Starring: Paul Bettany, Karl Urban, Maggie Q, Cam Gigandet, Stephen Moyer
Directed by: Scott Charles Stewart
Written by: Cory Goodman, Min-Woo Hyung
Runtime: 87 Minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: 8/16/2011
HTS Overall Score:88
When the war between humans and vampires all but destroys the planet, “The Church” creates the ultimate weapon to combat the hordes of the undead; “Priests”. “Priests” are an elite group of warriors that possess supernatural strength and speed enabling them to defeat and drive back the vampire threat.
It’s been years since the last Great War between man and vampire has ended and saw the vampires driven to near extinction. Since then, “Priests” have become outcasts in the very world that they sacrificed everything to save. Now there is a new threat and one Priest must go against all of his vows to The Church to save the ones he loves; even if it means his own eradication.
“Priest” is yet another, albeit a marginally better, take on the vampire genre. In this universe, vampires are eyeless ravenous beasts that attack in the night like packs of wild dogs. The post-apocalyptic/alternate reality setting in which the story is told does offer the viewer some wonderful eye-candy to distract them from the ho-hum plot.
I will suggest that the film isn’t as bad as some of the reviews I have read however; that doesn’t mean it was all peaches and cream either. The cast goes through the motions without injecting much emotion into their performances. The story is fairly derivative and feels more like a piecemeal effort with shades of several different movies such as Blade Runner, Judge Dredd, Etc. All that being said, it wasn’t a total waste of my time either. The effects were fairly spectacular and the action sequences were down right awesome! In fact, this is one of those movies that someone may buy just for the AQ and PQ alone.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=7022[/img]The actors in the film are some that I usually enjoy watching such as Paul Bettany (Legion), Maggie Q (Mission Impossible 3), Karl Urban (Star Trek), Christopher Plummer and Stephen Moyer (True Blood’s Bill Comptom). Unfortunately this crew did little to evoke any emotion from me and I found myself indifferent to their plight. Some might argue that it is part of the cold and emotionless society that has been created in the massive mega-city type of civilization, but I'm not buying it.
The visual effects in Priest are pretty good and as I mentioned earlier, it does offer some great eye-candy to look at and the action is pretty good to watch as well. I think the problem I have with "Priest" was that at the end of the movie, which sets itself up for a sequel that will probably never happen, is that I just didn’t care. Yeah there were great effects, wonderful sound, lots and lots of explosions, but as the credits rolled I thought; “meh”…
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, disturbing images and brief strong language
The 1080P AVC-1 transfer for Priest is quite impressive. The resolution is sharp and clear and the transfer sports just enough natural grain to give the film that grand cinematic quality. Black levels have a lot of depth and shadows are incredibly well defined a perfectly delineated. Colors are heavily muted as a result of the filming process and accurately represent the barren post-apocalyptic landscape look and feel that the filmmakers were going for. Fleshtones are as natural as can be expected from such a dark and drab palette and convey a real feeling of misery. I could not detect any deficiencies with this transfer such as digital noise or crushing and it should impress most with very little effort.
Equally impressive was the DTS-HD-MA 5.1 audio presentation. I thought that the surrounds were very well utilized providing tons of ambient noise such as the howling winds of the wasteland. Additionally, the surrounds channels have amazing life when the chaos begins to take place during any of the several well executed action sequences. LFE is thoughtfully utilized and not leaned on as a crutch. The bass is very impactful and articulate and really brought a lot to each scene. This is one of the clearest audio tracks I have heard in some time and I really enjoyed hearing all of the little nuanced and incredibly clear detail throughout the film. Dialogue reproduction was accurate, but it did get lost in a couple of quick action scenes. I will state however that I am in the middle of reviewing a new receiver and this may have been a contributor to the dialogue issue I came across. Overall this is an extremely impressive audio presentation and must be heard to be appreciated.
- Bullets and Crucifixes: Picture-in-Picture Experience
- Audio Commentary with Director Scott Stewart, Writer Cory Goodman, and Actors Paul Bettany and Maggie Q
- 7 deleted & extended scenes
- The bloddy frontier: Creating the world of Priest
- (HD) Tools of the trade: The weapons & vehicles of Priest
- (HD) Twisted Metal Uncut Trailer
- BD-Live enabled
Priest is the first blockbuster movie from the summer of 2011 to find its way to Blu-Ray. It didn’t do stellar business at the box office and the worldwide take barely covered the production costs associated with the movie. Still, I thought it was one of the better efforts of the recent onslaught of vampire movies and had substantially more to offer in the AQ and PQ area. I did purchase this one and don’t regret putting out the money for it in the least however; the majority of you would probably be better off renting it as it not something that is going to blow your socks off. As a film, I would put this one about on par with one of the first two Underworld movies, but as far as the A/V goes, I would rate it much closer to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1.
Recommendation: Rent It!
Official Blu-Ray Reviews Scoring