The Crow Steelbook 4K Review

By Allison Rose   X Formly Known as Twitter
3 Min Read

Lee's portrayal of Eric Draven was dark and mysterious while showcasing his ability to do action scenes.

Long before Iron Man or The Avengers ever graced the big screen, there were lesser well-known superheroes who got their movies.  Amongst them was 1994's The Crow.  Based on a comic book series written by James O'Barr, it follows Eric Draven (Brandon Lee; Rapid Fire) who comes back to life to avenge his death and the death of his fiancé.  The film, which garnered critical praise, created a cult-like following.  It will also be remembered as the final film of Lee, as he was fatally shot by a prop gun on set.  Celebrating its 30th anniversary this month, Paramount Pictures is releasing it in regular 4K as well as a collector's Steelbook.

Musician Eric Draven lived with his fiancé, Shelly Webster (Rochelle Davis; Revenge of the Devil Bat), in a rundown, apartment building in crime-ridden Detroit.  They were protesting the forcible evictions of those living in the building and, after being targeted by gang leader Top Dollar (Michael Wincott; Strange Days), Eric and Shelly were beaten and murdered.  However, a year after his death, Eric is resurrected by a crow to get vengeance on the men who killed him and Shelly.  One by one, Eric, with help from the crow, located and killed everyone involved in his and Shelly's deaths.  

Brandon Lee was a rising star following in his famous father, Bruce Lee's (Enter The Dragon), footsteps.  His untimely death was a tragedy that not only delayed the release of The Crow but almost derailed its release permanently.  Lee's portrayal of Eric Draven was dark and mysterious while showcasing his ability to do action scenes.  Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters) is very good as police Sergeant Albrecht who accompanies Shelly to the hospital and helps Draven as he goes on his killing spree.  Wincott is once again a stand-out as a ruthless villain.

While the Dolby Vision offers the most advanced technology in clarity and color gradation, I don't feel The Crow necessarily benefits from this upgrade.  Everything is clear and the details are enhanced but it makes some of the effects look fake (i.e. the fire).  The colors are deeper but it still seems as if the black tones, of which there are many, are extremely dark without much of the subtle differences seen in new films.

The audio fares slightly better with the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. The soundtrack is robust which is showcased well here offering layers of what is, at times, a haunting soundtrack, while at other times a hard-driving beat reminiscent of the 1990s.  The Crow (the animal not the Eric Draven alter ego) has some of the best sound effects from its cawing, to the pecking of its beak and the flapping of its wings as it glides through the air.  

Some of the extras are ported over from Lionsgate's previous Blu-ray release but there are also a few new extras to enjoy.  The extras include: Audio Commentaries, Shadows & Pain: Designing The Crow (Angels All Fire: Birth of the Legend, On Hallowed Ground: The Outer Realm, Twisted Wreckage: The Inside Spaces), Sideshow Collectibles, A Profile on James O'Barr, Behind the Scenes Featurette, Extended Scenes, Deleted Footage Montage, and the Trailer.   Of course, the SteelBook casing artwork is a treat and beautifully designed.

It is always a little bittersweet when discussing The Crow but with the 30th anniversary and a new adaptation coming out later this year, it was the perfect time for Paramount Pictures to release this special edition.  With new extras and upgraded audio and video, this latest edition is a keeper.  

There is truly something haunting and mystical about the original film that will never be duplicated, making The Crow Steelbook a worthwhile investment.

Grade: B+

Directed By:
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 102 minutes
Distributed By: Paramount Pictures

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For more information about The Crow visit the FlickDirect Movie Database. This release has been provided to FlickDirect for review purposes. For more reviews by Allison Rose please click here.

The Crow images are courtesy of Miramax Films. All Rights Reserved.

FlickDirect, Allison   Rose

Allison Rose, a Senior Correspondent and Critic at FlickDirect, is a dynamic presence in the entertainment industry with a communications degree from Hofstra University. She brings her film expertise to KRMS News/Talk 97.5 FM and broadcast television, and is recognized as a Tomatometer-Approved Critic. Her role as an adept event moderator in various entertainment industry forums underscores her versatility. Her affiliations with SEFCA, the Florida Film Critics Circle, and the Online Film Critics Society highlight her as an influential figure in film criticism and media.


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