The Crow

Pulp Fiction? Forrest Gump? Nah, this is what should have won the Best Film Oscar in 94. The best comic book film ever made, surpassing even Batman and Superman, The Crow is one film that will remain eternal, and never age over the years. Its story may be simple, but it is executed with such style and heart that it will never become unfashionable, and although the sequels have so far been poor, this is unmissable. Action, humour, love, and a visual flare that only Burton can match, The Crow as Brandon Lee’s last film has a massive cult following and was hailed by many critics.

Eric Draven, a rock musician and his girlfriend Shelley are brutally killed on Halloween by the members of a local gang. The case is never solved, but cop Albrecht stayed with Shelley in the hospital for the many hours before she died. He has gone on with his job in the stinking city, occasionally meeting with Sarah, a young girl who was friends with Eric and Shelley, whose mother is a waster and addict. One year later, Draven returns from the grave, terrified and tortured until he remembers what has happened. A Crow seems to look after him and he is invincible. He soon sets out for revenge, picking off the gang members one by one, on his way to Top Dollar, the leader. Although he tries to hide in the shadows, he eventually shows himself to Sarah and Albrecht, and they work together.

Rarely is such a beautiful film been made. Only Edward Scissorhands can equal this in modern times, but even it has a different style. The sweeping views of the city, a terrible place to be, are stunning, with camera angles the Matrix would emulate. The soundtrack adds immensely, both the rock songs and the instrumental tracks, making the film all the more powerful. The acting is all immense, though understated and quiet for the most part. Lee gives his best performance and it is a remarkable one, going through the emotions of the character, as well as doing the stunts. Of course, this would cost him his life, tragically echoing the story. In fact, the story seems to have been cursed from the start, with creator O’Barr basing the story and character on the real events of his life-his girlfriend being killed and the emotions he went through. Davis as Sarah gives a strong performance too, and could have had the world at her feet, but vowed never to return to the set and has not acted since Lee’s death. Hudson gives a career best, and Wincott gives his usual snarling effort, here it is superb and has not been bettered. All the other cast members are great too, the gang members each well drawn and acted to perfection.

The story is told with such skill that you can’t help to feel such sympathy for the characters, and Sarah’s monologues are very emphatic. Draven is a strong character, getting a second chance to do things right, and saying that yes- scumbags who kill do deserve to die also. These bad guys have no redeeming qualities, and their deaths are satisfying. The script is also awesome, and there are many one-liners ranging from funny, poignant, and insightful. If their were only a handful of films from this decade which survived a war, or which could be used to show humanity- this would be one of them. Easily one of the best movies of the decade which should continue to be seen by all.

This 2 disc special edition has some good features, including the already famous final interview of Brandon Lee and a touching and interesting interview with creator James O’Barr. The deleted and extended scenes are good, and the commentary is insightful.

The Crow

As always, leave any comments on the movie or the review. Do you think Lee would have been a huge star after this? Where does this rank in your favourite comic book movies? 


Chasing Amy

Chasing Amy, easily the most emotional of all of Smith’s, and definately the most serious, though don’t let that put you off- there is still plenty of humour, wit, profanity, and one-liners. Smith may not be a great director, but he is a good story teller, and probably the best man around now for clever quotes, satirical, political, religious, sexual, or gaseous. The story follows a couple of friends who work in the glorious business of comic books, their world turned upside down when they meet a girl who one of them falls for. Naturally, she is a lesbian and nothing good can come of such feelings.

Although I’m not a fan of Affleck, he is always good in Smith’s movies. Again though Jason Lee runs riot, proving to be one of the best deliverers of witty dialogue today, and this was years before ‘Earl’ brought him to the masses. Joey Lauren Adams screaming her lines is extremely affecting and effective, and the movie breaches on heartbreaking almost solely because of her performance. Bob’s speech makes more sense with every failed relationship we go through, with every person we leave behind, too scared to talk to them, or commit, whatever. Like Mallrats, this film seems to give the slacker generation a kick in the face- an alarm that we can, and should do something with our lives, though this does not come across as contrived, false, or sentimental. The best romantic comedy of the nineties, if it can be called a romantic comedy. Funny too.

The DVD, usually cheap on Amazon etc

Chasing Amy

has plenty of interesting extras- a few good deleted scenes, and intersting stuff from the cast and crew.

As always, feel free to comment on the review and the movie. Is this Smith’s best movie?

Dumb dumb dumb-dumb-dumb! Do-be-do-be-do-be-do- Iron Man!

Iron Man is a remake of the bizarre and pointless Australian film Testi: Iron Man. That film was black and white and messed up. America doesn’t like that sort of thing (neither do me) so they decided to turn it into an excitement film instead. Interestingly though, neither film features any appearances from any Black Sabbath member. There could have been a fight between Iron Man and Tony Iommi, or Ozzy could have been supplying Robin Downy Jr with drugs and liquor, but maybe then this wouldn’t have received the U rating.

The film is a rip off of of Batman- a billionaire playboy who is worth millions, who is nameless in a stark twist, likes to build robots and sell them to bad guys in evil places like Egypt. He is bored with his life and fancies a change, so he turns himself into a half man – half machine – half bird creature, and calls himself Iron Man. After his parents are murdered, he realises his purpose is revenge. He covers his body in the latest weaponry- guns, lasers, big knifes, and learns to fly. After a brief training montage (running up hills, lifting cars, shooting targets – showing his skill and fitness progress), he flies to a terrorist country and kills the bad guys. That’s about it really. Quite shallow, but some good actions and graphics. I don’t think anyone else famous was in the movie, though I was pretty drunk on whiskey while watching it. I think it was an attempt to start a new franchise so maybe more things will happen in the next film – The Man Of Steel will return to a cinema near you next year or two!

Best Scene: When Iron Man is learning to fly and he keeps zooming into the ceiling of his barn and whacking his head. What a chump!

Has He Thoughts Within His Head?