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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Behold the concept art for the Watchers of Noah!

Love ’em or hate ’em, one thing people can’t stop talking about after seeing Noah is the Watchers — angels who fell to Earth, lost their wings, and were encased in the molten rock that they crashed into.

In the early screenplay that leaked a couple years ago, and in the graphic novel that came out two weeks ago, the Watchers are basically organic; the screenplay describes them as “18 feet tall, ageless, sexless and covered with a light dusting of fur.”

But somewhere along the way, Darren Aronofsky turned them into rock monsters, spirits trapped in the rock they crashed into, whose struggle to rise from the tar was inspired by the wildlife covered in oil after the Exxon Valdez spill.

Paramount has studiously avoided releasing any official images of these creatures — even going so far as to delete them from shots that were used in the the trailers and early clips — but director Darren Aronofsky has not been so reticent, tweeting images of actors and voice-over artists standing in front of screens bearing images of the Watchers (or, as Aronofsky now prefers to call them, the Nephilim).

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The Jewish roots of — and responses to — Noah

If there’s one thing that has annoyed me about some of the debate around Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, it has been the persistent assumption — on both sides — that the film was made either for Christians or against Christians. Some people dismiss the film because they think the studio wanted to pander to the Christian market, while others think the film was made to subvert the beliefs of Christians. Rarely does anyone take a step back and say, “Hey, these filmmakers are Jewish, and the story of Noah comes from the Jewish scriptures. I wonder what Jewish audience members make of this film?”

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Darren Aronofsky on “dominion” vs “stewardship”, and how the Exxon Valdez spill inspired his take on the Nephilim

Speaking of things that inspired Noah director Darren Aronofsky when he was young, he wrote an article for the Huffington Post today on a trip he made to Alaska in 1986, and how it affected his views on the environment and the stewardship of creation, etc.

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Noah news round-up: a good first day in Mexico, the filmmakers talk about fear, grief, and literalism, and more

More good news for Noah from the foreign market: the film, which already had a strong opening in South Korea a couple days ago, had a similarly strong opening in Mexico yesterday. In both cases, the studio says the movie’s opening days were on par with the opening days for Gravity in those markets.

Several reviews of the film went online Thursday night (or Friday morning, if you live on the east coast) — you can read my own first review here — and it currently has a 73% score at Rotten Tomatoes.

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Noah art show opens, and an update on the soundtrack

With three weeks to go before Noah opens in theatres, directer Darren Aronofsky hosted the opening of an art show loosely connected to his film last night.

Fountains of the Deep: Visions of Noah and the Flood, which will be open to the public in New York until March 29 (i.e. one day after the film comes out in theatres), features interpretations of the original biblical story “in painting, in drawing, in photography, in sculpture” — and it even includes four clips from the film, which are visible through peep holes.

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