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Facing the Giants

Blu Ray

  • Score
    55
    from 2 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Facing the Giants: uplifting & faith-driven, with decent HD; best for fans.

    Facing the Giants Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
    60
  • 'Facing the Giants' on Blu-ray delivers a decent 1080p image given its budget, with strong but occasionally overblown colors, acceptable detail and contrast, though it struggles with murky visuals and variable black levels.

  • Audio
    53
  • 'Facing the Giants' Blu-ray suffers from a lackluster Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track; its flat dynamics and weak football scene audios lack vitality, despite clear dialogues and some atmospheric moments.

  • Extra
    45
  • Extras include a detailed audio commentary by the Kendricks, gag reel, deleted scenes, a brief behind-the-scenes look, an interview with Mark Richt, a montage-style music video, and trailers, reflecting a mix of technical insight and faith-driven discussion.

  • Movie
    55
  • Faith's triumph over adversity detailed through underdog tales and personal struggles, amidst a backdrop of football and biblical allegories, faces critique for its narrow appeal and predictability.

    Video: 60

    Facing the Giants on Blu-ray presents a 1080p, AVC MPEG-4 transfer that strives to overcome its modest production roots with an aspect ratio of 1.85:1. Given its inception on HD video within a constrained budget, it's impractical to anticipate visual fidelity on par with high-budget spectacles. This release exhibits a competently executed transfer, albeit with occasional setbacks including a propensity towards a murky presentation in lower light conditions and during intensive outdoor scenes. Such instances reveal a blend of indistinct colors, particularly notable in the depiction of green fields, where details tend to dissolve into unrecognizable color masses rather than presenting clear, lifelike images.

    The overall sharpness and detail do have their moments of triumph, showcasing satisfactory quality in foreground elements and textures, particularly in close-ups where the intricacies of uniforms and facial features are discernible. However, the color grading sometimes ventures into over-saturation; vibrant primaries like a vivid red polo or a purple sweater noticeably pop, potentially veering towards excess rather than contributing to a natural palette. Despite this, skin tones largely maintain a realistic balance, avoiding the pitfall of appearing overly processed.

    Black levels and contrast exhibit variability; while there are instances of deep and absorbing dark tones in night scenes, they frequently lean towards being excessively bright, diminishing the depth that should anchor these visuals. Additionally, minor instances of macroblocking suggest compression artifacts that detract from an otherwise stable presentation. Despite these challenges, Facing the Giants' visual presentation on Blu-ray, when considered within the context of its production circumstances, performs adequately. It maintains enough visual integrity to not distract from the storytelling, underlining the film's ability to engage through its narrative rather than relying solely on technical excellence.

    Audio: 53

    The audio presentation of "Facing the Giants" on Blu-ray, delivered through a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack, proves to be underwhelming, failing to leverage the dynamic potential of its format. Despite the best efforts to capture the essence of gripping football matches and off-field drama, the audio falls short in delivering an immersive or invigorating experience. Particularly, the lack of dynamic range is glaring; the soundtrack doesn't exhibit the highs and lows one would expect from a sports drama, resulting in a flat and monotonous ambiance. While dialogue remains clear and understandable, it isn't enough to save the overall lackluster audio performance. The football scenes, expected to be vibrant with the sounds of the game, instead sound tepid and unconvincing due to weak bass and poor sound separation that muddles the distinct sounds of action on the field.

    Furthermore, ambient sounds that should enrich the scenes, like crowd noise and environmental effects, are disappointingly subdued. Instead of feeling like part of a lively stadium, the audience is left with a sense of detachment due to the ineffectual sound mixing that fails to bring out the nuances of each moment. Even moments that should shine with the addition of top-rated Christian songs or thematic music barely make an impression, blending into the background without offering the emotional support or enhancement they could. The rear channels are underused, contributing little more than faint crowd sounds and soundtrack bleed, making for an experience that never truly envelops the listener.

    In summary, the audio component of "Facing the Giants" Blu-ray edition does not do justice to the film's narrative or thematic ambitions. With a constrained dynamic range, weak bass impact, and an overall lack of auditory depth and atmosphere, it leaves much to be desired. While it doesn't detract from the dialogue's clarity and understandability, it fails to capitalize on key moments that could have greatly benefited from a more potent and engaging audio presentation. The result is an audio experience that feels as though it's merely going through the motions rather than striving to elevate the material it accompanies.

    Extra: 45

    The Blu-ray extras for "Facing the Giants" provide a rich behind-the-scenes look, particularly notable for its comprehensive audio commentary by the Kendricks, blending technical insights, spiritual reflections, and filmmaking anecdotes. The additional content includes a mix of bloopers, deleted scenes, thematic explorations, and interviews offering varied snapshots of the film's production, underlined by the pervasive theme of faith. While some deleted scenes and the behind-the-scenes feature may fall short of expectations, presenting more as promotional material than educational content, the overall package is elevated by candid discussions and a heartfelt music video, ensuring a deeper appreciation of this faith-based cinematic effort. Technical presentation across these features is consistent, primarily standard definition, highlighting the accessible, community-driven nature of the film's production.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Audio Commentary with Alex and Stephen Kendrick: The writer/director/producer brothers share insights on the making of the film, its themes, and their personal reflections.
    • Fumbles, Funnies, and Other Stuff: A collection of on-set bloopers.
    • Deleted Scenes: Thirteen scenes omitted from the final cut with director's commentary.
    • Behind the Scenes of 'Facing the Giants': A brief documentary exploring the film's themes and production.
    • Interview with Mark Richt: A conversation with the University of Georgia head football coach.
    • With You Music Video: Behind-the-scenes shots combined with clips from the film.
    • Previews: Trailers for 'Facing the Giants' and 'Fireproof'.

    Movie: 55

    Facing the Giants" manages to score a touchdown in conveying an overarchingly positive message of faith and resilience, albeit with predictability that could rival a football playbook. Through the lens of a small high school football team’s season, the film, produced on a shoestring budget of $100,000 by Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia, articulates a narrative far grander than its on-field antics: the power of unwavering faith in God. Despite its novice cast featuring primarily volunteers from the congregation including Alex Kendrick, who not only leads but also writes and directs, the film doesn't let its technical and acting limitations bench its ability to deliver heartfelt performances.

    In essence, "Facing the Giants" is far more than a sports movie; it's an allegory wrapped in gridiron garb, paralleling the biblical showdown of David versus Goliath to inspire not only its characters but its audience to face life's formidable challenges with divine confidence. Coach Grant Taylor (played by Kendrick), through a personal and team-wide spiritual awakening, advocates a beyond-the-game philosophy: winning or losing on the field is secondary to one's faith and character. This shift in perspective champions hard work, determination, and especially, a profound trust in God as the cornerstones of overcoming adversity. While criticism emerges around its direct approach towards conveying its spiritual message — potentially alienating wider audiences — and for scenes that edge towards the improbable, the film steadfastly holds onto its convictions.

    However, its unwavering focus on spiritual victory through faith is not without contention. Detractors point out a certain naiveté in suggesting problems dissolve simply through prayer, a theme some argue is overly simplistic and doesn’t quite grapple with the nuances of real-life struggles. Acting and technical facets notwithstanding, where professional athletes might outshine our cast, the film compensates with palpable sincerity and commitment to its message. Bolstered by competent cinematography from NFL Films' alum Bob Scott, "Facing the Giants" surpasses expectations for an indie production from a church community, striving valiantly to ensure its biblical underdog story resonates, even if it means playing to a home crowd rather than a global stadium.

    Total: 55

    Facing the Giants" on Blu-ray presents an inspiring journey of faith and the underdog tale of the Eagles, transcending merely being a sports movie to deliver a powerful message on prioritizing faith in every aspect of life. Despite its predictability, the film remarkably engages and uplifts its audience, positioning itself as a key watch for those seeking content with a strong moral foundation. The technical delivery of the Blu-ray, however, presents a mixed bag. With a 1080p video transfer that meets expectations without exceeding them and a lossless audio track that leaves room for improvement, this edition might not dazzle audiophiles or videophiles seeking the pinnacle of home theater experiences.

    The Blu-ray comes equipped with a modest selection of special features, somewhat underwhelming but expected given the film's limited budget constraints. This aspect might deter general collectors but should suffice for the film’s target demographic, inclined towards content value over technical showmanship. The primary appeal remains the film's core message and its capability to inspire and resonate deeply with its audience, making it a suitable addition for families and individuals looking for spiritually uplifting cinema.

    In conclusion, while "Facing the Giants" Blu-ray might not break new ground in terms of audiovisual quality or extravagant bonuses, its strength lies in the compelling narrative and the affirmative message it carries. It's a recommended acquisition for those who value content that fosters faith and inspiration. Despite its limitations, the film serves as a vital reminder of the power of belief in overcoming life's hurdles, making it a noteworthy addition to a faith-based collection.