Thursday, January 22, 2015

Thursday Movie Picks: Movies with Colour in the Title


It's Thursday, which means it's time for another entry in Wandering Through the Shelves' Thursday Movie Picks!  This is such a fun exercise, and I really encourage all of my readers to try and participate if you can.  I know a few of you do, and I look forward to your entries every Thursday.  This week was interesting, but I'll get to the reason for that in a second.

The theme of the week is:



So, this was tricky for me because I wasn't sure if this meant the actual word 'colour/color' in the title or if it meant 'a color', as in The Red Shoes or something like that.  I chose to make this harder on myself, so I went with the word 'colour/color' itself, and to make things even more difficult, I only chose films that did NOT actually have a color in the title.

So, while my first thought was Blue is the Warmest Colour, it's not on my list.

Here it goes:

Color of Night

This movie is so bad, and yet I shamelessly love this.  I had such a man-crush on Bruce Willis when I was a teenager and I would watch all of his shit, from this to Die Hard to The Sixth Sense to The Fifth Element; it was like every night as a Bruce Willis night in my bedroom.  This is such a trashy sex film (and, like, so much sex), but it's fun and steamy and one of those bad films that everyone should see for the sheer hilarity of how bad it is (that ending, OMG).  I applaud you Bruce for going full frontal in a film that, well, is pretty much porn (I mean, his co-star WAS a porn star).


Primary Colors

I was really shocked at how much I dug this movie.  I normally don't care much for political films and even political satires, mostly because I'm not a very political person and so a lot of it goes over my head, but this one felt so close to home because of the obvious inspiration that you couldn't help but 'get it', and the rich performances by everyone, including Travolta in a hammy yet sincere mimicry performance, make this an underrated gem, in my eyes.


Upstream Color

Yeah, I kind of hated this.  I know that it's all artsy and we're supposed to embrace artsy and encourage artsy, and I do, when artsy is done well, but this was such an empty void of WTF that I felt it was trying so hard to be artsy it forgot to tell a cohesive story; like at all.  Still, many did  love this, and it has it's merits (the cinematography is stunning, and the score is beautifully woven into every frame), but the scattered nature of the vignettes lead to an almost incomprehensible storyline that just left me wishing I'd taken a nap instead.

36 comments:

  1. It actually never occurred to me that she could've meant the word "color" in the title. lol. I guess I didn't think outside of the box there.

    I've only seen Upstream Color on this list, and I kind of hated it too.

    I'm currently kicking myself for completely forgetting about Blue Valentine because I should've put that on my list. Ugh!

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    1. I think I'm the only one who got confused...and it looks like I did it wrong!

      Upstream Color is such a beautiful film...visually and aurally, but it is a confused mess.

      Blue Valentine is a treasure.

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  2. Ha, I'm with Brittani. I would have thought it was asking to pick a color! I guess it could be either way. Great list though. I loved 'Primary Colors.' Then there is of course the 1980s film 'Colors!' Wow, seeing the word "color" so much makes me feel like it's not a real word anymore.

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    1. Right...it doesn't look right! I kept typing it and I was like...it's not spelled like that, is it? But it is.

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  3. LOL Color of Night - I remember when that was released. It looks AWFUL and now I really want to watch it! Primary Colors is so of its time that I almost can't imagine watching it now. I know that I SHOULD watch Upstream Color (Primer is SO brilliant), but I REALLY don't want to.

    (And for what it's worth, I was also confused about the topic, but randomly saw something Wanderer posted that clarified it.)

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    1. You must see Color of Night, if for nothing else...the skin.

      Upstream Color is...you don't need to see it.

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  4. Oh I LOVE Primary Colors! Kathy Bates tears it up in a big showy role but Emma Thompson's performance is my favorite piece of it. Travolta is okay but his work always feels like an impersonation whereas Emma is a real person. I'm a big fan of political films even though I'm not terribly political either but give me an All the President's Men, a Seven Days in May or a JFK and it's like catnip to me.

    Color of the Night is so bad but fun in its ridiculousness. That Bruce sure ain't shy! I've never heard of Upstream Color but between you and Brittani I'm not really encouraged to seek it out.

    This was a great theme but so hard to narrow down, I'd never thought about how many films had a color in their title. I'd had mine done and then came up with one with such a beautiful performance I had include it as an honorable mention.

    I've gone a bit further back for mine and included one I had to exclude from last week's musical theme.

    The Solid Gold Cadillac (1956)-A pleasant little fable, a sort of David versus Goliath reworking, of a single stockholder and the corrupt corporate board that tries to keep her from being a thorn in their side. Judy Holliday is totally captivating in a role tailor made to her special gifts, a sweet radiance, a natural if naive intelligence with just a bit of brass thrown in the mix. Paul Douglas and his gruff charm play well off of her and they are surrounded by a great cast of some of the best character actors working in film at the time. Dated in some respects but a real charmer.

    Blue Skies (1946)-Vividly bright musical that co-stars Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby has an innocuous story but great singing and dancing. The Putting on the Ritz number in particular is fantastic and the film includes a performance of White Christmas. A huge hit in its day this was supposed to mark Fred's retirement from the screen and it did until Gene Kelly broke his ankle two years later and Fred stepped into the lead of Easter Parade and worked for another 33 years!

    Yellow Sky (1948)-Compact William Wellman western with an great cast (Richard Widmark, Gregory Peck, Anne Baxter and Harry Morgan). On the run from a recent bank robbery a gang of outlaws lose their way in the desert and stumble across a ghost town with only two inhabitants, a prospector and his granddaughter. When it appears that the miner has found some gold dissension breeds quickly amongst the gang especially when Peck falls for Baxter.

    Honorable mention: The Deep Blue Sea (2011)-A doomed love affair told in flashback. The film is heavy going and deliberately paced but well directed and expertly acted by all. Rachel Weisz is absolutely brilliant as Hester. She won many accolades for this but not the Oscar nomination she deserved, she was excellent in The Constant Gardner which she won for-she's better here.

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    1. I haven't heard of your three picks, but I loved The Deep Blue Sea, especially for Weisz stunning performance (which is nominated for a Fisti).

      And I'm so with you on Thompson being the life of Primary Colors. Beautiful, rich and honest performance!

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    2. I'm a huge Emma Thompson fan. As an actress she's able to do so many things beautifully, but also as a public figure. She seems so articulate and clever but also daffy and fun.

      I'd of course recommend all three of my picks but if you only seek out one I'd suggest The Solid Gold Cadillac, that is if you like Judy Holliday. She was such a unique performer and she made so few films before her far too early death.

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    3. I'm only familiar with some of her (Holliday) work, so I'd surely like to seek out more!

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    4. The great thing about Judy's filmography is that even though it's very small (only nine films in total and one of those is a tiny role in a hard to find war film) there isn't a bad movie in the bunch. Even the weakest, Phffft! (one of the most obscure, stupidest titles ever given a film) is really just average but compensated by its cast of Jack Lemmon, Kim Novak and Jack Carson as well as Judy. If you haven't seen it "It Should Happen to You" also with Jack Lemmon is wonderful.

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    5. Yup, I checked and the only film I've seen her in is Adam's Rib (where I found her exceptional), so I'll seek out the other eight films!

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  5. I remember seeing Color of Night years ago and yeah...skin. Haven't seen the other two, though I keep meaning to watch Primary Colors. For what it's worth I was also confused so I asked Wanderer earlier in the week and she clarified it for me.

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    1. I thought about asking her...but I was compiling this to post and I didn't have a lot of time so I just figured I'd go with it. Either way, I think it kind of counts, so I'm happy with being 'different' this week :-P

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  6. Never heard of the Bruce Willis film and I am laughing at the premise because it just sounds like some porn thing. he must have done it for the money...and the sex. I enjoyed Primary Colours. the film is spot on and will suffer from time moving on. It is still quite good and love Emma Thompson. Never saw the last one and never will. I have seen The Moon is Blue-the first film to defy the censors...ughhhh. The Blue Max is quite a good WW2 film and the trilogy, White, Blue and Red by Kieslowski-great trilogy

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    1. Kieslowski's Tres Colours is probably the greatest thing to ever have color in the title.

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  7. Great post! I like the fact that you took "color in the title" in a different direction. I am quite curious about Upstream Color. It definitely sounds unique, and it seems to be one of those "love it or hate it" films.

    By the way "empty void of WTF" is a wonderful phrase. I'm thinking it would make a good blog title. ;-)

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  8. Awesome picks! I debated the whole actual colors vs. the word color thing myself. Went with "blue" as you know. I absolutely love Primary Colors. One of Mike Nichols' best. Still need to see Upstream Color and Primer as well.

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    1. I haven't seen Primer, although I hear that it's different (and better) than Upstream Color, so I may give it a try eventually.

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    2. Primer is all kinds of great. It sucks that Carruth made his follow-up so many years later and that it was so willfully obscure (I feel comfortable saying at least that about it without having seen it).

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    3. A lot of people like Upstream Color, and I usually like obscure, but this just felt too...underdeveloped. I like to at least have an idea of what is going on!

      But I will seek out Primer!

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  9. The Color of Night... yeah, awful film but the sex scenes are great.

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    1. My teenage bi-sexual horniness had those sex scenes on loop for hours. Those scenes where hot from every angle...and they kept going and going and coming and coming.

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  10. I haven't seen any of your choices though Upstream Color has been on my watch list for some time. Primary Colors sound great, definitely adding it on my list!

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    1. Primary Colors is basically a satire of the Clinton administration, and as such (and more) it works brilliantly.

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  11. Hey, Andrew. You literally chose film with the word 'color'... you know, that's great. I love Upstream Colors, so beautiful and so clever. Great choices!

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    1. Thanks! I tried to find films that used the word but really had nothing to do with 'colors'...although there is the whole "I can't see red" thing about Color of Night...LOL...he can't see red...LOL!!!

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  12. Damn, dude. You get some genius points for going with 'color' as that's waaaay more difficult. I saw Color of Night in the theater as a kid, only 'cause I thought it was going to be a porno. Don't really remember much about it, other than they got it on a lot. Hmm.

    Primary Colors I recall being very good, but the last time I saw that was theatrically as well. I think I saw it back-to-back with City of Angels. I think.

    And Upstream Color? I'm not sure I'm smart enough to handle that one. Just kidding.

    I know I'm not.

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    1. BAH! I love how you saw it in the theater because you thought it would be porn. When I was 15 I got this magazine that had a list of all the best sex scenes in film, and it mentioned Color of Night...and so I ordered it from the local Sam Goody (remember those?). Cost me like $50, but I was working nearly 40 hour weeks at the mall and had no bills so I spent my entire paycheck on movies no one ever heard of that featured my favorite actors/actresses naked. Yeah, it wasn't straight up porn, but it did the trick.

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  13. Ahah, Color of Night? I actually saw that movie more than once (yes, shameful!!) There's a ton of shagging in that movie and Willis' er, willy also made an appearance in the swimming pool, ahah.

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    1. His willy does make an appearance! LOL, I remember pausing it with a few friends, wondering if we were seeing things or if Willis actually went there.

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  14. Never mind that you misunderstood the theme, I think you really outdid us all by not only featuring a title that has the word Colour but by also not even featurIng any colour in it. Bravo!
    Haven't seen any on your list but I do want to see Upstream Colour since I quite like Primer.

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    1. Thanks Wanderer, I'm glad you approve! These have been so much fun to do. I'm already working on next weeks theme :-D

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  15. Great choices. I would've gone with the Three Colors trilogy... too obvious? :)

    I haven't seen Color of Night yet, but I *must* see it now! Nice to see Primary Colors on here. I really liked it, and Thornton is hilarious. If it weren't for A Simple Plan that year, I could've nominated him for PC instead.

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    1. I almost went there :-P

      And you MUST see Color of Night...it's so trashy good...like awful, but awesome at the same time. LOL, that ending...MY GOD...but lots of...flesh ;-)

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