Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Oscar Connection: Cloud 9 & Crash!

Cloud 9, the new ensemble motion picture comedy written and produced by Burt Kearns and Brett Hudson of Frozen Pictures and Academy Award winner Albert S. Ruddy, has lots in common with the ensemble drama, Crash, nominated today for the Best Picture Oscar.

Crash’s director and co-writer is Paul Haggis, who wrote Million Dollar Baby, which gave Ruddy his second Best Picture Oscar (The Godfather was the first). Ruddy signed the Million Dollar Baby deal with director Clint Eastwood on the Cloud 9 set in Pacific Palisades. (Before Eastwood came on board, Crash star Sandra Bullock was the original choice for the Hilary Swank role in Baby. She lost out because the studio wouldn’t accept her demand that Haggis to direct. Though she denied the story, her role in Crash supports it).

Ken Garito, who has a role in Crash, stars as bartender Tommy Z in Cloud 9.

Tony Danza has cameo roles in Crash and Cloud 9.

Both Crash and Cloud 9 are set in Los Angeles.

Crash tackles racism and classism.

Cloud 9 satirizes racism and classism.

Crash and Cloud 9 both have fight scenes.

Crash actor Daniel Dae Kim and Cloud 9 writer/producer Burt Kearns had kids in the same preschool class.

Both films were shot in 2004.

Cloud 9 was released by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment on DVD January 3rd, hitting the Top 5 in premiere release rentals in its first week, but skipping domestic theatres and missing out on Oscar consideration.

Tale of the Tape:
Cloud 9 vs Crash Cast Comparisons

Burt Reynolds... Matt Dillon
DL Hughley... Don Cheadle
Paul Rodriguez... Daniel Dae Kim
Paul Wesley... Ryan Philippe
Angie Everhart... Sandra Bullock
Gabrielle Reese... Jennifer Esposito
Kenya Moore... Thandie Newton
Rick Overton... Brendan Fraser
Pat Finn... Terrence Howard
Ken Garito... Ken Garito
Tony Danza... Tony Danza
Tom Arnold... Keith David
Bruce Bruce... Larenz Tate
Gary Busey... Ludacris

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