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The controversial 1996 film directed by David Cronenberg and based on the book by J.G. Ballard.

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[3.5]--Different yes but fascinating to watch really depends on you

  • Jun 4, 2007
  • by
Rating:
+1
"Crash" is a weird and original movie about something you probably don't see very often. Director David Cronenberg has made some weird movies in his career and I have to admit that I like most of them, find them entertaining. With 'Crash' it is hard to say what I really think. The movie itself is not bad, but its subject is people who get sexually aroused by car crashes. The car crashes could have been anything but if they were, let's say, flowers, the movie was not that weird and original and Cronenberg would not have been the director. In here we have James and Catherine Ballard have become so jaded about sex that they can only get aroused by sharing each others infidelities with each other. When James gets into a car crash he begins an affair with the woman whose husband he killed in the crash. The affair is based around the thrill of injuries and crashing. Both James and Amanda get involved with Vaughan - a man who leads a group that stages famous car crashes and watch crash footage for his excitement.

Cronenberg gives the whole thing a cold detached air; this has a good side and a bad side. The good side is that the sex isn't glamorized - it is cold ad unattractive, making it hard to call this pornography in any way. Unfortunately this cold air also makes us not care about the characters. By using a cold eerie score and using flat detached characters, this is hard to get into on an emotional level, so even when the ending sees the reunion of the two lead characters - it doesn't mean much because we don't care enough about them. However the overall effect is beneficial - with a tackier approach this could have been soft-porn instead of a film.

The cast are good despite the fact that they are mostly remote and dull! Spader does a decent job, but really I would have liked more emotion from a man on a journey into the dark bits of his soul. Unger is alright but appears to only be in it because she's sexy. Arquette is not given much to do, but Hunt gives a good emotional performance. However the stand out of the film is Koteas. Here is a man who can make Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles good when he's onscreen! So here he's by the best, his cold border-line insane role is perfect and his character is by far the most interesting.

Overall, this film isn't the monster that the papers painted it - it isn't going to kill us all in our beds! It is interesting but the cold detached way it is made makes it hard to bet into, and the flat characters don't help either. Not one of Cronenberg's best, the point is lost deep inside the flesh.

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More Crash (1996 film) reviews
Quick Tip by . June 24, 2011
posted in Cult Cinema
Simultaneously one of David Cronenberg's most flawed films and his most daring, Crash manages to be a film of seeming contradictions as it merges a truly psychologically disturbing story and character elements with a level of eroticism rarely seen in mainstream cinema. The film was hugely controversial upon its original release, in part because of its distressing and provocative thematic material, but also because of its somewhat unconventional directorial execution. Cronenberg isn't interested …
review by . October 05, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
1996 poster
   It comes as no surprise that controversy surrounds David Cronenberg’s “CRASH” (1996); a movie about gruesome sex and automobile accidents. The movie was a big hit in the CANNES film festival, it has been banned in England for a time and its release was delayed in U.S. shores. The film is based on the book by J.G. Ballard, who also wrote his semi-autobiographical novel “Empire of the Sun”. This film explores the shocking world of people who get sexually …
review by . December 07, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Cronenberg's inventive and disturbing film about eroticism and automobiles explores the following quasi-syllogism:    Premise 1: Cars are sexy  Premise 2: Sex in cars is exciting (because, I guess, cars are sexy and because of the risk of being seen)  Premise 3: Sex while driving is dangerous and thrilling (because, perhaps, the risk of a crash adds adrenaline to the thrills listed above)  Therefore, car crashes are the ultimate aphrodisiac.    I …
review by . June 25, 2007
I really tried to like this movie, but with every scene it became more and more ridiculous. So many things bugged me about this film, this is a small summary.    1. Everybody speaks in these whispered tones; annoying.    2. Nothing really happens, they just follow/watch/talk about car crashes and everybody has sex with each other.    3. Not one character in this movie was likeable. It's like a collection of weirdo's, each one a little more …
review by . April 13, 2007
I remember watching this movie when it came out about 10 years ago, and after seeing it again a few months ago, I draw the same conclusion. This movie IS REALLY BAD! I am not a prude and am not offended by sex, nudity, violence and gore. Crash features all of the former, so the question is why do I believe this movie is harebrained? The best answer I can give is how idiotic the entire premise is: A subculture of people who become erotically aroused by being involved in car crashes. I'll say it again, …
review by . October 19, 2005
David Cronenberg takes chances and his pushing the edge of cinematic art is what makes his films so interesting. JG Ballard's controversial novel CRASH seemed an unlikely prospect for a film, so dark were its explorations of the outer zones of excitation and their relationship to near-death events. But Cronenberg worked through making Ballard's visions visual and his screenplay based on Ballard's book is more about interior dialogue and visceral sexual encounters as they relate to trauma.    Jam …
review by . March 26, 2001
posted in Movie Hype
Crash has been derided for gratuitous sexuality and the lack of a conventional story arc. But beneath the "repelling" qualities is a compelling movie that sadly suffers from a few artistic excesses that hurt the experience. I'm a casual fan of Cronenberg's work, but Crash is definitely unusual and weirdly fascinating (and certainly disturbing at times). The amort color scheme (think noirish and dreamy) augments the passionless nature of the characters, who are deliberately acted with a lack of emotion, …
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Wiki

Adapted from the controversial novel by J.G. Ballard,Crash will either repel or amaze you, with little or no room for a neutral reaction. The film is perfectly matched to the artistic and intellectual proclivities of director David Cronenberg, who has used the inspiration of Ballard's novel to create what critic Roger Ebert has described as "a dissection of the mechanics of pornography." Filmed with a metallic color scheme and a dominant tone of emotional detachment, the story focuses on a close-knit group of people who have developed a sexual fetish around the collision of automobiles. They use cars as a tool of arousal, in which orgasm is directly connected to death-defying temptations of fate at high speeds. Ballard wrote his book to illustrate the connections between sex and technology--the ultimate postmodern melding of flesh and machine--and Cronenberg takes this theme to the final frontier of sexual expression. Holly Hunter, James Spader, and Deborah Unger are utterly fearless in roles that few actors would dare to play, and their surrender to Cronenberg's vision makes Crash an utterly unique and challenging film experience. It's rated NC-17, so don't say you weren't warned!--Jeff Shannon
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Details

Director: David Cronenberg
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Release Date: July 17, 1996
MPAA Rating: NC-17
Screen Writer: David Cronenberg
DVD Release Date: November 17, 1998
Runtime: 100 minutes
Studio: New Line Home Video, Telefilm Canada, Alliance Communcations Corporation
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