Priest (2011) (Blu-ray)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary-Stewart and writer Goodman with Bettany and Maggie Q
On-Screen Information Track-Picture in picture bonus views
Featurette-The Bloody Frontier: Creating the World of Priest
Featurette-Tools of the Trade: The Weapons and Vehicles
|Year Of Production||2011|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Scott Charles Stewart|
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 (2304Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 (2304Kb/s)
Italian DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 (1920Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.40:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.40:1||Miscellaneous|
English Descriptive Audio
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
"The War is Eternal. His Mission is Just the Beginning."
Take A Fistful of Dollars, The Searchers, Legion, Mad Max. Add vampires that look like four legged slugs on speed. Mix. Remove soul. That is, in essence, what we have in Priest – a post-apocalyptic movie where vampires have taken over the world and remaining humans are relegated to walled cities protected by the "Church". The Church has trained priests with superhuman powers to combat these monsters, but the threat seems to have lessened since the last vampire wars. One of these priests (Paul Bettany) has retired into obscurity, but the emergence of a renegade priest turned vampire, Black Hat (Karl Urban), as vampire leader, and the kidnapping of his niece Lucy (Lily Collins), prompts him back into action against the wishes of the Church. With companions Hicks (Cam Gigandet), who is also Lily's boyfriend, and a former Priestess (Maggie Q) in tow, Priest resolves to rescue Lily. Events escalate however, and soon the rescue operation becomes a fight that could seal the fate of mankind.
Based on a long running Korean graphic novel series, director Scott Stewart has forged a good looking sci-fi adventure that is all style and no substance. Whether his constant references to other movies and characters is intended as a homage is not clear, but you could spend more time identifying the similarities than watching the actual movie. The acting is solid enough, although I rapidly got sick of the "man without a name" type stares from Urban. Bettany and Maggie Q bring reasonable romantic tension to their relationship, with only Gigandet standing out as the weakest link. That being said, as a mindless romp Priest is fairly entertaining with Matrix-style fight scenes and lots of mayhem. Why the vampires look like slugs reminiscent of the monsters from The Descent movies is unclear to me. That they seem to attract "familiars" from the human race is also a mystery – I mean these creatures are not good looking Twilight-like vampires. Oh well - each to their own.
This Blu-ray is presented in the cinematic aspect of 2.40:1 using the MPEG-4 AVC codec at 1080p. As is common with ordinary movies, this transfer is very good with deep, dark shadows, fine detail, and an imposing steel blue palette which is in keeping with the lifeless and drained surroundings. Facial close-ups exhibit every pit or pore on the face, with backgrounds similarly detailed. The only flaw from my point of view is that much of the action takes place in dark surroundings, and so the preponderance of blacks and dark greys can make the action hard to follow at times.
There are various subtitles available on this disc. The English subtitles I sampled were easy to read and appeared accurate.
This is a dual layer 50gb disc but I could not see the layer change using my equipment.
As per the video the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 at approximately 2,500 Kb/s track included as default is excellent with extensive use of surrounds and subwoofer. Also available is English Audio Descriptive (Dolby Digital 2.0 at 192 Kb/s), German DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and Italian DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 - all at the same bitrate as the English track. The dialogue is almost always easy to understand and is not overshadowed by the swirling soundscape and atmospherics. Understandably during the explosive fight scenes there is a lot of action going on from all corners, and some sound detail is lost – but this is only a minor criticism. This audio track is certainly not the best I've heard, but it is nevertheless very good.
|Surround Channel Use|
Attractive looping animation and movie scenes with audio.
Dolby Digital 2.0 at 192 Kb/s. Commentary with director Scott Stewart, writer Cory Goodman and actors Paul Bettany and Maggie Q. Provides a few good anecdotes regarding the concept, script, characters, special effects and filming decisions. If you really liked the movie then this is a worthwhile listen.
Picture in picture bonus views with several interview clips involving cast and crew talking about the film as it plays. The additional soundbites are DTSHD at 187 Kb/s. This is all put together pretty well with the only issue being whether you'd want to sit through the movie again to see all the PiP extras.
2.40:1 video aspect MPEG-2 with Dolby Digital 2.0 at 192 Kb/s audio. Seven deleted and extended scenes that are worth a look. You can select "play all" or individually.
1.78:1 video aspect MPEG-2 with Dolby Digital 2.0 at 192 Kb/s audio. Interesting featurette looking at the production design, art, and creation of the atmospherics. Includes interviews with cast and crew.
1.78:1 video aspect MPEG-2 with Dolby Digital 2.0 at 192 Kb/s audio. As a follow-up to the previous featurette this segment focuses on the guns, knives and vehicles used.
Additional downloadable content and extra features.
MovieIQ - Provides biographies, production details, trivia, and more using Sony's internet-based utility.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This release appears identical to the US version apart from language selections and inclusion of a trailer for the "Twisted Metal" game and downloadable Priest car skin. This title is also available locally and overseas in DVD and 3D Blu-ray format.
Priest is by no means a bad movie. Treat it as pure popcorn fodder and it works quite well. The more knowledgeable viewer could also have fun finding all the borrowed references evident in the film’s themes, environments, and characters. Overall I’d class this Blu-ray as worth a rental only - as it's doubtful you'd need to watch it again.
The video quality is very good. The audio quality is very good.
Extras are adequate and mostly interesting.
|DVD||Denon DVD-3910 and Panasonic BD-35, using HDMI output|
|Display||Panasonic TH-58PZ850A. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).|
|Amplification||denon AVR-4311 pre-out to Elektra Theatron 7 channel amp|
|Speakers||B&W LCR600 centre and 603s3 mains, Niles in ceiling surrounds, SVS PC-Ultra Sub, Definitive Technology Supercube II Sub|