2014/04/18

Noah


Hm, people are complaining about this? Hard to see why. Noah is a perfectly respectable re-telling of the Noah's Ark story. They add in a few elements for good reason, to make the story make more sense. The characters don't refer to God as much as they refer to “The Creator,” but it's not like there's any question as to who they're referring to.

BTW, Saw Captain America: The Winter Soldier the week before last. Good, rousing stuff! The characters are pushed to the limit and are exhausted by the end, just the way a good adventure film should be. Looks like Cap has gotten himself a girlfriend midway through the film. I talked about her with a buddy of mine and we agreed that she's no Lois Lane-type who needs to be rescued all the time.

2014/04/02

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and others


Don't know if I quite agree with the blogger on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Seems to me that agent Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen) had a good, supervillain-type reason for acting as she did. She appears to have been acting unforgiving of agent Grant Ward's (Brett Dalton) behavior because she was operating as a covert agent, collecting intel for some nefarious reason, within SHIELD. That would make her feel guilty enough to explain why she smacked Grant, who was acting “under the influence” of the villain Lorelei's spell (That the show makes clear affects all men). Yeah, it's a reason that removes the show from humans acting as humans to humans acting as superheroes, so that may count as a point against the general believability of the show.

Speaking of that particular show, I was interested in seeing Sif's (Jaimie Alexander) familiarity with technology. This recalls Odin's (Anthony Hopkins) statement in Thor: The Dark World:

Loki: [mock salute to Odin] I really don't see what all the fuss is about...
Odin: Do you not truly feel the gravity of your crimes? Wherever you go there is war, ruin and death!
Loki: I went down to Midgard to rule the people of Earth as a benevolent God, just like you.
Odin: We are not gods! We're born, we live, we die, just as humans do.
Loki: Give or take five thousand years.


These two scenes suggest that the conflict between “the gods” of Asgard and “God” is not so irreconcilable after all. That Asgardians visited Earth sometime during our Viking era (793 to 1066), liked the fashions and the culture and decided to adopt those fashions as their own. They have plenty of devices and technology in Asgard, they just keep those mostly hidden and keep the Viking-looking stuff on top. They don't have to fight with swords and hammers, they just prefer to.

Speaking of religious questions in popular culture, I was pretty pleased with an episode of the Vampire Diaries. Elena Gilbert's (Played by Nina Dobrev, who also plays Elena's doppelganger, Katherine Pierce) body is taken over by Katherine and the other characters eventually figure out why “Elena” has been acting so strangely lately. The 500-year old Katherine is killed for good and she has a final conversation with the show's witch, Bonnie Bennet (Kat Graham). Now, during Medieval times, the general understanding was that you didn't have to live a good life as long as you repented at the end of it and were baptized (People were very upset if they got baptized in anticipation of death and lived through it as that meant they had to be good until their final death if they wanted to get to Heaven). Katherine doesn't repent, but she gets morally better near the end of her life, demonstrating concern for her daughter and being a desirable lover to Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley). The show takes a Protestant, Puritanical view of where one goes in the afterlife, meaning that The Lord looked at Katherine's whole life, not just the last month of it, and rendered a judgment based on that. The show makes it quite clear that Katherine goes to the not-so-desirable place.