8.16.2011: What To Watch – DVD/Blu-ray Releases

Actor Paul Bettany must like religious roles and sci-fi movies.  In The Da Vinci Code, Bettany played Silas, a monk, while in Legion, he played Archangel Michael. The actor is also the voice of Jarvis in Iron Man (I and II) and next summer’s The AvengersPriest brings together both religion and sci-fi with vicious vampires, and is this week’s one and only DVD/Blu-ray release.

Priest (2011) on DVD [rated], Blu-ray [unrated] and Blu-ray 3D [unrated].  Starring Paul Bettany (Legion), Karl Urban (Star Trek), Cam Gigandet (Twilight), Maggie Q (TV’s Nikita), Lily Collins (The Blind Side) and Stephen Moyer (TV’s True Blood).  Written by Cory Goodman (Apollo 18). Directed by Scott Stewart (Legion).

Written by Hyung Min-woo, the Korean comic series, Priest, began its development into a horror/sci-fi film when Screen Gems purchased Cory Goodman’s spec script in 2005.  It went through the usual, changing directors and lead actors once; director Andrew Douglas (The Amityville Horror [2005]) for director Scott Stewart and actor Gerard Butler (300) for Paul Bettany.  The movie, which turns vampire lore on its head and brings back the scary to vampires, moved its release date from 2010 to 2011 in order for it to be converted into 3D.  Premiering in May 2011, the $60 million film, the most expensive production to date for Screen Gems, squeaked by with $76.583 million worldwide.  It remained in theaters for only six weekends after poor critic reviews and possibly the wrong release date (it would have been better served up in the fall of 2011).

Synopsis:  Priest, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller, is set in an alternate world — one ravaged by centuries of war between man and vampires.  The story revolves around legendary warrior, Priest (Bettany), from the last Vampire War who now lives in obscurity among the other downtrodden human inhabitants in walled-in dystopian cities ruled by the Church.  When his niece (Collins) is abducted by a murderous pack of vampires in the desolate wastelands outside, Priest breaks his sacred vows to venture out on a quest to find her before they turn her into one of them and to seek vengeance upon those responsible, especially their brutal leader (Urban). He is joined on his crusade by his niece’s boyfriend, Hicks (Gigandet), a trigger-fingered young wasteland sheriff, and former warrior, Priestess (Q), a member of his former legion of vampire-killers who possesses otherworldly fighting skills.

Official Movie Site:  http://www.sonypictures.com/homevideo/priest/

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/PriestMovie#!/PriestMovie?sk=wall

Twitter:  @PriestMovie

Feed me at sharon@horrorhaven.com

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