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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Crossing Over DVD Review

Crossing Over - An Alliance Films’ Release

On DVD: June 23rd, 2009

Rated 14A for sexual content, coarse language, and violence.

Running time: 113 minutes

Wayne Kramer (dir.)

Harrison Ford as Max Brogan

Ray Liotta as Cole Frankel

Ashley Judd as Denise Frankel

Jim Sturgess as Gavin Kossef

Cliff Curtis as Hamid Baraheri

Alice Braga as Mireya Sanchez

Alice Eve as Claire Shepard

Justin Chon as Yong Kim

Summer Bishil as Taslima Jahangir

Harrison Ford stars in CROSSING OVER, an Alliance Films’ release.

Crossong Over © 2008 The Weinstein Company, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Artwork © 2009 The Weinstein Company. All Rights Reserved. Distributed exclusively in Canada by Alliance Films. All Rights Reserved.

Our reviews below:


Crossing Over Review By John C.

** (out of 4)

Harrison Ford doesn’t don a fedora in Crossing Over, evan though it’s a film more far-fetched than any of the Indiana Jones films. This could have been a thought-provoking film about immigrants. But it falls into the category of a not very good direct-to-TV movie. I’m not even sure how this got a release in theatres.

There are a bunch of different stories, all mildly connected in some convoluted way. There is a Korean family, where the teenage son is getting into gangs. There is a Muslim girl who makes a class presentation saying how she “understands” the 9/11 suicide bombers. Then there’s Ray Liotta’s character who’s in charge of deporting immigrants, who’s married to Ashley Judd’s character who’s a lawyer fighting for their rights. Like that’s not a conflict of interest. But Mr. Liotta’s character will get you a green card quicker if you’re a young female, and agree to be his personal “friend” for the next couple of months. Actually I’m not even sure about the female part, this particular issue is never directly addressed in the film. This is where Alice Eve’s character comes in.

Alice Eve, who is naked for many of her scenes is sure to win some awards from the websites that class nude scenes in movies. The first time she’s sprawled out naked, I thought it was a bit much, but okay, fine. By the third and fourth time, it just got a little excessive. She’s naked when she doesn’t need to be naked, in one scene she’s naked and Ray Liotta is sitting on the edge of the bed in a suit. It seems like she got naked every day of filming, just for the sake of getting naked.

There’s even a montage of of people getting green cards, and walking happily down the street holding them. Almost like Mr. Bean with his American Express card. The best thing I could say about this film is, it’s not terrible. It’s just really not that good.

The DVD has no bonus features, we aren’t even treated to a directors cut of the film.


Crossing Over DVD Review By Erin V.

** (out of 4)

I don’t have all that much to say about Crossing Over. I suppose it did pass the time for almost two hours, so in that respect, it kind of worked. On the entertainment side? Not so much. Crossing Over is not a bad movie per se, but it’s not a good movie either. It is full of clichés, excessive at times, and not all that memorable after the fact.

From what I am forcing myself to recall as I write this, the movie starts with Harrison Ford’s character, Max. (The back of the DVD package doesn’t actually list his name, only that Harrison Ford from the Indiana Jones films is running around on a quest for justice in this movie... as a matter a fact, the back cover makes this film sound a lot more exciting than it actually is.) Anyway, back on topic. It starts out with Max going on a bust of an illegal sweatshop where Mexican immigrants work. One woman begs him to get her son for her, and bring him to his grandparents back across the border. At first he denies her request, although goes back for the kid later.

But this movie doesn’t just have one story. There is also a young Muslim girl who speaks at her highschool about how she understands why terrorists do the things they do. This means deportation for her.

Then there is a Korean family, on the midst of being sworn in as US citizens, while the eldest son is running around knocking over convenience stores in a gang.

As if this isn’t already a lot going on, there is an Australia couple, desperate to stay in America, so while the woman goes about sleeping with the man who handles the Green Card applications, (and who’s wife works on the other side to protect the illegal immigrants, and wants to adopt a little African girl), in order to get her’s faster, her boyfriend pretends to be a devout Jew, in order to work (illegally) at a Jewish elementary school. While she doesn’t, he does get his Green Card. Funny how that works eh?

Oh yeah, another thing, Max’s partner is waiting for his father to be sworn in as an American citizen. Meanwhile, his family ends up having a murder on their hands...

Ok. So there are a lot of stories going on at once. Is this necessarily a bad thing? No, not automatically. Some movies can handle many storylines quite well. But that is the key. It has to be done well. Here, a lot of it just seems kind of contrived. There is no solid element holding this all together, and we don’t connect to any of the characters all that well. This being said, if you really want to check out this movie, wait until it shows up on TV, or rent it. Other than that, it’s not worth rushing out to buy.


Crossing Over DVD Review By Tony

** (out of 4)

Wayne Kramer’s Crossing Over could have been a disturbing film about treatment of would-be immigrants to the U.S. if it were not too over-the-top to be taken seriously. The various interwoven stories are so laughably predictable that I am suspending my usual no-spoiler policy.

It’s not a good sign when Harrison Ford may have been the most subtle actor in the cast. Ford plays Max Brogan, an ICE1 cop increasingly disillusioned with rounding up illegal aliens in sweatshop raids. He tries when he can to “do right by” the most vulnerable ones, such as the young boy whom Max brings back to his grandparents in Tijuana.

Max’s partner Hamid (played by (Maori) Cliff Curtis) is a naturalized Persian American whose wealthy father is about to be sworn in. Shunned by the family for her decadence, his sister Zahra (Melody Khazae) ends up along with her forger boyfriend as the victim of an “honour” killing.

Taslima (Summer Bishil) is apparently the only girl in her high school in hijab2. With her whole family from Bangla Desh illegally in the country, her class paper expressing understanding if not support for terrorists is definitely not cool.

Yong Kim’s (Justin Chon) Korean family is also about to be naturalized, but his only ambition is to join an Asian gang which knocks over a convenience store run by (no surprise) Koreans. Unfortunately for Kim’s homies, Hamid happens to be in the store at the time, his ICE badge apparently including a licence to kill. He lets Yong Kim go with a touching lecture on the joys of U.S. citizenship.

Gavin (Jim Sturgess) is an atheist Jewish folk singer who takes a crash course to pass himself off as a Hebrew scholar, but doesn’t count on the immigration official calling in the old bearded man with the big black hat to test him.

Claire (Alice Eve) is an Australian actress so desperate to work in the land of the free that we find her (usually naked) in indentured motel servitude with sleazy immigration official Cole (Ray Liotta). His unsuspecting wife Denise (Ashley Judd) is an advocate in the same office whose case load includes Taslima and a little African orphan girl that she hopes to adopt, since she is unable to conceive (presumably due to Cole’s exhausted sperm count). When Cole is finally busted, guess who pops up just in time for the perp walk.

If you have a couple of hours to kill and Crossing Over turns up on TV, you may enjoy playing Count the Clichés, otherwise try something else.

1 ICE: Immigration & Customs Enforcement, part of Homeland Security, which as a Canadian I thought at first was fictional, like U.N.C.L.E., until I pulled up their intimidating website.

2 hijab: head covering worn out of modesty by devote Muslim women.


Consensus: Crossing Over is ok, but it isn’t really that worth spending almost two hours on. A lot of it seems kind of contrived, and we never really seem to connect with any of the characters. ** (Out of 4)

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