I just watched the 2009 movie “Crossing Over” last night and thought I’d write a quick review. Before I launch into the nuts and bolts of the movie and my enjoyment or lack there of, I think it’s important note two things: My expectations, and the setting I watched it in. I think these two factors can have a huge impact on someone’s viewing experience.
For instances, let say that you had insanely high expectations for a new comedy with your favorite actor, and you think it’s going to be a laugh a second riot. But when you go to the theater it’s only you and five other losers who had nothing to do on a Wednesday night. If there’s only a small number of people you get a lot more self conscious about letting loose with your loud girlish laughter. It’s harder to really enjoy the movie like you would in a larger audience where a lot more people are laughing at the same things you are. Laughter is infectious. Add to that, the fact that you had high expectations for the movie to have non-stop jokes (think almost any Will Ferrel movie) and instead it is a more low key comedy with a surprising amount of depth and emotion (think Will Ferrel’s Stranger than Fiction), and you have a recipe for a let down base solely on elements outside of the movie itself.
Also, I think it’s fair to say that if you thought a movie would be a 4 out of 10 stars type movie, and you are surprised with how much you liked it, even though it may only really be worth 5 or 6 stars, you might bump it up to a 7 since you are so juiced that it wasn’t as terrible as expected. I have no idea why you would go to watch a movie and try to come up with an expected number of “stars” but I’m sure you get my point. Let’s move on.
So what were my expectations going into this movie, why did I want to see it, and where did I see it? Well let me answer the second question first. Boobs. Awesome bewbs. The only reason I downloaded this movie and watched it is because I read that Alice Eve would be naked in it. I had recently seen the movie “She’s out of my league” and jesus does she have an incredible body. So, yeah, I downloaded this, just so I could see some hopefully awsome ti-tays.
So I came for the T&A but stayed for the drama. Kind of. I knew that it was a drama, and had some of my favorite actors like Harrison Ford, Ray Liota, Alice Eve’s boobs, the main guy from 21, Ashley Judd, Alice Eve’s Ass, and that non-threatening Indian/Middle Eastern guy who is in ever movie right now that needs a non-threatening Middle Eastern Guy.
With all of that … almost star power, I had virtually no preconception that this would be either an awesome movie or a terrible movie. It could really go either way. Well actually it didn’t have to be either of those two extremes, it could have just been ok, or pretty good, or some what disapointing, of forgettably bland, or… you know what, it was pretty good. There, lets just cut to the chase. It was pretty good.
As soon as the movie started, I had the sinking feeling that this was going to be like the movie crash where 80 different characters have their lives “poignantly” intersect with each other as they traverse the complexities of a major american city ripe with race, gender, sex, age, and class tensions, and then the audience goes home and tries to convince themselves that it was an amazing movie when they know in their heart that it really wasn’t.
Luckily, Crossing Over doesn’t try as hard as Crash did to congratulate itself for being able to ham fist every single person into every other person’s life while at the same time teach the audience that racism and discrimination is still a harmful part of the world we live in. You know cause actually living in this world isn’t enough for some people to grasp this concept. Yes, I know i’m supposed to be talking about Crossing Over, but I can’t stop thinking about how much I hate Crash…. although you do get to see Jennifer Esposito’s boobs…. wait I’m starting to see a pastern in the types of dramas I watch.
Don’t worry you can’t see anything in that pic. (although if you do want to see her naked, just turn on any computer in my house and wait for the screen saver to come on).
So back to Crossing Over. The story, which I can’t believe I haven’t even mentioned yet, focuses a lot on the immigration issue. This issues affects not just Mexicans from Mexico, but also a pair of British 20 somethings trying to make it in Hollywood, a white family that works on opposing sides of illegal immigration enforcement, some kind of middle eastern family who I forget where they are originally from, and an Asian family of some kind who i’m just going to guess are from Japan. Look my copy didn’t have subtitles so I couldn’t really tell what was being said by some of the families. Like Crash, this movie doesn’t try to preach to you, but instead just tries to reveal the complexities of the situations through the actions of the movie’s characters. Unlike Crash, most of the characters had specific goals they were trying to achieve throughout the movie that made me either root for or against them. These storylines were very good, and I was interested in how all of them would resolve. Well all of them except for the Asian family. Like I said, I didn’t have subtitles to let me know about their family structure and heritage, and my only knowledge of Japanese people is based on their bat shit crazy TV shows and tentacle rape porn.
Wow i’m doing a terrible job of reviewing this movie. I better just wrap this up quickly. ummmmmmm …. I give the movie six and a half out of ten stars. Although really it’s more like 8 out of 10 once you factor in the cinematic tour de force that was the three separate scenes where you get to see Alice Eve’s boobs.