On the gritty streets of LA, the destinies of four people desperate for connection and redemption are about to collide. Jessica Biel, Ray Liotta, Forest Whitaker and Eddie Redmayne lead a top-notch cast in this powerful th... more »riller about an overwhelmed erotic dancer, a grieving husband who has lost his will to live, a terminally ill ex-con and a pathologically shy mortician. With Kris Kristofferson, Lisa Kudrow and Patrick Swayze in unforgettable supporting roles, this film movingly chronicles the imperfect lives of people teetering on the edge of despair and the miracles that bring them back.
Stills from Powder Blue (Click for larger image)« less
A thinking movie that probes the nature of true and honest l
Brandon Cozart | Charlotte, NC USA | 04/26/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Everyone has their problems. This we are constantly reminded of in Timothy Linh Bui's latest film, Powder Blue. Linh Bui, who both wrote and directed this film, is a newcomer to mainstream film, having previously directed one feature-length film, 2001's Green Dragon.
Powder Blue is the story of a pivotal week in the life of four individuals struggling to keep their lives together. Charlie (Forest Whitaker) is an ex-priest battling suicidal tendencies due to the anguish of losing his wife. Jack (Ray Liotta) is a recently released hit man who recently found out about the cancer in his body. Qwerty (Eddie Redmayne) is an awkward, twenty-something mortician whose asthma acts up when he tries to talk to women. And Rose Johnny (Jessica Biel) is a stripper trying to pay the medical bills of her comatose son. Each is hurting immensely. Each is looking for some glimmer of hope.
This is a strange film in terms of the press that it has been getting. The overwhelming majority of articles and news surrounding this project have narrowly focused on the fact that Jessica Biel has a small handful of topless scenes. In fact, one online site boldly proclaims, "this film is always going to be known for one thing -- Jessica Biel was topless in it." Many other sites which have written pieces on this movie have uniformly dubbed Powder Blue "the Jessica Biel Stripper Movie." Commentary on the hyper-sexualized yet stuck in a 15-year-old boy's body nature of American culture aside, this film is much more than a stripper movie and will hopefully be remembered as a good piece of art, rather than the fact that one of the actors shows some skin.
The core of this film is the nature of love. What is love? How do we find it? What happens when we lose it? Everyone has their problems, but no one should have to face them alone. The characters understand this and each has a deep sense of the need for relationships, they just don't quite know how to pursue real and lasting love. Instead, their pursuit is initially selfish, built on what they themselves can get out of feeling loved and fulfilled in hopes that their problems will all go away. So Qwerty attends functions in hopes of getting a date. Jack attempts to restore and build a relationship with his daughter out of the guilt of never being there for her. Rose Johnny throws herself at men looking for someone to not only financially provide for her and her son, but also to treat her and love her as a woman rather than a piece of meat on a stage. And Charlie, the most desperate of the lot, cries out for help to anyone he can find, propositioning them to end his life for him in exchange for $50,000.
Each must discover, however, that honest love can only be so if both parties give of themselves to each other. Each of these characters must be willing to be vulnerable, to let others see the hurt and struggles that they are going through, and then be willing to let others help them and love them in ways that they never imagined anyone could. But again, this is a two-way street, and they must also be willing to do the same for others, allowing them to be vulnerable as well and to work with them through the pains and trials of life. It's only after each of the characters realize this that they are able to see glimmers of hope and redemption in their otherwise shattered lives.
Powder Blue is a fascinating film. Linh Bui has captured something very real and true about life, a feat which most of Hollywood either avoids or fails miserably at. He shows that life isn't a fairytale, hope doesn't come easily, and, again, everyone has problems. However, he also shows that there is true love out there, that there is hope and redemption even if such comes through the pain and hardships that each of us face in life, if we will only allow others in and allow others to help us through whatever it is we are going through, and be willing to do the same when the chance presents itself.
It is this writer's hope that this is what Powder Blue will be remembered for."
My only sin is love...
P. B Rubalcaba | Redlands, CA USA | 08/16/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just finished watching one of the most provocative love stories in recent memory. In essence, it's 5 love stories rolled into one...intertwined by love in the darkest and most faithful places. "Powder Blue", a hidden gem of a movie, is best defined by the scene where Forester Whittaker (unbelievable performance), is before the altar...on his knees...tears running from his eyes...looking skyward and saying, "God, why are you doing this to me? My only sin is love."
I need not write much more. This one gets a solid 5 stars and I don't want to taint the effect of the evolving ballad of five lives...all portrayed by powerful acting performances by Forest Whittaker, Ray Liotta, Jessica Biel, Eddie Redmayne and Lisa Kudrow.
You will discover a new millennium look at "loneliness". Unlike, but very much like, the romantic films of the 50's, this flick transplants love into today's crazy world...it's about hope, family, desire, frustration, desperation and finality.
If you have a heart, this film will empty your tear ducts...GUARANTEED. There's a little bit of all of us in it...and I'm not sure why it is such a sleeper...unknown...unless I missed something in passing.
If you're in love, have been in love, want to be in love...or are just looking for a great movie to watch alone...to watch together...to ponder for a long, long time..."Powder Blue" is for you. It was for me...a great Sunday afternoon awakening.
Bravo to director and writer Timoth Lin Bui. Bravo!
Don't miss it! Rent it. Consider adding it to your movie library.
I agree. My only sin is love. And praise the Lord that he has given me that ability. "
An Interesting Urban Drama Movie
Evandro Munhoz | Eugene, OR | 09/14/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Several Los Angelinos meet on Christmas Eve through chance, tragedy and divine intervention. Velvet Larry (Patrick Swayze) is the sleazy owner of the strip club where Rose Johnny (Jessica Biel) dances. Qwerty Doolittle is a mortician who falls in love with her. Randall (Chris Kristofferson) is the head of a corporate crime organization who tries to convince his former employee not to seek vengeance on his former co-workers. Charlie (Forrest Whitaker), who also serves as a producer on the film, will play a suicidal ex-priest. Lexus is a transsexual prostitute who shares an unexpected bond with the priest".
The parallel stories of four individuals meeting by chance in this movie only to show the big picture: How lonely people can be living in a big city like LA. With a star cast, I recommend this movie that has a very modern urban plot and photography similar to "Crash". It was entertaining and I would recommend it for fans of Jessica Biel (she plays a stripper hooked on drugs), her role in this movie is far different from previous ones she starred in movies. Her character's story is sad and troubling. But, she is very convincing as Rose Johnny. An unexpected chain of events will take place and it could change her life or not.
It was a good movie and I recommend it. It was very entertaining. The R rating is appropriated due to the thematic of the movie. "
As good as "Crash"
Raymond Depiano | South Bound Brook, New Jersey USA | 06/10/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I rented this dvd for a nude shot of Jessica Biel....ok I'm a pervert. But a older Lisa Kudrow (gorgeous) did a awesome job and the rest of the cast was great!! But to be honest, Jessica was the star, naked or not, she stoled the show, this woman is a really good actress. Someday I think that Scarlett Johansson and Jessica should play sisters, cause they look so much alike. If you liked the movie "Exotica", get this one. Enjoy!!!"
There is Art--then there's artifice
C. CRADDOCK | Bakersfield | 01/14/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"There's Crash, then there's Powder Blue. Both films feature multiple intertwining characters in Los Angeles, but one won the best picture Oscar, while the other was released straight to video.
There is Magnolia--then there's Powder Blue. One has multiple quirky characters and a hail of frogs, while the other has characters with multiple quirks, and a powder blue snowstorm that blankets Los Angeles.
There's Flashdance--then there's Powder Blue. One has exotic dancers performing artistically choreographed dances, while the other has a dancer with an even more unbelievable and convoluted back-story performing artistically choreographed dances.
There's Being John Malkovich--then there's Powder Blue. One has a main character whose passion is performing with marionettes while the other has a Mortician with Asthma whose passion is performing with marionettes.
There is The Crying Game--then there's Powder Blue. One has Forest Whitaker involved with someone who is kind of a drag while the other has Forest Whitaker as a defrocked priest who left the church to get married but is now despondent over his young bride's untimely passing.
There is Art--then there's artifice.
So, you can see the problem for director Timothy Linh Bui: He has overloaded his film with so many overused clichés and symbols that it ceases to have any meaning whatsoever. He has thrown in everything but the kitchen sink.
I can't in any way shape or form say that this was a successful film, and yet I found it vastly entertaining, if only because it boggled my mind, how far from the path it strayed. I will admit that I enjoyed watching it, but I was forced to judge it harshly.
Jessica Biel looked good and was amazing as the exotic dancer. Her acting wasn't so bad, considering what she had to work with. But not only did she have a father who had just been released from prison after 25 years, she also had a child who was in a coma. On top of that, she has a romance with a mortician named Qwerty Doolittle (the laziest name for a character ever written), who is also loaded down with three too many quirks himself: He has asthma, he plays with puppets, and his mortuary is in foreclosure.
I could go on, but I'm sure you get the picture.
Things I liked though were the chemistry between Whitaker's defrocked priest and Lisa Kudrow's friendly waitress, always ready with a cup of coffee and a slice of pie.
In Savage Grace, Eddie Redmayne was fantastic as the criminally insane Antony Baekeland; but he gave almost as good a performance here.
Alejandro Romero gave good attitude, yet his character was given short shrift. More a symbol than a person. He must have asked himself, just like Burt Reynolds 'playing' a bad actor on The Twilight Zone: What's my motivation?
Ray Liotta was great as the ex hit man/father trying to 'reconnect' with his daughter after a 25-year stint in the pen, but he was sabotaged at every turn. Case in point, he was given full body tattoos, but they were totally wrong for his character. They looked like they'd been chosen by the makeup `artiste' instead of something a prisoner would choose for himself.
Patrick Swayze as Velvet Larry was amazing as he was terminally ill, yet he still gave a very strong performance. This may have been Swayze's swan song, his last ever film role. May he rest in peace.
Savage Grace (2007) Eddie Redmayne was Antony Baekeland
Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000 [Region 2] (2000) Forest Whitaker was Ker The Crying Game (1992) Forest Whitaker was Jody Bird (1988) Forest Whitaker was Charlie 'Bird' Parker
GoodFellas (1990) Ray Liotta was Henry Hill
To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar (1995) Patrick Swayze Was Vida Point Break (1991) Patrick Swayze Was Bodhi
Trouble in Mind (1985) Kris Kristofferson was Hawk Songwriter (1984) Kris Kristofferson was Blackie Buck
Hotel for Dogs (Widescreen Edition (2009) Lisa Kudrow was Lois Scudder