CORPUS CHRISTI – A Blu-ray/DVD and Digital HD Review by John Strange

CORPUS CHRISTI – A Blu-ray/DVD and Digital HD Review by John Strange

Daniel (Bartosz Bielenia) is a 20-year-old inmate of a Warsaw prison, imprisoned for a violent crime.  During his incarceration, he has found religion.  When he asked for the opportunity to attend the seminary to become a priest, the prison priest dropped the bomb that it is impossible.  Criminals are not allowed in the seminary.

The young man reaches the point in his sentence where he is granted parole.  He is ordered to travel to a small town to work in the town’s sawmill.  His travel is not direct, nor does he remain sober as he told the priest he would.  He breaks loose with alcohol, drugs, and whores, before boarding a train to his required destination.

Arriving at his destination, he looks over the mill but decides to go to the nearest church for a few moments before reporting for work.  At the church, following a conversation with a local parishioner, Eliza (Eliza Rycembel), Daniel finds himself trapped in a web of lies that leave him covering for the village’s vicar (who is going to rehab?) for a while.

We have a young man who wants nothing more than to be a priest presented with the chance to be one.  He channels his prison priest, even taking his name, but puts his own spin on his service.

His view of the world may be just what the village needs to heal from a catastrophic traffic accident that left six kids from the village dead.  It has also caused the village to ostracize the widow of the man driving the other car.

This is a really good film.  We learn this in “Making of Corpus Christi”, one of the disk’s bonus extras, Director Jan Komasa has taken a story which was much more straight forward (and a bit blander?) and added some rather graphic scenes.  These changes have given the film a very gritty feel that feels right for the story.

A watch of the featurette also gives us a good look at the people who portrayed the characters from the film.  It also allows the director to talk to us about how he viewed the story and what it took to bring the story from the first script to the completed film.  This is one of the better “making of” featurettes I have seen in a while.

The bonus short, Nice to See You, is interesting but a tad confusing.  Shorts don’t have much time to get their message across.  The message of this one required me to sit down and just think about what I saw.  After that thinking session I found that I understood where he was going.  I feel that there was a lot left out forcing me to draw upon my own prejudices to fill in the blanks in the storyline.  Then I realized that this was probably the director’s intent.

The last of the set of bonus extras are a trio of trailers for other Film Movement offerings.  These trailers are all good but all VERY different from each other and this film.

To finish this review of the Blu-ray offering of Corpus Christi, I have to mention the case that the Blu-ray disk comes in.  First, it looks more like a standard DVD case than the blue case most Blu-rays to come in, but it IS the shorter height we expect of Blu-ray boxes.

Inside the case, we find a small brochure on Film Movement Classics.  On the inside of the cover we find two interesting reads.  They are “Why we selected Corpus Christi” and “Excerpt from an interview with Director Jan Komasa”.  I wish that these were visible from the outside.  They would really encourage more movie fans to purchase this film.

This is a must watch for lovers of films with a strong message.  This gritty tale is not one of forgiveness but one of reconciliation and dealing with what must be.  The review that our Cynthia Flores posted when this film opened in theaters last February agrees with my 5-star rating.  Check it out!

 

Directed By:

  • Jan Komasa

Cast:

  • Bartosz Bielenia, Aleksandra Konieczna, Eliza Rycembel, Tomasz Zietek, Barbara Kurzaj, Leszek Lichota, Zdzislaw Wardejn, Lukasz Simlat

Extras:

  • Making of Corpus Christi (featurette)
  • Bonus Short Film – Nice to See You (Directed by Jan Komasa | Poland | 16 minutes) – A college student is taken by surprise when her father mysteriously shows up asking her to move back home.
  • Corpus Christi Trailer
  • Trailers from other Film Movement films:
    • Zombi Child
    • The Wild Goose Lake
    • Afterimage

Specifications:

Runtime:

Feature:

  • 116 Minutes

Extras:

  • 33 Minutes (Approx.)

Language:

  • Polish with English Subtitles

Studio:

  • Film Movement

Release Date:

Digital:

  • 07/23/2020

Blu-ray/DVD:

  • 07/23/2020

Region:

  • A/1 (U.S. and Canada only)

Website:

Trailer:

MPAA Rating:

  • Not Rated

Selig Rating:

Film Rating:

  • 5 Stars

Bonus Features Rating:

  • 5 Stars

Picture Quality Rating:

  • 5 Stars

Audio Quality Rating:

  • 5 Stars

 

Selig Rating Scale:

5 Stars: Should add to your DVD collection at any cost

4 Stars: Worth owning, but try to catch it a sale

3 Stars: Plan to get it, but wait to buy it used

2 Stars: Worth taking a look at, but not owning

1 Star: Pick it up at a garage sale and use it for drinks

0 Stars: Makes a great Trap Shooting target

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