Combustible Celluloid
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With: John Malkovich, Jim Davidson, Richard E. Grant, Luke Mably, Honor Blackman, Marisa Berenson, Ken Russell
Written by: Anthony Frewin
Directed by: Brian W. Cook
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 86
Date: 03/19/2013

Color Me Kubrick (2007)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

'Orange' Peel

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Just about any actor would have jumped at the chance to play a twisted, disturbed chameleon like the one in Color Me Kubrick, but John Malkovich takes it and runs with it, rounding bizarre, doubling back past insane and returning to center. As conman Alan Conway, he purrs and barks, coos and roars, tries on various outrageous accents, and just about anything else to get people to love him. Based on a real guy, Malkovich's Conway goes around telling everyone that he's Stanley Kubrick. The movie is set in the mid-1990s when the real Kubrick had been out of the spotlight for a decade, and since he was little photographed, hardly anyone knew what he actually looked like. Director Brian W. Cook (a former assistant director to Kubrick) begins with a quasi-tribute to the real Kubrick, cutting back and forth between a couple of Clockwork Orange-like thugs to an upper-crust couple sitting in their elegant Barry Lyndon-like home, which pays off in an amusing joke. Conway's modus operandi consists of hanging out with young musicians, actors, designers, models, etc. and convincing them that he will give them a job on his latest production. Cook and screenwriter Anthony Frewin refreshingly decide to focus on a series of incidents rather than any kind of connecting thread; sometimes Conway gets made, and other times he strings out a con for days and days, such as one involving lounge singer Lee Pratt (Jim Davidson). But after its promising, hilarious setup, Cook's initial Kubrick-like smoothness quickly gives way to a ramshackle presentation with few follow-up ideas or jokes. We have no idea who Conway is, and we wind up disappointed that he's not the real Kubrick.

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