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.
This could possibly be the third Coen Brothers film that I have decided to review for the blog, but this is definitely one film I have wanted to see. The Big Lebowski stars Jeff Bridges (Starman) as Jeff Lebowski better known by his friends as The Dude. Unfortunately for him, he is always mistaken for a millionaire (David Huddleston) who shares the same name as him and apparently this millionaire’s wife (Tara Reid) owes some people a lot of money. After his rug us pissed on and such, he is hired by the other Lebowski to deliver money to the people who kidnapped his wife and that is when things get complicated. With the help of his insane Vietnam Vet friend Walter (John Goodman)and his quiet fragile friend Donny (Steve Buscemi), they will try their best to get her back in one piece and hopefully his rug as well. The film also stars Julianne Moore (Boogie Nights) as Maude Lebowski, Philip Seymour Hoffman (Moneyball) as Brandt, Peter Stormare (22 Jump Street) as Nihilist #1, Flea as Nihilist #2, Torsten Voges (The Lords Of Salem) as Nihilist #3, John Turturro (Quiz Show) as Jesus Quintana, Dom Irrera (Barnyard) as Tony the Chauffeur, Sam Elliot (The Good Dinosaur) as The Stranger, and the film was directed by Joel Coen.
The film was actually better than what I expected even though it can kind of go all over the place. This is definitely an iconic performance from Jeff Bridges, but it was also one heck of a performance from John Goodman. He plays your typical paranoid, everyone is against us, war veteran with conspiracy theories, but he does it well. He was definitely the highlight for me when I was watching the film because it was hilarious to see him fly off the rails on the drop of a dime.The other thing I loved about this film was the various dream sequences that the dude would have if he was knocked out like being inside of the bowling ball as it goes down the lane and even the music sequence piece to Kenny Rogers was cool. The film also has some iconic lines in it so you know the screenwriting was done right. The film has that typical Coen Brothers feel to it where things and events can change at the drop of a dime or they can go in places you never expected. The soundtrack to the film is also a strong point for the film as they decided to go the classic way of choosing artists like Bob Dylan, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Monks, Santana, and so many more. One thing I was surprised about as well was the fact that Steve Buscemi’s character was so minor in the film whereas he had a bigger role in Fargo and Julianne Moore’s character was so weird in this film, but I liked it. Nevertheless, it was a great film worth checking out if you hadn’t before. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.
Ever since last year’s Academy Awards and The Golden Globes, this was definitely a film I wanted to see for all the buzz it caught. The film Foxcatcher was directed by Bennett Miller (Moneyball) and it starred Steve Carell (The Way Way Back), Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street), and Mark Ruffalo (Now You See Me). The film centers around two of America’s greatest wrestling brothers and a very rich man from an important American family. Mark Schultz (Tatum) is training for his ultimate goal which is to win the gold at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. One day he is contacted by John du Pont (Steve Carell) multimillionaire who wants Mark to train as his facility to legitimize his Team Foxcatcher. Mark is a very impressionable person and du Pont quickly creates a rift between the two brothers.The union ultimately leads the Schultz’s into tragedy as du Pont is quickly losing his mind. The film also stars Sienna Miller (American Sniper) as Nancy Schultz, Vanessa Redgrave (Howard’s End) as Jean du Pont, Anthony Michael Hall (The Breakfast Club) as Jack, Guy Boyd (Taking Chance) as Henry Beck, Brett Rice (Forrest Gump) as Fred Cole, and Lee Perkins (Wild Card) as Corporal.
The film didn’t win any of the big awards, but it definitely put up a fight against some of the heavy contenders at the time. The thing that amazed me the most about this film was the transformation Steve Carell went through because not only does he appear different, but his character is strange. He was a man with a lot of money to throw around and for a little while no one, but Mark could tell that there was something strange about him. He was definitely one of those guys who was socially awkward and sheltered from the dangers of the real world by his mother. Mark Ruffalo is as brilliant as he usually is as he went through a transformation of his own having to put on weight and muscle for the film. The film isn’t full of action, but it’s a slow decent into madness as you dive deeper into it like the characters are. The film is relatively dark in tone if you ask me as there is nothing happy about the film. It’s definitely a film about a match made in hell that turns out drastically bad by the end of the film. There are no spoilers to give here as the film is based on a true story so you can look it for yourself without having to watch the film.
There is a post online that questions what is true and what isn’t true about every film naturally as they are on “Based” on a true story. One of the facts that went into question was whether or not Mark had a sexual relationship with du Pont and Mark took to his Facebook page to explain the truth saying, “Leaving the audience with a feeling that somehow there could have been a sexual relationship between du Pont and I is a sickening and insulting lie. I told Bennett Miller to cut that scene out and he said it was to give the audience the feeling that du Pont was encroaching on your privacy and personal space. I wasn’t explicit so I didn’t have a problem with it. Then after reading 3 or 4 reviews interpreting it sexually, and jeopardizing my legacy, they need to have a press conference to clear the air, or I will.” There are a lot of details about the film that is wrong so if you want to read any if it, just visit this website for more. Otherwise, I thought it was a great film. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.