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 171: Mr. Holland’s Opus (1995)

mr-hollands-opus-dvdcoverFor today’s challenge film, I wanted to watch a film from the great Richard Dreyfuss (Jaws, American Graffiti) and I happened to stumble on one playing on TV. The name of the film is Mr. Holland’s Opus and Dreyfuss stars as the title character in the film. Glenn Holland is a struggling composer who has to take a job at John F. Kennedy High School as a music teacher in order to make ends meet. What he doesn’t expect to happen to him is that he is going to find fulfillment as music teacher as he helps others discover the beauty of music while he struggles with issues at home. The film also stars Glenne Headly (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) as Iris Holland, Jay Thomas (Mork & Mindy) as Coach Bill Meister, Olympia Dukakis (Look Who’s Talking Too) as Principal Helen Jacobs, William H. Macy (Thank You For Smoking) as Vice Principal Gene Wolters, Alicia Witt (Cecil B. Demented) as Gertrude Lang, Terrence Howard (Lee Daniels’ The Butler) as Louis Russ, Damon Whitaker (Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai) as Bobby Tidd, Jean Louisa Kelly (Uncle Buck) as Rowena Morgan, Joseph Anderson (Whacked!) as Cole Holland, Balthazar Getty (The Judge) as Stadler, and the film was directed by Stephen Herek (Critters).

profesorcThis is one of those films where the main character changes over the course of the film and at one moment finally realizes what he has accomplished. He definitely goes through some trials and tribulations during the film as he wants to be a composer more than a teacher and he has trouble dealing with the fact that his son is deaf. All of these things definitely makes him grow as a person and the amount of love he receives is amazing. The film follows his thirty year career as a teacher from 1965 to 1995 and you see the changes in music styles along with pop culture which is cool and the film stays hip with what actually happened in music current events. For every decade though, there is a student that he helps realize their potential (e.g. the death of John Lennon). Richard Dreyfuss is an amazing actor to begin with and you see that in this film. I love how the film makes him age over the course of thirty years to make it more believable and the fact that they used real deaf actors to pay his son is amazing as well. That definitely makes the film feel more authentic instead of paying a hearing actor to play a deaf person. One thing that boggles my mind is that Richard Dreyfus lost to Nicolas Cage at the Oscars for Best Actor. Nevertheless, this is an amazing film that you should definitely check out if you are a fan of Richard Dreyfuss or a fan of amazing stories. With that being said,  I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.