Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Movie Review

We saw Crash, and it really sucked. Thanks for the warnings everyone.

The good things -- we think Terrance Howard and the woman who played his wife were good -- the best acting in the film and the most compelling characters to play. Elias liked the little girl with the cloak of impenetrability. Brother Ed did too. I didn't. In short, Crash would be fine as a training film for the LAPD employees. It lends itself well to post training quizzes that need to be easy to pass.

The bad things -- all the rest, especially how they threw every imaginable racially charged scenario that could ever happen into one movie that spans 2 days. I'm talking racist cops, cross-racial sexual assault, a dope fiend, sassy Black women who should just keep their mouths shut, a rich white lady who should just keep her mouth shut, Koreans getting called "Chinamen," human trafficking and slavery, politics as usual, an unjust health care system, and oh so much more. There is lots of speech making in case you don't understand what's really going on. Everyone acts badly, but the story lets everyone but the most well intentioned off the hook. Go figure.

Our other recent Netflix pick, The Fantanstic Four towered over Crash. And it also serves as a primer on how far we have to go in terms of tollerating each other. (Elias disagrees with me here and thinks Crash was better.)

22 Added Something:

Anonymous New Agent #8 quipped...

Great review, K. We totally agree. The thought of Crash getting on Oscar for Best Movie makes us want to puke all over Sandra Bullock.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006 1:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Super quipped...

"The story lets everyone but the most well intentioned off the hook. Go figure." Kathy Sheffield.

Again - isn't that part of the point - I'm not trying to defend the movie but I just think that was part of the point. I still think it was well intended even if poorly constructed. I saw Brokeback and thought it was really sad - nobody warned me about how sad it is.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006 3:55:00 PM  
Anonymous eli quipped...

i agree with you super. i think it was well-intentioned, just way too heavy-handed, contrived, lacking in subtlety, etc. honestly, i didn't think it was THAT bad - but it was certainly a ridiculous choice for the oscar.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006 9:00:00 PM  
Anonymous anna quipped...

and we all know that with which the road to hell is paved...

(SOMEBODY needed to say it)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006 10:26:00 PM  
Blogger RV3 quipped...

Lady Miss K: The Fantastic Four sucked!!! Jessica Alba is the worst actress, (I've met the poor girl)...The only thing good about the film was that guy who turns into fire who had his shirt off in every other scene...Yummmm!!!
I'm sorry you finally saw Crash. I agree with you. The only good performances in the film were by Terrence Howard, and especially Thandie Newton (a Brit & favorite actress of mine) who played his wife.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger hostile17 quipped...

I disagree with RV3, I thought the FF was a faithful enough adaptation of the comics, thought it could have been better. I also disagree with his assessment of Jessica Alba's acting prowess. I think she is terrific, but her best role was on Fox's defunct "Dark Angel" series

Wednesday, April 12, 2006 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger RV3 quipped...

Jessica Alba's acting prowess???
(I am laughing right now...)
Excuse me a second...

It's all about her body and looks. Don't confuse that with talent, Mister Hostile...


Wednesday, April 12, 2006 1:39:00 PM  
Anonymous SuperM quipped...

Eli - I see right through you - like anna says - you may have been "well-intentioned" in characting my vocabulary but you're going to the place with the fiery furnaces for doing so.

Miss the dance.

Does it matter if Jessica can act she's a Latina. No one seems to care that Ben can't act - and they keep putting him in movies.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006 3:34:00 PM  
Blogger hostile17 quipped...

Well maybe FF isnt the best example, but watch the 2 seasons of Dark Angel (available on DVD) and then talk to me

Wednesday, April 12, 2006 3:35:00 PM  
Blogger Lucy4 quipped...

I think Crash is kinda like when a white person that has always been surrounded by white people meets black people for the first time at a dinner party. He might be quiet for the first couple of hours just soaking the experience in, then he starts to feel at ease and contribute a few words to the conversation, then he starts feeling a little too comfortable and tries to make a compliment to show how his nervousness around black people at the beginning of the night has been replaced by understanding. Then everyone gets all pissed and offended even though the intentions were good.

I think that's how it is with Hollywood and Crash. It is their first real attempt to discuss race in a blockbuster movie with big stars. Even though it was somewhat insulting, it was at least an attempt to reach out to make a connection.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006 7:07:00 PM  
Blogger RV3 quipped...

Supermosquita: Hi!!! :-) I know what you mean about Ben and other actors who can't act. I kinda want to support Jessica Alba's career because she is Latina (from her dad's side only, she claims...), but does not excuse her for being a bad actress. But then again, half the "actors" in Hollywood can't act.

Lucy4: I love your take on CRASH... I am totally that black person at that party offended by the ignorant, but well-meaning white boy.

Kathy: I miss you!!!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006 7:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Typoqueen a.k.a SuperM quipped...

characting = correcting

rv3 - it would be nice to get rid of all the bad actors - that may be a club we don't want to be a part of. It's kind of like those strip club billboards - they are always blonds - do we want to see diversity on strip club billboards or are we happy that minority women are not being exploited on highway billboards? I want to get rid of all of them too- some men may disagree with me and want to see more of a variety - I hear men like that.

Thursday, April 13, 2006 2:52:00 PM  
Anonymous New Agent #8 quipped...

Good intentions aren't enough. Crash was a pile of steaming shit and every fiber of my being is suffused with contempt for it. Lucy4's take on Crash was great, except that I don't have time or energy to deal with well-meaning ignorant, racist fuckwads. Excuse my French, but it's fucking 2006!

The worst thing about Crash is that white Hollywood feels so good about naming it Best Movie. I bet they honestly feel like they did something important to fight racism, when all they actually did was vote for a shitty movie 'about' race.

Thursday, April 13, 2006 3:41:00 PM  
Blogger RV3 quipped...

Typoqueen & Agent #8: Word!!!

Thursday, April 13, 2006 3:45:00 PM  
Blogger Lucy4 quipped...

I've had quasi-racial comments directed to me and I have made many myself so I okay with it.

For example, I am dating this white guy and after one year together, I went to meet his mom in Troy, Indiana (population 200). She was nice and everything but after dinner, we were sitting around chatting (cause where she lives, there's not much else to do). And she said, "Wow, you've been together for a whole year. Seems pretty serious. I guess I just have to get over the fact that my grandchildren will look nothing like me."

I think it's the "I have to get over" comment that bothered me as if it's something negative. And she should like read about Mendel's experiments with peas or something. My bf talked to her in private about it because it bothered him too and she was really sad about it because she said she liked me and she didn't mean it like that. And the thing is I think she really means it. She has always been nice to me, included me in things, knitted me stuff, tried to learn more about Vietnamese food, etc. so I dismissed the statement as "dumb" rather than "racist".

On the other hand, my sister was living with me when she met this African American guy because they both were working for the Upward Bound Program. She said he was gonna take her out to dinner and a movie and I said something like, "Where's he taking you, Roscoe's?"

And so they saw a movie and afterwards, they were near Sunset and Gower so guess where they went? Roscoe's! So they were chatting during dinner and my sister said, "You know what's funny? When I said we were going out on a date, my sister said, "Where's he taking you, Roscoe's?"" But he didn't think it was funny at all. He was highly offended and said, "Man, just because I am Black doesn't mean I just eat fried chicken and waffles."

"But you ordered fried chicken and waffles."

"I know but I just don't like your sister assuming it just because I am Black."

So she comes home and tells me the whole story and I was pissed cause I said it as a joke and didn't mean her to repeat it to him. Anyways, she married him and they're been married for ten years and I'm the godmother of their child and he's one of my best friends. So we're all just peachy keen :)

I am not sure which statement was worse, my bf's mom or me. But with racism, I think there are lotsa layers and lotsa things we say now maybe be interpretted as racist in the future. The whole melting pot is now replaced by the salad bowl. I'm pretty sure the term "Asian" will be thought of as racist one day. I still am not sure about affirmative action and other stuff but this is an exciting time in our lives in that at least we are conscious of it. It's like that whole Hegel thesis, antithesis, synthesis idea (hey I did remember something from college!).

Thursday, April 13, 2006 5:25:00 PM  
Blogger Lucy4 quipped...

I think I know what I was trying to say now in ten words or less: You can't talk about race without being racist.

By acknowledging that race exists as a real thing is in itself racist, right?

Friday, April 14, 2006 9:47:00 AM  
Blogger Kathy quipped...

I disagree, L4. Strongly. Racism is about power, not pointing out differences. Judgments by people of color have not resulted in unfair systems. Your judgment of your brother-in-law didn't result in a decision to deny employment, housing, educational opportunities, etc.

It's a bummer that you joke about your sister's date taking her to Rosco's as opposed to Capanille. Like him, I hear the message, "He's Black, he must be unhealthy and cheap." It's kind of funny that you were right, and Roscoes is tasty. In the end, your sister married the guy. But your experience is hardly the case study for racism. It's special and informative to you. However, I would never equate it with slavery, lynching, segregation, sweatshops, exploitation of immigrants, racial profiling, criminal sentencing disparity, etc.

Friday, April 14, 2006 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger Lucy4 quipped...

Yeah but your definition for racism is more political than mine. You being an attorney and me a reality tv fan. I hear your definition for racism a lot to justify minorities being racist because they're minorities and that minorities cannot be racist.

I remember people yelling things out to me when I was walking home from school when I lived in El Monte or rude comments classmates made in school. I know these are minor incidences but it pissed me off and I think I did internalize a lot of it. I think things that keep people back are not really laws as much as negative remarks people have internalized. The whole slave mentality or the whole rape mentality fucks you up even when you're out of the situation.

But my point is that things have gotten much better since I was young and that everyone has preconceptions about everybody. Preconceptions are my definition of race.

My comment was a joke. It wouldn't be funny if I said where is he taking you, Campanile? It might be funny as a statement about poor college students as they were back then. Also, I'm just crude sometimes.

Friday, April 14, 2006 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger Kathy quipped...

Dude, as a teacher, your definition matters a lot.

I recall two incidents that happened in front of teachers. In the 3rd grade, a Latina (Mexican girl we would say back then) made a big demonstration in class about how she was darker than me! OMG she couldn't believe it. Mrs. Williamson was our lay (em!) teacher at St. Mary's, and she was the meanest teacher in the world. She did nothing, and I imagine she probably loved watching people be mean to me.

The next year, in 4th grade, at Nokomis Elementary (public school), Carolyn Jones gave an oral report about slavery and she actually used the word nigger to refer to African slaves. Hearing the word in class and with an implicit ok from the teacher was powerful, humiliating, and sticks with me to this day. Even though the teacher had the power to do something, I still blame Carolyn, her parents, and her church of LDS.

Mostly I wanted to tell that story to chime in with you, and to challenge you in your very important role of making a safe and fair classroom for your students.

Also, I think Crash might have rung more true had it been set in an elementary school in the 70s. I could forgive the writing and might find the words appropriate coming from the mouths of 9 and 10 year olds.

Friday, April 14, 2006 7:08:00 PM  
Blogger Lucy4 quipped...

That's what I meant when I said things have changed a lot for the better. There's no way any of the crazy ass, blatant racist stuff that happened back then would be tolerated in schools nowadays because if it was the school would be sued up the kazoo.

Friday, April 14, 2006 7:32:00 PM  
Anonymous ed sheff quipped...

Chappelle's Show never would have got TV play time in the 70s, either. we had Rodge, Dee, and Rerun--those adorable racial stereotypes harmless enough for primetime. we loved the shows then, but try watching them now. they often had good messages and seemed well intended, but goddamn, we've come a long way.

maaaan, that Dave Chappelle is f-ing funny. i'm "Rick James, Bitch!" (*no offense to any of you bitches out there).

Sunday, April 16, 2006 12:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Super M quipped...

lucy4 & agent #8 - crash was about preconceptions, and it was real, and even though we have come a long way, all of us are so sheltered surrounded by educated progressive types, we don't see people that act just like the people in Crash.

Maybe that's why I thought it not so bad - I actually know people like that and are forever arguing with them about how wrong they are. They aren't blatently racist most of the time, but they don't understand the ramifications of the racism lucy4 underwent nor the ramifications of institutional racism as K put it. They just say things without thinking, these are our average Americans - how do you think Bush got elected, he got elected by people like the characters in Crash.

When I was 10 a rich white boy at Catholic School called me a "beaner" (K - he was smart enough to know it was not nice and only whispered it) - I asked my mom, "why did he call me that, I don't even like beans." She said nothing - so I didn't know it was racist, but I knew it was demeaning because it felt terrible. In college my friends well-intentioned Mom asked if I was ever a victim of racism - I said not that I remember- I'm not sure why I said that, but it felt racist of her to be so fucking understanding about my "racial" condition - her not being a minority, I just didn't understand why she was asking me these things and making me feel different from everyone else in the room -- looking back she was much like the movie Crash- and I guess I wouldn't give her the Nobel Prize but I wouldn't stone her either.

K- can you blog so we have something new to argue about. BTW - V for Vendetta was dumb, and a rip-off of matrix, beauty and beast, dawn of the dead, the holocaust, hitler, you name it was in there - Blaaah. I hated the way the V talked it was hard to follow.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 4:13:00 PM  

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