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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » The Crow: Salvation
The Crow: Salvation
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment // R // March 20, 2001
List Price: $29.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Adam Tyner | posted April 1, 2001 | E-mail the Author
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Upon watching "The Crow: Salvation", my initial thought was, "Wow. I have an awful lot of Kirsten Dunst DVDs." Though still dwarfed by Bruce Campbell's 7-disc representation, Kirsten's tied with Rachael Leigh Cook as appearing in a whopping 4 DVDs that I own. This, of course, begs the question -- why am I keeping track?

Much like the other Crow movies, the plot goes something like "girl murdered, guy murdered, guy comes back to get revenge". Actually, I haven't seen the second film and have absolutely no intention to, so I'm extrapolating. @whee! In "The Crow: Salvation", Alex Corvis (Eric Mabius) is executed for the gruesome murder of his girlfriend, played in flashbacks by Jodi Lyn O'Keefe, the young woman dubbed "magically delicious" by Usher in "She's All That". Alex sets out to exact revenge on those who framed him and to avenge Lauren, whose sister Erin (Kirsten Dunst) becomes entangled in the web of lies.

I don't really know much about the history of the Crow, I've never read any of the comics, and thankfully, I wasn't one of those sad, pathetic souls who'd walk around campus on Halloween dressed as the Crow. Heck, I don't understand why it's called "The Crow". Wouldn't "A Crow" be more accurate? I guess "A Crow -- One In A Series. Collect Them All!: Salvation" doesn't have the same ring to it. From my, um, detached perspective, "The Crow: Salvation" seemed to work fairly well. The film isn't mired in an overabundance of action sequences and manages to offer a reasonably engaging plot, though some of the dialogue will illicit more than a few groans. Though not a memorable film or one that seems to warrants a place in most collections, "The Crow: Salvation" was entertaining enough to get past my general distaste for action flicks. I'm not overly enthusiastic about the movie, but it's definitely worth at least a rental for even casual fans of the series.

Video: "The Crow: Salvation" is enhanced for widescreen televisions and presented at 1.85:1. A stunning transfer, clarity and detail are exceptional, and the color palette, though limited, seems to be an accurate, natural reproduction. "Crow" films aren't particularly renowned for being overlit, sunny films, and all the elements that go into making an extremely dark image watchable -- solid black levels, shadow detail, and contrast -- are present. I didn't notice the video devolve into a murky, muddy mess in even the darkest shots, but maybe I'm not quite as observant as I'd like to think. "The Crow: Salvation" is a beautifully shot film and a right purty DVD.

Audio: "The Crow: Salvation" can be viewed in either Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS 5.1, but living in my Dolby Digital-only world, I can't really comment on the DTS track. Well, technically, I guess I could comment on the track despite not having heard it, but what fun would that be? The Dolby Digital audio has the sort of low-end punch that'll have pictures tumbling from the walls. Surrounds are used often and effectively in action sequences, creating the sort of immersive soundstage you don't get from discs where the rears are limited to the score.

Supplements: To attempt to recoup as much of the film's $25 million budget after its theatrical release was scrapped, Dimension has added some quality extras to the DVD release of "The Crow: Salvation". Though not quite the 'collectors series' release the banner on the cover would indicate, there's some good stuff to be found, most notably the commentary. I tend to ramble on in my reviews about how I like commentaries with a small army of people crammed in the booth, and with 5 people on a single track, it comes as little surprise that conversation is constant for the length of the film. The participants are director Bharat Nalluri, producer Jeff Most, star Eric Mabius, composer Marco Beltrami, and production designer Maia Javan. There's not as much kidding around as I'm used to hearing from this many people in one room, but every conceivable aspect of the film is covered -- interesting and informative, just like a commentary ought to be.

The bulk of the extras on "The Crow: Salvation" come in the way of featurettes. The first, a production design featurette, is a series of sketches and stills. "Who's That Bird?" (seƱorita, mas fina) focuses on the actual crows used in the movie, mostly looking at training and preparation. The extremely brief "Behind The Makeup" is just a couple of minutes of KNB artists applying makeup and prosthetics to Eric Mabius' face. The more substantial "Behind The Scenes" featurette doesn't make the mistake of coming off as too promotional or lightweight, offering a fairly strong mix of interviews and on-set footage. Despite its relatively short running time, it's unspeakably wonderful to see a featurette that's not an extended trailer.

That's mostly it -- there's the typical Buena Vista screenplay software on the DVD-ROM portion of the disc and a Crow-less trailer gallery.

Conclusion: "The Crow: Salvation" is perfect for a Saturday night rental. It's worth seeing, especially for Crow fans, but once should do it. Highly recommended as a rental; marginally recommended as a purchase.
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