Crash

If you read my blog at all you know that this year I didn't get to see many of the Oscar nominated films. So now, I'm getting a chance to check some of them out - and the first one I decided to watch was the Oscar winning film for Best Picture - "Crash".

There was a lot of controversy when "Crash" beat out "Brokeback Mountain" (which I have not seen). A lot of folks said it was an anti-gay bias, or that they didn't want to hurt the "cowboy image" in Hollywood, or that the voters like the "LA" theme of "Crash". I don't know what they used as their rational, but I must say that "Crash" is not a Best Picture caliber film.

Before you read too much into that statement though, realize please, that I did like the movie. I thought it was engaging and entertaining. I just don't think it was a Best Picture. Was "Brokeback" better? Maybe. I don't know since I have yet to see it. Does it matter now? Not really. What does matter is that the Oscars continue to be (and always have been) a popularity contest (and political - not D.C. politics though, but Hollywood politics) so it's no surprise that they picked a sub par winner again this year.

Several other blogs have started lists of the worst Best Picture winners. It's pretty interesting really. Do I think "Crash" falls into a "worst" category. No. But I do think in years to come it will be regarded like perhaps "Shakespeare In Love", or "The English Patient". Good films that are only interesting to watch once.

I'm not going to give an in-depth review of the film. If you want that go check out Roger Ebert or the plethora of other "real" critics that have chimed in on the movie. What I will say is that it was well acted, well crafted (I liked the structure and editing style), but the script I couldn't quite figure out.

SPOILERS AHEAD...

Are we really suppose to believe that ALL these people are racists in one way or another? Or was Paul Haggis (the writer/director) giving us a "hyper real" look at racism in LA today? It's hard to tell, but I must believe it's the latter of the two.

I personally just found some of the stereotypes stupid...

1. The racist cop
2. The "Arab" store owner (although they weren't actually Arab)
3. The Mexican locksmith
4. The Chinese man smuggling immigrants
5. The Black car thieves
6. The White district attorney and his wife

Of course they all "worked" in this story. But, again, I wasn't sure if we're suppose to BELIEVE they are real or caricatures of people???

I liked several story lines better than others (Terrence Howard's for instance), and I did like how they all came together in the end a la "Pulp Fiction" or even a better analogy would be "Magnolia" (which for my money is a FAR superior film).

All in all "Crash" is an interesting movie and definitely worth checking out. I applaud the filmmakers for doing it on such a low budget (although it costs $7 million which to me is a HUGE budget - and it must be nice to have "friends" in high places to cast the likes of Sandra Bullock, Brendan Fraser, Matt Dillion, Terrence Howard, Don Cheadle, etc. - not exactly an "indie film" in my book).

Now we can all just look forward to next year to see what "popular" film will take the Oscar gold.

-Blake


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Who Am I?

I'm a filmmaker who's produced & directed five feature films including the comedy SPILT MILK (available on iTunes), the new horror/thriller PHOBIA (on iTunes) and the action/thiller KILLING DOWN (which you can buy or rent at pretty much all the usual places).

I also created the Streamy and Webby award-winning web series PINK, which to date has been viewed online around 10 MILLION times at places like YouTube, Hulu, Koldcast and TheWB.com. And speaking of TheWB.com, I also produced and directed an online thriller for them called EXPOSED. It was released summer 2010. And most recently I created a new online sci-fi series called CONTINUUM, which is part of the online indie TV network JTS.tv - Just The Story and NOW available via VOD through indie platform Distrify.

Oh, and I don't shoot weddings. Thanks for asking though.

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