THE CRANE POOL FORUM thecranepool.net (.com)


Forum Home

Master Index of Archived Threads


Crash


* 1 votes

** 3 votes

*** 2 votes

**** 4 votes

***** 2 votes

Elster88
Jul 06 2005 01:39 PM
Edited 1 time(s), most recently on Jul 06 2005 01:42 PM

I liked it, a lot. It was about race relations, and explains that every person in every race has his/her own preconceived notions about other races, both good and bad. A good ensemble cast. I love Don Cheadle (as an actor). Matt Dillon plays a slimy creep (he's good at that, isn't he??), but become less of a creep as the movie progresses, when you see him acting like a human and coping with his father's illness. Ryan Phillipe's transformation was my favorite charcter arc in the movie, even if it was a tragic one (I think tragic is the right adjective). A Tony Danza sighting, too. I guess I'm glad he can still find work, even if they are small parts.

As you can tell, I can't remember any of the characters' names, I was just thinking of them by their real names as I watched,. But I believe, perhaps strangely, that that was a good thing, because everyone seemed like Joe Smith or Jane Doe. I'm not sure how to explain those last two sentences any better. Also, a hot actress took off her top. I'm not sure if it was "tasteful nudity" or not, or if it was okay because it helped "develop the charcters", but I'll watch it again to check.

Go see this movie. And please, after you do, write a better review than this one.

Elster88
Jul 06 2005 01:39 PM

Five stars, by the way.

RealityChuck
Dec 01 2005 09:04 AM

Best Hollywood film in years. Works brilliantly on all levels, with fine acting throughout and no easy answers.

ScarletKnight41
Jan 07 2006 08:53 PM

We just saw this on On Demand. Excellent script - very deserving of its Best Screenplay Golden Globe nomination. Best Supporting Actor nominee Matt Dillon was also fabulous. A gripping film that captures your attention and doesn't condescend by trying to slap on an unrealistic Hollywood happy ending. Very well done.

Vic Sage
Jan 09 2006 11:17 AM

best movie of the year.
hands down.

Elster88
Jan 09 2006 02:35 PM

Should we come up with a specific way to rate movies? Best movie of the year means five stars to me. Vic called it the best movie of the year and RealityChuck called it the best Hollywood film in years, and one of them gave it 4.

I remember someone saying they only give 5 stars for one of the best movies of all time.

Not that either way is better or worse.

Or maybe we don't need a single system. This is a baseball forum.

sharpie
Jan 09 2006 03:08 PM

A movie could be the best movie of a particular year and still not be an all-time great.

Elster88
Jan 09 2006 04:49 PM

I realize.






But when it is worth five stars? Hmmmmmmmmmm?






You see where I'm going with this?

Willets Point
Jan 09 2006 09:12 PM

It's worth five stars when it's FUCKING GREAT and we want to give it FIVE FUCKING STARS! Fuck yeah!

sharpie
Jan 10 2006 06:52 AM

I'm on record somewhere else on this thread about this, but 5 stars means an all-time classic. CRASH was a fine movie, but not a 5 star candidate, IMO. Citizen Kane, Rules of the Game, The Bicycle Thief, Lawrence of Arabia, Raging Bull, Casablanca etc. need their own spot free from merely very good films like Crash.

Edgy MD
Jan 10 2006 07:21 AM

Yes, but many of those movies become all-time classics only with the passage of time and the perspective it lends. If one is to do this thing, he or she has to make snap judgements on films that have been recently been released, without the benefit of time, and the perspective it lends, to say nothing of the years of exposure to the winds of critical consensus (and the erosion of original thought that they lend).

And if that means you risk over-reacting to a film you saw last night, and you're afraid you'll wake up years from now to find you gave a perfect or near perfect rating to the equivalent of Rocky III, too bad. A life well lived is a life of risk.

Elster88
Jan 10 2006 07:25 AM

I have no desire to ever see Citizen Kane, despite the fact that its cinematography was out of this world when it was first released.

sharpie
Jan 10 2006 07:48 AM

Why, Elster? Hearst partisan, are you?

Vic Sage
Jan 10 2006 08:54 AM

Yes, but many of those movies become all-time classics only with the passage of time and the perspective it lends. If one is to do this thing, he or she has to make snap judgements on films that have been recently been released, without the benefit of time, and the perspective it lends, to say nothing of the years of exposure to the winds of critical consensus (and the erosion of original thought that they lend).

And if that means you risk over-reacting to a film you saw last night, and you're afraid you'll wake up years from now to find you gave a perfect or near perfect rating to the equivalent of Rocky III, too bad. A life well lived is a life of risk.


i could not agree less.
i mean, i suppose i could, but its highly unlikely.

Edgy and I have discussed this before, without satisfying conclusion.

Time, context, perspective... according to Edgy, these lead to an understanding that "erodes original thought"? How about the notion that new information builds on the past to lead to a greater understanding of a subject, not an "erosion" of it?

As for this rating procedure, all we have to do "to do this thing" is either rate a movie we've just seen on a purely SUBJECTIVE basis (e.g., "this is one of my favorite films ever! 5 stars!") or attempt to rate it on a more objective basis (e.g., "while i only saw this film yesterday, i realize that it exists in the context of the entire history of film to date, so while i really enjoyed it, upon reflection i can see that its not quite in "Casablanca" territory, so I'll give it 4 stars instead of 5.")

The point Elster made is that people are using both bases to rate it, so the result is confusing. Personally, i think you should "do this thing" using whatever criteria you want. Its not a scholarly treatise, its a way of giving consumer information to our fellow CPFers about movies we've seen.

That being said, I think "over-reacting" to a film you saw last night is a much more SIGNIFICANT danger to a real understanding and valid evaluation of a movie than viewing it in historical context. If a viewer is rating it without putting it in historical context, then his/her rating is simply a reflection of whatever he/she liked last night... which itself can be a reflection of mood, energy, level of distraction and whatever was eaten for dinner. And why would i care about that? It is the logical fallacy of the new.

Contrary to edgy's assertion, "historical context" doesn't mean bending to the will of scholarly consensus. If you've seen CITIZEN KANE and don't like it, fine. that's an expression of preference and needs no further justification. But if you don't think it's a "good movie", that's an objective evaluation, and that's fine, too, but the burden of supporting that assertion is on you, because, for the last half century, people who study film for a living have come to a consensus that its the best movie of all time. That doesn't mean that you couldn't make a compelling argument for it NOT to be deserving of such accolades. (wow, a triple negative!). In fact, many an interesting discussion can be had on that subject, which does not ERODE our understanding of KANE... it augments it. But, like anything else, the more you KNOW about something, the more pursuasive your arguments are likely to be.

As for me, when rating films here, my subjective evaluation is informed by my objective understanding of the historical context of the film being rated. You might be rating films as a pure expression of personal preference, regardless of context. If enough people respond, then whatever bases they use, the aggregate numbers should reflect a "consensus" (it rears its evil head once more!) of opinion that others on the CPF might find useful.

but be aware that the more 5 star ratings you hand out, the less meaningful they are. This is why a great review by Jeffrey Lyons is entirely meaningless.

Rotblatt
Mar 06 2006 01:13 PM

I absolutely hated the hell out of this movie. Rather than repeat myself, here's what I had to say in the Academy Award thread.

The writing, direction and acting were way over the top (with notable exceptions in Terrance Howard and Don Cheatle). I mean, who REALLY thinks that a cop could get away with fingering a wealthy black woman in front of his partner--even in LA?

Anyway, this movie didn't have a story to tell or even a message to impart--it had observations to make, and just kept hitting you over the head with them.

"Racist stereotypes are ugly." WHAM!
"But they're true sometimes." WHAM!
"Everyone is racist." WHAM!
"But even racists have their moments." WHAM!
"Except when they don't." WHAM!

In short, I think the movie took itself way too seriously.

Centerfield
Mar 06 2006 01:53 PM

I thought the movie had some compelling moments, but overall, I thought it was incredibly overrated. It's almost like people feel they have to like it because it is a serious movie that deals with racism.

And for a movie that took itself so seriously, it had some incredibly campy moments. The two black men that complain about being looked at suspiciously in a white neighborhood immediately turning around and stealing a car. The gun scene with the little girl and the dad...the fact that Matt Dillon's character runs into Thandie Newton the next day while Ryan Phillipe runs into Terrence Howard. This movie took the easy way out far too often.

I'm willing to bet that two/three years from now, everyone will have completely forgotten about this movie.

Frayed Knot
Mar 06 2006 02:30 PM

"I'm willing to bet that two/three years from now, everyone will have completely forgotten about this movie."

Otherwise known as the 'Kramer vs Kramer' syndrome.

Not that that movie was forgotten necessarily, but it seemed kinda lightweight and pretty much dated fairly quickly. Certainly not a flick that's grown in stature over the years.

Willets Point
Mar 06 2006 02:37 PM

Oh yeah, I remember Kramer vs. Kramer being the big shit at the time. It did make the list of 1003 movies you need to see before you die though.

Frayed Knot
Mar 06 2006 09:01 PM

It was a big deal at the time - and I don't mean to imply it was a bad movie - but I think part of it's bigness and the boatload of awards it won that year was that the sort of role reversal side issues of divorce it dealt with: women in careers vs nuturing fathers, were kind of new at the time. But now that those issues seem somewhat trite we're left with a couple of good performances from a pair of seasoned pros but a somewhat sappy movie which is rapidly fading into obscurity. I can't remember the last time I've even seen where this flick was aired despite the multitude of cable channels which seem to exist for the purpose of running movies from that era into the ground.
Not exactly the legacy you'd think a major Oscar winner would leave.

Johnny Dickshot
Mar 06 2006 09:17 PM

I haven';t seen this movie but I like Matt Dillon and think he shoulda gotten an award for his role in "Something About Mary," which was funny as hell.

sharpie
Mar 07 2006 07:13 AM

I watched Kramer vs. Kramer with my kids a couple of years ago. It holds up pretty well and what was good acting then is good acting now.

Edgy MD
Mar 07 2006 07:30 AM

Time, context, perspective... according to Edgy, these lead to an understanding that "erodes original thought"?


I'm misquoted in this thread. My statement was that exposure to the winds of critical consensus erodes original thought, not that time, context, and perspective do.

Vic Sage
Mar 08 2006 08:35 AM

Edgy DC wrote:
Yes, but many of those movies become all-time classics only with the passage of time and the perspective it lends. If one is to do this thing, he or she has to make snap judgements on films that have been recently been released, without the benefit of time, and the perspective it lends, to say nothing of the years of exposure to the winds of critical consensus (and the erosion of original thought that they lend).

And if that means you risk over-reacting to a film you saw last night, and you're afraid you'll wake up years from now to find you gave a perfect or near perfect rating to the equivalent of Rocky III, too bad. A life well lived is a life of risk.


this is the entire post i responded to. If you are saying that your parenthetical phrase only referred to the last in the list of factors in that sentence, then i apologize and stand corrected.

That doesn't however alter the basis of our disagreement on this subject one iota. You are still asserting that exposure to the opinions of others about a film erodes one's original thoughts, and i still assert that such opinions are worth considering, whether one rejects or accepts the consensus they build (or the lack thereof that they reflect).

Basing opinions on MORE data rather than less is a good thing. Always.

As for CRASH... i saw it on dvd about 3 months ago. There wasn't much hoopla. I didn't have particularly high expectations. I think expectations and anticipation can factor in to how much you like or dislike a movie, based on whether it meets or falls short of those expectations.

Was it the best movie since KANE? uh, no. It wasn't even as good as KILL BILL (1 or 2). But it was an involving piece of drama that had some significant and insightful things to say about our society. Which is better than a sharp stick in the eye.

What i found in it was a story about connectedness... all these assumptions we have about the "others" we are surrounded by, and how those assumptions can all come crashing down one day, when we all see how interconnected and interdependent we all are. Its ultimately a redemptive story... hopeful, even, that we are capable of crashing through.

I didn't see the slightest bit of camp or triteness anywhere. Its "overratedness" is not the film's fault. Is it self-important? To the extent it wants to be about something, then i guess it is. But i'm happy to see an artist like Haggis try to say something than to see him use his craft in a cynical way merely to distract us for a few hours.There's enough of that out there already.

And it was only the content of this script that attracted so many terrific actors (they surely didn't get their "quotes" for doing this one), which allowed this movie to get made at all. And the performances are, in the end, what makes the picture work.

But your mileage may vary.

Now, is anybody's original thought "eroded" by exposure to my critical opinion? Gosh, i'd hope not. I'd hope it might inspire others to take a deeper look at the movie, or evoke fleshed out and articulated contrary views.

Elster88
Mar 08 2006 12:22 PM

There are so many people that complain about the coincidences of the characters all being connected in some way. Especially the coincidence of Matt Dillon running into Thandie Newton twice.

One of the most ridiculous complaints I can think of. How else do you expect to have a movie? I guess Matt Dillon could've run into a different black woman the second time, but then the movie isn't nearly as interesting.

And if you actually think of the area he patrols, and the reason why Thandie happened to be back in that neighborhood, and the reason she got into the accident, it actually is all believable, all stemming from the events from the day before.

Relax and enjoy the movie.

_________________________

The problem is that the movie got built up so much that people expect an unparalleled movie and go into it looking to tear it apart. I saw it in the theater having no idea what it was about, and I liked it. Stop all the pretentiousness of over-judging movies.

Edgy MD
Mar 08 2006 01:08 PM

Now, is anybody's original thought "eroded" by exposure to my critical opinion? Gosh, i'd hope not.


Of course not. The point is that when the most powerful critic of his or her era loves a movie and points out what to find, weaker critics who aren't sure what they think will fall in line, rather than risk an original thought. People will fall over like dominoes. There are literally thousands of people right now saying that they like Brokeback Mountain, because they think they're supposed to because of who they think they are. There are also thousands at this moment saying they don't like it because of who they think they are, and who they align themselves with. Many of these folks haven't even seen it. If Howard Stern says boo, a million yahoos fall in line, it doesn't matter what the subject

My statement was that folks are being asked their firm opinion now after seeing a film without (1) the benefit of time and perspective, unfortunately (I used the word "benefit" suggesting that this is a positive thing --- it does make more than an iota of difference), and (2) the bullying effect of critical consensus.

That's what I think is being solicited. I can read what critics say anywhere. I want to know what sharpie thinks.

Basing opinions on MORE data rather than less is a good thing. Always.

Some data is bad. Misleading. Biased.

You are still asserting that exposure to the opinions of others about a film erodes one's original thoughts, and i still assert that such opinions are worth considering, whether one rejects or accepts the consensus they build (or the lack thereof that they reflect).


If it leads to responses along the line of "I didn't think much of it but I gave it a better rating because I have to acknowledge everybody else did and it's enduring influence is such that..."... it seems to defeat the point of this exercise. It doesn't help me. I understand which way the cultural wind is blowing.

Edgy MD
Mar 08 2006 02:04 PM

To say more, give me an opinion like Willets Point's "It's worth five stars when it's FUCKING GREAT and we want to give it FIVE FUCKING STARS! Fuck yeah!"

If sharpie is shy about giving a film five stars because it doesn't measure up to Citizen Kane, too bad for the film. If he won't or can't give it five stars because nothing can measure up to Citizen Kane until looked back on over decades of perspective, too bad for us. Nothing obviously would get five stars and we are foolish to even have it as a possiblity. Everything's more or less OK until the dust of history settles.

That won't help me decide what to do on Friday night.

Willets Point
Mar 08 2006 02:16 PM

Totally off-topic but everytime I see this thread I think of that awful song by the Dave Matthews Band which in retrospect signified they'd jumped the shark.

Nice to be quoted by Edgy although I don't know if it's being used in the original jest I intended to be.

ScarletKnight41
Mar 08 2006 02:18 PM

Do you mean "Crash Into Me" or "Crush"?

sharpie
Mar 08 2006 04:08 PM

Not so nice to be quoted by Edgy. There are plenty of five star movies out there, collectively. I think there's only about 2-5, however, that come out in any given year. And those should be rewarded in their own special category. I'm a tough grader, so sue me.


I gave "Crash" either three or four stars. Can't remember but since there are 3 4-star votes and 1 3-star vote I guess it is more likely that I went for four stars.

Edgy MD
Mar 08 2006 04:54 PM

I certainly don't think I said otherwise, sharp. I didn't quote you. I came up with two hypotheticals.

sharpie
Mar 09 2006 09:06 AM

I was echoing Willets' earlier "nice to be quoted by Edgy." I know it wasn't a direct quote.

Johnny Dickshot
Apr 09 2006 08:17 PM

Any movie where Sandra Bullock falls down a flight of stairs is OK with me.

Agree with the heavyhandedness critiques above but good performances thruout.

martin
Apr 15 2006 10:27 PM

Rotblatt wrote:


Anyway, this movie didn't have a story to tell or even a message to impart--it had observations to make, and just kept hitting you over the head with them.

"Racist stereotypes are ugly." WHAM!
"But they're true sometimes." WHAM!
"Everyone is racist." WHAM!
"But even racists have their moments." WHAM!
"Except when they don't." WHAM!

In short, I think the movie took itself way too seriously.


that is a fantastic review, and i felt the same way. i already knew people were racist, i knew some of the racists were justified, and some arent. i know the guy that looks like he is in a latino gang gets treated like a gangster, even though he might be a cool fella with a sweet daughter who magically can't get shot.

they are pounding me with things i know, and act like they are teaching me a lesson i should remember, or reminding me that even i might be racist. i already know i am prejudiced, and so is everyone else, get off your high horse and stop slapping yourself on the back for observations you think you know and think you need to preach at us.

the only parts i liked were when ludacris was calling everybody a chinaman, but i would be happier if we could all just accept that as funny and not be asked to consider how that marginalizes people. its just namecalling man, we know when it is mean and when it isnt.

Bret Sabermetric
Apr 24 2006 06:26 AM

Preachy POS whose plot is utterly reliant on coincidence.

Willets Point
Jan 13 2008 04:58 PM

A day in the life of several Angelinos, all of whom tend to be awful people who are blatantly racist and spout ham-fisted dialog. Along the way they have moments of heroics and frailty to show that their human, all done in a manipulative manner to rend one’s heart. At the end, we all learn a big fat lesson about race relations in America. It’s like that song “One Tin Soldier,” only less subtle.

Nymr83
Jan 13 2008 10:35 PM

I'm pretty liberal (i don't think i've ever said those words before) with giving 5 stars. my system is pretty much something like this:

1- this movie horrible terrible piece of crap. to fall into this category a movie must either be a true story or documentary that is boooooring and or untrue or the movie must have neither a coherent plot, good laughs, or cool fight scenes.

2- this movie bad. maybe some people will like it but i didn't. there were too many coincidences or a lack of belief in the plot (for movies that take themselves seriously) or it wasnt funny (for movies that don't)

3- this movie was o.k. you should seek this movie when it happens to be on tv or if you have netflix and dont have to pay extra to see it. the movie doesnt stand out from hundreds of others you've seen but you don't regret the 3 hours and you walk away thinking "that was cool."

4- this movie was good and you should have seen it in theaters, but go get it now if you didn't. you'll reccomend this movie to friends and watch it again every so often.

5- this movie rocked. you are likely to add it to your DVD collection. you were either laughing from start to finish or engrossed with the characters/story.

edit- and i just realized that this thread was months old. damn.

AG/DC
Jan 14 2008 06:34 AM

Doesn't matter. Worthwhile contributions.

Willets Point
Jan 14 2008 10:12 AM

Nymr83 wrote:

edit- and i just realized that this thread was months old. damn.


This thread is almost 3-years old. It's a toddler.

But there's nothing that needs to be timely about posting in this thread.