All of the episodes of THE CROW: STAIRWAY to HEAVEN are availabe on Hulu! Huge thanks to Kelley B. for getting these up. The quality is excellent. The episodes are easy to access, with episode synopsis and feedback area. Thanks to Frank for the alert on this. If you were not able to find the boxed set (it was never in Wal-Mart) this is a great opportunity to be able to revisit the series whenever you want.
Posts Tagged ‘Mark Dacascos’
With great pleasure I sat down and took in on DVD one of my favorite TV series of all time, THE CROW: STAIRWAY to HEAVEN. Released on region 1 DVD, Tuesday, July 24th, for the first time, THE CROW: STAIRWAY to HEAVEN (or STH as we fans like to call it), brought back a flood of memories for me.
I will start off with a technical look at the set and then go into my personal thoughts on the series as a whole and extras.
Packaging & Menus
Each of the 5 disks is housed in a thin plastic DVD case, which all slip into a protective outer cover that has Mark on the cover, with an overall series synopsis on the back along with special features listing. Each of the individual cases has a different picture from the series on the front with an episode listing, synopsis and air date on the back. The spine contains an easily readable title and disk number. When you open the individual cases the left-side contains a listing of each episode accompanied with a screenshot from the episode as well as the original air date. The disk is housed on the right-side of the case. Each disk has the cover art from their individual cases emblazoned on them.
The main menu for each disk is nicely done with an active background playing. The extras menu on disk 5 is easily navigated.
My overall thoughts on the packaging and menus is; “job well done”. There was a reservation by many, to include me, about the large TV Guide logo on the cover art. But after you get used to it being there, it really is not that distracting. The cover art keeps with the overall image theme that the series presented, which is appreciated. Too many times the cover art for these sets utilize images and a style that is in contrast to what the series itself represented. Not here, they kept the image themes that many of the promotional art for the series had.
I was surprised how well the show looks. Given that the series was not shot in HD and this is a standard transfer, the colors and overall clarity are a pleasant surprise. The day time scenes are especially sharp, though the night scenes are a little grainy at times, however there is hardly any aging that can be detected. Very nice transfer; a whole lot better than the VHS copy I have of the episodes that I taped when they originally aired 98-99.
The sound is Dolby 2.0, it is good. Better than a mono track for sure, but if there is any aspect of the release that I wish more time and money could have been spent on it is the sound. Being an action series and one that music played a large part in, a Dolby 5.1 mix would have really been a welcomed addition. I hate to appear greedy in that respect, as I said the overall sound is good, but man how this could have really flourished with a Dolby 5.1 mix.
It is no secret to the fan base that knows me, I loved the series when it was on and watching the episodes again I was reminded why. The entire regularly featured cast did an excellent job and the guest stars from Donnie Most (Ralph Malph for you Happy Days fans) to Anthony Michael Hall, were a welcome addition. I can’t say enough about Mark Dacascos. He had some hefty boots to fill and he did it with class, respect and furthered the character of Eric Draven. Each episode is presented in its entirety with all of the original score and soundtrack music in tact as well as the segments at the end which identified the groups who had songs featured in the episode (not all the episodes had this at the end, but those that originally did have that ported over here). This was a worry of mine that we wouldn’t get the original music and the synopsis for those bands. The series featured some really good music and it is great that the music was not replaced as can happen sometimes when rights are an issue.
In my opinion, the action in this series was some of the best on TV at the time. Mark Dacascos’ skill was put to tremendous use here. There are some kicks and moves that are absolutely mind blowing that I had forgotten about. Again, I hate to keep sounding like a Mark Dacascos fan boy, but to have someone of physical talent AND acting talent, it gave the series that extra something it would have lacked if someone of lesser physical or acting talent had been cast as Draven.
Beyond the action though, this series had a lot of heart and soul. That was a key element to making this either a success or failure. They could alter the mythos all they wanted to fit within the story they were telling, but had the series lacked any heart and soul, it would not have made it past 6 episodes. The overall theme of love and family, be it a dysfunctional family, still, a family none the less, were the key points of the series. The relationship that Mark Dacascos and Marc Gomes built between Draven and Albrecht is one of the highlights and what made the series worth watching.
What makes the set a must purchase is having all 22 episodes laid out, commercial free, in their correct order. Being a syndicated show, a lot of markets would get the show out of order and or the times would be changed up from week to week and fans would miss episodes. Now you can sit down and follow the character arc of all the principles in the series.
We get a great commentary on “The Soul Can’t Rest” and “Souled Out”.
The commentary is THE most important and entertaining extra on the set. Bryce Zabel (creator, exec producer & writer) along with series star Mark Dacascos (Eric Draven/Crow) sit down and give fans a lively discussion over the first two episodes. Their participation adds a huge amount of legitimacy to this release.
The first thing you come away from the commentary with is how much of a classy, appreciative person that Mark Dacascos is. On several occasions he singles out the fans and thanks us for our loyalty to the show. When he is praised by Bryce he is humble and you just know that this guy is genuine and we could not have had a better person to carry the mantle of Eric Draven. Bryce is to be praised for his candor and his appreciation of the fans too, as with Mark, we fans could not have asked for a better, more dedicated person to take the mythos as seriously and carefully as Bryce did. All in all, the commentary, a long with just having the 22 episodes a lone is worth the purchase of this set.
Gag Reel – 10mins
I have watched many gag reels over the years and I have to say, my love for the series aside, this has to be one of the funniest and well thought out reels I have seen. Clocking in at a robust 10mins, we get a lot of great footage of the cast and crew in their not so glorious moments. We even get let in on the inside joke of the “love doctor”, Marc Gomes. This was great to watch.
Production Dailies – 5min each
We are presented with 3 production dailies, one each from “Death Wish”, “Dead to Rights” and “A Gathering Storm”. These show us the blocking and acting out of a scene from each episode as well as the multiple shots which are captured to create one scene. For the technical aficionados out there, a must watch. Or, for an extras junky like me, a great chance to see folks you enjoy working.
Original Score – range from 1min to 5mins
We get 7 selected pieces from the Peter Manning Robinson score. These are a very nice edition to the DVD, especially given that no official soundtrack is available for the series.
Inside Kung Fu Magazine Articles – 7 & 8 pages respectively
These are articles taken directly from Kung Fu magazine articles printed in Feb 1999 and Jun 2002. They are in Adobe Acrobat format (accessed via DVD-Rom) and are a great read for the Mark Dacascos fans.
He made the cover both times and those are presented here as well.
Pilot and Episode Scripts
We are given all of the scripts for the show on Adobe Acrobat, accessed via DVD-rom. These are a great read for the hardcore fan that wants to see how the shows were originally script. Something I found interesting was how the scripts were formatted different than movie scripts. They have 4 headers on each page: Continuity, Title No, Start/Stop and Title/Dialogue. The entire dialog is on the far right side of the pages, with all the other information on the left and middle. Call me a geek, but I just found these very interesting to read through.
Series “bible” & episode descriptions
We have access to the extensive “bible” created for the series that details how Bryce and Co. were setting out to do the series. This is a very interesting read for those that have not already seen this on Bryce’s blog. Both the bible and episode descriptions are available in easily printable Adobe Acrobat format accessed via the DVD-rom.
Mark Dacascos Biography
This is a two screen mini-biography on Mark. Quite honestly, this is pretty much a throwaway feature. The Kung-Fun articles give you much more information on Mark and though the effort is appreciated here, none the less, nothing much to “crow” about with this feature.
Images – 17 photos
We are given 17 photos from the production of the series. Most of these have been seen before, so it isn’t a bad inclusion here, but more of the same.
Via the DVD-rom, you can access a crossword puzzle inspired by the series as well as 12 other themed crossword puzzles. These seem to be a standard feature on “TV Guide Presents” releases. The STH themed puzzle has about 10 or so questions specific to the series, the rest are a hodge podge of TV series and movie questions. The other 12 puzzles are a mixture of TV and movie questions. All in all, a nice feature, though basically for the crossword puzzle fan out there that just happens to be a TV and movie buff. Puzzles are available in printable Adobe Acrobat format.
My overall thoughts on the extras is that they add a very nice icing to the cake. That said, it would have been nice to see a new “making of” segment done, but the commentary from Mark and Bryce pretty much covers everything that would have been included in that. I would have loved to hear commentary from Mark Gomes and Katie Stewart (Albrecht and Sarah) on some of the other episodes. Outside of those two omissions, I am very pleased with what we are given here.
This is probably my all-time favorite series ever. To finally have it on region 1 DVD is great. I would like to say “thanks” to Joe Amodei and Tim Maggiani for everything they did to make this a better than average release. They could have just put this out with the episodes and a few throwaway extras. But they listened to what we had to say about what would make this a worthwhile release for fans of the show. Getting the involvement of Bryce and Mark was paramount in making this a must have for fans.
Oh by the way……Mark and Bryce elude to the possibility of there being a true finale show/movie done for the series. It all depends on how this set does. I can’t think of anything better than this release leading to us fans getting the true end to the series we were robbed of when the series was prematurely let go by Universal. Fans of the show, this is our time to let our voices be heard by purchasing this set and showing them the fan base is still alive and strong for the series. Who knows, as they mention in the commentary, we could get another season if the response is VERY good :)
You can purchase your set through Amazon here.
TV Guide Presents The Crow: Stairway To Heaven – The Complete Series on DVD July 24, 2007!
In the heat of the summer, Arts Alliance America is proud to announce the long-awaited cult favorite, TV Guide Presents The Crow: Stairway To Heaven- The Complete Series on DVD. Merging action, fantasy and romance into a compelling tapestry, all 22 hours of the original episodes have been collected into a 5 disk DVD set and will hit stores July 24, 2007 for a suggested retail price of $39.95.
Bonus features on TV Guide Presents The Crow: Stairway To Heaven – The Complete Series include an audio commentary from series star Mark Dacascos and Executive Producer Bryce Zabel, a gag reel, the original dailies from three of the episodes, selections from the show’s original soundtrack, the Pilot Script, all 22 episode scripts, the original Bible and episode descriptions written by Bryce Zabel, a photo gallery and more.
We’re really excited to be releasing this fantastic program, said Joe Amodei, President of Arts Alliance America. We have heard from many fans who are thrilled that this cult favorite is being released on DVD. We have found some wonderful, never-before-seen special features that we know the fans will love.
“We set out to make a series that was faithful to the material that inspired it, but still was accessible to an entire new audience,” said Bryce Zabel, executive producer and creator of The Crow: Stairway to Heaven. “It was a challenge finding that balance but fans of the original comic book and feature film soon joined with new television fans to make the series a success. Those of us who worked on it are thrilled that those same fans will now be able to watch it in order, at their own pace, without pre-emptions and schedule changes.”
In celebration of The Crow: Stairway To Heaven coming to DVD, CrowFans.com in conjunction with Arts Alliance America, and Bryce Zabel, the executive producer of The Crow: Stairway To Heaven will be giving away prizes. These prizes include The Crow: Stairway To Heaven DVD Box Set autographed by Bryce Zabel and lead star Mark Dacascos, The Crow: Stairway To Heaven Emmy Nomination Committee VHS containing 2 episodes, and The Crow: Stairway To Heaven soundtrack which has never been for sale in stores and only given to the cast, crew, and friends of the show. To enter the contest just visit http://www.crowfans.com/ and click on the contest banner for more information on the contest and The Crow: Stairway To Heaven DVD Box Set.
To purchase your own copy of The Crow: Stairway To Heaven on DVD click here.
Hey everyone, do not forget, Bryce Zabel and Mark Dacascos will appear at San Diego Comic Con on Friday July 27th between 2 and 4 pm in the autograph section of the convention. This is perfect timing because the box set for STH comes out Tuesday, July 24th (next week!!). You can purchase a copy of the set and then take it to the convention and get it signed by Mark and Bryce.
To go along with the release of STH on DVD, Arts Alliance America and Bryce Zabel have provided some nice items for a contest that Crowfans.com is running. Details are still being worked out. The prize list has been finalized and is listed below.
So you are asking “How do I enter?”. Easy, by being a member of The Tides of Sin Discussion Board or by submitting your email address in the contest entry form found here . There will be 11 winners of some very nice items. The prize list includes:
3 Autographed DVD Box Sets & The Crow: Stairway To Heaven soundtracks
1 DVD Box Set & The Crow: Stairway To Heaven soundtrack
1 The Crow: Stairway To Heaven soundtrack
4 DVD Box Sets
2 Emmy Nomination Video
Here is the final list of DVD extras that will be included in the 5-disk set:
Commentary with Bryce and Mark on the first 2 episodes – “The Soul Can’t Rest” and “Souled Out”, gag reel, Production Dailies from: “A Gathering Storm”, “Death Wish” and “Dead to Rights”, script & original episode descriptions for ALL 22 episodes, Photo Gallery, Mark Dacascos Filmography, The Crow: Stairway to Heaven Original Score by Peter Manning Robinson and reprints from Kung Fu Magazine story about Mark and The Crow.
The majority of the extras will be included on the 5th disk a long with the final two episodes of the series. The commentary track with Bryce and Mark will be on the 1st disk.
THE CROW: STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN complete series is available July 24th. You can pre-order the set from Amazon.
Thanks to Tim from Arts Alliance America. Bryce Zabel and Mark Dacascos will appear at San Diego Comic Con on Friday July 27th between 2 and 4 pm in the autograph section of the convention. I’ll find out if they will have copies of The Crow: Stairway To Heaven for sale there otherwise purchase a copy before you go to the convention and have it autographed by Bryce Zabel and Mark Dacascos.
We have talked about what will be on the DVD boxed set for THE CROW: STAIRWAY to HEAVEN, here is an update on what will not as well as an update on two of the features that will be present.
There will not be a behind the scenes featurette. According to Bryce Zabel, exec Producer and writer for STH let us know there was never anything shot for this kind of feature when STH was in production. Beyond that, usually “making of” type features tend to be a rights nightmare. For those who don’t remember, the Crow collectors series DVD box set was minus Alex Proyas and David Schow due to them not signing off on anything that used their likeness or voice (the reason behind that changes depending on which person involved you ask). It would cost Arts Alliance more than what they probably are willing to invest if they were to try and do a new making of/behind the scenes featurette.
According to Arts Alliance they are still ironing out the details on how the instrumental score will be embedded on the disk. There has been a push for this to be available via IPod/Mp3 compatible files on the DVD-ROM portion of the disk. We will see how that turns out.
As far as the audio commentary track recorded for the show, Bryce Zabel had the following to say…..
“The way the commentary works is Mark and I were in an audio booth with earphones and microphones. They show the first two episodes and you talk as you see them. So, yes, your comments are tied to what you see, but you are also free to “roam” based on your inspiration. It came out very nicely everyone says.”
This sounds like it will be one of the gems on the set.
Stay tuned to ABaHB and CrowFans.com for more information on The Crow: Stairway To Heaven Box Set.
Recently heard from a representative from Hart Sharp Video and a long with the previously mentioned commentary from Bryce and Mark on the first two episodes and a “making of”, we can also look forward to a gag reel (supposed to be pretty funny), a large amount of dailies and more photos and possible other extras. They are also trying to get permission to reprint some articles on Mark that appeared over the past few years.
All in all, this is shaping up to be an excellent release for fans of the show. This is great news. In the past, THE CROW and DVD have been synonymous with disappointment. Perhaps that tide is turning.
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.