Thursday, June 23, 2005

Saved from a Crash

This is just a quick roundup of some of the movies Rowan and I have seen lately.

Last night, we went to the Colonial Theatre to see Paul Haggis' Crash, not to be confused with the earlier movie, Crash, by David Cronenberg.

It is an extremely well-written, acted and shot movie. Not a scene is wasted, tho you might not realize how important some details are till later in the movie. The characters all pull the viewer into their world(s) quickly. It runs the gamut of emotion, from deep despair to quirky humor. A leitmotiv is race relations, and Haggis' script pulls no punches when it comes to how groups view one another. Nonetheless, he manages to keep even the most racist character, portrayed with bravura by Matt Dillon, from being anything less than a three-dimensional character who finds some unsought redemption.

Other standout performances are by Don Cheadle, Sandra Bullock, Thandie Newton and Jennifer Esposito. But every performance in this movie is very strong.

As for Cronenberg's namesake movie, I haven't seen it, but Rowan has, and says it's good.

One to look for on DVD is House of Flying Daggers. If you loved Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, you will at the least enjoy this movie. It lacks some of the emotional satisfaction that the earlier movie had, but its fight scenes are well done, and some care was put into making the plot. That's more than you'll get from just about anything Hollywood is sending out these days.

Tor and Rowan both give a nod of approval to Saved. It is an dark comedy about shenanigans at a Christian high school. Macohhowdoyouspellhisname Culkin is good as a wheelchair-bound little brother to one of the most pious girls at the school.

My favorite line from the movie comes from a girl who thinks she might be pregnant, but has heard that the symptoms could also indicate cancer: "Please let it be cancer! Please let it be cancer!"