Blu-ray Review “Noah”

noahStarring: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Paramount
DVD Release Date: July 29, 2014
Run Time: 137 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

Director Darren Aronofsky has come ALONG way since his first film “Pi”, which was shot for $60,000 and mostly without permits etc. Now he is making $120 million dollars films and I saw good for him since he is a great director. “Noah” is the theatrical re-telling of the story of Noah’s Ark from The Bible. This film has had a lot of controversy surrounding it but I actaully really enjoyed it. It has a fantastic cast including Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly and Emma Watson, whom all deliver great performances. The film is paced well and is visually stunning. Plus it is cool to find out it was partly shot in Long Island, NY (my hometown). Make not be straight from the pages of the Bible, which is not a bad thing, but this is a very visually entertaining movie. Key word being that exactly…movie!

If you don’t know the premise for this film, then you probably shouldn’t be seeing it. But here it is anyway “Noah (Crowe) suffers visions of an apocalyptic deluge before taking measures to protect his wife (Connelly), children and thousands of animals from a coming flood.” I love that before the film they had to put the following text in to make everyone happy. “The film is inspired by the story of Noah. While artistic license has been taken, we believe that this film is true to the essence, values and integrity of a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide. The biblical story of Noah can be found in the book of Genesis.” This is a movie people not a freaking biopic…chill out.

Paramount is delivering “Noah” as a combo pack with a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD included. They have also created one of the best Blu-ray presentations that I have seen all year. The 1080p, 1.85:1-framed transfer is absolutely fantastic. You can see that a lot of work went into this film in post and the digital effects are superb and very detailed. The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 is also outstanding. Since this is taken from the Bible, it is quite epic and the when the flood comes raise the volume and just enjoy this great well-balanced track.

The special features included on this release are good and add up to about an hour of extra content. I would have loved to seen a commentary track but these are still solid. “Iceland: Extreme Beauty” focuses on the shooting in Iceland, it’s benefits and difficulties and contains some great behind-the-scenes footage. “The Ark Exterior: A Battle for 300 Cubits” talks about planning and building of the film’s ark. It also includes some great on-set footage. “The Ark Interior: Animals Two by Two” is a deeper focus on the ark and the process that went into bringing it and it’s passengers to life.

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