Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Evening in Maplewood

Tuesday night is cheap movie night at the Maplewood movie theater, so Phil and I headed off to co-worker Lynn's hometown to meet up with her and her hubby in order to see Crash for $6.

Crash tells the story of different Los Angelinos, as they crash literally and figuratively into one another over the course of two days. Mostly it involves thoughts on race - particularly when those thoughts are blatantly discussed. In some respects, I agree with Phil that there are points where the overtly racist things people in the film say seem ridiculous. In other words, while it is not shocking that these characters think along these lines, it is shocking that they would say it out loud, particularly in a city as diverse as L.A. But, I think it's tremendously thought-provoking on the whole. And I liked it. True, as A.O. Scott of the Times pointed out, it's not remotely subtle (and I usually get annoyed with movies that beat me over the head) but like Sin City, I have to appreciate a film that has me mulling it over the next day.

I thought it was well-written and superbly acted. Standouts included Ludacris as a car-jacker with interesting theories on racism, Matt Dillon as a racist cop, Terrence Howard and Thandie Newton as a wealthy married couple who get harassed by Dillon's cop. A list of reviews are here.

Afterwards, we headed to the excellent St. James Gate, where Tuesdays are $2 pint night. I've eaten at the Gate several times as well, and it's really quite good and reasonably priced. No dinner last night, but it reminded me that I really ought to head over there for some bangers and mash soon.

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