I wanted to watch something different for today and i wasn’t quite sure what I was in the mood for. So, I surfed my Showcase Anytime app and I stumbled upon a film that instantly caught my eye. The film I chose for today was directed by surrealist legend David Lynch and his 1986 film Blue Velvet. Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan) is your typical college student who is forced to come home after his father was in an accident. One day while walking back from seeing his dad in the hospital, Jeffrey discovers an ear and with the help of a friend heads down a very dark journey. You see Jeffrey takes it upon himself to investigate a woman named Dorothy Valens (Isabella Rossellini) who just may be connected to the ear somehow, but the journey may be more than he bargained for. The film also stars Laura Dern (Jurassic Park) as Sandy Williams, Dennis Hopper (Easy Rider) as Frank Booth, Hope Lange (The New Dick Van Dyke Show) as Mrs. Williams, Dean Stockwell (Air Force One) as Ben, Frances Bay (Happy Gilmore) as Aunt Barbara, Brad Dourif (Child’s Play) as Ray, Priscilla Pointer (A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors) as Mrs. Beaumont, and Jack Harvey (Tune In Tomorrow) as Tom Beaumont.
This is the first David Lynch film that I have seen that I actually enjoyed watching because it made sense (Eraserhead is the only other film I’ve seen). The film gets pretty intense right when he starts his investigation and the surrealism in the film is the brutality of Isabella Rossellini who likes to get slapped around during sex. Then all of the scenes with Dennis Hopper just get really weird and intense, but man he puts on one heck of a performance as this crazed wild man who is just out of his gourd. Kyle MacLachlan does a good job in the film, but Dennis Hopper and Isabella Rossellini steal the show and are the MVP’s of the film. One of the most intense sequences in the film is the “joy ride” that they all take as Hopper’s character is pissed and trying to scare the crap out of MacLachlan’s character. They visit a whore house where you see more tense and awkward scenes. I haven’t talked about Laura Dern’s character who symbolically in my opinion represents the light side of life where as Rossellini’s represents the dark side. There is always these symbols in the film especially at the end with robins, but I’ll let you see that for yourself. It was cool seeing Brad Dourif in the film as this was a pre-Chucky role for him and what does he play, but a madman who is apart of Hopper’s gang. If you like films that get very intense and awkward, then definitely check this one out. I am going to give Blue Velvet an B+ for a final grade and the soundtrack is pretty decent.
I have said this many times and I say it because it’s absolutely true. There are some instances where a film sneaks right by you and somehow later on you wonder why you’ve never seen it. That was definitely the case for today’s film which is the Los Angeles gang violence film Colors. Robert Duvall (Days Of Thunder) plays CRASH officer Bob Hodges, a man with one year left until he gets his pension from the LAPD. Sean Penn (Fast Times At Ridgemont High) plays hot shot CRASH rookie Danny McGavin who gets paired with Hodges after a gang member is murdered in a drive by. The two are on the streets as they try to investigate the murder while trying to keep gang violence between the Bloods and Crips to a low. The film also stars Maria Conchita Alonso (The Lords Of Salem) as Louisa Gomez, Randy Brooks (Reservoir Dogs) as Ron Delaney, Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda) as Rocket, Damon Wayans (Major Payne) as T-Bone, Trinidad Silva (UHF) as Frog, Glenn Plummer (South Central) as High Top, Grand L. Bush (Lethal Weapon) as Larry, Gerardo Mejía (Can’t Buy Me Love) as Bird, Courtney Gains (Children Of The Corn) as Whitey, and the film was directed by Dennis Hopper (Easy Rider).
I know that the film is not really a coming of age movie, but I think that it’s a point that could be legitimately argued. Think about it for a second, what is the definition of coming of age? According to Google, “a coming-of-age story is a genre of literature and film that focuses on the growth of a protagonist from youth to adulthood (“coming of age”). Coming-of-age stories tend to emphasize dialogue or internal monologue over action, and are often set in the past.” While the film isn’t set in the past, you do see Sean Penn go in a s this hot shot rookie on the CRASH force who just wants to bust heads and kick ass. Then when the going gets a little tough and something happens to his partner, he begins to realize what he was doing wrong and he changes for the better. In my opinion, that could be a coming-of-age story. This was one of those films that was trying to show you just how bad things were in Los Angeles as we would eventually see Boyz N the Hood, South Central, Menace II Society, and so many more films that focused on the issues. Robert Duvall and Sean Penn were both equally amazing in the film as they were almost the perfect pair. The cinematography in this film was superb in my opinion as they captured some amazing shots of East LA and Los Angeles. I had to get used to the fact that Damon Wayans was in this movie, but the role was perfect for him as he played T-Bone who is basically a junkie. This is definitely a film that must have opened people’s eyes to what was going on in the world and the problem that is gang violence. I definitely recommend this one and that is why I am giving the film an A- for a final grade.