Maher on “Noah”

A week ago I wrote about the upcoming movie “Noah” with its all-star cast including Russell Crowe in the title role and also featuring Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins, Nick Nolte, and Emma Watson. It’s gonna be a stinker, folks—at least that’s Professor Ceiling Cat’s prediction. And it’s already been condemned by Christians for its (get this) historical innacuracy, and by Muslims for merely depicting Noah, a messenger of Allah.

Below is a clip of Bill Maher “discussing” the film, which of course turns into a diatribe against the Old Testament and Biblical morality. I think I see Andrew Sullivan sitting at the desk.

“Isn’t life hard enough without making shit up to fuck with yourself?”

If anybody sees this film, I will gladly publish their review (but check with me in advance). I’m not wasting any money on it.

h/t: Hempenstein


  1. Cara
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 2:18 pm | Permalink


    • francis
      Posted March 15, 2014 at 2:50 pm | Permalink


      • Diane G.
        Posted March 15, 2014 at 3:18 pm | Permalink


  2. Diana MacPherson
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Oh good I hope that was Sullivan. I DVR Real Time each week & I haven’t watched it yet. This should be good!

    • Jolo
      Posted March 15, 2014 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      I watched it this morning, it was indeed Andrew Sullivan.

      Seth MacFarlane was on as well, you know, the Cosmos guy…

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted March 16, 2014 at 9:13 am | Permalink

        I watched last night and Seth needs to get his Big Bang Theory spiel down. He did okay but he got his timeline a bit muddled and he characterized it as an explosion rather than the expansion of the whole works.

  3. Stephen Barnard
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Historical inaccuracy, indeed! Russell Crowe looks nothing like Noah.

    • lkr
      Posted March 15, 2014 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      He doesn’t look a day of 600 yrs!

    • Merilee
      Posted March 15, 2014 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

      And you know because you’ve seen Noah’s picture in the Bible – LOL

      • Stephen Barnard
        Posted March 15, 2014 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

        I have! He looked exactly like Liam Neesom. With beard.

        • nurnord
          Posted March 15, 2014 at 6:35 pm | Permalink


  4. Sastra
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    If the Noah’s Ark story had Satan deciding to drown the entire world (for any reason whatsoever) does anyone doubt how often that example would be used to show how EVIL Satan was? Clearly, obviously, objectively wrong, without any rational ability to doubt it. What could be worse?

    But no. Because if God did it then there is a clear, obvious excuse, the same one they trot out to exculpate Him from genocide and Hell: the ends justifies the means.

    And oh yeah — everyone who drowned was a Bad Guy. We don’t waste much time speculating about the lives and loves of Bad Guys. They’re props, plot devices to make the cute animals and nice family happy to be saved.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted March 15, 2014 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      Yes and one of the few times I remember being taught about something from the bible as a child – the teacher (I think this was a substitute Kindergarten teacher – the one who’s soul I shook when I didn’t know what she was talking about when she asked if we read from the bible) told us that god felt really, really bad for killing everyone after the flood.

      Oh that makes up for it then. So humans basically have an abused spouse relationship with god then. Good to know.

      • Sastra
        Posted March 15, 2014 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

        Yes. “Look how you made me hit you: why did you have to disobey? Do you think I enjoy this?”

        Ever seen the movie “Dogtooth?” It models God’s parenting skills in action.

      • gophergold
        Posted March 15, 2014 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

        Citation Needed

        Where does it say god felt sorry afterwards? The closest I know is creating a rainbow as a way of saying he won’t do a flood again. But I don’t think there was an apology attached.

        If anyone can show me the passage where god apologizes, I’ll retract this statement.

        • Spirula
          Posted March 15, 2014 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

          This is the the verse (KJV)that is being referred to I think:

          21 And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.

          So God needed more death first.

          And then we get the rainbows. No mention of ponies though. Not true repentance without BOTH rainbows and ponies as far as I’m concerned.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted March 15, 2014 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

          I’m just going by what my substitute Kindergarten teacher told us in 1975.

          • microraptor
            Posted March 15, 2014 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

            Yeah, I remember something similar when I was in Catholic elementary school about a decade later. Of course, they couldn’t quite seem to decide whether they were supposed to be teaching it as a metaphor or an actual historic event.

            As a kid, I figured it must not have been real because the teacher said that that was why there weren’t anymore dinosaurs, and by the age of 5 I’d already learned that dinosaurs and people didn’t live together at the same time (this, of course, being before the feathered dinosaur revolution occurred).

            And the only way I’d actually see this movie is if I was paid (extremely well, like minimum $20 per hour) for my time and not actually required to pay attention to it so I could plug in my iPod and close my eyes for 2 hours.

            • microraptor
              Posted March 15, 2014 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

              Oh, and sub.

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted March 15, 2014 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

              I’d see it if I didn’t have to pay & went with people who I could make smart ass remarks with.

              • darrelle
                Posted March 15, 2014 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

                Go with some friends and make a Mystery Science Theater 3000 event out of it.

              • microraptor
                Posted March 15, 2014 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

                Yeah, it’s definitely a movie that deserves to be riffed.

  5. hank_says
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Well, I won’t watch this piece of crud but its existence did inspire me to write my own treatment of a “realistic” Noah flick. If you like I’ll link to it here.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted March 15, 2014 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      Yeah link to it!

      • hank_says
        Posted March 15, 2014 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

        Sorted, ta.

        Needs a little tweaking but I think the bones are there.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted March 15, 2014 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

          I loved it! I can almost see this with some of the sounds used in True Detectives – some of the pounding swooshing sounds that mimic the sound you hear when you get a headache and can hear your head pounding.

          I can see it being shot in a darkly manner too with the camera following Noah or looking up at him.

          • hank_says
            Posted March 15, 2014 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

            Thanks! I’m thinking it would mostly be told from the point of view of our protagonist, Noah’s neighbour (a subdued Mark Ruffalo, partnered with Rachel Weiss because Jennifer Connelly probably wouldn’t want to be That Noah Actress) who’s increasingly concerned about Noah (played insanely well by D-Day Lewis, who’ll spend nine months in the middle east constructing an ark with his bare hands and literally going insane as preparation) and what his apparent descent into delusion is doing to his family (a harried Tilda Swinton for Mrs Noah).

            Perhaps Sam Mendes (American Beauty) could direct – or maybe Gravity’s Alfonso Cuaron 🙂 They’d handle the dark atmosphere and breakdown of human relationships beautifully – then again, so could Lars Von Trier. Not only would Von Trier make it weird, dark and disturbing but he also has good familial dysfunction/apocalyptic form with Melancholia.

            • jim
              Posted March 15, 2014 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

              Maybe David Lynch? Certainly has an eye for the dark and surreal, but failing that how about Michael Bay, just imagine it.
              Explosions followed by slow motion shots of Noah and Mrs Noah running, then….explosions, a half naked Emma Watson with a finale of the ark sprouting giant wooden limbs.
              Surly there would be no finer tribute to the Noah myth.

              • hank_says
                Posted March 15, 2014 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

                Michael Bay’s Noah with a transforming Ark – brilliant. If not a feature, then certainly perfect subject matter for sketch comedy 😀

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted March 15, 2014 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

              John Hillcoat would be good if he brought some of what he brought to The Road or maybe Cronenberg to bring some of the crazy – I liked what he did with Eastern Promises. Hey, there is a theme here. Maybe Viggo Mortensen should be in the movie. 😀

              • hank_says
                Posted March 15, 2014 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

                Hadn’t thought of Viggo – he could be the hapless neighbour trying to talk sense into D-Day Lewis!

                I forgot about Eastern Promises – very nicely depicted, that.

            • microraptor
              Posted March 15, 2014 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

              Throw in Mark Ruffalo Hulking out and you might be on to something.

              • hank_says
                Posted March 15, 2014 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

                Someone will have to lift a gopherwood beam off of Rachel Weiss, I guess.

    • Posted March 15, 2014 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      I would look at it. And a “realistic” Moses flick would also be interesting. Genocidal megalomaniac, and all that.

  6. Posted March 15, 2014 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    I will probably rent it. I see this as a movie about well known mythology with some extra religious baggage. I will try to see it as I would see any big, loud fantasy movie with lots of CG effects.

  7. Harrison
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    The problem with the Noah story is that it’s not very cinematic as presented. Guy builds a boat, it rains a lot, and then everything is okay.

    Hollywood’s been able to make at least a couple entertaining Moses movies because there’s some inherent drama there. It’s equally mythical but it’s far more entertaining.

  8. kelskye
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    I’m hoping the movie is one of those “so bad it’s good” type films that is fun to watch because of how bad it is. Though I’m not expecting it to be that bad, just another mediocre disaster film filled with standard Hollywood tropes. I sat through The Day After Tomorrow so I don’t need to sit through another film like that again.

  9. ploubere
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    • Kevin
      Posted March 15, 2014 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      Nonstampcollector’s Noah’s Ark are brilliant.

  10. Alex Shuffell
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    I’m excited to see this film. Mostly because I’m a huge Darren Aronofsky fan, although I found Black Swan to be quite disappointing. Clint Mansell is doing the music again so it should have an awesome soundtrack to it. Mansell’s music is the reason I have seen The Fountain so many times.

    There was a good article in the Guardian a few days ago that is worth a read, if you are curious about this film.

    “”Noah is the least biblical biblical film ever made,” Aronofsky is quoted as saying. “I don’t give a fuck about the test scores! My films are outside the scores. Ten men in a room trying to come up with their favourite ice cream are going to agree on vanilla. I’m the rocky road guy.””

    It also says that Paramount have given up trying to market this film towards Christians. Too many try to ignore the Old Testament and it’s message of a violent and jealous god that this film will show them. My only problem with the film is that it looks like another action filed CGI fantasy movie, not a dark and disturbing Aronofsky movie.

    • nightglare
      Posted March 15, 2014 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

      Agreed (mostly). With apologies to our host, Aronofsky is too interesting a film maker to dismiss one of his films on the grounds of its subject matter or source alone. Unless it gets really crummy reviews, I’ll certainly take a punt on it. I disagree about Black Swan, though; highly enjoyable, despite being pretty absurd and over the top — maybe Noah will be similar?

  11. Posted March 15, 2014 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Very, very funny and deservedly tongue – lashing ‘review’ !

    Alongside a snidely smirking Salman R’e !


  12. Posted March 15, 2014 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    It might be great. Aaronofsky is a magnificent filmmaker.

  13. BilBy
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Nick Nolte? That’s Ray Winston innit?

  14. Posted March 15, 2014 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    The mere fact that it’s upsetting my evangelical friends makes me want to go see it.

  15. Kevin
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    I hope it is smitten with computer graphics, and violence, and hatred, and deliberation on god-forced choices which seem immoral to regular humans. The only thing that will be left is another piece of cimena that Christians will proclaim deplorable and obviously not representative of their world view.

    A positive outcome will be for fence sitters to get off their faith boundary and jump to reason and recognize we never were and never should be in the business of building arks to kill people.

  16. Posted March 15, 2014 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Ironically, it is someone taking an ancient story and reconstructing it into their own morality tale, just like the author(s) of Genesis did.

  17. Richard C
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    The moral failings of the Noah myth don’t end with the drowning of innocents in a global flood.

    It’s also the main Biblical justification for slavery. Genesis 5 says that Noah’s son Ham had his entire line of descendants cursed into perpetual slavery to the descendants of Noah’s other two kids, for seeing Noah sleeping naked and gossiping about it. And guess which one of Noah’s three sons Genesis 10 then says repopulated Africa, starting with Egypt? Yep.

    It’s no wonder that proponents of American slavery quoted from this specific story repeatedly in defense of that evil, just as the ancient Israelites must have done in defense of their own perpetual enslavement of the Canaanite people (also Ham’s line in the Genesis myths).

  18. potaman
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    That Bill Maher chap sounds mildly anti-semitic in the beginning of the rant.

    • Merilee
      Posted March 15, 2014 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

      Maher has one Jewish parent and one Catholic one. He himself is 100% atheist.

    • Thanny
      Posted March 15, 2014 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

      No he doesn’t. You’ve just allowed yourself to be lead to believe that making a joke involving Jews is anti-semitic.

  19. Jimbo
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    I won’t watch this or The Last Temptation of Christ or The Passion of the Christ or any of them. Maybe if Tarantino did it–that might be good.

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted March 15, 2014 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

      The Last Tenptation of Christ is very good.

      • Stephen Barnard
        Posted March 15, 2014 at 9:03 pm | Permalink


      • Merilee
        Posted March 15, 2014 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

        Yes, great book, too.

  20. Jim Sweeney
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    Fred Clark of Slacktivist has pointed out some of the narrative problems in Genesis, including the extensive treatment of the children of Cain, whose descendants of course were wiped out in the flood.

    The other night I was reading R. Crumb’s rendition (which I must say is vastly more entertaining when consumed with a little medicinal weed) and I was struck by the possibility that there may have been an original narrative in which we are all the children of Cain.

    The authors were obviously just sticking all the good stories in there every which way, with none of our modern concern for consistency or continuity (see Gould’s The Hedgehog, the Fox and the Magister’s Pox for a more recent example of that tendency, or the gospels, for that matter). Cain’s murder of his brother would have made a more convincing case for original sin than Adam’s disobedient acquisition of knowledge, which is difficult to understand as a sin at all.

    • steve oberski
      Posted March 16, 2014 at 5:12 am | Permalink

      It was Mark Twain who said “Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived” and this goes double for Crumbs version of Genesis.

      The book is a masterpiece and it’s graphic format gives the brutality of the OT god an immediacy that the text version never did for me.

      The two versions of the creation story leap right out at you in their jarring inconsistency.

      The xenophobia, misogyny and homophobia come across as just part of these tribal goat herders daily way of life so of course their god(s) would approve of these qualities.

      I hope he is working on some of the other OT books but I suspect that given the amount of effort it took him to produce his Genesis this will not happen.

  21. Friendlypig
    Posted March 16, 2014 at 3:17 am | Permalink

    To make things worse Dog is all knowing. Therefore at the moment he created time and space he knew in advance that he was going to screw up when he made people. That’s not nice.

  22. gophergold
    Posted March 16, 2014 at 5:13 am | Permalink

    An old HBO series called Dream On had an ep, “Hack Like Me”, where one of the characters pitches publishing “The Nude Testament”, an r-rated version of the bible.

    The boss rejected the idea, asking who would read it, “catholics who want to go to hell?” There was no market. Christians would be offended by the presentation, and atheists wouldn’t want to read the bible, regardless of the nudity.

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