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Hollywood's 'biblical' epic beaten to the punch
Posted By Drew Zahn On 03/01/2014 @ 4:51 pm In Diversions,Faith,Front Page,U.S. | No Comments
No historical character is getting as much attention in the movie business these days as the Bible’s Noah, who now has not one, but two movies being released about him on March 28.
One film, of course, is the $125-million blockbuster “Noah,” from Paramount Pictures, featuring actor Russell Crowe in the title role.
The second film is from Christian evangelist and filmmaker Ray Comfort, who boasts, “Theirs is a fake Noah; ours is the real thing.”
Comfort’s movie, “Noah and the Last Days,” however, will go beyond retelling the tale of the famous Ark builder to reveal how the ancient story applies to both today and the near future, which Comfort says is being revealed through biblical prophecies, indicating the return of Jesus Christ is coming soon.
And while Comfort’s film will be released on YouTube and DVD on the same date as Paramount’s “Noah,” it’s being made available ahead of time, in a special download package that includes a “Noah and the Last Days” companion guide and a “Creation and the Last Days” video from Answers in Genesis.
“They [Hollywood] have no qualms about sensationalizing the story of Noah in order to make it more profitable. That’s their bottom line,” Comfort told ASSIST News about the Paramount picture. “But the movie strays so far from the biblical account that it omits its essential message: God’s judgment for man’s sin and evil. Taking ‘poetic license’ on this story further erodes the public’s perception of the biblical account and of the Bible in general.
“That’s why we produced our version of Noah, which looks at him from a different perspective,” Comfort continued. “We reveal ten undeniable Bible prophecies that link to Noah, and show that we are living in what the Bible calls ‘the last days.’”
Discussing the film on his regular video series, “The Comfort Zone,” Comfort said, “Theirs is fiction, ours is based on the Word of God.”
The “Noah and the Last Days” website explains that in the time of Noah, people were going about their daily lives, not mindful of the impending destruction that was coming in the flood that would wipe out nearly all life on earth.
“Like them, are we ignoring warnings of God’s coming judgment?” the website asks. “Don’t be caught unaware. Time may be very short. Will you be ready?”
On “The Comfort Zone,” Comfort explained, “Our vision [for the Noah film] has been, since I talked about prophecy on my Facebook page, I realized how many people love prophecy, Christians and non-Christians. … Yet man cannot predict the future.
“Only God knows the future, and that fascinates all of us,” he continued. “So we’re very excited to bring ["Noah and the Last Days"] out. We’ve never done anything on prophecy ever before. We’ve stayed away from it because we’re not big prophecy buffs and because there’s so many different interpretations, but one thing every Bible scholar agrees on, that Jesus Christ is coming again and it’s getting close.”
Watch a trailer for “Noah and the Last Days” below:
As WND has reported, there has been significant controversy surrounding Noah lately, as an early version of Paramount’s script revealed the screenplay focused on themes of environmentalism and human overpopulation. The early script even portrayed Noah intending to kill his offspring in order to save the planet from the plague of humanity.
But Paramount Pictures has since insisted the screenplay was only an early draft and not reflective of the finished product.
“Noah” director Darren Aronofsky reassured The Hollywood Reporter the themes of the film “are very much in line with themes of the Bible.”
And the “Noah” website now carries a disclaimer: “The film is inspired by the story of Noah. While artistic license has been taken, we believe that this film is true to the essence, values and integrity of a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide. The biblical story of Noah can be found in the book of Genesis.”
Comfort, however, is not buying it.
“All they [Hollywood] have to do is produce a movie like Cecil B. DeMille did, like ‘The Ten Commandments.’ America flocked to ‘The Ten Commandments,’ because he kept places where the Bible was mentioned biblical,” Comfort insisted on his program. “It wasn’t 12 Commandments, we added another couple; it was 10, and they were straight according to Scripture. Now, the life of Moses, they took poetic license, but they didn’t twist the character of Moses and make him out to be evil.
“And yet they’ve changed the character of Noah,” he continued. “They may have changed [the movie since early screenings], they may have made the corrections, but I doubt it because there were such huge discrepancies according to Scripture in the previews.”
“The old adage that says the book is usually better than the movie is frequently true,” writes Larry Stone in the chapter titled “Noah Goes to Hollywood” in his new book, “Noah: The Real Story.”
Stone told WND the differences between Aronofsky’s “Noah” and the Bible’s Noah are no surprise. Last fall Paramount, which has more than $100 million riding on “Noah,” decided to hold some test screenings – over the vehement objections of Aronofsky – to see if the movie would appeal to Christian viewers. The blog Beginning and End stated the obvious: “It’s clear that ‘Noah’ is not a Christian film.”
Stone, who has also has written “The Story of the Bible” and “Women of the Bible,” said that the story of Noah and the Ark has been filmed many times, and usually the biblical story is a framework on which the writer and director can hang their own story with their own viewpoint, and which usually has little to do with the Bible’s Noah and the Ark. One of the first talkies – “Noah’s Ark” – did just that in 1928. The writer mixed up Noah with Moses, Samson and even the Sermon on the Mount.
Stone insists there’s a greater and truer lesson behind the biblical account of Noah that Aronofsky’s version of the tale misses completely.
“When Noah was warned of disaster, God told him how to survive the Great Flood,” Stone writes in “Noah: The Real Story.”
What can we do now to survive the end of the world that both futurists and the Bible say is coming?
“Noah’s secret on how to survive the end of the world is to watch, be ready, and choose now which side you are on … who you will believe and serve,” Stone writes.
He quotes Christian author C.S. Lewis, who wrote, “God will invade … When that happens, it is the end of the world. When the author walks on to the stage the play is over. God is going to invade, all right, but … this time it will be God without disguise; something so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love or irresistible horror into every creature.
“It will be too late then to choose your side … It will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen, whether we realized it before or not. Now, today, this moment, is our chance to choose the right side.”
“If you’re looking for spectacular special effects, the most complex scene ever created by Industrial Light & Magic and a story line inspired by the account of Noah and the Ark on which Darren Aronofsky hangs his own message, enjoy ‘Noah,’” Stone told WND. “But don’t look to it for biblical accuracy. Why would you expect that?”
See the trailer for Stone’s “Noah: The Real Story” below:
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