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The Canary and the Crow review – a vibrant schooling in identity issues

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  • Bizarre video of a crow striking a gorilla pose has everyone baffled!
  • The studio was worried audiences wouldn't understand the story.
  • The Crow (Q&A with Bruce Lee biographer Matthew Polly).

Nah, never mind—this was almost certainly a bad idea. A dark adaptation of an underground comic is a fairly hard sell these days, and nigh impossible in the early s when The Crow was made. Not surprisingly, the studio got cold feet once they had a look at the finished product. While speaking on a DVD commentary for the film, director Alex Proyas recounted the studio's fear of actually releasing the film.

Why can he come back from the dead? I'm going, 'Who the hell cares,'" he recalled. It's a suspension of disbelief, and people go with it.

The Crow is an epic poem, and the last thing it needed was for the entire subtext to be explained ad nauseam along the way. Even if you're not a fan of The Crow , you almost certainly know the story of how Bruce Lee's son Brandon tragically lost his life while filming. With a low-ish budget and accelerated production schedule, the movie was already pushing the boundaries with risky stunts which wasn't much of a problem for the year-old martial arts guru.

Sadly a combination of those factors would cost Lee his life.

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The gun used in the fateful scene that killed Lee, where the character Funboy Michael Massee shoots him with a Magnum. The blanks for the "shooting" were not made up to spec, and a lead tip from one of the bullets became lodged in the barrel during the second unit shoot. When they pulled the trigger for the scene, the pressure pushed out the lead and it hit Lee.

The Telegraph reports it took a bevy of factors for this to happen, from the rushed schedule to the lack of safety oversight while the blanks were fabricated. It was a true freak accident. To make matters even worse, no one working the set even realized Lee had been shot until they stopped rolling. Entertainment Weekly reported at the time that the shot seemingly went off as planned, and a blood packet Lee was wearing detonated on cue and he fell to the ground.

One eyewitness there for the shooting noted: "It didn't really appear to the people on the set like anything was wrong. An ambulance was called, and the actor was rushed to the hospital. The bullet had left a "silver dollar-sized" entry wound in his stomach, and even after transfusing Lee with a mind-boggling 60 pints of blood the equivalent of five men , doctors could not save his life.

Library of Congress Aesop Fables

It all started in the late s, when creator James O'Barr launched his four-issue miniseries The Crow in following some preview appearances in accompanying titles. The series was published by the small indie Caliber Press. After hitting store shelves, The Crow quickly became an underground success and the character returned in December and September in a few special stories compiled in publisher collections, before being fully revived in the late s with some new sequel series.

The series stayed quiet for about a decade after that, until IDW revived The Crow with some fresh runs in , and James O'Barr was obviously excited to see his series brought to life on the big screen, but after the project claimed the life of Brandon Lee, he had trouble enjoying the proceeds. So after buying his mother a car and a new surround sound system for himself, O'Barr donated most of his proceeds to charity.

Here's how he explained it at a comics convention in "I was really good friends with Brandon, so it just felt like blood money to me. So I didn't want to profit at his expense. And I kept that secret for as long as I could. It's not charity if you get credit for it. The death of Brandon Lee was a tragic accident caused by a combination of negligence and mistakes, but that didn't stop some from speculating there was a whole lot more to the story.

Speculation around Lee's death has run rampant over the years, with some suggesting he was killed due to connections to organized crime in Hong Kong, to retaliation from the Chinese mafia because Lee's father Bruce Lee exposed ancient martial arts secrets in his film.

Of course, none of these claims were ever proven to be remotely true. Authorities investigated Lee's shooting, and time and time again reached the conclusion that it was an accident. Lee's death may have came at the tail end of shooting, but there were still more than a few scenes still unfinished. The production understandably took a break after the tragedy, with Proyas spending the time off to rework the script into what was described as an "emotionally softened" version of the story that paid respect to Lee's passing.


According to Entertainment Weekly , some of the changes include reframing a few of Lee's incomplete scenes into silent montages and "deepening" the relationship between the young girl Sarah Rochelle Davis and Sergeant Albrecht Ernie Hudson. Most interestingly, the new script replaced the taunts of the Skull Cowboy with a more "tender" narration from Sarah Rochelle Davis. Her words obviously have a double meaning, considering the circumstances surrounding the production: "Sometimes, something so bad happens that the Crow can bring that soul back to put the wrong things right.

Anyone who ever walked down the aisle of their local video store back when you could still find one has almost certainly seen one of the three sequels spawned from the original Crow. Not surprisingly, the quality dipped considerably when compared to the poignant original. But there was also a Crow television series, and believe it or not, it was actually pretty good. The series did a solid job of adapting the saga into a longform story, but despite a positive reception, the project couldn't survive some corporate shake-ups that put it in on the chopping block.

Sadly, plans for a TV movie follow-up never came to fruition. The first season which premiered in syndication did find some new fans via re-runs on the Sci-Fi Channel, but it couldn't generate enough interest for a revival. It seems tragedy follows the Crow franchise across formats. The film had Lee's accidental shooting, and the television adaptation had a stuntman killed during a freak accident during a planned explosion stunt during filming for the seventh episode.

Stuntman Marc Akerstream, 44, suffered a severe head injury when he was hit by a piece of flying debris. The explosion was a controlled stunt involving a rowboat.

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Akerstream wasn't involved in the actual stunt, but was struck when the projectile cleared a small tree after being sent airborne. Production was briefly suspended, but filming eventually moved forward on schedule. When star Brandon Lee was killed, much of the film was already in the can—but there were still a few scenes needed to make it a coherent narrative. Since modern-day CGI didn't exist the film was shot in the early-to-mid s, remember? They obviously used some body doubles for scenes where you wouldn't see Lee's face, but that wasn't enough.

For one scene, they lifted footage of Lee walking through an alley and digitally altered it to make it appear he was walking into his apartment.