The Color Of Money (1986) Review

Yesterday would’ve been Paul Newman’s birthday so I decided to kick off January with my Blind Spot review of The Hustler (review HERE). And since I’m a completist, I naturally had to watch the 1986 sequel directed by Martin Scorsese. Let’s have a look at Newman 25 years older as Edward “Fast Eddie” Felson in The Color Of Money

The Color Of Money (1986)

Directed by Martin Scorsese

Based on The Color of Money by Walter Tevis

Starring: Paul Newman, Tom Cruise, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Helen Shaver, John Turturro

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
The film continues the story of pool hustler and stakehorse Edward “Fast Eddie” Felson from Tevis’ first novel, The Hustler (1959), with Newman reprising his role from the 1961 film adaptation. The film begins more than 25 years after the events of the previous film, with Eddie retired from the pool circuit.

My Opinion:

This was a fun film but certainly not on the same level as the 1961 classic The Hustler plus it also suffers a tiny bit from that “dated 80’s movie” feel. This is unfortunate. However, if you’ve watched & liked The Hustler, I’d still recommend giving this one a go to see what Newman’s “Fast Eddie” is up to 25 years after the events of the first film.

The one thing I found interesting is that Newman is the true star of this movie. Well, of course he is but what I mean is that he so massively outshines Tom Cruise. I find this interesting as this film came out the same year as Top Gun but Cruise seems much younger and less experienced in this one. In my review of The Hustler, I mentioned how Newman had that special “something” that only certain actors have & it gave him a presence and a star quality that is lacking in Cruise in this film. Cruise often does have that movie star quality, though (such as in Top Gun). But I’ve clearly aged as I found the 60-year-old Newman far more attractive than the 20-something Cruise in this. Hmm! Showing my age again (I’d just like to point out that I’m younger than Cruise currently is, at least).

Newman is very good in this & actually won the Best Actor Oscar for his performance. Well, I think the Academy was clearly just making it up to him as it was his role in The Hustler that should’ve won instead. That’s The Academy for you, though! They realize their mistakes then reward someone another time instead. Glad he won one, though.

This isn’t as hard-hitting as The Hustler and doesn’t have the intense relationships that made that film so highly regarded. Cruise’s character comes across as an immature child (I think that’s the point) but it doesn’t make for a story that is as interesting to watch as the first film. He doesn’t have the same sort of chemistry with Newman as those in the first film had. I was never really a fan of Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio but she’s good in this (and was also Oscar-nominated, unlike Cruise) and there’s some decent sexual tension between her & Newman.

The first half of the movie, which focuses on Cruise & Mastrantonio teaming up with Newman, was missing something due to this lack of chemistry between our male leads (and also due to me knowing that the first movie was so strong on its focus on human interaction). However, the second half does pick up as Newman’s character goes on a journey of self-discovery type of thing and he starts to feel more like the complex & somewhat broken “Fast Eddie” from The Hustler. I did enjoy this movie overall and liked revisiting Newman’s character. And it’s reminded me once again that I have to seek out more of Paul Newman’s work. Especially his older films… What a hunk.

Oh yeah – and I had to keep reminding myself that this was a Martin Scorsese movie so I’ve now added another one to my list of Scorsese films seen. I’ve already done My Top Ten Martin Scorsese Movies (list HERE) and The Color Of Money would break into my Top Ten (probably at, hmm… 8 or 9).

My Rating: 7/10

Oh, shit! I totally forgot to add that Iggy Pop has a small role in this! That was an awesome surprise. Check him out:

Also, I’ve know for years that Eric Clapton’s It’s In The Way That You Use It was in this since it had one of those videos with clips from the movie. Here you go! I’m not a big fan of solo Clapton but I like this song okay:

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The Hustler (1961) Blind Spot Review

Today would have been Paul Newman’s birthday, so I’m reviewing his film The Hustler for my Blind Spot 2017 Series as well as my IMDB Top 250 Project. Like many classics, this was in the Top 250 when I started the project on 01/01/13 but is currently not on the list.

Let’s see what I thought of The Hustler (as well as its 1986 sequel The Color Of Money, which I’m reviewing tomorrow)…

The Hustler (1961)

Directed by Robert Rossen

Based on The Hustler by Walter Tevis

Starring: Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, Piper Laurie, George C. Scott, Myron McCormick, Murray Hamilton, Michael Constantine, Stefan Gierasch, Clifford Pellow, Jake LaMotta

IMDB Rank: 197 out of 250 (as of 01/01/13)

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
The Hustler tells the story of small-time pool hustler “Fast Eddie” Felson and his desire to break into the “major league” of professional hustling and high-stakes wagering by high-rollers that follows it. He throws his raw talent and ambition up against the best player in the country; seeking to best the legendary pool player “Minnesota Fats.”

My Opinion:

Paul Newman was so damn hot. What a hunk. I lusted after him through this whole movie. It’s quite disappointing that it’s in black & white because I like seeing those baby blue eyes of his in color. But even in black & white, he’s still dreamy. *sigh*

The Hustler is very good and I can see why it’s a classic and it totally sucks that current films keep knocking old films such as this one out of the IMDB Top 250. I can sort of understand why, though, as I’m guilty myself of not exploring many movies that are pre-1970 or so but it does annoy me that most young people want to watch nothing but current stuff these days. Anyway, I enjoyed The Hustler and the acting is phenomenal, which I think it what makes this one such a classic. Surprisingly, though, it was Piper Laurie who stole the show. Wow. More about her later…

Newman was his usual self: Full of charm & charisma. He was such a great actor and one of only a handful over the years who I feel had that extra “something” that made him my definition of a true movie star. You know that “something” that’s hard to explain? I feel that “something” is missing from most artists nowadays (especially within the music industry – even more so than in film). I haven’t explored as much of Newman’s work as I’d like but I can now say that The Hustler is a must-see for anyone wanting to see him in his best roles. There’s more than just his usual charm & charisma here – he’s a lonely, complex character and the movie truly comes alive when he becomes involved with Piper Laurie’s similarly lost soul.

Newman is fantastic and it’s a shame he didn’t win the Oscar but Laurie is stunning. I’m glad, like Newman, that she also got a nomination but it’s a shame that she hasn’t gotten more recognition for this role. I’ll be honest – I didn’t even know she was in The Hustler! I’ll also be totally honest & admit that I’ve never really known her as anything other than Margaret White in Carrie. I LOVE her in Carrie (she easily topped my list of My Top Ten Crazy Ladies In Movies). Who knew she could play a disturbed character with such sympathetic subtlety in The Hustler just as well as she did full-on batshit crazy in Carrie?? I love her in both roles but have a new respect for her – I’m very glad I got to see this performance.

Clearly the relationship between Newman & Laurie is what I latched onto and what made the movie for me but there are of course some other important characters and, yes – plenty of pool. The two really worth mentioning are Jackie Gleason as “Minnesota Fats”, a brilliant pool-playing rival to Newman, and George C. Scott as an evil, greedy bastard. Seriously – what a dick. I wanted to punch him in the face. Therefore, I guess he played his role well!

Summary:

The Hustler is worthy of its status as a classic and it’s a great way to kick off my choice of 2017 Blind Spot films. I admit, however, that it did drag for me at times in a way that older movies often do for those who have mostly watched post-1970 movies (like me). I have zero interest whatsoever in pool and, while this movie is not actually about pool and more about human interaction, there’s still plenty of pool. Some will of course love the actual pool scenes but the final game of pool is the only one that really matters and the one that fully held my attention. The movie is a little slow-going at first but the phenomenal performances from all involved, especially from Newman & Laurie, make the second half of the film intense & gripping. The Hustler is well worth your time if you have an interest in old Hollywood classics.

My Rating: 8/10

My Top Ten Actors’ Eyes

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Err… Would this actually be a Top 20???

Abbi of Where The Wild Things Are once again did a couple Top Tens that I’d like to rip off. 😉 Her lists of her Top Ten Most Annoying Actors & Actresses (as well as the actors & actresses she’d watch in most everything) have now been copied by pretty much every one of us movie bloggers on WordPress. Well, a while ago Abbi got the idea from Cindy Bruchman’s Mr Bright Eyes Top Ten list of blue-eyed actors to then do her own list of Top Ten Blue Eyed Actors followed by her Top Ten Brown Eyed Actors.

Well, I’m mixing it up a bit! If I had to pick, I’d say brown eyes are what do it for me the most but I do love some sexy blue eyes as well (hello Chris Hemsworth!). So I’m putting both in one list.

Here are My Top Ten (Twenty!) Actors’ Eyes:

10. Jesse Williams

Whenever I’m not watching Grey’s Anatomy because it’s full of moany wankers, I always think “Damn! That guy has some lovely eyes.” But then I think “Not that I would know, since I totally don’t watch that annoying Grey’s Anatomy bullshit. Umm. It must be The Cabin In The Woods I’m thinking of. Yep, that’s where I saw him. Not Grey’s Anatomy. I don’t watch that shit. Honest!”

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9. Orlando Bloom

I wouldn’t say I have a big crush on Bloom but his brown eyes are perfect. I could have put either Orlando Bloom or Andrew Garfield at number nine as they both have the perfect type of brown eyes that make me melt but I went with Bloom as, well, he’s definitely the more attractive of the two.

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8. David Bowie

That’s me – once again using any excuse to get David Bowie into a post. 😉 I’ve always been quite fascinated by people who have eyes of different colors (even though, in Bowie’s case, it’s down to a childhood accident). It’s just another quirk that makes him unique.

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7. Paul Walker

Aww – poor Paul Walker. I wasn’t a fan of those silly testosterone-fueled Fast & Furious movies but I loved Walker’s baby blues. It was a shame he’d done so many of those movies – I’d have liked to see him in other things. You know what movie of his I really liked? Roadkill! (Called Joy Ride in the US. Isn’t it weird when they change movie titles??)

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6. Johnny Depp

Another crush from my teen years who had beautiful brown eyes. I can’t help it… the majority of guys I had crushes on through my teens just always seemed to have brown eyes! Holy shit, though – look at the size of that collar.

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5. Paul Rudd

Sweet, funny, adorable Paul Rudd. I’ve loved him since Clueless. Cute AND funny – that’s how I like ’em! Love his slightly unusual greenish eye color.

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4. Chris Hemsworth

Those who know me know that I kind of have the hots for The Hems. He’s gorgeous from top to bottom anyway but having eyes that are such a perfect shade of blue certainly doesn’t hurt either.

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3. Jim Sturgess

I told you I liked brown! Don’t get me wrong – Hemsworth is still my number one crush. Jim Sturgess, however, has THE most perfect puppy dog brown eyes. This is the type of boy I’d have fallen desperately in love with as a teenager (and who would’ve broken my heart, of course. the bastard!).

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2. Paul Newman

Back to blue! Okay, Chris Hemsworth is gorgeous but Paul Newman beat him to “baby-blue-eyed sex symbol” fame. What a legend! What a face. What a hottie!

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1. Michael Schoeffling

Ha! Yes, Jake Ryan from Sixteen Candles. What can I say? Jake Ryan topped my list HERE of My Top Ten Movie Crushes. As your biggest crushes are when you’re in your teens, a lot of the guys on that list are of course from my teenage years. Jake Ryan was the perfect guy to me back then (in a totally shallow looks-wise way). So I have to put the lovely Michael Schoeffling’s beautiful brown eyes at number one.

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Green Eyes & The Ladies:

It feels like I should mention some actresses as well, such as Elizabeth Taylor, whose eyes were a deep shade of blue that sometimes appeared violet and who was lucky enough to be born with a “mutation” of a double row of eyelashes!! (I had never heard that until I looked people up when putting this list together). Also, seeing as I have neither blue nor brown eyes, I felt like I should give a shout-out to all the AWESOME green and hazel-eyed people out there. There are lots of beautiful green-eyed actresses but not actors for some reason. I read that green eyes are more common in women but that was somewhere on the Internet and the Internet is full of LIES, so… Who knows! Anyway, here are a few actresses with lovely eyes (yeah, mostly green as green-eyed girls rock):

Evangeline Lilly
Scarlett Johansson
Angelina Jolie
Emily Browning
Charlize Theron
Melanie Laurent

And the most amazing eyes I’ve ever seen belong to actress Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey, who was specifically hired for the (great) movie I Origins, a film in which the plot revolves around the eyes and their mysteries. I wondered throughout the movie if they were faked but they’re indeed her actual eyes with the unusual markings and different colors. Gorgeous!

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IMDB Top 250 Challenge – Movie #8 – Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid

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Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid (1969) – IMDB Rank #148

Watched 26/1/13

I have to admit that I didn’t give this movie the full attention that I should have – I had lots of laundry to do so I was kind of watching it while doing housework. So bear that in mind while I say a little about it…

Westerns are not my thing so I figured, out of the many Westerns in the top 250 (ugh!), this one would be an easy one to start with. You know, not quite SO “Western-y”. 😉

As I expected, Paul Newman & Robert Redford are great and they’re what made the movie (obviously). With other actors, it probably wouldn’t quite be the classic that it is – the characters are much better than the movie itself. Paul Newman’s character was so charming and likeable. I of course never mind looking at those gorgeous blue eyes but I was also pleasantly surprised at just how sexy Robert Redford’s character was too. Hello Cowboys! Both of them were sexy – Newman in that loveable charming way and Redford in a manly mysterious way. Oh yeaaaah. Hmm. This review is turning horny….

Got a little sidetracked there! Where was I? I think the whole movie has dated pretty well other than maybe the “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head” bicycle scene. That’s very, I dunno, “1969” quirky. It’s sweet though and Paul Newman was adorable in that scene. However, he’s still at his hottest in Cool Hand Luke.

I’m starting to think I really suck at movie reviews…! 😉

My Rating: 7/10

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