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Ultra HD : Recommended
Release Date: May 7th, 2024 Movie Release Year: 1994

The Crow - 30th Anniversary 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Walmart Exclusive SteelBook

Overview -

4K UHD Review By: Matthew Hartman
Believe in SteelBooks. Brandon Lee’s tragic final film The Crow celebrates its first 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release in style thanks to Paramount. With an excellent Dolby Vision transfer, solid audio, and a healthy selection of bonus features. Fixing to give fans a little extra, Walmart issued their own attractive SteelBook for fans to gobble up. Currently sold out - hopefully, more will be made available soon. If you can find it at a reasonable price - Recommended 

A Walmart Exclusive 4K UHD SteelBook (currently sold out online)

Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
Video Resolution/Codec:
Aspect Ratio(s):
Audio Formats:
English: DTS-HD MA 5.1
English, English SDH, Spanish
Release Date:
May 7th, 2024

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take


As I largely stand with Mr. E and his review, I’ll leave his words to stand (although I'm giving the film itself a half-star extra). But to offer up my two cents, The Crow was one of the most important movie-going experiences of my life. It was my 12th birthday when I made my parents take me to this film. I had no idea of the comic book origins. I had no idea that Rapid Fire star  Brandon Lee had died during filming. I had only seen the trailer and that was enough to pique my interests. From the opening fire-soaked shot of a nightmarish Detroit to the final shot of the titular bird in silhouette, I was kept in rapt attention.

From there on my whole collecting life changed. I edged away from the easy mainstream comics of Batman, Spider-Man, and the X-Men. I quickly found the trade paperback of J.O. Barr’s creation. Hunted down the first print original comics that I could afford. Bought posters, the soundtracks, and when McFarlane Toys added Eric Draven to their Movie Maniacs collection, I grabbed that too. I was obsessed with The Crow and the world of more adult comics it opened up to me. I’d already been reading Dark Horse for the various Aliens and Predator but that was kids' stuff by comparison. Thankfully my local comic slingers were all too happy to oblige my interests. 

Through numerous follow-up films, new comics, and novels, the original film has remained a constant companion. Because I watched it so often I wore through my VHS tape. I don’t often pull it off the shelf. It has to be the right occasion. Being a Michigander, my annual viewing usually falls on October 30th - Devil’s Night. Detroit may not "light it up" like it used to, but it still feels like a fitting holiday to celebrate this film. Thanks to this 4K disc, I’m breaking that tradition for an early viewing.

Here's Mr. E's 4K review:

To this day, I still can't watch The Crow without also immediately thinking about Brandon Lee's untimely death, yet watching the superhero adaptation of the comic series in theaters remains one of my favorite movie-going experiences. At the time, the tragedy was all everyone talked about, covered almost endlessly in the media primarily due to Lee being the son of legendary Bruce Lee, whose life and career were also cut too short. Much of this news ran concurrently with the filmmakers still planning to complete the movie — which was met with some controversy of its own — using the latest advancements in CGI effects, stunt doubles and significant script rewrites, such as the beginning apartment sequences. For an entire year before its release, this was all my friends — two of whom also read the comics — and I could talk about, building both our excitement and anticipation for seeing Lee one final time. And in a gothic action flick to boot!

It was with this in mind that I went with friends to see the completed product, and I still remember walking out feeling satisfied but not quite as thrilled by the end result as others were. Decades later and after several rewatchings, my thoughts have not changed yet have lightly skewed to less favorable. Although I admire Alex Proyas' (Dark City) camerawork, love the cinematography of Dariusz Wolski (The Last Duel, The Martian) and absolutely adore Graeme Revell's (The Craft, Riddick franchise) musical score, the movie itself feels choppy and terribly rushed, which is understandably due to the rewrites and the special effects standing out to the point of distracting us from simply enjoying the story. Also, the insular plot about supernatural vengeance leaves very little room for character development and growth as each character serves very narrow, singular archetypes for Lee's Eric Draven to easily prevail in his goal.

Nevertheless, I must admit to still enjoying The Crow thirty years later, captivated more by Proyas's gothic atmospheric tone and the overall production design than the story itself. (Movie Review Rating: 3.5/5)

For another take on the film, check out our review of the Blu-ray HERE.

Vital Disc Stats: The Ultra HD Blu-ray 

The Crow celebrates 30 years of vengeance from beyond the grave with its first 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release from Paramount. On top of the standard disc release, Paramount punched out a SteelBook release. But one good turn deserves another and Walmart offered their own retailer exclusive edition. It’s the same disc, but with different artwork. With both on hand, I like Walmart’s better. It’s a little more classy. The other SteelBook is nice, the plastic slip is attractive, but the art itself almost has too much going on with a lot of image touchup work to weirdly add a guitar or insert a new face on Brandon Lee for the back image.


Video Review


The dark superhero flick takes out its vengeance on Ultra HD with a great-looking HEVC H.265 encode, delivering a notable upgrade over its Blu-ray predecessor. However, some of the early CGI unfortunately keeps it from truly shining with several moments looking noticeably soft and blurry, occasionally distracting from its many favorable aspects.

Nevertheless, the reportedly remastered 4K transfer comes with sharp details in the costumes, furniture, city streets and the overall production design, and close-ups of the cast are often revealing, exposing pores, tiniest wrinkles and negligible blemishes. The heavily stylized photography also features dark raven black throughout with strong gradational differences in the various shades, providing the 1.85:1 image appreciable depth and solid shadow delineation. 

Unfortunately, the contrast balance is mostly average with clean whites, but it can run a bit hot in some spots while a couple of scenes appear rather lacking and flat, looking somewhat overcooked with a tad of posterization, such as when Darla is cooking breakfast for Sarah. Thankfully, specular highlights supply a snappy, sparkling glow in the hottest areas. Then again, much of this is the result of the filmmakers' deliberate aesthetic choices, especially given that the color palette is markedly restrained and significantly limited. Still, primaries appear a tad fuller and accurate than its HD SDR counterpart, and in spite of whatever minor drawbacks exist, the Dolby Vision HDR presentation is nonetheless the best the movie has ever looked on any format. (Dolby Vision HDR Video Rating: 80/100)

Audio Review


The cult classic arrives with what appears to be the same DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack. But after spending some time comparing the two, there are some minor differences to suggest that this might have been remastered along with the video and arguably, the better of the two. However, those differences also come with some downsides, such as the dialogue running at a slightly lower volume than the rest. For the most part, vocals are clear and discernable, but the louder, action-packed sequences tend to somewhat drown out what characters are saying in the moment. During those same moments, the upper ranges feel a tad bright, losing some of the finer details. 

Thankfully, Graeme Revell's score maintains excellent clarity and definition while bleeding into the surrounds. There is also better rear activity with various ambient effects discretely and smoothly moving all around the listening area, creating a more immersive and satisfying soundfield than before. And with the receivers' Dolby Surround or DTS: Neural:X up-mixing functionality, the atmospherics effortlessly spread into the overheads to further envelop the listener. Although not as commanding as would have been preferred, the low-end is punchy and potent enough to provide the action and music with some weight and depth. 

While an object-based audio option would have been a much-welcomed upgrade, this lossless track is nonetheless a fun listen that complements the visuals well. (Audio Rating: 76/100)

Special Features


  • Audio Commentaries begins with director Alex Proyas sharing anecdotes from the production and memories working with Brandon Lee while the second track features producer Jeff Most and co-screenwriter John Shirley provide their analysis of the film.
  • NEW Shadows & Pain: Designing The Crow (HD) is a short three-part documentary looking at various aspects of the production, from the adaptation and overall design to the music and performances
    • Angels All Fire: Birth of the Legend (7 min)
    • On Hallowed Ground: The Outer Realm (8 min)
    • Twisted Wreckage: The Inside Spaces (10 min)
  • NEW Sideshow Collectibles (HD, 13 min) is an interview with producer Edward R. Pressman discussing collectible figurines of the movie
  • A Profile on James O'Barr (HD, 33 min)
  • Behind the Scenes Featurette (HD, 17 min)
  • Extended Scenes (HD, 12 min)
  • Deleted Footage Montage (HD, 5 min)
  • Trailer (HD)

As one of my favorite films, I’m overjoyed to have it in 4K looking this good. Given how dark the film is and with all of the early digital tinkering necessary to complete the film, I was worried about how well it’d hold up but I’m quite impressed. Paramount delivered an excellent disc and offered up two very attractive SteelBooks while they were at it. Unfortunately both the wide-release SteelBook and Walmart’s retailer exclusive have sold through (as of now - reprintings are always possible). The frustration is that sell-through was driven by the gray market sellers looking to create scarcity and drive up the resale price. If this is your one-true need-to-own edition, my advice is to check your local Walmart stores, online stock and in-store stock are rarely the same. And before paying too much on eBay or Marketplace, wait a beat or two and see if it gets reissued. Recommended 

Order Your Copy of The Crow on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray