People expect to see literalism in Bible movies, says Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly, so it isn't surprising there has been adverse reaction to
Darren Aronofsky's blockbuster "Noah."
On his show Monday, O'Reilly noted
that conservative talk show host Glenn Beck had called the movie "dangerous disinformation."
Raymond Arroyo, managing editor of EWTN News, told O'Reilly that he interviewed Aronofsky and the film's stars before the movie came out and nothing he was told prepared his audience for the film that appeared.
"They went to see 'Gladiator' in an ark. What they got was 'Black Swan's daddy in 'Waterworld," Arroyo said. The film is a dark depiction and deviates from the Bible story, or the "popular perception of it," he said. "And I think that's rattled audiences."
Chicago Sun-Times film critic Richard Roeper countered that "Noah" is a big-budget picture that has to have a lot of elements to succeed, including the stone giants who protect Noah and help him build the ark.
"If you're just going to show Noah as this kindly old 550-year-old man who leads all the animals onto the ark and then it rains for 40 days, well that's a 10-minute cartoon, and that's been done before," Roeper said. "Of course it deviates from the text. So does almost every single Hollywood fictional movie ever made that's been based on anything."
But O'Reilly said that when a filmmaker does something based on the Bible and says it stays true to that story, he is going to get criticism from people who take the Bible seriously. Maybe, he suggested, the story could have been based on Noah but renamed.
"They didn't have to name it 'Noah,'" O'Reilly said. "They could've named it 'Sidney.'"
O'Reilly added that a story based on the life of John the Baptist that sets the main character in Greenwich Village isn't going to fly with people of faith.
"People are going to get upset," he said. "There's a literalism to the Bible."
EWTN's Arroyo said people were willing to give the film a chance, but then once they saw it on screen they were hit with Noah's trying to kill his grandchildren because he thinks it is what God wants him to do.
O'Reilly noted that the story in the Bible is dark. God is vengeful and says humans have spit in his face, he said.
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