Farms & Forks Review

Recently I’ve been trying out different grocery stores in an effort to eat healthier and save money. I’ve tried Loblaws, No Frills, Food Basics, and Freshco. My regular grocery day is Tuesday, and every single time I shopped at one of these stores, at least one food item (usually meat or tomatoes) went rotten in less than 24 hours. I put a pack of chicken legs in the fridge FOR THE NEXT DAY and they were gone rancid before I could cook them. In one day. Seriously frustrating. Especially when the food that hasn’t gone bad doesn’t look that appetizing to begin with (which is always the case with tomatoes).

David and I shopped at Loblaws a couple of times. The last time was particularly bad (we haven’t gone back since!). We wanted to pick up a few fresh food items – bread, broccoli, tomatoes, bananas and some meat. We didn’t make it past the broccoli. I picked up one head of broccoli and the entire underside of the broccoli was slimy and really stank. I was so disgusted we didn’t buy anything and drove to a nearby Longos (the only grocery store I’ll actually buy anything at now) to pick up our few groceries.

A few weeks ago, one of my friends from church recommended Farms & Forks. I also heard about it on my workplace’s intranet page and decided to give them a try.

There’s a great selection of food online and it was a lot of fun to sit on the couch and pick out my groceries! I was a little dismayed at the prices, but for organic local food, and after reading their food criteria, this is simply the price you pay for organic and higher quality food anywhere. It makes me a little sad that good food costs so much more money, but I was ready to try something a little different!

Our first food delivery was a bit rocky. Despite my instructions, our food box was delivered to our landlords who promptly dug into the food. They told David later that they thought it was a promotion. Oh the joys of living in a basement apartment!

I personally think any rational person with tenants living downstairs would look at the box first and see if there’s a name, so I didn’t blame Farms & Forks entirely, but obviously it wouldn’t have happened had the instructions been followed.

I wrote to the Farms & Forks team, and they replied with sincere apologies, spoke to the driver to find out what happened (there was a plow coming by and he was in a rush to get out of the way), and reimbursed me for the food that had been eaten. They later gave me a call as a follow-up to our e-mail exchange to see if there was anything else they could do. That’s good customer service!

So, after all that, I decided to give it another shot. And yesterday was my second food delivery! The driver was extremely apologetic and arrived promptly during the delivery time hours. He came right to the back and delivered a Christmas card to us in addition to our grocery box. Who knew groceries could be so exciting!

All the food is packaged in a sturdy box, which they then collect at your next delivery. And the food looked (and tasted!) glorious!

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For this food delivery I ordered a container of baby spring mix & spinach, broccoli, 2 lbs of grapes, 2 lbs of clementines, 1 lb of bananas, 2 lbs of sweet potatoes, 2 lbs of yellow potatoes, 2 yellow onions, 3 pears and a loaf of bread! I had ordered meat and milk with my last order, but didn’t need to purchase any this time around.

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I love food pictures.

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The food looked, smelled, and tasted delicious. I am super pleased! I must admit, there is actually a noticeable difference in taste with the bananas. While I wouldn’t say the bananas at the grocery store taste bad, the organic bananas delivered by Farms & Forks were creamier and sweeter.

While I don’t think Farms & Forks will be my sole grocery provider (I’ve started buying several items from Longos), I can definitely see purchasing produce boxes regularly from them, and I really like how their meat is packaged. It’s already vacuum-sealed for the freezer!

It’s also a solid choice if you’re looking to get some groceries on a busy schedule, or want to stay holed up during the cold winter months. It’s always worth trying if you, like me, are a little exasperated by the big grocery stores.

And my philosophy is, if there’s anything worth spending your money on, it’s good food!

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The Rosie Project

This month I read The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion with my book club at the library and I must say it was a fairly enjoyable read!

The novel is narrated by an oddly charming and socially challenged genetics professor on an unusual quest: to find out if he is capable of true love.

Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when a close friend, in the form of an elderly woman named Daphne, informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.

Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don’s Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.

I thought it was an interesting characterization of someone with Asperger’s Syndrome and in many ways it was reminiscent of my own experiences with those who have Asperger’s.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was a funny, charming and light-hearted read. Don Tillman was a believable character, even if I pictured Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory throughout the entire novel.

I suspect it’s possible that the author may have gotten inspiration, or some ideas, from the popular television series. Much of Don’s character is akin to Sheldon Cooper, specifically the description of his physical appearance, his job, and the way he speaks. These things are not a reflection of everyone with Aspergers, but were oddly parallel to Sheldon.

My biggest complaint of this novel was that it’s ending was far too neat and tidy, with a rather predictable outcome. Nonetheless, there were many laugh-out-loud moments and the author delivered some thought-provoking questions about individuality and what it means to be normal.

I’d recommend this book and give it 3.5/5 stars!

To conclude my review, here are a few of my favourite quotes from the book!

“So, to add to a momentous day, I corrected a misconception that my family had held for at least fifteen years and came out to them as straight.”

“A woman at the rear of the room raised her hand. I was focused on the argument now and made a minor social error, which I quickly corrected. “The fat woman—overweight woman—at the back?”

A particularly thought-provoking one:

“Why do we focus on certain things at the expense of others? We will risk our lives to save a person from drowning, yet not make a donation that could save dozens of children from starvation.”

And one of my favourite, when Don talks about sex:

“I decided that ten positions would be sufficient initially. More could be learned if the initial encounter was successful. It did not take long—less time than learning the cha-cha. In terms of reward for effort, it seemed strongly preferable to dancing and I was greatly looking forward to it.”

Mockingjay & D-BOX

David and I went to go see Mockingjay Part I in theatres on Monday. We also decided to see it in D-BOX, which was pretty exciting!

Mockingjay Part I

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First of all, the movie itself was, like Eli Glasner said in his review, the best so far. Jennifer Lawrence definitely carried the film. For those who have read the books, I don’t know about you, but I find the movies do a better job of characterizing a flawed and psychologically traumatized character than the books. Katniss always seemed whiny, spoiled, and narcissistic in the books.

The adaption was very close to the book, and the action sequences were thrilling and engaging. I must say that the ending didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. I do think that, considering they decided to create two movies out of one book, Part I ended at a good point in the story. I would agree that the book could’ve been made into only one movie, but I was pleased with what they chose to include in this first movie nonetheless. I suppose part of the reason I am rating Mockingjay Part I so well is because it was not obviously lacking in material like The Hobbit, which clearly should never have been made into three movies. Of all the films I’ve seen broken into two parts, I felt Mockingjay Part I was one of the better ones.

While I thought that Jennifer Lawrence’s portrayal was fantastic, the other characters were a little flat. I never liked Gale, but Liam Hemsworth’s portrayal was especially flat this time around. And, while it was nice to see Philip Seymour Hoffman, and I enjoyed Julianne Moore’s portrayal of President Coin, there’s no emotion, and not a lot of complexity.

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The only character that really gets much attention is Katniss, which is certainly understandable, but if you’re breaking the book into two movies, you have the time to focus a little more on other characters. I remember in the books Finnick was my favourite character, but he gets little attention in the movies.

On a final note, only Natalie Dormer can make this hair style look badass and sexy at the same time.

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A solid 4/5 film!

D-BOX

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David and I really enjoyed watching Mockingjay Part I in D-BOX. It was especially exhilarating whenever there was a scene with an aircraft maneuvering through the skies – the chair would move as the aircraft moved and it really helped create an immersive movie-viewing experience! My favourite D-BOX scene was when a large stone tower collapsed and crashed through a building in District 8. I thought I was going to fall out of my chair from anxiety and the chair’s replication of the action was pretty phenomenal.

Not to mention, the seats themselves are wonderfully comfortable.

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While I wouldn’t recommend paying the extra cash for D-BOX unless you’re watching an action-adventure movie, if you use SCENE points, like David and I do, you can purchase D-BOX seats as you would any other seats with your points!

Finally, I should state that, while our experience was overall very good, there was about 20 minutes of the movie that the chairs were not functioning. I had to bring this to the attention of the theatre attendants, which did cause me to miss about 3 minutes of the movie, but they fixed the problem fairly quickly and gave us free tickets to see another movie. The issue was handled quickly and I was not expecting the free tickets!

I’d rate our D-BOX experience a 4.5/5. It would’ve been a 5/5 had there not been a mechanical/technical error during the movie!

20 Day Stranger and Classcraft

I really enjoy listening to the radio. I know a lot of people hate it, but I enjoy it! I generally toggle between 98.1 CHFI and 99.1 CBC Radio. CHFI is primarily a music station, but they also have games on the air (Big Bag of Cash!) and a Dr. Oz segment in the evening as I’m driving home from work.

CBC always has really interesting conversations on air and they’re always relevant. If I don’t want to listen to music, I switch to CBC Radio.

Today, after I dropped the husband off at the station, I turned on the radio to listen to CBC and they were talking about two very interesting new ideas which I was excited to share with you!

20 Day Stranger

20 Day Stranger is an iPhone app that reveals intimate, shared connections between two anonymous individuals. It’s a mobile experience that exchanges one person’s experience of the world with another’s, while preserving anonymity on both sides.

For 20 days, you and a stranger will experience the world in your own way, together. You’ll never know who it is or exactly where they are, but we hope it will reveal enough about someone to build your imagination of their life… and more broadly, the imagination of strangers everywhere.

I thought this concept was really intriguing, though I wasn’t sure of the purpose. As the creator delved into his thoughts behind this idea and his opinion of the world, it became a little more clear.

According to the creator, the internet has allowed everyone a certain anonymity which hasn’t exactly brought the best out of humanity. People are often cruel in their treatment of each other – look no further than YouTube and you’ll get the general idea. Anonymity offers a certain protection that allows people to say whatever they wish, with no repercussions.

The creator of 2o Day Stranger wants to use anonymity as a way to emphasize compassion and love. For example, he said, if you see that the stranger you’re connected with spends several days in a hospital, you may become concerned for their well-being despite never knowing them.

This app also allows the delivery of a single message to the stranger with which you’re exchanging your every day experiences. You can potentially reveal who you are, where you live or what you do – but you have only one message to share.

Interestingly (at least I thought so), this app is in partnership with The Dalai Llama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT.

And I might just be signing up.

Classcraft

Dramatically Increases Student Motivation by Using Real Risks and Rewards.

Teaches Meaningful Collaboration by Placing Students in Teams and Making Their Success Inter-Depenendant.

Makes Learning Fun and Improves Classroom Behavior by Gamifiying the Classroom Experience.

I wish my school had something like Classcraft!

First, a little information: Classcraft was founded by a high school physics teacher, Shawn Young, who has a background in education, gamification, and web development. Classcraft is basically an online role-playing game that teachers and students can play together in the classroom. It acts as a gamifcation layer around any existing curriculum, transforming the way a class is experienced throughout the school year.

I really like this idea. It promotes teamwork and motivates the students to pay attention in class. Why not use the technology available to us to better the classroom experience? As long as kids are still learning I think adding this element of creativity can only be a good thing.

The game functions much like any other online role-playing game and includes three classes: healer, warrior, and mage.

If you’re a teacher and are interested in this idea, checkout the website and explore the 5 different aspects of the game which include 1) Risk & Reward 2) Character Classes 3) Team & Strategies 4) Random Events and 5) In the Classroom.

I hope you learned something new and interesting today. I sure did!

 

 

Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane

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I chose this book for April’s Book Club at the library, and it inspired a lot of discussion. But even so, I’m not sure I know where to start. I finished this book slightly agape, wondering what I had just read.

It’s a small book at less than 200 pages, but that doesn’t take away from its fullness.

The book opens with a middle-aged man who is in town for a funeral. Soon he finds himself revisiting the place where he used to live with his parents and sister when he was seven. He visits his old house before wandering down to the farm at the end of the lane, a place that starts to bring back a strange sequence of memories. Memories involving monsters of all kinds and magic of a different sort. Are the villains we remember monsters from another world, or is that just how children make sense of the people who brought upheaval into their lives?

Monsters come in all shapes and sizes, Some of them are things people are scared of. Some of them are things that look like things people used to be scared of a long time ago. Sometimes monsters are things people should be scared of, but they aren’t.

Because the story is told from the perspective of a seven-year-old boy, you’re left wondering what’s real and what’s imagined. More importantly Gaiman seems to ask, how real are the magic and monsters of our childhood? Are we the wise adults or are we the ignorant ones, blinded by years of sensibility and rationality?

I’m going to tell you something important. Grown-ups don’t look like grown-ups on the inside either. Outside, they’re big and thoughtless and they always know what they’re doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. The truth is, there aren’t any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is at once mysterious, utterly creative, extraordinary and wise. Yet, it is also disorientating and bewildering. It is dream-like in quality – I felt as though I was lost in a wildly imaginative nightmare!

There are too many passages worth quoting and the imagery created is wonderful. But, I was left wanting so much more from this book. More context. Who are the Hempstocks? Or more accurately, what are the Hempstocks? Where do they come from? But, perhaps that’s the point, we’re not meant to know but to imagine.

Adults are content to walk the same way, hundreds of times, or thousands; perhaps it never occurs to adults to step off the paths, to creep beneath rhododendrons, to find the spaces between fences.

Wit and and strange leaps of imagination make up The Ocean at the End of the Lane and so it is a book that is both hauntingly nostalgic and mystical, as only a work by Neil Gaiman can be. Ultimately, the heart of this book is memory in all its unreliable glory.

That’s the trouble with living things. Don’t last very long. Kittens one day, old cats the next. And then just memories. And the memories fade and blend and smudge together.

Childhood memories are sometimes covered and obscured beneath the things that come later, like childhood toys forgotten at the bottom of a crammed adult closet, but they are never lost for good.

A solid 4 out of 5.

 

Escaping the “Bedroom Nightmare”!

Last week a friend of mine told me about a room escape game in the Toronto area called ESC-IT. I was so intrigued I had to try it out. It’s $20.00 a person BUT if you check-in on Facebook and pay with cash, the cost goes down to $12.00 a person. Good marketing!

Here’s a blurb about the concept from their website:

ESC-IT can offer our escapers a new perspective on what it means to develop critical thinking skills and have fun at the same time. Our room escape will push you to exercise your critical thinking, problem solving and brainstorming skills. The real challenge comes when the clock is counting down fast and you need to think outside the box, as well as work together as a team.

In teams of 2-5 you will have 45 minutes to physically escape the room of your choice. Using only your intellect, a bit of creativity and immense teamwork, every clue, riddle, puzzle and hint will lead you closer to escaping the room…

ESC-IT offers you stimulating and challenging experiences that you, your friends, coworkers and family will remember and talk about for days!

Currently there are 6 rooms including “Cursed Library”, “Storage of Secrets”, “Bedroom Nightmare”, “Cryptic Cellar”, “Code War” and their most recent addition “Escape with Vision.” Their most recent room is in partnership with World Vision and so partial proceeds of this room go towards the charity.

Each room has a background story and you have 45 minutes to escape the room by solving the puzzles, riddles and clues to make it out before the timer goes off. Each room also has a different difficulty rating, ranging from 2/5 to 4/5.

They only have enough space right now for 5 rooms, but they rotate them and come up with new ones regularly.

So, after reading the descriptions of each scenario and looking at the difficulty ratings we decided on “Bedroom Nightmare” for our first try.

Little did we realize that our first real test was locating the building… we live about 15 minutes away from it and gave ourselves 45 minutes (I always insist on leaving early). David, meanwhile, was laughing at me thinking we’d get there super early and be waiting unnecessarily.

Well, my friends, our booking was for 7:00pm and we did not make it in time. In fact, we had to drive home, recheck the address on Google (I stupidly left my phone at home, too) as I called and asked for further directions. We realized that we had, in fact, circled around it a couple times without seeing it. I blame the rain fogging up my windows.

David calmly and amusingly pointed out to me that this was not a good sign and we would probably fail miserably at escaping our room. Let’s just say I dropped a couple f-bombs in my frustration.

And we didn’t fail miserably…

Once we arrived at ESC-IT we got right to our room. One of the owners set up the scenario for us by telling us the back story. He also pointed to the spare key hanging on the door to escape should we panic or feel sick and there was a doorbell on the wall. We were allowed one free hint, which we could get by ringing the doorbell. We were given one small flashlight and then the door was locked. The room was completely dark except for our flashlight…

You woke up on an ordinary day; dressed, grabbed your things and you were ready to get washed. But just as you were about to head to the bathroom for a quick wash of the face, the door wouldn’t open. You could not recollect why you even locked the door or when you locked it. In an attempt to rush to school without being late, you discover a whole new truth.

We looked around the room and found numerous locks – all of which we seemingly had to open. There were small pieces of blank paper on the floor. We knew that they had to be important but there seemed to be nothing written on them. Anyway, we looked through some pillows and found a bunch of Styrofoam balls with coloured numbers on them. We also found a tiny key under a matt and some Sudoku-type boards with more Styrofoam balls and… a black light! There was something written on those pieces of paper after all! After unscrambling it read “GET THE MONEY AND MAKE PAYMENT.”

There was a safe on a shelf, and we had three tries to open it with the correct code. We also found secret messages with the black light on the Sudoku boards. We managed to open 1/4 locks (the one with the tiny key…) before getting stuck on the Sudoku. We solved them but weren’t sure what to do with them, so we decided to use our hint and rang the doorbell.

But, we were still stuck.

We managed to open another lock before our 45 minutes were up. They gave us a few more minutes to see if we could solve it, but to no avail. We managed to unlock 3/4 locks in about 50 minutes from the clues and riddles. Each lock we opened provided us with a puzzle piece, which appeared to be a list of expenses.

We failed, but we were kind of close…right? After opening all the locks, we had to do the math and figure out how to open the safe which would give us the key to the door… not sure if we would’ve been able to open the safe though. There were hidden messages everywhere! Several we missed. There was also one Sudoku block we didn’t find (hidden on the underside of the dresser). There was a mathematical equation under a desk which we didn’t fully understand until the owner explained it to us… and that was when we realized we seriously over thought that formula.

Overall, it was a really fantastic experience. It definitely forces you to work together – there was only one flashlight between two of us, one of whom is extremely domineering… need I say more?

It was a really well-thought story and the puzzles were challenging and interesting. I was really impressed, and it was so much fun to do a game like this in real life and not on a computer.

There’s a certain thrill about checking the clock every few minutes and realizing your time is quickly running out. At one point I checked the clock and we had 32 seconds left, which when you’re really into the game, makes you feel anxious, determined, and frustrated all at the same time.

The customer service was wonderful. I look forward to when they upgrade to a bigger (and more easily located!) space, which can accommodate more rooms. Definitely a place to try out. It was a great challenge, and I know we’ll be visiting them again!

For more information checkout their website and Facebook page.

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Noah: A Film Worth Discussing

I’m sure by now many of you have heard of the new film, Noah. Already there’s been a lot written about it, both positive and negative. Yesterday the husband and I decided to go see the movie for ourselves, and we didn’t regret it.

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The movie was a thought-provoking one. Much like the Biblical account, the film is set in a world of devastation and violence. The mood is dark and brooding, which isn’t surprising coming from Darren Aronofsky (creator of The Black Swan). The film largely centers on the internal struggles of Noah – who is directed by God to build an ark for “the innocent”- as he comes to terms with the inevitable destruction of the world with his family acting as the lone representatives of humanity.

Firstly, the acting was superb. Jennifer Connelly as Noah’s wife was especially outstanding. The chemistry between her and Russell Crowe (who also performed together in A Beautiful Mind) is clearly present. Emma Watson was also fantastic – she is clearly a talented actress. The cinematography was beautiful. As a movie, it had all the imagination and story of a good film.

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But perhaps that’s the problem for many people.

In this film there are mystical fallen angels encased in rock, punished for helping humanity. Methuselah holds magical powers, the creation story seems to illustrate theological evolution (though I would point out that humankind is portrayed as being created separately from the animals) and Tubal-Cain – “who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron” (Gen. 4:22, NIV) – is a great warrior and king, cruel and arrogant.

The controversy swirling around this film is not unexpected, though I must admit I’m surprised at the intensity of that negativity. Many have argued that the movie is grossly inaccurate and therefore tarnishes the word of God. Many also argue that the spirit of God is darkened because 1) they never name Him and 2) the flood is depicted as being excessively cruel and harsh.

There are those that argue it promotes Luciferism or that it acts only as environmentalist propaganda. Still there are those who call it the “most insipid, absurd, unimaginative, clumsily contrived piece of anti-Christian filmmaking.”

I completely understand where many of these people are coming from. There is, indeed, magical and mystical elements, Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel clearly added a lot which is not mentioned in the Bible and there are some troubling elements. However, with that said, I have to argue against these criticisms.

God is not named but is frequently recognized as The Creator by all characters. Tubal-Cain, the movie’s villain, frequently pleads with The Creator to speak to him as He does with Noah. After all, he argues “am I not also made in Your image?”

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Also, as for the flood being as harsh as it was depicted – let’s not kid ourselves, it was probably just as horrific! Much of the Old Testament is uncomfortable to read for this very reason – Saul, for example, was cast from God’s favour because his show of mercy (1 Samuel: 15) was a direct disobedience to God.

Two points which did make me uncomfortable:

1) Through the re-telling of the creation story, the snake sheds its skin. This skin is passed down from generation to generation in Noah’s family and is used to pass on the birthright. But why use this particular item? This evil object from the fall is valued by all, Noah and Tubal-Cain. Why? It seems troubling to me that this snake skin would be venerated. After discussing it with David and we can only conclude that it was a means to show how sin has been carried forward from generation to generation. Nonetheless, this isn’t made very clear.

2) One of the moments that scripture is directly quoted in the movie, it is put in the mouth of – you guessed it – the villain, Tubal-Cain. It is Tubal-Cain who reminds us that man was given dominion over the earth. The way in which it is quoted is suggestive that this particular scriptural passage (Genesis 1:26 and 1:28) is wrong. Tubal-Cain interprets this passage as justification to cruelly exploit the earth and everything in it, a view that’s still held today. After all, many argue that animals were created to benefit us. On the other hand, Noah views himself as a steward and protector – caring for that which is not his, but is in his keeping. I believe Noah’s actions more closely align with the scriptural passage and its meaning. Humankind is much like a king who has dominion over his realm – they are not there to exploit their people but to protect them and better their lands.

The film does change a couple elements of the Biblical story. Noah and his family enter the ark, but two of his sons – Ham and Japheth – are without wives. Not to mention an added character manages his way into the ark. Furthermore, Noah wasn’t alone in building the ark, and the scenes in which it is being built is oddly reminiscent of several scenes in Lord of the Rings (think Isengard).

Critics have also pointed out the many added details that were not in the Bible story. However, I find it hard to be critical of this considering so many Biblical accounts are vague and lacking in detail. According to Genesis approximately 100 years passed from the time Noah began the ark to the time that the flood waters began (Genesis 5: 32 & Genesis 7: 6, NIV), and there is no account of what happened during this long stretch of time. Also, the magical elements in the movie are not illogical and unbelievable. Remember that this is a time and place vastly different from our own. One commentator puts it best when discussing Methuselah:

I liked what they did with Methuselah. I know a lot of people are claiming he uses witchcraft, but that’s not it. He has some of what C. S. Lewis would call “the deep magic” from the Garden of Eden. We’re fallen creatures, less than we were once, and we have grown less with each generation. Methuselah lived for hundreds of years! Now, we’re fortunate to make it to ninety! Isn’t it reasonable to think we lost more than longevity with time? That Adam and Eve, being the first humans made in God’s image, would better reflect Him than we do? They knew how to communicate with the animals in ways we don’t – otherwise Eve would have been startled at the serpent speaking to her. What other gifts might they have had? Is our collective yearning to be more than we are indicative of our unconscious awareness that we’re less than we ought to be? Methuselah is not a sorcerer. He is divinely gifted in ways we haven’t been since the flood.

Perhaps the most universal criticism among positive and negative reviews is the depiction of Noah as missing the mark.

While they could have spent more time developing his character and less time focused on the “action” on the ark, I viewed his character much differently. His internal struggles were entirely reasonable and depicted his fervent faith in God. It also showed that, though he may be considered a righteous man, he still misreads God (as I’m sure we all do) in a considerable way. This movie does not depict perfect characters – all make mistakes and, on occasion, display humanity’s inherent evilness. That’s why we need a saviour, isn’t it? In one scene, there is a sort of re-enactment of the fall – a jarring illustration that even Noah’s family is not without sin.

Interestingly, in the New King James Version (and previous versions) of the Bible, Noah is described differently than in new versions in Genesis 6:9:

“Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.” – NKJV

“Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.” – NIV

Aronofsky’s depiction of Noah seems to focus on the former version. Noah’s character is bent on justice – but what is justice? What does justice look like? Moreover, Noah’s actions don’t always portray our ideas of “righteousness”, but then, what is righteousness? Many of those who the Bible describes as righteous committed evil deeds – King David was much loved by God, but committed adultery and had the husband of his mistress killed.

Aronofsky points to the fact that the flood didn’t eliminate sin and highlights our free will, specifically through Ila’s final words.

This movie is absolutely excellent for conversation. It forces the viewer to ask themselves some tough questions, including 1) What is the nature of God? 2) What does it mean to be righteous? 3) What is justice? 4)What is God’s relationship with humanity and 5) What is our relationship with the earth?

Darren Aronofsky’s film is nothing short of fantastical – but this does not take away from the many moral messages of the story. Let’s not forget, as well, that his inspiration came from numerous sources, not merely the story as found in Genesis. The movie is not anti-Christian as many would claim and it does, in fact, follow the Biblical morals of the story of Noah, but in a way that is thought provoking and artistically imagined.

My Final Verdict: 4 out of 5

Here’s Christianity Today’s review of the movie.
Five Positive Features of the Film from Christianity Today
Five Negative Features of the Film from Christianity Today