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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Powder Blue (2009)

Christmas week in Los Angeles. Four lost souls. A man (Ray Liotta) just released from prison after 25 years finds out he's terminally ill. A mortician (the ineffectual Eddie Redmayne) finds himself hopelessly in debt and his only friend a lost dog. A heartbroken widower (Forest Whitaker) rides through Los Angeles trying to find someone to kill him and put him out of his misery. A stripper (Jessica Biel) has a child in a coma in a hospital and is unable to maintain a relationship. Co-written and directed by Timothy Linh Bui, the film is a real downer, ineptly made, without any salvaging graces. It's like someone saw Paul Thomas Anderson's superb MAGNOLIA and thought, "Gee, I could do that!" without understanding what Anderson was trying to do, without the artistry, complexities and ironies that made that film such a standout and what Linh Bui ends up giving us is the shell and nothing more. Both Biel and Liotta do some fine work but ultimately they're both defeated by the poor material. The film co-stars Patrick Swayze in his final film role and it's a sad swan song. It's a ridiculous role and Swayze (in a long blonde wig) is embarrassing. The film's best performance comes from Alejandro Romero as a drug addled transsexual hooker. With Lisa Kudrow (wasted), Kris Kristofferson and Sanaa Lathan.

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