Crossing Over (2009)
Crossing Over is a Wayne Kramer written and directed movie that fell through the cracks. Kramer is known for Running Scared (2006), The Cooler (2003), and most recently Pawn Shop Chronicles (2013). Running Scared was excellent and The Cooler and Pawn Shop Chronicles were both very solid films. Crossing Over did not appear to me like it would be any good. I wanted to give it a try however, because Kramer usually makes quality movies and the noteworthy cast includes Harrison Ford, Ray Liotta, Ashley Judd, Jim Sturgess, Cliff Curtis, Alice Eve, Alice Braga, Mahershala Ali, Josh Gad, Michael Cudlitz, and Marshall Manesh.
Crossing Over is about multiple stories of immigration to the United States. It follows multiple immigrants from all over the world who are trying to become legal citizens in Los Angeles. Some go through the proper process of trying to become legal citizens, while others try to do so illegally or skip the process altogether. Sometimes their stories intertwine and other times they do not. The film also follows the lives of the people who are trying to help these immigrants to become legal and also the ones who are trying to deport them. It deals with how sometimes mixing different cultures together can clash and how sometimes it can bring people closer together. It is all different perspectives on immigration in America.
The movie jumps all over the place from story to story. There is not a lot of character development because the movie is trying to tell too many stories instead of concentrating on one. As a result, it is hard to feel anything for the characters and it turns into a jumbled mess.
Ford gave a standout performance in the film. He was not given a lot to work with, but he managed to be likable anyway. He single-handedly tried to hold the broken pieces of the movie together, but there is only so much that one actor can do.
Overall the movie was hard to enjoy because it jumped around way too much. It was a waste of a quality cast and it was a waste of time. This is by far Wayne Kramer’s worst movie.
I rate this movie a 4 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Run.
Note: Michael Cudlitz has been in 3 Wayne Kramer movies: Running Scared, Crossing Over and Pawn Shop Chronicles.
Jim Sturgess and Josh Gad were both in the film 21 (2008) together.
It’s always interesting to me to find different movie connections.
Pawn Shop Chronicles (2013)
Back in 2006 I was blown away when I watched the film Running Scared (2006). I saw that movie in theatres three different times. It was that good. Paul Walker was the main star and Wayne Kramer directed. Yesterday I watched a preview for Pawn Shop Chronicles and thought it looked like it could be pretty awesome and it has a solid cast. Paul Walker is one of the main stars, but when I found out Kramer directed, that made me want to see it.
Pawn Shop Chronicles follows multiple stories involving drugged-out hillbillies, newlyweds, and an Elvis impersonator as their lives all intertwine because of their transactions made at a pawn shop.
The noteworthy cast includes Paul Walker, Matt Dillon, Brendan Fraser, Kevin Rankin, Vincent D’Onofrio, Elijah Wood, Chi McBride, Thomas Jane, Norman Reedus, Lukas Haas, DJ Qualls, Michael Cudlitz, Ashlee Simpson, and Matt O’Leary.
The movie is a disturbingly dark comedy and weird, white trash, hillbilly adventure.
Kramer continues the trend of super intense filmmaking with unique, quirky, fun characters in a brutally twisted storyline.
Just like Running Scared, the camera work and editing is very unique and fast-paced which helps to make the movie more thrilling.
The movie is very graphic. It was pretty shocking at times. F-bombs, nudity, and disturbing images were all overused.
Within the first ten minutes of the film, I began to wonder what I had gotten myself into. But, then the movie hit its stride and got much better.
Walker plays a way different type of character than he has ever played. It was actually pretty refreshing to see him try something new for a change. It was a stretch for him, but he pulled it off nicely.
For you Reedus fans out there; his role will disappoint you because it is hardly noticeable. I felt like he was way underused.
This is Fraser’s best movie in over a decade. I was happy to see him in a likable role again.
Dillon stole the show, in my opinion. It never seems like he misses a stride. Every once in a while when he finds the right character, he gives a breakout performance that reminds us all that he still has the ability to take over a movie.
For the type of film that this is, it is an exercise in quality filmmaking. It will keep you guessing. It is a funny, messed up, shocking adventure like no other.
I rate this movie an 8 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Buy.