- (Photo: CraigGross.com)
Craig Gross, pastor of XXXChurch.com, took to his blog over the weekend to review the film "Noah" amid the tension stirred by Christians who say the movie, set to be released March 28, strays away from an accurate biblical portrayal.
Gross, whose 11-year-old son Nolan plays young Ham in the blockbuster, saw the film during the cast and crew screening and urged his readers to see the film before passing judgment.
"… This movie has done the best job in the history of Hollywood to date of taking a Bible story and putting it on the big screen ... don't listen to people on twitter or people behind a pulpit that haven't seen this movie," wrote Gross.
The review was written days after Pastor Rick Warren tweeted that he would not see the movie before deleting it then tweeting again, "Director of new 'Noah' movie calls it 'The LEAST biblical film ever made' then uses F word referring to those wanting Bible-based."
Warren was referring to director Darren Aronofsky's interview with The New Yorker in which he indicated that "Noah" was unlike any other religious film made to date. Aronofsky's expletive was not directed toward Christians, however, but rather toward the scores the film received by test audiences late last year.
In response to Warren's tweets, Gross tweeted back telling him to view the film instead of getting upset over the director's comments.
Aside from his son's role in the film, Gross emphasized in his post that the thought-provoking movie will most likely trigger conversation among viewers and also lead them to the original source – the Bible.
"The movie will draw you back to the Bible. First thing I did was open up Genesis 6: 1-9 to read about The Watchers. Yes they are in the Bible," he wrote.
Gross also noted that the movie has steered away from marketing tactics, perhaps as a jab toward "Son of God," whose producers, Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, gave Warren permission to create a six-week biblical study guide for his church, based on the movie.
"The movie doesn't come with a study guide for small group discussions, posters to download for your church to go buy out theaters with all your Christian friends or a companion guide to the movie," wrote Gross. "The movie is smarter than that. I believe most of my Christian friends are smarter than that as well and don't need all those things."
Gross is not the only person coming forth in defense of the film. Filmmaker and media consultant Phil Cooke also took to his blog earlier this month and noted that Christians should see the film rather than criticize it first.
"As of this writing I'm one of only a handful of people who've actually seen the movie. Which is probably why I'm a bit bothered at the condemnations and protests from Christians who have never actually watched it," Cook wrote. "For at least a decade, we've been asking Hollywood to produce movies based on the Bible. Now that they're doing it, let's be more encouraging. So far, they've proven to be serious in the effort, whether they miss the target or not. So let's support it, not stifle it."