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Desperate to solve the mystery behind his wife's death, Lovell Milo (TJ Thyne, "Bones") is trapped living his life out of order. He is forced to piece together clues while waking up every day at a different age, on a different day of his life. Mind-bending and brilliant, Shuffle is an exhilarating race through time!
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I did enjoy this movie. It's a crazy mix of thriller, fantasy, comedy,and melodrama, with lots of breaking the fourth wall. Director Kurt Kuenne does a good job of keeping you disoriented like Lovell, with the suspense ratcheting up several times in the movie. Things get pretty dark in the film from time to time, but he also works in a lot of warmth and humor. I did sometimes think the director was a little too meta- and arty, which pulled me out of the film a little. The film also got dangerously close to being too melodramatic at times (I think Kurt Kuenne should have been more subtle with the score he composed for the film), but in the end I do think this was a well-written mystery box of a film. It kept me guessing and was both funny, tense, and moving by turns. Plus I'm a sucker for the kind of ending this movie has. No, I'm not going to tell you what kind of ending that is.
T.J. Thyne (from TV's Bones) is charming as always and holds your sympathy throughout the movie as the lead character. Dylan Sprayberry as young Lovell and Tamara Taylor as Linda (I don't want to spoil her character) were also excellent. The rest of the supporting cast was decent, but didn't really stand out to me.
The cinematography is good as well, though unfortunately the version they have streaming has been colorized (the film was originally shot in black and white; the trailer for the film is black and white and I think the movie would have worked a little better that way).
Personally I'd give it 3 1/2 stars, but I guess I'll have to round it up to 4 for Amazon's rating system. I think it's definitely worth a watch, especially if you're into weird Twilight Zone-ish premises. Also, do yourself a favor and watch director Kurt Kuenne's short films "Rent-a-Person" and "Validated" on Youtube. I especially like "Validated." I think it's Kuenne's best fiction film, with a wonderful lead performance by T.J. Thyne and a whole lot of whimsy and charm that'll make you smile.
When I bought the DVD I was a little worried that it wouldn't stand the test of time for me upon a second viewing. Wrong. Blown away again and saw things I didn't realize were there the first time round. I've already given my copy away on a quest to spread the word about this little gem. I haven't found a diamond in the rough so plainly surprising since I picked up Boondock Saints at a gas station bargain bin.
Shuffle - watch it!!
The film makes me think of a cross between an episode of The Twilight Zone and the film: Memento! The theatrical version was in Black and White. It was truly meant to be seen in Black and White. The DVD has both a black and white and color version. I recommend watching the black and white first!
The Writer, Director, Composer Kurt Kuenne is extremely talented at what he does. He pays a great attention to detail. Additionally, T.J. Thyne is perfect as the lead actor in Shuffle.
If you are prone to crying at emotional scenes... you just might want to have a tissue box handy. It IS worth it, however. I promise.
When I first heard about "Shuffle" I was intrigued. I missed the screening in my town, so I immediately pre-ordered the DVD. I watched the B&W director's cut version. It was terrific. It's an engaging tale with a lot of heart that kept me guessing. I loved the work TJ did, as well as Paula Rhodes as Grace. It was crisp, and was very well done. The unknown actors worked well with the more seasoned professionals and the performances were even and believable. I enjoyed it very much.
I haven't seen the color version (it's included on the DVD) and I have to confess I'm not sure I will, since the B&W contributed a lot to the ambiance and texture of the film. Anyway, I highly recommend it.
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