|Site locale: United States||
Best Blu-ray Deals
Best Blu-ray Deals, See All the Deals »
Top deals |
The Passion of the Christ(2004)
This depiction of the last 12 hours in the life of Jesus opens with his betrayal by Judas, his condemnation by the Pharisees and his appearance before Pontius Pilate. Pilate defers to King Herod, but Herod returns Jesus. Pilate then asks the crowd to choose between Jesus and Barrabas. The crowd chooses Barrabas. Pilate washes his hands of the matter, and Jesus is forced to carry the cross through the streets to Golgotha where Roman soldiers crucify him. Although Jesus briefly fears in his dazed suffering that God, his Father, has abandoned him, he overcomes his fear and with his last breath entrusts God "Into Thy hands I command my spirit." At the moment of his death, nature itself over-turns.
For more about The Passion of the Christ and The Passion of the Christ Blu-ray release, see The Passion of the Christ Blu-ray Review
Starring: Jim Caviezel, Maia Morgenstern, Hristo Jivkov, Francesco De Vito, Monica Bellucci, Mattia Sbragia
Director: Mel Gibson
» See full cast & crew
The Passion of the Christ Blu-ray Review
Mel Gibson's influential and equally controversial film debuts on Blu-ray.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, March 3, 2009
He was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; by His wounds we are healed. -- Isaiah 53
Perhaps no other film in history has been more adored, more scorned, more misunderstood, more controversial, more meaningful, more bold, or more important than The Passion of the Christ, director Mel Gibson's (Braveheart) unflinching look at the final hours of Christ's life. The film depicts an event that represents the core of Christianity, the sacrifice of One to bear the burden of sin for all mankind. While The Passion of the Christ has been criticized for its graphic portrayal of the humiliation, floggings, and crucifixion Christ endured rather than focusing on His teachings, the tone of the film allows for the violence to be witnessed in the proper context, conveying in the bloodshed the message of salvation through the Body and the Blood of the Son of God. How the film is ultimately experienced is left to each individual viewer through both the beliefs they bring with them to a screening as well as their willingness to embrace the film's -- and Christianity's -- message, but one thing is for certain: whether the viewer be a Christian or not, The Passion of the Christ represents powerful, captivating filmmaking that is impossible to forget while encompassing a message of hope, love, humility, and strength in the face of even the most difficult and perilous of situations.
The Passion of the Christ stars Jim Caviezel (Deja Vu) as Jesus of Nazareth, a carpenter by trade and the Son of God, born of the virgin Mary (Maia Morgenstern) to teach the Will of God and, ultimately, to perish for the sins of all mankind, the latter being the subject of the film. The film opens with Jesus praying diligently, asking for both a way out of His pending death but also that God's will be done. He is tempted by Satan (Rosalinda Celentano) but remains steadfast in His faith and trust in God's plan for His life. Jesus is betrayed by Judas (Luca Lionello), one of His twelve disciples, and brought before the Pharisees to answer for His transgressions. Because they have no power to condemn a man to death, Jesus is then brought before Roman authorities, Pontius Pilate (Hristo Shopov) and Herod Antipas (Luca De Dominicis), neither of whom see in Christ any punishable wrongdoings. Nevertheless, Pilate, fearful of another popular uprising should he intervene in the punishment of the "King of the Jews" and the fate such an event might hold for him, orders the severe punishment of Christ but later washes his hands of Him, allowing the Pharisees to crucify Christ.
The Passion of the Christ humanizes its title character, but not in such a way as to betray Biblical Scripture where He is described as both man and God, sinless, yet emotional, troubled, and facing temptation. He remains strong, resistant to sin, but not without much anguish. He is seen as frightened and uncertain, displaying both qualities that at once make Him man and the Son of God. He is fearful for the flesh but steadfast in His faith in who He, and His Father, are, ultimately succumbing to God's will. Mel Gibson does well to lend to Jesus this dual persona, showing Him as both a humble, everyday man but also as someone reinforced by His faith and understanding of that which awaits Him. Perhaps the film's best scene sees Christ and His mother, Mary, as she offers him a reprieve from His work as a carpenter. It portrays Him as a loving man with a sense of humor who takes pride in His work and shows His family proper respect. Such scenes, depicting both His home life and His teachings, put in context the abuse He endures throughout the picture as He remains forgiving of those who would see Him humiliated and bloodied through to the very end.
Technically, The Passion of the Christ is a remarkably made film. It boasts awe-inspiring cinematography that pulls viewers into the world that sees the last hours of Christ, and the camera movements and angles, lighting, slow motion sequences, and score tell the story as eloquently as the script. In fact, between the superb performances and lavish production values, The Passion of the Christ is a rare film that may be experienced -- and understood -- even without the subtitles, for the power of the tale and the look and sound of the film tell it as well as any translation of the dialogue. The film's undeniable strength lies in the once-in-a-lifetime performance by Jim Caviezel. The actor captures the very essence of Jesus; his scenes featuring the character in both happiness and anguish, teaching and torture, reveal a range that magnifies the power of the story and solidifies the qualities of the character. This is an inspired performance that transformed the actor into the cinematic face of Jesus, besting all other performances in previous Christ-centric films. Hristo Shopov and Maia Morgenstern also deliver powerful performances as Pontius Pilate and Mary, the mother of Jesus, respectively.
The Passion of the Christ Blu-ray, Video Quality
The Passion of the Christ arrives on Blu-ray with a quality 1080p, 2.35:1-framed transfer. The film begins with Christ in the darkness, praying desperately, as three of His disciples slumber, failing to watch over Him. The image is shrouded in a blue light, removing virtually all color from the image, leaving only the darkest depths of the background and the soft yet mysterious moonlight to illuminate the sequence. The film handles these nighttime scenes extraordinarily well, never featuring banding or pixelation in the dense fog and dark backdrops. As night turns to day, the transfer sees an increase in resolution and fine detail; the sandy terrain and earth-colored stones that make up the buildings reveal lifelike texture. Also, the various garb seen in the film -- including the regal clothing worn by the Pharisees, the Roman military uniforms, and the worn-and-torn rags worn by the lower classes -- reveal incredible texture and lifelike vibrancy, revealing most every stitch and the finest details of the adornments. The image appears just the slightest bit soft in some scenes, and as a result the finest of details, particularly in close-up shots, may appear less than ideal, looking a bit too smooth and undefined, but only occasionally. Blacks are somewhat less-than-stellar, gravitating towards a dark shade of gray in many scenes. The film retains a fine layer of grain, though it is only distinctly presented over the dark opening sequence. Fox has done justice to this video transfer.
The Passion of the Christ Blu-ray, Audio Quality
20th Century Fox debuts The Passion of the Christ on Blu-ray with a quality DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless surround sound presentation. In the film's dark opening sequence, the track creates an astounding environment that surrounds listeners, with insect and other small creature life surrounding the listening area, coming from every direction in a 360-degree sound field. The film's score plays with precision across the front with subtle support from the rears, parts of it accompanied by a discernible level of good, deep bass. Sound effects, too, are precisely replayed; the bag of coins Judas receives from the Pharisees early in the film for his betrayal of Jesus spills before him onto a stone floor, the coins scattering and clanking off the surface to realistic effect, with just a hint of amped-up sound to serve as a subtle emphasis on the importance of the scene and reinforcing Judas' burgeoning regret for having betrayed Christ and the implications of the treachery. The track features a tremendous amount of force and vigor in the moments following Christ's death on the cross. This sound mix offers strong, robust dialogue presentation to go along with the fine recreation of the film's score and sound effects. Although The Passion of the Christ doesn't offer one of those whiz-bang soundtracks that offers sounds consistently pouring from every speaker, it's subtle use of the surrounds, emphasis on ambience and musical reproduction, not to mention strong dialogue, make it a winner.
The Passion of the Christ Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
20th Century Fox brings The Passion of the Christ to Blu-ray with an extensive supplemental package spread over two discs. Disc one offers viewers Passion Recut, a 122-minute alternate version of the film. Next, the disc contains no less than five commentary tracks, the first a track for the visually impaired that conveys the imagery of the film in words. The next is a filmmakers' commentary with Director/Producer/Co-Screenwriter Mel Gibson, Cinematographer Caleb Deschanel, and Editor John Wright. The track is both entertaining and substantive, featuring discussions on the shooting locations and set design, the filming techniques, the strengths the actors brought to their roles, and more. Track three features Producer Stephen McEveety, Visual Effects Supervisor/Second Unit Director Ted Rae, and Special Make-Up and Visual Effects Designer Keith Vanderlaan. This track, too, is full of various bits of information that makes it well worth a listen. They discuss filming and special effects techniques, make-up, the casting, Biblical accuracy, the writing, the lighting, and more. These participants express awe at the strengths of the production and discuss how the sets, lighting, and more work in conjunction with the film's drama.
Next up is a Theological Commentary with Director/Producer/Co-Screenwriter Mel Gibson, Language Consultant and Aramaic/Latin Translator Father William Fulco, and Theologians Gerry Matatics and Father John Bartunek. The track is a bit dryly delivered, but is also, by far, the most informative and worthwhile on the disc. They point out the subtleties of the story and the film as well as the overreaching themes of the story. Simply put, it is a fascinating listen. Finally, track five is a Music Commentary with Composer John Debney, offered over select scenes only. He discusses more than the music, sharing his thoughts on the physical representation of Satan in the film, for example, but also conveying music placement and why it works in particular scenes. Concluding the extras on disc one is Footnotes, a pop-up trivia track that plays over the course of the film.
Disc two is a DVD that contains the visually-based supplements, the disc offering three categories: Filmmaking, The Legacy, and Galleries. Filmmaking offers viewers three segments. By His Wounds, We Are Healed: Making 'The Passion of the Christ' (480p, 1:40:22) is a 21-part documentary that takes an in-depth look at numerous aspects of the filmmaking process, including the script, language, casting, costuming, direction, effects, editing, the score, marketing, and a look at the making of numerous critical scenes, including the Crucifixion. The best segment is entitled Jim Suffering (5:17), featuring actor Jim Caviezel discussing the physical difficulties of his role. Below the Line Panel Discussion (480p, 13:51) features several of the filmmakers discussing the making of the film. Please note there are no introductions or on-screen titles to identify the panelists, but through context clues viewers will discover who is involved. Two deleted scenes -- Pilate (480p, 2:09) and Don't Cry (480p, 2:26) conclude the Filmmaking portion of the bonus features.
Moving on, The Legacy is another grouping broken into five segments. Through the Ages (480p, 11:58) looks at the depiction of Christianity, and The Passion in particular, in art through time. Paths of a Journey (480p, 9:24) takes viewers along the Stations of the Cross. On Language (480p, 12:46) examines the use of ancient languages in the film. Crucifixion: Punishment in the Ancient World (480p, 17:28) takes an in-depth look at the history of crucifixion in the ancient world. Anno Domini (480p, 10:04) takes a brief look at what the 2,000 years since the crucifixion has taught mankind about those involved in the last days of Christ. Galleries offers viewers a comprehensive package of additional materials. Production Art features a look at storyboards, technical drawings, and costume and set design artist renditions. Historical Texts offers passages from the Bible as they pertain to the events depicted in the film. Art Images features a look at the twelve Stations of the Cross through art. Characters and Their Actors is a series of text-based biographies profiling the actors who appear in the film. Unit Photography offers viewers a series of still photographs from the set. Finally, two theatrical trailers (480p, 1:52 & 1:45) and two television spots (480p, 0:33 each) for the film conclude this extensive supplemental package.
The Passion of the Christ Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
The Passion of the Christ isn't glamorous, and it isn't meant to be. It's a depiction of an event that is difficult to witness yet serves as a turning point in the history of mankind. Christian or not, believe that Christ walked the Earth or not, believe Him to be the Son of God or not, there is no denying that His story has shaped world history for 2,000 years and His influence is a cornerstone of human civilization since the times depicted in this film. While some may argue that the film is too graphic, what it does is show why the story of Christ is so powerful, compelling, and important to Christians. His sacrifice, His suffering, His persistence, and His ability to forgive those that would do Him harm define the very essence of Christianity, and The Passion of the Christ is a fine representation of the very core of the Christian religion. 20th Century Fox's Blu-ray release of The Passion of the Christ excels. The film enjoys quality audio and video presentations in addition to a plethora of bonus materials, the only blemish being their presentation in standard definition. No matter one's personal views, The Passion of the Christ is must-see cinema for those mature enough to place the violence in the proper context, and this Blu-ray release is indeed the current "definitive edition" of the film. The Passion of the Christ on Blu-ray receives my highest recommendation.
Blu-ray bundles with The Passion of the Christ (1 bundle)
The Passion of the Christ Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Today on Blu-ray - February 17th - February 17, 2009
French novelist Andre Malraux is quoted as saying "A man is the sum of his actions, of what he has done, of what he can do, nothing else." Its hard to think of a better way to describe the man that was Mohandas Gandhi. Through his nonviolent actions, he sought ...
• Fox Details Passion Blu-ray Release - October 31, 2008
Fox Home Entertainment has revealed the technical specs and special features for the upcoming Blu-ray release of Mel Gibson's 'Passion of the Christ', which is due to hit store shelves on February 17th, day-and-date with the DVD re-release. Coming on a BD-50, video ...
• Fox Unleashes the Motherload for 2009 - October 30, 2008
In an early announcement to retailers, Fox Home Entertainment has revealed that they will bring 11 of their best selling catalog titles to Blu-ray early next year. As these are unofficial announcements, technical specs and special features have yet to be confirmed, ...
» Show more related news posts for The Passion of the Christ Blu-ray
The Passion of the Christ Blu-ray, Forum Discussions
The Passion of the Christ Blu-ray Screenshots
Back to The Passion of the Christ Blu-ray »
Trending Blu-ray Movies
Trending in Theaters
This web site is not affiliated with the Blu-ray Disc Association.
All trademarks are the property of the respective trademark owners.
© 2002-2013 Blu-ray.com. All rights reserved.