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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - January, 2011

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"Cronos" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Milton

movie-january-2011-cronos

Synopsis

Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth) made an auspicious, audacious feature debut with CRONOS, a highly unorthodox tale about the seductiveness of the idea of immortality. Kindly antiques dealer Jesús Gris (Federico Luppi) happens upon an ancient golden device in the shape of a scarab, and soon finds himself possessor and victim of its sinister, addictive powers, as well as the target of a mysterious, crude American named Angel (a delightfully deranged Ron Perlman of Hellboy fame). Featuring marvelous special makeup effects and the unforgettably haunting imagery for which del Toro has become world-renowned, CRONOS is a visually rich and emotionally captivating dark fantasy.

 

Specifications

  • Criterion Collection
  • 2010, Color, Rated R, 1 Hr 32 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Codec: Not Specified
  • 1080p
  • DTS-HD Master 5.1
  • Starring: Federico Luppi, Ron Perlman, Claudio Brook
  • Directed by Guillermo del Toro
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: No
  • Language: Bad

Commentary

Though not without some plot holes, this film is a refreshing twist on the vampire genre. Well acted and quickly paced, the film offers some genuinely nice surprises, such as an ending that you don’t predict during the first half of the movie and the fact that there are no fangs. The extras are great too, including Geometria, a never-before-seen horror vignette that is also tongue in cheek. I also liked the tour of del Torro’s home…sort of like a small museum of un-natural history. Fans of del Torro or horror movies in general will be delighted with this early work from an inspired master of the macabre.

Technical

Picture quality and sound are very good, especially when compared to the earlier DVD version. Color and shadow delineation are consistent and accurate. As with almost all of the Criterion Collection films, this one has been painstakingly restored and remastered and just looks great. Dialog is clear (as are the english subtitles) and the music score sounds superb.

Extras

Newly restored high-definition digital transfer, audio commentary featuring Guillermo del Toro, audio commentary featuring the producers, Geometria, an unreleased 1987 short horror film by del Toro, Welcome to Bleak House: a video tour by del Toro of his office, video interviews with cast members, photo stills gallery, and a booklet featuring an essay by film critic M. McDonagh.