Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Powder Blue

ALMOST: (Timothy Linh Bui) Well, there is usually a reason when films go straight to DVD. Basically: It's not good enough to make people pay $10 for. Powder Blue is actually not good enough to make people pause life for its measly 106 minutes. Now, don't get me wrong, this film has some redeeming qualities that kept my machine playing. Forest Whitaker delivers a suspenseful and heartbreaking performance and Lisa Kudrow peaks into the plot as a refreshing quirky personality. And, while the storyline involving these two is minimal and secondary, it is by far supreme. Jessica Biel and Ray Liotta play the mainstream, an ill-matched customer-stripper with an unexplained relationship reaching deeper than what either admits out loud. Honestly, I didn't really care. Biel over acts her way through sweaty dancing and rainy sidewalks (an atmosphere also over done). Liotta has few words, yet relies on the same stoned facial expression for his entire appearance. In the end, I can't really say what this movie was about, what its bottom line was, or even how the title related. I was tempted to watch this movie because of the build up--now I ask, why was it even worth mentioning?

Monday, September 21, 2009


ALMOST: (Fernando Meirelles) When you sit down for a film starring the Spanish phenom, Gael Garcia Bernal and American notables Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo, one would think it almost gurantees an intense, clever story, on fire on screen and deeply relatable for the audience. Unfortunately, the key word in the previous sentence remains as "almost." In Merielles adaptation of Jose Saramango's novel, we're introduced to a U.S.A. faced with a health crisis of unexplained blindness. Authorities, unsure of the cause or severity, quarantine the sick in a mental hospital, adding to the numbers as more are discovered. But, as the infected population grows, it's evident the sickness is working too fast for the givernment's planned logistics or their patience, and they are enventually left the sick to fend for themselves. Another movie illustrating soceity left to itself, a parody of sorts, showing how lost "we the people" would be trying to survive with a sublime democracy. That democracy is Julianne and Ruffalo playing a married couple holding the people sane against Bernal, the evil "Monarchy" taking advantage of the weary. It had potential--until it was dragged out for hours. The rising action of this plot lasted far too long and ends, really, unexplained. Making matters longer, even after the presumed climax finally comes, the film continues along a long and winding path towards resolution, thus making Part II equally as stagnant. The complex to me is why were such respected names in such a nobody blockbuster? No one was given the power to expand their role, and could have been equally as stagnant with your usual horror movie debut team. Don't worry about missing out on this one. If the story sounds compelling--read it.