Image Entertainment presents
“So, um, you guys have a history, I mean, it’s her, but it’s not her.”- Kristen (Izabella Miko)
Stars: Campbell Scott
Other Stars: Lizzy Caplan, Izabella Miko, Alex Kingston
Director: Gary Walkow
MPAA Rating: R for (language, sexual content, and brief drug use)
Run Time: 01h:19m:43s
Release Date: 2008-12-16
DVD ReviewThe great underrated character actor, Campbell Scott has been appearing in films for more than 20 years, but is perhaps only known as the terminally ill guy from Dying Young, or, possibly, as the star of Singles. Scott is a far more accomplished actor than he often gets credit for, though, giving unforgettable performances in The Spanish Prisoner and Roger Dodger to name a few. He is also the star of director Gary Walkow’s 2007 film, Crashing, which never received a wide theatrical release, but is being made available on DVD courtesy of Image Entertainment.
Richard McMurray (Scott) is a writer who is stuck in the process of penning a follow-up to his best-selling first novel. He’s just been kicked out of the house by his wife with said second novel locked up inside. With nowhere to go and nothing to continue writing, Richard takes an offer he normally wouldn’t think of accepting. While attending a friend’s class as a guest speaker, he is approached by an attractive student named Kristen (Izabella Miko), who invites Richard to come stay at her apartment. She shares her place with Jacqueline (Lizzy Caplan), and these two young co-eds will give this down-on-his-luck writer more inspiration than he could have ever dreamed of.
First off, kudos to any film that grants us the pleasure of David Cross’ presence, including those responsible for the horrid Scary Movie 2. DC is the first actor we see in Crashing, and, as always, this wonderful comedian (perhaps best known now as the voice of Crane in Kung Fu Panda) makes the most of his limited screen time and leaves a lasting impression as the embodiment of Richard’s main character in his new novel. Unfortunately, Mr. Cross isn’t in the film nearly as long as he should be, as his presence alone can elevate any project from mediocre to unforgettable. Here’s hoping the Arrested Development movie really does get off the ground, as that just might be the wide exposure that he needs to become a household name.
While this is far from Campbell Scott’s best performance, he proves that he is still one of the best lead actors in independent films today. Scott is very good here, but he can’t quite lift Walkow’s movie about that of a simple study of the writing process. The film is being marketed as a sexy tale of a man living with a pair of horny coeds, and, at some level, it is just that. Still, it tries to be much more, showing us the internal workings of Richard’s mind while he attempts to come up with writing material. Both Kristen and Jacqueline become instant inspirations for his work, but in the end, the audience is left scratching their heads at what they’ve just seen. Was Richard successful in what he was trying to accomplish? Did he really have a ménage à trois with the two young ladies, or, better yet, were the girls, themselves, simply a mental device to get Richard’s fingers back on his keyboard? While such ambiguity is often quite compelling, there’s far too much of it here for the film to leave us at least somewhat satisfied in the end.
Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: C+
|Aspect Ratio||1.78:1 - Widescreen|
|Original Aspect Ratio||yes|
Image Transfer Review: The 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation was shot on a very low budget and it shows. The images are often murky and blurred, but this is at least somewhat forgivable given the nature of the shoot. The colors are often bright, while shadow and contrast levels are generally well-handled. Dirt and grain are present throughout, but, again, their presence isn’t a huge surprise.
Image Transfer Grade: B-
Audio Transfer Review: The audio is Dolby Digital 2.0 and is one of the more unspectacular tracks in recent memory. The mix is mostly dialogue, and, aside from a few instances where it’s slightly muffled, the actors’ speech is crystal clear.
Audio Transfer Grade: C
Disc ExtrasStatic menu
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring Taxi to the Dark Side, Then She Found Me, ReCycle, Far North
Packaging: Keep Case
Extras Review: The only extras are previews for other DVDs and the trailer for Crashing.
Extras Grade: D-
Final CommentsDespite the presence of the great Campbell Scott and David Cross, Gary Walkow’s Crashing is a film that never really finds its way. The story is interesting and the acting solid, but the big picture never really comes together. Image Entertainment’s DVD is a decent effort as well, with solid audio and video, yet no extra features at all.
Chuck Aliaga 2009-01-30