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.
Simply 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!
2 1/2 out of 5
2 1/2 out of 5