A year after Eric Draven and his fiance are brutally murdered, a crow brings Eric back from the grave to exact his revenge.
The Crow is the best comic book film ever made. Hands down. While The Dark Knight comes close, I do not think anything in the comic genre will ever top this film. In the bleak environments of a stylized inner city Detroit, there is a dark beauty to the film. While other films have attempted the same thing, very few have even come close.
As Eric, Brandon Lee brings an innocence and intensity to his performance. The tragedy surrounding this film involves Brandon Lee, the son of Bruce Lee, being killed on set during the production of this movie due to a prop error. I firmly believe that had he survived Brandon Lee would have become one of the biggest action stars in the world. Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters), David Patrick Kelley (Commando, The Warriors), Tony Todd (Candyman) and Michael Wincott (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves) also star and do well with the characters they are given. Only Brandon Lee and Ernie Hudson are given any characterization, though, and this appears to be intentional so as not to make the villains likable.
The video transfer on this disc is very well done. It seems that they have either cleaned this up or have kept the masters in great condition. While there is a film grain, I believe this was intentional to keep the gritty feel of the environment. This is a very nice transfer and find it hard to believe that they could have made this look better.
The audio is also well done. There is a nice 5.1 mix on this disc, but seeing as when the film was made and the budget constraints, they did not have the best audio. While I really noticed no exceptional audio separation in the speakers, there were subtle rear channel breakups.
The special features are somewhat of a let down. Other than a new audio commentary track the rest of the features are recycled from the previous dvd release. But the commentary track is something special. Like most commentary tracks, it is not terribly exciting. Due to the tragedy that befell the production, though, there has not been a commentary track from Alex Proyas, the director, before. While he doesn’t share a tremendous amount, it is nice to hear him discuss his first feature film. The recycled features include a long discussion with James O’Barr, the creator of The Crow, trailers, storyboards, a featurette with Brandon Lee’s last on camera interview, a deleted scenes montage, and a couple of extended scenes. All are in standard definition, so they look pretty bad.
Overall, if you haven’t seen this film, do yourself a favor. Fair warning, it is a revenge story so it is dark and violent. While I would love to see some new special features, the commentary track is a nice bonus. The transfer looks very good and the sound is very decent. This is a solid blu-ray and a great upgrade from dvd. Hopefully, Miramax and Lionsgate will go all out for the 20th anniversary of this film in 2014.
Blu-Ray **1/2 out of ****
Movie **** out of ****