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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Sequel > Religion > Evan Almighty (HD-DVD/DVD Combo Edition)

Evan Almighty (HD-DVD/DVD Combo Edition)


Picture: B/C+     Sound: B+/B-     Extras: D     Film: D



How bad can sequels get?  We’ve seen many bad, poor ill-advised projects, some of which are just inane.  Showing moral and creative bankruptcy, we have seen many films that were either only fleeting hits or bombs have sequels, as if spending biog money on them would build a franchise.  Underworld is a great example.  Then there is Bruce Almighty, one of the last hits for Jim Carrey before his current tailspin and one that was just not that good.  Years later, Universal secures Steve Correll and decides to launch a sequel, Evan Almighty.


One of the worst films of 2007, worthy of a ton of Razzies, the film essentially tries to recycle the first film as formula and be a big budget version.  With Tom Hanks as co-producer and the addition of an extremely desperate Noah’s Ark angle, more digital effects than necessary and the phoniest look of any big budget disaster since the Mike Meyers Cat In The Hat and here is a turkey you could serves for the holidays that could cancel out some serious starvation.


The film is never funny, the animals are wasted and the reliance of them as appealing is enough to make Sean Hannity join PETA, the religious humor is so one note that this could only drive one to atheism, Morgan Freeman looks like he is ready to laugh hard at any moment for being paid so much to do such a dumb film, Correll cannot save the film, John Goodman is out of his element and Wanda Sykes tries to do safe humor & all 96 minutes seems longer than most Biblical Epics.


The biggest problem, once again, is the Steve Oedekerk’s hack writing and Tom Shadyac’s hack directing.  Their lack of talent, originality and reliance on tired formulas make them seem to be trapped in the 1980s in a demented way.  It is not like they have had any hits lately, so why give them this project?  Because Hollywood is so out of touch with reality and the audience that they considered this a safe, amusing project that could be a hit.  When the film reached $175+ Million and barely even grossed that worldwide (it still lost tons of cash in print costs, promotion, publicity, distribution and damage control) at best, all involved dodged a bullet and you can bet if less respectable persons had produced, this would have been reported far more as the catastrophe it is.  Now on HD-DVD in this Combo version with a DVD flipside (though sold separately as a DVD-Video), the makers hope for more profits.


I think they had better build a new ark.



The 1080p 2.35 X 1 VC-1 digital High Definition image is lame, overdigitized all the way, with detail issues, color limits and a phony look all around also thanks to Director of Photography Ian Baker is flatter and dumber than the worst U.S. TV sitcoms, though this film can compete with the stupidity level of those shows.  The Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 mix on the HD side is better than the standard Dolby on the lower def DVD side, both with good sound fidelity that is the default highlight of the disc, though the mix has not good character about it.  John Debney’s score is weak and also thinks it is still the 1980s.  Yawn!


Extras include the U-Control function featuring picture-in-picture feature allowing for a making of the movie look that is more interactive than many of the featurettes, including Ark Building for Dummies, Animal Wrangler, Get on Board, The Ark-itects of Noah's Ark & Becoming Noah, deleted scenes/outtakes, Steve Carell Unscripted, Animals on Set Two by Two, Animal Roundup Game, The Almighty Green Set, It's Easy Being Green, Acts of Random Kindness, A Flood of Visual Effects and The Almighty Forest.  All begin to show how overproduction and insanely high budgets can kill anything, especially a big production built on a very, very, very, very weak idea for a sequel that should have never happened.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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