Saturday, April 5, 2014

Movie Review: Noah - "Smell the Fart" acting at its best

Australian's have a dreadful habit of claiming things that originate from New Zealand for our own. Pavlova, Split Enz, Phar Lap, Keith Urban, just to name a few.

I've long been of the opinion that Russell Crowe, another Kiwi born "Australian" is quite welcome to piss off back to Taupo or wherever the hell he came from when ever he likes. It's been long enough. He's had his time.

The movie "Noah" is an adequate reason for him to bugger off back to where he came from. If I was feeling even more mean spirited it's an adequate reason to revoke his permanent residency.

Okay, maybe that's a bit harsh.

I loved him in Brides of Christ some 25 years ago. He was very good in "Romper Stomper", "LA Confidential" and "A Beautiful Mind". He wasn't too bad in "Les Miserables" either, playing Javert, a cop hell bent on slapping Hugh Jackman's character in the clink. Still think the best part of that film was when dear Rusty jumped off the bridge near the end of the film.

For the rest of his films, Russell Crowe gets to play this tough guy with a marshmallow centre that gets to wield a sword or a gun and puff up his chest a lot, all the time getting to give withering looks at the camera from over his shoulder.

Yep, you got it, I'm not really a Russell Crowe fan.

Having a couple of discount movie vouchers up my sleeve, I grabbed my friend the Naughty Librarian and went along for a Friday afternoon showing. This wasn't a film I'd pay full price for. I'm glad I've seen it. I'm glad we didn't go see it 3D as I think we would have got seasick, but as films go it's a funny one - funny peculiar, not funny comedic.

There are bits of it I liked.

There are bits that had me wanting to stand up and scream "Cut the wank you pretentious snotbag!" and throw the hard popcorn bits at the bottom of the bucket at the screen.

The pretentious stuff is not Rusty's fault. That stuff I will lay in the hands of the director, Darren Aronofsky, director of both "Black Swan" and "The Fighter", the former of these films still has my jury out - a work of art or pretentious crap. I don't think I'll ever make up my mind on that.

On the good side of things, the film gives a completely different spin on the Noah story. The cinematography is brilliant and some of the concepts, like the building of the ark and the earth bound angels are excellent. The ark was great, seriously cool stuff going on there, as was the scenery which I believe was filmed partly in Iceland. Wonderful stuff to take in, a bit like the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy on spots.

The movie sort of sticks to the story in the Bible as I remember it from Sunday School. Noah good man, descendant of Methuselah has three sons. He and his family have to gather up all the innocent animals and save them from the flood.  They build the ark, it rains for forty days and nights, then they send out a dove who comes back with a branch and there's a rainbow and they start the world anew, but not after Noah gets an attack of the guilts, does a David Hasselhoff and gets messy drunk and his son, Ham, the sensitive one, sees him naked and he gets banished because of this.

I liked how they answered the question I've always had about the ark - like what did they do with all the manure? And how did you feed that many animals for over forty days and nights with the feed on board. That got answered and that was pretty good.

That's where my liking of the film stopped.

The acting was if the "smell the fart" variety for most of the characters. (See below for a proper description)

There were these photo montages that sort of worked in places.

The huge environmental bent I liked, but I wasn't so fond of the preachy tone the whole movie took.

And I know that they put Ray Winstone as Tubal Cain in for a bit of dramatic effect, but first of all, I don't remember Tubal Cain in the Noah story  - please forgive me if I'm wrong, but since when did Tubal Cain stow away on the ark? And really, two middle aged men knife fighting amongst the animals on the ark. Hmmmm, sorry, that one didn't wash.

"Noah" is a film that I'd normally avoid. Thinly veiled environmental allegory, well-known story, huge effects, slightly dodgy acting with holes the size of the one in the ozone layer when it comes to plot and substance. A bit like "Titanic" you know exactly what's going to happen - it was just a matter of how and when.

The Naughty Librarian and I walked away a little flummoxed. We agreed that we wouldn't pay full price to see it, though we were glad we got to witness the effects.

But that was about it.

And I'm still very much of the opinion that Russell Crowe should piss off back to Taupo or where ever it is he comes from. I'll hold no ill will if he chooses to do that in the near future. Maybe he can take Lleyton Hewitt with him when he goes.

1 comment:

Jackie K said...

I'm actually a huge fan of Russell Crowe when he's in his films - I think he's a great actor - but he's such a massive dick in real life.
It perplexes me why this film was made. No one except extreme fundamentalists believe in the literal ark story, and apparently the film doesn't overtly reference God, and yet it's a story that expects the audience to go with the literal idea of two of every animal on a boat - so what was the point?
I think my reaction if I saw might well be the same as yours.