Movies: Recommendations

I saw two movies this weekend that I was impressed by:

You may have heard of Crash (2004) – there was another film named Crash in 1996. I guess they liked the title enough they didn’t care about using it again.
Crash contained a series of powerful juxtapositions; charcters pitted against themselves in a racially segmented world. Your intial reaction to the film may be to underestimate the movie as just another film about our cultural and racial differences in America – but you would be mistaken. The film is more about the assumptions we make about people, difficult situations that change a few of us, unpredictability of circumstance, and what happens when our personal values collide with anothers. It is a powerful movie that will stick with you.

The other movie I want to recommend but only to a select audience – this movie is NOT for the faint of heart. I’ll tell you up front it deals with violence, revenge, torture, and incest, among other things. Be forewarned, but don’t let that stop you from renting it if you can handle this stuff because it is an AMAZING story.

I doubt you’ve heard of Old Boy – it’s a South Korean film. The main character, Oh-Dae-Su, is a man imprisioned for 15 years and upon his release seeks revenge on the man who held him captive. This is not, I repeat, NOT a martial-arts (“kung-fu”) flick. The fascinating thing about this movie is the number of hidden elements that gradually reveal themselves, until by the end, we have a complete picture – completely different from what we could have imagined!

The worst part of the movie to me were the voice-overs – I would have rather read subtitles and listen to them speak Korean rather than listen to poorly intonated English – maybe there’s a menu button to change it on the DVD, I should have checked. Regardless, the story was enough to make me forget about the mismatched voices.

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