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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by Alex Proyas
USA 1994

Alex Proyas’s pulp revenge fantasy, based on a comic-book saga by James O’Barr, is dark, moody, and seductively overwrought; it’s an amazingly pure expression of morbid adolescent romanticism. The movie tells the story of a young rock musician named Eric Draven (Brandon Lee), who, guided by an otherwordly crow, returns from the grave to hunt down the thugs who killed him and his fiancée. Proyas, whose previous experience is in commercials and music videos, has a flamboyantly artificial style that’s peculiarly well suited to this pop-mythic universe. The picture’s darkness is so complete that it becomes a kind of light. What gives the movie its greatest allure is the performance of Brandon Lee (who died, near the end of filming, in a freakish accident on the set). He incarnates this character so unself-consciously that glum Eric seems like teen-age despair apotheosized—Everykid as the most beautiful of losers. Also with Ernie Hudson, Michael Wincott, and David Patrick Kelly. Screenplay by David J. Schow and John Shirley.

Excerpt from Terence Rafferty's review at The New Yorker located HERE

***

Based on the graphic novel by James O'Barr, this fantasy follows Eric Draven (Brandon Lee), a rock musician who is murdered... along with his fiancée Shelly (Sofia Shinas) by a group of marauding thugs who terrorize the decaying city in which they live. One year to the day after his death (which happens to be Devil's Night), a mystical crow appears at Eric's grave; Eric rises from the dead and, with the bird as his guide, goes on a mission to avenge himself against Top Dollar (Michael Wincott), the leader of the gang who killed him. Star Brandon Lee was killed while filming a scene in which he was shot with a shell from an improperly cleaned gun that was supposed to be loaded with blanks. Like his father, martial arts superstar Bruce Lee, Brandon was fated to enjoy his greatest popular success after his premature death.

~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

 

  Posters

Theatrical Release: May 11th, 1994


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Comparison:

Geneon Universal Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray vs. EIV - Region 'B' - Blu-ray vs. Miramax Lionsgate - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Geneon Universal Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray LEFT vs. EIV - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE vs. Miramax Lionsgate - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

DVD Box Cover

 

Distribution Geneon Universal Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray EIV - Region 'B' - Blu-ray Miramax Lionsgate - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:41:39.093  1:37:28.560 (Cut version or has 4% PAL Speedup) 1:41:51.939
Video

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 38,219,523,108 bytes

Feature: 32,317,931,520 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 36.47 Mbps

1080i Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 33,308,076,972 bytes

Feature: 41,902,872,576 bytes

Codec: MPEG-2 Video

Total Video Bitrate: 34.42 Mbps

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 24,566,420,524 bytes

Feature: 18,742,247,424 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 18.99 Mbps

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate: Japanese  Blu-ray

Bitrate: UK  Blu-ray

Bitrate: US  Blu-ray

Audio Dolby TrueHD Audio English 1659 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1659 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Embedded: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / DN -4dB)
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Japanese 384 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 384 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround 
DTS Audio English 1509 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3865 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3865 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Subtitles Japanese, None English (SDH), None English (SDH), English, Spanish, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Geneon

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 38,219,523,108 bytes

Feature: 32,317,931,520 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 36.47 Mbps

 

Edition Details:

• Audio Commentary with Producer Jeff Most and Writer John Shirley

• Behind the Scenes Featurette (15:53 in 480i)
• A Profile of James O'Barr (31:47 in 480i)

• 3 Extended Scenes (11:03 in 480i)

• Deleted Footage Montage (5:12 in 480i)

• Japanese Theatrical Trailer (1:18 in 480i)

• The Crow: Wicked Prayer - Original Theatrical Trailer (2:11 in 480i)

Blu-ray Release Date: June 24th, 2009
Standard
Blu-ray Case
 
Chapters: 19

Release Information:
Studio: EIV
 

1080i Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 33,308,076,972 bytes

Feature: 41,902,872,576 bytes

Codec: MPEG2 Video

Total Video Bitrate: 34.42 Mbps

 

Edition Details:

• Audio Commentary with Producer Jeff Most and Writer John Shirley

• Behind the Scenes Featurette (16:35 in 480i)
• 
A Profile of James O'Barr (33:33 in 480i)

• 3 Extended Scenes (11:03 in 480i)

• Deleted Footage Montage (5:12 in 480i)

Brandon Lee's Last On-Camera Interview (6:33)

• 23 Original Poster Concepts

• 12 Production Design Stills

• 5-scene Storyboards

Blu-ray Release Date: August 13th, 2007
Standard (UK thick)
Blu-ray case
Chapters:
16

Release Information:
Studio: Miramax Lionsgate
 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 24,566,420,524 bytes

Feature: 18,742,247,424 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 18.99 Mbps

 

Edition Details:

• Audio Commentary with Director Alex Proyas

• Behind the Scenes Featurette (16:33 in 480i)
• A Profile of James O'Barr (33:33 in 480i)

• 3 Extended Scenes (11:32 in 480i)

• Deleted Footage Montage (5:23 in 480i)

• 23 Original Poster Concepts

• 12 Production Design Stills

• 5-scene Storyboards

• Theatrical Trailer (1:30 in 480i)

Bookmark Ability

Digital Copy

Blu-ray Release Date: October 18th, 2011
Standard
Blu-ray case
Chapters:
16 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Firstly let's dismiss the UK Blu-ray right out of the box as it is MPEG-2, interlaced and is either the 'Cut' version or has PAL speed-up - either way this is not the HD version you want to own.

The Asian Geneon Blu-ray is the best technically; being progressive, with a high bitrate and housed on a dual-layered disc. I've owned it fort a while but wanted to check if any future releases had the same 'chroma-like' phenomenon that I noticed. It seems prominent enough to mention and I didn't notice it as a distractive factor on any of the Blu-rays. There is still some noise in the many darker sequences.  

While all three transfers are 1.85:1. the US release has some cropping-related swings often showing more information than the other two but occasionally chopping heads in scenes. I have no idea which is the most correct. Generally the Lionsgate - Miramax seemed brighter exposing a shade more detail but I don't discount that it had some digital tinkering in the form of moiring and boosting. Skin tones seem far more accurate on the US edition but this could be the heightened brightness. It may have the perception of being the sharpest but had little in the way of depth or textures.  

Audio clearly goes to the US release with a dynamic DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 3865 kbps. The Japanese rendering was also uncompressed but it had neither the depth nor the range of the LionsGate/Miramax. AS well as clean sounding original music by Graeme Revell - there are plenty of bands sampled with spotlights on The Cure, Stone Temple Pilots, Nine Inch Nails and even Jane Siberry with varying degrees of caustic rock robustly influencing the dark atmosphere. The track exports them all in fine, gritty fashion. While the US Blu-ray has optional English and Spanish subtitle options and the UK has only English (alternate font size and positioning) and the Geneon only Japanese. We should note that the Geneon menus are English friendly. The Miramax and EIV are locked to their respective regions but the Geneon Blu-ray is region FREE.

Supplements have only minor variations with none being in HD. All have a commentary - the UK and Japanese with Producer Jeff Most and Writer John Shirley, and the US with director Alex Proyas. Each have the 16-minute Behind the Scenes Featurette, a 1/2 hour Profile of James O'Barr - both 3 Extended Scenes and a Deleted Footage Montage. The EIV (UK) has something entitled 'Brandon Lee's Last On-Camera Interview' which looks strangely like what was on the 'Behind the Scenes' (although maybe filmed at a different time?) and both the UK and US discs have the a Poster section, Production Design Stills and 5-scene Storyboards that are not on the Japanese Geneon. The MIramax/Lionsgate and Asian Blu-rays have trailers (of different running times - one Japanese - the other North American) and the US has a Bookmark Ability and a second disc digital copy.

Price is always an important factor and the Japanese edition, which I generally endorse despite some limitations - especially beside the UK - has a price that is unreasonable while the most value is easily found by buying the Miramax - Lionsgate edition. It's a shame there aren't more new supplements - or that they aren't in HD but fans of the film, will appreciate the HD visuals and impressive audio . They should definitely indulge.  

Gary W. Tooze


Menus

 

Geneon Universal Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray LEFT vs. EIV - Region 'B' - Blu-ray RIGHT


Miramax Lionsgate - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample (not exact frame)

 

 

1) Geneon Universal Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

2) EIV - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Miramax Lionsgate - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

1) Geneon Universal Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

2) EIV - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Miramax Lionsgate - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 


1) Geneon Universal Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

2) EIV - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Miramax Lionsgate - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 


1) Geneon Universal Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

2) EIV - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Miramax Lionsgate - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 


1) Geneon Universal Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

2) EIV - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Miramax Lionsgate - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 


1) Geneon Universal Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

2) EIV - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Miramax Lionsgate - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 


1) Geneon Universal Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

2) EIV - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Miramax Lionsgate - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 


1) Geneon Universal Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

2) EIV - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Miramax Lionsgate - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 


1) Geneon Universal Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

2) EIV - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Miramax Lionsgate - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 


1) Geneon Universal Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

2) EIV - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Miramax Lionsgate - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 


1) Geneon Universal Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

2) EIV - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Miramax Lionsgate - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 

 


1) Geneon Universal Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

2) EIV - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Miramax Lionsgate - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


DVD Box Cover

 

Distribution Geneon Universal Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray EIV - Region 'B' - Blu-ray Miramax Lionsgate - Region 'A' - Blu-ray



 

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