December 28, 2007
It is the story about blind faith - that of a wife (Lauren Graham) for her bewildering husband (Steve Carell). Evan Baxter has been elected to Congress only to find a higher calling. God, (the mostly can-do-no-wrong Morgan Freeman), enlists Evan to kill pork barrel laws and save the animals. It won't spoil the neoNoah story to reveal that He, he, his kids and a medley of animals do just that.
As of June 2007, Evan Almighty was the most expensive comedy film ever made - 200 million dollar's worth.
For those old fashion movie buffs who pine for the real sets of yesteryear, the movie spent rafts. The sprucely crafted full sized ark - made of real wood and veneered steel and Styrofoam - will leave you as awed as Evan Almighty, the movie, hopes to do.
For fans of computer generated wizardry, the budget allotted a lot of money to perfect 600 CG animals. For admirers, connoisseurs and students of the skill, this movie is a treat.
But for animal lovers, it's a must-see. The film features more live performing creatures than any movie ever made. While some actually pitched in to build the boat, the beasts did less and were paid more than any set construction crew ever. And each of the 177 species of animals (that makes at least 354 of them) came to the set with personal trainers.
For Wanda Sykes fans, (she's the Congressman's assistant), she has the best lines and is a welcomed sassy divertissement.
For the pre-tweener and the twenty something male, Carell digging in his nostril will be the most hilarious oblation of the Almighty Extras. The metrosexual preening outakes were more intense than a multi-makeup session with Morticia, Amy Winehouse, Liberace and Quasimoto combined. The extreme plucking, pinching, scraping, sucking, wiping and wrestling private whatnots were singularly disgusting. Steve, get out of your nose already.
There were, however, several more enlightened offerings. "Animals On Set Two by Two" chronicled the euphoria of the actors and crew collaborating with the Wild Kingdom.
In "The Ark-itect of Noah's Ark," Director Tom Shadyac, actually consulted The Good Book for guidance to make a biblically correct floating sanctuary. And the cinematic construction combined with the Bonus revelations are awesome.
Other features preach the gospel of conservation. Shadyac is an evangelical environmentalist, whether supplying the crew with bikes, recycling the Ark or reforesting Virginia. "The Almighty Green Set," "It's Easy Being Green" and the kids' games are designed to inspire. Save the endangered animal; save the world.
Meanwhile, on a less celestial level, in a sabbatical from the sermon, you can watch the growth of Evan's beard, one hair at a time.
Director: Tom Shadyac
Cast: Steve Carell, Morgan Freeman, Lauren Graham, John Goodman, John Michael Higgins, Wanda Sykes
Length: 95 minutes
Video codec: VC-1
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2:35:1
DVS Dolby Digital 2.0
Dolby Digital Plus 5.1
Dolby Digital Plus 5.1
English SDH, French