First Reviews Of EVAN ALMIGHTY Are Rolling In Like Floodwaters!!
Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here. I’m skeptical. I love Steve Carell. I think he’s absolutely one of the most consistently funny people working today. It’s just that I didn’t much care for BRUCE ALMIGHTY, which seemed like a bunch of screenwriters who stopped trying as soon as they got the bare bones concept down on a page. Still, I’m willing to give it a try, and I’m certainly curious to see if “the most expensive comedy of all time,” as this is known around town now, is worth all the coin Universal’s got sunk into it. Here’s our first spy with his report:
Hey Aint It Cool Guys – Below is my review of Evan Almighty from tonight's screening in Roseville! Read your website daily all the time. As a movie geek living here in Sacramento, you would think I go to many early screenings, but Ive only managed to get into a few. So when I saw the telltale recruiting zones at Shoppingtown Galleria yesterday, I aggressively volunteered myself. I got to the theater an hour early tonight. As I waited around, I learned that my screening was the second of the day and it wasn't Transformers or Spidey3; but instead an upcoming family movie. Once we were corralled along the corridor, they told us the movie was EVAN ALMIGHTY, starring Steve Carell. Love him in "The Office" and I really enjoyed 40 Year Old Virgin. Evan Almighty is the sequel to Bruce Almighty, but after seeing the movie, I would really say its a less a sequel to Bruce, and more of a playful offshoot on the original movies concept. While it ties back to the first movie with Morgan Freeman playing his role as GOD, and Steve Carell playing his Evan character again, it really was so much more fresh then Bruce was. The story of the film is a re-imagining of the biblical story of Genesis 6:14, which is that of Noah and his great ARK. The film cleverly starts with anchorman Evan winning a seat to Congress and moving to DC with his Gillmore Girls wife, Lauren Graham and three kids that really look like they could be his family. He sets out to make a difference at his DC job, but quickly gets wrapped into the bureaucratic bs. Before he knows it, he is supporting a bill which calls for the cutting down of some forests, which is led by a pork belly congressman, played by a pork belly himself, John Goodman. Unbeknownst to him, GOD has bigger plans for congressman Evan. In some of the freshest comedic moments I have watched in a while, Morgan Freeman invades Evan's life. He shows up all around him trying to reason him into doing some "work" for him. He wants Evan to build him an ARK, to prepare for a great flood. The jaded Evan, tries desperately to brush him off, but GOD doesn't let him. And in the best pairing of wits, Evan breaks to GOD'S wishes. As the film then unfolds, the amazing Carell, delivers the comedy perfectly. In fact, the theater never really settled down when ever Carell was on the screen, which was pretty much the entire movie. Throughout the movie Carell's physical comedy even surpasses that of Jim Carrey, Will Farrell and Steve Martin. As he builds the ARK, he takes on a hilarious new look with long gray hair and a beard, he dons a vintage tunic and as Wanda Sykes so aptly puts it he looks like a member of the Bee Gee's. While the movie hit its comedic moments perfectly with Steve and cast, the part of the film that surprised me the most, was how big it felt in sheer scope. I had no idea that the film would actually have so many animals, every single freaking member of the animal kingdom made it into the movie. All in pairs of course, and they never simply served as set pieces, they really developed a life of their own, playing off Steve to a tee, especially the monkey's. Then of course there was an amazing CG sequence, that I won't give away, that although incomplete in this version of the movie, transformed this fun comedy, into what felt like a movie of epic proportions. I left the screening tonight completely satisfied; that sort of movie feeling that you get from the perfect blend of great storytelling, humor and action. I walked in with mid-level expectations of a decent comedy. But instead I was blown away by a story that really touches the heart as a self-absorbed guy, finds his calling, not by being a carbon copy congressman, but by learning that life's greatest successes come from the littlest differences we can make in our world. Evan Almighty is a funny, heart warming and impactful film - it is a close encounters of the almighty kind. I think I can safely predict that this film will be the BIGGEST family movie of the year, as it delivers big movie feel, but with an even bigger heart. I hope this is a good first review, and the first of many... AICN forever!
And here’s another take from someone else who was in that same theater earlier tonight:
Hello - I just caught a preview of EVAN ALMIGHTY here at the Roseville near Sacramento tonight. I was a bit confused at first in that this is supposed to be a sequel to BRUCE ALMIGHTY but doesn't star Jim Carrey....it stars Steve Carell who had a small part in that movie (and I believe played an A-hole but in this is much, MUCH nicer...Jesus nicer in fact.) And it must be said -- this thing DEFINITELY works as its own movie. Far and apart from BA...actually even sweeter. However -- I'm sorta skeptical of this whole endeavor - like they just HAD to capitalize on the Bruce $$$$ - but the more this thing went on the more I actually felt just plain IN AWE of what can only be described as THE PERFECT, SHREWD STUDIO BLOCKBUSTER.... Let me break it down into why it works so DAMN well..... Oh and if you din't know - the story is basically a modern Noah's Arc..... 1. THE CASTING ELEMENT - At this point in time, I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that the Jim Carey schtick is old. Carell is much more user friendly at this point. Unlike Carrey, he starts normal and GETS manic....so there's room to breathe...and identify. Add to him - Wanda Sykes, Lauren Graham, John Goodman, the gay brother from BREAK UP and that fat kid from ACCEPTED...and its a good crew. 2. THE FAMILY ELEMENT - Artistically speaking, Tom Shadak (sp?) has covered the workaholic/neglect the kids element as a starting point for the character arc. Get a new grrove, dude. I dunno, I guess it works but LAME LAME. However, the Evan character does have a wife and kids to get us emotionally involved (altho - touche, Bruce had ANISTON). BUT, this flick has ANIMALS - lots and lots - doing all sorts of funny, cute things...and there's 2 of each, go figure!!! And I know my niece and nephew will dig in deep for that. 3. THE VISUAL GAG ELEMENT - here is where I think I've figured out the key to Shadak's success - most other comedies do the cutesy verbal joke thing...this guy is a MASTER of the visual joke...and here there is a ton of great stuff...I.E....the beard thing, the animals following Evan everywhere...then the Nude thing! Then of course the whole movie climaxes in the big flood and the sailing of the Arc (which I can't remember how they explain but the entire town is aboard). and finally...4. THE FAITH ELEMENT - power of prayer, saving God's green Earth (and the cute animals), kindness to each and all creatures....this thing is ultra slick and ultra sneaky - scoring where that NATIVITY STORY missed - it plays to people's faith but with jokes! The thing is funny AND moving! HA - ha! Money in the bank, people! The snooty fans of THE OFFICE and bible belters will all dig this thing. I wanna point out one thing that really bugged me though -- the second Evan starts behaving kooky in public, his wife packs up the kids and leaves him. Where's the compassion, I ask you?!!?? But look, the studio folks obviuosly went over this project with a fine tooth comb and cultivated a very clever money making MACHINE. And I enjoyed the hell out of it, too. Be well, PHILOFTHEFUTURE
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Feb. 16, 2007, 1:28 a.m. CST
i hope it's funny :)
Feb. 16, 2007, 1:28 a.m. CST
by Annoying Customer
Feb. 16, 2007, 1:29 a.m. CST
by Annoying Customer
You heard me
Feb. 16, 2007, 1:31 a.m. CST
and my name's first...because it all matters SO much ;)
Feb. 16, 2007, 1:32 a.m. CST
by Annoying Customer
in your general direction
Feb. 16, 2007, 1:41 a.m. CST
This movie sounds awesome. Guess this is what they meant when the studios suggested making a move toward the Fundamentalist market. Hopefully it won't be too preachy and stick to the mythology surrounding the events every church going Christian grew up with. And with a killer performance from Steve Carrell, could be pretty sweet. Definately didn't see this one coming...
Feb. 16, 2007, 1:45 a.m. CST
by Bungion Boy
I live in New York but I'm staying in Northern Cali for a few months and I go to Roseville all the time. I know I'm missing a ton of screenings in NY. It would have been nice to see this. I too am wary of the concept and franchise, but I love me some Carell. I'll have to keep a lookout for screenings in Sac and Roseville from now on.
Feb. 16, 2007, 1:56 a.m. CST
For Steve Carell's sake. He seems like a good guy.
Feb. 16, 2007, 1:55 a.m. CST
by Barry Egan
if ever there was a plant.
Feb. 16, 2007, 1:58 a.m. CST
Dude...can't you guys spot these obvious corporate sentences? But instead I was blown away by a story that really touches the heart as a self-absorbed guy, finds his calling, not by being a carbon copy congressman, but by learning that life's greatest successes come from the littlest differences we can make in our world. scoring where that NATIVITY STORY missed - it plays to people's faith but with jokes! The thing is funny AND moving! HA - ha! Money in the bank, people! The snooty fans of THE OFFICE and bible belters will all dig this thing. Seriously. It's bad enough Merrick's off posting projects that DONT EXIST. Then the site becomes a garden? Lame.
Feb. 16, 2007, 2:01 a.m. CST
Should have gotten Michael Bay Denis to direct
Feb. 16, 2007, 2:09 a.m. CST
... but in this case it's painfully obvious. That first guy, especially, spits out blurbs of bubbly praise that would make even Larry King say, "Jesus man, it wasn't THAT good." What a nauseating review. He's either a studio shill or Ned fuck-diddly-ucking Flanders himself.
Feb. 16, 2007, 2:31 a.m. CST
That first review wasn't even close to convincing. Try again, bub. Second one was a little high school newspaperish. Still, this movie has some promise. Carrell is gold in anything he touches. I'm looking forward to it.
Feb. 16, 2007, 2:55 a.m. CST
It sounds more like a sales pitch than a review. I am going with the plant theory for now.
Feb. 16, 2007, 3:27 a.m. CST
First one is waaaayy over photosynthasised!!!! Man, I think it been in the hydroponics lab too long. The second one is more like it, but I got me suspicions. As for the movie, i've seen the trailer and will be there on opening day.
Feb. 16, 2007, 4:04 a.m. CST
Feb. 16, 2007, 4:47 a.m. CST
For a start, I saw the trailer and the beard thing is NOT a good visual gag, it looks stupid in an unfunny way. Don't get me wrong I liked the first film but the trailer for this made me roll my eyes. It smacks horribly of cash-in-sequelitis.
Feb. 16, 2007, 5:32 a.m. CST
I hated the first film - easily one of Carrey's worst (and I thought Cable Guy was pretty good.) So how could this be worse? These guys make it sound like "Ghandi" or "The Passion of the Christ." I've never said this, but I smell plants!!!
Feb. 16, 2007, 5:50 a.m. CST
by Lone Fox
For Christ's sake. Pun intended. Why not 'Evan Above' or something. And yeh, 'Bruce' was awful. One actual joke in the whole movie. A dog peeing like a human. Jesus!
Feb. 16, 2007, 5:52 a.m. CST
Or are they?
Feb. 16, 2007, 6:41 a.m. CST
1. The "gotta eat" cliche is completely unfunny and needs to stop. Seriously. Get an original idea. 2. That first review was nauseating. Who writes like that? "In some of the freshest comedic moments I have watched in a while..." It's official...corporate shills have no soul. "I left the screening tonight completely satisfied; that sort of movie feeling that you get from the perfect blend of great storytelling, humor and action." In the history of AICN, no reviewer has ever used a semicolon. I don't think it can be any more obvious.
Feb. 16, 2007, 6:55 a.m. CST
I love the way they both used (sp?)
Feb. 16, 2007, 6:55 a.m. CST
by Det. John Kimble
They did't even try to pretend that first review wasn't straight from the studio.
Feb. 16, 2007, 7:18 a.m. CST
I hate to say it, but this is a key factor in the faunaness.
Feb. 16, 2007, 7:32 a.m. CST
only think Shadyac is a master of is licking scrotum.
Feb. 16, 2007, 7:57 a.m. CST
He may as well have started with, "Hi, I'm a marketing man for upcoming film Evan Almighty and thought I'd get down with the kids by faking a positive review applauding every single point of the movie. Yours sincerely, Mr Floraandfauna." Bah.
Feb. 16, 2007, 8:25 a.m. CST
by maximilian merkins
Both plants. The author of the second 'review' is simply a little more sly in his methods. The movie will be shite, guaranteed.
Feb. 16, 2007, 9:14 a.m. CST
It's called RESEARCH, people!
Feb. 16, 2007, 9:18 a.m. CST
Sounds like he's pitching the idea to studios. And he's a plant. That said, I can see this movie being good, but I don't know... It's kinda rubbing against my atheism in the wrong way.
Feb. 16, 2007, 9:31 a.m. CST
by Ninja Nerd
Bruce haters...give it a break. Most of you are just jealous he's (Jim Carrey) shagging Jenny McCarthy 9 times a day. LOL. Evan Almighty will be a pretty good film because Steve Carrell is a freakin' comedic genius with a range Carrey and Williams WISH they had. Watch "Little Miss Sunshine" and you'll see an excellent nuanced performance by Steve. I gotta believe he's got the chops to elevate what could have been an insipid film into something special. I'm there for this one.
Feb. 16, 2007, 9:31 a.m. CST
by Pound Sand
Then God said, "Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds." And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day
Feb. 16, 2007, 10:01 a.m. CST
Plants are God's creatures too!
Feb. 16, 2007, 10:13 a.m. CST
by Guy Gaduois
That is unless of course there's no rainbows in the movie. Research: Looking under the sofa cushions for your car keys. Again. Also, who knew those flannelgraphs in Sunday School would pay off so BIG in an AICN talkback? Will wonders never cease?
Feb. 16, 2007, 10:23 a.m. CST
at least the first one anyways. when are these guys gonna learn how we speak? we're not this nice and unless i see the wrd "fuck" or a reference to ejaculating over something, i call "BULLSHIT"
Feb. 16, 2007, 10:24 a.m. CST
looks like you beat me to that one ;P
Feb. 16, 2007, 10:31 a.m. CST
you're a plant too...YOU'RE ALL PLANTS!!!
Feb. 16, 2007, 10:38 a.m. CST
I mean, does the second poster HAVE to tell us EVERYTHING??? Talk about spoilerific. It would have been nice to be left unknowing of the fact that nobody dies in this flood, asshole. And why didn't AICN catch that? This self-important fuck wants to go telling us all about his family and shit... "BUT, this flick has ANIMALS - lots and lots -...and there's 2 of each, go figure!!! And I know my niece and nephew will dig in deep for that." What's that got to do with the review, ass-crack?? And this! "this thing is ultra slick and ultra sneaky - scoring where that NATIVITY STORY missed - it plays to people's faith but with jokes!" Joseph and Mary had little to laugh about, jackass. I don't think they were trying to MISS the comedy in that average film. Clown dick! "the second Evan starts behaving kooky in public, his wife packs up the kids and leaves him." Thanks for the heads up cocksucker! Guess I don't even need to see the film now. I bet you play with yourself in the dark. Crying while your sister and all her friends point at you and laugh! This will teach you to write the stupidest review on planet fucking earth! ((goes to take meds.))
Feb. 16, 2007, 11:06 a.m. CST
by CTU Mole
...even when that's the assignment. <p>The thing is, the flora doesn't care if they are obvious plants. Most people who read this don't realize there are studio shills writing reviews and obviously no one running this site cares or they're getting kickback.</p>
Feb. 16, 2007, 11:11 a.m. CST
Does it pay well? Because I KNOW I can write stealthier plants than this. These guys are mongoloids.
Feb. 16, 2007, 11:24 a.m. CST
as much as I don't want to say it GOD-DAMN-MOTHERFUCKING-PLANT on that piece of shit you call a review. The 1st review is almost like a marketing pitch. I will still watch the movie, but Universal need to stop with the dumb plants.
Feb. 16, 2007, 11:42 a.m. CST
I guess we're getting a second trilogy of terrible God movies, huh?
Feb. 16, 2007, 11:59 a.m. CST
by Mickey Ribs
That the second one is a plant is that they mention Wanda Sykes first in the 'Casting Element' section. Wanda Sykes?!? Let me guess....is she going to do her 'sassy/angry black woman' schtick for the one millionth time?? She's got all the range of a porno actress...
Feb. 16, 2007, 12:14 p.m. CST
by Frank Black
I'm sorry but I didn't like the first movie but I have loved Steve Carell since the Daily Show and have no trouble believing this movie will be hilarious nor do I have any trouble believing that these reviews are genuine.
Feb. 16, 2007, 12:21 p.m. CST
jk, Frank.<p> I might rent this (ree rental coupon) later this year, just b/c there's no Jim Carrey, which is more than I'd do if he had returned for the sequel.
Feb. 16, 2007, 12:21 p.m. CST
Feb. 16, 2007, 12:46 p.m. CST
I got sucked into and sat stone-faced through Bruce Almighty...why the hell would I even watch this on cable? Was Bruce Almighty even a hit, really? I can't remember. I can't even remember much of the film at all, frankly. Shouldn't this be DTV?
Feb. 16, 2007, 12:53 p.m. CST
the brits like him more (not that that means anything- jus' saying 40yr old virgin was the best american comedy of recent years- and not forgetting I LOVE LAMP!) Im lookin forward to this. I hope it isnt too cutesy. I thought this was gonna be a great year for the cinema- heres hoping it doesnt disappoint like ghost rider and tmnt. And The Simpsons better be good too.
Feb. 16, 2007, 1 p.m. CST
You'd think, by now, studios would have mastered the art of planting an early review that doesn't SOUND like a plant. In fact, that first review sounds SO much like a plant, maybe it's not. Even planted reviews aren't THAT obviously planty. Are they? I'm so confused.
Feb. 16, 2007, 1:52 p.m. CST
You gotta be shitting me.
Feb. 16, 2007, 2:02 p.m. CST
Not only is he funnier and more talented than Jim, but he's humble in real life and is a really nice guy. Steve Carell is one of the funniest people on the planet. I'll pay to see this movie, whereas someone couldn't pay me to see Jim Carrey in a movie. Jim Carrey is best left in the 90's, where his career ended.
Feb. 16, 2007, 2:34 p.m. CST
I'll still watch it though.
Feb. 16, 2007, 2:36 p.m. CST
by Monkey Butler
The whole Ark story is utter bullshit, and anyone who believes it is a fucking moron. Whoever was bitching above about the premise being stupid because God promised not to flood the world again: wake the fuck up.
Feb. 16, 2007, 2:53 p.m. CST
by Kurutteru Yatsu
Did anyone even read it before posting it? Take it down or at least put some sort of caveat in front of it. Wow.
Feb. 16, 2007, 3:12 p.m. CST
If I was lucky enough to see a screening of a movie, then send it in to AICN, have it posted and be called a plant.... I'd be on here in a heartbeat defending myself. "A plant? Me? You must not be serious!" So....where are the "Plants" to defend themselves?
Feb. 16, 2007, 4:03 p.m. CST
so nothing ever grows again
Feb. 16, 2007, 4:50 p.m. CST
by Norm Cascade
"Anonymous Plant Asshole on AICN says, 'It's a close encounters of the ALMIGHTY kind!'" HA HA HA. Good one, midget fister.
Feb. 16, 2007, 6:06 p.m. CST
"In some of the freshest comedic moments I have watched in a while"
Feb. 16, 2007, 6:35 p.m. CST
firstly, any plant would presumably be connected some way into the industry, right? and anybody remotely involved in the industry knows that, no matter how much we all dig steve carrell, i'm sorry, but he is not a better physical comedian than steve martin. steve martin ranks with goddamned charlie chaplin and buster keaton for physical comedy. so, either plant is not a plant, or plant needs to pay more attention to his learning annex classes about film studies. secondly, plant capitalizes the word 'god' every time he writes it. i don't say 'plant' - i say 'born-again christian.'
Feb. 16, 2007, 7:18 p.m. CST
I live in Auburn, like 10 minutes away from Roseville. I go to that theatre all the time. How could I have missed this. Dammit, I have yet to get into an advanced screening.
Feb. 16, 2007, 7:36 p.m. CST
by El Scorcho
Never. I called this from the moment I heard about it. It WILL be the biggest movie of the year, and will even be enjoyable... moreso than that Night at the Museum abortion.
Feb. 16, 2007, 8:02 p.m. CST
so youre saying that this spin off to a mediocre comedy is gonna be bigger than spider-man 3 or pirates 3? <P> get a clue
Feb. 16, 2007, 8:17 p.m. CST
Cheech Almighty... (originally titled The 25 Commandments) in which God tells Cheech Marin to lead his people out of Southern California... and gives him a new list of bad things not to do any more. Including such great hits #18. Thou shalt not illegally download movies off the internet. #22. Thou shalt stop surfing for porn all the time. #23. Don't support the friggin' papparazzi by buying those garbage celebrity rags. #25. Thou shalt not plant phony reviews under the guise of being a lucky shlub who happened upon a pre-screening.
Feb. 16, 2007, 11:13 p.m. CST
DAMN YOU, MICHAEL BAY! LAUREN GRAHAM GOTTA EAT. Et cetera.
Feb. 16, 2007, 11:45 p.m. CST
by Osmosis Jones
Aside from freakin' Ace Ventura 2? Who wouldn't have wanted to see a circa-1996 Mask sequel with Carrey, a still-hot Cameron Diaz, and Milo the dog? This is, what, the third sequel to a Carrey movie to not feature him?
Feb. 16, 2007, 11:59 p.m. CST
by Horace Cox
Animals gotta eat, so obviously they gotta shit too. How bad would it suck to clean up all the shit on the ark? I sure as hell wouldn't want to be the poor bastard manning the pooper scooper. And how could they stand the fucking stench? That old barge must have smelled like a bag of assholes 24/7. Since God was the cruise director maybe he miracled that shit off the boat.
Feb. 17, 2007, 6:31 a.m. CST
Lazy AICN reviewers are just plagiarizing the movie's marketing material. If the first one is a review, rather than a slobberingly oafish sales pitch, it's the worst review ever. But even the second one looks like a slightly better plant. And I enjoyed Bruce Almighty and I'll probably enjoy Evan Almighty. But I don't think the studios do themselves any favors with attempts at forced viral marketing.
Feb. 17, 2007, 12:09 p.m. CST
by El Scorcho
Yeah, I guess that was hyperbole. But I think this will make the top 5 grossing films of the year.
Feb. 17, 2007, 4:05 p.m. CST
by Red Ned Lynch
...Bruce Almighty. Scene where God teaches Bruce a lesson by giving him the power to move the moon closer to the earth, impressing Jennifer Aniston and causing untold destruction in China. Every time I think about it I laugh. Yeah, every fucking time. I'm laughing right now. That was really fresh. Maybe not as fresh as Wanda Sykes telling Steve Carell that his beard makes him look just like one of the BeeGees, though. That's not just fresh, that's wonderfully apt. Yeah, I'm laughing in anticipation now.
Feb. 17, 2007, 9:59 p.m. CST
... and he was originally down to do Phone Booth... but didn't. Been looking for a thriller for a while I think.
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