I couldn’t watch Crash 1x, no less 3x

As a general disclaimer, I couldn’t make it through the terrible film Crash (2004) once, no less three times. Therefore please disregard the bug in my Netflix widget that seems to be an act of sabotage on what little film credibility I delude myself into believing I have. Update: Looks like the widget gods heard me, for everything is back to normal now, whew!

Crash netflix plugin

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15 Responses to I couldn’t watch Crash 1x, no less 3x

  1. Chris L says:

    That stereophonics track on the soundtrack is pretty good though 🙂

  2. Yeah. And I bet you’re going to blame the appearance of Ishtar, From Justin to Kelly, and Battlefield Earth on Netflix bugs, too… whatever. don’t be ashamed – embrace it!

  3. Reverend says:

    So now you’re looking on the bright side, very uncharacteristic 😉

    Actually, I really like all those movies you list above, I just hated the pretentious Crash that dealt with race relations in about the most surface way possible. It is one of my least favorite films of all time, and to see it in my sidebar was an affront to my very being. It actually hurt me deeply, but I’m over it now 🙂

  4. What about Cronenberg’s movie of the same name based on the J.G. Ballard book from a few years back? How many times could you watch that?

  5. Brian says:

    Bless you Reverend, not only is that a bad movie, its pretensions make it truly hateful.

    @Mikhail – I think I’ve seen the Cronenberg movie at least three times, and it makes less sense to me each successive viewing.

  6. Gardner says:

    I have yet to see “Crash,” but I’ve been avoiding it ever since Edward P. Jones (author of the brilliant and moving “The Known World”) spoke of his own contempt for it–in a crowd of folks who were all gushing about it. I think I may continue to avoid it. Life is short.

    I saw the Cronenberg film in the theatre. I always find his ideas interesting and engaging, but the manifestation of them in his films often strikes me as a little too lovingly sadomasochistic. Yes, I know that’s part of the point, but I could wish for a little more sense of authorial detachment (not judgment). I sometimes get the unpleasant feeling that he’s lingering on the psychosexual stuff not because of the complexity or intensity of the meaning, but because he’s having himself a good old time. To be fair, I get this feeling from Hitchcock too, at times–the bit where Tippi Hedren is attacked by the birds in the attic is an example of what I’m talking about. Doesn’t mean I don’t admire the films, but I do sometimes think a line has been crossed for no clear or compelling artistic purpose.

    But y’know, I just saw Cronenberg’s “The Fly” again, and while it’s not a subtle film, it is an extraordinarily powerful and beautiful film. I yield to no one in my admiration for it. 🙂

  7. reverend says:

    It’s nice to know that a pulitzer prize winner who writes so beautifully about race and culture panned Crash (2004). Not that I would agree with him if he didn’t, but in my mind how could any thoughtful person not hate this film given the softballs it lobs about all kinds of racial stereotypes. Which in my mind is one of those films that sets back the popular conversation about these issues about thirty years. It just goes to show just how out of touch the Oscars so often are when it comes to anything resembling a good film.

    As for Cronenberg’s Crash, I own it on LaserDisc but not DVD, which speaks volumes. Back in the mid-90s when it came out I loved it, I was a big fan of J.G. Ballard’s novel, and thought Cronenberg’s film did a nice job of framing this group of insane car accident junkies. More specifically, I love the actor Elias Koteas, and the scene where he re-enacts James Dean’s fatal car crash is special for me. That said, I have never really returned to the film since then, and don’t quite think of it when I want to re-visit Cronenberg. I always return to his 70s and 80s films like Shivers, Rapid, The Brood, Dead Zone, Scanners and VideoDrome. 1983 is kind of a cut off point for me when thinking about the Cronenberg I yearn to watch, and the stuff after 1983 is stuff I will certainly watch but rarely if ever obsess over.

    I always found him far more compelling as an extremely good horror/scifi b-move director than an the auteur he has become, and his later work with Naked Lunch, Crash, and even Eastern Promises strikes me as far less spontaneous & inventive and far more contrived than his wonderfully haunting and refreshing early stuff.

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  9. Matt says:

    @Jim, I couldn’t agree with you more about Crash. It’s just tripe.

    @Gardner — wow — “a little too lovingly sadomasochistic” — you’ve just put into words a feeling I’ve had about a few other movies: Lars von Trier’s Breaking the Waves and Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights. I found Breaking the Waves to be especially sadomaschistic in the sense that the director seemed to take real pleasure in filming Emily Watson’s character being abused . .. . and Boogie Nights, as a whole, while perhaps not quite sadomaschistic, seemed to take pleasure in the weaknesses of its characters. Anyway, thanks for voicing something that I’ve felt for quite a while.

    @Jim — What did you think of Hustle & Flow? It seems to me that it’s somewhere between Crash and American Pimp . . . . but perhaps a little too close to American Pimp for its own good.

    And here is one final thought: I’m wondering whether what bothers you (and me) about Crash is its almost explicit address to its audience — the fact that it almost seemed ready-made to spawn discussion groups on “Oprah.” It’s such a pedantic film, yet, as you point out, its pedantry falls flat because of its stereotyped characters and trite drama.

  10. Reverend says:


    You are right on in so many regards in this comment, pedantic is exactly what Crash proves to be, and Hustle and Flow is a great tie-in here. I really liked it, and Terence Howard’s performance was masterful. The move at the end where his violence and imprisonment, teamed with Nola’s DJ soliciting, made for a very interesting commentary on what it takes to get “famous.” I mean, was that a happy ending? It certainly does fall somewhere between American Pimp and Crash, and closer to American Pimp which is not necessarily the worst thing in this case.

    Yet, after trying to watch Black Snake Moans (talk about the extremes of misogyny and sadomasochism), which was also directed by Craig Brewer, I tend to temper my enthusiasm for Hustle and Flow a bit more. The scenes of DJay’s relationship with Nola and Shug seem somehow tainted in retrospect. The discussions in the car between DJay and Nola in Hustle and Flow which I really liked at first, seem taken to the logical extreme in Black Snake Moans which had me wondering whether I wasn’t buying into something quite distasteful when thinking about the two together.

  11. Matt says:

    @Jim Oops — FWIW, that sentence should have read: “It seems to me that it’s somewhere between Crash and American Pimp . . . . but perhaps a little too close to Crash for its own good.”

    And, wow — I haven’t seen Black Snake Moans, and I now have no desire to do so!

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  14. Brian says:

    Georgetta – I’ve been trying to get Jim to write more about domina and bdsm for years… Like you, it took Mr. Groom’s velvet glove wrapped in an iron fist to truly appreciate the subject.

    But I’d advise you not to waste your time trying to tell him what to blog. The Bava abides…

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