Head to Head – Crash

Welcome to the first installment of Head to Head, a brand new feature in which our Quickflix critics enter into a relentlessly bloody battle to the death based on the merits of a particular film. Our first selection is Paul Haggis‘ Best Picture winning feature Crash.

DVDman will argue FOR the film and Simon Miraudo will argue AGAINST it. Let us know in the comments who you agree with. Let the bloodshed begin!

DVDman – 4/5

Victims of racism become the perpetrators in this intense and thought-provoking directorial debut from Million Dollar Baby screenwriter Paul Haggis. An interweaving set of storylines set against a sprawling LA backdrop filled with simmering tensions and topics that other film-makers avoid like the plague.

Great performances, gritty dialogue and an excellent score only serve to improve what is already a great subject matter, with a constant sense of urgency and impending tragedy looming threateningly over every scene. For a film so full of stereotypes it is distinctly lacking in cliché; the “issues” are handled sensitively, but not softly, and the characters are not obviously good or bad, just real. This film moved me.

A pretentious, patronizing and preachy pile of pap. It is astounding that writer/director Paul Haggis’ sprawling, aimless, LA story picked up Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay at the 2004 Oscars. Were voters touched by the film’s sledgehammer-delivered messages? Or perhaps it was the brilliant performances from the ‘great thespians’ Brendan Fraser, Sandra Bullock and Matt Dillon that sold it for them? Perhaps it was all the subtle messages and deftly delivered thematic lessons, such as:

1. If you are suspicious of black people, you WILL accidentally break your neck on your staircase.
2. If you are NOT suspicious of black people, they will rob you.
3. If you are a black person, you WILL be molested by a white cop.
4. If you are a white cop, you WILL accidentally shoot a black person.
5. If you are mistaken for an Arab, your anger WILL lead to your shooting of a child.
6. If you are a successful and black, you are a racist and a terrible person.
7. If you are a successful and white, you are a racist and a terrible person.
8. And finally, if you are a human being, you are a racist and terrible person.

Now it’s over to you! Who do you agree with? Do you think like DVDman, and believe that Crash is a worthy Oscar winner? Or do you side with Simon, and think that Crash is an overrated ‘pile of pap’? Let us know! Choose your side! There can only be one winner!

6 Responses to “Head to Head – Crash”

  1. There are some memorable moments and performances in Crash when it challenges our perceptions and stereotypical views on race relations. The flaw with the movie is the lack of shades in the situations explored, which are mostly presented in broad strokes. For a complex issue that is racial resentment in a multicultural city, Crash casts too wide a swipe in its look at discord and distrust.

  2. Come on Patrick, you have to agree with one of us more than the other. Sitting on the fence just starts to hurt after a while. Be brave… come to the dark side!!

  3. I gotta agree with Simon here.ZZ.

  4. Crash was an OK movie. I wouldn’t say brilliant, but definately entertaining. I’m with DVDman on this one

  5. I have left turds in my toilet more appealing than 'Crash'

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