Apr 2, 2006

Two More DVD reviews - Crash and Blue Thunder

Crash (2-Disc Director's Cut Edition)
Lion’s Gate home entertainment

Since Crash won the Oscar for best picture; views on this film seem to have become fairly passionate. While many feel it was the best film on 05, others are suggesting it is the worst film ever to win the Oscar. Anne Proulx, author of the story that Brokeback Mountain is based on, called the film “trash”. Of course this was in the middle of a diatribe that would cause even a ten year old to question her maturity.
My own thoughts are this: Crash is a very good film with some absolutely amazing performances. They got great performances out of Ryan Phillippe and Sandra Bullock for God’s sake! When you put together a cast featuring Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Terrance Howard, Brendan Fraser, it is hard to make a bad one. Having said that, Crash is also a bit heavy handed and overly preachy at times. Considering the subject matter, it would be hard to avoid these accusations. Crash seems to want to teach us something in every scene and, as a result of this, the films suffers. I think if they had stepped back in a couple of scenes, the impact of the overall film would have been greater.I am in no way suggesting Crash is a bad film, it is worth seeing. As a matter of fact, I would go so far as to suggest that everyone does. It will make you think, regardless of your own views on the ethnic groups around you. Is Crash the best film of the year? Perhaps not, but certainly a must see movie.
Special Features:
The two disc edition features outstanding commentary by Director/writer Haggis, co- writer Bobby Moresco and actor/producer Don Cheadle. The commentary really adds some insight into the intentions of the writers as well as how Don felt about the film and the people in it.
Also included are deleted scenes with comments from the director, 3 featuettes (Behind the Metal and Glass: the making of Crash, L.A. The other main character and Unspoken) as well as looks at how screnes changed from the script or storyboards to when the scene was actually shot. You also get some musical montages and the video of Bird York’s In the Deep.
The featurettes show just how strongly felt about the material. This really shows just how powerful the script is and how deep the emotions run when it comes to the stereotypes that are common is everyday life.
Even if you bought the first DVD, it would be worth picking up this special edition.
Jeremy Lynch

Blue Thunder: (Special Edition)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

LAPD helicopter patrol pilot Frank Murphy is assigned to test-pilot the Blue Thunder, a new hi-tech helicopter designed for riot control at the 1984 LA Olympics. The Blue Thunder has been built with heavy weaponry targeted through the pilot's headgear, infra-red cameras, armor casing, silent rotors and has computer access to all government files. But as the tests begin, Frank discovers that the plans for Blue Thunder include not just riot control but assassination and government surveillance as well. Frank decides that his only recourse is to steal the Blue Thunder. But this has him hunted through the skies of L.A. by the Blue Thunder's designers, who are determined to bring him down.

Roy Schieder plays Frank and brings a sense of everyman to the role. Daniel Stern plays his sidekick and the late Warren Oates (who passed away before the film was released) is their grumpy but good captain. Hey, what is a police film without a grumpy captain?
Malcolm McDowell is deliciously foul as Col Cochrane, one of the Blue Thunder designers and somebody that Frank worked with in Vietnam.
Blue Thunder is average fare. It is a fun, thriller that plays up the potential for a Big Brother government right before the year 1984 actually came about. If you did not see it in the theatres, it is worth watching. I would call it the kind of film you want to spend your weekend afternoon watching. Not spectacular, but certainly a good time.
Special features:
Featurettes that cover the making of the helicopter, the making of the movie, and a promotional piece from 1983. Also included are storyboard galleries, director’s commentary and the original theatrical trailer.
Jeremy Lynch

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My favorite part of Blue Thunder is Warren Oates. I think this was his last film.