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THE CRAFT

THE CRAFT ($29) is something of a cliché when it comes to dealing with the subject of female empowerment. THE CRAFT features four female protagonists who are outcasts amongst their high school social structure. When these young women gain supernatural power through the use of witchcraft… the witches become bitches. It’s one thing to get even with the people who give you grief; it’s another when high school level revenge leaves death and destruction in its wake. If nothing else, THE CRAFT certainly proves the old adage about absolute power. 

The film starts off like a typical film about teenaged angst, and contains some humorous moments, but THE CRAFT turns nasty by its midsection, changing the tone of the film to supernatural thriller. Eventually, one of the coven members develops a conscience, thus causing her to fall out of favor with the others. This leads the film to its inevitable supernatural showdown. Fairuza Balk, Robin Tunney, Neve Campbell and Rachel True are all talented and attractive actresses who are enjoyable to watch on the screen. Plus, all four manage to rise over the structural weaknesses in the film’s screenplay. The cast of THE CRAFT also features Skeet Ulrich, Christine Taylor, Breckin Meyer, Nathaniel Marston, Cliff De Young, Assumpta Serna, Helen Shaver, Jeanine Jackson and Brenda Strong.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has made THE CRAFT available on Blu-ray Disc in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. THE CRAFT features a fine 1080p presentation that brings out a fairly strong mid-1990’s image. Sharpness and detail do impress in well-lit sequences and those without digital elements. Darker moments and those with effects appear mildly softer, but not distractingly so. Close-ups demonstrate terrific fine detail, with flaws in the actors skin being readily apparent. Colors generally appear fully saturated, while the flesh tones are usually appealing. Blacks are deep, whites are crisp and contrast is smooth. Shadow detail is adequate, but never exemplary. The elements from which THE CRAFT have been transferred display some minor blemishes. Also, some grain is present in the image.

THE CRAFT is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This is a fairly aggressive mixed track, with strong sound effects emanating from the outlying channels during key moments. Sounds swirl around the soundstage effortlessly. The sound design is also nicely atmospheric during the incantation sequences. Thanks to the lossless encode, fidelity is pretty great, producing convincing sound effects and a solid musical component. Dialogue is always clean and easy to understand. The bass channel is deep and adds the necessary percussive force to the proceedings. French and Portuguese 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks are also encoded onto the disc. Subtitles are available in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean and Thai.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the disc's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as some extras. Starting things off is a running Audio Commentary with director Andrew Fleming. Featurettes include Conjuring The Craft (twenty four minutes) and an Original Behind The Scenes Of The Craft (six minutes). Some Deleted Scenes with optional commentary close out the standard extras. THE CRAFT is also BD-Live enabled (requires a Profile 2.0 player).

Despite something of a nasty streak, THE CRAFT is a fun supernatural thriller that has been given a nice upgrade to high definition. Fans will definitely want to check out the Blu-ray.

 

THE CRAFT 


The Craft [Blu-ray] (1996)

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DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2009 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 

 

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