Crank – 4K UHD Blu-ray Review

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Film Title: Crank
Release Date: 2006
Rating: R
Runtimes: 88 minutes
Region Coding: Region Free
Studio: Lionsgate
Audio Format: Dolby Atmos
High Dynamic Range: HDR10 & Dolby Vision
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Formats Available: 4K UHD Blu-ray | Blu-ray
Version Reviewed: 4K UHD Blu-ray
Release Date: 5/21/19
Directors: Mark Neveldine & Brian Taylor
Cast: Jason StathamAmy SmartCarlos Sanz, Efren Ramirez, Dwight Yoakam, Carlos Sanz, Reno Wilson, Edi Gathegi, Glenn Howerton, Chester Bennington

Jump to Sections: Movie | Video | Audio | Bonus | Closing | Screenshots
Full 4K Tech Specs can be found at the very bottom.

crank1.jpg4K Screenshot coming soon

The Movie

“There are a thousand ways to raise your adrenaline. Today, Chev Chelios will need every single one.”

With a tag line like that, you would most certainly expect the co-directors and writers Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor to throw nearly every over the top method of getting one’s blood pumping in this film… no worries they do.

The near 90-minute directorial debut of Neveldine and Taylor is a fun one thanks to a highly stylistic look (more on this later) with quick cuts, innovative camera work that for its time and budget broke some ground. The film grossed an impressive 27 million on a 12 million budget which leads to the even more ridiculous sequel, Crank: High Voltage (2009).

This films origins are fascinating to me. Crank was inspired by Run Lola Run (1998) and has quite an interesting list of actors who were offered the role and passed. The directors shopped the film around via Lakeshore Entertainment with Johnny Knoxville as “Chev Chelios” in mind but then moved on to Brad Pitt who liked the script but passed, then to Gerald Butler, then Dwayne Johnson who also passed. Finally, it was offered to Jason Statham who took it. One could only imagine how the film would have been with any of those other actors at the helm.

The film is distributed from Lionsgate, who has been cranking (I went there) out great 4K UHD discs lately, and it stars Jason Statham (The Transporter, The MegFast and Furious fame), Amy Smart (The Butterfly EffectRoad Trip, Varsity Blues), Jose Pablo Cantillo (“Sons of Anarchy”), and Dwight Yoakam (platinum country recording artist turned actor).

The film includes a host of other actors in unnamed parts like Chester Bennington formerly of the band Linkin Park (R.I.P), Noel Gugliemi of TV’s Mayans M.C. (2018), Sam Witwer of most “Star Wars” video games in the last decade and even Edi Gathegi from Twilight (2008) series fame and TV’s The Blacklist (2013).

Not only did the director duo write the film they also shot most of it with cinematographer Adam Biddle on a mix of Canon XL-2 Mini DV 480p cameras and Sony Cinealta HDC F950 in HD which make for quite the mix in raw gritty visuals. The camera work here is also top notch with the directors even filming using rollerblades for difficult shots, using actual Google Maps screens to show the real locations scenes were shot for the film add to the interesting takes used by the directors.

The filmmakers wanted this film to have a frenetic look with grit to match its over the top script and despite the character development, not to mention Statham’s softer moments being nonexistent, it works and I enjoyed the film. Check your brain at the door.

Movie Rating: 3 (out of 5)


crank24K Screenshot coming soon

Video Quality

The film is presented in a 1:78:1 aspect ratio shot with a mix of HD and SD cameras. As mentioned above this was shot mostly by the directors and cinematographer Adam Biddle on a mix of Canon XL-2 Mini DV 480p cameras and Sony Cinealta HDC F950 in HD. This 4K UHD Blu-ray release of “Crank” is presented in Dolby Vision and HDR10 forms of High Dynamic Range.

Comparing the Blu-ray and 4K UHD discs it shows off a small boost in color, black levels, and resolution on the 4K UHD but, as sad as it is to say, it’s by no means an eye-catching disc. This seems to go along with the intent of the directors. Would it have been nice for the film to have a remastered look, sure but part of the films charm is the raw look and it works here. This is the best the film has ever looked but despite that, it’s just not really all that impressive visually in 4K.

Video Quality Rating: 3 (out of 5)


CRANK 2: HIGH VOLTAGE, Jason Statham (right), 2009. ©Lions Gate/courtesy Everett Collection4K Screenshot coming soon

Audio Quality

Audio here is presented in Dolby Atmos, with a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 core included for those without the proper equipment to decode the Atmos format.

The original 2007 Blu-ray was always a fantastic demo-worthy disc release years back so I had high hopes for this new Dolby Atmos mix and thankfully it delivered. From the very opening moments of the heartbeat up to the last scenes with the helicopter blades overhead, this mix is brilliant. The heights and surrounds are engaged near non-stop with each action sequence but never distracts, creating a massive sound field. Bass response is room shaking, the dialogue is clear and detailed with all channels engaged. The last half of the film is demo material and sure to bring a smile to your face. Movies like this are why you buy a surround sound system.

Audio Quality Rating: 4.5 (out of 5)


crank54K Screenshot coming soon

Bonus Materials

Bonus materials physically included on this release include:

  • A Digital Copy of the film is included via Movies Anywhere which is compatible with services like Apple’s iTunes and VUDU. Here you get a paper insert inside the packaging that contains a code you put in at the URL listed.
  • A Blu-ray Disc of the film is included with bonus materials.

The bonus materials are all found on the Blu-ray Disc. The Blu-ray Disc includes:

  • “Shooting Crank (7:10 – HD) – a Focus on how the film was shot in HD and the techniques that were used to film it.
  • “The Stunts of Crank (17:25 – HD) – The stunts of the film and even highlighting how Jason Statham did his own stunts.
  • “Pushing Crank (6:21 – HD) – The films viral marketing is highlighted here such as the movie posters, YouTube and various other things.
  • Crank @ Comic-Con” (11:20 – HD) – A 2006 Q&A sees Jason Statham talking about his feelings on the film and how the movie was shot.
  • “More Stories from Crank (25:23 – HD) – Various stories from the cast and directors.

Overall the bonus materials here are informative, sure, but they are nothing more than the original Blu-ray Disc extras, with nothing new added aside from a digital copy this time around. It would have been nice to maybe have got some new extras like retrospectives or such considering the film is over a decade now in age.

Bonus Materials Rating: 2 (out of 5)


crank44K Screenshot coming soon

Closing Thoughts

“Crank” is a fun wild ride from beginning to end. The characters what little we knew of them are hardly developed, plot holes abound and Jason Statham is as wooden as ever… so why does it all work so damn well?  I’m not sure but perhaps it’s just so over the top I was left just exhausted for Chev and didn’t pay the flaws any mind till I relaxed and reflected.

That said, this offers a video presentation in 4K that, admittedly, is a small upgrade from the original 2007 Blu-ray but just not as major, as you might have expected. The audio here in Dolby Atmos is plenty aggressive and fun. This film’s audio will certainly leave you impressed. Sadly the lack of new extras limit the need to upgrade from the already great Blu-ray, that is unless you want to experience some stellar object-based audio.

In terms of 4K UHD Blu-ray release, this gets:
3 (out of 5) for video quality
4.5 (out of 5) for audio quality
2 (out of 5) for bonus materials


Overall Verdict:
Recommended Only for Fans


Available As:

2019 4K UHD Blu-ray Release


4K UHD Blu-ray Screenshots:

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Packaging:

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4K UHD Blu-ray Technical Specifications:

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