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Shadows and Lies [Blu-ray] [Import]
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The talented James Franco stars in Shadows & Lies as William Vincent, a quiet and mysterious criminal. When he falls for a New York gangster s (Josh Lucas) favorite call girl (Julianne Nicholson), Vincent is forced to flee the city, threatened with death if he should ever return. But after four years in exile, Vincent secretly returns intent on rescuing the woman he loves from her dangerous fate.
James Franco stars in this downbeat, deliberately paced existential thriller. Writer-director Jay Anania, a New York University film professor, alternates between an enigmatic drifter (Franco), a gangster (Josh Lucas), and a call girl (Law & Order: Criminal Intent's Julianne Nicholson). The time line, unfortunately, is hard to follow, though it goes something like this: after he misses a flight that crashes, killing everyone on board, Franco's antihero takes the opportunity to start over. As he explains in his mumbled voice-over, he moves back to Manhattan, becomes an editor of nature videos, and changes his name from Joseph to William. When he isn't working out of his storefront apartment, William spends hours walking the streets and eating alone in diners, where he sometimes argues with other patrons. One afternoon, an unnamed crime boss catches him in a criminal act, and recruits him to run errands (he doesn't seem to have much of a choice). To thank him for his services, the boss's sympathetic henchman, Victor (Martin Donovan), introduces William to Ann, with whom he starts spending time--until the boss asks them to stop. William can't stop thinking about her, though, and acts on an impulse that forces him to flee the city. Four years later, he returns to win her back. Because Anania relies on natural light, most every scene is under-lit, which adds to the remote feel, while John Medeski's drone-drenched score furthers the somnambulant mood. As low-budget noirs go, Shadows and Lies is different. But different isn't always better. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
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All these characters are passing through life just waiting for death to take them. The lead character is the only actor that was lucky enough to die by the end of the movie.
This movie goes nowhere, has no message and is guarenteed to depress you even if you are otherwise in a great mood before watching it.
This movie seems far longer than it really is and should not have been longer than ten minutes in any event. It simply was the very long way of telling a very short story. There is only one gunshot during the movie. For the sake of these actors, there should have been many more.
Street low-life meets drug king who caters mostly to drug addicted hookers. He fails to follow every order explicity and is shot to death, fortunately. Death is far better than continuing his miserable and meaningless life, which had absolutely no place to go.
Terrible screenwriting. Not one character has any point or purpose, not one is slightly likeable and nothing of value can be taken away from this pathetic excuse of a movie.
Sorry, just trying to save anyone else from spending money or waisting anytime on this garbage. One would struggle through the movie thinking it had to get better. Problem is, it never does.