MPAA Rated – R
It’s 2:02 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Crash (2004)
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Jennifer Esposito, Brendan Fraser, Ludacris, Ryan Phillippe, Tony Danza
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Lions Gate Films
Release Date: 2004
Kiddie Movie: Put them to bed before watching. It’s R for a variety of reasons.
Date Movie: It’s good for everyone.
Gratuitous Sex: Some nudity!
Gratuitous Violence: Some shooting.
Action: Some car chases.
Laughs: There’s a chuckle or two.
Memorable Scene: The scene with the locksmith, his little girl, and the a gun.
Memorable Quote: The chop-shop guy: “Do I look like I wanna be on The Discovery Channel?”
Directed By: Paul Haggis

It’s got the normal commentary stuff and pretty much the “Behind the Scenes” featurette is mostly just those involved with the film saying they thought this movie was powerful from the first reading. Nothing spectacular or particularly cool.

I wanted to catch “Crash” in the theaters, but just never got around to it. Then I saw the DVD in the store, and for some reason I bought it. I’m really glad I did.

“Crash” gives us a movie where a variety of character’s lives all intertwine in a variety of ways, and a lot of times it’s totally politically incorrect as we see how some people can be blatantly racist while others have it in them, they just don’t seem to realize it. Opening with a car crash scene, we are introduced to Don Cheadle playing a police detective named Graham, but before we get too far, the movie takes us back to the day before, and the events occurring that set up all of our characters somehow being about one separation from each other. We get a family getting a gun to protect their store; we get a car-jacking; we get a man getting run over; we get a locksmith just trying to make a good life for his family yet being labeled a gang-banger; we get a racist cop feeling-up a man’s wife; we get his partner totally repulsed; we get a magic necklace; we get a naked Jennifer Esposito, and we even get Tony Danza as a T.V. dude telling Cameron (Terrence Howard) that one of his actors wasn’t sounding black enough. And yes, somehow all of these things intertwine the lives of the characters.

I hesitate to really say more about this movie because in doing so it will give away some of the best plot twists and turns I have seen in a movie in a long time, how one event between people can influence the events of other people and influence the events of even other people. That being written, the great thing about this film is that it doesn’t hold back in its politically incorrectness because, sadly, in the world we live in, there are a lot of people out there with the thoughts and attitudes of the entire cast of characters.

The strength of this movie is both the story, as well as the acting of all of the characters. We know Don Cheadle is a great actor, but my surprise was by the likes of Matt Dillon, Sandra Bullock, Terrence Howard, and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, who is quietly building a pretty decent film resume, and this role really let him shine.

“Crash” is a serious drama, and a damn good drama, so if you are in the mood for one, pick it up. It doesn’t hold back, the actions of some of the characters should repulse you, and if they don’t, you might want to take a look at your own opinions relating to race. It’s 4 ½ stars out of 5 for “Crash.”

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!


MPAA Rated – R
It’s 1:35 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Ryan Phillippe, Salma Hayek, Mike Myers, Neve Campbell, Ellen Albertini Dow, Sherry Stringfield
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Miramax Films
Kiddie Movie: Not at all.
Date Movie: Ehh.
Gratuitous Sex: Shane gets into Studio 54, heads to the balcony, and there are two people doin’ the nasty, and that’s just the start.
Gratuitous Violence: Nothing really.
Action: It’s a movie about a disco. I don’t think so.
Laughs: Some funny one-liners.
Memorable Scene: "Disco Dottie" at New Year’s Eve.
Memorable Quote: Something like: Greg says to Anita "I’m too short and I don’t suck cock." Anita replies, "Well, there’s nothing you can do about being short."
Directed By: Mark Christopher
Produced By: Richard N. Gladstein, Dolly Hall, Ira Deutchman

As a normal, everyday person, sometimes you dream of being a star. You dream of getting invited to all of the cool parties, hanging out with the stars, and most of all, getting to go to those bars and clubs that you read about in the gossip column. It’s a world that seems so much better than yours, but all you can do is dream. “54” is a movie about one of those clubs, the infamous Studio 54, but also a movie about the seeming everyday people who are let into that dream.

The movie kinda goes like this: Shane O’Shea (Ryan Phillippe) is 19 years old and thinks soap opera star Julie Black (Neve Campbell) is a babe, but then, who doesn’t? Anyway, he’s tired of the same old bar he and his friends go to, really doesn’t want to grow up to be like his “come home from a blue collar day of work and have a beer” father, and convinces his friends they should drive to the city and try to get in Studio 54 because he heard Olivia Newton-John is supposed to be there. They drive to the city where Steve Rubell (Mike Myers) is letting the clientele in Studio 54. He sees Shane and his buddy, calls over Shane, and lets him in as long as he takes off his shirt. So Shane enters a world most are only left to dream about, and then, low and behold, gets a job as a busboy in that same world. You’ve got to start living that dream somewhere.

Well, through Shane and his new friends, Greg (Beckwin Meyer) who wants to be a bartender, and Anita (Salma Hayek) who wants to be a singer, we get a glimpse at what having that look to be let in Studio 54 is about. We see sex, we see drugs, and we see disco in all its glory. We see it’s not usually what you know or how well you do your job, but to get ahead in this world it turns into who you know or who you’ll blow. In Shane’s case he comes through the ranks quickly. He meets his dream girl, he has lots of sex, he does drugs, but his new world which he’s been thrown into crashes around him because he finally sees that this dream world isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

“54” isn’t the world’s greatest movie, but it isn’t that bad and kinda shows that world only the few knew while many dreamed about. Mike Myers as Steve Rubell is terrific. With that happy but still evil looking grin of his, we see Rubell as having the job he loves, throwing the world’s greatest party every night, but always letting you know it is his party, and he has final say of who gets in. Phillippe does a decent job as the naïve Shane, but I really enjoyed Ellen Albertini Dow as “Disco Dottie,” the normal grandma by day but escaping the real world at night in a club with her friends.

As I’m leaving “54” one dude behind me says to his friend “That was a decent flick. Let’s go do some disco dancin’.” Me, I’ll give it 2 ½ stars out of 5. Catch it at a matinee, or an evening show if you’ve seen everything else out there.

That’s it for this one, I’m The Dude on the Right! L8R!!