Christmas Candle (The)
R2 - United Kingdom - Koch Media
Review written by and copyright: Samuel Scott (4th November 2014).
The Film

***This is a technical review only. For reviews on the movie from various critics, we recommend visiting HERE.***

According to legend, every 25 years an angel arrives in the English village of Gladbury and blesses one of the candle maker Edward Haddington's (Sylvester McCoy) candles, meaning that whoever lights it will be granted a miracle.

When forward-thinking minister David Richmond (Matheson) comes to the village, a rivalry strikes up between him and the old-fashioned Edward, especially when he tries to bring electric light to the church. As he promotes the acts of good deeds and kindness throughout the village, however, David finds himself a friend in Emily Barstow (Barks).

When the special candle goes missing the villagers experience a Christmas they will never forget.

The film also stars Lesley Manville, James Cosmo, Barbara Flynn and Susan Boyle in her feature debut.

Video

Koch Media have released the Christian movie "The Christmas Candle" on to DVD in the United Kingdom at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 (OAR = 1.85:1 I believe, but could not find confirmation). The film receives the anamorphic treatment, and although it has a couple of flaws, looks rather good.

Those who are familiar with period Christmas movies, will also be familiar with the colour scheme this feature has. There are lots of dark and dull blacks and browns, in amongst more vivid greens and reds which add a bit of colour. Blacks are generally quite deep, but sometimes are slightly softer looking. The biggest flaw with the transfer here, is the occasional aliasing, with one of the most notable moments along the church roof at 13:13, as the camera pans down to street level. This does re-appear a couple of times, but is often very meager. There are surprisingly good levels of detail on show here, with long distance shots the highlight. The inside of the church, the intricate details of the tweed clothing, and the English village environments all look great. Facial close-ups aren't to the same standard as big budget blockbusters, but are certainly adequate. There is a little banding in skylines at times, and skin tones don't always look natural in darkened locations, but this is a good, clean print overall, with no signs of damage such as scratches or nicks.

The feature is uncut and runs 95:53.

Audio

The disc features a single Dolby Digital 5.1 track in the original language of English. "The Christmas Candle" is a dialogue driven film, which doesn't really have too many opportunities for the surrounds to come alive. Instead, the surrounds main purpose is to add more atmosphere to the film by utilising the score by Tim Atack which is made up of hymn-like compositions. There are times where the surrounds could have made use of the lighter environmental effects, but what we have is certainly adequate. Dialogue is clear at all times, and the track never sounds particularly flat. There are no signs of damage such as drop outs or scratches, and no background hiss.

Optional subtitles are available in English for the hard-of-hearing.

Extras

Just a selection of start-up trailers for CinemaNX movies (5:42):
- "The Decoy Bride" (2:10)
- "Me & Orson Welles" (1:47)
- "Albatross" (1:44)

Overall

There's a great cast assembled here, and good performances from all apart from Susan Boyle (she can sing, but her acting is shadowed by the likes of John Hannah). The film is overly melodramatic, but is a good heart-warming Christmas movie for the holidays. The technical presentation is solid with no major issues.

The Film: C Video: B- Audio: B- Extras: E- Overall: C+

 


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