Shade is set in the world of poker hustlers working the clubs and martini bars of Los Angeles. The tale unfolds as a group of hustlers encounter "The Dean" and pull off a successful sting ...
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Three Italian-American brothers, living in the slums of 1940's New York City, try to help each other with one's wrestling career using one brother's promotional skills and another brother's con-artist tactics to thwart a sleazy manager.
When a serial killer turns his attention on the lead detective he is asked to check into a clinic treating law enforcement officials who cant face their jobs. As the patients begin being murdered they restart doing what they do best.
Charles S. Dutton,
Shade is set in the world of poker hustlers working the clubs and martini bars of Los Angeles. The tale unfolds as a group of hustlers encounter "The Dean" and pull off a successful sting that results in their pursuit by a vengeful gangster.Written by
Many situations in the movie are references to the book on Dai Vernon by Karl Johnson, "The Magician and the Cardsharp". For example, Malini gets his name from a famous magician referred to in the book; and "shade" is defined as a cardsharp's cover move, as it is in the film. See more »
The position of Miller's hand alternates between holding the drink and crossed over to his other arm while talking to Marlo. See more »
The credits list an "Erdnase Grip" and a "Mechanic's Grip." S.W. Erdnase was the pseudonym of the author of the book "Expert at the Card Table," which was referenced in this movie. A "mechanic's grip" is a special way to hold the cards that facilitates many common sleights (including dealing seconds and dealing from the bottom of the deck). See more »
With the long line of recent movies revolving around grifting and gambling and generally being super hip, this film is kind of the Independent and unheard of cousin of films like Oceans Eleven, Confidence and The Cooler (which was independent but not quite as much as this.). Now all its competitors are good, highly rated films. Now one would assume that because this is starring Sly Stallone and that it was not given a proper release, because no-one could stump up the money for it that it would essentially suck. Well it doesn't suck. This is a very good, and assured ensemble piece and very well shot and hip debut from writer/director Damien Niemen.
The film perhaps couldn't raise finance because it wasn't bankable. There is no big lead. Stallone would be the headlining name but he has a supporting role and of course with a lot of similarly themed films of equal to higher standard then it's a difficult one to find a market for. I watched this when it was released straight to video in the UK, a shame in many ways because this is a good film. Now what makes this good. Firstly the script is good. It's not original by any means but it's sharp and has good dialogue and interesting characters. Secondly the cast is excellent. When you think straight to video you think of Eric Roberts, Gary Busey, Dolph Lundgren, Jean Claude Van Damme, headlining and perhaps one or two other recognisable faces. This has a great cast, with Stuart Townsend, Gabriel Byrne, Thandie Newton, Jamie Foxx, Melanie Griffith and of course Sly Stallone. Townsend is excellent as the mechanic, basically the guy who can manipulate a deck of cards to his advantage, he is the key to the group of grifters consisting of him, Newton, and Byrne. They have a big score in mind, to take down master cards-man and king of all mechanics, the Dean played by Stallone. Now Byrne and Newton are both excellent but this is a great role for Stallone. Sly gives a great performance in this and it's a role that requires an inner depth and a subtlety and Stallone delivers.
Overall this is a very good movie. The score from Chris Young is good, nicely funky and understated and it's well shot. The film is also very well edited and stylish. It's not quite as good as Oceans Eleven because that was far more elaborate and with an even more impressive cast and similarly hip and stylish. At the end of the day Sly fans will be happy. It's not a big box office film but while he tries to re-launch himself as a money maker by doing sequels to Rocky and Rambo he should keep doing independent movies to give him testing roles. ****
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