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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! Trully Unforgettable.
Soon after a head on car crash James Ballard (Spader) is introduced to a world of fetishists who find arousal in mixing raw sexuality, the mangling of human bodies, and the twisted steel of a fresh auto accident. Their fetish soon becomes a suicidal obsession with death and the ultimate pleasure.
Based on the novel by J. G. Ballard, Crash was one of most...
Published on July 17 2004 by pizowell

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice try by Cronenberg but...
I read J.G. Ballard's novel upon which this film is based. I am an avid reader of all sorts of novels and very open-minded, but this book put me off. There were vivid and disturbing images aplenty and little else but manifest self destruction. The utter tawdriness of the novel was so depressing and off-putting, I felt as if I needed a shower after reading it. Cronenberg's...
Published on May 7 2004 by Orpharion


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! Trully Unforgettable., July 17 2004
This review is from: Crash (DVD)
Soon after a head on car crash James Ballard (Spader) is introduced to a world of fetishists who find arousal in mixing raw sexuality, the mangling of human bodies, and the twisted steel of a fresh auto accident. Their fetish soon becomes a suicidal obsession with death and the ultimate pleasure.
Based on the novel by J. G. Ballard, Crash was one of most controversial movies of the 1990's. Exploring the psyche of those who extract pleasure through risk and eroticism through automobile accidents. James and Catherine Ballard are a married couple whose sex life has been reduced to recounting tales of mutual infidelity to turn each other on. James is eventually involved in a car accident that leaves one man dead. After his long rehab he meets the other survivor of the crash Helen (Hunter). They soon realize that the accident was the biggest turn on of their lives. Helen introduces James to a group, led by Vaughn (Koteas) who share in their fetish. To up the ante the group engage in more and more dangerous accidents to heighten their own arousal.  
Anyone familiar with director David Cronenberg's work should know what to expect from this movie, only here it seems that Cronenberg has license to go as far as possible with the message he was trying to get across about the human animal and our twisted psyche when it comes to what we find erotic. His experiment with Crash was met with much controversy at the time of it's initial release in 1996. While many will find the film repulsive and/or sick, I happen to find it a rather genius character study. A film that succeeds in challenging the viewer by showing them a different side of the human spirit and hopefully pointing out their own sick little perversions. One thing is for sure, whether or not you "like" the movie you have to admire the balls it took to make such an anti-Hollywood film that went against everything "politically correct." What's sad is that a challenging, though provoking film like Crash couldn't be made today and if it were the people making it would most likely be jailed. 
 
Cronenberg injects the film with a dreamy, trance-like quality that sucked me in from second one. That along with the low key score created a menacing atmosphere. The acting from the always brilliant James Spader is top-notch as always. Elias Koteas is one of the most underrated actors out there, he's brilliant here as well. Holly Hunter and the lovely Deborah Unger are also strong in supporting roles. This is what happens when a great script (written by Cronenberg), a great director, and great actors merge to create a truly original and daring film.
Much can be said about Crash, but the bottom line is: GO SEE IT! Rent the NC-17 version if your video store has it and explore this movie with an open mind. Whether you love it or hate it, Crash will challenge, make you think, and hopefully enlighten. Now days when crap films are recycled over and over like a commercially friendly PG-13 pop can, it was great to see a film that didn't treat the viewer like an idiot. Check it out! 
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You either GET IT or YOU DON'T, July 12 2004
This review is from: Crash (DVD)
No, there are no limits to human stupidity. I don't know where to begin...Crash opens up like an after-dark Cinemax movie (which made me cringe). However it foreshadows the promise of a strange sensuality between metal and skin, something that James Ballard and Remington slowly find it as a kindling to stir up actual emotions to their boring, orgasm-less sex lives. Ballard meets Vaughan (played by Koteas) and he descends into the strange, twisted and druggie like world of Crash. Koteas is the real star of the movie here...James Spader and Holly Hunter merely serve as vehicles of boredom and a sense of being lost, finally finding what's missing in the oddest of places, while Koteas really drives the point across, really gives you an idea of what this underworld is like. He's slimy, creepy and insane, yet plausible.
This movie is not for everyone. There are a heavy amount of explicit sex scenes--and I only use the word explicit when I mean explicit. These scenes aren't porn. You watch these scenes, and they add to the mood. They add to a creepy, dirty feeling that's set on you from the beginning of the movie. And that's where Crash takes place...in the underworld. These scenes are done to enforce the mood. It's eerie. If there's one bad thing to say about Crash is that you'll go through over an hour and a half without hardly cracking a smile...and if you do, it's probably because the movie feels so good at parts that you just can't help yourself. This movie is far, far, far away from being trash. Everyone has their own opinion. Some opinions are just plain wrong.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice try by Cronenberg but..., May 7 2004
By 
Orpharion (San Diego, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Crash (DVD)
I read J.G. Ballard's novel upon which this film is based. I am an avid reader of all sorts of novels and very open-minded, but this book put me off. There were vivid and disturbing images aplenty and little else but manifest self destruction. The utter tawdriness of the novel was so depressing and off-putting, I felt as if I needed a shower after reading it. Cronenberg's movie is reasonably true to the novel -- and that is no doubt the film's undoing. Pairing sex and violent car crashes as a metaphor for mankind's descent into a technological abyss is a good premise. It has the power of instant recognition. (...)? Hoo boy, let's make a movie! The problem is that Cronenberg's execution of this metaphor lacks true resonance. The characters are simply not believable, unless Canada has been completely taken over by zombies. They are fun to look at (good looking zombies!), but they are reduced to being just handy puppets for the Big Message. Don't get me wrong, the actors do a fine job of heroically slogging through this preachy and obvious movie. They do their level best to give Cronenberg just the right tone. Spader is particularly good giving the right tone. He looks bemused and ever so detached, as if he were doing a Christopher Walken impersonation. But one cares not a penny farthing for his character as James Ballard. On the other hand, the female roles as played by Unger, Hunter and Arquette are more compelling than the men's, and one just might conceivably care a little about them. The women actors seem slyly delighted at being cast by the boys in a techno-porn movie. (...) Having said that, is the joke on the men who dreamed up this silly movie, and are the women actors laughing at them? To sum up I wish someone else had written the premise and screenplay, and I wish there was more screen time given to Holly Hunter and Rosanna Arquette. Toward the end of the movie we see them embracing and kissing in the backseat of a wrecked car. There is a sweetness and tenderness in that brief moment that almost makes up for all the dreck that came before.
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5.0 out of 5 stars modern operatic art porn, July 10 2004
This review is from: Crash (DVD)
it is david cronenberg, far more than david lynch, who will go down as a brutal force in american cinematic surrealism.
oddly enough, cronenberg's films indeed have a sense of brutality that lynchs films dont have, and yet his films arent nearly as loud as lynchs. he is paul klee to lynch's dali and in the long run i think cronenberg will be considered a more vital filmmaker.
lynch, like dali, is a teenage boys idea of 'that really cool surreal stuff'.
but cronenberg is made of sterner stuff. he has never done anything as downright bad as wild at heart or dune or anything even as mediocre as lost highway (the closest he has come has been dead zone; a film that tried but fell in its intentions).
like many filmmakers cronenberg has been fascinated with the idea of making an opertic art porn.
coppola tried and failed miserably with his bram stokers dracula, kubrick came close, but not close enough with eyes wide shut.
with crash cronenber literally hit it on the head and not even the filmed version of prokofievs fiery angel 'got it so right'.
(...)
the film is operatic (20th century opera that is) in its texture, pacing and subject matter (sex and violence).
this is not an easy film to get to know or even to like.
crash is a unique film with an equally unique vision and it ranks as one of the most artistically vital films of the last 20 years.
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4.0 out of 5 stars weird and disturbing, in a compelling sort of way., June 28 2004
This review is from: Crash (DVD)
David Cronenberg's interpretation of the novel of the same name by J.G. Ballard, this movie focuses on the lives and loves of a group of auto-crash victims. James Ballard gets into a head-on collision with a man and his wife, and the other man dies. Mr. Ballard ends up in the hospital with all sorts of bruises and broken bones, which heal, but have the side effect, it seems, of making him an incurable autocrash-pervert. He meets Vaughan, a "TV Scientist," who shares his love of auto-death, and then things gets really, really weird.
The author (not be confused with the main character of the same name) may or may not be making some kind of statement about the way our continued dependence on technology is rewiring our heads. I'm not entirely sure, especially after reading his (amazing) short story, (...)Cronenberg's directing here is good as always, as is the acting. I have trouble calling it a great film, but it is a unique film, and worth watching.
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2.0 out of 5 stars mediocre, May 11 2004
This review is from: Crash (DVD)
i wont say this is smut, i WONT disagree that this is art (or meant to be art), but its not very good art. I would normally say (to sound more neutral) that getting off on car crashes doesn't shock me, but actually, i had never heard of that before this movie, so obviously it was pretty amazing to me. I cant even really explain why i didn't like this movie, it was just boring to me, and any straight guy would say (any straight guy ive ever met) "how can alot of nudity and sex be boring". it can, i watched the first 20 minutes of the movie, by myself, and got bored, and me and a friend watched the rest later. He didn't think it was that bad, but i'll say i got nothing out of the movie, except recognition of another of the many "crazy" fetishes, that many people have. Yea, this review didn't help you much probably, but dont lie to yourself, this movie was a disappointment, at least compared to other movies by the director. Naked lunch was better (not perfect, but better), and definitely not boring (or AT LEAST not as boring), or the fly (not scanners). David C. (note: i didn't try to spell his last name, because you might hold that against me) makes SOME good movies, and i respect him alot, but this movie was a disappointment. See the fly or naked lunch.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The sound of twisted steel..., May 8 2004
By 
Michael Bettine (Milwaukee, WI United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Crash (DVD)
This film is insane, frightening, and disturbing - it brings a whole new meaning to "auto eroticism" - but it is also compelling. Compelling in the same voyeuristic sense where we find ourselves straining our necks to see "something" when we come upon a crash scene, or how we watch the host of reality shows that litter television these days. Here we are drawn into a world of ultimate fetish. James Spader and Holly Hunter, two actors who excel at playing quirky characters, are the protagonists. They meet quite literally by "accident" as participants on the opposite sides of a head-on car crash. They meet again in the hospital and then again, when drawn like lemmings to the sea, they are compelled to seek out their wrecked vehicles in the junkyard.
They are soon drawn into a world where people recreate and reexperience auto crashes for their own sensual pleasures. The story line plays upon modern culture's fascination with autos, speed, and power. Smooth, sleek, and beautiful, the car is a metaphor for the ideal human form. The car crash is a metaphor for the ultimate sex act where "two bodies" filled with anticipation collide in a brief "orgasm" of energy. This is the ultimate tension & release, filled with the adrenaline rush of being a "survivor," able to walk away and relive the experience again through telling the tale. Elias Koteas, as Vaughn, is the ultimate macho male, looked at with both lust and envy by both the male and female characters around him. He arranges historical "recreations" of famous auto accidents, and walks away from them, his many scars like "badges of honor."
But as "passionate" as these people seem, they are also very disconnected. They gather to watch crash films over and over, like watching a porno film, replaying things in slow motion, but they fail to ever connect at more than a superficial level. And like a drug, they can't wait for their next fix of cold, twisted steel and resculpted human bodies. They are "drug addicts", locked into this very small world, where even survival becomes a burden, until they can reach the ultimate orgasm by crashing through death's door.
Masterfully conceived by film maker David Cronenberg, himself no stranger to hypnotic and compelling films, the look is crisp and cold, with blues, grays, and chrome dominating the color scheme. Flesh and steel intermingle, as the characters and their autos seem to merge as one and blur the distinction between man and machine. Yes, insane, frightening, and disturbing, yet a compelling film for those looking for a different cinema experience. Highly recommended for the adventurous.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fast cars, fast women., April 8 2004
By 
R Jess "Raymond Jess" (Limerick, Ireland.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Crash [Import] (VHS Tape)
I didn't know what to expect from previous reviews of this film, but I was pleasantly surprised. I was most impressed by the daring of the actors involved. In fact I think fans of James Spader won't be disappointed. This is a typical James Spader movie in which he plays a stereotypical cold and aloof James Spader (but that's why we like him). How many recognizable male Hollywood actors would put their carefully constructed image on the line by engaging in an erotic scene with another male actor? Not many. But fortunatley for us Spader doesn't put commercial limits on the parts he chooses to take.
Bisexuality seems to be a recurrent theme amongst Cronrnberg's most recent movies i.e. 'Dead Ringers', 'Naked Lunch' and 'Madame Butterfly'. It's an acknowledgement of that perennial Cronenberg theme, the dominance of the physical over the mental. The characters give free rein to their desires unburdened of society's restrictive mores and conventions. Their criteria for indulging in these rather eccentric pleasures is whether it excites them or not, society's prejudiced definitions of right and wrong don't enter the equation.
As for the idea that [adult relations] and cars go together, this has always been prevelant in our culture, "fast cars, fast women" as the saying goes. The thrill of stepping on the gas has conveyed an orgasmic high in countless films, books and songs. The auto industry readily endorses it if it can sell more cars.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fast cars, fast women., April 8 2004
By 
R Jess "Raymond Jess" (Limerick, Ireland.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Crash [Import] (VHS Tape)
I didn't know what to expect from previous reviews of this film, but I was pleasantly surprised. I was most impressed by the daring of the actors involved. In fact I think fans of James Spader won't be disappointed. This is a typical James Spader movie in which he plays a stereotypical cold and aloof James Spader (but that's why we like him). How many recognizable male Hollywood actors would put their carefully constructed image on the line by engaging in an erotic scene with another male actor? Not many. But fortunatley for us Spader doesn't put commercial limits on the parts he chooses to take.
Bisexuality seems to be a recurrent theme amongst Cronrnberg's most recent movies i.e. 'Dead Ringers', 'Naked Lunch' and 'Madame Butterfly'. It's an acknowledgement of that perennial Cronenberg theme, the dominance of the physical over the mental. The characters give free rein to their desires unburdened of society's restrictive mores and conventions. Their criteria for indulging in these rather eccentric pleasures is whether it excites them or not, society's prejudiced definitions of right and wrong don't enter the equation.
As for the idea that sex and cars go together, this has always been prevelant in our culture, "fast cars, fast women" as the saying goes. The thrill of stepping on the gas has conveyed an orgasmic high in countless films, books and songs. The auto industry readily endorses it if it can sell more cars.
Despite all the furor created by this film, it's still less nauseating than the latest Adam Sandler 'comedy'.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully disturbing, March 28 2004
This review is from: Crash (DVD)
It seems like you either love this movie or hate it. I found it very disturbing when I saw it during its short theatrical run and couldn't wait for it to come out on home video (laser disc at the time). What disturbed me most wasn't the graphic unusual sex, but the fact that the characters couldn't connect in an intimate way unless automobiles/technology were involved. When I see people on their cell phones and with their instant messaging, it reminds me of the Crash folks. Can they/we even relate face-to-face with each other anymore? (He asks while typing to the unseen masses on a computer... :)..)
It's not just a movie about "kinky" sex, but one that makes me rethink our modern society, while Howard Shore's haunting score plays in my mind.
Experience "Crash". You won't forget it!
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Crash by David Cronenberg (DVD)
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