Priest (Blu-ray / DVD)

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Priest on Blu-ray and DVDStarring Paul Bettany, Karl Urban, Cam Gigandet, Maggie Q, Lily Collins, Brad Dourif, Christopher Plummer

Directed by Scott Stewart

Distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

What the hell is up with director Scott Stewart? He misfires a mostly dull boatload of religious hokum in Legion starring Paul Bettany, and for his encore he takes said religious hokum, bases it on a Tokyo Pop comic, amps up the action, and delivers an experience so scatterbrained you’ll find yourself entertained by the sheer train-wreck quality of the film playing out before you. Also starring Paul Bettany.

Priest, in a nutshell, is basically just your everyday ordinary religion-based post-apocalyptic sci-fi/horror vampire western about a Priest (Bettany) who forgoes his vows to the church as a means to save his family from evil bloodsuckers who are hellbent on the destruction of mankind. Or what’s left of his family. Or something like that. No really. I’m not going to say much about the movie because it hurts to think about it. For an in-depth review of the film itself, head on over to The Foywonder’s Priest review. He pretty much nails it, and by the time he’s finished, there’s very little to add. True, I didn’t dislike it as much as he did, but that’s only because I found the stupidity of it all amusing and Karl Urban’s scenery-chewing villain too entertaining and delightfully over-the-top to hate.

Priest is presented here in an eighty-seven-minute unrated cut that’s slightly more violent than what we got in theatres. In the end, though, the differences are minimal and don’t really amount to anything. Kind of like the movie itself.

This is a Blu-ray review, damnit, so let’s get to it! First off you have three choices of which version of Priest you want to take home – the DVD, the 2D Blu-ray (reviewed here), or the 3D Blu-ray. Pick your poison. I can tell you that the 3D Blu-ray is the most robust package extras-wise. Differences are noted below.

Priest on Blu-ray and DVDSimply put, Sony’s 1080p transfer of the film found on the 2D Blu-ray is nothing short of masterful. Each frame is rendered in startling clarity and detail. It really doesn’t get much better. Sorry, DVD. You just cannot compare. The DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless soundtrack kicks a copious amount of ass as well, and overall from a technological standpoint this is a meaty package.

In terms of supplemental material the Blu-ray is home to the Bullets and Crucifixes picture-in-picture experience, which basically lets you dig on extras while you’re watching the film itself; an adequate commentary track with director Scott Stewart, writer Cory Goodman, and actors Paul Bettany and Maggie Q; two quick featurettes that run around twelve minutes each; and about thirteen extended and deleted scenes rendered in barely watchable standard definition. Truth be told, the best thing you’re going to find in this package is the uncut trailer for Sony’s upcoming Twisted Metal game.

In the end we’re left with a very run-of-the-mill package for a very run-of-the-mill movie. It’s not the worst thing we’ve seen all year, but it is up there with the most laughable. That being said, Mr. Stewart, if you’re reading, it’s time for a change of themes and leading men. If you wanna kill your career by continuously dumping out stuff like this, that’s fine, but leave poor Paul Bettany alone!

Special Features

  • Bullets and Crucifixes picture-in-picture experience (Blu-ray only)
  • Audio commentary with director Scott Stewart, writer Cory Goodman, and actors Paul Bettany and Maggie Q
  • The Bloody Frontier: Creating the World of Priest freaturette
  • Tools of the Trade: The Weapons and Vehicles of Priest freaturette
  • Weapons and Vehicle Exploration in 3D (3D Blu-ray only)
  • Deleted and extended scenes
  • Twisted Metal trailer
  • Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception trailer (3D Blu-ray only)
  • Trailers


    2 1/2 out of 5

    Special Features

    2 1/2 out of 5

    Discuss Priest in the comments section below!

  • Steve Barton

    You're such an inspiration for the ways that I will never, ever choose to be.

    • fceurich39

      i notice unrated version is same running time as theatrical release as differences i think unrated version just add red color blood scheme???

      • Uncle Creepy

        Since the 3D version we saw in theatres was nearly as dark as AVPr it’s kind of hard to say (damned conversions) but even so the differences were minute at best. Maybe a couple of seconds here and there.

    • Bulldog

      Paul Bettany is in my opinion a really decent actor that needs a new agent. I also plan on getting this movie, have Legion, among several of his other films. I really, really wanted this to be good! Don’t know about the rest of you, but am dying (!) for even a decent horror flick. Expectations too high? Maybe, but we are paying more than enough of our hard earned dollars (or at least my husband’s!) for a good flick! Hell, the pizza and beer are getting too high-or maybe it takes too much for my buzz now…

    • theGoldenSimatar

      Damn, I was hoping that this would be a case of least a few minutes of footage would be restored alá ‘Ultraviolet’. Still, this is one I’ll get when it hits on sale; it was mindless entertainment, perfect ‘beer ‘n pizza’ movie for a Riff night with friends.

      • Foywonder

        You need to start finding better beer & pretzel movies. Priest – ugh.

        • theGoldenSimatar

          Well the point of the ‘beer & pizza’ nights are to riff upon the film. We did a double of Jonah Hex and Howling 3 a few weeks back :) Maybe a double of Priest and Legion…

          • Vanvance1

            You could watch Legion a second time? Those are some serious beer goggles (or weird mushrooms on your pizza)!

            • theGoldenSimatar

              I actually have it on Blu-Ray. And to be honest, Legion is a movie that every time I watch it (yes I’ve watched it more than once) I keep thinking “man this has such a great concept, but it got whittled down into a zombie siege movie”. It’s the kind of film….that’d deserve a remake.