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Michael is a recovering alcoholic/drug user. Back on the wagon, he's now responsible for a young, beautiful, and pregnant wife. He's working the graveyard shift at a gas station to support his new family, but the job drives him crazy. Then a wealthy stranger, Stuart, enters Michael's life, taking Michael through a tour of the seediest and slimiest parts of L.A. underbelly. Is Stuart leading Michael to hell, or salvation? Written by
Martin Lewison <firstname.lastname@example.org>
If you thought the bizarre and errie world of THE CELL was scary and weird, you haven't seen nothing yet. SHADOW HOURS takes the viewer into the dark and seedy world that does exist, in Los Angeles. From night clubs, to tourture clubs, to drug
culture, to fight clubs, the viewer doesn't really miss much of what else is dark in the city. Balthazar Getty (who looks similar to Charlie Sheen) is Michael Holloway a man who use to be part of the drug culture and it nearly cost him his life. But everything changed when he met Chloe (Rebecca Gayheart) a girl who made Michael give up his addictive illegal habits and go straight. So Michael works the graveyard shift at a gas station around central Los Angeles. Night after night, people come in, give Michael money, pump gas into their vehicles and then leave. One night Michael takes part of his anger out on a customer, Stuart Chappell (Peter Weller). Stuart pulls up in a nice looking Porsche and wearing a expensive suit. Michael feels guilty about yelling at innocent Stuart who only wanted gas, so he apoligizes to him, and Stuart accepts and wants to take Michael out for a cocktail. However, Stuart isn't innocent, he doesn't want to take Michael out only for a cocktail, and he didn't arrive to only get gas. Stuart shows Michael the underground world of Los Angeles, from strip clubs to places where people watch people getting torture. One good thing about SHADOW HOURS is the look and mood of the film. The picture starts off of fast motion cars speeding on a freeway, with the numbers on a gas pump moving in rapid speed, while music from Moby is being played on the soundtrack. If anyone is going to make a movie that takes place around in Los Angeles, one SHOULD play industrial music, especially by the artist Moby. Michael Mann protrayed Los Angeles to a prefction in his 1995 classic HEAT. As the view saw the scummy and seedy realistic side of Los Angeles, the fast dance tempo of Moby was played on the soundtrack. And SHADOW HOURS does accomplish that in some of it's scenes, which I really enjoyed. However, nothing much could be said for the rest of the film. The plot isn't anything special or new, it's more or less a updated version of the dark figure leading the innocent figure into a dark world. And some of the scenes in the film are not that original, but others (including a sexual torture club) are very disturbing to watch. The only actor who stands out in this film is by Peter Weller. He gives flamboyance to his character of Stuart that you wonder is this man really psychotic, or is he indeed the devil himself. But for the other actors, they pretty much give a paint-by-numbers performance. Getty doesn't really carry the movie, when he should be the leading actor carrying the film, he appears to be a sidekick to the Weller character. Rebecca Gayheart also gives a generic performance as the pregnant wife who stays awake late at night and wonders what her husband is up to. But a decent supporting performances from Brad Dourif as the gas station manager, and a unrecognizeable Frederic Forrest, help give the movie some color. I do see what director Isaac Eaton was trying to say in this film by getting his message across. But it's nothing really new or unique. For a small budget independent film, it does manage to show something promising, but in the end you don't walk out going "wow" it's more of a "ho-hum." ** (out of five)
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