• Bible Films Blog

    Looking at film interpretations of the stories in the Bible - past, present and future, as well as preparation for a future work on Straub/Huillet's Moses und Aron and a few bits and pieces on biblical studies.

    Matt Page


    Wednesday, November 14, 2007

    Evan Almighty UK DVD Release

    Film © 2007 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.
    Evan Almighty gets its UK DVD release on Monday, in what seems to be a slightly different version of the disc from that which was released last month in the US and elsewhere. I say that because my friend Peter Chattaway had his name included on the North American DVD for attending the promotional "junket" earlier in the year. This DVD doesn't have that feature at least.

    It does, however, have a very generous number of extra features, including several mini-documentaries. Indeed given the film's poor performance at the box office, and the wealth of extras already supplied in this release, it's hard to imagine a special edition of this film coming out any time soon. The full list of features is as follows:
    Deleted Scenes
    The Ark-itects of Noah's Ark
    Becoming Noah
    Steve Carrell Unscripted
    Animals on Set Two by Two
    The Almighty Green Set
    It's Easy Being Green
    Acts of Random Kindness
    A Flood of Visual Effects
    Casting Call Serengeti
    Film © 2007 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.
    For me, the best extras are always those that lead you to appreciate the film more, and there are at least 3 features here that tick that box, (although from a technical point of view more than anything). "The Ark-itects of Noah's ark" talks about the feat of reproducing Noah's ark for real, which is one of the film's most impressive feats alongside the use of animals. Evan used more animals than any other film in movie history, and so it's hardly surprising that it gets its own feature entitled "Animals on set two by two".

    The other more technical features discuss issues around Carell's make-up ("Becoming Noah"), and the CGI effects ("A flood of visual Effects"). I always find CGI docs interesting, but feel geeky afterwards for enjoying them as if they're some kind of guilty pleasure.

    The other features fall into two categories, those tied into the film's messages, and those that are just cast / crew enjoying themselves. This was certainly a "message movie", which aimed to challenge its audience to live more sustainably, and to engage in Acts of Random Kindness. There are two features on the first issue ("The Almighty Green Set", "It's Easy Being Green"), and one on the second ("Acts of Random Kindness"), which sometimes feels a little preachy and other times seems a bit token. For example, will the world really be saved by putting a quarter in a parking meter if someone's car has run out of credit?Film © 2007 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.
    In-jokes by cast and crew rarely make good extras, and this DVD is no exception. Whilst "Casting Call Serengeti" raises the occasional smile, "Steve Carrell Unscripted" is poor. In fact generally these extras supply ample evidence that Carrell is far more amusing when scripted than not.

    In terms of the movie itself (my review is here), the quality seems pretty good - although I'm no expert. The above image is the bitmap from my screen grab software so you can see for yourselves (click on it to see the full size image). Overall it's a decent release of this film, and, as there is unlikely to be a special edition in the near future, those planning to buy the DVD should probably go right ahead rather than wait for another, even more extensive version.

    Anyone interested in this DVD might also want to know that Peter Chattaway has also recorded an unofficial, downloadable, audio commentary for the film as well. There's also a new trailer available.

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