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He went from Crozet to DC in FIVE MINUTES!

October 14, 2007, 4:11 PM

While I was at Target yesterday, I picked up a copy of Evan Almighty, which is now available on DVD. I figured it ought to be nice to finally see the movie that I experienced during various stages of filming. You may recall that I showed you the ark in June 2006, and the Downtown Waynesboro Photography set was done while the area was still dressed up for the filming.

And now, I’ve seen it. Not a bad movie, no matter what the critics said. In the first part of it, I thought it was going to be a bit over-the-top religious, considering they had a big discussion about prayer and grabbed a Bible, but in the end, it wasn’t too bad. The filming they did in Staunton got shown right up front, as we saw Evan (Steve Carell) campaigning on the stage in Gypsy Hill Park, and riding up Johnson Street. Then Waynesboro got some air early on, too, as he rode up Main Street in his Hummer. Got to see everything. That was fun. Even the museum-turned-coffee-shop got some air, though I couldn’t read the sign in the window. The last thing to be seen in the Waynesboro shot was the Wayne Theatre, with its “40 Year Old Virgin Mary” marquee. That’s something for the Wayne Theatre Alliance to aspire to, as the building was portrayed as a working theatre in the movie. And then the Old Trail neighborhood in Crozet looked pretty good, though Evan’s house and those right immediately around it were fake instant-houses. Seriously, those things are just exteriors, and go up and come down in like a day. Too bad that the neighborhood got destroyed in the end of the movie.

And then the ark – that was fun to watch. Though I have to say, too bad it was only fiction – on the ark, Evan made it from Crozet to Washington in five minutes. Yes, folks, FIVE MINUTES. As someone who goes that distance somewhat regularly (not as regularly as I used to, but still), I’m jealous. Talk about express service. But that’s the magic of movies for you. In real life, I think even the ark would have to deal with the traffic in Fairfax County.

And Evan even took a pro-conservation and anti-big-business stand, too, as he opposed Congressman Long’s (John Goodman) plan about redevelopment of public land. And in the end, Evan even shed that gas-guzzler Hummer of his, as the last we saw of it was watching it float off in the floodwaters.

And lastly, it was nice to see a touch of home in the movie, as the real-life local television stations got screen time. NBC 29 from Charlottesville had a van and microphones get some screen time, and then the logos for TV-3 out of Harrisonburg, News Channel 8 and WJLA from DC, and possibly also WWBT from Richmond were visible in some scenes. Cool!

So all in all, I enjoyed the movie. As a rule, I don’t go see movies during their theatrical runs, where the movie is propped up by hype. However, I have no problem watching home videos, where the movie must stand up on its own, and I can watch it at my leisure.

Web site: Wikipedia on Evan Almighty

Song: Ummmmm...

Quote: "I can't even get my cat to use the litter box!" - Wanda Sykes playing Rita, in regards to getting the animals to go into the ark

Categories: Movies