Crank – UHD Review

Blah Blah @!%@%@ blah 3 Stars

Freelance hitman Chev Chelios (Jason Statham) wakes up to find that he has been poisoned with a concoction that is attacking his adrenal system. If he stops moving, he dies. Chelios has two goals: survive long enough to kill his tormentor Verona (Jose Pablo Cantillo) and maybe get an antidote from his dead body. Failing that he wants to come clean to new girlfriend Eve (Amy Smart). Helping him along the way are his doctor Doc Miles (Dwight Yoakam) and his out-there best friend Kaylo (Efren Ramirez). Like the human equivalent of the bus from ‘Speed’, Chelios must keep moving forward, consuming caffeine and other drugs to power through his quest, before either his heart gives out or the poison takes over.


Crank (2006)
Released: 01 Sep 2006
Rated: R
Runtime: 88 min
Director: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor
Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller
Cast: Jason Statham, Amy Smart, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Efren Ramirez
Writer(s): Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor
Plot: Professional assassin Chev Chelios learns his rival has injected him with a poison that will kill him if his heart rate drops.
IMDB rating: 7.0
MetaScore: 57

Disc Information
Studio: Lionsgate
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution: 2160p HEVC w/HDR
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audio: Dolby Atmos
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Rating: R
Run Time: 87 Min.
Package Includes: UHD, Blu-ray, Digital Copy
Case Type: Keep Case
Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
Region: A
Release Date: 05/21/2019
MSRP: $22.99

The Production: 2.5/5

Crank is a real bummer on a whole variety of fronts. First, as a film shot on HD camcorders it is in no way representative of what UHD can achieve visually and should actually be the poster child for what NOT to make a big deal of ‘upgrading’ from Bluray over. Sure, it now has a mild HDR pass and a new Atmos transfer, both of which we will talk about below, but neither are compelling upgrades.

Add to that the racism and homophobia that Chelios exhibits and it’s a pretty harsh throwback. On one hand Chelios’s best friend is doing his own thing, without having any kind of label attached to it. That was cool and progressive for its day. But the homophobic putdowns that Chelios uses against Verona when talking about members of his family and crew that have been wiped out would never pass today. Nor would the attack on the black biker gang with it’s torrent of N words being used by the gang and Chelios alike. You can’t even pass it off as ‘friendly banter’ like a Tarantino film, it’s clearly neither friendly nor ironically used.

As a film I liked Crank when I first saw it theatrically and well enough when the blu dropped. It was a system seller for sure in 2006. I guess we’ve moved on in a lot of ways since then.

Video: 2/5

3D Rating: NA

Crank was shot on Canon XL-2 and Sony CineAlta HDC-F950 cameras using Zeiss DigiPrime and DigiZoom Lenses. Top of the line for a first generation 1080p shoot. It was digitally manipulated to add film grain and 24p encoding, and additional filters were used liberally to distort playback and add additional film-like effects. Still, the original content maxed out at 1/4 the resolution that UHD is capable of, and scanning the resulting film as a 4k UHD isn’t going to magically add any details. There’s grain, video noise, blown highlights and other artifacts aplenty here. Some are surely in the capture, some are added via the tweaks the DP chose for the theatrical ‘look’.

I don’t have the original Blu any more so I can’t tell if it ‘feels’ any different, but if it does that’s likely due to the light UHD pass applied on to the scan. A few scenes had bright highlights that are telltales of this effect, including sparks from motorcycle skids. My recommendation is to hold off on upgrading if you were hoping on a big resolution bump, you canna break the rules of physics, Captain!

Audio: 3.5/5

Crank had a very favorably reviewed Bluray Lossless LPCM 7.1 audio track that was state of the art for 2006. This UHD’s Atmos track sounds like it used that recording as a base and moved very little to the ceiling height speakers. It’s very active with non stop use of the entire room as shots, crashes, explosions, punches, and other environmental cues come from a full circle around the listener. It’s fun and engaging, but it’s nowhere near a compelling adaptation of Atmos technology. Once again a strike if you were hoping the new encode would be a favorable reason to upgrade.

Special Features: 2/5

All of the extras are identical to the 2006 Bluray. Boooo.

· “Shooting Crank” Featurette
· “The Stunts of Crank” Featurette
· “Pushing Crank” Featurette
· NEW “Crank @ Comic-Con” Featurette
· NEW “More Stories from Crank” Featurette

The ‘More stories” is an exhaustive behind the scenes Q&A with cast and crew. I didn’t time it but it’s gotta be at least 45 minutes. If you are a Crank fan you’ll enjoy it and wonder why more did not get added to this UHD.

Overall: 2/5

Ultimately Crank starts off as a very poor choice for a UHD re-release and get’s hobbled by a mediocre ‘upgrade’ to Atmos sound (tho the original soundtrack is still great!) and zero new special features.

I can’t remember Lionsgate having put out similar disappointing releases on UHD, and I hope this is not what we will see on their future re-releases!

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Published by

Sam Posten

editor,member

18 Comments

  1. Lionsgate seems to be “upgrading” their entire library to 4k UHR HDR Atmos IMAX etc

    I spent about 20 minutes with this disc, hated it -both the film and the 4k disc – so much, I began a scathing review, but relented and went for a quick shock treatment.

    I saw it as Speed, but with a dumb script and horrific acting.

    Now I need not review

    Thank you for yours,

    Studio execs really need to put serious thought into what they’re bringing to 4k, before the format implodes upon itself.

  2. Robert Harris

    Lionsgate seems to be “upgrading” their entire library to 4k UHR HDR Atmos IMAX etc

    I spent about 20 minutes with this disc, hated it -both the film and the 4k disc – so much, I began a scathing review, but relented and went for a quick shock treatment.

    I saw it as Speed, but with a dumb script and horrific acting.

    Now I need not review

    Thank you for yours,

    Studio execs really need to put serious thought into what they’re bringing to 4k, before the format implodes upon itself.

    I agree it's not a good movie. I think the 4K is true to the source – it's just a source that doesn't benefit from 4k!

  3. Robert Harris

    Now I need not review

    Thank you for yours,

    Studio execs really need to put serious thought into what they’re bringing to 4k, before the format implodes upon itself.

    Thank you for the kind words. I am glad we are in agreement on what a mess this disk is, and sad that it is indeed such a mess.

  4. I loved this film. I always thought it was a film version equivalent of the "Grand Theft Auto" video game franchise. 🙂

    With that being said, could it be that the "mess" that this uhd disc is, is entirely deliberate on the part of the original producers? (ie. For "aesthetic" type reasons).

  5. Sam Posten

    Thank you for the kind words. I am glad we are in agreement on what a mess this disk is, and sad that it is indeed such a mess.

    I’m not sure that it’s a mess. I question its relevancy to the format, as I would 16mm to 4k. Seems like a waste of production, that could go to something deserving.

    Think The Court Jester in 4k!

  6. Robert Harris

    I’m not sure that it’s a mess. I question its relevancy to the format, as I would 16mm to 4k. Seems like a waste of production, that could go to something deserving.

    Think The Court Jester in 4k!

    Oh man, we all have our druthers on what would have been better choices. =) The forum is littered with those threads so I won't list mine here.

    Regarding 'mess', I am using it in the Laurel and Hardy term 'a fine mess' here. The legion of things that went wrong here outweigh the good. The film was fun in its day, but today I think Chelios words are as bleak as his profession. The UHD format doesn't give this film's look any favors. The Atmos transfer doesn't really sing. There are no new extras,

    NOT that it looks or sounds bad. It's just shovelware. It's the first shovelware on UHD. And THAT is a fine mess.

  7. I bought this on DVD when it first came out watched it once and put it in my to trade pile. I like Jason Statham but his film just didn’t work for me.

  8. Sam Posten

    Oh man, we all have our druthers on what would have been better choices. =) The forum is littered with those threads so I won't list mine here.

    Regarding 'mess', I am using it in the Laurel and Hardy term 'a fine mess' here. The legion of things that went wrong here outweigh the good. The film was fun in its day, but today I think Chelios words are as bleak as his profession. The UHD format doesn't give this film's look any favors. The Atmos transfer doesn't really sing. There are no new extras,

    NOT that it looks or sounds bad. It's just shovelware. It's the first shovelware on UHD. And THAT is a fine mess.

    The proper word is “dreck.”

  9. Robert Harris

    Lionsgate seems to be “upgrading” their entire library to 4k UHR HDR Atmos IMAX etc

    I spent about 20 minutes with this disc, hated it -both the film and the 4k disc – so much, I began a scathing review, but relented and went for a quick shock treatment.

    I saw it as Speed, but with a dumb script and horrific acting.

    Now I need not review

    Thank you for yours,

    Studio execs really need to put serious thought into what they’re bringing to 4k, before the format implodes upon itself.

    Sam Posten

    Oh man, we all have our druthers on what would have been better choices. =) The forum is littered with those threads so I won't list mine here.

    Regarding 'mess', I am using it in the Laurel and Hardy term 'a fine mess' here. The legion of things that went wrong here outweigh the good. The film was fun in its day, but today I think Chelios words are as bleak as his profession. The UHD format doesn't give this film's look any favors. The Atmos transfer doesn't really sing. There are no new extras,

    NOT that it looks or sounds bad. It's just shovelware. It's the first shovelware on UHD. And THAT is a fine mess.

    I never saw this one, but did review the sequel on DVD back in the day (that link has disappeared, too) and felt the same way as you two did.

  10. I'm sure this is released somewhat to cash in on the current visibility of Jason Statham. He had a hit last fall with The Meg, and will surely have a huge hit later this summer with Hobbs & Shaw.

  11. Studios really need to focus on releasing quality catalog movies sooner than later on this format. Some have arrived, but too many are still missing. No need to wait years like they did on previous formats for the large install base. There is a far smaller window of opportunity now. This isn't the 1990s.

  12. Dave H

    Studios really need to focus on releasing quality catalog movies sooner than later on this format. Some have arrived, but too many are still missing. No need to wait years like they did on previous formats for the large install base. There is a far smaller window of opportunity now. This isn't the 1990s.

    What Lionsgate titles do you think they've left on the shelves and should go out 4K?

    Don't mean this to sound snarky – honestly curious to know what LG titles are out there that seem like good candidates for 4K!

  13. Colin Jacobson

    What Lionsgate titles do you think they've left on the shelves and should go out 4K?

    Don't mean this to sound snarky – honestly curious to know what LG titles are out there that seem like good candidates for 4K!

    The MacGyver reboot. 😉

  14. Colin Jacobson

    What Lionsgate titles do you think they've left on the shelves and should go out 4K?

    Don't mean this to sound snarky – honestly curious to know what LG titles are out there that seem like good candidates for 4K!

    Are you really freaking serious?

    Quick, off the top of my head: Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill 1/2, From Dusk til Dawn, The Crow, Angel Heart, Stargate, Total Recall, Hamburger Hill, Basic Instinct, The Others, Bad Lieutenant, Frailty, The Doors, Glengarry GlenRoss…most of these are very mediocre quality Blus as well.

    Do I really need to continue?

  15. Dave H

    Are you really freaking serious? 😮

    Quick, off the top of my head: Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, From Dusk til Dawn, The Crow, Angel Heart, Stargate, Total Recall, Hamburger Hill, Basic Instinct, The Others, Bad Lieutenant, Frailty, The Doors, The Decent, Glengarry GlenRoss…most of these are very mediocre to poor quality Blus as well. Lionsgate didn't hit a lot of homeruns on Blu-ray, but their UHD BDs have been pretty darn solid.

    Do I really need to continue?

    Believe it or not, I don't have Lionsgate's catalog committed to memory.

    Sorry – I'll make sure to study up next time I post! 🙄

  16. Colin Jacobson

    Believe it or not, I don't have Lionsgate's catalog committed to memory.

    Sorry – I'll make sure to study up next time I post! 🙄

    Well, you asked me a question and I gave you an answer. 🙄

  17. Colin Jacobson

    With unnecessary attitude – unless "are you really freaking serious" was an important part of the answer for reasons I don't see…

    I had put a face icon to it as it was not meant to be "snarky".

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