The Magnum Opus of Nobody Puts Baby In A Horner: Reactions to Powder Blue

Well, dear readers.  It is Saturday night, and the work week is done.   Nothing remains other than a complete and utter surrender…to excess.  The wine is chilled, the movies are bad, and the desserts are filled with empty calories.  So without further ado, let me introduce you to…

Ladies of Leisure

Allow me to introduce your hostesses this evening.  I am Shmathana, Comtesse de Homósexualitat and joining me is her exalted majesty, Benjilina, Duchess of Gaylandia.  And this evening, it is our delight and privilege to bring you at last, and as so long promised, the official Nobody Puts Baby In A Horner review of…Powder Blue.   You’ve longed for it.  You’ve dreamt of it.  And now, it is within your reach.  Yes dear readers…

And without further ceremony, let’s pop the bottles, and dive right in! (Please Note, this post is NSFBM…Not Safe For Benji’s Mom)

The Rules of the Game are simple.  We drink whenever it is awful.  Fortunately, we are amply supplied with libations…

9:53–The Movie begins.  Already the Duchess reaches for the gin and vermouth (and regales us with a Hedwig and the Angry Inch medley as he does so).

B: Aaaand, already there’s Ray Liotta ass.  Staring profoundly at the sea has never been so awful.

S:  And now here is Forest Whitaker driving a cab.  What was the point of Ray Liotta’s ass?  Was there one?  I don’t understannnnnnnd…

B:  It’s Powder Blue.  Like the resistance is to the Borg, so are questions of logic to Powder Blue.

S:  Logic may be futile, but that doesn’t mean I won’t try.

B: Jesus Forest Whitaker, make better choices.

S: Speaking of needing to make better choices…enter Jessica Biel (is rendered speechless)

B:  Jessica Biel plays my favorite cokehead stripper since Elizabeth Berkley in Showgirls.  Shmathana may have been reduced to speechlessness and furious drinking, but I love how ridiculous she is.  Or, for that matter, her Elvis impersonating Indian hotel owner.  Yikes!  And now the creepy Mortician’s just hit her dog with his hearse!  Oh, the dramaz!  The veritable DRAMAZ of it all!

S: Take that dog to the vet!  Don’t just sit there wrapping his legs half-assedly as you mutter over and over again, “You’re not gonna die, Lucky! Welcome to your new home, Lucky!”

B: Psh!  Mortician’s a just like doctor’s.

S:  Oooh, and here’s Ray Liotta and Kris Kristofferson randomly on a bus.  They’re not big on narrative flow, huh?  OOH! OOH! And now there are tranny hookers!! Wow.  Wow.  She had me at, “Twenty dollars, I jerk you off.  One hundred dollars you can fuck me in the ass.  Twenty more, you can cum on my face.  I don’t care about my mascara running but don’t get it in my hair!”

B: I love having heart to hearts with Tranny Prostitutes!

S:  I’m sorry, I know Forest Whitaker begging a tranny to kill him as a mercy should be profoundly heartwrenching, but all I can do is just stare in bewilderment that an Oscar-winning actor is stooping so low…As Nancy Kerrigan once said, “WHHHHHYYYYY?!” (What? Too soon?)

B:  Plus, his plan would totally fail.  CSI would totally find her bad weave! It won’t look like a suicide if they find her bad weave!

S:  No, Jessica Biel,  it won’t be all right.

B: I love how she needs to do a line of blow just to put up flyers for her lost dog, in some GD outfit I don’t understand and…OH NUTS! It’s the Wild Velvet scene?

S: The what?? Oh..oh my GOD!

B:  Patrick Swayze is describing the Wild Velvet as “excruciating erotic.”  Hmmm, anything that makes my penis want to go from an outie to an innie is anything but.  Excrutiating, yes.  Erotic, no.

(Nathan is drinking furiously again; stripper begins her act on screen)

B: I am so uncomfortable right now.

S:  There goes any last lingering shred of heterosexuality.

B:  I think even Ray Liotta is enjoying it less than I am…and that says something.

(Ray Liotta Flashback, being told he has gastric cancer)

B: Gastric cancer is not cured by a will to live! Wtf!

(Mortician was in a bank, denied a loan, and now desperate for money is agreeing to sell a casket to Forest Whitaker, who has certain, shall we say, unforeseen custom requirements…)

S: I don’t what to say about this…

B:  That this movie is terrible…but oh so delicious.  And do people really test drive coffins?  I am pretty sure that when I am dead, I will not care what I am in…you can put me in a shoebox, and I’ll decompose the same way!

S: A shoe box? Oh, Benjilina, we’re just going to toss you to the peasants and let them toss your decapitated body in the gutter.  Also, I don’t think I can take another jump cut.  Give me some fucking narrative here!!

B:  Oh, whatever its editing is artsy! This is what art looks like! No linear progression of images! No structure! It’s not the film’s fault you don’t understand!  Why must you question the greatness!

S: Oh, whatever, have another cocktail you permissive liberal intellectual!

B: I think I shall!

(Mortician rejects Whitaker’s offer to pay $50,000 if Mortician will kill him; Whitaker screams after him “It’s easy!”)

B: Yes, Forest Whitaker.  It’s easy. Murder is easy.

S:  It’s eassssy, once you know how it’s done.  You can’t stop now, it’s already begun…

B: Stop singing The Caesars! Lisa Kudrow is on and discussing her diet! It’s true, hanging clothes of smaller size from a dining room table helps you lose weight!  That and meth addiction…but really, you lose more teeth than pounds…oooh and now he’s driving her home! shit is about to get awkward!

S: (Looking askance) Sometimes you scare me.  Okay, and their little tête-à-tête is just painful and…Oh my God, Lisa Kudrow just threw herself at Forest Whitaker and justifies it by saying “I haven’t kissed a man in a long time?” What the hell?!

B:  “I haven’t kissed a man in a long time” is code for “My cooter is hungry.”

S:  Oh…OH GOD! We’re back at the Wild Velvet…where’s my glass…

(Jessica Biel argues with her boss)

B:  I love how this scene relies on the Showgirls principle:  “I’m not a whore, I’m a dancer!”

S: Well, as Patrick Swayze says, she “better learn, or get a job at Wally’s Whack Shack.”  The dialog of this scene is just scintillating.

B: I can’t believe that scene was done in one take…and it’s the worst take ever.

S: Remarkable.  She’s following the Jessica Alba school acting!  Pioneered by Miss Alba in Fantastic Four, in which you express the dramatic nature of the scene by overemphasizing the last syllable of every word!

B: Fuck that, at this point, she’s surpassing Jessica Alba.

S: My God, she is awful…

B:  You shut your mouth!  Jessica Biel is NOT a bad actress…she’s just in Powder Blue.  She just needs a director who knows what the fuck he’s doing…and Timothy Linh Bui certainly doesn’t!

S: Oh my GOD! And now she’s giving the father she never knew a lapdance! Well done Powder Blue! Well done, and now excuse me as I go claw my eyes out.

(Cut to Jessica Biel talking tearfully to her son…who is in a coma)

B:  This movie is ridiculous! Ooh and now here’s Lucky, the dog that won’t die because she’s Lucky! And Mortician has found one of Jessica Biel’s coked up posters!  When you make even less sense than a coke head, you’re pretty much the most ridiculous character ever.  This movie itself is just ri-god-damn-diculous.  No words…just…no words.

(Benjilina takes a drink)

B: And now my glass is empty!  Bitch get me a drink, or I will shank your faggoty ass!

(Shmathana pours the wine in fear…meanwhile, JUMP CUT to Jessica Biel and Ray Liotta having a lunch after a crazy random happenstance…at least what passes for one in such a painfully scripted drama)

S:  Did Ray Liotta seriously tell her to “Don’t Stop Believing”?  Is Journey or the cast of Glee about to jump out and provide the soundtrack for this abomination?

B:  Shhhhh!  Mortician is going into speed dating!

(Mortician passes out upon meeting pretty desperate blonde girl!)

B: HAHAHAHAHHAHA!  Ooh and here’s Lisa Kudrow!


B:  Oooh Lisa Kudrow as going after Whitaker again, and her lip gloss is popping! Oh…sad…it’s for her ex-husband…in a pick-up…Wtf?

S:  Aaaaanndd jump to Forest Whitaker taking a leak behind a dumpster and watching a happy couple lock lips through a window.  You stay classy, Powder Blue.

(And in the meantime, his car was stolen by…seemingly the tranny prostitute)

S: This makes a kind of sense that’s…doesn’t….ooh! And now a painfully white guy with cornrows and a fake Jamaican accent!  Benjilina, if you love me, you’ll shoot me!

B:  Never.  I’m not watching this shit alone, and misery loves company.  And oh look, my glass is empty…again.  Now hurry…Ray Liotta is about to tell Jessica Biel he is her father!

S:  There’s not enough wine in France, Italy, Argentina, Chile and South Africa combined to make this movie palatable…(pours the wine anyway).  And oh look, she’s going to visit her son in hooker heels…OH! ANd more Jessica Alba-style acting as she shrieks at the night nurse!

B:  Yes…she is ACTING.  And aw…she brought him a toy.  That’s the difference between Jessica Biel’s character and me…she gets her comatose kid some kind of action figure…I would say “You don’t get shit until you wake up!”  And ooh, here comes the doctor.  This scene is all sorts of awesome.

S:  You know how Jessica Biel asks the doctor if he believes in miracles?  I have to say, she’s destroyed my belief in them.  Miracles can’t exist in a world that has Powder Blue

(Jessica Biel disrobes)



(Jump Cut to Back to Ray Liotta)

S: (Screaming in Rage)  NO MORE JUMP CUTS DAMN IT!  Hell, where’s my glass!

B:  More wine please!

S: Again?! We’re already through the pinot and the sauvignon blanc!

B: Then break out the rosé, you strumpet!

S: Ugh, fine your royal queenliness…

(The scene goes on with minimal interruptions by the Lady of Leisure, as they are too occupied over their wine to complain, but it was characteristically awful…before jumping to Mortician screaming at Lucky…and Jessica Biel coming to claim the dog)

S: For those of you watching at home, they are creating a moment of romantic subtext and Jessica Biel has excused herself to use the bathroom, which is all too graphically shown, and do a line of coke.

B: I love how we haven’t bothered to find out the actor’s name, and still just call him the Mortician.

S: Eh.  Who has that kind of…WHAT THE FUCK?!


S: I am the mortician! (Takes a deep drink)

B:  This movie is officially Magnolia  on Bad Idea Acid.

(Jessica Biel suggests that she and Mortician count to three and hug each other)

B: I want to see them have an awkward fuck scene, right now.

S: I just want it to be over.  Are we near the end yet?

B: No, there is much left to delight and to traumatize.

(Jump Cut, Shmathana screams)

(And screams again)

S: Oh look, he finds Jessica Biel has gone the next morning and he frantically searches for her in the…dumpster?

B: of course, that’s the first place you look after your first date.

S: Yeah, if you’re a serial killer.

(Jump to Jessica Biel Stripping)

B: Is this…Cat Power in the background….?

S: Oh God, I think it is….it’s “Werewolf.”  Oy…I would say “Why?” but…I just don’t have the strength.

B: Who strips to Cat Power?

S: Is that hot wax she’s pouring on herself?

B: I’m pretty sure that pouring hot wax on oneself while dancing “sexily” is pretty much the new licking the dancing pole…

showgirls nomi malone

(Enter Mortician to speak wit her…and promptly exeunt as he is thrown out, only for Jessia Biel to find him at her doorstep in the next scene)

S: Linear narrative progression at last! Even if it is a little creepy…

B: I need my drink freshened…

S: No! Wait…they are confessing all their flaws to one another! They are bonding! Bonding!!

B:  Shhhh! This is a pivotal moment! She’s about to ask Mortician to swear to something of utmost importance

(Jessica Biel says, “Promise me that tomorrow, everything is going to be okay!”)

S: No, Jessica Biel.  It most certainly won’t be okay.  For tomorrow I will wake, haunted forever by the knowledge that I sat through this piece of garbage.

B:  I notice my glass is STILL empty…stop talking and start pouring!

S: I’m going to start charging per glass…

B: I will pay in wit! WIT!!

(Jump cut to Forest Whitaker in…an underground rave…?)

S:  I give up.  (Reaches for the bottle…as Forest Whitaker once again hands the gun to the tranny prostitute, whom he has found in the club). Wow, this gives new meaning to “Is that a pistol in your pocket or are you happy to see me!”

B: More like, “Is that a bad idea in your pocket.”

(Scene progresses, Shmathana’s attention fades in and out, as the tranny tells his/her life story and tells Forest Whitaker that if he wants love in his life, he must open his heart)

S: And once again, a Tranny shows us the way.  And…wtf did she just kill herself?!

B: I mean…neat….Tranny suicide.  Apparently also part of Powder Blue.

(Jump Cut to Mortician and Jessica Biel)

S: Eeeww.  Here comes the awkward sex scene…

B: He’s so awkward, yet his body is apparently awesome…

S: Um…it’s called the crazy meth addict look.  And meanwhile her son is flat-lining.  Huh.  I guess incredible sex does kill. I guess I owe ABC Family an apology.

B: If anyone is even remotely confused…this film is the worst.

S: Okay, so to recap….Jessica Biel bones the Mortician…her son dies on the operating table as Ray Liotta tries to desperately to find her, and collapses in an alleyway…and then it jumps to Forest Whitaker comforting some woman in a cemetary because Oh Wait Now He’s A Catholic Priest.  Excuse me, I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.

B: No! See! It was a dream! He was a priest all along! And that was just a dream where he was comforting his dead wife! Welcome to the artistry!

S: Ooooh.  And now, finally awake and filled with understanding, he walks into the world…into snow!

B: Get it now?! It’s Powder Blue! Snow! In Los Angeles! Like that could ever happen!

S: It’s a miracle!! It’s also a miracle we’ve made it this far…

(Inanity ensues in the guise of character revelations set to the music of….oh, even Shmathan doesn’t know.  Some Sia knock off??)

S: Um…why is Ray Liotta’s dying vision of playing with a boy on a beach?  Shouldn’t it be of Jessica Biel as a child?


S: Oh and he paid all her son’s hospital bills and left her the paper origami crane he folder for her when the yfirst had lunch ago one and a half painful hours ago! It’s painfully symbolic!!

(Various cuts to Lisa Kudrow AGAIN asking out Forest Whitaker and Mortician trying to track down Jessica Biel…before settling into a new career as Puppeteer)

S: You know, I am amazed at how legibly I am typing…

B: Bubbsie, that just means you haven’t drunk enough!!

(A bus drives past Mortician/Puppeteer, depositing Jessica Biel in a red dress!)

S: What the fuck, really?!

B: Wait for it…wait for it…

Jessica Biel:  “I have two tickets to Paris”

*Fade Out*


6 Responses

  1. “Jesus Forest Whitaker, make better choices.”

    I feel like I say this once a week.

    This was amazing and hilarious. The review not the movie. I remember starting to watch this online, but think I blacked out. Stupid brain, always trying to protect me from hurting myself.


    • I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the post!

      I definitely wonder how Forest Whitaker can make such consistently terrible career choices when he’s clearly a talented actor. I think someone needs to introduce the word “no” into his vocabulary.

      And yes, watching Powder Blue is a rather painful experience. Fortunately I’m something of a cinematic masochist.


  2. I don’t even know what to do with this. This is all kinds of awesome. Can you start creating more commentaries like this (and let me join in when I’m in town!), much like the McSweeney’s book of fake commentary, “Speak, Commentary”? PLEASE????

    Oh, I just finished my paper on “Gravity’s Rainbow,” in case you were wondering where my blog presence has been!


  3. There are just no words for this. Benji, you have managed to distill the essence of you and Shmathan into one ridiculously long, drunken, insane blog post. Well done.


  4. […] of Camp Pleasures We’ve Been Waiting For? Now don’t get me wrong, Powder Blue is a howlingly bad movie experience.  It isn’t so much a movie as a string of individual cinematic train wrecks that have been […]


  5. […] plans to make Alexis Bledel’s quarter-life-crisis romcom Post Grad the next installment in Nobody Puts Baby in a Horner’s Ladies of Leisure series, it seems only fitting that I now stumble upon another Alexis Bledel quarter-life-crisis […]


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