Noah on Blu-ray – The DVDfever Review


Noah begins with a crash court of biblical mythology about Adam & Eve’s sons, where Cain killed Abel, and something about the Watchers, and temptation leading to sin, and the big man upstairs deciding to send a flood to wash all the scum off the streets… hang on, I’ve veered into Taxi Driver territory.

Anyhoo, those Watchers are what you’d expect Salvador Dali to dream up if he was to remake a Michael Bay Transformers film.

Early on, Noah (Russell Crowe) proves that popping over to your grandfather, Methuselah’s (Anthony Hopkins), house is nothing to do with driving 25 minutes to his house down the A6, but instead going on a long trek, risking life and limb and coming across various bizarre creatures, while getting a crash-course in how the world began. And Hopkins’ make-up makes him look more like Stuart Hall than Anthony Hopkins!

Other questions are abound like – has Noah got sons or daughters? Both of them have silly long hair and could be either.

And, surely, if your Dad had come home and told you he’d had a vision from God to build a massive ark, and that there was a flood coming from up above, rather than take him at his word, wouldn’t you instead check him into a loony bin?

And how come the myth of the ark talks about allowing animals in two-by-two, when in this film it seems to be open to all-comers?


On the plus side, in Noah, no expense has been spared on the SFX. Even the most competent animal wrangler couldn’t get hoardes of the things to make their way towards a big raft with a roof, as they refer to the ark in the extras. Also, as I’m not religious, I didn’t know a whole heap about the ins and outs of Noah’s story other than him building an ark, so any potential issues that could go either way would have an outcome I didn’t know in advance.

On the downside, Noah is slow-moving and ponderous, with most of the cast just spending their time by staring into space and looking pensive. There’s also lots of crying from Emma Watson, yet not a trace of tears on her face! They could at least have given her Tear-stick to bring them on.

And while the sound is in DTS HD 7.1, the dialogue is occasionally muffled, rather like one of BBC’s drama such as Quirke, starring Gabriel Byrne, where everyone was mumbling. Good job I had subtitles on!

Still, the film gives Darren Aronofsky a lot to work with when he gets his CGI kit out, including a drop of rain turning into an instant flower – something I’d quite welcome if I was bothered enough to rid my back yard of weeds. Alas, this premonition makes Noah believe that God’s about to destroy the world. Of course, you could question how a drop of rain translates into a torrent of a flood, especially when their location is as barren as the desert.

Go to page 2 for more thoughts on the film, plus a look at the presentation and the extras.



Russell Crowe goes through abour three million different hairstyles during the course of the film, and when he’s up against Ray Winstone as Tubal-cain and he shouts, “I am the son of Lamech!” (who?) and “Know that we have all been judged!”, I kept expecting him to continue, “I am father to a murdered son… husband to a murdered wife”, as if it was Religious Gladiator!

In fact, take away all the CGI and the religion, and it boils down to a bout of fisticuffs between Crowe and Winstone, and not a lot else.

Jennifer Connelly looks entirely bored to be onscreen as Noah’s wife Naameh, while Logan Lerman, as Ham – who proves that, like me, he doesn’t have much luck with women, looks like a young Christian Slater.

Oh, and when everyone’s looking for Ham, they’re all shouting “Ham! Ham! Ham!”, and I expected others to shout “Cheese! Cheese! Cheese!”

Noah cost $125m to make. I wonder how much of that was spent on the creation of the ark?

And I wonder how much was spent on making a 3D conversion of this film, since it was shot in 2D, not 3D, but for some reason, someone at Paramount thought it was worth splashing out the cash on a stereoscopic version in post-production.

However, while a 3D version has been released on Blu-ray in Hong Kong, the UK and USA have only seen the 2D versions. And in this case, and especially because it wasn’t filmed that way, the 3D version isn’t necessary. It looks okay to a degree for major scenes, such as when the flood kicks in, but the film’s image is dark enough when it’s all kicking off, so it doesn’t need to be made darker on purpose. Also, anything up close sees the 3D be much less effective, and a lot of the rest of it is just people talking, which doesn’t need 3D at all.

That said, if you do watch it in 3D, you can reach in and slap Emma Watson every time she starts crying. Which is about every five minutes.


The film is presented in the original 1.85:1 widescreen ratio and in 1080p high definition and while the picture has no issues at all, it looks at its best during crowd scenes and when all hell’s breaking loose with the flood… or should that be that the heavens are breaking loose?

The sound is in DTS HD 7.1 – for those with the requisite equipment, although I only have the usual complement of speakers and, aside from the aforementioned dialogue issues at times, again it’s the special effects scenes when your speakers will get the most out of it.

The extras are as follows and they’re all in HD:

  • Iceland: Extreme Beauty (20:40): Noah was filmed in Iceland as it’s effectively the newest part of the Earth, in comparison to everywhere else, and looked like the perfect setting for Eden, as well as all the other locations and it looks stunning. In fact, it makes me want to visit, but so many of these places are inaccessible without a long hike, drive, helicopter ride, etc.

    Also, on the first day of the shoot, it was raining! Thankfully, there was no flood…

  • The Ark Exterior: A Battle for 300 Cubits (19:46): After Iceland, the work moves on to Oyster Bay, Long Island, and a massive arboretum (which The Simpsons once confirmed to me is a Tree Place).

    The ark is “just a raft with a roof”, as you don’t need a sail or anything boat-like on it, since when the Earth is flooded there’s nowhere to sail to, so you’re just getting something together that can wait out the storm until the water goes down.

    And Russell Crowe also teaches us that the phrase “pulling your tit” is the same as “pulling your leg”, when he gets inadvertently caught on camera saying it to a member of the crew.

  • The Ark Interior: Animals Two by Two (19:55): The problems of building a massive ark inside a studio, along with all the floors, so it looks realistic.

    In addition, Ray Winstone gets all environmentally-friendly. Aww….

  • Audio Description: Does exactly what it says on the tin.

The menu mixes clips from the film with a piece of the incidental music. The film is also fairly well-chaptered with 22 in there, but the film is quite a long 138 minutes, and since I work on the rule of thumb of one every five minutes, that would equate to almost 28, here.

Dialogue comes in four languages – English, French, Italian, Spanish, while subtitles are available in 10 flavours: English, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Spanish and Swedish.

Noah is available now on Blu-ray and DVD.



Detailed specs:

Running time: 138 minutes
Studio: Paramount Home Video BSP2590
Year: 2014
Released: July 28th 2014
Chapters: 22
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: DTS HD Master Audio 7.1 (English only), Dolby Digital 5.1
Languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish
Subtitles: English, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Spanish, Swedish
Widescreen: 1.85:1 (ARRIRAW (2.8K))
Disc Format: BD50

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Producers: Darren Aronofsky, Scott Franklin, Arnon Milchan and Mary Parent
Screenplay: Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel
Music: Clint Mansell

Noah: Russell Crowe
Naameh: Jennifer Connelly
Tubal-cain: Ray Winstone
Methuselah: Anthony Hopkins
Ila: Emma Watson
Ham: Logan Lerman
Shem: Douglas Booth
Samyaza (voice): Nick Nolte
Magog (voice): Mark Margolis
Rameel: Kevin Durand
Japheth: Leo McHugh Carroll
Lamech: Marton Csokas
Young Tubal-cain: Finn Wittrock
Na’el: Madison Davenport
Young Shem: Gavin Casalegno
Young Ham: Nolan Gross
Young Ila: Skylar Burke
Young Noah: Dakota Goyo
Eve: Ariane Rinehart
Adam: Adam Marshall Griffith
Younger Sister: Sophie Nyweide
Mean Uncle: Don Harvey
Refugee Daughter: Sami Gayle


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