In 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).
I 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.
I had been putting off today’s film for quite some time because I don’t believe in the idea of releasing a sequel or reboot of a franchise that was popular thirty years before. Nevertheless, for today I decided to check out 2015’s Vacation which follows in the footsteps of National Lampoon’s Vacation. This time around, Rusty (Ed Helms) is an adult with his own family which includes his wife Debbie (Christina Applegate) and his kids James (Skyler Gisondo) and Kevin (Steele Stebbins). Things are pretty bland for him as he works for a crap airline and things at home just look like they need some sprucing up. So, he decides to take his family across country to Wally World like his father did thirty years before. The film also stars Chris Hemsworth (Thor) as Stone Crandall, Leslie Mann (Knocked Up) as Audrey Crandall, Charlie Day (It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia) as Chad, Catherine Missal (Natural Selection) as Adena, Ron Livingston (Office Space) as Ethan, Keegan-Michael Key (Keanu) as Jack Peterson, Regina Hall (Scary Movie) as Nancy Peterson, Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead) as Trucker, Chevy Chase (National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation) as Clark Griswold, Beverly D’Angelo (National Lampoon’s European Vacation) as Ellen Griswold, and the film was directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein who both made their feature length directing debut with this film.
I am going to start off saying that I wasn’t completely let down by the film because it was a good film, but a little too late for it. The film just didn’t have anything that made me laugh my butt off like the original films did. It was like they tried a little too hard to be as goofy and oblivious as the original film, but just couldn’t hit the mark. I really like Ed Helms as an actor, but I thought it was Stu from The Hangover out there the whole time while he is supposed to be Rusty Griswold who I don’t remember being that clueless. The best part of the film in my opinion was the relationship between the two brothers because those gave some great moments in the film and I can’t speak highly enough of Chris Hemsworth. I think once he is done being Thor, he seriously needs to continue his career in comedy. They tried to be like the original without really being the original even teasing you with some scenes that were similar to the original. For example, there is the scene where beautiful supermodel and actress Hannah Davis is driving in a Ferrari which is similar to the scene in the original with Christie Brinkley driving in the Ferrari with different end results to make it new. That was a cool nod, but let’s move on. I loved the scene though with the four cops (Nick Kroll, Tim Heidecker, Kaitlin Olson, and Michael Peña) who were from four different states that couldn’t stop arguing with each other. That was fresh and different, but here is why this film fails in comparison to the original. John Hughes was the master at writing and he wrote the original film and Harold Ramis knew comedy and he directed it. It’s hard to live up to those names, but at least they tried. I am going to give Vacation a grade somewhere between a C+/B- and only because Holiday Road was in the film.
For today’s film, I saw the trailer for Hell And Back some time ago and I remember saying that I wanted to see it. I went on Netflix today and discovered that they had the film available to watch. Hell And Back is a stop-motion animated film that takes place in hell and it’s for adults. Three friends Remy (Nick Swardson), Augie (T.J. Miller), and Curt (Rob Riggle) all work at a carnival that is slowly going down the proverbial tubes. They’ve run out of ideas until Remy finds the devil’s book with the devil weeping and he instantly sees dollar signs. Whiel reading the book, Curt asks him for a mint and Remy makes him swear that he’ll return the favor. When Curt doesn’t, he gets sucked into hell where he will be a live sacrifice for the Devil (Bob Odenkirk). Now Remy and Augie will have to go to hell to rescue their friend before it’s too late. The film also stars Mila Kunis (That 70’s Show) as Deema, Susan Sarandon (Thelma & Louise) as Barb, Danny McBride (Pineapple Express) as Orpheus, H. Jon Benjamin (Archer) as The Tree, John Farley (You Don’t Mess With The Zohan) as Welcome To Hell Demon, Paul F. Tompkins (BoJack Horseman) as annoyed soul, Michael Peña (Fury) as Abigor The Demon, Brian Posehn (The Devil’s Rejects) as Cleb, and ti was directed by Tom Gianas and Ross Shuman.
You could definitely tell by watching this film that it belongs with Adult Swim or at least it has that Moral Orel/Robot Chicken style with the Stop-Motion animation. The film is kind of divided into to different parts in my opinion which are the part where it starts slow and the part where it gets good. The first part of the film is ok and they’re trying really hard with the jokes, but right when they get to hell that is where all the fun starts. My favorite part of hell was the welcome to hell demon who messes with the lost souls like telling them that there is no pizza at a Taco Bell/Pizza Hut and then ends it with a welcome to hell. He goes on and on throughout the film and stick around in the end credit scenes for some more. Bob Odenkirk is brilliant as the dark one, but at times I swore James Woods was the voice. The film gets really good when Danny McBride shows up as the Greek mythology character of Orpheus. If you are a fan of Danny’s like I am, then I am here to say that even in voice, he does not disappoint. One of my favorite voice actors H. Jon Benjamin shows up int he film to play a raping tree which is outrageous. I do want to warn parents that are stupid enough to click on the film that it is not meant for kids, but for adult enjoyment. Anyways, I really enjoyed the film and that is why that I am giving the film an B+ for a final grade.