A few days short of the six-month anniversary of Whitney Houston's untimely passing (at the hands of cocaine — drugs are bad, kids!), Touchstone released this Holiday/gospel favorite to Blu-ray with an all-new AVC/1080p transfer. Since we hadn't achieved that state of digital bliss filmmakers are all to-do about to-day in the '90s, you can expect a fair amount of grain here. In fact, the overall picture quality doesn't look too-terribly hot to me: detail is on the OK side of the meter, contrast is often murky, and the color palette is somewhat discernable at times — ranging from great in some scenes to not-all-that-great in others.
The accompanying 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is a mostly front-heavy affair, and, but delivers all the banter between the male leads and the vocals by the female star admirably. Special features-wise, a recycled Standard-Def featurette is tacked-on here produced in the mid '90s, along with a minute-long trailer that was ported over from the film's first home video release.
Sixteen years after the Penny Marshall-directed The Preacher's Wife hit theaters, not a whole lot has changed in the world. Sure, Whitney left us — as did the xenophobic elderly lady who used unnecessary articles when describing people of African heritage — but the fact remains that the feature film in question has gone by the wayside with filmgoers. It's nowhere near It's a Wonderful Life as far as proverbial Holiday classics go (heck, it's not even as fun as Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, for that matter), but it has managed to pick up a group of followers nonetheless.
Yeah, it's a bit odd this title didn't hit shelves around Christmas time. Yes, it could almost sorta kinda seem like the whole damn disc was rushed into production in order to capitalize on the death of another. Et oui, all of the extras are ancient ones that have been culled from inferior sources, while the audio/video presentations of the release itself were probably tossed together somewhat hurriedly. But does that mean that fans of The Preacher's Wife shouldn't buy this one on Blu-ray?
Hmm. I might need an angel named Dudley to answer that one for me.