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DVD Review: CRASH: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON



Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Year:
Cast: Dennis Hopper, Clare Carey, Luis Chavez, Ross McCall, Tom Sizemore, D. B. Sweeney, Moran Atias, Brian Tee
Director: Various
Release Date: September 15, 2009
Rating: Not Rated for (violence,adult themes)
Run Time: 10h:34m:15s
Genre(s): drama, television

CRASH: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON

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While not the best show on TV or DVD, Crash can be diverting and fun in a pulpy kind of way, like a decent detective novel. But, it seems like there should be more.

Movie Grade: B-

DVD Grade: B

Crash takes an intense look at a cross section of lives thrown together in that bastion of diverse collisions, known as Los Angeles, California. Wavering between an action soap opera and "yet another crime drama," the show adds some language and adult situations with its run on paid cable channel Starz, but does not really cut the edge as might be hoped. The cast is topped by legendary film heavy Dennis Hopper and the series is based on the multiple Academy Award winning 2004 film of the same name, written and directed by Paul Haggis, who is an Executive Producer of the series. †Other producers and co-executive producers of the film were also attached to the series. Award-winning composer Mark Isham also comes to the series from the film. Glen Mazzara, who was a writer and producer on the well-received cable drama The Shield, developed Crash for television. Television critics were mixed in receiving the series, with compliments are the "noir-ish" aspects to accusations of "uninteresting stories."

Award-winning composer Mark Isham also comes to the series from the film

Beside Hopper as record producer Ben Cendars, the series features Ross McCall and Arlene Tur as police officers Kenny Battaglia and Bebe Arcel. Clare Carey is Brentwood mother Christine Emory and D. B. Sweeney is Peter Emory, her real-estate developer husband. Brian Tee is former gang member-turned-EMT Eddie Choi, Jocko Sims is driver Anthony Adams and Luis Chavez is the undocumented Guatemalan immigrant, Cesar Uman. Another veteran film heavy and Hollywood bad boy Tom Sizemore appears as Detective Adrian Cooper. Israeli model Moran Atias portrays Inez, the "hostess" with a poor choice in friends is a beautiful actress worth watching. Overall, the acting is a mixed bag of some flashes of interest balanced by cliched interpretations of cliched material.

Dennis Hopper has been an idiosyncratic force in the movie business as an actor, writer, director and producer for more than 50 years. He directed and starred in Easy Rider in 1969 and had a featured role in Apocalypse Now from 1979. He was in the acclaimed 1983 Francis Coppola film Rumble Fish and received wide recognition for his work in Blue Velvet and Hoosiers from 1986. He stands out as a one of the most intriguing forces on the show, but he could use some more dynamic support.

The emergence of series produced for pay cable/satellite has definitely changed the landscape of serial drama. The freedom to create extended story lines with adult material has stripped away many of the veneers of artificiality that marked serial drama in past decades. But, this freedom does not make every show good just because it has more sex, more violence and more bad words. The writing on Crash wants to be intense and multi-layered, but too often there doesn't seem to be much there. That is not to say there are not some good moments that recall such classics as more recently The Wire and in the past Wiseguy.

While not the best show on TV or DVD, Crash can be diverting and fun in a pulpy kind way, like a decent detective novel. But, it seems like there should be more.

Episodes:
"Crash"
"The Doctor Is In"
"Panic"
"Railroaded"
Sang Kyu Kim
"Your Ass Belongs To The Gypsies"
"Clusterfuck"
"Los Muertos"
"Three Men and a Bebe"
"Pissing In The Sandbox"
"The Future Is Free"
"F-36, Sprint Left, T-4"
"Ring Dings"
"The Pain Won't Stop"

Tech:
1.78:1 Anamorphic
Dolby 5.1
English and Spanish Subtitles

Bonus Features:
Alternate Ending of Final Episode
Character Bios
Behind the Scenes Featurette
Disc 4 Accesses Starz Content

Posted by: Jesse Shanks - September 27, 2009, 12:37 pm - DVD Review
Keywords: television, crime, drama




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