Preacher's Wife, The (1996) 
Blu-ray Drama
Written by Noah Fleming   
Friday, 17 August 2012

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In tribute to Whitney Houston, Disney has released “The Preacher’s Wife.”  Also timely, considering the release of “Sparkle” in theaters, Whitney’s last film.  Sadly, “Preacher’s Wife” fails to live up to its age.  I remember a lot of buzz about this film when it came out a couple decades ago, but it hasn’t stood up to the test of time.

Video: 3/5

The AVC presentation is correctly listed and viewed in 1.85:1.  However, that’s about where the enthusiasm stops.  The black levels lack depth leaving us with a relatively flat picture.  Shadows and objects occupy the same space, leaving a mess.  Also contributing to the flatness of the image is the softness of the image.  As usual, the close up shots are revealing in details.  However, mid range and establishing shots lack great definition.  Third on the list, is color saturation.  While it is accurate, the colors don’t pop they way they should.  This is thanks to the black levels and softness.  So everything in the image plays off one another, but not for the better.  On the plus side, there doesn’t not appear to be any significant artifacting.  Noise reduction has been judiciously applied to the point of no recognition.  I don’t think the transfer could look much better without a completely new digital restoration from a completely new master.  However, that is unlikely given the lack of popularity for this title.

Audio: 3.5/5

The audio is not bad but not great either.  Once again, the fault lies more in the original information than in the transfer.  Of course, restoration could have altered and improved the original mix, but then that would be the case with nearly any catalog title’s audio track.  The dialogue is clean and clear for the most part.  Some dialogue lines slip by the wayside.  The rear speakers are virtually non-existent as to be expected.  Of course they pop in a bit when Houston does her thing on stage.  Aside from that, there really isn’t much to the audio.  There is no LFE to speak of and there certainly is no envelopment or immersion happening.

Special Features: 0.5/5

There is nothing more than a trailer and a four-minute promo featurette.

Studio Touchstone Home Entertainment
MPAA Rating PG
Starring Whitney Houston, Denzel Washington, Courtney B. Vance, Gregory Hines, Jenifer Lewis, Loretta Devine
Director Penny Marshall
Film Release Year 1996
Release Year 2012
Resolution(s) 1080p (main feature) • 480i (supplements)
Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
Running Time 2 hrs. 4 mins.
Sound Formats English DTS-HD Master 5.1
Subtitles English SDH • Spanish
Special Features Promo Featurette; Trailer
Forum Link
Reviewer Noah Fleming

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