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Rosalind Ross
Mark Wahlberg, Teresa Ruiz, Mel Gibson
Writing Credits:
Rosalind Ross

After surviving a terrible motorcycle accident, Stuart Long wonders if he can use his second chance to help others find their way — and leads this former amateur boxer to the surprising realization that he is meant to be a priest.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Audio Descriptive Service
French DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Portuguese DTS-HD MA 5.1
Thai Dolby 5.1
Chinese Simplified
Chinese Traditional
Supplements Subtitles:
Chinese Simplified

125 min.
Price: $34.99
Release Date: 6/14/2022

• Deleted Scenes
• “You Don’t Know Stu” Featurettes
• Previews


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Father Stu [Blu-Ray] (2022)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (November 6, 2022)

For something in the “inspirational story” vein, we head to 2022’s Father Stu. Based on a true story, this one offers a redemption tale.

Stuart Long (Mark Wahlberg) boxes in the amateur ranks and struggles with various aspects of his dysfunctional family life. To make a change, he moves from Montana to California in an attempt to become a professional actor.

As he works in a grocery story, Stu goes through more problems, but his path starts to change when he meets volunteer Sunday School teacher Carmen (Teresa Ruiz). Stu makes romantic advances on Carmen but she rebuffs them unless he gets baptized.

Stu agrees and soon finds his commitment to Catholicism goes beyond his desire to date Carmen. Stu gets more involved in the faith and eventually decides to become a priest.

In a standard world, that would fall under “spoiler alert”, as the lead’s transformation to “Father Stu” occurs fairly late in the film. However, given that the title tells us he will make this move, it should surprise no one.

Actually, anyone who saw the movie’s trailer will already know a lot of the story’s twists and turns. An overly-revealing affair, that promo told viewers far too much of the narrative,

Which leaves the question whether or not Stu manages to give us a tale worth the audience’s time if they already took in that ad. My answer: sort of, but not really.

On the positive side, I appreciate the film’s absence of preachiness. Normally a movie about a religious awakening like this would Bible-thump to the extreme and force its views down the viewer’s throat.

Stu fails to do that. Though Stu goes Catholic, the movie relates less to that specific ideology and more to the concept of traversing the path one chooses.

Really, Stu seems shockingly low on “religious content”. In reality, the story doesn’t focus much on religion at all, as it prefers to look at Stu’s personal choices. These just happen to lead him to the Catholic church.

In addition to the refreshing near absence of the aforementioned “religious content”, we get a good lead performance from Wahlberg. He seems looser than usual and lacks the wooden qualities he often brings to his roles.

Stu also gets down ‘n’ dirty to a decent degree, so it doesn’t feel like a sugarcoated look at the character’s life. The movie earns its “R” rating with a lot of profanity, and that makes it grittier than usual for the genre.

Despite these positives, Stu loses points because it simply comes across as slow and dull too much of the time. We know where the story will eventually go, but the movie takes forever to get there.

I get it: we need to see Stu’s personal path to redemption. Unfortunately, although the film pours on melodrama, the end result just feels sluggish and not especially interesting.

Too many character moments come across as redundant. These get repetitive and don’t add to the overall impact.

I’ve certainly seen many worse inspirational stories than Father Stu and appreciate some of its qualities. Unfortunately, this one just feels mediocre despite the good cast and Wahlberg’s best efforts.

Footnote: footage and photos of the real Stuart Long appear early in the credits. A bonus scene appears during the later end credits as well.

The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio B/ Bonus C-

Father Stu appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Overall, this was a positive image.

Some softness cropped up here at times, mainly in some wider shots or low-light interiors. Otherwise, the movie showed nice clarity and delineation.

Jagged edges and moiré effects failed to appear, and edge haloes remained absent. Print flaws also stayed away from this clean image.

In terms of palette, Stu went with an emphasis on moderate blue and amber. Overall, the hues were fine for their visual choices.

Blacks showed good depth, while low-light shots boasted nice clarity, albeit with some of that softness I mentioned earlier. This was a solid “B“ presentation.

In terms of the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it gave us competent sonics as well as a little pep on occasion. A drama like this didn’t need to boast a rock-em, sock-em mix, so the audio seemed acceptable.

Usually, the soundfield didn’t have a lot to do, so it concentrated on good stereo music and general ambience. Every once in a while, though, the mix came to life, such as during a car wreck.

Audio quality was fine. Speech seemed natural and concise, without edginess or other concerns. Music appeared full, with reasonable definition.

Effects remained clear and accurate, with some pretty solid low-end response. This became a worthwhile track for a character drama.

12 Deleted Scenes fill a total of 11 minutes, 54 seconds. Given that only one of these goes longer than two minutes – and a mere three more run past one minute – no one should expect a lot from them.

These tend toward expansions of characters and some expository moments. None of these feel important, but many offer entertainment so they seem better than average.

You Don’t Know Stu offers nine short clips that occupy a total of 11 minutes, five seconds. Across these, we hear from Helena Diocese priest Father Bart Tolleson, Stuart Long’s childhood friends Tim Quinn, Brad Brazier and Ray Brekke, Stuart’s father Bill Long, Stuart’s brother Scott Thompson, friends/parishioners Becky Simkins, Shannon Bell, Theresa Quebadeaux, Tony Quebadeaux and Allison Bell, writer/director Rosalind Ross, and actors Mark Wahlberg, Mel Gibson, and Jacki Weaver.

“Know” examines the real Stuart Long and that tale’s adaptation into this movie as well as aspects of the production. We get short promotional clips with some informational merit but I’d prefer a more in-depth look at Long.

The disc opens with ads for Uncharted, Bullet Train, Show Me the Father, A Journal For Jordan, Parallel Mothers and Fatherhood. No trailer for Stu appears here.

As an inspirational tale, Father Stu benefits from a rough-around-the-edges feel unusual for the genre. However, despite a good cast and a solid lead performance from Mark Wahlberg, the end result comes across as slow and oddly uncompelling. The Blu-ray offers generally positive picture and audio as well as minor bonus materials. Stu shows glimmers but doesn’t quite connect.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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