Shade (2003) Damien Nieman

Production Budget: $10 million
Gross: $25,000

Shade is about a group of small time grifters who team up to take on the legendary card shark known only as The Dean (Sylvester Stallone).  Yeah, its another Sylvester Stallone movie.  And like Eye See You, I always thought Shade was a Direct to Video production.  I can tell you the first time I noticed it was when I cruised the aisles at Blockbuster.  Really what made me grab it was the decent cast they wrangled up for it.  I mean you have Stallone, Gabriel Byrne, Thandie Newton, Stuart Townsend, and Jamie Foxx.  Yeah, I know Melanie Griffith is featured on the cover too.  The moment I mention her as part of a decent cast is when I see a decent performance out of her at any point in her entire freaking career.

I know from looking at all the press material it seems like a Stallone vehicle but that’s really not the case.  He is kind of like Robert Shaw’s character in the Sting or KGB in Rounders.  Stallone has several scenes, but he is not the focus of the movie.

In the grand scheme of things, Shade is your average con man/grifter movie.  There is nothing that is particularly special about it but then again there is nothing particularly wrong with it either.  The story does just enough to remain interesting and the acting is really what makes it somewhat good.  Yes, even Stallone is cool and classy as the old time player/con man The Dean.  Shade is a very decent movie and you could do a lot worse.  And I’m not the only one that thinks that.  Shade has a 71% positive rating on Rottentomatoes which means the the majority of reviews who saw it thought it was good too.

Now I don’t want to give the impression I’m highly recommending this movie.  Like I said, this is a stock movie about a con.  But for what I was expecting (which was sh*t) I was pleasantly surprised.  This is a slightly above average movie and a nice Stallone entry.  Its not the standard DTV schlock you would be expecting.


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