April 16, 2009

Why has "Crash" topped the Netflix most-rented list since 2005?

A strange phenomenon.

39 comments:

Bissage said...

Don’t ask me. I’m still trying to figure out how there can be people in this world who don’t love “Napoleon Dynamite.”

Jon said...

That should be "Crash".

Daryl said...

I'm guessing a lot of people like to watch it over and over and over again.

After all, it plays to their fantasy ideas about the world. "Crash" takes place in a world that roughly approximates the real world, except that racial issues are 100 times as important, and everything means something because it's all interconnected.

It's a world just like ours, except its full of meaning, and the things that liberals love to obsess over actually matter.

lumiere said...

My sixteen year old daughter attends a good liberal high school (Madison West) where the good liberal teachers who nearly all belong to the good liberal teacher's union (MTI) require the students- many of whom are the sons and daughters of the good liberal professors at UW- to see this film. My daughter has now seen the film 4 times and expects she will be required to see it at least once more.

jayne_cobb said...

It was a God awful movie but by playing it for my residents when I was an RA I managed to fulfill both an "activity" requirement and a "diversity" requirement.

On the plus side no one showed, so I was able to shut it off after ten minutes.

bobsacamano said...

Daryl - man was that spot on...

<-golf clap->

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks, Jon. Corrected.

TWW said...

Serious question: why is "Crash" considered a liberal film? I consider it rather conservative.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Never heard of the movie.

Now, Napoleon Dynamite rocks.

And as long as we are going to inevitably be talking about race, did you know that Napoleon had his own version of "the magic negro". Or wait.... maybe it was the "whore with a heart of gold" or maybe it was both. Anyway... she was the one who taught him how to dance and then she disappears off into the sunset. Well, actually on a Greyhound bus.

blake said...

It's not that strange. Haggis seems to have a good sense of it as a imperfect but interesting little movie. Would be interesting to stage as a play, and has that kind of feel.

Now, if it had been David Cronenberg's 1996 movie Crash, that would be truly strange.

Ron said...

Napoleon Dynamite? My left butt cheek is funnier than that flic! My sequel would be "Bismarck Firecracker."

The only Pedro I'm voting for is Pedro Martinez...for the HOF!

former law student said...

Crash is just a remake of Gurinder Chadha's "What's Cooking?"

Re Napoleon Dynamite: Remember that Seinfeld was a show about nothing? Napoleon Dynamite made Seinfeld look like Citizen Kane.

michael farris said...

"Now, if it had been David Cronenberg's 1996 movie Crash, that would be truly strange"

When I saw the title, I was hoping against hope that it was about Cronenberg's movie.

I've been kicking around 'most disturbing movie scenes' list in my head, some are easy (burial scene in Blood Simple, incest scene in Savage Grace) when I think of Cronenberg's Crash I can't decide which scene is actually the most disturbing (lately I'm leaning to the final one when he asks if she's hurt....)

froggyprager said...

I guess this makes some sense, people often look at lists of best picture films to watch and pick those on Netflix. Other best picture films are either movies everyone has seen in the theater (and don't want to rent) or ones that are a bit dark and turn off some people (The Departed/ Gladiator). New folks join Netflix each day and many try to figure out what to order and naturally look at the best picture films for the last 10-20 years.

Many other popular films are those that many people buy. If you love Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings you would buy it not rent it from Netflix

fivewheels said...

But "The Departed" is No. 2.

It's a strange list. Almost none of the top 10 makes sense to me.

1. Crash. 2. The Departed. 3. The Bucket List. (!!!) 4. The Pursuit of Happyness. 5. No Country For Old Men. 6. Casino Royale. 7. Little Miss Sunshine. 8. Blood Diamond. 9. The Notebook. 10. The Devil Wears Prada.

I'm also not sure what the ranking system is. It's not total rentals, is it? The freaking Bucket List?

Michael said...

Just because it's the most checked-out doesn't mean it's the most watched.

You get O Brother Where Art Thou?, you watch it twice right away, return it, and then buy it later.

You get Crash, it sits there for a month, you send it back, add it back to the bottom of the cue because you feel guilty for not seeing it, repeat, repeat, the fourth time you even watch the first 30 minutes before switching on American Idol, a friend admonishes that you gave up just before it got good, so you get it again, finally watch it after it sits for several more weeks, hate it, and you're finally done.

At least that was my experience.

former law student said...

The freaking Bucket List?

I bet a lot of people like to see Jack Nicholson movies, but didn't want to spend $8-$10 to see it at the theater. I'll be on the bubble like that -- "Let's wait till it comes out on video."

Issob Morocco said...

Microsoft Software Glitch,that Netflix has not used the patch to fix. The Casino Royale is the one from 1967 with Peter Sellers and Ursula Andress.

Lem said...

Netflix has "My Dinner with Andre" in the "unknown" availability category.

It's been there since I requested it about 6 months ago.

Trooper York said...

Man of course everyone loves that movie. That Rosanna Arquette is one hot piece especially when they are banging and taking body parts off after the car crashes.

Lem said...

"Why has "Crash" topped the Netflix most-rented list since 2005?"In a word.... rubbernecking ;)

Lem said...

Casino Royal just came out last year didn't it?

Jason (the commenter) said...

Both Crash and Napoleon Dynamite did nothing for me. But I loved their rivals Garden State and Brokeback Mountain. I saw Garden State so many times at the theater I was able to pick out every little editing flaw it had. I went to all sorts of different theaters and saw it in each one, watching from different places; sometimes the first row, sometimes the last.

The first time I saw the movie I hated it and almost walked out, but then Natalie Portman came on screen and the movie made sense.

Dale said...

11 years ago, Chariots of Fire was at the bottom of a combined critics listing of all the movies that won Best Picture Oscars in the previous 30 years(sorry - I haven't yet found the listing again, but I do remember being sad when reading it). Chariots has gained immensely among critics in stature (particularly AO Scott of the NYTimes) and has moved to the middle of the entire Best Picture Oscars pack.

Crash has already begun gaining in critics' estimations - as well it should.

I screen captured all of the blog comments on both Althouse and the NYTimes Carpetbagger blogs about the Brokeback vs Crash battle in 2005. I wanted Crash to win Best Picture. While I thought that Brokeback was well made - and said so on the blogs then - I found the over-the-top tear down of Crash by Brokeback supporters to be both humorous AND scary. I was right on both counts. Humorous, because the passage of time has vindicated me on my vote for Crash and will only continue to do so more and more. Scary because the Anti-Prop 8 hysteria was foreshadowed by the Brokeback battle. Irrationality is hard to stop when it becomes a mob.

Creepy!

Marcia said...

Crash is a pretty good movie, but it was made about 10 years too late. It was written shortly after, and makes much more sense as a response to, the Rodney King incident and the LA riots.

Salamandyr said...

Probably thinking they're getting the Wes Craven movie from a few years earlier that included naked boinking during car crashes.

blake said...

Salamandyr,

Not Craven, Cronenberg.

IMDB lists the following as the top films of 2004: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Der Untergang, Hotel Rwanda, Million Dollar Baby, The Incredibles, Crash and Kill Bill Volume 2.

Not in the top IMDB 250 are Howl's Moving Castle, Shaun of the Dead and Finding Neverland, the Motorcyle Diaries and, oh, and the freakin' Sea Inside.

There's no way Brokeback should even have been nominated. I'm not sure about Crash either, next to more interesting movies, like The Machinist and even Sideways.

blake said...

Crash was kind of 2004's Redbelt. Interesting, and very stagy. A writer's movie. I love those kind of movies (saw Crash twice in the theater). I don't think they're meant to be taken literally.

The Crack Emcee said...

I can't believe nobody's said this yet:

Americans (especially liberals) are obsessed with race.

It's a fucking sickness.

Jeremy said...

Because it's a good movie?

Oh, God no...that couldn't possibly be the reason.

DUH.

And what makes people here think it's a "liberal" movie?

And if so...why has it topped the Netflix most-rented list since 2005?

Are liberals the only people who get their movies through Netflix?

DUH.

blake said...

Oh, I didn't know "Jeremy" was Michael/LOS.

Good to know.

<PLONK>

Jeremy said...

Michael said..."Just because it's the most checked-out doesn't mean it's the most watched."

Right. People rent it and then don't watch it.

Then again: But "Crash's" reign at Netflix is no anomaly, says spokesman Steve Swasey, "More customers have put the movie in their queues and received it, on a weekly basis, than any other film."

Are you saying they "reserve" it before not watching it?

C'mon...

Jeremy said...

Blake - What is your point? That you have none?

What a dummy.

Jeremy said...

Blake - "Crash was kind of 2004's Redbelt."

Yeah, that's it.

Crash - $350,000,000 worldwide gross / 3 Oscars. Another 42 wins & 66 nominations

Redbelt - $3,000,000 gross / 1 nomination

Almost identical...

Jeremy said...

Do any of you people actually go to movie theaters?

Like movies?

Know anything about movies?

Care about movies?

Eric said...

I've been kicking around 'most disturbing movie scenes' list in my head, some are easy (burial scene in Blood Simple, incest scene in Savage Grace)...

The knife scene in Saving Private Ryan? It's the only movie I've ever watched that disturbed me to the point I couldn't finish it. Hell, Takashi Miike doesn't phase me at all.

Synova said...

We got netflix not too long ago.

I think we're about 50% on actually watching the movies that we get.

I can easily see people thinking that they ought to watch Crash, putting it on the list, sending it back unwatched, and putting it on the list again.

Easily.

Jim Chadwick said...

I'm a liberal. I hated the movie. Haggis is a ham-fisted writer and it's a sad comment on the current state of movie writing that he appears to be so highly regarded. I think Netflix rental records are notorious for the number for films that people rent because they believe it's "important" for them to see. But when it comes down to it, they end up sitting on the coffee table, unopened, for months. Wouldn't be surprised if Crashes numbers have benefited from this. Doesn't mean it's the most watched movie on Netflix.

Phoebe said...

Just goes to show the fallacy of choosing movies by what's "popular" - so often doesn't lead to a satisfying experience.

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