Synopsis. Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, young Peter Parker returns home to live with his Aunt May. Under the watchful eye of mentor Tony Stark, Parker starts to embrace his newfound identity as Spider-Man. He also tries to return to his normal daily routine — distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just a friendly neighborhood superhero. Peter must soon put his powers to the test when the evil Vulture emerges to threaten everything that he holds dear.

Well, the main difference of this Spidey version is the active participation of Iron Man as in the plot was like a continuation from the time when Spider-Man guest starred with the Avengers.

Anyway, while critics rated the Homecoming quite positively, guess this was also because of having an actual teenager play the role of Spider-Man in 19-year-old Tom Holland — which, in that case, is pretty shallow. Altho Andrew Garfield does not really look like a teen more so quite cocky at times, Tobey Maguire was real youthful — just like when Michael J. Fox took the teenage role in Back To The Future. We just got to accept that some guys just don’t really age that fast, and these two really did a great job in their roles.

The Cast

The ‘revolving’ love interests on these three versions of Peter Parker is cool. Yes, from MJ to Gwen to Liz then possibly to Michelle on the next Spider-Man film is creative — like, if you would just change the Spidey actor then why not include his love interest? This is good so as not to confuse and disappoint fans of every Spider-Man ‘series’.

Nonetheless, one positive about the Homecoming is its focus on Parker’s teenage life what with getting an ordinary-looking teenager in Tom play the role — and this was also why many youngsters appreciated this film as they could relate to it. Meanwhile, there are also several niceties about Tobey’s version and to name a few: one, his being a photographer on the side explains what life really is — it’s not a bed of roses. Two, having scenes of his uncle Ben shows how Peter developed his character. Three, being bitten by a spider and consequently acquiring the arachnid’s ‘powers’ is certainly better than trying to keep making your own webs — after all, this is a fantasy film.

The Value of a Mentor: No one climbs the Ladder of Success alone

Still, after watching the Homecoming, there was something more that seems lacking here. Drama. Super hero films especially need drama to make a real impact — even a ‘kiss between sweethearts’, like when Tobey hung upside-down to be kissed by Kirsten Dunst (a.k.a. MJ Watson). And unfortunately, the only dramatic scene we noticed in the Homecoming was the elevator scene. This was when Spider-Man rushed to the Washington monument to save his friends from a free-falling elevator. That was cool.

Aside from that, not much really — not even the splitting of the Staten Island Ferry scene where Spider-Man and then Iron Man helped prevent the ferry from tearing apart. Why? That scene was just too similar to Tobey’s train-stopping scene where he overextended his limbs to slow down an out-of-control train. Remember that scene?

Zendaya (a.k.a. Michelle) could be Peter’s love interest in the next Spidey movie

Then again, the Homecoming is a success as well; so, expect more of Tom in the future — and hopefully more drama, too. Ned as the next villain? Hmm.