The Crazies (2010) [Blu-ray]
|Anchor Bay || R - 101 minutes - $39.98 || June 29, 2010|
|Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2010-06-23|
Writer(s): Scott Kosar and Ray Wright (screenplay)
Cast: Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell, Joe Anderson, Danielle Panabaker
Theatrical Release Date: February 26, 2010
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Horror films have been on the slump lately with nothing coming to mind at the time that I write this to able to talk about. I vaguely remember The Crazies coming out in theaters but it left as quickly as it came, but that doesn’t always mean that the movie sucked. Instead, this is a great remake starring my new favorite actor Timothy Olyphant that not only has some freaking awesome kill scenes in it, but a pretty decent story. Oh, did I mention freaking awesome kill scenes in it?
David (Timothy Olyphant) is the local sheriff in a small community of roughly 1,000 people. He has a wife named Judy (Radha Mitchell) and an officer named Russell (Joe Anderson). The community is doing fine until one day when a townsman walks onto a baseball field carrying a shotgun. David rushes in to stop the man, who draws his gun to fire, and he is forced to put an end to the supposed town drunk. Soon after though strange things start happening in the town, mainly with things relating to people becoming incredibly violent and killing off family and friends and towns people as the day goes on. The two officer’s head to the lake where they manage to find a plane that sank to the bottom of the water and realize that this may be the cause of it, and ask the mayor to shut off the water supply.
The mayor, of course, says no despite the fact David has proof the water is contaminated and David takes matters into his own hands and shuts the water supply down himself. The bad news is that the town is already infected and the military has come to quarantine the town. The military arrives and immediately starts dividing the infected from the non-infected, when Judy is deemed infected and removed from the group. David manages to (somehow?) get away from the marines with tons of guns and heads back to the police station to get his guns where he meets Russell and the two decide to go vigilante and rescue Judy. Can the officers manage to rescue Judy and the other towns people captured by the military and find a cure, or will they just become…crazy?
Yes I used the name of the film in an incredibly lame pun to talk about a possible ending, sorry, I’m running out of creative things to say. Moving on, the film has some great death scenes in it. Normally when I see a gun blast to the head within the first five minutes of the film then I know I’m in for some great flipping action. That’s right, there are multiple excellent death kill sequences involved with this remake, so those who enjoy the violence like I do are in for a ride of their day. If you winced at all at the idea of a gun blast to the head (shown in graphic form for the record) then this definitely isn’t the movie for you, as it only gets better (or worse) from there.
Now you might be asking yourself, “well jeez, you gave the film 4/5 stars, what’s the deal?” Well I’ll tell you my deal: the movie has some stupid twists and turns that had me in a state of disbelief. The horrible role of the marines and hunters could easily have been taken out and the focus instead shifted on the towns people going crazy and killing one another, but instead the marines and hunters get center stage. The hunters are only in a few scenes yet constantly harass the main cast in some way shape or form, and the marines don’t really do anything yet are still prevalent. That’s what I had the biggest problem with, as though why put so many villains and yet fail to clarify just who the enemy is? Oh, and the ending was predictable thanks to the first time I saw the satellite imaging.
I will say that, in closing, this is one of the better remakes to come to theaters and home theaters in the past few years. The violence is here and if you get past the overall ho-hum story then this is a fantastic movie to watch “with the guys” when the girlfriend is away if she’s too squeamish.
Commentary by Director Breck Eisner: Eisner is incredibly descriptive and somewhat upbeat the duration of the track and points out some comparisons from his film to the original among other things. I enjoyed the track but thought it was odd that Olyphant didn’t come onto it, as though being the lead actor (and now one of my favorites) he dang well better be on the next track I listen to, or else.
Behind the Scenes (11 minutes): Eisner and company, including the cast and crew, give some interviews about the film and their involvement with it. The cast is quite informative and funny, but most of the stuff Eisner has to say is involved with the commentary track.
Paranormal Pandemics (10 minutes): The crew (including Eisner) talks about the idea of a pandemic in a town and how they react to the disaster. I didn’t find this that exciting so you can probably skip this one.
The George A. Romero Template (10 minutes): The crew compares the original to their remake and talk about the influences of the great Romero. Romero fans will find this enjoying but odds are most will be pretty bored with the comparison.
Make-Up Mastermind (11 minutes): By far the best extra available on the disc, so if you have the chance to only watch one this is the one to view. The special effects team goes over the make-up, costumes, and other neat stuff that they made for the film in great detail. I thoroughly recommend this extra for anyone who enjoys the “how to” part of the horror flicks.
Visual Effects in Motion (4 minutes): This is a cool comparison between the actual shot and then the one that was shown in the film, sort of a “before and after” view of a few shots in the movie.
Finally, there are Motion Comics, Storyboards, and a Photo Gallery to view if you so choose.
** BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVE **
The only exclusive available is a Digital Copy which now works with I-Tunes (previous Anchor Bay titles didn’t) so thanks!
.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.
If you’ve read some of my Anchor Bay reviews in the past of their films, I haven’t been too kind to them in terms of their technical specs. This time around they (finally!) stepped up their game and gave this Blu-Ray a great transfer. Colors appear vibrant yet a touch dreary to illustrate how a true horror film should look and I give them major props for that view. Grain and noise are almost non-existent, but it must be said that a few of the night time scenes (mainly the ones with the marines and hunters in the end) did have quite a bit of grain in them. Besides those few scenes this is an absolutely outstanding transfer although not one you’ll want to show off to your friends.
For purposes of this review, I listened to both the Dolby Digital 5.1 and PCM 5.1 track throughout the movie, switching back and forth. The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is nowhere near as good as the PCM 5.1 track and I highly recommend the latter for your viewing of the movie. The PCM 5.1 track sports some great surround usage and hella loud noises and a few “jump” moments that sound excellent. On the downside though, even when I could hear the loud gun noises, I struggled some of the time to hear the dialogue and comments made by the cast. It was quite a problem as though it happened multiple times throughout the movie. To summarize, loud noises good, not hearing dialogue bad.
The Crazies is a phenomenal remake with some incredibly violent scenes but yet didn’t tickle my horror bone as much as I hoped. The movie struggles towards the end with some incredibly lame twists and turns, which had me disappointed. The technical specs are slowly getting better for Anchor Bay and the fact that the Blu-Ray is littered with tons of extras make this one an easy purchase. This is one movie to get crazy about and add to your collection.