*** Official CRASH Review Thread

Discussion in 'Movies' started by ThomasC, May 6, 2005.

  1. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    A powerful film about race relations with a stellar ensemble cast. It's similar to Magnolia (which is one of my favorite films) in that it tells separate stories of people that are closer to each other than they realize. I plan to watch it again on DVD.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] 3/4 out of [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Relations and interactions, toss in all manners of races, fears and past actions, in "Crash" you get a fast-moving, unrelenting film exposing a web of tangential connections of many characters while tackling the sticky issue of racial prejudice that exposes the good and bad of human nature. The film is filled with a wide spectrum of colorful choices, never clinging to absolute morality, its pulse going in and out of focus like the heartbeat of racial tensions. You'll laugh and cringe at the observations and stereotypes that the characters espouse and deal with to regain some control and some order in their own lives.

    Providence plays a part in the quite a few of the storylines, and the coincidences might feel too coincidental, it works for the most part as writer/director Paul Haggis takes on this topic while weaving a narrative dependent on many different little inter-connected stories, and you just never know how they inter-connect until they do.

    The cast is uniformily good given the scant setup for their characters, as Haggis' economical script cuts the dialogue down to the bare minimum without leaving the viewer confused or stranded in the stories.

    It's worth seeing at the theaters.

    I give it 3.75 stars, or a grade of A-.
     
  3. Greg Thomas

    Greg Thomas Second Unit

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    I saw Crash this evening enjoyed it immensely. There's quite an ensemble of well known actors in this budget film. Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Jennifer Esposito, Sandra Bullock, Larenz Tate, Thandie Newton, Brendan Fraser...too many to name off the top of my head.

    Racial tensions, stereotypes, conflicts, crimes, all jumbled together in a very diverse LA. A lot more similarities between different people than one might think. Good and bad in everyone depending on the situation. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars.
     
  4. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "Crash". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

    Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

    If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.



    Crawdaddy
     
  5. Elizabeth S

    Elizabeth S Producer

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    I've been a Paul Haggis fan since "EZ Streets", and this film was excellent. It reminded me a bit of "Short Cuts" in structure and emotional impact.

    My only nitpick with the film is the way HUGE coincidences play a big role in the narrative. But there are other things a movie buff like me should have seen coming, and I didn't.

    Excellent performances by all. I will definitely buy this on DVD.

    3-1/2 stars out of 4
     
  6. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Haggis is on a roll with this latest effort. A very good film that borders on a subject matter that I thought only a few directors like Spike Lee attempted to broach in the past. Some excellent acting combined with a dialogue intense scenarios. I also, will be buying this dvd.







    Crawdaddy
     
  7. Dave Hackman

    Dave Hackman Stunt Coordinator

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    A group of people with different ethnic backgrounds find themselves experiencing racism or displaying racist behavior to some degree.

    Lot of story here, starting with a white racist veteran cop (Matt Dillon) who enjoys pulling over black citizens for fun. A young naïve cop (Ryan Phillippe) who has yet to discover his own hidden racist reactions. District Attorney (Brendan Fraser) utilizes race for political gain. A housewife (Sandra Bullock) who unearths a ton of personal baggage after being truck jacked at gunpoint. A young black car thief (Ludacris) who chooses to see racial undertones in everything he experiences and considers himself righteous by only robbing from white people. A Mexican locksmith (Michael Pena) finds himself being accused of being a gang member while performing his daily job. A successful black TV director (Terrence Howard) finds his success doesn’t shield him from bigoted cops. A Persian store owner (Shaun Toub) and his daughter (Bahar Soomekh) have difficulty purchasing a firearm for protection. A black police detective (Don Cheadle) is accused of racial ignorance by his girlfriend and is coerced into silence for the betterment of his family.

    This movie really has something for everyone with a variety of racial slurs and situations that would make Archie Bunker proud. In the beginning it reminded me of the movie The Last Supper when the group of liberal students would invite a person to the table for food and discussion. It also resembles Traffic with the multiple stories and pacing but not as polished.

    At times it bordered on mediocrity with so many known actors participating. Tony Danza looked odd when he told the director that the black character in his TV show was speaking too smart. They needed to give his role to someone more believable like Bill Paxton or Rush Limbaugh. Then there was Star Treks Counselor Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis) portraying a Persian mother. I thought I might need an emergency beam out of the theater during her screen time. I have mixed feelings about Thandie Newton who played Terrence Howard’s (TV director) wife. At first she seemed to go overboard with her role when screaming at her husband but in the end redeemed herself with a nice finishing scene that was pretty moving.

    I really liked this movie a lot and I definably would re-watch it again. I see a lot of movies that are good but most I have no interest in seeing again until I forget most of the story. This movie has a lot of different characters and stories that make it fun to watch over again. I look forward to buying this cheap from some Chinese owned pawn shop manned by a stupid black welfare mother who thinks this is a consumer reports impact study DVD.

    A
     
  8. BennyD

    BennyD Stunt Coordinator

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    Great, moving film. Almost enough to top Sin City as the best I've seen thus far this year.

    Solid A
     
  9. Steve Y

    Steve Y Supporting Actor

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    Good acting and worthwhile themes, but everything from the plot contrivances to the characterizations seemed secondary to the overall "messages" of the movie. I simply did not buy some of the last-act character "turnarounds", and many of the character intersections did not feel natural. That's not to diminish the importance of the messages here. In fact, I applaud that a screenwriter / director has the guts to tackle them at all. They should keep getting brought up because people are way too afraid to talk about them.

    Keep in mind that I thought Million-Dollar Baby succeeded only through Eastwood's masterful direction and acting. Again, some of the characterizations were just too jarring for me, like cardboard cutouts on a rollercoaster, running up and over each other.

    Magnolia was longer and messier, but had a sort of gran guignol spirit that carried it through. And I only bring up this movie because the similarities between the two films - in the ensemble interaction, music, and even odd weather patterns
    - are almost glaring. Thematically, of course, this is the more "important" film.

    Definitely worth seeing.

    *** out of *****

    s

    p.s. - Cheadle was amazing, as usual. And wow, I didn't even recognize Marina Sirtis!
     
  10. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    I've been looking forward to seeing this film for several months due to all of the good reviews, and I was never able to catch it in the theaters.

    Overall, I have to say that I was disappointed by this film. This is at least partially due to the fact that I've been hyping it up in my head for the past several months. The acting was fairly strong except for Sandra Bullock (I didn't buy her for one second!), and the direction was also very good, but I found the script to be pretty bad. I see racism on a near daily basis, but I can't think of more than one time that I've seen it acted upon in such a outwardly manner. Racism in general is a much more subtle thing, and I would have found the story to be much more powerful if it had been handled in this manner. This made the whole film seem hollow & contrived to me. Normally, I love a film that tries to tackle a social problem, but this one did it so ham-handedly that it turned me off quite quickly. It's obvious to see where the comparisons to Magnolia came from - and I love Magnolia, but this is at best a weak immitator.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] 1/2 /[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  11. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    Just watched this the other night.

    A very well-acted film for the most part, which is its saving grace. Steve Y brought up the same points I felt that lessened the film's impact. Certainly worth seeing, but way over-rated.

    *** out of ****
     
  12. Mark Schmitt

    Mark Schmitt Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree with the last three posters as well. Maybe all the adoration over this movie had raised my expectations too far. But I just couldn't agree with some of the actions taken by the characters in the film. The performances were excellent and there are some great moments, such as the frisking scene, but it seems like the characters were led along their paths with a leash. As if Haggis was just taking his point and hammering it into my skull over and over and over again. I understand that the purpose was to take what real people think behind their P.C. shields and bring it out overtly, but it was just too clever. I read some of the less amourous published reviews of the movie after watching and one of them put it best when he said you can almost hear the typewriter clicking away.

    Then there are the far-fetched coincidences and the Magnolia ripoff. Even the montage showing all the characters near the ending, I was expecting them to start singing to an Aimee Mann song.

    I did like the movie, it tackled a tough subject, it has great performances, but it was the way it was presented that just rung hollow for me. Maybe it was the fact that I didn't learn a thing. Yes, I already know there's more to everybody than what's on the surface. I knew that before I watched the movie. But thanks for showing me that point again and again and again.

    Maybe the movie is more useful when being shown to people that are more closed-minded than I am, but as for me I give it:
    3 1/2 out of 5
     

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