The Color of Time DVD Review

     Actors: James Franco, Zach Braff, Henry Hopper
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: ANCHOR BAY
  • DVD Release Date: January 27, 2015
  • Run Time: 76 minutes


            It would only take slight changes in tone for The Color of Time to feel like a spoof of Terrence Malick’s recent filmography, specifically Tree of Life. This would not be difficult, because even Malick’s own films seem ready to slip into a parody of themselves at any moment, but The Color of Time is completely humorless and the imitation is done with complete sincerity. All of the twelve filmmakers credited as writer/directors do their best to copy Malick, without a hint of irony or the ability to realize how transparent this imitation is. They approach the material with the kind of painful sincerity and poisonous pretensions that could only belong to a film student, which is exactly what they are.


            All twelve of the filmmakers involved in this star-studded dud were students of NYU while James Franco worked as an adjunct professor. Franco’s literary preoccupation has led to several of his own pet projects, including adaptations of stories by Cormac McCarthy and William Faulkner, but even these don’t come close to the pretension of this film about the life of author C.K. Williams. Franco lends his acting skills as the older version of the author (with Dennis Hopper’s son, Henry, playing the younger version), and brings along a plethora of Hollywood actors to be misused. Jessica Chastain plays the mother, with the style and content of the role far too similar to the one she played in Tree of Life not to mention. Mila Kunis is the love interest, playing nonsensical sequences of the couple interacting without actually saying anything.


            Much of the dialogue is limited, with the filmmakers preferring to utilize endless voiceover with pretentious poetry taken directly from the writer’s work. This may as well just be a poetry reading by James Franco, with a bunch of aimless filmmakers desperately trying to show off their abilities to copy the cinematic style of Malick to go with it. Very little is said, even less seems to happen, and the only relevance will come from those who enter the theaters already a fan of C.K. Williams.


    Entertainment Value: 1/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 3/10

    Historical Significance:  0/10

    Special Features: 0/10



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