POWDER BLUE: DVD
A handful of Los Angelenos meet one 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, her young son in a coma. Qwerty Doolittle (Eddie Redmayne) is a mortician who falls in love with her. Randall (Kris Kristofferson) is the head of a crime organization who tries to convince former employee, Jack (Ray Liotta) not to seek vengeance on his former partners in crime. Charlie (Forest Whitaker) is a suicidal ex-priest. Lexus (Alejandro Romero) is a transsexual prostitute who shares an unexpected bond with Charlie.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Patrick Swayze's final feature film role as Wild Velvet strip club boss Velvet Larry is a flamboyant extravaganza, with mascara, long blond hair, unbuttoned shirt, shiny leather pants and tough talk. His dynamic performance, small role that it is, defies the raging illness that killed him not long after he finished the film. It may not be an apt epitaph for his body of work (what would be) but it's a showcase of his courage.
And Swayze is not the only interest in Powder Blue; it's an A list cast, from Jessica Biel as single mum pole dancer Rose to a gently ageing Ray Liotta as Jack, who befriends the reluctant Rose in a fatherly fashion. For reasons not made clear, she rebuffs him. You'll likely remember her dancing for one particularly exotic if sadly dramatic routine in which she douses her bare breasts with hot candle wax. She's totally credible as a pole dancer, by the way.
Eddie Redmayne as the quirkily named Qwerty (easy to type) Doolittle does fine work as the mild mannered mortician who minds Rose's dog after accidentally hitting him while driving, and Lisa Kudrow is engaging as the waitress who befriends Charlie, played in his usual endearing style by Forest Whitaker, even though Charlie is intent on ending his life after a tragic mishap. I don't think this part of the multi-layered plot really works; I don't buy Charlie's behaviour, Whitaker's performance notwithstanding. There is a similar weakness in Jack's profile, but Ray Liotta just about pushes through the fakery. Also impressive is Alejandro Romero as the transsexual, Lexus, a small but important role and a perfectly formed characterisation. And let's not forget Kris Kristofferson in a slightly strange cameo as some sort of senior crim.
The resolutions to these intersecting relationships are a tad manipulative, but the characters are so well crafted by the cast that we accept those flaws in return for an engaging 96 minutes or so.
Published December 3, 2009
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POWDER BLUE: DVD (MA)
CAST: Jessica Biel, Ray Liotta, Eddie Redmayne, Forest Whitaker, Kris Kristofferson, Lisa Kudrow, Patrick Swazye
PRODUCER: Timothy Linh Bui, Ross M. Dinerstein, Bobby Schwartz, Tracee Stanley, Forest Whitaker
DIRECTOR: Timothy Linh Bui
SCRIPT: Timothy Linh Bui
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Jonathan Sela
EDITOR: Leo Trombetta
MUSIC: Didier Rachou
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Keith Neely
RUNNING TIME: 96 minutes
PRESENTATION: 16:9; DD
SPECIAL FEATURES: none
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: All Interactive
DVD RELEASE: December 3, 2009
RIVERSIDE SCREEN PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 6 consecutive Tuesdays, starts February 17, 2015 at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.