One Night with the King Blu-ray Review


One Night with the King isn’t the story of a woman’s sexcapades with Elvis Presley. Unfortunately, it’s a bland, poorly-made film about biblical babe Esther – the Jewish girl who hooks up with Persian King Xerxes to become queen and prevent the slaughter of the Jews. Whether you are religious or not, biblical films usually make awesome entertainment. But after watching One Knight with the King, director Michael O. Sajbel has somehow given me a reason to respect Uwe Boll’s awful In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale in which these two films share a similar production vibe. The only difference is that Uwe Boll’s masterpiece had a few entertaining scenes with Jason Statham and Kristanna Loken, while the only entertaining moment in One Night with the King is when Lord of the Rings villain Denethor (John Noble) briefly shows up. We have 20 million dollars to play with. Let’s spend it all on gorgeous exotic locations and lavish costumes. Hire some well-known B-actors (Luke Goss, John Rhys-Davies, Tommy Tiny Lister) in the lead roles and a couple famous old ones (Peter O’Toole and Omar Sharif) in some short cameos to make the film seem epic. Don’t worry about perfect line delivery – they can all just practice reading their lines for the first time when they arrive on set in costume. And let’s not forget about the main role – just find a likable and pretty actress (Tiffany Dupont) to play Hadassah aka Esther. It doesn’t even matter that she sounds like an Orange County high schooler: “Hellloooo? I’m like here to totally save my Jewish peeps. You can’t stop me sooooo…whatevs!”

Michael O. Sajbel’s film depicts the biblical tale of Jewish peasant girl Hadassah and how she becomes the legendary Queen Esther. After her parents were murdered when she was a kid, her uncle Mordecai (John Rhys-Davies) raises her in Susa, a city in Persia. Hadassah is summoned among many other young women in order to be trained as the potential new queen aka Persia’s Next Top Model for King Xerxes (played by Blade II villain Luke Goss who doesn’t get to show off his martial arts skills here). Hadassah keeps her Jewishness secret and changes her name to Esther so that she has better chances of being picked as queen. With her giggly free-spirit attitude, she eventually wins over the king. He falls in love with her and chooses her to be his bride. Soon after Esther becomes the queen of Persia, Hamen the Agagite – the King’s Prime Minster – wants to annihilate all the Persian Jews and convinces Xerxes to approve the plan. The only one to stop the killing of the Jews is in the hands of Queen Esther who will have to share her secret with the king in order to save her people.

While the screenplay may stray far from the actual story from the Bible, the problem lies in the whole execution of the film. For cinematic purposes, it’s okay to change the story around, but the seriously messy script, poor direction, tedious pacing, awkward editing, miscasting, and amateurish acting cannot be ignored.

The story of Esther would make an awesome movie had the director simply stuck to the Bible, but Sajbel made a decision to do something completely different and without any visual or stylish pizzazz. What could have been an inspirational and moving movie to all – including religious and non-religious folks – One Night with the King delivers absolutely nothing substantial unless you love to look at pretty costumes and white actors heavily made up with eye liner to look exotic.


While the film is a mess, the 1080p 2.39:1 video quality on this Blu-ray is not. When one is in the mood for a biblical epic film, one expects bright, crisp, eye-popping colors and One Night with the King fits that pattern. The costumes and exotic locations look gorgeous of course. It’s too bad that the film isn’t grungy or grainy because the clarity is so clear that the make-up jobs definitely make the film’s characters look like actors in Halloween costumes. For a newish film, the print is free from any damage and it’s a great-looking catalog Blu-ray.


The English track presented here is a DTS-HD 5.1 offering and is equally satisfying as the video quality. The awful dialogue is totally clear. Full of directionality, you will definitely experience a surround sound presence throughout the film with sound effects such as horse galloping, sword fights, magical Star-of-David necklaces, and a cheesy made-for-tv musical score.

English SDH and Spanish subtitles are also included.


There are barely any extras but a commentary with the producers and screenwriter is a nice one to have if you are curious to listen to these guys praise their masterpiece.

– Audio Commentary
– Movie Trailers


The Biblical story of Esther is a juicy one and could have been potentially exciting as the epic Ben-Hur, The Ten Commandments, Cleopatra…or even could have been a visually stylish film such as Zach Snyder’s 300, but the total Uwe Boll-like production of One Night with the King killed any enjoyment. Read the story instead – it’s much more exciting than this film. Here’s a case where everyone can agree that “the book is better than movie.”

Special thanks to 20th Century Fox for providing a viewing copy!