In 1692, in the Ipswich Colony of Massachusetts, five families with untold power formed a covenant of silence. One family, lusting for more, was banished - their bloodline disappearing without a trace. Until now. Four young students at an elite private school who are descendants of the original families who settled in Ipswich Colony in the 1600s, are bound by their sacred ancestry and special powers. When the body of a dead student is discovered after a party, secrets begin to unravel that threaten to break the covenant of silence that has protected their families for hundreds of years.
For more about The Covenant and the The Covenant Blu-ray release, see the The Covenant Blu-ray Review published by Ben Williams on September 8, 2007 where this Blu-ray release scored 2.0 out of 5.
Renny Harlin is the man who can do no right where movies are concerned. After achieving success with the second Die Hard film, his directorial efforts quickly spiraled downward and culminated with one of, if not the, biggest box-office failures of all time, Cutthroat Island. Despite this box-office failure and his miserable track-record, Hollywood still throws ol' Renny a bone from time to time. The latest, is a story about a band of college-going male witches called The Covenant.
The Covenant centers around the Ivy League college lives of four descendants of powerful wiccan families. These four worthless individuals are truly the big men on campus with the magical powers to match their surly attitudes. Unfortunately, along comes a fifth male witch who is hell-bent on destroying the world. Our merry band of warlocks has to step in and stop him from wreaking too much havoc. Before you can say "Kris Angel," there's a full-on male witch war going down!
In the interest of being fair, I'll state for the record that The Covenant isn't the worst Renny Harlin movie ever produced. It certainly is close, though. I'm sure that there is a target audience for this film - - I'm not exactly sure who or what that audience is, but I do know that I'm not included. Just about everything in this movie rubbed me the wrong way. The relative unknowns in the cast were obviously very green and the delivery of the film's poorly-written dialogue was down right awful. Here's a sample line:
"I'm going to make you my wee-yotch!"
Yeah… no kidding. Perhaps I should give a little more credit to the cast for not cracking up during such absurd line readings. Or maybe that was all just corrected in post-production. Anyway, I'm not fond of this film and simply can't recommend it.
For such a low budget and unsuccessful movie, Sony has really stepped up with a stellar transfer. Again, Sony is using the Mpeg-2 codec and this transfer of The Covenant is further proof that Mpeg-2 can easily deliver an outstanding high definition picture. The Covenant displays an extraordinary sense of depth of field that isn't normally the case on films shot on HD video. The entire film has been shot using an abundance of blue filters, so this isn't a very natural looking film, either. However, dine detail and sharpness are both extraordinary. Black levels are solid and there is a formidable amount of fine shadow detail in this transfer. Frankly, The Covenant is perfect from a video standpoint.
Much like the video of this release, The Covenant features an unquestionably reference quality PCM soundtrack. I was completely blown away by how great this title sounds. Surround use is very heavy and dialogue is sharp and crisply represented. Like most other PCM soundtracks, there is an amazing sense of three-dimensionality to this soundtrack. This is a completely enveloping sound-experience and is true reference audio.
-Scene Specific Director's Commentary with Renny Harlin
"Breaking The Silence: Exposing The Covenant" is pretty much your basic press documentary that focuses on behind the scenes footage and not-so-interesting interviews with various cast members. Since The Covenant is lacking any serious depth in character or story, it isn't surprising that this doc lacks any as well. Next up is the scene specific commentary with Director Renny Harlin. Here we have 93 minutes of Mr. Harlin waxing poetic about the unbelievable skill that went into the making of this film. I'll give him a point or two for being enthusiastic, but that's about the only positive thing I can say about this track.
Well, I'm at a bit of a crossroads regarding The Covenant. I truly dislike the movie, but it is a technical masterpiece from a home video and audio standpoint. Even the finest video and audio, however, can't overcome the fact this this movie is just a complete pile of garbage. Content is always king. If all you are concerned with is picture and audio quality, then, by all means, pick this one up. But if you want to be entertained, The Covenant just doesn't cut the mustard.