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The best way to describe THE COVENANT ($29) is to call it the boy band version of THE CRAFT. Heck, the male leads are so much prettier than their female counterparts, that it seems the movie was cast by the editors of Tiger Beat magazine for the sole purpose of packing swooning teenage girls into theaters (so, I guess the pointless swim team scenes featuring the four male leads in nothing but Speedos, at least serve a marketing purpose).

The plot of THE COVENANT follows the teenage sons of four prominent families that can trace their lineage to before the Salem witch trials. Other being rich and good looking, our teenage protagonists also possess supernatural powers. Of course, said powers do come with a price. It seems that overuse or abuse of their powers causes premature aging, that is, once our heroes receive their full powers upon their eighteenth birthdays. As you might expect, there is something or someone trying to stop our supernatural cover boys from coming into their full powers, as well as threatening those around them. The plot isn't much, but at least, director Renny Harlin keeps the action sequence interesting. The cast of THE COVENANT features Steven Strait, Laura Ramsey, Sebastian Stan, Taylor Kitsch, Chace Crawford, Toby Hemingway, Jessica Lucas, Kyle Schmid, Wendy Crewson, Stephen McHattie and Kenneth Welsh.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has made THE COVENANT available on DVD in a 2.35:1 widescreen presentation that has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays. A fullscreen presentation is also available on the disc, but the comments in this review will pertain to the wide screen version of the film. The widescreen transfer is pretty great, offering solid levels of sharpness and detail. Colors are nicely saturated and stable, while flesh tones are generally appealing. Both the blacks and whites appear accurately rendered and contrast is reasonably smooth. Shadow detail is fairly impressive much of the time, but there are some sequences that come off as a tad muddy. The film elements are free from defects. A grain structure is noticeable in some of the darker sequences, but isnít excessive. Digital compression artifacts are never a concern.

THE COVENANT boasts a solid, well-mixed Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack. The sound design is fairly aggressive during key moments, with the outlying channels being well deployed. However, the track can seem a bit subdued during the quieter moments. Dialogue reproduction is clean, natural and always intelligible. Music is full bodied and well integrated into the mix. The bass channel is solid enough for the material, although it does ratchet up the rumble during the sonic pyrotechnics. A French 5.1 language track is also encoded onto the DVD, as are English and French subtitles.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the DVD's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a couple of extras. Director Renny Harlin is on hand to supply a running audio commentary. Additionally, the DVD includes Breaking The Silence: Exposing The Covenant, a brief behind-the-scenes featurette.

Thanks to the good-looking leading male players, THE COVENANT is a DVD that I am sure will be popular with teenage girls. The DVD offers a solid presentation for those so inclined. Recommended to anyone with a current subscription to Tiger Beat.



The Covenant (2006)



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2006 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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