Dogma—Columbia Pictures (Blu-ray)
Kevin Smith's religious epic caused a bit of a stir upon its first release. The comedy epic is witty and makes a nice satire out of the holy verses with a touch of Jay and Silent Bob. I'm on the fence about which Kevin Smith film is my favorite but this is definitely one of the front runners. The writing is excellent and the cast does a great job with the material. As long as you don't take it too seriously, this film is a lot of fun.
This is the third Smith film to find its way to HD. Sony has done an excellent job with the catalog release and it boasts some very strong visuals. This was not a high budget feature by any means, but Smith made the most of his budget. Detail is strong throughout and colors have a nice pop to them. The film doesn't have that strong stylized look that has become so popular lately, but the natural photography and set design lend to the aesthetic. There are so moments where the film style gives the HD presentation a bit of a washed out look, but this was the intentions of the director. I did notice a tinge of ringing in a few spots but otherwise this is a solid presentation given the film source.
The soundtrack is presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and is an average presentation for this type of film. Again this is not a big budget production and the sound design isn't quite as dramatic as the typical action fare. Dialogue is the key ingredient and balance and tonal quality is excellent. The musical selections also crank things up a bit and make the most of the surround soundstage and low end. While not a revelation in any way the lossless mix is still a solid presentation.
You’ll find quite a few of the extras from the original DVD release included on this Blu-ray release. There is a cast and crew commentary and a technical commentary that was really interesting. On the fun side there are some outtakes and deleted scenes. Rounding out the package is a commercial for Smith's comic store in Jersey and a collection of storyboards for three of the film’s scenes.
While not the kind of film to wow audiences with its A/V presentation (despite being solid) I still have to recommend this one. By far one of Kevin Smith's stronger directorial efforts and one of the best religious laugh riots out there.