“I know you wanted to see that movie,” she said. “And it’s nearly your birthday.”
I had REALLY wanted to see that movie. I had wanted to see it on the big screen because I was TOTALLY taken in by the nifty commercials.
Cool, I thought to myself. They are retelling the Noah’s Ark tale.
I couldn’t wait.
You have to understand – I really enjoyed watching Charlton Heston chew up the scenery in The Ten Commandments. I couldn’t wait for them to bring that good old story to the big screen. I mean, how hard could it be? The story was written right out there in The Bible.
Now – I want you folks to understand that I am NOT a Bible-thumping kind of dude. I’m a storyteller and I enjoy the old Bible stories as much as I enjoy a good ghost story – so I really wanted to see Russel Crowe building an ark and calling all the animals up there on the big screen. Only I never got the opportunity. Life got too hectic – as it sometimes gets – and I never got around to going to the theater to see this flick.
And I’m so glad I didn’t pay movie prices to see this flick.
It’s okay – I told myself. I can always buy a DVD when it hits WalMart.
Only when it hit WalMart I was too broke to bother seeing it.
And – in hindsight – I am SO glad I did not actually BUY a copy.
I just rented it.
I was filled with a deep and all-encompassing sense of misgiving since the first five minutes of the film when they showed us this weird sort of cross between Mad Max and The Transformers.
I mean – what was up with that Mad Max landscape?
What was up with that weird stone that they were throwing to make fire?
What was up with those freaking stone angels?
Seriously, I think Darren Aronofsky and his producers sat down and rolled up about fifteen or twenty of the hugest doobies you could ever imagine and started puffing away until the good buzz fairies began whispering into their brains.
Aronofsky: “Dude, there’s no freaking way we can expect people to believe that he built an ark so let’s give him a freaking work force of giant stone angels to build the ark for him.”
Producer: “A stone angel construction crew? Are you sure they’re not union?”
And what was up with all of those “Only sinners eat meat” scenes?
Noah – buddy – seriously, dude you NEED to try this cheeseburger!
You see – at the end of the day what it all boiled down to was that Aronofsky forgot the one basic rule of ANY movie, novel or work of entertainment.
JUST TELL ME A FREAKING STORY!
As I watched that movie I saw an endless stream of “This would be a cool idea” moments jammed together like pigs and cows and geese and chickens and giraffes in the belly of a great wooden ark – only he forgot to add a story.
It wouldn’t have been hard. We all learned the story in Sunday school. Heck, I wanted to see Noah and his kids building that freaking ark – not a bunch of poorly-CGI’d rock monsters building an ark.
I wanted to see the animals – but instead, Noah shows us a brief CGI flash of all of the birds and snakes and critters swarming in on the ark – and then Noah lights little fires and smokes them into a 40 day coma.
Or maybe Aronofsky just leaned over with one of his giant-sized doobies and shotgunned the ark.
Listen – all of you writer-types out there – don’t forget to tell a story. Keep that basic story arc!
(no pun intended)
Give us a character we care for. Get him up into a tree. Throw rocks at him. Let him down out of the tree.
Just a simple freaking story arc, dammit!
Russell Crowe was solid. Anthony Hopkins hammed his way through his unnecessary role just in order to squeeze in that whole “wise man hanging off of a cliff while being menaced by a man-eating tiger and stops to eat a freshly-picked ripe summer strawberry before he dies” zen koan into the script. The actresses were absolutely wasted. The sons of Noah were pointless. Ray Winstone’s Tubal Cain was added just because Noah needed to run out and play Horatio at the Bridge at least four or five times – and hey, we need a bad guy, right?
Pass me that Doobie, eh?
I sat through the whole thing.
Felt like forty days and forty nights worth of bad entertainment.
Damn it – my wife paid $5.99 through our cable bill so that I could watch it and by golly I was going to freaking WATCH it!
No wonder the film tanked at the box office.
(budget was $125,000,000.00 and it made $101,000,000.00 in the US.)
Unfortunately, it went on to make over 320,000,000.00 worldwide.
I think I would have been better off watching Charlton Heston crossing the Red Sea again.
Or even watching Bruce Dern in his flying ark.
(anyone else out there remember SILENT RUNNING?)
In any case today is my birthday.
In honor of my birthday let me offer you folks the chance to pick up my own version of the Noah story on Kindle today for a mere 99 cents. Consider it a gift to me AND to yourself! I don’t have any stone giants or mystical space elements – but I guarantee some rock solid entertainment. Just click the cover shot and it will take you there.
OR pick it up at Kobo – ALSO for 99 cents.