Noah releases today and we’ll finally get to see Darren Aronofsky’s vision of a man and his boat.
There has been a lot written about Noah. A lot of Christians are upset with the movie and how it allegedly strays from the biblical narrative. A lot of the most vitriolic words are from people who haven’t even seen the movie yet. I don’t know if it strays too far from the biblical narrative to be considered biblical, but I’m at least going to see the movie before passing any judgment.
With Noah’s release, now seems like a good time to look at some of my favorite biblical movies.
The Prince of Egypt
The Prince of Egypt is probably my favorite biblical movie. I haven’t seen it in a number of years so it may not hold up that well. As far as I remember, though, I really enjoyed it. I recall that it focused on the relationship between Moses and the Pharaoh, who could have been brothers. I also really liked the visuals, especially the whales swimming next to the Israelites in the parted Red Sea. Perhaps I should watch it again to see if I like it as much as I did. Or maybe I’ll find that I prefer the bombast of Charlton Heston’s Moses.
The Ten Commandments
I think I’ve only seen The Ten Commandments once. Looking back now, my sixth grade social studies teacher wasn’t a very good teacher. She was supposed to teach us history, which in her mind meant showing us Hollywood epics like Ben Hur, Samson and Delilah and The Ten Commandments. I don’t remember liking the movie that much, but it was really long so it took up two or three days of class. It’s a classic and Charlton Heston is at his Charlton Hestoniest. Heston’s bombast and overacting is really only matched by that of the Pharaoh, Yul Brynner.
Jonah – A VeggieTales Movie
Again, I’ve only seen Jonah – A VeggieTales Movie once and that was at an early screening. I enjoy VeggieTales, even though they were at their prime when I was way out of their target demographic. I love the Bunny Song and can’t stand the Hairbrush Song, after some girls on a Mexico trip in high school sang it nonstop. I really appreciated how Jonah didn’t shy away from the end of the story. Jonah was a bad dude and a racist. Instead of finishing with the repentance of Nineveh and jumping to the credits, the movie showed how “Jonah was a prophet but he never really got it.”
The Passion of the Christ
I’ve only seen The Passion of the Christ once and that is very much by choice. At Christmas I will watch the same moves every year: Love Actually, Scrooged and The Nightmare Before Christmas. At Easter, though, I’ve never been tempted to pop some popcorn and sit down to watch The Passion of the Christ. It was a powerful movie and extremely well made. I’m glad that I watched it in the theaters. In the end, though, I don’t really want to sit through it again. The Passion is hard to watch and should be hard to watch. If at any point I thought that it would help me love Jesus more, I would definitely watch it again. At this point, though, I think it would just help turn my stomach with all of its blood and violence.
I’m planning on seeing Noah this weekend. I’m looking forward to seeing what Aronofsky does with the story even if it isn’t completely biblical. If Noah stays true to the larger themes of the biblical narrative, then I will be on board. If it doesn’t, I’ll still be able to enjoy the movie and trust that God can persevere through one more unbiblical movie.
What are some of your favorite biblical movies?