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PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
Crash (Warner) (2004)

Crash (Warner) (2004)

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Released 4-Oct-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Menu Animation & Audio
Introduction-Paul Haggis (Writer/Producer/Director)
Audio Commentary-Filmmakers'
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Music Video-"If I..." By Kansascali
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2004
Running Time 112:24
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (66:13) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Paul Haggis

Warner Home Video
Starring Sandra Bullock
Don Cheadle
Matt Dillon
Jennifer Esposito
William Fichtner
Brendan Fraser
Terrence Dashon Howard
Thandie Newton
Ryan Phillippe
Larenz Tate
Tony Danza
Keith David
Case ?
RPI $29.95 Music Paul Haggis
Mark Isham
Oliver Nathan

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Not to be confused with David Cronenberg’s psycho-sexual masterpiece of 1997, Paul Haggis’ Academy Award winning masterpiece Crash is an entirely different sort of film. Conceived by Haggis after being carjacked one night by two black youths, Crash was devised upon one premise only – let’s say what everybody really thinks about race, culture and contemporary society. In order to explore these themes, Haggis devised a number of characters as vehicles to explore the various aspects of racial divide and cultural divide:

    Like vehicles on a freeway without rules, these lives collide across the space of 48 hours, each one triggering a harsh look at how race and culture are perceived and used in Los Angeles.

    I read somewhere that it was not so much of a miracle that Crash was made as a good film – and it is a good film – but that it was a miracle that it was even made at all. Given its subject matter, it's not hard to see why. A blunt and honest attempt to look at race in Los Angeles is a tough thing to do, and a contentious thing. Yet, despite its flaws, in that respect at least it is unflinching, saying with as much honesty as it can muster exactly what a lot of people feel deep down.

    Certainly, some of the ‘coincidences’ of intersecting lives are a little contrived, but that is hardly the point. The opening lines of the film make it apparent that the characters are vehicles “smashing into each other”, stereotypes put in situations for an ulterior purpose, not true representations of people. Nevertheless, Crash remains for all its conveniences an extremely engaging, thought-provoking and challenging film that deserved the accolades it received, despite being a small budget film. The scripting is excellent, the dialogue superb (it’s been a while since a film has been this quotable), and the acting is without exception outstanding. If you have not yet seen Crash, I highly recommend that you do.

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Transfer Quality


    Presented in its original aspect ration of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced, I watched this transfer in regular standard definition and upscaled to 1080i at 50Hz.

    All in all, this transfer is a little soft. Some of that may have been an intentional choice by the director, or a result of the low budget and the post production technology used. It is never blurry or smudged, but it is not quite as defined as I like it.

    Colour saturation is good, although there is a slight shift to the red that makes the picture look a tad ‘browner’ than it should. I was able to correct this fairly easily, but it was annoying to have to alter my setup to get the best picture.

    The transfer is excellent as far as MPEG artefacts and film-to-video transfer artefacts go, which are non-existent. There is some dirt on the print, but nothing distracting – you have to look for it to see it.

    There are subtitles available in English and Italian. I checked the English for the Hearing Impaired subtitles. They are quite accurate.

    The dual layer pause is at 66:13. It occurs during a scene change and is barely noticeable.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    Audio is available in English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (448Kb/s) and English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (224Kb/s).

    The audio tracks are quite good, although in some respects the stereo soundtrack (apparently the film’s original soundtrack) had better clarity. Given the nature and the budget of the film, that is hardly surprising.

    Dialogue is clear and easy to understand, if slightly easier in the stereo track.

    Surrounds are not very aggressive and generally only get put into action with the score.

    The subwoofer was used to good effect in a couple of spots, but largely lay dormant.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    The main menu is presented in 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced with a 2.0 Dolby Stereo audio track. The submenus are static with the theme in 2.0 Dolby Stereo.

DVD Introduction by Writer/Director/Producer Paul Haggis (0:18)

    Presented in 1.33:1, Full Frame, 2.0 Dolby Stereo, this is an introduction to the film.

Audio Commentary – Paul Haggis (Writer/Director/Producer), Bobby Moresco (Co-writer/Producer) and Don Cheadle (Actor/Producer)

    Presented in 2.0 Dolby Surround, this is an extremely engaging and interesting commentary, and probably one of the best I’ve listened to in a while. Well worth the time.

Featurette – “Behind The Scenes” (10:08)

    Presented in 1.78:1 inset in a 1.33:1 Full Frame, 2.0 Dolby Digital Surround audio, this is a decent behind-the-scenes doco for the film.

Music Video – “If I...” by Kansascali (4:22)

    Presented 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, 2.0 Dolby Surround.

Theatrical Trailer (2:25)

    Presented in 1.78:1 inset in a 1.33:1 Full Frame, 2.0 Dolby Surround.


    There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    There are three R1 editions:

1. A generic version with the same content as the R4 release;

2. A version with a “best buy” bonus disc containing the following features:

3. A 2-disc Special Edition with the following additional special features:

    From what I have read on the Internet, the picture quality sounds about the same all over, so if you just want the film, I’d buy locally for cost reasons. It is very disappointing that we were not provided with the DTS 6.1 or the Dolby digital EX track, however, and I would be curious to hear them.

    If you really want all those other special features, the R1 two disc Special Edition is the way to go, given the audio options, although it does not have all the features that are available on the “Best Buy” disc.


    Paul HaggisCrash is an exceptionally engaging film that nevertheless manages to deal with some very contentious subject matter. I highly recommend this film.

    This DVD transfer is good, but not perfect, and the R1 Special Edition certainly contains more in terms of special features and remastered audio.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Edward McKenzie (I am Jack's raging bio...)
Friday, April 28, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDMomitsu V880N Deluxe, using DVI output
DisplaySony VPL-HS50 LCD Cineza Projector with HP 80" Widescreen (16:9) HDTV Mobile Projector Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationMarantz SR7000
SpeakersDigital Accoustics Emerald 703G - Centre, Front Left & Right, Rear Left & Right Satellites, Subwoofer

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