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TV show review: CONTINUUM season 4
PHOTOGRAPHY

EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS Deluxe Edition

Blu-ray Review by David Blackwell

 

DETAILS: 150 minutes, audio commentary, historical guide feature, deleted and extended scenes, making-of documentary, enhancement pods, featurettes, galleries, 3D blu-ray disc, digital HD copy

VIDEO: 2.40:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen) 1080p High Definition

AUDIO: English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 5.1 Descriptive Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, English commentary subtitles

 

STUDIO: 20th Century Fox/ Scott Free

Theatrical RELEASE DATE: 12-12-2014

Blu-ray RELEASE DATE: 3-17-2015

Moses (Christian Bale) has been raised with Ramses (Joel Edgerton) since birth in ancient Egypt.  They are like brothers, but the rift starts opening up between them after Moses discovers the truth (he first doesn’t want to hear) when he visits a slaver and one of the Hebrew slaves tells Moses of his true origins.   He is soon exiled and he finds love only to come to his true destiny to lead 400,000 Hebrews to the promised land across the Red Sea with the Egyptian army in pursuit.

 

EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS is a new take on the life of Moses as director Ridley Scott approaches it from more of realistic angle (since he views the tales of Moses more like science fiction) with realistic explanations of what caused the so-caused biblical plagues and what could have the Red Sea to part.   The story even gives an out to Moses could be just talking to God in his head as some form of possible brain damage after trying to go up the mountain to save some sheep.  God appears to him in the form of some angry boy who is tried of waiting for someone to free the Hebrew slaves (after 400 years of waiting).   The hardcore Christians might not like all of the new take on the tale of Moses, but EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS is more accessible to everyone without trying to preach the Bible tale to you.   I like how Ridley Scott approaches the tale like how it could have happened without wrapping it up in miracles.  

 

SPECIAL FEATURES:

Blu-ray Disc 1-

Audio Commentary with Director Ridley Scott and Co-Screenwriter Jeffrey Caine which is a great listen (or read if you just read the subtitles of the track while watching the movie) as you learn about the development and production of the movie in addition to how Ridley directs (while sidestepping the issue he is an atheist when addressing the story and being respectful to the religious people who will also watch the movie).

 

The Exodus Historical Guide is a historical trivia track that can be played with the movie.

 

15 minutes of deleted and extended scenes which were cut for pacing (and story clarification) reasons even though these nine scenes are interesting to watch.

 

Blu-ray Disc 2 (no subtitles for special features on this disc)-

KEEPERS OF THE COVENANT- MAKING EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS (with the option to play it with the 14 enhancement pods which can be played separately) is a very detailed and well produced/ directed (by Charles de Laurizika) two and a half hour documentary on the making of the movie:

THE WORLD ABOVE: RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT-

The research evolved the script and art.  Christian Bale read the Torah as part of his research for Moses while this part of the documentary focuses on whether Moses existed and when the story of Moses was historically set

A CALL TO ACTION: DIRECTION & DESIGN- 19th century Egypt art decpictions helped with the iconography for the movie and they had to do a lots of prop building and build parts of sets to have it digital extended by CGI where this second part of the documentary focuses on the production design of EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS.  You also get to see previz of the parting of the red sea and learn that the production schedule to build the sets at Pinewood in the UK was compressed.

HOLY WARRIORS: CHARACTERS & COSTUMES- the characters and costumes of the movie.  You get to learn about the costume design and make-up, see the jewelry they created for the movie in addition to seeing costume tests for the major characters

SANCTUARY BEFORE THE STORM: PINEWOOD STUDIOS, UK- The first part of the production was at Pinewood Studios where they filmed many of the interior Egypt sets which they managed to adjust and redesign to create more sets in the same space.   People remark on Ridley Scott’s sense of vision while also this part shows some exterior filming they did which was combined with CGI.

GLORY OF THE EMPIRE: ALMERIA, SPAIN- filming of the exterior sets and locations for many parts of the movie on 9 to 5 shoot days where they had to maximize their time and face the weather (like the wind)

THE RISING TIDE: FUERTEVENTURA, CANARY ISLANDS- this final part of the production focuses on the climax where they filmed the Red Sea Crossing and the pursuit of the people of Moses.  They used an unused section of highway for part of it and they had to keep track of when the tides were coming in.

THE GREAT DELIVERANCE: VISUAL EFFECTS AND POST-PRODUCTION-

A look at the visual effects work, the music score, and editing of EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS

 

ENHANCEMENT PODS (48:07)- 14 of them with a  play all option which include focus on the sword props in one scene where they use a fake arm for one of the actors in case the sword accidentally came down on the arm, a costume walkthrough, and the various Plagues.

 

THE LAWGIVER’S LEGACY: MOSES THROUGHOUT HISTORY (23 MINUTES)-

Ridley Scott, the cast and crew, and scholars talk about Moses with it being highlighted with clips from EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS

 

THE GODS AND KINGS ARCHIVE- Domestic and international promotional featurettes which first showed up on the internet, Explorations and Galleries

 

Blu-Ray 3D Disc which has EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS in 3D for 3D capable blu-ray players and TVs.   I do suspect that bonus 30 minutes of Red Sea Visual Effects advertised as a Best Buy extra is on this disc and will be unseen by Deluxe Edition fans of Ridley Scott movies if they don’t have a blu-ray player that plays 3D blu-ray.

 

Code for downloading and streaming of Digital HD copy fo EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS

 

FINAL ANALYSIS:   EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS holds up on a second viewing and it is better movie than NOAH.  This movie manages to present the tale of Moses for the faithful and non-faithful to enjoy.  The special effects are really seamless and realistic for at least 95 percent of the time.   The making-of documentary is the best extra on the set, but some of the others are worth skimming including Ridley Scott trying out Google Glass and the deleted/ extended scenes.

 

This review is 3-26-2015 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com

 

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