Media

Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - March, 2011

ARTICLE INDEX

"The Miracle Maker" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Milton

movie-march-2011-miracle-maker

Synopsis

The greatest story ever told comes to life in spectacular clay animation. Featuring the voices of an all-star cast, Christ's ageless tale unfolds around the story of a family seeking help for an ailing daughter. When they cross paths with an extraordinary carpenter named Jesus, the family's faith is put to the test as the father is torn between allegiance to the king and the desperate need for the miraculous powers of God. Don't miss this opportunity to witness firsthand the power and the glory of the kingdom of heaven in your own home.

Specifications

  • Lions Gate Studios
  • 2000, Color, Rated PG, 1 Hr 31 min
  • Aspect Ratio:  1.85:1
  • Codec: VC-1 / DVD digital copy included
  • 1080p
  • English, 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring: The voices of Ralph Fiennes, Miranda Richardson, et al.
  • Directed by Derek Hayes and Stanislav Sokolov
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Mild
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No

Commentary

This animated feature-length life of Jesus boasts a stellar pedigree. Originally a BBC: Wales production, it showcases the voices of some of Britain's finest actors: Ralph Fiennes as Jesus, Miranda Richardson as Mary Magdalene, Richard E. Grant as John the Baptist, and David Thewlis as Judas. The lovely score is by Oscar winning Anne Dudley, who scored "The Full Monty" (Oh, the irony!) . A lot of expense has gone into the Claymation-like animation which was filmed using a technique from Russian puppetry. The flow of the story is a bit disjointed, but covers several of the miracles ands main teaching points of Christ. The story bounces between stop-action and cell animation (cartoon) with good effect. A bit too simple for holding an adults attention and too complex for very little children, this film would work well for 7-13 year olds.

Technical

Picture quality is a bit on the soft side, though the BD is much better than the included DVD. Colors are muted and flecks of dirt and spots occasional crop up throughout the film (the film being 11 years old). Sound was dialog driven and intelligible with easily recognizable British and Irish accents. A pleasant flute musical score adds to the overall storyline. Not much for the sub and surrounds to do during most of the film, but that is to be expected. I must admit, I was impressed with the amount of action going on in many of the scenes. Crowded city streets teemed with moving people and animals. Though not as smooth as a Tim Burton film, these animators were kept busy!

Extras

"Making Of" documentary, Audio Commentary with producer & director, “It is Written” interactive game relating movie scenes to Bible scriptures, “Learning From Jesus” interactive game, reinforcing messages conveyed in the movie, Storyboard to Film comparison & Short Animated Bible Films from The Miracle Maker animators.

Commentaries and trailers.