Crush (1992)

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Released 17-Jun-2005

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Audio
Audio Commentary-Alison Maclean (Director) And Marcia Gay Harden (Actor)
Interviews-Crew-Movie Show Interview With Alison Maclean (Director)
Gallery-Photo
Short Film-Kitchen Sink
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Vigil, The Navigator, Three Dollars, Down By Law, Dead Man
Trailer-Tokyo Story
Booklet
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1992
Running Time 92:15 (Case: 91)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Alison Maclean
Studio
Distributor
Hibiscus Films
Madman Entertainment
Starring Marcia Gay Harden
Donogh Rees
Caitlin Bossley
William Zappa
Pete Smith
Joe Brazier
Geoffrey Southern
Shirley Wilson
Denise Lyness
Jennifer Karehana
David Stott
Harata Solomon
Caroline De Lore
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Anthony Partos


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    Crush is Alison Maclean's first feature film as a director. Alison was at the time a New Zealand based filmmaker, although she was born in Canada. Her film career as a director surprisingly only spans two feature films to date, her second feature being the 1999 film Jesus' Son. Alison has more extensive credits directing television in the US, notably a couple of episodes of Sex and the City and Homicide: Life on the Street, as well as some mini series work.

    Crush is set in the picturesque New Zealand town of Rotorua, which is famous for its boiling mud pools and geysers. This creates the perfect backdrop for her twisted tale of manipulation, seduction and revenge. The considerably menacing premise of this film follows on from Maclean's impressive short film, Kitchen Sink, which is included as an extra on this DVD.

    Christina (Donogh Rees) is a literary critic, traveling with her American friend, Lane (Marcia Gay Harden), to interview respected author Colin Iseman (William Zappa). On route to the author's home in Rotorua, Lane's careless driving causes her to crash the car on a country road.

    Lane emerges from the upturned car virtually unscathed. She leaves Christina pinned under the wreck with life threatening injuries and simply walks away.

    Lane arrives at the home of the author and meets his fifteen year old daughter, Angela (Caitlin Bossley). Angela naturally assumes that Lane is Christina and comments that they expected her to arrive the day before. With Colin not at home, Lane takes the opportunity not to correct her identity and assumes the role of Christina. With the absence of a mother in Angela's life, Lane's mischievous spirit infatuates the teenager and the two become good friends very quickly.

    Lane discovers that Christina is alive, but in a coma at hospital, and then reveals the truth to Angela. The fact that she hadn't actually lied about her identity is pointed out to Angela.

    Colin is soon drawn into Lane's game of seduction and he becomes totally consumed by her. With her father's sudden obsession with this femme fatale, both he and Lane become outsiders in Angela's life. She is seemingly relegated in the order of importance in their lives.

    In an act of revenge, Angela begins visiting Christina in hospital. She becomes instrumental in Christina's re-awakening and her promising but limited rehabilitation. Angela commences a sinister campaign to coach Christina into remembering the negligence and betrayal of her old friend. As Christina's memory of the incident slowly returns, so too does her hatred of her once close and trusted friend.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    A pristine new print of the film was used for this video transfer. The result is outstanding and it was an absolute pleasure to watch.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. The film's original aspect ratio is 1.85:1.

    The sharpness and clarity levels of this transfer were very striking. Blacks were bold and remarkably deep. I found no evidence of low-level noise. Shadows held an excellent amount of detail.

    Colours were vivid and very natural. They appeared perfectly balanced on the disc, with no hint of oversaturation.

    There were no MPEG artefacts in this transfer. Film-to-video artefacts were non-existent. I tried very hard to find something of significance in the way of artefacts, but failed to do so. Some darker scenes exhibited minor film grain, but this was certainly inherent in the source material and not at all problematic. As previously mentioned, the brand new print meant that this transfer was virtually free of film artefacts.

    Unfortunately, there are no subtitles available on this DVD.

    This DVD is a single sided, dual layer disc. The layer change occurs at 30:17 and is poorly placed. It is very disruptive to the flow of the film and could have been much better placed.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio transfer is also very impressive.

    There are two audio tracks available on this disc; English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s) surround encoded and English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s).

    Dialogue quality was excellent and delivered clear results even with the varying accents in the film. I found no problems with audio sync, which appeared to be spot on throughout the film.

    The original musical score is credited to JPS Experience with orchestral music by Antony Partos. Antony composed the music over the opening and closing credits, as well as some orchestral links to the JPS Experience music. The music score in general enhances the often eerie atmosphere of Crush really well.

    The absence of a 5.1 audio track was not really an issue here. The surrounds were very active and contributed considerable atmosphere to the film. The surround encoded audio track worked a treat and actually had me looking over my shoulder a couple of times.

    The subwoofer was also highly active, enhancing bass elements in the score and enhancing direct sound effects. The eruption of a geyser at 8:09 is a perfect example of the excellent subwoofer usage.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    The superb selection of extras on this DVD offers the viewer extensive insight into the making of Crush. There is also the worthy inclusion of Alison Maclean's short film, Kitchen Sink.

Menu

   The main menu is static, has 16x9 enhancement and features samples of music and sound from the film. The featured audio is Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s), which is surround encoded. The scene selection menu is worth mentioning. Some considerable time and effort has gone into the concept and design of this menu. It features stills of three chapters at a time, which appear through the windows of a house. Difficult to explain, but a very original and effective menu, which is worth noting in this review.

Audio Commentary - Alison Maclean (Director) and Marcia Gay Harden (Actor)

    Some eleven years after the film was made, Alison and Marcia sit in a studio and discuss Crush. Despite Alison's warning of possible gaps in the commentary due to the passage of time, it is quite an informative and sometimes humorous chat between the two. The main elements of the film are comprehensively discussed, with only the occasional brief pause in commentary.

Interview with Alison Maclean  (21:14)

    This interesting 1993 interview with Margaret Pomeranz provides insights into many of the behind-the-scenes aspects and production values of Crush. Much of this information is also mentioned in the audio commentary, but it is still worth viewing and is a worthy inclusion on this DVD. Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s) audio.

Short Film - Kitchen Sink  (13:40)

    Alison Maclean's Kitchen Sink is a twisted little tale with some similarities to David Lynch's debut film, Eraserhead. Made in 1989 and shot in black and white, the film was selected to compete at Cannes that same year. This is a bizarre tale of a woman who finds more than she bargained for when pulling a loose strand of hair from the drain in her kitchen sink. Elements of horror and very dark humor make Kitchen Sink a somewhat disturbing but highly enjoyable short film from Alison Maclean. This film is also an early work of respected cinematographer Stuart Dryburgh. He went on to shoot the Jane Campion films An Angel At My Table and The Piano and more recently the brilliant New Zealand film In My Father's Den. Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s) audio.

Original Theatrical Trailer

    Crush (1:48)

Image Gallery

    A collection of twenty three non-descript images from the film. Some stills are reversed to how they appear in the film.

Madman Propaganda

Booklet

   This is a two page excerpt from an article on Crush by Lizzie Franke in Sight And Sound, April 1993.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    At the time of this review, there is no R1 version of Crush available.

Summary

    Although the film does raise a few unanswered questions, Crush is still a compelling and visually haunting film.

    The video and audio transfers are of a high standard.

    The selection of extras are very worthy and will satisfy admirers of Crush.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Steve Crawford (Tip toe through my bio)
Saturday, October 08, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDJVC XV-N412, using Component output
DisplayHitachi 106cm Plasma Display 42PD5000MA (1024x1024). This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080i.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationPanasonic SA-HE70 80W Dolby Digital and DTS
SpeakersFronts: Jensen SPX7 Rears: Jensen SPX4 Centre: Jensen SPX13 Subwoofer: Jensen SPX17

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