Please take into account I have not seen either of these movies because I outright refuse to encourage this nonsense by giving away my money.
And I’m sure plenty of people will say “Eh, she’s Pagan. She’s gonna be pissed off at anything biblical.” In that case, fuck off. I don’t have time for superficial bullshit.
Like many Pagans, I was raised Christian and some of the habits are engraved. My child is NOT allowed to blaspheme in my house, I watch The Ten Commandments on Easter Sunday every year without fail, and I have an OCD like reaction to saying (or someone not saying) ‘Bless You’ after a sneeze. It’s how I was raised and I have accepted it as part of who I am and I don’t fight it.
And that is part of the reason I cannot abide these movies.
Yes, I am judging these movies by the trailers. Get over it. And here’s why.
Until I was about 14-15 years old, I was a devout Christian. I’ve read huge chunks of the Bible, I prayed multiple times a day, I wore a cross with the Lord’s Prayer in it (and can STILL recite it from memory) so in my mind, Moses and Noah were miracle stories. Noah built an ark to save his family and the animals of the world. Moses saved a nation of people with the conviction of his faith and God on his side.
And the new movies turn them both in to warriors. And the little Sunday School girl inside me is so pissed off I cannot even properly express it.
But allow me to try.
The miracle of these stories is Noah and Moses didn’t have to fight. Moses showed up with a staff, God turned it into a snake to devour the Pharaoh’s magicians snakes. God brought plague upon plague upon Egypt and (er… We can forget the actual verses say God hardened Pharaoh’s heart on purpose to make these things keep happening, right?) with the regime weakened, Pharaoh releases the Jews. God parts the Red Sea, God sends the pillar of fire to delay Pharaoh’s troops so they can cross it, and God punishes them for their lack of faith when Moses is receiving the tablets, forcing them to wander until the entire generation of doubters was dead.
It was a miracle. A series of miracles. And the damn trailer turns Moses into Leonidas.
I guess this is part of a larger problem I have with the dogma of turning what is supposed to be Biblical pacifists who changed the world with the power of God into ‘You can skip this movie and just watch 300 and The Day After Tomorrow if you wanna watch warriors and a frickkin flood.’
I guess it shouldn’t upset me at all seeing as how this isn’t my belief system anymore. But I had to explain to my kid why my face twisted in disgust and I had to change the channel whenever I saw the trailers on TV. Cinema Sins summed it up in their assessment of Noah:
“Because battle is the only way Hollywood knows how to build tension, let’s shoehorn an evil army into the Noah story. Since a world-covering flood isn’t antagonist enough.”
“Man, Noah is a better fighter than Maximus. I bet if Hollywood made a Biblical epic about Zacchaeus, he’d be a kung-fu fighting expert slash tax collector.”
“-because a story about a man building a giant boat on God’s instructions, then loading a boat with 2 of every animal and his family, and then surviving a worldwide flood isn’t exciting enough material to make a movie out of on it’s own, apparently.”
This is not the Bible I grew up with. We were taught to turn the other cheek, love those who hate us, and revere and trust in the power of God. God brought fire from hail, turned water into blood, covered the entire Earth in water. Noah had a BOAT. Moses had a STAFF. That’s it. It’s as if you made Ghandi into Dhalsim. The message is ruined. If you want to preserve the Bible and spread its message through cinema, you’re gonna have to do better.
Or just grab a sword. Fuck it. Sells movie tickets.