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Come on and join author Melissa Bradley as she sets off on her latest adventure...

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If you are not 18, please exit stage left. While there is normally nothing naughty here, I do write and review erotica so there are links to spicy stuff and the occasional heated excerpt.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Crow

"People once believed that when someone dies, a crow carries their soul to the land of the dead. But sometimes, something so bad happens that a terrible sadness is carried with it and the soul can't rest. Then sometimes, just sometimes, the crow can bring that soul back to put the wrong things right."

Today I want to share my thoughts on a film that resonates with me on every level.  I fell in love with The Crow from the first moment I saw it. It's a glorious, almost Shakespearean, tale of revenge, lost love and justice that spoke to directly to me. Compound that with the tragedy surrounding the production and source material and well, needless to say it seared itself into my writer's soul. This is sacred cinema to me, an untouchable film whose mark must surely be set in stone.

The Crow defined a cultural tide which birthed grunge rock and gave rise to a disaffected Gen X, who had survived the saccharine sugar coma of the 80's, Reagan Republicanism and hair metal. More over, it is the opus of a young actor whose life was cut tragically short. When I heard that a remake was planned, not sequel, prequel, but an actual remake, I was seized with horror. Yes, I bitched about the Evil Dead reboot and snark blasted the upcoming Dirty Dancing retelling, but none of those left me as disturbed as the remake of The Crow.

It is a project that has been in the making for at least four years. I believe that it has been plagued with problems and constant cast changes because no one wants to really touch this mythic tale. And yet, the studio persists. I have heard the cast choices to portray the titular vengeful rocker and ultimate badass, Eric Draven. Bradley Cooper, Mark Wahlberg and Channing Tatum...No, no and no. I cannot wrap my mind around any of them, let alone picturing a single one donning the iconic black and white makeup. They've had various directors attached to the project as well, who have all left for a multitude of reasons. Juan Carlos Fresnadillo is the latest and  most likely to stay. While I like him and he would surely do a decent job, I'm still violently opposed.

The Crow is a legendary picture in which all the stars aligned  and an epic was born. First, there is the source material. Created from the ashes of James O'Barr's eight year labor of grief to try and overcome the death of his fiancee, The Crow is the ultimate story of the power of love. David Show and John Shirley took this incredible series and turned it into an unforgettable screenplay. Eric Draven, the young rocker murdered along with his fiancee, crosses back to the world of the living on the wings of a crow to take revenge on the thugs who killed them. Brandon Lee, a rising young star was chosen to play Draven and gave the performance of his career. It was sadly to be his last as an on set accident took his life with just eight days left to shoot. Director Alex Proyas, with the blessing of Lee's mother and fiancee, finished the film and it became a dedication to Brandon's life. The rest of the cast, which includes some stellar character actors like Michael Wincott, Tony Todd and Ernie Hudson, is an assemblage of perfection. Each one of them became their characters.

A film  like this required a soundtrack that was second to none and Graeme Revell delivered in spades. The haunting music captured the essence of Eric's post-industrial, hard scrabble world and included bands who literally defined that period of time: Stone Temple Pilots, The Cure, Rage Against the Machine, Nine Inch Nails, The Jesus and Mary Chain and Pantera to name but a few. I can't imagine another soundtrack other than this one. Who would they get now? Danny Elfman? Black Keys? Not.

To add even more storied history to this film, after Lee's death, Paramount Pictures pulled out, leaving the cast and crew high and dry. Miramax then stepped in and ponied up a further eight million dollars to complete the picture. Indeed, The Crow is more than a film, it is both epic and epitaph, a movie that should never, ever be remade.

Brandon Lee is forever Eric Draven.











53 comments:

  1. Those seeking to remake this film should be flogged!
    You can't replace what happened, which is part of what made this film so haunting. Lee's greatest and final performance should remain untouched. (Bad enough they had to make two lame sequels.)
    We used to watch this film every Halloween in honor of those who made it happen. And for Bruce and his fiance.

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    1. I agree one thousand percent. (if that's possible). This film should never be remade and I watch it every Halloween when I can. Sometimes at my annual Fright Fest and others, just by my lonesome. It is one of my all time favorite films.

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  2. I was working on a different movie here in Wilmington while The Crow was shooting. I will be posting my experiences in and around this movie's production in the not too distant future. Alex is also a little off -can't blame him for skipping them - it's THREE lame sequels AND a lame TV series. I also think he meant Brandon and his fiance.

    The remake idea is not at all surprising - but it doesn't seem like a good idea. Those who would be most interested are going to be those - like you, Melissa - who love the original movie and would never condone trying to remake it. The younger people not as exposed to the original aren't going to care. I think the fact that it's taking so long to gel shows it's not really anything that needs to happen.

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    1. I can't wait to hear about your experiences at this Craig. You have so many cool stories about the film industry. :)

      You're absolutely right, the younger set won't care as long as they get another cool action pic. Which is a shame, I mean where is the belief in watching classic cinema to capture and evoke a certain period of time? The remake will certainly not be as representative of this time as the original to the early 90's.

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  3. haven't seen in a long time, but from what I remember, I fully agree with you: an absolutely wonderful movie with a terrific cast, a haunting soundtrack and stunning-looking settings.

    doesn't surprise me that they wanna remake me. currently they wanna remake everything :-/

    btw, ever dared to watch any of the sequels?

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    1. Have only dared to watch City of Angels. It wasn't too, too bad, but it certainly did not strike me as good film and completely lacked the spirit of the original.

      The soundtrack and setting were just phenomenal, weren't they?

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  4. i cannot speak on the impact this film had and all the sadness it holds for many... the sequels were insults, a thought of a re-boot kills me to think to make a buck... brandon lee was cut way to short from our lives.... i have to say one thing... move and your dead, i am dead and i move.

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    1. Love the quote! Yes, the thought of a reboot kills me as well and I agree, the sequels were insults.

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  5. I haven't seen The Crow in ages, but I remember I was blown away by it, back in the mid 90s. I'll have to re-visit it, that's for sure.

    Beautifully-written post, Melissa. You expressed your passion about it through your words stunningly.

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    1. Thank you hon, your words mean a lot to me. :) You should absolutely revisit the Crow as soon as possible. It stands the test of time very well, I think.

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  6. The Crow is such a beautiful, bittersweet movie. It's in my top ten. We even have the authentic movie poster framed in our living room. (And two years in a row, I dressed as Brandon Lee. Need to find those photos, because the second year with the trenchcoat was great.)

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    1. The Crow is in easily near the top of my list, too. :) I love that you dressed like Brandon! I hope you will post them sometime for me to see. I loved that long, black trenchcoat and the way he "acquired" it from Tin Tin.

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  7. believe it or not, I've never actually seen the original film. But you know that I usually don't support remakes, unless someone decides to remake Flash Gordon or Dune :)

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    1. Flash Gordon or Dune could definitely use a remake. :) I hope you get a chance to see this movie,.I know it's bleak, but I think you would enjoy it very much.

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  8. I haven't seen this one yet - I'll definitely be putting it on my list now! :)

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    1. Yes! Put it on your list! I know you will love this movie. It is brilliant and haunting. :)

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  9. Melissa, best line ever "The haunting music captured the essence of Eric's post-industrial, hard scrabble world and included bands who literally defined that period of time."

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    1. Thank you so much, Maurice. That really made my day. :)

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  10. Great movie. Shouldn't be redone. "It can't rain all the time."

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    1. One of the seminal lines from the movie. :) I agree, it should never be remade. The spirit would be lost.

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  11. HUGE Brandon Lee fan, and I remember hearing on the news about his death. My first thought was that the Lee family curse had to be for real. Father and son gone too soon in tragic and mysterious ways.

    This movie is such a major influence on me.

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    1. Jay, this movie had a profound effect on me too. It spoke volumes to me with its theme of justice and lost love. I don't know where I would be creatively without it.

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  12. The backstory behind this film has always fascinated me. Brandon Lee had such potential as an action star. It was a shame the moviegoing community's glimpse of his greatness was so short-lived. And the film itself was an utter delight. I need to revisit The Crow before Hollywood digs its claws further.

    Great piece, Melissa!

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    1. Thank you, Matt! It means a lot to me that you enjoyed this piece as it was very personal for me and I had really hard time getting my thoughts down. I almost scrapped it, but I'm very happy that I didn't.

      Do revisit The Crow as soon as you can. You will get involved in the story all over again.

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  13. Some films should not be remade. Period.

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  14. Hi Melissa, nice to meet you. Followed you via your comment on Alex's guest post on my blog.

    The Crow sound like my kind of a movie.

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    1. It's so great to meet you as well and thank you very, very much for the follow. I loved Alex's spotlight on your blog.

      Definitely see The Crow, it is spectacular. :)

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  15. I've never seen this or even heard about it, but it sounds scary, especially all the true background stuff. You did an excellent job on this post, Melissa ... thanks for letting us know all about this movie and that there is another version on the way.

    I appreciate your visit today; hope things have cooled off and that you and your Mom are doing well. Did she get her air conditioning replaced?

    Hugs,

    Kathy M.

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    1. Thanks, Kathy! you are one of the sweetest people ever. :) I'm so very happy you enjoyed this piece. It was very personal on one of my favorite films ever.

      My mom did get her air conditioning replaced and the guy put in a nasty little trick that will shock someone if they try and cut the wires again.

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  16. I never saw The Crow. Been meaning to for years. I don't mind remakes and reboots so I'm looking forward tot he new one.

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    1. You should this original before any remakes come out. It is definitely worth the viewing. :)

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  17. I haven't seen this either but it sounds like I am missing out. I'm going to have to watch this.

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    1. Kimberly you need to see this. It is awesome from start to finish.

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  18. I didn't see it, though I have vague recollections of news on Lee's death. With only 8 days of filming, too. That's incredibly sad. I don't understand how Hollywood could be so heartless, stupid and money-grubbing.

    Thanks for the story, Melissa. It's a nice tribute to Brandon Lee and a great movie.

    xoRobyn

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    1. Thank you so much Robyn, your comment really hit me. I can only hope this was a somewhat pretty good little tribute to a young actor gone far too soon.

      Hugs!

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  19. remaking The Crow. That's one thought I can never bear...

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    1. PS. YOU WON AN AWARD!
      http://redandsticky.blogspot.com/2012/07/i-got-award-again.html

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    2. I can't bear it, either.

      Thank you so very, very much for the awesome award. I love it!

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  20. I haven't seen it, either, although my husband has. I should add it to my 2012 Movie Madness Challenge.

    Paramount pulling out of completion money--that's why making films is only for crazy people (says me...)

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    1. I honestly think that you would love this movie, Julia. It's all about the power of love and vengeance. Very moving stuff.

      Crazy peeps do get into making movies. :)

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  21. I love the passion in your prose! I have wanted to see this, so many times and haven't! I am going to make the time...
    I think it has always intrigued me. I just didn't want to watch it alone...for years I felt plagued with I would die, the same age my father did. Then there is the curse that surrounds this film, haunts me. Okay, I out lived my Dad so now I can watch the film...alone or not I will watch~

    Thanks for all the wonderful comments~ I so wish we could meet,perhaps someday! I will be better next week about responding...hubby is on vacation and my schedule/routine is in carnival mode. Let's go do this, where is that...I'm living in a fun house of redesign, lol ;D

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    1. You are making me blush, Ella! Thank you. You should most definitely take a chance and see this. it is just amazing and so very powerful. It is haunting and scary, but the end is epic.

      I hear you on the commenting. It is taking me forever to nail down time to get back to people. I feel just awful.

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  22. I agree completely! We don't need a remake of it. They can't top the original, let it stay a tribute to Brandon Lee. There must be something in the air as I've been working on a "The Crow" post!

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    1. Great minds do think alike, Brent! I loved your piece on The Crow. It just one of those rare movies that comes along just once and all the stars align for magic.

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  23. Haven't seen this movie--but it sounds really good.

    They seem to be coming out with remakes of everything these days.

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    1. Hollywood has become reboot and remake city of late. You should see this movie, I know it will stay with you for a long time to come. In the best way, though. :)

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  24. I had to watch The Crow after reading your post last week. It never gets old! (Your blog and the movie).

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    1. Thanks, Jay!You are too kind. :) I went and re-watched The Crow again myself after I finished this post. It is an epic tale.

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  25. The Crow, was a masterpiece and certainly can be compared with the majesty of Shakespeare, as you have said. I only hope that the do the original justice with the remake! Although I also think it would be best left untouched!

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    1. I absolutely agree with the masterpiece sentiment and I'm very happy you liked my Shakespeare comparison. I think the director they have Juan Carlos Fresnadillo will do a good job, but this is a one-of-a-kind treasure for me and I just don't want to see remade. :)

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  26. What a great read, Mel! And here I was thinking that I was the only one who felt so passionately about The Crow.

    I remember clearly going to the movies when I was 13 years old to watch it. I remember it being rated MA15+ meaning that you needed to be 15 and over to watch it and I lied my ass off to get into that cinema! Nothing was going to stop me from watching it.

    What I was on-screen blew me away, impressed me, and inspired me to learn as much as I could about the film. I was already a Brandon Lee fan from 'Showdown in Little Tokyo' and 'Rapid Fire' and felt absolutely devastated when I learnt of his death during the filming.

    I felt that it was such a great loss when his role as Eric Draven would have become the role that would have defined him and set him up for bigger things. Much like the tragic loss of Heath Ledger and his immortal role as The Joker.

    I watched 'The Crow' that many times on VHS that I actually lost count after 33 viewings. I watched it so much that I could quote the entire film.

    The most appealing aspect to me was that it was a story of how love will conquer all. It may not be the first film you'd think of when you mention "love" but it is the driving factor in the movie.

    I tried to collect as much memorabilia as I could once every scene of 'The Crow' had seared itself into my memory. I sought out; the graphic novel, t-shirts, making-of books, posters, standees, magazines with interviews, action figures, soundtracks, and other assorted things.

    I love this movie. I will never forget this movie. And nothing, even sequels/remakes/prequels/tv shows will ever diminish the impact that 'The Crow' had on those who were lucky enough to be inspired by it.

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    1. I absolutely love your final thoughts, Russ, and I happen to share them. While they may do remake and I will certainly not look forward to it, this Crow will always mean the world to me. I think I told someone that there are not enough words in the English language to adequately describe my love of this movie.

      As a fellow ardent fan of Brandon and The Crow, I appreciate the wonderful comment you left.I am so happy that your were finally able to read this in the midst of a big move and everything. That means a lot.

      I love that you have all of the memorabilia. Believe I have a poster and the graphic novel. I remember all the interviews and the articles in magazines everywhere when the film was released and the waiting in line for two hours to get into a show. I lost count of how many times I went to the show and there was the VHS copy I wore out as well.

      You're right, this movie's impact will never be diminished in spite of remakes. :)

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