Plot: What’s it about?
The Crow: Salvation was supposed to play in theaters I believe during the summer of 2000 but ended up playing in one theater in Spokane, Washington in September as a test run but only lasted about a week or so. One theater isn’t much of a test run as this wasn’t given much of a chance and was put on the shelve until it’s DVD/VHS release on March 20 of this year. I guess they didn’t want to take a chance on this one after the poor box office return on The Crow: City Of Angels. Now the movie can be looked and judged if it did indeed deserve a theatrical release.
The story begins with wrongly accused Alex Corvis (Eric Mabius of “Cruel Intentions,” “Black Circle Boys” & the upcoming “Resident Evil”) on death row for the murder of his girlfriend Lauren (Jodi Lyn O’Keefe of Halloween H20 & Devil In The Flesh 2). He is fried in the electric chair and brought back to life by The Crow to find the real culprit or culprits that murdered his girlfriend and framed him. Like the other Crow movies he is able to touch objects and people and get clues & visual information from the night of the murder. All he knows at this point is that a man or woman with a bizarre scare on their arm is responsible for framing him for the murder. With the help of Lauren’s sister (Kristen Dunst of “Interview With The Vampire” “Bring It On” and the upcoming “Spiderman”) and his lawyer, Alex tries to uncover the truth and make the wrong things right.
“The Crow: Salvation was directed by Bharat Nalluri who also directed the films “Downtime” and “Killing Time.” The plot is similar in ways to the other Crow films involving someone coming back from the dead to get revenge for the death of a loved one. However there are some differences in this movie from the others. For one thing Alex is framed, imprisoned and eventually put to death in the electric chair. So his character isn’t actually killed by the culprits like in the other Crow movies. Also we get to see Alex alive at the beginning of the movie before he is put to death. (unlike the other films) The villains are different from the other films as they aren’t dressed in leather and gothic attire. They are dressed like everyday people going to work which takes away from the gothic atmosphere of the first two films. While this movie did offer some new things It doesn’t even come close to being as good as The first Crow. I haven’t seen the second one in a while so I’m going to compare it to the first one. While it might not be fair to compare this to the first one as there is a new character and story it is a part of the same franchise. Eric Mabius delivered an adequate performance but not equal to Brandon Lee’s. Also the villains were not as good as the first Crow. In fact I felt that they were somewhat of a weakness in this movie. They didn’t stand up to the performances of Michael Wincott, David Patrick Kelly & Tony Todd. The gothic atmosphere that made the first film so great was lacking in this one. I felt that it didn’t look as good visually and the action scenes weren’t as exciting. While this doesn’t stack up to the first film I do give them credit for adding some different touches to this film. I don’t think this is a terrible movie but I don’t think it is great. I’m not strongly recommending this for a purchase but you might want to give it a rent as there have been positive reviews about this film and I don’t want to be too discouraging.
Video: How does it look?
Dimension/Buena Vista presents this an a widescreen version (1.85:1) that is enhanced for 16×9 TV’s. The picture looks pretty good as color levels seem to look right (especially black levels considering that this film doesn’t use a lot of colors). Detail looks good throughout the movie. There is a little grain but nothing distracting. A fine visual presentation and should be considering how new this movie is.
Audio: How does it sound?
There is a Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround and a DTS Digital 5.1 Surround tracks. I listened to the first track as I don’t have a DTS receiver. The 5.1 Surround track was quite good and had good separation between all the speakers. You could hear the dialogue clearly with the exception of a few instances where it was a little low. The music/sound effects didn’t drown out the dialogue. Bass and rear speakers got some good use and especially kicked in during the action scenes and when music was playing. Now I wonder what the DTS track sounds like?
Supplements: What are the extras?
There are some nice extras here but not equal to The Crow (2 disk set). Included is a commentary track with Director Bharat Nalluri, Eric Mabius, Producer Jeff Most, Composer Marco Beltrami and Production Designer Maia Javan. It seemed that Mabius, Javan and Most where recorded together while Beltrami and Nalluri where recorded separately. Either way the track was informative and offered good insight into the making of the film and praise of the cast and crew. They all seemed pleased with the way the film turned out. Also included is a behind the scenes featurette that runs around 8-10 minutes and has interviews with Eric Mabius, Kirsten Dunst and other members of the cast and crew. There is nothing but good things said in the interviews about the director and other cast members, especially producer Jeff Most who thinks that director Bharat Nalluri is a cross between Ridley Scott and Alfred Hitchcock. There is an intrusting 8 minute featurette called “Who’s That Bird” which introduces us to the birds and bird trainer for all three Crow films. There is insight from the trainer on how he gets them to fly on cue and other little tidbits. The Production Design Featurette runs 3 minutes and consists of a still gallery from the film. The Makeup Featurette runs about 2-3 minutes and consists of the makeup artists applying makeup to the face of Eric Mabius. Finally there are some DVD-ROM supplements that consist of a screenplay viewer and weblinks which I didn’t look at because I don’t have a DVD-ROM player. While the supplements aren’t spectacular they are adequate and a nice little addition to the disk.