May 5, 2024

Revisiting THE CROW in 4K (SteelBook)

THE CROW - 30th Anniversary Edition (4K UHD SteelBook)
1994 / 102 min
Review by Pepper the Poopy😺

Paramount has been putting out some of the cooler SteelBooks lately, with creative packaging and vivid new artwork. Recent examples include the elaborately designed releases of Event Horizon, Cloverfield and Halloween H2O (which was far more impressive than the movie itself).

You can add the 30th Anniversary 4K SteelBook of The Crow to that list. Like those others, the slipcase is part of the artwork…the transparent silhouette of a crow revealing Eric Draven (Brandon Lee) in full goth garb and a guitar hanging off his shoulder. On the back of the SteelBook itself is the film’s most iconic promotional image. 

Those looking to upgrade will also like the transfer, with an overall 4K picture that nicely preserves the film’s bleak aesthetic, particularly the black levels. There was always something inherently appealing about The Crow’s (deliberate?) artifice, such as the numerous POV “flyovers” of a run-down city that’s obviously an elaborate model. The intricate details of the set design really stand out here. The DTS-HD Master Audio track is excellent as well.

When Mimes Attack.
Considering many 4K releases simply throw in previously released bonus content, longtime Crow fans might appreciate the inclusion of two new features, especially a three-part look at the film’s unique production design. The other feature is fairly superfluous…a 13 minute piece about Sideshow Collectibles’ new Eric Draven figurine. 

As for the movie itself…The Crow remains a darkly entertaining piece of comic book action, though certainly a product of its time. And at the risk of raising a few hackles among its fans, the knowledge that Brandon Lee was tragically killed on-set (just as his career was taking off) is arguably the main reason the film resonates emotionally…even 30 years later. Setting that context aside - if possible - The Crow has always been more style than substance, with a familiar revenge story and colorful-but-perfunctory characters. Even Draven is painted in broad strokes.

Still, The Crow boasts great action sequences, loads of indelible imagery and an antihero that has since become somewhat iconic (enough that purists are already crying foul at the upcoming remake). The movie itself doesn’t quite live up to its legend, but its sizable cult following will undoubtedly love this 4K upgrade.


NEW FEATURES - Shadows & Pain: Designing The Crow is a three-part retrospective featuring production designer Alex McDowell; Sideshow Collectibles has host Paul Hernandez and producer Edward R. Pressman discussing the new Eric Draven figurine.

FEATURETTES - Behind the Scenes; A Profile on James O’Barr (O’Barr created the original comic).

2 AUDIO COMMENTARIES - 1) By director Alex Proyas; 2) By producer Jeff Most & co-screenwriter John Shirley.





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