32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Blu-ray: Sony gives "The Craft" the DTS-HD MA treatment and if you enjoyed the film, you will dig the lossless soundtrack!,
This review is from: The Craft [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
In 1996, with a plethora of teen horror movies coming out to theaters, one supernatural film that stood out was "The Craft".
The film was directed by Andrew Fleming ("Grosse Pointe", "Paranormal Girl", "Dick") and featured a story written by Peter Filardi ("Flatliners", "Salem's Lot"). Joining the two are composer Grame Revell ("Pineapple Express", "The Ruins", "The Condemned", "Eleventh Hour") and cinematographer Alexander Gruszynski ("The In-Laws", "Nancy Drew" and "Madea Goes to Jail").
VIDEO & AUDIO:
"The Craft" is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:85:1). For a film that was released in 1996, "The Craft" actually looks good for being nearly 13-years-old. The film is not exactly vibrant nor do you see tons of detail but the film does manage to retain the film's grain and blacks are nice and deep. If anything, outdoor scenes manages to look nice, colorful and bright but for the most part, it's a good transfer but nothing that would be scene as reference or spectacular.
As for audio, this is where things get interesting. "The Craft" is one of the few Blu-ray releases in 2009 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment to utilize an a 5.1 DTS-HD MA lossless track instead of DolbyTrue HD. The film gives a choice of English, French and Portuguese lossless tracks but what I was truly impressed by is how immersive the soundtrack for this film was.
So far, Sony has done a good job of bringing out the audio track for 90's films this year such as "Air Force One" and now, the same can be said with "The Craft". From lighting, to rain, ambient noises, conversations in the background and crickets, you hear it utilized quite nicely through the surround channels.
The sound effects really are utilized through the surround channels. So, the film goes beyond the front and center channel speakers for dialogue and music. Also, you'll notice some scenes utilizing LFE quite a bit, so overall, fans of the film will truly enjoy the lossless soundtrack of "The Craft".
Subtitles are presented in English, English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese, Koeran and Thai.
"The Craft" comes with the following special features (all presented in standard definition and in English stereo/English Mono with English, Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese and Thai subtitles):
* Director's Commentary - Director Andrew Fleming's audio commentary about "The Craft". Fleming is good at discussing certain parts of the film and how they had a technical adviser who runs a large covenant of witches, thus lending accuracy to the film.
* Conjuring the Craft - (24:33) A featurette featuring the screenwriter, director and producer along with the talent talking about the film and their experiences on working about the film. Also, how the crew hired an actual witch to help in the consulting of the film.
* The Original "Behind the Scenes of The Craft" - (6:00) Featuring the cast and director talking about the film and their characters. Plus clips from the film.
* Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary - Deleted scenes which include: Healing Bonnie, Confrontation and Nancy performs magic. Optional commentary of why the scenes were cut by Director Andrew Fleming.
"The Craft" was a pretty solid supernatural thriller back in 1996 and even over a decade later, the film continues to be entertaining and fun. Nor does it try to approach the supernatural or witchcraft storyline in a lame manner.
For the most part, very solid performances by Fairuza Balk, Robin Tunney, Neve Campbell and Rachel True. The film was before Neve Campbell became well-known for "Party of Five" and Fairuza Balk before "The Waterboy" but the crew did a good job in selecting Fairuza Balk (who is familiar with wicka) as the main antagonist of the film. Balk somehow has this dark look to her in the film but for the most part, she did a fantastic job portraying Nancy Downs. It was interesting to find out through the special features that Balk was familiar with witchcraft and that the director and producers felt that she embodied the role of Nancy. And of course, for the role of our main protagonist, Robin Tunney did a fantastic job playing the role of the protagonist Sarah Bailey.
"The Craft" definitely receives a solid picture and audio transfer. But as mentioned in the video & audio portion, the fact that Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is testing out the DTS-HD Master Audio codec with this release is quite interesting. I am starting to prefer the DTS-HD Master Audio for lossless audio and for this film, it definitely made the film much more enjoyable as the sound effects really utilize the surround channels. In fact, one time I thought there was a cricket in my house but it was actually from the film.
Overall, "The Craft" was an enjoyable film featuring a solid screenplay, good choice of casting and for the most part, giving an edge to this dark teenage film. Although the film is Rated-R, the film is by no means is "The Craft" a slasher film nor is their nudity. But for fans who truly enjoyed this film, "The Craft" definitely gets a solid HD release on Blu-ray. Definitely worth checking out!
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Initial post: Feb 1, 2010 6:48:47 PM PST
Thanks for this informative review of the BD release! It was very helpful.
Posted on Apr 4, 2013 6:21:18 AM PDT
Neve Campbell was already on Party of Five when this came out
Posted on May 5, 2014 4:14:55 AM PDT
Gordon Gilbert says:
I can't comprehend why so many reviews of The Craft on Blu-Ray say the picture is good. It's AWFUL. I've got the DVD version as well and the side-by-side comparisons show that the Blu-Ray is barely sharper than the DVD. I've got a 93" screen and projector setup so it's blatant. The Commando BD I just got may be high on film grain, but at least it's fairly sharp, much more so than the DVD. The Craft looks like someone took a DVD and used up-scaling to transfer it to Blu-Ray and the worst part is people don't even notice. They think it's lovely. I really liked the movie (which is why I bought it again on BD), but it's a poor transfer.
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