Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Friday, August 17, 2007

Brighten up your Bad Movie Month with Color of Night

Bruce Willis has made many a good movie but is just as well known for his bad ones such as the infamous Hudson Hawk,the godawful adaptation of Bonfire of the Vanities and the so bad it's good sci fi romp,The Fifth Element. While Bruce is one of our favorite All American actors here at LRG,we still have to tease him alittle and undoubtedly his face gets a rosy shade of blush whenever Color of Night pops up on cable(for more reasons than one).

Bruce plays shrink Dr. Bill Capa,whose lack of bedside manner causes one of his patients(played by Kathleen Wilhoite,the go-to girl for wacky acting)to leap out of his huge office window-wouldn't a psychiatrist think twice about having half of his office taken up by a window on the top floor?-which traumatizes him so much that he goes colorblind. Capa can no longer see the color red,and that premise is used sparingly as a visual gimmick during the story.

Capa leaves New York to visit his good buddy Dr. Bob Moore(played by sexy Scott Bakula of Quantam Leap fame)in California. Dr. Bob has a best selling book and a Monday night group therapy session of folks who seemed to have specialized in OverActing 101; kinky artist Casey(Kevin J. O'Connor,who later starred in Lord of Illusions with Bakula),anal retentive Clark(Brad Dourif)and slutty Sondra(Lesley Ann Warren). Lance Hendrikson is here,too,as a gruff guy mourning his dead wife and child but he keeps his performance at an even keel.

Oh,and there's "Richie",the youngest member of the group who has a "gender identity issue". Richie has abit of a secret there,which is more of a crying shame than a crying game,if you know what I mean. Even if you've been watching nothing but Scooby Doo cartoons all of your life,Richie's big secret is painfully clear.

Two things happen on Capa's trip;Dr. Bob gets brutally murdered and conviently, Bill must take over the Monday Night group which is chockfull of suspects. If that wasn't enough,Capa literally runs into Rose(Jane March,best known for the notorious art house period piece,The Lover) who becomes his mysterious Miss Fender Bender and magically shows up on his doorstep to have hot sex with him. Rose's other amazing abilities include being very limber while underwater and never wearing a scrap of underwear. She can be instantly naked on command,or off command for that matter.

The big hype about this movie was the hot and heavy sex scenes,where you could catch a glimpse of Bruce's Willis in action(alas,even in the Director's Cut on DVD,it only has a cameo appearance). The big sexers bits were trimmed for US release,while the rest of the free world got a good look at what Bruce had to offer below decks,not to mention some Lesley Ann Warren girl on girl moments. I wish Hollywood wasn't so squimish about their leading men bringing out their guns for show and tell. After seeing Kevin's Bacon strip in Wild Things,I had a better appreciation of his thespian skills,I can tell you that!

Ok,mind out of the gutter and back into this mess of a story. Capa tries to figure out who the killer is(egged on by cop Reuben Blades in one of the most cheerfully obnoxious performances I've ever seen on film)and gets a couple of casual,everyday death threats like a rattlesnake in his mailbox and this car chase scene made extra thrilling by the fact that it's a RED car coming after him!:

You know a movie's bad when one of the characters actually gets to say to a shrink,"You know...you're pretty fucking dense" and it's the truest statement in the entire film. Bruce is the only actor in the movie who sets his tone on moderate(along with Hendrikson and Eric LaSalle,in a brief role as another cop on the case)while the rest of the cast doesn't just chew the scenery,they wolf it down and spew it back up all over the audience. Bodies pile up and there's more needless gore onscreen(including a mock crucifixation moment) than in most of the direct to video slasher movies lying in wait at your local video store.

Color of Night won several Razzie awards and surpisingly,a Golden Globe for it's theme song sung by Lauren Christy( the song was up for the Razzies,too,but beaten out by "Marry the Mole!" from Thumbelina). Christy's a good singer(I once owned her debut album,after hearing selections from it being played in previews at one of my local cinemas)but this song is as overblown and pseudo melodramatic as the movie itself:

So,if you're truly desparate to watch anything other than a test pattern on TV,Color of Night is just perfect. Too bad that the real star performance of the film wasn't honored by any of award shows-perhaps one day, Bruce's Willis will get the acclaim it deserves and with a much better script,too.


Robin Brande said...

Okay, I will confess that I saw this not just once, but twice. The second time, though, I stopped before the gory, scary end. No point in going there again.

Yep, it was pretty bad. But also pretty hot at times, as you mentioned. But still pretty bad. It cracks me up to see this highlighted on the blog. What memories . . .

lady t said...

And I must confess that I paid money to see CON in a theater near me when it first came out and recently rented it on Netflix to refresh my memory(the things I do for this blog:)!).

Yep,bad and hot alright...sounds like a weather report:D! Glad I was able to make you laugh,Robin,that makes it all worth while.

Pop Culture Diva said...

I saw it at the movies as well. What a disappointment!