Top positive review
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Psychically, I'm very well endowed.
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.