- Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit)
- Subtitles: English and Spanish
- Region: A (Region-Locked)
- Rating: Unrated
- Run Time: 87 Mins.
- Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray 3D)
- Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
- Blu-ray Release Date: August 16th, 2011
- List Price: $45.99
2D HD: [Rating:4.5/5]
3D Effect: [Rating:3/5]
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(The below TheaterByte screen captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray Discs and losslessly compressed in the PNG format. There should be no loss of picture quality with this format. All screen captures should be regarded only as an approximation of the full capabilities of the Blu-ray format.
Sometime in the future, the world has turned post-apocalyptic thanks to a war between humans and vampires. The world has become a theocracy under the Catholic Church. Walls have been built around cities around the world in order to protect mankind. Needed soldiers to find their battle, A group of elite warriors, known as “Priests”, have been blessed by God in order to slay vampires. With the war over and mankind victorious, The Clergy disbands these Priests fearing they may rise up against them. We soon find out that the niece of a warrior priest known as…..Priest (Paul Bettany)…. has been kidnapped. Priest demands his title be reinstated in order to hunt these wrongdoers. Obviously, for the sake of plot points, the Clergy doesn’t believe Priest. Naturally this leads Priest to go against the Clergy, who have decided to enlist their four best Priests led by Priestess (Maggie Q) to hunt down Priest. What results is a truly poor example of an interesting premise gone completely wrong.
Where do I begin? Well, perhaps the best place to start is the premise of the film. Yes, the idea of man fighting vampires has been done countless times before, more so in recent years with the Underworld films. Now, perhaps because I was a fan of the films (well the first and third ones at least), I was actually looking forward to Priest. I wasn’t expecting an Oscar caliber film, but more of a good popcorn flick. Sadly, Priest (regardless of dimension) is anything but a popcorn film. More a boring, bland waste of time.
I will admit that Priest does LOOK good, especially some of the effects. Where the Underworld films succeeded in presenting a sleek, stylish action movies all mixed in with a good, if over-the-top story, Priest completely fails on nearly all levels. It’s just that the mix of science fiction and action is so bad that I almost wanted to laugh at points. It’s a true shame too because Bettany and Maggie Q try their best to give the film some life, some spirit; however, in the end the film is just another waste of 90 minutes of time.
2D HD: [Rating:4.5/5]
3D Effect: [Rating:3/5]
Well, at least the video and audio are great (the 2D at least). Simply put, the 2D transfer is excellent. Regardless of the numerous dark sequences or the varying daylight scenes, this transfer doesn’t stutter in the least sense. Darks are deep, black and never lose any detail whatsoever. Even though the film’s color palette tends to focus on the darker realm of the spectrum, this never results in a poor image. Close ups and flesh tones are accurate as are contrast levels. Film grain is kept to a minimum, which helps to capture the film’s gritty tones. 2D wise, this is a fantastic transfer.
Sigh… Another poor 2D to 3D conversion. When will studios learn that simply converting a natively shot 2D film into 3D won’t, gasp, result in a good image? Where do I begin? The biggest issue here is the way the film was shot. When you decide to feature dark, low lit sequences, there isn’t a real moment for 3D to shine. The blacks are darker and do showcase a tad bit more detail. Some of the wider shot moments, in particular that of the interior cave moments, do add a greater sense of depth. This perhaps may look like ‘good’ 3D to the casual viewer; however, in all reality this is 3D at the bare minimum.
All in all, the native 2D transfer is the typical Sony transfer. The 3D conversion? Well, another typical 3D conversion. Do note that the this release of Priest does contain BOTH the 2D and 3D versions on one disc.
The same DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track that appeared on the 2D release shows up on this 3D release. The result? The same excellent mix. Dialogue, as expected, is well reproduced via the front channel. Atmosphere is top notch whether it be the film’s score by Christopher Young or the varying directional effects that bounce from the left to right rears during the heightened action moments. Dynamics are quite impressive. One of my favorite action scenes takes place roughly 1:05:00 mark. This sequence, quite possibly, could be a demo moment for audiophiles. Everything is perfect here. The howling of the creatures, the dialogue, the score, etc. Truly just a great aural experience.
The supplements, featured in HD unless noted otherwise, included with this release:
- Deleted and Extended Scenes [SD] – The deleted and extended scenes, running 12:31, do offer up a bit more character development; however, are mostly extended fluff cut for run time.
- The Bloody Frontier: Creating the World of Priest – Running 12:49, this feature shows the cast and crew speaking on varying topics including challenges making the film, vampire mythos, and building a Western inspired town.
- Tools of the Trade: The Weapons and Vehicles – This runs 11:25 and gives a glance into some of the weaponry used throughout.
- Filmmakers and Cast Commentary – Director Scott Stewart, Writer Cory Goodman, and Actors Paul Bettany and Maggie Q join together to offer up some insight into what filming was all about.
- Bullets and Crucifixes: Picture-in-Picture – Cast and Crew discuss varying topics of the film, ranging from special effects pieces to character development.
- Weapons and Vehicle Exploration in 3D (3D Exclusive) – This feature allows the viewers to get a in-depth, close-up 360 degree view of Priest’s bike and weapons. Items available include the Crucifix Dagger, The Bike, The Cross-Throwing Stars and The Rosary-Rope Dart.
- Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception Trailer – This trailer, available in both 2D or 3D, runs 2:24.
The Definitive Word
The added dimension still doesn’t make Priest a good film in the slightest sense. Even though the 2D transfer, audio and features are great, I can’t recommend this film outside of a cursory rental for those few interested.
Additional Screen Captures
2D HD [Rating:4.5/5]
3D Effect [Rating:3/5]