The Crow (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

The Crow (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)I can’t believe it’s been 30 years now.  Wow!  I feel old.  Yep!  It’s been 30 years since the theatrical release of The Crow.  The movie is a very memorable one to me.  So much so that it magically brought me out of writing retirement for the temporary time being.  The Crow is also a very tragic release with the devastating loss of Brandon Lee who was killed on set.  There will be time to mourn Brandon Lee shortly, but first I want to focus on why The Crow is so enthralling to me.  It takes me back to a period of my life when I was trying to find myself.  One could say I’m still trying, but I digress.  LOL.  So if you’re interested (and of course you are because you’re still reading), join me down below as I rewind the proverbial clock back to May of 1994.

The Crow 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

Film Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dexter-_5Dexter-0

Alrighty so who’s with me?  It’s May of 1994.  I just tragically lost the voice of my generation, Kurt Cobain, a month earlier.  There’s something about the 90’s, long hair and grunge music that just spoke to me.  For the first time in my 20 years on the planet I felt like I truly connected with myself and more importantly my place in the world.  It was that angst of grunge music that made everything right.  Besides Nirvana there were the heavy hitters like Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam and a new up and coming band about to release their sophomore album any day, Stone Temple Pilots.  I remember seeing the latter band for $1.  Their concert was sold out at the Nautica outdoor amphitheater in Cleveland, OH, but it was dark outside and my friend had a plan.

Green Day was selling their tickets for just $1 for their upcoming Nautica show.  My friend bought two tickets.  We covered up the name on the tickets and handed them to the ticket takers and lo and behold we got into the sold out Stone Temple Pilots concert.  Remember, this was before they scanned barcodes and all.  I’m old folks.  I tried telling you.  There ain’t no sugar coating that.  So why am I telling all this?  Well, I’m getting there.  It’s because when I think of The Crow I think of the movie’s soundtrack that came out prior to the film and contained Stone Temple Pilot’s “Big Empty,” which would would go onto huge commercial success and also appear on their upcoming sophomore album later that year.  You can check out all the other songs on that soundtrack HERE, but probably the second most memorable one for me was Nine Inch Nail’s “Dead Souls.”

So now that I got all that personal BS out of the way let’s talk The Crow, the movie itself.  It was a very gothic film to me at least in its aesthetics and bleak, rain soaked sets.  I think that is why it fits in perfectly with the Seattle grunge movement of the 90’s, but I’ll digress again.  Back then the film delivered somewhat on the action and Brandon Lee was hot off his successful film Rapid Fire (at least I thought it was a successful outing).   In addition to the action he gives one heck of a soulful, remorseful and painful performance.  The spoken dialogue line of “It can’t rain all the time” has stayed with me for years especially when people say when is it ever going to stop raining.  The Crow is billed as a revenge film and was directed by Alex Proyas.  The property was based off the comic books of the same name by James O’Barr.  The movie also stars Michael Wincott, Bai Ling (I remember her fondly from my Star Wars days), Ernie Hudson, Tony Todd and more.

Despite its lesser than desired box office performance The Crow spawned a cult following, which yielded three sequels, a television series, a video game, toys and novels.  I never knew about the television show or the video game, but let’s talk about those sequels.  I actually didn’t mind 1996’s rendition titled The Crow: City of Angels.  Obviously it was about a different “Crow,” but the soundtrack was equally thrilling for the most part.  However, that all changed with 2000’s The Crow: Salvation.  I’m not sure what to think of it other than my first thought when I saw it…low budget.  It felt like very much a cheap B movie compared to its two predecessors.  That’s all I will say on the topic.  There was a fourth film in 2005 called The Crow: Wicked Prayer.  Honestly I know nothing about that one at all.  And finally there’s the reboot coming up this year, which I will be gladly skipping.  I have zero interest in it.

Now before we get to the nitty gritty of why you’re all here, how does The Crow look and sound on 4K disc let’s get the obligatory housekeeping out of the way.  The film is about a young musician, Eric Draven (Brandon Lee), who is brutally murdered alongside his fiancée by members of a violent gang.  Eric then rises from the grave on the anniversary of their death and assumes the gothic mantle of the Crow.  I guess you would call him a supernatural avenger.  I bet you can’t guess what he does next?  If you answered he gets revenge on everyone that was responsible for his fiancée’s death, then get yourself a chicken dinner.  After revisiting this one for this review I can honestly say this is a very simple, simple movie.  There’s nothing complex about it.  And it’s a GD shame that Brandon Lee had to die making this film.  He was fatally wounded by a prop gun.  R.I.P. Brandon.

The Crow 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

Video Dexter-_5

The below video score and relative comments are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of The Crow.

  • Encoding: HEVC / H.265
  • Resolution: 4K (2160p)
  • HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10
  • Layers: BD-66
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Clarity/Detail: Fine detail like cracks in the white makeup, facial wrinkles, hair follicles, pores and even leather grain is prominently chiseled throughout despite all the darkness.  I would say the only place this one suffers are the special effects, which due blur a bit and look outdated.  But hey…we’re not here for the special effects are we?
  • Depth: Despite all the shadows and darkness throughout there’s still an amazing sense of depth in the picture.  Look no further than any rainy alley in the 4K movie and you’ll pick up what I’m dropping.
  • Black Levels: Black levels and red contrast is exceptional throughout.  I would be inclined to say the blacks are inky.  Best of all no detail is lost in the shadows.  This one very much has a noir style to it.
  • Color Reproduction: The colors are bold and they need tone  in order to play against all the solid blacks.  The reds just absolutely pop out.
  • Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural looking and even throughout.
  • Noise/Artifacts: Thankfully there are no blemishes in the print or any other nasty artifacts in the encode to write about.  There is a natural veneer of grain throughout, but nothing ever distracting.

The Crow 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

Audio Dexter-0

Like I mentioned up above in the video section, the below audio score and judging comments are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of The Crow.    Sadly there is no audio upgrade for this 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release  We are stuck with only a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track.  There’s speculation that this surround track may be different than its Blu-ray predecessor.

  • Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, German Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Italian Dolby Digital 2.0
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Korean, Norwegian, Swedish
  • Dynamics: The Crow‘s audio presentation on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray will rock your viewing environment in both the action sense and musical, which I highlighted above in regards to the film’s stellar soundtrack.  It’s kind of on par with what you would expect from a 90’s action film and how that would sound dynamically.
  • Height: Unless you’re using DTS: Neural:X up-mixing, you’re not getting any points in this category.
  • Low Frequency Extension: The LFE channel is both engaging and punishing at time most notably with the many smashes, crashes and explosions within the film.  After all Eric Draven is setting the world on fire getting his revenge on.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: The surround sound is not the most immersive of them all, but it’s the ambient sounds, offscreen cue moments and the never ending rain that kind of you put you in the middle of all the gothic rumblings that go down.  And there’s always that pesky crow flying around too!
  • Dialogue Reproduction: This is where this audio surround track really sucks for me.  I found the dialogue to be clear and centered, but ultimately the levels are really low.  I had to really turn it up to hear wha they were saying above the rest of the film’s atmosphere.

The Crow 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

Extras Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dexter-_5Dexter-0

Newly remastered, The Crow arrives on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc with new and legacy bonus content and access to a Digital copy of the film.  In addition, there is a limited-edition SteelBook with a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc, featuring an o-sleeve with a cutout of a crow that lifts to reveal a portrait of Brandon Lee with his guitar.  Thankfully that is the one Paramount graciously sent me.  Both releases include a brand-new three-part documentary created for the 30th anniversary entitled “Shadows & Pain: Designing The Crow.”  The new piece is a fascinating deep dive with legendary production designer Alex McDowell, who discusses all aspects of designing the 1994 classic, as well as his experience working with visionary director Alex Proyas and the film’s late star, Brandon Lee.  Also, for the first time on disc, the releases include a conversation with the late Hollywood legend Edward R. Pressman who discussed his prolific career on the occasion of Sideshow Collectibles’ release of a limited figure for The Crow.  The new and legacy bonus content included on all the 4K Ultra HD releases is detailed below:

  • Shadows & Pain: Designing The CrowNEW! (HD)
    • Angels All Fire: Birth of the Legend (7:07) – Production Designer Alex McDowell explores the music in the film, production design, style and more.
    • On Hallowed Ground: The Outer Realm (8:12) – This one talks about the cinematography of the film and set design.
    • Twisted Wreckage: The Inside Spaces (10:00) – This one takes you into the set design and also discusses Brandon Lee.
  • Sideshow Collectibles: An Interview with Edward R. PressmanNEW TO DISC! (HD, 13:24) – This is a conversation with the late Hollywood legend Edward R. Pressman who discussed his prolific career on the occasion of Sideshow Collectibles’ release of a limited figure for The Crow.
  • Audio Commentary with Director Alex Proyas                                                      
  • Audio Commentary by Producer Jeff Most and Screenwriter John Shirley      
  • Behind the Scenes Featurette (HD, 16:33)
  • A Profile on James O’Barr (HD, 33:26)
  • Extended Scenes (HD, 11:32)
    • The Arcade Bombing
    • The Funboy Fight
    • The Shootout at Top Dollar’s
  • Deleted Footage Montage (HD, 5:26)
  • Trailer (HD, 1:28)  

The Crow 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

Summary Dexter-0

So there you have it ladies and gents.  Wow!  I forgot how much work these 4K disc reviews are.  If you’re a fan of The Crow, I think picking up this release is a no brainer.  The remastered video makes it worth it, but it does suck that the audio is not tweaked better.  I am not sure what happened to the dialogue levels, but who watches The Crow for the dialogue?  Am I right?  LOL.  There are a few new extras, but again nothing to write home about.  This one is purely for the fans as it looks to be the trend right now as they seem to be releasing everything they can nowadays on 4K Ultra HD to get every last buck possible.  So with that sentiment I bid you a farewell until next time…IF there is a next time for me.  Adios.


Make sure to check out all out 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray reviews archived here.


Pre-Order & Bring Home

Paramount’s THE CROW on

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Today!


*Pre-order The Crow on 4K UHD Blu-ray


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

Comments are currently closed.