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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
Ce commentaire est de: 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You either GET IT or YOU DON'T, July 12 2004
Ce commentaire est de: 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
Ce commentaire est de: 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
Ce commentaire est de: 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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2.0 out of 5 stars mediocre, May 10 2004
Ce commentaire est de: 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)   
Ce commentaire est de: 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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3.0 out of 5 stars Meh..., March 2 2004
By 
Ryan Bradford (Santa Cruz, CA USA) - See all my reviews
Ce commentaire est de: Crash (DVD)
I found this movie to be boring. After watching the "ultra-hip" trailer on the dvd, I was pretty excited to see what all the controversy was about.
I ended up watching the movie with a friend who had "read" the book. When I asked her if the book was following the movie pretty well, she said that she didn't get through it because she was tired of reading graphic descriptions of sex with no actual plot; and that's exactly how the movie is. The trailer and the box perfectly describe the "plot" : sex and car crashes. There may be a connection between the two... I don't know... but there was a lot of nakedness.
Not to say that the movie doesn't have any redeeming points. The music by Howard Shore is pretty sleazy, and with the dark cinemetography, it makes for a very noirish flick. Spader and Hunter do a fine job, but Hunter has a suprisingly small role for someone who is second-billed on the marquee.
So, I'd recommend this movie just to see it. I mean, Cronenberg is highly underrated enough, and even though this isn't his best work, at least he's trying. Plus, when are you gonna see a soft-core with this much production value?
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3.0 out of 5 stars Promising, erotic material sinks under its own weight..., Feb. 18 2004
By 
M. Burns (Columbus, Ohio) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ce commentaire est de: Crash (DVD)
If any of you know anything about Crash, it's probably about as much information as you can get from the front cover of the DVD. In hazy black-and blue, it shows James Spader and Holly Hunter 'passionate' in what looks like the inside of a car, and a quote from film critic Janet Maslin that reads, "...sex and car crashes." A little more about the film: it was released in 1996 under an NC-17 rating (virtually meaning death to the film's gross), and stirred up mucho controversy among critics and viewers. Its plot concerns James Ballard (the king of weirdo sex movies, James Spader), a man who survives a near-fatal car crash but then develops an erotic attachment to crashes that unites him with a 'unique' group of people who share his fetish. He is somewhat-happily married to Catherine (Deborah Unger), but throughout the course of the movie, he (and she) ends up knockin' boots with just about everyone in their little 'club' that's imaginable. Sound like a porn? Well, without some interesting character dimensions and some possibly-effective thematic material, Crash would be. Then again, the movie crosses a line occasionally between morbidity and simply being offensive, and that's where I'm not sure it works all the time.
Within the first three minutes of the film, we see how faithful James and Catherine are to each other: she's seen having sex against an airplane with some anonymous guy, and James (a movie producer) is gettin' it on with a camera girl on the set. What makes it so odd - instead of, "Honey, how was your day?" after 'work' is over, they both quiz each other on their sexual conquests. Spader and Unger play the couple with a detached, mechanical quality that summons notions of a mindless automobile (I guess that's the point). They make love to each other like it's a function that must be performed, like changing the oil every so-many thousand miles, and even when James is laying in a hospital bed with pins in his leg (after a horrific accident), Catherine relays details of the totaled car and the dead victim with a breathy tone that implies she's getting really hot over it. James eventually meets the other survivor of the crash, Helen (Holly Hunter), and she guides him into the group of crash enthusiasts - that is, after they've done it in the airport parking garage.
The movie's most inspired, effective scene takes place during a chilling-yet-intriguing reenactment of the famous James Dean crash. We meet Vaughn (Elias Koteas), the prophetic leader of the group, and see his visceral excitement with the act of the crash. The moments leading up the the crash itself are intense, and then those two cars joining together - the smashing metal and breaking glass - well, Cronenberg makes you see how people might be aroused by this.
Then again, Cronenberg's dedication to relaying that fetish can take the movie to the heights of offensiveness. One scene in which Vaugh, Catherine, and James all peruse the graphic scene of a brutal accident (involving a small dog - animal lovers beware), taking pictures and caressing the debris comes off as simply too revolting and unsettling. In fact, it is more off-putting than some of the movie's more disturbing sex scenes. I'm sure that Cronenberg was just trying to push his audience and show how far these people really go with their obsession, but I felt used.
Crash also takes turns into some prophetic message about man vs. machine that it is trying to make, but I don't think it ever becomes clear because of the movie's graphic sexual content. The bizarre eroticism of the film is enough to keep you interested in the film, but Crash's attempts to actually make a point founder. There were moments when I really felt that Cronenberg's film was going somewhere with its idea that, for these people, the crash itself has become the height of sexual fulfillment, but then there were times when I knew that Cronenberg got tired of reaching for greatness and just decided to move on to more sex. And somewhat-gross sex, too. A few moments in particular had me closing my eyes, and I consider myself a pretty big troupa' for any movie.
I like James Spader and Holly Hunter, and I think that both work perfectly in the film. Unger, in particular, couldn't have been a better choice for the demanding, brave role of Catherine. You expect deviant sexuality from Spader, but seeing other people pull it off is more impressive. I do not, though, think that I enjoyed the film. I was intrigued by it, puzzled by it, but was never taken by it. The resolution of the film, if anything, serves to reinforce the fact that these are destructive characters in whom you can never take a true interest. But above it all, I feel respect for director Cronenberg and his cast for having the 'fervor' to attempt and, in some moments, pull off such a gutsy move. Then again, a cinematic risk does not a great movie make. Grade: C+
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4.0 out of 5 stars The car civilization is producing a new species of men, Dec 15 2003
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Ce commentaire est de: Crash [Import] (VHS Tape)
Cronenberg explores in this film an essential problem : « the reshaping of the human body by modern technology ». In fact the body is reshaped in many ways but what is particularly scrutinized is the shift from psychology to psychopathology : the fact that a man or a woman who is the victim of a car accident does not see the world and himself/herself as a « normal » man or woman but as a being of another type, a being that has been in close contact with death, which determines in him a fascination for this in-between zone, hence his psyche is dominated and defined within the limits of psychopathology, a new branch of psychology. The transformation is explored in very precise and accurate details. The person becomes morbid, attracted by car accidents, car victims and the narrow escape from death and this becomes an addiction : the necessity, the impulse to try again, to go into this very narrow zone between life and death. The conclusion we can draw from this film is that the development of car transportation has changed the human being in his fundamental psyche, and this is also in phase with the fact that this car transportation has changed the landscape with highways, the everyday environment with parking lots and subterranean zones where cars are parked away like some modern mechanical cattle or horses. The human being is no longer in touch with animal or natural life but penned up in a totally man-made and machine-dominated life. This is both fascinating and frightening, if not even sickening. This film is a must to understand our modern living, or is it post-modern ?
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sex And Car Crashes, Nov. 15 2003
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Ce commentaire est de: Crash (DVD)
"Crash" is one of the most unique sexual movies released in 1996/1997. It stars James Spader, Rosanna Arquette, Elias Koteas, and Oscar winner Holly Hunter. This movie combines pornography and dangerous car crashes, giving a theme that few other movie producers have dared. The stunt work and the action scenes are great, especially the car accident scenes. Some may mistake such crashes as real-life ones. The visual effects are wonderful. They offer the gruesome, graphic look at car crashes. The original score was composed brilliantly, combining perfectly with the sex/car crash theme. The screenplay was uniquely written. The writer accomplished the difficult task of placing sexuality in car crashes. Another accomplished difficult task is having graphic sex scenes without distracting the plot. The acting is great. Hunter's role as an obsessed car crash artist stands out. "Crash" is a great movie for those looking for sexuality and controversy. The audiences will remember this movie for a long time.
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Crash
Crash by David Cronenberg (DVD)
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