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Shadow Hours is the story of a recovering addict trying to get his life back together and prepare for the birth of his son. Michael (Getty) gets a job working the graveyard shift at a gas station where he meets Stuart (Weller) they soon become friends and begin to hang out at various strip clubs and other seedy places in the underbelly of LA. Michael soon realizes that Stuart is a psycho and maybe a serial killer. Shadow Hours is a decent into madness that leaves the viewer disturbed and very entertained. Sure its goofy, but I love it. BZAR rocks. Check it out!
I'm a tough sell when it comes to contemporary American films, and have
turned almost exclusively to watching foreign films or classics (ie: loved "Night of the Iguana;" admire Hitchcock), but when my 15 year old grabbed "Shadow Hours" off the shelf I thought I'd give it a shot for the sake of mother\daughter movie night.
Smart writing (a bloody rare attribute), terrific acting, fabulous score and a film noir look--I was hooked. Loved the jump cut gas station scenes, the crazies, the repetition of certain phrases/themes, the progressive descent into urban madness, and, Oh, Lordy, that Moby piece that tied it together at the end.
I've watched it twice, the second time with my husband, who is recommending it to fellow 'good film' afficionados, and so on, and so on...
Interesting to read B'zar Getty's bio. Note the tattoos on his hand in the film - they're the real deal.
It is a shame that Shadow Hours is kind of one of those rare thrillers
that may have been sorta ignored during it's release, but it is perhaps
one of the likable thrillers I have seen in recent years. Director and
writer Isaac Eaton did a rather fine job at creating tension and
keeping me interested through the story.
Balthazar Getty in my opinion has been rather too underrated in films. This talented young actor did a good turning point here in Shadow Hours as the troubled Michael. Trying to straighten out his life, Michael has a new wife (Rebecca Gayheart) and a child on the way. He gets a job during the night shift and encounters a mysterious man named Stuart, (creepily portrayed by Peter Weller). They become close friends and they begin to experiment in the terrible parts of the city and Michael begins going downhill. Eventually Michael learns that Stuart could be a sociopath and he has to fight against him to get back to his life again.
Shadow Hours should very well be viewed for those that are fans and are inspired by this kind of genre. The film also has a familiar cast in cameo appearances that include Peter Greene, Richard Moll (of TV's Night Court) and Oscar nominees Frederic Forrest and Brad Dourif.
Shadow Hours is the best movie Balthazar Getty has done since
Lost Highway and is also probably the best movie Peter Weller
has done since Robocop. Anyone who has spent considerable
time within a major city nightlife scene will be able to identify with
this movie. People who also like a film to leave a few questions
unanswered will also probably get a kick out of Shadow
The film has a great look to it, this film is so much slicker looking than any recent mainstream or indie film in the past few years. This is probably the slickest looking movie Ive seen since Blade. Kudos to the director and dp. The soundtrack is top notch as well. Weller is in top form here, his unique look and commanding voice really make his character. Getty gives a good performance as well. The cast of supporting characters is really amazing. Every few minutes you will see a familiar face pop up in a small role.
The only small problem I have with the film is that a few scenes referenced other movies a little too blatantly, but the film's main story is very original and intrigueing. Overall it is a great little movie with alot of style and a thought provoking story. It was great to see a movie made for adults compared to all the pg-13 bland entertainment that the gutless hollywood studios have been releasing lately.
This film is no direct to video cheapie my friends.
The devil feeds from your weaknesses and enstills good in temptation.
"Shadow Hours" definitely understands this, and shows an interesting Lucifer
who dwells in the seedy underworld of Los Angelos.
To say the least, I wasn't blown away by the story's originality, but director Isaac H. Eaton has some brilliant style tricks to keep it fun and intriguing. He is an adroit director working with a mediocre script, and the results are surprisingly good.
Balthazaar Ghetty plays Michael Halloway, a recovering alcoholic who tries to support himself as well as his wife Chloe by working at a seedy gas station on graveyard shift. In this environment, he's bound to see some interesting things. It seems everyone who comes through has exhausted themselves with something...most likely some sort of sin. They are all running on empty as they scurry through the night. There are wonderful sequences where gas meters rise as different things happen, communicating this theme perfectly.
Anyway, he runs into a mugger and a homeless man (who symbolizes his bottom of the barrel outlook), but most importantly, a writer named Stuart Chappell (played by Peter Weller, in easily one of his best performances). Chappell has a strange fixation on Michael, and he takes care of him, clothing him with nice suits, and giving him tons of money to gamble. From the start, it is obvious this guy's a little shady, however. He neglects the fact that Michael is recovering on AA and influences him to start drinking again. Soon, he plunges Michael into a truly harrowing underworld of fight clubs, gambling, drugs and sex.
In one of the most disturbing scenes of recent memory, they go to a bondage club where people get sadomasochistic pleasure from torture. At first, I was angry that Eaton would use this smut to manipulate his audience into feeling shocked (like how Todd Solondz did in his terrible film "Happiness"). Then I realized, Chappell, a satan figure, is indeed masochistic in that he feeds off his victim's pain. Little did Michael know as he looked at these twisted acts, that he was being used as a partner to Chappell's atrocity.
When Michael becomes closer with Chappell, he realizes how much of a lie this man really is. But the perks of being with him are too great, and soon Michael goes too deep into the dark side, hurting Chloe and damaging the new life he forged after leaving AA. I didn't like how the film ends. It takes an easy (and largely taken) way out, keeping itself on a level of simplicity. I believe Eaton is a genius director, but he sells himself short in "Shadow Hours".
I did like a lot of things in this film. I loved the performances by Getty (who also produced), and more so Peter Weller. He plays Stuart as attractive, fun and seemingly caring, but always dark somewhere deep. I liked how the story was paced and told, but it is lacking in overall freshness.
(2 and 1/2 out of 4)
"Shadow Hours" is a well shot, well acted, impatient B-flick which gets moving quickly and keeps up the momentum throughout. Although the film is a journeyman production at best, it creates a curious mystique by asking more questions than it answers and keeps the audience guessing to the end and beyond. Weller's character is particularly compelling as he mentors a recovering addict, Getty, on life with a series of tours through the decadent underbelly of Los Angeles nightlife. Not for everyone, some will find this film provocative and will be looking forward to better offerings from this auteur in the future.
I started watching Shadow Hours one evening on Foxtel (Australia).
Pretty soon I realized that I had to watch it all the way through as
the suspense regarding the mysterious rich man (Stuart) kept on
building. The movie is about a journey of a young man (Holloway) in to
the very dark side of city's night life with that mysterious rich man.
Holloway was a former drug addict and is supporting his wife pregnant
with their first child by working through grave yard shift on a petrol
station (yes we call it petrol in Australia :). He gets acquainted with
a rich guy who takes him to very strange clubs and places. That sparks
a battle of conscious within Holloway and he finally manages to get out
of way by following a rather hard way.
The movie reminded me of 8mm in which Nicholas Cage goes deep in to the dark and ugly of porn, gambling and some very psycho stuff in pursuit of a missing girl. Shadow Hours also takes us to all these sick places where at first you will not understand that what kind of people would want to go through that sickening lifestyle. But, If you think a bit more that probably you will realize that most of the people who hang around these places and gets abused by people like Stuart are mentally ill and are probably not accepted by the society. By hanging around such places people like Holloway who often are at borderline of sanity can be influenced in a terrible way. Anyway the movie was entertaining and thought provoking and I will recommend it to all people who liked 8mm.
wasnt a bad film, had a powerful message albeit presented in a often cliche'd form. i especially liked the philosophy of where the devil went wrong with Job....all in all, a good film with solid performances by the leading men.
Remember that the one who said "I'm your angel Michael, here to protect
you" (or something like that) also said "You have to go all the way
down, to the pits, hitting rock bottom before you come out of this" (or
He gave Michael an overdose of moral evil, the max being such selfish greed that ... (I won't tell not to spoil it.)
What the angel had told Michael said true, he did not lie. And when he saw the positive result at the end of his work with Michael, he went over to the next one in line who needed the same kind of help.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Shadow Hours demonstrates to all filmmakers that when you're making a
motion picture, being fast is a lot like being good. As long as you've
got a talented cast and a rapid fire pace that's always plunging
forward, that'll cover up a lot of deficiencies in plotting and
Michael Holloway (Balthazar Getty) is a recovering drug addict working the graveyard shift at a gas station in one of the seedier sections of Los Angeles. He wants to stay sober and take care of his pregnant wife Chloe (Rebecca Gayheart), but he feels more and more desperate and trapped. Then one night, a man in a black suit and a black sports car rolls into Michael's life. He says he's a writer named Stuart Chappell (Peter Weller) and he takes a shine to Michael. Stuart offers Michael a job as his assistant, which Michael eventually takes after the menial grind of the gas station gets to be too much for him. Stuart takes Michael on a journey into the night, exposing him to greater and greater depths of human debauchery and depravity until Michael's sobriety, marriage and even life are at risk. While that's going on, there's another ill-defined and poorly executed storyline about a police detective (Peter Greene) investigating a series of murders. This plot thread only exists to facilitate a more explosive and dramatic end to Stuart and Michael's more cerebral tale. It's vaguely explained, tangentially relevant and the actions of the detective don't make a lick of sense.
In a lot of ways, Shadow Hours isn't that good a film. Its story is basic and shallow. Its moments of drama are inorganically contrived. Its moral is muddled and confused. It has a lot of characters that don't serve much of a purpose. Yet for all that, it's still fairly entertaining.
Much of that is thanks to the blazing speed that writer/director Isaac H. Eaton brings to the tale. His scenes are short and briskly edited with a plentiful helping of visual montages to establish mood and tone, granting Shadow Hours a vitality and appeal that it doesn't entirely deserve. This movie doesn't slow down to establish or explain a whole lot, racing from beginning to end like a flaming jack rabbit running for a pond. That swiftness makes the good parts of the story seem sharper and keeps the bad parts from lingering long enough to be annoying.
The other significant positive to this movie are nice performances from characters large and small. Peter Weller is perfect as the wickedly mysterious and tempting Stuart Chappell and also appears to be having a lot of fun with the role. He takes a character that could have been unbearably pretentious and removes all the starch from him with a low-key but precise portrayal that embraces the jumble of the story and turns it into an asset. The script is never clear about certain aspects of Stuart Chappell, unintentionally I believe, and Weller takes that on and believably makes Stuart very human at some moments and quite something else at others.
Balthazar Getty is good, though he's never asked to do much more than convey the essential decency in Michael without making him seem like a boy scout. Rebecca Gayheart does everything that can be done with the clichéd girlfriend role. Peter Greene manages to make the police detective seem like a legitimate character until the script leaves him high and dry. Corin Nemec and Brad Dourif also manage to fill up a couple of unnecessary roles with some wit and flair.
In addition, Shadow Hours has an appreciable amount of female nudity, more than a hint of sexual perversion and some interesting snippets of dialog about the nature of life and human existence or at least what passes for it in L.A.
All in all, this is a low-budget, independent production that was worth making and worth watching. There are an awful lot of movies that don't reach that fairly low bar, so if you see Shadow Hours sitting on the shelf at your local video store, give it a try. It'll mostly likely be better than renting some other film you've never heard of.
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