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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

The Crow (4K UHD SteelBook Review)


The Film
The Video (Overall)
HDR Effect
The Audio
The Supplements


A murdered rock musician rises from the dead and avenges his and his fianceé's deaths.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Based on the graphic novel by James O’Barr, The Crow is set in a fantasy version of Detroit starring Brandon Lee as Eric Draven, a rock musician who is brutally murdered along with his fiancée Shelly (Sofia Shinas), by a group of thugs who invade their apartment. On the one-year anniversary of his death, on Devil’s Night, a crow appears on Draven’s grave, and he rises from the dead. Lead by the crow, Draven, now seemingly indestructible, sets out to avenge himself and his fianceé by going after Top Dollar (Michael Wincott), the gangster who killed him and who is currently terrorizing the city.

Set in a dark and dystopian city draped in shadows that is almost monotoned and perhaps is even darker in tone than Tim Burton’s Batman Returns, the film would go on to become a classic only surpassed by the tragic story of Brandon Lee who died an early and tragic death, just as his father before him, when an improperly prepared gun in a scene he was filming killed him. The Crow had to be finished by director Alex Proyas with some clever camera angles and stand-ins for Lee in some for the few remaining scenes.

Purchase The Crow 4K Ultra HD SteelBook on Amazon.com

  • Brandon Lee and Rochelle Davis in The Crow (1994)
  • Bai Ling and Michael Wincott in The Crow (1994)
  • Brandon Lee in The Crow (1994)
  • Ernie Hudson and Rochelle Davis in The Crow (1994)
  • Brandon Lee in The Crow (1994)
  • The Crow 4K SteelBook (Paramount)
  • The Crow 4K SteelBook (Paramount)
  • The Crow 4K SteelBook (Paramount)

The Video

The Crow hits 4K Ultra HD in a new remaster from its original 35mm source in a 1.85:1 HEVC 2160p (4K UHD) Dolby Vision encodement. This has always been a dark and gritty looking film and it continues to look as such, thankfully. The grain has not been too restrained, but the image still looks clean and free from source damage. It is crispy and detailed with inky blacks and high contrast. Lights and fires look three-dimensional, with lots of highlight ‘pop’ thanks to the Dolby Vision grading. Some areas do go to the edge of falling into crush, but this is an artistic choice when it comes to this film.

The Audio

In typical Paramount fashion, there is no new Atmos nor DTS-X remix for The Crow, but it is presented with a lossless English DTS HD-Master Audio 5.1 mix that is very aggressive and immersive, nonetheless. There is full-sounding atmosphere, lots of panning through the sounds and good use for ambient effects like rain, which kind of sounds more like white noise, but still does surround you well. I like this mix a lot and it is still reference quality, even in the age of object-oriented mixes.

The Supplements

We get a good collection of two audio commentaries plus and featurettes and a lot of extended and deleted scenes. The disc is housed in a gorgeously designed steelbook with slipcover.

Bonus Features:

  • Digital Code
  • Audio Commentary with Director Alex Proyas
  • Audio Commentary by Producer Jeff Most and Screenwriter John Shirley
  • Shadows & Pain: Designing The Crow (1080p; 00:24:10):
    • Angels All Fire: Birth of the Legend
    • On Hallowed Ground: The Outer Realm
    • Twisted Wreckage: The Inside Spaces
  • Sideshow Collectibles: An Interview with Edward R. Pressman (1080p; 00:13:24)
  • Behind the Scenes Featurette (1080p/60; 00:16:33)
  • A Profile on James O’Barr (1080p/60; 00:33:26)
  • Extended Scenes (1080p; 00:11:32):
    • The Arcade Bombing
    • The Funboy Fight
    • The Shootout at Top Dollars
  • Deleted Footage Montage (1080p; 00:05:26)
  • Trailer (1080p; 00:01:28)

The Final Assessment

A classic gothic fantasy with a Brandon Lee giving a legendary performance, The Crow looks and sounds excellent in this new 4K release from Paramount. Highly recommended.

The Crow is out on 4K Ultra HD SteelBook May 7, 2024, from Paramount Home Entertainment

Purchase The Crow 4K Ultra HD SteelBook on Amazon.com

  • Rating Certificate: R (for a great amount of strong violence and language, and for drug use and some sexuality)
  • Studios & Distributors: Crowvision Inc. | Entertainment Media Investment Corporation | Image Comics | Jeff Most Productions | Miramax | Pressman Film | Paramount Home Entertainment
  • Director: Alex Proyas
  • Written By: James O’Barr | David J. Schow | John Shirley
  • Run Time: 101 Mins.
  • Street Date: 7 May 2024
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Format: HEVC 2160p (4K UHD)
  • HDR Format: Dolby Vision (HDR10 Compatible)
  • HDR10 Metadata:
    • MaxLL: 443 nits
    • MaxFALL: 227 nits
    • Max. Luminance: 4000 nits
    • Min. Luminance: 0.0050 nits
  • Primary Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1
  • Secondary Audio: German DD 5.1 | French DD 5.1 | Italian DD 2.0
  • Subtitles: English | English SDH | Danish | Deutsch | Spanish (Castilian) | French | Italian | Japanese | Korean | Dutch | Norwegian | Finnish | Swedish

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A murdered rock musician rises from the dead and avenges his and his fianceé's deaths.The Crow (4K UHD SteelBook Review)