Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

13 March 2008

Shade, dir. Damian Nieman (2003)

NIKKI says:
Meh. This is one of those films where you don't know who's pulling a fast one on who until the final minutes, and, by that point, you're not sure you should care. I hated the revelation that So-and-so was working with Such-and-such because it wasn't a natural conclusion, it wasn't alluded to from the beginning. It was simply a full-on bait and switch, and those make movies just so uninteresting.

I was only into this movie for two reasons -- poker and Sylvester Stallone. Ingredients for a perfect night, right? Well, Sly looked fresh from the plastic surgeon, and the cards were boring and unrealistic. This one needed a good plot to drive it, and, sadly, that was a no-go.

The gist? A trio of small-time hustlers decide to rip off poker champ, The Dean. They prep themselves with a couple of smaller hustles (one ridiculous one involving Jamie Foxx), and then get ready to face Sly, who apparently killed a bunch of guys at a poker table back in his younger days.

It's all so familiar, right? I think that show, Tilt, had almost the exact same premise. I just didn't care. I was like, which reprehensible crim do I root for? The cheats or the murderer? Help!

Can we please have a movie now about some honourable poker players? I know they're out there somewhere.


STEVE says:
I've said it before - I don't get poker. Movies about poker, less so. Movies about poker cheats, you've lost me completely.

Why bother with this one then? Well, Stallone for one. Then there's Gabriel Byrne. And, you know, there's always the chance that there's going to be an exception to the rule, that maybe this movie about poker cheats will be the one that holds my interest.

But no.

Did it suck? Not really, not in a Lucky You kind of way. But everything from the cinematography to the script to the performances were just "okay". Everyone involved performed ably, but not exceptionally. I stopped caring early on and just waited it out. As it happens, I needn't have paid much attention to the first 90 minutes, anyway, as the last five came out of nowhere, not bothering with such trivialities as "set-up" or "logic".

That said, we picked the "twist" ending from very early on, which speaks more about this film than I could possibly ever hope to.


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