Pilgrimage (Blu-ray) (2017)

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Released 6-Dec-2017

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Adventure Featurette-The Making of Pilgrimage (20:44)
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2017
Running Time 92:13
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Brendan Muldowney

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Tom Holland
Jon Bernthal
Stanley Webber
Hugh O’Connor
Richard Armitage
Eric Godon
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music Stephen McKeon

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080i
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     1209 AD Ireland; a perilous and lawless place with the local barbarian tribespeople fighting back against the encroaching families of Christian Norman knights coming from England and claiming their land. Gerardus (Stanley Webber), a Cistercian monk, arrives at a small monastery in the west of Ireland. The monastery has in its possession a holy relic, a stone with the blood of a martyr killed in 55 AD which is reputed to have powerful properties. Gerardus has come carrying an order from the Pope that the relic be transported to Rome to aid the church in its battle against heathens as well as heretics within Christendom. The Abbot reluctantly complies with the order; Gerardus and a number of monks including Brother Ciaran (John Lynch) and Brother Cathal (Hugh O’Connor), plus novice monk Diamuid (Tom Holland) and a strong mute (Jon Bernthal), who had mysteriously arrived at the monastery 5 years previously, set out with the relic in its gold box for the journey to the coast. After a few days the monks are met by Raymond De Merville (Richard Armitage), son of Barron De Merville (Eric Godon), and his Norman soldiers, violent men returned from the Crusades. But can the monks trust the Normans to protect the holy relic?

     Pilgrimage is about a journey of faith. The Cistercian is a fanatic, convinced without any question that he is doing God’s work no matter the sacrifices that are required of others, Brother Ciaran, the older monk, has seen many things but retains his faith in God although he has reservations about men. The Mute, although this is not spelled out, while on Crusade saw and did things that caused him to lose his faith in both God and man, although perhaps now he seeks atonement by protecting the novice monk, while Raymond De Merville had also been on the Crusades and taken part in the sack of Constantinople returning brutalised, with ambition instead of faith. However, Pilgrimage is really the journey of the novice monk Diamuid who, never having been outside the monastery before, must learn how to take responsibility and become a man as well as discovering for himself the limitations, and strengths, of faith.

     As such, Pilgrimage centres on rising star Tom Holland, the new Spider-Man, and he carries the responsibility well as a young man with too many questions for his own good. Also very good is Jon Bernthal who, without dialogue, delivers a charismatic performance, while Stanley Weber is also strong as a man sure he is right because he is doing God’s work. Richard Armitage, good as Thorin in The Hobbit trilogy, is less successful and rather one note here. Other plusses are the sweeping widescreen Irish landscapes filmed by cinematographer Tom Comerford and the effective, often choral, score by Stephen McKeon. The film is directed by Brendan Muldowney who rather overdoes the handheld camera, especially during the action sequences. Some of the action takes place in stunning locations, such as the forest or the beach, and is loud and energetic involving a variety of edged and blunt medieval weapons, and the MA rating for strong violence is well earned. But I still wish for less of the jerky camera and quick editing.

     Pilgrimage does have a lot going for it. The scrip by Jamie Hannigan is an original, not based on any book and is intelligent and thoughtful. The film has a suitably grimy, muddy and earthy look, the Irish vistas are stunning and the acting, especially Tom Holland, Jon Bernthal and Stanley Weber is convincing.

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Transfer Quality


     Pilgrimage is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.

     The print has had the colours reduced in post-production giving the film an earthy, grimy look representing the outer reaches of medieval Europe. The earth is muddy, skies are grey, armour and cowls dirty, the forest greens muted. However, detail remains strong and close-ups show clearly the whiskers and dirt. Blacks and shadow detail are excellent, skin tones natural, contrast and brightness consistent. Marks and artefacts were absent except for some possible minor noise reduction.

     Subtitles are not provided although white subtitles automatically come on for the sections of Gaelic and French dialogue.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


     The audio is English DTS-HA MA 5.1, with sections of Gaelic, French and Latin.

     Dialogue is clear and centred. The rears are utilised during the battles for cries, impacts, the ring of blades, thud of arrows and the thump of horses; elsewhere there is less use except for the music. The often choral score by Stephen McKeon is atmospheric and effective in helping set the tone of the film. The subwoofer did give support to the thunder, hooves, battle sounds and the music.

     There are no lip synchronisation issues.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


The Making of Pilgrimage (20:44)

     This featurette consists of film clips, some on-set behind the scenes footage and comments by a wide range of cast and crew. Matters covered include the story, the characters, fight choreography (with some split screens showing practice and the final stunt), visual effects and make-up (with some before and after footage), the music, the four languages used in the film and the locations. Comments come from the director Brendan Muldowney, writer Jamie Hannigan, cast Tom Holland, Jon Bernthal, Richard Armitage, John Lynch, Stanley Weber, Eric Godon, Tristan McConnell, Hugh O’Connor and Gaetan Wenders, composer Stephen McKeon, the fight choreographer, Vfx Supervisor, SFX and Make Up people, Hairdresser, Dialogue Coach, Production Designer and Location Manager. Worth watching.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     The Region A US Blu-ray of Pilgrimage breaks up the “making of” into 5 individual sections which our Region B version runs together into one making of. The US Blu-ray also adds photo and poster galleries but I doubt it is worth importing just for those.


     Pilgrimage is certainly a film that holds one’s attention with an intelligent script, stunning scenery, bloody action and good cast. Men in armour on big horses, hostile tribes, battles, torture and blood, faith and a holy relic; what’s not to like?

     The video and audio are fine, the making of worth watching.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Monday, April 23, 2018
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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