Yes … We Watched The Movie “Noah”

Man … this is getting to be “plum regular” … this is the second movie we’ve gone to the theater to see in something like two months … and … we’re planning to go see another one in the next couple of weeks!

People are always interested in what you did, and why you did it, so here goes:
First, the whole story of Noah and the flood fascinates me … the fact it had never rained before, Noah being the only preacher on earth, how big the ark was, etc. The whole idea that we get so mad when people won’t respond to our attempts to witness to them … and then, I think of Noah, and his faith, his trust in God. In God’s Word, and God’s promises. We’ll write more on that later.

First, this isn’t a “what’s wrong with” type of review. It would be easy to say that everyone we have talked with told us to not go see it, that it was a waste of money, etc. And, then, tear the movie apart … without having watched it. There has been plenty, enough, of that.
I did bend, slightly, to the temptation, to do a Google search using the term, “What type of genre’ is the new movie Noah?” I stopped after just viewing the results.

I thought this must be “Historical Fiction” (the Librarian in me), but that can’t be it. The best way to describe its genre’ is “Biblical Fiction,” but, I have a really hard time just writing that, and had to convince myself to write all of the letters. The movie is listed as a “Drama.” I wasn’t sure if the category “Biblical Fiction” was a real category, but, from another Google search, apparently, it is. Something about the way that sounds just bothers me.

Anyway, the film is firmly “Biblical Fiction.” I call it a fictional re-write of an historical event. To be polite, there are a great number of “historical inaccuracies,” but the film was never meant to be a realistic re-telling of an actual event. Remember … whether it’s a friend, or neighbor, or stranger telling you something … always “consider the source.” You’ve probably heard enough of all the inaccuracies, like getting the Methuselah-Lamech-Noah genealogy right, but messing up on the birth order of Noah’s sons. From their ages to their marital status, to the number of people on the ark … it was, literally, a fictional re-write. It also hit me that the word “God” was never mentioned in the movie.

Am I concerned that people will watch the movie, and consider it to be fact? Much like the reaction one gets, when asking someone about the Ten Commandments, and they respond something like, “Yeah, I know all about it. I saw the movie.” In this case, I am hoping that the fact that there are certain clearly “Science Fiction” elements thrown in, that this will be enough to convince a secular audience that much of this is fiction, and is meant to be.

It is hard not to quote 2 Timothy 4:4: “And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
I am more hopeful that people who watch the movie will want to go to the Bible and read the real story … And, I think that is the real value of a movie like this. As we quoted our Pastor, when he was asked about the movie “The Passion of the Christ,” and responded, “I liked the book!” We can only pray that people who see this will be compelled to read the real story … and, let God take it from there.

So, what did I really think? In this case, you have to look at it as a “regular” movie. If there had never been a Noah, or a flood, or an ark … then, this would be a great “entertainment” movie. Great story, great acting … great drama … there were times I “jumped,” and times I was on the edge of my seat. Oh … and, special effects!
But, I guess what bothers me is that, knowing the true story … why not tell it the way it is written? I can’t remember ever seeing a movie preview before, which carried a “disclaimer” with it.

We all know the story of Abraham Lincoln. It would be like making a movie called “Abraham Lincoln,” but changing many of the main facts about his life which we know to be true, and changing or adding characters or events to the point where you would say, “Knowing the true story … why not tell it the way it was written?” It would definitely have an effect on the reviews, wouldn’t it?

Carol and I got to the theater about 5 minutes before the movie started … the theater was completely empty … we were the only ones there (Monday night @ 6:20). Another couple showed up just before the previews, and then, another couple showed up moments later. So, all 6 of us watched the movie. We spoke with the first couple out in the hallway, after the movie. The lady said she was going to, now, “go back and read the story from the Bible again.” Again, maybe that’s the whole point to a movie like this. Certainly, God can use something like this for that reason. I was grateful that, just last week, to reinforce myself, I studied Genesis, chapters 6-10. I love the story … as it is written.   

The next movie we’ll go see: “Heaven is For Real.” Carol and I have both read the book, and the lady from the couple at the “Noah” movie, mentioned above, told us she had also read the book, as we all looked at the movie poster.

I mentioned both the “Noah” and the “Heaven” movies to a friend at work today, and we almost got into an argument over the “Heaven is For Real” story. I think it is scheduled to be out this (Easter) weekend … Honesty, I feel terrible about how I reacted to someone’s opinion over the “Heaven is For Real” book … Man, do I need to pray more about my interactions with other people … He had not read the book, but had a definite opinion about it, which differed from mine … I can imagine how people are going to react once the movie comes out … both those who have read the book and seen the movie, and those who have done neither …



Movie Preview and Review: “Son of God”

Today, Carol and I had the privilege to go the theater and watch the new movie “Son of God.”
We will conclude with the official Movie Trailer.

This was the first time we have gone to a theater to watch a movie since “The Nativity Story” back in 2006.
My understanding is that some of the movie came from a documentary on cable television, with many scenes added. Since we only have basic cable television with the minimal channels, we didn’t see the documentary, so this was all new to us.

I thought the acting was superb, and it was a powerful presentation. It brought me to tears, and I watched much of it through one eye, wiping tears one eye at a time. I love Jesus, and it is difficult to watch a portrayal of what He went through for me … I can’t image how painful it was … or, the emotions His disciples and true followers went through …

The first concern is always “How Biblical was it?” I think they did a great job … they combined a couple of lines here and there, but the effort was there to put the “complete picture” together in a short 2 hours, while remaining true to both the Gospel accounts and the political motivations involved. When I watch interviews with the actors/actresses, they are also trying to reach an audience who doesn’t know about Jesus … this may be their first experience or introduction to Jesus, and the Gospel. I also liked the idea that real Christians were involved in the movie, with a real mission to reach the world. Those who already know Jesus, and those who don’t.

This was a Sunday afternoon 3:30 matinee, and there were something like 15 people in “Cinema 5.” I thought … well … I know that’s not as many as were in the other movies that were showing …. but, 15 people were enough … or, it was in “Jesus’ time,” to change the world. As we waited for the movie to begin, a man came down the aisle, moving slowly, being assisted with a cane in one hand, and an assistant helping him on the other arm. He couldn’t have made it without help. I couldn’t help thinking that, even 2,000 years later, the lame and crippled are still coming to see “The Son of God.” As the movie opened, it was amazing how the first few scenes went right along with the message we had heard in church this morning, about “the Kingdom of God.” The Scriptures and the examples matched the sermon exactly.

I strongly encourage you to see the movie. The world needs to know that there is still an audience that is willing to go to the theater to watch just this type of movie. And, we’d like to see more of them. I did see the preview of “Noah,” which is coming out soon. And, I understand that the movie “Heaven Is For Real” will be coming out. I do know that God will use any means necessary to reach us. There are many who wouldn’t go to church (at the moment), but they would go to a movie. He will use any means necessary to reach us.

I am encouraging you to be seen in a movie cinema? Well … I don’t know about you, but I like the subject matter. Because … the subject matters. In fact, who you think Jesus is, is the most important question you will ever answer. I love Jesus, and I love the Bible. Any media which supports either, gets my support.
Years ago, when someone asked my Pastor what he thought about the movie “The Passion of the Christ,” here was his reply:
“I liked the book!”
His response was met with this, honest response:
“Wow! That was a great story! It would make a great book!”
This person did not know that there was a story … a whole book … written about Jesus. But, he saw the movie.

As much as I loved this movie, and was encouraged anew by it, how many sitting in theaters had never heard the story of Jesus? Underneath, I can’t help but think that maybe that’s the whole idea. I think of the few in the theater today watching this movie, portraying the life of Jesus. How He lived. How He died. And, how He rose from the dead. And, why that matters to me today. I then think of how many people I’ve personally witnessed to today.

Yes, I encourage you to watch the film. And, I hope and pray many “others” will watch it, too.
By the way, I also thought about this: How great it is, to live in a country where you can actually go to a public place … and watch a movie … about Jesus … that tells the actual truth … in fact, it’s even called “Son of God.”

Here’s the official trailer: