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The Shadow [Blu-ray]
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Still, though, there's a lot to like about this movie: Alec Baldwin is dead-on perfect as Lamont Cranston and his darker side, The Shadow; Baldwin can go from charming to chilling with one flex of his facial muscles, and that ability is nicely on display here, even if The Shadow is buried under a hat and cloak and heavy makeup. Penelope Ann Miller looks gorgeous as Margo Lane, the blonde bombshell with a brain to match, but isn't challenged much by the material. John Lone chews up scenery as Shiwan Khan, last descendent of Genghis Khan and darker reflection of The Shadow's edgy goodness. The art deco sets are terrific; the music is rich and moody; the visual scope of 1933 New York City is breathtaking.
I recommend this one with qualifications: If/when a widescreen version comes out, get it instead of the other DVD or VHS versions. But the movie itself is well worth seeing, particularly if you're an old-time radio fan.
I love the premise, characters, casting, and especially the score. It will be old news to Batman Begins fans, due to similarities in origin (rich man loses his identity in Asia to return a transformed crime-fighting force)... but keep in mind, this movie came out a decade earlier, and the Shadow is older than the Batman in general. Also, Cranston (a.k.a. the Shadow) is darker than Batman.
Baldwin is great as the gravelly-voiced Shadow, but belts out a good maniacal laugh when he needs too. You can't stop looking at the Shadow. Penelope Ann Miller also turns in a very good performance, as does John Lone as the villain.
The DOWNSIDE to this disc is that it very much lacks in transfer and aspect ratio. It's presented in 4:3 (1.33: 1), for boxy old TV... a real letdown for a great film. The transfer is also very poor... dirt and scratches appear obviously in the opening titles.
Still, it is very much worth seeing - a lot of fun and an absolute MUST for anyone who enjoyed Batman, but it will not live up to your system if you have a top of the line audio/visual setup.
I decided to purchase the DTS sound version of the movie since I remeber the movie having great sound effects that were muted in the VHS version. To my surprise, the sound in the DTS version was actually BETTER than in the movie theater. You can hear the Shadow's laugh circle around the room, like you're actually there. The movie gets five stars. The DVD as a whole gets 4 stars because I felt that the movie would be even better if it was in the original widescreen format. At the time this DVD was made, the DTS encoding took up most of the avalable space so there were no extras on this. Unfortunately, Universal has not made any announcements to re-realease this now that DVDs can hold more information.
As for the story, it is a very, very hokey no-brained-but very entertaining fantasy/adventure, based on the popular radio hero of the 1930s.
This is just pure escapism, not to be judged seriously because it's a dumb story. It's cartoon-like, an outlandish story that mixes action, comedy and a superhero with time-travel and all sorts of strange happenings. For someone who likes to gawk at the sights and sounds of the `30s and `40s, this is a fun film. Just be warned that you're not seeing all that is to be seen!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Most Americans really can't comprehend this, but I do. Thanks Alec.Published 12 days ago by G. Childers
Was in good condition, made my grandpa smile :) was happy with the purchase. No issues with the moviePublished 19 days ago by Jacqueline W.
Excellent picture quality, Light years ahead of the fullscreen DVD.Published 21 days ago by Robert Morris
What fun. Alec Baldwin so young and handsome, playing a super hero and Ian McKellen as the absent-minded scientist.Published 22 days ago by Margaret Anderson
This is another older movie I saw when it first came out and re-watched to see if my tastes have changed. It is as good as I remember and enjoyed it all over again.Published 2 months ago by Oldklingon
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