The Review at a Glance: ( max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Overture Films- 2010
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 101 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: VC1 (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Audio Format(s): English LPCM 5.1, English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Timothy Olyphant, Joe Anderson, Radha Mitchell, Danielle Panabaker
Directed by: Breck Eisner
Music by: Mark Isham
Written by: Scott Kosar and Ray Wright
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: June 29, 2010
"Fear Thy Neighbor."
In this terrifying glimpse into the “American Dream” gone wrong, an unexplainable phenomenon has taken over the citizens of Ogden Marsh. One by one the townsfolk are falling victim to an unknown toxin and are turning sadistically violent.
My Take:Somehow 'The Crazies' pulled off being enjoyable while missing out on many opportunities of social commentary, possible scares and character development. I have seen George Romero's 1973 'The Crazies' that this is based on. I would dare call this a 'reinvention' and say that it is possibly better than the original. This remake keeps a lot of the Romero's ideas, but takes a more horror approach and really de-humanizes the so called 'bad guys'-- the government. Besides being a remake, 'The Crazies' treads on familiar territory (think Quarantine, REC, 28 Days Later...) when a small town is subject to an outbreak of a government made virus, codename: Trixie.
The Trixie virus is government created chemical warfare that is in-transit to be stored away for safe keeping. It’s as safe as the plane it is on which crashes into the water supply of the small farming community of Ogden Marsh. Once contracted, the virus drives the victim crazy, and turns them into insane killers. 'The Crazies' stars Timothy Olyphant as Sheriff Dutton and a personal favorite of mine, Radha Mitchell as his pregnant wife, Judy. Our protagonists are (of course) in question of having the virus, and last long enough to put up a fight and give us a human connection to follow through the town’s infection and quarantine. We are with them through one long evening as they try to escape the town and the army. While I did enjoyed the double threat of the killer infected people and having to hide from the Hazmat suit wearing army, I found the constant running be get bit long winded at times. Although they did a decent job getting us to care about the Dutton's, I really felt no emotional connection to the townsfolk and what they were going through. As these people were turning 'Crazy' from the virus and being taken into concentration like camps, all I cared about was seeing a kill or finding out scientific answers about the situation. I didn't feel outrage as the creators of the virus were exterminating people they accidentally infected. That is the major weakness to the film...it missed out on the big opportunity for getting the viewer to care about this town and its people. One quick opening day baseball scene is what they used as an anchor to involve us with the town as a whole, and frankly it was the best part of the movie.
Director Breck Eisner (Sahara) gave the film a relentless pace and a nice visual style. He was in control here and did a great job delivering the horror, and horror is where things went right. It had spooks, jumps, blood, zombie-esque killers, gunfire, explosions...and it did them all very well. Well enough that its lack of development of the townsfolk, and a few silly plot issues were forgiven and made it easy to sit back and enjoy the ride....which is exactly what I did. Out of all the remakes that have been plaguing the creativity of Hollywood's horror scene of late, 'The Crazies' is the one I have enjoyed most.
Rated R for bloody violence and language.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
The Crazies comes to Blu-ray Disc from Anchor Bay Entertainment featuring 1080p VC1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 27.4 Mbps and LPCM 5.1 sound that has an constant bitrate of 4.6 Mbps.
The Crazies is an impressive Blu-ray release from Anchor Bay Entertainment. It looks and sounds superb. The VC1 2.35:1 video looks like a film, with a slight bit of visible grain. Couple that with being sharp and detailed and we have a winner. The films colors are natural, with a slight push to over-saturation that gives it a nice pop. Flesh-tones looked right on the money, making this a very strong HD presentation. Material of this nature needs strong black levels and shadow detail to be effective and I am glad to say The Crazies will not let you down. The Lossless PCM 5.1 audio track is haunting and dynamic. It handles sonic shifts of quiet and atmospheric to loud and in your face without a blink of effort. The use of surrounds and the thump of the low end were perfect additives enhancing the scares and tension. I had no issues making out dialogue and the mix seemed spot-on. I really had fun watching this one loud.
- Audio Commentary with Director Breck Eisner
- (HD) Behind The Scenes with Director Breck Eisner
- (HD) Paranormal Pandemics
- (HD) The George A. Romero Template
- (HD) Make-up Mastermind: Rob Hall in Action
- (HD) The Crazies Motion Comic
- (HD) Visual Effects in Motion
- (HD) 3 Trailers, Teaser Trailer and 10 TV Spots
- (HD) Trailers- Brooklyn's Finest, Spartacus: Blood and Sand , Pandorum, Law Abiding Citizen, Ultimate Fighting Championship and The Best of Bluray
- Easter Egg (which I didn't find)
- Storyboards: Building a scene (DVD-ROM)
- Screenplay (DVD-ROM)
- Digital Copy
If you are forgiving of some silly plot holes and looking for a fun and scary ride 'The Crazies' is for you. Unfortunately it lost the anti-establishment message of the original, which would have made it a bit more personal and powerful. A little more detail on developing a connection between the viewer and the town would have went a long way and helped 'The Crazies' be more than just a good flick. A nice set of extras and a great A/V presentation add to the value of Anchor Bay's Blu-ray release. I say its a worthy purchase for fans of the film and genre. Enjoy.
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Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS35 1080p High Definition Front Projector (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)
Custom 1.3 Gain 128" 2.37:1 CinemaScope Screen
Pioneer SC27 Receiver (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)
Pioneer Elite BDP-23FD Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Triangle Zerius Speakers (7.1)
SVS PC13-Ultra Subwoofer