The Passion of the Christ (2004) - Definitive Edition [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Drama
Fox || R - 126 minutes - $29.99 || February 17, 2009
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2009-03-03


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Mel Gibson
Writer(s): Benedict Fitzgerald and Mel Gibson (screenplay)
Cast: James Caviezel, Maia Morgenstern, Christo Jivkov, Francesco De Vito, Monica Bellucci


Theatrical Release Date: February 25, 2004


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • 3 Feature Commentaries
  • Select Scene Commentary
  • 2 Documentaries
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Trivia Track


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Widescreen (2.40)
  • Aramic (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1), Hebrew (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1), Latin (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, Cantonese, Korean, Mandarin, Tagalog, Thai, Brazilian Portuguese

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.::THE FILM::.

So The Passion of the Christ tells the story of Jesus (James Caviezel) in his last days before he is killed by Pontius Pilate (Hristo Shopov). Hopefully you knew that, if not well then I just spoiled most of the film for you unintentionally. Sorry, my bad.

Jesus starts by talking to his follows about how one of them will soon betray him, which in essence causes his downfall later on in the movie. Judas (Luca Lionello) is that betrayer, and is seen received money in exchange for giving information on Jesus, who most of the world sees as nothing more than a cult. Jesus is taken by the guards late one night and is seen by a bridge. He spots Judas hiding from afar and knows who it was now that betrayed him.

In trying to redeem himself Judas tries to give the money back to the priests but they scoff at him and reject his rejection of the money. We cut back to Pontius and his wife who are awoken by the news that Jesus was taken into custody. Meanwhile, Judas is seen running from children (who I guess are spawns of Satan? No idea) and he thinks that the chase will never end, kills himself. This is a really depressing movie in case you hadnít noticed yet, or have no idea about religion and this sort of thing.

Eventually a choice is given about what should happen to Jesus. Pilate gives the crowd a choice between letting two people free: Jesus or a murderer named Barabbas (Pietro Sarubbi). The crowd for some reason chooses to set Barabbas free, and sends Jesus to be crucified to death.

Thatís pretty much the story in a nutshell, itís not complicated as though I attended a religious school when I was younger and pretty much know it by heart. There are also two versions of the movie included the theatrical version and the version without the excessive violence (and trust me there are a few brutal scenes but nothing outlandish).

I didnít really enjoy the film that much, mainly because it didnít really interest me. When I saw it many years ago it didnít ďwowĒ me like it did everyone else. Iím sure some people will find it a great flick, but I just couldnít. Mel Gibson (who directed) does a great job with this movie, but itís not something for everyone, including me.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

DISC ONE

Commentary by Mel Gibson, Cales Deschanel, and John Wright: Gibson is joined by Cinematographer Deschanel and Editor Writer for a rather intelligent commentary that actually has a few jokes thrown in there. Gibson has a rather dry overtone though, but the track keeps pace and is undoubtedly the best out of the commentaries available on this disc.

Commentary by Stephen McEveety, Ted Rae and Keith Vanderlaan: These three discuss more of the special effects and costumes for the cast. Itís another track that if you enjoyed the film and want to know more about how it was made then this is the one for you.

Commentary by Mel Gibson, Father William Fulgo, Gerry Matatics and Father John Bartunek: This one deals more with the background of the Bible and its influences on the film. Gibson cracks a few jokes in this one as well, and those looking for a different perspective on the movie should check this one out.

Commentary by John Debney (selected scenes): A rather dull commentary that I didnít find interesting. Note, this doesnít go through the whole movie, it only happens during a few scenes.

Biblical Footnotes: I recommend turning this on before you start the film if you never plan to watch it again, as it does give a few interesting facts and trivia as the movie progresses.

DISC TWO

Filmmaking (114 minutes): This compromises of two different features, one (100 minutes long) that deals with the making of the film as well as interviews with the cast and crew. The second one (14 minutes long) is a panel discussion that talks about the importance of the film and what makes this stand out from other movies. I recommend you watch them both, as they are details and engaging.

Deleted Scenes (5 minutes): Two deleted scenes that didnít make it into the movie. Neither are that exciting nor do they add much to the story.

The Legacy (60 minutes): A collection of five features that deal with the history of Jesus Christ among other things. Iím not really the religious type, so this didnít interest me that much, but if you are then this is probably the special feature for you.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Nearly five years old, you couldnít tell that by looking at this movie today. Colors are bright and vibrant for the most part, even though portions of the film appear dark and dreary. That brings us to the grain and contrast issue, which are both problems. Grain is readily apparent in several parts of the movie, and the film is rather dark (as mentioned previously). Whether the intention of the director or not, a few scenes were just too dark to see clearly. Otherwise, a great transfer.

While thereís no English 5.1 track available, it didnít matter which DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track was chosen, this movie is boisterous and loud to say the least. Surrounds were constantly engaged as wear the front speakers. There are a few noteworthy scenes, the coliseum for example, that is reference material. However, I canít give it a perfect score due to their not being an English track to dissect how good the dialogue sounded.



.::OVERALL::.

I saw Passion of the Christ when it first hit theaters many years ago and I didnít like it, now roughly five years later I still donít enjoy it. Iím just not a big fan of going into movies already knowing the ending. The technical package on this Blu-Ray is amazing, as both audio and video are an upgrade from the DVD and itís loaded with tons of special features to keep you busy for hours. Billed as the ďdefinitive edition,Ē this is the copy to own if you enjoyed the film the first time or are a newcomer. I just canít be passionate about it though, so judge accordingly.