Apr 272016
 

A Prayer for the Dying could’ve been a great movie and instead, thanks to studio interference, we get something that’s merely ‘good’. The acting from Rourke and Hoskins was probably the saving grace, not to mention Liam Neeson’s brief role, and in the end, I was fairly entertained.

 

 

A Prayer for the Dying
(1987)


REVIEW NAVIGATION

The Movie
| Special Features | Video Quality | Audio Quality | Overall

Genre(s): Drama
Twilight Time | R – 107 min. – $29.95 | April 12, 2016

Date Published: 04/27/2016 | Author: The Movieman


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by:
Mike Hodges
Writer(s): Jack Higgins (novel); Edmund Ward and Martin Lynch (screenplay)
Cast: Mickey Rourke, Bob Hoskins, Alan Bates, Sammi Davis, Liam Neeson
DISC INFO:
Features:
Featurettes, Theatrical Trailer
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 2.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 37.3 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C


THE MOVIE – 3.5/5

A Prayer for the Dying focuses on a former IRA terrorist, Martin Fallon (MICKEY ROURKE), forced into killing a mobster in order to walk away from a lifetime of violence and a new life in America. But when the murder is witnessed by a Catholic priest (BOB HOSKINS), whom he spares, things get complicated from his old IRA comrades (LIAM NEESON) wanting to bring him back to a local crime boss (ALAN BATES) who wants to take him out for leaving a witness. Introduced to all of that, Fallon resists absolution for his crimes while also finding tenderness and redemption from the priest’s blind niece (SAMMI DAVIS).

Quick Hit Review: Even though A Prayer for the Dying was yet another movie taken away from its director, this time around it actually wasn’t a disaster especially compared with others. The performances from Mickey Rourke and Bob Hoskins were strong enough to overcome any issues with a haphazard screenplay.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.0/5

This release comes with the usual 8-page essay booklet.

Director Mike Hodges on A Prayer for the Dying (29:01; HD) is an interview with the director as he discusses the movie including working with Mickey Rourke who was already attached when he took the job and then about casting Bob Hoskins, Alan Bates and others. It’s a rather frank interview and Hodges doesn’t hold back including how the final product was different from his vision.

Director of Photography Mike Garfath on A Prayer for the Dying (11:54; HD) is another interview, this time with Garfath recalling his work on the film. It’s not quite as involving as Hodges’ interview but nevertheless interesting to watch.

Theatrical Trailer (1:53; HD)

 


VIDEO – 4.0/5

A Prayer for the Dying arrives on Blu-ray through Twilight Time. The film is presented in its original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and given a respectable 1080p high-definition transfer (MPEG-4 AVC codec). It’s nothing extraordinary but does offer good detail throughout while colors do tend to be a tad muted, although I think that’s more about the tone of the film the director was going after than a mishandling of the transfer itself. There were some minor dust marks though nothing overabundant.

 

AUDIO – 4.0/5

The DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo track provides for clean and crisp dialogue levels and while it’s not the most robust lossless track, it still makes fine usage of the limited channels. Where it does come to life is with Bill Conti’s haunting score. Otherwise, it’s a fairly standard offering by the studio but more than likely better than it has ever sounded in prior release(s).

 



OVERALL – 3.25/5

Overall, A Prayer for the Dying could’ve been a great movie and instead, thanks to studio interference, we get something that’s merely ‘good’. The acting from Rourke and Hoskins was probably the saving grace, not to mention Liam Neeson’s brief role, and in the end, I was fairly entertained. The Blu-ray released by Twilight Time has a reasonable number of bonus material for viewers to peruse.

 

 

 

 

Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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