|Preacher's Kid (2009)|
|Written by Noah Fleming|
|Tuesday, 11 May 2010|
The film is predictable from the start. You already know exactly what the female lead is going to do before she does. You know what she is going to go through before she does. You know how she is going to end up before she does. The only thing that could save the story is a collection a powerful performances. Unfortunately, those are lacking. That is not to say that the performances are terrible. Some are better than others, but overall they are hovering around average.
I'm likely not the target audience for this film, but I find it hard to believe that this film will strike a chord with many people. The story tries to be modeled after possible real-life experiences. However, maybe I'm naïve, maybe just an optimist or perhaps just loaded with common sense, but I find it hard to believe that anyone could make the decisions that this young female lead did.
My biggest issue with the film lies in the female lead's one decision that carries the rest of the film. I don't want to spoil much here, but about a third of the way through the film, Angie (LeToya Luckett) chooses to go back to a man that beats her, treats her like crap, lies to her and about whom everyone says to stay away from. Her decision makes me lose respect for her. Losing respect for the lead character spells disaster for the film.
The only way I would accept her crawling back to this guy is if she had absolutely nothing else. However, she has friends in the cast of the show, friends back home and a dream. She has a lot that she can turn to.
Angie is a preacher's kid that wants to take a break from God and experience the world. Her father is naturally hard-hearted and forbids her to do anything outside of the house or Church, even dating. Bare in mind Angie is more than 21 years of age. So, she defies her father and joins a traveling gospel show as a bit player and supposedly an understudy. Having rushed into this decision in just one night anyone could see that it was not thought through. Naturally, things don't go well for her, in part due to her own decisions.
Angie joined a show called, "Daddy, Can I Come Home." That title says it all. You know exactly where she is going to end up. Once you see the ending you will understand why I say that the filmmakers are not setting a very good example. Angie wanted to get a record contract and the filmmakers have her give up on that dream to end up where she began.
While this is not my type of music, I was hoping that it might be enjoyable. While it is not true gospel, it still lacks that "suck you in" entertainment. You really need to be of the right demographic to appreciate certain aspects of this film. Unfortunately, I'm not in that demographic.
Despite the simple and overdrawn story, the video quality is quite impressive. The video transfer is very consistent. The image is clean and there are only a couple instances of artifacting. Edge enhancement is kept to a bare minimum. The colors are nicely saturated. If the contrast in the high end was more well-defined the colors would really pop from the screen. As it stands though the image lacks any type of dimensionality. And that is a real shame as the rest of the video is rather striking. This is not the fault of the encode, but simply the budget of the film. Fleshtones are even. Details and textures are quite impressive despite the slight washed look of the image. Production softness creeps up here and there but is never overwhelming. The black levels are stable and shadow delineation remains strong throughout. Even the alley sequence near the end of the film retains details. This is a very impressive direct-to-video transfer.
Like the video, the audio is also surprisingly good for direct-to-video. While there is no discreet surround activity, the bled audio provides a somewhat deep soundscape. The LFE channel is noticeably absent for many key sequences, but the gospel music does get some boost form the subwoofer. Dialogue can occasionally get lost amidst the music stem, but this wrinkle is ironed out after the first few minutes of the film. Dynamics are decent and fit the genre well. The track doesn't offer much in the way of "you'll remember this track" department. However, once again, for a direct-to-video film, this audio track will do just fine.
Also, for a direct-to-video film, the Blu-ray comes with more extras than you might expect. "The Prodigal Experience: Reflections on a Story" has comments from the filmmakers on their approach to recreating a biblical story. "The Music of 'Preacher's Kid'" covers exactly what the title implies. "LeToya Luckett: A Rising Star" introduces us to the former Destiny's Child member and her rise to the screen. "The Preacher's Kid in Atlanta" looks at the gospel community of the city. Also included is a series of sluggish deleted scenes. A separated DVD/Digital Copy disc is also included.
"Preacher's Kid" is not a terrible movie, it just isn't my cup of tea. Those that can relate to this genre will find it entertaining. However, I have a feeling that it went direct to video because the studio realized they couldn't mass market the film. If you are going to pick up this movie, then the audio and video qualities will more than meet your expectations.