“The Crow” will be shown on August 1st at the Nuart Theatre in Los Angeles for a midnight screening. For more information visit http://www.landmarktheatres.com/market/LosAngeles/NuartTheatre.htm and click on features and showtimes!
Archive for the ‘Brandon Lee’ Category
Hello everyone. As I mentioned the other day, while things are slow on the news front, we thought it would be interesting to revisit our reviews from years back and see how opinions may have changed (good or bad) or not even at all, over the years. One thing you will notice about these reviews, they are pretentious free! I am absolutely tired of these 3 and 4 page reviews that spend the majority of the review giving you the background of why the reviewer has the opinion they have, explaining their love or admiration for the source material or for like-movies or just simply go on some rant about this and that and finally by page 3 you get the review and by then could care less. We setup the reviews in a very basic format with a quick synopsis of the story and then my review. I am not posting the original synopsis, because, well, you more than likely wouldn’t be here if you didn’t already know about what I am talking about :)
Below is an explanation of the rating system I use. It isn’t high-tech by no means, but works for me:
1 Crow: Bad, can’t recommend it.
2 Crows: Not the worst, but boarding on a total waste of time
3 Crows: Average, check it out but don’t pay full price
4 Crows: Excellent, highly recommend you check it out
5 Crows: Outstanding, perfection personified!
If you see something that has a ½ added to it that means it is a notch above the whole number rating, but not quit the next higher number. So if something is rated 3 ½ crows, that means I rate it higher than a “good” project, but not quit excellent.
So let’s get to it. The first film we will look at is what started the franchise in the first place, the original film from 1994, “The Crow”.
What I said then:
This is one of the best movies based on a comic I have seen. The performances, across the board, were excellent. Alex Proyas, acting as director and visionary, was able to recreate the look of O’Barr’s alternative and gothic Detroit. Brandon Lee was elevated to God-like status for his portrayal of Eric Draven, but even more so because of his real-life death while making the film. The film was not shown until a year after his death. I remember being hesitant about watching the movie. I felt that it would be an almost sick voyeuristic peek at the life and death of Brandon Lee. I was finally able to overcome my initial reluctance to see the film. The story, which calls upon the basic premise of setting the wrong things right, touched a chord within me. I have long enjoyed movies that played on the revenge theme. However, I did not expect to ever see a movie filled with violence to be so poetic and beautiful. What sets this movie apart from other movies of this genre is the concentration on love and the extremes it takes us to. It is what continues to bring new fans to it even after 7 years. 4-Crows
My thoughts today:
Nothing much has changed about my feelings for the film 14 years later. I would say it probably isn’t the best comic to film adaptation I have seen, especially given films like Spiderman 2 and Sin City, but all in all, the film has held up for me. I don’t watch it as much anymore as I used to, but when I do, it still has a great affect on me. There are some films that you look back on and wonder how you ever thought you enjoyed it as much as you thought you did. There are many films I remember from when I was a teenager that I thought were just absolutely great and now, MANY years later, I watch them and go “meh, it is OK”. Not this one. It still remains one of my top 10 favorite films of all time and probably will stay that way. 4-Crows all the way.
We did a full-length review of the Collector’s Series DVD release for this film back in 2000/2001, you can read it here. All in all, I was pleased with the release, but the politics that led to the release missing many items and contributors, mainly Proyas, still remains a sore spot with many fans. However, for all of its faults, you can not get a better edition of the film. They did a great job restoring the sound and images. I can not wait to see this film on Blu Ray. The O’Barr feature is still the definitive interview done with O’Barr. Some items missed by most fans on the DVD, such as the text commentary and script/view option only available via DVD-Rom, with the new technology could be made available via the player rather than having to be a DVD-Rom feature. Like I said back when my original review was posted, I hope that we can get a release of the film on Blu Ray that has all the players involved contributing. I’m not one of those that is clamouring for a director’s cut, I would just like to have the fantastic making of “Crow Chronicles” finally seen by everyone, all the deleted footage brought together and for us to get a director’s commentary. Not a lot to wish for :) I can not even imagine what this film will look and sound like in High-def, it will be great! As of today, no word on when that day will come.
Take Care…..Come what may
Recently, Frank took a little vacation time and headed up to sunny Seattle. His travels first took him by one Kona Kitchen which is owned by Yuji Okumoto (Pestilence) from THE CROW: WICKED PRAYER. Yuji wasn’t at the restaurant because he was in LA filming a documentary and he was flying out to Japan on Monday. On the walls of the restaurant he had a lot of autographed pictures including The Rock, as well as fellow WICKED PRAYER cast mates Tito Ortiz (Famine), Danny Trejo (Harold), and Edward Furlong (Jimmy Cuervo) as well as Crow alum Mark Dacascos (Eric Draven from the series THE CROW: STAIRWAY to HEAVEN). The food was excellent and reasonably priced especially for Seattle where prices can be a bit high. Frank had the Aloha burger with seasoned fries. A common problem in the northwest is soggy fries or overcooked fries, not so here, they were cooked just right,
Below you will see his pictures from WICKED PRAYER as well as Mark Dacascos. If you are ever up in the Seattle area, definitely give Kona Kitchen a visit. Click on the image to view the full size.
One of the last stops Frank made was to the grave of Bruce and Brandon Lee. The atmosphere was solemn. There was a piece of a VHS box from THE CROW setting on Brandon’s headstone. Another ironic symbol, a crow was flying around the area cawing. Along with the pictures taken at Kona Kitchen there is one of the gravesite. Please click on the image to view the full size.
According to Boxoffice Mojo, THE CROW ranks 38th out of 70 feature films that have been based on comics/graphic novels. THE CROW: CITY OF ANGELS ranks 55th. For a while, THE CROW: CITY OF ANGELS had the largest weekend opening for a late August release with 9 million 787 thousand. THE CROW opened to over 11 million on May 13th, 1994. It ended up making just over 50 million domestically.
Fellow Crow fan Buddy Kelly invites all Brandon Lee fan’s to his blog to hear a tribute song he wrote for Brandon several years ago called “Sayeth The Crow”.
His hope is to get a big name band to take it on someday and to have it featured on a Crow movie soundtrack. His ultimate dream would be for it to be part of an adaptation of the Crow comic “Flesh & Blood”.
I listened to the song, not bad at all. Has a very southern/folk rock sound to it.
The folks at NECA released back in October a single figure from their previous two-pack that contained Eric Draven and Top Dollar in battle. Now they just have Draven, holding the steeple piece.
Check it out here: http://www.necaonline.com/product/detail/42041
My personal opinion is “meh”. But if you don’t have the 2-figure set this might be worth a purchase for you.