Paramount has released a UHD SteelBook packaging alternative for the 1994 Brandon Lee film The Crow, directed by Alex Proyas and starring the late Brandon Lee. The disc and digital content is identical to that found in the simultaneously released standard edition.

The question of whether The Crow would have been a success had star Brandon Lee not been killed during shooting, will never be answered. James O’Barr’s comic book of the same name that originally ran as a four-issue mini-series in 1989 was a thoughtful and nihilistic story of everlasting love, unrelenting pain, and human nature gone terribly awry.

The film, released in 1994, is a much darker story about brain dead punks, and capitalism in the guise of arson. Brandon Lee plays murdered rock star Eric Draven, who returns from the grave one year following his Devil’s Night slaughter. His mission is a bloody one—avenge his death and that of his girlfriend Shelley (Sofia Shinas). In order to do that, he must eliminate each of the four killers responsible. He does the job, with each killing becoming grizzlier in nature. Along the way, he teams up with a friendly cop (Ernie Hudson) who sympathizes with his goals.

Director Alex Proyas (I, Robot, Knowing) gives the audience no time to take a breath, moving from scene to scene at a rapid pace. The film is so packed with action; it makes up for several character and plot shortcomings. Admittedly, the appeal of The Crow is entirely visceral. There’s nothing intellectual about frying eyeballs and impaled bodies. Even with all the action, the film falls squarely in the “revenge picture” genre.

The decision to tell the story, at least in part, from the perspective of young Sarah (Rochelle Davis) is an effective choice. By doing this, The Crow has an emotional pull that wouldn’t have otherwise been possible. This is one of the few occasions when a voiceover works to advance the story.

Eric Draven is the perfect film hero. He mourns his past, his loss and refuses to let anyone get close to him. He finds himself a target of law enforcement on a night when more than 200 buildings are usually lit on fire. Apparently, his dispatching of the men who are pivotal in creating said fires freed up more time for them to try to hunt him down! He quotes Poe, and uses his enemy’s strengths and weaknesses against them, killing them in a fashion that acts as a statement for the other men in the gang.

Appearing in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio, the result is a consistent, pleasing Dolby Vision presentation. Sharpness is strong with no softness apparent. Clarity is crisp and concise throughout. Grain appears natural and print flaws are nonexistent. Featuring a stylized color palette, the often monochromatic look is pleasing. Detail is complex and striking. Even in low light, skin and clothing textures are strong. The UHD transfer is excellent and a real treat for fans of the film.

Likely the same lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track found on the Blu-ray release, it does a solid job. The dialogue is crystal clear, especially the solid midrange. In the action sequences, the surround channels provide an immersive experience. LFE is triggered in action scenes, as well, and we hear ambient noises on the streets.

English, English SDH, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Korean, Norwegian and Swedish subtitles are available.

The following extras are included:

  • Feature Commentary by Director Alex Proyas.
  • Feature Commentary by Producer Jeff Most and Screenwriter John Shirley.
  • NEW! Shadows & Pain: Designing The Crow: A three-part feature.
    • Angels All Fire: Birth of the Legend (7:07)
    • On Hallowed Ground: The Outer Realm (8:12)
    • Twisted Wreckage: The Inside Spaces (10:00)
  • NEW! Sideshow Collectibles: An Interview with Edward R. Pressman (13:24)
  • NEW! Behind the Scenes Featurette (16:33).
  • NEW! A Profile on James O’Barr (33:26)
  • Extended Scenes (11:32 total runtime)
  • Deleted Footage Montage (5:26)
  • Trailer (1:28)
The Crow (1994)
4.1 Reviewer