directed by Paul Haggis
USA/Germany 2004

 

Crash is not a subtle movie. Employing a narrative structure and camera moves reminiscent of Altman and Soderbergh, Paul Haggis all but hits you over the head with the film's central theme of racism. Its as if every racial epitaph uttered in the film is underlined so the audience doesn't miss the point.

The reason this approach succeeds in this case is that Haggis artfully combines melodrama and realism. He accomplishes this through the wonderfully effective performances of his actors. Each character is given enough back story to almost keep them from becoming caricatures. The actors themselves, through their unspoken expressions and reactions, complete the task of suspending our disbelief despite working with a script that uses such broad strokes. Because of them we are drawn into the world Haggis creates and go along for the ride even as we are constantly aware of the film's message.

While every performance in Crash is noteworthy, to my mind it is Don Cheadle's role as Det. Graham Waters (also a producer of the film) that really stands out. As he has shown in previous movies, Boogie Nights, Out of Sight and Hotel Rawanda, to name a few, Mr. Cheadle brings a depth and humanity to his roles that few actors of his generation can match.

Overall, Crash is a well made, thought provoking film that encourages dialogue on racism and ignorance. Given the tumultuous state of our current society this is indeed a positive thing.

   - Gregg Ferencz

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 10, 2004 (Canada), April 21, 2005 (US)

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Lions Gate (Widescreen Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution

Lions Gate

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 113 min
Video

2.35 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.57 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby 2.0 (English)
Subtitles English, Spanish
Features Release Information:
Studio: Lions Gate

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35

Edition Details:
• DVD Introduction by Director/Writer/Producer Paul Haggis
• Commentary With Director/Writer/Producer Paul Haggis, Co-writer/Producer Bobby Horesco, and
• Actor/Producer Don Cheadle
• Featurette: Behind the Scenes
• Music Video for 'If I...' by Kansacali
• Trailers

DVD Release Date: September 6, 2005
Keepcase

Chapters 24

 

 

Comments The anamorphic image is rich in color and detailed. Anamolies in the image, whether oversaturated color, higher than normal contrast or graininess appear to be intentional. In medium and close-up shots the cinematographer often uses a shallow depth of field creating a mosaic effect in the background. While not original it is very effective and beautiful to look at.

The audio is well balanced with a music track often accompanying dialogue ala P.T. Anderson.

The extras are rather standard though the commentary track is lively and informative. The participants are not above pointing out imperfections they are aware of in the final product.
 out of      

- Gregg Ferencz

 

 






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