Phoning It In: The Crow (1994)

The CrowIt’s pretty much the end of October, and I still haven’t posted yet!  Since I’m not about to churn out my first impressions of the first 3 episodes of The Walking Dead Season 4 tonight, I’m pretty much going to have to phone one in this month.

But, hey!  It’s Devil’s Night!  I haven’t watched The Crow in about 5 years.  The following is a review I wrote on pretty much exactly 10 years before my wife’s labour kicked it into high gear before our daughter was born.

I can’t say I actually remember the night, but I can pretty much assume how it went.  Mel and I got wrecked at a mutual friends place, came back to “our” (my) room in the dorms, watched The Crow, and headed off to the computer lab to waste time on the internet.  Sometime after 2, I probably played some Wild 9 on the PS1 and watched an episode or 12 of Rurouni Kenshin.  Yeah, even back then our Saturday nights were off the hook.

Anyway, click Continue Reading if you want to read my assessment of my 50th or so watching of The Crow, that was probably watched high, possibly written high, definitely written poorly.

How Many More Times Will You Watch The Full Moon Rise?

Pros:Story, Acting, Production Design, Cinematography


“The Crow” is a fantastic visual and narrative experience. It is the story of Eric Draven. He and his fiance are killed on the Eve of Halloween, which in this distopic near future is known as “Devil’s Night”. His soul can find no rest. A year later a crow, the guide of the spirit world, brings Eric back to life, to avenge his and his fiance’s death.

The story of “The Crow” is engaging. It is very easy to get lost in this world that has been created for us. There are hardly any slow breaks in the action and even they keep you interested in what is happening.

The actors in this movie really shine. The entire supporting cast has done a remarkable job. The character that shines out above all the others, though, is Eric Draven. The late Brandon Lee was nothing short of amazing in this role. He really makes us notice, and believe the torment that is going on inside of Eric. Lee also delivers Eric’s lines with the perfect mixture of anger, indifference and malice.

“The Crow” has some of the best cinematography and production design ever captured on film. The constant rain and darkness all over this nameless city are the perfect compliment to Eric’s rage and depression. The grand sets that were designed also add to the bleakness of this nightmare vision. The camera shows us amazing shots of both Eric’s calm and evil sides. One minute he is calmly perched on a rooftop or a broken bar sign. In the next, he is stalking his prey with his head lowered hauntingly.

This film is about justice for victims. Some argue that it is about love, but I think that love in this film is only a motive for the justice which Eric enacts. The film is very violent, but at no point do you have any sympathy for Eric’s victims. In his, and our, mind they deserve the evils that are done to them.

It is also about appreciating the little things in life. The title of this review comes from an interview with Brandon Lee that is after the ending credits. None of us know when we’re going to die. Lee says that we don’t how many more times we’ll experience the little things we take for granted. We think we’ll experience them infinitely more, when in actuality, these experiences are quite limited. Bitterly ironic words that are all too true, since Lee died in the making of this film.



"Victims... Aren't we all?"

“Victims… Aren’t we all?”

I haven’t watched the movie in at least 5 years, but I don’t think most  of this praise is undeserved.  I still remember it as being fantastically shot, perfectly paced, and very, very enjoyable.  I’ve seen so many dark/black sets since this movie that I don’t know if I still think the production design is fantastic…  but I don’t know if that’s a knock against this movie as much as I’m just currently tired of today’s Gritty Reboot Bonanza.

What I can’t believe is that I didn’t mention specific performances from the supporting cast.  I remember Michael “That Raspy Voice Guy” Wincott’s performance of the bad guy “Top Dollar” as being nothing short of amazing.

I’ve also learned that the “Nameless City” is maybe/probably/definitely Detroit.  This is kinda sad, because the only thing more depressing than Future Distopian Detroit… is actual Present Day Detroit.

7 comments on “Phoning It In: The Crow (1994)

    • Yeah, I go through lulls. During the lulls I *try* to write stuff. (Seriously. 16 unfinished drafts that are basically bullet lists and/or intro paragraphs) since the start of the the summer. Everything just feels like “This was amazing” or “This was shit”, and not the least bit funny, either.

      Phoning It In usually helps bring my interest back around, because the “meat” is already written, and I can just kinda poke fun at myself… which is just too damn easy.

      I haven’t even been able to comment on most of your stuff. I had 3 or 5 paragraphs written for each of the recent reviews/articles that were clearly marked “Spikor Seed”… but they were just incoherent ramblings that never got around to anything even resembling a point. So I deleted them.

  1. Nice to see you back and doing your thing. As for the movie, giving it a look for the third time in my life, I’ve come to realize that it’s style is what really holds it altogether. As for everything else, like say Lee’s acting, I don’t really. Wasn’t great, but wasn’t terrible either. Nice review.

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