Day 270: Crash (2004)

crash_ver6_xlgIn about four days from now, every movie that I watch and review for the blog is going to be a horror film for a month. So, I figured I would try to get in some movies that I have always wanted to see and Crash is definitely one of them. The film follows Jean Cabot (Sandra Bullock) and her DA husband (Brendan Fraser), Officer John Ryan (Matt Dillon) and his partner Officer Hansen (Ryan Phillippe), a Latino lock smith (Michael Peña), a Persian store owner (Shaun Toub), a car thief (Ludacris), a black detective (Don Cheadle), and a African American couple (Terrence Howard and Thandie Newton) as they navigate and collide in Los Angeles in a stories of race, tragedy, and redemption. The film also stars Tony Danza (Who’s The Boss) as Fred, Keith David (Men At Work) as Lt. Dixon, Jennifer Esposito (Summer Of Sam) as Ria, William Fichtner (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) as Flanagan, Karina Arroyave (Lean On Me) as Elizabeth, Loretta Devine (Death At A Funeral) as Shaniqua Johnson, Larenz Tate (Dead Presidents) as Peter Waters, Bahar Soomekh (Mission: Impossible III) as Dorri, Jack McGee (Moneyball) as Gun Store Owner, Bruce Kirby (Stand By Me) as Pop Ryan, and the film was directed by Paul Haggis (Casino Royale). 

crashI wanted to start this paragraph by telling how uncomfortable this film was and is going to be to review. There is so much racism and hatred in this film that it’s absolutely insane, but I suppose that maybe this is how some people felt back in 2004 and even into today. I honestly thought before watching the film that it was going to be about the program entitled CRASH in Los Angeles, but boy was I surprised right off the bat. They explore racism in every sense of the way that you can imagine from stereotyping all Middle Easterners and Latin Americans. The film also explore racism as far as how a situation is perceived by a different individual and how some humans are just stuck in their ways. Crash is an excellent film, but it’s one of those films that just when it looks like things are about to get dim, it’s lightens right up, but then falls back down. It truly is a roller coaster ride of a film. Sandra Bullock does an amazing job playing a racist bitch in the film because she is very convincing. Just about every single person in the film does an excellent job like Ludacris being a disillusioned individual or Don Cheadle who is forced to make hard decisions that will benefit others whether it’s right or wrong. Jennifer Esposito has a scene in the film where she just looks so sexy, I was jealous of Don Cheadle at that moment. The film is available on Netflix and I think it’s one you should check out, but be prepared. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.

 

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Day 115: The Flamingo Kid (1984)

220px-FlamingokidposterThere are actors from the 1980’s that I have always thought were iconic and Matt Dillon (The Outsiders) is certainly one of them. So, when I saw that a movie of his was on sale at a grocery store for 3 bucks, I jumped at the chance to watch it. So, today’s film is the 1984 film The Flamingo Kid which stars Dillon as Jeffrey Willis. Jefferey is your everyday average 18 year old who just graduated from high school. He is certainly uncertain as to what the future may hold for him despite his parents expectations. That summer, Jeffrey gets a job a very exclusive beach club called The El Flamingo and he begins to think he knows what he wants when he listens tot he club’s prestigious gin player Mr. Brody (Richard Crenna). Brody fills his head with dreams of fortune, but Jeffrey will have to figure it out for himself on this coming of age story. The film also stars Hector Elizondo (Pretty Woman) as Arthur Willis, Jessica Walter (Archer) as Mrs. Brody, Janet Jones (The Beastmaster) as Carla, Brian McNamara (Caddyshack II) as Steve, Fisher Stevens (Short Circuit) as Hawk, Leon (Above The Rim) as Fortune, Bronson Pinchot (Risky Business) as Alfred, and the film was directed by Garry Marshall (Pretty Woman).

fkWe call it a coming of age story because the character goes in not knowing a lot and through some event, he grows and comes out smarter than before. Jefferey Willis has a coming of age story through his relationship with Carla and his experience with Mr. Brody. Her thinks Mr. Brody is the king sh**, but soon learns through an event that he’s just as much a phony as anyone. He comes out at the end knowing what’s right and what’s wrong and what he should do with the rest of his life hence the coming of age story. One thing that we can certainly say about Matt Dillon is that he puts on an incredible performance in the film as he normally did back in those days. The truth is that a lot of the actors in the film did an amazing job including the great Hector Elizondo who plays the hard working father with a dream that feels threatened by the flashy Mr. Brody. I loved how the film was set in the 1950’ss I believe with the cars, the clothing, and the music. The 50’s is definitely one of my favorite eras of history in America. The set designers and wardrobe people along with hair and makeup deserve some definite kudos from me for the good job they did on this film. Overall, this is just a great film from beginning to end and it’s definitely one you should check out if you are a fan of Garry Marshall. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade. Plus, How many of us out there can relate to Matt Dillon’s character when we were 18 years old? I bet it’s quite a lot!