Noah (2014) - quick review

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Josh Steinberg, Mar 29, 2014.

  1. Wayne_j

    Wayne_j Screenwriter

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    I don't remember "the watchers" either, but I have read reviews over at Rotten Tomatoes who say that they are mentioned in the bible, but not in the Noah story.

    I think this film did benefit from IMAX, from about halfway back the image was completely immersive to me. Maybe it would be different for me if I saw it in a film based IMAX screen where it only takes up part of the 1.44 screen, but it filled the digital IMAX 1.89 screen very well.
     
  2. Bobby Henderson

    Bobby Henderson Stunt Coordinator

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    The theater where I watched Noah showed it in 1.85:1 aspect ratio. That aspect ratio is standard. In "common width" theaters that image will fill all of the movie screen. In proper common height houses the curtains and/or masking will draw in from the sides a little bit. I prefer common height theaters since it makes the 'scope image bigger than the flat image. If the viewer needs the the smaller flat image to fill more peripheral vision he just needs to sit closer to the screen.

    IMAX-branded theaters don't have audio any better than 5.1. They can't even do 7.1 surround even though 7.1 is supported on thousands of standard priced movie theater screens. Dolby Atmos is a very big step above 7.1 and an even bigger step above the sound being presented in IMAX branded theaters. The folks running IMAX really need to re-examine what they're doing with sound, particularly in light of the steep prices they're charging to enter IMAX-branded auditoriums. Frankly, I can get HDTV resolution imagery and 5.1 audio in ANY d-cinema theater. I don't have to pay extra for "IMAX" to get that.
     
  3. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Producer
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    Hi Bobby, I enjoyed your post but wanted to point out something I just read today, actually...
    "Noah" is on the cover of the new American Cinematographer issue, and according to Matthew Libatique (the film's DP), almost all of the film was shot on 35mm. Some of the background plates were shot digitally, but the rest was shot 35mm (4-perf for scenes that had visual effects elements, 3-perf for scenes that didn't require visual effects). The film was finished via a digital intermediate rather than edited on film, though, as is common these days.
     
  4. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Producer
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    I think that probably does make a difference. I'm getting a little wary of seeing this digital IMAX presentation at the 1.44 screen, where it fills neither the height (which I wouldn't have expected) nor the width (which I would have expected). I've seen at least four films projected digitally on that screen since they added those projectors, and two of them (Gravity and Noah) featured a lot of digital noise that seemed to be the result of either the data file not having the resolution needed for the projectors, or the projectors not being able to handle being used on that large a screen. Ironically, when I've gone to the digital-only IMAX screens, even though it's smaller, the image quality was so much better for the simple reason of not having been blown up larger than it could handle.

    Supposedly new laser-based projectors are coming to the 15/70 rooms at the end of this year, which will apparently offer more light for better 3D projection, and better resolution - so hopefully these compromised showings are living on borrowed time.
     
  5. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    .
     
  6. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    That's a bit of a misrepresentation. People were talking about the fact that the director is an atheist, not the story itself.
     
  7. KevinGress

    KevinGress Supporting Actor

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    Actually, they were talking about the story also. It's telling that the director, himself, stated it's “the least Biblical movie ever made.”

    It'll be interesting to see how it performs this week, now that the details of the 'story' are out there and given that the target audience has another movie available - God's Not Dead.
     
  8. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    I'd say the target audience for Noah is much broader than the one for God Is Not Dead. And I would be surprised if Noah's producers thought they could count on that demographic to provide the bulk of the earnings.
     
  9. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    If reviews are any indication, Noah should have a huge advantage in that matchup.
     
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  10. KevinGress

    KevinGress Supporting Actor

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    While I'm sure that they hoped for as broad of an audience as possible, I disagree with your second sentence. Remember, just 10 years ago there a little independent movie by the name of Passion of the Christ. Looking at boxofficmojo.com just now, I saw this:

    25 The Passion of the Christ NM $370,782,930 2004^

    They were definitely hoping for that demographic.

    And I guess I don't understand Aaron's statement at all - according to Rotten Tomatoes, 87% of the audience liked God's Not Dead, while only 47% liked Noah.
     
  11. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    The difference is Mel Gibson was trying to make a film that was Biblically accurate, down to having the dialogue in the languages of the time period. There's no indication Aronofsky et al had those kinds of interests or ambitions, so let me rephrase: They would be silly to count on that demographic for box office earnings knowing that they weren't making a film that is Biblically accurate (and therefore sure to please those viewers).
     
  12. KevinGress

    KevinGress Supporting Actor

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    I agree with that; but there were reports that the studio wrestled control of the film from Aronofsky after test screenings; people were displeased with its overtly environmental message, and they reedited it to be a more Biblically based and traditional message. So, they were hoping for that demographic, but you're right - they shouldn't have.

    At which point, they should have removed it completely from its Biblical settings and named it something like The Day After Tomorrow..That Really Happened A Long, Long Time Ago.... :)
     
  13. Bryan Tuck

    Bryan Tuck Screenwriter

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    From what I read, the film itself is Aronofsky's final cut (although other cuts were test-screened), but the studio altered the marketing strategy to specifically target religious viewers (and appease religious broadcasters).
     
  14. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Producer
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    I also read -- maybe in the same place you did -- that Paramout did try taking the film away from Aronofsky and tested a couple of their own edits, but that they didn't test any better, so they ultimately went with Aronofsky's version.

    I can't imagine, with an already completed shooting schedule, what you could change in this movie that would appease an audience upset or offended by the original version.
     
  15. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    Perhaps I should rephrase: They were talking about the story as presented by the director, not the source material. Another director with a different outlook would have made it much more Biblical.
     
  16. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    I wrote "if reviews are any indication. . ." According to RT's review aggregates, Noah is at a respectable 76% while God's Not Dead languishes at 20%.

    So I think my meaning should be clear. :)
     
  17. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    Noah was -OK- not great, but OK. Look, it's a parable, so biblical accuracy is somewhat ridiculous (at least to me) but getting the general point across was the idea.. and it does that well. Meanwhile, God's Not Dead is -terrible-.. the acting and setup are really afternoon special in quality.

    But that's JMHO.
    The best thing about "Noah" is easily Emma Watson who just nails the role she inhabits. Russel Crowe still is just "OK" to "passable".. but when Watson is on the screen in her scenes she sells the hell out of them.
     
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  18. Jari K

    Jari K Producer

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    Just saw this yesterday (in 3D, btw). Awesome film, powerful, moving and entertaining. Crowe was brilliant (what can I say, Crowe does Crowe, but it usually works for the film) and Ray Winstone also. I don't know much about the "old" story (apart from the basic setting, of course) and I'm certainly not a religious person, but like matt said, I got the general point and the film does that well. The film makes you think, whether you're religious or not. Or somewhere in the middle. Religious people don't own their religious stories and this was Aronofsky's interpretation of the biblical tale.

    I don't want to spoil anything here, but I absolutely loved that one particular scene involving a big crowd of people and some "rocks". Just awesome and just some "spice" (some fantasy elements) that the film needed.
     
  19. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I saw it over the weekend and liked it. Even though it was about an apocalypse, I was very surprised by how dark the tale got. Very good performances from all involved.
     
  20. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Producer
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    How was the 3D? We didn't get a 3D release here in the states, just 2D regular digital and 2D IMAX digital.

    I would have opted for 3D had that been an option.
     

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