Consider the range and the capture of characters in one movie, Colors delivers multiple plot lines from a number of sides. I remember when this movie first came out I was in Jr. high school. Colors was a controversial movie talked about by teachers, principles and parents because, believe it or not, it had a tendency for glorification and encouraging gang membership. To my surprise, the movie has little glorification in it and was a grim summary of Los Angeles gang life and even that of law enforcement. The movie does not spoon feed its audience, save for a few minor comments that were <more>
cheesy at their worst and cleverly woven in at their best. In some cases the portrayal of gang life in LA might have been TOO broad and sophisticated for many viewers. The title COLORS and its implication was meant to explain the rival Crip and Blood gangs but in fact that was merely a pretext. Soon into the movie the viewer is taken into various other neighborhoods as well as other gangs, including WHITE FENCE and 21st Street. For those that denounce this movie as being outdated, cheesy or otherwise, it's hard for me to understand what you are paying attention to. If you remember the 80's in the slightest, it was a time of decadent and flamboyant neon glow ala Prince, Michael Jackson and various other nonsense. The irony is that COLORS portrays a world that was virtually isolated and separate from the 80's because that is what it was MEANT to point out. This was gang life at its peak, before any of the gangster rap hit white suburbia and became a marketable fad. This was BEFORE white folks thought it was cool. It was isolated from the look and feel of the rest of the 80's because this world was isolated from the general population.For this reason I am surprised that anyone would call the movie outdated in any way. "Timeless" is the word I use to describe it.Despite all this, Hopper manages to incorporate the storyline between Duval and Penn. Not only is this a brilliant interaction between two great actors, it also has a more marketable value to a white audience that would otherwise have been turned off by the subject matter and considered it, unfairly, as a "blacksploitation" film. Let's face it, Hollywood is big business. The ability to market this movie with ANY semblance of a good plot line but making it even remotely realistic is an amazing achievement. Hopper goes beyond doing both. I would not be surprised to see this movie in the classics section, someday.
Colors is a classic hood movie. This is the one that still stands the test of time. But what makes Colors so good is that it fouces on the cops and not teenagers as the main characters. Sean Peen is great in the lead as is Robert Duvall as his partner. If you haven't seen it check it out.
perhaps it isn't so "cliched" after all (by SirChaul)
Perhaps that what seems like a very "cliched" film to some of you, wasn't all that "cliched" in........ NINETEEN EIGHTY EIGHT! I mean, come on now, the movie was done in 1988, that cliche shlt would fly if the movie had not been done in days of yore, it's ancient, it wasn't cliched then, leave it alone. They weren't thinking, "oh, what if all movies subsequent to this one end up being so cliched that this movie ends up being cliched in sixteen years? What then?". Give it a rest, the movie's good, very good.This movie is, in a word, wicked. I <more>
really hate Sean Penn in this movie, that's how you know the actor did his job in the movie. Even if it's old, it still has good replay value. Watch it.
Interesting depiction of gangs in LA... good performances (by PersianPlaya408)
Colors First-Viewing, TV Dennis Hopper - Sean Penn, Robert Duvall, Don Cheadle, Maria Conchita Alonso, Glen Plummer, Grand L. Bush, Damon Wayans, Leon RobinsonRobert Duvall and Sean Penn star as two cops trying to fight gang violence in Los Angelos. Duvall is an old cop, who is going to retire, and Penn plays a rookie who is keen to make his presence felt on the force. Both give good performances, although Penn was clearly the highlight of the film, with an interesting character and very good performance. Robert Duvall was also good though, with a complex performance. Don Cheadle was <more>
virtually absent, was a bit of a villain, portraying a Crip gangbanger, but had very little lines, unfortunately. Maria Conchita Alonso played a woman in the ghetto that Officer McGavin Penn was interested in, and gave a very average performance. Other gangbangers played by Glen Plummer, Grand L. Bush, Damon Wayans and Leon Robinson, were all good in their small roles. Overall a good film depicting gang violence in LA, also had some good action sequences, and good acting. 8/10
the Old, the new, and the unbreakable (by Quinoa1984)
Dennis Hopper's film Colors may seem like hundreds of miles removed from his first feature as director Easy Rider, but it's made twenty years later and it shows effectively at least two things on his part: first, that he can express himself in material that would appear to be a "for-hire" work, specifically with having an older, calmer version of himself in Duvall the kind that tries to think things through and can be ferocious but has experience from a life of work and Penn the young hot-head who you know is good but is troubled in other ways , and secondly that he can <more>
go back to some of his earliest acting roots, working in movies featuring rebels and gangs not least of which Rebel Without a Cause and actually give them the fire and energy and as-much-as-possible realism so desperately needed. Colors is a mature work from a filmmaker who knows what he's doing, and will let the actors and the mood of the streets and the temperament of the current events which were practically untenable in the late 80s and early 90s in gang-banger LA.Matter of fact, this should have been Hopper's professional calling-card, showing that he can make a film that isn't an art-film or too experimental Last Movie or under the radar Out of the Blue . Indeed you'd have to remind most people that Hopper even directed it since, frankly, he lets his stars steal the show, and rightfully so. There's not a solid plot to speak of, more-so a character study of two cops, one older one younger, who are partnered up and have to tackle the ghettos and slums, loaded with "Blue" Crips and "Red" Bloods , and also the various Hispanic gangs that are not as notorious but still as powerful and dangerous.It's a series of pieces that soon take shape into a story, but it's not even about that. It's just about following these gangs and being true to their nature: of their rites of passage beating up the new kids and setting them off to prove themselves , their bond and codes, their can-do attitude even when they're behind bars or in hand-cuffs, and the collective wisdom that you can either talk to a cop or just run... or, another alternative, shoot. It's also about a value system and class differences; the former relating, of course, to Hodges Duvall and Penn, who don't see eye to eye on how to apprehend suspects or treat them. Penn's younger guy isn't a crooked cop or corrupted, but he's a hot-head, a junkie for adrenaline, while Duvall's been around the block way too many times and even admits that he had a higher post before and is still on the streets for reasons not totally made clear to put up with being "like a gangster" as he says.And the class part relates to the difference between McGavin Penn and his supposed girlfriend, who comes from the Latino parts of the hood and has family that Hodges has come in contact with as a cop, putting them up against the wall. It's through this that we see the split between the people in Lost Angeles, and while it's not a subtle point really and may even be one of the more cliché things in the picture , it still goes a way to try and add immediacy to the drama, and McGain's own personal conflicts on the streets. And, again, those gangs, some played by actors Don Cheadle and Damon Wayans in early roles, Sy Richardson , others by I would assume real gang-bangers and people 'from the streets' another thing Hopper is good at, casting real people, which he doesn't get enough credit for , that are allowed to be fleshed out and made into real people, or as real as they can be in this movie.The filmmakers don't make us feel sympathy for the gang members, but through making them human beings as opposed to just targets and caricatures, it adds to the whole experience of being about something. Nothing here is exploited; it's a well-researched time-capsule that still holds its own years later, least as long as there are crips and bloods and other gangs and, you know, hot-headed cops with old-timer veterans. Very solid, professional film-making.
Gangs in L.A. will never die, just multiply. Colors. (by theficus)
I always enjoy watching this film. Raw, and uncompromising. Great performances by Sean Penn and Robert Duvall.A dark, and gritty portrayal of gang life in LA, and the special cop task force who deals with them. The film is never preachy, or insulting in it's execution. Awash with violence and profanity - but it's not glorified and serves a purpose.This movie isn't without flaws. I could have done without the drawn-out, and pointless lovemaking scene with Penn and Maria Conchita Alonso. T-Bone's arrest scene could have been explained without a feeble attempt at comedy. Also, I <more>
think "eyy hoolmes" is said about 50 times too many. I feel that these greatly undermine what is overall a solid motion picture.If you're a fan of gritty cop/crime dramas, or of gangsta' movies, I strongly urge you to see this film.
My generation remembers these times...This is before Rodney King and the riots, before the relentless moralizing of Spike Lee and John Singleton. Back then, urban gang warfare was comfortably distant. This is before cell phones, bling, rims, before the thug life became a marketable commodity.Colors is distinctive for Hopper's tight focus, his honest approach and complete lack of sentimentality. The world depicted here is horizontal, and filmed horizontally; it is ugly and unironic, and in a way egalitarian; there are NO courts or lawyers, every introduction of ethics is literally shot <more>
down. It's hard to imagine anything being made like this in today's multiculti/PC world, any such attempt would immediately provoke shrieking and clutching of skirts at the sight of 'racism'. This paradigm of movie-making didn't survive, it disappeared like Duvall's soul in that departing helicopter shot. Unfortunately, the trend went the way of "Boyz n the Hood".
Great song, classic movie! I used to love this movie and I got to see it again after all these years. It is cool to notice Don Cheadle as one of the gang bangers. There are a lot of memorable characters in this movie....Pacman, Hodges, Rocket, Frog, High Top, etc. I would recommend it highly as one of the later 80's better movies.
fantastic movie on gangs (by roddick-1)
Strangely I had never heard of this movie until yesterday.I thought it was a great depiction of gang life in L.A. and I rank it up high with the other gang movies like Boyz N the Hood and Menace II Society. I thought it was interesting seeing the world of gangs through the eyes of the police and not just the black gangs in L.A.I thought the acting was very good, especially Sean Penn.And I agree with the others who say people in the movie it say "holmes" too much!A must see for all those who are interested in gang films.