The Crazies (2010)

Genre(s): Horror
Anchor Bay || R - 101 minutes - $29.98 || June 29, 2010
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2010-06-23


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Breck Eisner
Writer(s): Scott Kosar and Ray Wright (screenplay)
Cast: Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell, Joe Anderson, Danielle Panabaker


Theatrical Release Date: February 26, 2010


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • 5 Featurettes
  • Storyboard
  • Motion Comic
  • Photo Gallery


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.40)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH

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.::THE FILM::.

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.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

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.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

I wrote in my Blu-ray review that I loved the picture quality of the film and here there isn’t that much of a difference in comparison. Colors are a little bit duller than I enjoyed in the HD version and as such I took off half a point. The problem is that the same issue still resides here as it did in the other version, as though grain and noise are much more encased here. I saw it much more here obviously and took down the score appropriately. Anchor Bay has come a ways since their last transfer I watched and I compliment them on a job somewhat well done, just don’t stop here please!

The Dolby Digital 5.1 track on the other hand is awful, and awful is an understatement. Surround sound is limited and sounds fairly mundane and boring. That’s never good to write about in a movie that thrives on special effects and sounds to scare and entertain the audience the runtime of the film, so major downside here. I also noticed much less of “oomph” to the dialogue levels and could sometimes barely make out what was being said by the cast. The fact that dialogue is hard to hear, surround usage is limited, and even during the action sequences the sound didn’t exactly pierce my ears like I wanted is why this track gets a lower grade.



.::OVERALL::.

The Crazies a great remake here on DVD but the problem lies within the technical specs. I like how much better Anchor Bay has gotten with their transfers but their audio levels are off and just don’t sound up to par with other releases. The special features package on the other hand is amazing and worth a purchase alone. Normally I’m a stickler for better specs but this is one crazy film to add to your collection.