Tag Archives: Film

Should you go see Darren Aronofsky’s movie “Noah”?

Here’s a review of the draft screenplay from Christian screenwriter Brian Godawa.

Excerpt:

As a screenwriter of films like To End All Wars and Alleged which deal with faith, and as the author of a novel called Noah Primeval about what led up to the Great Flood, I am especially conscious of issues relating to the intersection of Hollywood and the Bible and I’ve been keeping tabs on a film that lives at that intersection, a film called Noah, written by Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel. I’ve also watched with great anticipation as a post-Passion of The Christ Hollywood tries to come to grips with how to reach the massive faith-friendly audience and I’m concerned about the phenomenon that I see, which is films being developed for that audience by people who don’t understand it and are thus destined to fail. Then when they do fail, as expected, smug Hollywood executives declare “See, that audience doesn’t really exist.” I don’t want that to keep happening. I want films to be properly developed so that they can succeed. It is in that spirit that I offer my analysis of Aronofsky and Handel’s Noah script. I believe that it’s never too late to right a ship that is heading in the wrong direction.

Having got a chance to read an undated version of the script for Noah I want to warn you. If you were expecting a Biblically faithful retelling of the story of the greatest mariner in history and a tale of redemption and obedience to God you’ll be sorely disappointed. Noah paints the primeval world of Genesis 6 as scorched arid desert, dry cracked earth, and a gray gloomy sky that gives no rain – and all this, caused by man’s “disrespect” for the environment. In short, an anachronistic doomsday scenario of ancient global warming.

And here’s an article by Jewish conservative Ben Shapiro on CNS News.

Excerpt:

Meanwhile, Hollywood prepared to drop a new blockbuster based on the biblical story of Noah. The film, directed by Darren Aronofsky, centers on the story of the biblical character who built an ark after God warned him that humanity would be destroyed thanks to its sexual immorality and violent transgressions. The Hollywood version of the story, however, has God punishing humanity not for actual sin, but for overpopulation and global warming — an odd set of sins, given God’s express commandments in Genesis 1:28 to “be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it.”

[…]In a world in which consumerism is the greatest of all sins, America is the greatest of all sinners, which, of course, is the point of the anti-consumerist critique from the left: to target America. Global warming represents the latest apocalyptic consequence threatened by the leftist gods for the great iniquity of buying things, developing products, and competing in the global marketplace. And America must be called to heel by the great preachers in Washington, D.C., and Hollywood.

It’s very rare for me to recommend that people go see a movie made by Hollywood leftists, and I give this movie the same treatment. Do not spend your money on this movie. Do not give your money to the people who made this movie.

William Lane Craig reviews new Dawkins/Krauss movie “The Unbelievers” in The Blaze

Dr. William Lane Craig
Dr. William Lane Craig

On The Blaze, a major political news site, Dr. William Lane Craig reviews a new atheist movie entitled “The Unbelievers” starring Lawrence Krauss and Richard Dawkins.

Excerpt:

Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss are two of the most important figures in the New Atheist movement. So one would naturally have high expectations that their new documentary, The Unbelievers, would present a vigorous, powerful attack upon the rationality of religious belief, featuring interviews with impressive scientists laying out the case against God.  Instead, the film turns out to be merely a travelogue of Dawkins and Krauss’ “magical mystery tour” of speaking engagements before their enthusiastic fans. Rather than thought provoking, the film is shallow, boring, and narcissistic.

[…]Featuring sound bites from celebrities and film stars in support of their cause fits Dawkins and Krauss’ purpose more than substantive interviews with qualified but largely unknown academics. The film’s purpose is not to present a case but primarily to rally the troops.

But there is a more fundamental reason for the absence of argument against religious belief. Dawkins and Krauss proceed on the unspoken assumption that science and religion are fundamentally mutually exclusive. Therefore, all one needs to do in order to discredit religion is to extol and celebrate the greatness of science. Science and religion are like two ends of a teeter-totter:  if the one end goes up, the other automatically declines. Thus, Krauss asks Dawkins which he would rather do:  explain science or destroy religion?  It is assumed that these are two ways to the same end. Dawkins, of course, chooses to extol science. “I’m in love with science, and I want to tell the world.” His implicit assumption is that one cannot love both God and science.

There is no argument given for the mutual exclusivity of science and religion; rather it is the unquestioned presupposition of the film. This is ironic because one of the repeated emphases of the film is the necessity of critical thinking. No view is off limits to examination; we must insist on permission to question everything. Yet Dawkins and Krauss are strangely oblivious to their own unexamined assumptions. Why think that science, restricted as it is to the exploration of the physical world, is incompatible with the existence of God?  Alas, we are not told.

[…]Indeed, given their ignorance of the literature, one cannot help but wonder if Dawkins and Krauss are not, in fact, incapable of engaging in substantive conversation on these matters. Hence, their open endorsement of ridicule as “a useful tool for illuminating reality.” Dawkins’ philosophical gaucherie is on display when complains that his dialogue with the Archbishop of Canterbury was “ruined” by the chairman (Sir Anthony Kenny, himself an agnostic), who “is a philosopher and so thought it his duty to clarify things,” which led, says Dawkins, to “skewing.”  Similarly, Dawkins breezily dismisses “Why?” questions as “silly.”

So what do we make of Dr. Craig holding Dawkins and Krauss accountable? Well. it’s one thing to treat Peter Millican and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong nicely. But Krauss and Dawkins really need to be spanked for their own good, at this point. What else do you do with ignorant children who run around insulting grown-ups?

What I find ironic is that there are 7 areas of science where theism has gained decisive support in the last 50 years:

  1. The Big Bang cosmology
  2. The cosmic fine-tuning
  3. The origin of life
  4. The origin of phyla in the Cambrian explosion
  5. Galactic habitability
  6. Stellar habitability
  7. Irreducible complexity

Each of these poses a threat to naturalism, and a few of them are lethal to naturalism on their own. Atheists have been reduced to holding onto speculations to get around them. You know the sort: nothing creating something, unobservable multiverses explain fine-tuning, unseen aliens seeded the Earth with life, undiscovered pre-Cambrian fossil record, and so on. It’s a bad time to be an atheist. Science has refuted atheism over and over again!

William Lane Craig podcasts about “The Unbelievers”

There are 3 of these podcasts so far in the series:

  1. What was the point of the film?
  2. Is science opposed to religion?
  3. Unscientific assertions in the film

Hollywood selects leftist propaganda movie “Argo” for “Best Picture” Oscar

As USA Today reports, the truth is that the Canadians did almost all of the work of the rescue mission.

Excerpt:

The former Canadian ambassador to Iran who protected Americans at great personal risk during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis says it will reflect poorly on Ben Affleck if he doesn’t say a few words about Canada’s role should the director’s film “Argo” win the Oscar for best picture Sunday.

But Ken Taylor — who said he feels slighted by the movie because it makes Canada look like a meek observer to CIA heroics in the rescue of six U.S. Embassy staff members caught in the crisis — is not expecting it.

“I would hope he would. If he doesn’t then it’s a further reflection,” Taylor told The Associated Press. But the 78-year-old Taylor added that given what’s happened in the last few months, “I’m not necessarily anticipating anything.”

Taylor kept the Americans hidden at his residence and the home of his deputy, John Sheardown, in Tehran and facilitated their escape by arranging plane tickets and persuading the Ottawa government to issue fake passports. He also agreed to go along with the CIA’s film production cover story to get the Americans out of Iran.

Taylor became a hero in Canada and the United States afterward. He felt the role that he and other Canadians played in helping the Americans to freedom was minimized in the film.

“In general it makes it seem like the Canadians were just along for the ride. The Canadians were brave. Period,” Taylor said.

[…][Former U.S. President Jimmy] Carter appeared on CNN on Thursday night and said “90 percent of the contributions to the ideas and the consummation of the plan was Canadian,” but the film “gives almost full credit to the American CIA.”

Carter also called “Argo” a complete distortion of what happened when he accepted an honorary degree from Queen’s University in Canada in November.

“I saw the movie Argo recently and I was taken aback by its distortion of what happened because almost everything that was heroic, or courageous or innovative was done by Canada and not the United States,” Carter said.

Taylor said there would be no movie without the Canadians.

“We took the six in without being asked so it starts there,” Taylor said. “And the fact that we got them out with some help from the CIA then that’s where the story loses itself. I think Jimmy Carter has it about right, it was 90 percent Canada, 10 percent the CIA.”

He said CIA agent Tony Mendez, played by Affleck in the film, was only in Iran for a day and a half.

So, naturally, it gets the Oscar for Best Picture. It’s a fake movie, and that’s what we expect from uneducated artists who play make-believe for a living. The real Best Picture of 2012 was Dinesh D’Souza’s “2016”, but they’ll never pick that, because it told the truth. It was not even included as a nominee for Best Documentary, although it made more money than all the 15 nominees for Best Documentary, combined.

Friday night movie: Run Silent, Run Deep (1958)

Here’s tonight’s movie:

IMDB rating: [7.2/10]

Description:

The World War II U.S. Navy submarine commander P.J. Richardson (Clark Gable) has an obsession with the Japanese destroyer that had sunk his previous boat and three others in the Bungo Straits. He persuades the Navy Board to give him a new submarine command with the provision that his executive officer, or “exec”, be someone who has just returned from active sea patrol. He is single-mindedly training the crew of his new boat, the USS Nerka, to return to the Bungo Straits and sink the destroyer, captained by a crafty ex-submariner, now destroyer captain, nicknamed Bungo Pete. Richardson’s executive officer, Lieutenant Jim Bledsoe (Burt Lancaster), is worried about the safety of his boat and his crew. Bledsoe also is seething with resentment at Richardson and the Navy management for denying him command of the boat which he believes should rightfully have been his.

The new submarine used in the movie is a Balao class diesel submarine.

A Balao class diesel-electric submarine
A Balao class diesel-electric submarine

SS Balao specifications:

Length: 312′
Beam: 27′
Speed: 20-1/4 knots (surfaced); 8-3/4 knots (submerged)
Diving Depth: 400′ (test depth); 600′ (emergency)
Range: 20,000 miles
Endurance: 75 days
Crew: 10 (officers); 70 (enlisted)
Deck Gun: 1 3″/50-calibre, or 1 4″/50-calibre, or 1 5″/25-calibre
Anti-Aircraft Weapons: 1 or 2-20mm Oerlikons, or 2-40mm Bofors, or 1-20mm and 1-40mm
Torpedoes: 10-21″ torpedo tubes (6 bow, 4 stern); 24 Mark-14 torpedoes; Mark III Torpedo Data Computer
Radar: Short range SD air detection radar; SJ surface search radar; ST periscope radar
Sonar: JP hydrophone, upper deck; JK/QC, QB Sonar under bow

As everyone knows, I have an interest in all things military, including submarine warfare. One of the first games I ever played was Gato by Spectrum Holobyte, on my old Apple Macintosh. A good newer game to play is Silent Hunter IV and Dangerous Waters. For something more macro, I recommend Harpoon.

Happy Friday!

Related posts

Review of October Baby, a pro-life movie opening today

Here’s the trailer:

Here’s a review from Jay Watts of the Life Training Institute, my favorite pro-life organization.

Excerpt:

This past weekend I was privileged to see an advanced screening of October Baby. You can read the promotional material for the film here.

October Baby tells the story of young woman – Hannah, played by Rachel Hendrix – who finds out that there is an explanation for her lifetime severe physical and emotional struggles. She was adopted by her parents after she survived a botched abortion. With the help of her best friend – Jason played by Jason Burkey- they set out on a road trip to search out her birth mother and the full story of Hannah’s past.

Whatever concerns I had about the quality of the film I was screening were quickly allayed.October Baby is not an amateur production. The filmmakers, Andrew and Jon Erwin, understand how to make a movie. Anytime you watch an independent film you know that the producers sacrifice some elements of larger productions – usually film quality and acting – in order to tell a more personal and intimate story. The Erwin’s seem to understand the limits of a production at this level and use their unusual skill to mitigate the weaker elements of small films, or – more simply put – they shot an independent film that looks great.

My only concern about movies about abortion is that they will bash the men and make the women out to be innocent victims. I did a little digging and it seems to be that this movie does not do that. I’m not sure, but I think it takes a subtle shot at feminism – something I read seemed to indicate that.

It’s endorsed by Fathers.comThis interview with the actor who plays the adoptive father says this:

NCF: The character you play, the father in this film, has his own journey through the film. Describe his journey and maybe what you saw as some of the mistakes he made and some of the things he did right and some of the things he learned through this journey that’s portrayed in the film.

JS: Well, my guy, he did a very right thing when his wife and he lost their twins, miscarried their twins, when his wife came to him and said, “There are twins up for adoption that would have been born around the same time our twins would have been born.” Obviously he supported that and they went and adopted these two little babies even though one of them was horrifically disfigured and not likely to make it out of the hospital—and the other one had health issues as well. So this is a guy who supported his wife’s desire to have twins, he supported her faith that there was a reason why she was made aware of these twins. So, he did that right.

The only thing as far as I can see … there’s a wonderful line of dialogue in there where the daughter says, “Why didn’t you tell me?” And basically, without saying this exact line, he said that, “I was always going to, but life kind of got away from us. We were working and …” he was at that point trying to become a doctor, he was going to school, and they had financial trouble, and it just kind of got away from him. It didn’t slip his mind, but the perfect time to have that conversation never really appeared. So he had to do it under duress. He had to do it in a doctor’s office when she was wondering why she was always so sick. So if he did anything wrong, that was it. Because he’s very protective of his daughter with her friend….

I love that about the movie too—the platonic, wonderful, buddy relationship between my daughter and her pal in his movie is so real. And as a movie-goer, you think, Okay these two have got to get together somehow. But it just is so wonderfully real. So my character, the dad in this movie, does a great job, I think, of protecting her against a teenage boy’s stupidity [laughs] … his judgment, from an eighteen-year-old boy’s perspective.

And I’ve said this to my kids many times. I haven’t said it recently, but … “One of the biggest differences between me and you is that I’ve been seventeen, and you have not been fifty. So your perspective is very narrow, very short. It is your perspective, and I’m not going to discount it, but my job as a dad is … if I’ve sat on a stove that you’re about to hike your butt up onto, my responsibility is to let you know it’s hot. I’m not going to keep you from sitting on it, but I’m going to let you know that it’s going to hurt when you do.” I think there’s that in this film as well, and I like that.

As far as what he learns, I think he learns in this movie that the resiliency of a seventeen-year-old girl is more than he thought, that a young person can actually handle more emotional information, more potentially hurtful information than you think they can. So there’s that wonderful scene where he tells her the whole thing about her brother, and it’s so moving. He’s a dad, and it pains fathers when their children go through that “Dad is an idiot” stage. It really pains them. It’s not just confusing, it’s hurtful. But the good news, dad, is that it does have a shelf life. They do love their dads through all that stuff too, they just don’t let you know it. But later on they do. I used to tell friends of mine, “Don’t worry. They turn back into people just as magically as they turned into aliens.”

I think it’s safe for us men to watch this – we won’t be blamed and bashed. The father character is strong and good. I have seen the trailer posted on men’s rights blogs AND pro-life blogs, so it looks like it’s worth a shot.

Please post comments below if you go see the movie.