Noah (Blu-ray)

In Blu-Ray’s by Rebecca WrightLeave a Comment

[AMAZONPRODUCTS asin=”B00JBGWP3Y”]Director Darren Aronofsky, known for his low-budget, artistic offerings such as Requiem for a Dream and The Wrestler took on a big budget adventure of epic proportions to tell the popular Bible story of Noah, about a man, his giant ark and the incredible lengths a family will go to when facing what is the world’s first apocalypse.

Noah (Russell Crowe), a descendent of Seth and a man of faith and of the earth, is living a happy but isolated life with his wife Naameh (Jennifer Connelly) and three sons, Ham (Logan Lerman), Shem (Douglas Booth) and Japheth (Leo Carroll). One day, he receives a vision of death by flood. Noah travels to confer with his grandfather, Methuselah (Anthony Hopkins) where he is given a clearer vision that depicts the catastrophic end of the world through a torrent of flood waters. He must build an ark to house pairs of every animal and his family while the rest of humanity is destroyed in the cataclysm. Noah, his wife and children, along with a young infertile girl named Ila (Emma Watson), begin the building process, using the harvest of a “magical” seed and assisted by “the watchers,” fallen angels encased in stone who blame man for their imprisonment but who regard Noah as good, and seek salvation through their work with him. As construction continues, the group is Tubal-cain (Ray Winstone), who plans to take the ark and save the world from destruction.

Noah is actually a very short story in the bible, so creative license is a given. However, Aronofsky doesn’t stray too far from the core story. He and co-writer Ari Handel (The Fountain) have created a world clearly based on the biblical story of Noah, while filling in gaps that even some theologian’s acknowledge. Aronofsky portrays man as all but gone, and Noah’s family must suffer the consequences of being left behind.

Russell Crowe gives his best performance in years as the chosen one; nearly driven insane trying to do the job of the Creator. He is so riveting, it’s nearly impossible to imagine anyone else in the role. His transformation from loving husband and father to zealot is simply awe-inspiring. Crowe and Jennifer Connelly once again play husband and wife as they did in A Beautiful Mind, and once again, their chemistry is palpable. One hopes we don’t have to wait over a decade for their next film pairing. Here, Connelly loves Naameh balances out Crowe’s highly intense Noah.

As good as Anthony Hopkins can be, Crowe’s unrelenting intensity overpowers Hopkins’ performance as the wise, old warrior, though he does a fine job. Ray Winstone’s Tubal-Cain is a proud descendent of the one who helped bring about most of this chaos. Cain wonders why he wasn’t chosen to serve in Noah’s capacity instead.

The amazing special effects are just as important as any character. Aronofsky used fast motion in showing the history of man, and CG to show the devastation of the flood. If the story itself doesn’t grab you, the special effects are pretty amazing.

Presented in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio, Paramount has given Noah a fabulous 1080p transfer. Detail is rich and amazingly clear throughout. The transfer is truly reference quality stuff; watching at home truly replicates the theater experience. Everything about it—CG, the Ark—looks awesome.

The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 mix matches the visuals, offering a tremendous aural experience that will blow you away during the flood. This is reference quality material as well.

English, English SDH, French, Spanish, and Portuguese subtitles are included.

The following extras are available:

  • Iceland: Extreme Beauty (HD, 20:40): A discussion of the benefits of shooting in Iceland, the land’s natural beauty, difficult terrain access and the physical challenges of shooting on the location, the difficulties in forecasting and working around local weather, etc. Includes a good amount of behind-the-scenes footage.
  • The Ark Exterior: A Battle for 300 Cubits (HD, 19:46): An examination of the additional location scouting and creating a Biblically accurate ark. It also takes a close look at rainmakers on the set and the process of shooting certain scenes. Includes a good amount of behind-the-scenes footage.
  • The Ark Interior: Animals Two by Two (HD, 19:55): A detailed look at the ark interior set, the location in which it was built, the construction, shooting within the space, the Biblical story’s dark themes and dramatizing them, the Biblical description of Noah, and more. As with the other pieces, it includes a good amount of behind-the-scenes footage.
  • DVD of the film.
  • UV/iTunes Digital Copy codes are included in the case.