ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
45°
Clear
H 48° L 31°
  • cloudy-day
    45°
    Current Conditions
    Clear. H 48° L 31°
  • clear-night
    32°
    Morning
    Clear. H 48° L 31°
  • clear-day
    50°
    Afternoon
    Sunny. H 55° L 30°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg news on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg traffic on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg weather on demand

00:00 | 00:00

Entertainment
Review: 'Noah' bobs in parts, sinks in others
Close

Review: 'Noah' bobs in parts, sinks in others

Review: 'Noah' bobs in parts, sinks in others
Photo Credit: Photo credit: Niko Tavernise
(Left to right) Leo McHugh Carroll is Japheth, Jennifer Connelly is Naameh, Emma Watson is Ila, Russell Crowe is Noah and Douglas Booth is Shem in NOAH, from Paramount Pictures and Regency Enterprises. N-40657-Edit

Review: 'Noah' bobs in parts, sinks in others

Trending on Facebook

More Popular and trending stories

Neither fish nor fowl, neither foul nor inspiring, director and co-writer Darren Aronofsky's strange and often rich new movie "Noah" has enough actual filmmaking to its name to deserve better handling than a plainly nervous Paramount Pictures has given it.

Aronofsky's a determined sort of fever dreamer, whose work so far includes "Black Swan" and "The Wrestler" in the popular success category, along with his earlier "Pi" and "Requiem for a Dream." His latest, one of the nuttier Bible-related movies in the history of the medium, finds the filmmaker trying to cope with a heavy load of digital effects (flood; supernatural beams of light; giant rock-formation beasts that move, talk and provide nonunion, ark-building labor) and a heavier load of audience preconceptions.

Many in the prospective audience will resist what Aronofsky has done to Their Noah. This one, played with steely purpose by Russell Crowe, is a flawed, angry and murderously conflicted man just trying to do his job as he sees it: Listen to the Creator, prepare for the cleansing, annihilating flood, fulfill his mission and then live with the emotional consequences. In the Broadway musical "Two by Two" starring Danny Kaye, there's a song called "Poppa Knows Best." Poppa here, by contrast, threatens his own kin at knifepoint, thus risking the hostility of every woman, man, bird and animal on the vessel.

Here's why "Noah" actually works much of the time, even when it's just asking for parodists to have their way with such a potential folly. Aronofsky is interested in these people as people, not pop-up saints straight out of Sunday school. Although the director has a habit of letting the internal momentum of his dialogue scenes putter and then stall, his penchant for tight hand-held close-ups maintains a crude, heightened realism. Now and then, Aronofsky must pull back for more generic, digitally complex panoramas involving marauding armies or rock-formation "Watchers" (fallen angels, resembling a "Flintstones"-era version of "Transformers") doing their thing. There are two movies duking it out in "Noah," one close to the ground, the other up in the air, taking it all in. At its occasional best the film marries new technology with simple, striking visual notions, such as Noah's premonitions of the flood to come.

Jennifer Connelly emotes mightily, if rather demurely, as Noah's valiant wife (here named Naameh; she never made the cut in the Book of Genesis version of the story). Their three sons are portrayed by Logan Lerman (Ham); Douglas Booth (Shem, whose steady is played by Emma Watson); and young Leo Carroll (Japheth). Anthony Hopkins enjoys three or four scenes as Methuselah, Noah's grandfather, a man who has seen much and who at this point in his life simply wants a fistful of berries to munch on. (This bit is the closest "Noah" comes to comic relief.)

There's a roiling Cain/Abel dynamic between the older boys, and when Ham falls under the sway of Noah's sworn enemy, the latest in a relatively short line of bloodthirsty, godless men descended from the Cain, the movie finds its most affecting element. Ray Winstone's seething portrayal of the antagonist, and eventual ark stowaway, stays just this side of caricature, just as Crowe — say what you will, he's one of the only English-speaking actors alive who can plausibly anchor a Bible epic — finds the human being beneath the Job-like adversities.

A lot of this picture is dubious, starting with the rock-giants, the friendliest of which is voiced by Nick Nolte. (Honestly: Who else?) I came to "Noah" a Bible know-nothing, with zero concrete expectations. I must say, though, the animals get the shaft. They spend most of the movie sedated and sleeping in the bowels of the massive ark, which looks like a shipping barge made out of gopher wood, while the humans work through their problems. So be it. Aronofsky has said he didn't want to indulge in one of those cliched images of Noah, shot from a low angle, backed by two of this and two of that. The movie may be erratic, and its sillier, heavier passages recall its maker's nutso epic "The Fountain." Yet it's unpredictable, which is saying something, and it argues rather sweetly that if we had just listened to Noah, we'd all be vegetarians as well as more careful stewards of the only planet we've got.

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

  • Police tried to pull over a driver for a warrant Monday afternoon in north Tulsa.  The man ran to the back of a home near Pine and Tacoma.  “He started to try to kick in the back door of that residence,” said Officer Jeanne McKenzie with the Tulsa Police Department. “When he did that, he actually shot himself.” Police say he then picked up the shotgun and started to run around the side of the house.  Two officers fired their weapons. The man was pronounced dead at the hospital.
  • A North Carolina man who made headlines when he was caught for break-ins after winning a doughnut-eating contest has been arrested again. And this time he’s accused of stealing from a doughnut shop. The Virginian-Pilot newspaper reports 27-year-old Bradley Hardison of Elizabeth City was charged Thursday with stealing from a Dunkin’ Donuts in November. An Elizabeth City Police Department statement says he’s charged with felonies including breaking and entering and larceny. It wasn’t clear if he helped himself to any doughnuts. A phone listing for Hardison rang disconnected. The Virginian-Pilot reported that in 2014, Hardison won a doughnut-eating contest put on by Elizabeth City police while he was wanted on suspicion of several break-ins. Investigators said they arrested Hardison after his win prompted further scrutiny, and he was convicted, according to the paper.
  • Ending a three day stalemate that resulted in a federal government shutdown, Democrats on Monday dropped their filibuster of a temporary spending bill in the Senate, allowing the Congress to swiftly approve a resumption of government funding, which will put hundreds of thousands of federal workers back on the job immediately. “I am pleased that Democrats in Congress have come to their senses,” President Donald Trump said in a written statement issued by the White House, as Republicans said Democrats had folded under pressure. The Senate voted 81-18 to re-open the government. The House followed soon after, voting 266-150 in favor of the plan. The deal reached on Monday between the two parties not only allows government funding to resume, but will re-start negotiations on major budget issues, as well as the question of what should be done with illegal immigrant “Dreamers” in the United States. BREAKING: Trump says Democrats 'have come to their senses' on shutdown; he's open to immigration deal only if 'good for our country' — AP Politics (@AP_Politics) January 22, 2018 “We will make a long-term deal on immigration if, and only if, it is good for our country,” the President said, as he met separately with Senators of each party on the matter. When asked if they had been on the short end of the shutdown fight, Democrats emphasized the deal on immigration legislation, which will allow a Senate debate if there is no negotiated deal by February 8. “What other choice did we have?” said Sen. Bill Nelson (R-FL) to reporters. “Otherwise, to go in gridlock and shutdown for weeks? I mean, that’s not acceptable.” Lawmakers also approved language that will insure federal workers and members of the military will be paid, despite the funding lapse of the last three days. We have been talking for months about ways to address Congress’ unfinished business — military spending, disaster relief, healthcare, immigration, and border security. Now those talks can get going again. — Leader McConnell (@SenateMajLdr) January 22, 2018 While this agreement ended the shutdown, it didn’t solve the underlying problems which contributed to the high stakes political showdown. Both parties must still work out a deal on how much to spend on the federal government operations this year – President Trump wants a big increase in military spending, while Democrats want extra money for domestic programs. And then, there is immigration, which has bedeviled the Congress for years, and could again, as lawmakers try to work out a deal with something for both sides. “There’s a symmetric deal to be done here on these DACA young people,” said Sen. David Perdue (R-GA), who joined a small group of other GOP Senators in meeting with the President this afternoon on immigration. Perdue says the deal is simple – Democrats get protections for illegal immigrant “Dreamers,” while Republicans would get provisions “to provide border security, end chain migration issues, and end the diversity visa lottery.” The White House emphasized that as well. White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley: “Anything that relates to DACA … can be in the conversation, but it has to be tethered to the other three main points, including a wall” https://t.co/xjXCFx9PwD — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 22, 2018 But to get something into law, lawmakers will need some help from the President. “What has been difficult is dealing with the White House, and not knowing where the President is,” said Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), as Republicans have complained publicly about conflicting signals on immigration from Mr. Trump. “Congress should act responsibly to allow these young people to stay,” Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said of the “Dreamers.”
  • The “Crisco Cops” tried, but were unable to curb the enthusiasm of Philadelphia Eagles fans celebrating their first Super Bowl berth in 13 years. The Philadelphia Police Department, anticipating raucous fans, greased metal poles in the city with tubs of shortening, WPVI reported. It didn’t matter. Once the Eagles’ 38-7 victory against the Minnesota Vikings in Sunday’s NFC Championship game was official, fans took the streets to yell, honk horns, stand on cars -- and yes, climb up metal poles. Video captured one fan climbing a pole in Center City, WPVI reported. Before the game, the police had some fun with the situation. They tweeted, 'Now comes the time in the night where we must warn everyone about the dangers of saturated fats. Cheer for #Foles! Jeers for #Poles!” The Eagles will face the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots on Feb. 4 in Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis. They met in Super Bowl XXXIX, when the Patriots won 24-21 in Jacksonville, Florida.
  • In the third day of a government shutdown, the Senate moved Monday afternoon to approve a bill to fund the operations of the federal government, as Democrats dropped their opposition to a three week funding plan, accepting an assurance from Senate Republicans that there would be an upcoming debate on immigration issues involving illegal immigrants who were brought to this country at a young age by their parents. “The Trump shutdown will soon end,” said Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer. The deal hinged on the pledge of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring a bill to the floor of the Senate dealing with DACA, illegal immigrant “Dreamers” and general immigration enforcement matters, if no deal is reached in negotiations by February 8. “I’m encouraged by the commitments that Leader McConnell has made,” said Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), who joined other Democrats in supporting a move to re-open the federal government. “I’m confident that we can get the 60 votes needed in the Senate for a DACA bill,” said Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer, who said the process will be “neutral and fair to all sides.” One way to look at this: Dems wanted to prove to base/activists 1) They are willing to go to mat for DREAMers and 2) They're still in minority and only have so much leverage. With both done, and situation deteriorating, time turn the gov't back on. — Alex Seitz-Wald (@aseitzwald) January 22, 2018 “We have a way to address the fate of the Dreamers, instead of waiting until March,” Schumer added, referencing the March 5 deadline set by President Donald Trump for action in Congress on that subject. But even with this agreement, there is certainly no guarantee that Democrats will get a bill that they like on immigration – and no assurance that whatever gets approved by Senators will be voted on in the House. And there were quickly signs that Republicans would not cave to Democrats on the issue. “We’re not going to go through this charade again where Democrats shut down the government because they’re putting the interests of illegal immigrants and foreigners over American citizens,” said Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR).