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TV show review: CONTINUUM season 4

PRIEST Unrated

Blu-ray review by David Blackwell


DETAILS:  87 minutes, audio commentary, deleted and extended scenes, making of featurettes, pip experience (MovieIQ sync)

VIDEO:  2.40:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)/ 1080p High Definition

AUDIO:  English, French 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English DVS

Subtitles:  English, English SDH, French, Spanish


STUDIO:   Screen Gems/ Michael De Luca Productions/ Buckaroo Entertainment

Theatrical RELEASE DATE:  5-13-2011



STARRING Paul Bettany (Priest), Karl Urban (Black Hat), Cam Gigandet (Hicks), Maggie Q (Priestess), Lily Collins (Lucy Pace), Christopher Plummer (Monsignor Orelas)

WRITTEN by Cory Goodman, loosely based on the graphic novel by Min-Woo Hyung

DIRECTED by Scott Charles Stewart

SYNPOSIS:  PRIEST, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller, is set in an alternate world -- one ravaged by centuries of war between man and vampires. The story revolves around a legendary Warrior Priest from the last Vampire War who now lives in obscurity among the other downtrodden human inhabitants in walled-in dystopian cities ruled by the Church. When his niece is abducted by a murderous pack of vampires, Priest breaks his sacred vows to venture out on a quest to find her before they turn her into one of them. He is joined on his crusade by his niece's boyfriend, a trigger-fingered young wasteland sheriff, and a former Warrior Priestess who possesses otherworldly fighting skills.



In this post-apocalyptic western, the movie moves along at a fast pace.  I do have three problems with PRIEST (other than the needless 3D conversion) before I get to the stuff I liked about it.  One, I wish they showed the war between humans and vampires in live action instead of an animated sequence.  Two, it feels like I am watching the second movie of a series at times.   Three, I wish they did a little back story on the characters at the beginning which is very helpful when you get the big reveal at the end.


Despite all those problems, PRIEST has a very visual world that is very well photographed with a good music score.    Excellent production design and costume design is at work in this film.   The action scenes keep your interest even though some play out too short.    Paul Bettany works with the material given him while I wish there was more screen time for Maggie Q.    PRIEST does set itself up for a sequel.


That does remind me of another problem with the film.  It seems too short.   It is over when you think it could go on.   One reviewer comments that maybe the film was edited down.  PRIEST had several release date changes and delays due to Sony wanting to convert it into 3D (which is wasted on PRIEST).    I do like how the film plays out as a post-apocalyptic action western.   I would love to see another film in this series.   It is an enjoyable B movie with an A level budget in some ways.


PS  The film is very loosely based on the Korean magna.  The magna is a western tale about a singular priest fighting zombies after he sells his soul to the devil.   PRIEST is drastically changed from the magna and only shares very few bits with the magna.  If you're looking for a film version of the magna, look elsewhere.    This isn't it.



The audio commentary with director Scott Stewart, writer Cory Goldman, actors Paul Bettany and Maggie Q is an entertaining, amusing, and easy going track.   The track goes over many facets of the making of the film (including the constraints they were under when shooting on a limited budget and having to scale back scenes) plus I like the moment when Paul mentions he has Butch Deficit Disorder.   They all hope for a sequel and even mention the deleted scene cut from the end of the movie.  The deleted and extended scenes feature a couple of deleted scenes that should have stayed in the movie including one where the head cardinal (Christopher Plummer) has a different ending and a farewell scene (which by cutting it leaves it open for a certain character to return if they ever make a sequel).


THE BLOODY FRONTIER: CREATING THE WORLD OF PRIEST-  all about the vampires, the creation of the locations used to get the look they wanted, and Paul bettany doing a lot of his own stunts.

TOOLS OF THE TRADE: THE WEAPONS AND VEHICLES- a look at all of the weapons and vehicles of PRIEST from how they designed them and the problems with the Priest bikes (on how they could be handled).

There is a Picture-In-Picture experience that can be played during the movie which plays clips from both featurettes.


FINAL ANALYSIS:   I rather enjoyed the post-apocalyptic alternate future of PRIEST and pray for a sequel despite its poor performance at the theaters.


this Blu-ray review is (c)8-29-2011 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com