Wednesday, 2 April 2014

FSM: "take a breath... It's just a movie"

While critics from major thought traditions are hyperventilating over the atrocity that is Russell Crowe's new movie, The Flying Spaghetti Monster has issued a statement...
I get why people don't love this film, there is so much that is wrong with it. However, might I suggest, that everyone take a deep breath, count to 10, and release. It is just a movie, and as a movie it is an interesting piece of story telling which suffers from just one major flaw, its plot.

Bill Maher has commented on this film too.

Later, the Flying Spaghetti Monster said of Bill's critique “I find Bill's comment curious, because I don't recall any giraffes in it, perhaps there was a random Cosmos style edit in the reel or something.”

Turning back to the movie His Noodliness remarked “It's a grim fairy tale, not to be confused with Grimm Fairy Tales, despite obvious parallels.  I noticed many things, that were jarring about this movie like everyone's wearing pants, which would be so European in the 45 centuries to come.

The movie opens with 13 year old Noah getting a coming of age blessing from his father Lemech with the aid of a magic glowing snake skin. Rather than wearing robes, the pair are setting trends in the middle east with pants. They are interrupted when Dino (the reptilian dog) turns up, with an arrow in his side, Lemech goes to tend to the animal, at this point Tubal-Cain his cousin turns up with the rest of his hunting party. After a little chat Lemech is dead, and Noah is freaked out running away from the rocks he was hiding behind. This event could set a boy up for serious mental health issues in later life.

Next we see Noah (500) with his family. He and Ham are on a rocky hill side, they look for herbs, Ham picks a pretty flower and is gently admonished, by Noah who points out that the flower creates the “seed” that is scattered by the wind to make more flowers. These guys should go ahead and sign up with Greenpeace, and the scene begs the question why aren't Rick Perry the Koch Brother's conservationists? After they are done, Noah returns to camp to rest and he's having trouble sleeping, often a sign of psychological disturbance.

There is no specific mention of the angry old man not in the room in the early stages of the film he is merely referred to as “he” or “our lord”.
Naameh: Did he speak to you?
Noah: I don't know.... I think he's going to flood the world.
These wives have names, now that's novelty for ya. The name was given to various places in the Middle East, so applying this name to a person, may just be the killer app innovation this story needs.

Shortly after Noah decides to go see grandpa Methuselah. Along the way they find a young Ila, an injured girl and the last survivor of an over run settlement.  Noah, his family, and young waif are forced to run as Tubal-Cain and his hoards run them off as pretenders to his claim on the desolated settlement home to curious looking heavily engineered iron geothermal piping. As they run off Noah is KO'ed by rock people. When he awakes, he and his family are in a pit surrounded by rock people who mostly decide to leave them in the pit. But one of the rock people says “Follow me” and leads them to Methuselah for a cup of tea. Be wary of old men who live in caves offering peculiar tasting tea, the DEA may be watching the place.  At this point Noah hallucinates the ark in addition to his usual nightmares.

Clearly, it does not dawn on him that his imagination is running wild, because grandpappy just got him totally baked.

So far there has not been a single tree in site, nor any running water. Before Noah leaves the company of his grand father, the old man gives him a seed from the garden of Eden.

Noah plants the seed, and a day or two later the rock people show up, kind a peeved that Noah got help from one of their own, Noah makes his case as best as he can but they are unmoved until a spring pops up where the seed was planted and flowers, grasses and trees spring up the same we way see in Hanna-Barbera cartoons, or these days Sponge Bob Squarepants.  So impressed were they that the rock people were they decide to help build the Ark.  So the bible had it all wrong, Noah was really just the project manager. Of course Project managers always say they built this or that, so you can see how there is room for confusion.

We also see white pigeons/doves flying towards the constructions site, which begs the question, slugs, snails, turtles and crawling insects, weta. Later a massive flock of assorted birds self organises roosts in the Ark and are then knocked by magic anaesthetic smoke that has no effect on humans. Lets assume such a gas available, the suppressed metabolism of these birds could not be low enough to prevent them from starving over the course of a year without killing them so they would still starve even though they were asleep. Even though some bears hibernate in the wild, they aren't asleep the whole time.

There is a sequence that explains, the history of the rock people. Ancient text describes the as fallen angels encrusted with rock, because the angry old guy not in the room is mad at them for helping humans live better lives through technology. So yeah this angry old guy is an anti-science anti-technology whack-job working for Cthulhu – The Destroyer or is Thule – investigation pending.  Oddly these great aliens so well protected by the burden of the rock are strangely not impervious to iron age weapons and many of them were killed. Despite having an opt-out option available to them.

Ila, who has taken to dating Shem, has trouble coping with foreplay because of the scars from the attempt to kill her as a child have left scars. And she and Shem have been at it for a few years and she appears to be having fertility issues. So concerned is she, that she discusses leaving the family with Naameh. It appears that in her mind her only worth is in child bearing. Later this causes conflict.  Naameh, goes to Methuselah, and asks for help.

Some of the locals, from Tubal-Cain's settlement set a steel bear trap, Just how many of these have ever been found in pre-Sumerian archaeological digs requires some research.

Noah's depressive psychosis deepens, he comes to the conclusion that his family should just die out after the flood. Ham can't take to the plan and sets off to the settlement to find an innocent woman to bring home.

Meanwhile Ila comes across Methuselah is the forest, he claims to be looking for berries, and enlists her help. She find none, but then he notes that she has been a part of the family for so long, that he may as well give her his blessing, he reaches out and touches her belly with his hand (his hand yeah right), and poof – magic happens. On her way back to the boat, she runs into Shem and jumps him like a cow girl – Yeehaw!

Strangely and accidentally, Ham finds a girl his age in a pit of corpses, some of whom were her family. Rather than saying help me get out of here, she threatens Ham with a rock until he shows her that he means no harm with a rag full of bread crumbs. Dating was clearly cheap in this culture, not even a single goat exchanged. There they sit for a while until it starts raining. In the rush to get to the Ark the girl steps in the bear trap. Ham frees her but injured she cannot run, they are over run by Tubal-Cain's hoards, Noah pulls Ham out of the chaos.  Ham is not exactly grateful as Noah leaves the girl behind.

The hoards arrive at the ark and the meat grinder begins, with the rock people slamming the hoards like a scout troupe crushing roaches pouring out of a disturbed nest. The hoards do eventually start to get the better of the rock people, jamming pikes in the gaps. And here is where the opt-out clause kicks in the rock people say “Forgive me” and rip off the incrustation and explode into a light beam flying home and killing a bunch of the panicked hoards at the same time. I note that they could have done this at any time, in a safe location. Perhaps even worked out a plan with the angry old guy not in the room to avoid they mess he held them responsible for creating.

As the last of the rock people emigrate out of this crap-fest, flood waters wash off most of the hoards but Tubal-Cain pokes a hole in the side of the ark and stows himself away. He is later discovered by Ham,

Water spouts pop out of the ground around the ark. And a glimpse of the spherical Earth covered in hurricane weather, runs completely at odds with the flat earth model which was maintained until about 500bce or long after the authoring of the original Cuneiform or revised Hebrew text.  These water spouts, have inspired some to push a hypothesis referred to as the Bukkaki Theory in which the crust of the earth split open and the water under pressure spurted out thus explaining the water on other celestial bodies including the Moon, Mars and Europa. The hypothesis ignores several major flaws, the release of energy from such an event would bake, if not ionise everything in the biosphere, never mind the extra ordinary accuracy of striking these objects with a jet of water from random fissures in rocks.

Ham, despite being a nice young man, out of character decides to help Tubal-Cain in the hope of revenge for the loss of his girl friend. Mental disturbance from grief seems to run in his family.

The family settles in. Screams from the out side penetrate the wooden bulk heads of the ark. And the pinnacle of a mountain has a lot of adults on it getting hosed by big waves, No children are depicted among them, kinda weird this is a horror story right? And the story is supposed to be history say some. Perhaps they forget, or like to forget that the angry old man not in the room is committing mass infanticide at this point. Ham took 5 minutes to find an innocent and even he did not come up empty. This really is kind of like Chris Christie, punishing the innocent, to get back at the few he's mad at. Noah distracts the family from the howling by telling the story of the universe, which is accompanied by an animation sequence that could almost have been ripped from Cosmos, depicting something like big bang cosmology, followed by evolution with special creation tacked on like Eeyor's tale.

Tubal-Cain makes and interesting point to Ham “Your father fills the ark with sheep while children drown” Ham does do a deal with Tubal-Cain, and they plot to ambush Noah on the beast deck.

Ila reveals that she is pregnant and Noah loses his sh*t as his psychosis deepens. He steps out on to the loading ramp yells at the sky, ponders his navel, demands to be let off the hook, before deciding, boy's – meh, girls – gotta kill 'em. Shem's Pretty much has his dad's state of mind nailed saying “Are you mad?” At this point it truly is a miracle that Noah is not a milliner by trade.

Ham pops up and announces that the beasts are rousing and eating each other, a ruse so Tubal-Cain can beat the snot out of him. So the Death Match begins. Ham is kind of stunned by the violence of the brawling, Shem turns up and is KO'ed by Tubal-Cain who is determined to finish Noah himself. While this brawl is happen the ark runs around, convenient, because it stops Tubal-Cain finishing off Shem. Imagine Tubal-Cain's surprise when Ham overcomes his shock, takes his moment and puts the knife Tubal-Cain gave him under Tubal-Cain's arm pit. While dying Tubal-Cain notes that Ham has become a man and gives back Ham's grand fathers snake skin. There seems to be a nonsense here, real men, especially those in my pirate navy avoid killing, especially homicide, and yet every male character in this film has demonstrated a clear capacity and willingness to commit every kind of killing, and that includes the angry old man not in the room.

While the brawl goes on, Ila's twin girls arrive, Noah's wife tries to hide that they are girls, Noah not dissuaded and dagger in hand, finds Ila on top of the ark holding both infants crying. She pleads to let her calm them first, and sings an old song Noah sang to her the first night they met. This seems to give him time to cool off, nurturing instincts kick in and as he holds the dagger above the new born twins and finally relents saying he cannot do it. I would suggest that this moment makes the Noah character more moral/ethical than the angry old guy not in the room. And Scene.

Next we see the ark on top of a green hill, since all the vegetation had been under water for a year, where did this grass come from? The ark didn't carry seed.

It would not be a story about Noah without the drunk ass naked bit. But so much is missing from it, The text says Ham notices that dad is passed out drunk, and when Noah sobers up rather than being grateful that he got him help, he banishes Ham, Possibly for similar reasoning that Fred Phelps Sr. might have employed. 'cause nothing says gay like happening onto your drunk ass naked patriarch and calling for help. In this film Ham leaves of his own accord, without any prospect of finding a mate, he may be opting to just off himself, given the relationship with Noah is so completely in the toilet. But even if not, Noah's potential for instability and the treachery thing would unlikely to be resolved any time soon. To make matters worse, good counsellors were really going to be hard to find.

We finish with a blessing of the twins, and Noah says “.... be fruitful and multiply.” The camera pans up to the 100% high cloud covered sky, with a magic concentric rainbow, of precisely the kind excluded by the physics of refraction.

Reaction to the film has been mixed, Christians are hating it because it's not “historically accurate” enough for them. Muslims are hating it because it depicts Noah, who they hold as a prophet. And it might loose a bunch of money for the studio so the Jews may hate it too. And rationalist atheists, hate it because it is completely unrealistic in terms, of logistics and physics, its obscene globacidal violence, and a cast of characters that would be considered a bag of ass holes in any other dramatic production.

But remember it is just a movie. Humanity survived the final seasons of Dallas, it'll survive this, It may be two hours out of your life that you'll never get back, but it's not like anyone lied to the UN to start an unjustified war. Enjoy the popcorn. Or better yet get the Smurfs movie out on DVD.

See also
   Lunar Bukkake theory


Mark Honeychurch said...

John, is there a plugin or option to allow people to proofread articles on Blogspot? If so, I'd be happy to help with correcting this and other articles.

For example, I'm a few paragraphs into this Noah review and there are many, many mistakes. Did you read through it after you wrote it? Or, like Garth Marenghi, are you one of the few people who have written more than they have read? ;)

EmmittBrownBTTF1 said...

I ran the text through the LanguageTool Plugin for LibreOffice, it found some spelling errors - mostly related to proper names, an extra space, and suggested some en-dashes. It didn't seem find much in the way grammatical errors.

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