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December 23, 2012

Movie Review: Color of Night / Playing God - Double Feature

How can you go wrong with two solid thrillers for the bargain basement price of $10.00? You can't, the folks over at Mill Creek have recently been releasing a lot of double features on Blu-ray for the first time. Check out Jeff's review for the previous Mill Creek double bill of “Deep Rising” and “The Puppet Masters.

Now onto what's on the disk, we have the Bruce Willis/Jane Marsh big budget trash classic “Color of Night”. Very controversial when first released for Mr. Yippie-Ki-Yay showing his package. Yep, Willis bares it all for the ladies, the men get a very attractive and a very naked Jane March to gawk at.

Willis played a troubled (is there any other kind?) Psychologist Dr. Bill Capa. He eventually falls for mystery women Rose. Played by Jane March who just oozes sexuality. She's perfect casting for the femme fatal. Part Basic Instinct and part Neo-Noir with plenty of sex and thrills to keep you entertained.

The film bombed when it came out and pretty much killed Richard Rushes career. Shame considering he is the auteur who brought out the classic “The Stuntman”. But the film found it's home on VHS and did very well, like wise for the DVD. Now it gets the Blu-ray treatment. It should also be noted that this is the unrated directors cut which features fifteen minutes of additional footage. Basically more sex and violence and that's always a great thing.

Also, the film is worth checking out just for the supporting cast alone. Ruben Blades, Scott Bakula and even horror icon Brad Dourif shows up giving a very creepy performance. Last but not least the one and only Lance Henriksen shows up to class things up. This is a solid erotic thriller which delivers what it promises. This isn't Die Hard with soft core sex. This is a bit Body Heat and a lot Basic Instinct with Willis during the prime of his career. Highly recommended, a sleaze classic in my mind.

The second film in this Blu double feature couldn't be any more different. “Playing God” stars David Duchovny as Dr. Eugene Sands, a surgeon who is roped into working for the mob by none other then the always outstanding Timothy Hutton. This isn't your straight laced Hutton performance, he's a flamboyant chain-smoking criminal, who's got a hair trigger temper and is prone to sudden out-bursts of extreme violence.

This film was a blast from start to finish. I LOVE this movie, everything about it. This is a prime example of solid 90's American crime cinema. Worth noting is a performance from a young Angelina Jolie. Her talent here shines despite playing an underwritten character. She's your typical jail-bait gangster's girl but her talent shines through. Peter Stormare also shows up to give his usual fun to watch smarmy schtick.

Duchovny is good... but he's still in Fox Mulder mode. Being a huge X-files fan I'm used to his monotone performance that he seems to gives in everything. Doesn't really matter if bullets are flying over his head or if UFO's are trying to abduct his partner. He still delivers all his lines like he's got a nice Xanax buzz going on and I dig that. But this really is Timothy Hutton's show, despite being a secondary character he steals every scene. Check this badboy out!

Both films receive very nice full on 1080P transfers from Mill Creek. Both films are presented in their 1.85:1 aspect ratios. Each film is also anamorphically enhanced (A must these days). Both get the job done, not demo material but a side by side comparison with the previous DVD releases show much more depth and richer colors which is to be expected from the Blu-ray format. As far as extras each film gets their theatrical trailers, slim pickins but two cool films for one cheap price can't be beat that. Both films are certainly worth your time and this reviewer had a blast with this Blu-ray. CHECK IT!

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