Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Review - Powder Blue

In Los Angeles lives intersect between a stripper, a ex-con, a mortician, a transsexual hooker, a divorced waitress and a suicidal priest over the course of a week leading up to Christmas Day.

Written and directed by Timothy Linh Bui "Powder Blue" is a over ambitious story that desperately tries to portray optimism in the wake of sorrow. Linh Bui uses a intersecting plotline of four or five main characters who find peace amongst their agony. This method of storytelling seems over-used as of late and here in "Powder Blue" it definately leaves something to be desired.

First and foremost the characters penned by Linh Bui are dismal and in some cases unbelievable. For instance, Forrest Whitaker's character Charlie, has lost his newly wedded wife in a car accident and cannot get over the loss. Now while his loss was huge, his desperation seems unwarranted for a newlywed, especially when taking into account the lengths he goes to within the film. Another example is Jessica Biel's character. She plays Rose Johnny, a stripper who is unconfident and desperate disaster. Much of her character flaws are stemmed from her son's illness, but a woman who looks anything like Jessica Biel would know the power she has and would not seem so desperate as she does early on in the film.

The strange part about "Powder Blue" is one would expect a different result with such a fanatstic cast. Each actor within the film has delivered quality performances in the past, but here in "Powder Blue" the performances come across as flat due to the ultimately boring and at times laughable script. To the credit of the actors involved, they do gain your attention with their performances, however the character development and story lacked the ability to keep said attention.

Eddie Radmayne (Savage Grace) and Ray Liotta have the only remotely likable characters throughout "Powder Blue." Radmayne plays Qwerty, a mortician who is nervous around people and falls in love with Jessica Biel's character Rose Johnny. Radmayne does a good job playing a character that has been used at nauseam in the past. Liotta plays Jack, a recently set free convict from a 25 year jail sentence, who is seeking to find his daughter he has never met. Liotta is always good as the harden criminal, although here in "Powder Blue" his performance could be equated to just going through the motions. That said, his scenes shared with Jessica Biel are the only scenes throughout the film that have any real emotion or leave any real impact.

"Powder Blue" was intended for a theatrical release however, never recieved one and it is currently set for a dvd release on May 26th. Most will be intrigued to at least see the film simply based that Jessica Biel plays a stripper and does have a few nude scenes. If you are wanting a emotional film that delivers with real impact, you are not going to find it in "Powder Blue." Go watch Crash or Traffic again, "Powder Blue" is nothing but buzz surrounding Biel's nude scenes, which go disregarded after sitting through the meaningless 106 minutes of a film which concludes with a completely ridiculous and cliche ending.