Everyone has that hidden talent, something they don’t even know they’re capable of. Movie critics? We can do PR. For instance, say a movie critic were to write the text on the back of the case for Preacher’s Kid. It would honest, yet likely not far off from what is actually written. Check this out:
“Family, faith, music and clichés: Small town cliché Angie King (LeToya Luckett) leaves the first two behind to pursue a clichéd dream of signing stardom. LeToya Luckett of the original Destiny’s Child makes her clichéd movie breakthrough in this inspiring (and cliché) tale, bursting with music and clichés.”
See, isn’t that refreshing?
Preacher’s Kid is as predictable as they come, falling into the same traps all of these “coming of age” stories find themselves in. An oppressed, naïve choirgirl leaves her father to join a traveling stage play, only to fall for the lead actor. He beats her, she revolts, apparently fails to take a pregnancy test correctly (?) everyone is happy, and the girl ends up back at home.
The morale of the story is… well, that’s not very clear. A clean, guarded, religious upbringing puts your daughter in the arms of an abusive lover? No, that can’t be right. Finding yourself means your previously strict father will finally let you marry and move on with your life like he should have done in the first place? No, that’s not quite it either. Ooh, here it is: Leading a sheltered life means even reading the instructions on a pregnancy test still makes it unclear how to use it.
To its credit, LaToya Luckett is enormously talented. This girl can sing beautifully, giving this shamelessly predictable tripe a single bright spot. No one should be questioning her ability to dominate the screen as she performs. For everything else, there is a fast forward button.
Preacher’s Kid seems hampered by Warner’s usual low bitrate VC-1 encode, although not as severely as other discs. Softness dominates, particularly apparent in the mid-range where faces lose all definition. Instead, they become blobs of color, not the richly defined textures present in many close-ups. Clothing can be resolved well, at least those items with thicker designs and stitching.
Colors are warmly tinted, slightly exaggerating the Bishop’s red robe during services. Other hues are bold and satisfying, particularly some of the more colorful, vibrant clothing choices. Depth is well established, delivering deep black levels and a bright contrast that remains in-check even in low-light situations.
Grain is light, at times hardly noticeable. Either this was filmed on a fine grain stock, or the encode has turned it into mush with surprisingly no ill-effects. The film’s best moments in terms of looks occur during the initial bus tour, where the outdoors truly shine in these fall environments. Trees produce colorful leaves, all fully resolved and crisp. The cheap Indiana Jones overlaid map effect slightly hampers their beauty, no fault of the transfer of course.
A shot in the middle of Times Square, around 1:23:39, is spectacular, although a stock shot (everything was filmed in Atlanta). Looking deep into the frame in the pit of traffic, you can pick out an ambulance will clearly defined features. All buildings and advertisements are well defined too.
For a film so focused on music, Preacher’s Kid does not disappoint. From the opening scene, a vibrant, aggressive choir hymn lights up the soundfield, Luckett’s vocals carrying a wonderfully clean quality. Piano keys sound flawless, and well prioritized.
A few scenes inside nightclubs deliver ambient bass and appropriate surrounds. Certain musical cues not associated with an in-movie performance can be slightly flight, lacking a deep extension into the low-end, although this is minor.
Dialogue can be quiet, although rarely suffering from any indistinguishable lines when listening at any reasonable volume. General ambiance, outdoors or inside a restaurant scene, is not noted.
Extras exist to promote, beginning with the eight-minute Music of Preacher’s Kid, which sums itself up pretty well. The Prodigal Experience is a story recap, followed by A Rising Star, which focuses on Luckett. The Preacher’s Kid in Atlanta praises the city for the smooth shoot. Fourteen additional scenes run a total of 22-minutes.
Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us by Warner Brothers. This has not affected the editorial process. For more information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.