Noah on Blu-Ray: some quick notes on the bonus features

noah-target-aThe Noah Blu-Ray is here — and with it, a bunch of behind-the-scenes stuff that we have never seen before. Here are some quick notes on the bonus features.

First, a reminder that different editions of the film come with different bonus features.

As far as I know, seven bonus features have been released one way or another so far, and all of them are available on the “exclusive” Target edition of the Blu-Ray. (The bilingual packaging on the disc I bought here in Canada listed only six bonus features, but the actual disc had all seven.) But only three of them are available on the Blu-Ray that is available everywhere else.

Also, three bonus features are apparently included if you purchase the film directly from iTunes (if you use iTunes to get the free “digital copy” that comes with your disc, you won’t get any bonus features, just the film), but one of the iTunes bonus features is actually from the Target disc and not from the regular Blu-Ray.

Confused yet? I’ll try to sort it all out below.

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Noah: five new making-of videos mark the Digital HD release

The most controversial Bible epic of the year — so far — Noah came out on Digital HD today and is now available for purchase through several different streaming services.

As far as I can tell, none of these services include any bonus features except for iTunes — but the bonus features included with the iTunes package are not identical to the bonus features that have been advertised for the upcoming Blu-Ray.

The Blu-Ray will include three featurettes totaling over an hour, on ‘Iceland: Extreme Beauty’, ‘The Ark Exterior: A Battle for 300 Cubits’ and ‘The Ark Interior: Animals Two By Two’. The iTunes release comes with the first two featurettes but replaces the third with ‘Special Makeup FX on Noah,’ which just happens to be one of the featurettes that is rumoured to be on the exclusive Target edition of the Blu-Ray. The iTunes featurettes add up to almost 51 minutes of bonus content.

To mark the film’s digital release, Paramount released at least two exclusive clips to two websites today — and I have no idea at this point if these clips are taken from any of the existing bonus features, or if they are unique to these websites.

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Noah gears up for release in Japan and the Philippines

Darren Aronofsky’s Noah has had a difficult time getting released overseas in some countries. First some Muslim countries banned it for its lack of piety, and then China — the second-largest moviegoing market in the world — banned it for being too religious.

The film also had to put off its release in the Philippines, due to a dispute between two distributors. But now at least that has been taken care of, as various sites are reporting that the film is due to open in the Philippines on June 11 — which might mean that the film has already opened there, given that that country is on the other side of the International Date Line.

Articles on the film, containing quotes from various people, have recently appeared on news sites based in the Philippines, but it is not clear to me whether these articles contain any new quotes or are simply repeating stuff from other articles.

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Darren Aronofsky adapts another Flood story… sort of!

Now that he’s just about finished promoting his environmentally conscious movie about a Flood that wiped out most of the world’s population in the distant past, Darren Aronofsky has signed on to produce an environmentally conscious HBO series about a “Waterless Flood” — actually a pandemic brought about by genetic engineering — that wipes out most of the world’s population in the near future.

The series, MaddAddam, will be based on Margaret Atwood’s trilogy of that name, which includes the books Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood.

Interestingly, this series not only has the environmental themes that Aronofsky has been plugging into lately, but it may have the sort of religious themes that have popped up throughout his filmography as well. I have not read these books, but I gather that they revolve, in part, around a group of people known as “God’s Gardeners”. Here is how Atwood described them in an article for Sojourners on the real-life Christian environmental group A Rocha:
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Creation, evolution, the Fall and more in a new Noah clip

Six weeks after Noah came out in theatres, the filmmakers have released another clip — and it’s one of the best sequences in the entire film. The Creation sequence begins with a single shot that captures billions of years of evolution, from the Big Bang to the mammals that existed just before humanity came along, and it goes on to show the Fall, Cain killing Abel, and the violence that has continued throughout human history right up to the present day. You can watch the video — and read a few thoughts I have about the significance of this clip — below the jump.

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Noah news round-up: a Chinese ban and a popular name

Like most blockbusters these days, Noah has made a lot more money overseas than it has in North America — but simply getting the film released overseas has been more of a challenge than usual.

First it was banned in some (but not all) Muslim countries for dramatizing the life of one of the prophets. Then it was held back in the Philippines because of a legal battle between two distributors. And now it has been blocked by censors in China — the second-largest film market in the world — for being too religious.

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