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Powder Blue

MPAA Rating: R-Rating (MPAA) for sexual content, nudity, language and some drug use.

Reviewed by: Thaisha Geiger

Extremely Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Suspense, Drama
1 hr. 48 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
May 8, 2009
DVD release: May 26, 2009
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Relevant Issues
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Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer

Is Jesus Christ the answer to your questions?
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DEPRESSION—Are there biblical examples of depression and how to deal with it? Answer

What should a Christian do if overwhelmed with depression? Answer

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About murder in the Bible

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How did bad things come about? Answer

What about the issue of suffering? Doesn’t this prove that there is no God and that we are on our own? Answer

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Featuring: Forest Whitaker, Jessica Biel, Ray Liotta, Lisa Kudrow, Patrick Swayze, Kris Kristofferson, Eddie Redmayne, Sala Baker, François Chau, Don Swayze, Riki Lindhome, Cory Patt, Ravi Patel, Kasey Poteet, Navid Negahban, Chandler Canterbury, Leyna Nguyen, Joe Holt, Jeff Wolfe, Danvy Pham, Mandy June Turpin, Yoda Ushery, Jesse Henecke, Jeff Hallman, Alejandro Romero, Jeffery A. Baker, Chad Christopher, Stella Doyle, Soledad Campos
Director: Timothy Linh Bui
Producer: Blue Snow Productions, Eleven Eleven Films, Grosvenor Park Media, Grosvenor Park Productions, Spirit Dance Entertainment, Bill Block, Timothy Linh Bui, Christopher J. Corabi, Ross M. Dinerstein, Kimberly Fox, Jeff Golenberg, Ron Hartenbaum, Paul Hellerman, Aaron Kaufman, Doug Kuber, Rick Lashbrook, Shaun Redick, Bobby Schwartz, Alison Semenza, Tracee Stanley, Forest Whitaker
Distributor: Speakeasy Releasing

“Every life has a breaking point.”

Taking over the course of the Christmas holiday, “Powder Blue” looks into the life of four strangers and how their lives intertwine in the journey to find themselves. While the movie format is almost identical to the award-winning “Crash,” this movie’s quality is very sub par, with its shallow script and weak direction.

The film looks into the lives of four strangers and how all their paths cross each other’s on their own journeys for redemption. Rose Johnny (Jessica Biel) is an exotic dancer, in order pay for her vegetative son’s medical bills. A single mom, her life worsens when her dog runs away, leaving her utterly alone. After spending 25 years in prison, Jack Doheny (Ray Liotta) has terminal cancer and wants to meet his daughter before he dies. Once being a Catholic priest, Charlie (Forest Whitaker) becomes suicidal, doubting his faith when he wife dies on their wedding day.

The film is packed with strong actors, from Ray Liotta to Lisa Kudrow, but the script is the ultimate damage. The characters have very shallow depth, with not enough background to explain their current predicaments. The characters are also very inconsistent throughout, almost as if the writer randomly added different traits to increase the dramatic level. For example, Qwerty Doolittle has extreme anxiety in meeting new people, from having asthma attacks to even fainting. Barely two days later, he suddenly becomes a confident man, pursuing a young woman and eventually bedding her. Most of the characters had these sudden changes that are not realistically feasible.

While one might argue that this is only a film and quick resolutions are to be expected, movies such as “Powder Blue” should not end neatly. Like “Crash,” films of this kind, attempt to show glimpses into the lives of real people with real problems. As glimpses are only brief, so should the endings be similar. Finding solutions and healing from life-altering problems usually take longer than 2 days. Case in fact, after one character loses a child, the next day they’re ready to travel the world with someone they barely met.

Offensive Content

The movie’s appropriately rated R, as it deals with heavy topics through a worldly point-of-view. While Charlie was a priest, he still angrily prays to God, but for the rest of the film, God is sadly absent. Since this movie portrays the world without God, sex and drugs dominate the film’s atmosphere. Cursing is frequent, but the film is not overtly violent. I must mention that there is a suicide in the movie, but the director made it impacting, rather than highly graphic. On the other hand, the movie’s sexual content is heavy. Women are commonly shown topless, there are also graphic sex scenes.

“Powder Blue” has several themes, from suicide to trying to make amends. Without Christ, they would understandably feel hopeless. The Scripture is jam-packed with God’s Word that would cover and address every theme the film presents. However, the one that stood particularly out is the theme of acceptance. Several characters were trying to become accepted as they were or with their situation. One homosexual tearfully cried how one man he loved, left him. In addition, Rose Johnny felt utterly alone with a sick child in the hospital.

How many people feel so currently alone in this world, just waiting for someone to befriend them? As Christians, we should remain the light on the hill, assisting Jesus in being the guiding light for those who are lost. We should not merely pray or hope someone else does the witnessing. We should go talk with them and help lead the way to Christ, ourselves. I recently visited a friend’s church and her minister brought up an interesting comparison when it comes to speaking with those who do not know Christ. Whenever someone is physically lost in the woods or ocean, rescue missions are immediately put together to find the physically lost. Imagine the same effort put into missions for those who are spiritually lost and have never accepted, met, or even heard of Christ. Luke 15 contains excellent parables about things that were once lost, but now are found.

I urge Christian to skip this movie. From its weak script to poor direction, it’s unconvincing in its message and portrayal. In short, “Powder Blue” is ultimately another crude film to which we should not subject ourselves.

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Heavy

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Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive—Portrays the human condition accurately and those moments and final straws that necessitate a move towards redemption of the spirit.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 3½
Roy Estrada, age 60 (USA)


Movie Critics
…Yes, Jessica Biel strips naked, but the movie fails to expose its characters’ souls… “Powder Blue’s” quasi-mystical attempts at moving melodrama aren’t exactly unwatchable, they’re just never very convincing. …
Geoff Berkshire, Metromix