Noah Blu-ray review

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The story of Noah should be a familiar one for many. God tells Noah to build an ark and fill it with animals. Why? Apparently mankind has been naughty and up to no good. So how does God repay them? By drowning them all with the world’s biggest Gatorade bath.

Make no mistake, purists will have problems with Noah, since it takes a lot of liberties, especially ones that are added for dramatic effect. And then there are those who aren’t into the Bible and will opt to avoid it at all cost.

The movie starts out with a prologue on creation. Adam and Eve have sinned and are banned from the Garden of Eden. Their child, Cain, murders their other child, Abel. (Wow, the Adam and Eve family just can’t catch a break.) Cain’s descendants poison the lands while the descendants of Seth, Adam and Eve’s third child, try to preserve the lands. Fast forward to Noah (Russell Crowe) as a grown family man. He gets a vision from God telling him to build an ark. The current ruler and descendant of Cain, Tubal-cain (Ray Winstone), wants to save mankind and will do whatever it takes to get on Noah’s ark. Luckily, Noah has help from The Watchers, fallen angels turned into giant stoned creatures. Reluctant at first, they finally believe that Noah is a messenger from God and decide to help him build the ark and act as super security guards.

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Noah is more complex now. Instead of being a nice family man, he is a skilled warrior who will kill those who threaten him and his family. (Imagine Crowe as Gandhi or Jesus.) He’s also become very detached from his family later on in the movie, since he prioritizes God over his family. At least he’s paying attention in Sunday school, since they teach you that God is more important than family. (This is also when one might not want to root for Noah.)

Noah is joined by his wife, Jennifer Connelly and three sons, Japheth (Leo McHugh Carroll), Ham (Logan Lerman) and Shem (Douglas Booth). One of the major conflicts belongs to Ham and Noah. Ham will do anything to save the one he cares about, while Noah…not so much. This creates tension between father and son. Another conflict is in the form of Tubal-cain, who will do anything to save as many people as he can. That’s a problem with Noah, since he only wants his immediate family on board. Although Tubal-cain wants to help save humanity, that doesn’t mean he’s a nice guy. There’s a scene in the movie where he sacrifices a bunch of people without mercy.

If you’re ready to watch the movie with an open mind, you’ll get a nice story about a man struggling between following God or choosing his family. There’s plenty of action for a Noah movie and the special effects are done quite well. It’s definitely not going to win everybody, but it’s worth checking out at least once just to see how one would tackle a live-action Noah film, even if it’s not their preferred version.

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Video/Audio Quality

The Noah Blu-ray is presented in 1080p high definition at 1.85:1. The colors are muted and mostly gray. The picture looks clean and clear, with sharp details on the characters and the clothes. The English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio is also another highlight. The quiet scenes deliver on clear dialogue displaying at the center, and the action and flood scenes create an atmospheric experience and make good use of the surround sound system.

Extras

The Noah Blu-ray gets three bonus features with no audio commentary. The bonus features tally up to about an hour and contains a lot of behind-the-scenes on-set footage.

  • Iceland: Extreme Beauty (20:40): This feature covers the shooting in Iceland, how it’s difficult to light there, and how the weather is an obstacle.
  • The Ark Exterior: A Battle for 300 Cubits (19:46): This feature goes into the making of the ark, as seen on the outside. The biggest chunk goes to trying to turn night into a daytime scene filled with lots of rain.
  • The Ark Interior: Animals Two by Two (19:55): The last one covers the inside of the ark.

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Final Reaction

If you’re faithful to the Bible, then I highly recommend you pass on this. The film is easily controversial, and it’s always going to be tough to create a movie about a family man creating an ark for animals. Director Darren Aronofsky wanted to add drama and emotions at the expense of changing major things. Some would say why make the movie if they can’t keep to the source material? As for me, the special effects aren’t enough to keep me engaged, mainly because I couldn’t root for Noah. The Blu-ray’s video and audio are exceptional, but the extras are lacking.

Rating: 3.5/5 Atoms

NR 3_5 Atoms - B-

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John Nguyen
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