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Shiner (2004)

 -  Drama  -  5 June 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 2.9/10 from 277 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 7 critic

Raising the subtext of "Fight Club'' into text, "Shiner'' depicts a pair of amateur boxers gratified by punching each others' lights out. Theirs is among a trio of twisted love stories in ... See full summary »


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Title: Shiner (2004)

Shiner (2004) on IMDb 2.9/10

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Cast overview:
Tony (as Scott Stepp)
Derris Nile ...
Nicholas T. King ...
Conny Van Dyke ...
Bob's Mom
Ryan Soteres ...
Almost Dead Guy


Raising the subtext of "Fight Club'' into text, "Shiner'' depicts a pair of amateur boxers gratified by punching each others' lights out. Theirs is among a trio of twisted love stories in the narrative feature by 29-year-old Los Angeles director Christian Calson. There's also a woman literally fighting her male lover's affections and another boxer who stalks his own shy male stalker. "Shiner'' transcends sadomasochism in that no one seems aware of what he or she is doing. "I'm trying to look at desire head on,'' the soft-spoken Calson said by telephone. "('Shiner') is about the politics of wanting and being wanted and how people respond differently.'' Rife with ugly behavior, "Shiner'' rejects the trend of queer filmmakers seeking straight understanding. "In L.A., we have this kind of sadness we carry around, that the only way we can make gay stories is by making more like 'Will and Grace,' '' Calson said. Like the activist-filmmakers tackling the marriage issue, Calson went into "... Written by Carla Meyer, San Francisco Chronicle

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Release Date:

5 June 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Desire Is Relentless  »

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Many of the blurry, unfocused moments in the film, as well as "problems" with angles and sounds, were done intentionally. See more »


Reg: Don't be mean. You know how it turns me off.
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User Reviews

That's entertainment!
23 November 2004 | by (Austin, Texas) – See all my reviews

I've seen "Shiner" about 8 times, including on the big screen in NYC. I was absolutely thrilled to be presented with a work that did not seek to condescend to merely "entertain" me. I was exposed to a unique world that lived by rules I did not understand & (thank God) the film did not waste time feeding me small, easy-to-swallow narrative that neatly explained what I should be feeling and why I should be feeling it. IF ALL YOU WANT FROM A FILM IS TO ESCAPE YOUR DULL LIFE FOR TWO HOURS, BEST STAY AWAY. If you need a clear-cut hero's journey to take you by the hand and lead you down a much-traveled road with special effects, a good guy & bad guys & funny moments that indicate they are funny by mad-cap gesticulation, you will not "get" this. If you need a film that makes you feel "good", there's plenty of other stuff for you at the video store.

As for me and those of you who appreciate a work where you truly have no idea what will happen next, that stimulates you without seeking to manipulate you with some political agenda, or that dares to exist, true-to-itself without apology & without catering to mainstream tastes (i.e. ART), then you're in luck. "Shiner" falls into this category.

It is proof that in quiet, dark ways, true, artistic cinema, long overshadowed by the business of sure-fire hits & their copycats, exists.

16 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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