There are a thousand ways to raise your adrenaline, and today hit man Chev Chelios (Jason Statham) will need every one! He has one hour to settle the score and say good-bye to his girl and go out with a little style! The only question is, will he stay alive long enough to see it happen?
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The 4K UHD Blu-Ray of Crank from Lionsgate comes in its original 1.85:1 in 2160p with Dolby Vision which offers a very different experience when compared to the accompanying Blu-Ray. That early Blu-Ray disc from over 15 years ago captured the film well enough for the time period, but the major thing to focus on up top is the fact that this feature is not the most beautiful on an aesthetic level. In fact, it is quite ugly most of the time with its very harsh, contrasty appearance. The original Blu-Ray provided a very garish digital appearance which suited the style the directors were opting to blast out. In an interesting turn of event, the 4K UHD Blu-Ray provides a filmout transfer which Lionsgate was prone to do earlier in this newer format. This allows this movie to look more traditionally film-like, which fans will either love or hate, yet neither side should expect miracles given how the source.
The addition of consistent film grain does allow this film to look less cheap and overly sharpened within an inch of its life. While we do avoid DNR, this is one of the rare cases where a filmic appearance does not lead to a boost in fine detail. The film exhibits a more hazy look which does not completely abandon detail, but it does not go out of its way to boost any one element. The transfer reveals a subtle increase in the depth of field in the varied locations that we visit around the city. There is some apparent print damage in some segments with horizontal lines that make an appearance for an extended period of time.
There are some improvements in its oversaturated color palette in Dolby Vision which makes the film seem even more like a fever dream. There are gains in visual pop and saturation that make the gaudy colors leap off the screen even more. Where the film falters more so is in the black levels that swallow up a bit of the shadow detail due to the gamma level. The highlights in the film are maybe a touch more tame with whites still overblown on purpose at every turn. There are definite benefits to this 4K upgrade, but this is not a movie you will use to show off the format. It is a different enough experience from the Blu-Ray that you should check out the differences for yourself.
This disc comes equipped with a dynamite Dolby Atmos presentation that brings a really ferocious quality to the sonic experience. This has always been a title that provided hard-hitting sound, but the addition of the height channels makes this one intensely immersive. Sounds are deftly rendered with precise directionality from every pulse-pounding moment. The overhead channels are especially welcome during some of the altercations in a way that makes it feel more carefully realized.
Ambient details are plentiful and quite satisfying in the rear and overhead channels. The music envelopes the room in a really pleasing manner that makes you feel as if you are in lock-step with Chev throughout his ordeal. Dialogue is presented clearly without ever being overshadowed by any of the competing sonic elements. The forceful hits provide an all-encompassing soundscape that kicks in throughout all the speakers. The low end is very active in a way that may have your neighbors complaining. The mix will more than satisfy fans of the film.
Lionsgate has provided Crank with an optional sleek new SteelBook exclusively at Best Buy that is fetching in person. The case comes with a removable clear slipcase featuring Chev. The front artwork is a nicely animated x-ray depiction of Chev’s skeletal structure and heart firing on all systems with an energy field of items radiating out, and the rear continues this tableau with syringes and bullets radiating around the skeletal image. The interior sports a very colorful look at Chev’s body. Video of the SteelBook can be found above.
- Shooting Crank: A seven-minute featurette in which the creative team discusses the “new” process of shooting in HD instead of film, the handheld nature of the production and more.
- The Stunts of Crank: A nearly 18-minute piece which explores the ambitious stunts in the film, keeping things organic, how they pulled off certain shots and more.
- Pushing Crank: A nearly seven-minute look at the marketing and PR efforts to get this film into the public consciousness, especially on the internet where they could stretch their limited budget.
- Crank @ Comic-Con: A nearly 12-minute glimpse at the panel in which the cast and creative team discuss the movie and answer questions from fans about the collaboration on the direction of the film, the dangers that were faced and more.
- More Stories From Crank: A nearly 26-minute series of interviews featuring directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Tailor and actors Jason Statham, Eferen Ramirez, Adam Biddle, and José Cantillo.
Crank is the type of batshit insane movie-making which makes the medium so fun to observe. The concept is very simple, but the way it is executed throughout this breathless runtime keeps you cheering along to the big swings and gripping your seat. Jason Statham is fully committed to this part in a way that sells every ridiculous choice, and it makes you long for the time when he was choosing more daring projects. There are some very dated elements that do not hold up in the slightest, but by and large this is an impressive, energetic cinematic experience. Lionsgate Home Entertainment has released the 4K UHD Blu-Ray in a lovely SteelBook package that collectors will love. The disc itself provides a video experience only as good as the source will allow, but the audio presentation is top notch and the special features are pretty fun. If you are a fan of the film, this is a pretty solid release overall. Recommended
Crank is currently available to purchase on 4K UHD Blu-Ray in Limited Edition Steelbook Packaging exclusively at Best Buy.
Note: Images presented in this review are not reflective of the image quality of the 4K UHD Blu-Ray.
Disclaimer: Lionsgate Home Entertainment has supplied a copy of this disc free of charge for review purposes. All opinions in this review are the honest reactions of the author.
Dillon is most comfortable sitting around in a theatre all day watching both big budget and independent movies.