Sometimes you suffer through an urban drama that is so surprisingly inane, derivative, and boring, that you’re left wondering if today’s alleged filmmakers have ever watched a movie before in their lives. Stan Foster’s Preacher’s Kid is a film that inspires such confidence from its viewers. Based on the parable of the Prodigal Son (which can be found in some book called The Bible), Preacher’s Kid gives us a modern-day twist on the religious tale. Former Destiny’s Child performer LeToya Luckett leads the way here as Angie, the goody two-shoes offspring of the equally sanctimonious Bishop King (former Baywatch regular Gregory Alan Williams).
One day, Angie chooses to leave her world of self-righteousness behind, and joins a traveling Gospel group (which is kind of like joining the circus, but with more freaks), much to her father’s dismay. Soon, Angie finds herself amid “good Christian kids” that drink (gasp!), do drugs (double gasp!), and (wait for it) engage in pre-marital sex (oh, the horror!). Between that, and a real dickhead of a boyfriend who enjoys pummeling the poor sheltered lass, Angie soon begins to wonder if she didn’t make a mistake leaving Bishop Dad behind. Meanwhile, the audience begins to wonder if they can’t get their money back, because Preacher’s Kid is hardly worth the price of admission — even if you see it for free.
Frankly, Preacher’s Kid is a dreary and banal film, chockfull of all of those Sunday Sermon elements (sin, fire and brimstone, you know the drill) that many of us grew tired of hearing years ago. But what really makes it bad is that the movie seems to ignore its Christian nature, enticing you into its typical paint-by-number Hollywood crap. The “Be good, or God will smite you like the bad little bitch you are” bit? Well, it’s here, but it’s nowhere near as gritty as it should be. Instead, Angie’s succumbing into a world of lust and crime (somebody cue up Peter Schilling, quick!) is portrayed as something akin to an ‘80s after-school special: bad, but not bad enough to warrant someone from not doing it.
Lesson learned: practice what you preach — and quit making shitty movies.
On the plus side of the spectrum, Warner gives Preacher’s Kid a lovely HD treatment on Blu-ray. The movie is presented in a 1.85:1 widescreen ratio with a rich 1080p/VC-1 transfer. While the color palate doesn’t rely on overly lush tones (reds, greens, blues, etc. all appear as they would in everyday life), they come across here as being very crisp and clear. The transfer’s contrast also stands out here, as does the amount of detail — and, when you stop to consider this is a low-key direct-to-video feature, too, the audio presentation really hits home.
Also of note here is Warner’s DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack. While you wouldn’t expect a film like this to possess much in the boom-boom department, I have to say that Preacher’s Kid carries a mix that utilizes a surround sound setup quite successfully. Still though, the movie itself is nothing worth writing home about, so I really can’t recommend going out of your way to plug this into your Blu-ray player. English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles are available.
It’s always a pity when the lackluster titles get a wider variety of special features, and Preacher’s Kid is another fine example. Not only does Warner’s set contain the Blu-ray release, but it also gives you an SD-DVD copy as well as a Digital Copy. If that weren’t enough (and it is), Preacher’s Kid also includes a number of bonus materials. Four featurettes are presented in HD and offer a few behind-the-scenes looks at the making of the film. In short, there’s very little to bear witness to here (unless you actually enjoyed the film, in which I suggest you go out to the video store more often), and the twenty-some-odd minutes of Deleted Scenes (in Standard Definition) that are also included don’t change matters any.
The bottom line: there’s nothing to be found in Preacher’s Kid that you can’t find in another, more entertaining story elsewhere. Those of you looking for an uplifting religious experience won’t be any closer to God after watching this film than you would be after sending money to a televangelist after a night of binge-drinking.
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