HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Ferdinand
Buddhist Spell, The
Steel and Lace
Reivers, The
Angel Has Fallen
I Lost My Body
At First Light
Free Ride
Crawl
Transit
Blank Check
Mad Monk, The
Wind, The
Holly and the Ivy, The
Atlantique
Now, Voyager
Wolf's Call, The
Nostalghia
Nightingale, The
Eighth Grade
Irishman, The
Betrayed
Lords of Chaos
Operation Petticoat
Dead Don't Die, The
On the Waterfront
Last Faust, The
Moonlighting
Art of Self-Defense, The
Ironweed
Booksmart
Prisoners
Beach Bum, The
Kill Ben Lyk
Into the Mirror
Support the Girls
Werewolf
Little Monsters
Spider-Man: Far from Home
Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans
   
 
Newest Articles
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
   
 
  Color of Money, The Newman's OwnBuy this film here.
Year: 1986
Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Paul Newman, Tom Cruise, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Helen Shaver, John Turturro, Bill Cobbs, Robert Agins, Alvin Anastasia, Elizabeth Bracco, Forest Whitaker
Genre: Drama
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: Ageing pool hustler Fast Eddie Felson (Paul Newman) recognises something of his former self in cocky but inexperienced young player Vincent Lauria (Tom Cruise). Seeking to relive his past days of glory, Eddie adopts him as his protégè. Together with Vincent’s smart, sexy and extremely ambitious girlfriend, Carmen (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio), the trio embark on a road trip, hustling pool halls on their way to Atlantic City. As the shrewd Eddie tries to teach the impulsive Vincent the ropes, an emotionally complex game of wills ensues.

The Color of Money saw Paul Newman revisit a career triumph to Oscar-winning effect as he returned to the role of Fast Eddie Felson twenty-five years on from Robert Rossen’s landmark The Hustler (1961). In an inspired choice, the producers assigned the project to Martin Scorsese who in turn brought aboard the great novelist Richard Price to assist source author Walter Tevis in a task the director himself likened to tailoring the perfect suit for Newman. At the time some critics chose to interpret this comment as proof positive that the hitherto uncompromising auteur had sold out to the concessions of commercial cinema with a simplistic star vehicle. Whilst The Color of Money is less personal than Scorsese’s more widely celebrated work, it is not as if he had made a Rambo sequel. In fact the film reflects many of his past obsessions and themes, notably its preoccupation with what Fast Eddie describes as “the study of human moves”, or in other words observing human behaviour. Surely the ideal subject for a cinematic voyeur like Scorsese.

In keeping with Scorsese’s studies of the mafia or elegant upper Manhattanites of the Nineteenth century, the film scrutinises a unique substrata of society rich with its own language, nuance and codes of behaviour. Price’s screenplay is razor sharp, laden with beautiful dialogue as it brings the philosophy of the pool hall into the wider world. Every character is on the make. At various points it appears that Eddie, Vincent or Carmen are in control, although each are ultimately unmasked as in thrall to the greater game. Where the film fails is that the plot is too enigmatic for its own good, content simply observing these keenly crafted characters while they circle each other, trading banter rather than offer any tangible sense of what is at stake. To its credit the film shuns sports film clichés, trading the usual triumphant finale for one reflecting a more measured, contemplative, middle aged outlook on life. Depending on one’s perspective, the coda has either a hollow ring about it or else encapsulates Eddie’s wry observation that sometimes one has to lose in order to win.

Either way what proved undoubtable was, even grey and old, Paul Newman remains the coolest cat that ever walked the earth. Casting Eddie the wise old wolf opposite Vincent who, to lift a line from Point Break (1991) proves “young, dumb and full of cum”, the film delivers a study in contrasting masculinity. A newly minted superstar in the wake of Top Gun (1986), Tom Cruise was something for casting coup for the filmmakers. Prior to reinventing his screen persona in the mid-Nineties, Cruise’s stock in trade was essaying the arrogant prick who makes good. Whereas in Top Gun or Cocktail (1988) such characters proved unbearable, this persona proved ideal for the role of the cocky, callow yet complex Vincent Lauria. Truth be told, Cruise is electric in onscreen and, in a mark of his dedication, performed his own pool breaks. It is a mark of his talent that he was able to keep pace with the uber-charismatic Newman who gave the kind of performance that flattens most young pretenders into the concrete. However, one would argue the film’s real casting coup was Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as the hardboiled Carmen, a character who arguably shares more in common with the seasoned and shrewd operator Fast Eddie than our ageing antihero has with his youthful mirror image Vincent. Mastrantonio was never lovelier onscreen and her character’s alternately strained and cordial relationship with Eddie is just as crucial to the film. More than two decades down the line, The Color of Money stands as an early and quite fine example of Scorsese the artisan rather than Scorsese the artist. Nevertheless his precision direction crackles with an energy that renders the simple act of people watching people into cinematic art.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 2204 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Martin Scorsese  (1941 - )

American writer and director who emerged as one of the brightest and most vital of the generation of filmmakers who came to prominence during the 1970s with his heartfelt, vivid and at times lurid works. After deciding against joining the priesthood, he turned to his other passion - movies - and started with short efforts at film school until Roger Corman hired him to direct Boxcar Bertha.

However, it was New York drama Mean Streets that really made Scorsese's name as a talent to watch, and his succeeding films, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (which won Ellen Burstyn an Oscar and is the only Scorsese movie to be made into a sitcom) and the cult classic Taxi Driver (starring Robert De Niro, forever associated with the director's work) only confirmed this.

Unfortunately, his tribute to the musical New York, New York was a flop, and he retreated into releasing concert movie The Last Waltz before bouncing back with boxing biopic Raging Bull, which many consider his greatest achievement. The rest of the eighties were not as stellar for him, but The King of Comedy and After Hours were cult hits, The Color of Money a well-received sequel to The Hustler and The Last Temptation of Christ kept his name in the headlines.

In the nineties, Scorsese began with the searing gangster saga Goodfellas, and continued with the over-the-top remake of Cape Fear before a change of pace with quietly emotional period piece The Age of Innocence. Casino saw a return to gangsters, and Kundun was a visually ravishing story of the Dalai Lama. Bringing Out the Dead returned to New York for a medical tale of redemption, and Gangs of New York was a muddled historical epic.

Still the Best Director Oscar eluded him, but the 2000s gave what many saw as his best chance at winning. Slick Howard Hughes biopic The Aviator didn't make it, but remake of Infernal Affairs The Departed finally won him the prize. Outlandish thriller Shutter Island then provided him with the biggest hit of his career after which he surprised everyone by making family film Hugo - another huge hit.

This was followed by an even bigger success with extreme broker takedown The Wolf of Wall Street, and a return to his religious origins with the austere, redemption through torture drama Silence. Despite being an advocate of the theatrical experience, he joined forces with Netflix for The Irishman, reuniting him with De Niro for one last gangster epic. He also directed Michael Jackson's Bad music video.

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: