PictureEvan Almighty is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. Colours are spot on, facial tones especially pleasing. No overblown whites, detail at the upper end of the spectrum more than acceptable, with whispy clouds easily picked out from the very light blue sky. There are few dark scenes but those which are on offer again show little signs of crush. Primaries are stable with no contrast or brightness fluctuations and no blocking which can occur in standard definition when a static, single colour is presented on screen.
The print is defined by edge enhancement throughout though and whilst not excessive its continued appearance does somewhat lead your eyes to those areas of the image. The print is completely blemish free, no dirt or scratches.
Fine detail is somewhat lost in the distance as the image itself is rather soft, never really popping out from your screen. Those hoards of animals which stretch out into the distance really do get a little blurred.
SoundOn offer for the English speaking community are a standard Dolby Digital 5.1 and a Dolby Digital 2.0 for this visually impaired. Obviously for the purpose of this review I will consider the former of these two tracks.
Evan Almighty presents a predominantly frontal stage for the audio with seldom use of your surrounds. Dialogue is always clear and well presented emanating obviously from your centre and much is the same for the little effects and score itself. What you should be expecting here is quite a narrow field. Although the left and right are used they don't add any ambiance or depth to the presentation. Mid and high tones always crisp, LFE like your rears seldom in effect but comes crashing in during the climactic end scenes.
Surround use is limited to animal effects, birds chirping, wings flapping, and general noises from animal grunts or movements. Most of these sounds, whilst again are clear, really don't fit well enough into the film, so obviously being a product of post added Foley use.
ExtrasWhilst perhaps let down by a mediocre film itself and no revelation from the video or audio, Universal have seen fit to add a fair set of extras for this film. No commentary, which perhaps is a blessing in itself though, we do have a menagerie of other snippets to amuse ourselves with.
- Deleted Scenes. - 14:34mins
A number of deleted scenes which we are told were funny but just didn't quite make it into the film. I would again question the funny part of that statement. By all means they are no more or less funnier than what's in the main feature. Obviously time was the main reason these were not included.
- Outtakes. - 2:46mins
A selection of fluffed lines, actors messing about on set and Steve Carell hitting his thumb more often than he would like with a wooden mallet.
- The Ark-itects of Noah's Ark. - 6:50mins
How the ark itself was constructed on set. The dimensions of the ark itself, how these massive pieces which were manoeuvred in. The research which went into designing the ark itself.
- Becoming Noah. - 6:27mins
How Steve Carell is transformed from Congressman to Biblical figure. The makeup which went into his hairstyles and growing beard. 19 wigs and 17 beards were used in this production, with Carell sitting in makeup sometimes up to four hours before his filming could take place.
- Steve Carell Unscripted. - 3:14mins
Steve Carell on set introducing some locations, some of his own outtakes and some of his antics on set.
- Animals on Set Two by Two. - 12:52mins
The multitude of animals which were used in the production, the trainers and the techniques they used to coerce these animals to perform for the film. How they were filmed individually so they wouldn't eat each other.
- The Almighty Green Set. - 5:27mins
This feature was environmentally aware. Actors were provided with bicycles to get from set location to set location. The wanted to produce a zero carbon footprint film planting trees to offset their carbon costs due to flying and general film production.
- It's Easy Being Green. - 4:41mins
How you can alter your life to improve recycling and reduce your own carbon footprint.
- Acts of Random Kindness. - 1:48mins
Some stories from the cast and crew of acts of random kindness which they themselves have experienced.
- A Flood of Visual Effects. - 7:12mins
How the ark ultimately travels from the residential estate through the streets of Washington. How the flood actually looks like a flood and not a fast moving river. All of this was CGI and how these scenes were produced in the computer and then transferred to film.
- Casting Call: Serengeti. - 2:53mins
A pseudo casting couch session on the plains of Africa where 'casting directors' look at the different animals they need for this feature.
Each of the above featurettes is presented by Steve Carell himself and most, like the film itself, are there for disc space and don't really add much dimension to this package. The kids again will love the outtakes and animal features. I did enjoy the inclusion of eco friendly features, showing how the film tried to keep its environmental impact to a bare minimum. Hopefully if your kids watch these two small features then they themselves will start trying to be more eco friendly.
VerdictThey should have laid the Almighty franchise to rest when Bruce Almighty failed so miserably as it did. For the same director to produce the same film with the same lack of laughs is a sin in itself and I do hope that he never returns to film another. Like Bruce Almighty before it, this is no Cecil B. DeMille.
For myself I have to admit that the corners of my mouth rose on a couple of occasions when references to The Simpsons and Jaws entered the frame. That was it though and I was left more than a little disappointed with Evan Almighty.
As mentioned before though this is a family movie and should only be watched as such. Get your family around you, pop that corn and enjoy your kids enjoying their kind of films. Your kids will love it, especially if they have a keen interest in animals.
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- Deleted Scenes. - 14:34mins