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Paul Haggis, Bobby Moresco
Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Jennifer Esposito, William Fichtner, Brendan Fraser, Terrence Howard, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Thandie Newton, Ryan Phillippe, Larenz Tate, Nona Gaye
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I Felt Dirty
Favorite Movie Quote: "you people......"
I hated this movie.
I've had this movie in my collection - still in its wrapper - for years because when I bought it, I had heard it was a phenomenal film. So after years of sitting on my shelves, I finally decide to see what it's all about.
I wished I had never bought it now.
It's the kind of movie I never want to see, because it shows just how ugly people can be (really are?). Through the acting or the writing, the movie made me feel sorry for the people who live in Los Angeles, or in extension, any major urban jungle.
The movie starts - logically - with a car crash, symbolic of the action that is to follow. You're exposed to the melting pot of humanity's worst symbolisms: a man with a chip on his shoulder and badge and a gun who's denied health care for his father from a black HMO clerk. A woman with a chip on her shoulder and money and position whose car was jacked at gun point by a black man. A Syrian storekeeper with a chip on his shoulder who thinks the world owes him a fair shake whose store was vandalized because he looked like an Arab terrorist. A black carjacker with a chip on his shoulder who hates everything non-black and ends up jacking a black man's car. The idealist cop who ends up shooting an unarmed black man. These were both antagonists and victims. The victims were a Hispanic housekeeper and a Hispanic locksmith, both bearing the wrath of the rich woman whose car was jacked at gun point. A black movie director and his wife who were stopped and harassed by the cop whose was denied health care by the black HMO clerk. Each individual story intermixes with another person's story.
There is no flippancy in this review, or my usual jokes. It wasn't funny, nor were there any aspects of the film I could find humor or ridicule. It was your everyday people, forced to endure the humiliation of being black; of being Hispanic; of being Middle Eastern; even of being white. Oh, there was one small bit of humor and it happened at arguably the most horrific image in the entire movie. But even then, when the entire scenario was revealed, you still kind of choke up.
Each character had their moment of Epiphany. Each had to re-examine their own philosophies, each one had to face their own chip on their shoulder. If there was a moral of this movie, it would be, "Be careful who you hate." They may be your last hope. But in the end, it was just another day in the big city, and another day of racial fear and prejudice just starts another cycle. "The wheel keeps goin' 'round and 'round....."
I understand that it was made into a series on cable. It will not be on my TiVO
There's a song in the Rodger's and Hammerstein musical, "You've Got To Be Carefully Taught," where the singer is explaining that hatred, racism and fear are not something you're born with. It's something humanity - and that's the biggest misnomer of the all - "humanity" - starts drilling into you from birth. To fear the "scary" black man. To sneer at the "lazy" Hispanic. To curse at the Arab "terrorist". When all they all want to do – all any of us want to do - is live their lives and provide for their own ..... the American dream.
Is that too much to ask?
If anyone wants my copy of the movie, send me an email.
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