With all of the reinterpretations of The Bible on film, Judge Dylan Charles says this one clearly stands out.
The Bible…on DVD!
Alexander Scourby reads The Bible. That's it. For seventy hours, an actor reads from The Bible. There's a graphic representation of the text so you can follow along while he reads. It's like an audiobook, but one that you need a DVD player to use. In fact, I'm willing to bet that they're using the recording that Alexander Scourby did for an audiobook
And it's a great reading. Scourby's got a lot of power in his voice. But the recording itself isn't what I'd call top quality. And that quality varies wildly through the books. Genesis and Exodus come through clear enough, if a bit rough. But Malachi sounded muffled. And there were a few times during Genesis that I heard what sounded like an echo in the background.
There's also an odd little quirk I noticed whenever I tried to rewind. While the audio would reverse just fine, the onscreen text wouldn't change to match up with the sound. It's an odd issue and I suppose not a deal breaker for those who want to buy The Bible on DVD.
Of course, that brings up the question of why a person would want a book that they need a DVD player to read. It lacks the portability of an audiobook. Even if a person has a DVD player in their car, it's not like the driver can make use of the text. Although, I'm guess this could prove useful in teaching children.
There's so much more they could have done to take advantage of the visual aspects of the DVD though. Instead there's a virtual book and the occasional illustration while Alexander Scourby reads on. Even something as simple as highlighting the text as he reads it, a kind of "follow the bouncing" ball deal, would add a lot to the experience.
They do give a fair number of options to choose regarding how The Bible is divvied up, so you can listen to it chapter by chapter or a whole book in one sitting or, for the more daring, you can listen to an entire Testament in a run. You can even choose between widescreen and fullscreen.
There is an extra, which amounts to little more than someone's PowerPoint presentation of their trip to the Holy Lands.
While the audio represent some topnotch vocal work, the overall sound quality doesn't live up to Scourby's ability. Nor did the makers of the disc take true advantage of the DVD format. This is nothing more than an audiobook with a gilded cover.
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