on 23 June 2006
Utter God damn classic. From the rip-roaring music, to funky special effects, to the cheesy acting to the cracking idea of the whole thing itself. See it and ignore the cynical critic in you. OIt's just great to see Batman go hand in hand with Indiana Jones and actually have a film that lives up to that tag for once.
on 10 June 2015
After MUCH research that proved fruitless, I ended up purchasing this blu-ray/DVD blindly, in the desperate hope… it had the new interviews with cast and crew which featured on its US equivalent. Aaaaaaand, despite it hardly screaming its bonus features on the back cover - IT DOES! YAY! It runs some 23 mins, plus photo gallery and trailer. Interestingly, the trailer boasts some blink-and-you'll miss-'em scenes not featured in the movie; most notably, the Shadow in full outfit sitting at communications device in the Sanctum.
Gotta hand it to this release - they've EVEN put the extras on the DVD disc, thus, sparing your frustration if you don't own a blu-ray player.
Wanting my cake and eat it, it would have been nice if this release also featured the back-in-the-day making of extras and music video of the German blu-ray, but, well, maybe we have one final release to look forward to…THE SHADOW: ULTIMATE EDITION! HA!
Or, maybe even…HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!
on 24 July 2004
I have loved this film for many years now. I first saw it when i was young and now im in my teens years and i still find it great fun to watch. Its not the most action-packed film but the story carrys you through the film nicely and i think this film is very under rated! you could do alot worse than to see this fantisy filled film.
on 15 June 2015
The Shadow is a bit of an oddity - part of the wave of films from when studios were falling over themselves to imitate the success of Warner Brothers and Batman by licensing pretty much every other pulpy comic-book character from the 30s: The Phantom, The Rocketeer (a homage to the 30s), Dick Tracy and...
The Shadow is one of the earliest and best of these; at one point famously voiced by Orson Welles in his radio incarnation, the pulp magazines inspired Bob Kane to create Batman, and the similarities between the characters are obvious. The film is a mixed bag - Alec Baldwin oozes charm as Lamont Cranston and the film has a great art-deco look to it, mixing great old-school special effects (models, matte paintings) with a few snazzy (at the time) CGI ones. The script is fairly zippy and tongue-in-cheek, the cast is full of great character actors and moreover it's fun. The lack of any big set pieces hurts it - there's no really impressive action sequences, and the climax is a big letdown (it was rushed due to the original sequence being abandoned as an earthquake damaged the hall of mirrors set).
Mediumrare has ported over the US Shout Factory disc untouched. The transfer is the same (and it's pretty good), and the only real special feature (a 25-minute retrospective) is decent enough and features the major players.
This is a fun movie that undeservedly flopped on release and I had fond memories of seeing it at the cinema. It's been a while since I watched it and it's still just as fun.
on 11 December 2003
While leading a dissipated life in Tibet, Lamont Cranston (Played by Alec Baldwin) falls under the influence of an ancient wise man (James Hong) who teaches him how to use an ancient wisdom to fight for good. Returning to the United States, Cranston takes on the role of The Shadow, a nearly magical hero who wages war on the forces of crime. But, things are about to get much harder. Shiwan Khan (John Lone), the last descendent of Genghis Khan has a plan to take over the whole world. As Shiwan Khan hash similar powers to his own, only The Shadow can hope to overcome him. [Color, created in 1994, with a running time of 1 hour, 48 minutes.]
After hearing numerous negative comments about this movie, I watched it with some trepidation. However, I must admit that I was quite pleasantly surprised. This movie is stunningly produced, with excellent scenes. The characters are interesting, even if not often believable. The action is quite gripping, but is restrained, thus keeping the movie within a PG-13 rating. With no overt sex, and restrained violence, this movie is very family-friendly. So, if you looking for a good Saturday night movie to watch, then I recommend this movie to you.
Perhaps because The Shadow was made in a time before every studio with a dime climbed on the comic book bandwagon. Anyway, maybe it's the franchise which got away.
Alec Baldwin is fantastic and charismatic as the eponymous hero, in a stylish and atmospheric film which manages to combine humour, romance, and thrills and spills galore. Set in a golden-age 1920's-30's San Francisco, The Shadow is the alter-ego of a man who has seen the dark side of his personality, and is given the chance to atone.
The special effects are small-scale by today's standards, but are used effectively and never become clunky.
If you want a family film with a little edge to it, and 100% enjoyability, then take a chance on this unsung gem!
"In three days, the entire world will hear my roar, and willingly fall subject to the lost empire of Shiwan Kahn. That is a lovely tie, by the way. May I ask where you acquired it?"
One of those occasional attempts to revive a popular character from the golden age of radio as a big budget movie superhero, 1994's The Shadow was probably too forgotten by the mid-90s to have ever stood a chance at the box-office, but it's a rather decent retro-effort that works a lot better than it was ever given credit for. Instead of taking the Green Hornet route and updating its mysterious hero to the modern day, it remains a 30s period piece that keeps him in his natural environment. Probably just as well, since the character's trademark hat and cape would look even more out of place in a modern setting than they do in pre-WW2 America, while his somewhat limited powers - primarily the ability to cloud men's minds and dominate the weak-willed - probably need the distance of nostalgia for a lost age to really work. And for the most part, this really does work and rather splendidly at that as Alec Baldwin's sadistic opium dealer tries to atone for his past sins by assuming a twin identity as playboy Lamont Cranston and the crime fighting Shadow and finds himself up against John Lone's evil-and-definitely-unreformed Shiwan Khan, the last descendant of Genghis Khan, who wants to set off a prototype atom bomb in New York as the first part of his plan to create a greater empire than his illustrious ancestor...
It's a silly and melodramatic conceit, but, aside from Ian McKellan's bumbling absent-minded scientist and a few enjoyable scenes of Lone striding through New York streets in full armour, the humour is never allowed to dominate and is played admirably straight rather than descending into the knowing camp of George Pal's misfired Doc Savage - The Man of Bronze or the 60s Batman TV series. Filled with sly references to the radio show and pulp novels for aficionados, there's enough in the way of cliffhangers and action to keep things lively as well as one great conceit over the villain's lair, which is literally hidden in plain sight - sort of. For once Russell Mulcahy's direction is on target, cutting back on the MTV visuals for something a bit more disciplined (though that may be due to the studio taking the film off him in post-production), the production design is impressively gorgeous and there's a fine Jerry Goldsmith score too.
Sadly there's nothing in the way of extras on the DVD at all, though at least the Region 2 PAL DVD offers the film in its original 1.85:1 ratio, though the titles seem to have been cropped to 2.35:1 (the Region 1 NTSC disc is fullframe). There's also an English German Blu-ray available with an inconsistent but mostly decent widescreen transfer and plenty of extras drawn from the film's EPK - featurette, cast and crew interviews, on-set footage, music video and trailer. Universal's bare-bones region-free US Blu-ray has pretty poor quality, but Shout Factory's subsequent Region A-locked US Blu-ray (listed as the Collector's edition) has a better transfer taken from a new master with a 23-minute featurette with new interviews with the director, writer and Baldwin and Penelope Ann Miller, a stills gallery and trailer.
The Shadow is directed by Russell Mulcahy, and is based on the character of the same name created by Walter B. Gibson. It stars Alec Baldwin in the title role and support comes from John Lone, Penelope Ann Miller, Peter Boyle, Ian McKellen & Tim Curry. It's written by David Koepp who was a fan of the radio show that was re-run when he was a child. The plot basically sees Lamont Cranston (Baldwin) gain an alter ego (The Shadow) in mystical Tibet and with his new powers sets about fighting crime back in the states. All is going well until Shiwan Khan (Lone) shows up. He's the last descendant of Gengis Khan, and in keeping with that particular family tree, he's intent on global domination.
There's a lower tier of super hero movies that have either been poorly received in comparison to the big hitters like Bats, Supes and Spidey, or simply forgotten on account of how bad they are. The likes of Daredevil, The Phantom, maybe even Darkman,? and this here 94 piece, The Shadow, are rarely mentioned by the super hero fan. Perhaps rightly it could be argued? But in spite of its tepid and unimaginative plot, The Shadow is an above average time filler that's visually impressive. The 30s Manhattan setting is excellently brought to life by the makers, and a pat on the back is due to them for not over doing the special effects. It looks and feels pulpy, and really there's nothing wrong with that at all. The cast in truth are just about OK, either under written or merely swamped by the production design, they turn up and play the movie as best they can.
Hardly ground shaking and not really pumping the blood as an action movie should. The Shadow does have a dreamy quality that makes it worth a watch. Perhaps a sequel with a better story may just arrive one day? 6/10
on 23 June 2011
For those who like slightly cheesy secret society comic book films, this one is as good as the Phantom or better (not so terribly miscast females). It's not for everyone---the dialogue and plots stick closely to the spirit of old radio shows so it tends to be too stiff and tame for a lot of folks but I enjoy the innocence. A few of the lines are unfortunately pitched for the snappy stupid one-liner 90's but otherwise it stays very true to the style (having not followed the Shadow myself, I can't comment on the original material it's based on but suspect it's nothing like it. Just saying.)Also, the nightclub theme song is jarringly modern. Shame.
It is gorgeously filmed. The costuming, lighting, set design and camera work are just beautiful, which is why I bought this UK disk: in the US, only the pan and scan version was ever released on DVD. There's the slight glitch though: while the screen is wider, it's not quite the vast amount of additional visual information I expected and the colors and contrast are sadly faded. It's nice to see what was cut from the US version but with the rich colors and shadow-play reduced, it lacks a lot of the snap of the pan and scan. Fun film if you know what to expect, but probably just as watchable in pan and scan: it sure looks far better despite having been cropped.
on 20 March 2015
This is a movie that came out before all the Marvel Comics films with special effects and CGI, which create the visually overpowering moves of superheroes that abound now. Back at the time of this film, Hollywood was still trying to determine the right formula for a comic book mega-hit. Even the era this movie portrays is from the forties, and it might be said the earliest incantations of the superheroes that we know of today. To me, what this film has going for it is style and nostalgia, or whatever that is so enthralling of that time period. I am something of a style over substance kind of guy in that rewatching films seems always to be a matter of nostalgia. They represent the context of times in your past when you first saw the film. So style is important in making the visit appreciable, since you know what is going to happen.