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 Post subject: 551 Cronos
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:37 pm 
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Cronos

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Guillermo del Toro made an auspicious and 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 the possessor and victim of its sinister, addictive powers, as well as the target of a mysterious American named Angel (a delightfully crude and deranged Ron Perlman). Featuring marvelous special makeup effects and the haunting imagery for which del Toro has become world-renowned, Cronos is a dark, visually rich, and emotionally captivating fantasy.

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

- New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Guillermo del Toro and cinematographer Guillermo Navarro (with DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition)
- Optional original Spanish-language voice-over introduction
- Two audio commentaries, one featuring del Toro, the other producers Arthur H. Gorson and Bertha Navarro and coproducer Alejandro Springall
- Geometria, an unreleased 1987 short horror film by del Toro, finished in 2010, with a new video interview with the director
- Welcome to Bleak House, a video tour by del Toro of his home offices, featuring his personal collections
- New video interviews with del Toro, Navarro, and actor Ron Perlman
- Video interview with actor Federico Luppi
- Stills gallery
- Trailer
- New and improved English subtitle translation, approved by the director
- A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Maitland McDonagh and excerpts from del Toro’s notes for the film

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:57 pm 
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Tribe wrote:
I only know of Cronos by reputation. I take it it's well-received by the bulk of the Forum folk? How does it compare to Del Toro's later work?

It's of a piece with The Devil's Backbone and Pan's Labyrinth, but on a much smaller scale. It's very languidly paced, but a nice variation on the vampire mythos.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 5:52 pm 
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i love it and find it to be one of the better films dealing with aging.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:25 pm 
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I liked it very much, but it has been a number of years since I last watched it. It certainly feels like it anticipates many of the themes from the director's later films - the complex mechanical devices and bizarre creatures (the device seems to be both), vampirism, fantastical conflicts against real world backdrops, the innocence of children that can grasp the emotional heart of a bizarre situation and adapt better to such than adults trapped in their more limited worldview can. Not to mention the presence of a number of actors who reappear in later films, notably Ron Perlman in an over the top baddie role, slipping from English to Spanish in his threatening speeches. Even within lines of his speech!

I was particularly impressed with the first half of the film which deals with the creation of the Cronos device and the curse it brings to those who encounter it until it falls into the hands of the antique dealer, Jesus, played by Federico Luppi (who went on to supporting roles in The Devil's Backbone and Pan's Labyrinth), who gets fatefully involved with the device after accidentally activating it (shades of Hellraiser). I also liked the way the vampire lore is updated - the way the device hooks into the skin feels mechanical but also has insect elements, and with the piercing needles ideas of drug use and dependency are raised. The old man experiences the life changing benefits of the device in the way he gains renewed vigour but eventually realises the price of immortality as he begins to become a slave to the device and the physical changes it brings that are not all beneficial. In that sense it is a Cronenbergian 'body horror' type film too, though del Toro's film seems primarily concerned with the story it is telling than with these ideas behind it - it is more obviously structured as an entertainment piece.

There are a few scenes from this film that are among the best Guillermo del Toro has made - the discovery of the device inside the statue and the way Jesus first gives in to his urges by licking the drops of blood left behind by a party guest with a nosebleed from the gleaming marbled tiles of a bathroom floor are particularly powerful.

While I feel that after the brilliant first half the film falls into a cliched good guy/bad guy showdown on top of a neon sign (shades of Highlander) it totally redeems itself with the beautifully moving final scene that returns us to the heart of the film that is the relationship between the grandfather and granddaughter (from earlier on in the film I loved the way the girl turns her toy chest into a makeshift coffin for her grandpa and which is lined with teddy bears!)


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:55 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:35 am
Whoa! what a pleasant surprise. count me in as one who is a del Toro fan. I'm glad this is coming out on Criterion. Wanted to see this ever since I watched devil's backbone.

So is this Ron Perlman's intro into the collection? How are the rights to this broken down? Is this being licensed through Criterion's typical channels? It looks as if the last DVD was released by Lion's Gate.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:02 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2005 9:20 pm
Criterion screened Guillermo's short film Dona Lupe as part of the ATP festival last year. I would be very surprised if the short didn't make it to the Cronos set as an extra. Anyways, I have the old Lionsgate disc which came packaged free with Pan's Labyrinth, I liked it enough that I'll double dip. Great news!

I think the short has only ever been released on the Cinema 16: World Cinema set. The Cinema 16 sets have included various Janus shorts in the various volumes.


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 Post subject: Re: 551 Cronos
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 2:20 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: 551 Cronos
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 10:00 pm 
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The sell sheets don't mention Universal, Focus, or any other distributor, studio, or licensor of any kind. Perhaps the rights have reverted to del Toro, with Criterion licensing directly from him.


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 Post subject: Re: 551 Cronos
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 11:45 pm 
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Perhaps that's the reason for the 15 month delay.


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 Post subject: Re: 551 Cronos
PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:41 am 
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Guillermo del Toro and Ron Perlman have collaborated on few English-language films; does Perlman speak Spanish in this film? I know that he also starred in the French-language film The City of Lost Children, but I heard he "parrotted" the lines.

Edit: Alright got this one, Ron addresses it in his interview.


Last edited by Venom on Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 551 Cronos
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:50 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: 551 Cronos
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:28 am 
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Love the menus. I should have my copy by the end of this week. \:D/


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 Post subject: Re: 551 Cronos
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 5:30 pm 
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The menus look great, and I particularly like the evocatively mythical chapter names as shown in one of the menu pictures - A cautionary tale / Angel's visitation / The stinger / Nocturnal urges, etc - which nicely expand what is quite an intimate story out with wider implications.

(But then I think well chosen chapter headings are an area that Criterion usually excels in anyway!)


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 Post subject: Re: 551 Cronos
PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2010 6:12 pm 
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colin's excellent post on the film chimes very much with my own take on the film and it's an early precursor to Pan's Labyrinth in many ways on a smaller scale although it strikes me as a more intimate and certainly more focused work than the latter. Couldn't agree more with colin also that the last scene between Luppi and Perlman takes the shine off this otherwise truly unique and distinguished film a little by being so ordinary and cliched (a weakness in Del Toro's work on a whole: his films can be so original and striking that when there are more conventional moments or scenes, they stick out all the more awkwardly), but the very last scene of the picture is note-perfect and is most beautifully done. Del Toro mentions in the Crit interview how he values moments of serenity and he totally knocked it out of the park with the coda. There's much in the film that works extremely well but what sold me most about the film was the bond between Gris and Aurora which Del Toro shows with real warmth and sincerity. Colin mentioned the scene in which Aurora welcomes Gris back into the shed on the rooftop - for me one of the most touching scenes I've seen all year.

What struck me also in the interview was that, to me, he seemed not entirely satisfied with much of the film (unless I'm misreading this and he didn't want to praise his own film too much lest he comes across as self-absorbed) since I found it to be a remarkably assured debut and the plotting is easily better than in Pan's Labyrinth or the Hellboy films (the latter of which I actually quite like a lot). What comes through in all the extras is the passion of everyone involved (Luppi's interview was licensed from Lionsgate and the A/V is distressingly bad compared to Crit's preceding high def featurettes) and the piece on Del Toro's Bleak House offices was a total riot - I wish I had a place like this. And frankly, it makes the wait for his adaptation of At The Mountains of Madness all the more agonising (don't butcher this, Universal)!


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 Post subject: Re: 551 Cronos
PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 3:36 pm 
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Blu-Ray.com


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 Post subject: Re: 551 Cronos
PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 2:46 am 
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 2:04 pm 
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colinr0380 wrote:
I was particularly impressed with the first half of the film which deals with the creation of the Cronos device and the curse it brings to those who encounter it until it falls into the hands of the antique dealer, Jesus, played by Federico Luppi (who went on to supporting roles in The Devil's Backbone and Pan's Labyrinth), who gets fatefully involved with the device after accidentally activating it (shades of Hellraiser).

Great post, Colin. Your observation connecting Cronos and Hellraiser makes me think that Aurora's glowstick is also a nod towards The Reanimator.


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 Post subject: Re: 551 Cronos
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:21 am 
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Is this the first Criterion disc to have a commentary primarily in a language other than english?


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 Post subject: Re: 551 Cronos
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:32 am 
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I believe one of the commentaries on the 400 Blows is in French.


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 Post subject: Re: 551 Cronos
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 7:54 am 
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Europa and Antichrist commentaries are in Danish. I believe Jeanne Moreau's commentary for Jules and Jim is in French as well.


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 Post subject: Re: 551 Cronos
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 8:27 am 
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"Anti-Christ" is in English.

"The Last Metro" also has a French one. Ain't the first, as others have said. I do wish that Criterion would do some more alternate language commentaries. The commentary by Kaneto Shindo on the Japan/UK "Onibaba" was excellent, and for some reason not included on the Criterion.


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 Post subject: Re: 551 Cronos
PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 5:10 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:59 am
Just saw Cronos for the first time ever; the Criterion BD is excellent, and it's definitely one of the better '90's horror flicks I've seen. Has shades of other horror flicks (Hellraiser, as was mentioned), but also quite unique - the Cronos device was quite bizzare & horrific, and many of the other items/statues in the antique store were both unusual & menacing. Very solid film, especially considering it was GDT's first feature.

The only thing I found off-putting about the film is how some of the characters would switch back & forth from Spanish to English; though the antique dealer spoke no English in the film, other characters were speaking to him in that language as if they thought he understood it - and, it wasn't clear if he did or not. I don't mind seeing films that are 100% subtitled, and wouldn't have minded it if the film were all in Spanish. The film was evidently targeted towards an English-speaking audience....


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