Color Me Kubrick - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Color Me Kubrick Reviews

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Super Reviewer
February 9, 2010
A True...ish Story.

It's pretty terrible. Kubric been one of the most crazy weird directors of all-time could possibly be insulted rocking on his grave because of this crap of a so called movie. If your fan of John Malkovich see it but just as fan because the plot is just ridiculous.

In London in the 1990s, a balding alcoholic with an unsteady American accent introduces himself in pubs and other social settings as Stanley Kubrick. Drinks and meals are suddenly on the house or paid for by an admiring person, usually a man, whose costumes, band, acting abilities or what have you, Stanley finds fascinating. He's actually Alan Conway (1934-1998): we watch him parlay a self-confident manner and a small amount of movie knowledge into a persona whom others immediately hang their dreams on. In exchange, Stanley asks only that they pay the bill. Will he be exposed? Do prosecution and prison await? Or has the National Health something else in mind?
Super Reviewer
May 4, 2011
I expected to love this movie. One of my favorite actors, John Malkovich playing a Stanley Kubrick imposter. How can it go wrong? Well, it did. Boring unfunny garbage. Basically the same thing would happen over and over. He would meet a new person, say he was Kubrick and then they would find out he was a conman after being duped for a few days. The only good thing about this movie was the showcase of all Kubricks classic music scores.
Super Reviewer
August 28, 2010
Con-man stories always hold some interest for me, even if they fail to truly go into detail about the protagonist or their victims. Color Me Kubrick is more of an interesting idea than a complete story. Alan Conway pretended to be Stanley Kubrick, despite knowing little about his work, or looking anything like him. He deceived people in order to receive free meals/gifts and the popularity. The film shows a number of these cons, which aren't plotted out, he just says he is Stanley Kubrick and people believe him. The film does a good job at showing the naivety of those tricked. Only one man even attempts to catch Conway out. The film may hold some fascination for UK viewers, just to see Jim Davidson in a rather well played role. It does manage to be funny, but often puts the emotional focus where it shouldn't be.
Super Reviewer
½ November 12, 2006
Color Me Kubrick was... I don't know. It's not great, it's not even really good, but it is entertaining at times. John Malkovich was amusing as hell, every accent he busted out more outlandish than the one before. Kind of like his wardrobe--a gay Tyler Durden. Director Brian Cook's Kubrick references/ripoffs were kind of fun and if you're a Kubrick fan you might get a slight kick out of this movie but its nothing to go out of your way for. But I was in love with Dr. Stukeley who was worth an extra half star...
Super Reviewer
December 25, 2006
Interesting idea that turned into a one-trick pony very early on.
Super Reviewer
½ June 14, 2011
What a remarkably grating film. Comes off like a vanity project for Malkovich, eager to indulge a wide variety of swishy accents (done badly on purpose for character accuracy?). The story is jokingly billed as being "true-ish," which makes me wonder just how many people were fooled by this con man and whether he really adopted personalities that were so wildly divergent from the demeanor one would expect from a man of Kubrick's obvious intellect. The director of "2001: A Space Odyssey" as a vapid, boozed-up queen? Seriously?

Trainspotters will enjoy the soundtrack (full of music repurposed from Kubrick films) and director Ken Russell's totally unexpected cameo as a far-gone asylum patient. Honor Blackman, Richard E. Grant, Robert Powell ("Mahler," "Tommy") and "Barry Lyndon"'s Marisa Berenson also turn up in wee roles.
Super Reviewer
½ November 17, 2007
[font=Century Gothic]The witty and ironic film, "Color Me Kubrick," features a tour de force performance from John Malkovich as the legendary film director Stanley Kubrick.(Even the in jokes are funny.) No, wait, that's not true. He's actually playing Alan Conway, a small time con man, who passed himself off as Kubrick in London to mooch food, drink, and cigarettes while occasionally picking up a young man. Conway was not that ambitious but it was the people he encountered who did think big, which allowed him to take advantage of them.(I find it hard to believe that people would not be more skeptical. For example, I would be less than credulous if somebody introduced himself as Terrence Malick on the street.) [/font]

[font=Century Gothic]One question: did Conway direct "Eyes Wild Shut?" I'm just asking because it would explain a heck of a lot...[/font]
Ryan M
Super Reviewer
½ June 14, 2010

"Color me Kubrick" is a film which attracts viewers with a simple yet hopeful premise. But like most films that do so, "Color Me Kubrick" fails to fascinate on any given level. The acting is nothing special, and there's simply not enough Kubrick to make this film nearly as good as a film about Stanley Kubrick should be. That man was a legend to cinema, rendering the art of film in ways that were thus thought to be impossible. "Color Me Kubrick" nearly insults the great man, and that was clearly not the film's intention. The film doesn't feel like anything it wants to be. If it wants to be funny, then it obviously failed in nearly every way. If it wanted to be charming, then note that it fails at that too. And if it wanted to be a good film, then it fails at that miserably as well. Simply put, "Color Me Kubrick" lacks a sense of general fascination. It's not genuinely well directed, nor is it well crafted to say the least. Any real fan of Stanley Kubrick will find this failed "homage" bleak, mostly boring, and nearly tasteless. I'm simply being honest, despite the fact that fans of the theater should most likely find "Color Me Kubrick" to be anything but inspiring.

I was compelled to watch "Color Me Kubrick" mainly because of the film's intriguing premise. The plot essentially revolves around Alan Conway, a formally unsuccessful man who (quite successfully) attempts to pose as director Stanley Kubrick. At first, most people believe that he is indeed this magnificent man, although he doesn't have everyone fooled. But he enjoys it while it lasts. And while it lasts, the plot is laden with nothing but Alan attending parties, staying in fancy hotels, and drinking like hell. Yes, Alan is also a heavy alcoholic, although this isn't made not of until near the end. But we see it coming. As far as true...ish stories go, this is one of the least fascinating ever to be adapted into film. I'm sure the somewhat "real" source material was slightly more interesting, but the film however is quite a bore. The film is genuinely under-plotted to the point where it comes off as bland, bleak, and nearly emotionless. The characters aren't exactly what I'd call likable, even if they're all supposed to be intriguing. Then the structure of the plot is all wrong, relying simply on obvious references to the various works of Stanley Kubrick, and even that isn't the slightest bit entertaining for the majority of the time. These "encounters" are equal to the sheer tasteless quality of most "spoof" or "homage" films. Sadly, nothing adds up to anything genuinely good.

John Malkovich is essentially the only recurring actor throughout the film. Sadly, his performance isn't nearly as intriguing enough to make you wish for him to stay around as long as he does. His performance never comes off as annoying, but it's not really good, now is it? I'd think such a portrayal would be landmark, but it's hard to see any intended goodness in Malkovich's role when every possible flaw within the film constantly obscures your very vision. But with that being said, Malkovich's performance doesn't rank among his absolute worst's by any means. The film also attempts at putting genuinely popular actors and actresses at the "cameo" status, although it almost never works out. At least the intended audience will be smart enough (and educated enough) to spot that type of thing.

I was hoping that "Color Me Kubrick" would at least deliver an experience that was visually quirky. Boy, was I ever so wrong! The visual style is yet another genuine flaw in "Color Me Kubrick". There's absolutely no moments of dazzling imagery, and the way the film is shot simply doesn't appeal to me, partially because there's nothing unique about the cinematography or the texturing of the colors. And after I'm disappointed by the lack of visual flare, I get the interpretation that the film is intended to be humorous. The premise alone is interesting, yet not funny in most ways. Then the actual humor in the film is dry, tasteless, and just plain unfunny. I didn't laugh once, and instead I felt slightly depressed afterwords. The film is essentially supposed to make you laugh if you can catch the references to Stanley Kubrick's films, but these moments are too obvious to be funny. The intended slapstick is even worse, considering it's not even appealing to the general American audience. And now, I feel it would be necessary to mention the music. Basically, "Color Me Kubrick" feeds off of the various scores from some of Stanley Kubrick's most notable films. And you know when a film has to do so; it's almost never a good thing. While the music fit in fine to each respective Kubrick film, the moments in which they are placed in for "Color Me Kubrick" simply feel random, out of place, and utterly awkward. These songs suddenly don't give me Goosebumps of epicness anymore. At least not in this film. Instead, I stared and listened out of pure disgust. Sadly, this homage simply feels as if it is indeed a film about Stanley Kubrick....although without the Kubrick.

I simply did not care for "Color Me Kubrick". I found it to be a weakly directed and cliche driven film. While there are not many films like it, there may as well be a reason behind just that. Many would not attempt to do such a thing to Stanley Kubrick's character of even his impersonator, intending not to offend fans of the great director. So as you can clearly see, it was attempted, and sadly it failed quite miserably. Simply, it's a film that has its moments, but otherwise it is an uncommonly bleak homage. I just can't tell what the film wants to do, although the simplicity of the film also damages the film a great deal. Sadly it's just not important for one to see this film. It's just not good enough. In fact, it's not even good to begin with. As Dr. Parnassus would say, "Another great idea lost to Mr. Nick".
Super Reviewer
December 12, 2007
Malkovich passes himself off as the reclusive director time and time again. It gets old.
Super Reviewer
August 28, 2007
An odd film about an odd man. A funny...ish movie.
February 22, 2014
This movie has a few funny moments, and Malkovich tries all that he can to add depth to his character. Unfortunately, the bad writing and messy direction make this movie no more than a watchable mediocrity.
April 14, 2012
I thought it was fun. It had fun with the silly premise and did a good job of really making you feel sorry for him at a certain point. It's not a great movie by any means, but enjoyable.
½ December 17, 2011
The idea is great. The performance by Malkovich makes it work. But it plays the one note for 87 minutes and that doesn't work for me.
½ August 22, 2011
Malkovich gives a brilliant performance as always, and the touches of Kubrick added to the film give it an air of brilliance. However there's not much beneath the surface causing the film to lack any sort of depth making it less gratifying than it could have and should have been.
June 2, 2011
Color Me Kubrick has less of a plot than a series of vignettes featuring Malkovich conning strangers into thinking he's Stanley Kubrick. These vignettes always end with Malkovich leaving these strangers in a state of confusion and anger, with very little variation. In fact, one would assume that a bad film such as this would at least have some decent acting by its lead, but even Malkovich's admirable effort is wasted due to the terrible script that has absolutley no narrative arc whatsoever. Avoid at all costs.
½ September 25, 2006
Color Me Kubrick advertises itself as a comedy, but there are very few laughs to be found here. It's a wonderful premise and John Malkovich is fantastic in it, but the overall movie falls very flat. Oddly, the central plotline of trying to bring Conway down isn't enough to carry the movie and it ends up relying on the vignettes, which would be more interesting if it wasn't largely the same story over and over with not enough variation. Disappointing.
August 21, 2010
Color Me Kubrick sounded like a great movie, but left me quite disappointed. Malkovich's acting was actually better than most of his roles, but the character was very plain. All we learn about him is he hates himself, he wishes he was someone important, he likes vodka, and he is gay. The first half of the movie is a string of situations in which Malkovich tells people he's Stanley Kubrick and get's free drinks, hotels, and cab rides. The second half is one of these situations extended, with some needless gay porn references thrown in for "character depth" as far as I can tell. Unfortunately a great premise was wasted on bad characters, plot, and no real relevance to the title character Stanley Kubrick other than Malkovich's character using his name non stop.
July 17, 2010
This pains me on more a personal level than most since Mr. Stanley Kubrick has been and always will be the single greatest filmmaker who has ever lived. "Color Me Kubrick" is an excuse to exploit the man as some sort of homo-erotic bohemian, and the fact his so-called "fans" weren't able to recognize his physical appearance the least bit killed me inside somewhat. This isn't a throwback to the late writer-director, nor momentary admiration of the man's lifetime work. Kids, skip this and rent "The Shining" or something.
½ June 16, 2010
Malkovich is the only reason this movie wasn't horrible. The entire movie was one big loop of the same material.
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